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February 1, 2010

Huguenin: JUCO transfers have big holes to fill

Some gird bits as we count down the days until the start of spring practice (Duke starts first, on Feb. 15).

The nation's top two junior college transfers already are enrolled in school, and they're at places that need them to produce immediately. Quarterback Cameron Newton is the No. 1 JC recruit, and he signed with Auburn -- which is looking for a new starting quarterback. Newton, an Atlanta native who signed with Florida out of high school before leaving UF, is a great athlete who needs some refinement as a passer. If he doesn't win the starting job, Auburn is in trouble. The No. 2 JC transfer is safety Jakar Hamilton, who signed with Georgia. The Bulldogs need Hamilton, originally from Edgefield, S.C., to fill one of their two vacant safety spots. If he can't, the Bulldogs will be shaky at safety.

On the one hand, you want to heap praise on Tennessee Titans star offensive tackle Michael Roos. He is donating $500,000 to his alma mater, FCS program Eastern Washington. Alas, the money is going toward helping the school install a red playing surface. What is it about schools in the Pacific Northwest not wanting to simply have green fields?

Instead of our usual College Football Roundtable over the weekend, we had a recruiting roundtable instead. One of the questions was about the overall league that wasn't recruiting as well as our experts expected. Certainly, I'm no recruiting expert, but I'm still surprised by the relatively lackluster classes being put together by Iowa (No. 39 in the team rankings, four spots behind Maryland) and Arkansas (No. 57, two spots behind Colorado State). Iowa won 11 games and a BCS bowl. Arkansas won eight and appears on the uptick, yet is in line for the No. 11 class in the SEC.

The Mike Leach-Texas Tech situation got messier thanks to a report in the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal. The newspaper reported that Craig James -- the ESPN analyst who is the father of Texas Tech wide receiver Adam James, the player at the center of the controversy -- threatened to sue the university if it did not investigate Leach's actions in relation to his son. The report was based on documents filed last week by school attorneys with the state attorney general's office. But a spokesman for James denied that there was any threat of a lawsuit.

In 2006, Alabama built its "Walk of Champions" outside the main entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Included along the walk were bronze statues of the four coaches who won national titles for the Tide. That quartet is about the be joined by a statue of Nick Saban that the school hopes can be unveiled on April 17, the day of the Alabama spring game.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.



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