Notebook: UCF unveils national title sign at stadium

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 22, 2018 at 6:24 AM
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Central Florida unveiled a 2017 national champions sign before its spring game Saturday, a bold move with the unbeaten Knights claiming a mythical title despite Alabama beating Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship game.

A few minutes before kickoff, the video board played season highlights, including some of UCF's 34-27 win over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a 13-0 season. A black tarp covering the sign was then removed at Spectrum Stadium.

After the game, the players were surprised with championship rings.

UCF athletic director Danny White declared the Knights national champions because they were the only undefeated team in FBS football. He has followed through on his promise for a parade and national championship banners.

--North Carolina State finalized a new five-year contract for coach Dave Doeren with Board of Trustees' approval this week.

Doeren will make $3 million per year in total compensation. He will receive $1.5 million in each of the first two years, $2.25 million in the third year and $3 million in each of the final two years. Doeren also can earn as much as an additional $1.35 million for reaching academic and athletic performance goals.

The new deal extends through Dec. 31, 2022. His previous contract had three years remaining at $2.2 million per season.

Wolfpack athletic director Debbie Yow began working on a new contract in October, but the talks picked up after Tennessee tried to hire away Doeren in November to fill its head coaching vacancy.

N.C. State ended the 2017 season with a 9-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Wolfpack capped Doeren's best season at the school with a 52-31 victory over Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.

--The younger brother of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa committed to play for the Crimson Tide, according to Al.com.

Taulia Tagovailoa is considered a four-star prospect, according to several recruiting services, and part of Alabama's 2019 class.

Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and Tennessee were among other top programs reportedly interested in Tagovailoa. Al.com also reported that Florida Atlantic, coached by former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, also pursued Tagovailoa.

The older Tagovailoa rallied the Crimson Tide to the national championship over Georgia in January. His participation in the spring program has been shortened by an injury to his left (throwing) hand.

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