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Report: Duke in play for transferring Clemson QB Hunter Johnson

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Clemson may not be done seeing Hunter Johnson live and in-person on a football field after all.

According to 247Sports.com, Johnson, who earlier this month decided to transfer from Clemson, has been granted a full release from his scholarship, meaning he could potentially transfer to another ACC school.  In that vein, and citing a source close to the situation, the same website is now reporting “Duke has entered the picture for” the quarterback.  Whether an official visit is in the offing is unknown at this time.

As previously reported, Big Ten programs Northwestern and Purdue are also in play for Johnson.  247Sports.com noted that Johnson would the first five-star player ever to play for either of the three programs currently connected to the quarterback.

The composite board on that recruiting site had Johnson rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 30 player at any position for the Class of 2017. As a true freshman, Johnson completed 21 of his 27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in seven appearances.

Regardless of where Johnson ultimately ends up, he’ll have to sit out the 2018 season.  The Brownsburg, Indiana, native would then have three years of eligibility remaining that he can use beginning in 2019.

Dismissed in December, starting punter/kicker Austin Parker reinstated by Duke

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Five months after getting the boot, Austin Parker has been welcomed back.

Duke announced in a press release Wednesday that Parker has been reinstated to the Blue Devils football program.  In December, the specialist was dismissed from both the team and the school after an initial suspension from the institution for a violation of university academic policy.

The school stated in the release that Parker “has been readmitted to Duke and begins the Summer I session today while resuming all football-related activities.”

“During this process, Parker has displayed humility and wisdom while, through his actions, regaining our trust,” a statement from head football coach David Cutcliffe began. “This certainly hasn’t been easy, but that’s the way life lessons can be taught. He went through the procedure for re-application to the school and, most importantly, continues his education here at Duke immediately with the first summer school session.”

This past season, Parker served as the Blue Devils’ starting punter and kicker.  Parker led the team in scoring with 84 points in 2017 (17-21 field goals, 33-35 extra points) while also averaging just over 42 yards a punt.  Amongst ACC players, Parker ranked fourth in field goals per game (1.42), tied for ninth in scoring (7.00 points per game) and 10th in punting average at the time of his dismissal.

The suspension and dismissal meant that Parker wasn’t available for Duke’s Quick Lanes Bowl win over Northern Illinois in late December.

Duke and Middle Tennessee tack on two more games to future schedule

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Duke and Middle Tennessee are scheduled to meet for the first time on the football field in 2019 and 2020 as part of a previously announced scheduling agreement. Before getting to those games, however, the Blue Devils and Blue Raiders have decided to add a couple more games to the future schedule.

As reported by Stephen Wiseman of The News & Observer in North Carolina, earlier this week via Twitter, Duke and Middle Tennessee will play in 2024 and 2025, with each school getting a home game in the deal. Duke will host Middle Tennessee on Sept. 14, 2024. Middle Tennessee will host Duke for a season opener the following season on August 31, 2025.

As part of a previous home-and-home deal, Middle Tennessee is scheduled to host Duke on Sept. 14, 2019. Duke will visit Middle Tennessee on Sept. 5, 2020. The latest two-game deal fills Duke’s non-conference schedule in 2025, leaving vacancies to fill in 2022, 2023, and 2024. As a member of the ACC, Duke is to play one power conference opponent each season. The Blue Devils have already fulfilled that scheduling obligation through 2030 with non-conference scheduling and Notre Dame’s ACC scheduling rotation. Duke opens the 2019 season in Atlanta against Alabama.

Middle Tennessee has power conference opponents lined up 2020 and has future power conference opponents scheduled from 2022 through 2025 with the addition of two more games against Duke. The Blue Raiders will also be playing Vanderbilt, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Iowa, Ole Miss, and Missouri in the coming seasons.

Helmet sticker to FBSchedules.com.

Alabama blocking GRAD TRANSFER Brandon Kennedy from SEC schools

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Ridiculous, asinine, petty, you name it.  Again.

After leaving Alabama as a graduate transfer in June of 2016, Maurice Smith‘s intended transfer to Georgia was initially blocked by UA before both the school and the SEC relented. Fast-forward nearly two years, and Brandon Kennedy, who earlier this month decided to take the grad transfer route out of ‘Bama, is being barred by his former university from transferring to any school in the conference, al.com is reporting

Specifically, the website reported that the offensive lineman is interested in a transfer to rivals Auburn and Tennessee. Kennedy, who received his bachelor’s degree from the university last December, is appealing the inane restrictions.

In addition to the intra-conference restrictions placed on the graduate transfer, Kennedy, who has two years of eligibility remaining, is also barred from transferring to seven of the eight schools on UA’s non-conference schedule the next two years — Arkansas State, Duke, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and The Citadel. Kennedy will be allowed, for whatever reason, to play for FCS Western Carolina, which is nice.

In granting Smith’s 2016 request for a waiver, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey noted that, “among other contributing factors, that a student-athlete who graduates in three years and exhibits a strong commitment to his or her academic future provides compelling motivation to help them achieve their goals on and off the field.”

Kennedy enrolled in classes at UA in the summer of 2016 and graduated a little over three years later.

Since last summer, two players have transferred within the SEC. In June of 2017, running back David Williams moved from South Carolina to Arkansas. Earlier this month, defensive back Nick Harvey left Texas A&M and chose South Carolina over, among others, Auburn and Tennessee.

Both Williams and Harvey left their former schools as graduate transfers.

And then there’s this: Chris Black, who announced his decision to transfer from Alabama in December of 2016, landed at Missouri as a graduate transfer in February of 2017 — without Nick Saban or the university blocking his move to the SEC East school.

ACC confirms Charlotte home of football title game through 2030

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A relationship that’s was wobbly as recently as last year has been further solidified thanks to today’s development.

Wednesday, it was reported that the ACC would be announcing future venues — or venue, singular — for its football championship game.  A day later, the league confirmed, as expected, that its title game will remain in Charlotte for the foreseeable future.

The new agreement will keep the game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium through the 2030 season.  The city was already set to host the game in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“Charlotte has been a tremendous home for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and we’re pleased to announce the Queen City as our championship destination through 2030,” said conference commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “With the outstanding efforts by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Carolina Panthers and city of Charlotte, our game has grown into one of the premier sporting events in the country. We look forward every year to this annual celebration of ACC Football.”

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010 before a controversial bill resulted in the conference yanking the 2016 game from the city and moving it to Orlando.  In 2017, the game was moved back to Charlotte.

Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).