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.

Jim McElwain hints at playing three quarterbacks vs. Michigan

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Considering his opponent won’t so much as release a simple roster, there’s no reason whatsoever for Florida head coach Jim McElwain to say anything of consequence.

Still, it sounds as if No. 17 Florida may play all three of its quarterbacks next Saturday against No. 11 Michigan (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

“You’re going to see a bunch of them in there playing. The three guys have done a really good job. Not naming a starter right now,” McElwain said. “I think that there’s some things that they all bring to the table that are really good. Now the key to us is putting them in those positions that play to their strengths.

“Will all of them play? I don’t know yet. Will a couple of them play? I don’t know yet. I know we will have somebody at the position. This is not — don’t read into this that we’re not happy where they’re at. It’s really more so the competition has really brought out some good things. It’s going to be … ultimately the guy the team moves with the best, the guys that create positive plays on third down and get the ball in the end zone [that we go with].”

The three of them, by the way, are graduate transfer Malik Zaire, junior Luke Del Rio and redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks. In a world governed by the truism of “If you have two quarterbacks you don’t have any,” it’s not exactly a good sign that none of Zaire, Del Rio or Franks have separated themselves from the others.

Zaire showed flashes but was eventually benched at Notre Dame and just arrived on campus this summer. Del Rio, a 2-time transfer before arriving at Florida, was the Gators’ starter coming out of training camp last season but fought through injuries throughout the season. And Franks is a 6-foot-5 former 5-star recruit that many thought would have grabbed the job by the horns by now.

While every team turns over from one season to the next, Florida finished 105th nationally in yards per play last season while Michigan’s defense placed second. With top playmaker Antonio Callaway serving a suspension, Florida will look to put the ball in the hands of whomever can move it, even if three of them happen to play quarterback.

Tracy Claeys discusses protests that led to his firing from Minnesota

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Chances are you haven’t heard Tracy Claeys‘s name mentioned in a while. The former Minnesota interim-turned-full time head coach was let go in January and has not been picked up by a new staff in the months since.

But Minnesota released an outside report last week that defended the school’s decision to suspend 10 players amid a sexual assault investigation and pinned the subsequent team-wide threatened boycott of the Holiday Bowl on “weak leadership” of the coaching staff. The Gophers played and won that Holiday Bowl, but it wasn’t enough to save Claeys’s job.

On Wednesday, Claeys penned an essay in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that both defended his tenure as the Golden Gophers’ head coach and admitted mistakes in a saga that would have swallowed many a head coach’s career.

Last September, I suspended five players for a reported sexual assault. When law enforcement authorities the following month declined to file any charges, the university reinstated those players. At the time, I was congratulated by our athletic director for my handling of this issue and promised that I would remain the head football coach in 2017.

But university officials soon conducted their own inquiry and in December resuspended the five players and suspended five more — again, even though prosecutors had determined there was no basis for formal charges.

Members of our Football Leadership Group and others on the team felt strongly that administration officials had overstepped their authority and that the accused players were treated unfairly and denied protection under due process. To amplify their argument and shine light on what players felt was a flawed and unjust process by the university, the team voted to boycott the Holiday Bowl.

It was a decision that moved us directly into the national spotlight. Unfortunately, some misunderstood or misinterpreted the players’ decision to boycott the Holiday Bowl. They felt that our team and coaches were condoning or downplaying sexual misconduct or assault. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

In light of this new report, are there things I would have done differently? Certainly. First and foremost, I would have remained on campus with my team and coaches rather than attend a Holiday Bowl news conference in San Diego. I’m confident that my presence would have better directed the conversation with our players and that I could have steered them toward something other than a decision to boycott the game.

 I also would have refrained from using social media to state my support of the team’s decision. This was too complex and important an issue to address in a 140-character message. It generated more questions than it answered and likely created more problems than it solved.
Claeys was 11-8 in his one and a half seasons as Minnesota’s head coach, his first head coaching job. Assuming he does not get hired in the next week and a half, the 2017 season will be Claeys’s first out of the game since launching his career as a student trainer at Kansas in the early ’90’s.

Kirk Ferentz and wife donate $1 million to Iowa children’s hospital

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Kirk Ferentz may be the but of a bunch of contract-related jokes, but no one jokes about the man’s character.

And for good reason.

The University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital announced Wednesday that Kirk and his wife Mary have donated $1 million to create the Savvy Ferentz Program in Neonatal Research, which will aim to improve the survival rate for premature babies. The Ferentzes made the donation in honor of their granddaughter Savvy, who was born in 2014 at 22 weeks gestation.

“We knew Savvy was born too early,” Mary said in a statement. “We also knew they do extraordinary things at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital that would give her a fighting chance. We were thankful we had that.”

The Stead Family Children’s Hospital claims higher survival rates for infants born at 24- and 25-weeks than the average U.S. hospital, and the Ferentzes hope their donation will further increase those rates.

“The University of Iowa has long been a leader in neonatal research and in providing high-level patient care, particularly to this most vulnerable population,” Iowa pediatrics professor Dr. Jeffrey L. Segar said. “This gift from the Ferentzes will help us capitalize on our strengths, advance our research, and, most important, make an impact on the lives of many Iowa children and their families, now and far into the future. We are deeply grateful for their support.”

Kirk Ferentz will begin his 19th season as Iowa’s head coach next Saturday against Wyoming (noon ET, BTN).

Texas TE Andrew Beck now out for entire 2017 season

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As it turns out, it’s much worse than originally thought for one playing member of the Texas football program.

Nearly a week ago, Andrew Beck went down during practice with what was later diagnosed to be a broken foot.  At the time, it was thought that the tight end would miss anywhere from 6-8 weeks, which would’ve put him back, at the latest, early October.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, however, and the Longhorns announced that Beck will be sidelined for the entire 2017 season because of the injury.  The senior will undergo surgery at some point this week to repair the damage.  He’s already undergone two previous foot surgeries and sat out the spring because of issues in that area.

The good news is that Beck has yet to use his redshirt season, which means he could return in 2018 as a fifth-year senior.

Beck started 13 games the past two seasons, including three in 2016.  Last season, he caught four passes for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Entering summer camp, he had been expected to be the Longhorns’ starter.

With Beck out, that onus will likely fall on Kendall Moore, a graduate transfer from Syracuse.