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)

Three DBs among four who have left Syracuse since end of season

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Especially when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, Syracuse’s roster has seen a significant amount of attrition over the past couple of weeks.

Since the end of the 2017 regular season 17 days ago, a total of four players have left the Orange football program. Three of those who have taken their leave are defensive backs — Juwan Dowels, Daivon Ellison, Cordell Hudson — while the other is defensive tackle Kayton Samuels (pictured).

Dowels and Samuels were the latest to part ways, with both announcing on social media their decisions to transfer over the weekend.

Both of those two, along with Hudson, are leaving the Orange as graduate transfers. That transferring trio would all be eligible to play in 2018 if they move on to another FBS program.

Samuels played in 34 games during his time with the ‘Cuse, while Dowels played in 24. The latter’s 2016 season was cut short because of a knee injury in Week 2.

SMU confirms hiring of Sonny Dykes as new head coach

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After a year away from the head-coaching game, Sonny Dykes is back in it.

Not long after reports had surfaced earlier Monday, SMU confirmed a short time ago that Dykes has been named as the football program’s new head football coach.  Dykes replaces Chad Morris, who left for the same job at Arkansas late last week.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be introduced as the Head Coach at SMU,” a lengthy statement from Dykes began. “This is home and this is a program I grew up watching. I watched Mustang legends compete and I could always see myself putting on that iconic pony. Today, I’m proud to do just that.

“Coach Morris did great things here and I am fortunate that I have been selected to take the foundation Chad and his staff put in place and take it to a new level. And, make no mistake – That is what we plan to do.”

Prior to 2017, Dykes had spent the previous seven seasons as a head coach — four at Cal (2013-16) and three at Louisiana Tech (2010-12).  After being fired by the former school, he was considered a candidate for the offensive coordinator position at Arizona State.  Family issues, however, made TCU a better fit as he spent this past season as an offensive analyst with the Horned Frogs.

A native of Texas who played college baseball for Texas Tech, Dykes has gone 41-45 as a head coach — 22-15 at Louisiana Tech, 19-30 at Cal.

In Morris’ third season at SMU, the 7-5 Mustangs are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012.

Florida DL Taven Bryan declares for NFL Draft

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The Dan Mullen era has everyone excited in Gainesville, but one key contributor won’t stick around to see it.

Defensive lineman Taven Bryan announced Monday he will leave school to enter his name in the 2018 NFL Draft. According to the statement released on his Twitter account, it sounds as if he made his mind up during the Jim McElwain and Randy Shannon regimes and nearly returned upon Mullen’s arrival.

Bryan ranked fifth on the team with 40 tackles while also recording six TFL and four sacks, just half a sack off the team lead.

A native of Casper, Wyo., Bryan will attempt to become just the third Wyoming native to be among the ranks of active NFL players.

SMU reportedly tabs former Cal, La Tech head coach Sonny Dykes as new head coach

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Sonny Dykes will take over as SMU’s head coach, according to multiple reports. The move was first reported by FotballScoop on Monday morning, and since confirmed by ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Dykes takes over for Chad Morris, who left last week to become the head coach at Arkansas.

Morris was hired to re-establish ties with the Texas high school community after the program flatlined under June Jones, and Dykes has a similar appeal as his predecessor. Like Morris, Dykes is a former Texas high school coach, though only briefly. (He spent one year as the running backs coach at Richardson Pearce High School in 1994.) But more importantly he’s a name that will resonate with Texas high school coaches as the son of the legendary Spike Dykes.

The younger Dykes served as an assistant at Navarro Junior College and Texas Tech before taking over as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he led the Bulldogs to a 22-15 mark with one WAC championship from 2010-12. That success led him to Cal, where he took the Golden Bears to one bowl game in four seasons.

He was let go after the 2016 season, and spent the 2017 campaign laying low nearby the Hilltop, as an offensive analyst at TCU.

Dykes will inherit a 7-5 SMU team that ranked eighth nationally in scoring offense and 113th in scoring defense. The Mustangs will meet Dykes’s former team Louisiana Tech in the inaugural Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Interim head coach Jeff Traylor garnered significant support inside the locker room to take over on a full-time basis, so it will be interesting to see if Dykes works to keep the former Texas high school coach on staff, perhaps in an offensive coordinator capacity.