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2013 LSU football signing class

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(Below are the bios released by LSU on the 27 new members of its 2013 recruiting class.)

Maquedius Bain
6-5 * 286 * Defensive Tackle
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
University School of Nova South

HIGH SCHOOL
A tough defender that possess great overall size and projects to play on the inside of the defensive line… A participant in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game with the Black Team …A four-star rated prospect by ESPN.com and 247sports.com… Led University School of Nova South to a 3A State Championship in his senior season…Played on both offensive line and defensive line throughout high school…Rated the No. 13 defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…Rated the No. 26 prospect out of the state of Florida by ESPN.com … Also played basketball in high school … Coached by Roger Harriott.

PERSONAL
Son of Monasha White … Born Feb. 1, 1994.

Kendell Beckwith
6-3 * 235 * Linebacker
Jackson, La.
East Feliciana High School

HIGH SCHOOL
One of the nation’s premier outside linebacker prospects for the Class of 2013 … Possesses great strength and athleticism that could also earn him snaps as a pass rushing defensive end at the collegiate level … Arguably the top prospect in the state of Louisiana for the Class of 2013 … A consensus four-star recruit by all of the national recruiting services … An Under Armour All-American who competed for Team Nitro at the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game held on Jan. 4 in Tampa, Fla. … Committed to LSU live on national television during ESPN’s broadcast of the Under Armour All-America Game … Was also named a 2012 MaxPreps Small Schools First-Team All-American as a high school senior … Named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream team as the number 86 overall player in the nation … Tabbed as the No. 2-ranked recruit in Louisiana by ESPN, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports … Ranked as high as the No. 41 recruit nationally regardless of position and the fourth-ranked athlete in the ESPN 150 for 2013 … Also ranked No. 68 nationally in the Top247 by 247Sports, No. 84 in the Rivals100 and No. 138 in the Scout 300 … The nation’s fifth-ranked athlete by Rivals.com … Ranked as the No. 7 outside linebacker nationally by 247Sports … Also the nation’s 15th-ranked defensive end by Scout.com for 2013 … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Named the Class 3A Defensive Most Valuable Player and a first-team Class 3A all-state selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association while leading East Feliciana High School to a berth in the state semifinals with a 9-4 record in 2012 … One of the state’s top defenders while finishing his senior season with 91 total tackles, including 17 sacks and 23 tackles for loss … Also forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles on the year … Honored as the inaugural winner of the 104.5 ESPN Capital City Prep Player of the Year award with his effort in 2012 … Named the 2012 Warrick Dunn Award winner and the WAFB Sportsline Player of the Year … Earned the No. 1 ranking in sportsNOLA’s Nifty Fifty for 2012 in a ranking of the state’s top seniors … Kicked off the recruiting process with an invitational to attend “The Opening” on July 5, which is an all-star prospect camp held each summer on the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Ore. … Coached at East Feliciana High School by Cedric Anderson.

PERSONAL
Born on Dec. 2, 1994 … Parents are Wendell and Urhonda Beckwith … Brother, Wendell Beckwith, Jr., plays defensive end for Tulane University … Cousin, Darry Beckwith, was a two-time second-team All-SEC linebacker at LSU during his collegiate career from 2005-08 before signing a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers in 2009.

Josh Boutte
6-4 * 324 * Offensive Line
New Iberia, La.
Westgate High School

HIGH SCHOOL
An impact player on offense who gives up no ground and is quick off the ball … Participated in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl West Team … Named to the 2011 5A All-State Team as a junior and honorable mention all-state as a senior … Earned a four star rating from 247sports.com, Rivals.com, PrepStar and Scout.com … Listed in the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team as the 114th player overall … Given a three star rating by ESPN.com … 247sports.com ranked him as the nation’s No. 8 offensive guard and the 4th-best overall prospect in Louisiana … Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 7 offensive guard in the nation … Ranked as the No. 8 best offensive guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com … … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Coached by Ryan Antoine.

PERSONAL
Mother is Marla Boutte … Born May 20, 1994.

Tashawn Bower
6-5 * 241 * Defensive Line
Somerville, N.J.
Immaculata High School

High School
A player with the size, length and strength to be a standout pass rusher at the college level … Rated as a four star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com … Ranked as the No. 11 best defensive end in the nation by ESPN.com, the No. 14 defensive end by Rivals.com, No. 17 by 247sports.com and No. 22 by Scout.com … Ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the state of New Jersey by ESPN.com, No. 9 by Rivals.com and No. 14 by 247sports.com … Rated in ESPN.com’s top 150 as the No. 132 prospect in the nation … Participated in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl for the East squad … Clocked at a 4.80 40-yard dash time … Coached by Pierce Frauenheim.

Personal
Mother is Corri Bower … Born February 18, 1995.

Jeryl Brazil
5-9 * 181 * Athlete
Loranger, La.
Loranger High School

HIGH SCHOOL
An impact player on either side of the ball and anywhere on the field, he was LSU’s first commitment for the class of 2013 … Played quarterback, running back, and cornerback for Loranger High School … Participant of the Under Armour All-American Bowl Game (Black Team) … Named to the Class 3A All-State Team as an athlete … Accounted for 300 all-purpose yards in 26-21 win over University Lab Cubs on Sept. 7, 2012 … Rated No. 60 in the 2013 ESPNU 150 … A four star prospect according to ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com, and 247sports.com … Rated as Louisiana’s No. 3 best overall prospect by ESPN.com, No. 8 by Rivals.com, and No. 6 by 247sports.com … Nationally, rated as the No. 8 best cornerback by ESPN.com, No. 12 by 247sports.com, No. 17 by Rivals.com, and No. 22 by Scout.com … Named a PrepStar Top 300 All-American … … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … A profound track athlete, in 2011 he was the Class 3A state championship in the 100m and 200m races … As a junior he broke the Louisiana state record in 55 meters in 6.25 seconds, the same record that once belonged to former LSU speedster Trindon Holliday … Coached by Sammy Messina

PERSONAL
Parents are Pamela and Jeryl Brazil Sr. … Born March 28, 1994.

John Diarse
6-1 * 205 * Wide Receiver
Monroe, La.
Neville High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A versatile playmaker in all three phases of the game in high school … Projects as a wide receiver … Graduated from high school in December and enrolled at LSU in January … Will take part in spring practice with the Tigers … A participant in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl … Recorded a reception in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl… Led Neville to the 4A Finals as a senior and accounted for 148 yards rushing, 151 yards passing and two touchdowns in the team’s 29-22 loss to Karr…Named the 4A Offensive MVP by Louisiana Sports Writers Association… Name to the 2012 Class 4A All-State football team… Received the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Mr. Football Award as voted on by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association… Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in Louisiana by Rivals.com… … Named a PrepStar Top 300 All-American … Rated the No. 23 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com… A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Threw for 1,685 yards and 18 touchdowns while collecting 1,327 yards on the ground and 21 rushing touchdowns his senior season… Recorded three interceptions at defensive back as a junior… Coached by Mickey McCarty.

PERSONAL
Parents are Shelia & John Diarse Sr. … Born Dec. 10, 1994.

Andy Dodd
6-3 * 330 * Offensive Line
Lindale, Ga.
Pepperell High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A devastating run blocker who can play either guard or tackle … One of the top guard prospects in the country following a stellar prep career at Pepperell High School … Played offensive tackle during his senior season in 2012 … Wrapped up his high school career as a first-team Class 2A all-state selection by the Georgia Sportswriters Association in his final prep season … Helped pave the way to a berth in the Class 2A state playoffs for Pepperell High School in 2012 … A four-star prospect by such national recruiting outlets as ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals.com … Ranked No. 180 among all recruits nationally and No. 9 among offensive guards in the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2013 … Earned a No. 241 national ranking and No. 11 ranking among offensive guards in the final Top247 released by 247Sports … Tabbed the nation’s 12th-ranked guard by Rivals.com … The 20th-ranked prospect in the state of Georgia by 247Sports and the 21st-ranked recruit in the Peach State by ESPN and Rivals.com … A three-star prospect and the 34th-ranked offensive guard for the 2013 signing class by Scout.com … Played tight end as a junior in 2011 … Coached in high school by Jeff Shiflett.

PERSONAL
Born on Nov. 27, 1994 … Parents are Larry and Rebecca Hunter.

Fehoko Fanaika
6-6 * 340 * Offensive Line
Sacramento, Calif.
College of San Mateo

PRIOR TO LSU
Graduated from the College of San Mateo and enrolled at LSU in January 2013 to take part in spring practice … A powerful run blocker who started at offensive guard for two seasons at San Mateo … Earned California Community College Football Coaches Association First-Team All-America honors at offensive guard in 2011 … Helped guide his team to an 8-3 record and 62-24 victory against Diablo Valley in the Bothman Bulldog Bowl in 2011 … Paved the way for a rushing offense that averaged more than 300 yards a game on the ground in 2011 … Rated as a three-star offensive guard by Rivals.com … Played high school football at Florin High School in Sacramento … Coached in high school by by Mike Morales.

PERSONAL
Born Aug. 15, 1992 … Represents the first football player in LSU history with Tongan heritage.

Greg Gilmore
6-4 * 275 * Defensive Tackle
Hope Mills, N.C.
South View High School

High School
A disruptive tackle who uses his aggressiveness to blow up plays in the back field … Participated in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game for the Black Team … Rated as a five star prospect by Scout.com and a four star prospect by ESPN.com, 247Sports and Rivals.com … Named the No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina by ESPN.com … Graded as the nation’s No. 5 defensive tackle, the No. 2 player in North Carolina and the 59th best overall player in the country by 247Sports … Listed as a member of the ESPN 150 as the 83rd ranked player overall and No. 8 rated defensive tackle … A member of the Rivals 250 as the No. 5 rated defensive tackle … … Named a PrepStar Top 300 All-American … Assessed as the number five defensive tackle by Scout.com … Played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … Named to the Associated Press North Carolina All-State Team … Posted 90 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks his senior season … Registered 79 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two sacks his junior campaign … Earned first-team All-Mid-South 4A Conference honors his junior and senior year … Named to the All Cape Fear Regional Team … Coached by Randy Ledford

Personal
Parents are Tina Ward and Glen Gilmore … Born Nov. 28, 1994.

Frank Herron
6-5 * 245 * Defensive End
Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis Central High School

High School
A strong defensive end with solid stature, he will be able to cause issues for opposing offensive lineman … Rated as a five star recruit by Rivals.com and PrepStar and as a four star by ESPN.com, 247sports.com, and Scout.com … Named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team … Recorded 57 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and seven sacks in his junior season at Memphis Central High School … Tallied 26 tackles, six for tackles for loss, two and a half sacks, and forced one fumble in his senior campaign … Rated as the No. 2 player in Tennessee by Rivals.com and 247sports.com and No. 6 by ESPN.com … Rated as the No. 5 defensive end by Rivals.com and Scout.com, while being rated as the No. 7 defensive end by 247sports.com … Participated on the East Team in the US Army All-American Game where he recorded one sack for a 10 yard loss … Coached by Lynord Crutchfield

Personal
Mother is Wahlisha Hawkins … Born September 9, 1994.

Rickey Jefferson
5-10 * 187 * Defensive Back
Destrehan, La.
Destrehan High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A versatile skill-position prospect who projects to play in the secondary at LSU … Standout wide receiver during his prep career at Destrehan High School … Caught 36 passes for 562 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Wildcat offense during the 2012 season … Honored for his performance as an honorable mention Class 5A all-state performer by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association following his senior season … A consensus four-star recruit by all of the major national recruiting services … Earned a No. 176 national ranking among all prep recruits in the Rivals250 and a No. 14 ranking among cornerback prospects rated by Rivals.com in the Class of 2013 … Ranked No. 185 overall and No. 23 among wide receivers in the ESPN 300 … The nation’s 24th-ranked wide receiver by Scout.com and 39th-ranked prospect at the position by 247Sports … One of the top prep prospects in the state of Louisiana for the Class of 2013, earning a No. 6 ranking by Rivals.com, a No. 9 ranking by ESPN and a No. 11 ranking by 247Sports among in-state recruits … Ranked No. 4 among high school seniors in the state of Louisiana in sportsNOLA’s Nifty Fifty for 2012 … Named a PrepStar Top 300 All-American … An all-district performer as both a wide receiver and return specialist in his sophomore season at Destrehan High School in 2010 … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Emerged as one of Louisiana’s top young prospects as a dynamic sophomore with 35 carries for 300 yards and three touchdowns, 18 catches for 327 yards and four touchdowns and 275 return yards and two touchdowns on special teams … Coached in high school by head coach Stephen Robichaux.

PERSONAL
Born on Dec. 28, 1994 … Parents are John and Elaine Jefferson … Younger brother of former LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson.

Anthony Jennings
6-2 * 205 * QB
Marietta, Ga.
Marietta High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A dynamic dual-threat quarterback who graduated from high school in December … Enrolled at LSU in January and will take part in spring practice … A consensus four star prospect by all of the major recruiting publications … Made the finals of ESPN Rise’s Elite 11 passing competition … Named the MVP of the Elite 11 Atlanta Region over 86 quarterbacks from 19 states, including 21 with Division I offers … Of the 86 competitors, the only quarterback from his region to make the Elite 11 finals … Earned Georgia Sportswriters Association first-team all-state honors as an athlete his junior season and Atlanta Journal Constitution honorable-mention all-state honors as a quarterback his senior season … Played in the Georgia Junior Bowl … Rated as the fifth-best dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com and the eighth best by ESPN.com … Regarded as the number 16 pro-style quarterback back by 247sports … A member of the ESPN 300 as the 221st best prospect in the nation and a member of the Rivals 250 as the 127th best prospect in the nation … Named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team as the number 10 quarterback in the nation … Considered the 11th ranked prospect in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com … Racked up 2,187 yards and 19 touchdowns through the air and 500 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground his junior campaign … Averaged over five yards a carry on the ground and passed for over 800 yards his senior season … Led his team to an 8-4 record his senior campaign and a 5-1 district record his junior season after missing half of the season due to injury … Coached in high school by Scott Burton.

PERSONAL
Parents are Taneisha Raine and Will Jennings … Father played on the defensive line at the University of Georgia from 1990-1993 … Born Oct. 31, 1994.

Avery Johnson
6-1 * 180 * WR
Pompano Beach, Fla.
Ely High School

PRIOR TO LSU:
Attended Hargrave Millitary Academy in Chatham, Va., following his senior year of high school.

HIGH SCHOOL:
A physically gifted wide receiver with good route running skills and the speed to stretch the field … Enrolled at LSU in January and will take part in spring drills … Consensus four-star prospect by every major recruiting publication … Amassed 113 catches for 1,752 yards and 20 touchdowns over his three-year stay at Ely High School in South Florida … Ranked the No. 23 wide receiver prospect in the nation by ESPN … Listed as the No. 36 overall player from the state of Florida and No. 101 prospect in the Southeast according to Scout.com … Placed No. 7 on the Miami Herald Florida Top 101 list … The No. 3 recruit on the Miami Herald Broward County Top-25 recruit list … Earned All-County honors in 2009 … Played for the white team in the 2012 Under Armour All-American game under former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci … Played his freshman season of high school at Redemptorist in Baton Rouge and was teammates with current LSU junior OL La’El Collins and sophomore RB Jeremy Hill … Coached in high school by Rodney Gray.

PERSONAL
Younger brother of former LSU All-American cornerback and current Arizona Cardinals all-pro Patrick Peterson … Is currently going through the process to legally change his last name from Johnson to Peterson in Jan. of 2013 … Parents are Shandra and Patrick Peterson … Born Oct. 7, 1992.

Melvin Jones
6-3 * 245 * Linebacker
Lake Charles, La.
Washington-Marion High School

HIGH SCHOOL
Tremendous athlete that will bring size and speed to the linebacker position … Named by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association to the 4A All-State Team as a junior and senior … Earned a four star rating from 247sports.com and Scout.com … Earned a three star rating from Rivals.com and ESPN.com … Listed as a Top 300 All-American and the number 10 inside linebacker by PrepStar … 247sports.com ranked him as the No. 171 recruit in the nation … Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 22 recruit in the state of Louisiana and No. 29 best recruit at his position … Scout.com ranked him as the No. 176 recruit in the nation and No. 8 best recruit at his position … Recorded 78 tackles and an interception as a junior and followed that with 125 tackles as a senior … Also played quarterback in high school … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Coached by Freddie Harrison.

PERSONAL
Parents are Vicki and Troy Jones … Born Sept. 28, 1994 … Dad signed as a running back with Texas A&M out of high school … Spent two years with the Aggies before finishing his career at McNeese State.

Christian LaCouture
6-5 * 290 * Defensive Tackle
Lincoln, Neb.
Lincoln Southwest High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A talented prospect who projects to play defensive tackle at LSU … Graduated in December and enrolled at LSU in January … Will take part in spring practice … Honored as a Semper Fidelis All-American following the 2012 season … Played all four positions on the defensive line as a senior in 2012 … Also started at both fullback and tight end on the offensive side of the ball … Registered 98 tackles with 14 tackles for loss on defense as one of the nation’s elite defensive line prospects … Guided Lincoln Southwest to a berth in the first round of Nebraska’s Class A state playoffs in 2012 … Honored as a Class A first-team all-state pick and Nebraska super-state selection by the Lincoln Journal Star after the 2012 season … Followed his senior season with an appearance on the West squad at the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif. … A four-star prospect and the No. 14-ranked strongside defensive end recruit in the country for the Class of 2013 by both 247Sports and Scout.com … Ranked No. 128 among the nation’s top recruits in the Scout 300 for the 2013 recruiting season … Named the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of Nebraska for his signing class by 247Sports … Rated a three-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals.com … Rated the nation’s No. 17-ranked strongside defensive end and No. 2-ranked recruit in Nebraska by Rivals.com … ESPN’s No. 45-ranked defensive tackle nationally for 2013 … Started high school football career at Odessa Permian (Texas) before eventually moving to Lincoln, Neb. … Coached at Lincoln Southwest by Mark King.

PERSONAL
Born on Sept. 4, 1994 … Parents are David and Amy LaCouture … His dad was a four-year ice hockey letterwinner at the University of Maine where he was a key member of the Black Bears’ 1993 NCAA National Championship squad.

Quantavius Leslie
6-4 * 190 * Wide Receiver
Hogansville, Ga.
Hinds (Miss.) Community College

PRIOR TO LSU
A fast and physical deep-threat wide receiver who played for Hinds (Miss.) Community College for two seasons after high school … A four-star prospect according to ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com… Listed as the No. 5 wide receiver in the nation by 247sports.com … In 2012 recorded 517 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in six games… Averaged 21.5 yards per catch in 2012… Named to the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association All-State First Team … Coached by Gene Murphy

HIGH SCHOOL
Led his team to an 8-4 record in his senior season…Coached how Pete Wiggins

PERSONAL
Parents are Barbara Addie and Harold Leslie … Born Feb. 1, 1992.

K.J. Malone
6-3 * 307 * Offensive Line
Ruston, La.
Cedar Creek School

HIGH SCHOOL
A physical run blocker that who can play any position on the offensive line, including center … Had success at left tackle throughout high school … Named to the 2012 1A All-State team by Louisiana Sports Writers Association … A four-star recruit according to ESPN.com … Listed as the No. 23 prospect in Louisiana by 247sports.com … Rated the No. 18 prospect in Louisiana by ESPN.com… …Rated as the No. 23 guard in the nation by ESPN.com… Named to the PrepStar All-Southeast Region team … Led Cedar Creek to a 9-3 record in his senior season…Coached by Ben Haddox

PERSONAL
Parents are Kay and Karl Malone Sr. … Dad played in NBA for 18 seasons and is considered one of the best players to ever play the game … He’s a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame…Born May 8, 1995.

Lewis Neal
6-1 * 234 * Defensive End
Wilson, N.C.
James B. Hunt High School

High School
A very quick and explosive player off the line … Averaged nearly 10 tackles and a one sack per game … Recorded 68 tackles, eight sacks and one safety in his senior campaign … Rated a four star recruit by ESPN.com and a three star by Rivals.com, 247sports.com and Scout.com … Rivals.com ranks him the No. 18 player in North Carolina, while ESPN.com ranks him the No. 19 player in the state and No. 25 by 247sports.com … Ranked as the No. 27 defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 29 by 247sports.com, No. 33 by Scout.com and No. 39 by ESPN.com … Named MVP among defensive lineman at the Top Gun Camp in Williamsburg, Virginia … Participated in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl where he walked away with Defensive Player of the Year honors … Coach by Randy Raper.

Personal
Mother is Cynthia Neal … Born May 17, 1995.

Michael (M.J.) Patterson
6-2 * 218 * Defensive End
Winnfield, La.
Winnfield Senior High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A skilled pass rushing defensive end who was one of LSU’s first commitments in the Class of 2013 … Committed to LSU on March 28, 2012 … A consensus three-star prospect by all of the major recruiting services … Honored by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association as a two-time all-state and all-district performer during his prep career at Winnfield Senior High School … Earned first-team Class 2A all-state honors as a senior in 2012 while making 69 tackles and nine sacks along with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on the year … Guided Winnfield Senior High School to a 10-2 mark and a berth in the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs in 2012 … Recorded 75 tackles with 10 sacks and two interceptions returned for touchdowns en route to an honorable mention all-state selection during his junior season in 2011 … Led Winnfield to the 2011 Louisiana High School Athletics Association Class 2A State Championship Game with a 14-1 mark … Winnfield suffered its only defeat of the 2011 season to John Curtis in the 2011 2A state title game held in the Superdome in New Orleans … Earned back-to-back first-team All-District 3-2A honors in 2011 and 2012 … Also a two-time All-CENLA selection by The Alexandria Town Talk … The 19th-ranked weakside defensive end recruit nationally and 15th-ranked prospect in the state of Louisiana for the 2013 recruiting season by Rivals.com … Tabbed the No. 20-ranked weakside defensive end in the country and No. 18-ranked player in Louisiana for 2013 by 247Sports … Rated No. 46 among defensive ends nationally by Scout.com and No. 52 by ESPN … Coached at Winnfield High School by Andy Pyles.

PERSONAL
Born on Nov. 2, 1994 … Parents are Michael Patterson, Sr., and Kim Vincent.

Ethan Pocic
6-7 * 285 * Offensive Line
Lemont, Ill.
Lemont High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A strong and physical offensive lineman known for his run-blocking abilities… First team Parade All-American as a senior … Graduated from high school in December and enrolled at LSU in January … Will take part in spring practice … Named a 2013 Under Armour All-American and first-team USA Today All-American… Given five stars by PrepStar and named to the Top 150 Prep Star Dream Team … A four-star prospect according to Rivals.com and ESPN.com … Rated as the No. 3 offensive lineman in the nation by Rivals.com … Ranked as the No. 35 player overall and No. 2 offensive tackle in the nation by Prep Star … Named to the IFCA 6A All-State team… Rated the No.3 prospect in Illinois by ESPN.com … Led Lemont to a state semifinal appearance as a senior… Coached by Eric Michaelsen

PERSONAL
Parents are Kim and Gary Pocic… Born Aug. 5, 1995… Brother Graham played at the University of Illinois where he started 36 games on the offensive line in his four years with the Illini … Earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors twice.

Hayden Rettig
6-2 * 201 * Quarterback
Los Angeles, Calif.
Cathedral High School

HIGH SCHOOL
One of the elite signal callers in the country for the Class of 2013 … Committed to LSU on May 22, 2012 … A consensus four-star prospect by all of the major recruiting outlets nationwide … Honored as a 2013 U.S. Army All-American … Earned honorable mention All-America honors from Parade Magazine as a senior … One of three quarterbacks invited to play for the West squad at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas … Recognized among his peers for his size and arm strength in practice leading up to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … The No. 85-ranked recruit nationally in the Rivals100 and the nation’s No. 5-ranked pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com for 2013 … Also the ninth-ranked prep recruit in the state of California by Rivals.com … Given a rating of 93 by 247Sports with a No. 170 national ranking in the organization’s final Top247 … Tabbed the No. 12 pro-style quarterback recruit in the country and No. 20 player in California by 247Sports … Ranked No. 217 in the ESPN 300 for 2013 with a scout rating of 83 … ESPN’s No. 17-ranked pocket-passing quarterback nationally and No. 20-ranked recruit in California for 2012 … The 19th-ranked quarterback recruit in the Class of 2013 by Scout.com … Wrapped up a stellar senior season at Cathedral High School in 2012 by passing for 3,424 yards while completing 261 of 485 attempts on the season … Threw for 40 touchdowns with just 18 interceptions on the year … Guided the Cathedral Phantoms to a 10-3 mark en route to a berth in the semifinal round of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Playoffs during his senior season in 2012 … Threw for a season-high of 443 yards on 30 completions in a 37-27 victory over Harvard-Westlake on Oct. 27 … Burst onto the national scene as one of the top prospects at his position as a junior by throwing for a career-best of 508 yards and six touchdowns in the 2011 season opener.

PERSONAL
Born on Dec. 23, 1993 … Parents are Mark and Carol Rettig … Brother, Chase, is the starting quarterback at Boston College … Graduated from Cathedral High School in December and enrolled at LSU in January for the start of the 2013 spring semester … Will take part in spring drills at LSU beginning in March.

Duke Riley
6-1 * 205* Linebacker
River Ridge, La.
John Curtis High School

HIGH SCHOOL
A speedy linebacker that has the ability to put pressure on the quarterback and cover receivers down field … Honored as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2A All-State Team by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association … Named to the 2012 Class 2A All-State Team by LSWA … Led John Curtis to a Class 2A State Championship in his junior and senior seasons … Racked up 10 total tackles and scored a touchdown on a 80-yard fumble recovery in the 2012 Class-2A State Championship Game … Earned MVP honors in the 2010 Class-2A Title Game where he recorded 21 tackles … A four-star recruit according to ESPN.com … Given three stars by Rivals.com, 247Sports and Scout.com … Listed as the No. 17 prospect in Louisiana by ESPN.com … Ranked as the No. 23 prospect in Louisiana by 247sports.com … Rated as the No. 26 linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com … Recorded 124 tackles in his senior season … Coached by J.T. Curtis.

PERSONAL
Born Aug. 9, 1994 … Parents are Kesha Riley and Duke Bergham.

Rashard Robinson
6-1 * 163 * Defensive Back
Pompano Beach, Fla.
Blanche Ely High School

HIGH SCHOOL
Participated in the Offense-Defense Bowl as a member of the defense … Earned a four star rating by 247sports.com and Rivals.com … Earned a three star rating by Scout.com and ESPN.com … 247sports.com ranked him No. 10 best recruit at his position, No. 17 best recruit in the state of Florida and No. 118 nationally … Rivals.com ranked him No. 26 at his position and No. 44 in the state of Florida … Scout.com ranked him number 32 at his position … Named a PrepStar Top 300 All-American …
Coached by Charles Hafley

PERSONAL
Parents are Carol Scriven and Reginald Robinson … Born July 23, 1995.

DeSean Smith
6-4 * 226 * Tight End
Lake Charles, La.
Barbe High School

HIGH SCHOOL
One of the top pass catching tight ends in the nation who has the ability to split outside and make plays down the field … Selected to the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and played for the West squad … Invited to attend the prestigious U.S. Army Coaches Academy … Rated as a consensus four star prospect by every major recruiting service … Named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team as the number 92 overall player in the nation … A member of both the ESPN 150 and the Rivals 250 … Regarded as the 68th best player in the nation by Rivals.com … Listed as the number two, four and five tight end in the nation by Rivals.com, 247Sports and ESPN.com, respectively … Ranked as the fourth best prospect in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com and the fifth best prospect in the State of Louisiana by ESPN.com and 247Sports … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Hauled in his second touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter in Barbe High School’s 27-point comeback against West Monroe in the 5A State semifinal game … Caught two touchdowns in Barbe High School’s state championship game loss to Archbishop Rummel High School … Named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State squad his junior and senior season … Notched 815 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season … Hauled in 43 passes for 764 yards and seven touchdowns his junior campaign. … Coached by Mike Cutrera.

PERSONAL
Born on Nov. 2, 1994 … Parents are Colleen and Gary Smith

Kevin Spears
6-3 * 190 * Wide Receiver
New Orleans, La.
Holy Cross High School

High School
A tall and very athletic player has the potential to step in a contribute immediately … Caught 60 passes for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns in helping Holy Cross reach the 4A state semifinals in 2012 … Did not play football as a junior … Rated as a four star recruit by ESPN.com and Rivals.com and a three star by 247sports.com … ESPN.com ranks him as the No. 46 wide receiver in the nation while 247sports.com ranks him as the No. 81 wide receiver … Ranked as the No. 15 prospect in Louisiana by ESPN.com and the No. 26 best player in the state by 247sports.com … Coached by Barry Wilson.

Personal
Parents are Stacey Garner and Kevin Spears, Sr. … Born January 29, 1995.

Logan Stokes
6-4 * 240 * Tight End
Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Northeast Mississippi Community College

PRIOR TO LSU
Athletic tight end that has played as both a pass-catcher and a run-blocker … Transfers to LSU after spending two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Community College … Hauled in 10 passes for 80 yards as a sophomore in 2012 … Named to the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association All Region XXIII Second Team and a Mississippi Association of Community/Junior College All-State honoree … Rated No. 85 by Scout.com… Named to the PrepStar All-Southeast Region team … Coached in junior college by by Ricky Smither … Prepped at Muscle Shoals (Ala.) High School where he was coached by Scott Basden.

PERSONAL
Parents are Sheila Wimberly and Patrick Stokes … Born Dec. 4, 1992.

Tre’Davious White
5-10 * 170 * Defensive Back
Shreveport, La.
Green Oaks High School

HIGH SCHOOL
Considered one of the nation’s top cornerback prospects for the Class of 2013 … A five-star recruit as the nation’s No. 2-ranked cornerback and No. 9-ranked prospect nationally regardless of position by 247Sports … Given five stars by PrepStar and named to the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team … Reached four-star status in recruiting rankings released by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com … Ranked as the No. 35 prospect nationally and No. 6 cornerback by Rivals.com … Ranked No. 58 in the Scout 300 as the nation’s No. 6-ranked cornerback prospect by Scout.com … The top-ranked recruit in Louisiana by both Rivals.com and Scout.com for the Class of 2013 … Named a U.S. Army All-American during his senior season at Glen Oaks in 2012 … Started in the defensive backfield for the West squad at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio … Wowed scouts with his athleticism and coverage skills in practice in preparation for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … Displayed tremendous return skills in the game after returning the opening kickoff 33 yards and adding a 19-yard return in the first quarter … Had one carry for eight yards for a first down on a fake punt by the West squad in the fourth quarter … Added two tackles on defense as he finished the game with 60 all-purpose yards … A member of the Advocate Super Dozen … Played primarily as a quarterback during his prep career at Shreveport’s Glen Oaks High School … Passed for 593 yards and rushed for 306 yards while accounting for 11 touchdowns during a stellar senior season in 2012 … Honored as a first-team Class 3A all-state selection by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association following the 2012 campaign … Emerged as an elite prospect during his junior season in 2011 while passing for 1,710 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for 804 yards and eight touchdowns from the quarterback position … Added 45 tackles and four interceptions on the defensive side of the ball as a junior at Glen Oaks … Also a standout basketball player during his prep career at Glen Oaks while earning second-team Class 3A all-state honors from the LSWA as one of the state’s top guards in the spring of 2012 … Coached by Spencer Heard.

PERSONAL
Born on Jan. 16, 1995 … Parents are David White and Lashawnita Ruffins … Related to former LSU All-America cornerback Morris Claiborne.

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‘Bama DT Jonathan Taylor again arrested for domestic violence

Jonathan Taylor Mugshot

After an alleged domestic violence incident led to his dismissal at Georgia last July, Jonathan Taylor signed with Alabama in January as one of Nick Saban‘s second-chance signees.  Less than three months later, Taylor is making his new head coach look rather foolish and/or naïve.

Both Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com and Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News are reporting that Taylor is once again facing charges related to a domestic incident earlier today.  According to the Tuscaloosa Police Department’s website, Taylor is facing charges of domestic violence/assault and domestic violence/criminal mischief.

At this moment, details of what led to the defensive tackle’s arrest have not been released.  Taylor remains in jail in lieu of a pair of $500 bonds.

Taylor has been participating with his new Tide teammates in spring practice, even as his initial signing caused enough of a controversy that the school felt the need to address it in a statement.  It would seem unlikely that Saban would allow the lineman to remain on his squad, not with two domestic violence arrests in less than a year littering his record, the first of which is still pending in the state of Georgia.  Additionally, Taylor was one of four UGA players arrested last March on theft by deception charges.

Taylor was a four-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia.  After taking a redshirt his true freshman season, Taylor played in 10 games in 2013.  He spent the 2014 season at the JUCO level.

Overall, it’s been a rough last 24 hours or so for the Tide off the field.

Late Friday night, defensive back Geno Smith was arrested for driving under the influence.  It was the senior’s second drunk-driving arrest in less than two years, prompting him to issue a public apology on Twitter.

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NCAA to study future handling of grad transfers

Louisville v Wichita State Getty Images

The NCAA has already changed the way it deals with hardship waivers for transfers.  Now, The Association is seemingly set to further stifle the movement of its student-athletes.

The Division I Council Coordination Committee appointed earlier this month the Ad Hoc Transfer Issues Working Group to do what a release describes as “consider where improvements can be made to current [transfer] rules,” with the group focusing “on graduate transfers and permission-to-contact rules.”

Currently, FBS graduate transfers in all sports can transfer to another FBS program without sitting out a season, proved three provisions are met: 1. the student-athlete has graduated from his current institution; 2. the student-athlete enrolls in a graduate program at his new university not offered at his previous one; and 3. the student-athlete’s original university signs off on the transfer.

What the group will look into in the coming months is “whether to update the policy for graduate transfers to more closely mirror a new policy adopted last year for undergraduate transfers.”

Earlier this month, the new policy mentioned above went into effect, effectively eliminating the hardship waiver that provided immediately eligibility for a transfer. Previously, a student-athlete could file an appeal for a hardship waiver on various grounds, the most common one of which was related to illnesses and/or situations in the family that necessitated a move closer to home; now, potential transfers can request a waiver that would extend their eligibility out by another season but cannot gain immediate eligibility.

Normally a graduate transfer would have a single season of eligibility remaining, although there are occasionally exceptions. If the new procedure is adopted — it wouldn’t be in place until the 2016-17 academic year at the earliest — a graduate transfer would be forced to sit out the first season with his/her new program, then have another season of eligibility tacked on the following year if the waiver is granted.

For example, if Cardale Jones, by then a redshirt junior, decides to transfer out of Ohio State to Michigan after graduating next May, Jones would be forced to sit out the 2016 season. He could then apply for a waiver that would give him one more year of eligibility in 2017.

Provided, of course, the same policy in place for undergrad transfers is implemented for grad transfers.

“Student transfers are an important issue in higher education, and it is no different in athletics,” said co-chair Jere Morehead, Georgia president, in a statement. “The group will be mindful of the integration of athletics and academics when creating recommendations for Division I transfer policy or legislation.”

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Tide’s Geno Smith tweets apology following latest arrest

Geno Smith Mugshot

Late last night, Alabama’s Geno Smith was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.  It was the senior cornerback’s second drunk-driving-related arrest in less than two years.

Smith did not participate in practice Saturday, in large part because he was still jailed around the time his teammates began yet another spring session.

Head coach Nick Saban did not address the latest development involving an experienced piece of his secondary, although that’s expected to happen early this coming week.  Ahead of that, a contrite Smith took to Twitter to apologize to the university, the football program and its fans for his latest off-field misstep.

Whether it’s enough to help avoid the full wrath of Saban — and maintain a spot on the roster for his final season — remains to be seen.

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Pair of Seminole LBs to miss rest of spring with shoulder injuries

Bethune-Cookman v Florida State Getty Images

A pair of Florida State linebackers who had their 2014 seasons interrupted by suspensions have not seen their spring interrupted by injuries.

Friday, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that both Chris Casher and Matthew Thomas (pictured) will miss the remainder of the spring due to shoulder issues.  The former has already undergone surgery to repair his damage, while “[w]e’re gonna have to end up [surgically] fixing” the latter.”

The issue with Thomas is an ongoing and lingering one. He took a medical redshirt for the 2013 season because of it, while he dealt with the issue throughout the 2014 season as well.

“It popped out. Popped out,” Fisher said of the shoulder according to the Orlando Sentinel. “It popped out a bunch of times last year, one game it popped out four different times. It popped out the other day. It’s too loose.”

After a copious amount of drama and a splash of theatrics, Thomas signed with FSU as a five-star recruit in 2013. As a redshirt freshman last season — he played in four games in 2013 before the initial injury — Thomas was suspended in early September and didn’t return until mid-October. He went on to play in the remaining eight games, making three starts.

Casher, meanwhile, was suspended for the 2014 opener for what was described as an academic-related issue. He ended up starting two of the final 13 games of that season.

Despite some on-field production, Casher is more well-known for off-field headlines, whether it be in connection to the Jameis Winston sexual assault allegations or being sued by his attorney or being stopped by police at gunpoint over a pellet gun.

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WR Isaiah Jones leaving FSU, will likely land at Miss. JUCO

Isaiah Jones AP

In August of last year, Isaiah Jones was declared academically ineligible and didn’t play a down for Florida State in 2014.  As it turns out, that’ll be the case in 2015 — and likely beyond.

Friday, head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed that Jones has decided to transfer out of the FSU football program and continue his playing career elsewhere.  That elsewhere, according to Fisher, is likely East Mississippi State Community College.

The Palm Beach Post noted that Jones had traveled with the team to the Rose Bowl and said at the time that, as a longtime Seminole fan, he had no desire to transfer.  What prompted the change of heart, and whether it was again related to academics, wasn’t addressed.

A four-star member of the Seminoles’ 2013 recruiting class, Jones was rated as the No. 28 receiver in the country and the No. 36 player at any position in the talent-rich state of Florida. As a true freshman in 2013, the 6-4, 194-pound Jones caught two passes for 31 yards.

His production could’ve been higher that season, but a foot injury forced him to miss most of the second half of the season.

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Ole Miss’ leading tackler, second-leading rusher sustain injuries

Mississippi v Texas Getty Images

The bad news for Ole Miss is that key players on each side of the ball have sustained injuries.  The good news?  It’s only the spring, and the start of the new season is still more than five months down the road.

The most significant injury was sustained by defensive back Mike Hilton, who broke his thumb during a practice session earlier this week.  Additionally, running back Jordan Wilkins suffered what’s being described a sprained MCL.

Hilton will miss the remainder of the spring, but is expected to be healthy enough to participate in summer camp at the beginning of August.  Wilkins’ availability for the rest of the spring is to be determined.

In 2014 as a third-year junior, Hilton started 11 of the Rebels’ 13 games.  He led the team in tackles with 71, and was second in interceptions (three) and passes broken up (seven).

Over the past three seasons, Hilton has started 26 of the 36 games in which he’s played.

Wilkins‘ 361 yards rushing as a redshirt freshman last season was second on the Rebels, while his 6.9 yards per carry was tied for tops on the team.

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McElwain talks ‘insufficient’ cupboard left by Muschamp

Hungry Hill Getty Images

Will Muschamp may be gone at Florida, but he’s certainly not been forgotten.

Shortly after his firing last November, Muschamp was very emphatic in stating that the Gators possess “a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players.”

The new guy in this case is Jim McElwain, hired away from Colorado State in December and charged with cleaning up the mess in Gainesville. And, apparently, he didn’t get Muschamp’s memo.

From al.com:

“When you look at it, you know, the thing that has been lacking is the numbers and the size of what we’re doing on the other side of the ball,” McElwain told reporters in Gainesville. “It’s probably the reason we’re here. That’s all right, man, I’m excited to be here and we’re going to get it taken care of.”

“They’re trying their tails off,” McElwain said. “For the lack of numbers there, and it’s one of those things you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt and right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas. And yet at the same time that’s what you have, so we’re going to make the best of it. Those guys are battling in there. To try to even create kind of two groups is hard, so these guys, we’re giving them spells. Just kind of the way we practice, we had to kind of totally change how we will normally practice here in the future.”

It’s not uncommon for the new cook on campus to lament the lack of ingredients left in the cupboard. One of the things that lamenting does, though, is undercut those who remain on the roster.

Perhaps mindful of that, McElwain also tossed around words like “foundation” and “toughness” and “fight” in an attempt to soften what he sees as a lack of depth at best and, at worst, an overall lack of talent.

“The thing about this group of guys is they care about each other and care about the team,” the first-year coach said. “They fight their way through tough times, and that’s how you build the foundation of a football team. It’s really exciting to watch because at some point in the season, this toughness foundation is going to be what carries us, and we’re learning all about that right now.”

While they’re far from the gospel, recent recruiting rankings would suggest that McElwain at least has some talent with which to work — he and his staff just needs to coach them up better than their predecessors.

Muschamp was hired as UF’s head coach on Dec. 10, 2010. In his four recruiting classes, none finished lower than 12th nationally according to Rivals.com. That was Muschamp’s first class, one that he had roughly three months to put/hold together.

The first full class of the Muschamp era was in 2012, and that class finished No. 3 overall and No. 2 in the SEC. That was followed up by the fourth-ranked class in 2013 that was again second in the conference.

Even when rumors were swirling that he was a dead man coaching, Muschamp was able to pull in the No. 8 class in 2014, although that was only good for sixth in the conference.

Again, recruiting rankings aren’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to wins and losses, but they are a good indicator of potential.  And potentially, McElwain, whose first class ranked 23rd nationally and 10th in the conference — they get a pass on that — has a lot more talent with which to work than he’s allowing.

Tempering expectations of an anxious and dissatisfied fan base?  Perhaps.  Or he’s realized that the most important ingredient in the kitchen, the quarterback, may not necessarily be in his cupboard at the moment.

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Miami’s leading returning rusher suspended for spring game

Joseph Yearby, Jeremy Cash AP

Miami takes the field this afternoon for its annual spring game, and the Hurricanes will do so without a player who’ll be expected to be a key piece of their 2015 offensive puzzle.

Shortly before the game kicked off, Miami announced that Joseph Yearby has been suspended for the spring finale.  According to the team, it was for a violation of unspecified team rules.

According to Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald, the suspension involves allegedly breaking curfew so that the running back could be in attendance at a life-altering event:

I was told by my source, but not by UM, that Yearby was suspended for breaking curfew last night.

I was told he was there for the birth of his baby, but I did not have that confirmed and I don’t know when the baby was born.

It seems incomprehensible that Yearby would be suspended for attending the birth of his child, but we’ll just have to await Al Golden‘s postgame talk with the media and see if he offers any further explanation to the report.

Last season as a true freshman, Yearby was second on the team with 509 yards rushing.  He also added eight catches for 118 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Duke Johnson‘s early departure for the NFL, Yearby will get the opportunity to be the bell cow for the Hurricanes’ ground game.

UPDATED 2:52 p.m. ET: And now a little bit more of the rest of the real story.

Yearby did indeed become a new father recently… over the winter.  Becoming a new parent, however, had nothing to do with the suspension; instead; it was breaking curfew last night that sidelined the back.

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Alabama DB Geno Smith again arrested on DUI charge

Sammie Coates ,Geno Smith Getty Images

I guess now we’re going to find out just how wedded Nick Saban is to his second chance mantra, and if it extends to a third chance.

While the details are scant at the moment, and the school has yet to address the situation, Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News is reporting that Geno Smith was arrested Friday night on a charge of driving under the influence.  According to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department website, Smith was released on a $1,000 bond this afternoon.

From the sheriff’s department’s website:

Geno Smith Mugshot

What makes this a significant issue for Smith is that it’s the player’s second alcohol-related charge in less than two years.

In August of 2013, Smith was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.  A couple of days later, Saban announced that the defensive back would be suspended for the opener against Virginia Tech.

Smith started six of the 14 games in which he played last season as a true junior last season.  All told, he’s played in 39 games in his three seasons with the Tide, including eight starts.

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NCAA says no malice involved in Reggie Bush investigation

Todd McNair AP

Well, that settles it.  Or not.

AS CFT wrote earlier this week, the NCAA Tuesday released 500 pages of documents– including damning internal dialogue – related to the Reggie Bush investigation as part of a defamation lawsuit involving former USC running backs coach Todd McNair. The documents revealed those involved stepping well beyond the bounds of normal investigation protocol – including value judgments on the program’s hiring of Lane Kiffin as head coach — and seemingly showing bias against the USC football program in meting out near-historic sanctions that crippled the Trojans for years.

Suffice to say, USC was not pleased with how the NCAA’s investigation was conducted as portrayed in the document dump, saying in a statement that “[w]e are extremely disappointed and dismayed at the way the NCAA investigated, judged and penalized our university throughout this process.” In that same statement, the school intimated that further action could be taken — legal action of its own would be the most likely recourse — depending upon further review of documents, both those that have been released and others that may soon, as the school expects, come to light.

In a statement released Friday, the NCAA, which has been accused by the McNair camp of not releasing all pertinent documents, claimed that its Committee on Infractions “acted appropriately” and “engaged in a comprehensive, deliberative process and did not act with malice” in the Bush investigation.  Furthermore, a governing body that saw one COI member compare the Bush investigation to the Oklahoma City bombing had the audacity to write “[i]t is unfortunate that Mr. McNair’s unfounded claims have resulted in an attack on the character and integrity of dedicated individual committee members and the overall infractions process.”

For the entirety of the NCAA’s statement, grab your hip waders and step in it below:

As a result of the Court of Appeals February 6 decision and in order to have a meaningful appeal opportunity, the NCAA filed a collection of documents with the court which demonstrate that the Division I Committee on Infractions acted appropriately when reaching its conclusions in the USC Infractions Report.

These publicly filed documents illustrate how the Committee on Infractions underwent thorough deliberations consistent with the policies and procedures governing the infractions process. The documents, including committee’s e-mail correspondence after the hearing which has received the most attention, further demonstrate that the Committee on Infractions is not a body of single-minded individuals but rather a group of individuals with different perspectives who worked diligently to reach a consensus based on information presented to the committee.

After careful review of the documents, we are confident the Court of Appeals will conclude that the committee engaged in a comprehensive, deliberative process and did not act with malice.

Our volunteer committee members, comprised of highly reputable individuals from member schools, conferences and the public, work extremely hard to uphold the NCAA’s mission and values. It is unfortunate that Mr. McNair’s unfounded claims have resulted in an attack on the character and integrity of dedicated individual committee members and the overall infractions process.

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Likely starter at QB for Vandy chooses medical school over football

Massachusetts v Vanderbilt Getty Images

Somewhat abruptly and unexpectedly, the dynamic of Vanderbilt’s quarterback competition has has undergone a dramatic shift.

Friday, Vandy issued a press release announcing that Patton Robinette has decided to retire from the game of football.  A history of injuries, including a concussion last September, influenced the quarterback’s decision to some degree.

The school stated that Robinette spoke frequently with his parents, close acquaintances, Vanderbilt physicians and athletic trainers, and Commodore coaches before walking away from the sport in a fashion similar to the recent retirements of Chris Borland and Jack Miller.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make,” Robinette said in a statement sent out by the school. “This team means the world to me and I love playing football more than anything. It’s been tough coming to a decision that is right for my family and I, and protects my health and future.

“I’ve been very deliberate in coming to this decision. It’s difficult but I’m really excited to move forward to the next chapter of my life and really to see what the field of medicine has in store for me.”

Exiting the spring game this past Saturday, Robinette was widely viewed as the favorite to land the starting job. Less than a week ago, Robinette was stating that he was “going to have to go out this offseason and camp and compete to maintain my position at the top,” adding, “I am going to work hard and do [just] that.”

Six days later, Robinette will now be preparing for medical school instead of summer camp.

While concern over his health played a role in his decision, a significant one, so did the opportunity to embark on a medical career sooner rather than later.

“People have made a big deal of the concussion thing,” said Robinette during a press conference. “That’s certainly a factor, but more than that I’m looking at moving forward in my medical career and seeing where that takes me.

“Though football is an amazing game and I’ve loved playing the game at Vanderbilt, for myself and my future family, there are more important things than me trying to have one last stand. It was difficult to come to that decision.”

The past two seasons, Robinette started five of the 16 games in which he played.  The pinnacle of Robinette’s playing career very well could’ve come in 2013, with the school writing “[t]o many Commodore fans, Robinette’s greatest contribution came on Nov. 23, 2013 when his 5-yard rushing touchdown proved the winning margin over Tennessee in Knoxville.”

That was the second-straight win for the Commodores over the in-state rival Vols, but just the third in the last 31 years.

With Robinette out of the picture, redshirt sophomore Johnny McCrary will likely enter camp as a slight favorite to win the starting job. Also in the mix will be sophomore Wade Freebeck and redshirt freshman Shawn Stankavage, with incoming freshman and 2015 four-star signee Kyle Shurmur joining the fray this summer.

McCrary and Freebeck were two of the four quarterbacks who started at least one game last year for the ‘Dores.  The other player to start a game under center last year, Stephen Rivers, was granted a release from his Vandy scholarship this past January with the intention of transferring.

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PHOTOS: Buckeyes flash title ring bling on Twitter

National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State Getty Images

To the victor goes the spoils, the old chestnut goes.  As does, in this case, the jewelry.

As you may have heard, Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20 this past January to claim the first-ever College Football Playoff championship.  Armed with new hardware for its trophy case, the Buckeyes kicked off spring practice earlier this month, with those sessions, as far as the general public is concerned, focused mainly on a quarterback competition that will ultimately feature three past/future Heisman Trophy contenders — probably.

In the midst of the ramp-up to the 2015 season, though, one OSU assistant, wide receivers coach Zach Smith, Twitter-modeled the bling he received for this past season’s CFP title…

… while head coach Urban Meyer and tight end Jeff Heuerman modeled there’s in a tweet from the latter’s account:

A tweet from OSU director of player personnel Mark Pantoni stated that the rings displayed by Smith, Meyer and Heuerman were from the CFP committee, adding “wait until you see the National Championship rings our players designed!”  In other words, the Buckeyes will be on the receiving end of a pair of championship rings, one from the CFP and one that they themselves designed.

Additionally, the players, as well as the coaches and other various members of the support staff, will receive Big Ten title rings at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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B1G issues statement on Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law

Jim Delany AP

As expected, the Big Ten has chimed in on the burgeoning controversy in the state of Indiana.

Thursday, Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that allows for private businesses to refuse service to — or discriminate against, as some would say — members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  The NCAA quickly issued a statement expressing concern over the new law, intimating that The Association, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, could sever its ties with the state.

Already, there’s a petition posted to change.org by a Wisconsin man demanding that the Big Ten move its conference football championship game out of the state, where it’s been contested since its inception in 2011.  Lucas Oil Stadium is also scheduled to host future B1G title games every year through the 2021 season.

In a statement, however, the conference stated that its presidents and chancellors will review the situation “and its impact” at its next scheduled meeting.  Just when that meeting will take place is unclear.

Here’s the Big Ten’s statement, in its entirety:

The Big Ten Conference and its member institutions believe in promoting an inclusive environment in which athletic competition can operate free from discrimination. The conference is aware of the bill that was recently signed into law in the state of Indiana and will further review its impact at the next scheduled meetings of its administrators, presidents and chancellors.

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Archie Manning cedes CFP post, replaced by Bobby Johnson

Bobby Johnson

Not so unexpectedly, another change has come to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

In a press release Friday, the CFP announced that Archie Manning will not be able to rejoin the committee charged with both picking the four playoff participants and slotting teams in the other “New Years Six” games.  Manning was one of the original 13 members of the committee, but was forced to take a sabbatical related to health issues this past October.

“I was honored when I was chosen to be on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee,” Manning said in a statement. “It’s a great group of people and they did a wonderful job last year. But as I look ahead to the various commitments I have – to my family, numerous time obligations around the country and to other conflicting demands – I have concluded that I won’t be able to return to the committee. I particularly want to watch [NFL quarterback sons] Peyton and Eli play, in person when I can, and it’s hard to do that when weekends are devoted to watching college games. This is not an easy choice, but it’s the right choice for [wife] Olivia and me.

“The College Football Playoff is a big hit and I wish my colleagues the very best.”

Manning’s replacement has already been selected, with Bobby Johnson sliding into the open spot. After spending eight seasons (1994-2001) as the head coach at Furman, the 64-year-old Johnson spent eight seasons (2002-09) in the same position at Vanderbilt before abruptly retiring from coaching in July of 2010.

Johnson, a South Carolina native, played his college football at Clemson in the late sixties and early seventies.  He also spent one season (1993) as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.

According to the release, Johnson was selected unanimously during a March 25 conference call.

“I have tremendous respect for the selection committee and I am honored to join the group,” said Johnson. “As a former player and coach, I’m particularly happy about the opportunity to continue to serve the game.”

With Johnson onboard, there are now four former FBS head coaches on the committee: Johnson, Tom OsborneBarry Alvarez and Tyrone Willingham.

Johnson is also the second new committee member announced this year.  In mid-December of last year, after the final CFP rankings came out, it was announced that Oliver Luck would be stepping down as West Virginia’s athletic director and taking a job at the NCAA.  Two months later, Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt was announced as Luck’s replacement.

This likely won’t be the last shakeup as the terms of current committee members Mike Gould, Pat HadenMike Tranghese and Osborne expire next February.  As far as the other committee members go, the terms of Alvarez and Condoleezza Rice expire in February of 2017, while the terms of Willingham, committee chair Jeff Long, Tom Jernstedt, Dan Radakovich and Steve Wieberg are up a year later.

(Photo credit: Vanderbilt athletics)

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Nick Chubb impresses even the great Herschel Walker

Nick Chubb AP

I’ve made it perfectly clear during my time at CFT that Herschel Walker was the greatest college football player I’ve seen in my lifetime, so the former Georgia running back’s words carry a little more weight in my mind.  And Walker’s words on a current UGA running back?  Positively glowing.

Walker attended practice at his old stomping grounds Thursday, and spoke with the media about very Bulldog talking points.  Well, really, one talking point: Nick Chubb.

And when it comes to Walker on Chubb, well, insert an erection euphemism here.

“One thing I like about him, the game is over, practice is over, and the kid is still out there working out,” the College Football Hall of Famer said. “That’s just the sign of a good athlete. That’s a sign that he’s doing things he needs to get done. …

“This kid came on as a freshman and just think if he had started the whole season, what he would have done. That’s what’s so amazing.”

Walker has a very valid point when it comes to Chubb.

Backing up a healthy Todd Gurley, the true freshman Chubb rushed for a modest 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the first five games of the 2014 season. Gurley’s season was over after that fifth game thanks to a combination of a four-game suspension for NCAA violations and a torn ACL in his first game back, which allowed Chubb to absolutely go off: in the last eight games of the year, Chubb ripped off 1,323 yards and 12 touchdowns. Included in that total was a school-record 266 yards in the Belk Bowl win over Louisville.

Extrapolate that production out over an entire regular season plus a bowl game, and Chubb’s statline would’ve read 2,150 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. The former total would’ve been good enough for second nationally this past season, behind only the 2,587 yards from Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.

As it was, his 1,547 yards rushing were the second-most ever for an UGA freshman, behind only the 1,616 yards put up by, you guessed it, Walker back in 1980.

As impressive as those numbers are, it’s the workload Chubb shouldered that really stands out to Walker, especially in this day and age of passing offenses. In his eight games post-Gurley, Chubb had 25 or more carries four times, with three games topping the 30-carry mark.

“When you see football today, you see a choir playing at running back,” Walker said. “You see about 10 guys running in and out of the game. This guy (Chubb) carried the ball 30 some times. That is absolutely amazing. That shows you the worth that he is. I’m amazed.”

Given the shelf life of running backs these days, I’d be amazed if Chubb continued that workload throughout the entirety of the 2015 season.

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