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2012 Clemson football signees

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(Clemson’s press release on its 2012 recruiting class.)

Martin Aiken
DE • 6-3 • 245 • Fr. • HS
Bamberg, SC
Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School
Ranked as the #24 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com, where he is a four-star player…#25 defensive end in the nation and #2 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, also a four-star player by that service…#43 defensive end in the nation by ESPN.com, which lists him as a three-star player…#10 player in South Carolina and #23 defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…#11 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 73 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a senior…recorded 106 tackles, 36 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior…comes to Clemson from same school that sent Da’Quan Bowers and Rick Sapp to Clemson, they are both current in the NFL…Coached by Kevin Crosby at Bamberg-Ehrhardt…recruited to Clemson by Marion Hobby…born Oct. 17, 1993.

Isaiah Battle
OT • 6-7 • 285 • Fr. • HS
Brooklyn, NY
Blue Ridge (VA) School
Rated as the #5 prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com out of Fork Union Military Academy…#36 offensive lineman in the nation and #11 player in Virginia by Rivals.com at Blue Ridge School…#59 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…two-time, first-team all-state selection…had 67 tackles and seven sacks as a senior…had 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior…first-team All-Virginia Independent Conference as a senior…all-conference as an offensive and defensive lineman…attended Blue Ridge School to play basketball…coached by John Shuman at Fork Union Military Academy and Del Smith at Blue Ridge School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012 and will go through spring practice…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Feb. 10, 1993.

Travis Blanks
DB • 6-1 • 195 • Fr. • HS
Tallahassee, FL
North Florida Christian School
Rated as the #15 overall player and the #2 safety in the nation by ESPN.com…Clemson’s top incoming player according to ESPN.com…#25 overall player and #2 defensive back in the nation by Tom Lemming…#60 player and #4 defensive back in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 safety in the nation by Scout.com…#12 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…#1 player in the Orlando area by Orlando Sentinel…played in the U.S. Army All-American game…his North Florida Christian School team won the state title his freshman and senior year…third-team All-American by ESPN.com…honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated as a senior despite missing five games due to injury…earned all-state honors as a junior and senior…named FACA 1A Player of the Year as a junior…named First Team All-Big Bend as a junior and senior…had 104 tackles, four interceptions, 35 receptions, and eight touchdowns as a junior…comes to Clemson from the same area as recent Clemson All-American DeAndre McDaniel (2007-10)…coached by Robert Craft at North Florida Christian School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Dec. 3, 1993.

Zac Brooks
RB • 6-2 • 180 • Fr. • HS
Jonesboro, AR
Jonesboro Senior High School
Rated as the #129 player in the nation by Tom Lemming…#15 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com…#35 wide receiver in the nation and #3 player in Arkansas by ESPN.com…#15 running back in the nation and top player in state of Arkansas by Rivals.com…#3 player in Arkansas and #22 athlete in the nation by 247Sports.com…#42 wide receiver in nation by Scout.com…ranked as #1 overall player in Arkansas by SuperPrep…played at Jonesboro Senior High School, where he was a running back and wide receiver…had an injury-plagued senior season, but still had 650 rushing yards and nine touchdowns along with five receiving touchdowns…had 28 receptions as a senior…had 1,358 yards on 180 carries and 15 touchdowns along with 33 receptions for 211 yards as a junior…had 38 receptions for 769 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore…first Tiger signee from the state of Arkansas since 1976 (Steve Carr); Carr did not play in a game, therefore if Brooks plays in a game, he would become the first Tiger from Arkansas on record to play in a game for the Tigers…coached by Jim DeVazier at Jonesboro Senior High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Chad Morris…born Feb. 1, 1993.

Josh Brown
DT • 6-5 • 288 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
South Aiken High School
Ranked as the #76 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com… #19 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#38 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#26 player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by all four services…ranked as the #28 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named SCFCA 4A Lower State Lineman of the Year, and Region 5 4A Defensive MVP…named to the ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Aiken Standard All-Area team and the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the North-South High School All-Star Game in Myrtle Beach…recorded 90 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a senior…coached by Jeremy West at South Aiken High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born May 26, 1993.

T.J. Burrell
LB • 5-11 • 205 • Fr. • HS
Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek High School
Ranked as the #57 outside linebacker in the nation and #20 overall player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#58 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com…#26 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com #21 in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…listed as a three-star prospect by all three services…#18 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Shrine Bowl for the South Carolina team and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 105 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior…Coached by former Clemson assistant coach Chuck Reedy at Goose Creek High School…recruited by Tony Elliott…born Jan. 26, 1994.

Patrick DeStefano
OL • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Spartanburg, SC
Dorman High School
Rated as the #115 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com…ranked as #13 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com as well…#19 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl…played in the Under Armour All-America game along with classmate Jay Guillermo…#18 overall player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…South Carolina Coaches Association Lineman-of-the-Year at Dorman High School…Big 16 Upper State Lineman-of-the-Year…first-team all-area each of the last two years from an academic standpoint…graded 82 percent as a senior by his coaches…his father played at Duke and lettered in 1976 and 1977… high school teammate of current Clemson wide receivers Adam Humphries and Charone Peake…coached by Dave Gutshall at Dorman High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Jeff Scott….born Nov. 26, 1993.

Kevin Dodd
DL • 6-5 • 280 • Fr. • HS
Taylors, SC
Riverside High School
Spent the 2011 season at Hargrave Military Academy…had an outstanding career in two sports at Riverside High School…#14 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#27 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the North-South High School All-Star game in Myrtle Beach; he had five tackles, two sacks, a caused fumble, and recovered fumble in that game…all-region and all-county selection…had 78 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three caused fumbles, one recovered fumble, and four pass breakups as a senior…outstanding track athlete; he joined that team in the spring of 2010…county champion in the shot put, runner-up in the discus, and named Greenville County Field Athlete-of-the-Year…region champion in the shot and discus and was a state qualifier in the shot put…Riverside High School Field Athlete-of-the-Year and was voted as a team captain as a senior…set school records in the shot (49’ 1”) and discus (128’ 6.5”)…coached by Steve Eoute in football and Eric Cummings in track at Riverside High School…recruited by Jeff Scott and Dan Brooks…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012….born July 14, 1992.

Ronald Geohaghan
DB • 6-0 • 185 • Fr. • HS
Fairfax, SC
Allendale-Fairfax High School
Ranked as the #10 safety in the nation and the #3 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which lists him as a four-star prospect…#23 safety in the country by Scout.com, which also rates him as a four-star prospect…#21 safety in the country and #10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, which list him as a three-star prospect…ranked as 13th best player in South Carolina and #30 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense- Defense All-American game…coached by Eddie Ford at Allendale-Fairfax High School…comes to Clemson from the same school that sent Clemson all-time leading rusher Raymond Priester…recruited by Marion Hobby…born Aug. 9, 1994.

Jay Guillermo
C • 6-2 • 287 • Fr. • HS
Maryville, TN
Maryville High School
Rated as the #89 player in the nation, #1 center in the nation, and #1 player in Tennessee by ESPN.com…first-team All-American by ESPN.com, MaxPreps.com, and Sports Illustrated…#13 center in the nation by Rivals.com…#15 player in state of Tennessee and #9 center in the nation by 247Sports.com…helped Maryville High School to the state title each of the last two seasons…Mr. Football Lineman-of-the-Year in Tennessee…played in the Under Armour All- America game with Clemson classmates Patrick DeStefano and Chad Kelly…County player-of- the-year…led his team to a 15-0 record as a senior, as his team was ranked #11 in the nation by MaxPreps.com….played in East/West Tennessee All-Star Game…first commitment to Clemson’s 2012 class…coached by George Quarles at Maryville High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Dan Brooks…born Aug. 26, 1994.

Germone Hopper
WR • 6-0 • 170 • Fr. • HS
Charlotte, NC
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
As a consensus four-star prospect, he is ranked as #11 wide receiver in the country and #75 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 wide receiver in the nation and #81 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#20 wide receiver prospect in the nation by Scout.com…#4 prospect in North Carolina by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com…#6 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #113 overall player, #6 player in North Carolina and #15 wide receiver by 247Sports.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Shrine Bowl…rushed for over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his four years in high school…returned five kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns as a senior…finished his high school career as school’s career leader in rushing yards, punt and kickoff return yardage…coached by Andrew Howard at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Oct. 22, 1993.

Oliver Jones
OL • 6-6 • 320 • Fr. • HS
Ninety Six, SC
Ninety Six High School
Rated as the #14 offensive guard/center in the nation by MaxPreps.com…#58 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com…#65 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…#66 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com…top-15 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…ranked #21 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #22 player in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…named SCFCA 1A Upper State Lineman of the Year…an SCFCA First-Team All-State player…played in the Shrine Bowl…from the same school that produced former Clemson All-ACC running back Ronald Williams (1990-92)…he will now be a teammate with Williams’ son, who is now a sophomore defensive lineman on the Clemson team…coached by Chris Liner at Ninety Six High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Sept. 26, 1993.

Chad Kelly
QB • 6-3 • 209 • Fr. • HS
Buffalo, NY
Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
Ranked as #1 overall player in the state of New York and #4 quarterback in the country by ESPN.com, where he is listed as a four-star prospect…that site also lists him as the 84th best overall player in the nation…#4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and #2 player in New York by Rivals.com, which also rated him as a four-star player…247Sports.com ranks him as fourth best dual quarterback and 101st best overall player in the nation…named SuperPrep All-American…played in the Under Armour All-American Game…threw for 3,050 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 991 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior…threw for 2159 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1059 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior…led his team to the state championship game as a junior and senior, winning the state title as a junior…a four- time National Punt, Pass & Kick winner, and the current record holder…played at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute…recruited by Chad Morris…born March 26, 1994.

Shaq Lawson
DE • 6-3 • 240 • Fr. • HS
Central, SC
D.W. Daniel High School
Ranked as #18 defensive end in the nation and #3 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, listed by that service as a four-star recruit…#19 defensive end in nation and #5 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which also him as a four-star prospect…ranked as fifth best overall player in South Carolina and 24th best defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com…played in the North-South High School All-Star game and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 99 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, nine sacks and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 100 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior…coached by Randy Robinson at D.W. Daniel High School…recruited by Chad Morris and Marion Hobby…born June 17, 1994.

Jay Jay McCullough
TE • 6-5 • 232 • Fr. • HS
Fort Mill, SC
Nation Ford High School
Ranked as #45 athlete in the country by ESPN.com…a consensus three-star prospect, he is a top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…ranked as 16th best player in South Carolina and 59th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#26 tight end in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 37 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 112 yards as a senior…coached by Michael Allen at Nation Ford High School…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Jan. 18, 1994.

Bradley Pinion
P • 6-5 • 220 • Fr. • HS
Concord, NC
Northwest Cabarrus High School
Ranked as the top punter in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as the #3 kicker in the nation by ESPN.com…#4 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com…#6 kicker in the nation by Scout.com…averaged 46.1 yards per punt as a senior at Northwest Cabarrus High School…first- team All-American by ESPN.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…second-team All-American by USA Today, the first Clemson kicker signee to earn USA Today All-America honors since Chris Gardocki in 1988…averaged 40 yards per punt and had 17 punts inside the 20 as a junior…had 37 touchbacks in 50 kickoffs as a junior…helped his high school team to the state playoffs…also played soccer (goal tender) and basketball in high school…coached by Rich Williams at Northwest Cabarrus High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Danny Pearman….born June 1, 1994.

D.J. Reader
OG • 6-3 • 306 • Fr. • HS
Greensboro, NC
Grimsley High School
Ranked as the #19 offensive guard in nation and #20 player in North Carolina…#20 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…#58 offensive guard in nation and #27 player in North Carolina by ESPN.com…#41 defensive lineman in the country and #8 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…named SuperPrep All-American…recorded 50 tackles, seven tackles for loss and five sacks from the defensive tackle position as a senior…plans to play both football and baseball at the collegiate level…batted .435 as junior on the diamond…coached by Damon Coiro at Grimsley High School…recruited by Robbie Caldwell…born July 1, 1994.

Cordrea Tankersley
DB • 6-1 • 190 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
Silver Bluff High School
Ranked as the #37 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com, a four-star player by that service…#39 safety in the country by Rivals.com, lists him as a three-star player…#6 player in South Carolina and 25th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#41 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com, lists him as a three-star player…top-10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#3 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named to ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the Shrine Bowl…selected for the Offense/ Defense All-American game in Dallas, TX…on the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 40 tackles as a senior…on offense, rushed for 650 yards and five touchdowns and threw for 708 yards and six touchdowns…coached by Al Lown at Silver Bluff High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born July 1, 1994.

Carlos Watkins
DT • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Forest City, NC
Chase High School
Clemson’s top signee in this class according to 247Sports.com, he is ranked as 55th best overall player in the nation…also ranked as fourth best player in North Carolina and seventh best defensive lineman…ranked as #8 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com, list him as a four-star player…#12 defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com, a four-star player by that service…#5 player in North Carolina by both ESPN.com and Rivals.com…#104 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com and #134 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#13 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…recorded 15 sacks, an interception and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks as a junior…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…coached by Daniel Bailey at Chase High School…attends same high school that sent the McSwain brothers (Rod and Chuck) to Clemson in the early 1980s, they were both on Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981…Chuck is current track coach at Chase High School…recruited by Dan Brooks….born Dec. 5, 1993.

Marty Williams
DB • 6-1 • 200 • Fr. • HS
North Augusta, SC
Fox Creek High School
Ranked as ninth best player in South Carolina and a 24th best safety in the nation by 247Sports.com… #31 safety in the country by Scout.com…#42 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com…#47 athlete in the country by Rivals.com…top-10 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…a three-star prospect by all three services…#13 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named All-Region High School Sports Report Offensive Player of the Year for Class A as a sophomore, junior and senior…named WJBF/ESPN RISE Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior…a first-team all-area selection by the Augusta Chronicle as a junior and senior…named Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior…selected to play in the Shrine Bowl but was not able to play due to injury…accounted for 3,000 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns as a senior…coached by Russ Schneider at Fox Creek High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Aug. 21, 1993.

Report: Lane Kiffin to interview for Houston job after SEC title game

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11:  Jake Coker #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide talks with offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin in the first half while taking on the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Earlier in the week it was reported that Lane Kiffin was in the mix to fill the head coaching vacancy at Houston. Come Sunday, or shortly thereafter, the Alabama offensive coordinator may be taking the next step in returning to lead his own college football program.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, SBNation.com‘s Steven Godfrey is reporting that Kiffin will interview for the Houston job after Alabama’s SEC Championship game against Florida Saturday afternoon. Kiffin has also been mentioned as a possibility to take over the coordinator role at LSU, giving his current head coach motive to campaign for him to land the Cougars job.

From Godfrey’s report:

Multiple sources have also confirmed to SB Nation that Alabama head coach Nick Saban is actively promoting Kiffin to Houston, ostensibly to keep his OC from jumping to a division rival next season.

Kiffin is in his third season as the Crimson Tide’s coordinator. He has been a head coach at the collegiately level on two different occasions, compiling an overall record of 28-15 during stops at Tennessee (2009) and USC (2010-13). He also had a disastrous stay with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, posting a 4-12 record his first year before being fired after a 1-3 start to his second season.

Cougars offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando will also interview for the job.  Orlando is serving as UH’s interim head coach and will coach the Cougars in their bowl game.  Ex-LSU head coach Les Miles and Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley have also been connected to the opening.

WR Allen Lazard says he’s returning to Cyclones for senior year

AMES, IA - SEPTEMBER 3: Wide receiver Allen Lazard #5 of the Iowa State Cyclones pulls in a touchdown pass as defensive back Jamison Whiting #29 of the Northern Iowa Panthers blocks in the second half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Ames, Iowa. Northern Iowa Panthers won 25-20 over the Iowa State Cyclones (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
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Amidst the beginning wave of early departures for the NFL, Iowa State has staved of attrition on that front.

In a missive posted to his personal Twitter account, Allen Lazard announced that, “after discussing my options with my family and coaching staff, I have decided to return for my senior year.” His reasoning for eschewing the NFL for another year? “”I feel we’re on the verge of something special here and I want to be along for the ride.”

The move doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as the 6-5, 233-pound wide receiver had indicated earlier in the season that he was leaning toward returning.

After finishing second his freshman season, Lazard has led the Cyclones in receiving each of the past two seasons. This past season in particular, Lazard was the primary focus of ISU’s passing attack. Lazard’s 69 receptions for 1,018 yards was far and away tops on the team. Next up? The 37 catches from Deshaunte Jones and Trever Ryen, and Jones’ 536 yards.

ISU went 3-9 in Matt Campbell‘s first season in Ames.  This marks the fourth consecutive season in which the Cyclones have failed to reach a bowl game.

Sonny Dykes has reportedly spoken to Baylor; Mike MacIntyre could soon?

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Head coach Sonny Dykes of the California Golden Bears looks on during the third quarter of a game against the San Diego State Aztecs  at Qualcomm Stadium on September 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Has Baylor honed in on its top target — or two — to permanently replace Art Briles?

With a significant number of signs pointing to Chad Morris being Baylor’s initial focus, SMU announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with its head coach on a contract extension through the 2023 season. Not long after, Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported that BU would now shift the focus of their search to Cal’s Sonny Dykes.

Thursday night, a report surfaced that Dykes and the Big 12 Bears have been in contact and held conversations.

Dykes completed his fourth season at Cal late last month. In three of those four seasons, including 2016, the Bears have failed to qualify for a bowl. In 2015, Cal won eight games; in the other three seasons, the Bears combined to win 11 games.

The son of legendary Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes, Sonny Dykes is a well-steeped disciple of the so-called “Air Raid” offense. Given the type of players Briles recruited to Waco the past several years, especially offensively, Dykes would seemingly offer a smoother transition personnel-wise than someone outside that particular coaching tree.  The Texas native’s extensive ties to his home state would be a draw to the program as well.

While Yahoo! has previously disputed the notion that Dykes has now emerged as BU’s focus, Pat Forde says the Cal coach is one of five or six who could still in the mix for the job.  Another?  Mike MacIntyre, according to that and numerous other outlets.

The reports connecting MacIntyre to Baylor come amidst Colorado’s preparations for the Pac-12 championship Friday night against Washington.

MacIntyre took over a Buffaloes program that won a combined four games in 2011 and 2012, but then won just four, two and four games his first three seasons at the school.  In 2016, however, the Buffs went 10-2, the football program’s first 10-win season since 2001. They are also bowl-eligible for the first time since the 2007 season.

This week, MacIntyre has taken home Coach of the Year honors from the Pac-12 and Walter Camp Foundation.

It would seem odd that a coach, even a devout Baptist such as MacIntyre, would leave a program seemingly on the rise for one enveloped in a cloud of controversy. Especially a coach with zero ties, personally, professionally or otherwise, to either the program or the state. Earlier this week, at least one respected national college football writer has attempted to toss some cold water on the speculation.

With his name being mentioned in connection to other jobs, it’s expected CU will commence talks on a contract extension following the title game. In 2016, MacIntyre was the lowest-paid head coach in his conference.

Year after breakout freshman season, WR Desmond Cain to transfer from Illini

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 14: Desmond Cain #86 of the Illinois Fighting Illini is shoe tackled by Raekwon McMillan #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes
at Memorial Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A career that began with much promise will, at least the Champaign portion, end with a departure.

On social media Thursday night, Desmond Cain announced that he has decided to transfer out of the Illinois football program and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. According to the wide receiver, a desire to be closer to his home in Florida triggered his decision.

After talking it over with my family it’s best to move closer home to finish off my next few years in college! Thank you Illini! Has been amazing these two years I’ve been here and thank you all for the major support GO ILLINI!

A three-star 2015 signee, Cain was rated as the No. 146 player at any position in the state of Florida coming out of high school in Delray Beach.

With Bill Cubit as his head coach as a true freshman, Cain was second on the Illini in receptions (53) and third in receiving yards (492). Those totals dropped to five and 61 in Lovie Smith‘s first year as injuries caused the receiver to miss six games.

If the 5-11, 185-pound Cain ends up at another FBS program, he’d have to sit out the 2017 season. He’d then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.