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Ex-South Carolina QB signs Cal financial aid agreement

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It’s now officially official.

Just a day after Brandon McIlwain indicated on social media that he would be transferring to Cal, the Golden Bears acknowledged in a release that the quarterback “has signed a financial aid agreement and will join the school’s football program.”  Additionally, the football team confirmed that the two-sport student-athlete is expected to play baseball for the university as well.

In late February, McIlwain announced that he would be transferring from South Carolina.  The true sophomore will not play for the football Bears in the upcoming season, but will have three years of eligibility at his disposal after that.

“We’re excited that Brandon has decided to enroll at Cal and become a member of both our football and baseball programs,” a statement from head coach Justin Wilcox began. “We’re looking forward to his contributions and having him join the competition in our quarterback room.”

“I am excited to develop under the incredible coaching staff at Cal,” McIlwain said in his statement. “The Golden Bears have a great quarterback history. In addition, I am equally excited about returning to the Bay Area and taking advantage of the university’s amazing education.”

As a true freshman last season, McIlwain started three of the 12 games in which he played.  In that time, he completed 62-of-118 passes for 600 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, while he added 127 yards and another two scores on the ground.

The emergence of fellow freshman Jake Bentley midway through the season, however, left McIlwain with no clear football path to a starting job.

South Carolina QB Brandon McIlwain set to transfer to Cal for football and baseball

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A USC quarterback appears set to transfer to California.

Before Golden Bears fans do a double-take and wonder who’s moving up the coast, the signal-caller is actually from the East Coast version of USC as South Carolina QB Brandon McIllwain announced on Twitter on Saturday that he would be heading west and transferring to Berkeley this fall.

McIllwain is originally from Pennsylvania but wound up with the Gamecocks out of high school and started three games for the team as a freshman last season. He threw for 600 yards and ran for another 127 on the ground but played fairly uneven for South Carolina despite high hopes coming into the year.

Once fellow freshman Jake Bentley replaced McIllwain in the starting lineup for the Gamecocks midway through 2016, it appears the writing was on the wall for a transfer eventually. Now he’ll be taking his talents West.

Interestingly, McIllwain appears set on playing both football and baseball for the Golden Bears going forward. He was considered a fairly good prospect on the diamond in high school and did attempt to play both sports for South Carolina with limited appearances in each. Once he becomes eligible down the road in 2018, one figures he has a solid opportunity in both departments at Cal given a relatively open depth chart going forward under new coach Justin Wilcox on the gridiron and a number of spots available on the baseball team.

Clemson grad transfer Scott Pagano opts for Oregon over Oklahoma

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We already knew the two schools a prominent graduate transfer would move on to. Now we know which one specifically.

On his Instagram account Friday, Scott Pagano announced that he has decided to transfer to Oregon for his final season of eligibility.  The 6-3, 295-pound defensive tackle had confirmed earlier in the week that he would be committing to either Oregon or Oklahoma.

To My Family, Friends and Supporters: I want to thank all of you who supported me and my decision to transfer over the last few months. When I announced my intentions, I didn’t know how people would react.  Thankfully almost everyone was respectful of my decision and wished me well on my journey. I’m very appreciative of that and it definitely speaks volumes of the class and character of my Clemson Family.  After taking several visits, I can honestly say there is no place like Clemson. A part of me will always miss Clemson and the relationships I have built here. I’ll definitely be back to visit. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to transfer to the University of Oregon for my final year of eligibility and to pursue a Sports Management Master’s. This was a tough decision because of all the great programs that expressed interest in me along with having to leave Clemson. I want to thank all the coaches that took the time to get to know me during this process. However, Oregon is where I felt most at home and it is a great fit for me both on and off the field. I can’t wait to get to Eugene to start making new friends and playing for and learning from one of the best DLine coaches in the country. Last but definitely not least, I have to thank my mom, dad, sisters and the rest of my family for supporting me through this process and my entire football career. I know these past few months were not easy on you. I want you to know that I am thankful and feel blessed to have a family who is willing to make sacrifices day end and day out so that I can pursue my dreams. Mahalo and Go Ducks!!!

A post shared by Scott J Pagano Jr. (@scottpagano56) on Apr 14, 2017 at 9:03am PDT

Pagano had previously taken official visits to both Oklahoma and Oregon.  Arkansas, Notre Dame and Texas were also among the lineman’s five allotted official visits in his second round of collegiate recruiting.  Cal and Nebraska were also a part of the process.

Pagano graduated from Clemson in December.  Two months later, the defensive lineman decided to transfer from the reigning national champions.

Coming out of high school in Hawaii as a four-star 2013 recruit, Pagano was rated as the No. 24 tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state. He started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Ex-Tennessee RB Jalen Hurd reportedly set to visit Baylor

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Jalen Hurd‘s cross-country tour to find a new college football home continues, with a Big 12 football program next up on the former Tennessee running back’s to-do list.

247Sports.com is reporting that Hurd has scheduled an official visit to Baylor this weekend. Hurd has already taken visits to Cal, Louisville (HERE) and Ohio State (HERE).

Oregon has also been mentioned as a potential landing spot, although it’s unclear if Eugene will serve as the fifth of his allotted five official visits. The back is, though, expected to make a decision in the next month or two.

Hurd, who could shift to tight end at his new home, will not be leaving Tennessee as a graduate transfer, meaning he would have to sit out the 2017 season regardless of where he ends up at the FBS level. He’d then have one season of eligibility remaining that he could use in 2018.

In late October, Hurd stunned most observers when he decided to transfer from the Volunteers in the midst of the 2016 regular season.  Hurd’s mother indicated in a Facebook post at the time that she didn’t necessarily agree with her son’s decision, while his father fought back against speculation that the running back’s decision was triggered by a benching.

When Hurd left Rocky Top, he was leading the Vols in rushing with 451 yards.  At the time of his departure, Hurd was also 445 yards away from breaking Travis Henry‘s school record for career rushing yards.  Instead, his 2,634 yards leaves him in sixth place all-time.

Hurd was a four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class who held an offer from, among others, OSU before signing with the Vols.  He’s yet to use his redshirt season.

College football spring games: Dates, TV times

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As the calendar flips from March to April, the rush of college football spring games commences in earnest.

On the Power Five side alone, there are nearly 60 spring games scheduled to be played in the month of April.  Last year around this time, Urban Meyer was urging Ohio State fans to show up en masse; the Buckeye faithful responded with a record-breaking turnout.  That six-figure record should be safe — maybe.

Channeling his inner Urban, James Franklin earlier this month very passionately challenged fans to attend Penn State’s spring game to showcase to recruits and the rest of the country that “football is a very, very important part of Penn State.” Texas seemingly has momentum, what with Tom Herman replacing Charlie Strong as head coach, and that hire could cause a spike in interest and spring butts in the seats.  Clemson, coming off its first national championship in three decades and with some question marks given key departures, will certainly see a surge in attendance, although the official seating capacity of 81,500 at Memorial Stadium would preclude them from doing anything other than (barely) cracking the Top 10 in all-time spring game attendance.

Alabama historically fares well in spring attendance — four of the Top 10 — although the last huge crowd was six years ago.  Coming off the first title-game loss under Nick Saban, don’t expect a big jump this year either.

With those storylines in mind, below is the complete slate of spring games for the next four-plus weeks.

FRIDAY, MARCH 31
Arizona, 9 p.m. ET

SATURDAY, APRIL 1
Northwestern, 11 a.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
South Carolina, noon ET (SEC Network)
North Carolina State, 1 p.m. ET
Michigan State, 3 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Texas Tech, 4 p.m. ET

FRIDAY, APRIL 7
Florida, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 8
Ole Miss, noon ET (SEC Network)
Purdue, 1 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Auburn, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Iowa State, 2 p.m. ET
Oklahoma, 2 p.m. ET
Texas A&M, 2 pm. ET (ESPNU)
Clemson, 2:30 p.m. ET
Florida State, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
North Carolina, 3 p.m. ET
Wake Forest, 3 p.m. ET
Mississippi State, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
TCU (time still to be determined)

THURSDAY, APRIL 13
Indiana, 7 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

FRIDAY, APRIL 14
Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 15
Ohio State, 12:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Louisville, 1 p.m. ET
Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. ET
Utah, 1 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
West Virginia, 1 p.m. ET
Kansas, 2 p.m. ET
Missouri, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Nebraska, 2 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State, 2 p.m. ET
Texas, 2 p.m. ET (Longhorn Network)
USC, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Stanford, 4 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Arizona State, 5 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21
Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. ET
Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Iowa (time still to be determined)

SATURDAY, APRIL 22
Syracuse, 10 a.m. ET
Boston College, noon ET
Maryland, 12:30 ET (Big Ten Network)
Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m. ET
Baylor, 1 p.m. ET
Cal, 2 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Georgia, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Kansas State, 2 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech, 2:30 p.m. ET
Alabama, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Penn State, 3 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Washington, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Tennessee, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Rutgers, 5 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Washington State, 5 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
LSU, 8 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 29
Arkansas, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Oregon, 2 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Virginia, 3 p.m. ET
UCLA, 4 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

*Neither Miami nor Michigan will conduct traditional spring games.
*Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Oregon State and Vanderbilt played their spring games in March.