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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)

‘No timetable’ for Wisconsin LB T.J. Edwards’ return from foot injury

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  ArDarius Stewart #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide is tackled by T.J. Edwards #53 of the Wisconsin Badgers in the second quarter during the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Wisconsin will need all hands on deck if they hope to contain LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the 2016 opener at Lambeau field.  Unfortunately for the Badgers, a key hand may be unavailable.

A report emerged late last week that T.J. Edwards would be sidelined indefinitely because of a foot injury.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that “Edwards was seen wearing a walking boot this week and a source confirmed the redshirt sophomore is out” for the foreseeable future.

During the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, head coach Paul Chryst somewhat addressed the linebacker’s status.

The Badgers open summer camp August 8. The opener against the Tigers is scheduled for Sept. 3.

As a redshirt sophomore last season, Edwards started all 13 games.

Mitch Leidner shares gruesome post-surgery foot photo

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 7:  Joshua Perry #37 of the Ohio State Buckeyes hits quarterback Mitch Leidner #7 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers just as Leidner releases the ball forcing him to throw an interception in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. The interception was returned for a touchdown for the Buckeyes.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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If you’re the squeamish type, you might want to do your best to avoid the picture that appears in this post.

Mitch Leidner has been dealing with foot issues since the 2014 season, specifically ligaments that he’s torn on multiple occasions.  Following Minnesota’s win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl this past December, the quarterback underwent surgery to repair the ligaments in his left foot but returned in time for spring practice.

Leidner was one of the Gophers’ player representatives at the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, and decided he’d share a post-operation picture of his surgically-repaired foot.  Again, if your squeamish, look away.

As if the photo doesn’t paint this picture, head coach Tracy Claeys acknowledged that the starter was worse off health-wise than the football program let on last year.

“We hid his injuries pretty good a year ago,” Claeys said according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He was banged up pretty good. The foot injury he had was tough and really limited him.”

Now, though, Leidner proclaims himself, “[p]hysically, I’m in the best shape of my life, by far.” The fifth-year senior, projected by some to be a first-round quarterback prospect in the 2017 NFL draft, added that he feels “like I’m throwing the ball better than I ever have before.”

VIDEO: Body cam footage shows Iowa football player’s encounter with police

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Christian McCaffrey #5 of the Stanford Cardinal runs past Faith Ekakitie #56 and Cole Fisher #36 of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The story of an Iowa football player, Pokemon Go and Iowa City police now has some visuals to go along with the oral narrative.

Over the weekend, officers in that police department were searching for a suspect in a bank robbery. Hawkeyes defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (pictured, No. 56) just happened to be in a park in that area and seemingly matched the description of the suspect — black man in black clothing wearing something on his head — prompting the officers to approach the lineman. When Ekakitie failed to respond to the officers’ commands, because he was wearing headphones, weapons were drawn.

According to Ekakitie in his Facebook accounting of the incident, he had “four gun barrels staring me in the face” at that point.

Because of the national attention the incident has received, the ICPD on Tuesday released two body cam videos that shows exactly how the encounter between their officers and Ekakitie went down.

“I think it’s critical we get the information out so people can actually see the events as they actually occurred in real time,” says ICPD Sgt. Scott Gaarde in regards to releasing the videos.

In his social media missive, Ekakitie thanked the police officers involved for how they handled the situation.

“I would like to thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a situation very professionally,” the lineman wrote. “I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t.

“Lastly, I would urge us all to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society.  I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.”

Arrest on UCLA campus led to USC CB’s suspension for opener vs. Alabama

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 13:  Wide receiver Jay MacIntyre #14 of the Colorado Buffaloes is tackled after a reception by cornerback Isaiah Langley #14 of the USC Trojans during the first half at Folsom Field on November 13, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Alabama may or may not suspend players involved in off-field incidents this offseason for their highly-anticipated opener, but their opponents already have.

The Los Angeles Times reported that USC cornerback Isaiah Langley was arrested back in May at a frat party at rival UCLA on three misdemeanor charges — suspicion of trespassing, intoxication and resisting arrest. USC head coach Clay Helton subsequently confirmed that Langley will be suspended for the opener against Alabama because of the incident.

From the Times on the events surrounding the arrest:

Langley was attending a fraternity party at UCLA when he was arrested, according to Greenstein. She said Langley gave responding officers the wrong age and resisted arrest.

“When he was asked to leave, he refused,” Greenstein said. “Police were called and he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing.”

As a true freshman last season, Langley appeared in 11 games as a backup corner.  He was credited with 12 tackles in limited action.

On his official bio, the school wrote that “Langley will battle for key playing time at cornerback as a sophomore in 2016.”