Player News

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Uncommitted three-star 2017 WR Gavin Holmes took an official visit to Arizona State.

"I really trust that the coaching staff [at Arizona State] would help me get to where I want to go," Holmes said, "and I just have great relationships with all of them and I felt at home." The 5-foot-11, 178-pounder had been committed to Iowa over the summer, but reopened his recruitment this past fall. Holmes -- a native of Justin, Texas -- will be taking an official visit Baylor next weekend. Notre Dame, Nebraska and Oklahoma are also possible landing spots for Scout.com's No. 88 wideout in the 2017 class.
Source: Scout.com
Jan 16 - 8:57 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler notes that Michigan RB De'Veon Smith "has the pre-snap awareness, base power and hand techniques to match up very well in [pass-protection]."

While Smith has the pass-blocking prowess to impress NFL scouts, his ability as a runner -- especially when projected to the next level -- is less encouraging. Wrote Brugler, "He runs physical and has the lateral quickness to work around bodies, but is a one-speed runner with little deception." Smith never surpassed 850 yards rushing in a season during his time with the Wolverines and for his career, he averaged a fine-but-unremarkable 4.5 YPC. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline views the 5-foot-11, 228-pounder as a sixth-rounder.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 16 - 8:51 PM

Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Friedman notes that Ohio State five-star 2017 verbal DE commit Chase Young "has developed into a versatile defensive end who can rush the passer and make plays in the open field."

"The Ohio State commit has outstanding athleticism," Friedman writes, "and his speed and balance make it hard for big offensive linemen to stay in front of him." The analyst had questions about the 6-foot-5, 226-pounder's prowess against the run, but Young has managed to eliminate some of those concerns during his senior season at DeMatha High (Maryland). After lurking in the Top-50 on Rivals for much of this past fall, the outlet has slotted Young into their final rankings as their No. 8 overall prospect in the 2017 cycle.
Source: Rivals
Jan 16 - 8:40 PM

The Oregonian's Andrew Greif reports that three Oregon players have been hospitalized following "grueling" strength and conditioning workouts last week.

Per Greif, the three players in question are OLs Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and TE Cam McCormick. While the trio remains hospitalized at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, they are said to be listed in fair condition. Greif writes that the workouts have been "described by multiple sources as akin to military basic training, with one said to include up to an hour of continuous push-ups and up-downs." In a released statement, Oregon said, "While we cannot comment on the health of our individual students, we have implemented modifications as we transition back into full training to prevent further occurrences."
Jan 16 - 8:26 PM

Arizona received a verbal commitment from three-star 2017 DE My-King Johnson.

"I'm done with the process. I'm not going to commit anywhere else. I'm set in stone on this one and set on this commitment," Johnson said. He ranks as Scout.com's No. 1 defensive end prospect in the state of Arizona and chose the Wildcats over UCLA and Oregon. He had actually been committed to the Bruins earlier this month, before he eventually opted for Arizona. ESPN 300 notes calls the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder "a long, lean defender with raw athletic ability and skills."
Source: Scout.com
Jan 16 - 8:18 PM

Alabama five-star 2017 verbal RB commit Najee Harris retained pole position in Rivals' final rankings release of the current cycle.

A running back had not graced the top of Rivals' final rankings since 2009, when Bryce Brown finished with the honor. Outlet recruiting director Mike Farrell relays that uncommitted five-star DT Marvin Wilson and FSU five-star RB Cam Akers were the two recruits pressing Harris hardest for that coveted No. 1 slot. "Harris...has a rare combination of size, speed and elusiveness and is the best running back I’ve scouted since Peterson," Farrell wrote. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has all the potential in the world (obviously), but given Alabama's stacked rotation at the position (Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, Joshua Jacobs, B.J. Emmons), he shouldn't be expected to automatically ascend to the top of the depth chart in 2017.
Source: Rivals
Jan 16 - 8:04 PM

Missouri State redshirt freshman RB Richard Nelson was shot and killed in a Saturday shooting in Las Vegas.

According to authorities, Nelson suffered at least two gunshot wounds while trying to break up a fight. The shooting remains under investigation. "Richard is like a son and a brother. It is a tragedy that he lost his life defending what is right. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in Las Vegas, and we know he is in a good place with God," said Bears HC Dave Steckel. Missouri State will offer grief counseling this week as the campus tries to recover from this tragedy.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 16 - 7:52 PM

Uncommitted five-star 2017 WR Joseph Lewis will make two visits to USC before National Signing Day.

Lewis will be taking an unofficial visit to the Trojans this coming weekend, with his official trip slated for the weekend of January 27. "I want to talk to the coaches and hang out with most of the commits there. I just want to see what USC is really about," said the 6-foot-2, 207-pounder. While Lewis won't be publicly deciding upon his program until National Signing Day, all indications are that the choice will come down to USC or Nebraska. Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell predicted last week that Lewis will ultimately end up siding with the Trojans. An explosive athlete, he has the talent to contribute immediately with whichever program he settles upon.
Source: Rivals
Jan 16 - 7:39 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler wrote that Penn QB Alex Torgersen is "very efficient from snap to release and delivers with excellent touch."

As one would expect, Brugler views the small-school gunslinger as still needing plenty of refinement. That comes with the territory for a player like Torgersen, but the analyst views him as an intriguing developmental prospect for NFL teams to consider in this spring's draft. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder finished this past season throwing for 2,231 yards (66.9% completions) with a 17/4 TD/INT ratio over the course of 10 games played. Torgersen is currently practicing up for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 16 - 7:26 PM

Tennessee hired North Carolina DB coach Charlton Warren to serve in the same capacity.

Warren had been working as DB coach with the Tar Heels during each of the last two seasons. In a statement, HC Butch Jones said, "Coach Warren is a passionate, knowledgeable and driven football coach [who] has an outstanding history of developing defensive backs on the collegiate level." He will be replacing Willie Martinez, who is not being retained after four seasons with the Volunteers. Martinez leaves Warren something of a tall task for 2017, as Tennessee ranked 10th in the SEC in passing defense last season.
Jan 16 - 7:12 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2017 LB Levi Jones called Florida the leader for his pledge.

Jones took an official visit to Florida over the weekend. It apparently made the requisite impression, as he is now gaga over the Gators. It helps that current defensive coordinator Randy Shannon coached his father, Robert Jones, at Miami back in the day. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker -- Scout.com's No. 189 overall prospect for 2017 -- will be investigating Florida State, USC and UCLA over the coming weeks, so while Florida has a nice foothold here, they shouldn't be considered a lock to bring Jones into the fold.
Source: Scout.com
Jan 16 - 6:59 PM

Rivals awarded Iowa four-star 2017 verbal DE commit A.J. Epenesa a fifth star.

Right under the gun. Rivals bumped Epenesa up to five-star seating on Monday, in their final rankings release of the 2017 cycle before National Signing Day. "The big Iowa commitment is uniquely athletic for his size and possesses rare physical gifts," wrote Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt, "and he flashed enough at the Army Bowl to convince us of his chances of reaching that potential." In the outlet's final rankings, the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder slots in at No. 30. He has been committed to Iowa since last winter.
Source: Rivals
Jan 16 - 6:44 PM

Cal hired Eastern Washington HC Beau Baldwin to serve as offensive coordinator.

Baldwin takes over for Jake Spavital, who is moving on to tackle the offensive-coordinating position at West Virginia. With Eastern Washington (he served as head coach for nine season), Baldwin's offenses were about as explosive as they come. In the FCS ranks, the Eagles finished third in points scored in 2016, posting 42.36 on average. That wasn't even their most potent season in recent memory, as they finished first in the FCS in scoring back in 2014. We love the hire, as it provides a perfect yin to the defensive yang of new HC Justin Wilcox (formerly Wisconsin's defensive coordinator).
Jan 16 - 6:32 PM

Iowa State received a verbal commitment from three-star 2017 CB O.J. Tucker.

Tucker had been toying around with possibly joining Georgia Tech -- he was committed to them earlier in the cycle -- but will instead try to carve out his collegiate legend in Ames, Iowa. Scout.com is keen on the 6-foot, 190-pounder's frame as it currently stands and notes that Tucker "possesses that quick-twitch that allows him to immediately flip his hips and run with receivers downfield." The outlet ranks him as this class' No. 11 cornerback prospect in the state of Florida.
Source: Scout.com
Jan 16 - 6:19 PM

Alabama three-star 2017 verbal K commit Brandon Ruiz flipped his commitment to Arizona State.

Ruiz decommitted from Alabama on Sunday, then pledged himself to Arizona State on Monday. SEC Country's Chris Kirschner hears that the 5-foot-10, 176-pounder out of Gilbert, Arizona, decided upon the Sun Devils in part because he would like to stay close to home as he embarks on his college journey. Chris Sailer of ChrisSailerKicking.com views Ruiz as having the ability to "dominate the next level."
Jan 16 - 6:06 PM



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