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Weekly Update

CFB Storylines of the Week

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: June 9, 2019, 2:34 am ET

We’re at an odd point of the offseason where spring practices are over, but training over the summer hasn’t really begun. The athletes themselves don’t stop working out, but none of them are standing out in practice or making headlines with the team. That being said, there’s still plenty to analyze in the vast world of college football.

College Football News

*** The transfer portal has opened things up considerably, and we've seen a boatload of transfers because of it, with some players deciding to transfer more than once. Last week, we saw one of the top freshman corner recruits in the country to decide to do just that. After originally signing with Florida, Chris Steele made the decision to transfer to Oregon not long ago. Instead, he'll be moving on to USC. Steele was a high four-star recruit who played in high school for St. John's Bosco HS in Bellflower, California; so this is a bit of a return home -- if you wanna call it that -- for the highly-decorated prep. The question now is whether or not he'll be ruled eligible to play this season, but even if he can't, this is a huge get for a program that can use more huge gets. It's tough to call this offseason a success for USC, but it could have been much, much worse. 

*** One of the most hyped transfers last year was Jonathan Giles, who was expected to be one of -- if not the -- top targets for the LSU offense last year after coming over from Texas Tech. Instead, Giles only had 10 catches for 59 yards, and now, Giles appears to be on the move again after entering the transfer portal. It's worth pointing out that Giles had 69 catches for 1,158 yards as a pure sophomore for the Reid Raiders as a sophomore before leaving for Baton Rouge, and he scored 13 touchdowns in the process. It clearly didn't work out with the Tigers, but someone is going to bet on his 6-foot-1, 186-pound frame and hope he can refind that form. 

*** When the Huskies signed two four-star recruits at the quarterback position and received the transfer of Jacob Eason to the program in the last offseason, it was always assumed that least one of these players may not be long for the University of Washington. Plus, the Huskies have four-star signing Dylan Morris and five-star 2021 quarterback Sam Huard committed, so yeah, not a lot of room in the Huskies' quarterback room. One of those names has left, as Colson Yankoff decided to transfer to UCLA. The redshirt freshman was one of the top signal-callers in the 2018 class, and is considered a dual-threat who can make plays with his legs and arm. That's a good fit for any team, but especially in the Chip Kelly offense, it can be extremely dangerous. Don't be surprised if Yankoff competes for playing time this year. 

*** The MLB Draft and college football have been going head-to-head for a long time, and in this case, college football wins. Ole Miss running back signing Jerrion Ealy is not only considered one of the top running backs in the 2019 class, he was a potential first-round pick because of his speed and potential power along with terrific defense in the outfield. Instead, Ealy will be headed to Oxford after being drafted in the 31st round. He will play both sports with the Rebels, but his most likely future is on the gridiron with his speed and ability to make tacklers miss. Ealy is now an excellent get in DEVY leagues.

*** Michigan was hopeful to have Chris Evans be part of the backfield in 2019, but that's not going to happen. The tailback remains suspended for the fall campaign due to academic issues. He's no longer enrolled at the school, but he'll be able to re-enroll in January if he chooses to. The Wolverines' will likely have Zack Charbonnet as their starting tailback as a freshman, and it's a bit of a muddled mess as to who will play behind him. 


*** Texas A&M received a commitment from four-star 2020 WR Muhsin Muhammad. Muhammad (6'0/185) picked the Aggies over NC State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio State, Oregon, Michigan State, and Auburn. The four-star is a future starter and is considered as one of the more electric (4.45-speed) recruits in the class. At the time of his commitment, Muhammad sits as the No. 115 overall 2020 prospect on the 247Sports Composite board.

*** Alabama received a verbal commitment from three-star 2020 T Damieon George. George also had offers from schools like Florida, Auburn, Florida and Florida State; among others. While George is certainly a quality prospect, this commitment could have huge ramifications down the line. That's because there are rumors -- rumors that have been at least partially substantiated by the source itself -- that he and five-star running back Zachary Evans are a "package deal," as the two are friends who play at the same high school. Evans just so happened to visit Alabama this weekend. Stay tuned. 

*** LSU received a verbal commitment from four-star 2020 CB Major Burns. Burns (6'1/180) was committed to Texas A&M in early February, but backed off that pledge before the end of March. He took official visits to both Oklahoma and Florida earlier this spring.

Quick Hits

UAB coaches said junior RB Spencer Brown was only at "80 percent" last season. This makes Brown's 2018 season even more impressive with 1,226 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns ... Georgia redshirt sophomore LB Jaden Hunter transferred to Western Kentucky. Hunter appeared in four total games for the Bulldogs but didn't record any statistics ... Clemson received a verbal commitment from 2020 three-star safety Tyler Venables. Venables happens to be the son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables ... USC redshirt junior WR Velus Jones announced on Twitter he will not transfer ... SMU senior S Mikial Onu transferred to Colorado as a graduate ... 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong and Jeremy Werner pass along that transferring Michigan redshirt junior QB Brandon Peters had a fantastic visit to Illinois over the weekend.  Peters will visit Illinois, Bowling Green and Miami (OH) over the next week-plus ... LSU freshman CB Maurice Hampton will enroll at the university after he failed to land as a first-round pick in the MLB amateur draft ... Florida State redshirt senior WR George Campbell is transferring to West Virginia ... Nebraska sophomore RB Maurice Washington was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. It was only marijuana, but it's a much bigger deal when you're already facing criminal charges over a revenge porn case. His career with Nebraska could be over, if it wasn't, anyway ... Southern Miss redshirt junior WR Quez Watkins has withdrawn from the school in an attempt to get his grades up. It's a big loss as Watkins had 72 catches for 889 yards last year for the Golden Eagles ... The Athletic's Tyson Alger writes Oregon State redshirt senior QB Jake Luton "hasn’t officially been named the starter, but look for him to win the job." ... Houston senior QB D'Eriq King was not restricted during spring practices ... Oklahoma received a verbal commitment from four-star 2020 RB Seth McGowan ... Texas A&M junior S Derrick Tucker's Thursday arrest stemmed from a fight over tacos ... UTEP redshirt junior QB Kai Locksley was arrested on suspicion of DWI, possession of marijuana, terroristic threat, and unlawful carrying of a weapon ... Clemson redshirt junior LB Shaq Smith transferred to Maryland as a graduate. Smith (6'2/255) was a contender to start for the defending champs coming out of spring practice, but opted to cut bait on the Tigers with a mid-May jump to the transfer portal.


Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports Edge. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.