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Tom Herman pulls California QB recruit Cameron Rising away from Oklahoma

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Tom Herman has made his share of news since his late November arrival in Austin, but Saturday evening was probably the first time his Big 12 and national rivals perked up and took notice of the new Texas head coach for something that will happen on the field of play.

The Longhorns landed a commitment from Newbury Park, Calif., quarterback Cameron Rising, which would be news in and of itself. The 6-foot-3 signal caller is rated the No. 3 pro-style quarterback and No. 52 player nationally by Rivals for the class of 2018, making him the highest-rated player in Texas’s 4-man class.

But Rising’s pledge is especially notable for where he was already committed: Oklahoma. Rising had been committed to Oklahoma since August and publicly firmed up his pledge as recently as January. “I’m extremely happy (with the decision),” Rising said at the time. “The program is so good, they’re moving in the right direction. They had a slow start but then they picked it up and it was like a warm nice through butter.”

Herman’s tweet brings up an interesting point: the quarterback Oklahoma is most likely to target to replace Rising is the other Texas quarterback pledge.

Casey Thompson, hailing from Moore, Okla., became the first Texas quarterback commitment just nine days before Rising. Beyond just living in the Sooner State, Thompson is also the son of a former Sooner and the brother of another.

In fact, Oklahoma waisted no time in reaching out to Thompson. “OU hit me up already,” Thompson told Burnt Orange Nation, but Thompson indicated Herman and company told him ahead of time Texas would sign two quarterbacks.

And in a note the Texas coaches have likely reminded Thompson of in the past 24 hours, they offered Thompson before Rising. “Me and the [Texas] coaches have a very good relationship. I knew they planned to take 2 from the jump. Their current QB room is thin!”

Oklahoma may very well retaliate to Herman’s plunder with a steal of their own. But the point is Herman has arrived in the Red River Recruiting Wars, and he’s playing to win.

Former Tennesse RB Jalen Hurd to play WR at Baylor, per report

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Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd will become Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd, according to a report from ESPN’s Jake Trotter.

Hurd announced on Halloween he would leave the Vols roster, seeking a change in position as well as scenery. After visits to Ohio State and Louisville, Hurd trekked to Waco for the Bears’ spring game on Saturday, where he indicated on Twitter afterward that he would become a Bear.

Trotter filed afterward, citing a source, that Hurd will indeed become the latest member of the Bears’ wide receiving corps.

Hurd is a physical freak that will excel at whatever position he plays. As a 6-foot-2 running back, he toted the rock 589 times for 2,635 yards with 20 touchdowns in his three seasons as a Vol. Now, as a 240-pound wide receiver (though it’s likely he’ll slim down now that he no longer has to prepare for a season of between-the-tackles running), he’ll display the skills that saw him catch 67 passes for 492 yards and six touchdowns.

As an undergraduate transfer, Hurd will sit out the 2017 season before joining the team in 2018. He will have one season to compete as a Bear.

Baylor freshman tailback Abram Smith out for the season with spring ACL tear

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Baylor kicked off the first spring game of the Matt Rhule era on Saturday and wrapped things up with a 65-39 Gold team victory over the Green squad that included a pretty impressive touchdown catch from former basketball player Ish Wainright.

The news wasn’t all rosy in Waco however as after the game Rhule announced that freshman running back Abram Smith would be lost for the 2017 season after suffering an ACL tear in the Bears’ first spring practice.

Smith wasn’t being counted on as being a starter this season but his loss is a fairly big blow to the team’s depth at the position. Returnees JaMycal Hasty and Terence Williams already missed parts of the spring game due to injuries on Saturday, leaving just senior Wyatt Schrepfer to take most of the carries late in the contest.

All three figure to be good to go by the time fall camp rolls around but there’s not much behind them with Smith being lost for the year. A three-star recruit coming out of high school, the early enrollee likely would have seen some snaps in 2017 but will instead have to spend it redshirting on the bench.

Oklahoma State’s bowl rings seem to forget Pokes lost to Central Michigan

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Remember that early season upset Central Michigan pulled don the road against Oklahoma State? The one that was ruled in favor of Central Michigan despite later being confirmed to have been blown by officials from both the Big 12 and MAC? Either Oklahoma State forgot about it too, or they never truly honored that game as a loss. Rings celebrating an Alamo Bowl victory have the season’s record etched into the side, reading 11-2.

Oklahoma State lost three games (Central Michigan, Baylor and Oklahoma). Take one wild guess which one most likely was given the revisionist history.

Central Michigan stunned Oklahoma State on a last-second game-winning touchdown that never should have happened. The Hail Mary came off an untimed down after officials on the field botched the clock on an Oklahoma State penalty. After Mason Rudolph threw the ball away in an attempt to run out the clock with four seconds to play, Rudolph was called for intentional grounding and Central Michigan was given an untimed down. According to the rules, the game should have been called following the penalty without giving Central Michigan a play to run on offense. In the days after the controversial ending, both the Big 12 and MAC released separate statements confirming their conferences’ officials in the replay booth or on the field missed making the correct call, but the results of the game remained in place.

The game will forever live in the record books as a loss for Oklahoma State, but years from now the rings will tell a different story.

In midst of sexual-assault scandal, Baylor confirms hiring of first female president

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Knee/neck-deep in an ongoing scandal that’s garnered significant attention from the most powerful law enforcement agency in the state of Texas, the largest Baptist university in the country is making some gender history.

Tuesday, Baylor announced that Dr. Linda Livingstone has been hired as the university’s president.  Livingstone, who comes to BU from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and will officially begin her new job June 1, is the first-ever female president in the history of the university.

She is also a former faculty member at the school, serving first as an assistant professor in BU’s department of management from 1991-97 and then as an associate professor in the same department from 1997-2002.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the 15th President of Baylor University,” said Dr. Livingstone in a statement. “I chose to begin my academic career at Baylor in significant part because of Baylor’s Christian mission. To return to Baylor to partner with the exceptional faculty, staff, students and administrators to fulfill the University’s vision to be a top-tier research institution, committed to excellence in all aspects of University life, while strengthening the Christian mission is an opportunity I look forward to with enthusiasm.”

The hiring comes a month and a half after the Texas Rangers confirmed that it had commenced a preliminary investigation centered on how the university, the football program and campus police handled allegations of sexual assault made against student-athletes, most notably members of the football team.  The confirmation of the probe came a little over a month after details in one of the handful of federal lawsuits the university is facing emerged, with that suit alleging 31 Bears football players had committed 52 acts of rape over a period of four years beginning in 2011.

Two former Bears football players have been convicted of sexual assault that were committed while they were members of the football team.

The scandal cost the university’s head football coach, athletic director and president their jobs last year. In early February, the Big 12 announced that it will withhold 25 percent of future revenue payments to BU, only releasing the monies “pending the outcome of third-party verification review of required changes to Baylor’s athletics procedures and to institutional governance of its intercollegiate athletics programs, among other matters.”

“We talked quite a bit about some of the investigations and lawsuits the university is facing, so I go into this with eyes wide open about some of those continuing challenges that we have to work through,” Livingstone, by way of the Waco Tribune, said in a teleconference in regards to what she asked of university officials during the search process. “I asked some questions about the commitments of the regents of continuing to work through these issues and ensure we get to the right place as a university.”