NCAA Football

Power Ranking the SEC Starting Quarterbacks in 2015

Inexperience and uncertainty characterizes the quarterback situations for much of the SEC heading into the 2015 season. 

After a generally down year for SEC quarterbacks, the conference could struggle even more as multiple teams are still searching for a starter. 

Dak Prescott returns for his senior season, which is a bright spot since he enters the year as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. 

In addition, Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson was named preseason second team All-SEC despite having not started an entire SEC game, which is a testament to the conference’s lack of proven depth at the position. 

Having said that, let us rank the starting quarterbacks before the season gets underway. Rankings are based on what each player has already proved, individual skills and the strength of his supporting cast.

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10 College Football Recruits with Insane Highlight Videos

Prospective college football recruits once sent game film in the form of VHS tapes directly to program facilities, leaving the general public to imagine these young players who represented a team's future.

Video is now available for fans and coaches alike, easily accessible across the Internet. Multimedia provides a platform for relative unknowns to become the recruiting trail's fastest-rising commodity.

Several NFL players grew up in this era and can still be seen strapping it up for their high school squads online. Take a look at tomorrow's stars by checking out some of the most impressive highlight films among current recruits.

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Predicting Every Power 5 College Football Team's MVP for 2015 Season

College football is as much a team sport as any other, and schools are particularly dependent on the efforts of more than just a few individuals in order to be successful. But above all others, they all have that one guy whose contributions seem to matter more than the rest.

These would be the MVPs, the players who have the most impact on a team's overall performance for the season. They might not necessarily be the best or most talented players, but they are the ones whose absence would have the greatest effect on the team.

With the 2015 college football season fewer than six weeks away and teams about to head back to the field for preseason training camp, we've predicted the MVP for every team in the five power conferences as well as top independents BYU and Notre Dame. Check out our picks, and then add your own predictions in the comments section.

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Alabama Football: Biggest Storylines Heading into Fall Camp

For the second straight year, Alabama didn’t win the national championship, which has the college football world wondering, What’s wrong?

Only when it comes to Tuscaloosa could capturing the Southeastern Conference title essentially be considered a down year. 

Regardless, head coach Nick Saban will again be looking to tweak things with his team’s approach, especially in countering uptempo offenses—including his own. During SEC media days, the coach admitted that coordinator Lake Kiffin’s attacking style contributed to the defense wearing down at the end of last season after having to be on the field for more plays.

“Being an old NFL guy, the way you play defense in the NFL is you play a lot of specialty defense because everything is based on situations,” Saban said. “What pace of play has done to the college game does not allow to you do that. So you have to basically play the same players in every situation because if you do play situation defense and you're allowed to sub in that particular situation, you can't get the players out of the game.

“So it affects how you recruit. You can't recruit as many specialty players. And you have to be able to match up in all circumstances and situations with teams that actually play that way, which is more difficult.”

Nevertheless, Alabama has more depth than any other SEC team but also plays the toughest schedule, beginning with the opener against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 12.

Here’s a look at the biggest storylines heading into fall camp, which will open at the end of next week.

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15 College Football Freshmen We Can't Wait to See in 2015 Fall Camp

Fall camp is just around the corner, and the long-awaited return to practice facilities also means the start of a new journey for some of the game's brightest young talent.

While early enrollees are becoming more common for powerhouse programs, a large chunk of the top recruits don't get to hit the field with their new team until later in the year. And after those early summer drills, fall camp represents the first major practices for plenty of blue-chippers.

With that in mind, here are 15 freshmen who will have the spotlight on them when they hit the practice field for the first time this fall. Some of these stars will compete for starting jobs from the get-go, while others are looking to carve out their own unique roles.

Which freshman are you looking forward to hearing about the most during fall camp? Sound off in the comments below.

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Arizona State 4-Star QB Commit Dillon Sterling-Cole Says ASU Is 'Perfect Fit'

Dillon Sterling-Cole announced his college plans Tuesday by way of ESPN, but the 4-star quarterback has known of his future whereabouts for a few days.

And in those days, the Houston prospect has been overly giddy about discussing college. It's to a point where if he even mentions college, there's a lasting smile that follows.

On Tuesday, Sterling-Cole made his commitment public and verbally committed to Arizona State, becoming the Sun Devils' top-ranked pledge and 11th commit overall. He also became the last of the 4-star pro-style quarterbacks to commit.

In short, it was hard for Sterling-Cole to control his jubilation.

"It's exciting. I mean, I'm so ecstatic about being able to make this decision," Sterling-Cole said. "I never really thought this day would ever happen. I really just hoped for it and prayed on it a lot, and look at me now."

Sterling-Cole, the nation's No. 9 pro-style quarterback, filled a need for an Arizona State team still looking for a signal-caller in the 2016 class. He chose the Sun Devils over offers from Houston, Mississippi State, Florida and Texas A&M—the school his father, third-round selection in the 2000 NFL draft pick and former Denver Broncos wide receiver Chris Cole, attended from 1996-99.

Comfort was the primary reason Arizona State won the recruiting battle. Sterling-Cole said the school "had that feeling" from the moment he stepped on campus.

"I was able to speak with family members and friends," he said, "and it just felt like the perfect fit for what I was trying to do and how I'm to develop as a player and a person. They've been speaking to me a lot about being able to play early."

The shot of playing early is something that drew Sterling-Cole in, and with Arizona State's offense, that could be sooner than later for him. He is familiar with the Sun Devils offense, as he runs a similar offense at Westfield High School.

It's an offense that helped him generate 2,325 passing yards and 24 touchdowns with only six interceptions as a junior. As a sophomore, Sterling-Cole threw for 2,303 yards and 26 touchdowns with only seven picks. In those years, he also rushed for 15 touchdowns, including 11 as a sophomore.

"What they do [at Arizona State] is basically what we do [at Westfield]. It's a pro-style [offense] out of the gun with a few [plays] under the center," Sterling-Cole said. "The campus is amazing, and the stuff they have available not only for the student-athletes but also students in general really attracted me.

"The way they go about doing everything there is great. Everything is at your hands. It's basically easy access; you just have to go get it. You have to want it."

Arizona State quarterbacks coach Mike Norvell recruited Sterling-Cole. He said he's excited to learn from Norvell and head coach Todd Graham in a Sun Devils offense that averaged nearly 40 points and 460 yards per game.

Choosing to play in the Pac-12, Sterling-Cole said, was "absolutely the toughest decision I've ever made." Reason being, he chose Arizona State over two schools he was really high on—Texas A&M and Houston.

Many expected him to follow his father's footsteps and be a legacy. And then there were others who thought he'd be a part of one of the best Houston Cougars recruiting classes ever—one that includes the defensive tackle duo of 5-star Ed Oliver and 4-star Jordan Elliott.

He added that Houston unofficial visits were memorable because of the coaching staff, which includes old Westfield head coach Corby Meekins, who now is the tight ends coach for the Cougars.

"With my dad being able to sit down and talk to me through the process himself," Sterling-Cole said, "knowing he was comfortable with it made it less stressful for me.

"I know some people wanted me to go to Houston. Being close to home, it would have been easy for my family to attend the ball games. Plus, I really had a homely feeling when I went on unofficial visits. But with the way the Pac-12 is run and the quarterbacks who come out and are developed into the NFL, I thought why not use it for what I do with my skills?"

Sterling-Cole said his next goals are to get better on the field and to do his part to help land star talent. One player he's hoping the Sun Devils get is his high school teammate, 4-star receiver Tyrie Cleveland.

"No matter what, he's going to be my brother, regardless of if he attends the same school I do," Sterling-Cole said of Cleveland, his favorite target at Westfield who caught 53 passes for 1,105 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.

"He's going to fit in at any system, but honestly, it'd be pretty cool to have my boy as my target on the filed. I'm not going to persuade him hard, but I am going to nudge him now and then. I mean, he should be the No. 1 wide receiver in the country. He's proved himself."

 

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

UCLA Football: Biggest Storylines Heading into Fall Camp

As is the case with any program heading into the fall camp period, there are multiple areas of interest pertaining to Jim Mora and the UCLA football team. 

The significant storylines persist primarily in regards to personnel choices. Mora and his staff are tasked with trying to come up with the most effective and efficient positional groupings. 

Additionally, this period offers a chance to see how the defense will function under new leadership. Lastly, the integration of new talent will also be something to watch. 

 

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UCLA Football: Biggest Storylines Heading into Fall Camp

As is the case with any program heading into the fall camp period, there are multiple areas of interest pertaining to Jim Mora and the UCLA football team. The significant storylines persist primarily in regards to personnel choices...

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Michigan Ending Legends Jersey Program, Will Officially Retire 6 Numbers in 2015

Michigan is hoping that Jim Harbaugh can return the football program back to its former greatness while also helping to forget the struggles of the recent past. In that vein, a previous attempt to link to the Wolverines' great history is being scrapped.

The school announced Tuesday, per Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, that it was doing away with its "Legends" jersey program. The program made it possible the last four seasons for Michigan players to wear a series of uniform numbers that had been previously retired.

Former athletic director Dave Brandon unretired numbers 11, 47, 48, 87 and 98 during the 2011 season, but those five (along with the No. 21 that Heisman winner Desmond Howard donned in the early 1990s) are now off-limits.

All six numbers will be formally retired at a ceremony during the Nov. 28 game against rival Ohio State, according to a news release issued by the school.

Interim AD Jim Hackett said the issue of wearing those uniform numbers came up when he met with players during the coaching search process, prompting a review of Brandon's program.

"At one end of the spectrum they are awed by the legacy of the men that wore them, and at the other end of the spectrum, and as part of a team sport, they wondered why we would call attention to one of our team members," Hackett said, per the release.

"I brought this issue to our new head coach Jim Harbaugh. He agreed with me that it needed a review."

Last season, quarterback Devin Gardner wore the No. 98 made famous by Tom Harmon, who played halfback for the Wolverines from 1938-40. Linebacker Jake Ryan wore No. 47, previously worn by three-time All-American Bennie Oosterbaan, while linebacker Desmond Morgan donned the No. 48 jersey that former President Gerald Ford wore while playing for Michigan in the 1930s.

Morgan, a fifth-year senior, will shift to a new number for this season, according to Snyder.

All told, 10 different players wore Legends numbers between 2011-14, per Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com.

Once retired, the jerseys will be displayed prominently in Towsley Museum, which is connected to Schembechler Hall.

 

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Schools to Watch After 5-Star TE Isaac Nauta Decommitted from Florida State

Florida State’s 2016 recruiting class took a major hit on Tuesday when 5-star tight end pledge Isaac Nauta announced via Twitter that he is reopening his recruitment.

Nauta is the nation’s top tight end prospect and had been committed to the Seminoles since December of 2014. 

While his loss is a huge blow for FSU, a handful of schools are hoping to emerge as players for the 6’4”, 237-pounder. 

Which programs could be in the hunt to nab Nauta’s second commitment?

He recently earned offers from Baylor, TCU and Texas after returning from a trip last weekend in which he visited the trio of powers from the Lone Star State. 

However, a few other schools to watch in the wake of his decommitment include Georgia, Michigan and Ole Miss.

Of that group, the Bulldogs were the last ones to host him on campus during their ‘Dawg Night’ camp earlier this month.

As noted by Kipp Adams of Dawgs247, Nauta—who is originally from Buford, Georgia—left the trip with the positives of staying closer to home at the forefront of his mind.

"Georgia, from the beginning, and when I made my decision, they were in my top four, but really they were in the top two," Nauta told Adams. "They have always been at the top for me. Really the proximity to home plays in their favor. ... So Georgia has atmosphere, closeness to my family and a great tight end coach as advantages.”

According to ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren, while he was at The Opening earlier this month, Nauta mentioned he would consider taking an official visit to Michigan.

With the success that new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has had in using tight ends in his offenses through the years, Nauta’s potential interest in the Wolverines makes sense. 

Ole Miss was another program that was among his finalists before his initial pledge to FSU.

Considering that he will play with 5-star quarterback and current Rebels pledge Shea Patterson at IMG Academy this fall, there could be a renewed interest in continuing that combo at the next level.

Of course, the Seminoles aren’t going to give up on trying to get him back in the fold. Tight ends coach Tim Brewster, who is currently rated as the nation’s top recruiter in the 2016 cycle, played a huge role in landing Nauta’s initial commitment.

However, with one of the nation’s premier skill weapons back on the market, expect a host of top programs to make their pitches to Nauta in the coming months.

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks Provide Fans with 360-Degree View of Game-Day Experience

Sports fans have the opportunity to be part of the game-day experience by sitting in the stands and cheering on their favorite teams. However, most never feel the rush of running onto the field in front of 50,000 people for a game.

Thanks to the Oregon Ducks, fans can now get a glimpse of what it's like to be a college football player on Saturdays.

The Ducks posted a video that provides a 360-degree view of the action leading up to the game. From the walk through the tunnel to the run onto the Autzen Stadium field, the awesome video allows fans to walk in the players' shoes.

*Note: The 360-degree effect does not work here on mobile devices. However, it does work on the YouTube app.

[GoDucksDotCom]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks Provide Fans with 360-Degree View of Game-Day Experience

Sports fans have the opportunity to be part of the game-day experience by sitting in the stands and cheering on their favorite teams. However, most never feel the rush of running onto the field in front of 50,000 people for a game...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Texas A&M Football: Biggest Storylines Heading into Fall Camp

Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies burst onto the SEC scene in 2012, with an electric young playmaker named Johnny Manziel taking the snaps and an offense that gave traditional SEC defenses fits. The Aggies won 11 games, topped Alabama on the road and became the darling of college football.

Since then, though, things have regressed.

From 11 wins to nine and then to eight, the Aggies have become more of an SEC afterthought than a potential power.

Will that change in 2015?

Sumlin lured defensive coordinator John Chavis to College Station after a successful stint at LSU, dedicated himself to the running game with the hire of offensive line coach and running game coordinator Dave Christensen and has a schedule that—at least by SEC West standards—is forgiving.

What will be the biggest storylines in College Station during fall camp?

 

Quarterback Battle?

Kyle Allen took over for Kenny Hill midway through the 2014 season and established himself as a potential superstar with a big road win over Auburn and followed it up with a five-touchdown performance (four passing, one rushing) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia.

"When I told him two weeks before the first game, he basically went around the corner and cried," Sumlin said at SEC media days. "To where he came to become MVP of the bowl game when six games ago he wasn't even playing, that says a lot. To go on the road to Auburn and then be the MVP, he's got a lot of confidence right now."

The new kid, though, could present some problems in Allen's quest to retain the job.

Kyler Murray won three straight Texas state titles at Allen High School without dropping a single game along the way. He passed up Major League Baseball to play quarterback at Texas A&M, and he's not there to be a backup.

"Both of them are extremely confident in their own abilities," Sumlin said. "Both are great competitors, and for us it's a good situation."

It's Allen's job to lose, and considering he was essentially the only quarterback with a chance to play this spring, it's unlikely he'll lose it.

How will Sumlin keep Murray happy? Which packages will be included specifically for him? Will there be specific drives that are designated for him, similar to what Georgia did with D.J. Shockley while David Greene was in Athens in the early 2000s?

It will be fascinating to watch Sumlin juggle these two talented quarterbacks this summer.

 

Defensive Star Watch

Everybody knows just how good Myles Garrett is, after the defensive end broke Jadeveon Clowney's SEC freshman sack record by notching 11.5 and establishing himself as more than just a pass-rushing specialist as the year went on.

There are other talented pieces for Chavis to work with, and those players need to step up and become leaders in August. 

Julien Obioha will slide down and play inside on the defensive line, with Daeshon Hall sliding in to play defensive end opposite Garrett. Those two monster bookends should thrive with Chavis calling the shots.

"Those two guys probably have gotten the biggest impact of John being here," head coach Sumlin said. "Without a doubt, Daeshon and Myles have big smiles on their faces because they like to rush the passer."

Otaro Alaka missed spring practice, but the linebacker was the defensive MVP of the bowl game when he notched seven tackles. Armani Watts was solid during his freshman season in 2014 when he tallied 59 tackles and picked off three passes and there's plenty of talent for Chavis to work with.

How will it come together? Will better preparation and a better scheme help the Aggies become more consistent? 

These are questions that need to be answered this summer, because Arizona State is looming in Houston and the Sun Devils can dial up video game numbers on the scoreboard.

 

Running Game Progression

We've already discussed how important Christensen's arrival is to the program, and how dangerous the Aggies can be with an increased focus on the power rushing attack. The offensive line is solid, senior Tra Carson is a monster and sophomore James White has enough power to be a bruiser and speed to be a home run hitter.

"[Christensen] has added some gap scheme runs and some different types of power runs that we need not only for us offensively to be better and be able to run when we want to and need to, but also help our defense in the manner in which we practice and have a physical aspect of our football team that I think we were lacking last year," Sumlin said.

How will this shift to a focus on getting north and south evolve this summer? Will Texas A&M use either Carson or White as a primary back, or will the duo split time in order to keep each other fresh?

An offense that can run when it needs to, not just when it wants to, will take a tremendous amount of pressure off of Allen, the wide receivers and the defense. 

It's the most important piece of the puzzle for the Aggies this year, defense included. With guys like Mike Matthews and Germain Ifedi up front and White and Carson in the backfield, the Aggies have the personnel to be a power rushing team out of the spread similar to Auburn's offense in each of the past two seasons. 

That transition, or at least the pieces of that element of the offense, have to come together in August.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247SportsBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Isaac Nauta Decommits from FSU: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Isaac Nauta, one of the best pass-catchers in the 2016 recruiting class, has decommitted from Florida State. 

The Georgia native announced his decision on Twitter:

Per 247Sports, Nauta, a 5-star prospect, is the No. 1 tight end in next year's recruiting class and the No. 17 player overall. The site's crystal ball projections had Florida State listed as his top destination with 64 percent of the vote, with Georgia coming in second at 36 percent. 

Losing Nauta does put a dent in Florida State's recruiting for next season, but head coach Jimbo Fisher's program should be able to withstand the loss. The Seminoles are still ranked third overall in early 2016 recruiting rankings by 247Sports. 

Per Kipp Adams of 247Sports, Nauta recently said the Bulldogs were always one of the top teams on his preferred list of schools: 

They have always been at the top for me. Really the proximity to home plays in their favor. One thing about Georgia and Florida State is that they both have great tight end coaches in Coach John Lilly and Coach Tim Brewster. I love to be around both of those guys. So Georgia has atmosphere, closeness to my family and a great tight end coach as advantages.

According to Andrew King of the Football Brainiacs, Nauta recently had a visit with, and received an offer from, the University of Texas. 

Given the hype surrounding Nauta as a prospect—and with his recruiting reopened in time for coaches around the country to make their move—expect a lot of action on him over the next several months. The Seminoles weren't offering him exactly what he wanted, but there's a program out there that will. 

Tight ends are more valuable than ever in football. Nauta is physically ready to play at the college level with a 6'4", 237-pound frame, so coaches across the country will be putting their best foot forward to make him happy. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Football: Should Wolverines Risk Playing Jabrill Peppers on Offense?

Behind new head coach Jim Harbaugh, Jabrill Peppers might be the second-biggest name for Michigan football.

And according to Harbaugh, there's a chance Wolverines fans will get to hear the name even more this fall.

On Tuesday, Harbaugh told a group of reporters in Ann Arbor "there's a possibility" Peppers, the redshirt freshman phenom at defensive back, could line up on offense this season.

"If you have the capability athletically of doing that and you have the desire to do that, then we'll explore it," Harbaugh said, according to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com.

At first glance, Peppers playing offense for Michigan is a great idea.

He was the former No. 1 athlete and No. 3 overall player in the class of 2014 thanks to his work at defensive back, running back, receiver, return man and even quarterback for Paramus Catholic in New Jersey.

Although he's cemented himself as a top safety for Harbaugh, some of Peppers' best highlight tape comes from what he was able to do with the ball in his hands.

That explosive athleticism has Harbaugh talking Peppers up as a potential three-way player.

"It's rare that someone does offense, defense and special teams," Harbaugh said. "It's exciting when someone's capable of doing that, it means they have some real gifts athletically and they're really smart and sharp enough to understand three different systems."

According to Baumgardner, Peppers was a candidate for offensive work under former head coach Brady Hoke last season, but season-ending injuries cost him his true freshman campaign.

And those injuries are the main reasons for concern among Michigan fans.

After medically redshirting last season, Peppers' health will always be a worry for anyone involved with Michigan football.

He has the potential to be a program-changing player if he stays healthy. So is the extra workload of playing on offense worth the risk?

Absolutely.

Michigan is coming off its worst offensive season since a disastrous 3-9 campaign in 2008. When compared to the defense, the offense looks like it could use more of Peppers' help.

Of the returning running backs and wide receivers in Ann Arbor this season, only one had more than 500 yards of offense—junior De'Veon Smith, who recorded 519 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2014. That's a weak output, but it led the team.

Whether Michigan decides to run Peppers out of the backfield or split him out wide, the offense will have a weapon that has loads of big-play potential. He has the agility to make defenders miss and the speed to soar past everyone for touchdowns.

"I was told that they would most likely utilize Peppers in end-around type situations and as a potential receiver in the slot," Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247 wrote Tuesday. "He is capable of beating defenders deep and over the top. If he's on the field, they will look to get him the ball."

From the sound of Harbaugh's comments Tuesday, the biggest potential concern with Peppers playing on offense is not the overload on his body—but his brain.

"Jabrill's never struck me as someone who has ever (had) his head spin (on the field)," Harbaugh said. "He's not one of those type of youngsters. He has a very tight grip of his mind, he's very sharp and very focused. Nor have I seen him unconfident. He's very confident in his abilities."

After going through spring practice at full speed without any injury issues, Peppers' body looks to be ready to go for the fall. Playing the young star on offense is definitely a risk, but so is making him an every-down safety.

The reward of helping a Michigan attack with no established playmakers far outweighs any potential concerns for Peppers. He doesn't have to constantly be on offense in order to create big-time plays in the passing or running game this fall.

Judging by what Michigan's offense put out last season, just a few of those moments per game from Peppers would already be a tremendous improvement.

 

Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR. 

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Urban Meyer, Buckeyes Honored with Butter Sculptures at Ohio State Fair

Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes have been celebrated quite a bit in Ohio since winning the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship in January.

Now, the national champions are being honored like never before.

At the Ohio State Fair, there are Buckeyes-themed butter sculptures on display to pay homage to the squad. Coach Meyer and Brutus Buckeye were both rendered in life-size butter sculptures, and sculptors also created the CFP National Championship Trophy and the Ohio State helmet.

According to Kathy Lynn Gray of the Columbus Dispatchsculptors worked for 500 hours to create the works of art. Oh, and they used 2,000 pounds of butter to make the sculptures.

How did Meyer feel about seeing his likeness in butter?

"It humbles you, and it's a great honor," Meyer told the American Dairy Association Mideast (per Gray), the sponsor of the display.

[Twitter, h/t Eleven Warriors]

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Ranking the Top 5 Players in the Big Ten Heading into 2015 Season

Stephen Nelson sits down with Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer to talk about who he believes are the top five Big Ten players heading into the 2015 season.

Who do you think should have made the list?

Watch the video and let us know!

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How New Auburn 4-Star QB Commit Lowell Narcisse Fits Tigers' Scheme

There were plenty of reasons to celebrate on the Plains on Monday evening as the Auburn Tigers landed a huge commitment in 2017 4-star quarterback Lowell Narcisse.

The 6’3”, 200-pounder, who chose the Tigers over Alabama, Clemson and LSU, among others, is rated as the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 59 player overall in the 2017 class.

His pledge gives the Tigers their third commitment in the 2017 cycle—with all three prospects being billed as top-100 prospects nationally.

However, perhaps the biggest reason that Gus Malzahn and his staff should be smiling is because of the way their newest field general fits their high-octane scheme. 

As noted by Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports, over the last two seasons at St. James [Louisiana] High School, Narcisse has been a playmaking machine who has thrown for more than 5,000 yards and run for another 2,000-plus while accounting for 88 total touchdowns.

As an added bonus, Narcisse has put up this type of production in an offense that mirrors what he will be asked to do when he arrives at Auburn.

“I've been having great success with it (in high school) and I think I'll have the same thing in college,” Narcisse told Neibuhr about the offense he currently runs at St. James.

Auburn’s offense has had a tremendous amount of success under Malzahn’s watch, with his propensity for using his quarterbacks as running threats being one of the reasons the Tigers are so tough to defend.

As his film shows, Narcisse is a skilled runner who has the speed, toughness and athleticism necessary to create big plays with his legs at the next level.

As a passer, Narcisse is a free-wheeling lefty who has a strong arm and the ability to make quick decisions with precision and accuracy. He’s also shown that he is comfortable throwing on the run.

Of course, there are areas he will have to improve in order to make a smooth transition to the next level.

As Niebuhr notes, on film, Narcisse has shown a tendency to lock onto one receiver—which could get him into trouble against the better defenses in the SEC.

He also shows a tendency to take off from the pocket a little early at times instead of letting plays develop. However, these are small details that most young quarterbacks have to deal with in their development phase.

Overall, Narcisse is a top-flight prospect who projects as a perfect fit for what Auburn likes to do with its quarterbacks. 

Given his skill set and his comfort with operating a system similar to what he will be asked to run in college, Narcisse has the potential to become the next star passer on the Plains.

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Tennessee Football Debuts Jack Daniel's-Themed Tickets for 2015 Season

Embracing the Tennessean passion for fermented grain and highly specialized liver conditioning, the Tennessee Volunteers football program has gone with a Jack Daniel's theme for its 2015 season tickets.

The team posted an image of the new-look tickets to Instagram on Monday night. It's like you can already see them collecting on the hulls of the Vol Navy.

So far, the reception to the new look has been generally warm:

I'm all for the new layout. Any time a school is upfront about what fuels its fanbase, it's a good thing. The Volunteers are just giving their people what they want, which, as history indicates, is more whiskey.

So much whiskey.

 

Dan is on Twitter. Mama always said if you're gonna be in the SEC, you gotta be good or you gotta have whiskey.

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Re-Ranking the Top 5 2011 Recruiting Classes

Stephen Nelson sits down with Bleacher Report Recruiting Analyst Sanjay Kirpalani to re-rank the top five recruiting classes from 2011. You may be surprised by who made the list.

Who do you think deserves to be the top recruiting class from 2011? Watch the video and let us know!

 

Rankings courtesy of 247sports.

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