Alabama Football

Long an Auburn commit, Dee Liner signs with Tide

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Monday night, five-star linebacker Reuben Foster, a one-time Auburn verbal commitment, announced that he would sign with Alabama.

Two days later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat for another highly-touted former AU commit.

Four-star defensive lineman Dee Liner confirmed growing speculation over the past couple of weeks, announcing Wednesday afternoon that he will be signing with Alabama.  Liner had long been an AU verbal, committing to the Tigers in June of 2011 and sticking to that pledge through a three-win season that led to a coaching change.

In mid-January, however, the Muscle Shoals (Ala.) lineman publicly announced that he had decommitted from Auburn.  While he would only state that he was reopening his recruitment and did not decommit with a particular team in mind, it has long been thought he would stay in-state with the Tide.

Liner is the No. 7 defensive tackle according to Rivals.com and the No. 61 player at any position.  His addition also helped push the Tide back ahead of Ohio State in Rivals‘ team rankings.

Don’t shed too many tears for Auburn, however, as the Tigers are putting together a very strong class, particularly along the defensive line.  AU currently holds down the No. 9 spot in the country after coming into the day tied with Ole Miss for No. 11.

As for Foster, there was some concern/snark that he might flip back to Auburn on signing day.  That turned out not to be the case as the linebacker did indeed sign and fax his National Letter of Intent to Alabama, officially making him the third five-star member of the two-time defending BCS champion’s 2013 class.

And, in a nod to his new head coach, Foster displayed a flash of style as he put pen to paper:

Reuben Foster

No, that’s not a tanned, bulked-up Nick Saban.  Yes, and thanks to the Opelika-Auburn News, that’s Foster honoring Saban with the coach’s trademark hat/vest combo.

Well played, Reuben.  Well played.

Report: NCAA finds 13 violations against Ole Miss football, nine under Hugh Freeze

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 25:  Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels reacts to a call during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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When word first broke of NCAA violations against Ole Miss, word from the Rebels’ football program was one of caution, for it was uncertain how many were targeted against football versus women’s basketball and track and field.

It appears we now know.

On Tuesday evening, the Associated Press reported the NCAA levied 13 allegations out of a possible 28 against the Ole Miss football team, nine of which occurred under the watch of head coach Hugh Freeze. However, it appears the most serious violations were either already know or took place during the Houston Nutt regime.

Included in the allegations are Laremy Tunsil‘s improper benefits, for which the left tackle already sat seven games. Also included are accusations former Nutt assistant David Saunders participated in a scheme to produce fraudulent test scores for recruits — the same allegations currently levied against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The remaining allegations, as detailed by the AP, include run-of-the-mill violations such as having the wrong people provide transportation on recruiting visits or assistant coaches making improper contact with recruits, many of which Ole Miss has already self-reported.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

AAC releases 2016 conference schedule

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The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).

Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.

The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.

The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.

View the full AAC slate here:

 

Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees hired as Chargers offensive assistant

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 2, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.

The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.

After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.