BYU Cougars

<> during the second half at Fenway Park on November 21, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Fighting Irish defeat the Eagles 19-16.
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Notre Dame confirms transfer of TE Tyler Luatua

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The reports of Tyler Luatua‘s departure from South Bend have proven accurate. The only thing now remaining is whether his landing spot is accurate as well.

Via Twitter Monday night, Notre Dame confirmed that Luatua (pictured, No. 13) will indeed transfer from Brian Kelly‘s Irish football program and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. Whether that will be at BYU, as has been reported, remains to be seen.

Luatua would have to sit out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he lands at BYU or any other FBS program. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

A three-star member of Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class, Luatua was rated as the No. 12 tight end in the country and the No. 52 player at any position in the state of California. He played in 20 games for the Irish, but never caught a pass.

Notre Dame’s Tyler Luatua transferring to BYU

<> during the second half at Fenway Park on November 21, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Fighting Irish defeat the Eagles 19-16.
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It appears that Notre Dame’s tight end loss will be BYU’s gain.

What has been known is that Tyler Luatua (pictured, No. 13) has been rumored to be actively seeking a transfer from the Fighting Irish. What has also been heavily rumored is that Luatua is seriously considering a transfer to the Cougars of BYU.

While nothing is officially official, a prominent BYU blogger is reporting that Luatua will indeed be continuing his collegiate career at Brigham Young University.

Luatua would have to sit out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he lands at BYU or any other FBS program. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

A three-star member of Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class, Luatua was rated as the No. 12 tight end in the country and the No. 52 player at any position in the state of California. He played in 20 games for the Irish, but never caught a pass.

Kalani Sitake adds another assistant to first BYU staff

PROVO, UT - DECEMBER 21: Brigham Young University new head football coach, Kalani Sitake talks to the press on December 21, 2015 in Provo, Utah. Stake who played for BYU in the 90's will become BYU's 13 head coach. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
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Five weeks after replacing Bronco Mendenhall as BYU’s head coach, Kalani Sitake is inching closer to completing his first BYU coaching staff.

Monday night, BYU announced that Sitake has hired Steve Clark as the Cougars’ tight ends coach.  With Clark’s hire, Sitake now has two openings on his nine-man on-field staff.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Coach Sitake’s staff in this new exciting time of BYU football,” Clark said, a 1992 graduate of BYU, said in a statement. “I’ve been blessed to work with some great coaches and players over the years and can’t wait to begin working with this team.”

Clark has spent the vast majority of his two decade-long coaching career in Utah, including stops at Weber State, Southern Utah, Utah, BYU, Saint Mary’s College and Provo High School. Clark’s first stint at BYU came from 2005-07 as a graduate assistant.

Most recently, Clark completed his second season at Weber State as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Smart, Richt currently pace all new head coaches in recruit rankings

CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 04:  New University of Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt makes the 'U' sign after he was introduced at a press conference at the school on December 4, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
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In somewhat of an ironic twist, the head coach who was forced to leave Georgia and the coach who replaced him are doing quite well on the recruiting trail at their new programs.  In fact, they’re doing better than any other who found a landing spot in the 2015-16 spinning of the coaching carousel.

As it stands now, Miami’s Mark Richt has the 19th-ranked recruiting class according to Rivals.com, the second-best of any of the  27 head coaches hired in the past three months.  The best?  Georgia, which has the No. 15 class thanks in part to Kirby Smart, Richt’s successor in Athens.

UGA right now, though, and fully understanding that there are nearly two weeks left until National Signing Day, is nine spots behind the No. 6 class Richt signed in 2015.  The U, meanwhile, was ranked 26th for Al Golden‘s last class, a full seven spots behind were Richt stands now.

Not surprisingly, a significant number of programs have seen their recruiting rankings dip from a year ago.  One of the most glaring is that of USC.  Despite offensive coordinator Clay Helton taking over as interim head coach in mid-October and then taking over permanently in late November, USC has just the 23rd-ranked class; last year at this time, the Trojans were well on their way to having Rivals’ No. 1 class under Steve Sarkisian.

Of the 27 head coaches new to their teams, 17 have classes that are ranked lower than their predecessors from a year ago.  The biggest drop belongs to Seth Littrell‘s North Texas (127th currently, 90th in 2015), while that ignominious honor for Power Five programs goes to Dave Odom and Missouri (59th, 27th).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Matt Campbell has taken his new team on one of the biggest rises, lifting Iowa State from No. 69 under the departed Paul Rhoads to No. 52.  Interestingly, Campbell’s successor at Toledo, UT offensive coordinator Jason Candle, has the Rockets at 73rd, 17 spots higher than his predecessor’s 90th-ranked class of a year ago.

Below are the 27 newest head coaches, with where their teams rank now in the recruiting rankings compared to a year ago:

2016 New HC Recruit Rankings

BYU adds CFL Hall of Famer as receivers coach

PROVO, UT - DECEMBER 21: Brigham Young University new head football coach, Kalani Sitake talks to the press on December 21, 2015 in Provo, Utah. Stake who played for BYU in the 90's will become BYU's 13 head coach. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
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After playing at BYU and coaching there as well, Ben Cahoon is coming home.  Again.

Cahoon, the school announced in a press release, has been hired by first-year head coach Kalani Sitake as his wide receivers coach.  Cahoon graduated from BYU in 1997, and then served as Cougars’ receivers coach from 2011-12.

“I’m excited to announce Ben as the receivers coach at BYU,” Sitake said in a statement. “Ben is one of the most prolific receivers in CFL history and has a great football mind. He is an excellent football tactician and teacher and is passionate about helping the young men in our program.”

After his playing time with BYU came to an end, Cahoon went on to a Hall of Fame career as a wide receiver in the CFL. He joined his alma mater’s coaching staff very shortly after his pro career ended in January of 2011.

The past two and a half years, Cahoon has worked as a sales representative at Arthrex, one of the top sports medicine companies in North America.

“I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity to be back at BYU,” Cahoon said. “I’m eager to work with the talented group of young men who are currently in the program and excited to hit the road and recruit athletes who will thrive in this special and unique environment. I’m committed to helping our receivers become a technically sound unit who consistently make plays on the field while reaching their potential off the field.”