Purdue announce 2013 recruiting class

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

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue head football coach Darrell Hazell announced the signing of 23 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Boilermakers.

The class features three early enrollees in quarterback Danny Etling, defensive end John Strauser and running back David Yancey.

The group hails from seven different states, with five each from Georgia, Florida and Ohio, three each from Illinois and Indiana and one each from Kentucky and Texas.

(Writer’s note: below the jump are the complete bios of all 23 members of Purdue’s 2013 recruiting class.)

Matt Burke
TE
6-6 / 220
West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman

• Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.

• Caught 29 passes for 343 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.

• 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant.

• Ranked as the No. 10 area prospect (out of 60) by the Palm Beach Post.

• Caught 23 passes for 242 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.

Keith Byars III
RB
5-10 / 200
Boca Raton, Fla./Milford Academy/Boca

• Played one season at Milford Academy in New York.

• Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com coming out of Boca Raton High School.

• Rushed for 655 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior at Boca Raton in 2011.

• Finished with 484 and seven scores as a junior.

• Son of former Ohio State standout and 13-year NFL veteran Keith Byars.

Leroy Clark
DB
5-10 / 175
Miami, Fla./Archbishop Carroll

• Rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 37 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com.

• Three-star prospect and the No. 64 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com.

• Had 80 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown as a senior.

• Participated in the 2013 Private vs. Public Game in Miami in January.

Johnny Daniels
DT
6-5 / 255
Chicago, Ill./Foreman

• Amassed 43 tackles (10.8 per game) in merely four games as a senior, finishing with eight tackles for loss with one sack

• Had with 43 tackles, including seven for losses with three sacks, and three fumbles forced as junior.

• Preseason Top 100 player in the Chicago area.

• Two-year team captain.

• All-City Team “Chicago Big Shoulders” as a junior and senior.

• 2012 Defensive Player of the Year.

Dalyn Dawkins
RB
5-9 / 175
Louisville, Ky./Trinity

• Four-star recruit and the No. 36 running back nationally by Scout.com.

• Three-star prospect and the No. 9 player in Kentucky by Rivals.com.

• 2012 Louisville Courier-Journal second-team All-State selection.

• As a senior, ran for 1,479 yards and 18 touchdowns, while catching five touchdowns on 38 receptions for 367 yards.

Danny Etling
QB
6-3 / 218
Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute South Vigo

• Mid-year enrollee.

• Rated as a four-star prospect and listed as the No. 9 “Pro-Style Quarterback” by Rivals.com.

• Four-star prospect, ranked No. 175 on the Top 300 and the No. 12-ranked “Pro-Style Quarterback” by ESPN.com.

• Listed by MaxSports.com’s Tom Lemming as the No. 20 “Pro-Style Quarterback” in the nation among the 2013 class.

• Participated at the 2013 Offense-Defense All-America Bowl Game in Houston.

• Selected as one of 25 prep quarterbacks nationally to compete at the Elite 11 finals in Redondo Beach, Calif., last summer.

• As a senior, threw for 1,505 yards and 11 touchdowns for South Vigo

• Cousin, Joe Holland, was a four-year starter at linebacker for the Boilermakers from 2008-11.

Danny Ezechukwu
LB
6-3 / 240
Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain

• Listed as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Named 6-AAAAA All-Region first team.

Keyante Green
RB
5-9 / 205
McDonough, Ga./Eagle’s Landing Christian

• Four-star prospect, No. 266-rated overall player in the nation and No. 23-ranked running back by ESPN.com.

• Three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

• Three-star prospect by 247sports.com.

• The-star recruit by Scout.com.

• Rushed for over 1,200 and 17 touchdowns as a senior.

Ra’Zahn Howard
DT
6-4 / 315
Dawsonville, Ga./Atlanta Sports Academy

• Third team All-State selection at defensive tackle and helped lead Asbury Park High School (New Jersey) to NJSIAA state championship in 2011.

• Keyed Asbury Park defense which allowed just 464 rushing yards all season.

• Named as the Class B Central Defensive Player of the Year.

• Had 68 tackles with 12 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries.

• Also three fumbles forced and 31 tackles for loss.

• Named first team All-Shore Conference.

• Finished with 57 tackles and had 10 sacks as a junior at Winslow Township High School.

Da’Wan Hunte
CB
5-10 / 180
Miami, Fla./Miami Central

• Rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Three-star recruit by Rivals.com

• Helped lead Miami Central High School to back-to-back Class 6A state titles his junior and senior seasons.

• Finished with 68 total tackles, a fumble forced, a fumble recovered and two interceptions as a senior.

• Recorded 87 tackles with two fumbles recovered and two interceptions as a junior.

Tyvel Jemison
CB
5-11 / 175
Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers

• Three-star prospect, the No. 10-ranked player in Indiana and No. 52 cornerback nationally by Rivals.com.

• Three-star prospect and No. 94 cornerback nationally by Scout.com.

• High School, Bishop Luers, won four consecutive Class 2A state titles during prep playing career.

• Had five interceptions and 81 tackles as a senior.

• Registered 67 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a junior.

Austin Logan
S
6-0 / 190
Tallahassee, Fla./Florida

• Three-star recruit and the No. 26 safety in the nation by ESPN.com.

• Three-star prospect by Rivals.com.

• Finished with 50 tackles, 38 solo, with six tackles for loss with a sack as a senior.

• As a junior, had 38 total tackles, including 29 solo stops, two interceptions, including one for a score, had five pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.

Antoine Miles
DE
6-3 / 250
Canton, Ohio/McKinley

• Three-star prospect and the No. 68 player in Ohio by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit and No. 55 defensive end nationally by ESPN.com.

• Three-star recruit and the No. 70 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.

• Had 73 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss and 12 sacks, during senior season.

• Played in the Semper Fidelis Bowl in Carson, Calif., in Jan.

Dan Monteroso
WR
6-3 / 185
Saint Clairsville, Ohio/Saint Clairsville

• Three-star prospect and the No. 72 player in Ohio by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit and No. 128 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com.

• Three-star prospect and No. 133 wide receiver nationally by ESPN.com.

• Named first team Division IV All-Ohio after a state runner-up finish.

• Had 68 catches for 1,483 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior in 2012.

• Also an accomplished basketball player, ranks among the top 25 scorers in Ohio.

Myles Norwood
WR
6-0 / 185
Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep

• Three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• First team all-district on both offense and defense in 2012 and offense only in 2011.

• Second team all-state on defense as a senior in 2012.

• First team all-state on offense as a junior in 2011.

• Had 47 receptions for 1,010 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2011.

• Honorable mention all-state on offense as a sophomore in 2010.

Evan Panfil
DE
6-5 / 240
New Lennox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central

• Three-star prospect and the No. 33-ranked player in Illinois by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit by ESPN.com.

• Had 55 tackles and nine sacks as a senior

• Three-year varsity starter.

• Grandfather, Ken, uncle, Vince, and cousin, Jeff, all played football at Purdue.

• Uncle, Barry Panfil, played for the Miami Hurricanes and won national championships in 1987 and 1989.

Dezwan Polk-Campbell
LB
6-4 / 215
Columbus, Ohio/Whetstone

• Three-year starter in football.

• Two-time all-city selection.

• Had 93 tackles, including 34 for losses with nine sacks, an interception, five fumbles forced and three touchdowns as a senior.

• Finished with 63 tackles, including five for losses with four sacks as a junior. Also had an interception and two fumbles recovered.

• Had 60 tackles, including three sacks, with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery as a sophomore.

• Also competes in track and field, running as part of the 4×100 and 4x400m relay teams and in the high jump.

Jake Replogle
DE
6-4 / 240
Centerville, Ohio/Centerville

• Three-star prospect by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit by Scout.com.

• Three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Brothers, Tyler, Mike and Adam, all played football at Indiana.

• Finished with 46 tackles, with 8.5 sacks, a fumble forced and a fumble recovered as a senior in 2012.

• Had 42 tackles, including 13 for losses with six sacks, as a junior in 2011.

John Strauser
DE
6-4 / 235
Champaign, Ill./Saint Thomas More

• Mid-year enrollee.

• Three-star prospect and 35th-ranked player in Illinois by Rivals.com.

• Named an all-area player at St. Thomas More by the News-Gazette following the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

• Two-way all-conference selection in 2012, setting a school record for tackles as a junior (146) and following up with 142 as a senior.

• Had eight tackles for loss in 2012 and 24 in his career.

• Uncle, Paul Chryst, is the head football coach at Pitt.

Johnny Thompson
LB
6-3 / 200
Winder, Ga./Apalachee

• Three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

• Three-star prospect by Scout.com.

• First team all-region tight end as a senior. Due to injuries, started three games at right tackle and seven at tight end. Finished with seven tackles for loss with two sacks on defense.

• 2012 Athens Banner Herald preseason “Terrific 10” selection.

• Second team all-region as a junior after finishing with 52 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble.

• Honorable mention all-region as a sophomore with 42 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five sacks, a fumble forced, a fumble recovered and an interception in 2010.

Jason Tretter
OL
6-6 / 300
Richfield, Ohio/Revere

• Three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Associated Press Division II second-team All-Ohio selection as a senior and first-team All-Suburban League.

• Will play in the All-Ohio North-South game in April.

David Yancey
RB
5-10 / 205
Saint John, Ind./Lake Central

• Mid-year enrollee.

• Three-star prospect and the No. 22 player in Indiana by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit and No. 92 running back in the nation by Scout.com.

• Three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Rushed for 1,345 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping to lead Lake Central High School to a Duneland Conference championship as a junior in 2011.

• Finished with 1,168 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2012 before injury derailed senior season.

Deangelo Yancey
WR
6-2 / 200
Atlanta, Ga./Mays

• Three-star prospect by ESPN.com.

• Three-star prospect by Rivals.com.

• Three-star recruit by Scout.com.

• Had 29 catches for over 600 yards and eight touchdowns his senior season.

• Finished with 28 receptions for 561 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

• Named 6-AAAAA All-Region first team, as well as second team All-State.

Jim McElwain reportedly signs deal to join Michigan coaching staff

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The Jim McElwain watch in Ann Arbor is essentially done. ESPN reports the former head coach of the Florida Gators has signed a deal to join Jim Harbaugh as a new member of the Michigan coaching staff. Michigan has not formally announced the new addition yet, but McElwain told ESPN he is getting to work right away as a wide receivers coach.

I’m excited to get back into it and am looking forward to going there and learning and helping Michigan get better,” McElwain said to ESPN‘s Chris Low, who reported the latest update in the ongoing McElwain-To-Michigan story. It has been quite a year for McElwain, who has now gone from wanting to “beat the heck out of Michigan” to joining Harbaugh as an offensive assistant (Harbaugh was 2-0 against McElwain in head-to-head meetings between Michigan and Florida).

McElwain was fired by Florida last October in the midst of a disappointing season after discrepancies in McElwain’s claims about receiving death threats could not be backed up by the coach. Florida bought out McElwain’s contract at a reported $7.5 million.

Michigan had been looking to fill the role of receivers coach following the abrupt departure of Dan Enos to Alabama. Enos joined the Michigan coaching staff for a cup of coffee, getting hired in January after the Arkansas coaching staff was given an overhaul with the firing of Bret Bielema only to leave for a job with Nick Saban. McElwain, of course, is one of many coaches to jump into head coaching off the Saban coaching tree in recent years, first with Colorado State and most recently with Florida.

Previous reports have floated the idea McElwain will call plays for the Wolverines, but that remains unconfirmed.

Drag racing accident leads to arrest for Mississippi State commit

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Mississippi State commit Nathaniel Watson has gotten himself into some legal trouble before his arrival at Mississippi State. Watson, currently a high school senior, was charged with assault first degree and a handful of traffic violations following a traffic accident earlier this month. Another student from Watson’s high school was arrested for reckless endangerment and other traffic violations as well. The two are accused of drag racing.

“The accident occurred after Tyrone Davis, also a student at [Maplesville High School], lined up in front of the school with his vehicle along with Nathaniel Watson’s vehicle for a race, witnesses stated that they lined up side by side and floored it, and both vehicles were squalling their tires and fishtailing up the highway heading into town,” according to an Maplesville Police Department press release (via The Clanton Advertiser). “As the racing vehicles topped a hill, an oncoming car caused Nathaniel Watson Jr. to swerve and lose control striking a power pole, cutting it in half and knocking power out to portions of Maplesville.”

A passenger in Watson’s vehicle suffered a crushed femur, fractured pelvis, a broken right arm and internal injuries. Neither vehicle involved in the accident was insured. Watson currently awaits a date in court in a county court. There has been no update or comment from Mississippi State’s football program or head coach Joe Moorehead about Watson or his status with the football program at this time.

Watson signed with Mississippi State on February 7. The wide receiver and two-sport athlete signed with Mississippi State over Auburn.

NCAA rule prevents Penn State football players from participating in THON activity

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This weekend is the annual THON dance marathon at Penn State, which has traditionally done wonders in racking up donations to help fight pediatric cancer. This year, however, the NCAA rulebook is getting in the way of one of the events members of Penn State’s football team typically participate in.

A message from Penn State informed media members there would be no media availability for football players at the THON event at the Lasch Building due to an NCAA rule regarding time restrictions in the offseason.

“We were informed this afternoon that due to the NCAA Time Management regulations, our current student-athletes are not permitted to participate in the THON event at the Lasch Building nor conduct media interviews [today] as it is a mandatory day off for the team,” a statement from Penn State Associate Director of Athletic Communications Kris Petersen said.

Members of Penn State’s football team have typically spent part of the day interacting with kids benefitting from THON’s mission, but that has tended to overlap with offseason days already scheduled through the athletics department for the football program. Because this was a scheduled day off for the football program, players are not permitted to take part in any organized activity while representing the football team. Although, one wonders just how far the NCAA would have been willing to challenge Penn State on this infraction in the event there was a conflict.

Players on the team can still participate and appear at the main event in the Bryce Jordan Center, and a couple already have along with head coach James Franklin.

Georgia football coaches all getting well-deserved raises

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File this one under stories that should have been expected from a mile away. The football staff at Georgia, following up on an SEC title and appearance in the College Football Playoff national championship game, are getting bumps in pay. As a whole, the assistant coaching staff under head coach Kirby Smart will be paid roughly $2 million more than the staff received a year ago, according to a report from Seth Emerson of Dawg Nation.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will see the biggest pay raise with of $900,000 to bump his total pay up to $1.5 million. That would make him one of the top assistant coaches in assistant coaching salaries. Based off last year’s USA Today salary database, Tucker would be the fifth highest-paid assistant coach, and that may even be higher now given some of the offseason changes in the assistant coaching pool. Last year, four assistant coaches received a total pay of at least $1.5 million, and three of them were in the SEC (LSU’s Dave Arranda and Matt Canada, and Texas A&M’s John Chavis; Clemson’s Brent Venables was the outlier).

Keeping in line with another growing trend when it comes to power conference programs and how much money is budgeted for the football staff, Georgia will give strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair a $150,000 raise from his previous contract of $300,000.

What has not been finalized, publicly at least, is what the future holds for the contract of Smart. After a wildly successful season, Smart is expected to receive a raise as well as Georgia continues to build something special under his leadership after just two seasons. Smart was paid a base salary of $3.75 million last year, according to USA Today’s salary database, which made him the 9th highest-paid coach in the SEC in 2017. That is fair, considering Smart was a first-time head coach and other coaches in the conference had more head coaching experience, but Smart has quickly proven himself among his peers in the conference and is likely to move up the SEC coaching salary ranking quite quickly. Nick Saban (Alabama) and now Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M) may still be on another playing field in terms of salary, but Smart should manage to move up closer to the high-end of the SEC salary spectrum.