Art Briles announces 2012 Baylor football signing class

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WACO, Texas — Baylor head coach Art Briles announced Wednesday the signing of 23 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football at the school. The 23 2012 signees are comprised of 22 high school standouts and one junior college transfer.

“We feel very confident and very passionate about this class,” Briles said, “as being as good as we’ve ever signed in our five signing classes at Baylor. We got some outstanding players on both sides of the ball that we know have the potential to be All-American football players and to play on Sundays.”

The focus of Baylor’s 2012 signing class is clearly the defense, as nearly two-thirds of the newcomers are likely to play on the defensive side of the ball under second-year D-coordinator Phil Bennett.

“This year’s class certainly fills needs, we went heavy on defense; we felt like we needed to make sure that we give ourselves every opportunity to have as good a defense as possible,” Briles said. “And we filled in the needs that we had to have offensively.”

The class is highlighted by two defensive prep All-Americans – lineman Javonte Magee of Sam Houston High School in San Antonio and linebacker Brian Nance of Trinity High School in Euless, Texas – and an additional national top-250 prospect on the offensive side – receiver Corey Coleman of Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas.

“Every class that we’ve been able to sign here at Baylor continues to get better and better,” Briles said. “As we’ve produced better on the football field, with the addition of a new stadium coming, all these events pay great dividends in the recruiting world.”

Baylor’s 2012 class is made up predominantly of Texas recruits (22 of 23 from in-state schools) and includes two student-athletes currently enrolled in Baylor’s spring semester who will participate in 2012 spring drills (scheduled to begin March 18): mid-year junior college signee Eddie Lackey of Riverside Community College and early high school graduate Lynx Hawthorne from Refugio High School.

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.