Mizzou adds 20 in 2013 recruiting class

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(Below is Missouri’s press release on the players added as part of its 2013 recruiting class.)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Twenty standout student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of Missouri and play football for Head Coach Gary Pinkel, as announced today.

“We are very pleased and excited to welcome a very talented group of young men to join our program at Mizzou,” said Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We feel that this is a high-quality group of players who are good fits for areas of need. This is a versatile group that is excited to be part of our family, and help us compete for championships,” he said.

As of the early afternoon, the new Tiger group was ranked 28th in the country according to its average star rating by Rivals. Overall, the class of newest Tigers has been rated as the 37th-best nationally, according to ESPN, and as the country’s No. 48 class by Rivals.

The winning tradition and academic reputation of the Tiger program under Head Coach Gary Pinkel was surely an attraction for a skilled class of student-athletes. Mizzou continues to excel in the classroom, as it has graduated more than 90 percent of its seniors since 2007. The Tigers played in sevenstraight bowl games from 2005-2011.

In all, 11 of the state of Missouri’s top football talents signed to play for their home state school. Mizzou brought in five of the state’s overall top 10, according to ESPN. The Tiger coaching staff additionally sought out talent from around the Southeastern Conference’s footprint, bringing in student-athletes from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

Mizzou’s previous eight classes rated, according to Rivals: 29th in 2002, 28th in 2003, 29th in 2004, 39th in 2005, 47th in 2006, 33rd in 2007, 24th in 2008, 35th in 2009, 21st in 2010, 48th in 2011 and 48th in 2012.

2013 Missouri Recruiting Class

After stops at TCU, Arkansas State, Cameron Echols-Luper to give WKU a try

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Maybe the third time will be a charm for Cameron Echols-Luper?

On his personal Instagram account Wednesday, Echols-Luper revealed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Western Kentucky.  According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the decision was made following a visit to the school earlier this week.

As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Hilltoppers. However, he has to finish up some schoolwork at his former school, Arkansas State, before officially moving on to WKU.

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Echols-Luper began his collegiate career at TCU in 2013, transferring to ASU in 2015. After sitting out that season, he was third on the Red Wolves in receptions (26) and receiving yards (407). His 15.7 yards per reception was second on the team.

Ex-USC DL Noah Jefferson won’t be transferring to Arizona after all

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In early March, Noah Jefferson announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from USC to Arizona.  Nearly five months later?

Never mind.

Wednesday, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jefferson will not, as previously expected, be playing for the Wildcats this season.  No reason for the abrupt and unexpected about-face was given.

The coach did, though, intimate that a future pairing between the player and the program isn’t out of the question.

Jefferson wouldn’t have been eligible to play in 2017 for the Wildcats even if his move to the desert had come to fruition. He would’ve, though, had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018 at his disposal.

A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama last season, Jefferson never played another down for USC.

Hugh Freeze makes first public comments since exiting Ole Miss in disgrace

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For the first time since his unceremonious exit from Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze has spoken publicly.  Somewhat.

In what was described as a brief interview with USA Today Sports Wednesday, the former Ole Miss head coach said his family and church have helped him get through the storm of the last few days. When asked if his family was standing by him, Freeze responded, “Oh, gosh, yeah.”

“God is good, even in difficult times,’’ Freeze told the website. “Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority.”

“I got some good friends,” the former head coach added.

The stunning news dropped last Thursday night that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service.  While Freeze blamed the call on a misdial, the administration found a “pattern of misconduct” during a deep dive into his phone records, leading the school to confront the coach about the situation.

After meetings with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, it became apparent that, if he didn’t resign, the school was going to fire him.

Because of a moral turpitude clause in his contract, there was neither a buyout nor a settlement.

Five-star 2017 Auburn signee undergoes ‘minor procedure,’ should be a go for start of summer camp

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It appears Auburn has dodged what could’ve been a significant injury bullet.

Citing a person familiar with the situation, Brandon Marcello of the Auburn arm of 247Sports.com is reporting that Calvin Ashley underwent a procedure on one of his eyes recently.  SECCountry.com described it as “a minor procedure”; both websites stated that the touted offensive tackle will be ready for the start of summer camp on July 31, this coming Monday.

The reports come a few days after Ashley posted a picture on social media of what appeared to be him in a hospital room.

The football program has not yet, at least publicly, addressed what if any type of health issue with which Ashley is dealing.

A five-star member of the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class, Ashley was rated as the No. 6 tackle in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in Washington D.C.; and the No. 27 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Ashley was the highest-rated player in AU’s class this year, the only five-star recruit pulled in by Gus Malzahn and company this cycle.

The 6-6, 310-pound Ashley is expected to compete immediately for the starting job at left tackle.