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19 Apr 1991:  Muhammad Ali looks on during a bout between Evander Holyfield and George Foreman at Caesar''s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandatory Credit: Barry Jarvinan  /Allsport
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Muhammad Ali’s grandson commits to play football for Cal

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Earlier this year, the nation shared in Biaggio Ali Walsh‘s grief over the passing of his iconic grandfather.  On Sunday, Ali Walsh shared with the nation his decision on his future in football.

On his personal Twitter account this weekend, Ali Walsh revealed that he has decided to verbally commit to play his college football at Cal.  In the tweet, Ali Walsh included a photo of himself with, among others, Golden Bears head coach Sonny Dykes.

Ali Walsh’s grandfather is the legendary Muhammad Ali, who died this past June.

A three-star 2017 prospect, Ali Walsh is rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 11 all-purpose running back in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Nevada.  A product of national power Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School, Ali Walsh was named the Gatorade Nevada Player of the Year last fall, rushing for 2,451 yards and 36 touchdowns while averaging 12.1 yards per carry.

In addition to Cal, Ali Walsh held offers from, among others, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisville, UNLV and Vanderbilt.

Report: Big 12 will talk to 17 schools, expanding by two more likely than four

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While no announcement is imminent, it appears there’s some additional clarity on the Big 12 expansion front.

First and foremost, ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy is reporting, it’s becoming what sources described as “less and less likely” that the Big 12 will expand to 14 from its current 10-school membership.  Instead, the conference likely either stand pat or add just two teams.  The latter move would allow the conference to split into two six-team divisions.

As for potential expansion candidates, McMurphy reports that commissioner Bob Bowlsby will conduct videoconferences with the 17 schools that have contacted the conference expressing interest in becoming a member of the league.  Those 17 schools include oft-mentioned suspects such as Boise State, Cincinnati, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Houston, Memphis, Tulane, UCF, UConn and USF.  Additionally, East Carolina, New Mexico, SMU and Temple are part of the large group looking for inclusion.

Only 14 of the 17 schools that will be a part of the videoconferences were listed by McMurphy.  It’s believed San Diego State is another of the 17.  Air Force, Fresno State and Hawaii have also been previously mentioned as possibilities.

It’s believed that some combination of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, UCF and UConn will ultimately be part of any expansion.  The first one mentioned when it comes to presumptive front-runners will, however, have to overcome some negative attention some of its policies have received as of late.

It has previously been reported that the Big 12 would like to settle the expansion issue before the start of the upcoming season, although that appears, like adding four schools, less and less likely.  Instead, a decision might not be made until a board of directors meeting scheduled for October.

THE Michael Jordan to serve as honorary captain for Michigan’s opener

UNITED STATES - MAY 02:  Michael Jordan during the Pro-Am prior to the 2007 Wachovia Championship held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 2, 2007.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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This will go over well in Chapel Hill.

Last year, Michigan and Nike reached agreement on what was a then-record apparel deal, then put the finishing touches on it earlier this year.  As part of that agreement, the UM football program will wear “Jumpman” brand uniforms beginning in 2016, the first college football team to be outfitted under that label.

That brand, of course, is a Michael Jordan-related division of Nike, inspired by the NBA Hall of Famer and former North Carolina Tar Heel great.

During an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show Friday, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh revealed that His Airness himself will serve as the team’s honorary captain for the 2016 opener against Hawaii in Ann Arbor Sept. 3.  That’s the date the football program will debut the new “Jumpman” uniforms.

2015 finalists Leonard Fournette, Christian McAffrey part of Walker Award watch list

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With 2015 winner Derrick Henry of Alabama off to the NFL, there will be a new winner of the Doak Walker Award in 2016.  Based on the projected performances of a couple of other finalists from a year ago, this year’s winner could very well come from the group below.

Thursday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced a watch list that contains a whopping 76 players.  The Walker Award has ben handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of former SMU great Doak Walker.

Two finalists for last year’s award have made the cut this preseason — LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

The SEC led all conferences with 13 watch listers, followed by the Big 12 (9), Big 12 (9), Pac-12 (9), ACC (8), Mountain West (6), Sun Belt (6), MAC (5), Conference USA (4) and AAC (3).  There were also four from independents (BYU, Notre Dame).

Those two independents were two of the 13 schools with two running backs listed, the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

Below is the complete 2016 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list:

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62 centers, 11 from ACC, make up Rimington Trophy watch list

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Pat Elflein #65 of the Ohio State Buckeyes  blocks against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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Back in mid-May, the Rimington Trophy released a spring watch list consisting of 57 players.  Nearly two months later?  The updated watch list has grown.

Continuing the Great Watch List Dump of 2016, the the folks charged with overseeing the Rimington released a watch list that, now, contains a total of 62 players.  The Rimington Trophy, 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 trio of 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.

Of the 62 centers, 29 are listed as seniors and three as graduate students.  Of the rest, 18 are classified as juniors and 12 as sophomores.

There are 14 teams in the ACC; a full 11 of them have a center named to the preseason watch list, the most of any single conference.  Next up are the Big Ten and SEC with 8, followed by the Big 12 (seven) and Group of Five leagues the AAC and Mountain West with seven each as well.  The Pac-12 has the fewest of any Power Five league with three centers named.

Below is the complete 2016 Rimington Trophy preseason watch list:

AAC (7)
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati
Evan Brown, SMU
Ryan Crozier, UConn
Drew Kyser, Memphis
Brendan McGowan, Temple
Chandler Miller, Tulsa
Will Noble, Houston

ACC (11)
Jon Baker, Boston College
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina
Alec Eberle, Florida State
Jason Emerich, Syracuse
Eric Gallo, Virginia Tech
Jay Guillermo, Clemson
Nicholas Linder, Miami
Jackson Matteo, Virginia
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh
Joe Scelfo, North Carolina State

BIG 12 (7)
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma
Kyle Fuller, Baylor
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
Tony Morales, Texas Tech
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia
Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Austin Schlottmann, TCU

BIG TEN (8)
Brian Allen, Michigan State
Mason Cole, Michigan
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin
Pat Elflien, Ohio State
Brendan Moore, Maryland
Joe Spencer, Illinois
Dylan Utter, Nebraska
Sean Welsch, Iowa

CONFERENCE USA (6)
Nick Clark, Old Dominion
Dillon Deboer, FAU
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky
Michael Montero, FIU
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss

MID-AMERICAN (2)
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green
James O’Hagan, Buffalo

MOUNTAIN WEST (6)
Jake Bennett, Colorado State
Asotui Eli, Hawaii
Arthur Flores, San Diego State
Nathan Goltry, Nevada
Will Kreitler, UNLV
Austin Stephens, Utah State

PAC-12 (3)
Toa Lobendahn, USC
Coleman Shelton, Washington
Riley Sorenson, Washington State

SEC (8)
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss
Alan Knott, South Carolina
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Ethan Pocic, LSU
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee
Jon Toth, Kentucky

SUN BELT (4)
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern
Steve Matlock, Idaho
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State