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Indiana announces 25-player signing class

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(Here’s the press release from Indiana announcing the Hoosiers’ 2012 recruiting class.)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson announced Wednesday the signing of 25 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2012.

“We addressed our needs in a very positive manner.” Wilson said. “We were very aggressive in our sell and our approach with not only the player we were looking for, but also the individual and the student. Our staff did a tremendous job working to bring in this talented group of 25 young men.”

IU signed 13 defensive players, 11 offensive players and one athlete. The Hoosiers added six defensive linemen, four defensive backs and three linebackers on defense and four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, two tight ends and one running back on offense.

The class features players from 10 different states, including eight from Indiana, three from Illinois, three from Ohio, two from California, two from Florida, two from Georgia, two from Texas, one from Arizona, one from Mississippi and one from Missouri.

“We had a lot of great help along the way,” Wilson said. “Not only from our staff, but from our players, our administration, the academic community and other coaches, especially the basketball staff. Our recruits left campus with a positive vibe and we are pleased with the kids we got.”

Here is a list of Indiana’s 2012 signees:

Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Hometown/Previous School
Jacarri Alexander    LB    6-1    234    Winter Haven, Fla./Iowa Central C.C.
Jacob Bailey    OL    6-5    285    Carmel, Ind./Cathedral H.S.
Dimitric Camiel    OL    6-7    300    Houston, Texas/Westfield H.S.
Cameron Coffman    QB    6-2    191    Peculiar, Mo./Arizona Western C.C.
Tevin Coleman    RB    6-1    202    Tinley Park, Ill./Oak Forest H.S.
David Cooper    LB    6-1    230    Lilburn, Ga./Coffeyville (Kan.) C.C.
Caleb Cornett    WR    6-3    175    Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis H.S.
Kevin Davis    WR    5-11    175    Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central H.S.
Dan Feeney    OL    6-4    302    Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg H.S.
Dawson Fletcher    DB    6-0    190    West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West H.S.
Ralphael Green    DL    6-5    320    San Antonio, Texas/Sam Houston H.S.
Shawn Heffern    DL    6-6    245    Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S.
Ricky Jones    ATH    5-10    170    Sarasota, Fla./Booker H.S.
Tanner Kearns    TE    6-5    225    Lexington, Ohio/Lexington H.S.
Adam Kranda    DL    6-6    240    New Castle, Ind./New Castle H.S.
Nick Mangieri    DL    6-5    240    Peoria, Ill./Dunlap H.S.
Antonio Marshall    DB    5-11    190    Pitts, Ga./Georgia Military College
Justin Rayside    DL    6-3    246    Corona, Calif./Riverside (Calif.) C.C.
Wes Rogers    OL    6-4    285    Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central H.S.
Jason Spriggs    TE    6-7    265    Elkhart, Ind./Concord H.S.
Nathan Sudfeld    QB    6-5    215    Modesto, Calif./Modesto Christian H.S.
Ryan Thompson    DB    5-10    186    Pontotoc, Miss./Itawamba (Miss.) C.C.
Alex Todd    DL    6-3    285    Streetsboro, Ohio/Streetsboro H.S.
Jordan Wallace    LB    6-0    230    Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central H.S.
Tregg Waters    DB    6-0    185    Phoenix, Ariz./Glendale (Ariz.) C.C.

Notes on Class:
* Jacarri Alexander, Cameron Coffman, David Cooper, Justin Rayside, Ryan Thompson and Tregg Waters are currently enrolled in classes for the spring semester and will participate in spring practice.
* Nathan Sudfeld took a mission trip to Uganda as a 14-year old. His brothers, twins Matthew and Zach, played college football. Matthew was a wide receiver at Brown University (2007-11) and Zach was a tight end at the University of Nevada (2007-11).
* Kevin Davis and Jordan Wallace are brothers.
* Shawn Heffern was recruited by defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen, who also attended Carmel High School
* Nick Mangieri’s brother, P.J., is a senior long snapper at the University of Nebraska. His uncles, Ed and Dan Sutter, both played linebacker at Northwestern University. Ed also played five seasons in the NFL (Cleveland, Baltimore and Atlanta).
* Cameron Coffman’s father, Paul, was a standout tight end at Kansas State University as well as the Green Bay Packers (1978-85) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1986-87). He was a teammate of IU safety Mark Murphy’s father, Mark, with the Packers. Cameron’s brother, Chase, played tight end at the University of Missouri (2005-08) and the Cincinnati Bengals (2009-10). His brother, Carson, played quarterback at Kansas State University (2007-10).
* Jacob Bailey was a high school teammate of IU wide receiver Kofi Hughes, safety Jake Zupancic and linebacker Kyle Kennedy. Wes Rogers was a high school teammate of IU quarterback Tre Roberson. Tanner Kearns was a high school teammate of IU safety Shaquille Jefferson.
* Caleb Cornett is the first Ben Davis product to sign with the Hoosiers since current Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Tandon Doss (2008-10).
* Alex Todd was the first commitment to the 2012 signing class and Tanner Kearns was the first to turn in his NLI this morning.

Nebraska won a bidding war with Arkansas to hire Bob Diaco

PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 2: Head coach Bob Diaco of the Connecticut Huskies watches his team practice before they play the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on October 2, 2015 in Provo Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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Nebraska and Arkansas have met just once on the field, in the 1965 Cotton Bowl. But the Huskers and Hogs have now met twice in the only college athletics competition more cutthroat than the actual games — hiring coaches.

Arkansas famously held off Nebraska for Houston Nutt‘s services in 2004 (before you scoff, Nutt led the Hogs to the 2006 SEC West title, and Nebraska wound up hiring Bill Callahan) and now the Cornhuskers have returned the favor.

Nebraska hired Bob Diaco as its defensive coordinator this week, nabbing the former Connecticut head coach and Notre Dame defensive coordinator after he’d finished an interview with Arkansas. Sean Callahan of Husker Online explains from here:

Head coach Mike Riley said they stopped Diaco’s plane in the air on his way back from Arkansas and got him to fly to Lincoln last Thursday from Chicago. Riley said from there, they weren’t letting Diaco leave Lincoln until he accepted the job.

The money didn’t hurt. Nebraska handed Diaco a 2-year contract worth $1.7 million in total, making him the highest-paid assistant in program history.

Report: Auburn offensive coordinator search getting thorny

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 08:  Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers reacts during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 8, 2014 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Auburn does not have an offensive coordinator yet, which is odd. The Tigers have an explosive offense with a lot of returning parts. They have Jarrett Stidham coming in to play quarterback. They have a boatload of money. And they have a boatload of money.

According to a report from James Crepea of AL.com, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and “people with influence over the program” can’t agree on who should replace Rhett Lashlee.

Malzahn is said to prefer Florida Atlantic offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Arizona State offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and NC State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz. Lindsey and Drinkwitz worked for Malzahn previously, and Malzahn has built a working relationship with the Briles family — Stidham and running back Kam Martin transferred from Waco to Auburn, and Art Briles visited a Tigers practice this season.

But Auburn donors, Crepea writes, have nixed those choices, saying Briles is too inexperienced and Lindsey and Drinkwitz are too close to Malzahn.

Instead, donors preferred Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone (who has already been crossed off the list) or Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich (ditto). Mark Helfrich does not seem like a viable option at this time.

With less than two weeks until National Signing Day, the urgency to bring someone to the South Plains only grows stronger.

Forza Blu? Michigan reportedly planning spring practice in Italy

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines directs a drill during warm ups prior to playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on October 29, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Undeterred by recent NCAA legislation, Jim Harbaugh is reportedly going international.

As noted by the Detroit Free Press, a post on Rivals affiliate TheWolverine.com reports that Michigan is planning to spend the final week of football spring practice in Rome, Italy. The team would not only practice several times on Italian soil, but would allow the team to visit the sights in the area and even leave players in Europe to study abroad for a semester.

The move would no doubt ruffle even more feathers in the football and NCAA communities after Harbaugh famously took the Wolverines to the IMG Academy down in Florida for spring practice last March. That prompted recent legislation that was passed at the NCAA convention in Nashville this week — a Harbaugh Rule if you will — that prohibited off-campus practice during a vacation period outside of a playing season.

While it would seem that would rule out trips away from Ann Arbor for spring football practices, it appears the Michigan athletic department is going to push forward by exploiting a slight loophole in the language of the rule. While vacation periods may be off limits like spring break, it appears the Wolverines would be looking to leave town at the end of April, which would be after the semester ends  and does not fall into any scheduled vacation time.

We’ll see if anything becomes of this report and if Michigan indeed announces such an unprecedented trip. While foreign tours are common in sports like basketball at the NCAA levels, it really hasn’t happened in football aside from occasional games overseas so it will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend, or is just another case of Harbaugh being Harbaugh.

Wisconsin extends head coach Paul Chryst’s contract through 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 2: Corey Clement #6 of the Wisconsin Badgers points toward head coach Paul Chryst  as the two celebrate following the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on January 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. Wisconsin defeated Western Michigan 24-16. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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Winning a New Year’s Six bowl and outperforming nearly every preseason expectation typically results in a nice boost to a head coach’s bank account and that is the case at Wisconsin this year.

The Badgers announced on Friday that the school’s athletic board had extended head football coach Paul Chryst another year, running through January 31, 2022. Additional contract terms such as a potential raise or incentives were not announced, meaning this was likely just tacking another year onto the former Wisconsin quarterback’s original deal in Madison.

The move isn’t new for the program, which pulled the same extension almost to the day a year ago after Chryst led the Badgers to a 10-3 year in 2015 that was capped off with a Holiday Bowl victory over USC. The coach one-upped that performance in 2016, winning the Big Ten West title and getting selected for the Cotton Bowl, which the team won over previously undefeated Western Michigan.

Chryst’s original contract he signed two years ago was for a term of five seasons through 2020. He originally made around $2.3 million a year but should be hitting the $2.5 million mark heading into 2017 with various increases incorporated.