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Nearly three dozen teams show interest in Clemson grad transfer

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It was expected there would be a significant market for a Clemson defensive lineman leaving the Tigers as a graduate transfer. Suffice to say, that is indeed the case.

This past week, Dabo Swinney‘s football program confirmed that Scott Pagano would be leaving the team and transferring elsewhere. The head coach also revealed that the tackle would “probably” end up at a West Coast school to finish out his career.

Teams in that part of the country are indeed interested in the one-year rental, as are myriad others as 247Sports.com is reporting that 32 made contact with the lineman in the hours after his impending pending departure was announced. Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, USC, Washington and Hawaii are among the teams out west who have expressed interest.

A handful of Power Five programs further east have expressed interest as well, including Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Texas and Texas A&M. Group Five teams that have shown interest include Charlotte, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, SMU, Temple and Utah State.

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. Pagano started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Louisiana Tech RB Jaqwis Dancy finds out he’s cancer-free

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Instead of some of the normal crap that passes for offseason college football news, how about something positive?  Check, that, positively excellent.

In mid-October last year, Louisiana announced that sophomore running back Jaqwis Dancy had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Fast-forward four months and chemotherapy sessions every few weeks at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and Darcy, in a phone call Thursday evening, received the absolute best news possible — he’s cancer-free.

“It felt amazing when I heard the news that I am cancer-free,” Dancy said in quotes provided by the school. “It was something I have been waiting to hear since I was diagnosed and I can’t wait to share my happiness with all my teammates. I especially want to thank the LA Tech family and everyone who supported me in this fight. The support I have received since the beginning has been amazing. My biggest goal right now is to get back on the field with my teammates.”

Darcy is not completely done with his treatment, it should be noted, as he will still need to undergo a couple of rounds of radiation to ensure there are no lingering cells that are cancerous.  It’s unclear whether Darcy will be available for spring practice, and his status for the 2017 season wasn’t addressed.

That, though, is the least important facet of this encouraging development.

“We are thrilled about the positive news and to hear about the progress he has been making in his battle against cancer,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “It has been a tough fight for Jaqwis and his family. There is still work to do, but this is certainly positive news to celebrate. As much as anything, I am thrilled for him and his mom for what they have been through. At this point, it is nice to know he is cancer-free and we are optimistic, but we know he still has some work to do.”

As a true freshman in 2015, Dancy played in all 13 games and, while he didn’t record a carry, he did return 17 kicks for 296 yards.  An ankle injury, then the cancer diagnosis, prevented him from playing at all last season.

Ed Orgeron reaches into USC past for one hire, adds another in-state coach to LSU staff

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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has filled out his staff after two departures and not surprisingly used both Southern California and local Louisiana ties to fill each spot.

Orgeron has hired USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson to fill the same position with the Tigers, the school announced Tuesday evening. Jabbar Juluke previously occupied the same coaching spot for LSU, but was first reassigned before eventually winding up back with Texas Tech in the same role.

The hire of Robinson adds a very talented recruiter to the staff and somebody who is very familiar with the head coach’s style running the show. The two previously were on the same staff with the Trojans back in 2013 when they first worked for Lane Kiffin — right up until he was dismissed and Orgeron took over the program in Los Angeles.

“Tommie was recently named the Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year and is considered one of the top running back coaches in college football,” Orgeron said in a release. “Tommie brings an impressive resume to our staff, one that includes six years of coaching in the NFL. He’s going to be a tremendous asset to our program and will be a great resource for all of us.”

For the other staff opening, LSU went a bit more local and hired Louisiana Tech coach Mickey Joseph. While he coached tailbacks with the Bulldogs, he’ll fill in for the departed Dameyune Craig, after he was dismissed as wide receivers coach last week.

Coincidentally, Joseph took over Juluke’s position in Ruston as a coach and will, in a bit of a roundabout way, be following him to LSU too.

Either way, it’s pretty clear that Orgeron targeted two very good recruiters who he’s familiar with to round out his 2017 staff with the Tigers.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

Trey Holtz, son of Skip and grandson of Lou, starts coaching career at Ohio State

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The Holtz family coaching tree just added another branch.

Louis Leo Holtz III, better known as Trey, has joined the Ohio State staff, according to a post on his Instagram account. Holtz is the son of Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz and the grandson of College Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz.

“Super excited to start my coaching career in Columbus!!,” Holtz wrote, captioning a photo of him making the “O” inside Ohio Stadium.

Super excited to start my coaching career in Columbus!! #GoBucks

A post shared by Trey Holtz (@treyholtz) on

Ohio State has not officially announced Holtz’s hiring, but it’s a safe bet Holtz will join Urban Meyer‘s staff as a graduate assistant or quality control assistant.

Holtz played his college career at Texas as a walk-on quarterback out of powerhouse Plant High School in Tampa. He did not throw a pass, but played in 23 games as a junior and senior as the holder on field goals and extra points.