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Four-star QB Tanner McKee will serve 2-year mission before playing college football

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One of the top pro-style quarterbacks left to be recruited in the Class of 2018 with the second national signing day on the horizon is Tanner McKee of California. With a number of power conference programs attempting to make a final recruiting sales pitch to win his recruitment, McKee will still be a couple of years away from playing college football. That is because McKee will follow through on a two-year Mormon mission before moving forward with his college football career.

To me, it’s about being dedicated to what you believe in,” McKee said in a story published by Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report. “Other people are going to think I’m nuts for going out for two years, but I feel like this will help me in the long run. You don’t have to just pick football or your faith. You can balance them and have both.”

According to Rivals, McKee has plenty of options worth considering as we approach the more traditional signing day in a couple of weeks. Among them are offers from Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, Stanford, Washington, Texas, and BYU, just to name a few. For his recruiting process, the determination to fulfill his two-year mission has been a bit of a hurdle for some coaching staffs along the way.

“I think his mission trip probably has steered some schools away as a whole,” McKee’s high school coach Matt Logan said to Bleacher Report. “You’re projecting the student-athlete two years out, and I think that’s hard for some.”

Some schools and programs can afford to take that kind of a risk when evaluating talent, but it is understandable why there might be a little bit of reluctance to go all in on what could be a very talented prospect. A lot can happen in two years for any recruit, especially one not playing football over the course of the next two years before potentially putting the pads back on for a full season.

McKee has 23 offers on the table, though, so there is still plenty of interest ina quarterback with plenty of upside potential.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.

Wisconsin new home for Houston transfer Collin Wilder

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Nearly three weeks to the day he left a Group of Five program, Collin Wilder has landed at a school from a Power Five conference.

On his personal Twitter account, Wilder indicated in a tweet that he has decided to transfer to Wisconsin.  The announcement, replete with the defensive back pictured in a UW uniform, comes after he announced on the same social media site that he had decided to leave Houston.

A three-star member of the Cougars’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilder was rated as the No. 94 player at any position in the state of Texas.  Just one defensive player in UH’s class that year, five-star defensive lineman Ed Oliver, was rated higher than Wilder.

After playing in all 13 games as a true freshman, the native of Katy, Tex., played in the first two games of 2017 before he suffered what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury.

Wilder will be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  He will then have two years of eligibility at his disposal beginning with the 2019 season.