Take that, Ohio.
In a televised press conference (insert face palm here) late Sunday afternoon, New Jersey cornerback Jabrill Peppers announced, as has long been expected, he has verbally committed to play his collegiate football at the University of Michigan. The 2014 prospect opted for the Wolverines over a group of finalists that included LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, home-state Rutgers and Stanford.
Peppers, the 10th verbal in UM’s 2014 recruiting efforts, has been a lifelong UM fan, and the recruiting process was simply a matter of the teenager following his heart.
“Go Blue, baby!” Peppers said during the announcement. “I’m going to Michigan. …
“It was always my dream to play for Michigan. They were my favorite team since I was a young kid.”
(Writer’s note: it’s at this point in the program where we’re compelled to remind you that verbal commitments are non-binding and nothing is official until pen is put to paper on National Signing Day early next February. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.)
Both Rivals.com and ESPN have the 6-1, 210-pound defensive back rated as the No. 2 player in the country at any position. 247Sports.com rates him as the No. 8 player in the Class of 2014, while Scout.com has penciled him in at No. 11 on their big board.
If Peppers’ verbal commitment turns into a signing, and if Peppers maintains his current ranking, he would be the highest-rated recruit UM has ever signed since Rivals‘ founding back in 2002. The previous high? Ryan Mallett as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2007.
LSU got the best of John Chavis on the field in November, but the former Tigers defensive coordinator could gain revenge in the court room.
According to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, Chavis has turned over phone records from November 2014 through Feb. 13, 2015, the key period in detailing whether Chavis violated his contract agreement with LSU in leaving for a lateral position with Texas A&M. At stake is a $400,000 buyout the school says it is owed.
LSU contends Chavis started working for the Aggies before his contract expired on Jan. 31, 2015, a stance seemingly buoyed by the fact Chavis was photographed in Aggie gear while on recruiting trips with A&M coaches.
Chavis filed a countersuit in Texas alleging the school owes him more than $200,000 in unpaid vacation wages and $400,000 in bonuses. Chavis also accused LSU of altering his contract after he signed it — which the school admitted, though in a “nominal” way.
Should the case go to trial, LSU administrators and coaches could be deposed, which every media member in the country should actively root for. Considering the last such suit led to Charlie Strong forgetting his own quarterback’s name and Texas assistants contradicting each other on the stand during Oklahoma State’s similar suit with its former offensive line coach Joe Wickline, LSU coaches and Chavis hitting the stand could lead to absolute gold.
Maybe the third time will be the charm for Brian Kimbrow? Or maybe there’ll be no third time, period?
That appears to be the case Kimbrow confirmed to Rivals.com earlier this week that he has walked away from the Middle Tennessee State football team. Not only that, but the running back has walked away from the sport, period.
“I just didn’t love football like I used to and wanted to focus on school and my forensics career,” Kimbrow told the recruiting website. “Just burned out for real.”
Kimbrow began his collegiate career at Vanderbilt as a four-star recruit in 2012. He ran for 748 yards and six touchdowns his first two seasons with the Commodores before he was indefinitely suspended early on in the 2014 season for conduct detrimental to the team. A month later, the then-junior was dismissed from the Vandy football program.
Kimbrow joined MTSU as a graduate transfer earlier this year and participated in spring practice with his new Blue Raiders teammates.
Once at 26, North Carolina’s 2016 recruiting class has been pared by one.
According to a report from 247Sports.com, 2016 signee James Pierre has been given a release from the National Letter of Intent he signed with UNC. The recruiting website reports that Pierre was denied admissions by the university, leading to his full release.
Because he has not attended any classes at UNC, Pierre would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS program. He’d then have the standard five years to use four seasons of eligibility.
A three-star 2016 recruit, Pierre was rated as the No. 48 safety in the country. In addition to UNC, Pierre held scholarship offers from, among others, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Arkansas lost, at least temporarily, a running back to injury last month. This month, they’ve lost one permanently, for a whole other reason entirely.
Thursday, Bret Bielema confirmed that Denzell Evans plans to transfer out of his Razorbacks football program. No specific reason for the parting of ways was given.
The running back will remain enrolled in school until he graduates, then move on to an undetermined location. As Evans will be a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately if his new college football home plays at the FBS level.
As a bonus for his new program, Evans will actually have two years of eligibility left to use.
The past two seasons after redshirting as a true freshman in 2013, Evans had played in 15 games. Evans rushed for 84 yards on 13 carries in his Razorbacks career; 48 of those yards and six of the carries came in the fourth quarter of an Oct. 31 win over UT-Martin this past season.
Evans, a three-star 2013 signee, scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the spring game last month.