NCAA Football

Who Was Johnny Manziel Hanging out with at the Texas Rangers Game?

UPDATE: Wednesday, April 16. 10:09 a.m. ET 

Busted Coverage's Joe Kinsey reports one of their readers has identified Manziel's mystery friend as Kyndal Kyaire, a San Diego-based model and bottle service attendant at Fluxx Nightclub.

We can't verify this claim yet, but it looks convincing. 

---End of Update---

Call the Pentagon, the Mystery Team and dig up J. Edgar Hoover. There are happenings afoot in need of serious investigation.

Namely, there is an unknown female associating with Johnny Manziel, and our national security may be compromised if her identity is not discerned.

In other words, Johnny Manziel hung out with a shapely woman at a baseball game, and now we’re going to talk about it.

Joe Kinsey of Busted Coverage spotted the former Texas A&M quarterback attending Tuesday night’s Texas Rangers game with what some might consider a "new girlfriend."

They indulged in some very Johnny Football-ish poses.

We do not know who this woman is, but we do know that she is not Lauren Hanley, the FSU grad everyone determined was Manziel’s girlfriend earlier this year.

She’s also probably not Megan Fox, despite similarities.

Does anyone know who this woman is? And more importantly, what qualifies as a “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” for young superstars these days? You have to be seen in public together once? Or do you just have to hold the door for them at First Watch?

Johnny Manziel is many things, but predictable and patient he is not. Kids in their early 20s change it up often. Johnny is still figuring things out, and probably burning through potential love interests like NASCAR tires in the process.

Mix his stardom with the power of Tinder and it’s a small wonder Johnny Football isn’t wading through young women on stilts just to get to his car every morning.

We may never know who this young woman is to Johnny, and normally I’d say that doesn’t matter. Who cares who players date, right?

The NFL does, judging by the line of questions former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles faced at the 2014 NFL combine.

According to Will Brinson of CBS Sports, Bortles went on The Dan Patrick Show and said teams asked him about his girlfriend, Lindsey Duke.

“Nothing was really that bad, I got a couple girlfriend questions,” Bortles said. “If I had one, some awkward ... if we come to town will she be there for dinner and stuff like that.”

Well, then. Sounds sensible and pertinent to me.

For one reason or another, teams are interested in who you’re seeing and what you plan to do with them. I guess it’s important to know with whom their potential superstars are associating.

You do you, Johnny. Just be prepared for the awkward girlfriend questions that follow. They're not just coming from the media these days.

  

"Why do we have to put a label on it?"

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Prices for College Football Playoff Packages Are Through the Roof

The first ever College Football Playoff will come to an end at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, next January, and you can be there in person to see history made for the small price of...oh, okay, never mind.

According to ESPN.com, which, on Tuesday, released a promotional packet from the CFP that includes various ticket packages for the national title game, it will cost a pretty penny to sit in Jerry's World for the crowning of a new national champion.

Here is a breakdown of the prices by package:

The Gold Level tickets get you somewhere between the 20-yard line and midfield. In the A package, you're sitting at either the 100 level (closest to the field) or 200 level; in the B package, you're sitting in the 300s (and still paying almost $5,400 for single occupancy).

The Black Level tickets get you somewhere between the 20-yard line and the goal line. As with the Gold tickets, the C package has you in the 100 or 200 level, while the D package has you up in the 300s. 

The White Level tickets are a little more varied.

The E package has you in the 100 or 200 levels but on the corner of an end zone; the F package has you in the 100 or 200 levels but directly behind an end zone; the G package is the same as the E but in the 300 level; and the H package puts you in the scant-used 400 level, albeit between the 20-yard line and midfield.

Of course, these packages also come with hotel accommodations, which makes the prices slightly less jarring. Still, Jerry Jones plans on raking in a whole lot of attendance money on January 12, 2015.

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Georgia Football: Mark Richt's 4 Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice

The Georgia Bulldogs held their annual G-Day spring game this past Saturday, but spring practice sessions didn't quite end there for head coach Mark Richt's squad.  The team was back at it Tuesday and will wrap up with its final practice Thursday.

In a season of change, most Bulldog fans have been encouraged by a few marked improvements on the defensive side of the ball (though there's still a lot of work to be done) and the poise of the offense under new full-time starter Hutson Mason.  That being said, there are still a number of concerns for the team heading into the summer months.

For Richt, these are the four biggest concerns following spring practice.

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Breaking Down Best Fit for 2015 4-Star Dual-Threat QB Lorenzo Nunez

Lorenzo Nunez, a 4-star dual-threat quarterback, will be a huge asset for whichever program lands him. The 6'4", 190-pound athlete has arm strength, playmaking ability and speed to score from anywhere on the field. 

The 2015 class is rich at the quarterback position, and Nunez is one of many stars who have the potential to become the future of a program. The Clemson Tigers are in the running, but the South Carolina Gamecocks are really pushing to land Nunez, the No. 8-ranked dual-threat QB in 2015

Check out 247 Sports National Recruiting Insider Kipp Adams break down which program is the best fit for Lorenzo Nunez. 

 

Highlights courtesy XOS Digital

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What Gus Malzhan Needs to See from QB Nick Marshall in Auburn's Spring Game

Nick Marshall's first go-round as a starting quarterback in the SEC worked out just fine last season. Just a year-and-a-half removed from being a defensive back at Georgia, the Pineview, Ga., native won the starting quarterback job at Auburn two-and-a-half weeks before the start of last season and came within 13 seconds of winning a national title.

The thought of "what could have been" eats him up.

“He beats himself up all the time,” cornerback Trovon Reed said, per AuburnTigers.com. "He says ‘We could have won, we could have won.’ I believe in him 100 percent. I know he’s going to take us back to the promised land.”

Malzahn's track record producing 1,000-yard rushers (11 in eight seasons as a college coach) likely means that the Tigers will be potent on the ground again in 2014. But if Marshall can evolve as a quarterback, this offense will be even more difficult to defend.

Auburn will hold its annual spring game this Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and here's what to look for during the debut of "Marshall 2.0."

 

Touch

Auburn's offense wasn't complicated a year ago. They pounded the rock with a multi-dimensional rushing attack and then took the top off the defense when the time was right. Marshall's critics pointed to his lack of touch as the one thing that's limiting Malzahn from truly unleashing the full playbook. The scheme worked last year, and now the coaching staff has a firm grasp of what Marshall can do and what he needs to work on.

Touch on his intermediate routes is the most glaring issue.

He proved in his first season as starting quarterback that he's an elusive runner with track-star speed who can also launch the ball 70 yards with the flick of a wrist. But he sacrificed accuracy when he took off velocity on short and intermediate routes, which has been a point of emphasis this spring.

With 6'2", 216-pound D'haquille Williams, the top junior college wide receiver in the class of 2014, joining the team over the winter, Marshall now has another big-time option over the middle and as a deep threat. The duo of Williams and rising junior Sammie Coates will present matchup nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators.

But they'll be even more haunting if Marshall can keep the defense honest over the middle.

 

Don't Always Swing for the Fences

There's no questioning Marshall's arm strength. Whether it's on the run or in the pocket, he proved in his first season on the Plains that stretching the field isn't an issue, with 8.3 yards per attempt.

According to Alex Byington of the Opelika-Auburn News, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said that the goal this season is for Marshall to complete 65-70 percent of his passes after completing 59.4 percent of them in 2013.

“We track it everyday in team settings, whether that’s scrimmage or just team versus defense, 11-on-11. His completion percentage has gone up,” Lashlee said. “It’s up a little bit in 7-on-7 as well. I think that goes back to sometimes he hits the check-down. There’s nothing wrong with that. He knows where everybody is going to be.”

So what does that mean in the spring game? 

Marshall needs to make the smart decision, which isn't always the one that will result in six points. If he ignores deep options that are covered in favor of hitting his checkdowns and moving the chains on routes over the middle, it'll serve as a sign that he has progressed as a quarterback.

 

Diversify the Portfolio

Coates was Marshall's favorite target last season, and at times, it looked as if he was the only target. Coates caught 42 of Auburn's 173 completions last season and is a proven commodity as a deep threat (21.48 yards per catch). So, in the spring game, Marshall needs to spread the wealth around.

A lot of attention will be paid to the newcomer Williams, but Ricardo Louis, Quan Bray, Marcus Davis, Melvin Ray and tight end C.J. Uzomah all return and should have bigger roles as receivers in 2014. 

Get those guys some work.

Malzahn and Lashlee know what worked last year, and now's the time to expand upon that by getting other receivers involved in the game plan. 

If he can do that, this Auburn offense will be tough to stop.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All statistics are courtesy of CFBStats.com.

 

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Grading Penn State's Post-Spring Depth Chart

With the completion of Penn State's annual Blue-White game, head coach James Franklin has reached his first milestone as a Nittany Lion. 

While Penn State returned plenty of key contributors from the 2013 squad, there were also a fair share of newcomers who impressed during spring ball. With a new staff in place, it was a fresh start for everyone involved. 

How does each position group look after spring practice? 

Each group was assessed based on both talent and depth currently at the position. Freshmen who have yet to enroll were obviously not considered in the assessment process.

Here are the position grades for Penn State's post-spring depth chart. 

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Florida Football: Will Muschamp's Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice

Now that the Florida Gators' spring practices are over and players are on their own for a few months, coach Will Muschamp has nothing but time on his hands. Some of that time will be spent recruiting. Other hours will be used up on studying film and what not. The other days will be spent worrying about the lingering issues heading into fall camp.

Like any team, Florida has its fair share of concerns that need to be addressed before the opening kickoff against Idaho. But there’s really only a couple that should keep coach up at night.

The wide receiver rotation will figure itself out. The defense has the pieces to once again be one of college football’s best. And the offensive line looked promising in the spring game for whatever that’s worth.

Sure, the Gators have other areas that need answers, but it’s these two touchy subjects that are certainly playing in the back of Muschamp’s mind every time he steps in his office.

 

Health 

 

Forget the offensive concerns, depth issues, what the schedule looks like or anything else that is occupying your mind until the regular season arrives.

Florida has got to get healthy.

The Gators entered the spring the same way they finished last season: Banged up. Running back, defensive line and linebacker, many players who are expected to be key contributors weren’t even on the field during spring ball. While Florida had a ton of issues that led to last season’s failure, having players drop like flies certainly didn’t help.

Kurt Roper’s adjustments and the improvement of Jeff Driskel don’t matter much if half the team’s starters are holding a clipboard on the sidelines. Granted, it’s not that serious yet, but remember last season? Florida’s injury list was longer than many rappers' arrest records.

Forget how the team looked during the spring game. A successful offseason is having a team that’s 100 percent healthy when the games actually matter. This is the top priority with everything else taking a backseat.

 

Getting Driskel Comfortable 

 

You just can’t escape it. Like it or not, this season is going to come down to whether or not Driskel can take his game to another level under Roper.

Driskel looked OK in the spring game, completing 18 of 32 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. Remember, that was his first game-like action since suffering a season-ending injury early last year. However, timing was clearly off and he still had trouble hitting open receivers.

Instead of hitting an open receiver down the sideline, the ball sailed out of bounds a couple of times. A few passes were thrown behind receivers or in the dirt, and the lone touchdown pass was due to Demarcus Robinson making a sweet move to shake a defender in the open field.

It’s fair to say backup Skyler Mornhinweg was the sharper quarterback of the two, but that’s for a different time and place.

While it’s way too early to bail on Driskel, and he’s sure to improve spending more time with the new offensive coordinator, there’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made between now and August.

If the players can get through these next few months without breaking any bones and Driskel irons out a few wrinkles, everything else for the Gators will fall into place for a bounce-back season. 

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Breaking Down Stephon Tuitt's Foot Injury, Jones Fracture and NFL Draft Stock

Last February, a broken foot prevented former University of Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.

According to NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, doctors diagnosed a Jones fracture in his left foot during combine medical exams and, as a result, did not clear him to participate. At the time, Jeremiah's source projected a six-to-eight week recovery following surgery.

If such a timeline holds true, Tuitt may be returning to action very soon. However, even "small" Jones fractures require precise management and are at significant risk of complications, and as such, a six-to-eight week recovery may prove optimistic.

A closer look at the injury and its relevant anatomy shows why.

Within the foot, dozens of bones, ligaments and muscles coordinate the numerous complex motions of the toes, foot and ankle.

When an outside force applies too much stress to one of those structures, it incurs damage. Muscles and ligaments tear, and bones fracture.

A Jones fracture involves the fifth metatarsal—or the bone that connects the base of the little toe to the bones that make up the heel. Specifically, the break occurs in the proximal portion of the bone—or the part closest to the heel.

In football, an athlete may sustain a Jones fracture when a hit forces the front of the foot to suddenly and sharply turn inward while the toes are pointed downward.

Like all fractures, the amount of fracture displacement—or how much the broken pieces are misaligned—looms large when determining the proper treatment course. Additionally, the precise location of the fracture can also guide therapy, and in a Jones fracture, differences of mere millimeters can significantly alter management.

According to Dr. Adam Bitterman—an orthopedic surgery resident physician based in New York—it comes down to blood flow.

"A true Jones fracture occurs at the junction of the metaphysis and diaphysis (of the fifth metatarsal)," Bitterman explained. "Because this zone is a watershed area, meaning the vascular supply may be limited, it is prone to nonunion, and surgical treatment is indicated."

The term "diaphysis" describes the long, central part of a bone, and the "epiphysis" refers to the end of the bone. The "metaphysis" lies in between the two.

As Bitterman mentions, the point where the metaphysis meets the diaphysis does not carry a very robust blood supply—relative to other surrounding areas, at least. As a result, Jones fractures may not always heal well, as it's blood that transports the body's healing and repair cells to injury sites. In fact, in a significant number of cases, nonunion—where the broken bone does not heal back together—can occur.

That's where surgery comes in.

"Elite athletes choose surgery to limit the chances of nonunion by enhancing fracture fixation," Bitterman went on. "Surgical treatment is via intermedullary screw fixation. The athlete will remain non-weightbearing for approximately six to eight weeks."

In other words, by using a metal screw to secure one end of the broken bone to the other, a surgeon can fix the fractured metatarsal into place while it heals. The athlete must then avoid bearing weight on the foot, which could stress the healing bone and deter healing.

Bitterman added that in addition to minimizing the chance of a poor outcome, surgery sometimes allows earlier return to sport than nonoperative treatment. That said, he emphasized that even with surgery, radiographic images such as X-rays must demonstrate union of the broken bone before an athlete can safely return to play.

With that in mind, Tuitt and his medical team are surely proceeding with a conservative mindset. Fortunately, at this point, he is likely well on his way to recovery. Even better, no news of complications yet exists.

Nevertheless, as the draft inches closer, NFL medical staffs will certainly continue to pay very close attention to the former Fighting Irish lineman's medicals, and any sign of poor healing—or a setback in his rehab—will undoubtedly affect his medical grade.

After all, when a high draft pick rides in the balance—and possibly millions of dollars—a medical risk-versus-reward analysis may carry more weight than any other element of Tuitt's draft portfolio.

 

Dr. Dave Siebert is a resident physician at the University of Washington who plans to pursue fellowship training in Primary Care (non-operative) Sports Medicine. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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Kelcy Quarles and Victor Hampton Face Police Questioning over Nightclub Incident

Former South Carolina football stars Victor Hampton and Kelcy Quarles are reportedly wanted by the New York Police Department for questioning in connection with a nightclub beating. 

According to NYPD Lieutenant John Grimpel, via Jeremy Turnage of WIS News 10, the victim, who has facial fractures and was reportedly struck with a hookah pipe, claimed he was attacked by Hampton and Quarles at Greenhouse nightclub in downtown New York on April 11. 

For now, no charges have been filed, but detectives want to talk to everyone who was in the VIP room, where the alleged incident occurred. 

In a separate incident later that night, another former Gamecock player, Chaz Sutton, was stabbed in the shoulder by someone from behind. The wound was minor. 

Both Hampton and Quarles, who were in New York for a magazine shoot with ESPN, have hopes of being selected in the upcoming NFL draft. 

Quarles, a 22-year-old defensive tackle, is 6'3", 297 pounds and drew particular interest from the Chicago Bears during March's draft combine, per NFL.com. CBS Sports ranks him as the No. 10 player at his position, projecting him to be drafted in the second or third round. 

Hampton, also 22, is rated by CBS Sports as the 16th-best cornerback and potentially looking at a second- or third-day selection. He has been attempting to shed a negative reputation as a player with a checkered past, which he recently discussed in an interview with WIS News, via WorldNow.com's Joe Gorchow:

"It's kind of rough because people put me on a reputation or labeled me at a young age before I really even knew exactly what was going on," he said. 

We won't know how this incident will truly affect the duo's draft stock until more details are discovered, but this certainly isn't going to put Hampton and Quarles in a positive light during the most important time of their lives. 

 

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USC Football: Cody Kessler Starting QB, Why It Was the Right Choice

USC's most important position battle has finally been decided, with head coach Steve Sarkisian announcing on Tuesday who will be the Trojans' signal-caller in 2014:

Sark addressed the media after Tuesday's practice in USC's final week of spring camp. Last Saturday, the head coach had backed off from saying he would name a starting quarterback soon, but clearly, things have changed in Troy. 

While this ruling comes as no surpriseKessler started nearly all of USC's games in 2013, giving him a significant advantage over his main challenger, Max BrowneSark's decision to name a quarterback early is the right choice not only for the fans' sake, but also for that of the quarterbacks themselves:

Last season, the Trojans struggled to have an identity in the early weeks of the season because they didn't know who their true quarterback was. As we know, things came together in the end, but it was an unnecessarily bumpy start.

Having Kessler know in April that he will be starting in August gives him the confidence to know he can lead the Trojans yet again, and it gives the rest of the team and the coaches a focal point around which to build. 

It's important that Sarkisian, already facing all the challenges inherent to being a new head coach, makes his first offseason as seamless as possible. Naming a quarterback before the spring game helps accomplish that goal, and it's the right move considering the training wheels are still on the uptempo offense.

All that said, Sark left the door open for Browne to still have an opportunity to change things come the fall:

Even if a battle reopens, it's likely that Kessler starts on August 30, and that prevents a cloud of uncertainty from hanging over USC through the offseason. 

For Browne, it means another year of sitting on the sidelines, but when it was his turn to address the media, he made it clear that he intends for those sidelines to remain cardinal and gold:

Quarterback competitions are nothing new at USC, with former Trojan stars like Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez and John David Booty all having gone through them. For Browne, this is just another stepping stone:

Coach Sarkisian will certainly continue to push and challenge Kessler through this final week of spring camp, and now that he knows he's won the job, we can expect that Kessler's performance on Saturday will be even further evidence that Sark made the right choice.  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC Football: Cody Kessler Starting QB, Why It Was the Right Choice

USC's most important position battle has finally been decided, with head coach Steve Sarkisian announcing on Tuesday who will be the Trojans' signal-caller in 2014: ...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Grading Ohio State's Post-Spring Depth Chart

At Ohio State, most position battles are won or lost in the spring, when the coaches have the time to really evaluate the roster and identify their playmakers.

With spring practice in the books, Urban Meyer's Buckeyes are starting to take shape.

While a number of starting spots remain open as the Buckeyes work to replace 10 starters, the top contenders have been identified. Safety Tyvis Powell emerged as a contributor, and he knows where he stands going into summer conditioning, according to Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer:

The way they treat it here, spring is the opportunity to go earn a position. When summer camp comes around, they pretty much got who they want in. There aren't too many changes made, so what you see right now is kind of what it is going to be.

Of course, there are exceptions. Last year, Joey Bosa and Dontre Wilson arrived in the fall and earned a spot in Ohio State's two-deep rotation as true freshmen.

But the depth chart's foundation is set in the spring. Here's a detailed look at each position group after spring practice.

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Grading Nebraska's Post-Spring Depth Chart

Nebraska football fans got to see the annual Red-White spring game last weekend—a final glimpse of the players before they break until August. With the spring game not using split squads this year, we got a close look at the offensive and defensive units as a whole.

As a result, we have a slightly better idea of what the post-spring depth chart will look like for Nebraska. Of course, it’s still guesswork in many areas. For the most part, this will also exclude players who missed the spring due to injury, as well as those who were not on campus.

Caveats fully applied, let’s take a look at our best guess of Nebraska’s post-spring depth chart, and how it grades out going in to the summer. 

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Miami Football: Al Golden's Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice

The Miami Hurricanes concluded the 2014 spring session with a offense vs. defense scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium, and head coach Al Golden certainly left with a few concerns.

On one hand, the defense has shown improvement once again, but it can be difficult to accurately gauge the unit's progression, which is a result of quarterback struggles.

With inexperienced youth under center, the playmakers are forced into a larger role than once expected, which also places more pressure on the offensive line.

Though being critical of one spot can ultimately result in a slippery slope, the 'Canes have numerous areas that demand extra attention from the coaches over the summer.

 

Quarterback Progression

After Ryan Williams tore his ACL, redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen and redshirt sophomore Gray Crow were thrown under the microscope.

Combined, the young quarterbacks completed 16 of 41 passes for 128 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions during the 11-on-11 portion of the scrimmage. After seeing the rough performance, offensive coordinator and QB coach James Coley must develop Olsen or Crow into a serviceable starter before the opener at Louisville.

However, I won't belabor the point here. Following the spring game, the concern at the quarterback position was discussed in more detail.

Williams returning quickly from his injury is a wild card worth remembering, but the senior will likely not be ready until the middle of the year, so it's up to Olsen and Crow now.

Additionally, temper expectations about Brad Kaaya earning the starting job. While not impossible, it is extremely difficult for a non-early enrollee true freshman to be the No. 1 by the season opener.

 

Skill Positions Stepping Up

Consequent to the struggles of Olsen and Crow, Miami needs Duke Johnson and Stacy Coley to play up to their lofty talent levels. The Hurricanes are expecting the terrific running back and wide receiver to break huge runs and stretch the defense, opening up each other for huge gains.

The duo is not alone, of course, with early enrollee Joe Yearby and an upgraded version of Gus Edwards occupying complementary roles to Duke.

On the outside, Phillip Dorsett and Herb Waters have game-breaking speed, Rashawn Scott is a superb possession receiver and Malcolm Lewis is regaining pre-injury form.

Throw in Clive Walford, who had the second-most receptions last year, and the Miami offense has plenty of talent to guide its young signal-caller.

Golden needs the skill-position players to create open passing lanes and simplify reads for Olsen and Crow, because not every quarterback is capable of consistently throwing a receiver open. And sometimes, like Duke against Wake Forest and Dallas Crawford at North Carolina last year, the running game must carry the team.

 

Offensive Line Becoming a Top Unit

For the playmakers to step up, Olsen or Crow—as part of the learning curve—will need extra time to make the proper decision. Plus, the running backs are completely reliant on the run-blocking ability of the men in the trenches.

A great offense starts with a great offensive line, which is what Golden needs Ereck Flowers, Jon Feliciano, Shane McDermott, Danny Isidora and Malcolm Bunche (or Kc McDermott) to be.

Between Gus Edwards and Walter Tucker, Miami rushed for 106 yards on 30 carries (3.5 yards per attempt). Plus, Jelani Hamilton and Ufomba Kamalu both tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage, and seven defensive players earned a tackle for loss.

It was far from an embarrassing performance, but it wasn't a great one, either.

The elder McDermott, Shane, being unavailable for the last couple months while he recovers from surgery on his left foot definitely impacted the unit. According to Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, McDermott suffered the injury against Florida and it did not properly heal.

Though sophomore Alex Gall had never played center, he temporarily replaced the senior. Per David Lake of 247Sports, Golden said, "Alex gives us versatility. He is intelligent and strong. … We are working him at center right now and he has done a good job."

Gall takes over Jared Wheeler's role as reserve utilityman, capable of playing all three inside positions. Consequently, Miami will once again boast sufficient depth on the line, but the 'Canes—who only surrendered 17 sacks last year—must be even better in 2014.

 

Exactly How Good is the Defense?

The Hurricanes defense had a fantastic scrimmage, tallying three interceptions during the 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 sessions. Crawford, Tracy Howard and Juwon Young each picked off a pass, and five more were broken up in 11-on-11.

As mentioned earlier, seven different players made a stop in the backfield, including Kamalu and Anthony Chickillo making one sack each. Overall, the defense's collective spring game performance was encouraging, but poor quarterback play was an undeniable factor.

Fortunately, save for Jameis Winston, the Hurricanes will not face elite gunslingers during the upcoming season. However, Miami has a recent tendency of making mediocre quarterbacks appear above average.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes Golden said improvement by the linebackers and safeties were among the most notable positives from spring ball. Of course, the 'Canes were a much-improved defense after a few games last season before relapsing into 2012 form—or better known as awful.

Golden can ill afford to have the same ol' song and dance in 2014, lest Miami be entirely dependent on its offense. And currently, that's not a pleasant thought.

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Cody Kessler Named USC Trojans' Starting QB for 2014 Season

For now, the starting quarterback job at USC belongs to junior Cody Kessler. 

New head coach Steve Sarkisian announced the news on Tuesday, via the Trojans' official athletics Twitter feed: 

Sark seemed to leave the door slightly ajar for heralded redshirt freshman Max Browne to continue to fight for the starting job in the summer and fall, however: 

Still, that's probably more just something that a head coach has to say, and judging by Sarkisian's praise of Kessler, via the above Twitter account and 247 Sports' Mike Piellucci, it sounds as though it will be difficult for Browne to overtake the "veteran" on the depth chart: 

After winning a QB battle with Max Wittek that extended into the start of last year's regular season, Kessler went on to complete 65.4 percent of his throws for 2,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. 

In what was a chaotic season that featured a midseason coaching change, Kessler provided a calm presence under center, helping the Trojans to a 10-4 record while continually getting better as the year wore on. 

After a 14-10 loss to Notre Dame on October 19, Kessler threw 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in the final seven games of the season. 

He may not have the raw talent or potential that Browne possesses, but he has the experience, and as college football writer Bryan Fischer noted, this was the expected decision: 

Still, don't lose track of Browne. The No. 1 quarterback prospect from the 2013 class has prototypical size and impressive physical tools, and presence won't likely let Kessler have a long leash. USCFootball.com's Ryan Abraham noted how things can change, while the incumbent knows he has to continue to get better: 

With anticipated improvement after an encouraging sophomore season for Kessler and a new coaching staff in Los Angeles, expectations will only continue to grow for the Trojans.

Still, with one of the most promising backups in the country, don't expect this to be the last you hear of USC's quarterback situation.  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cody Kessler Named USC Trojans' Starting QB for 2014 Season

For now, the starting quarterback job at USC belongs to junior Cody Kessler. New head coach Steve Sarkisian announced the news on Tuesday, via the Trojans' official athletics ...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Jared Lorenzen Cracks Joke About NCAA's New Unlimited Meals and Snacks Policy

Former University of Kentucky signal-caller Jared Lorenzen earned the nickname "Hefty Lefty" during his playing days for his enormous size, especially for a quarterback. Lorenzen recently reemerged in the public eye after videos showed he was still playing football despite weighing approximately 320 pounds. 

In light of the recent development that the NCAA would allow Division I student-athletes to receive unlimited meals and snacks, Lorenzen chimed in with a wisecrack about his weight:

Never change, Pillsbury Throwboy. Never change.

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Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Predictions for 5-Star LB Jeffery Holland

Among the best defensive players in the 2015 class is 5-star linebacker Jeffery Holland. From Florida, Holland is a fantastic player who can do an array of things on the field.

His talent and skills have attracted many of the nation's best programs, as the Sunshine State recruit is awfully impressive on tape. Holland has a ton of potential, plus he could be ready to contribute as a true freshman.

He warrants a more in-depth look as a prospect.

All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports. Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

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Georgia Football: 5 Things We Learned from the Bulldogs' Spring Game

The Bulldogs are in their final week of spring practice before they break for the summer. Last Saturday, the Bulldogs took part in their annual spring game to show the fans an early look at the 2014 squad.

Like any spring game there were some good things to take away from the game, and there were some things the Bulldogs need to work on during preseason practice. The two practices after the spring game are beneficial because they give the coaches the opportunity to focus on some areas of weakness before the team takes some time off.

So here are five things we learned from the spring game.

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Alabama Football: Analyzing Why Crimson Tide Will Win the SEC

Alabama is the gold standard when it comes to college football. The Crimson Tide have won three of the last five national championships, including back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.

Interestingly, SEC championships have been harder to achieve than crystal balls. Since coach Nick Saban’s arrival in 2007, Alabama has won only two conference crowns (2009, 2012), indicating that finishing on top of the SEC, widely regarded as the most competitive conference in the country, is no simple feat.

With the 2014 college football season fast approaching, here are three reasons why the Crimson Tide will win the SEC.

 

Favorable Schedule

Last season, Alabama started the season 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. However, the team’s SEC championship and BCS national title aspirations were halted thanks to Auburn’s thrilling 34-28 victory in which senior Chris Davis returned a missed 56-yard field-goal attempt 109 yards for a touchdown as time expired.

In 2014, the Crimson Tide’s schedule is extremely favorable. In terms of strength of schedule, calculated by adding up every team’s total wins and losses from a year ago, Alabama is the only SEC team to have less than .500 opponents’ winning percentage, according to Saturday Down South's Jon Cooper, as its opponents combined to go 71-79 in 2013.

In addition, Alabama gets Florida, Texas A&M and Auburn at home and avoids playing Georgia or South Carolina during the regular season. The toughest tests for the Crimson Tide will come on the road against rival LSU and at home to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. If Alabama can take care of business at home and manage a victory at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, it will be in good shape to win Saban’s third conference title.

 

Returning Starters

Although Alabama loses its decorated quarterback in A.J. McCarron, as well as a number of defensive players to the NFL, the team does return 12 starters from a year ago, including several key contributors on offense.

Most notably is junior running back T.J. Yeldon, who has amassed 2,343 yards and 26 touchdowns in two seasons. It won’t be a surprise if the team leans on the third-year back, especially early in the season when easing in a new signal-caller.

Alabama also returns four of its five leading pass-catchers in Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White, Christion Jones and tight end O.J. Howard. The quartet combined for 1,888 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

This offensive continuity will undoubtedly help whoever starts the season at quarterback. Senior Blake Sims has performed well this spring, completing 40-of-62 passes for 515 yards and five touchdowns through two scrimmages, according to Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee. However, Sims will be pushed by junior Jacob Coker, who will join the team this summer after transferring from Florida State, where he was a backup to Heisman winner Jameis Winston.

 

Nick Saban

During his tenure at Alabama, Saban has accumulated an impressive 74-15 record, including 61 victories in 68 games over the last five seasons. According to Alabama's official team website, with four national titles, Saban joins Frank Leahy, Bear Bryant and John McKay as the only coaches to accomplish such a feat.

He has also proven to be a master recruiter, as the Crimson Tide have had the nation’s top recruiting class four years in a row. They have the top class again this season, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

But like every year, Saban will have to mold a talented, but young roster to play his brand of tough, disciplined football. But if any coach is up for the challenge, it's Saban. With an 8-1 all-time record in conference or national championship games, his track record speaks for itself.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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