DAILY LINKS: Aztecs sign seven players to round out 2018 football recruiting class

Aztecs sign seven players to round out 2018 football recruiting class – San Diego Union-Tribune
After getting most of its 2018 football recruiting completed during the NCAA’s new early signing period in December, San Diego State signed seven players Wednesday on the traditional national letter of intent day.

SDSU head coach Rocky Long said depth rather than need would be the focus. SDSU did, however, sign a pair of junior defensive linemen who could provide immediate help if injuries deplete the Aztecs at the position.

AUDIO: Rocky Long: “I Don’t Believe In The Star System. Penny Was A Two Star Guy & He’s The Best RB In The Country”
SDSU Head Football Coach Rocky Long joined Scott and BR to talk about his 2018 recruiting class, why he’s proud of the players he kept in San Diego and DJ Pumphrey winning the Super Bowl.

USC catapults up the national recruiting rankings after signing Mater Dei trio and others – Los Angeles Times
USC’s class started the day ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 Conference and No. 12 in the nation by 247Sports.com.

But after receiving letters of intent from Santa Anta Mater Dei High quarterback JT Daniels, receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu, as well as Mission Viejo cornerback Olaijah Griffin, Lancaster Antelope Valley receiver Devon Williams and San Diego Helix cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart, along with two out-of-state prospects, USC catapulted to No. 1 in the conference and No. 4 in the nation.

Reports: MLBPA Starting Plans To Host Spring Training For Unsigned Free Agents – Deadspin
With many top players still on the market and camps set to open next week, there had already been a few reports that a free-agents-only spring training might happen. The most comprehensive one yet came tonight from Tim Brown at Yahoo. The union is looking at potential spaces in Florida and Arizona and talking to coaches and other personnel, the report states.

AUDIO: Dylan Hernandez Previewed The Winter Olympics From South Korea & Why He Can’t Escape Yasiel Puig
LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez set the scene from South Korea in advance of the winter olympics, the amazing wifi infrastructure and he still can’t escape Yasiel Puig.

We’ve Got Some Beef Over Who Gets To Carry The American Flag In The Opening Ceremony – Deadspin
Speed skater Shani Davis, appearing in his fifth Olympics, has two golds and two silvers and in Torino in 2006 became the first black athlete to win gold in any individual Winter Olympic event. Davis was the runner-up to Hamlin in the voting, and he lost by a particularly painful mechanism: a coin flip. He was evidently not happy with that outcome:

The Josh McDaniels Colts era: How it all fell apart – USA Today
The verbal agreement was there, the contract agreed to. When the team sought to announce the news on Tuesday morning, Ballard gave the OK. It’s a decision he’d come to regret in the hours that ensued.

But at that juncture, 37 days into his first coaching search as the Indianapolis Colts’ general manager, Ballard had never considered the prospect of McDaniels backing out. He was his head coach. Ballard remained “very confident,” he’d later reveal, Monday night into Tuesday, that the deal was done, though the team made certain to use the wording “agreed to terms” instead of “hired” in their release announcing McDaniels was coming to town. Why? The contract had not been signed.

VIDEO: Josh McDaniels On His Post-Super Bowl Future And If He’s Changed From Denver Days
Yes, we thought he was joking. Josh McDaniel discussed his post-Super Bowl future and how he has changed as a person since he was the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Josh McDaniels’ agent quits after being stunned by decision – ESPN
Agent Bob LaMonte says he has terminated his relationship with Josh McDaniels in the wake of McDaniels’ surprising decision to turn down the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching job and remain the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

“My word is my bond,” LaMonte told Sports Business Journal on Wednesday. “Once you break that, there’s nothing left.”

A source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that LaMonte was stunned Tuesday when McDaniels informed him that he would not accept the Colts job and instead would stay with the Patriots.

AUDIO: Bobby Beathard: “I Got To Spend My Entire Working Life Doing Something I Love To Do”
Former Chargers GM and newly inducted NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Beathard joins the show on Wednesday morning to discuss his time in the NFL and how it feels to finally be heading to Canton.

St. John’s Tops Villanova, First Win Over No. 1 Team Since 1985 – Sports Illustrated
St. John’s took down another of the nation’s elite, and stunned No. 1 Villanova 79-75 on Wednesday night for its second win over a top-five team this week – and first over the top-ranked team in 33 years.

Shamorie Ponds scored 26 points to spark the Red Storm (12-13, 1-11 Big East) to its first conference win of the season and easily their best week since Chris Mullin was in uniform, not the coach.

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