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Indiana confirms addition of Syracuse transfer Kayton Samuels

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The reported addition to Indiana’s roster has officially come to fruition.

Tuesday morning, IU confirmed that Kayton Samuels has decided to transfer to the university and will play his football for the Hoosiers.  The defensive tackle is set to graduate from Syracuse May 12, and will join the team shortly thereafter.

As a graduate transfer, Samuels will be eligible to play immediately in 2018, his final season of eligibility.

“Kayton is a big body in the middle who immediately shores up our defense,” head coach Tom Allen said in quotes distributed by the school. “He brings a lot of experience with his 24 starts in the ACC. We are pleased to welcome him into our program.”

Samuels announced his decision to transfer from the Orange in mid-December.

In 34 career games for the ACC school, Samuels was credited with 44 tackles, 4.5 of which were for a loss, as well as a fumble recovery.  Of those 34 appearances, Samuels started in a dozen of them — seven in 2017, five the year before.

Syracuse DT Kayton Samuels headed to Indiana as graduate transfer

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If a coach gets news on a random Sunday in the offseason, usually it’s nothing positive and typically involves a player arrest. That is not the case for Tom Allen on this week however.

That’s because Syracuse defensive tackle Kayton Samuels made it official and confirmed on his Instagram and Twitter accounts that he would be joining the Hoosiers football team as a graduate transfer.

Samuels, who runs 6-foot, 319 pounds, had started 24 games during his three seasons with the Orange. While he was set to be a rotation player for the team in 2018 but it seems it would have been behind likely starter McKinley Williams at the defensive tackle spot, which might have contributed to the transfer out of the program and away from a staff that didn’t recruit him.

As a graduate transfer, Samuels will be eligible right away in Bloomington and will help solidify some depth at the position in addition to competing for a starting job. Amazingly, he becomes the sixth player to transfer out of upstate New York this offseason and follows Rodney Williams (to Temple) out the door this past week.

QB Nick Tronti announces decision to transfer from Indiana

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Not long after adding one quarterback, Indiana has, understandably, lost another.

On April 11, IU officially announced that Arizona graduate transfer quarterback Brandon Dawkins had signed with the football program.  Nearly three weeks later, fellow signal-caller Nick Tronti announced via Twitter that he had decided to transfer from the Hoosiers and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.

“I am now exploring all of my options to continue to chase my football dreams,” Tronti wrote. “I wish [head coach Tom Allen] and the entire IU football program the best.”

Tronti was a three-star 2017 signee who was rated as the No. 30 dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Interestingly, Tronti’s only other Power Five scholarship offer came from… Arizona.

He took a redshirt as a true freshman last season, but was named as the Hoosiers’ Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

This summer, Dawkins will join a quarterback fray that includes true freshman Michael Penix and redshirt sophomore Peyton Ramsey battling for the starting job.  At best, Tronti would’ve been the No. 4 quarterback heading into summer camp.

Comcast drops Big Ten Network from some out-of-market areas

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Finding something to replace the Michigan spring game on the schedule is suddenly the least of the Big Ten Network’s worries this week. The same could be fans of the conference who live outside the league’s footprint too.

Reports started surfacing Thursday afternoon and evening that cable giant Comcast (who, full disclosure, is the parent company of NBC Universal) had dropped BTN from its lineup in a rather unexpected move given there was no word about any potential carriage battle between the two. As it turns out, this isn’t some wild rumor spreading on social media, the company is indeed dropping BTN from certain packages outside states within the Big Ten footprint.

Straight from the Comcast corporate account:

Markets in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will continue to receive the BTN feed like normal.

While some might worry first about whether or not they’re able to watch a certain game, there is a financial aspect to this news that should not go unnoticed. Comcast pays to carry the Big Ten Network and has a different price they pony up each month for the channel depending on what market it is. The out-of-market price is significantly lower than the in-market price but, when you add it all up over 12 months a year and millions of subscribers, this is still a potentially huge hit worth millions of dollars to the bottom line of BTN and, in turn, the schools themselves.

Needless to say this does not impact other providers such as Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish, Verizon and others but this remains an issue for those who have Comcast and want to watch BTN outside Big Ten territory. Based on the states listed above, even those near Big Ten areas like Maryland fans who live in Northern Virginia or Rutgers alumni in Connecticut could also be facing some changes.

You can still likely get the channel in your area on Comcast but it may now require a change to a different package so if you’re a Buckeye in Oregon or a Wolverine in California, you might want to double-check your channel lineup after today’s news.

Indiana makes addition of Arizona transfer QB Brandon Dawkins official

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There’s officially a new member of Indiana’s quarterbacks room.

Overnight, reports surfaced that Brandon Dawkins had decided to transfer to Indiana.  Early this afternoon, IU confirmed that, after he graduates from Arizona in May, Dawkins will join the Hoosiers football team and be eligible to play immediately in 2018 as a grad transfer.

This will be Dawkins’ final season of eligibility.

“We are very excited to add Brandon Dawkins to our football family,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “He brings leadership and experience to our team. Brandon is coming to Indiana to compete to be our starting quarterback.”

In February of this year, Dawkins announced his decision to transfer from Arizona.  In addition to Indiana, Dawkins had also visited Florida Atlantic as he looked to find a new program.  Nebraska and UCLA were in the mix for the quarterback’s services as well.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before the force of nature known as Khalil Tate took over. All told, he played in 23 games during his four seasons in the desert. The 13 starts previously mentioned were the only ones of his UA career.

For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.

“I’m fired up to get out to Bloomington, join my new family and get to work,” Dawkins said. “To not be taking part in spring ball right now and going to IU and seeing the guys competing, it got me excited. I see myself doing great with this team. I’m ready to be a Hoosier and to get to work with Coach Allen, Coach DeBord and Coach Sheridan.”