Amir Carlisle

Four-star USC RB transferring to the Irish


Apparently, and as I’m the exact opposite of a recruiting savant I’ll have to take other people’s word for it, there was a fairly intense battle for the services of Amir Carlisle last year between USC and Notre Dame.

The Trojans won the short-term commitment battle back then, but the Irish have apparently won the long-term recruiting war in the here and now.

Speaking to the South Bend Tribune, Carlisle’s father confirmed that his son has asked for and been granted a release from his USC scholarship, and will be transferring to Notre Dame.  The reason for the decision appears to boil down to one factor: a change in the father’s employment location.

Duane Carlisle was the head strength & conditioning coach of the San Francisco 49ers when his son signed his Letter of Intent with USC last February, but took a job at Purdue as its director of sports performance a month or so later.  As the family is extremely close — and in what was described as “definitely… a family decision” — the dad moving to the Midwest led the West Coast son to transfer less than a year after enrolling.

“It was our intention to stay (in California), but circumstances changed,” Duane Carlisle told the Tribune. “We’re a close-knit family. …

“This definitely was a family decision. It wasn’t just an Amir decision. We felt as though Notre Dame would be the best fit for him for the next four years.”

Looking ahead, it’s unclear what would happen if the son was drafted by an NFL club other than the Indianapolis Colts and the father was still employed by Purdue.

Despite ankle and knee issues, Carlisle showed flashes of significant potential during his true freshman season with the Trojans.  The back averaged over six yards on his 19 carries as well as catching seven passes, one going for a touchdown.

As a four-star member of USC’s 2011 recruiting class, Carlisle was the No. 4 all-purpose running back in the nation and the No. 9 overall player in the state of California according to  Per NCAA transfer rules, Carlisle will have to sit out the 2012 season, but will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.