‘Unique Brissett II’ used social media accounts to catfish the college football recruiting world

The mystery takes us across social media platforms and fake highlight tapes.

Just when you think recruiting can’t get any weirder, it does. A prospect by the name of Unique Brissett II apparently took many people for a ride, including The Palm Beach Post, a Kentucky 247Sports site, and a Michigan State Fansided.com site in posts that are each now deleted.

The jig was found out by, among other people, 247Sports Miami beat writer Andrew Ivins. This all started with a now-deleted Twitter account tweeting out a top-five school list. In two separate message board posts, Ivins laid out the details of what’s been going down.

Globe Institute of Technology (N.Y.) wide receiver/running back Unique Brissett II tweeted out late Sunday that Miami was in his top group of schools along with a number of other programs. From what I have been told Brissett doesn’t hold an offer from the Hurricanes and has had absolutely zero contact with the coaches to date meaning he’s making stuff up. Kentucky’s coaches also haven’t had any contact with him.

-The kid (or person) has claimed offers at one point from Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Those schools have never heard him according to the people that cover the schools.

– Unique apparently tried to commit to Navy two or three weeks ago.

– The highlights he’s using apparently are videos just being ripped off of other top high school recruits.

The school Brissett claimed to go to is a JuCo that closed down, but it did once have a football program. The main YouTube page attached to Brissett has three different highlight videos, and each has a different Twitter account in the videos’ descriptions.

A Facebook search for Brissett yielded a result.

It lists Brissett — if it’s his real name — as a German-American living in the Bronx attending Westchester Community College in Westchester, N.Y. It appears to belong to a real person, although we’re unsure if their real name is Unique Brissett II.

A Google search for Brissett and WCC shows a dormant Hudl profile with only one picture. The active Facebook profile gloated about taking the college football world for a spin.

SB Nation reached out to it for comment, but the request was not returned. The New York Post, however, was able to get in touch with Brissett through Twitter.

“Well me & my brother was watching college football & hudl’s & stuff,” Brissett told The Post in a message exchange over Twitter, referencing the recruiting website, “like that we was talking about it & then we both agreed we would do it (get fake offers ) then we was talking about what was our favorite college teams & then we started lying about the offers.”

He added that he probably would’ve given it up if his story hadn’t gotten so much attention.

“It was easy. I don’t think it was hard at all,” said Brissett, who said he would’ve simply stopped after a while if no one was giving him the attention — either for being a real hotshot prospect or for being a fake hotshot prospect.

“I was laughing. I was too hype,” Brissett said about the moment his story fell apart.

It appears that Unique has been running a similar gag with the nickname of Quan. There’s another YouTube account with two videos attached to a Unique “Quan” Brissett. Both the videos on that account are highlight tapes of what appears to be different athletes. One of the tapes features a player who doesn’t wear the same number or play the same position Quan claims to.

The other seems to be of a player at a different school.

Whoever is running the Facebook account appears to have at least played football at some point.

This photo from the Brissett Facebook page from 2015 shows a young man in football gear. The young man is wearing a uniform for the Cardinal Spellman Pilots, a Catholic high school in the Bronx.

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Posted by Unique Brissett II on Monday, February 2, 2015

The photo has been used as one of the profile pictures on one of the YouTube accounts associated with Brissett, and is also the main image to a dormant College Level Athletes profile for Unique Brissett. That Brissett profile is for a kid who purportedly attended Bronx Academy of Letters high school in New York City and graduated in 2015. The school does not have a football team.

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Chris Paul to the Spurs? It’s possible, but super complicated

Paul will command a four-year, $153 million deal. The Spurs would need to make space, and then the fit is still a question.

After another disappointing season knocked the Los Angeles Clippers out early in the playoffs, star point guard Chris Paul needs to make a decision.

Paul is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract to test free agency. There, he could either re-sign with the Clippers for a lucrative five-year, $210 million deal or sign for no more than four years at $153.5 million with another team.

That’s $60 million and an extra year of employment Paul would leave on the table if he headed elsewhere. The normal human being would find the dotted line and sign it in blood in a heartbeat, especially one that negotiated a salary bump for players in his age bracket as National Basketball Players Association president.

But CP3 may crave more than just cash and security. He wants a championship more than anything. And if it’s not coming in Los Angeles, ESPN’s Zach Lowe says another potential suitor for Paul’s services is none other than the vaunted San Antonio Spurs.

“There’s been a lot of rumblings about Chris Paul, and I think that’s real,” he said on his own Lowe Post Podcast. “I think there’s mutual interest there. I don’t know how real it is given the Clippers can offer a gigantic amount of money and are also a really good team; and the Spurs, like I said, have no sort of cap flexibility to get there. I’m very curious about what they do this summer and who’s on the team next year.”

How would it work?

Option A would include a sign-and-trade in which the Clippers ink Paul to a four-year max deal, then send him to San Antonio for matching salaries and attractive younger pieces. That could include an extend-and-trade for Jonathon Simmons along with a package of Danny Green or Pau Gasol and draft picks.

But that option would limit Paul to just a four-year deal and also hard cap the Spurs at $6 million above the luxury tax line.

Otherwise, for San Antonio to sign Paul in free agency, the road is bumpy.

To do so, they’d need to clear space for his $35.7 million salary next season (or convince him to leave even more money on the table :emoji crying face:). Tony Parker, who suffered a season-ending ruptured quadriceps tendon in Game 2 vs. Houston, is still scheduled to collect $15.4 million next year.

Parker’s retirement would be the first domino necessary to fall in order to create the requisite cap space for Paul’s contract. It’s still unclear which way he and veteran running mate Manu Ginobili are leaning this summer. But why would Parker retire when he has guaranteed money coming his way?

Assuming Parker doesn’t retire, the Spurs would still be on the hook to fulfill the final year of his contract. San Antonio could waive and stretch his contract over three seasons and pay $5.13 million a year, but that’s a cold way to treat a club legend.

Let’s say they do it anyway.

Here’s how the rest of the salaries break down:

That total doesn’t include the near $29.5 million in cap holds on pending free agents Ginobili, Patty Mills and Simmons, each of whom are as good as gone if Paul goes to San Antonio. The Spurs would need to renounce each of those players to even think about signing Paul.

Now, if San Antonio renounces Ginobili, Mills, and Simmons, and Dedmon declines his player option, they’d still need to clear $14 million in cap space. The easy way would be to convince Gasol to opt out of his player option, but that’s probably not gonna fly.

The next best option, to the dismay of many, would involve trading Green to a team with cap space to absorb his contract without giving up actual salary in return. Teams projected to have at least $15 million in cap space after re-signing their own free agents this summer include New Orleans, Orlando, Utah, the Lakers, Chicago, New York, Minnesota, Denver, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Sacramento, Dallas, and Philly.

That would also leave quite a few gaping holes in the Spurs’ rotation without the necessary cap space to add quality players unless they take a significant pay cut.

The Spurs have pulled salary-cap rabbits out of their hat to sign marquee free agents before, but this is a much taller task.

Does it even make sense for the Spurs to sign Paul?

That depends on who you are in the equation. If you’re the soon-to-be 26-year-old Kawhi Leonard, you may not want a 32-year-old ball-dominant floor general on your team. Paul is one of the most popular players in the NBA, and other aging veterans would flock to San Antonio for a chance to play alongside him.

That means Kawhi’s prime could potentially waste away alongside players who may be well past their own. Instead, the Spurs could flip Aldridge, who put up a dud in the playoffs more often than not, for a point guard more in Leonard’s age bracket. Perhaps to the Phoenix Suns in a deal for Eric Bledsoe, who just came off the best season of his career? Aldridge did nearly sign in Phoenix, after all.

If you’re the 31-year-old Aldridge, Paul’s arrival all but ensures your safety after a dubious postseason left many questioning your importance to this team. You want that pick-and-pop action with one of the best screen maestros in basketball history. You want to remind people why you were a coveted free agent last summer and that your value doubles when setting screens on a player who still commands a double on the drive.

If you’re Gregg Popovich, Paul may be your last hope at challenging the Warriors (and the Rockets) for a Western Conference crown. Golden State’s going to keep that squad together as long as it can, and Houston only has one superstar. You don’t want to see the Rockets if they add a second.

Dejounte Murray had promising blips his rookie season, but he’s only 20 years old. He needs time to develop into a starter, let alone a star.

Paul is ready to roll right now. But do you want a ball-dominant guard who scores primarily off the pick-and-roll and in isolation? Do you want someone who’s dribbling the ball into the ground looking for an assist, which will slow down your free-flowing offense while taking the ball out of Leonard’s hands? How will adding Paul aid or stunt Leonard’s rapid development into a superstar? And are you sure you can convince CP3 that his way hasn’t worked and to conform to your ways, which have painted a legacy that speaks for itself?

And if you’re Paul, the focus of this story, the ball is in your court. Do you leave the vibrant city of Los Angeles for San Antonio? Do you butcher the relationships you made with the Clippers for a remote chance at a championship with the Spurs? Did you push for the 38-year-old max deal just to leave Los Angeles and not sign one? And are your odds at beating the Warriors any better with the Spurs than building more with the Clippers? And are any of those long shot odds worth giving up $60 million?

Both Paul and the Spurs have a lot of soul searching to do this summer as they plan their next steps after respectively disappointing seasons. We can only wait and see how it pans out.

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Andrew Hawkins signs with Patriots after graduating from Columbia

Leaving Cleveland should be a boon for the veteran wide receiver.

Veteran wide receiver Andrew Hawkins will join forces with Tom Brady after announcing Wednesday that he will sign with the New England Patriots.

Hawkins, 31, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Cleveland Browns in 2014. In his three seasons in Cleveland, his starting quarterbacks were:

Brian Hoyer
Johnny Manziel
Connor Shaw
Josh McCown
Austin Davis
Cody Kessler
and Robert Griffin III

Playing with Brady was one of the reasons Hawkins cited for choosing New England in a video posted by Uninterrupted:

“In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender. The Patriots are THE contender,” Hawkins said. “You get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history.”

The signing will carry him out of Ohio, the state that’s been the backdrop to some of his biggest moments as a football player. Hawkins was a standout at the University of Toledo, where he played as both a receiver and cornerback, but garnered little interest from NFL teams after graduating in 2008. That led him to Canada, where he won a pair of Grey Cup titles in his two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes.

That championship pedigree helped draw interest from American scouts, and he landed with the Bengals after a brief preseason stint with the Rams. The 5’7 slot receiver contributed immediately in his first NFL season, notching 23 receptions while emerging as an important safety valve for quarterback Andy Dalton.

That led the Browns to come calling in 2014, signing the elusive wideout away with a four-year, $13.2 million pact. He had the best season of his career that year, catching 63 passes for 824 yards before being thrown into the swirling cesspool of ridiculousness that is the Cleveland quarterback rotation. The club mercifully released him — and the $1.8 million he was due in 2017 — on Feb. 27.

The beginning of his year was still productive, though, as Hawkins graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree and a 4.0 GPA.

Despite six years of NFL contributions, he may be most famous for posting one of the greatest Instagram videos of all time.

Only Hawkins fans allowed under my roof ✊. @ajgreen_18 @king_sanu_12

A post shared by Andrew Hawkins (@hawk) on Oct 21, 2014 at 7:51am PDT

Now, he’ll try to revive his career with the Patriots, an offense that has often thrived off of undersized and speedy receiver like Hawkins. It’s a fit that makes sense for both parties and could produce the numbers that evaded the receiver in Cleveland.

Hawkins may struggle to break into a Patriots wide receiver rotation that’s deeper than it’s ever been. New England traded its first round pick to the Saints for dynamic deep threat Brandin Cooks. He’s the headliner for a group that includes Pro Bowler Julian Edelman, 2016’s yards-per-catch leader Chris Hogan, Super Bowl hero Danny Amendola, and rising second-year wideout Malcolm Mitchell. He’ll also have to compete with a pair of undrafted free agents who caught Bill Belichick’s eye with productive college careers — Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

After adding Hawkins, the Patriots opted to part ways with Devin Street — a 2014 fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys who was claimed by the team earlier in May.

The price for Hawkins’ opportunity to pair up with Tom Brady will be extended special teams duty. If he can’t blow away the competition in training camp, he’ll have to make an impact on punt coverage to justify his place as a 31-year-old wideout whose best performances are likely in his rear view.

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Air Force decides WR Jalen Robinette will have to serve 2 years active duty before NFL

Jalen Robinette will reportedly not be allowed to serve his commitment as a reserve.

Just before Jalen Robinette’s NFL career was set to begin with his name likely to be called during Day 3 of the 2017 NFL draft, the Air Force Academy decided that athletes will not be allowed to defer military service and must serve two years of active duty before playing professionally, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Robinette is a 6’3, 220-pound receiver with big play ability, but the decision is devastating for his chances at ever playing in the NFL. And another wrench was thrown into his story Wednesday when he was removed from the list of Air Force Academy graduates.

“Cadet Robinette was removed from the graduation lineup after academy leadership became aware of information that called into question Cadet Robinette’s eligibility/qualification to graduate and commission,” Air Force Academy said in a statement, via Pro Football Talk. “Cadet Robinette’s graduation and commissioning will be placed on hold while we further evaluate. Due to privacy-related concerns, we are unable to comment on the circumstances. We can say that the circumstances do not involve any allegations of criminal wrongdoing and are unrelated to Cadet Robinette’s professional football pursuits.”

Robinette went undrafted in April and was not signed by a team, likely due to the policy change that was set to send him into two years of service.

Last year in May — following the selection of Keenan Reynolds by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2016 NFL draft — the Department of Defense updated a policy mandating two years of service for athletes to allow appointments in the reserve upon requests.

“A service member can request to be tendered an appointment in the reserve upon graduation and satisfy their commissioned service obligation in the Ready Reserve,” the new policy stated, via the Washington Post.

But the sudden reversal by the Air Force meant Robinette would not be able to serve his commitment as a reserve and wouldn’t be eligible to play in the NFL until 2019 — possibly crushing his chances at an NFL career. Not graduating Wednesday could be another strike at his hopes.

The last Air Force player to be drafted was defensive end Bryce Fisher, selected by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL draft. He returned to play for the Bills in 2001 before eventually developing into a starter for the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks.

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Teddy Bridgewater’s not practicing yet, but he’s close to rejoining the Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater was back on the practice field as part of his rehab, but he still isn’t fully cleared to participate.

Teddy Bridgewater’s road to recovery from a devastating knee injury that cost him the entire 2016 season reached another milestone Tuesday when the Minnesota Vikings quarterback hit the practice field with his teammates during the team’s first Organized Team Activity (OTA) of the offseason.

It wasn’t quite a practice for Bridgewater, who still hasn’t been cleared by a doctor. But he was back on the field dropping back and throwing as part of his rehab — albeit with a bulky brace on his left leg.

While Bridgewater was not at the practice session Wednesday due to a scheduled doctor appointment, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told reporters that the team released video of the quarterback Tuesday to dispel concerns about the recovery.

The week became even more encouraging for the Vikings and Bridgewater when the doctor appointment showed good signs for his recovery.

Bridgewater went down in a training camp practice in August of 2016, suffering a torn ACL and dislocated knee. Shortly thereafter, the Vikings traded a first-round pick to acquire Sam Bradford, who led the team to an 8-8 record.

Both Bridgewater and Bradford have contracts set to expire following the 2017 season after the Vikings opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on Bridgewater’s deal.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t at practice to talk about Bridgewater as Zimmer is recovering from his eighth eye surgery. But he did speak optimistically about the quarterback in March — one day after Bridgewater posted video of himself throwing on a practice field.

Bridgewater was a first-round pick in 2014 and threw 28 touchdowns with 21 interceptions in two seasons as the team’s starter before going down with an injury. Now he’s getting closer than ever to rejoining the Vikings in practice.

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A soccer player farted out a TV graphic

Ajax keeper Andre Onana has a talent he’s kept hidden for far too long. The ability to fart graphics.

The moment of wonder came during Manchester United’s Europa League final against Ajax, and honestly we’re wondering how he kept this talent hidden for so long. A man who can fart graphics is something Don Draper could only dream about. It’s such a niche skill some consider a dark art, but advertisers love because of how easily it can be hidden inside shows without viewers realizing it.

The last athlete to show this kind of posterior skill was CC Sabathia in 2012 when Spider-Man flew out of his butt on live TV.

This is how the X-Men began.

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