Murray, Jones won’t make early NFL leap from UGA

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For those Georgia fans concerned about losing their best offensive and defensive player to the NFL draft, you can breathe a little easier.  More than likely.

Speaking to the media Friday, and armed with the knowledge that they change their minds between now and Jan. 15, quarterback Aaron Murray and linebacker Jarvis Jones both confirmed that they will return to the Bulldogs for another season in 2012.  Murray, a second-team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and Associated Press, acknowledged that he submitted paperwork to the NFL’s draft advisory board, but said that was more out of curiosity than any intent to actually pursue early entry into next April’s draft.

“There’s no chance of me leaving,” Murray said. “I could use some more work.”

As a redshirt sophomore, Murray could actually have two more years of eligibility in Athens if he so desired.  Murray did admit, though, there’s a chance he could decide to leave his final season of eligibility on the table and leave after the 2012 season.

While Murray submitted paperwork to NFL draft advisors, his teammate Jones didn’t even go that far.  Jones, a consensus All-American who is currently second in the country in sacks with 13.5, told the media there was no reason for him to submit his paperwork to the board, which projects where an underclassman might fall in the draft, because he’s not going anywhere.

“I love being here,” Jones said. “I love the guys I play with. I love my coaches. I don’t think I’m ready to let that go yet.”

Two of Jones’ and Murray’s teammates, however, might be ready to go.  Safety Bacarri Rambo said it’s “50-50” whether he will leave early, while tight end Orson Charles talked around what his football future holds.

“I’m blessed to have this decision to make in the first place,” Charles said. “I grew up hoping I would have this decision.”

It had previously been reported that Charles had already decided he was leaving early, to which the TE said yesterday, “don’t believe that.”  Both Charles and Rambo are expected to announce their decisions at some point after the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.