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Headlinin’: Janoris Jenkins joins Terry Bowden’s camp for SEC refugees

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Making the morning rounds.

We appreciate you here. As expected, former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has signed with North Alabama for his final season of eligibility, making him the most decorated yet of a steady stream of castoffs from larger schools to wash up at the Division II refuge since coach Terry Bowden took over in 2009. (North Alabama's 2010 roster listed 28 players who began their college careers at FBS schools, more than half of them from the SEC, Florida State or Miami.) If the scouts weren't flocking to Florence, Ala., already, they will be now: Before he was booted from Florida in April for his second marijuana arrest in four months, Jenkins spurned first-round projections in the NFL Draft for one more season in Gainesville and remains one of the most coveted corners in the 2012 class. [Associated Press]

You can't handle the truth. Central Florida head coach George O'Leary is one of several witnesses expected to testify today in the wrongful death trial of former UCF running back Ereck Plancher, where O'Leary will presumably attempt to counter earlier testimony by former players that he ordered trainers and water out of the facility and berated Plancher as he struggled before fatally collapsing at the end of a workout in March 2008. Plancher's family (supported by an autopsy and physician testimony) contends Ereck died as a result of sickle cell trait, a genetic disorder cited in the death of multiple Division I football players over the last decade, and that coaches and trainers acted negligently with knowledge that he had tested positive for the trait; UCF maintains it didn't know Plancher had sickle cell and that the cause of death was a congenital heart defect it couldn't have known about.

A team trainer is also expected to testify about the team's sickle cell trait policy and whether she recalls telling Plancher he had tested positive. [Orlando Sentinel]

Coulda been a contendah. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said this week that, had he not been fired on the heels of his third disappointing finish in as many years, he fully expected the Wolverines to compete for the Big Ten title this fall. "All the tough stuff, we felt, to get it to this point, where we had 18, 19 starters back and the Big Ten player of the year [Denard Robinson] with two more years left," Rodriguez said in an interview with Rivals' Tom Dienhart. "Our recruiting still was going well even with all of the drama. We thought, 'OK, the next couple of years, we are going to get to enjoy the fruits of our labors,' so to speak. And you don't get that opportunity. That was the most frustrating part of it." [Rivals]{YSP:MORE}

Comings and goings. UCLA offensive lineman Stanley Hasiak, a once-hyped recruit from Hawaii, is expected to transfer to a junior college after being declared academically ineligible for the second consecutive season. Hasiak played in three games as a true freshman in 2009, but was suspended twice that season for fighting in practice prior to becoming an academic casualty — one of three projected starters on the Bruin O-line who missed the entire 2010 season. [Los Angeles Times]

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Recommended reading. Lonnie White, a former USC kick returner and writer for the Los Angeles Times who has written a book on the UCLA-USC rivalry, revealed in a Wednesday column for the online-only paper "The Daily" that he accepted $14,000 in payments and other benefits from USC boosters and at least one agent during his college career in the mid-eighties. White writes that he was introduced to "his answer man" by his older brother, a Trojan teammate, and often traded game tickets and signed items for cash — which, come to think of it, sounds awfully familiar 25 years later. "I know at least five athletes, who are either a relative or close family friend, who played at the BCS level last season," White writes. "And they all agree, there's more rule-breaking going on than people know." [The Daily]

RIP. Former Notre Dame linebacker Andre Jones, a member of the Irish's 1988 national championship team and father of current ND receiver T.J. Jones, died Wednesday morning as a result of a brain aneurysm, according to the school. After starting 22 games under coach Lou Holtz from 1987-91, Jones was a seventh round pick by the Steelers in the '91 NFL Draft and went on to stints with the Lions and in the Canadian Football League before serving as CEO of a sports management firm in Atlanta. He was 42. [Chicago Tribune]

Quickly… The NFL is considering a full slate of Thursday night games throughout the regular season, beginning in 2014. … Maryland's home dates with West Virginia in 2013 and Virginia Tech in 2014 will be hosted in Baltimore. … Randy Edsall also wants to revive Maryland's long-running series against Penn State, which didn't go so well for the Terps in the last century. … Hawaii's No. 1 punt returner goes down with a torn ACL. … Auburn's likely starting quarterback on setting priorities in college. … That is, unless Russell Wilson opts for Auburn in the next few days. … John Calipari outlines a vision for paying players, realignment into four superconferences and instituting a football playoff. … The Pennsylvania legislature wants to honor Joe Paterno's continued existence. … Mississippi State honors its longtime play-by-play man by putting his name on a highway. … A pair of senior walk-ons are finally on scholarship at Tennessee. … And an Ohio State assistant talks about getting married to recruits.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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