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GN CHATTER: News/notes from around nation

Ex-LSU OT Chidi Okeke transferring to Eastern Kentucky

Former four-star prospect Chidi Okeke is leaving LSU for FCS program Eastern Kentucky, JuCo Football Forer reports.

Okeke, from Ludowici (Ga.) Faith Baptist Christian Academy, played in 11 games as a third-year sophomore in 2016, mostly on special teams. He saw 28 offensive snaps.

Texas A&M hires strength and conditioning coach

Texas A&M has a new strength and conditioning coach, as Kevin Sumlin has hired Mark Hocke to lead the department. Hocke spent 2016 as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Florida State.

Before going to FSU, Prior to FSU, Hocke was the strength and conditioning coach at Georgia in 2015. He was not retained when Kirby Smart took over as coach.

Hocke got his start in college football at Alabama, where he was an assistant to noted strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran. Hocke started working with the Crimson Tide in 2009.

Former South Carolina DC Lorenzo Ward headed to Louisville?

Former South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward reportedly is set to become the secondary coach at Louisville. Ward spent the 2016 season as the defensive coordinator at Fresno State.

Ward was at South Carolina from 2012-15 as either defensive coordinator or co-coordinator. He split the duties with Jon Hoke in 2015. He also has made stops during his career at Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Chattanooga and in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders.

Ex-UK coach Joker Phillips is Cincinnati’s new receivers coach

New Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell has added former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips to his staff. Phillips will be the Bearcats’ wide receivers coach.

Phillips was a quality control assistant for Ohio State in 2016 and spent 2015 as the receivers coach for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He also has been an assistant at Florida and South Carolina, and was an assistant at UK before being promoted.

Fournette signs with Jay-Z’s agency

LSU RB Leonard Fournette announced Monday via Twitter that he has picked an agent: Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

Roc Nation Sports also represents, among others, Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano and C.C. Sabathia.

Fournette’s college career is over, as he announced last week that he would bypass the Citrus Bowl in an attempt to get healthy for the run-up to the NFL draft.

NFL scout: Mizzou’s Charles Harris a 1st-rounder

An NFL scout says Missouri DE Charles Harris has the look of a first-round draft pick.

He’s a first-rounder,” the scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He’s long, got get-off, athletic.”

Harris had a career-high nine sacks this season and announced last month that he would bypass his senior season to enter the draft. The sack total was tied for third in the SEC; he also had 12 tackles for loss.

Good news for Texas A&M

Texas A&M had one of the best safety duos in the SEC this season with senior Justin Evans and junior Armani Watts. While Evans is NFL-bound, Watts will be staying in College Station for his senior season.

He announced the news via his Twitter account.

Watts (5-11, 200) has 56 tackles, two picks and six pass breakups this season; he had 126 tackles in 2015.

LSU backup OT Chidi Okeke to transfer

LSU redshirt freshman OT Chidi Okeke is planning to transfer. Okeke, from Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic, was a four-star recruit in the 2015 signing class but has struggled to make it onto the field with the Tigers. He appeared in 11 games this season, mostly on special teams.

Georgia backup WR Shaquery Wilson to transfer

Georgia sophomore WR Shaquery Wilson, who didn’t play at all this season, is leaving the program. He played in two games as a freshman.

Wilson was moved to running back during spring practice, then moved back to wide receiver during fall camp started.

Wilson is from Coral Gables (Fla.) High, whose campus is about 10 minutes from the campus of the University of Miami. Hurricanes coach Mark Richt was Georgia’s coach when Wilson signed with the Bulldogs.

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