Colorado State Rams

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 29:  (L-R) Shan Johnson #17, Deron Thompson #39, Danny Nwosu #38, Izzy Matthews #35 and Nick Januska #22 of the Colorado State Rams run out onto the field before the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Arizona Stadium on December 29, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Per father, Deron Thompson transferring from Colorado State to Kansas

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Deron Thompson played his high school football in Kansas, and now he’ll continue his collegiate career in the same state as well.

In March, Thompson (pictured, No. 39) opted to leave the Colorado State football program.  According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Thompson’s father told KWCH-TV in Wichita that his son will be transferring to Kansas and using his remaining eligibility with the Jayhawks.

“I just felt like I never got the opportunity I deserved,” the running back said in leaving the Rams earlier this spring.

Thompson will have to sit out the 2016 season, but would then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

After rushing for 87 yards on 23 carries in six games as a true freshman, the 5-10, 178-pound Thompson totaled just seven carries (49 yards) in two games in 2015.  Thompson was a three-star member of the Rams’ 2014 recruiting class.

Nebraska C Paul Thurston transferring to Colorado State

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It appears that Nebraska’s offensive line loss will be Colorado State’s gain.

According to a report from earlier in the day, the family of Paul Thurston has informed the recruiting website that the center has decided to transfer to the Rams.  CSU subsequently confirmed Thurston’s addition to the Rams’ roster in a press release.

No reason was given for his departure from the Cornhuskers.

As Thurston has already earned his undergraduate degree from NU, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the Rams in 2016, his final season of eligibility.

A four-star member of the Cornhuskers’ 2012 recruiting class, Thurston was rated as the No. 16 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Colorado. had Thurston rated as the No. 152 player in the nation on their composite board.

After not seeing the field his first two seasons in Lincoln, Thurston played in a combined 23 games in 2014 and 2015.  On Thurston’s official bio, the school wrote that the lineman “is ready to step into a more prominent role in 2016.”

57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

WR Deionte Gaines won’t return to Colorado St., will transfer

FORT COLLINS, CO - SEPTEMBER 05:  Deionte Gaines #2 of the Colorado State Rams returns a punt against the Savannah State Tigers at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Not so unexpectedly, Colorado State will head into the summer and then on into the fall with a thinned receiving corps.

During spring practice, Mike Bobo confirmed that Deionte Gaines was not a part of the team at the moment at the moment, although the CSU head coach certainly didn’t slam the door shut on the junior’s return to the Rams.  Friday on social media, however, Gaines did the slamming as he announced on Instagram that he “will not be attending CSU next year and will be continuing my football career elsewhere.”

There’s no word yet on just where the elsewhere might be for the Orlando native.

Gaines started five of the 22 games in which he played the past two seasons. He caught 22 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown, and added another 153 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

As a true freshman in 2014, the 5-8, 180-pound Gaines led the Mountain West and was 20th in the FBS with 672 kick return yards on 28 returns (24.0 average).

Houston, Memphis, others throwing themselves in front of the Big 12

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 14:  Jarvis Cooper #25 of the Memphis Tigers rushes as Lee Hightower #18 of the Houston Cougars looks to contain on November 14, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The possibility of expansion has completely bubbled over in the Big 12 — to the point where anyone associated with the conference can’t step in front of a microphone without being asked about it, no matter how close they actually are to the decision making process — but the topic has percolated behind the scene for months.

Jake Trotter of uncovered documents and correspondence between leaders at Cincinnati, Memphis, Houston, Central Florida and Colorado State to the Big 12’s movers and shakers — primarily West Virginia president Gordon Gee, Oklahoma president David Boren and Baylor president Kenneth Starr, the CEOs that comprise the conference’s composition committee.

Gee flew to Houston in November to meet with U of H president Renu Khator, athletics director Hunter Yuracheck, head coach Tom Herman, three of the school’s regents, vice chancellor Eloise Stuhr and Camden Property Trust CEO Rick Campo — reportedly a key figure in securing next year’s Super Bowl for Space City. Khator even got the picture to prove it.

Memphis buttressed its pitch with dollar signs, pledging half a billion dollars in athletics and academic improvements in the next five years and support from FedEx in the form of corporate sponsorship for a renewed Big 12 football championship game. “We strongly support the university’s efforts to become a member of an expanded Big 12 athletic conference,” FedEx CEO Fred Smith wrote to Memphis president David Rudd in February. “In support of [Memphis’] Big 12 aspirations, we have researched college conference sponsorships and are prepared to become a major Big 12 sponsor of football and basketball.”

Gee corresponded with CEOs from Central Florida and Colorado State, telling UCF president John Hitt, “Be assured that the University of Central Florida is very much on our radar screen,” and Colorado State president Tony Frank, “Colorado State is making a statement and moving swiftly into the forefront of universities, not only in your region but nationally.”

The Big 12 requires eight votes to approve expansion, and a straw poll is said to be one vote short with Texas, Texas Tech and TCU voting against it. Big 12 presidents and chancellors will gather at the league’s suburban Dallas headquarters beginning May 31 with the goal of coming to a resolution on the conference’s future.