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Who Scored on Signing Day?

2020 National Signing Day Recap

Ringing in year three of the Early Signing Period era, National Signing Day 2020 was predictably less dramatic than 2020 class commitments in December. However, with an LSU National Championship and a shuffle of coaching staff in early 2020, there were plenty of question marks to keep things interesting. Keep reading for a breakdown of top classes representing each of the conferences in the Power Five, giving us a look at what to expect when College Football returns this fall.

SEC

1) GEORGIA. Overall, the SEC continues to absolutely dominate the college football recruiting world. Georgia, the three-time defending SEC East champions, claims the title of top recruiting class for the SEC and the country. Most notably, the Bulldogs are bringing in eight players all ranked in the top five of their positions. Outside of the impressive young players heading to Athens for their freshman season, they also snagged a very important piece for their offense: a replacement for Quarterback Jake Fromm. Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman looks to fill Fromm’s shoes for the Bulldogs in 2020.

2) ALABAMA. Another school hinging on the signing of a new Quarterback, Alabama takes second place in the SEC recruiting rankings for 2020. Ranked #11 in USA Today’s Final Chosen 25, Quarterback Bryce Young has all the skill to carry the Crimson Tide’s offense as the highest graded Quarterback they have ever signed. Young is supported by an incredibly talented cast of players including 14 that are ranked in the top 10 in their position.

3) LSU. Winning a National Championship and collectively signing a top five recruiting class is not a bad start to 2020. LSU’s class is led by #1 ranked Tight End Erik Gilbert, #1 ranked Cornerback Elias Ricks, #2 ranked Wide Receiver Kayshon Boutte and #2 ranted Outside Linebacker Phillip Webb. The Tiger’s defensive class took some hits with a few top prospects making other selections including McKinnley Jackson who selected Texas A&M and Jordan Burch who selected South Carolina.

BIG 12

1) TEXAS. The major headline for the Big 12 this Signing Day was Texas clinching the top spot for recruiting class rank over Oklahoma, namely due to the commitment of 4-star Defensive End Alfred Collins who chose to stay home and play for the Longhorns rather than accept Oklahoma’s offer. Overall, their 2020 class ranks in the top ten nationally with the help of the Big 12’s only 5-star recruit, Running Back Bijan Robinson who signed in December.

2) OKLAHOMA. Oklahoma follows Texas in the Big 12 recruiting class rankings with 23 total new additions, split evenly between new offensive and defensive weapons. A big win for the Sooners was the commitment of Riggie Grimes II, an Outside Linebacker listed as a top 50 recruit and the highest ranked recruit of their 2020 class.

3) TCU. The next in line for the conference is TCU who only signed 17 players in this cycle. Their 2020 class is led by Wide Receiver and Texas state high jump medalist Quentin Johnston who will fit in well with TCU’s athletic offense. Other highlights for the Horned Frogs include top 50 ranked Offensive Guard Altrique Barlow and 4-star Defensive Tackle Patrick Jenkins who will look to fill the hole left by Ross Blacklock who will participate in the NFL Draft later this year.

ACC

1) CLEMSON. Surprising no one, Clemson’s recruiting class claims the top spot in the ACC and the only ACC team with a top-10 national ranking. Arguably the biggest win for the Tigers was signing the number one nationally ranked recruit, Defensive Tackle Bryan Bresee. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers also claim the highest number of 5-star recruits of all 2020 classes with five signees coming in.

2) MIAMI. Following Clemson in the ACC, Miami took advantage of their large local recruiting pool, signing 14 in-state players which is two more than Florida State. Top picks in the Hurricane class include four 4-star recruits ranked in the top 150 nationally.

3) NORTH CAROLINA. The Tar Heels put together an impressive class for the 2020 season, rounding out their freshman crew with nine 4-star recruits, most notably lead by top-100 ranked Wide Receiver Josh Downs.

BIG 10

1) OHIO STATE. The Buckeyes take the top spot for 2020 recruiting class in the Big 10, signing arguably one of the greatest Receiver classes of all time lead by Julian Fleming (ranked #2 nationally), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (#28), Gee Scott Jr (#65) and Mookie Cooper (#91). Another notable freshman that will make an impact on the Buckeyes defense along with new Defensive Coordinator Kerry Coombs is 4-star athlete Cameron Martinez.

2) MICHIGAN. Behind Ohio State is their historic rival, Michigan. The Wolverines didn’t add any new prospects to their 23-man freshman class this past week, signing all prospects in December and not receiving any new commitments since. Focuses on this class seem to be adding more speed on offense and adding to their defensive front, with seven of their top ten recruits playing on the defensive side of the ball. 

3) PENN STATE. Penn State scores their fourth consecutive top-15 national recruiting class with the 2020 signees. The Nittany Lions continue their tradition of recruiting and producing exceptional Linebackers with the signing of Curtis Jacobs out of Maryland who was ranked the #2 Linebacker and the #24 overall recruit by 247Sports. 

 

PAC-12

1) OREGON. Though they didn’t pull a top ten national ranking, Oregon’s 2020 recruiting class gets top honors in the Pac-12. Signing 21 incoming players in December, the only player added to the class this week was 5-star recruit and long-time Alabama commit Defensive Tackle Jayson Jones. Jones joins two additional 5-star recruits in the Ducks 2020 class, Inside Linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.

2) WASHINGTON. Despite an unexpected leadership transition from Head Coach Chris Petersen to new Head Coach Jimmy Lake in early December, the 2020 recruiting class for the Huskies went off seemly without a hitch. Ranked second in the Pac-12, Washington’s incoming talent is led by local 5-star Defensive End Sav’ell Smalls.

3) STANFORD. The Cardinals round out our 2020 recruiting review at the third ranked slot in the Pac-12. Most notable commits are the #1 ranked Kicker Joshua Karty. That name sound familiar? Probably because you’ve seen this INSANE video of Karty kicking a 70-yard field goal. If you haven’t, we suggest you watch. Along with Karty, Standford also adds 4-star Offensive Tackle and top 100 recruit Myles Hinton to the 2020 class.

 

Ancillary Events

COACHES LUNCHEON KICKS OFF BATTLE OF THE PINEY WOODS WEEKEND AT NRG STADIUM

Both head coaches available Friday at 1:15 p.m.; Game kicks at 3:00 p.m. Saturday

HOUSTON – Lone Start Sports and Entertainment will kick off a big weekend at NRG Stadium on Friday as they play host to the Battle of the Piney Woods Coaches Kickoff Luncheon presented by Don Sanders.  The event will be Friday, Oct. 4th starting at 11 a.m. at NRG Stadium.  This year’s luncheon will feature both head coaches from Stephen F. Austin University and Sam Houston State University Coach Carthel and Coach Keeler will each speak to fans at the luncheon, which will be emceed by Houston Texans Radio Sideline Reporter John Harris.

Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Colby Carthel and Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler will both be available to the media at 1:15 p.m. in the West Club at NRG Stadium.

The festivities around the 94th installment of the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B will get underway Saturday at NRG Stadium with Fan Fest at 12:30 p.m.  Fan Fest, located in Bud Light Plaza, will feature a special performance by Texas music artist Canaan Bryce at 1 p.m. A Waxahachie native, Bryce brings his own distinctive sound unlike any other up-and-coming artist in the Texas Music scene. His sound has been described as “the definition of Texas Country.” In October 2018 Canaan Bryce released his highly anticipated debut album Hwy 287.  The record showcases Canaan’s vocal talents with more powerful songs like “Just Stay” and “Wastin’ My Time.”  Canaan has toured with and opened as of late with rising stars including Koe Wetzel, Read Southall, Sam Riggs and Shotgun Rider among others.

The game will kick at 3:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN 3 and heard locally on Sports Radio 610 starting at 3 p.m. CT.  Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available and can be purchased by visiting www.botpw.com or calling 832-667-2390.

WHAT:
Battle of the Piney Woods Coaches Kickoff Luncheon presented by Aramark and Don Sanders

WHO:
Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Colby Carthel
Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler

WHERE: NRG Stadium, West Club

PARKING: Teal Lot

WHEN:
Friday, Oct. 4th starting at 11 a.m.
Coaches’ media availability at 1:15 p.m.

CONTACT:
Brianna Lewis, LSSE –
brianna.lewis@houstontexans.com

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Soccer

Mexican National Team Manager Gerardo Martino Names Preliminary Roster for June MexTour Matches in Atlanta and Arlington

Roster features stars ‘Chucky’ Lozano, Raúl Jiménez, Jonathan Dos Santos

NEW YORK (May 15, 2019) –Mexican National Team Manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino today announced a 29-man preliminary roster ahead of the upcoming 2019 Mexican National Team U.S. Tour matches against Venezuela and Ecuador, which will be played respectively at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium on Wednesday, June 5 and Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on Monday, June 9. The list also serves as Mexico’ preliminary roster for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
   
The list features several international stars, including PSV Eindhoven forward Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Standard Liege goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raúl Jiménez, as well as three Major League Soccer stars, LA Galaxy’s Jonathan dos Santos and Uriel Antuna, and Philadelphia Union’s Marco Fabián.   
 
Tickets for the two matches are on sale via MexTour.org.
 
The Mexican National Team U.S. Tour is sponsored by adidas, Advance Auto Parts, Allstate Insurance Company, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Daisy Sour Cream, Delta/Aeromexico, Estrella Jalisco, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Nissan, POWERADE, The Home Depot, and Wells Fargo.

Media Accreditation
The media accreditation application is available online by visiting the following link*: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/2uegCzpQ3AfMkq1Yc4tnf2?domain=secure.sportssystems.com. Please note the deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 29, at 5 p.m. ET. No applications will be accepted after this date.  

MEXICO NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER:
Goalkeepers:  
Hugo González – Necaxa (MEX)
Raúl Gudiño - Guadalajara (MEX)
Guillermo Ochoa - Standard Lieja (BEL)
Jonathan Orozco - Santos Laguna (MEX)
 
Defenders:
Néstor Araujo - Celta de Vigo (ESP)
Jesus Gallardo – Monterrey (MEX)
Miguel Layún – Monterrey (MEX)
César Montes – Monterrey (MEX)
Héctor Moreno - Real Sociedad (ESP)
Fernando Navarro – León (MEX)
Diego Reyes – Leganés (ESP)
Luis Rodriguez – Tigres (MEX)
Carlos Salcedo – Tigres (MEX)
Jorge Sánchez – América (MEX)

Midfielders:
Edson Alvarez - América (MEX)
Jonathan Dos Santos - LA Galaxy (USA)
Marco Fabián – Philadelphia Union (USA)
Andrés Guardado - Real Betis (ESP)
Erick Gutiérrez - PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Luis Montes – León (MEX)
Oberlin Pineda – Cruz Azul (MEX)
Carlos Rodríguez – Monterrey (MEX)
Ivan Rodriguez – León (MEX)

Forwards:
Roberto Alvarado - Cruz Azul (MEX)
Uriel Antuna - LA Galaxy (USA)
Raúl Jiménez - Wolverhampton FC (ENG)
Hirving Lozano - PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Rodolfo Pizarro – Monterrey (MEX)
Alexis Vega – Guadalajara (MEX)

Head Coach: Gerardo Martino

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Gabriel Gabor, SUM Communications, 1-917-364-2755 or gabriel.gabor@MLSsoccer.com
For all credential questions, please contact: Enrique.ferreyros@MLSsoccer.com
Ancillary Events

Announcing: Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

Eight elite collegiate bands to compete Labor Day weekend at NRG Stadium

HOUSTON – It’s not halftime. It’s not the fifth quarter.

It’s the show.

Bands are the essence of the Historic Black College and University experience and the HBCU’s ultimate celebration is coming to Houston on Labor Day weekend for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands September 1 at NRG Stadium.

Think Drumline at NRG. Think showmanship, precision, dancing and the best marching band showcase in the country.

Eight of the nation’s top HBCU bands will celebrate the culture of their universities at what will be the largest African American event in Texas. Each band has its own unique style and music and was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands.

WHO: Eight of the nation’s premier HBCU bands

WHAT: Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

WHERE: NRG Stadium

WHEN: September 1, 2019 – Labor Day Weekend

This year’s band line-up includes Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band, Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Storm Band, North Carolina Central University’s The Sound Machine Marching Band, Talladega College’s Marching Tornado Band, Southern University’s Human Juke Box, Miles College’s Purple Marching Machine and Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands.

The day of celebration kicks off with the HBCU STEM college recruitment fair which is free and open to area students interested in higher education opportunities from 20 of the top HBCUs in the country. Education and scholarship partner H-E-B is sponsoring the H-E-B Tailgate Cook Off Experience later that afternoon.

Texas is home to nine HBCU schools and more than 20 HBCU alumni associations have chapters in the Greater Houston area.

“It’s fitting that this impressive showdown will be in Harris County -- one of the largest and most diverse counties in the country,’’ Hidalgo said. “The competition will be fierce and I’m excited to see these extremely talented bands strut their stuff, but make no mistake, I’ll be rooting for our very own Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band!”

HBCUs are the heartbeat of African American higher education opportunities and this event exposes Houston’s diverse population to both educational and arts opportunities.

“Houston has a successful track record for hosting successful events that draw thousands of people to our welcoming city. We are excited about partnering with Harris County, The Houston Sports Authority and Webber Marketing and Consulting for the 2019 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The invitation-only competition featuring student musicians from Historically Black Colleges and Universities will put Houston on the map for hosting another thrilling event. It’s guaranteed great entertainment. I encourage everyone to attend and also stay tuned for exciting activities leading up to the competition.”

Added Harris County – Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke, “There’s nothing like this event. It’s packed with super high-energy performances by some the country’s most elite marching bands. They’ll have you on your feet dancing at your seats from start to finish.”

The event will feature more than 2,000 members from the eight bands and the recruitment fair gives local students the opportunity to look at what approximately two dozen HBCU schools offer.

“It is an honor to introduce Houston and the surrounding communities-at-large to the extraordinary talents of the students who represent the HBCU marching bands participating in this year’s National Battle of the Bands,” said Derek Webber, CEO, Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC.

“Our goal is to enhance the exposure of HBCU marching bands and the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders; while also introducing patrons to the spirit and community of
the HBCU experience, which they will encounter throughout the weekend.”

The NBOTB partnership with the HCHSA helps to support the advancement of the event’s mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. The partnership is also significant because it supports the growth of scholarships, and expands the awareness of higher learning with music, arts and entertainment.”

For ticket information please go to www.nationalbattleofthebands.com or email Tickets@houstonsports.org

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About the Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores National Battle of the Bands

The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $350,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities. www.nationalbattleofthebands.com

Football

Baylor Accepts Bid to Play in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

Coach to Discuss Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Conference Call Today

HOUSTON – Baylor University has accepted the bid to play in the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, the bowl organizing committee announced today. Baylor will represent the Big 12 Conference. The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

“We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Big 12 representative Baylor University, an excellent institution,” remarked Board Chair June Deadrick.  “The Bowl has grown into one of the largest annual events in our community and we’re excited to welcome Baylor to Houston.  We look forward to hosting the Bears and their passionate fan base for a festive bowl week of Texas-themed events that will culminate in a primetime showdown at NRG Stadium on December 27.”

Ticket prices for this game range from $25-200 and may be purchased online at www.academytexasbowl.com or www.ticketmaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the NRG Stadium box office inside Bud Light Plaza. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites and premium hospitality. To date, nearly 50,000 seats have already been sold for the 2018 game.

The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will mark Baylor’s first visit since 2010 after a 38-14 loss to the University of Illinois. The team became bowl-eligible after a win over Texas Tech in the regular season finale. With a history of 23 bowl appearances, the Bears are 12-11 overall in postseason play. In their second season under Head Coach Matt Rhule, the team finished their regular season with a 6-6 overall record and 4-5 in the Big 12. After navigating a young roster through a difficult Big 12 schedule, Coach Rhule followed a one-win season with a six-win, bowl-bound year. The Baylor offense ranks 8th nationally with an average of 25.1 first downs per game (301 total).

Conference Call Information

The head coach for Baylor University will conduct a conference call this evening to discuss the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule will be available at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Phone Number: 1 (800) 747-5150

Participant PIN:  6672050

Availability:

  • Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule at 5:30 p.m. CT

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next two years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACTS:

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com