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Two Baylor football players under investigation for suspected sexual assault

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With Baylor still rebounding from the damage done from a massive sexual assault scandal within the football program, two Baylor football players have been investigated for their possible connection to a new sexual assault incident on Baylor’s campus. No names have been confirmed publicly at this time due to privacy laws.

According to a report from KWTX in Waco, Texas, two redshirt football players were part of a group of four individuals questioned by police in an active investigation. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made at this time. The case has been passed along to Baylor’s Judicial Affairs and Title IX offices, according to the original report.

The alleged victim and the female filing the report are both members of Baylor’s equestrian team. The incident in question occurred on the night of Nov. 11, hours after Baylor lost a football game against Texas Tech in Arlington. As redshirt players, neither player reportedly questioned would have played, but it is unknown if they traveled with the team to the neutral site game. Video of the alleged incident has been turned over to Baylor’s Title IX investigators.

For now, the investigation is ongoing. If more information comes out, we will certainly update the story as needed. But for now, with no charges filed and no arrests made, the unnamed players connected to the investigation are considered fully active members of the Baylor football program until updated otherwise.

Former Texas star Frank Okam reportedly hired as Baylor’s next DL coach

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A decade after terrorizing the Big 12 at Texas, it appears Frank Okam will now be teaching his players how to terrorize the Longhorns in a new role in the conference.

Baylor team site SicEm365.com is reporting that Okam will be the Bears next defensive line coach after spending the past two seasons at Rice. He replaces Elijah Robinson, who joined the Texas A&M staff down the road in the same capacity last month.

This will be just the second full-time coaching position for Okam after becoming an on-field coach for the Owls two years ago. Despite the short coaching resume, his playing career resume is a lengthy one that includes a national title while on the 40 Acres with the Longhorns and a trio of All-Big 12 selections. The former five-star recruit played all four years in Austin and was later a fifth round pick of the Houston Texans. He retired from the NFL prior to the 2013 season after getting cut by the New York Giants and later became a graduate assistant at Rice.

The move should complete the coaching staff at Baylor for the 2018 season provided there are no more changes coming for Matt Rhule and company down in Waco.

Top Dawgs: Georgia takes recruiting crown in 2018 and other takeaways from National Signing Day

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National Signing Day — Part II — is pretty much in the books, wrapping up another wild day in college football as we find out where the game’s next stars will be playing at. While the Class of 2018 was the first with an early signing period, there was still plenty of action on the traditional first Wednesday in February date and scores of coaches across the country will be able to claim their teams got much better with the next wave of recruits on board.

Sorting through all the announcements and tallying up the multitude of recruiting numbers, here are a few takeaways from National Signing Day:

1. Top Dawgs

Kirby Smart finished second last season but was second to none when it came to recruiting this cycle.

Georgia finished with the consensus top-ranked recruiting class in 2018 and pretty much picked up where they left off in the early signing period. The Bulldogs landed five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, flipped both Otis Reese (previously committed to Michigan) and Quay Walker (Alabama), plus went into Texas to grab a pledge from lengthy wideout Tommy Bush. And that was just on Wednesday morning. All told the team is bringing in a CFB-high seven (yeah, seven) five-star recruits in this cycle and 15 others who are ranked as four-stars. Whether it’s by sheer volume or by average star rating, this is one of the best recruiting classes any program has put together and a pretty incredible feather in Smart’s hat. While the good news in February probably won’t take all the sting out of what happened in Atlanta last month, it sure does help to smooth the pain a little and keep the Bulldogs in the running for SEC titles and playoff appearances for years to come.

2. Alabama double-take 

One of the most bizarre sights when the dust settled on signing day was the placement of Alabama at No. 7 in the 247Sports‘ team rankings. That puts an end to one of the more remarkable streaks in college football as the Crimson Tide had hauled in the top-ranked class every year since 2011 and finished outside the top three for the first time since Nick Saban’s initial class in Tuscaloosa. No one will be crying for the national champions however, especially not with three true freshman keying that comeback against Georgia in the title game. Alabama still landed top cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., who could start right away with the team given what the depth chart looks like going into the season. Still, it was strange to see the program that had been a recruiting juggernaut lose battles to Georgia, Ohio State, ClemsonStanford and USC. Saban made several staff changes this offseason that were no doubt aimed at getting better on the recruiting trail so this dip is probably temporary but it was nevertheless strange to see the Tide not crushing everybody like they normally do on and off the field.

3. USC’s big day

Death, taxes, and USC rolling up commitments on National Signing Day. The Trojans once again had a frenzy of top-ranked players don the cardinal and gold on Wednesday, including the majority of the big hitters in their backyard. Everybody already knew five-star quarterback J.T. Daniels had reclassified from 2019 to 2018 to bolster the class but the team also added four-star teammate Solomon Tuliaupupu, landed the services of five-star corner Olaijah Griffin then secured another top player in four-star corner Isaac Taylor-Stuart. Just as important, they leapfrogged Pac-12 rivals Washington, Oregon and UCLA. While the fan base may not have been thrilled at Clay Helton receiving a new contract yesterday, the results on Signing Day may have them reconsidering.

4. Dabo does it again

The biggest commitment Dabo Swinney and Clemson received came last month when three potential first round picks along the defensive line announced they would return to school for another season. Add that group to yet another top 10 class and the Tigers look like they’ll remain in the nation’s elite for years to come. Two of the top three recruits in the country are already on campus and Clemson signed the top-ranked player from a whopping six states, including plucking five-star wideout Justyn Ross out of Alabama and away from the Crimson Tide. Only Georgia signed more five-stars and you’d be hard pressed to find many teams with a better average than this group.

5. Jimbo Fisher and Willie Taggart close strong

The biggest mover from the first signing period to today appears to be Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. After getting behind the eight-ball with his hire coming a little late in the cycle, the Aggies went on a roll to close strong with the class of 2018. They landed Louisiana TE Glenn Beal over Tennessee and others, plucked Jeremiah Martin out of California, got four-star QB James Foster and flipped DL Bobby Brown from Alabama among other moves. It will still take time for the new regime in College Station to establish ties in the state of Texas but as far as first recruiting classes go, it was a heck of a first effort from Fisher and company.

As for the guy who took his old job at Florida State, Willie Taggart delivered one of the other big surprises in the team rankings as the Seminoles moved from the 30’s in the team rankings into the top 12. They won the battle for Jamarcus Chatman over in-state rival Miami and also secured the signature of four-star defensive end Malcolm Lamar among other moves but were very active in locking up another talented class despite not having much time to work with. Perhaps just as importantly, it looks like FSU is already rolling with the class of 2019 and will be a force to be reckoned with all those quality recruiters on staff.

6. Texas returns to the top

Up the road in Austin, second-year coach Tom Herman appears to have the Longhorns back among the elite recruiters in college football this year after trending downward the past few years. UT finished with a consensus top three class and landed some impact players in the secondary with a pair of five-star safeties. Even more notable is how the program cleaned up in-state, landing 11 of the top 15 players in Texas.

7. Michigan’s disappointing effort

In a way, the Wolverines’ recruiting mirrored their most recent season and finished on a down note. Jim Harbaugh does have a pretty good roster coming back to Ann Arbor for 2018 but it was a bit of a head turner to see the team ranked No. 21st in the 247Sports’ team rankings after so much talk about the program the past few years. They finished well behind division rivals Ohio State and Penn State in the rankings and failed to land a top 100 prospect. To add insult to injury, they lost five-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere to the Buckeyes and saw their highest rated commit flip to Georgia. Not exactly attacking recruiting with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

8. New coaches, new rankings

Here’s how new head coaches in the Power Five finished in the 247Sports’ team rankings:

Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin: 58th overall, 11th in the Pac-12

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards: 36th overall, 5th in the Pac-12

Arkansas’ Chad Morris: 54th overall, 14th in the SEC

Florida’s Dan Mullen: 14th overall, fourth in the SEC

Florida State’s Willie Taggart: 11th overall, third in the ACC

Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead: 27th overall, ninth in the SEC

Nebraska’s Scott Frost: 22rd overall, fourth in the Big Ten

Oregon’s Mario Cristobal: 16th overall third in the Pac-12

Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith: 69th overall, 12th in the Pac-12

Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt: 20th overall, eighth in the SEC

Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher: 17th overall, sixth in the SEC

UCLA’s Chip Kelly: 18th overall, fourth in the Pac-12

9. Turning our attention to 2019

This was the first class that could sign early in December so from players to coaches to parents, the altered recruiting cycle was an adjustment period for just about everybody. While the vast majority of players decided to put pen to paper in the first period, there was still plenty of drama left for recruiting junkies to get excited about in January and February despite worries there would not be. It’s still too early to pull out some big takeaways from how everything is going to play out long-term given all of the unique factors involved in the Class of 2018, but it’s possible we’ll see some tweaks in strategy from programs large and small going forward. One thing is for certain, teams are not wasting any time getting started with the Class of 2019 and the team that sits atop the 247Sports’ rankings this year is the same one that is in pole position next year as Georgia already has seven commitments — all four-stars or better. As we know though, it’s a long road between now and then.

10. Still plenty of NSD strangeness

Despite the early signing period taking some of the buzz out of the air in February, there was still plenty of the regular strange moments we’ve come to expect from National Signing Day. Twitter accounts getting suspended, moms walking off the stageSnoop Dogg and more.

Ahh, ‘crootin.

Georgia’s hot streak continues by landing four-star WR Tommy Bush out of Texas

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Georgia doesn’t have to go far to find good players given how many good in-state recruits it has access to but it’s a sign of just how big of a recruiting juggernaut Kirby Smart has turned the Bulldogs into when he can go into the state of Texas and pluck a top 100 prospect away from several in-state powers.

Such was the case as Schertz (Texas) four-star wideout Tommy Bush added to the Dawgs’ haul and committed in a rather unique way on ESPN2 Wednesday afternoon.

“I am committed and will be playing football at…,” Bush said, before unzipping his crying niece’s jacket to unveil a Georgia shirt.

“I made my decision a few weeks ago but wanted to take all my visits,” Bush later added.

The 6-foot-4, 190 pound pass-catcher gives quarterback Jake Fromm (or perhaps five-star signal-caller Justin Fields) a big target in Athens to boost the offense and caps off a pretty quick rise up the recruiting rankings over the past few months. Bush picked Georgia over both Baylor and Texas, as well as Ole Miss.

With Bush in the fold, the Bulldogs extend their lead as the top program in the 247Sports’ team recruiting rankings over Ohio State and also help prevent the No. 3 Longhorns from gaining any ground on them too. There’s still several big commitments left on the board but so far the second National Signing Day is looking a lot like the first with UGA continuing to lock up talented players left and right.

Colts could again look at Baylor’s Matt Rhule after Josh McDaniels debacle

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This is exactly what neither Matt Rhule nor the Baylor football program needed on National Signing Day.

In mid-January, reports surfaced that the Baylor head coach had interviewed for the same job with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.  Not long after, Rhule reportedly pulled his name from the search after deciding to remain with the Bears.

Fast-forward to Tuesday of this week, and the Colts announced that Josh McDaniels had been selected as its next head football coach.  The only problem?  McDaniels subsequently decided to return to the New England Patriots as Bill Belichick‘s offensive coordinator.

That development leaves the Colts again in search of a head coach, and now leaves the BU football program looking to tamp out more speculation on the same day it’s filling out its 2018 recruiting class as Rhule is once again connected to the opening.

Rhule has exactly one year’s worth of experience in the NFL, and that was as the offensive line coach of the New York Giants in 2012.

Hired in December of 2016 by the Bears, Rhule was the permanent replacement for Art Briles, who was fired in the wake of the sexual assault scandal that rocked the university.  In his first season in Waco, he led the Bears to a 1-11 record as the program continued dealing with the fallout of the scandal in the form of a depleted roster.