National Signing Day: That’s a wrap

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As the headline says, that’s a wrap folks.  National Signing Day 2012 — or “Singing Day”, which might be my favorite typo ever — is almost officially in the books, with but a few stragglers left who haven’t yet put pen to Letter of Intent paper.

Below you’ll find all of our updates throughout the day, and don’t forget Ben’s muy bueno recap of all the highs and lows from today’s signing action.

If you’d like to see where your school stands in the final team rankings, or where a signee ranked nationally coming into signing day, we’ve provided some links below.

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11:41 p.m. ET — Here are the complete recruiting classes from Florida State, Washington State, USF, Illinois, Missouri, Wake Forest, Iowa, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Arizona State, Utah and Cal.

8:16 p.m. ET — Penn State, Stanford, LSU, Washington State, USF, Illinois and Cincinnati have announced their complete 2012 recruiting classes.

7:47 p.m. ET — 247Sports.com is projecting that Alabama will claim the No. 1 recruiting class in its team rankings.

6:59 p.m. ET — Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Clemson and Ohio State have announced their complete 2012 recruiting classes.

6:07 p.m. ET — Georgia, Florida, Arkansas and Alabama have announced their complete 2012 recruiting classes.

5:06 p.m. ET — Notre Dame, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, WisconsinBYU and North Carolina have announced their complete 2012 recruiting classes.

4:49 p.m. ET — Stanford keeps on rolling with another huge pickup at the offensive line position with the signature of Kyle Murphy out of San Clemente HS (CA). Murphy is the No. 19 overall prospect according to Rivals.com and the No. 11 prospect according to 247Sports.com.

3:14 p.m. ET — Pittsburgh, Boise State, Purdue, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Kentucky have all announced their full 2012 recruiting classes.

3:00 p.m. ET — Cornerback Ronald Darby will go to Florida State. Darby is the 16th overall athlete in the country according to 247Sports. Another huge pickup for Jimbo Fisher‘s class.

2:52 p.m. ET — Hang on just a minute with the Josh Harvey-Clemons commitment to Georgia. While it could be nothing more than a minor hiccup or detail of which we’re unaware, coach Mark Richt said he still has not received Harvey-Clemons’ signature. Harvey-Clemons  was one of the first major commitments of the day when he picked the Bulldogs.

1:40 p.m. ET — Don’t overlook Stanford during today’s signing day frenzy. The Cardinal just picked up offensive lineman Andrus Peat from Tempe, AZ. Peat is the No. 32 overall recruit according to Rivals.com. Read more about Stanford’s signing day HERE.

1:32 p.m. ET — Well, so much for that update regarding the team rankings a short time ago.  Scout.com has updated its team rankings and, as a result, have Texas leapfrogging Alabama into the top spot.  Thus, the Longhorns are now the No. 1 team according to Scout and 247Sports, while the Tide maintains its hold on Rivals’ top spot.

1:22 p.m. ET — Five-star wide receiver Nelson Agholor announced for USC over Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

12:59 p.m. ET — Committed to Wisconsin since June of last year, Cleveland Heights (Oh.) High School offensive tackle Kyle Dodson announced that he is signing with Urban Meyer and Ohio State.  Dodson was a consensus four-star recruit.

12:49 p.m. ET — With signing day inching past the halfway point, Alabama (Rivals, Scout) and Texas (247Sports) are still ranked where they were at the start of the day: No. 1.  Barring some type of unexpected development, it appears that’s the direction the final rankings are headed.

12:46 p.m. ET — Northwestern announces its 2012 recruiting class.

12:18 p.m. ET — Indiana announced a 25-player-strong recruiting class.

12:14 p.m. ET — In perhaps the most shocking flip of the day, four-star wide receiver Deontay Greenberry switched his verbal commitment to Notre Dame to a Letter of Intent signing with Houston.

11:57 a.m. ET — USC signed defensive end Leonard Williams from Daytona Beach, FL. Williams is the No. 47 overall prospect according to 247Sports and No. 53 overall prospect according to Rivals.com

11:40 a.m. ET — Texas A&M picked up a nice WR commit in Thomas Johnson,  listed as the No. 34 overall recruit by Rivals and No. 44 overall recruit by 247Sports. Johnson is part of a Texas A&M class that is quickly assembling some top in-state talent.

11:12 a.m. ET — Florida State commit Dante Fowler Jr has done the signing day flip, going with the Gators instead247Sports had the St. Petersburg, Fla. DE/LB rated as the No. 15 player in the country, and was No. 28 according to Rivals.

11:07 a.m. ET — Kwon Alexander, the No. 9 outside linebacker according to 247Sports, is “taking his talents” to LSU over Alabama and Auburn. Alexander said he knew he would commit to the Tigers for the past two weeks.

10:25 a.m. ET — the No. 1 overall recruit in the country according to Rivals.com, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, has decided to stay in-state and attend Missouri. Green-Beckham is rated the No. 2 overall prospect according to 247Sports.

10:07 a.m. ET — Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman chose Florida State over schools like Alabama and Auburn. The five-star defensive tackle is rated the No. 14 overall recruit by 247Sports and No. 7 by Rivals. Jimbo Fisher continues to put together an amazing defensive line group.

10:00 a.m. ET — Tracy Howard from Miramar (FL), the top cornerback in the country according to Rivals.com and the No. 13 overall prospect, committed to Miami over Florida and Florida State.

9:25 a.m. ET — Linebacker from Valdosta (GA) Josh Harvey-Clemons chose to stay in-state and attend Georgia. He is the  No. 32 overall recruit according to 247Sports and No. 31 recruit according to Rivals.

9:11 a.m. ET — Aledo (TX) RB Johnathan Gray has committed to Texas. Gray has been verbally committed to the Longhorns for a while now, but this is still a huge get for UT. Gray is the No. 9 overall prospect according to 247Sports and No. 5 prospect according to Rivals.

9:09 a.m. ET — Defensive end Mario Edwards has, as expected, signed with Florida State. Edwards had downgraded his commitment to a soft verbal in the months leading up to signing day, but reaffirmed his commitment to the Seminoles. Edwards is the No. 1 recruit in the nation according to 247Sports and No. 3 overall according to Rivals.

8:26 a.m. ET — Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson — the No. 1 JUCO prospect according to 247Sports, No. 4 according to Rivals.comselected Tennessee over Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

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(Rankings reflect overall position) 

1/31 — Darius Hamilton, DE Don Bosco Prep (NJ); No. 11, Rivals; No. 20, Scout; No. 23, 247Sports; committed to Rutgers.

1/31 — Shaq Thompson, DB Grant Union (CA); No. 4, Rivals; No. 3, Scout; No. 6, 247Sports; committed to Washington.

1/30 — Zach Banner, OL Lakewood HS (WA); No. 16, Rivals; No. 72, Scout; No. 110, 247Sports; committed to USC.

1/29 — Arik Armstead, DT Pleasant Grove (CA); No. 61, Rivals; No. 2, Scout; No. 4, 247Sports;  committed to Oregon.

NCAA considering changing transfer rules

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The NCAA’s Division I Council Transfer Working Group on Wednesday unleashed a set of suggestions that could either radically change or slightly tweak the way transfers are handled in college sports’ highest level.

Let’s start with the (possible) radical changes. The working group is considering a suggestion that would make all transfers immediately eligible, provided they hit certain academic benchmarks:

Establishing uniform transfer rules — which would require everyone to follow the same rules regardless of the sport they play — was a topic that the group agrees will likely take longer to resolve. While most members agreed the concept of uniformity would be positive, what the specific rules would be is less clear.

Members discussed two models: One model would require every transfer student to sit out a year to acclimate to a new school; the other would allow all transfers to play immediately provided they present academic credentials that predict graduation at the new institution.

Walking back from that, the working group did recommend changing the transfer process to where players seeking new destinations would no longer need their former school’s approval. Considering the NCAA formally argues its athletes are merely students, and there is no limit on normal students receiving financial aid upon transferring to a new institution, this change should pass without a word to the contrary. But, you know, the NCAA is the NCAA.

Group members believe financial aid should not be tied to whether a school grants permission to contact. They want to know if others in the membership feel the same way. The group also agreed that enhancements should be made to the formal process students use to notify a school of their desire to transfer. The group will seek input from the membership on appropriate enhancements.

To curb a possible spike in transfers, the working group suggested upping penalties for coaches caught tampering with scholarship athletes at other schools.

The group expressed interest in increasing the consequences for coaches who break recruiting rules to seek out undergraduate and potential graduate students. The working group will ask the Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff to review the concept and provide feedback.

Finally, the working group suggested adding academic accountability to the graduate transfer market by either making graduate transfers count against the 85-man scholarship limit for two years or tweaking the APR formula to up the impact graduate transfers’ academic progress has in the system.

One potential approach could be to require that the financial aid provided to graduate students count against a team’s scholarship limit for two years, regardless of whether the graduate student stays for two years or leaves when their eligibility is complete.

Another concept for increasing that accountability is through the Academic Progress Rate calculation, specifically the eligibility and retention points for which a student would be held accountable as they pursue a graduate degree. The Committee on Academics discussed the calculation and the working group plans to continue conversations on the topic.

“I am thrilled with the great progress made this week, and I’m confident we can move forward with some initial concepts for consideration in this year’s legislative cycle,” South Dakota State AD and working group chair Justin Sell said in a statement. “We are working toward academics-based, data-driven decisions that benefit student-athletes, teams and schools.”

Any changes proposed by the working group are merely suggestions. The earliest any proposals could be voted on would be April 2018.

Michigan WR Grant Perry pleads guilty to felony resisting of a police officer

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Michigan wide receiver Grant Perry on Wednesday pleaded guilty to resisting of a police officer in a Lansing, Mich., court, according to the Lansing State Journal. The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

Perry also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of assault and battery, but did so to avoid two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and one alcohol charge.

The case stemmed from an October incident in which Perry was accused of groping a female outside an East Lansing bar. (The Wolverines were off that weekend.) A Michigan State student said Perry “started licking his lips and smiling and pushing his chest up against her chest” before groping her.

Police were called to the scene, and Perry attempted to escape.

“When (police) arrived on scene, we tried to grab onto him, and we had to chase him,” East Lansing P.D. spokesman Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said at the time. “In the midst of that fracas, one of our officers suffered a minor hand injury.”

Prosecutor Christina Johnson said Wednesday she has not ruled out sentencing Perry under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which, pending Perry’s completion of certain requirements, would wipe Wednesday’s conviction from his record by his 24th birthday.

In the meantime, Perry has been suspended by Michigan but has since resumed practicing with the team. Jim Harbaugh has said Perry will not play for the Wolverines until his case is resolved, which it will be by the time Michigan opens the season against Florida on Sept. 2. Sentencing for the case is set for Aug. 2.

Eastern Michigan extends Chris Creighton through 2022

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Eastern Michigan has extended head coach Chris Creighton through 2022, the school has announced.

“I feel as though we have made progress all the way through,” Creighton said in a statement. “The vision of making the football program a real source of pride for the department, the university, the alumni, we are making progress, but that vision has not been realized yet.

“So I’m really excited about our program and the Championship Building Plan. There is a lot of momentum going on right now.”

Creighton is 10-27 in three seasons as the Eagles’ head coach, but that mark obscures the progress EMU made in his third season. After starting 3-21, Eastern Michigan rocketed to a 7-6 mark in 2016 with a Bahamas Bowl trip, the school’s first postseason appearance since 1987.

The new deal raises Creighton’s base salary by 2.5 percent, according to MLive. He made a total of $434,840 in 2016, according to the USA Today coaching salary database.

Beer sales approved for Marshall home football games

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Let the beer taps start flowing at the next home Marshall football game. The University announced today that beer sales at Joan C. Edwards Stadium have been approved by the Board of Governors starting this fall.

This is the latest decision in an evolving stance on alcohol sales at Marshall. Last year, the school began expanding the sale of alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine from the Big Green Room to chairback seating. Now, the majority of fans attending a football game in Huntington will be able to purchase alcohol. The expanded alcohol sales plan will help to build the infrastructure of Marshall’s facilities moving forward.

“This is a continuation of our goal to provide more amenities for our fan base that makes attending Marshall Football games a more enjoyable experience,” Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick said in a released statement. “We have played a lot of winning football in our stadium over the past five years and we have great opponents such as Pittsburgh, Boise State, North Carolina State, and Navy just to name a few over the next five years, and it is imperative that the investment in our fan experience matches our football brand.”

Marshall will keep some sections of the football stadium free of alcohol for those fans who wish not to be near the booze-loaded fans.

The announcement was coupled with some other stadium news regarding the future renovation plans for the football stadium. Construction on the west side of the stadium should be completed by August, in time for the start of the 2017 college football season. The southwest side of the stadium will have a new retail location for fans.