Update: LSU’s Claiborne, Brockers leaving early for the NFL

8 Comments

UPDATED 4:16 p.m. ET: As reported below, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne announced at a press conference that he is leaving the Tigers early for the NFL.  During the same press conference, teammate and defensive tackle Michael Brockers confirmed that he will be doing the same.

“I can’t thank Coach [Les] Miles enough. This program has done so much for me, and I am very thankful,” Claiborne said.

“I just want to thank everyone at LSU who has helped me throughout my career,” Brockers stated. “It has been an amazing season.”

______________________________

In a press release Friday morning, LSU announced a 4 p.m. ET press conference today to discuss the future of two football players – cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers.

As expected, the immediate future for the former player will include the NFL.

The Associated Press, citing two people familiar with the decision, is reporting that Claiborne will announce this afternoon that he is leaving LSU early for the NFL draft.  The move would come as no surprise whatsoever; Claiborne is widely projected to be a top-five selection in the upcoming draft.

While Tyrann Mathieu‘s and his Honey Badger moniker grabbed the majority of headlines in 2011, Claiborne was hands-down the Tigers’ top cover corner and arguably the best player at his position in the country.  Claiborne came to the Tigers in 2009 as an unheralded three-star recruit, rated as the No. 58 “athlete” in the country according to Rivals.com and “just” the No. 21 player at any position in the state of Louisiana.

Claiborne led the Tigers with six interceptions in 2011, and was a consensus All-American selection.

Bowling Green lands Cincinnati grad transfer John Kurtz

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just ahead of the start of summer camp, Bowling Green has further solidified its depth and experience along its offensive line.

Appearing at the MAC football preview Wednesday, Mike Jinks confirmed that John Kurtz has been added to his Bowling Green football roster.  Kurtz comes to the Falcons as a graduate transfer, which would technically give him immediate eligibility.

“He played spring football for Cincinnati and was in the rotation for playing time on the offensive line,” Jinks said according to the Toledo Blade. “He’s a kid who has a chance to have an impact right away.

“The opportunity is there for him to play right away for us. This is a big ‘get’ for us.”

Jinks also hinted that Kurtz, who has two years of eligibility remaining, could be a redshirt candidate for the 2017 season as well.

Despite being just a two-star 2014 recruit, he was rated as the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Kentucky.  During his time with the Bearcats, Kurtz played sparingly.

After stops at TCU, Arkansas State, Cameron Echols-Luper to give WKU a try

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Maybe the third time will be a charm for Cameron Echols-Luper?

On his personal Instagram account Wednesday, Echols-Luper revealed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Western Kentucky.  According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the decision was made following a visit to the school earlier this week.

As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Hilltoppers. However, he has to finish up some schoolwork at his former school, Arkansas State, before officially moving on to WKU.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Echols-Luper began his collegiate career at TCU in 2013, transferring to ASU in 2015. After sitting out that season, he was third on the Red Wolves in receptions (26) and receiving yards (407). His 15.7 yards per reception was second on the team.

Ex-USC DL Noah Jefferson won’t be transferring to Arizona after all

USC athletics
Leave a comment

In early March, Noah Jefferson announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from USC to Arizona.  Nearly five months later?

Never mind.

Wednesday, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jefferson will not, as previously expected, be playing for the Wildcats this season.  No reason for the abrupt and unexpected about-face was given.

The coach did, though, intimate that a future pairing between the player and the program isn’t out of the question.

Jefferson wouldn’t have been eligible to play in 2017 for the Wildcats even if his move to the desert had come to fruition. He would’ve, though, had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018 at his disposal.

A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama last season, Jefferson never played another down for USC.

Hugh Freeze makes first public comments since exiting Ole Miss in disgrace

Associated Press
8 Comments

For the first time since his unceremonious exit from Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze has spoken publicly.  Somewhat.

In what was described as a brief interview with USA Today Sports Wednesday, the former Ole Miss head coach said his family and church have helped him get through the storm of the last few days. When asked if his family was standing by him, Freeze responded, “Oh, gosh, yeah.”

“God is good, even in difficult times,’’ Freeze told the website. “Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority.”

“I got some good friends,” the former head coach added.

The stunning news dropped last Thursday night that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service.  While Freeze blamed the call on a misdial, the administration found a “pattern of misconduct” during a deep dive into his phone records, leading the school to confront the coach about the situation.

After meetings with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, it became apparent that, if he didn’t resign, the school was going to fire him.

Because of a moral turpitude clause in his contract, there was neither a buyout nor a settlement.