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NCAA releases latest APR data, which means bonus money for many coaches

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It’s APR — academic progress rate — day around the NCAA which means a bunch of schools are celebrating how well their teams did in the classroom. While many programs are doing a fist pump over hitting certain thresholds, there are a number of head coaches who are picking up a nice check as the result of players staying eligible.

Like, six-figures worth of cold hard cash thanks to their players showing up to class and taking tests.

USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz knows coaches contracts better than anybody and has been tweeting out some of the bonus money that various coaches are getting as a result of APR scores. While a few amounts are somewhat modest, a few others are collecting a very, very nice check.

Lunch is on Paul Johnson today!

Northwestern led all football programs with a multi-year APR rate of 997, followed closely in the FBS ranks by Air Force, Vanderbilt and Duke among others. The overall average score for football teams across Division I ticked up two points to 964 for the 2016-17 school year. Student-athletes receive points for both staying eligible and staying in school, with a formula then determining the program’s single-year and multi-year scores.

Teams can be ruled ineligible for postseason play if their score is too low but only one program suffered that fate (Morgan State of the MEAC). Grambling also was hit with a Level One penalty for their APR score, which includes a reduction in practice time for the upcoming season. The lowest multi-year APR score for a FBS program belonged to Florida State with a 941.

Georgia, South Carolina visits in offing for Clemson transfer Josh Belk

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Another of the handful of Clemson defensive linemen who have transferred thus far this offseason could be close to finding a new home.

Reports surfaced Tuesday that Josh Belk will be visiting a pair of SEC schools this week — Georgia and South Carolina. The latter will play host to the ex-Tigers lineman on Wednesday, the former a day later on Thursday.

Belk was a four-star member of Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class. Because he enrolled early and attended classes, he’ll be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.  Beginning with the 2019 season, the South Carolina would have four years to play four seasons.

In the middle of last week, Belk announced his decision to transfer from the Tigers.

In addition to Belk, three other Tigers defensive linemen have transferred this offseason. In late January, Jabril Johnson opted to leave Clemson and ultimately ended up at West Virginia; two weeks later, Sterling Johnson took to Twitter to announce his transfer before moving on to Coastal Carolina this month. Quaven Ferguson, arrested for armed robbery in March, had announced his transfer as well prior to that off-field incident.

Four-star 2019 QB picks BYU over offers from, among others, Alabama

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First an Ivy League school and now this.

After being wooed and pursued heavily by Alabama, four-star 2018 quarterback Brevin White opted to sign with Princeton this past February.  Fast-forward three months or so, and the defending national champion Crimson Tide have been in pursuit of another four-star quarterback, this one from the Class of 2019 — Arizona high schooler Jacob Conover.

Sunday night, Conover announced on his personal Twitter account that he has committed to playing his college football at… BYU.

While Conover is a Class of 2019 recruit, he won’t see the field for the Cougars or anyone else that season as he is planning on taking a two-year LDS mission after he graduates from high school next year.  Thus, the earliest he’d be available to any school football-wise is 2021.

247Sports.com rates Conover as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the country.  In addition to BYU and Alabama, Conover held offers from, among others, Arizona State, Arizona, Northwestern, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Washington State and Wisconsin.

Don’t feel bad for Alabama’s future under center, though, as they already have a commitment from 2019 four-star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of the Tide’s national championship game hero, as well as the four-star great-grandson of the legendary Bear Bryant.

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.

Brother of Georgia QB Jake Fromm commits to… Auburn

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The annual Auburn-Georgia rivalry could soon have a little familial spice in the not-too-distant future.

This past weekend, Tyler Fromm, a Class of 2019 recruit from Warner Robins, Ga., announced that he has committed to playing his college football for the University of Auburn.  If the surname of the commit sounds familiar it should as Fromm’s older brother, Jake Fromm, is the starting quarterback at the University of Georgia.

And, for those of you who are curious, UGA was not one of the more than a dozen scholarship offers the tight end has received.

In addition to Auburn, Fromm held offers from Power Five programs such as Florida, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Purdue, South Carolina, USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.  247Sports.com currently has Fromm as a three-star prospect, rated as the No. 24 tight end in the country and the No. 54 player at any position in the state of Georgia.

Known as the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, Auburn and Georgia have played each other in football 122 times, including every year since the 1944 season.  The teams first played during the 1892 season.