Everything to know a month from college football recruiting early signing period

Nov 19, 2018

We are four short weeks away from college football's the early signing period in recruiting, so it's time to get caught up on what to expect over the next month. Last year's early signing period, the first in football, saw a large number of prospects sign, and that is expected to happen in this class, as well.

That means that these next four weeks are crucial for coaches and their recruiting classes, because once a prospect signs his national letter of intent, he is off-limits for other coaches to recruit him.

Here is everything you need to know leading up to the early signing period.

When is it?

Prospects in their senior year are able to sign their letters of intent beginning Dec. 19 through Dec. 21. Once they sign, they are locked in to that school and can enjoy the rest of their senior year of high school without fielding calls, texts and messages from coaches all over the country.

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ESPN 300 DT Faatui Tuitele commits to Washington Huskies

Nov 19, 2018Emailprint

Washington landed a big piece for its 2019 recruiting class Sunday when ESPN 300 defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele announced his commitment to the Huskies.

Tuitele is the No. 40-ranked prospect in the country and chose Washington over Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Texas. It's quite the win for coach Chris Petersen and his staff, who currently hold the No. 21-ranked recruiting class in the country.

Hailing from St. Louis School in Honolulu, Tuitele is the fifth prospect to commit to Washington from Hawaii in this class. His school has produced top recruits in the past, including current Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and former Oregon Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Tuitele is the highest-ranked commitment in Washington's class and gives the Huskies four ESPN 300 commitments. He is joined by ESPN 300 defensive tackle Jacob Bandes, ESPN 300 quarterback Dylan Morris and offensive lineman Sama Paama as the top commitments.

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Heisman hopefuls: Week 12

A week before championships and rivalries are played, the nation's top players continue to jostle for position to be considered for the Heisman Trophy. The field for the finalists is nearly set, but there is still plenty of time for these productive ballers to create separation from the rest of the field or make up some ground. All of these players helped their teams to wins with big numbers this past weekend, and being part of a successful team could be the difference in where they finish in the race for the most sought-after trophy in the sport.

Here are the five players who proved in their latest games that they were worthy of the Heisman.

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State Buckeyes 

Talk about a close call. The Ohio State Buckeyes escaped Annapolis with a hotly contested overtime win over Maryland, powered by the arms and legs of Dwayne Haskins.

The sophomore quarterback picked the Terps apart with his passing, finishing with 405 yards and three touchdowns. That’s supposed to happen. What wasn’t expected was Haskins finishing with 15 rushes for 59 yards and a season-high three touchdowns.

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Alabama RB Damien Harris leaves game with injury after 73-yard run

Damien Harris ripped off the longest run of the season for Alabama on Saturday, going 73 yards and rousing the home crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Then, just as suddenly, everyone went absolutely quiet, because Harris remained on the ground with an injury.

Harris had landed hard on his shoulder, and it was a scary scene because he wasn’t moving for a while. Thankfully, he did get up after being attended to and jogged off the field.

Not long afterward, he walked into the locker room for further evaluation and treatment.

Harris is the best running back on ‘Bama’s roster, and the Crimson Tide will be hard pressed to replace what he can do if he does have to miss time. Though he’s been utilized sparingly, the senior has seven touchdowns on the ground.

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The Citadel trolls 'Bama on Twitter after scoring TD

Alabama is overwhelmingly the best team in the nation and has somehow gotten even better defensively since the start of November.

Both LSU and Mississippi State were shut out by the Crimson Tide, which touted that achievement on Twitter during the week as the team prepared to host The Citadel.

Well, as the old saying goeth, “pride cometh before a fall.”

The Citadel stunned ‘Bama early on Saturday, holding the Crimson Tide scoreless most of the first quarter. This development alone sparked a Twitter frenzy as folks mocked ‘Bama.

Then, the ultimate shocker. The Citadel scored a touchdown to tie the game up.

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Alabama Football: The good, not so good and the bad against Missouri

Alabama football continued its championship march Saturday night against Missouri. Check out the good, not so good and the bad in the game. When other championship contenders faltered Saturday, Alabama football continued its winning ways, beating Missouri 39-10. Overall the win was The Crimson Tide’s most impressive of the season. Let’s review the game by […] Alabama Football: The good, not so good and the bad against Missouri - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.Original link
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Nick Saban dismisses concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s knee injury

Nick Saban dismissed concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s knee injury following Alabama’s win over Missouri on Saturday.

Tagovailoa threw for three touchdowns in Bama’s 39-10 victory over the Tigers. However, he left the game in the third quarter and did not return. Jalen Hurts took over as the Tide’s quarterback and went 7-of-8 for 115 yards, leading the team on one touchdown drive.

After the game, Saban was asked about Tagovailoa’s status and did not seem concerned.

“Tua’s okay, he had the same injury he had before. We just didn’t put him back in the game,” Saban told ESPN after the game.

Saban also said that Tagovailoa could have gone back into the game but they did not feel it was worth it.

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Top takeaways from college football Week 7

Four top-10 teams lost on Saturday. Yeah, college football Week 7 was absolutely bonkers, as upsets and crazy situations unfolded around the nation.

In addition to the huge upsets, we saw two teams brawl, two head coaches go at it from their sidelines and one of the best players in the nation exit his game with an injury.

Those are just some of the things we’re looking at as we survey the biggest happenings in Week 7.

Second-half surge keeps Ohio State perfect

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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Tua Tagovailoa exits in third quarter with apparent leg injury

Tua Tagovailoa took off on a scramble in the third quarter as Alabama hosted Missouri Saturday night, and after he slid on the turf, he stayed down.

As Tagovailoa was attended to by trainers, his right leg was being looked at. Thankfully after a few minutes of being examined, he was able to jog off the field under his own power.

Jalen Hurts came into the game to replace Tagovailoa, who had already thrown for 265 yards and three touchdowns, including an 81-yard bomb on the game’s second play from scrimmage.

After Tagovailoa exited the game, he went into the medical tent for further treatment.

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This stat illustrates how dominant Alabama's offense has been

Everyone knows the Alabama Crimson Tide are the best team in the country. However, we sometimes miss just how dominant this team is. One shocking statistic captures Alabama’s excellence perfectly.

Many fans may not be familiar with Skyler DeLong, and for good reason. He is Alabama’s punter. But after drilling six punts on Sept. 22 against Texas A&M, he hasn’t taken the field to punt since.

Perhaps Alabama’s offense felt bad he needed to punt six times in the win over Texas A&M. If so, they’ve now provided him with several weeks of rest and relaxation while the freshman punter gets to sit back and enjoy his free sideline passes with Alabama.

The Crimson Tide are rolling on Saturday against Missouri. Meanwhile, they face the Tennessee Volunteers next Saturday. If the streak continues over the next two weeks, we may not see DeLong until November.

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Watch: Tua Tagovailoa shreds Mizzou with 81-yard TD on second play from scrimmage

Tua Tagovailoa is the deadliest passer in the nation. He’s proved that time and time again already this season, and once again on Saturday he put points on the board in no time flat.

On the game’s second play from scrimmage, Tagovailoa hit Jerry Jeudy on an 81-yard touchdown strike to put the Crimson Tide up 7-0.

Drew Lock quickly threw an interception, and ‘Bama put another three points on the board four plays later.

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Adidas consultant details payments to influence Dennis Smith Jr., two Kansas players

Oct 12, 2018Emailprint

NEW YORK -- Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola detailed payments he made to the families or friends of Brian Bowen, Dennis Smith Jr., Deandre Ayton, Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa in his testimony Thursday.

Gassnola was questioned by both government and defense attorneys in the federal wire fraud case against Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code Jr. and runner Christian Dawkins. The defense's cross-examination of Gassnola will continue Monday.

Arizona coach Sean Miller has no interest in discussing his school's alleged ties to the FBI bribery trial unfolding in New York right now.

The government alleges defendants defrauded certain NCAA Division I schools by causing them to issue financial aid to players who were ineligible because their families had received illicit payments to sign with Adidas-sponsored teams.

As the first federal trial begins Monday in a corruption scandal that threatens to engulf college basketball, the coaches at four schools mentioned in the indictment are not the only ones nervous. Coaches at a half-dozen other schools could come up.

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Hot Board - Midnight Madness for Kentucky Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils

Oct 12, 2018

The two biggest recruiting powers in the game the last several years are obvious: Kentucky and Duke. And the next two weekends, both programs will look to flex their muscles at Midnight Madness events. Kentucky kicks things off this weekend with Big Blue Madness, while Duke will host Countdown to Craziness next weekend. Both weekends generally feature a long list of high-profile prospects, and this year is no different.

Moreover, in a surprising twist, neither school features the No. 1 class in the country right now. These two weekends will go a long way toward determining whether either of them ends up atop the rankings once again.

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Florida State Seminoles, Oklahoma Sooners, Nebraska Cornhuskers, USC Trojans, Tennessee Volunteers have recruiting help on the way

Oct 12, 2018

Through six weeks of the college football season, math tells us that some teams are struggling. No need to look that up; I did the research and it's true.

The season isn't over yet, but whether it's the overall record or just one side of the ball, there are quite a few teams that could use a little help.

Through the magic of recruiting, help is on the way in the form of talent and hope. Landing that one piece of the puzzle can be make or break for a team on the verge of pushing to the next level. Landing an entirely new 25-piece puzzle and starting over is an option for some teams, too.

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Tua Tagovailoa dealing with sprained knee

Tua Tagovailoa is not completely healthy for Alabama, though you wouldn’t know it by his play.

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said on Wednesday that Tagovailoa is dealing with a sprained knee, but still took every rep at practice ahead of Saturday’s game against Missouri.

Tagovailoa is having a brilliant season for Alabama. He’s completed 75.2 percent of his passes for 1,495 yards, 18 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. He’s also rushed for two scores.

The sophomore has been so good that he’s only attempted more than 19 passes in a game once. The rest of the time he’s helped the Tide build such a big lead early on that Jalen Hurts has come in after him and has almost half as many pass attempts this season. There’s a good reason Tagovailoa is our midseason Heisman Trophy winner.

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Georgia Bulldogs land Lewis Cine, No. 3 ranked safety in 2019 class

Oct 10, 2018Emailprint

The Georgia Bulldogs continue to be a dominant force on the recruiting trail under Kirby Smart.

On Wednesday, safety Lewis Cine became the latest highly coveted prospect to announce that he will play college football in Athens.

The 6-foot-2, 181-pound No. 3-ranked safety in the class of 2019 selected Georgia over Penn State, Florida, Michigan and Texas after making official visits to all five schools.

"I committed to Georgia because I felt comfortable there," said Cine. "I always wanted the best of both worlds, which is football and the educational aspect, and they provide that."

Cine began the process favoring Penn State, but Georgia made a move in the spring and summer with a Sept. 28 official visit for the Tennessee game pushing the Bulldogs over the top.

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Canadian women's basketball star Laeticia Amihere returning from knee injury stronger than ever

By Walter Villa | Oct 11, 2018Special to espnW

Courtesy Canada Basketball/FIBA

Laeticia Amihere, the No. 10 prospect in the 2019 class, is explosive on both offense and defense. And now she's healthy.

Laeticia Amihere glanced up at her opponent. Way up.

The 6-foot-3 forward was representing Canada at the 2017 U19 World Cup in Italy, and she had drawn the assignment of defending China's 6-9 star center, Xu Han. There was reason to believe that, despite the height difference, Amihere was up to the task. Months earlier, Amihere got credit for being the first Canadian woman to dunk in a game. The video of the 15-year-old slamming it down on a fast break went viral.

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Tua Tagovailoa, Dwayne Haskins talk every week

Two of the best quarterbacks in college football also happen to be pretty good friends.

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins are the leaders of their respective teams and likely to be Heisman Trophy finalists. They have their teams undefeated and potentially headed for the College Football Playoff. And according to Buckeyes site Eleven Warriors, Tua and Haskins communicate with each other weekly.

“We sent each other scriptures before the game on Saturday, just send out blessings to each other,” Haskins said on Tuesday, via Eleven Warriors.

The two met at various prospect camps and became good friends at the Elite 11 camp for the top quarterback prospects in the nation. As of a year ago, the two were relatively unknown on a national level, but that all changed when both stepped into the second half of huge games. Haskins helped Ohio State beat rival Michigan in relief of JT Barrett, while Tagovailoa came in for the second half of the national championship game and beat Georgia.

From the Elite 11 camp to the Heisman and potentially the NFL, we’re guessing the two will end up seeing each other many more times throughout their careers.

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College football pick-six: Alabama is a foregone conclusion, but let us remain hopeful

A weekly journey through the vast landscape of college football, along with a few brief asides.

Cliched Storyline of the Week

Argh, fine. Let’s just go over this Alabama thing again, because it appears the Crimson Tide, after last Saturday’s thrashing of Arkansas, have truly achieved such a level of eff-you success that their only legitimate threat is emanating from within. Nick Saban has slowly morphed from perfectionist into aging busybody; his postgame chats now often sound "like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli."

It’s nothing new to pose the crucial question of college football’s midseason like so: Is there anyone capable of defeating Alabama? The only good news about last weekend’s results is that Texas’ defeat of Oklahoma cracked open the firmament just enough to allow us to foment "The Argument" that tends to define every college football season at roughly its midway point. Like: Maybe someone new can come along and defeat Alabama?

At this point, most of the arguments against Alabama — like the notion that its historic offensive numbers are being achieved against the equivalent of upper-tier high school talent — are, even if vaguely true, informed by patently idiotic talk radio chatter. Alabama’s offense is putting up numbers so historic that just reading about them makes me feel like I’ve been slipped peyote. Given the overarching uncertainty of the SEC beyond its top two, and given the sudden malaise that’s settled like a haze of Charmin over Toomer’s Corner, the remainder of the Tide's regular-season schedule feels more like a foregone conclusion than perhaps for any college football team I’ve ever witnessed.

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Nick Saban has great response to silly question about scoring so quickly

Nick Saban was asked a very silly question on Monday during his press conference, and his response to it was about as Saban as it gets.

The Alabama head coach was at the podium when a reporter pointed to three scoring drives that occurred in under a minute (like this one).

Then the reporter asked, “How hard is it to manage the offense when it does score so quickly, especially from a defensive standpoint? And how do you try to manage that throughout the game?”

Grinning, Saban said, “I don’t think anyone wants to apologize for scoring. So, we’re not going to do that.”

What a ridiculous question.

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