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Former Tennesse RB Jalen Hurd to play WR at Baylor, per report

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Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd will become Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd, according to a report from ESPN’s Jake Trotter.

Hurd announced on Halloween he would leave the Vols roster, seeking a change in position as well as scenery. After visits to Ohio State and Louisville, Hurd trekked to Waco for the Bears’ spring game on Saturday, where he indicated on Twitter afterward that he would become a Bear.

Trotter filed afterward, citing a source, that Hurd will indeed become the latest member of the Bears’ wide receiving corps.

Hurd is a physical freak that will excel at whatever position he plays. As a 6-foot-2 running back, he toted the rock 589 times for 2,635 yards with 20 touchdowns in his three seasons as a Vol. Now, as a 240-pound wide receiver (though it’s likely he’ll slim down now that he no longer has to prepare for a season of between-the-tackles running), he’ll display the skills that saw him catch 67 passes for 492 yards and six touchdowns.

As an undergraduate transfer, Hurd will sit out the 2017 season before joining the team in 2018. He will have one season to compete as a Bear.

SEC commissioner confirms graduate transfer rule changes will be discussed at spring meetings

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We’re still over a month away from the SEC’s annual spring meetings down in Destin, Fla. but one item we might be able to confirm is on the agenda will be the graduate transfer rules for the conference.

It’s a hot topic around the league and particularly so at Florida, which is in the mix to land Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire but can’t officially take him due to restrictions from the conference office.

That may change however, as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey confirmed in a radio interview on Friday with ESPN Gainesville.

“It will come up,” Sankey said, according to SECCountry.com. “I do think we need to look where we’ve been restrictive in the past because of the absence of national rules and look at reducing some of those restrictions. I’m one who would position it as interest in freeing things up without just removing every restraint, because I think the restraints have been healthy for us.”

At the heart of the issue is a rule that limits schools from taking additional graduate transfers if previous graduate transfers failed to meet academic requirements after enrolling. The move was designed to prevent a number of situations where players would transfer over just to play and not really go through coursework at their new school.

Other NCAA conferences have failed to follow the SEC’s lead in this area however and now the league is being put at a bit of a disadvantage on the graduate transfer market. This is particularly an issue with the Gators this offseason but it seems as though there will be quite the discussion down in Destin among athletic directors and head coaches about changing the rules to be on more of a level playing field with other conferences on this front.

Despite delays, Mercedes Benz Stadium still on track for Chick-fil-A Kickoff games

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Construction delays for the brand new football palace being constructed in Atlanta have forced an MLS match to be rescheduled, but there will be no altering the schedule or location for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games. In a radio interview in Tennessee, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic president and CEO Gary Stokan says he is in constant communication regarding the subject and remains confident the Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee game on September 2 and the Alabama-Florida State game two days later will not have to be moved.

“I have talked with them (officials) daily over the last week,’’ Stokan said to WNML. “We’ll be in good shape. It’s the fourth event (UT-GT) in there.’’

The other events scheduled to be held in the new football stadium include a pair of NFL preseason games for the Atlanta Falcons. The MLS match that was rescheduled is the other.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is currently scheduled to open on July 30, giving it a full month to work out some kinks before hosting its first real events. The targeted opening date has already been pushed back a handful of times; the stadium was supposed to be open by now.

In the event Mercedes Benz-Stadium is not deemed ready to host the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games, one or both can be moved back to the Georgia Dome. The longtime home stadium of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff and Peach Bowl will remain open and ready for business until Mercedes Benz-Stadium is given a certificate for occupancy. The Georgia Dome was supposed to be torn down in June, but the constant delays with the new stadium have forced that plan to be pushed back as well, just in case.

More construction delays for site of Alabama-FSU opener

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The brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is scheduled to serve as the site for one of the most anticipated games of opening weekend of the 2017 season, Alabama-Florida State. The state-of-the-art stadium had been expected to be completed by early March… then early June… then late July.

Tuesday brought word, by way of our sister site, that the target date for the opening of the stadium has been pushed back yet again, this time to Aug. 26 for the Atlanta Falcons preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The delays have primarily been caused by the complexity of the stadium’s unique retractable roof, which opens and closes like a camera aperture.

Not only could those delays impact the ‘Bama-FSU matchup Sept. 2, but another college football game scheduled to be played at the same stadium Labor Day night — Georgia Tech-Tennessee.

The CEO of the Peach Bowl, which hosts all of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games, isn’t worried, with Gary Stokan telling al.com that his organization has received “full assurances from the Falcons that everything’s going to be fine with the stadium.”

So, what would happen if the venue isn’t ready to play host to either game?  Both would be played next door at the Georgia Dome.

Not coincidentally, it was announced Monday that the demolition of that stadium has been postponed indefinitely.That demolition delay is being viewed, at least publicly, as strictly “an insurance policy” against the new stadium failing to receive its certificate of occupancy in time for either college football game.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is also scheduled to be the home of the SEC championship game for at least the next decade as well as the venue for the College Football Playoff title game that will be played after the 2017 season.

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.