There have been and will be myriad non-surprises when it comes to players leaving eligibility on the table for a shot at the NFL. This one doesn’t exactly fit neatly into that category.
In an announcement made by his new agent, Peter Shaffer, LSU’s Tharold Simon has confirmed that he’s leaving the Tigers early for the NFL draft. The move is somewhat surprising, at least in the vein that the cornerback was not one of a handful of draft-eligible Tiger underclassmen who had been mentioned as realistic possibilities for an early departure.
Nonetheless, Simon has officially taken his leave of Baton Rouge.
“I have loved every minute of being a LSU Tiger, and my heart will always remain at this incredible institution that taught me so much about being an athlete, student and person,” Simon said a statement. “I truly hope that I will be lucky enough to make an NFL roster and do LSU proud.”
Simon led the Tigers in interceptions with four this season.
Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Kevin Minter are Tigers who had previously announced their decisions to leave LSU a year early. LSU is expected to lose at least two additional juniors before the Jan. 15 deadline.
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Ohio State has quietly added Joker Phillips and Brian Knorr — two experienced college coaches — to Urban Meyer’s staff.
Although the athletics department has not made an announcement yet, Phillips is listed in Ohio State’s employee directory as a sports program associate with the working title of “Football QC – kicking,” which presumably means he is a quality control assistant for the Ohio State kicking game.
Knorr is listed simply as an athletics intern.
OSU tonight confirms hire of former UK HC & Browns Asst Coach Joker Phillips to support position for Urban Meyer. Has no on-field duty.
Of the two, Phillips is the more experienced. Now 53, he began his coaching career as a G.A. at Kentucky, his alma mater, and eventually spent six seasons as a full-time receivers coach for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.
He also coached at Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina before returning to Lexington as an assistant and eventually rising to head coach in 2010.
Make that four new additions to Texas’ 2016 recruiting class in late June.
The school announced Wednesday that Patrick Hudson, an in-state offensive lineman from Silsbee, has signed a financial aid agreement and is expected to enroll in Austin in July when the second summer session begins.
Hudson is a four-star prospect and the 50th-best player in the country according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
He signed with Baylor in February but was granted a release from his letter of intent after a report accusing members of the school and athletics department of mishandling accusations and incidents of sexual assault delved the school into controversy.
J.P. Urquidez and brothers Devin and Donovan Duvernay also signed with the Longhorns in the past week.
“We’re really excited to have Patrick joining our program,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a release. “Patrick coming to Texas, along with J.P. and Donovan earlier this week, are tremendous additions to an already impressive class of 2016. Patrick and J.P. are two big, physical, talented linemen, and Donovan is an explosive athlete who has played on both sides. We’re looking forward to getting them on campus and working with the team.”
Urquidez is also a four-star offensive lineman while Devin Duvernay is a four-star receiver and Donovan Duvernay is a three-star athlete per 247Sports.
Texas’ class is ranked seventh nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 as Strong looks to put a rocky start to his tenure behind him and return the Longhorns to national prominence.
They start the season with a visit from Notre Dame on Sept. 4.
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