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It’s official: Alabama-Miami to play in 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

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The speculation has officially come to fruition.

In the middle of last month, reports surfaced that Alabama and Miami were in negotiations to play a future football game in Atlanta.  Tuesday, it was announced that the two teams will meet in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

It will mark the first meeting between the two programs since the No. 2 Crimson Tide defeated the top-ranked Hurricanes in the 1993 Sugar Bowl.  The win gave UA its first national championship since 1979 and ended The U’s 29-game winning streak.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to open another season in Atlanta for the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Our team and our fans have always enjoyed playing in Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a fantastic competitive environment,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “This event always has the feel of a bowl game and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl staff has made it a first-class event. We have a lot of respect for Coach Richt and the Miami program, and we look forward to a great game in 2021.”

“We are excited to kick off the 2021 season against Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Both teams have great tradition. We are looking forward to the battle,” Saban’s counterpart, Mark Richt, said.

The Tide currently owns a 14-3 advantage in a series that dates back to 1941.

‘Bama has played in five previous Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games, including a win over Florida State in Week 1 that pushed their record to 5-0 in the series.  UA is also scheduled to play Duke in one of the two 2019 games.

The 2021 game will mark Miami’s first appearance.

Ohio State adds another SEC QB to program via transfer, this time from Texas A&M

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For the second time this offseason, the Ohio State Buckeyes are adding a quarterback to the roster from the land of the SEC. Jagger LaRoe announced via Twitter he is heading to Columbus to join the Buckeyes. LaRoe will be leaving behind Texas A&M to get going with Ohio State.

“Now, it’s my privilege to join a team and program with the richest heritage in college football, THE Ohio State University Buckeyes, and Buckeye Nation,” LaRoe said in a brief statement on his Twitter account Sunday evening.

LaRoe was a preferred walk-on at Texas A&M and joined the Aggies in the Class of 2018. After not seeing any time on the field for Texas A&M in 2018 and getting some brief playing time in the spring game, LaRoe will head to Ohio State with four years of eligibility at his disposal.

Ohio State previously added former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields as a transfer player this offseason. Fields, who spent his freshman season with the Bulldogs in 2018, is expected to be the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes in 2019 after getting approval for immediate eligibility at Ohio State from the NCAA. It remains to be seen if LaRoe will have to sit out the upcoming season or not, but he will certainly help pad the depth in the quarterback room at the very least for head coach Ryan Day following quite an offseason of quarterback turnover in Columbus. Dwayne Haskins left early for the NFL Draft and Tate Martell transferred to Miami after Ohio State added Fields to the program.

Illinois DE Bobby Roundtree undergoes spine surgery after swimming accident

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One of the top defensive players Illinois has is recovering from surgery following a weekend swimming accident. Defensive end Bobby Roundtree underwent surgery on Sunday for what has been reported to be a severe spinal injury.

According to a report from 247 Sports, Roundtree was visited in Florida by Illini head coach Lovie Smith, defensive line coach Austin Clark and a member of the Illinois medical staff. There is currently no update on his status following surgery or how this may eventually impact his status for the upcoming season. For now, the focus is purely on recovery from the surgery to address the spinal injury. The details of the incident resulting in the injury have not been shared at this time either other than it occurred on Saturday in Tampa.

Roundtree was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2017 of Illinois. The Florida native recorded 66 tackles with team highs of 12.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks for the Fighting Illini last season.

Report: Ex-FSU QB Deondre Francois to walk on at FAU

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Months after contemplating his future, former Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will walk-on with the FAU Owls. According to a report from 247 Sports, Francois will attempt to enroll at FAU as soon as possible to begin the process of officially joining Lane Kiffin and the Owls.

Francois was dismissed by Florida State in February by head coach Willie Taggart, with the second-year head coach of the Seminoles attempting to improve the culture of his latest football program. Francois has been cleared of a domestic assault accusation in Jan. 2018, and he had previously had a legal issue involving suspected possession of marijuana. A video shared by Francois’s girlfriend showed a man threatening her, with the man said to have been Francois One day after being dismissed by Florida State, Francois was officially entered in the NCAA transfer portal to begin weighing his options for his future.

Kiffin is no stranger to giving players another chance to play FBS football. He has been making a habit of it during his brief time in Boca Raton with the Owls. Kiffin has welcomed players from troubled pasts to build his depth on the roster, including former Oklahoma quarterback Chris Robison and a number of players who appeared in the Netflix documentary “Last Chance U.”  Kiffin has been actively adding players via transfers on top of his normal recruiting efforts and the plan has worked with a Conference USA title in 2017 and a team seemingly capable of making another run to the conference title in 2019.

That is why it may seem odd that Kiffin took a bit of a jab at the transfer portal earlier in the offseason, calling it a “sexy thing to do” for players. As it turns out, however, Kiffin may have just landed another potential starting quarterback through the transfer portal.

Francois played in 11 games for Florida State in 2018, passing for 2,731 yards and 15 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

LSU CB Kelvin Joseph reportedly plunges into transfer portal

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LSU cornerback Kelvin Joseph entered the transfer portal on Monday morning, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Joseph is a surprise entry, given that the 4-star recruit and Baton Rouge native is just a sophomore. He appeared in five games as a true freshman in 2018 — meaning he cannot use the season as a redshirt — collecting 12 tackles with one pass breakup.

He was expected to compete with incoming freshman Derek Stingley, Jr. for a starting job opposite Kristian Fulton this fall. With Fulton out due to injury, Joseph and Stingley started LSU’s spring game.

Entering the portal does not guarantee Joseph will leave, and he is still free to return as long as LSU will have him. Joseph was suspended for a violation of team rules from LSU’s Fiesta Bowl win over Central Florida, but, again, he did start the spring game, indicating he’s on good standing with Ed Orgeron and the LSU staff.