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Offensive tackle Tyler Johnson, junior quarterback Hudson Card commit to Texas Longhorns

One of the nation's top prospects in the class of 2019 is staying home for college.

Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas) offensive tackle Tyler Johnson, ranked No. 16 overall in the 2019 cycle, committed to Texas over archrival Oklahoma and offers from many of the nation's blue-blood programs.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Houston area standout is a huge win for Tom Herman and staff at a premium position that has been a struggle on the field for the Longhorns in recent seasons with the exception of Connor Williams.

The state's No. 3-ranked prospect is the highest-ranked offensive tackle to commit to Texas in the 14 years ESPN has ranked prospects.

Johnson becomes the fifth ESPN 300 commitment for the Longhorns in the 2019 class joining No. 17 overall Jordan Whittington (athlete), No. 61 De'Gabriel Floyd (outside linebacker), No. 83 Roschon Johnson (quarterback) and No. 94 Kenyatta Watson (cornerback). Two other verbals in the class come from four-star tight end Brayden Liebrock out of Arizona and in-state defensive end T'Vondre Sweat.

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WWE - Could collegiate wrestling standout Jacob Kasper be the next big star in the world of pro wrestling?

Famed wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick was of the opinion that finding pro wrestling talent was such a difficult task that if a promotion could develop one star performer per year, it was doing a great job.

The search for stars has historically led companies and promoters to cast a wide net when recruiting new talent. Randy Savage was a minor league baseball player before hitting the ring. Buddy Rogers was a former cop. Many wrestlers have come from the worlds of pro and college football, including The Rock, Dusty Rhodes, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Ernie Ladd and Bronko Nagurski. The late, great Bruno Sammartino was one of many world-class weightlifters to make the transition to the world of professional wrestling.

Ronda Rousey is getting a title shot at Money in the Bank, but has the WWE rushed its new star, who is still working on her in-ring ability?

KC Joyner accompanied a handful of fans getting the experience of a lifetime at a WWE Performance Center "All-Access" event, where fans get to experience a day in the life of an NXT superstar.

Forty hopefuls will attend the WWE tryout in Dubai, and head scout William Regal is excited to see which of them will have the charisma and athleticism to earn spots at the Performance Center.

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Alli Campbell of Pennsylvania's Bellwood-Antis hoping to make USA Basketball roster

By Walter Villa | May 24, 2018
Special to espnW

Courtesy Manning Photography

Alli Campbell is a state champion and the Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania.

There was no need for the dry-erase board.

Alli Campbell and her Bellwood-Antis (Bellwood, Pennsylvania) teammates knew well the play that was called.

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Scout's Take: Romeo Weems to DePaul

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Competing against Duke and Kentucky for one-and-done recruiting

From the moment he arrived at Kentucky as head coach in April 2009, John Calipari has been a master of one-and-done-era recruiting. Then, by 2013, Mike Krzyzewski had adopted that same approach wholeheartedly, with the result that Duke and Kentucky have now produced the top two recruiting classes nationally in each of the past five seasons.

For 349 other programs, however, recruiting is a far different matter. None of these "other" programs has been able to attain and hold onto the luxurious position of signing multiple one-and-done stars year in and year out. Programs such as Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA have done so at times; but at the end of the day, the duopoly maintained by the Blue Devils and the Wildcats is still standing.

Here are some rules of the recruiting road that have characterized the one-and-done-era for programs not named either Duke or Kentucky.

No one stays 'on top' in recruiting beyond Duke and Kentucky for long

Granting that Coach K and Coach Cal constitute their own discrete category in terms of recruiting heft, the No. 3 slot nationally has featured a rotating cast of programs over the past few years.

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Scout's Take USC Trojans get ESPN 60 PF Isaiah Mobley

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Mo Hope for Kangaroos AFLW debut season

North Melbourne's bold AFLW recruiting spree has continued with marquee players Mo Hope and Emma King switching from Collingwood to Arden Street.

The Kangaroos also officially announced the signing of Kaitlyn Ashmore from the Brisbane Lions on Monday as they continue to build toward the club's debut AFLW season in 2019.

The trio join AFLW best-and-fairest award winner Emma Kearney, who left the reigning premier Western Bulldogs to sign with North.

"It's an incredible team already and we're not done yet," Roos AFLW coach Scott Gowans said.

"Kaitlyn, Emma and Mo each bring a unique set of skills and experience from their last two seasons in the competition and will only strengthen our playing list further."

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Asil Mulbah, Syracuse recruiting director, to join Buffalo Bills' scouting department

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse's director of recruiting operations is leaving the Orange for a position with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

Asil Mulbah announced on Instagram that has accepted a position in Buffalo's scouting department.

"Excited to announce that I have accepted a position in the Buffalo Bills Scouting Department," Mulbah wrote on the social media platform. "I'd like to thank Coach Babers, the SU football staff, and the players for an amazing two seasons filled with memories I will cherish for the rest of my life."

Hired in January 2016, Mulbah maintained Syracuse's recruiting database and assisted in creating plans to communicate with potential student-athletes via social media. He also monitored the academic progress of potential recruits.

Mulbah also has worked at Wake Forest and Bowling Green under coach Dave Clawson and was a scouting assistant with the Jaguars of the NFL. He played linebacker in college at Fordham.

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Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting commit Antonio Alfano scouts take

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Alabama's top-ranked 2019 class got stronger Friday with the addition of ESPN 300 defensive tackle Antonio Alfano. Here's how this talented New Jersey product will help the Crimson Tide's front.

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Devyn Ford commits to Penn State Nittany Lions

ESPN 300 running back Devyn Ford has committed to Penn State, announcing his decision to be a member of the 2019 recruiting class on Friday when he unzipped his jacket to reveal a Nittany Lions T-shirt.

Ford had been deciding between Virginia Tech and Penn State.

"What I like about Penn State is just the fans," Ford said. "They have 110K up there. Up there at the spring game, it was amazing the atmosphere there. They only had 71,000 there and it still felt like a real game, to be honest.

"They have really good alumni. I see people down here in Virginia always talking about 'go there, go there, We Are,' all that stuff. I also got [Penn State commits] Nana [Asiedu] and Ricky [Slade] in my ear too."

Ford said the success of Saquon Barkley also weighed into his decision.

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Duncanville star Hannah Gusters takes sweet shot to USA Basketball trials

By Walter Villa | May 17, 2018
Special to espnW

Courtesy the Gusters family

With a knack for finding the bottom of the basket, Hannah Gusters will try out for the USA Basketball U17 team later this month.

The guards were guarded.

Deja Kelly, a University of Texas recruit, wasn't open. Sarah Andrews, the No. 4 prospect in the espnW Terrific 25 for the 2020 class, was being overplayed. But Nike ProSkills needed a 3-pointer to tie it in the waning seconds of a recent game.

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From farm to Tennessee Lady Vols softball for Chelsea Seggern, Meghan Gregg

By Rhiannon Potkey | May 16, 2018
Special to espnW

Alison P. McNabb/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee sophomore Chelsea Seggern, pictured batting, has combined with senior Meghan Gregg for 129 RBIs this season.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- They had attended several combines to scout potential players. But riding in a combine? That was a completely new recruiting experience for Ralph and Karen Weekly.

In an era when even home visits are exceedingly rare, the Tennessee softball co-head coaches made a farm visit three years ago to see their newest commitment.

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Kawhi Leonard trades we'd like to see the San Antonio Spurs make - NBA

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There's growing pressure for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard before recruiting LeBron James and Paul George in free agency, according to an ESPN report on Wednesday. However, the San Antonio Spurs haven't ruled out any potential teams in a possible Leonard deal.

What trades work for the All-Star forward? Our NBA Insiders give their best seven deals.

Lakers get: Kawhi Leonard

Spurs get: Lonzo Ball, Luol Deng, Kyle Kuzma

Magic get: Joffrey Lauvergne, 2020 Lakers second-round pick, $1.7 million cash (from Lakers)

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TideNation

UCF gave itself a parade and its players national championship rings to recognize its undefeated season, but Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't have much use for the Knights' claims.

"I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it," Saban told USA Today in a story published Tuesday. "And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."

Saban's team beat Georgia 26-23 in an overtime thriller to win the national championship that most people recognize, the College Football Playoff title. Alabama had routed defending champion Clemson 24-6 to reach the final game.

Nick Saban holds up Alabama's championship trophy after beating Georgia to win the national title. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

UCF finished the regular season 12-0, the only undefeated team in FBS. However, because of their schedule, the Knights were ranked only No. 12 in the country when the four teams were chosen for the College Football Playoff.

Then the Knights went on to beat Auburn, which had handed Alabama its only loss, in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Day. Hence, the national champion claims.

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GatorNation

OCALA, Fla. -- One of the Florida Gators' top football recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after allegedly kicking a woman's car and breaking her cellphone during an argument.

Justin Watkins, a four-star prospect and incoming freshman from Clermont's East Ridge High School, was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor complaint of trespassing on school grounds. According to jail records, he was released on a $500 bond.

According to the Ocala Police affidavit obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, Watkins followed a female student to a local gas station and shattered her cellphone by throwing it to the ground. He then followed her to her school, Ocala's Vanguard High, and kicked her car multiple times and tried to flatten one of her tires, according to the police report.

Gators coach Dan Mullen says he is aware of the arrest and "still collecting information."

Watkins was the No. 28 overall player in the ESPN 300.

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DawgNation

ATHENS, Ga. -- Andy Johnson, who starred as Georgia's quarterback before going on to play running back with the New England Patriots for nine seasons, has died after a long illness. He was 65.

Georgia issued a statement saying Johnson died early Wednesday in Athens.

Johnson took over as the Bulldogs' starting quarterback in 1971 and led the team to an 11-1 record that included a Gator Bowl victory. He set a Southeastern Conference sophomore rushing record and finished second in the league with 870 yards on the ground, along with 13 touchdowns.

Johnson started two more seasons for the Bulldogs and finished his career with 1,799 rushing yards, the most by a quarterback at that time.

A fifth-round pick by New England, Johnson played 94 games -- including 43 starts -- before finishing his career with the USFL's Boston Breakers. He rushed for a career-high 699 yards with six touchdowns for the Patriots in 1976.

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WolverineNation

Jim Harbaugh has never won a Big Ten title and hasn't defeated Ohio State since becoming Michigan's football coach in 2015.

But if any Wolverines fans are unhappy with Harbaugh, athletic director Warde Manuel is not one of them.

Manuel, speaking Tuesday at a meeting of Big Ten athletic directors, says he wants Harbaugh and basketball coach John Beilein to stay at Michigan until they're ready to retire.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has a contract that runs for four more years. Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

"I love my coaches across the board, love those two guys in particular," Manuel said. "I'm extremely pleased with where we are from a staffing, coaching standpoint and Jim and John are two people that I would love to see retire from this institution, retire from coaching.

"Jim ... knows how I feel about him. We've had great conversations and I don't want him to go anywhere."

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HornsNation

Alabama and Texas have agreed to play a home-and-home series in 2022 and 2023. The Crimson Tide will travel to Texas on Sept. 10 in 2022. The Longhorns will return the trip to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9 in 2023.

Because of this agreement, Texas and Ohio State have moved their previously scheduled home-and-home series back to 2025 (Austin) and 2026 (Columbus).

Texas and Alabama last played in the 2010 BCS national championship game, the Crimson Tide's only victory in the series. Texas owns a 7-1-1 record against Alabama.

With the Crimson Tide on the schedule, Texas also announced it has canceled a home game with UCF that had been slated for 2023.

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SoonerNation

BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns felt nothing but certainty when they made quarterback Baker Mayfield the first pick in the NFL draft.

Concerns about size and behavior had been answered for a few weeks before the card was turned in; Mayfield’s tape and interviews told the Browns what they needed to know.

"The guy knows how to play the game, and knows how to win," general manager John Dorsey said the first night of the draft.

How the Jets fell for Sam Darnold »
Six teams believe they found franchise QB »
How fast is the Lamar Jackson clock ticking? »

It’s as succinct a summary as there is of the way the Browns feel about Mayfield, the guy they believe will be their future. The team’s work and research, first-person and otherwise, had pointed them to the former Oklahoma quarterback with surety.

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We Are SC

LOS ANGELES -- Former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair's defamation trial against the NCAA is now in the hands of the jury.

During closing arguments Friday, McNair's attorney, Bruce Broillet, called for an award of roughly $27 million in actual damages. The figure does not include potential punitive damages and was scoffed at by his opposing counsel, Kosta Stojilkovic, who argued McNair had not met his burden and should not receive anything from the NCAA.

In a civil trial such as this one, the plaintiff's side (McNair) presents its closing argument first, the defense follows before the plaintiff gets a rebuttal.

Broillet took about two hours to methodically resurface what he deemed to be the NCAA's most damning missteps during its investigation into McNair's involvement in the Reggie Bush impermissible-benefits scandal and the hearing and appeals process that followed. Bush was provided with hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits, including a house for his parents, during his career at USC by an aspiring agent, Lloyd Lake, and his business partner.

Among other things, Broillet chose to focus on factual mistakes by NCAA investigators during separate interviews they conducted with Lake and McNair about a short phone call Lake made to McNair in the early morning hours of Jan. 8, 2006. During their interview with Lake, a portion of which was played twice for the jury during the trial, investigators incorrectly represented it was McNair who called Lake. And when they asked McNair about the call, they told him it occurred a year earlier than phone records show it did.

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