Miami Hurricanes

Walter Tucker
Miami athletics

Miami RB Walter Tucker opts for a transfer from The U

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Seeking a better opportunity for playing time, Walter Tucker has bid adieu to The U.

Reports began to circulate Wednesday that Tucker was likely leaving Miami, with the player taking to social media to reveal he is “no longer a #cane.”  A day later, the Hurricanes confirmed in a press release that Tucker has left the team to pursue other collegiate opportunities.

The running back came to a final decision following a Wednesday meeting with first-year UM head coach Mark Richt.

“Walter and I spoke yesterday and he felt like he would have a better opportunity to finish his college football career and education at another university,” Richt said in a statement. “I wish him the very best.”

Tucker played in 32 games the past three seasons, mainly on special teams. He carried the ball three times for eight yards in 2015, and caught one pass for eight yards the year before.

It’s expected Tucker will play his final season of college football — he’ll be a fourth-year senior — at the FCS level.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

Vols flip four-star corner from ‘Canes, add four-star Ga. safety

Butch Jones
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You know how I know it’s officially National Signing Day?  We have the first use of the word “flip” in a headline.

Unfortunately for Mark Richt, he’s on the wrong end of the flip’s landing as long-time Miami commitment Tyler Byrd has decided to attend Tennessee and play his college football for Butch Jones‘ Volunteers.  The four-star cornerback had been committed to the Hurricanes since last February, the longest for any prospect in this class for The U.

Even as that commitment came under the since-fired Al Golden, the head coach’s replacement, Richt, was able to hold on to the verbal… until this past weekend.  One final visit to Rocky Top by the Naples, Fla., star a couple of days ago was enough for Byrd to alter course and commit to the Vols.

It was also enough to piss off at least a portion of Miami fans on social media.

Rivals.com rated Byrd as the No. 7 corner in the country and the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Florida.

In addition to Byrd, the Vols further bolstered their secondary with the signing of four-star Georgia safety Nigel Warrior.  Warrior, rated as No. 4 player at his position, opted for UT over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU.

Detroit Lions add Al Golden to organization, too

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes runs off the field following a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Sunday brought word that the Detroit Lions had added the former head coach at Maryland and UConn to its organization.  A little over 24 hours later, the NFL club has added yet another former college coach.

Monday evening, Al Golden, it has been confirmed, was hired by the Lions to serve as tight ends coach.  Golden had spoken to the Dallas Cowboys about joining Jason Garrett’s staff before accepting the job with Jim Caldwell in the Motor City.

This will be Golden’s first job at the NFL level after spending the last 22 years of his coaching career at the collegiate level.

Most recently, Golden was the head coach at Miami.  One day after the worst loss in the football program’s history, a 58-0 drubbing at the hands of Clemson, Golden was dismissed as Hurricanes head coach.  In four-plus seasons, he led the once-storied program to a 32-25 record.  Golden came to Miami following a 27-34 record at Temple, although the Owls were 17-8 his last two seasons there.

This will also mark the first time since he was the defensive coordinator at Virginia from 2001-05 that he hasn’t been a head coach.  His last job as an assistant came as linebackers coach at his lama mater Penn State in 2000.

Checking in on recruiting rankings with one week until Signing Day

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers (C) sings with his team after they defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 56-27 during the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on December 29, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is one week from today. If you haven’t already taken off work, purchased your food items, laundered your lucky shirt, socks and underwear and hung your decorations, consider this your fair warning.

(Wait, everyone hangs decorations for National Signing Day, right?)

With but seven days between now and the biggest day on the college football calendar until Opening Day, here’s how the top 25 classes stack up according to Rivals.

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Ole Miss
4. Michigan
5. Notre Dame
6. Florida State
7. Florida
8. Clemson
9. Michigan State
10. Baylor
11. UCLA
12. Alabama
13. Texas A&M
14. Auburn
15. TCU
16. North Carolina
17. Georgia
18. Tennessee
19. Kentucky
20. Stanford
21. Oregon
22. California
23. Duke
24. Penn State
25. Houston

A couple teams to watch over the next week are teams that were top-5 mainstays a decade ago — No. 28 USC, No. 30 Oklahoma, No. 31 Miami and No. 50 Texas.

Before any Trojans, Sooners, ‘Canes or ‘Horns fans hit the panic button, consider that each team is still carrying a light number of commitments — USC and Texas with 13, Miami with 14 and Oklahoma with 16. Ten of the top 11 teams claim at least 20, and only Georgia has fewer than 16 among ranked teams.