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Ball State transfer WR Damon Hazelton officially added to Virginia Tech roster

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Virginia Tech officially bolstered its receiving corps Monday, although they won’t see an offensive dividend this season.

A little over a month ago, Ball State’s Damon Hazelton took to Twitter to reveal that he would be transferring to Tech. In a press release, the Hokies announced that the wide receiver began summer classes yesterday and will continue his collegiate playing career with the football team.

That continuation won’t happen on the field in 2017, though, as NCAA transfer rules will force Hazelton to sit out this season. He will then have three years to use three seasons of eligibility beginning in 2018.

The 6-2, 207-pound receiver will, however, be permitted to practice with the team while he sits out his transfer year.

Hazelton was a two-star member of Ball State’s 2016 recruiting class. As a true freshman last season, Hazelton was second on the Cardinals with 51 receptions for 505 yards, while his four receiving touchdowns were tops on the team.

Ball State’s second-leading receiver transfers to Virginia Tech

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For the second time this offseason, Virginia Tech has landed an FBS transfer at the wide receiver position.

Damon Hazelton Jr. announced this week on his Twitter account that he has decided to transfer from Ball State.  Not only that, but the receiver confirmed that he will be enrolling at Tech and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Hokies.

Hazelton will be forced to sit out the 2017 season because of NCAA transfer rules.  He would then have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

Hazelton was a two-star member of Ball State’s 2016 recruiting class. As a true freshman last season, Hazelton was second on the Cardinals with 51 receptions for 505 yards, while his four receiving touchdowns were tops on the team.

In late March, James Clark opted to transfer to Tech from Ohio State.  That receiver will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer.

Jim Harbaugh one of three elected to Senior Bowl Hall of Fame

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Three decades after playing in the game, Jim Harbaugh is being forever immortalized by the preeminent college football all-star game.

The Senior Bowl announced Thursday that Harbaugh is one of three players to be inducted into the game’s 29th Hall of Fame class.  The Michigan head coach will be joined in this year’s class by former Ball State Cardinal and NFL safety Blaine Bishop and former Arizona Wildcat and NFL linebacker Lance Briggs.

Harbaugh played in the 1987 version of the Senior Bowl before he was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears.

“Jim Harbaugh’s love of competition was displayed on the field during his playing days at Michigan and over his 15 years in the National Football League,” a statement from Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage began. “Now, he is recognized as one of the best coaches in the game, having achieved noteworthy success at both the college and professional levels.”

Both Harbaugh and Briggs spent extensive time with the Bears, the former for seven years (1987-93) and the latter for all 12 years of his NFL career (2003-14).  Bishop spent nine of his 10 years in the NFL with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1993-2001).  He finished off his time in the NFL in 2002 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

That trio pushes the total number of Senior Bowl Hall of Famers to 114.  To put that into perspective, more than 5,000 players have played in the senior Bowl since its inception nearly seven decades ago.

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

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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

MAC East championship to be decided tonight

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We’re in for some peak #MACtion tonight.

The Mid-American Conference’s schedule makers struck gold, with two Tuesday night games that will decide the conference’s East Division championship.

At 7 p.m. ET, Akron will host Ohio on ESPNU while Ball State visits Miami (Ohio), which will be broadcast on ESPN3. Both the Bobcats and RedHawks stand at 5-2 in conference play, with Ohio holding the tiebreaker thanks to a 17-7 win on Oct. 1.

So, an Ohio win or a Miami (Ohio) loss will send the Bobcats to their fourth MAC Championship. If Ohio loses, a Miami (Ohio) victory will send the RedHawks to Detroit for the third time.

The West Division title will be decided on Friday when Western Michigan (7-0 in MAC play) takes on 6-1 Toledo.

In addition to striving for a conference title, Miami (Ohio) is looking to become the first team in college football history to start 0-6 and finish 6-6.