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.

Suspended Michigan State staffer receives another contract extension

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Michigan State has added another one-month extension to the contract of suspended football staffer Curtis Blackwell as the school continues to investigate several sexual assaults involving the Spartans.

A schools spokesman confirmed the extension to the Detroit Free Press on Friday.

The move comes on the heels of a previous one-month contract extension for Blackwell that came at the end of March. His official title is that of the team’s director of college advancement and performance and he was hired by head coach Mark Dantonio back in 2013 after running a number of major recruiting camps in the region.

Blackwell was originally suspended back in February as the school and police began multiple investigations related to sexual assaults. According to reports, one Michigan State staff member had an arrest warrant issued for obstructing an investigation but he was never publicly identified by the school.

Probes into the matter, including a Title IX investigation, remain ongoing in East Lansing. The football team recently wrapped up practice missing over a dozen players in the spring game so it appears this wide-ranging scandal that has embroiled the Spartans is not going to be over anytime soon.

Ex-USC coach finally lands court date with NCAA over Reggie Bush case

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After years and years of meandering through the court system, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair finally has his day in court with the NCAA.

ESPN is reporting that the two parties will meet in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 18, 2018. The trial will finally get underway next year after nearly a decade of appeals on both sides.

McNair was the Trojans’ running backs coach during the glory days under Pete Carroll and responsible for coaching or recruiting many of the team’s top players. He was one of the few links to the program that the NCAA cited when determining that former star Reggie Bush received extra benefits, later leading to brutal sanctions back in 2010. McNair was given a one-year show-cause as a result of the Committee on Infractions findings and never coached again after the school let his contract expire shortly thereafter.

That wasn’t the end of the story however, as McNair later filed a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA in which he accused the association of violating protocol and showing bias against himself and the program in order to level unprecedented sanctions. Documents in the case have continued to seep out that have given credence to McNair’s case and the NCAA’s lawyers have fought bitterly at every turn in order to prevent the trial from actually getting underway.

Those efforts were unsuccessful however and it appears an already nasty legal battle is still not over. It remains to be seen if the trial will even happen, as a settlement could eventually take place between now and next April. If it does indeed go in front of a jury though, it just might be one of the most fascinating insights into one of the biggest NCAA scandals of the past few decades.

Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Jonathan Giles announces transfer from Texas Tech

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Thursday may have been a high point for the Texas Tech football program upon learning that former quarterback Patrick Mahomes was taken in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft.

On Friday afternoon though, the Red Raiders dipped right back down as star wide receiver Jonathan Giles took to Twitter to announce that he was leaving the program and transferring out of Lubbock.

Giles was a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist a season ago after catching 69 passes for 1,158 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those numbers led the team in each category despite trailing off a bit down the stretch as Tech missed out on a bowl game.

Playing time could have been a big factor in the decision to leave the program as both Cameron Batson and Keke Coutee emerged as the top receiving targets and Giles was relegated to second-team status coming out of spring practice.

Tech’s Air Raid system and NFL quarterbacks had a lot to do with Giles’ big numbers but it’s fairly rare to see such highly touted and productive wideouts hit the transfer markets. While the decision probably isn’t what some Red Raiders fans wanted to hear on Friday, the receiver probably won’t be lacking for options when it comes to his next stop.

Pitt dismisses senior defensive tackle for disciplinary reasons

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Bad news in college football is typically reserved for Friday and it appears the Pitt Panthers just got a taste of some.

Per Pittsburgh Tribune-Review beat writer Jerry DiPaola, head coach Pat Narduzzi has dismissed starting defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni for disciplinary reasons.

Taleni emerged as a starter down the stretch for the Panthers and will be a big loss up front for the team as they already have to replace the stellar production from the soon-to-be-drafted Ejuan Price.

No further comments were given when the school confirmed the news so it might be a while before we find out what led to Taleni’s dismissal and whether he plays college football at all next season.