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FSU's Freeman opts for NFL

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman ran for 73 yards and a touchdown in last week’s BCS Championship Game.

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Florida State running back Devonta Freeman ran for 73 yards and a touchdown in last week’s BCS Championship Game.

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns for the national champions this season, will declare for May's NFL draft, ESPN reported.

According to espn.com, the junior is projected to be a third-round selection.

This season Freeman became FSU's first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn in 1996.

He joins former Plant High star and backfield mate James Wilder Jr., receiver Kelvin Benjamin and defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, a second-team AP All-American, as Seminoles underclassmen to declare for the draft.

Franklin officially joins Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — James Franklin grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, a strong-willed if not exactly strong-armed high school quarterback who believed he was good enough to play at Penn State.

Joe Paterno's coaching staff didn't agree, and while Franklin went on to a decorated career at Division II East Stroudsburg (Pa.), his will led him to the place he wanted to be all along.

Home.

Saturday, the school hired the 41-year-old as its coach.

"I'm a Pennsylvania boy," he said, "with a Penn State heart."

Franklin, who led Vanderbilt to back-to-back nine-win seasons and consecutive bowl victories — both firsts for the Commodores — replaces Bill O'Brien, who took over in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal but left for the NFL's Houston Texans on New Year's Eve.

Franklin signed a six-year contract reportedly worth around $4.5 million a season. Pointing to his family in the front row, Franklin described himself as having "two daughters and 95 new sons."

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams, crediting Franklin for a turnaround, said he can tell a difference in how the Commodores are perceived: More people are willing to talk to him about the vacant coaching job now.

"This time — and don't ask me any names because I'm not going to tell you — there's already a list of 20-25 people who've reached out to us," Williams said. "And at least five of them are people who we asked to talk to us last time and said no."

Green-Beckham arrest: Sophomore receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who led Missouri in receptions this season, was arrested Saturday on "suspicion of drug activity," said police representative Anthony Cunis of Springfield, Mo. Cunis said the investigation was ongoing.

Medal of Honor Bowl: Florida receiver Solomon Patton had 98 all-purpose yards and set up all three touchdowns to help the American squad to a 20-3 victory over the National team at the inaugural all-star game in Charleston, S.C.

Miami: Tight end Clive Walford and guard Jon Feliciano will return to the Hurricanes for their senior season, according to the school's website.

Mississippi: Linebacker D.T. Shackelford was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school announced.

Oregon: Linebackers coach Don Pellum will be promoted to defensive coordinator, the Oregonian reported.

West Virginia: Redshirt freshman QB Ford Childress was suspended and did not enroll for spring classes, the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail reported.

FSU's Freeman opts for NFL 01/11/14 [Last modified: Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:15pm]

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