Oregon State Beavers

CORVALLIS, OR - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Gary Andersen of the Oregon State Beavers reacts to a missed field goal by the Stanford Cardinal in the third quarter of the game at Reser Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Corvallis, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Former Wisconsin, USF safety Austin Hudson to give Oregon State a try

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Austin Hudson has become the latest to hit the FBS trifecta.

In March of 2015, Hudson decided to leave his original college football home of Wisconsin, ultimately ending up at South Florida.  Monday, the defensive back confirmed via Twitter that he has decided to leave USF and continue his collegiate playing career at Oregon State.

Scheduled to graduate in May from USF, Hudson would be eligible to play immediately at the Left Coast OSU in 2017.

Rivals.com had Hudson rated as a two-star member of Wisconsin’s 2014 recruiting class. His head coach that first season? Gary Andersen, Oregon State’s current head coach.

As a true freshman in 2014, Hudson played in all 14 games for the Badgers. After sitting out the 2015 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, the safety played in 11 games for the Bulls in 2016.

Coming to Corvallis, Hudson will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Oregon State transfer Paul Lucas lands with Arizona State track team

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At one point during his high school athletics career, Paul Lucas committed to Arizona State. Ultimately, Lucas signed with the Oregon State football team.

A couple of years later, he’s going back to what was initially supposed to be his future — albeit in a different sport.

In a note posted to his Twitter account late last year, Lucas revealed that, “after careful consideration and talking with my parents,” he had decided to transfer from OSU. In somewhat of a twist, Lucas a month later is now headed to ASU, although he will be headed there to run track according to the Arizona Republic.

His Twitter bio confirms the move as well, with it now reading “Arizona State T&F.”

The past two seasons, Lucas rushed for 285 yards on 56 carries — he averaged 7.5 yards on his 25 carries in 2015 — while also catching six passes for 83 yards.  He failed to reach the end zone on any of his touches.

Lucas carries impressive track credentials with him back to the desert, with the Republic writing that he “was an elite high school sprinter at Phoenix Mountain Pointe, running the 11th fastest 100-meter (10.42) in the country and eighth fastest 400 (46.86) as a junior. He was state 100 champion (10.44) as a sophomore.”

Pac-12 National Signing Day recap: USC surges late once again but don’t sleep on Stanford

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  USC Trojans athletic director Lynn Swann (L) and USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton (R) pose with the 2017 Rose Bowl trophy after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 52-49 to win the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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History repeated itself out West as USC once again proved to be among the elite programs when it comes to recruiting on National Signing Day. Echoing their strong surge to end the 2016 season, the Trojans added a string of high profile commitments on Wednesday to surge to yet another top five class.

As well as the Rose Bowl champions did though, they weren’t alone when it comes to putting together an impressive group of players. Stanford remained a force when it came to top-tier players, cleaning up with five-star offensive linemen while adding several future contributors all over the board. UCLA also made an impression by receiving pledges from a pair of five-stars and shook off that disastrous 2016 season to close with a top 20 class.

Even the Pacific Northwest schools did well, with Washington riding an appearance in the College Football Playoff to a top 25 class while rival Oregon managed to finish not far behind despite a wholesale staff change. So while things weren’t quite to the level of their SEC counterparts aside from a trio of California schools, it was nevertheless another strong Signing Day for the Pac-12.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 1 overall Jaelan Phillips (DE, UCLA), No. 5 overall Foster Sarell (OT, Stanford), No. 10 overall Walker Little (OT, Stanford), No. 15 overall Davis Mills (QB, Stanford), No. 20 overall Stephen Carr (RB, USC)

Top 25 classes: No. 4 USC, No. 14 Stanford, No. 19 UCLA, No. 21 Washington, No. 24 Oregon

Biggest storyline: Coffee is for closers… and USC recruiting

USC has always recruited well so it’s not exactly surprising to see them finish in the top five of the team rankings. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by yet another incredible closing stretch for the Trojans, highlighted by the signatures of five-star tailback Stephen Carr, wideout Joseph Lewis and four-star athlete Greg JohnsonClay Helton basically mirrored his team’s season on the recruiting trail, starting out slower than expected before zooming up the rankings with an impressive amount of talent.

Biggest surprise: UCLA and Oregon pulled in quite a haul

There’s no other way of putting it but UCLA and Oregon were among the most disappointing teams in all of college football last season. Despite those on-field struggles, the two Pac-12 rivals still did a ton of work on the recruiting trail to land top 25 classes. The Bruins not only hauled in the top recruit in the country in Phillips, but also really beefed up in the trenches with some nice additions. The headlines out of Eugene have been anything but pretty for new coach Willie Taggart but the Ducks still plucked some speedy skill position talent and really got better defensively.

Don’t sleep on: Stanford, Utah

The Cardinal are a different type of recruiting machine given their academic restrictions and the fact that they have to go so far nationally but David Shaw assembled a very impressive class in 2017. Because most of the players were already in the fold, there wasn’t much buzz about Stanford on Wednesday but don’t let that fool you with five-star offensive tackles and a wealth of impact playmakers headed to the Farm. Utah’s small class size probably hurt them when it came to the team rankings but Kyle Whittingham and staff really did a nice job of filling out depth while landing a few potential freshman starters.

We’ll see about: Colorado, Arizona State, Cal

The Buffaloes best season in a decade didn’t result in a top 25 recruiting class but that is not too concerning given how well the staff in Boulder can develop players once they arrive on campus. The one concern though, might be the fact that there wasn’t as many high end secondary talent brought in as you would expect for CU. Arizona State received the best news earlier in the week when they learned Alabama transfer Blake Barnett would be eligible right away but the real question is if the 2017 class will be enough to close the rather significant gap in the Pac-12 South right away, especially on defense. Justin Wilcox did ok for Cal on such short notice but the Bears remain behind the 8-ball in the division and the league overall after Wednesday.

6-9, 394-pound Aussie holds offers from LSU, Michigan… and has never played a high school snap

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17:  A kangaroo's sit in the rough on the 6th hole during day one of the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club on October 17, 2013 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
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In their never-ending quest to unearth recruiting talent, college football coaches leave no stone unturned.  Or, in this case, no massive boulder.

17-year-old Daniel Faalele, a 6-9, 394-pound native of Australia who is enrolled at the famed IMG Academy in Florida, holds offers from, among others, Arkansas, Georgia LSU, Miami, Michigan and Oregon State.  The fact that someone as large as Faalele is drawing big-time interest on the recruiting trail is far from surprising; the fact that he has never played a single snap in a high school football game only serves to add to his burgeoning legend.

According to an excellent piece by ESPN.com‘s Thomas Neumann, Faalele was discovered by a recruiter from the University of Hawaii at a Melbourne-area gym.  Faalele, who had never even watched a football game let alone played the sport prior to coming to the United States, ultimately made his way last August to IMG Academy, home to some of the top football recruits in the country.

Faalele didn’t play a down his first season at IMG, although he did practice with the team as the coaching staff opted to ease him into the sport.  This spring, though, the offensive tackle is expected to work with the first team as he continues to progress as a Class of 2018 recruit.

The scary part, however, may just be that, as enormous as he already is, he’s yet to reach his peak physically.  From Neumann’s story:

Thanks in part to a background in rugby and basketball, Faalele has quick feet and extraordinary agility for someone his size. Despite weighing close to 400 pounds, he doesn’t appear fat because his frame is so solid.

“He’s just a freak of nature, obviously,” IMG strength coach David Ballou said. “As thick as he is and as big as he is, you wouldn’t expect him to move like he does. He’s a powerful dude, but he’s had limited strength background before coming here. From our perspective, his training age is 1. He’s an untapped gem.”

Matt Rhea, IMG head of sport science, said Faalele boasts the highest jumping power he has ever measured — including some pro athletes — and that the Aussie phenom has acceleration speed that is off the charts compared to typical prep running backs or linebackers. All that said, Ballou and Rhea are molding Faalele to be leaner.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he gains 40 pounds of muscle,” Rhea said. “Even as good as he looks and moves now, there’s still a transformation that is coming. He may gain 40 pounds of muscle but lose 80 pounds of fat. That kid at 350, with that muscle mass, is going to be impressive.

Faalele is currently unranked by 247Sports.com, although the recruiting website writes that the lineman “was one of the reasons Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh elected to have a satellite camp in Melbourne.” Interest in Faalele is certainly increasing as, two days ago, he received an offer from Georgia.

Perhaps the best part of the original ESPN.com story is the nugget thrown in at the very end.

Just imagine if he had been discovered a few years earlier and had the opportunity to play four varsity seasons. With that in mind, consider that Faalele has a younger brother, 11-year-old Taylor, back home in Melbourne.

“I think he’s actually projected to be bigger than me,” Faalele said. “He’s 6-foot, 250 pounds and [wears] size 13 [shoes]. He wants to come to IMG as well, so hopefully he can follow in my footsteps.

Pac-12 announces 2017 schedule

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans scrambles prior to throwing a touchdown pass in the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Pac-12 announced its 2017 schedule on Wednesday, beginning with a New Mexico State-Arizona State/North Dakota-Utah double-header and ending with the conference title game, once again set for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on the first weekend of December.

The headliner is USC, the league’s presumed champion and best shot at snapping its 12-year streak without a national title, playing 12 consecutive games without a bye week. The Trojans open with home games against Western Michigan, Stanford and Texas, and play straight through their Nov. 18 finale against UCLA at the LA Coliseum.

Speaking of UCLA road games, the Bruins have a lot of them — and they’re all tough. They’ll go on the road to face Memphis, Stanford, Arizona, Washington and Utah (over a 6-day stretch) before their finale at USC. The Bruins also host Texas A&M and Oregon.

Washington’s title defense will begin with a trip to Colorado (after another pillow-soft non-conference schedule of Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State) along with a key stretch that requires a home game with Oregon followed by a trip to Stanford six days later.

For the full schedule, click here.