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Penn State recruit flips to Florida Gators

$4 million man: Coach Steve Spurrier, left, with QB Connor Shaw, is 77-39 at South Carolina without a losing season.

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$4 million man: Coach Steve Spurrier, left, with QB Connor Shaw, is 77-39 at South Carolina without a losing season.

Florida benefited from the coaching change at Penn State as highly rated defensive tackle Thomas Holley flipped his oral commitment, ESPN reported Wednesday.

When coach Bill O'Brien left Penn State to become coach of the Houston Texans, Holley reconsidered and decided he would join a program where he had a relationship with the coaching staff. Oral commitments are not binding. National signing day is Feb. 5.

Holley of Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., was rated the No. 51 prospect in the country by ESPN.

He joins cornerback Jalen Tabor (Friendship Academy of Washington, D.C.) and running back Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach) in changing their commitments from Arizona and Miami, respectively, to the Gators in recent weeks.

Spurrier pay bump: The South Carolina board of trustees is set to approve an extension and raise for coach Steve Spurrier, increasing his salary by $700,000 to $4 million, the State of Columbia reported. Coming off a third straight 10-win season, Spurrier, 68, will become college football's ninth-highest paid coach.

QB eyes Transfer to UCF: Nick Patti, a redshirt freshman Boise State quarterback who was briefly suspended while the team was in Hawaii last month, might be leaving the school. Patti's father requested that his son be allowed to contact UCF, according to Boise State athletic spokesman Max Corbet. Patti was initially suspended with starting QB Joe Southwick, who said he was falsely accused of urinating from a hotel balcony. Patti was reinstated; Southwick was sent home.

NFL decisions: Cal running back Brendan Bigelow decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the final day for underclassmen to declare for the draft. … Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, who led the ACC with 13 sacks, will return for his senior season.

Alabama: Quarterback AJ McCarron, runnerup for the Heisman, said he will skip the Senior Bowl in Mobile to focus on draft preparations. … Freshman Luke Del Rio, son of Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and a former candidate to replace McCarron, announced on Twitter he plans to leave the program. Del Rio likely will consider transferring to Oregon State. The Beavers had previously offered him a scholarship.

Iowa State: Defensive line coach Curtis Bray died at age 43, the school confirmed without providing any details.

Ohio State: Larry Johnson, who spent the past 18 years as a Penn State assistant, will join the Buckeyes as an assistant head coach and defensive line coach. He was Penn State's interim coach before James Franklin was hired Saturday.

Southern Cal: Georgia defensive line coach Chris Wilson has left for the same job with the Trojans, said.

Texas: The university, in an effort to secure trademark rights, is cracking down on the growing volume of clothing and other gear emblazoned with the name of new coach Charlie Strong. The university already moved Jan. 7, two days after Strong's hiring, to trademark "Stronghorns," according to records with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The athletic department also contacted merchants selling items online with "UT Strong" or "Texas Strong," and they were removed.

Texas Tech: Backup quarterback Michael Brewer, who would have been a redshirt junior this coming season, will transfer. Baker Mayfield, a walk-on freshman who started seven games, is attending Oklahoma, where he hopes to walk on. Freshman Davis Webb, who shared starts with Mayfield, is still at Texas Tech.

Vanderbilt: Rams offensive coordinator and former Florida backup quarterback Brian Schottenheimer will interview for the head coaching job, ESPN reported.

Penn State recruit flips to Florida Gators 01/15/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:48pm]
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