Temple Owls

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 01: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals looks to pass under pressure from Scott Pagano #56 of the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Nearly three dozen teams show interest in Clemson grad transfer

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It was expected there would be a significant market for a Clemson defensive lineman leaving the Tigers as a graduate transfer. Suffice to say, that is indeed the case.

This past week, Dabo Swinney‘s football program confirmed that Scott Pagano would be leaving the team and transferring elsewhere. The head coach also revealed that the tackle would “probably” end up at a West Coast school to finish out his career.

Teams in that part of the country are indeed interested in the one-year rental, as are myriad others as 247Sports.com is reporting that 32 made contact with the lineman in the hours after his impending pending departure was announced. Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, USC, Washington and Hawaii are among the teams out west who have expressed interest.

A handful of Power Five programs further east have expressed interest as well, including Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Texas and Texas A&M. Group Five teams that have shown interest include Charlotte, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, SMU, Temple and Utah State.

Coming out of high school in Hawaii as a four-star 2013 recruit, Pagano was rated as the No. 24 tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state. Pagano started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Baylor football staffer arrested in prostitution sting

MIAMI - AUGUST 11: A City of Miami police car with lights ablaze responds to a call as they patrol the street on August 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Miami Police Department launched "Operation Take Back Our Streets" yesterday in response to recent shootings in the Model City and Little Haiti communities of Miami. The city has seen a number of shootings recently using high powered assault weapons.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Because, of course.

With the Baylor football program mired in the midst of an ongoing and lingering sexual assault scandal, the Baptist university has yet another controversy with which to deal, with the Waco Tribune reporting that 33-year-old Brandon Washington was arrested early Saturday morning.  Specifically, the assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Bears football program was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation of prostitution.

The arrest was part of a sting operation conducted by the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.

Washington was a part of new head coach Matt Rhule‘s staff at Temple, following his boss from Philadelphia to Waco.  His time at BU was short-lived, however, as Washington saw his employment immediately terminated as a result of the arrest.

“When we arrived at Baylor we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said in a statement. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is seen during the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium on October 15, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana. Stanford defeated Notre Dame 17-10. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

Geoff Collins puts finishing touches on first Temple staff

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 02: Temple live mascot Stella the Owl is seen prior to the game between the Army Black Knights and Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field on September 2, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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A little over four weeks after landing his first head-coaching job, Geoff Collins has completed his first coaching staff.

Temple announced Thursday that Collins has made three additions to his initial staff: Tony Lucas, Cory Robinson and Andrew Thacker.  Lucas will serve as running backs coach, Robinson defensive backs and Thacker linebackers.

Lucas and Thacker join the AAC program from the FCS level.  The former had spent the past four seasons at Delaware State, the latter was at Kennesaw State for the 2016 season.

Robinson served in the same capacity at Toledo this past season.

With the trio of hires, Collins’ nine-man on-field coaching staff is full.  The coach had previously brought in Dave Patenaude (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Taver Johnson (defensive coordinator/safeties), and Jim Panagos (defensive line) from outside the program.  In late December, it was announced that Collins had retained three coaches from Matt Rhule‘s staff: Ed Foley (tight ends), Frisman Jackson (wide receivers) and Chris Wiesehan (offensive line).

Temple hires Taver Johnson as defensive coordinator

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - APRIL 21:   Interim Head Coach Taver Johnson of the Arkansas Razorbacks talks to his players on the field during the Spring Game at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium on April 21, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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Taver Johnson will be Temple’s new defensive coordinator, the program announced Wednesday.

Johnson arrives in Philadelphia from Purdue, where he served as defensive backs coach from 2014-16. Prior to that, Johnson spent two years on the defensive staff at Arkansas.

“Taver Johnson is an outstanding coach, a relentless recruiter and a positive role model for his players,” new Owls head coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “He has experience coaching several positions throughout his career and has excelled at every university he’s been a part of. What I like most about him is his passion for the game and his love for the players he coaches. He really stood out in this process as a man who fit into the beliefs, philosophies and overall mentality that is Temple Football.”

Johnson — and Collins, who, as a former defensive coordinator, will surely keep a close eye on that side of the ball — take over one of the best defenses in college football. The Owls finished the ’16 season ranked sixth nationally in yards per play allowed, third in total defense and 11th in scoring defense in route to their first American Athletic Conference championship.

At Purdue, Johnson’s unit ranked 99th nationally in pass efficiency defense, permitting a 59.4 percent completion rate on 7.9 yards per attempt with 22 touchdowns allowed against 12 interceptions.