Mizzou announces 2012 recruiting class

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Columbia, Mo. – Nineteen standout student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of Missouri and play football for Head Coach Gary Pinkel, as announced today.

As of early afternoon, the class of newest Tigers has been rated as the 20th-best in the country, according to ESPN, and as the nation’s No. 32 class by Rivals.

The consistent success of the Tiger program under Head Coach Gary Pinkel undoubtedly helped attract such a talented group of student-athletes. Mizzou is one of only six schools in the nation among BCS automatic-qualifying conferences to post a minimum of eight wins in each of the last six seasons (LSU, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech and West Virginia are the others). Mizzou’s 48 wins over the past five seasons (2007-11) also ranks 9th-best in the nation among BCS-AQ schools. In addition, Mizzou continues to excel in the classroom, as it has graduated 96 percent of its seniors since 2007.

Mizzou’s coaching staff was successful in attracting not only some of the top in-state talent, but some of the top players in the nation, headlined by wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who Rivals rates as the No. 1-ranked player in the entire country. He was joined by fellow in-state standout OL Evan Boehm, who is the No. 2-rated guard in the country according to Rivals.
Included with this recruiting class is junior WR Darius White, who transferred to Mizzou in January from the University of Texas, where he played for the previous two seasons. White will redshirt in 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules, and have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.

In all, six of the state of Missouri’s top football talents signed to play for their home state school. At the same time, the coaching staff also continued its outstanding work mining the pipelines of Texas, as seven Lone Star State standouts became Tigers today.

Mizzou’s previous eight classes rated, according to Rivals: 29th in 2002, 28th in 2003, 29th in 2004, 39th in 2005, 47th in 2006, 33rd in 2007, 24th in 2008, 35th in 2009, 21st in 2010 and 48th in 2011.

“I’d like to congratulate all of these outstanding young men and to thank them and their families for putting their trust and belief in our program, and the University of Missouri,” said Head Coach Gary Pinkel. “We do have a lot to offer here, and the first thing is that they will get their degree. Our success on the field also speaks for itself, and is always an important selling point. We feel like this is a really well-rounded class that meets our needs everywhere, and they’re also a bunch of high-character guys who will represent Mizzou the right way,” he said.

BREAKDOWN BY STATE
Texas (7) – Boozer (Everman), Cuffee (Cleburne), Gibson (Missouri City), Hansbrough (Arlington), Hatley (Atlanta), White (Fort Worth), Williams (Denton)
Missouri (6) – Boehm (Lee’s Summit), Golden (St. Louis), Green-Beckham (Springfield), Newsom (St. Louis), Scherer (St. Louis), Steward (Kansas City)
Florida (1) – Culkin (Indian Rocks Beach)
Illinois (1) – Stewart (O’Fallon)
Michigan (1) – Winston (Muskegon Heights)
Ohio (1) – Mauk (Kenton)
Oklahoma (1) – Copelin (Broken Arrow)
Pennsylvania (1) – Brantley (Hershey)

LSU lands commitment from nation’s No. 1 cornerback

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LSU rarely loses a player it wants out of Louisiana. Now add in that said player isn’t just from Louisiana, but lives in Baton Rouge. Now add in that he’s regarded as the No. 1 player at his position. Yeah, this kid was never going anywhere else.

Derek Stingley, Jr., committed to LSU on Wednesday, beating out Texas and Florida.

Rivals ranks Stingley as the No. 1 corner and No. 1 overall player in its 2019 rankings. Stingley stands as the No. 1 corner and the No. 8 overall player on the 247Sports ratings. ESPN is more bullish on Stingley, slotting him as just the No. 3 cornerback and the No. 67 overall player. (247Sports lists Lewis Center, Ohio, defensive end Zach Harrison as its No. 1 overall player, while ESPN favors Westlake Village, Calif., defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.)

Stingley was previously committed to LSU, but de-committed to take his time and make an informed decision. All that information led him to the exact same conclusion.

“There are a lot of reasons I love LSU, but the main thing is coach Corey Raymond. We have built a strong relationship over a long period of time. We have really gotten to know each other. I am relaxed around him, we can talk about anything and I know he will be there for me at any time. Our connection is what really pushed LSU to the top,” he told Rivals. “This commitment is completely different. I took my time. I put more time into it and really looked at other schools. I got caught up in the hype before and I did not know anything about recruiting or other schools. I know all I need to know now and LSU is the school for me. I am done now and I will not visit any other schools.”

LSU’s 13-man class is rated No. 10 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Vanderbilt transfer DL Rutger Reitmaier receives all-clear from NCAA

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Vanderbilt got some good news Wednesday when the NCAA approved transfer Rutger Reitmaier to compete this fall.

The Nashville native signed with Oregon out of high school in 2017 but did not compete for the Ducks. He left the team after spring practice, sat out the 2017 season and enrolled at Vanderbilt in January.

“Adding Rutger to our roster is huge,” head coach Derek Mason told Vanderbilt’s official site. “He adds depth, athleticism and will be a key piece for us. I’m excited about what an impactful player he is, and it’s great to add another quality player from Nashville.”

A 4-star recruit, Reitmaier was recruited by the likes of Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but favored Vanderbilt when leaving Oregon.

“Vanderbilt was the first school I considered after deciding to leave Oregon,” he said. “It was one of my top-three schools during my initial recruitment in high school. Defense wins championships, so having a head coach like Coach Mason with that background was attractive for me. I’m excited to get going.”

 

Northwestern announces slew of schedule changes, including future home-and-homes with Tulane and Rice

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Northwestern claims they have the best home schedule in the country for the upcoming 2018 season and they have a pretty good case with Duke, Akron, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame all coming to Ryan Field. Based on the latest moves on their future schedules however, that good run of big names doesn’t quite continue.

The school announced a slew of new games in the coming years on Wednesday, including a pair of home-and-homes with AAC and CUSA opponents. First up is a date with Tulane in Evanston on Sept. 12, 2020, followed by a return game in New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2025. As a result of that first game against the Green Wave, the Wildcats had to move their previously scheduled contest against Central Michigan from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 in 2020 (also at home).

Another school in the South was also added to the NU docket with a second home-and-home series with Rice way out in the future. The pair will play in Houston on Sept. 8, 2029, while the return game at Ryan Field is set for Sept. 6… 2031. Yeah, 2031. The two teams will also meet in 2024 and 2025.

A single home game against FCS power South Dakota State was also announced by Northwestern and will be played on Sept. 12, 2026.

The moves mean the Wildcats’ non-conference slate is pretty much set in 2019 (at Stanford, vs. UNLV and UMass), 2022 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Southern Illinois) and 2024 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Rice). The games announced Wednesday fill in some of the holes left in other years but outside of the trip to the Farm next season and a home-and-home with Colorado in 2026/27, there’s not a ton to write home about.

At least Northwestern will always have that 2018 home schedule to point to.

NCAA data shows number of graduate transfers in football nearly doubled last year

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The biggest issue the NCAA is tackling at the moment is an easy one to pick out: transfers. Coaches have chimed in about potential changes and new rules have been enacted but even as we approach the Media Days portion of the calendar next month, transfer talk has been one of the hot topics across all major sports at the collegiate level.

Perhaps that interest is one reason why the NCAA released a new study this week looking into the numbers of one particular category of players: graduate transfers. While the number of actual graduate transfers remains relatively low (about 1% of the total number of student-athletes), the number itself continues to skyrocket year-by-year as more and more players take advantage of rules that allow them to graduate and play immediately at their next school.

According to the NCAA, that number of grad transfers is five times bigger in 2017 than it was in 2011 for men’s sports alone and football in particular saw the number of players moving around nearly double from 117 total in 2016 to 211 the following season. The rates are higher in men’s basketball but the overall number is naturally much bigger in football given the vastly bigger roster size.

Data for 2018 was naturally not made available since we’re just in the middle of the year but a similar increase wouldn’t be too surprising to see given the number of big names that have made headlines prior to the upcoming season. That includes players like Michigan’s Wilton Speight (to UCLA), Cal’s Tre Watson (to Texas), Notre Dame’s Jay Hayes (to Georgia) and Alabama’s Brandon Kennedy (to Tennessee) all among those taking the grad transfer route. It seems like nearly every week we see one or two players announce their intentions to take a similar path.

While we might not have 400+ players listed as graduate transfers in football when 2018 comes to a close, it certainly doesn’t appear that this trend will be slowing down anytime soon and the coaches that are complaining about this brand of “free agency” in college football will just have to get used to the new reality of player movement in light of a number of new NCAA reforms on the subject.