Long an Auburn commit, Dee Liner signs with Tide

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Monday night, five-star linebacker Reuben Foster, a one-time Auburn verbal commitment, announced that he would sign with Alabama.

Two days later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat for another highly-touted former AU commit.

Four-star defensive lineman Dee Liner confirmed growing speculation over the past couple of weeks, announcing Wednesday afternoon that he will be signing with Alabama.  Liner had long been an AU verbal, committing to the Tigers in June of 2011 and sticking to that pledge through a three-win season that led to a coaching change.

In mid-January, however, the Muscle Shoals (Ala.) lineman publicly announced that he had decommitted from Auburn.  While he would only state that he was reopening his recruitment and did not decommit with a particular team in mind, it has long been thought he would stay in-state with the Tide.

Liner is the No. 7 defensive tackle according to Rivals.com and the No. 61 player at any position.  His addition also helped push the Tide back ahead of Ohio State in Rivals‘ team rankings.

Don’t shed too many tears for Auburn, however, as the Tigers are putting together a very strong class, particularly along the defensive line.  AU currently holds down the No. 9 spot in the country after coming into the day tied with Ole Miss for No. 11.

As for Foster, there was some concern/snark that he might flip back to Auburn on signing day.  That turned out not to be the case as the linebacker did indeed sign and fax his National Letter of Intent to Alabama, officially making him the third five-star member of the two-time defending BCS champion’s 2013 class.

And, in a nod to his new head coach, Foster displayed a flash of style as he put pen to paper:

Reuben Foster

No, that’s not a tanned, bulked-up Nick Saban.  Yes, and thanks to the Opelika-Auburn News, that’s Foster honoring Saban with the coach’s trademark hat/vest combo.

Well played, Reuben.  Well played.

Matt Wells adds former assistant Mark Tommerdahl as special teams coach at Texas Tech

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Texas Tech officially announced the hiring of Mark Tommerdahl to be the new special teams coach for the Red Raiders on the staff led by Matt Wells. Tommerdahl takes on the title of associate head coach as well as special teams coordinator and assistant offensive line coach.

Wells previously had Tommerdahl as a special teams coach at Utah State in 2017. Tommerdahl spent the 2018 season as special teams and tight ends coach at Purdue. He has had previous stops at Cal, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wyoming during his coaching career since 1984.

During their one season together at Utah State in 2017, Wells and Tommerdahl had a special teams unit that ranked fourth in the nation in blocked punts and owned a top 25 kickoff return defense. Last year, Tommerdahl’s Purdue special teams ranked 39th in punting (while Texas Tech ranked 61st) and 29th in punt return defense (Texas Tech was 40th). Purdue kicked just one kickoff out of bounds last season, while Texas Tech kicked six kickoffs out of bounds.

Troy LB Tron Folsom says he will enter NCAA transfer portal

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One of Troy’s top defensive players will be looking to play somewhere new in 2019. Tron Folsom announced he will enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal to begin evaluating any potential options for his final year of eligibility on the football field.

“After talking it over with my family, I will enter my name in the transfer porta and re-open my recruitment as a graduate transfer in the spring,” Folsom said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Friday. “I have no specific schools in mind and will be open minded during this process.”

As a graduate transfer, Folsom will be eligible to play immediately for whatever his new program may be this fall. He will have just one year of eligibility remaining after playing in a total of 38 games for Troy over the past three seasons.

Folsom recorded 9.0 tackles for a loss among his 82 total tackles for the Trojans last season. Folsom also had three sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

30-year old Aussie punter from Maryland enters transfer portal

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After starting each of Maryland’s last 24 games, punter Wade Lees is ready to explore his potential options. According to a report on Friday, Lees has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, allowing him to be in contact with other programs who may be in need of a new punter on their football roster.

The oldest player in the Big Ten last season, Lees has one year of eligibility remaining.

Lees punted 67 times with a punting average of 40.93 yards per punt last season for Maryland.  He punted five times inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in a game against Penn State last November. It was the second time he had downed five punts inside the 20-yard line in a game during his Maryland career. In 2017, Lees punted 64 times for an average of 39.23 yards per punt. Those numbers put him right about in the middle of the Big Ten punting categories with the second-highest average number of punts per game. Lees started for Maryland for all 13 games played in his freshman season of 2016 as well.

With Lees potentially on the move, Maryland’s roster has just one player listed as a punter on the official team roster published online. Bentley Faulkner, who did not appear in a game in 2018 as a true freshman, figures to take over the punting duties during spring football practices. Expect Maryland head coach Mike Locksley to try adding a punter before the fall, if just for depth as the worst-case scenario.

Mike Leach’s final lecture will stream live through the magic of the internet

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Technology is a wonderful thing. And because of it, we’ll all be able to witness to Mike Leach instructing his class this spring semester at Washington State. Specifically, the world will be invited to observe the final session of Leach’s course, Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare and Football Strategies, in late April.

Leach’s course is an extracurricular course being offered by Washington State with four separate sessions beginning in late March. The course is only available to WSU students, of course, but WSU knows there is much to be gained by allowing Leach’s class to be viewed by others outside of Pullman.

According to a statement released by Washington State, the final session will summarize all four previous lectures and there will be a live Q&A session. Those watching the live feed will be invited to submit questions in text form for the Q&A too.