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NCAA extends recruiting dead period through May 31

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The NCAA has officially extended its dead period for all recruiting activities, shutting down the key spring evaluation period for college football in the process.

In a brief statement released Wednesday afternoon, via Twitter, the NCAA announced the recruiting dead period, which was originally put into effect in mid-March, was extended through May 31. The decision was made following advice and information from experts monitoring the ongoing pandemic linked to COVID-19.

The extended dead period means no face-to-face contact for coaches and recruits, official and unofficial visits, Junior Days, and more. The decision is not unexpected given the current climate in the sports world and with various stay home orders being extended on a state-by-state basis and federal guidelines and recommendations being adjusted.

As with the previous announcement of the dead period, texts and phone calls (and Zoom conference calls?) are all still allowed to keep communication on the recruiting trail open during these unique times.

The NCAA had originally planned to have a dead period lasting until April 15, at which point the NCAA would evaluate the situation before making another decision. As previously noted, April 15 is traditionally the day when coaches were allowed to visit recruits for the spring evaluation period. This extended dead period will wipe that out, at least for now.

Anonymous FBS athletic director: ‘If there’s no season, we will be f*****’

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If you didn’t realize how important college football is to an athletic department’s bottom line, this should highlight it.

In the midst of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, some connected to the game of college football are decidedly pessimistic that the upcoming season will be played. Others are expressing cautious optimism. For now, at least.

Brett McMurphy of The Stadium conducted a survey of 130 athletic directors with FBS programs, with 112 of them participating. According to McMurphy, the ADs “were asked to rank their optimism on the upcoming season being played from ‘1’ (will not be played) to ’10’ (definitely will be played).”

Not a single AD gave less than a “5” in response, meaning everyone who responded, at least at this time, feels there’s at least a 50-50 chance the season will go off as planned. A slight majority of respondents (51%) assigned either the numbers seven or eight in McMurphy’s survey. One-quarter of them were decidedly optimistic with either a nine or 10 as a response. Most of that optimism was on the part of Group of Five programs that, already financially reeling from the distilled NCAA’s revenue distribution last month, desperately need a college football season to be played.

If the college football season is to start on time — the first games are scheduled for Aug. 29 — what would be the absolute latest teams could start reconvening and prepping for the 2020 campaign? The answer you get depends on the individual you ask. Some would say early June at the absolute latest. Others have said the middle of July.

So, what if the season is canceled? Completely?

“If there’s no season, we will be f*****,” an anonymous AD told McMurphy.

A tweet from Ross Dellenger of SI.com very plainly illustrates how reliant athletic departments are on revenue from college football.

Suffice to say, if the 2020 college football season is completely wiped out, non-revenue sports will be cut. Lots of them will be shuttered, more than likely.

The good news, such as it is, is that the powers-that-be in the sport will go to great lengths to save the 2020 college football season. In fact, one report earlier today suggested that the season could start as late as January of next year. How that would work with players who are eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft would have to be worked out, as would myriad other issues.

While it’s way too early to form a concrete opinion, there’s little doubt that all connected to the sport will exhaust every option to save the 2020 college football season. And, if the season is canceled? It’ll mean we all have a helluva lot more to worry about than sports.

Indiana kicker Nathanael Snyder lands at Louisiana

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For one erstwhile Indiana football player, it was a very brief pitstop in Ye Olde Portal.

One week ago, we noted that Nathanael Snyder had taken the first step in leaving the Indiana football team by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database. A couple of days later, as it turns out, the placekicker took to Twitter to announce his new college football home.

Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference.

Snyder is leaving the Indiana football team as a graduate transfer. That allows him to play immediately at Louisiana in 2020. The upcoming season would serve as his final year of eligibility.

Snyder joined the Indiana football team in 2016. The first three seasons, the Indiana native didn’t see the field. This past season, Snyder appeared in all 13 games.

In 2019, Snyder served as the Hoosiers’ kickoff specialist. In that action, he recorded 24 touchbacks with a 59.9 average on 55 kickoffs.

As you may have inferred, Snyder hasn’t yet attempted a kick, either a field goal of point-after, at the collegiate level.

Snyder was the fifth Indiana football player to enter the portal the past two months.  Included in that are quarterback Peyton Ramsey (HERE), running back Ronnie Walker (HERE), offensive lineman Coy Cronk (HERE) and running back Sampson James (HERE).

Ramsey ultimately made his move on to Northwestern.  Sampson, meanwhile, reversed course and pulled his name out of the NCAA transfer database.

At Louisiana, Snyder will join a roster that includes a pair of kickers. Redshirt sophomore Kenneth Almendares served as the Ragin’ Cajun’s primary kickoff specialist for most of the 2019 season. Last year, Grant Paulette took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Like Snyder, neither Almendares and Paulette has attempted a kick at the collegiate level.

Georgia State lands FCS All-American kicker

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When it comes to its special teams, Georgia State football has bolstered that unit amidst the coronavirus shutdown.

This past week, Noel Ruiz announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer from North Carolina A&T.  In that announcement, the placekicker thanked the FCS school “for the past 3 unforgettable years.”

Ruiz also explained the reasoning behind his decision to leave the school.

“Academics has always been the top priority for my family and I and unfortunately A&T does not offer the Masters program for my career path,” Ruiz wrote. “Although I am leaving, I will always be an Aggie for life.”

In a subsequent tweet on that same Twitter account, Ruiz also confirmed that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career with the Georgia State football program.

Ruiz will be headed to the Georgia State football team as a graduate transfer.  He’ll also be coming to an FBS school from one at the FCS level.  As a result of both, the kicker will be eligible to play for the Sun Belt Conference school immediately in 2020.  The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

This past season, Ruiz was successful on 23-of-27 field-goal attempts.  He also hit on 47-of-52 point-afters.  Based on that production, Ruiz earned American Football Coaches Association All-American honors.

During his time at the FCS school, spanning three years, Ruiz went 37-of-51 on field-goal attempts and 141-of-155 on extra points.

In 2019, the primary kicker for Georgia State football, Brandon Wright, missed just one of his 49 extra-point attempts.  He also, though, missed six of his 18 field-goal attempts.

Because of expired eligibility, Wright won’t be a part of the Panthers’ placekicking picture moving forward.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on March 28, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Suspended Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus not on Badgers spring roster
THE SYNOPSIS: The standout receiver was charged with sexual assault in August of the year before.  After missing the 2018 season because of the legal issue, Cephus was cleared to play in August of 2019.  This past season, Cephus set career-highs in receptions (59), receiving yards (901) and receiving touchdowns (seven). All of those numbers led the run-heavy Badgers as well.  In January of this year, he announced he was entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Penn State QB Tommy Stevens eschews transfer after exploring options
THE SYNOPSIS: Roughly 14 months after this headline appeared, Stevens transferred to Mississippi State.

2017

THE HEADLINE: USF dismisses player arrested after being shot in road-rage incident
THE SYNOPSIS: This was easily one of the most bizarre stories of any offseason.  Hassan Childs was injured in a shooting.  Childs was subsequently charged in connection to the shooting in which he was injured.  The defensive back was then dismissed after he was arrested in connection to the incident in which he was shot.  College football, y’all.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Five-star Miss. St. signee charged after violent video goes viral
THE SYNOPSIS: Jeffery Simmons was accused of pummeling a woman who the defensive end alleged spoke ill of a dead relative.  Simmons ended up navigating those legal hurdles to be named first-team All-SEC in 2017 and 2018. After leaving Mississippi State early, Simmons was the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

2015

THE HEADLINE: NCAA says no malice involved in Reggie Bush investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: Hey, USC fans.  Wanna get pissed off?  Again?  Click on the above link.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Sun Belt announces it will officially grow by four in 2014
THE SYNOPSIS: Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joined the following year as all-sport members, with Idaho and New Mexico State coming on as football-only members.  Seven years later, the latter two are no longer a part of the conference. Idaho, in fact, is now an FCS program.  New Mexico State, meanwhile, is an FBS independent.

2009

THE HEADLINE: RECEIVING GREAT’S SON WALKING ON AT UCLA*
THE SYNOPSIS: The receiving great would be Jerry Rice.  The son would be Jerry Rice Jr.  The younger Rice ultimately moved on to UNLV.  He finished his collegiate career with 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 receptions.

(*Yes, back in the day, we used to scream out our headlines at our readers in all-caps. The move to NBC a couple of months later mercifully ended that practice.)