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Wazzu adds 24 as part of 2013 signing class

UCLA v Washington State Getty Images

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

The following student-athletes signed Financial Aid Agreements or a National Letter of Intent and enrolled at WSU in January and are attending classes:

LYMAN FAOLIU
Defensive End
6-2 / 275
Vallejo, Calif. / Vallejo HS / College of San Mateo ‘12

FAOLIU’S JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER
Attended College of San Mateo…as a FRESHMAN, tallied 36 tackles with 6.5 tackles-for-loss including two sacks…also intercepted one pass and forced one fumble…as a SOPHOMORE, named to the All-NorCal Conference team…recorded 46 tackles including 3.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks…also recovered a fumble…rated three stars by Rivals.com and member of ESPN’s Top-100 Junior College players…enrolled in January and have three years to play two.

FAOLIU’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Vallejo High School…as a JUNIOR, earned all-league second team honors as a defensive lineman…as a SENIOR, named all-league first team as both an offensive and defensive lineman…also threw shotput and discus.

IVAN McLENNAN
Linebacker
6-3 / 220
Hawthorne, Calif. / Leuzinger HS ‘11 / El Camino College ‘12

MCLENNAN’S JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER
Attended …as a FRESHMAN, earned All-Central Conference honors after making 77 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks…intercepted one pass and recovered three fumbles…as a SOPHOMORE earned Junior College All-American honors and First Team All-Central Conference honors after making 79 stops including 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks…had one interception he returned of a touchdown…also forced a fumble and recovered one…rated three stars by Rivals.com…rated the No. 24 junior college prospect and No. 2 outside linebacker prospect by 247Sports.com.

MCLENNAN’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Leuzinger High School…as a SENIOR, named All-Bay League i rst team and defensive MVP of 2011 Lions All-Star game.

JACOB SEYDEL
Offensive Lineman
6-6 / 285
Riverside, Calif. / Arlington HS ’11 / Riverside City College ‘13

SEYDEL’S COLLEGE CAREER
Attended Riverside City College…full qualifier out of high school, went to junior college route…as a FRESHMAN, earned All-Central Conference second team honors…enrolled at UCLA following freshman year but came back to Riverside for the 2012 season…as a SOPHOMORE, named to All-Central Conference first team…rated two stars by Rivals.com…enrolled in January and will have three to play two.

SEYDEL’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Arlington High School…as a SOPHOMORE, named All-Inland Valley League honorable mention…as a JUNIOR, earned First Team All-Inland Valley League honors and helped Lions to a 10-2 record…as a SENIOR, named First Team All-Inland Valley League and helped AHS to a 9-2 record.

ROBERT LEWIS
Wide Receiver
5-10, 160
South Gate, Calif. (South East HS)

As a SOPHOMORE made 14 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns and carried 137 times for 1,085 yards and seven scores…as a JUNIOR earned second team All-Los Angeles and first team All-Eastern League honors…rushed 142 times for 1,090 yards and seven scores…caught 14 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns…had two punt returns for touchdowns, one kickoff return for a touchdown and also scored once on a fake punt…as a SENIOR was named the Player of the Year in the division, league and region…led South East HS to a 13-1 record and its inaugural City Section D-II Championship…also played running back, safety and returned kicks…scored 36 total touchdowns…had 203 carries for 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns, and 20 receptions of 338 yards…as a defensive back made 59 tackles, five interceptions and blocked three kicks…named All-Area First Team by the Los Angeles Times and was All-Los Angeles City Section Division II Team…ranked the nation’s No. 10 running back prospect by Rivals.com…named No. 26 prospect in California by ESPNU…rated four stars by ESPNU rated the No. 106 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com…rated the No. 13 wide receiver prospect in the West by FoxSportsNext.com.

B.J. SALMONSON
Offensive Lineman
6-5, 285
Everson, Wash. (Nooksack Valley HS)

As a JUNIOR named first-team Class 1A all-state as a defensive lineman and all-state honorable mention as an offensive lineman by Associated Press…named all-classii cations Whatcom County and first-team all-NWC on both lines… finished season with 78 tackles (30 solo) including 16.5 for loss and 9.5 sacks…as a SENIOR named to 2011 Ron Siegel Washington State Preseason Senior All-State Team…named i rst-team all-state on offensive line by Associated Press… named to Seattle Times Red Chip list.

The following signees plan to enroll at WSU in August, 2013:

DAQUAWN BROWN
Cornerback
6-0 / 175
Los Angeles, Calif. / Dorsey HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Dorsey High School….as a JUNIOR, earned all-league second team honors after making 52 tackles, 30 solo, and three interceptions…as a SENIOR, named All-City Section i rst team, All-Coliseum League first team and All-Region first team by the Los Angeles Times …made 55 tackles, five interceptions and broke up 10 passes…returned two kickoffs for touchdowns…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl…named Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the Cal-State All-America game…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 33 cornerback in the country and No. 55 overall prospect in California by Rivals.com…high school teammates with current Cougar linebacker Jeremiah Allison.

TYLER BRUGGMAN
Quarterback
6-2 / 202
Phoenix, Ariz. / Brophy College Prep ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Brophy College Prepatory and played for coach Scooter Molander…as a SOPHOMORE, earned All-Region honorable mention after passing for 1,304 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions…as a JUNIOR, helped Brophy Prep to an 11-1 record…named Phoenix Metro Player of the Year by Arizona Republic after completing 156-of-259 passes for 2,497 yards and 37 touchdowns and two interceptions…as a SENIOR, guided Brophy Prep to an 11-3 record and earned all classification All-State second team by the Arizona Football Coaches Association…also named All-State Division I honorable mention by Arizona Republic, Division I Section III Offensive Player of the Year …completed 177-of-323 (.548) passes for 2,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions…also rushed for four touchdowns…threw for 300+ yards three times and tossed 3+ touchdowns seven times…threw for 368 yards and six touchdowns against Pinnacle High School….named to Academic All-State first team…rated four stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com… one of 12 quarterbacks named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…ranked the No. 49 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com…ranked the No. 18 quarterback prospect in the country by Rivals.com…ranked the No. 2 overall prospect and top quarterback prospect in Arizona by ESPN.com.

RIVER CRACRAFT
Wide Receiver
6-2 / 205
Trabuco Canyon, Calif. / Santa Margarita HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Santa Margarita High School…as a JUNIOR, earned All-State, All-CIF and All-Trinity League honors after catching 46 passes for 654 yards and six touchdowns…helped SMHS to a CIF State D1 title…as a SENIOR, named All-County by the Orange County Register and Trinity League Offensive Player of the Year after recording 51 receptions for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns…also intercepted one pass and recorded i ve pass breakups…selected to play in South Bay BMW West Coast Bowl, caught two passes for 32 yards including a 17-yard touchdown…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 91 overall prospect out of California by ESPN.com…high school teammates with fellow Cougar signee Riley Sorenson.

ISAAC DOTSON
ATHLETE
6-3 / 210
Bellevue, Wash. / Newport HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Newport High School…as a JUNIOR, rushed for 741 yards and 12 touchdowns…also passed for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns…also named All-League in basketball…as a SENIOR, earned All-Area honors by the Seattle Times and allleague i rst team after rushing for 1,047 yards and 17 touchdowns…also threw for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns…named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 100 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by Rivals.com and ESPN.com…ranked the No. 16 prospect in Washington by ESPN.com…father, Michael, wrestled for the Cougars 1983-86, was a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 qualii er and earned All-American honors as junior.

DANIEL EKUALE
Defensive Line
6-4 / 290
Pago Pago, American Samoa / Nuuuli Technical HS ‘12

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Nuuuli Techincal High School, graduated in 2012…rated three stars by Scout.com…ranked the No. 92 defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com and America Samoa’s top overall prospect by 247sports.com.

CARLOS FREEMAN
Offensive Line
6-3 / 290
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Midwest City HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Midwest City High School…as a SENIOR, helped MCHS to an 11-1 record and earned All-State accolades from the Oklahoma Coaches Association…named District 3 Offensive Lineman of the Year…also ranked state’s No. 1 heavyweight wrestler… allowed just one sack in 23 career starts…named to The Oklahoman’s Super 30 prospect list for the state of Oklahoma…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 25 center prospect in the country by Scout.com and the No. 11 overall prospect out of Oklahoma by ESPN.com…carries a 4.0 GPA.

DARIUS LEMORA
Safety
6-0 / 185
Port Arthur, Texas / Memorial HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Memorial High School…as a JUNIOR, earned 5A All-State honorable mention by the Associated Press…as a SENIOR, earned All-District second team after making 54 tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups…earned Academic All-District first team…rated two stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…named the No. 96 safety prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

PAULO LEPUA
Defensive Line
6-3 / 265
Habor City, Calif. / Narbonne HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Narbonne High School…as a JUNIOR, tallied 14 sacks…as a SENIOR, named Los Angeles City Lineman of the Year, All-City Section first team and All-Area by the Los Angeles Times and South Bay Daily Breeze Defensive Player of the Year after recording 26 sacks…All-State first team by calhisports.com…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, made three tackles including one sack… ranked the No. 64 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com… one of 11 defensive linemen named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…rated three starts by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…rated the No. 41 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com.

COLE MADISON
Tight End
6-6 / 270
Burien, Wash. / Kennedy HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Kennedy High School…as a SOPHOMORE, earned First Team All-Seamount League at defensive tackle and offensive tackle…as a JUNIOR, named First Team All-Seamount League as a tight end and defensive end and Seamount League Offensive Lineman of the Year…tallied 15 receptions for 265 yards along with 37 tackles and two sacks…invited to Army Bowl Junior Class Combine…as a SENIOR, First Team 3A All-State by the Associated Press…named Defensive Interior Player of the Year and First Team All-Seamount League as a tight end and as a defensive lineman…also earned all-league honors in basketball three times…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…ranked the No. 9 guard prospect in the West by Scout.com…rated three stars by ESPN.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 42 guard in the country by Scout.com and the No. 14 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com.

VINCE MAYLE
Wide Receiver
6-3 / 220
Natomas, Calif. / Inderkum HS / Sierra College ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Inderkum High School…as a SENIOR, rushed for 661 yards and caught 11 passes for 299 yards…also made a team-best 12 sacks.

JUNIOR COLLEGE
Played basketball for Shasta Community College in 2009-10…attended Sierra College to play football in 2012……as a SOPHOMORE in 2012, named to the All-America i rst team by the California Community College Association, All-California and Valley Conference Offensive MVP after leading all California Junior Colleges with 16 touchdown catches…tallied 61 receptions for 984 yards…rated four stars and a top-5 junior college WR prospect by ESPN.com.

MATT MEYER
Offensive Line
6-6 / 290
Lynden, Wash. / Lynden HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Lynden High School…as a JUNIOR, earned All-Northwest Conference second team…helped football and basketball teams to 2A State Championships and the baseball team to the championship game……also named All-NWAC first team in basketball and baseball…earned all-league second teams honors in football and all-league first team in basketball and baseball…as a SENIOR, earned all-league honors at both offensive line and defensive end and helped LHS to its second straight2A State Championship…named All-State offensive lineman by the Seattle Times and the Associated Press…earned All-State honors at defensive end by the Tacoma News Tribune…named a red chip prospect by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.

JAMAL MORROW
Running Back
5-8 / 180
Menifee, Calif. / Heritage HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Heritage High School…as a SOPHOMORE, rushed for 731 yards and eight touchdowns…as a JUNIOR, rushed 207 times for a school-record 1,777 yards and 21 touchdowns…also caught 15 passes for 139 yards…as a SENIOR, named to All-CIF Central Division first team, All-Valley Offensive Player of the Year, All-Area by the Press Enterprise and Sunbelt League Player of the Year after rushing for a school-record 2,092 yards and 15 touchdowns…reached the 200-yard mark six times…also caught two touchdown passes…averaged 9.96 yards-per-carry and helped HHS to the CIF Southern Section semifinals…also made 26 tackles, two interceptions and forced two fumbles…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 84 running back prospect in the country by Scout.com.

CODY O’CONNELL
Offensive Line
6-8 / 350
Wenatchee, Wash. / Wenatchee HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Wenatchee High School…as a JUNIOR, named All-Big Nine second team…named Offensive Line MVP as the NW Elite Football Camp in May, 2012…as a SENIOR, earned all-classifications All-State honors by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune despite missing most of season with knee injury…also named 4A All-State by the Associated Press and Big Nine Lineman of the Year… named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 20 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…rated the No. 75 offensive tackle prospect in the country and No. 10 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com… honorable mention Northwest Nugget by the Tacoma News Tribune.

PEYTON PELLUER
Linebacker
6-2 / 225
Sammamish, Wash. / Skyline HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Skyline High School…as a SOPHOMORE, earned 4A All-State honors by the Associated Press after making 176 total tackles including 110 solo…as a JUNIOR, helped SHS to a state championship and named 4A All-State by the Associate Press after making 153 total tackles including 122 solo…as a SENIOR, helped SHS repeat as state champions…was named First Team All-State by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune and 4A All-State by the ¬Associated Press after making 55 tackles including 40 solo, two sacks and one interception…missed four games due to an injury…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, led the West team with six tackles, including three solo…named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 20 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated four stars ESPN.com and three stars by Rivals.com..ranked the No. 25 middle linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 5 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com…one of 14 linebackers named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…named an honorable mention Northwest Nugget by the Tacoma News Tribune…father, Scott, started at linebacker for the Cougars 1977-80 and played five seasons in NFL for the New Orleans Saints…grandfather, John, played end for WSU 1953-55 and his great grandfather, Carl Gustafson, played flanker for the Cougars from 1925-27 and was given WSU’s Fred Bohler Award for inspiration…uncle, Steve, played quarterback at Washington and later played eight years in the NFL, five for the Dallas Cowboys and three for the Kansas City Chiefs.

RILEY SORENSON
Offensive Lineman
6-5 / 320
Santa Margarita, Calif. / Santa Margarita HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Santa Margarita High School…three-year starter at SMSH…as a SOPHOMORE, named All-State SuperSoph Team by GoldenStatePrep.com…as a JUNIOR, named All-Trinity League first team and helped SMHS to a California Division I State Championship…as a SENIOR, named All-Trinity League first team…rated three stars by ESPN.com. Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 67 offensive line prospect in the country by Scout.com…high school teammates with fellow Cougar signee River Cracraft.

GERALD STERLING
Defensive Line
6-4 / 275
Aliceville, Ala. / Aliceville HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Aliceville High School…as a JUNIOR, recorded 15 sacks and also caught two touchdowns as a tight end…as a SENIOR, tallied 15 sacks, forced 10 fumbles, recovered four fumbles and blocked one field goal…also rushed for five touchdowns rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 79 defensive tackle prospect in the country and No. 33 overall prospect out of Alabama by ESPN.com.

EMMITT SU’A-KALIO
Defensive Line
6-4 / 250
Pago Pago, American Samoa / Kanana Fou HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Kanana Fou High School…rated two stars by Scout.com…chose WSU over Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado.

CHARLESTON WHITE
Defensive Back
6-1 / 170
Amarillo, Texas / Palo Duro HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Palo Duro High School…as a JUNIOR, had 46 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns…as a SENIOR, earned 4A All-District 3 i rst team honors as a wide receiver and a defensive back after making 50 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions and catching 26 passes for 557 yards and six scores…rated three starts by ESPN.com and two stars by Scout.com…rated the No. 209 wide receiver prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

GERARD WICKS
Running Back
5-10 / 195
Carson, Calif. / Long Beach Poly HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Long Beach Poly High School…as a JUNIOR, rushed for 772 yards and 11 touchdowns…averaged 8.0 yards-percarry…as a SENIOR, named Pac-5 Division Offensive Player of the Year and All-CIF Pac-5 Division i rst team…also named to All-Area Team by Long Beach Telegram after rushing 156 times for 1,596 yards and 20 touchdowns…also named the Division 1 All-State team by MaxPreps…selected to play in South Bay BMW West Coast Bowl, rushed 10 times for 52 yards…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…one of 10 running backs named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 51 running back in the country and the No. 77 overall prospect in California by Rivals.com

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Oregon DL Sam Kamp retires from football

Pac-12 Championship - Arizona v Oregon

It’s not often you see a player in good health cut his college football career short, but that’s what Oregon defensive lineman Sam Kamp has chosen to do. In a message posted to his Instagram page on Tuesday evening, Kamp announced his decision to retire from football. A redshirt junior in 2014, the Mesa, Ariz., native is set to graduate this spring.

“I’m incredibly blessed to have made so many amazing memories playing for this team. I’m so grateful to God, to my loving family and close friends, to my coaches, trainers and support staff who together are better than any other program in the nation, and especially to my teammates who I’ve spent a seriously ridiculous amount of hours grinding with! This season has been a once in a lifetime experience and even though we didn’t finish with a win, it was an unforgettable finish to my athletic career,” he wrote.”I’ll graduate this spring as a proud University of Oregon double major and I can’t wait to find out what opportunities I can take advantage of in the future!”

He confirmed his decision to The Oregonian.

Kamp played in all 15 games and posted 20 tackles, one sack, three pass breakups and three passes defended this fall.

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Chad Morris was still returning congratulatory texts six weeks after taking SMU job

Chad Morris

A new head coach has a lot on his plate, particularly when that coach spent a previous lifetime building inroads into the deep community of Texas high school football coaches.

So when Chad Morris was formally introduced as SMU’s head coach way back on Dec. 1, Morris’ phone and email accounts were hit with a deluge unseen since the book of Exodus.

By the time Morris stepped away from the podium, he’d received a whopping 690 text messages and 898 emails congratulating him on taking the job.

And when Associated Press writer Ralph Russo swung his Dallas office the day before the College Football Playoff championship for an interview nearly six full weeks later (which posted today), Morris still had 256 text messages to go. “I’m going to answer them,” Morris said.

At his current rate of 72 returned texts per week, it would take until Feb. 4 – which happens to be National Signing Day – to return every text that greeted him upon taking the job.

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Wazzu promotes Eric Mele to full-time special teams coordinator

Utah v Washington State

It’s been a good day for young coaches looking for their big break.

After Duke named graduate assistant Matt Guerrieri as one of its full-time assistants earlier Tuesday, Washington State named former support staffer Eric Mele as its full-time special teams coordinator.

Mele was moved from an offensive quality control position to interim special teams coordinator after head coach Mike Leach fired then-special teams coordinator Eric Russell on Oct. 6 in the aftermath of a 60-59 Washington State loss in which the Cougars allowed two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

“Eric did a nice job coming in midway through last season,” Leach said in a statement. “He is organized, hard-working, energetic and has a great rapport with the players.”

Washington State also announced the hiring of Brian Odom as a defensive quality control assistant. He previously served as the co-director of sports performance at Houston.

“Brian brings a great work ethic and an experienced football mind to our staff,” said Leach. ”He has been a part of football staffs that have seen a great deal of success and he will be an asset for our program.”

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Report: Virginia Tech won’t host Thursday night game in 2015

David Wang, Caleb Farris

Lane Stadium and Thursday Night Football are as American as the extra large Happy Meal. Virginia Tech has made 29 total appearances on ESPN’s Thursday Night package, including 11 wins in 16 games in Blacksburg. The Hokies hosted a Thursday night affair from 2002-12, but didn’t host a midweek game in 2013 and it appears they won’t again in 2015.

Citing sources close to the situation, Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote Tuesday that it appears Virginia Tech isn’t in line to host a Thursday night game on the ACC’s to-be-released 2015 slate, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday.

Instead, the Hokies will visit Georgia Tech on a Thursday night. It would be the Hokies and Yellow Jackets’ fourth Thursday night meeting in the past six seasons and sixth since 2004. Virginia Tech topped Georgia Tech 17-10 on a Thursday night in September the last time the pair met in Atlanta in 2013.

Barber wrote the previous Hokies athletics director Jim Weaver was weary of hosting Thursday night games because of the burden it placed on Virginia Tech’s older fans getting to and from Blacksburg on a weeknight, but “new athletic director Whit Babcock has requested to the ACC and ESPN to host Thursday night games every season.”

Virginia Tech hosts N.C. State, Duke, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in home ACC games in 2015. The Hokies will get to scratch their weeknight itch on Labor Day evening as defending national champion Ohio State visits Blacksburg on Sept. 7.

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Two ex-Vanderbilt players found guilty in rape trial

The trial of former Vanderbilt players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey concluded Tuesday with both players being found guilty of all charges. The pair was on trial together but were represented by different lawyers.

The pair was accused of a July 2013 rape, along with two other players – Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie and Brandon Banks - who still await trial.

Deputy district attorney Tom Thurman told the jury the accused thought their status as Vanderbilt football players allowed them to escape justice. “That’s the culture that you really saw here. Their mindset that they can get away with anything,” Thurman said.

The jury deliberated for close to three hours and found both men guilty of all seven counts of aggravated rape or sexual battery. Vandenburg, who was accused of initiating the events of that fateful day, also faced two more counts of tampering with evidence and unlawful photography.

Sentencing is set for March 6.

“I was just drunk out of my mind,” Batey said Monday. “This is something I would never do in my right state of mind. I’m just sorry.”

Vanderburg’s attorney Fletcher Long argued his client took pictures of the acts but did not participate himself. “He took photographs that he never should have taken,” said Long.

 

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Duke promotes Matt Guerrieri from GA to full-time assistant

Matt Guerrieri

The dream of every graduate assistant in college football is to earn a full-time spot on the coaching staff he spends 100 hours a week working for. Few will realize this dream. But Matt Guerrieri realized that dream on Tuesday.

Head coach David Cutcliffe announced the promotion of Guerrieri from graduate assistant to full-time assistant in a to-be-determined role.

“We’re very excited to promote Matt Guerrieri into one of our nine assistant coaching positions,” Cutcliffe said in a statement.  “Matt is an exceptional young coach with an extremely bright future ahead of him.  He hasn’t been your typical graduate assistant coach for us in that he’s coached our safeties for the past two seasons and done a terrific job.  This promotion is especially gratifying because of the way Matt has handled his business over the past three years in our program.  He is very deserving of this opportunity and I know he’ll take full advantage of it.”

Duke notes that Guerrieri aided Jeremy Cash to two second-team All-America nods and DeVon Edwards to an All-ACC nod this fall. Edwards ranked second on the club with 133 tackles and also posted 7.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, one interception and five forced fumbles. Cash recorded 235 tackles, 20 TFLs, 5.5 sacks and six interceptions over the past two seasons.

Duke ranked 23rd in pass efficiency defense this fall and 42nd in yards per play allowed.

The addition of Guerrieri will require some shuffling for the Blue Devils’ defensive staff. Duke is without a defensive line coach after Rick Petri took the same job at Louisiana Tech last week.

(Photo credit: @Duke_FB)

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James Franklin asked Herb Hand to cut back on Twitter beef with Pitt

James Franklin

Penn State and Pittsburgh will finally resume their series on the football field in 2016 with the start of a four-game series between the instate rivals. The build-up to that renewal of the series should continue to build in recruiting battles between the coaches at both schools, but James Franklin has asked one of his assistants to cool off a little bit on Twitter.

During a live interview with ESPN on “College Football Live” Tuesday afternoon Franklin said he asked offensive line coach Herb Hand to step back from some indirect Twitter exchanges with his counterpart at Pittsburgh, John Peterson. The two offensive line coaches had exchanged in some amusing exchanges over the last week as both coaches are looking to make an impact and plant a flag in the state of Pennsylvania.

If you missed that fun, it started when Peterson shared this image on Twitter…

… and Hand responded on his own account…

It escalated a little from there with a few more tweets from each offensive line coach. Fans of both schools enjoyed the exchanges, and why not? It was done in good fun, or so it seemed. Either way, perhaps it is best to bring things under some control before things turn ugly.

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Busted Sooner: Safety Hatari Byrd cited for drug and alcohol offenses

Russell Athletic Bowl - Clemson v Oklahoma Getty Images

Oklahoma safety Hatari Byrd will have some explaining to do to Sooners head coach Bob Stoops after being given two citations for drug and alcohol misdemeanor offenses.

As reported by The Tulsa World, police observed Byrd speeding and swerving over lanes early in the morning of January 24. After pulling Byrd over, police discovered a small plastic bag of marijuana and a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey in the front of the car. Byrd was cited for drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of alcohol.

These offenses appear to be minor in nature, and it is unknown if Byrd will face any further disciplinary action from Stoops and the Oklahoma program.

Byrd, a junior, recorded 17 tackles for the Sooners in 2014.

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Does winning a national title really give you a boost in recruiting? (Yes)

Urban Meyer, Nick Saban

Ohio State has been sitting on top of the Big Ten recruiting rankings for a number of years now. According to the team rankings from Rivals, Ohio State has had the top class in the Big Ten each of the past four seasons and all but one year since the Class of 2008. Rivals ranked Penn State’s Class of 2010 ahead of the rest of the Big Ten, with Ohio State coming in third (Michigan was No. 2).The Buckeyes look to be locking up another top class in the Big Ten, which should come as no surprise to those who follow recruiting. Urban Meyer and his staff have been recruiting juggernauts and now they have a push that comes from a national championship.

How much push does a national champion get in recruiting? Since 2003, six national championship teams have seen their team recruiting ranking dip in the ensuing recruiting rankings. Unfortunately, it is unfair to compare one recruiting season to the next as needs change, which leads to a shift in recruiting emphasis on a year-to-year basis. That said, there is no question a team winning a national championship has an extra card to play on the recruiting trail. And, sometimes, teams winning a national title have a recruiting ranking that is so high it is extremely difficult to maintain it or improve upon it the following year.

Unless you are Nick Saban.

Here is a look at the champions of the BCS era and how their recruiting class compared from the recruiting class before winning the championship and immediately after. This list starts with the Class of 2003, the first season we can compare recruiting rankings from the previous season using Rivals.

2003 BCS Champion: LSU Tigers

Rivals Class of 2003 Rank: 1

Rivals Class of 2004 Rank: 2 (-1)

Nick Saban flexed his recruiting muscles at LSU. Equipped with a coaching staff that included offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, the Tigers brought in the nation’s top class in 2003. That season LSU went on to win the BCS national championship. The Tigers followed that up with a stellar recruiting class, but one that was beat out by USC, who had been recognized as the Associated Press national championship that same season.

2004 BCS Champion: USC Trojans

Rivals Class of 2004 Rank: 1

Rivals Class of 2005 Rank: 1 (-)

USC has always been a traditional recruiting power, but winning the national title (which would later be vacated of course), helped keep Pete Carroll and his Trojans to the top.

2005 BCS Champion: Texas

Rivals Class of 2005 Rank: 20

Rivals Class of 2006 Rank: 5 (+15) 

No team saw as big a boost in the recruiting rankings following a championship as Texas did following a BCS Championship Game victory over USC in what many call the best college football game in history, if not just the modern era or BCS era. Mack Brown may have lost steam in recruiting in the years to come, but for one season the Longhorns were ahead of the Sooners.

2006 BCS Champion: Florida

Rivals Class of 2006 Rank: 2

Rivals Class of 2007 Rank: 1 (+1)

Urban Meyer‘s arrival in Gainesville had a mighty impact. Meyer reignited the recruiting efforts at Florida, and winning a national title sent Florida to the top of the SEC and, perhaps more importantly, kept the Gators ahead of Florida State. Florida did not have much room to go, but the Gators overtook USC for the top spot in the recruiting rankings after winning the first of the SEC’s seven straight BCS trophies.

2007 BCS Champion: LSU

Rivals Class of 2007 Rank: 4

Rivals Class of 2008 Rank: 11 (-7)

What we are about to see is that winning a national championship does not always result in a recruiting boost in terms of team rankings. LSU’s second national championship was followed by a seven spot drop in the recruiting rankings, but Les Miles and his program still signed a quality class.

2008 BCS Champion: Florida

Rivals Class of 2008 Rank: 3

Rivals Class of 2009 Rank: 11 (-8)

After winning a second BCS title in three season you might have thought Meyer and Florida would be set up for years of sustained success in recruiting. As we know, the opposite proved to be the case for the Gators and the program continues to try and rebuild to this level. Meyer’s second BCS title was followed up by the biggest drop in the team recruiting rankings. Not only did Florida drop behind SEC foes like Alabama, LSU and Georgia, but Florida State moved back ahead of the Gators as well.

2009 BCS Champion: Alabama

Rivals Class of 2009 Rank: 1

Rivals Class of 2010 Rank: 5 (-4)

With Saban back in the recruiting game, the Tide were not likely to stay down for long. Alabama started to rise in the recruiting rankings as soon as Saban took over and actually suffered a drop in the team rankings after winning the national title in the 2009 season. Of course, Alabama had nowhere to go but down after signing the top-ranked class the previous season.

2010 BCS Champion: Auburn

Rivals Class of 2010 Rank: 4

Rivals Class of 2011 Rank: 7 (-3) 

Auburn actually spiked in the recruiting rankings the previous recruiting cycle. though the Tigers dropped in the recruiting rankings and failed to receive a boost, Auburn was still bringing in a top 10 class.

2011 BCS Champion: Alabama

Rivals Class of 2011 Rank: 1

Rivals Class of 2012 Rank: 1 (-)

Alabama’s current streak of dominance in the recruiting rankings began with the Class of 2011. After winning a second national championship in three years, Alabama was once again back on top of the recruiting world and Saban’s Tide have yet to be knocked from its perch to this day.

2012 BCS Champion: Alabama

Rivals Class of 2012 Rank: 1

Rivals Class of 2013 Rank: 1 (-)

Three titles in four years is hard to beat, and Alabama has become extremely hard to beat in the rankings. For the second time, Alabama repeated atop the recruiting rankings under Saban with a national championship to show off.

2013 BCS Champion: Florida State

Rivals Class of 2013 Rank: 10

Rivals Class of 2014 Rank: 4 (+6)

Florida State had never faded too far out of the elite national recruiting spotlight, but winning a national championship (against an SEC program no less) certainly helped boost Florida State back toward the top.

2014 College Football Playoff National Champion: Ohio State

Rivals Class of 2014 Rank: 3

Rivals Class of 2015 Rank: 7 (-4)

Ohio State is on pace to be the third team to not receive a boost in the recruiting rankings following a national title, although it should also be noted that recruiting is different from year to year. For example, Ohio State does not need to go after a star quarterback with the stock available already, and big time skill players tend to influence the rankings as well. Ohio State is still firm atop the Big Ten rankings, so schools like Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan State still have some work to do.

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Where did your team get its 2015 starting QB?

Cody Kessler

While many college football fans may not have a clue who will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2015 (Ohio State, LSU to name two), a handful of fans have a pretty good grip on which player will be taking snaps under center in the fall (USC, Penn State). No matter what the state of your team’s quarterback position is today, odds are probably pretty good your team’s starting quarterback came from California, Texas or Florida.

Athlon Sports did some digging through the recruiting archives to compile some stats on where starting quarterbacks were being found. Without much of a shock, California, Texas and Florida tend to be the most fertile quarterback recruiting grounds for power conference schools. Between the 65 power conference schools, 26 projected starting quarterbacks come from one of those three states. One interesting nugget from that research showed just one of the FBS programs in the state of Florida will likely have a starting quarterback from the state of Florida.

There are some other good pieces of information in the research by Athlon Sports. For example, the Big 12 seems to find most starting quarterbacks within its own footprint (hello there Texas), while the SEC, ACC and Big Ten all spread out to find quarterbacks from 11 different states.

Dig a little deeper into the research over on Athlon Sports.

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Nebraska recruit says Michigan’s Greg Mattison “tried to call me stupid to my face”

Indiana v Michigan

Nebraska defensive end Daishon Neal is committed to join the Nebraska Cornhuskers when National Signing Day comes next week. The Omaha native gave the Cornhuskers his verbal commitment last April and has stayed true to that even while evaluating other options following a coaching change in Lincoln. Michigan, with Jim Harbaugh and a newly assembled staff, have been one of those options until a recent recruiting pitch from the Wolverines turned sour for Neal.

Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison, who opted to stay on board as a Michigan assistant coach under a reduced and more focused role on the staff, made a visit to Neal and his family on Monday night. The hope was being able to sell Neal and his family on flipping to Michigan as the Wolverines try to give the Class of 2015 in Ann Arbor a late boost. The effort did not go so well for Mattison, who may have crossed a line with regards to academics.

According to a quote from Neal’s father, Abraham Hoskins Jr., on a local radio station in Omaha (1620 The Zone), Mattison said Neal would not be able to get into Michigan if not for football. Per a transcription from MLive.com;

“Michigan was a powerhouse, they came in and they stormed us, they made one bad statement and it was over,” Hoskins told 1620 on air. “They said without football, Daishon wouldn’t be able to go to Michigan. Like we couldn’t afford to send him there, or that we couldn’t get him in academically.

“Once he said that, we pretty much escorted him out of the house.”

Neal added his own summary of the interaction, telling the station “(They) basically tried to call me stupid in front of my face.”

Neal is a three-star recruit according to Rivals. He is also considered the top prospect in the state of Nebraska and he confirmed his commitment to the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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Marcus Mariota’s brother is heading to Oregon

Marcus Mariota

Oregon may be losing one Mariota, but the family legacy has a chance to continue with the Ducks this fall. Matthew Mariota, the younger brother of Heisman Trophy quarterback Marcus Mariota, will sign a National Letter of Intent to Oregon next week on National Signing Day.

KHON in Hawaii reports the younger Mariota will likely be a preferred walk-on at Oregon. The 6′ 3″, 220-pound defensive end is not a player with much of a scouting report from the major recruiting services, but there is no question he has the name recognition after what his brother managed to do at Oregon. Matthew Mariota has played outside linebacker as well as defensive end so there is a chance he could provide some flexibility for the Oregon defense. If he be developed to the same kind of level his brother reached, then Oregon may be getting a pure steal in the recruiting class. If nothing else, it helps keep Oregon’s pipeline pumping in Hawaii.

Marcus Mariota was a Class of 2011 recruit with a three-star ranking according to his Rivals profile. Obviously, Mariota was developed by the Oregon coaching staff led by Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich, and he blossomed into one of the top players in the country, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2014 and leading Oregon to a Pac-12 championship and berth in the first College Football Playoff national championship game.

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Ohio’s leading tackler Poling arrested for fighting

Ohio v Louisville Getty Images

Ohio redshirt linebacker Quentin Poling was arrested early Sunday morning for fighting outside an Athens pizza shop. Poling was one of two men arrested after police showed up on the scene.

According to a report by The Athens News, police responded to a call at 1:50 a.m. on Sunday and observed a large crowd of people outside a local establishment as a fight was starting. Two men, one said to be intoxicated according to the police report, were identified and taken to Athens Police Department. Charges related to fighting were levied against the two men. It is unconfirmed which man was the intoxicated individual in the police report.

Poling led Ohio with 89 tackles in 2014, including 55 solo tackles. Poling also had a team-high three interceptions last fall.

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Oregon governor makes good on CFB Playoff championship wager

Urban Meyer

Ohio State defeated Oregon in the first College Football Playoff national championship just two weeks ago, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber did not delay on making good on a friendly wager.

The Columbus Dispatch says Kitzhaber’s shipment to Ohio Governor John Kasich arrived Monday, thus fulfilling his side of the bet prior to Ohio State and Oregon clashing in the national championship game. The prize for the Ohio governor following the Buckeyes victory was a package of cheese, honey and jam. A six-pack of a locally brewed product is still on the way.

Had Oregon won its first national championship in school history, the Ohio governor would have sent a shipment of a six-pack of a local Ohio brew, buckeye candy and lasagna.

Gov. Kasich can send that my way if he wants.

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Pair of Iowa running backs cited for a disorderly house

Two Iowa running backs were cited for a disorderly house, but it is not because they failed to clean up the pizza boxes and dust the furniture.

Iowa redshirt freshmen Jonathan Parker and Akrum Wadley were cited by police Saturday night after being called to respond to a complaint about a noise disturbance. Police discovered  a large gathering of people, and a scent of marijuana was reported to be stemming from the residence. According to a report from Iowa City Press-Citizen, both players were released later that night.

Parker and Wadley were apparently responsible for the party, but nothing beyond the disorderly house citation has been dropped on either player. As far as crimes and violations go in the offseason, this is hardly much reason for much concern given the information available at this time.

Parker rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown for the Hawkeyes in 2014. Wadley rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown after appearing in eight games in 2014.

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