Max Duggan prepping for future, not yet reflecting on TCU career

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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FORT WORTH, Texas — Max Duggan really hasn’t had time to reflect on his career at TCU, where the four-year starting quarterback’s final snap came in the national championship game. The Heisman Trophy runner-up hasn’t even stopped throwing while getting ready for the NFL combine and draft.

The beloved TCU quarterback, who has been in Southern California training since a few days after the national title game loss, was back in Fort Worth on Monday night for the presentation of the Davey O’Brien Award – whose namesake is the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner, when leading the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season and their only AP national title in 1938.

“It means so much to our program, for TCU, because we obviously understand what Davey O’Brien did for TCU, what he did for just college football,” said Duggan, the first TCU player to win the award given annually to a top quarterback. “There’s so much pride for that he did for our program, and building it up and setting a milestone for TCU programs to strive for.”

While Duggan and the Horned Frogs lost a lopsided national championship game to Georgia, they tied a school record with 13 wins by beating Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinal Fiesta Bowl.

“I probably haven’t even done a whole time of reflecting on what happened this season,” he said. “Obviously we’re disappointed what happened in the national championship game. … But that doesn’t take away from the special season that we had as a program, to be able to share that with players, coaching staff, our fans, the city of Fort Worth and TCU. People are going to remember this season for a long time.”

Even though he still had another season of eligibility available after starting 43 games for TCU, Duggan decided after extended conversations with his family and coach Sonny Dykes that it was the right time to make himself available for the NFL draft. He graduated from TCU’s business school in December.

Duggan was at the Senior Bowl and now is among several draft prospects working in California with former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer. The NFL combine starts next week, before TCU’s pro day at the end of March and the draft in late April.

Most draft projections have Duggan being a late-round pick on the third and final day. That doesn’t bother him.

“You’ve just got to have one team that, you know, falls in love with you, that likes your game, likes you as a person, what you do on and off the field. And I think that’s what really matters in my eyes,” he said. “I understand I’m not one of the top guys.”

Four former Big 12 quarterbacks started games in the NFL playoffs this season, including both Super Bowl starters: MVP Patrick Mahomes of the champion Kansas City Chiefs, and Heisman Trophy runner-up Jalen Hurts for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. The others were seventh-round draft picks last year.

Former Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson started a playoff game for Miami. Former Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, the very last player selected in the draft, was the starter for San Francisco as the 49ers made it to the NFC title game.

“I’ve been able to compete the last couple of years with Brock, Skylar and Jalen. To see them go have success, you see what type of league that the Big 12 is,” Duggan said. “I think you’ve seen them, whether they are kind of picks towards the end of the draft, they seem to have success, so it’s been fun to watch them.”

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.