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Mizzou announces 2012 recruiting class

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Columbia, Mo. – Nineteen standout student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of Missouri and play football for Head Coach Gary Pinkel, as announced today.

As of early afternoon, the class of newest Tigers has been rated as the 20th-best in the country, according to ESPN, and as the nation’s No. 32 class by Rivals.

The consistent success of the Tiger program under Head Coach Gary Pinkel undoubtedly helped attract such a talented group of student-athletes. Mizzou is one of only six schools in the nation among BCS automatic-qualifying conferences to post a minimum of eight wins in each of the last six seasons (LSU, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech and West Virginia are the others). Mizzou’s 48 wins over the past five seasons (2007-11) also ranks 9th-best in the nation among BCS-AQ schools. In addition, Mizzou continues to excel in the classroom, as it has graduated 96 percent of its seniors since 2007.

Mizzou’s coaching staff was successful in attracting not only some of the top in-state talent, but some of the top players in the nation, headlined by wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who Rivals rates as the No. 1-ranked player in the entire country. He was joined by fellow in-state standout OL Evan Boehm, who is the No. 2-rated guard in the country according to Rivals.
Included with this recruiting class is junior WR Darius White, who transferred to Mizzou in January from the University of Texas, where he played for the previous two seasons. White will redshirt in 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules, and have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.

In all, six of the state of Missouri’s top football talents signed to play for their home state school. At the same time, the coaching staff also continued its outstanding work mining the pipelines of Texas, as seven Lone Star State standouts became Tigers today.

Mizzou’s previous eight classes rated, according to Rivals: 29th in 2002, 28th in 2003, 29th in 2004, 39th in 2005, 47th in 2006, 33rd in 2007, 24th in 2008, 35th in 2009, 21st in 2010 and 48th in 2011.

“I’d like to congratulate all of these outstanding young men and to thank them and their families for putting their trust and belief in our program, and the University of Missouri,” said Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We do have a lot to offer here, and the first thing is that they will get their degree. Our success on the field also speaks for itself, and is always an important selling point. We feel like this is a really well-rounded class that meets our needs everywhere, and they’re also a bunch of high-character guys who will represent Mizzou the right way,” he said.

BREAKDOWN BY STATE
Texas (7) – Boozer (Everman), Cuffee (Cleburne), Gibson (Missouri City), Hansbrough (Arlington), Hatley (Atlanta), White (Fort Worth), Williams (Denton)
Missouri (6) – Boehm (Lee’s Summit), Golden (St. Louis), Green-Beckham (Springfield), Newsom (St. Louis), Scherer (St. Louis), Steward (Kansas City)
Florida (1) – Culkin (Indian Rocks Beach)
Illinois (1) – Stewart (O’Fallon)
Michigan (1) – Winston (Muskegon Heights)
Ohio (1) – Mauk (Kenton)
Oklahoma (1) – Copelin (Broken Arrow)
Pennsylvania (1) – Brantley (Hershey)

Record-breaking QB one of two coaches hired by New Mexico State

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Doug Martin‘s 2017 on-field coaching staff will have a decidedly familiar feel to it, even as it’s in some ways brand-new.

New Mexico State announced that two coaches have been hired by Martin, Chase Holbrook and Kai Brown.  The former will serve as tight ends coach, the latter as defensive ends coach.

Holbrook spent the 2016 season as a quality control coach for Mike Leach at Washington State.  A former NMSU quarterback, he still owns the school’s single-season and career records for passing, passing attempts, completions, touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns.

Brown was a graduate assistant the past three seasons for the football program.

“We are really excited about Chase coming back to New Mexico State,” Martin said. “Having a former great quarterback that has his name written all over the Aggie record book will have a huge impact on us taking that next step. Chase really believes and cares deeply about the football program here. To have a coach of his talent join our staff makes us a better program immediately. …

“Kai has been a very loyal hard working coach for us as a GA and it gives me great pride to add him to our staff in a full time role. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our program and has a great relationship with our players.”

This will be both coaches’ first foray into full-time coaching responsibilities at the FBS level.

Cal turns to Fresno State to complete Justin Wilcox’s staff

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 14:  A member of the California Golden Bears spirit squad waves a team flag while standing next to the Bears' mascot in front of the Michigan State Spartans crowd on September 14, 2002 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.  California defeated Michigan State 46-22.  (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Getty Images)
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In late December, Fresno State hired Tony Tuioti as part of Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff with the Mountain West program.  Two months later, Tedford’s former Pac-12 employer has poached said staff.

By way of a press release, Cal announced that Tuioti has been hired as Justin Wilcox‘s outside linebackers coach.  Tedford served as Cal’s head coach from 2002-12; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno’s head coach for five seasons before being fired and replaced by Tedford, is now Wilcox’s defensive coordinator with the Golden Bears.

“Tony has a tremendous resume that showcases his diverse skill set and abilities both on and off the field,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but the experience he has as a director of player personnel will be a tremendous benefit to us in the structuring and organization of our recruiting operation. Finding someone with a skill set as unique and diverse as Tony’s is challenging. We are fortunate that we have found that in Tony and are looking forward to his contributions to our program.”

“Working at Cal for a coach like Justin Wilcox was an opportunity I could not pass up,” a statement from Tuioti began. “I have a tremendous feeling about the positive direction Cal is headed, and I really wanted to be a part of that and contribute all I could to a football program with tremendous potential.”

In 2016, Tuioti worked as a football staffer at Michigan.  His last on-field job at the collegiate level came at Hawaii (2012-13, linebackers coach; 2010-11, defensive line).

Georgia raising money to build Devon Gales a home

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It’s been close to a year and a half since Southern football player Devon Gales fractured his C6 vertebrae when covering a kick at Georgia. While the two sides will forever be linked, Georgia has gone above and beyond its duties to help improve his life.

In addition to regularly visiting him in the hospital and paying for his parents’ travel to Georgia, the Bulldogs will now raise funds to build him a house.

Gales received an NCAA Sportsmanship Award at the Bulldogs’ basketball game on Saturday, and it was announced that the UGAAA will launch a “Drive to Build a Dawg House” for Gales and his family.

“Anybody can just their prayer for you and send you on your way, but they didn’t. They took me as one of their kids, not just as another player, but as one of their children,” Gales said.

To contibute, text (707) 204-1707 to donate $5 toward the fund.

Mike Gundy says Sugar Bowl loss to Ole Miss wasn’t on a “level playing field”

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Laquon Treadwell #1 of the Mississippi Rebels celebrates scoring a 14-yard touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Mike Gundy originally blamed himself for Oklahoma State’s 48-20 loss to Ole Miss at the Sugar Bowl that closed the 2015 season.

Speaking at the AFCA Convention in Nashville last month, I heard Gundy explain to thousands of fellow coaches he felt he overtrained his Cowboys in preparation to play the physically imposing Rebels. The end result backfired. As I wrote for FootballScoop:

As Oklahoma State prepared to face No. 12 Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, Gundy pushed his players harder than usual in December practices. “They’re going to knock us off the ball and it’s not going to look pretty,” he remembers thinking. That strategy backfired on him, though, as the Rebels pounded Gundy’s team 48-20. Oklahoma State was out-rushed 207-63 and averaged only 6.7 yards per pass attempt to Ole Miss’s 9.9. “We weren’t physical and we were slow,” Gundy said.

But now Gundy thinks something else may have contributed to that 28-point spanking.

As he explained to the Tulsa World‘s Bill Haisten, Gundy said he couldn’t help but think of the Sugar Bowl when he learned of the NCAA’s charges against Ole Miss.

“The first thing I thought about was (OSU’s recent experience with the NCAA),” Gundy said, “and the second thing was the Sugar Bowl and my players and what they went through.”

He continued: “We’ll never know what we could have done in the Sugar Bowl if it was a level playing field. That is the truth. I’m not sure we would have won the Sugar Bowl, but we’ll never know.”