SMU QB Tanner Mordecai says he’s transferring to Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. — Quarterback Tanner Mordecai announced on social media Friday that he is transferring from SMU to Wisconsin.

Mordecai tweeted the news two weeks after playing in SMU’s 24-23 New Mexico Bowl loss to BYU. Mordecai threw his school-record 72nd career touchdown pass for SMU in that game.

“I could not be more fired up to play at a school with rich history and a winning culture,” Mordecai said. “Let’s ride!”

Mordecai also thanked SMU’s faculty, staff and program. He said: “I have made relationships that I will cherish and carry for the rest of my life.”

After spending 2018-20 as a reserve quarterback for Oklahoma, Mordecai transferred to SMU and was the Mustangs’ starter the last two seasons.

He threw for 3,628 yards with a school-record 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2021. Mordecai followed that by passing for 3,524 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. He also had two touchdown runs each of the last two seasons.

New Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell is bringing in Phil Longo from North Carolina as offensive coordinator, though that hire hasn’t officially been announced. Longo helped former North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and current Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye put up huge numbers the last few seasons.

Mordecai is the second quarterback to announce plans to transfer to Wisconsin since Fickell’s arrival. Former Oklahoma quarterback Nick Evers tweeted two weeks ago that he had committed to Wisconsin.

Graham Mertz, Wisconsin’s starting quarterback the last three seasons, entered the transfer portal in early December and plans to play for Florida next season.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.