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Former Michigan teammates Kareem Walker and Ahmir Mitchell reuniting at JUCO program

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Running back Kareem Walker, a former four-star running back recruit of Michigan, is leaving the Wolverines for a chance to get his football career back on track at a much lower level. According to a Detroit Free Press report, Walker is joining the Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.

Walker’s addition to the JUCO program in Kansas was announced by Fort Scott Community College head coach Kale Pick at a recent media day event for Kansas junior college programs. The same program also reportedly will add former Rutgers wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, who started his college career at Michigan before transferring to the Scarlet Knights. He was dismissed by Rutgers last October, months after tearing an ACL.

Walker was the fifth-ranked recruit in the state of New Jersey in the Class of 2016 and Rivals ranked him as the nation’s sixth-best running back. His signing was a big deal for Michigan at the time, because he had previously been heading to Ohio State. After sitting out the 2016 season, Walker appeared in five games for Michigan last fall and he rushed for 68 yards on 20 rushing attempts in backup duty. Had he returned to Michigan this fall, he likely would have continued backing up Karan Higdon and Chris Evans.

Mitchel was also a four-star recruit for Michigan in the Class of 2016, although he never played a game for Michigan before moving back to New Jersey to try playing for Rutgers.

After placing name in transfer database then withdrawing it, LSU’s Davin Cotton is back in the portal

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Just when you thought he was out, it pulls him right back in.

Earlier this month, Davin Cotton opted to place his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in a move away from LSU.  Two days later, however, the defensive lineman, as is his right, opted to pull his name from the portal and remain with the Tigers.

A week later, though, Cotton has reportedly reentered the database.

A four-star member of LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, Cotton was rated as the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Louisiana.  Cotton played in two games as a true freshman this past season.

Cotton is the second LSU defensive lineman to enter the database this week.  Wednesday, citing a desire to be closer to his home in Texas, Dominique Livingston took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from the Tigers.

Penn State replaces special teams coordinator lost to NFL

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A week after losing his special teams boss to the NFL, James Franklin has found a replacement.

Penn State confirmed Thursday that Joe Lorig has been hired as Franklin’s new special teams coordinator.  Lorig will also serve as an unspecified defensive assistant as part of Franklin’s Nittany Lions coaching staff.

The move to hire Lorig comes after Phil Galiano, who spent two years with the Nittany Lions, left earlier this month for a job in the NFL.

“We are looking forward to having Joe join our staff,” a statement from Franklin began. “We conducted a comprehensive study of special teams coordinators across the country to find the best fit for our staff and identified Joe as the best candidate. His special teams units have a history of being among the best in the country and we know he can continue that success here. I have also known Joe for many years, dating back to when we worked together at Idaho State under Larry Lewis.”

“I am extremely excited to join the staff at Penn State University and begin working with such a storied program,” Lorig said. “Penn State is a program with outstanding players, coaches and tradition. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Franklin and his entire coaching staff. My wife, three children and I are very appreciative of the opportunity to join the Nittany Lion family, and we look forward to helping Penn State win championships!”

The past three seasons, Lorig was the special teams coordinator at Memphis.  He also served as the outside linebackers coach for the Tigers.

Ex-Texas All-American takes defensive line job at UTSA

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Rod Wright is officially returning to the state that helped launch his coaching career.

As had been speculated on over the last few days, UT-San Antonio has announced that Wright has been hired by Frank Wilson as the head coach’s new defensive line coach.  Wright played his college football for the Texas Longhorns in the mid-aughts, earning All-American and All-Big 12 honors as a defensive lineman during his time in Austin.

“We are excited to announce Rod Wright as our new defensive line coach,” Wilson said in a statement. “He was an outstanding collegiate player and he has done an exceptional job mentoring defensive linemen everywhere he’s coached. We think he’s one of the best young coaches in the country and he will be a great addition to our staff.”

This past season, Wright served as the line coach at East Carolina, his first on-field role at the FBS level.  Prior to that, he spent four seasons at FCS Sam Houston State.

Wright began his coaching career at his alma mater, working as a student assistant/defensive special assistant for three years at UT beginning in 2011.

Nation’s top 2017 recruit announces transfer to Miami

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The transfer train has made yet another stop in South Florida, and this one brought a passenger with a helluva high school pedigree with not a lot to show for yet on his college résumé.

In mid-December, it was reported that Jaelan Phillips would be transferring from UCLA.  A little over two months later, Phillips announced on Twitter that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Miami.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, Phillips will likely have to sit out the 2019 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility to use beginning in 2020.

Phillips was the No. 1-rated recruit in the entire country for the Class of 2017 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  Despite that lofty ranking, although in large part due to injury, his collegiate career thus far hasn’t amounted to much.

As a true freshman, Phillips started four of the seven games in which he played. Despite missing nearly half the season because of an ankle injury, he finished fourth on the Bruins in tackles for loss with seven and second in sacks with 3.5. Battling additional injuries in 2018, including concussions, Phillips played in just four games this past season.

Phillips would be at least the seventh FBS player — and sixth from a Power Five program — to transfer to Miami since Manny Diaz took over at The U, joining USC safety Bubba Bolden (HERE), Virginia Tech defensive end Trevon Hill (HERE), Auburn running back Asa Martin (HERE), Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell (HERE), Buffalo wide receiver K.J. Osborn (HERE) as well as Phillips’ former UCLA teammate, defensive tackle Chigozie Nnoruka (HERE).