2014 recruit creates stir with fake visit to Notre Dame

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Based on the twists and turns the Manti Te’o saga has taken over the past week, of course someone did that.

Sunday, 2014 recruit and Georgia verbal commitment Stanley Williams spoke glowingly to 247Sports.com‘s Notre Dame website regarding a visit he had taken to the school over the weekend.

The visit went great,” Williams said. “It was great to experience something new and different, and we had a great time at the game. I had been looking forward to it for a while, and it was great to just get out there and see a new place. I plan on getting up there a couple more times in the future.”

Williams added that while he was interested in the Irish prior to the visit, “[a]fter taking the visit there, they are definitely high up there on my list and a factor in my recruitment.

The only problem?  Williams never actually visited the school.

In a note posted this afternoon atop the original story, the site wrote “BlueandGold.com has now learned [Williams] never made it to South Bend for the visit.”  Why Williams, who is one of the top players in the state of Georgia, would make up a story about visiting Notre Dame is not known.

It’s not like the player needs the attention; he already holds offers from, among others, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Mississippi State, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee.  247Sports.com rates him as the No. 4 all-purpose back in the country in the Class of 2014, while Rivals.com has him listed as a four-star recruit.

What the recruiting trail repercussions will be for Williams is unclear.  Jason Sapp, editor of Blue & Gold Illustrated, likely summed up the short-term damage as it pertains to the Irish with an open-ended tweet posted on his Twitter account.

“If a recruit is looking for a quick way to drop off of a program’s big board…”

(Tip O’ the Cap: SBNation.com)

Dabo Swinney turns Georgia Tech’s loss to The Citadel into swipe at Alabama, South Carolina, SEC

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The Citadel beat Georgia Tech on Saturday. It’s not great for the ACC, and particularly not great if you’re a College Football Playoff contender with the Yellow Jackets on your schedule, as Clemson is.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about that game on Tuesday, and he deftly pivoted from a black mark on the ACC’s resume into a swipe at the entire SEC.

“That’s college football,” Swinney told 247Sports. “I mean heck, The Citadel was probably Alabama’s toughest game last year until Georgia. I mean I’m just telling the truth. The Citadel beat South Carolina somewhere here in the not-too-long-ago (past). That’s not a shocker. Georgia State went over and beat Tennessee. I mean that’s college football. Anything can happen, especially early, especially early in the season. Because nobody knows anything about anybody at this point.”

The Citadel played Alabama to a 10-10 halftime score last November… before the Tide pulled away for a 50-17 win, and the military academy did beat South Carolina in 2015.

But it wasn’t Alabama’s closest pre-Georgia game, but arguing facts when you’re in a troll-esque argument proves you’ve already lost, doesn’t it?

Florida to host Florida Atlantic in 2021

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Florida will host Florida Atlantic in 2021, FAU announced Tuesday. The game will take place on Sept. 4 and serve as the season-opener for both schools.

The schools have met three times previously, all of them in Gainesville. Florida won 59-20 on Nov. 17, 2007, 41-3 on Sept. 3, 2011, and 20-14 on Nov. 21, 2015.

The game will round out both schools’ non-conference schedules.

Florida will visit USF on Sept. 11, host Florida State on Nov. 27 and has a TBD home game against Samford, most likely on Nov. 20.

Today’s news means Florida has a future game on the schedule with every FBS program in the Sunshine State except UCF and Florida International. Florida beat Miami in Orlando to open this season and will play a home-and-home with the ‘Canes in 2024-25.

Florida Atlantic will follow its Gainesville trip with an excursion to Colorado Springs to play Air Force. After that, the Owls will host Fordham and Georgia Southern to round out September.

 

With Husky mascot retiring in 2021, Northern Illinois to introduce successor on Tuesday

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Northern Illinois’ husky mascot, Mission, is retiring in 2021, and on Tuesday the school will introduce his successor.

Mission II, born on July 6 and weighing a tender 14.5 ounces, will replace Mission two years from now, and the puppy will begin his official duties as NIU’s next official mascot on Tuesday.

“We have long been searching for the heir apparent to Mission, and there is no question that we have found the right Huskie,” NIU Alumni Association Executive Director Reggie Bustinza said. “Mission has set very high expectations, but there is no doubt in my mind that Mission II cannot only meet those demands, but surpass them.

“We are happy that Mission will have plenty of years to enjoy his retirement.”

Mission will turn 10 years old in 2021, and by that time Mission II will be fully versed in all the expectations placed upon the Official Northern Illinois Husky.

Mission II, a Siberian husky born in southern Wisconsin, will accompany Mission “to all eligible events for experiential learning and proofing,” which begins at a tasting for an NIU-branded beer on Tuesday evening in DeKalb.

The school has not revealed when Mission II will make his debut at a Husky football game, and in the meantime he’ll continue training with Lisa Boland while also attending daily puppy classes.

“I’m most looking forward to seeing Mission and Mission II do the job together during the training period,” Boland said. “It will be wonderful to watch ‘Mini-Mish’ learn from Mission, and see them work as a team. Mission has set a very high bar in mascotting, and Mission II will be working very hard to follow in his footsteps. I am so proud of Mission and the work that he’s done as the official NIU mascot.

“I am thrilled to have the privilege of guiding his successor to best represent Huskie Nation.”

Troy loses RB B.J. Smith, SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, to season-ending injury

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This one will certainly leave a lasting mark.

Over the summer, Troy’s B.J. Smith was named as the Sun Belt Conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.  Two months later, the football program confirmed, the running back will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2019 season because of an injury sustained in the Week 3 loss to Southern Miss.

While the specific nature of the injury wasn’t divulged by the school, it’s believed Smith injured his knee midway through the second quarter of last Saturday’s game.

Last season, Smith led the Trojans with 1,186 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.  This season, the fourth-year senior had rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in two games.

Because of the timing of the injury, Smith can take a redshirt for the 2019 season and return to the Trojans next season.