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Pair of transferring ‘Bama DBs could be headed for the Sunshine State

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On the move from Alabama, a pair of former (maybe, in one case) Tide defensive backs could remain in the South to continue their collegiate playing careers.

Earlier this week, al.com reported that senior Maurice Smith (pictured, No. 21) has decided to leave ‘Bama and move on as a graduate transfer. In a subsequent interview with SBNation.com, Smith said he is “highly considering” a transfer to Miami. From the State of the U website:

According to our conversation, Smith loved the outlook of Coach Richt, and already has a relationship with Diaz, from his days at Texas. He felt that Miami was on the “come up”.

However, in a statement attributed to the Smith family, a return to Tuscaloosa is not out of the question. “[Smith] has chosen to entertain options for his senior season of college football… [having] positioned him[self] with the option to either complete his college football career at Alabama, or exercise his graduate-transfer option to play his true Senior season at another institution.”

Oregon, Oregon State and Wisconsin have also reportedly been in play for the defensive back.

One of Smith’s former Tide teammates, Shawn Burgess-Becker, had announced earlier this month his decision to transfer from the school. According to a report from al.com, there’s a “98-percent” chance Burgess-Becker transfers to UCF. The same source added that “[o]ne of the only things that could lead to Burgess-Becker going somewhere other than Central Florida is a scholarship offer from Miami.”

A final, public decision from the rising sophomore is expected to come no later than Friday.

A four-star member of the Tide’s 2015 recruiting class, Burgess-Becker was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 10 athlete in the country; the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 166 prospect overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

As a true freshman, Burgess-Becker played in 13 games, mainly on special teams. He was credited with three tackles.

Also a four-star recruit, albeit in the Class of 2013, Smith was rated as the No. 9 corner in the country and the No. 84 prospect overall. All told, Smith played in 41 games for the Tide. He started a pair of those contests.

Smith will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. Burgess-Baker will be forced to sit out the 2016 season, then have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

After dustup with Uga, Texas president says Bevo is not leaving the sidelines

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Finally, a story NOT about the transfer portal.

Prior to the Sugar Bowl between Texas and Georgia, somebody decided it would be fun to do a photo with the live animal mascots of the Longhorns and Bulldogs. As Uga made his way over to see Texas mascot Bevo, the longhorn burst out of his caged area and made it known he was not about being a part of a fun photo opp. Fortunately, there were no injuries to report for any people or animals in the incident, but concerns about the handling of Bevo were certainly raised.

And despite pressure from PETA to stop including live animal mascots as part of the gameday experience and any others who may have voiced concerns about the worst-case scenarios involving a live steer, Texas president Gregory Fenves says Bevo will not be retired and forced to watch Longhorns football games from the ranch.

“We take the safety very seriously, but we’re going to continue to have Bevo as our mascot,” Fenves said in a recent interview with the American-Statesman. “He’s an incredible animal and a great symbol for the university. Seriously, we’re always looking at the protocols for Bevo at public events. I don’t think they need to be revised.”

So there you have it. Bevo stays. Sorry, not sorry, PETA. Unless Bevo does decide to enter the transfer portal…

Wisconsin TE Kyle Penniston enters transfer portal

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I have never seen it myself, but the transfer portal must be the place to be. Wisconsin tight end Kyle Penniston is just one of the many players putting his name in the transfer portal, as reported Wednesday, as he begins to look for a new place to finish up his college football career.

First reported by 247 Sports, Penniston will have one year of eligibility left to use for the 2019 season. He will be eligible to play right away this fall as a graduate transfer. Penniston enrolled at Wisconsin in 2015 after accepting an offer from Wisconsin over offers from Oklahoma and a handful of other top programs in the Class of 2015.

Penniston appeared in 13 games for the Badgers in 2018 with three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown. The instant rise of Jake Ferguson at the tight end position on his way to becoming the second-leading receiver for Wisconsin meant Penniston likely wasn’t going to play a pivotal role in the offensive gameplan in 2019. Wisconsin should still be in decent shape at the tight end position this fall, not that losing an upper classmen at the position is ever a good situation for a program. It’s worth noting Penniston was recruited under former head coach Gary Andersen, who adopted a different type of offensive scheme that would have potentially been a better fit for Penniston.

Where Penniston goes next remains to be seen.

Reports: ‘Medical condition’ prompts Royal Silver to leave Minnesota

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It appears Minnesota won’t have a sizable piece of its defensive line rotation moving forward.

Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press are reporting that Royal Silver has left P.J.Fleck‘s football program because of what were described as “medical reasons.” The specific health issue or issues with which the defensive lineman is dealing hasn’t been divulged.

Thus far, the university has declined to discuss Silver’s status with the team moving forward.

Silver spent his first two seasons at an Iowa junior college, then took a redshirt for the 2017 season after transferring to Minnesota.  This past season, the 6-3, 300-pound lineman started five of the 11 games in which he played.

Amid reports of transfers, including QB Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech issues statement

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This is certainly an odd development that, given the plethora of transfers that only continues to rise, could actually become the norm.

Tuesday night, a pair of Virginia Tech football players, including second-leading receiver Eric Kumah, took to Twitter to announce that they had decided to transfer/enter their name into the NCAA transfer database.  A day later, it’s being reported that Josh Jackson, who, after going through a tumultuous offseason, began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury, has placed his name in the transfer database as well.

Given all of the abrupt roster upheaval, Tech head coach Justin Fuente issued a statement Wednesday afternoon somewhat addressing the developments over the last 24 hours or so.