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Alabama in talks with Irish OC Rees

(AP Photo/Robert Franklin, File)

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees has spoken with Alabama coach Nick Saban about filling a vacancy on the Crimson Tide's coaching staff and was scheduled to be in Tuscaloosa on Thursday, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because Saban and Alabama were not making details about their search for a replacement for offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien public. ESPN first reported the talks between Saban and Rees.

O'Brien spent the last two seasons directing the Crimson's Tide offense and coaching quarterbacks. The former Houston Texans head coach left last month to join Patriots coach Bill Belichick in New England as offensive coordinator. O'Brien was a New England assistant before becoming Penn State head coach in 2012.


Star WR Smith to return to Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Star receiver Ainias Smith is returning to Texas A&M for another season.

Smith announced on Twitter on Thursday that he'll return for a fifth season after breaking his right leg in Texas A&M's fourth game last season.


Clemson staff gets extensions, raises

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson's board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason on Friday.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.


Rules changes create recruiting chaos

The first Wednesday of February used to be the biggest day on the calendar for college football recruiting. Now it is an afterthought.

The December signing period, which is now when nearly all major prospects finalize their plans, is still relatively new but is causing enough headaches for busy coaches that many are trying to think of an alternative.


QB Rashada to ASU after Florida NIL flap

The opening of college football's traditional signing period for high school prospects brought an apparent end to two of the cycle's most notable recruitments.

Blue-chip quarterback Jaden Rashada, who signed with Florida in December and then asked to be released from the commitment when a name, imagine and likeness deal fell through, announced Wednesday he is going to Arizona State.


Napier doesn't expect Rashada inquiry

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida coach Billy Napier provided little insight Wednesday into how and why the Gators lost four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, but said he doesn't expect it to prompt an NCAA investigation.

Napier sidestepped several questions about Rashada, who signed with Florida in December only to be granted his release a month later following a failed name, image and likeness deal worth more than $13 million. Napier repeatedly said NCAA rules prohibited him from providing details.


Sanders has big 1st recruiting class

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Deion "Coach Prime" Sanders proudly recited the numbers from his first recruiting class at Colorado.

Two five-star recruits. A No. 21 overall class ranking, which was the highest in 15 years, he pointed out. A top-five class from the transfer portal, according to 247 Sports.


Flaherty hired as Rutgers OL coach

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Pat Flaherty, a member of two Super Bowl-winning staffs with the New York Giants, is returning to Rutgers as the offensive line coach.

Coach Greg Schiano announced the hiring on Wednesday. The 66-year-old Flaherty started his coaching career at a Pennsylvania high school in the late 1970s.


Riley aims to push Clemson to next level

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Garrett Riley is almost familiar with his new facility at Clemson - emphasis on almost.

Riley, who led TCU's offense on its run to the national title game this past season, took over as the Tigers' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach a few days after the Horned Frogs lost the CFP championship to Georgia last month.


MSU DB gets probation for helmet swing

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he's "just looking forward to wuppin' some maize and blue" on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

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