Associated Press

Stanford’s Solomon Thomas will forego remaining eligibility for NFL

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Just a few days after a dominating bowl performance, Solomon Thomas has made that performance the final clip of his collegiate highlight reel.

In a heartfelt — and lengthy — missive, Thomas announced that he was foregoing his remaining eligibility at Stanford and making himself available for the 2017 NFL draft this April.  As he had redshirted as a true freshman in 2014, the defensive end had two years of eligibility remaining.

This season, Thomas led the Cardinal in tackles (62), tackles for loss (15) and sacks (eight).  He was named first-team All-Pac-12 and was a second-team All-American according to, among others, the Football Writers Association of America.

Thomas has been widely projected as a first-round selection in the upcoming draft, and should only see his stock rise in the coming months.

Below is Thomas’ very classy farewell letter to the Stanford community, in its entirety.

To my Stanford family,

Since pulling out a symbolic Stanford tree and donning nerd glasses on National Signing Day in 2014, I have had the most amazing time of my life. I have grown and matured more than I ever could have imagined. I arrived at Stanford somewhat shy and uncertain; now I stand a curious, intelligent, dedicated, and motivated man who is ready to take on any challenge, including the NFL. With the support of my family, I have decided to forgo my last years of eligibility at Stanford and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

To my Stanford brothers, you all mean the world to me and I love you all. You each helped mold me into a better man. From laughing in the locker room, to sweating in the weight room, to grinding on the field — you are the reason I have loved every second of my time here. Our collective goal to not only be the best team, but also the best individuals, connects us on another level. You are all men I look up to as role models and aspire to be like. We have a special bond at Stanford, one that I am so proud to be a part of. I’m so lucky to have you as brothers: this is the most amazing blessing in my life.

Coach Shaw, you are the ultimate role model. Your influence and your values, have been permanently ingrained in me. Your loyalty to this program and your players is something that I will never forget.

I am so thankful to you for recruiting, coaching, and mentoring me.

I love you, Coach Shaw.

Coach Reynolds, you have taught me things that go far beyond football. Because of you and the lessons you have instilled in us, I have not only grown as a football player, but have grown tremendously as a man.

I love you, Coach Reynolds.

Coach Turley, you are one of the most respected men in this program. You push me past my limits and comfort –mentally and physically — to a new level as a man, athlete, and player.

I love you, Coach Turley.

I want to thank God, as without Him, nothing is possible. I want to thank my family for their unconditional love. I want to thank my brothers and coaches for all that we have shared in making these years the best of my life. I want to thank the entire Stanford family. Your kindness, generosity, and love have transformed me into the man I am today. You have changed my life in ways you will never know.

I am so honored, thankful, and grateful for my time at Stanford. I love this game so much and playing in the NFL has been my dream since I was six years old. The lessons I have learned at Stanford have more than prepared me for this next step. I am so blessed by all of the people who have touched my life here. These qualities will stay with me my entire life.

I am ready.

Forever a tree.

Forever a nerd.

Forever Cardinal.

With much love,
Solomon Thomas

Baylor strength coach apparently no longer with the program

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It seems every bit of news related to Baylor football nowadays has to do with the school’s on-going sexual assault scandal but it appears there is one bit of information coming out of the program that doesn’t have something to do with that.

A school spokesperson told ESPN on Friday that football strength coach Kaz Kazadi has been “reassigned to a role outside the athletic performance staff.” A report from the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Waco indicates that the move will eventually have the coach leaving the school altogether.

Kazadi spent nearly a decade with the Bears and played a big role in the team’s on-field turnaround under the former coaching staff. Several former players took to Twitter on Friday to express their shock over the loss of one of the cornerstones of the team in recent years.

After the hire of Matt Rhule this offseason, it isn’t too surprising to see some turnover among those staff members connected to the previous regime. Baylor’s new head coach brought most of his strength staff with him from Temple so it was probably only a matter of time before Kazadi moved on, though the timing of the quasi-announcement (the Bears started spring football last weekend) is somewhat interesting.

Either way, it appears Baylor will have a new direction in the weight room going forward.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has ditched his Dockers for another

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Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Batman and Robin. Maize and blue. Jim Harbaugh and khakis.

All are iconic combinations, but it appears the latter is undergoing a few changes right now.

The Michigan head coach’s affinity for a pair of khakis has been so strong over the years that it’s become almost comical how much he likes the style of pant. Heck, he even got a commercial out of it a few years ago when he specifically started getting outfitted with Dockers brand khakis.

Despite being a paid endorser though, it appears that Harbaugh has dropped the famous Levi’s brand version of khakis to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in another pair of pants.

Not only is the switch from Dockers to Lululemon result in a lot more comfort for the Wolverines coach, it’s probably a bit more of a hit to the ol’ wallet than dropping by Walmart for a pair of khakis off the shelf. It probably doesn’t make a huge difference for Harbaugh though given that he’s the highest paid coach in the country but it might result in a few more trips to the mall.

Either way, what it does mean is that now we demand a new commercial featuring Harbaugh and khakis. After all, if you’re upping the clothing game, you’ve got to up the ad game as well.

Former Penn State president found guilty of role in Sandusky scandal

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s day in court has come and has resulted in a guilty verdict.

The Centre Daily Times is among the outlets reporting that a jury has found Spanier guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. In addition, Spanier was found not guilty on two other counts, one a similar child endangerment charge and the other a count of criminal conspiracy.

The verdict comes after lengthy deliberations by the jury in the case, which took a turn last week when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges as part of the same trial. All three figure to be sentenced in the next few months.

Prior to the scandal, Spanier was widely considered to be one of the most respected college presidents in the country and heavily involved in NCAA matters. However he was one of several key figures fired by the school as a result of covering up the actions of Sandusky, the Nittany Lions’ former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 charges of sexually abusing minors.

While the verdict is likely to be appealed, Spanier is nevertheless facing the prospect of joining Sandusky behind bars as a result of his own involvement in the scandal.

Dad of RB Kingston Davis says son will transfer from Michigan

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Michigan’s the latest football program to see its roster hit with the annual spring personnel attrition.

The father of Kingston Davis confirmed to Sam Webb of Scout.com that his son informed UM officials earlier Friday of his intention to transfer from the Wolverines.  Apparently there were two reasons that triggered the running back’s decision: a crowded backfield and chatter that he would be changing positions.

While 2016 leading rusher De'Veon Smith is gone, the Wolverines’ second-, third- and fourth-leading rushers from last season — rising sophomore Chris Evans (614 yards), rising junior Karan Higdon (425), rising fifth-year senior Ty Isaac (417) — all return. Kareem Walker, a four-star 2016 recruit rated as the No. 4 running back in the country, sat out last season because of academics but should be a part of the rotation as a redshirt freshman. They also added four-star (O'Maury Samuels) and three-star (Kurt Taylor) backs as part of their 2017 recruiting class.

A three-star 2016 recruit, Davis was rated as the No. 1 fullback in the country in that year’s class. As a true freshman, the 6-1, 245-pound back carried the ball twice for 17 yards.