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10 Most Ready NFL Players Who Aren't Eligible for 2016 Draft

It's never too early to start thinking about the NFL draft. The draft has evolved into a yearlong process, with one draft barely ending before we're inundated with the next year's mock drafts (which are, of course, extra accurate a full year out from the actual draft!). Here's an very early 2017 mock draft from Bill Bender of the Sporting News

Point is, people love to talk about the draft, and we're no different. This fall, every big performance will fuel chatter and speculation about whether this will be the last time we see an early-entry candidate before they head to the NFL.

Some players, however, won't hear that chatter. After all, you have to be three years removed from high school graduation to declare for the NFL draft, and many talented sophomores won't reach that benchmark this fall.

Here's a look at the most NFL-ready players who aren't eligible for the 2016 NFL draft.

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The 10 Most Clutch College Football Head Coaches

When the game is late and the score is close, it takes a strong will and great confidence to come out on top. Coaches look for this in their players, but the coaches themselves must be able to make the right decisions during crunch time as well.

For those who do, they become known as being "clutch."

This doesn't just mean being able to win most of the one-score games their teams are involved in, but also to have the ability to make such games seem less stressful than they are. Same with those games that go to overtime or are against ranked teams.

With a calm demeanor and an intense focus on the task at hand, you'd think they're calling plays during the first quarter of a spring scrimmage instead of the final minutes of a big game.

Using this criteria, we've selected the 10 most clutch coaches in college football, detailing some of their most notable exploits in big-game situations.

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3-Star DB Khaleke Hudson Makes 1-Handed Catch While Jumping over Someone

Whoever lands defensive back Khaleke Hudson is getting an incredible athlete.

The 2016 3-star showed off his one-handed catching abilities as he jumped over a person into the end zone. And as we all know, slow motion makes everything look better, doesn't it?

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

Two weeks away from its first summer football camp of the offseason, Alabama had somewhat of a quiet week on the recruiting trail.

Nick Saban and his staff sent out six offers this week, half of which were to 2018 players who don’t have star ratings and have only played one year of high school football so far.

Still, the week wasn’t without its fair share of splash offers, including one to a big-name NFL legacy.

Here’s a breakdown of Alabama’s offers of the week.

 

Thaddeus Moss, 2016 3-Star Tight End

Alabama’s quest for another tight end could come in the form of an NFL legacy, something that has been sort of a theme for the Crimson Tide’s recruiting efforts lately.

Randy Moss’ son, Thaddeus, got an offer from Alabama this week. Thaddeus Moss is a tight end who is most comfortable split out wide—exactly the kind of tight end Alabama needs to snag in this cycle.

“On film, Moss makes for an impressive flex tight end,” Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles wrote in February. “He can line up as an H-back, but his strengths are lining up wide and posing a problem for smaller defensive backs. Like his father, he likes making the catch at its highest point.”

Moss prefers not to do interviews, so it’s hard to get a read on where his recruitment is heading. His offer list has picked up steam lately, with schools like Michigan, Georgia and Oregon jumping in the mix.

For now, Moss has one more year left at Victory Christian in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his dad serves as defensive coordinator.

If Alabama can land Moss, and he’s anything like his dad, Alabama will be set at the tight end position for a couple of more years.

 

Jedrick Wills, 2017 4-Star Offensive Tackle

As reported by Scout's Brian Eldridge, Alabama started the week on Monday by offering the top player in the state of Kentucky who could develop into a bookend tackle one day.

It will be hard to get Wills out from his hometown Kentucky Wildcats, but as he gets more and more attention on the recruiting trail, he could start to pursue other options. Alabama has certainly shown a track record of getting its offensive linemen to the next level.

Mario Cristobal was in town to see another player, but Wills’ high school coach, Eric Shaw, turned Cristobal on to his rising junior tackle.

“(Cristobal) came by to see me this morning and talk to me a little bit,” Shaw told 247Sports’ Hank South. “Everyone is stopping by to see my soon-to-be senior Landon Young. I told him I wanted to show him Jedrick, and afterwards he told me to put them in the mix for him.”

Shaw thinks that the 6’5”, 300-pound Wills could continue to get bigger:

He has great feet to be 6'5", 310 pounds. I think he has the opportunity to be even bigger. He just turned 16 yesterday, he’s still growing and I think at the end of the day he might be 6’7” or 6’8”. He has very long arms and very good speed. He’s very aggressive, and he plays to his size. There are a lot of guys throughout the country that have the size and the strength, but they don’t have that nastiness to them, but he has it all.

Shaw also added that he thinks Alabama will be near the top of Wills' list when he starts to trim it down.

 

Other Offers from the Week

Al Blades, Jr., 2018 Cornerback:

Nik Bonitto, 2018 Strong-Side Defensive End:

Eriq Gilyard, 2018 Outside Linebacker:

B.J. Emmons, 2016 4-Star Running Back (Georgia Commit):

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The spring evaluation period is winding down in the recruiting world, and the Notre Dame football staff sent out another nine offers over the past week, following up an 11-offer week.

Each week we’ll be keeping tabs on the new scholarship offers sent out by the Notre Dame coaches, tracking the recruiting process as the Irish focus their attention toward the classes of 2016, 2017 and maybe even 2018.

Notre Dame continues to identify and target safeties, especially after another potential option—class of 2016 safety Kenney Lyke, who pledged to Michigan State on Friday—dropped off the board.

 

Devwah Whaley

Class of 2016 running back Devwah Whaley landed an offer from Notre Dame on Wednesday, becoming the 15th running back in the class to receive an offer from the Irish, as he noted on Twitter:

The Beaumont, Texas, product is slotted as the No. 4 back and No. 118 overall player in the country. Two days before landing the Irish offer, Whaley sliced his list to 10 schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Texas.

We’ll see if Notre Dame can alter that top 10 after offering.

 

Antonneous Clayton

Notre Dame continues to target defensive ends in this recruiting cycle, and the Irish offered class of 2016 weak-side defensive end Antonneous Clayton on Wednesday, per Irish247’s Tom Loy:

The 6’4”, 218-pound end from Vienna, Georgia, checks in as the No. 26 player at his position and the No. 434 overall prospect in his class. Clayton also holds offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Florida and Alabama, among others.

“Notre Dame’s graduation rate is incredible,” Clayton told Loy. “I’ve done my research. That’s big for me. Football isn’t forever; it only lasts so long. I know a Notre Dame degree means a lot, and you can do a lot with it and build great connections in life because of it.”

Clayton will visit campus in June, per Loy. Clayton also said he has no favorites at this point in his recruitment.

 

Jonathan Smith

Class of 2016 linebacker Jonathan Smith reeled in a Notre Dame offer Thursday, according to 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow:

A 3-star prospect from Laurinburg, North Carolina, Smith is the No. 31 inside linebacker and No. 806 overall player in the country. The linebacker also boasts offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, where he’s visited multiple times.

 

Jonah Morris

One week after committing to Michigan State, class of 2016 linebacker Jonah Morris hauled in an offer from Notre Dame, per Loy:

Morris, who committed to the Spartans on May 12, is the No. 52 outside linebacker and No. 699 overall prospect in the class. Morris indicated roughly two weeks ago an Irish offer was forthcoming, per Loy.

“Notre Dame is supposed to offer me soon,” Morris said at the time to Loy. “I don’t know what the future may bring with my recruitment if that happens. Anything is possible, and anything could happen. It would be huge knowing that Notre Dame offered. Definitely a blessing.”

 

Jalen Elliott

Class of 2016 athlete Jalen Elliott received a Notre Dame offer Tuesday, an offer he referred to as a "blessing":

The 3-star prospect and No. 636 player in the class hails from Chesterfield, Virginia, and reports offers from North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Auburn and Georgia, among others. According to Loy, the Irish are "pursuing" Elliott as a safety.

Elliott described his summer plans to 247Sports’ Evan G. Watkins.

“In the summertime I plan to visit all of the recent offers I have gotten like Auburn, Georgia, possible Miami and Notre Dame and then I can get back to the schools I have been to like Virginia Tech and a few others,” Elliott said.

 

Najee Harris

The Irish are still hovering around 30 offers for the entire class of 2017, and Notre Dame targeted its second running back in the class and offered Alabama commit Najee Harris. Head coach Brett Dudley of Antioch High School tweeted an announcement:

The Antioch, California, product committed to the Crimson Tide on April 18 and currently ranks as the No. 1 running back and No. 15 overall player in the nation. 247Sports’ Barton Simmons described Harris as “so much more than a power back, showcasing outstanding change of direction, jump cut and make-miss ability and also the ability to catch the ball effectively out of the backfield.”

Harris joins Maleik Gray as 2017 running back prospects to land Irish offers.

 

Jake Moretti

Notre Dame offered its fourth offensive tackle in the class of 2017 on Wednesday, extending an offer to Jake Moretti. Coach Matt McChesney congratulated Moretti on the ND offer:

The Arvada, Colorado, native is the No. 11 tackle and No. 71 prospect in his class. He also totes offers from Wisconsin, Ohio State, UCLA, Nebraska and Michigan.

“It’s Notre Dame, what’s not to love? It has everything,” Moretti told Irish247.

 

Leonard Warner

Class of 2017 athlete Leonard Warner grabbed a Notre Dame offer Saturday, per Loy.

Warner is tabbed as the No. 7 outside linebacker and No. 106 overall prospect in the class. He holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Michigan and Miami, among others.

 

Jeffrey Okudah

The safety search continues, as Notre Dame joined the fray for class of 2017 safety Jeffrey Okudah with an offer Tuesday. Okudah tweeted the announcement:

The 5-star Okudah is ranked as the No. 1 safety and No. 20 overall in the class of 2017. The Grand Prairie, Texas, native holds offers from Duke, Ohio State, Alabama, USC, Miami, Texas, LSU and Florida State, among others.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Football: Bulldogs' 2015 Offseason Checklist

With summer approaching, the Georgia Bulldogs are getting closer to kicking off the 2015 season in September. And with this being the offseason, the players are getting into shape for when fall practice begins in August. The coaches are preparing for fall practice as well, but they are also working hard on the recruiting trail.

The goals are set for the Bulldogs to have a successful 2015 season. They were able to do some good things in 2104, but they were not satisfied after the win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl. In order for them to win the SEC and have a chance to reach the College Football Playoff, there will be some things they need to get done in the offseason.

Here’s the offseason checklist for the Bulldogs.

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Who Will Be LSU's Secret Weapon in 2015?

The LSU Tigers are a team ripe with big-time talent. From standout running backs to lockdown defenders, Les Miles and his staff have been able to get the most out of their players. 

But who on this roster will be the team's secret weapon in 2015?

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee was joined by Stephen Nelson as they answered that question in the video above. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Who Will Be Georgia's Offensive MVP for the 2015 Season?

The Georgia Bulldogs have long had one of the best offenses in the SEC. Last season was no exception with the emergence of two of the best running backs in the game, Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. 

But who will be Georgia's offensive MVP in 2015? 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee joins Stephen Nelson to answer that question in the video above. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Who Will Be Alabama's Defensive MVP for the 2015 Season?

The Alabama Crimson Tide have produced some of the best defensive players in the game. Nick Saban and his staff have always had an eye for defensive talent.

But who on this roster will be the defensive MVP for the Tide?

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee and Stephen Nelson discuss who could stand out on defense next season in the video above.  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Every SEC Team's Best 2015 Heisman Candidate

There's no shortage of stars in the SEC in 2015, but aside from Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, there aren't many who play quarterback.

That presents a bit of a problem in the race for the Heisman Trophy—which has gone to a quarterback every year but two since 200.

Who will step up in the SEC? Our best Heisman candidate for each team based on position, impact, talent and scheme are in this slideshow.

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Texas Football: The Longhorns' 2015 Offseason Checklist

Even as a young, inexperienced football team, the Texas Longhorns have a straightforward path to improvement: Find a quarterback and fix your offensive line.

The Longhorns need to recruit much better this summer. They also need to figure out how to incorporate their incoming talent and find some playmakers who can make their offense respectable.

But what this really boils down to is putting a quarterback who can win football games in command and fielding an offensive line that can protect and run-block well enough to let that happen.

Little else matters to the immediate future of the program.

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Ohio State Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

The Ohio State Buckeyes' blitz on elite 2017 and 2018 football prospects continued as head coach Urban Meyer sent out seven new offers to underclassmen last week.

That's a trend that's been developing over the last month. With most of the targeting for the 2016 recruiting cycle nearly complete, the Buckeyes coaching staff is focusing on its long-term strategy.

That process led the staff to these blue-chip prospects last week.

 

Baron Browning, 5-Star Inside Linebacker (2017)

Of the seven offers sent out last week, none grabbed more attention than the one sent out to standout linebacker Baron Browning.

The 5-star prospect out of Kennedale, Texas, is rated the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 31 prospect overall for the 2017 class. He holds offers from programs such as Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas, but Baylor and Texas A&M hold the early lead for his commitment, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

It's early enough for the Buckeyes to change that, though, which is why Meyer and the coaching staff issued the offer. Recruiting the Lone Star State is difficult for teams as far north as Ohio State, but Meyer has found avenues into the talent-rich recruiting territory. Since taking over in 2012, Meyer has landed 4-star Texas prospects such as J.T. BarrettDontre WilsonDemetrius Knox and Tristen Wallace.

Can he add Browning to that list?

If he can, the Buckeyes will add one of the country's best linebackers to a 2017 recruiting class that's shaping up to be legendary. Ohio State already has six commits for its 2017 class, two of whom are 5-star prospects. Browning would be another elite piece to the brilliant puzzle Meyer is assembling. 

 

Ambry Thomas, 4-Star Cornerback (2017)

Keeping their focus on elite 2017 defenders, the Buckeyes offered 4-star standout Ambry Thomas on Wednesday.

Thomas, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is rated the No. 11 cornerback and the No. 150 prospect nationally. He has offers from major programs in the Midwest such as Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Missouri, but it's only a matter of time before his recruitment goes national. 

The offer from the Buckeyes surprised Thomas, though, according to Allen Trieu of Scout.com

I actually saw Coach Coombs and the wide receiver coach come in the building today, but I didn't think anything of it. Because they came in before, they came two weeks ago and there was nothing, but it's a wonderful feeling to know that a school like Ohio State is interested me, knowing that I'm only a sophomore.

Can Meyer and Ohio State steal another elite prospect from Michigan? That's something the Buckeyes have done regularly under Meyer, and pulling Thomas away from the Wolverines and the Spartans would be a huge victory for Ohio State.

 

Other Offers from the Week

Daquon Green, 4-Star Wide Receiver (2017)

Jonathan Ford, Unranked Defensive End (2017)

Asante Samuel Jr., Unranked Cornerback (2018)

Benjamin Sapp, Unranked Cornerback (2018)

Brian Snead, Unranked Running Back (2018)

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers' 2015 Offseason Checklist

Nebraska football fans settling into summer are well versed in checklists, having time in the offseason to get their gutters cleaned and barbecues fired up.

New Nebraska head coach Mike Riley has a big to-do list on his desk as he takes the reins in Lincoln. And while there are a number of demands on his attention, here are five things that he has been (or will be) working on between now and September.

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11 Teams with the Best Odds to Qualify for the 2015-16 College Football Playoff

With spring practices complete and the biggest stretch of the offseason ahead, preseason picks are starting to pop up all across the country, from online outlets to season preview magazines.

The most talked-about predictions each year used to be found on Top 25 lists, but with college football's new format, the four playoff picks are the ones fans want to know and debate as the calendar flips closer and closer to the fall. 

One of the best ways to find out which teams are the favorites to qualify for the second-ever College Football Playoff is to check out what the experts in Vegas think about this year's field.

According to Odds Shark, these are the 11 teams that currently have the best odds of winning the College Football Playoff this season.

While all four teams from last season's playoff are among the favorites, a few names that were on the outside looking in last season are already building up plenty of buzz for 2015.

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Darian Dailey Arrested for Armed Robbery: Latest Details Surrounding Rutgers DB

Rutgers defensive back Darian Dailey was one of two men arrested Sunday and charged with felony robbery in Florida after allegedly accosting a man on a bicycle, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"We are aware of the situation and are gathering facts," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said in a statement, per Dan Duggan of NJ.com. "Once those facts are gathered, we will take the appropriate action."    

Dailey, 19, and Trazelle Johnson are alleged to have demanded money from a man riding a bicycle early Sunday morning after showing him a handgun. It is unclear whether Dailey or Johnson was holding the gun. The amount of money stolen from the victim has also not been publicly made available. 

Both men were identified by the victim after police located their car. They were arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm, a felony. Florida state laws call for a minimum of a 10-year sentence for armed robbery when "the offender possesses a firearm or destructive device during commission of the offense or flight therefrom," in accordance with its 10-20-Life policy.

Dailey was a 2-star recruit in the Class of 2014, per 247Sports, and redshirted during his freshman season. He and Johnson are currently being held in jail while awaiting arraignment. Both have been assigned a $150,000 bond.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Football: Wolverines' 2015 Offseason Checklist

Anything less than a championship-like effort from the Michigan Wolverines just won’t cut it on Sept. 3 versus the Utah Utes. The process of establishing such an attitude starts now, in the heart of the offseason.

First-year coach Jim Harbaugh's staff and players certainly have a lot to accomplish on their respective to-do lists before heading west to Brice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

The Wolverines need a quarterback, among other things. They also need to further polish their offensive line and find a way to replace a few missing pieces. On top of that, most of Harbaugh’s staff members are new, so they’ll need time to acclimate as well.

This isn’t an ordinary, run-of-the-mill offseason.

It may just be a season opener, however, given Harbaugh’s playing and coaching career, not to mention his strong desire to rebuild his alma mater, it’d be safe to assume that he’s viewing Week 1 of 2015 as much more than simply "Week 1 of 2015."

He probably expects coaches and players to do the same.

In all likelihood, he’s looking for a big road win—one that’d serve as early validation for a hungry team looking to prove itself. He’s probably aiming to further validate himself as well; he’s 7-1 on opening day, posting a 3-1 record with the Stanford Cardinal (45-17 loss to UCLA in 2007) and 4-0 mark with the San Francisco 49ers.

But there is a lot more on the line for Harbaugh and Michigan than establishing momentary confidence and the continuation of a respectable coaching streak. On Sept. 3, his team can effectively physically and mentally usher in a new era by winning out west. 

But before achieving that goal, Michigan must fully embrace the summer offseason. The weeks will go by fast, and the Wolverines can’t afford to waste any time as they prepare for fall camp. 

 

Follow the Leader

Guys such as Jourdan Lewis have the right idea. Just recently, the junior cornerback tweeted about putting together organized team activities this summer. Already touted as the team’s best cover man, the 5'10", 176-pounder could end up being one of its best leaders too:

Everyone deserves a break from the grind every now and then, but it’s clear that Lewis wants to promote productive months of June, July and August—the more players who take part; the better for Michigan.

Lewis posted the following message during a series of football-related tweets. It may or may not directly pertain to the Wolverines. Then again, it probably does:

Lewis’ initiative is a positive sign, especially since Michigan just lost Blake Countess, a fifth-year senior who graduated and plans to transfer. Lewis' leadership and two years of experience should help the Wolverines cope with the loss of one of their better defensive backs.

Usually, acts such as Lewis’ attempt at team bonding are contagious and motivational. Joe Bolden, a senior linebacker, is also known for taking charge. During spring availability, he discussed getting to know new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and the rest of new staff, his personal transition and that of the rest of the team.

Composed and direct, Bolden’s words were those of a man on a mission. He realizes the importance of this fall, not only as it relates to his final year, but to how it relates to the program in general. The 6'3", 232-pound linebacker sees the big picture.

On Dec. 30, the date of his official introduction to the media, Harbaugh outlined his plan to re-introduce sustained success at Michigan, using the building of foundations and the construction of permanent homes as figurative examples to detail his vision.

There can never be too many hands on deck. It’ll take endless hammering and framing to build Harbaugh’s house, so he’ll need all the laborers he can get. The likes of Lewis will undoubtedly lead the way in the locker room and in the huddle. Count on others such as Bolden to set the tone as well.

By now, there is a good chance that leaders are clear and defined. But if not, this summer would be the perfect opportunity for volunteers to step forward and claim responsibility by following Lewis and Bolden's lead. 

 

Emphasize QB/O-Line Progression

With exception to Jake Rudock, a senior transfer from Iowa with 25 career starts, the Wolverines don’t have a seasoned quarterback to roll with in 2015. In 2014, the 6’3”, 208-pounder completed nearly 62 percent of his passes and finished No. 6 in passing yards per game (203). He’s familiar with the Big Ten and should bring consistency to the mix—either by pushing the competition for No. 1 or winning the position outright.

At one time, Wilton Speight appeared to be next line at Michigan. Shane Morris’ struggles only reinforced that idea, but then Michigan strengthened its reserve by signing 4-star recruit Alex Malzone, an early enrollee who started for the Maize Team in the spring game opposite of Morris.

Malzone was the first quarterback selected in the spring draft. Then upon his arrival, Harbaugh pulled a last-minute move by snagging 4-star Zach Gentry.

Suddenly, Speight's road to starting has become littered with roadblocks. Throw in the cluster of quarterbacks on the spring roster, Rudock’s transfer and Gentry’s anticipated arrival, and the Wolverines have had a genuine “what is going on?” under center.

However, at this point, it doesn’t really matter who takes over the reins from Devin Gardner. Typically, successful quarterbacks have reliable O-lines. Michigan doesn’t have one of those yet, so the continued development of the guards, tackles and center is imperative.

Plus Jack Miller, the former starting center, is gone, leaving one less experienced body available for offensive coordinator/O-line coach Tim Drevno. Luckily for Michigan, Graham Glasgow—who is the best lineman at Michigan, per Miller—is returning for his fifth year of eligibility.

The 6’6”, 303-pounder will likely anchor the middle this fall, but his veteran presence could serve double time for the Wolverines, who need to improve up front and identify cornerstones.

As a freshman in 2014, Mason Cole started 12 games at left tackle. He had his share of early mistakes, but the on-the-job training benefited his cause. Now a sophomore, the 6’5”, 287-pounder has the opportunity to cement himself at the blind side for years to come.

The continued promotion of growth on the line and at quarterback is of the utmost importance for the Wolverines. 

 

The Recruiting Push

Harbaugh’s done a nice job of spreading the word, but his assistants may end up luring the best recruits. Due to Drevno’s connections, and those of other staff members, the Wolverines are in the midst of weaving a stronger network across the nation, including in the talent-heavy Golden State of California.

“[Drevno at UM] makes me more comfortable, and that’s why I was hoping to hear from Michigan—that’s why I was happy—because you know, back when he was at USC, I was trying to contact him and he left [for Michigan],” said 5-star 2017 offensive tackle Wyatt Davis of St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), who was recently offered by Michigan.

Steady communication during the past couple of years has helped Davis, the No. 6 OT of his class, form a bond with Drevno, who spent more than eight years coaching in his home state at Cal State Fullerton, Stanford (with Harbaugh) and San Francisco (with Harbaugh).  

That relationship is an obvious advantage for the Wolverines, who are in contention with Alabama and Oklahoma, among others, for the 6’5”, 290-pound high school sophomore.

“It was kind of weird. I wasn’t able to hear from him for a minute. I didn’t know where he was going to end up. Now that he’s at Michigan, it’s even better because I’ve always wanted actually to take a visit up there, and I’m pretty excited that I’ll be able to take a visit,” Davis said.

One kid’s past with one staff member won’t revolutionize the game, but it’s a sign of what’s already been reported by many outlets: The new guys can recruit. Drevno, who is noted for his O-lines, will be a key figure in Michigan's planned resurgence. 

Now with Durkin, the south seems more open to Michigan than ever, which is another good sign for the Wolverines. With connections of his own in the region, Durkin will come in handy during Harbaugh’s satellite camp this summer in Prattville, Alabama. Increasing activity in neighboring Georgia may be in order, too. There’s always Florida, and Durkin, who recruited well in-state for the Gators, has links to that hotbed as well.

It’ll take more than steady recruiting, devoted leaders, a championship attitude and an improved QB/O-line tandem to right the wrongs—but those are good places to start.

Right now, Michigan can’t really ask for anything else but strides toward a promising future.

It'd be more constructive than constantly harping on recent failures. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and references were obtained firsthand by the writer via press conference, press release or other media availability.

All recruiting information comes via 247Sports, and UM roster info comes via MGoBlue.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jordan Elliott to Houston: Cougars Land 4-Star DT Prospect

The Houston Cougars already cleaned up at the defensive tackle position after securing the commitment of Ed Oliver. As if that wasn't enough, they also added Jordan Elliott to their 2016 recruiting class.

The 4-star defensive tackle announced on Twitter that he's headed to Houston:

Houston head coach Tom Herman couldn't contain his excitement:

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Elliott is the No. 12 defensive tackle and the 84th-best player overall. Bleacher Report's Tyler Donohue noted how both Elliott and Oliver were garnering interest from a number of top schools:

Elliott possesses great size (6'4", 305 lb) for his position. He'll likely add a few pounds once he hits college, but that shouldn't take away from what is impressive quickness and agility. The tweet below from Elliott is a good example of that agility at work:

One of the things he'll certainly have to work on is his technique. ESPN.com's Jeremy Crabtree shot a video of Elliott from The Opening Dallas. Elliott looks solid in the short clip but certainly shows that his hand placement is a work in progress:

Elliott isn't a great pass-rusher but certainly passable enough that Cougars defensive coordinator Todd Orlando can utilize him in a few different ways. Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle provided Elliott's numbers from 2014, which offer a brief glimpse into his repertoire:

On its own, Elliott's arrival in Houston would give the Cougars a major presence on the interior of the defensive line. Throw him in with Oliver, and Herman's team is the envy of college football at defensive tackle.

Houston still has a ways to go to become a nationally relevant program, but nabbing recruits like Elliott will help the school reach that level over time.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football: Upperclassmen Ready to Break Out in 2015

Everybody always wants to talk about the established superstars or the next big things who are high-profile recruits, and it's the same story in SEC football.

But what about the late bloomers, the guys every team has who play key roles when they finally emerge as juniors and seniors? Those players are pivotal to success in college football.

Some are just now getting major opportunities after waiting behind established players. Others simply had something click and appear geared to break out.

Then, there are those who'll shine after being forced into action. A few, such as Tennessee receiver Marquez North and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, always have been blessed with the talent but haven't quite lived up to expectations yet.

Sometimes, it just takes time. Not everybody can become a star right away.

The league will be full of upperclassmen who'll blossom as upperclassmen. So, let's take a look at a few prime candidates to break free from obscurity and play vital roles in 2015.

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What Everett Golson Must Do at FSU to Establish Himself as Legit NFL QB Prospect

A string of impressive performances early last fall put Everett Golson’s NFL draft stock on a hype train that was traveling full speed ahead. That train derailed down the stretch of the season, however, and left Golson without a starting job at Notre Dame and with a need to improve his play significantly in 2015 in order to re-establish himself as a potential pro quarterback.

Golson, who was benched in favor of then-redshirt freshman Malik Zaire prior to last season’s Music City Bowl against LSU, officially transferred to play at Florida State on Tuesday, as first reported by Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman and later confirmed by the school.

Having graduated from Notre Dame last weekend, Golson is immediately eligible to play for the Seminoles, where he will have a chance to replace Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Bleacher Report provided Golson's "first look" in a Seminoles uniform:

It’s easy to see why Golson—who also visited Florida, according to Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples, and Georgia, according to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—ended up choosing Florida State.

Although they lost 11 players from last year’s team who were selected in the 2015 draft, the Seminoles still have enough talent to be a favorite in the Atlantic Coast Conference and a College Football Playoff contender.

As ESPN.com’s Max Olson highlighted, Florida State’s recent history of sending quarterbacks to the NFL—Winston, EJ Manuel and Christian Ponder—likely also helped entice Golson to go to Tallahassee:

That said, Golson must make long strides in a short period of time if he is going to follow in those quarterbacks’ footsteps and be an early-round pick—or even be selected at all—in the 2016 NFL draft.

 

Golson’s First Order of Business: Win the Starting Job

Being a high-profile graduate transfer like Golson comes with no guarantee of a starting job. For evidence of that, look no further than Jacob Coker.

Hyped as a potential prospect for the 2015 draft at this time last year after pulling a reverse Golson (Coker used his graduate-transfer option to leave Florida State for Alabama), Coker ended up spending the season on the bench after losing the starting quarterback competition to Blake Sims.

For Golson—who is in a more pressing position to play than Coker, as Golson has just one year of eligibility—his competition at Florida State will come from Sean Maguire, a 6’3”, 224-pound redshirt junior.

First impressions of Maguire, who started against Clemson last season when Winston was suspended but completed just 51 percent of his total passes in four game appearances, would suggest that Golson is the more talented quarterback, especially from a physical standpoint.

Still, the job won’t be handed to Golson until he earns it. He will have to quickly learn a new offensive system and playbook and convince Florida State’s coaching staff that he can overcome the turnover issues that played a big part in Notre Dame losing five of its last six regular-season games last year.

For the purposes of this article, we will proceed forward with the expectation that Golson will ultimately win the starting job. If he loses it, and ends up spending the majority of the 2015 season holding a clipboard, he will almost certainly go unselected in the 2016 draft. Should he win it, Golson will have a shot to propel himself back up draft boards if he can show clear and consistent progress from his mistake-littered past.

 

Priority on the Field: Take Care of the Football

If Golson is going to make NFL teams take him seriously as a prospect, the No. 1 thing he must do is cut down on giving the ball away to his opponent. In his 2014 season at Notre Dame, Golson threw 14 interceptions and also had 12 fumbles, eight of which were recovered by the opposing defense.

While Golson can be dangerous to defend as both a passer and a runner, his lack of ball security can also make him a danger to his own team.

To avoid turnovers as a passer, Golson must become better at going through progressions and making active decisions before throwing the ball. Too often, Golson simply stares down his intended targets, which enables defensive backs to read his eyes, jump receivers’ routes and make plays on the ball.

It doesn’t help Golson’s cause that he is short for a quarterback. Listed at only 6’0” and 200 pounds by Notre Dame’s official athletics website, Golson is prone to having his passes tipped at the line of scrimmage, which results from his combined lack of height and eye movement.

Golson’s fumbles largely result from him being laissez-faire with the football. When running or scrambling, Golson can often be found holding the ball with just one hand and out away from his body, which makes it easier for defenders to dislodge the rock when they hit him.

If Golson continues to turn the ball over at a high rate, he is likely to not only turn off NFL scouts but also end up on the bench in Tallahassee. He has the skills to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football and play the position at the next level, but his mistakes proved costly for the Fighting Irish last season.

 

Other Areas in Which Golson Must Improve

As Golson transitions to life at Florida State, he will have to learn how to operate a pro-style offense, which could be a big adjustment and potentially hinder his opportunity to beat out Maguire for the starting job.

At Notre Dame, Golson worked exclusively out of the shotgun as a passer, almost never lining up to take a snap under center. He will likely need some work out of the gate with simply catching those snaps consistently, as evidenced by his attempt to run a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak from under center against Florida State last season.

Additionally, Golson will have to learn the proper footwork for dropbacks into the pocket from under center. 

Going into an offense in which even Winston had trouble with interceptions due to questionable decisions and forced throws, Golson—who is not nearly as talented a pocket passer as Winston at this juncture—will need to break his aforementioned tendency of sticking to his first read from snap to throw.

Florida State’s system will demand that Golson is not only able to avert his eyes over the course of a play but to also be able to consciously find open receivers rather than predetermining his targets.

Golson has excellent mobility, which enables him to elude pass-rushers and extend plays, but that doesn’t always lead him to success under pressure. At his best, Golson can make spectacular plays on the run. However, Golson often becomes too panicky against the rush, quickly dropping his eyes to run or throwing the ball away rather than confidently making a throw downfield.

To be a successful NFL quarterback, one must be able to coolly navigate the pocket under pressure, knowing how to move one’s feet to buy time and knowing when to get the ball out of one’s hand. Golson flashes the ability to do this, but he also has a tendency to step up right into sacks, like he did on the following 3rd-and-7 against Stanford.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Golson must become more consistent with his accuracy in order to reach NFL standards as a passer.

Golson has the arm strength to make any throw on the field, but he has not yet demonstrated the touch to be a consistently successful deep passer. He frequently either overthrows or underthrows his intended targets.

Of greater concern, however, is that Golson is also maddeningly inconsistent on shorter throws.

The timing of Golson’s throws often appear to be out of sync with the intended targets. He also has a tendency to put too much juice on his short throws; this can lead to him skying passes over receivers’ heads or receivers being unable to securely catch the football, though the latter should be less of an issue with NFL pass-catchers.

In spite of his past success—he led Notre Dame to a BCS National Championship Game appearance in 2012 before being suspended for an academic violation in 2013—it is evident that Golson remains a project for even playing in a collegiate pro-style offense, let alone such a system in the NFL. Even so, there are still reasons for next-level scouts to be intrigued by the skill set he offers.

 

Why NFL Scouts Should Still Be Paying Attention

While Golson’s lack of height will be a knock on him in regard to his physical tools, he has a combination of arm strength and athleticism that has drawn him comparisons to Russell Wilson, even though he lacks Wilson’s polish as a passer at this point.

Arm strength is often discussed in the context of a quarterback’s ability to launch the ball long-distance, and Golson can do that, but where his arm really shines is at the intermediate level. Golson shows an ability, both from the pocket and on the move, to laser the ball downfield with great velocity to its target, allowing him to hit passes against tight windows.

A shining example of Golson’s arm talent came in Notre Dame’s early-season win against Michigan last September. With the pocket starting to collapse around him, Golson was able to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a perfect strike to hit wide receiver Corey Robinson 20 yards downfield on the left hashmark, setting up a goal-to-go situation from which Notre Dame would score a touchdown three plays later.

As a scrambler, Golson exhibits an ability to make magic happen. The following clips from his game against Michigan and Florida State this past season are examples of that. On both plays, Golson moved in multiple directions to evade rushers and buy time before managing to successfully complete a pass on the move.

Being able to create scrambling “magic” does not always translate to NFL success: Michael Vick, Vince Young and Johnny Manziel (at least through one season) are examples of highly touted quarterbacks who routinely made dazzling plays with their movement skills in college but have not had the same success in the NFL due to their deficiencies as pocket passers.

Nonetheless, Golson’s ability to make plays like the pair shown above still heightens his appeal to NFL teams. Most quarterbacks—even those succeeding at the next level—simply do not have the athleticism to make those plays. Golson will not be able to rely on that ability to make plays in the NFL, but it can still give him an X-factor that can make him more difficult to defend against.

As dynamic as Golson can be on the move, he also exhibits very good mechanics within the pocket. While he is inexperienced with making pro-style dropbacks, he does a nice job of always keeping his feet moving rather than standing sedentarily. When he sets his feet to throw, he is able to effectively transfer his weight forward through his body, while he delivers the ball with a clean, quick release out of his hand.

Golson’s inconsistency has been well-noted in this article, but while he has not shown that he can regularly avoid mistakes, he has demonstrated the all-important clutch factor, one of the traits that helped Winston emerge as the No. 1 overall pick despite his own mistakes for the Seminoles last season.

Perhaps because it enables him to play with more reckless abandon—as ball security becomes less of a priority—Golson seems to be at his best when the game is on the line.

A prime example of that came last October against Stanford. Facing a must-convert 4th-and-11, with Notre Dame trailing by four and just 1:09 left in the game, Golson rolled away from pressure to buy time before quickly setting his feet and then delivering a perfect strike from the 30-yard line to connect with tight end Ben Koyack in the left rear corner of the end zone for a game-winning, 23-yard touchdown.

Two weeks later, Golson came up with another clutch effort in his 2014 school’s game against the school he will play for in 2015. Although Notre Dame’s attempt at a game-winning drive against Florida State ultimately came up short, Golson gave a great effort in trying to make it happen, highlighted by an outstanding throw on the run, through a big hit, completed to Corey Robinson for a 4th-and-18 conversion.

Golson is a flawed, far-from-perfect quarterback, but he has demonstrated the tools to be a special playmaker, at least at the collegiate level. He must progress in many facets to be successful as an NFL signal-caller, but he will have a chance to win drafters over in 2015 as long as he can seize the starting job and keep it for Florida State.

 

All GIFs were made at Gfycat using videos from Notre Dame's athletics YouTube channel or Draft Breakdown.

Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football: Ranking the Top 10 True Freshmen to Watch in 2015

A new wave of talented true freshmen will be joining the SEC for the upcoming 2015 College Football season. While some of these freshmen may have to wait their turns on loaded depth charts, incoming standouts like Byron Cowart, Martez Ivey and Daylon Mack hope to make an immediate impact when they arrive on campus this fall. 

With the SEC's record of recent dominance on the recruiting trail, it's nothing new to see young players come in and contribute in their first year on campus. This years' freshman class should be no different. 

While it has become common to see true freshmen shine in collegiate athletics, it's still remarkable to see any player come in and play at a high level after being in high school less than a year ago.

However, despite the incredible influx of talent the incoming class brings to the table, it's not always the most talented players that are able to make the instant impact for their school. 

Players not only need to have the talent and ability to get on the field right away, but also need to be in a situation where the current depth chart gives them the opportunity to receive immediate playing time.

There is also the matter of an incoming freshman being able to grasp his team's scheme and learn his own positional responsibilities in that scheme.

Finally, a player's physical readiness out of high school also helps determine how early he'll see the field in his first season at the next level.

Recent standout true freshmen such as Amari Cooper, Jadeveon Clowney and Nick Chubb have proven how effective a talented true freshman can be when given an ample opportunity.   

 

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