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Texas Tech transfer WR opts for LSU over FSU, Oregon

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After surprisingly announcing in late April that he would be transferring from Texas Tech, Jonathan Giles revealed a week ago his Top 10 list for potential landing spots.  Over the weekend, he had whittled that list down to three.

Monday evening, he whittled it down to one.

On his social media accounts, Giles revealed that he has decided to further his education at LSU and continue his collegiate playing career with the Tigers.  The wide receiver’s other finalists were Florida State and Oregon.

Those in the Top 10 that were under consideration included Georgia, Louisville, Ohio State, Purdue, SMU, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Giles won’t be of immediate help to the Tigers’ passing attack as he will have to sit out the 2017 season, but he’ll still have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

The 5-11, 184-pound Giles led the Red Raiders in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,158), receiving touchdowns (13) and yards per catch (16.8) as a true sophomore last season.  However, he exited spring practice earlier this year second on the depth chart, which triggered his decision to leave Lubbock.

Recruit dropped by Wisconsin for Georgia offer tells his side of the story

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Ben Bryant says he dreamed of playing for Wisconsin. That dream seemingly became a reality when the 2018 recruit committed to Paul Chryst‘s Badgers on Dec. 7 of last year, shutting his recruitment down more than a year in advance.

That dream ended before it began, though, when Bryant says the Wisconsin coaches told him to kick rocks after reporting an offer from Georgia.

The LaGrange, Ill., prospect told his side of the story in a Twitter post below:

“Just recently a UGA coach reached out to me via text” Bryant said. “After a couple of communications, he gave me an offer. I was blown away. This was followed by potential dates to visit. To be clear, I had no intention of visiting of UGA. I had no intention of every committing to UGA. However, I felt complimented big time by this offer and appreciated very much the attention they were showing me. It made me feel good about my abilities and potential (being a recruit with essentially two offers).

“The night before this was tweeted out, I called coach (Jon) Budmayr to give him a heads up that I was given the offer and left a message on his voicemail. I made it clear that I was still 100% committed to the Badgers. The next morning we spoke on the phone and I was informed that I was no longer a good fit for Wisconsin and I was encouraged to continue looking for a fit. The implication that my loyalty to UW had been compromised was not true and is what saddens me the most.”

These situations are always impossible to navigate for college coaches, because they aren’t allowed to comment on unsigned recruits. Even speaking off the record to team-friendly recruiting sites and letting them get the message out through “sources” looks bad, because it appears a bunch of adults are throwing a teenager who wanted to play for them under the bus.

Is Bryant telling the absolute truth here? It’s impossible to know, but the benefit of the doubt lies with him.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-3, 195 dual-threat quarterback, whom Rivals ranks as the No. 21 player at his position, is reluctantly back on the open market.

Ohio State, Florida State, LSU in Top 10 for Texas Tech WR transfer Jonathan Giles

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One of the more surprising transfers of the 2017 offseason has given a rather broad hint as to his next college football home.

Late last month, Jonathan Giles, a semifinalist for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award, announced that he would be transferring from Texas Tech.  Two weeks later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to release a Top 10 list for potential landing spots, and, not surprisingly, it includes several high-profile programs.

It’s unclear if the fact that Ohio State, Florida State and LSU are listed Nos. 1-3 means anything.

It’s also unclear when Giles will whittle that list down to, first, official visits as well as, ultimately, his final decision. Giles will have to sit out the 2017 season regardless of where he lands, but will still have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

The 5-11, 184-pound Giles led the Red Raiders in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,158), receiving touchdowns (13) and yards per catch (16.8) as a true sophomore last season However, he exited spring practice this year second on the depth chart.

SEC to enact NCAA practice policies, eliminate two-a-days

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Two-a-days in the Deep South are officially a thing of the past.

Last month, the NCAA Division I Council also voted to eliminate “multiple contact practices a day” — aka two-a-days — in summer camp.  The SEC announced Friday that the conference “will adopt recent practice recommendations set forth by the NCAA Sports Science Institute in the sport of football.”

Moving forward, and after the standard five-day acclimation period that kicks off preseason camp, any given seven-day period will have to include at least three non-contact/minimal contact practice sessions as well as one day where there is no practice, period.  Additionally, the next practice after a scrimmage will have to be one of the non-contact/minimal contact periods.  While two-a-days are no longer permitted, teams can, if they so choose, run “[a] second session of no helmet/pad activity [that] may include walk-throughs or meetings; conditioning in the second session of activity is not allowed.”

To make up for the lost practice time, teams will be allowed to start camps one week earlier than previously allowed.  That extension will “help ensure that players obtain the necessary skill set for competitive play,” the NCAA said in its release.

As for in-season practices, the biggest change is going from allowing two live-contact/tackling sessions per week to one of those plus one described as “live-contact/thud.” The standard for non-contact/minimal contact practices remains the same at three.

As for the postseason, below are the NCAA’s recommendations:

  • If there is a two week or less period of time between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then in-season practice recommendations should remain in place.
  • If there is greater than two weeks between the final regular season game or conference championship game (for participating institutions) and the next bowl or postseason game, then:
  1. Up to three days may be live-contact (two of which should be live contact/thud).
  2. There must be three non-contact/minimal contact practices in a given week.
  3. The day preceding and following live contact/tackling should be non-contact/minimal contact or no football practice.
  4. One day must be no football practice.

“We believe these measures will enhance the health and safety procedures SEC universities have already established to support their football programs,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Student-athlete well-being will always be a priority for SEC member institutions and, as the NCAA Sports Science Institute has developed and provided guidance on the structure for football practice, everyone associated with this great sport must continue to adapt to keep the game safe while played at the highest competitive level.”

The conference’s presidents and chancellors as well as its athletic director, incidentally, voted unanimously to accept the NCAA practice recommendations.

Former Georgia DB Chad Clay finds new home at Marshall

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After a brief sabbatical, Chad Clay is back at the FBS level.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Clay announced that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Marshall. “I want to thank Coach [Doc] Holiday [sic] and the rest of the coaches at Marshall for this great opportunity,” the defensive back wrote.

Clay will be eligible to play for the Thundering Herd in 2017, the first of his three remaining years of eligibility.

Clay was a three-star member of Georgia’s 2016 recruiting class who enrolled early and participated in spring practice that same year.

Twice in a span of two months, however, Clay was arrested, the first for second-degree criminal damage and possessing a weapon in a school zone following an incident that allegedly involved a BB gun inside a dorm room, the second for theft by taking. Following that second arrest, he was dismissed by UGA head coach Kirby Smart.

This past season, Clay played at Butler Community College in Kansas.