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Georgia makes Kirby Smart the latest $7 million a year coach with new $49 million deal

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Not many coaches have it better than Kirby Smart does. Especially after this week.

Hot on the heels of leading his alma mater to an SEC title, the cusp of a national title and the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, Georgia made their head coach the latest in college football to top the $7 million a season salary mark with a new seven year, $49 million contract.

“Kirby has provided an incredible level of energy and excitement to our football program, and we look forward to his leadership for many years to come,” Athletic Director Greg McGarity said in a statement.

“I’d like to first thank President Morehead and Greg McGarity for allowing me to lead this program,” added Smart.  “I’m humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me and won’t ever take that for granted. I’d also like to thank our staff and our entire football family. Without their hard work and dedication we wouldn’t have been able to have the kind of success we’ve had in such a short period of time.”

Smart is 21-7 overall at the school since taking over prior to the 2016 season. Fittingly enough, the announcement of the new deal comes on the same day that his predecessor in Athens, Mark Richt, received a new contract from his own alma mater of Miami.

The hefty salary bump for Smart makes him the sixth member of the $7 million+ club in college football, joining his old boss Nick Saban at Alabama, as well as Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. Of the group, only half of the members have a national title ring as a head coach, though Smart and Malzahn have them from their time as key coordinators.

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.