The Iron Bowl: it ain’t just for late November and in-state recruiting anymore.
Used to fighting it out for high school players in the state specifically and the SEC’s footprint in general, Alabama and Auburn have taken their recruiting rivalry much further to the west this spring. The Tide and Tigers, along with SEC rivals LSU and Florida as well as Washington, are the finalists for the services of Salt Lake City quarterback and Class of 2013 prospect Cooper Bateman.
Bateman has already visited UA and AU, and has another trip to Tuscaloosa scheduled for early June. Shortly after that visit, Bateman hopes to have a decision, although he did tell 247Sports.com that there is no front-runner in his mind right now.
“I want to decide pretty soon if possible,” Bateman said. “There is no clear school on top for me right now, but I’m looking at those five programs. I’m weighing the pros and cons of each school and evaluating the football aspect and comfort level of each program. …
“Coach (Scot) Loeffler at Auburn is great, Nuss (Doug Nussmeier, Alabama’s offensive coordinator) is someone I like a lot too.”
Neither of the Alabama schools has received a verbal commitment from a player at that position in the 2013 class — neither have the other three finalists, incidentally — so landing the non-binding verbal from Bateman would be considered a significant get for either school.
Bateman is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 6 pro-style QB in the country by the same service. 247Sports has Bateman as the No. 4 pro-style QB in the country, while Scout.com has him as the No. 4 QB of any kind.
(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)
Hokie Nation, it appears you can unofficially breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Rumors were swirling earlier this month that Josh Jackson‘s eligibility at Virginia Tech for the 2018 season was up in the air over unspecified academic issues. While there is nothing yet official from the school, multiple media outlets in the area are now reporting that whatever issues there were have been resolved and the starting quarterback remains a part of the team.
Bitter went on to write in an online story on the situation that “[t]here’s no indication he’ll face any type of suspension, meaning he most likely will be the starter for the Hokies’ opener at Florida State on Labor Day night.”
Suffice to say, this is a sizable development for the Hokies’ football fortunes in 2018.
As a redshirt freshman last season, Jackson started all 13 games for the 9-4 Hokies. He passed for 2,991 yards and ran for another 324 yards while accounting for 26 touchdowns — 20 passing, six rushing. The yards were the most for an FBS freshman in 2017, while the touchdowns passes were the second-most at this level.
If Jackson had been ruled ineligible for the upcoming season, head coach Justin Fuente would’ve then turned to either redshirt freshman Hendon Hooker or redshirt junior Ryan Willis. The former hasn’t attempted a pass at the collegiate level, although the latter, a transfer from Kansas, passed for 2,530 yards on 432 pass attempts while with the Jayhawks. Willis sat out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
The ever-benevolent NCAA continues to give, with UCF and one of its players the latest beneficiaries of The Association’s “never-ending” graciousness.
On his personal Twitter account late last week, Michael Colubiale announced that he has been informed by the NCAA that he has been granted a sixth season of eligibility. That ruling will allow the tight end to play the 2018 season for the Knights.
This upcoming season will serve as Colubiale’s final year of eligibility.
After missing the entire 2015 season due to injury, Colubiale played in all 25 games the last two years. He caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown in 2017, one season after he totaled two catches for 17 yards.
The ruling is a significant one for the Knights as they lost a combined 42 receptions for 479 yards and four touchdowns in 2017 at the tight end position due to the expired eligibility of Jordan Akins (30-459-4) and Jordan Franks (12-120). In fact, and aside from Colubiale, not a single tight end on UCF’s current roster has caught a pass at the FBS level.
The eighth player to transfer from Michigan State this offseason has found himself a new college football home.
A Southern Illinois spokesperson confirmed to mlive.com
that Kyonta Stallworth
has transferred into their football program. As the Missouri Valley Conference program plays at the FCS level, the offensive lineman-turned-defensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 for the Salukis.
Including this coming season, the defensive tackle will have two years of eligibility remaining.
The move to SIU comes nearly four weeks after Stallworth took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from the Spartans
. No specific reason for the move away from East Lansing was given at the time.
A four-star member of MSU’s 2015 recruiting class, Stallworth was rated as the No. 8 guard in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Michigan. Only one player in the Spartans’ class that year
was rated higher than Stallworth — running back LJ Scott
After redshirting as a true freshman, Stallworth played in seven games the past two seasons. Five of those appearances came in 2017, a season in which he was credited with 11 tackles (seven assisted, four solo) and a pair of quarterback hurries. All told, he finished the MSU portion of his playing career with 12 tackles.
It’s been a day full of massive news in college football. After word broke that Alabama has offered a 6-foot-7 offensive lineman entering his freshman year of high school, Texas Tech did the Tide one better.
On Sunday, the Red Raiders landed the commitment of 6-foot-11, 345-pound offensive lineman Trevor Roberson.
A 3-star member of the Class of 2019, Roberson also reported offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and others. He is the sixth member of Kliff Kingsbury‘s 2019 class, and the fourth player to pledge in the past week.
“The crowd was huge, first off. The crowd was amazing,” Roberson told 247Sports of a visit to see the Red Raiders’ loss to Oklahoma State last season. “If there were empty seats, you couldn’t see them. It was tremendous. My favorite part was seeing the players, I love watching those guys play. It’s truly amazing to see how, for me personally, these college athletes started from the same position I did, and you see where they are now. They have a lot of heart. Texas Tech is an amazing school and an amazing program, and I’ve always felt that way about them.”
Roberson hails from Wellington, Texas, a Panhandle town between Amarillo and Norman, Okla. Wellington claims just 2,100 residents, so Roberson may be the biggest thing to come out of his hometown — literally and figuratively.