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Oregon State transfer Seth Collins tweets move to Texas Tech

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Four months after leaving Corvallis, Seth Collins has landed in Lubbock.

The erstwhile Oregon State wide receiver took to his personal Twitter account Monday to announce that he will be transferring to Texas Tech and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Red Raiders.  In mid-December, and for a second time, it was announced that Collins would be leaving OSU.

In January of 2016, Collins, amidst speculation that he would be moved from quarterback to wide receiver, made the decision to transfer from the Beavers the first time; three months later, he returned to OSU — as a receiver.

Collins was second on the team in catches (36) and yards (418) during the 2016 season.  After three games this past season, Collins was ruled out indefinitely because of what was described by the team as a health-related issue; he didn’t play again for the Beavers in 2017.  In the three games in which he played in 2017, he caught 12 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.

That illness was unrelated to the unspecified health event last season that left him hospitalized and caused him to miss not only the last two games of 2016 but spring practice this year as well.

At the time of his second departure from OSU, he was under suspension by the football program because of an off-field incident, and had been for nearly a month.  In mid-December, Collins was arraigned on one count of fourth-degree assault.  The alleged incident that led to the charge occurred in early October at a Corvallis apartment complex and caused physical injury to the 19-year-old alleged victim, Makaela Martinez.

The status of that case is unclear.

Oregon State LB Bright Ugwoegbu begins spring practice under suspension

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Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu begins a new spring in the doghouse with new head coach Jonathan Smith. Smith announced on Wednesday that Ugwoegbu was suspended indefinitely by the program without providing any additional information or feedback.

The senior is one of the top players returning to Oregon State in 2018. In 2017, Ugwoegbu was Oregon State’s fifth-leading tackler with 55 tackles in 12 games. He was also third in tackles for a loss (4.5) and recovered a fumble. He has started 20 games for the Beavers in his time with the program, so his absence leaves a void in starting experience for the defense as the spring opens up.

How long Ugwoegbu will be out of action due to suspension remains to be seen, and offering any informed guess on when a return may be possible is impossible to tell without knowing anything more about the reason for the suspension. In the meantime, his absence will allow other linebackers to get a few extra reps in spring practices as Oregon State looks to retool the defense and find a way to take the next step as a program after its latest dismal season on the field.

QB brother of Matt Moore transfers from FCS to Oregon State

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There’ll be some more quarterbacking Moore at Oregon State this fall.

The Pac-12 OSU announced Tuesday that Nick Moore has transferred into the Beavers football program.  According to the school, the quarterback will have to sit out the 2018 season, but will then have three seasons of eligibility to use beginning with the 2019 season.

Moore spent the 2017 season as a freshman at FCS Eastern Washington.  He didn’t see the field his first year at the collegiate level after coming to the Eagles as a two-star recruit.

Moore’s older brother, Matt Moore (pictured), played quarterback for the Beavers from 2005-06 after beginning his collegiate playing career at UCLA.  The elder Moore, who recently completed his 11th season as an NFL backup, is still sixth all-time in OSU history in both passing yards (5,733) and touchdown passes (29).

Memphis adds former Oregon State defensive coordinator in off-the-field role

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Memphis has added an experienced voice to its defensive room. The Tigers have announced the hiring of former Oregon State, Utah State and Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Clune as a senior defensive assistant.

Clune spent the past two seasons coordinating defenses in Corvallis for head coach Gary Andersen, but was not retained by new head coach Jonathan Smith. After inheriting a unit that ranked 116th nationally in yards per play allowed in 2015, Clune bumped the Beavers to 79th in 2016, but they subsequently fell to 121st last fall. Clune spent 2015 as the defensive coordinator at Utah State, where the Aggies placed 17th nationally in yards per play allowed. Clune also spent one season — 2014 — as the defensive coordinator at Hawaii, helping the Warriors improve from 117th to 84th nationally.

Clune also has defensive coordinator experience at Southern Utah and Weber State.

Memphis went 10-3 in 2017 despite a defense that finished 75th in yards per play and 102nd in scoring. The Tigers won the American Athletic Conference’s West Division, but fell to UCF 62-55 in double overtime in the AAC Championship.

 

Top Dawgs: Georgia takes recruiting crown in 2018 and other takeaways from National Signing Day

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National Signing Day — Part II — is pretty much in the books, wrapping up another wild day in college football as we find out where the game’s next stars will be playing at. While the Class of 2018 was the first with an early signing period, there was still plenty of action on the traditional first Wednesday in February date and scores of coaches across the country will be able to claim their teams got much better with the next wave of recruits on board.

Sorting through all the announcements and tallying up the multitude of recruiting numbers, here are a few takeaways from National Signing Day:

1. Top Dawgs

Kirby Smart finished second last season but was second to none when it came to recruiting this cycle.

Georgia finished with the consensus top-ranked recruiting class in 2018 and pretty much picked up where they left off in the early signing period. The Bulldogs landed five-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, flipped both Otis Reese (previously committed to Michigan) and Quay Walker (Alabama), plus went into Texas to grab a pledge from lengthy wideout Tommy Bush. And that was just on Wednesday morning. All told the team is bringing in a CFB-high seven (yeah, seven) five-star recruits in this cycle and 15 others who are ranked as four-stars. Whether it’s by sheer volume or by average star rating, this is one of the best recruiting classes any program has put together and a pretty incredible feather in Smart’s hat. While the good news in February probably won’t take all the sting out of what happened in Atlanta last month, it sure does help to smooth the pain a little and keep the Bulldogs in the running for SEC titles and playoff appearances for years to come.

2. Alabama double-take 

One of the most bizarre sights when the dust settled on signing day was the placement of Alabama at No. 7 in the 247Sports‘ team rankings. That puts an end to one of the more remarkable streaks in college football as the Crimson Tide had hauled in the top-ranked class every year since 2011 and finished outside the top three for the first time since Nick Saban’s initial class in Tuscaloosa. No one will be crying for the national champions however, especially not with three true freshman keying that comeback against Georgia in the title game. Alabama still landed top cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., who could start right away with the team given what the depth chart looks like going into the season. Still, it was strange to see the program that had been a recruiting juggernaut lose battles to Georgia, Ohio State, ClemsonStanford and USC. Saban made several staff changes this offseason that were no doubt aimed at getting better on the recruiting trail so this dip is probably temporary but it was nevertheless strange to see the Tide not crushing everybody like they normally do on and off the field.

3. USC’s big day

Death, taxes, and USC rolling up commitments on National Signing Day. The Trojans once again had a frenzy of top-ranked players don the cardinal and gold on Wednesday, including the majority of the big hitters in their backyard. Everybody already knew five-star quarterback J.T. Daniels had reclassified from 2019 to 2018 to bolster the class but the team also added four-star teammate Solomon Tuliaupupu, landed the services of five-star corner Olaijah Griffin then secured another top player in four-star corner Isaac Taylor-Stuart. Just as important, they leapfrogged Pac-12 rivals Washington, Oregon and UCLA. While the fan base may not have been thrilled at Clay Helton receiving a new contract yesterday, the results on Signing Day may have them reconsidering.

4. Dabo does it again

The biggest commitment Dabo Swinney and Clemson received came last month when three potential first round picks along the defensive line announced they would return to school for another season. Add that group to yet another top 10 class and the Tigers look like they’ll remain in the nation’s elite for years to come. Two of the top three recruits in the country are already on campus and Clemson signed the top-ranked player from a whopping six states, including plucking five-star wideout Justyn Ross out of Alabama and away from the Crimson Tide. Only Georgia signed more five-stars and you’d be hard pressed to find many teams with a better average than this group.

5. Jimbo Fisher and Willie Taggart close strong

The biggest mover from the first signing period to today appears to be Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M. After getting behind the eight-ball with his hire coming a little late in the cycle, the Aggies went on a roll to close strong with the class of 2018. They landed Louisiana TE Glenn Beal over Tennessee and others, plucked Jeremiah Martin out of California, got four-star QB James Foster and flipped DL Bobby Brown from Alabama among other moves. It will still take time for the new regime in College Station to establish ties in the state of Texas but as far as first recruiting classes go, it was a heck of a first effort from Fisher and company.

As for the guy who took his old job at Florida State, Willie Taggart delivered one of the other big surprises in the team rankings as the Seminoles moved from the 30’s in the team rankings into the top 12. They won the battle for Jamarcus Chatman over in-state rival Miami and also secured the signature of four-star defensive end Malcolm Lamar among other moves but were very active in locking up another talented class despite not having much time to work with. Perhaps just as importantly, it looks like FSU is already rolling with the class of 2019 and will be a force to be reckoned with all those quality recruiters on staff.

6. Texas returns to the top

Up the road in Austin, second-year coach Tom Herman appears to have the Longhorns back among the elite recruiters in college football this year after trending downward the past few years. UT finished with a consensus top three class and landed some impact players in the secondary with a pair of five-star safeties. Even more notable is how the program cleaned up in-state, landing 11 of the top 15 players in Texas.

7. Michigan’s disappointing effort

In a way, the Wolverines’ recruiting mirrored their most recent season and finished on a down note. Jim Harbaugh does have a pretty good roster coming back to Ann Arbor for 2018 but it was a bit of a head turner to see the team ranked No. 21st in the 247Sports’ team rankings after so much talk about the program the past few years. They finished well behind division rivals Ohio State and Penn State in the rankings and failed to land a top 100 prospect. To add insult to injury, they lost five-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere to the Buckeyes and saw their highest rated commit flip to Georgia. Not exactly attacking recruiting with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

8. New coaches, new rankings

Here’s how new head coaches in the Power Five finished in the 247Sports’ team rankings:

Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin: 58th overall, 11th in the Pac-12

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards: 36th overall, 5th in the Pac-12

Arkansas’ Chad Morris: 54th overall, 14th in the SEC

Florida’s Dan Mullen: 14th overall, fourth in the SEC

Florida State’s Willie Taggart: 11th overall, third in the ACC

Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead: 27th overall, ninth in the SEC

Nebraska’s Scott Frost: 22rd overall, fourth in the Big Ten

Oregon’s Mario Cristobal: 16th overall third in the Pac-12

Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith: 69th overall, 12th in the Pac-12

Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt: 20th overall, eighth in the SEC

Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher: 17th overall, sixth in the SEC

UCLA’s Chip Kelly: 18th overall, fourth in the Pac-12

9. Turning our attention to 2019

This was the first class that could sign early in December so from players to coaches to parents, the altered recruiting cycle was an adjustment period for just about everybody. While the vast majority of players decided to put pen to paper in the first period, there was still plenty of drama left for recruiting junkies to get excited about in January and February despite worries there would not be. It’s still too early to pull out some big takeaways from how everything is going to play out long-term given all of the unique factors involved in the Class of 2018, but it’s possible we’ll see some tweaks in strategy from programs large and small going forward. One thing is for certain, teams are not wasting any time getting started with the Class of 2019 and the team that sits atop the 247Sports’ rankings this year is the same one that is in pole position next year as Georgia already has seven commitments — all four-stars or better. As we know though, it’s a long road between now and then.

10. Still plenty of NSD strangeness

Despite the early signing period taking some of the buzz out of the air in February, there was still plenty of the regular strange moments we’ve come to expect from National Signing Day. Twitter accounts getting suspended, moms walking off the stageSnoop Dogg and more.

Ahh, ‘crootin.