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FSU pushes past Ohio State as surging Bama closes


It ain’t over until it’s over, a mantra Alabama is hoping to prove by day’s end.

When National Signing Day 2016 began, Ohio State held an 88-point lead on No. 2 LSU and a nearly 300-point lead on No. 3 Florida State in the team recruiting rankings.  With more than half of NSD in the books, FSU had not only caught OSU, but the Seminoles had put a seemingly comfortable margin between themselves and the Buckeyes.  And the rest of the field for that matter.

At around 2 p.m. ET, and after a hugely successful start to the day, FSU sat atop Rivals‘ rankings with 2,816 points, 112 points ahead of an OSU class that was essentially signed, sealed and delivered before lunch — they picked up commitments today from a three- and four-star in an uneventful day, in a good way, for Urban Meyer.  At the same time, surging Alabama, which began the day No. 12, had climbed to No. 3.

Shortly thereafter, however, five-star linebacker Lyndell Wilson announced his commitment to Alabama over Georgia, pushing the Tide past the Buckeyes and within striking distance of the Seminoles. UA remains in the running for at least five more prospects who will make their decisions over the next five or six hours, meaning that the 66-point edge the Seminoles currently hold on the Tide could potentially be erased as FSU’s class is essentially complete.

Thus far today, the Tide has picked up commitments from a pair of five-, four- and three-star recruits each.  FSU’s commitment haul Wednesday consists of five four-stars and a three-star.

Alabama has claimed the Rivals recruiting crown six times the past eight years, and is looking to regain its title after being stripped by USC last cycle.

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UPDATED 3:23 p.m. ET: As of this upate, Alabama has moved past Florida State and into the top spot as the Tide has taken a 69-point lead on the Seminoles.

Minnesota assistant Ed Warinner tweets he’s ‘never been contacted’ about Kent State job

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You just have to love the vagaries of the annual coaching rumor mill.

The offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota, Ed Warinner has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Paul Haynes as the head coach at Kent State.  In fact, just yesterday, the former Ohio State and Notre Dame assistant had been labeled as a “strong candidate” for the opening.

Thursday night, however, tweeted that Warinner is no longer a candidate.

Less than 20 minutes after that tweet, Warinner took to his personal Twitter to confirm he is not only not a candidate for the job but claimed that he has “never been contacted by anyone involved with the school.” Left unsaid is whether those representing or associated with him had been in contact with the university.

Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen (HERE) and Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis (HERE) are the latest names du jour connected to the opening at the MAC school.

Kent State’s one of two jobs at the FBS level that remain open, although the other, Louisiana, could be closed in short order.

Report: Louisiana offers head coach job to Arizona State OC Billy Napier

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So much for that plan.

The odd marriage of Arizona State and long-time but not-in-a-long-time NFL coach Herm Edwards was made even odder by the fact that Edwards was retaining Todd Graham‘s entire offensive coaching staff.  Less than two weeks into his tenure, however, there could be a glitch in the plans to help ease Edwards’s return to coaching as is reporting that Louisiana (the school formerly known as Louisiana-Lafayette) has offered its head-coaching job to Billy Napier.

The 38-year-old Napier had just completed his first season as ASU’s offensive coordinator.  He was also given the title of associate head coach upon Edwards’ hiring.

Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry was also one of the potential candidates for the Louisiana job who interviewed for the opening.

Whoever gets the job with the Ragin’ Cajuns will be replacing Mark Hudspeth, fired earlier this month after seven years with the program.

Arkansas assistant Vernon Hargreaves added to Mizzou’s staff

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Vernon Hargreaves wasn’t retained by the new coaching staff in Fayetteville, but he’ll end up remaining in the SEC anyway.

Missouri confirmed Thursday that Hargreaves has been hired by Barry Odom and added to the second-year head coach’s staff.  The veteran assistant will serve as Odom’s inside linebackers coach.

“I’ve known Vernon for a number of years and have always respected the way his position plays the game,” said Odom in a statement distributed by the school. “He will be a great teacher and mentor for our student-athletes. His experience will be so valuable for our program; I’m excited about Vernon and his family joining our Mizzou family.”

Hargreaves spent the past three seasons as the linebackers coach at Arkansas.  Most notably, he served in the same capacity at Miami from 1998-2005.

Hargreaves also spent time on staffs at Houston (2013-14), South Florida (2010-12), East Carolina (2007-09), Florida International (2006) and UConn (1985-97).  He was also the special teams coordinator at USF and ECU in addition to being a position coach.

Telly Lockette takes job at Florida State as TEs coach

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As Willie Taggart constructs his first coaching staff at Florida State, he’s added yet another familiar face.

Taggart, FSU announced earlier Thursday, has hired Telly Lockette as the Seminoles’ tight ends coach.  Lockette had spent the past three seasons as the running backs coach at Oregon State.

Prior to that, Lockette was a member of Taggart’s coaching staff at USF as running backs coach for two seasons and maintains deep ties to the fertile recruiting soil of South Florida.

“I’ve known Coach Lockette for a long time and am excited he is joining our staff at Florida State,” Taggart said. “He was an important part of my first staff at South Florida and has gained Power 5 experience with his last three seasons in the Pac-12. Coach Lockette is a tremendous recruiter and coach who does a phenomenal job developing student-athletes on and off the field. While we were at South Florida he was the primary recruiter for the Miami area and helped us sign a number of impact players, including Quinton Flowers, Khalid McGee and Deatrick Nichols. His expertise will benefit our current and future Seminoles.”

The job with Taggart at USF was Lockette’s first at any level of college football.  The first 10 years of his coaching career were spent at the high school level, including a five-year stint at Miami Central from 2008-12.