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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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Oregon schedules three-game series with Hawaii

Marcus Mariota AP

While it’ll be too late for the reigning Heisman winner to enjoy, the flagship school in Marcus Mariota‘s home state and his former team will square off in a future series.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that UO and Hawaii have reached an agreement on three future games.  The first two games will be played in Eugene in 2020 and 2023, while the finale will be played in Honolulu in 2024.

“With so many players on our roster coming from Hawaii, it makes a lot of sense for us,” Mullens told the Star-Advertiser.

The paper noted that, including Mariota, the Ducks had six players born in Hawaii on its 2014 roster.

Since Hawaii moved to the FBS/Div. 1-A level in 1974, they have faced Oregon three times, with the Ducks winning all three matchups.  Including the Rainbow Warriors’ days as an FCS/Div. 1-AA program, the Ducks lead the all-time series 4-3.

The last meeting between the schools came in 1994.

(Tip O’ the Cap: FBSchedules.com)

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QB Caleb Rowe, RB Wes Brown to sit for Terps this spring

Caleb Rowe, Wes Brown AP

Two important pieces of Maryland’s offensive puzzle will be sidelined as the Terrapins begin preparations for the 2015 season in earnest.

Friday, head coach Randy Edsall confirmed that both quarterback Caleb Rowe (pictured, right) and running back Wes Brown (pictured, left) will be non-participants in spring practice.  Both players are still in the process of rehabbing injuries.

The absence of Rowe is not at all surprising as he tore the ACL in his left knee during a practice this past October, the same knee he suffered the same injury in the same month back in 2012.  Rowe, who will enter summer camp as the favorite to win the starting job, is seeking another season of eligibility that would allow him to play again in 2016.

Brown, who overcame off-field missteps that cost him the entire 2013 season, underwent surgery for a torn labrum sustained in the Terps’ bowl game.  Last season, Brown was second in rushing touchdowns (six) and third in rushing yards (356).  He’s also a threat coming out of the backfield, catching 21 passes in his bounce-back season.

Rowe and Brown are just a portion of a lengthy list of Terrapin players who will be sidelined this spring.  From the Washington Post:

Also out is long snapper Christian Carpenter (back), defensive lineman Ruben Franco (labrum), safety Elvis Dennah (labrum), defensive back Alvin Hill (knee), as well as wide receiver Taivon Jacobs (knee) and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson (knee). Hill, Jacobs and Jefferson could potentially participate in non-contact drills this spring, Edsall said.

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Ex-UK QB Maxwell Smith may have early lead for SDSU starting job

Alabama v Kentucky Getty Images

It hasn’t taken Maxwell Smith very long to make a name for himself at his new workplace.

In January of this year, it was confirmed that the quarterback would be transferring from Kentucky to San Diego State to finish out his playing career.  The grad transfer left the Wildcats in search of a place where he could contend for a starting job, and it appears he he may have just picked the right spot.

While the Aztecs have used just three of their allotted 15 spring practice sessions, the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Smith has seemingly distanced himself from the other five competitors for the the starting spot.  From the Union-Tribune:

With six guys competing, it’s like they come and go through a revolving door in drills, but there’s little question for me who’s looked the sharpest: Kentucky graduate transfer Maxwell Smith.

At 6-feet-4, Smith is the most imposing of the bunch and he’s shown the best arm strength and accuracy. Most impressive has been his targeting on outside curl routes by receivers, with Smith zipping the ball into spots where only his wideouts can catch it. He looks very poised and capable. I don’t yet have a strong read on his mobility, and that might be a concern given the issues with the offensive line (more on that later).

Also competing for the job is Oregon transfer Jake Rodrigues, although the paper stated that he hasn’t had the best start to the spring.  That should be at least mildly concerning as Rodrigues has been in the offense for nearly a year, having left the Ducks for the Aztecs in May of last year.

The paper writes that “[o]ur standings after Week 1: Smith, [sophomore Christian] Chapman, [sophomore Nick] Bawden, Rodrigues, [JUCO transfer Adam] Wood and second-year walk-on Drew Anderson.”

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Departure, another injury further thins Stanford’s defensive line

Oregon State v Stanford

Stanford’s defensive line was already stretched thin because of various issues this spring.  After today, that unit is positively waif-like.

Defensive end Solomon Thomas did not participate in the spring practice session Saturday because of what was later described as a jammed toe sustained this past week.  While Thomas was seen wearing a boot on his injured foot, he’s expected back at some point before the end of spring.

Additionally, defensive tackle Alex Yazdi (pictured, No. 79) has decided to “move on” from the football program, head coach David Shaw confirmed following practice. Whether the fifth-year senior, who played in five games last season, will transfer to another program for his final season of eligibility or has simply decided to give up playing the sport has not been determined.

The combination of attrition and injury — starting lineman Aziz Shittu is out for the spring as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury sustained last October — has left the line on the defensive side very depleted. How depleted?

That trio’s performance was enough to impress even their head coach.

“It is very, very difficult,” Shaw said in quotes distributed by the school. “I had the guys give an applause to the entire defensive line. For three guys to make it through a full practice with scrimmaging and all that stuff and 9-on-7 … They didn’t bat an eyelash, they didn’t back off, they hustled throughout the whole practice, and that’s what it takes.

“As tough as it is, nobody is going to feel bad for us. We’ve got to fight through it.”

Fortunately for the Cardinal, there are still six months before they travel to open the 2015 season against Northwestern.

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Richt: ‘QB as wide-open as it’s ever been since I’ve been at Georgia’

Belk Bowl - Georgia v Louisville Getty Images

Not only will Georgia enter spring practice for the first time in nearly a decade with an offensive coordinator other than Mike Bobo, the Bulldogs will also be searching for a new starting quarterback for the second time in as many years.

After Aaron Murray more than ably handled the job from 2010-13, the signal-calling baton was passed to Hutson Mason for the 2014 season.  With Mason’s eligibility expired, the new starter is expected to come from a group of three players: redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey, redshirt freshman Jacob Park and redshirt junior Faton Bauta.

Ramsey served as Mason’s primary backup in 2014, completing 24 of 39 passes for 333 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Bauta completed four of his five pass attempts in 2014, while Park, a four-star member of UGA’s 2014 recruiting class, took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Based on experience alone, Ramsey will enter the spring as the favorite to win the job. The Bulldogs’ head coach, though, made it perfectly clear that, in the first year under the highly-paid coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the job is available to anyone for the taking.

“It’s just a lot of work to be done between now and that first game and a lot of competition to happen,” Mark Richt said according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “You know, the quarterback position is as wide-open as it’s ever been since I’ve been at Georgia probably. It’s going to be an interesting battle I would say.”

It’s unknown if Richt will name a starter exiting a spring, or wait until the competition shakes itself out a little more during summer camp before pulling the trigger.

Regardless of who lands the job, they’ll be able to ease into the position as UGA will open the 2015 season at home against Louisiana-Monroe before traveling to Vanderbilt for the SEC opener the following weekend.  The next three games are at home, with a game against FCS-level Southern sandwiched between matchups with SEC East rival South Carolina and West heavyweight Alabama.

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Carl Lawson expected ‘to partake in a good bit’ of Auburn’s spring

Carl Lawson, Bo Wallace

When it comes to the health of Carl Lawson, all of the signs are pointing toward the positive.

Lawson sustained a torn ACL during spring practice last year and, after some initial optimism, did not play at all in 2014.  With the start of Auburn’s spring practice right around the corner, it appears that the defensive end will be nearly a full-go for the 15 sessions.

Nearly is the key word, though, as the Tigers are expected to take the cautious approach with the talented lineman.

“(The coaches) haven’t made those decisions. Our doctors will make those decisions,” new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer when asked how much Lawson will participate. “He’s moving around extremely well. We expect him to partake in a good bit of spring. How much will be determined by our doctors.”

Having a healthy Lawson to start the 2015 season would certainly be a boon for Muschamp’s defense. In 2013 as a true freshman, Lawson was third on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and second in sacks with four.  That performance led Lawson to being a consensus Freshman All-American.

The injury news along the Tigers’ defensive line wasn’t all positive, though, as Muschamp also acknowledged that end DaVonte Lambert will miss the whole of spring practice. Lambert was leading the Tigers defense in sacks when he sustained a season-ending knee injury that kept him out of both the Iron Bowl and the Outback Bowl.

The good news is that Muschamp stated that Lambert is expected to be completely healthy for the start of summer camp.

AU, incidentally, will kick off spring practice March 10.

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Hip injury to sideline UNC QB Marquise Williams for spring practice

Marquise Williams AP

The bad news for North Carolina is that one of the top quarterbacks in its conference will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.  The good news?  The start of a new season is more than six months away.

In a preview article posted on UNC’s official website, the Tar Heels revealed that Marquise Williams will not participate in any of the 15 spring practice sessions because of a hip injury.  When and how Williams sustained the injury was not disclosed.

You can breathe easy, Tar Heel Nation, as the school stated that Williams “will return full speed in August.”

As a redshirt junior last season, Williams was third among ACC quarterbacks in passing efficiency in throwing 21 touchdown passes against nine interceptions.  His 788 rushing yards were 12th among all quarterbacks nationally, while his 13 rushing touchdowns were tied for fourth at the position.  The 35 total touchdowns were tied for 11th in the country.

With Williams sidelined, Mitch Trubisky will get a sizable portion of the first-team reps.  Despite all of Williams’ accomplishments, Trubisky could use the opportunity gain an advantage in what’s being described as a quarterback competition.

“There’s a lot of continuity with ’Quise coming back,” quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf said. “Marquise is our starting quarterback, and it’s been that way since the middle of the season when he kind of took the reins and went with it. But that’s not going to eliminate the competition.”

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Antonio Crawford’s divorce from the ‘Canes is official

Miami v Boston College Getty Images

After nearly a week’s worth of speculation, Antonio Crawford‘s status at Miami has officially been clarified.

Saturday afternoon, Miami officials confirmed that Crawford is no longer a part of the Hurricanes football team.  The divorce comes exactly a week after the cornerback took to social media to vent his frustrations regarding his perception of how he was being treated by the football program.

While Crawford deleted the rant, it apparently didn’t sit well with the coaching staff.

To where the Tampa native will transfer for his senior season is unknown.

Crawford, a three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2012 recruiting class, started two of the 38 games in which he played the last three seasons.  Both of those starts came in 2013.

The defensive back likely would’ve entered summer camp as Miami’s top nickel corner.

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Badgers Settle on new RBs coach

Iowa Hawkeyes v Wisconsin Badgers

A couple of weeks after losing an assistant to an SEC school, it appears Wisconsin has found a replacement.

Citing a source close to the UW program, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported overnight that John Settle is set to be named as the Badgers’ new running backs coach.  Settle would assume the position vacated by Thomas, who left for the same joband a hefty raise — at Georgia earlier this month.

Settle is expected to arrive in Madison on Monday and begin work the next day.

When the move comes to fruition, it would serve as a campus reunion as Settle held the same job with the Badgers from 2006-10.  It would also serve as a working reunion as new UW head coach Paul Chryst had Settle on his 2014 Pittsburgh staff as running backs coach.

In between his UW and Pitt stints, Settle spent three years as an assistant in the NFL.

(Photo credit: Wisconsin athletics)

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TCU WR tweets he’ll finish career at Rutgers

SE Louisiana v TCU Getty Images

A wide receiver who began his collegiate career in the Big 12 will end it in the Big Ten, the player announced on social media Friday.

In a tweet posted to his Twitter account, TCU wide receiver Cam White announced that he would be transferring to Rutgers and finishing out his collegiate playing career with the Scarlet Knights.  Because he will be a graduate transfer, White will be eligible to play immediately for RU in 2015.

This upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

“I get to work towards my Masters at a great program academic wise man that’s a blessing,” White added in another tweet, although he does need to bone up on his Rutgers nomenclature.

Because of concussion issues, White did not play at all in 2014 for the Horned Frogs. In 2013, White was seventh on the team in both receptions (18) and receiving yards (182). The previous year was his best statistically, with his two receiving touchdowns fourth on the team and his 284 receiving yards good for fifth.

White was a three-star member of TCU’s 2011 recruiting class.

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UPDATE: John Chavis files suit against LSU, still in good standing with A&M

Louisiana Monroe v LSU AP

I can’t say with 100-percent certainty, but this might be the first time a college coach has filed a lawsuit against both his former and current employer over a contractual issue.

The parties involved are John Chavis, Texas A&M and LSU.  That’s one of the few things that are clear in this case.

In November of last year, it was reported that Chavis and LSU had reached an agreement on a one-year contract extension that would keep the defensive coordinator with the Tigers through the 2015 season.  A month and a half later, the first reports surfaced that Texas A&M had reached out to gauge Chavis’ interest in its coordinator vacancy; a week later, Chavis-to-TAMU was a done deal according to media reports.  Feb. 13, Chavis’ hiring by A&M was made official.

What happened between Chavis’ LSU contract extension and Chavis’ official A&M hiring is at the heart of a lawsuit filed Friday by the coordinator regarding a $400,000 buyout LSU is pursuing, KBTX-TV is reporting.  In  the lawsuit, Chavis claims he doesn’t owe the six-figure buyout… but if he does, A&M is responsible for paying it.

As for the particulars of the lawsuit, here’s what the television station has gleaned:

Chavis claims under his contract, he was given a right to terminate his employment agreement with LSU without cause with 30 days notice. If there were between zero and 11 months left on the deal, Chavis claimed he would owe nothing to LSU, but if between 11 and 23 months were left, he would owe $400,000 to the university.

On January 2, 2015, Chavis claims LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva demanded that Chavis pay the university $400,000. On January 5, Chavis says he turned in this 30-day notice to terminate the contract without cause, making his last day February 4.

“Based on Chavis’ notice of termination on January 5, 2015, the ‘termination date’ according to the Amendment was effective thirty days after the written notice served to LSU or (sic) February 4, 2015, which falls within the 11th month remaining and Chavis’ Employment Agreement,” reads the suit. According to Chavis, he does not owe LSU $400,000 as a result.

On the A&M side, Chavis’ suit states that his current employer is “currently obligated to satisfy or cause to be satisfied the liquidated damages, if any, associated with Chavis’ previous Employment Agreement with LSU.” The problem with that? A&M is “unwilling to tender the liquidated damages demanded by LSU because it does [not] believe that liquidated damages are called for under the Employment Agreement as mentioned above,” the suit claims.

I don’t know how this will play out on either side, but I’m going to make a double batch of popcorn, just in case.

UPDATE [9:00 p.m. ET]: John Chavis remains in good standing with his current employer.

Texas A&M University denied any claim that a suit has been filed against it by Chavis, nor does the institution agree that their new defensive coordinator owes the LSU Tigers anything.

Texas A&M released a short statement Friday night, via The Advocate:

UPDATE [10:55 p.m. ET]: Texas A&M University released a short statement early Friday evening. LSU responded in kind later that night.

LSU expects John Chavis‘ lawsuit to be dropped over matters of proper jurisdiction, while the university counter-sued its former defensive coordinator in order to claim the $400,000 buyout stipulated in his previous contract:

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Texas Tech’s DC David Gibbs plans to use Justis Nelson at CB

Jhajuan Seales, Justis Nelson

Defensive back Justis Nelson experienced a breakthrough season as a sophomore. Nelson was named an honorable mention to the All-Big 12 team and a First-Team Academic All-Big 12 performer. However, he didn’t find a permanent home in the Red Raiders secondary.

Nelson played both safety and cornerback last season. But where will new defensive coordinator David Gibbs use this fall?

“We’re going to start him at corner and teach him the corner techniques, because at least the first two days — maybe more than that — we’re just going to be in base defense with three linebackers and teach him to play corner,” Gibbs told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams.

Nelson, who came to Lubbock as a three-star athlete, began his career at safety before switching to cornerback. Due to depth issues, he returned to safety. While the Red Raiders staff expects him to be a starting cornerback, Nelson will likely play some safety during the upcoming season.

“There are going to be times when he’s going to have to play safety, which I’ve done it (with starting cornerbacks),” Gibbs said. “I’ve had my starting corner in base be a safety in nickel and be the nickel in nickel.

“If he has the ability to go play safety and he’s better than my third safety, then I’ll move him to safety and bring those other corners in the game and let them play.”

Nelson’s length at 6’2″ and 179 pounds makes him an ideal cornerback, and he’s already shown the ability to close on the ball to make a play. The Mesquite, Texas, native led the team with 16 pass breakups, which was the school’s highest total since 2002.

However, his new coach hopes Nelson can turn those broken up passes into interceptions during his junior campaign.

“Justis could have had eight freakin’ interceptions last year,” Gibbs said. “He (then-defensive coordinator Mike Smith) put him in the right position. He could have. He didn’t. He’s got to catch those balls. If he catches those balls, it’s a whole different game.”

Whether or not Nelson makes those catches or not, he is still one of the team’s best defenders. The flexibility he provides in the secondary gives Gibbs plenty of options as he instills a new scheme to improve upon last year’s 95th-ranked pass defense.

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Kansas State schedules two home-and-home series against SEC programs

Kansas State v Iowa State

The Kansas State Wildcats apparently learned a lesson after the Big 12 Conference was shut out of the first College Football Playoff. The program is now beefing up its future non-conference schedules.

Bill Snyder‘s squad decided to invade the SEC — that is, if Coach Snyder is still coaching the team in 2017 (and I wouldn’t bet against it).

Kansas State scheduled a pair of home-of-home series with SEC programs, according to ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy:

The Wildcats’ non-conference schedule prior to 2017 includes the South Dakota Coyotes, UTSA Roadrunners, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Missouri State Bears and Florida Atlantic Owls. Not one opponent from a power conference counted among the lot.

Not only is it important for the Wildcats to improve the team’s non-conference schedule, but games against SEC teams will improve the team’s recruiting presence in the Southeast.

Snyder’s staff showed more of an emphasis on recruiting traditional SEC states this year with six commitments from Alabama, Florida and Georgia in the 2015 class. The trend should continue with the team’s agreements to play four games against SEC opponents from 2017-20.

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Bret Bielema explains approach to recruit new coaches to his staff

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema doesn’t want to do things like everyone else. That applies to his coaching hires, too.

First, Bielema made the surprise move to poach a sitting head coach from the MAC by hiring Dan Enos as the team’s new offensive coordinator.

He rounded out his coaching staff Wednesday with the hire of Jemal Singleton as the team’s new running backs coach.

Neither of these hires went through a traditional hiring process, though.

“To get to where we are today was kind of a unique process,” Bielema said, via CoachingSearch.com.. “I had a list of names. I was talking to [Air Force head coach] Troy Calhoun at the rules committee meeting, and Coach Calhoun would come watch us when we were at Wisconsin. I’d asked him about another coach that had previously worked for him, and he looked at me and said, ‘You need a running backs coach?’ ‘Yeah, I do, I’m losing my guy to the Saints.’ He goes, ‘I’ve got the guy for you.’ He mentioned Jemal.

“I was impressed the first time I read his bio. He hurdled past everybody else. I had a list of probably 23 coaches at one point. To finally get a chance to sit down with him Monday and visit was an easy decision.

“Whether that’s a normal process or not, I met with him, Coach Enos met with him, he had individual meeting time with every one of our offensive coaches. It’s just how I do it. I also have my secretaries sit down with him. I have my DFO sit down and have breakfast with him. I’ll have my recruiting staff take him to lunch. It’s a team atmosphere. You cultivate that in the way you recruit people.”

It can’t be too difficult to recruit a position coach when Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins form the best running back duo in college football. Singleton will simply be the beneficiary of the talent on the roster after impressing everyone around the Razorbacks program.

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Spurrier ‘letting legal system play out’ on 2015 signee

Shameik Blackshear

Arrested earlier this month, 2015 signee Shameik Blackshear remains a part of the plans for the South Carolina football program in 2015 and beyond.  Whether that will remain the case moving forward remains to be seen.

In his first public comments since Blackshear was charged, head coach Steve Spurrier said he and the program are essentially in wait-and-see mode, and that they’ll make a decision once the criminal proceedings have run their course.

We’ll let the legal system play out,” Spurrier told The State newspaper earlier today. “He’s claiming his innocence, so we’ll see what happens.”

Blackshear is alleged to have taken a purse and safe from a Mill Creek (SC) home Feb. 7. The total value of the items contained in the purse and safe totaled nearly $1,400. He was arrested at his high school and charged with one count of petit larceny.

If Blackshear is able to get past his legal hurdles, he has the type of potential to contribute to the Gamecocks’ defense immediately.

A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Blackshear was a rated as the No. 18 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.  Only two other Gamecock defensive signees in a class that ranked 19th nationally were higher-rated than Blackshear.

Blackshear, the first commitment to USC’s 2015 class when he verballed back in May of 2013, earned those lofty recruiting marks despite missing most of the past two seasons due to injuries, one of which was an ACL tear incurred last September.  Entering the 2015 season and prior to the significant knee injury, the 6-4, 245-pound lineman was the top-rated player in the state and was a Rivals.com five-star.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

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