NCAA Football

Family-Driven Devin Asiasi Using Football to Chase a College Degree

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — As good as he is on the football field, Concord (California) De La Salle standout Devin Asiasi isn't the NFL dream chaser that many of his peers are. There's understandable irony with Asiasi as a 4-star prospect and someone who can excel on both sides of the football for a program with tons of national prestige.

Ask Asiasi what's the most important objective for him, and get a simple yet mature answer.

"I just want to be a better Devin," Asiasi said, his eyes behind sunglasses worn on a cloudy day to cover a minor eye issue. "Better for me, better for my family."

When you look at Asiasi on the field, the measurables are there. He measured at Nike's The Opening Oakland regional at 6'4" and 270 pounds. He's a muscular mold of a player who could play as many as five positions on the field. Watching him perform makes it easy to comprehend why he's a top-50 national prospect and the nation's No. 2 athlete overall.

But when it's Asiasi's turn to answer why he does the things he does on the field, you get somebody who has his own mission. An NFL contract would be great, but a better life for his family—led by his hard work after earning a college degree—trumps all.

"I'll be the first one in my family to go to college," Asiasi said. "That's my inspiration. That's what drives me every morning. Every time I see my cousins, they'll say, 'You're the one.' They say I'll be the one to show that you can do way more than what's being done."

Family means everything to Asiasi, the son of Dave Asiasi and Malia Pita Mapa, and making sure that family name is seen in a positive light is something the 2016 prospect focuses on daily. As a football player, he rarely disappoints, whether he's lined up as a tight end, defensive end, H-back, linebacker or any other position.

And at The Opening Oakland, he lined up at tight end and was one of the athletes who turned the most heads. For starters, he's a streamlined 270 pounds. To add, he has great hands as a tight end, the position he said many schools are recruiting him to play.

Currently, Asiasi has more than 20 offers from all of the Power Five conferences. USC is believed to be a favorite, but he said he is wide open with the process and is listening to a few schools.

"I've been talking to Miami a lot, actually," Asiasi said. "I'm talking to Washington a lot. I'm talking to USC, UCLA. They're all trying to reach out to me, so that's a good thing."

Asiasi said he's been to Cal the most, but he's recently visited Oregon, Washington and Washington State. He also went to Alabama during his spring break. He said that while he is open, Washington and Alabama have been his favorite visits so far.

"Washington is like San Francisco's field. I don't know why, but I got that vibe over there," he said. "The people out there are good people. With Alabama, it's just crazy out there. The people know all about the football team. They're all bought in. It's crazy."

The process humbles Asiasi, and he values the attention given from the multiple coaches across the country. While the coaches see him as an instant contributor at the next level of football, Asiasi sees football as an opportunity for growth—physically and mentally.

He has aspirations of one day earning a business degree and never having to worry about financial issues. He wants to buy his mother and father whatever they desire. He wants to be the breadwinner; there's tons of pride with that.

"God willing, I'll make it to the NFL and make all of that money," he said, "but for me, it's all about getting my education and going to college. Football is going to provide opportunities and open doors for me. I'll get my degree, get a great job and take care of my family.

"I'm all about family. I don't want my last name to be put to shame. I've got to hold my family's name up high and show we can do a lot. With me doing [football] and going as far as I can with it, I know it'll help me out and help my family out."

Before any of that, Asiasi said he has some things to work on. He wants to get faster and stronger, and he wants to become even more versatile on the field. Last season, he caught 16 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end and also recorded 33 tackles and five sacks as a defensive end, according to 247Sports.

To further show his versatility, Asiasi also rushed nine times for 65 yards and a touchdown. He is an athlete who can be used all over the field and is expecting to see his versatility utilized more during his upcoming senior season.

From a recruiting standpoint, Asiasi said he's seen almost every school he wants to see. Miami is one of the few schools still on his list to visit. He added that he will take visits to both USC and UCLA in June.

Asiasi doesn't have a set date of when he'll make a decision, but he said the winning program will have a great environment where he's surrounded by good people.

That, and academics, of course. Consider that his ticket to personal success, something that is beyond important to him for the good of his family.

"They say you don't go to a college for the coaches; you go to the college you want to go to," he said. "If football was not there, I would still want to go there. Plus, I'm all about academics. You always have to have a plan B, and I know if [football] doesn't work out, I'll have something to fall back on.

"I'm doing all this for my family. I'm going to take care of them."


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

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Should Florida State Worry 4-Star Josh Brown Plans to Take All 5 Visits?

One of the pillars of the Florida State Seminoles' top-rated 2016 class is 4-star linebacker Josh Brown—who has been committed to the Seminoles since September 2014.

However, it appears as if Jimbo Fisher and his staff will have to sweat it out until the 6’3”, 220-pounder ends his recruitment as an early enrollee.

According to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports, Brown intends to take all five of his official visits, despite his standing as a 'Noles pledge.

Should Brown's plans on giving other schools, such as the Oregon Ducks and the Tennessee Volunteers, a chance worry Seminoles fans?

At the very least, Brown is leaving the door open for other programs to woo him.

"I'll try and go to any place that invites me," Brown told Bartow earlier this month.

Since the beginning of the year, he's been on the move to visit campuses across the country. Brown has taken trips to programs like the Duke Blue Devils, Oregon, Tennessee, the Virginia Tech Hokies and the West Virginia Mountaineers.

In particular, the Volunteers appear to be a team that poses a threat to the Seminoles with Brown.

The North Carolina product took a visit to Knoxville back in February and returned two months later for the spring game.

He also told Bartow that head coach Butch Jones and his staff have been the most aggressive in coming after him.

"Tennessee recruits me the hardest," Brown said. "Along with Oregon and Florida State. (I like) just the tradition, (and it's) SEC football."

A recent trek to Oregon earlier this month also made an impression on Brown.

"It was wild," Brown told Bartow. "They treated us amazing. They treated us like we were part of the family. The facilities were amazing. Amazing people, as well. You can tell that just by talking to them. It was a great trip overall. You don't just talk to one player; you talk to them all."

However, the fact that he has consistently stated he is solid in his commitment is a positive for Florida State holding on to his pledge. 

"I'm still committed," Brown told Bartow on Sunday. "(Those are) still my guys."

In the middle of his visit spree, he did make it to Tallahassee, Florida, for the spring game, and he already has plans on returning to FSU's campus during the summer, per Bartow.

He also told Bartow that Florida State is sure to get one of his five official visits, and he's yet to identify who will get the other four.

Factoring in that linebacker is possibly the biggest need for Fisher and his staff in the 2016 cycle, and it's clear that retaining Brown's commitment is a top priority for FSU's 2016 class.

For Brown to change his mind and attend another school, that program will have to convince him that he can have a better opportunity elsewhere than the one that awaits him in Tallahassee.

While he remains open to that possibility, Florida State still appears to be in the driver's seat to land Brown in the end.


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

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Everett Golson to Florida State: Seminoles Land Former Notre Dame QB

Everett Golson will finish his collegiate career in Tallahassee. The former Notre Dame quarterback will transfer to Florida State, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, ending a short process that began earlier this month.   

Feldman passed along a statement Tuesday from Golson discussing the move:

This past weekend has been a defining moment in my life as I am proud to say I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. The support I've received there over the past four years has helped strengthen my integrity, wisdom and character. I would like to thank all of the coaches who spent time speaking with me these past few weeks and considered adding me to their football programs. Their interest and sincerity was truly humbling. After much thought and careful consideration, I will utilize my fifth year of eligibility to join the Florida State University Seminoles. To coach Jimbo Fisher, the Florida State football team, staff, alumni and fans, thank you for allowing me to become part of the Seminoles family. I can't wait to get started.

Golson, who will be eligible to play immediately, released a statement (via Brett McMurphy of on May 7 declaring his intent to transfer from South Bend:

I would like to thank everyone at Notre Dame for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college football but most importantly to obtain my degree from one of the finest universities in the country. To all the Fighting Irish fans I want to thank you for the support over the past four years and let you know I truly love Notre Dame! To my former teammates, who I will miss tremendously, I wish much success in the future and will be your biggest fan from afar.

Wide receiver Ermon Lane and linebacker Jake Pugh were both excited to see Golson join the Seminoles:

Golson's stint at Notre Dame had its ups and downs. As a redshirt freshman, he led the Irish to an undefeated regular season before losing in the national championship game to Alabama. Expected to return a better, more mature player as a sophomore, Golson's career was put on hold for a year after he used "poor judgment on a test," violating the honor code.

He returned in 2014 and recaptured the starting job, throwing for 3,445 yards and 29 touchdowns; however, Golson also struggled all season with turnovers, throwing 14 interceptions and losing eight fumbles. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly benched him for stretches in favor of Malik Zaire, a talented sophomore who is expected to win the starting job in 2015.

Despite his struggles, Golson was not lacking for potential suitors. McMurphy listed Alabama, Texas, Florida, Florida State and LSU among the early contenders for his services. Each of those programs needs an influx of talent following the departure of former stars or due to the lack of development of the current depth chart.

Golson choosing the Seminoles likely comes with assurances he'll at least get to compete for the starting job in camp. 

ESPN's David Hale pointed out that the quarterback will face a struggle to be ready for the start of the season in Jimbo Fisher's offense:

With time running out on Golson's college career, a lot will be riding on that battle. 


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Javon McKinley Reveals Top 6: Odds on Where 4-Star WR Lands

Javon McKinley, one of the West Coast's premier offensive prospects, put his focus on six favorites Monday evening. 

The 4-star wide receiver remains open to new opportunities, but a recruitment that includes nearly 30 scholarship offers is beginning to take shape. His list of top options spans America, from the Pacific Northwest to South Florida:

McKinley, rated 13th nationally among wide receivers, is coming off a monstrous junior campaign at Centennial High School in Corona, California. He caught 97 passes for 2,062 and 25 touchdowns in 2014, emerging as an elite threat for the Los Angeles-area powerhouse.

The 6'2", 185-pound prospect has visited several universities this spring, including Stanford, Miami, UCLA, Cal and Notre Dame. Now that we know which programs presently stand out, here's a look at odds of where he lands at the next level. 


Miami: 12-to-1

The Hurricanes are off to a strong start in the 2016 cycle, claiming a nation-high 21 commitments. Though only nine members of the class are rated as more than 3-star prospects, it's still quite a collection for a team that finished 6-7 last season.

Miami offered McKinley last month during his campus visit. The Hurricanes already hold pledges from a trio of 4-star pass-catchers, though some believe the commitment of Sam Bruce may be tenuous. Head coach Al Golden can collect all the recruits he wants right now, but if his squad doesn't show serious strides on the field this fall, it could be his final campaign in Coral Gables.

The coaching situation at Miami is more unpredictable than any of McKinley's other top choices. That element, plus the fact Miami hasn't secured a single out-of-state player in the class, leads us to believe this is a serious long shot.


Notre Dame: 4-to-1

If McKinley leaves the West Coast, the smart money is on Notre Dame as his destination. The Fighting Irish are the only program to lock in an official visit with him to this point, as he is set to attend the team's October matchup with USC.

"Notre Dame was a big offer for me," he told Greg Biggins of "They have a great program and a great combination of football, tradition and academics."

Centennial teammate Chacho Ulloa, a Fighting Irish target at safety, is also set to make the trip. They visited South Bend together in April. 

Notre Dame landed coveted Southern California wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown last signing day.


Ohio State: 7-to-1

Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer hasn't hosted McKinley in Columbus yet, but an April offer was enough for the defending national champions to secure a spot on his list. It can be difficult to tell at times if high school players include specific programs among favorites as a result of sincere mutual interest or the level of pedigree a team brings to that recruitment.

Until we hear more about an evolving relationship between McKinley and Buckeyes coaches, the jury is still out. Given Ohio State's wealth of talent at quarterback and overall offensive success, it shouldn't come as a surprise anytime a wide receiver expresses interest.

However, unless McKinley makes a trip to campus this summer, it would need to wait until an official visit during the fall or winter. There's a lot of development needed here for us to view the Buckeyes as a top-level contender.


Oregon: 3-to-1

The Ducks annually do significant damage on the California recruiting trail. With program popularity at an all-time high, Oregon has gone from targeting underrated 3-stars in the state to poaching away premier prospects with increased regularity (2014 running back Royce Freeman and 2015 quarterback Travis Waller are prime examples).

McKinley's only known summer visit is set for Eugene, where the team will work to line up a return trip for an official visit. 

"I know one (official visit) will be to Oregon," he told Biggins. "After that, I'm not sure where I'll go. I've never been to Oregon before but I love that offense, it's a lot like what we do at Centennial."

We've seen Centennial's attack operate in person, and that's a legitimate comparison. A positive visit in the coming months could push the Ducks to the top of his list.


USC: 2-to-1

The Trojans are building quite a passing attack through recent recruiting cycles under head coach Steve Sarkisian. USC signed a pair of 4-star passers last signing day and recently landed 4-star 2016 quarterback Matt Fink

If McKinley is looking to stay close to home, no program on this list can compete with the Trojans. USC is likely to line up multiple in-season visits and will be on the field when he travels to Notre Dame this fall, presenting another opportunity for Sarkisian to showcase his attack in front of McKinley.

USC produced three wide receivers who were top-50 picks in the past two NFL drafts. The Trojans are likely to sign at least four players at the position in this cycle and just landed 4-star Georgia prospect Josh Imatorbhebhe.


Tennessee: 10-to-1

Few teams are in the mix for as many top-tier wide receivers as the Volunteers, who've also drawn strong interest from 4-star recruits Diondre OvertonKyle Davis and Austin Mack. McKinley secured an offer from head coach Butch Jones in January, though he's yet to spend time in Knoxville.

Tennessee is among the hottest teams on the recruiting trail since 2014 and could make a significant leap in SEC action this season. Top Volunteers quarterback target Jarrett Guarantano committed last month, and now Jones aims to solidify a strong supporting cast in the 2016 class.

It remains to be seen whether Tennessee coaches are able to line up a crucial campus visit, and that could make or break things here. We also anticipate the Volunteers will land at least one or two high-profile recruits at the position before McKinley begins to embark on officials in the fall.


Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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College Football's Top Defensive Backfields for 2015 Season

The secondary is the last line of defense in football, which usually means when things go wrong, they get the blame—fair or not. And because football (and officiating) is so geared toward offense now, life can be tough in the defensive backfield. 

So let's take a moment and recognize some great secondaries in college football. In the following slides are the top defensive backfields in college football, with a nod to some honorable mentions as well. 

Units were ranked on returning starters/accolades, plus incoming players who could boost overall depth. 


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

Clemson is poised to break out in 2015. The Tigers have one of the most potent offenses in the country, and they are sure to compete for an ACC title. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder gives his pick for the offensive MVP for the Clemson Tigers. 

Who will be the breakout offensive player for the Tigers in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

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

The Miami Hurricanes are doing everything they can to move in the right direction and bring back some prestige to their storied program. Quarterback Brad Kaaya is the man that could lead the charge for the Hurricanes.

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder joined Stephen Nelson as they went over Kaaya's emergence as the team's offensive MVP.

Will Kaaya repeat his big freshman season in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!  

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

Notre Dame is returning one of the most fierce defenses in college football. The Fighting Irish are poised to have a top-tier defense, but who will be the most important piece?

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder gives his pick for the Notre Dame defensive MVP in 2015.

Who will be the star of the ND defense next season? Check out the video and let us know!

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Notre Dame Paid Charlie Weis More Money Than Brian Kelly to Not Coach

Notre Dame fans would like nothing more than to forget Charlie Weis and the costly failure of his Fighting Irish coaching days.

Weis was held up like Simba when his alma mater hired him in 2005, but five disappointing seasons later, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick gave the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator the boot with six years remaining on his contract. He has since been hired and fired after an unsuccessful two-and-a-half-year stint at the helm of Kansas' football program.

Now, judging by a recent report by's Matt Fortuna, Weis is still collecting well-marbled checks from Notre Dame.

Fortuna reported Monday that had obtained federal tax returns filed by the school for the reporting period of July 2013 through June 2014. The returns show Notre Dame sending Weis a payment of $2,054,744—the exact figure doled out four previous times since the school paid $6,638,403 upon his firing.

This brings us to a total of $14,857,379—the amount of money Weis has made to not coach Notre Dame over the last six years. For perspective, current Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly made $1,187,272 in 2013 to, you know, coach football.

And the fun isn't over yet. Fortuna reports that Notre Dame is slated to pay out more "additional annual payments" through December 2015, which would likely mean two more payments of $2,054,744 for Weis, bringing his total Notre Dame buyout cash to $18,966,867.

Lump on the $5.63 million remaining on Weis' Kansas contract at the time of his firing in 2014, and you're looking at two schools paying one guy a grand total of $24.5 million to not work for them anymore.

It's an absurd sum, for sure, and instincts tell you to place the onus on Weis, who did not perform to expectations.

But lest we forget: No one forced these schools to throw bales of guaranteed cash at a former pro offensive coordinator, and he's not going to turn down money that was placed willingly on the table.


Dan is on Twitter. "Get money. Get paid." — Charlie Weis, probably.

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Oregon Stat Projections: Will Royce Freeman Duplicate Breakout Season in 2015?

Oregon Ducks running back Royce Freeman enjoyed one of the finest freshman campaigns in 2014, rushing for over 1,300 yards en route to a national championship appearance. But how will he follow up his breakout season?

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Adam Kramer joined Stephen Nelson to project the stats for Freeman's sophomore season.

Will Freeman follow up his freshman season with a bang? Check out the video and let us know!

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Oregon Stat Projections: Will Royce Freeman Duplicate Breakout Season in 2015?

Oregon Ducks running back Royce Freeman enjoyed one of the finest freshman campaigns in 2014, rushing for over 1,300 yards en route to a national championship appearance...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Which Florida Players Will Step Up to Replace Talent Lost to NFL?

The Florida Gators, despite having struggles last season, continue to churn out NFL-ready talent year after year even with coaching uncertainties. 

Stephen Nelson is joined by Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder to discuss the players to step up for the Gators. 

Which players will fill the void for Florida next season? Check out the video and let us know!

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Schools to Watch After 4-Star WR Kyle Davis Decommitted from South Carolina

Top-rated Georgia wide receiver Kyle Davis backed off a 10-month commitment to South Carolina on Monday night, announcing his decision via Twitter:

The 4-star prospect initially pledged to head coach Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks last summer while attending an on-campus event. However, his latest college visits have occurred elsewhere in SEC country and things seemed to be trending away from South Carolina for the Archer High School junior.

Davis, a 6'3", 211-pound playmaker, is rated fifth nationally among wide receivers and 58th overall in 247Sports' composite rankings. He caught 67 passes for 1,183 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014, per The State.

His imposing physical frame and smooth receiving skills have garnered attention from college programs since his sophomore year. Davis holds nearly 30 scholarship offers, and that list is likely to expand now that he's back on the open market.

South Carolina shouldn't be ruled out for a rebound in this recruitment, but the Gamecocks clearly lost traction during recent months.

Davis visited Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee since the last time he set foot in Columbia. The in-state Bulldogs have actually hosted him four times during that span, per Rusty Mansell of 247Sports.

Georgia is the public favorite to land Davis as he enters a new chapter in his recruitment. The Bulldogs claim 100 percent of expert predictions to sign him in 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

Several campus visits and increased rapport with the coaching staff, including new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, set the stage for Georgia to emerge as a front-runner. The team holds just one wide receiver commitment—fellow 4-star Peach State product Darion Anderson—and claims a pledge from the country's top-ranked quarterback in Jacob Eason.

Eason is one of the most impressive passers we've scouted this decade and is a strong selling point for Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt. The combination of elite quarterback talent and close proximity could separate Georgia from the pack.

Auburn always recruits well in Georgia and actually flipped 4-star wide receiver Darius Slayton from the Bulldogs late in the 2015 recruiting cycle. Davis has visited the Tigers on campus and the team has a void at receiver in this class.

Josh Imatorbhebhe, another 4-star Georgia pass-catcher, received a ton of attention from Auburn in recent weeks. However, he announced his commitment to USC on Monday morning.

That development, and Davis' announcement less than 12 hours later, may result in head coach Gus Malzahn shifting the focus of his recruiting staff. It would be a surprise if the Tigers haven't already reached out to Davis since Monday evening.

Tennessee continues to work on its reputation as "Wide Receiver U," though that's a title currently claimed by several college squads and their fans. The Volunteers landed top Georgia wide receiver Preston Williams last signing day and now have Davis in the crosshairs.

He's visited Tennessee twice since last fall. Head coach Butch Jones picked up a pledge from 4-star New Jersey quarterback Jarrett Guarantano in April, and he's the program's top-rated passer since a new regime took over.

Guarantano has vowed to recruit ardently on behalf of Tennessee and helped get 4-star wide receiver Austin Mack on campus last weekend. Davis would become the top-rated commit in another outstanding Volunteers class if he hops on the bandwagon.

Aside from the SEC trio, a pair of newcomers also warrant some attention in this race. Ohio State and LSU each offered earlier this month.

Don't be surprised if additional interest begins to pour in for the prized Peach State prospect as things progress. Georgia looks to be in strong position for an eventual pledge, but this is a fluid situation with several suitors in the mix.


Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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The 10 Best Emerging College Football Rivalries

What makes a rivalry great?

Is it how far back into history the matchup stretches, the traditions surrounding the game or how many combined championships the teams share?

Though these aspects all matter, at least historically speaking, they don’t whip fans into a frenzy like a game with a little more meat on the bone.

Rivalries are at their best when the outcome of an annual game consistently means something more than just bragging rights.

Losing out on the opportunity to compete for something bigger—a title, a playoff spot or even a bowl game—is something a fan never forgets.  It fuels the flame of hate that can only be quenched with sweet revenge.

These matchups aren’t in the same league as the Iron Bowl, The Game, Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate or the Civil War, but they do have all the makings of something beautiful.

If that's not enough, they are power-ranked for your pleasure.

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Coach Mora's Biggest Challenges for Bruins in 2015

In his fourth year as the head coach of the UCLA football team, Jim Mora and his staff are slated to encounter a few potential issues in 2015. 

For one, the squad is tasked with replacing arguably the most productive quarterback in UCLA history in Brett Hundley. Mora will also have to prepare his team for a fierce Pac-12 Conference schedule that includes two tricky nonconference foes.

An early portion of the upcoming season is also not for the faint of heart. In some aspects, it could define UCLA's season. 

This piece will analyze the three biggest challenges facing the UCLA Bruins in 2015. 

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Coach Mora's Biggest Challenges for Bruins in 2015

In his fourth year as the head coach of the UCLA football team, Jim Mora and his staff are slated to encounter a few potential issues in 2015...

Begin Slideshow

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As the weather warms and summer approaches, the Notre Dame football coaching staff continues to hit the recruiting trail hard.

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.

This past week, the Irish coaches dished out double-digit offers. Head football coach Brian Kelly shared an overall positive report from Irish assistant coaches regarding player observations:


Quayshon Alexander

Class of 2016 weak-side defensive end Quayshon Alexander reeled in an offer from Notre Dame on Sunday, news he shared via Twitter:

The New Jersey native is slotted as the No. 32 weak-side defensive end and the No. 527 overall player in the country. Alexander, whose 247Sports' Crystal Ballleans heavily toward Nebraska, has made multiple visits to Rutgers and holds offers from Arizona State, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Michigan, among others. Alexander racked up 19.5 sacks last season for DePaul Catholic.


Austin Andrews

Three days after Columbus, Ohio, native Austin Andrews committed to Michigan State, the class of 2016 cornerback hauled in an offer from another Midwest school when the Irish offered Friday, which's Tom Loy announced via Twitter:

The 6’1”, 180-pounder is the No. 68 cornerback and No. 696 overall player in the class. He committed to the Spartans on Tuesday. Loy describes Andrews as “a long, fast cornerback who covers a ton of ground.”

“He is a heavy hitter and one that plays aggressively,” Loy wrote. “He is a good tackler, although he seems to tackle too high at times. One thing that stands out [is] his overall technique. There is enough to like about him athletically that shows he is able to play corner or safety at the next level.”


Andre Anthony

Notre Dame dove into New Orleans to offer class of 2016 weak-side defensive end Andre Anthony on Monday, which Anthony disclosed:

At 6’3”, 214 pounds, Anthony is pegged as the No. 486 overall prospect and No. 29 player at his position. Anthony also boasts offers from Texas A&M, Florida, Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma, all of which have offered since the beginning of May, as Loy notes.


Tomon Fox

Notre Dame stayed busy throughout the week, targeting class of 2016 defensive ends, and the Irish extended an offer to Suwanee, Georgia, native Tomon Fox on Tuesday, which he confirmed:

Other schools to offer the No. 34 weak-side defensive end and No. 542 player include Penn State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, among others.


Jaylon Jones

Class of 2016 cornerback Jaylon Jones landed his Notre Dame offer Tuesday, which Jones noted via Twitter:

The Allen, Texas, native is the No. 19 cornerback and No. 199 overall player in the country. Jones has also received offers in recent months from Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC and Mississippi State, in addition to others.

Jones is a rising senior at Allen High School, from where Irish incoming freshman receiver Jalen Guyton recently concluded his senior season.


Jaleel Laguins

The Irish extended an offer to class of 2016 linebacker Jaleel Laguins on Sunday, which Laguins said he was "blessed" to receive:

The Georgia native checks in as the No. 15 outside linebacker and No. 212 overall player in the nation. Laguins also holds offers from Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Florida, among others.

Before his Notre Dame offer arrived Sunday, Laguins listed his top six schools in order, with Georgia leading the pack ahead of Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, Florida State and Florida.


David Long

The Irish have been busy in Los Angeles in recent weeks, and Notre Dame offered another southern California prospect in class of 2016 cornerback David Long on Wednesday. David stated he was "proud" to have received an offer from the Irish:

As the No. 13 cornerback and No. 154 player in his class, Long has also added offers from USC, Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma and Michigan, in addition to others.

“It feels great,” Long said to Loy of his Irish offer. “It’s a little unexpected, but it’s a big one for sure.”


Elysee Mbem-Bosse

Notre Dame stayed busy in Georgia on Sunday with another offer to a Peach State linebacker, as inside linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse received his Irish offer, in addition to Laguins. And like Laguins, he also expressed that he was blessed to receive the offer—in fact, "more than blessed":

Ranked as the No. 27 inside linebacker and No. 706 prospect, Mbem-Bosse holds an impressive offer list that includes Oklahoma, Auburn and Alabama.


C.J. Pollard

Class of 2016 defensive back C.J. Pollard is slotted as the No. 10 safety and No. 251 player in the country, and the California native earned an Irish offer Tuesday. Pollard announced the offer via Twitter:

Per Loy, Notre Dame is now in Pollard’s top six schools, along with Utah, Oregon, Arizona State, USC and Michigan.

“It’s a blessing to receive an offer from one of the most prestigious universities in the nation,” Pollard said to Loy. “They have a great tradition and put players in the NFL.”


Robert Beal

Class of 2017 weak-side defensive end Robert Beal’s busy spring continued with his Notre Dame offer May 11. Beal expressed gratitude in receiving an offer from the Irish:

Beal took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in early April to check out spring practice. Throughout the rest of his spring, Beal visited Florida State and Georgia and received offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia and Auburn, among others. 

“It’s an amazing school,” Beal told Loy in April. “From the academics to the football side, it has it all.”


Josh Ross

Class of 2017 inside linebacker Josh Ross nabbed a Notre Dame offer Sunday during an unofficial visit on campus. Prior to the offer, Loy had noted Notre Dame was included on Ross' top-three list:

The West Bloomfield, Michigan, product is the No. 3 player at his position and No. 114 overall prospect in the country. Ross visited Michigan State in late April, three weeks after one of multiple trips to Michigan.

“Notre Dame is in my top three,” Ross told Loy. “It’s them, Michigan and Michigan State. I definitely can say that those three are sticking out right now.”

Ross had visited South Bend previously, according to Loy.

“It was awesome,” Ross said. “I have been here before, but it was nicer than I remembered. It was all really nice. The highlight of the trip was meeting defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. He was telling me that I’m quick and I’m explosive and I’m a good player. He really likes me a lot. And I like that he’s from the NFL. He is really experienced, and he’s coached at all levels of football.”


Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports, 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.

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Texas Football: Charlie Strong's 3 Biggest Challenges for the Longhorns in 2015

Charlie Strong has a tough challenge ahead of him this season.

Coming off Texas' second losing season since 2009, the second-year head coach will be expected to improve on last year's 6-7 record. 

Fair or unfair, Strong will have to do it with continuing question marks at quarterback and along the offensive line. To make matters worse, he also won't be able to lean on an elite defense, having lost six of his starters to the NFL.

Ultimately, any sort of improvement will have to involve Strong finding a dependable quarterback, developing his offensive line and overcoming a defense riddled with inexperience.

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Frank Beamer's Four Biggest Challenges for Virginia Tech in 2015

To say the Virginia Tech Hokies have struggled the past three seasons would be an understatement. A record of 22-17 over the last three years represents mediocrity for a school that was accustomed to 10-win seasons. Prior to the 2012 season, the Hokies posted eight consecutive seasons of 10 or more wins.

Last season was full of ups and downs for Tech. The Hokies opened the 2014 season with a 2-0 record after a Week 2 upset win at eventual national champion Ohio State. Offensive problems would plague the Hokies and it took a win in the regular season finale against Virginia just for Tech to become bowl eligible.

What will 2015 bring the Hokies?

Every person who scored a point last season returns this fall. Led by Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges and Cam Phillips, Tech has a ton of offensive firepower. Senior quarterback Michael Brewer is also back and won't be learning a new offense this summer. 

Legendary head coach Frank Beamer will turn 69 years old in October of this year. With a new administration in place, how many more years will Beamer be in charge of his alma mater?

Here are Beamer's four biggest challenges in 2015.

All recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports. 


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4-Star Chad Clay Commits to Georgia, Says 'Goal Is to Get the No. 1 Class' Now

Georgia’s 2016 recruiting class took a huge step forward in powering toward a top-rated recruiting class when 4-star corner Chad Clay committed to the Bulldogs on Monday.

The 6’1”, 180-pounder, whose father, Willie, was a standout safety in the NFL for eight seasons, chose the Bulldogs over Florida, Georgia Tech and Ohio State among others.

The Buckeyes, in particular, made a late run at Clay, but he chose to stay closer to home for a few reasons.

For starters, his bond with the coaching staff played a pivotal role in his decision. 

“It’s just the relationships I’ve built with all of the coaches there,” Clay told Bleacher Report. “They are a winning program. I’m from Georgia, so they have always been showing me love.”

While his father starred at Georgia Tech, his mother is a Georgia grad—which made for an interesting spring at the Clay household. Although Chad notes his parents left the decision up to him, he admits his mother had an affinity for one particular coach.

“My mom seems to talk about [Georgia defensive coordinator] Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt a little more than some of the other coaches,” Clay said with a laugh. 

In the end, Clay—who mentioned sports medicine, business or broadcasting as potential majors in college—cited his comfort level with being a student on Georgia’s campus as a huge factor in his choice.

“It’s [Athens] where I can see myself off the field,” Clay said. “I wanted to find a place that I could succeed as a student in the classroom and just where I fit in on campus and with the football program. It feels like home even when it’s not football season.”

Clay contends that he will still take his official visits in the fall.

However, his next order of business is to get to work on helping the Bulldogs land a handful of other top prospects from the Peach State. 

Some of the notable standouts included in that group are players such as 5-star defensive tackles Julian Rochester and Derrick Brown, 4-star defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson, 4-star receiver Kyle Davis, 4-star athlete Mecole Hardman and 4-star safety Nigel Warrior.

“A lot of people know we’re close because we play against each other on Friday nights,” Clay said. “We all played together in the Rising Seniors game and we’ve built a bond with one another. If we just take all of those people and go to the same school, I think we’d have a really good chance of winning. People always talk about how much talent there is in Georgia. So instead of everyone in Georgia going all over the place, we can just play together in college.”

Hopping on the other side of the fence to play recruiter is a role that suits the outgoing Clay.

Georgia has had just two classes finish inside the top five of the 247Sports team rankings in the last decade.

However, the metro Atlanta product didn’t hesitate when asked about his plans for Georgia’s 2016 class. 

“Our goal is to get the No. 1 class,” Clay said.


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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