Making the morning rounds.
• You're a sly one, Mr. Nutt. Ole Miss picked up a major recruiting victory Friday with the late commitment of 2011 Loganville, Ga., safety Denzel Nkemdiche — less so for Denzel himself than for the inside track it gives the Rebels on his brother, 16-year-old Robert Nkemdiche, a rising high school junior who, at 6-foot-5 and 263 pounds, may already be the most coveted prospect in the nation in the class of 2013. Robert has already said the school that signs his brother "will have a big advantage" for his services, and Denzel told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that mama has spoken, and wants her boys to stay together.
"We're definitely going to do a 'package deal' because that's what our mom wants us to do," said Denzel, who initially signed with a Mississippi junior college because of academic issues but was still being targeted by Georgia and Miami and now hopes to qualify and enroll as a member of the Rebels' 2011 class by June. "Ole Miss hasn't mentioned Robert to me. But wherever I sign, that's where Robert is probably going to sign." Now: Give this kid the Masoli treatment and get him into school ASAP. [Clarion Ledger, Atlanta Journal Constitution]
• Let's get really big. The eight current head coaches in the Big East generally favor expanding the conference lineup to 12 teams from the current nine, according to a poll by CBS Sports, suggesting that the conference's plans could extend well beyond its ongoing pas de deux with Villanova to become Team No. 10. "There's been a lot of talk about do you go from nine to 10, which I don't know how much sense that really makes, when the Big Ten left the model of 10, the Pac-10 has left the model of 10," South Florida coach Skip Holtz told a local radio station in North Carolina, where he spent the weekend at a pair of events (a groundbreaking and a charity golf tournament) that pulled him back to his former school, East Carolina. "Both of them more or less said 'This model doesn't work. Let's go to 12.' I think we have to look hard at it."
• Slap on the wing. Elsewhere in the Big East, Louisville has been formally docked three football scholarships for posting an Academic Progress Rate that failed to meet the NCAA-mandated minimum. The Cardinals' APR average for the 2009-10 school year — coinciding with the transition from head coach Steve Kragthorpe to Charlie Strong — was a woeful 869, dropping the multi-year average to 908, well below the Mendoza Line of 925. Fortunately, the school saw the hit coming and preemptively limited itself to offering only 21 scholarships to the incoming recruiting class instead of the full twenty-five. [Louisville Courier-Journal]
• Nothing to see here. Miami coach Al Golden insisted again last week that he's happy with hyped offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, despite demoting Henderson to second team in spring practice and reportedly suspending him along with multiple other players for the 'Canes' season opener at Maryland. "[Henderson] hurt his hip-slash-back, which hampered him the last five or six practices. But he had a successful spring," Golden said. "He came back in January at 385 pounds and he ended up 340. Seantrel's teammates like him because they know he wants to be a good player." [Miami Herald]
• RIP. The Calcasieu (La.) Parish Sheriff's Office and McNeese State head coach Matt Viator confirmed Friday that McNeese wide receiver Will Hassien died last Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. The sheriff's office said it received a call at 3 p.m. Thursday to a nearby residence, where they found Hassien, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound redshirt freshman who joined McNeese last fall out of nearby Sulphur High. An investigation is ongoing.
Hassien's death marks the fourth death of a major college football player since the start of May. Last week, Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box was rushed to the hospital and later declared dead of an apparent overdose. On May 12, Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas was found dead in Jacksonville, Fla., of unknown causes after attending a house party the previous night. A Wayne State (Mich.) player, Courtney (Cortez) Smith, was also killed earlier this month in a shooting in downtown Detroit. Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to Smith's killer.
[Lake Charles American Press]
• The Rap Sheet. Former Northern Illinois and Chicago Bears running back Garrett Wolfe, who led the nation in rushing in 2006 after finishing second nationally in 2005, was arrested early Sunday morning in Miami for allegedly refusing to pay a $1,600 bill at a nightclub. Officially, Wolfe was charged with retail theft over $300, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest with violence and disorderly conduct. He was still being held Sunday night on $11,500 bond. [South Florida Sun Sentinel]
Quickly… Al Golden is still chasing quarterbacks for 2012. … Janzen Jackson is still on track to return to Tennessee this fall. … Appalachian State is still thinking about its place in the world. … And Rich Rodriguez is still looking on the bright side about his tenure in Michigan.
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.