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Tate Martell
Rivals.com

After spurning A&M, five-star 2017 QB commits to Ohio State

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As it turns out, Texas A&M’s loss will be a Big Ten school’s gain.  Probably.  Maybe.

In early May, 2017 five-star quarterback Tate Martell announced that he had decided to decommit from A&M and reopen his recruitment. That triggered a very public hissy fit from one of A&M’s assistant coaches, which also triggered both a backlash from other recruits and public rebuke from head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Exactly a week ago today, the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman product announced a new Top Five: Ohio State, Cal, USC, Colorado, UCLA.  Seven days later, Martell announced a new commitment from that group.

The 5-11, 203-pound Martell is rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com and is the No. 33 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

Five-star QB, ex-A&M commit Tate Martell’s Final 5 features Ohio State, UCLA, USC

Tate Martell
Rivals.com
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Texas A&M’s loss was bound to be somebody else’s gain, and now we know the handful of someones that could potentially be.

In early May, 2017 five-star quarterback Tate Martell announced that he had decided to decommit from Texas A&M and reopen his recruitment. That triggered a very public hissy fit from one of A&M’s assistant coaches, which also triggered both a backlash from other recruits and public rebuke from head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Now, a month later, the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School quarterback has released an updated Final 5, listed in the order he tweeted them: Ohio State, Cal, USC, Colorado, UCLA.

The Final 5 comes a couple of days after Martell had released a Top 6, which included those five schools mentioned above as well as West Virginia.  Martell had originally made the decision to decommit from A&M on the heels of a visit to OSU.

The 5-11, 203-pound Martell is rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com and is the No. 33 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

Interestingly, Kellen Mond, the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in Martell’s class, decommitted from Baylor a couple of days ago in the wake of the sexual assault scandal at the university and listed OSU in his new Top Three, along with Auburn and Texas A&M.  It’s believed by many, though, that the Tigers have the inside track for the Texas native’s services.

Zach Kline to transfer from Cal yet again

EUGENE, OR. - SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback Zach Kline #8 of the California Golden Bears passes the ball during the fourth quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 55-16. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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It’s rare that a player transfers from one school, then returns to that same school.  Even rarer?  When the preceding happens, and the player decides to transfer yet again.

That, though, is the situation for Zach Kline, who took to Twitter Thursday night to announce that he has decided to, yet again, transfer from Cal.  In his social media missive, Kline explained that “playing in the Spring Game inspired me to try to use my final year of eligibility to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer.

Kline was a four-star member of the Bears’ 2012 recruiting class. He took a redshirt as a true freshman and then attempted 82 passes in 2013 as he backed up true freshman Jared Goff.  With the starting job looking like it was the future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick’s for the foreseeable future, Kline decided to transfer from Cal to Oregon State in December of 2013, then changed his mind four months later.  He then spent the 2014 season at Butte College in California, then the 2015 campaign at Indiana State.

In March of this year, Kline announced that he would be returning to Cal after an absence of nearly three years.  Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb is a near-lock to win the Bears’ starting job this year, leaving Kline no other recourse but to transfer if he wants any meaningful playing time this season.

College football history between Pittsburgh and San Jose

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21: Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks skates on the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on November 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)
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The NHL Stanley Cup Final gets underway later tonight (on NBC) with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks. The Penguins are no stranger to the championship round in the National Hockey League, having appeared in the Stanley Cup Final four times since 1991, hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup three times. The Sharks are making their first appearance in the Final, finally overcoming a history of failed postseason runs ending before fans had expected.

If you want more on this series, you should skate on over to our friends at Pro Hockey Talk as they break down this series. This, of course, is a college football blog. Looking for any sort of connection I could to the college football world, I wanted to see if the Steel City and the Bay area have collided in the past on the college gridiron. They have, but you will be forgiven if you do not remember such an occasion.

Pitt and San Jose State have never met on the football field, but the Panthers have collided with another program from near San Jose. Pitt and Stanford, from nearby Palo Alto, have met three times before. The first meeting between the two was in 1922, with Glenn “Pop” Warner coaching his Panthers to a 16-7 victory on the west coast. The two schools met for a second time six years later in the 1928 Rose Bowl. Stanford evened the series with a 7-6 win in the Grandaddy of Them All. The third and most recent game in the series was played in 1932, this time in western Pennsylvania. The Panthers blanked the Cardinal, 7-0, en route to an 8-1-2 season under Jock Sutherland.

Reaching farther beyond the San Jose region, Pittsburgh also has a five-game series history with the Cal Bears. The Panthers own a 3-2 lead against the Bears, with the most recent meeting coming in 1966.

This has absolutely nothing to do with hockey or the series between the Penguins and Sharks, but now you know the college football history between the two regions.

Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.