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Notre Dame adds 17 to 2012 football roster

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(Notre Dame’s press release on the Irish’s 2012 recruiting class.)

One transfer student and 16 high school seniors will have their names added to the University of Notre Dame football roster in 2012.

The 16 student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent represent 13 states – three from Indiana, two from North Carolina, plus one each from California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

As listed by group, Notre Dame adds 10 skill players, four power players, one big skill player and one specialist. As listed by position, Notre Dame adds five defensive backs, two wide receivers, two defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, two running backs, one linebacker, one long snapper and one quarterback.

Four of the 17 players – transfer running back Amir Carlisle and early-enrollee freshmen defensive lineman Sheldon Day, quarterback Gunner Kiel and defensive back Tee Shepard – enrolled at the University in January and are taking classes. They will participate in Notre Dame’s spring football practices that begin March 21. The other 13 players have signed national letters of intent and will arrive on campus by June 18 for the start of summer school.

Among the 16 players that will be freshmen for the Irish this fall are:

–       Four who were selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio: DL Jarron Jones, QB Gunner Kiel, RB KeiVarae Russell and DB Elijah Shumate.

–       Five who played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix: DL Sheldon Day, WR Justin Ferguson, OL Mark Harrell, DB Tee Shepard and OL Ronnie Stanley.

–       Nine members of the SuperPrep All-America Team: QB Gunner Kiel, RB KeiVarae Russell, WR Chris Brown, OL Ronnie Stanley, DL Jarron Jones, DL Sheldon Day, DB Tee Shepard, DB Elijah Shumate and DB C.J. Prosise.

–       Three members of the SuperPrep Elite 50: QB Gunner Kiel (10th), DB Tee Shepard (22nd) and DB Elijah Shumate (37th).

–       Eight members of the MaxPreps Top 200: QB Gunner Kiel (second), DL Jarron Jones (22nd), DB Tee Shepard (39th), OL Ronnie Stanley (116th), DL Sheldon Day (119th), DB Elijah Shumate (149th), WR Justin Ferguson (175th) and RB KeiVarae Russell (183rd).

–       Five members of the ESPNU 150: QB Gunner Kiel (52nd), WR Justin Ferguson (85th), DB Tee Shepard (90th), DL Jarron Jones (102nd) and DL Sheldon Day (143rd).

–       Eight members of the Rivals.com 250: QB Gunner Kiel (20th), DB Tee Shepard (76th), DB Elijah Shumate (113th), RB KeiVarae Russell (124th), OL Ronnie Stanley (176th), RB Will Mahone (197th), DL Jarron Jones (199th) and DL Sheldon Day (244th).

–       Nine members of the Scout.com Top 300: QB Gunner Kiel (38th), DB Tee Shepard (39th), DL Sheldon Day (50th), DB Elijah Shumate (55th), OL Ronnie Stanley (66th), RB Will Mahone (201st), RB KeiVarae Russell (207th), DL Jarron Jones (229th) and DB CJ Prosise (276th).

–       Seven members of the 247Sports Top 247: QB Gunner Kiel (24th), DB Tee Shepard (50th), DL Sheldon Day (81st), DB Elijah Shumate (103rd), DL Jarron Jones (107th), RB KeiVarae Russell (122nd) and OL Ronnie Stanley (145th).

–       One recipient of their state’s respective Mr. Football player of the year awards: QB Gunner Kiel (Indiana).

–       One Gatorade State Football Player of the Year: QB Gunner Kiel (Indiana).

–       Three members of Tacoma News Tribune Western 100: RB KeiVarae Russell, DB Tee Shepard and OL Ronnie Stanley.

Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder reportedly hired as defensive analyst at Oklahoma State

JACKSONVILLE, FL - 2005:  Brian VanGorder of the Jacksonville Jaguars poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Getty Images)
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Staff changes are nearly complete around college football but it appears there is still one hire left to make for Oklahoma State.

According to a report from the Tulsa World, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy is expected to bring on former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder as the team’s new defensive analyst.

VanGorder was fired by the Irish last season after a 1-3 start that saw numerous issues on the defensive side of the ball. He later took a defensive analyst spot at Georgia toward the end of the 2016 campaign but apparently was looking for something else this year and ended up in Stillwater.

The move to bring on the coaching veteran gives Gundy and Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer a wealth of knowledge on staff for that side of the ball as former OSU defensive coordinator Bill Clay is also a defensive analyst on the staff.

Prior to going to South Bend, VanGorder was a DC at Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina. He also served as head coach of Georgia Southern for one season and made several NFL coaching stops along the way as well but this will be his first gig with a Big 12 program.

Tommy Tuberville says he would rather be Alabama governor than a head coach again

UNITED STATES - MAY 24:  Tommy Tuberville, head football coach of the Auburn Tigers tees off during the FedEx St. Jude Classic Stanford Pro-Am on May 24, 2006 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
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Those stories about former head coach Tommy Tuberville making a run at becoming governor of the great state of Alabama appear to have some legs.

The ex-Auburn head man and longtime college football head coach talked to WNSP 105.5 FM (in Mobile, Ala.) about potentially mounting a political campaign on Friday and he didn’t exactly shy away from the fact that he was considering entering the fray.

“I’ve been there done that for many many years in college football,” Tuberville told the hosts when asked if he’d rather be governor or a head coach again. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. Talking about this governor thing, I’m kind of testing the wind. But probably be governor, in this time of life. I want to do a little something different and I think I can make a difference if I do decide to run.”

Tuberville added that he is doing some polling on the matter prior to formally beginning any sort of campaign process in order to see how he could potentially do in the race for governor.

The 62-year-old didn’t rule out a return to coaching, joining a TV network or even becoming an athletic director either but it sounds like he has a few political aspirations in mind. Tuberville certainly knows the state well having been at Auburn from 1999-2008 as head coach and leading the team to an undefeated season in 2004. While the fact that he wore plenty of orange back in the day and won six straight Iron Bowls might dissuade certain Alabama fans from voting for him, it appears that the old coach is already laying the ground work for recruiting a few Crimson Tide to his side down the road.

“If you end up running, trying to be the governor, it’s about one big team: The whole state of Alabama,” he said. “When I was at Auburn, I faced quite a few Alabama coaches. You do something on the scale of governorship, you have to have all your friends. I know as many Alabama folks as I do Auburn folks.”

It seems Tuberville is already getting a little political when it comes to appeasing both sides of the aisle in the state of Alabama — and we’re not referring to Republicans and Democrats either.

Wisconsin gives pay raises to head coach Paul Chryst, OC Joe Rudolph

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 24:  Paul Chryst, head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, reacts on the sideline during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 24, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan.  (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
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There is always a certain rhythm to college football and as sure as the sun rises in the East, the offseason after a good year will result in a handful of raises for various coaches.

Such is apparently the case at Wisconsin this week, as documents provided by the school to the Wisconsin State Journal show head coach Paul Chyrst has received a hefty half million bump in salary this year.

Chryst is coming off a terrific year with the Badgers after guiding them to a surprise Big Ten West title and victory in the Cotton Bowl over previously undefeated Western Michigan. He is now set to earn roughly $3.2 million in 2017 and then see annual raises of $100,000 each year until the end of his contract. The head coach and former Wisconsin player was recently extended by the school through 2022.

That’s not the only raise handed out either, as offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph also received a bump of $80,000 this year to bring his salary to $650,000 in 2017 and 2018.

Despite the pay increases, the two Badgers coaches are still well behind most of their peers at the Power Five level and in the Big Ten especially. At Michigan alone, for comparison’s sake, head coach Jim Harbaugh makes around $9 million a season and pays three different assistants seven figures as well.

Georgia doles out pair of hefty raises to two staff members

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs poses with running back Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs and defensive tackle Trenton Thompson #78 of the Georgia Bulldogs after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 31-23. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
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Two football staffers at Georgia received a nice raise this offseason, according to documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to the AJC’s Seth Emerson, Bulldogs running backs coach Dell McGee took home a pay bum of $75,000 recently to put his total compensation at $350,000 per year. 2017 will be his second season with the team under head coach Kirby Smart and is probably worth it alone given the role McGee no doubt had in convincing star tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sonny Michel to return to school this season.

That’s not the only staff member to get a nice raise however as the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator, Scott Sinclair, received an even larger raise of $80,000, according to the same report. He now makes a whopping $300,000 a year.

While you might think the six-figure raises for two staff members is a tad excessive, even for an SEC program, Georgia is saving $125,000 on the base salary of new defensive line coach Tray Scott compared to his predecessor. Given how important McGee and Sinclair will be for one of the SEC East favorites this year, it is probably money well spent for Smart and the administration.