College Football News

Four-star QB Eli Holstein commits to Alabama

Four-star QB Eli Holstein commits to Alabama

Alabama picked up a four-star quarterback out of enemy territory on Tuesday.

Eli Holstein, from Zachary, La., and rated the nation's eighth-ranked QB in the Class of 2023, committed to the Crimson Tide over LSU, Florida, Texas A&M and Oregon, to name a few.

The 6-foot-4 Holstein is the 54th best recruit overall, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

"I'm very excited and excited to be over with it," Holstein told On3 Sports. "Now, I know where I'm going and it feels like home and I'm excited for my future and what I can do at Alabama."

Quarterback Arch Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class, still has Alabama on his radar. It is one of three schools -- Georgia and Texas are the other two -- he has scheduled for an official visit in June.

Jimbo Fisher: Just 1 early signee at Texas A&M has NIL deal

Jimbo Fisher: Just 1 early signee at Texas A&M has NIL deal

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher continued to deny that his program's incoming players were "bought" via name, image and likeness deals.

Fisher said in an interview with a San Antonio TV station that most of the Aggies' 11 early enrollees do not have an NIL deal in place, pushing back on the notion initially espoused by Alabama coach Nick Saban that Fisher "bought every player" on his team.

"I just researched this," Fisher said in the KSAT interview, which was recorded last Friday and aired Sunday night. "Of the 11 guys we have in place that came early? One guy has an NIL deal. So all these stories you're hearing are complete lies."

Saban set off a firestorm when he told business leaders at an event in Birmingham, Ala., that without regulations for NIL, coaches at competing programs would be able to "buy" any player, likening it to free agency without a salary cap.

"A&M bought every player on their team -- made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn't buy one player, all right?" Saban said. He later apologized for singling out Texas A&M and other programs.

Fisher responded last Thursday, defending his program and calling Saban a "narcissist."

"Some people think they're God," Fisher said. "Go dig into how God did his deal, you may find out about a lot of things that you don't want to know. We build (Saban) up to be the czar of college football. Go dig into his past.

"I just know that what we did was nothing wrong. Not done the wrong way. Nothing was promised. Nothing was a deal. And we didn't buy any players," Fisher added. "You can call me anything you want to call me, you don't call me a cheat. I don't cheat. I don't lie."

Fisher also told KSAT that he did not plan to talk with Saban about his remarks, which he initially made clear at his press conference Thursday.

Mountain West scrapping two-division format in 2023

Mountain West scrapping two-division format in 2023

The Mountain West Conference announced Friday that it will eliminate its two-division format beginning with the 2023 season.

The Mountain West will instead have the two teams with the top winning percentages play in the league championship game.

The move comes two days after the NCAA Division I Council changed policy to allow conferences to determine which teams compete in the title game. Prior to that, leagues with divisions were required to send the division winners to the championship contest.

"Our membership has been working on concepts since last summer, as part of our strategic planning for the future of the Mountain West," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said in a news release. "A single-division approach provides maximum flexibility to adapt the Conference schedule as the landscape continues to evolve, while also allowing member institutions to play each other more frequently."

This season, the Mountain West will stick to the division format. The winner of the Mountain and West divisions will play Dec. 3 at the site of the team with the top record in conference play.

The Pac-12 announced it was scrapping divisions, beginning this fall, just minutes after the rule was relaxed on Wednesday. The two teams with the best winning percentages will meet in the Pac-12 title game.

Pitt WR Jordan Addison picks Southern Cal

Pitt WR Jordan Addison picks Southern Cal

Wide receiver Jordan Addison announced Thursday that he will transfer from Pitt to Southern California.

Addison, a consensus All-American and the reigning Fred Biletnikoff Award winner for the best receiver in college football, appeared in the transfer portal earlier this month.

"The last few weeks have been very difficult," Addison wrote in a social media post. "I struggled with my decision as to whether I should exercise my right to enter the portal. Student athletes have not always had that opportunity, and I made that choice."

Addison went on to express his love and gratitude for Pitt, his teammates and coach Pat Narduzzi.

"I love them," he wrote. "Winning an ACC championship is ours forever. Those true friendships will last."

Addison had a breakout year as a sophomore, hauling in 100 receptions for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns while playing with Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett as his quarterback. Addison added 56 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground as the Panthers won their first ACC championship in football.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in late April that the Pitt football program believed USC and new coach Lincoln Riley tampered with Addison before he entered the portal. Addison also considered Texas and Alabama before picking the Trojans.

Riley, who left Oklahoma for the USC job in November, already added 15 players to the program via the transfer portal as of April. They include former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, former Oregon running back Travis Dye and former Colorado wide receiver Brenden Rice, the son of Jerry Rice.

Nick Saban: Texas A&M 'bought every player on team'

Nick Saban: Texas A&M 'bought every player on team'

Alabama coach Nick Saban called out Texas A&M and two other schools during a speech for leveraging name, image and likeness (NIL) deals to attract players, adding that the Aggies "bought every player on their team."

Saban's incendiary comments came Wednesday night during an event with more than 100 business leaders in Birmingham, Ala.

Saban made the comments to point out that the wild-west nature of NIL deals for players is not sustainable. And he took aim at Texas A&M's recruiting class, ranked No. 1 in the country.

"I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players," Saban said at an event for July's World Games in Birmingham. "We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.

"We didn't buy one player, all right? But I don't know if we're going to be able to sustain that in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It's tough."

Saban also called out Jackson State and Miami basketball.

"Hell, read about it in the paper. Jackson State paid a guy $1 million last year that was a really good Division I player to come to the school," Saban said, referring to five-star prospect Travis Hunter who flipped from Florida State to the HBCU school coached by Deion Sanders.

"It was in the paper, and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it. I mean, these guys at Miami that are going to play basketball there for $400,000, it's in the newspaper. The guy tells you how he's doing it."

Saban was referring to Nijel Pack, who transferred from Kansas State to Miami and then inked a $400,000 NIL deal with LifeWallet.

Sanders responded on Twitter, calling Saban's assertion about Hunter a lie.

Pac-12 to change conference title game after NCAA ruling

Pac-12 to change conference title game after NCAA ruling

The Pac-12 will feature its two top teams in its conference title game rather than one team per division after a ruling Wednesday that cleared the way for conferences to have more flexibility with their decisions.

The NCAA Division I Council announced that it would relax restrictions on conference title games within college football. Conferences that previously had to include two division winners in their title games no longer will be required to do so.

The Pac-12 acted quickly after the announcement, saying that its conference title games would involve the two teams with the highest winning percentage regardless of whether they played in the same division. This change will start with the 2022 season.

"Our goal is to place our two best teams in our Pac-12 Football Championship Game, which we believe will provide our conference with the best opportunity to optimize CFP invitations and ultimately win national championships," said Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff in a news release. "Today's decision is an important step towards that goal and immediately increases both fan interest in, and the media value of, our Football Championship Game."

The Atlantic Coast Conference could follow suit, with changes most likely to take effect in the 2023 season.

"The two drivers to this: One, is the opportunity for our student-athletes to play every school in the ACC over a four-year period of time," ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said last week. "The other piece of it is, I've always felt that was a local decision about how you handle your conference. You're seeing that across multiple conferences that they'd like to dictate what their championship structure looks like, and which will lead into eventually an expanded football playoff.

"You want your two best teams to have a chance to play at the end of the year for a lot of reasons."

Ohio State boosting Ryan Day's salary to $9.5M

Ohio State boosting Ryan Day's salary to $9.5M

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day is set to receive to a two-year contract extension that boosts his annual salary to $9.5 million through the 2028 season.

The deal announced by the school Wednesday increases Day's annual compensation from $7.6 million. It is pending the approval of the university's board of trustees in a vote to be held Thursday.

Day, 43, has led the Buckeyes to a 34-4 record (23-1 Big Ten) since being named the program's 25th head coach on Dec. 4, 2018.

Day's teams have made two appearances in the College Football Playoff and won two Big Ten championships.

Ohio State announced updates for four other head coaches. Men's basketball coach Chris Holtmann and men's ice hockey coach Steve Rohlik will receive extensions and women's basketball coach Kevin McGuff and men's lacrosse coach Nick Myers will receive new contracts.

Holtmann's three-year extension includes a $500,000 raise to $3.5 million per year in salary. His Buckeyes are one of three teams to win at least 20 games in each of his first five seasons, along with Kansas and Oregon.

McGuff's new four-year deal includes an annual compensation of $1.05 million and runs through the 2025-26 season. Ohio State finished 25-7 in his ninth season at the helm of the program in 2021-22.

Rohlik's two-year extension runs through the 2025-26 campaign. The two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2018, 2019) just completed his ninth season as head coach of the Buckeyes.

Myers' new five-year contract runs through the 2027 season. He is the program's all-time winningest coach and has led Ohio State to four NCAA Tournament berths in 14 seasons.

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