NCAA Football

Odds Where Evander Holyfield's Beast RB Son, Elijah, Plays College Football

Elijah Holyfield is a 4-star running back, as per 247Sports Composite Rankings, who is uncommitted. Holyfield is a physical runner with a body already built for the college game. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer gives his odds on where Elijah will play his college ball.

Where do you think Elijah Holyfield will play in 2016? Check out the video and let us know!

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4-Star Frank Martin II on USC Commitment: 'A Dream Come True'

If you're keeping score, it took Santa Ana, California's Frank Martin II mere hours to go from having a top 10 to announcing his future college home.

Wednesday evening, USC stood the tallest of the 10 finalists for the 4-star offensive tackle, as the Mater Dei High School standout gave the program his verbal commitment. Martin, who formally announced the decision via Twitter Thursday morning, became USC's fifth pledge of the 2016 class and also the Trojans' highest-ranked offensive pledge.

"Being a Trojan is a dream come true," said Martin, ranked No. 121 overall in the nation per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The commitment comes shortly after Martin announced a top 10, which included six Pac-12 schools—USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and Washington—as well as Michigan, LSU, TCU and Texas A&M.

Martin said his decision was easy. He defined USC with two words: "Dream school."

Martin has been a fan of the Trojans for as long as he can remember. He now will get the opportunity to live out his dream playing for the team he's always admired. More importantly, he'll get a chance to shine for head coach Steve Sarkisian, someone who is expecting Martin to be an impact player.

USC began the week without a committed offensive lineman. The Trojans now have two of the top five tackles from the Golden State. Martin joins Murrieta, California, tackle and fellow 4-star prospect Nathan Smith as the offensive commitments for USC. Smith committed to the Trojans on Wednesday.

USC's class also features 4-star outside linebackers Mique Juarez and Daelin Hayes, as well as 4-star defensive end Isaac Garcia

Martin on Wednesday told Bleacher Report his top 10 all had the same qualities he was looking for. He wanted a school with "the prestigious academics and football tradition, and [the] opportunity to showcase my skills at the highest level no matter where they might be."

Academically, USC is well-respected. On the football field, USC is one of the storied programs of college football. To Martin, it was a win-win.

And when Martin on Wednesday said committing before taking an official visit was "definitely a possibility," he meant it.

At 6'5" and 301 pounds, Martin is ranked No. 13 among offensive tackles nationally. Offensive line coach Bob Connelly recruited him, and Martin is expected to compete for immediate playing time upon arrival.

Martin became the second Mater Dei football player from the 2016 class to give his commitment. He joined 4-star linebacker Curtis Robinson, who chose Stanford on Monday.

 

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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Notre Dame Football: Players to Watch in Irish's 2015 Spring Game

With nearly its entire starting lineup back for another year, Notre Dame is as set as any team in FBS for the upcoming season. This has made this year's spring practice one that's been less about competition and more about tweaking and tinkering—there are almost as many position changes as position battles.

But that doesn't mean Saturday's Blue-Gold scrimmage won't have any less value than in years past. The offense vs. defense competition will give Fighting Irish fans an idea of how this year's team is going to look under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and how it's coming along in its second season with coordinator Brian VanGorder running the defense.

There will also be a handful of players whose performances on Saturday will go a long way toward determining their roles in the fall. Some are in line to be starters, while others are looking to fill spots as backups or get into the mix in other ways.

Here's a look at some players who warrant the most attention on Saturday.

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Which Coach with a New Team Will Have the Best 2015?

There are plenty of new coaches exploring brand-new scenery around the college football world. These coaches are looking to make big impacts right away for their respective teams.

Bleacher Report college football analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee discuss which new head coach will have the best season next year. 

Which new head coach will have the most success next year? Check out the video, and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Top SEC Players to Watch in Saturday's Spring Games

Five SEC teams will open their doors this weekend to fans looking to get a preview of what the 2015 season will look like.

Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri will all host their annual spring games, with all five schools looking to make noise in college football in 2015.

Alabama and Missouri met in last year's SEC Championship Game, Auburn played in the national title game two years ago and was in a playoff spot in November of last year, Mississippi State is fresh off a 10-win season, and LSU is still a potential power despite last year's struggles.

What players should you watch in this weekend's SEC spring games? Our picks for offense and defense based on skill, scheme and depth charts are in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

Jerrod Heard Closing the Gap, but Can He Win Texas' Starting QB Job?

Mark the date—Thursday, April 16, 2015—because it is officially on between Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes in the battle to become Texas' starting quarterback. 

Yes, Swoopes and Heard have been in an open competition all spring. The Longhorns' offensive woes—highlighted (lowlighted?) by 59 yards in a Texas Bowl loss to Arkansas—were simply too much for Swoopes to have any job security this year. The junior has shown flashes of potential but for a variety of reasons never displayed the consistency needed. 

However, accounts from Austin indicated that Swoopes was taking the next step forward in his development while Heard was struggling to keep up. 

That appears to have changed in a big, big way, according to Jeff Howe of 247Sports:  

Just a few weeks ago it seemed like Charlie Strong was on the verge of declaring junior Tyrone Swoopes as the early winner of Texas' offseason quarterback battle.

After practice Wednesday, Strong indicated the battle is still very much ongoing. The Longhorns' head coach announced Swoopes and redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard will take snaps with the first offense in Saturday's Orange-White Scrimmage due in large part to the growth Heard has experienced of late on the practice field.

Now, it should be noted that Swoopes will take the field first on Saturday in the spring game, according to the American Austin-Statesman's Kirk Bohls. The fact that Heard is getting first-team reps, though, should tell you how much ground he's gained. 

Does this mean Heard starts in Week 1? Week 6? Not by itself, but it does indicate the redshirt freshman is on his way to living up to his potential. 

Heard has always been a gifted athlete who could make plays with his feet. Texas quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson noted in his Thursday press conference that Heard is the kind of guy who can "take it to the house" in the run game. 

But that only gets a player so far. 

Last November, Watson was candid when discussing Heard's development. He provided some great quotes, courtesy of Wescott Eberts at Burnt Orange Nation, that shed light on what it takes to successfully transition from high school to college: 

In the end, to be honest with you he wasn't putting the work out there yet, because he was still learning. It would make us look like what we say is not what we mean or what we deliver. He's gotten better as a result of it. He's been growing, he's progressed, especially in the latter half of this season has been good; he's coming along a lot better. He didn't have the spring as for example Tyrone Swoopes did, and that's really where you see him right now.

...

He's just coming out of high school; he's been getting his feet on the ground with the system. He's got a better understanding today of what college football is, what is going to require to be an elite player. That's going to be a lot of study and hard work, which he's going to put in.

At the time, Watson indicated Heard was starting to turn a corner but wasn't there yet. You can be a 4-star prospect like Heard was, but it doesn't mean you're immune to relearning a lot of things (or, learning them for the first time) that make you successful at the next level. 

Heard had to develop as a passer. That's not just in accuracy either; it's being able to identify coverages quickly and make good decisions. That can take time, reps and confidence.

Now, take those quotes from Watson last year and compare them to what he said about Heard on Thursday. 

That's a huge deal, and they were reinforced by head coach Charlie Strong. 

“He's hitting the open receivers, he's finding open receivers and making the correct checks,” Strong said, per Howe. “He's throwing the deep ball when we open it up and throw it deep some.”

These are all great signs because they show Heard is starting to get it. Now, the biggest questions are whether Swoopes has been doing the same thing and how it compares to Heard. 

Strong and Watson developed a great quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville, so they know what a top-tier signal-caller looks like. The fact that they're raving about Heard indicates they know what they have talent-wise in him and are seeing what happens when that talent meets work. 

Heard has already made the quarterback battle more compelling with his progress. If he continues on this trajectory, he's going to make a legit case to be the No. 1 guy. But all the work that he's put in? He'll have to keep it up during the summer months, when self-motivators are at their best. 

Can he eventually surpass Swoopes? If Thursday's quotes were any indication, absolutely.  

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports

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LSU Buzz: Who Leads QB Battle? Steele's New-Look Defense Poised for Dominance

The LSU Tigers' spring practices have yielded some great results as well as some juicy storylines. Who will emerge as the starting QB? How will the new defense look? 

Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe caught up with the host of Double Coverage on 3WL 1350 AM, T-Bob Herbert, to answer some of those burning LSU questions. 

How will LSU fare in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football: Brian Kelly Assesses State of Team Near Spring's End

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Another spring season is nearing its end, as Notre Dame football will close out its 15-practice slate with the Blue-Gold Game on Saturday.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly has said throughout the past few weeks that this spring was different from any other during his tenure in South Bend. Instead of tiptoeing around injuries and depth concerns, Notre Dame boasted the (healthy) bodies to engage in a physical and competitive spring.

So with the book just about closed on this phase of the year-round football cycle, let’s zero in on the state of the Irish.

 

Quarterbacks

Kelly has already said the quarterback competition between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire will continue into August. The two signal-callers have split reps throughout the spring, and both quarterbacks will be live during the first half of Saturday’s game.

“Both of them are guys that require that element in their game,” Kelly said. “Both of those guys need to be who they are, and that’s who they are. They’re guys who need to move in the pocket and make plays with their feet, and they both can run the football.”

Asked generally to evaluate areas or position groups of strength, Kelly first assessed his two quarterbacks.

“I think at the quarterback position, maybe other than Ohio State, I would take our two quarterbacks, and I would take our two over Ohio State’s,” Kelly said. “But in terms of depth, I don’t think that anybody has a better situation than we do with the two quarterbacks that we have.”

That’s high praise for Golson and Zaire. And whether it’s justified or outlandish, the support certainly isn’t lost on Zaire, for one.

More practically, however, Kelly said the disparity in experience between Golson and Zaire isn’t a major sticking point in the quarterback evaluation. Golson has started 23 games, attempted 745 passes and tallied 41 touchdown tosses in an Irish uniform. Zaire has only attempted 35 passes.

“For us, it’s been working on what we perceive to be what their weaknesses were,” Kelly said.

The Irish staff has focused on improving Golson’s pocket presence and ball security. Kelly noted the fifth-year player has done a great job in the pocket and “really progressed in the areas we’ve asked him to.” For Zaire, his areas of emphasis moving forward will be accuracy and managing the offense, Kelly said.

 

Offense

Outside of the quarterbacks, Kelly said he’s pleased with the state of the offense in general.

The offensive line has featured left tackle Ronnie Stanley, center Nick Martin, right guard Steve Elmer and right tackle Mike McGlinchey, with redshirt freshmen Quenton Nelson and Alex Bars both earning reps at left guard. Kelly said Wednesday that both Nelson and Bars will play at left guard. If there’s an area of concern for Kelly on the offensive line, it’s the tackle depth. Kelly said earlier this spring he didn’t want to handicap the left guard battle by taking guard reps away from Bars and practicing him too much at the tackle spots.

Redshirt sophomore Durham Smythe is in line to take over the top tight end duties after Ben Koyack’s graduation. Smythe has hauled in just one career reception for seven yards.

“I really like the spring Durham Smythe has had,” Kelly said. “I think he’s really, in my eyes, kinda picked up where the Notre Dame tight ends need to be when you expect them to step in for the next graduating senior. It’s pretty clear that he’s going to be an important part of our offense.”

Fifth-year slot man Amir Carlisle has turned in a strong spring, per Kelly, and Corey Robinson and Will Fuller have battled through injuries.

“I think for some of those guys, it’s more about their physical development off the field,” Kelly said. “Will’s gotta continue to get stronger so he can dictate his routes instead of being dictated by a more physical defender.”

 

Defense

Kelly said he’s been most pleased defensively with the play of safeties Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate this spring, adding Redfield is “a different player than he was.” Kelly has noted the improved communication and confidence oozing from the back end of the defense.

Junior-to-be Jaylon Smith made the move to the “Will” linebacker spot in new coordinator Brian VanGorder’s defense last season, and Smith has gradually been exposed to the other positions as well this spring. Teams won’t be able to scheme away from him as much, Kelly explained.

“We can choose to put him in a number of different positions, and you’ll have to game-plan against him,” Kelly said. “Last year at times, you could take him out of the game. … Now, because we’ve cross-trained him, you can’t. And I think that’s going to make a huge difference. … Now, he’s going to be central to everything that happens during the game.”

While Smith anchors a deep linebacking corps, Kelly said Notre Dame must continue to grow at cornerback, a relatively thin position. Second-year corner Nick Watkins has had “a good spring,” per Kelly.

“Nick Watkins individually made the progress that we were hoping that he’d make, playing with a lot more confidence and certainly somebody that we feel like is gonna be able to contribute to our football team next year,” Kelly said.

VanGorder said earlier in the week there hasn’t been stark separation between Watkins and third-year cornerback Devin Butler, who have both earned first-team reps opposite solidified starter Cole Luke.

 

Injuries

Notre Dame’s 2014 campaign unraveled down the stretch as the injuries piled up. Kelly said Wednesday that middle linebacker Joe Schmidt and defensive tackle Jarron Jones will “absolutely” be ready for fall practice and are expected to be available for Notre Dame’s nine summer OTAs, which begin June 5.

Sophomore-to-be safety Drue Tranquill (torn ACL) is moving “extremely well,” per Kelly, and could play now in a game if Notre Dame needed him.

The Blue-Gold Game kicks off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

 

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco on Twitter.

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Oregon Football: 2014 Backups Ready to Break out This Season

The Oregon Ducks are never short on talent. Despite the departures of some key players, the Ducks are reloaded and ready for another run at the title. 

Stephen Nelson is joined by Oregon beat writer Andrew Greif to discuss which Oregon backups can have a big impact this coming season. 

Who will be the breakout player for Oregon this season? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Football: 2014 Backups Ready to Break out This Season

The Oregon Ducks are never short on talent. Despite the departures of some key players, the Ducks are reloaded and ready for another run at the title...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

College Football Quarterback Battles That Will Last Through Fall Camp

Spring practice is starting to wind down across college football, with those schools that haven't finished their offseason workouts set to do so with scrimmages held over the next few weekends. When spring ball ends, some position battles will have been decided, but many will remain open and stay that way right up until the start of the 2015-16 season.

This includes several notable competitions at the quarterback spot, hands down the most intriguing position clash when it comes to fan interest. Choosing a QB is one of the most important choices to make, which often leads coaches to take as much time as possible before naming a starter.

Last year, schools such as Alabama, LSU and Virginia Tech were unable to decide who their quarterback would be until late in fall camp, either because not every viable contender was around until then or because spring ball didn't clear things up. Some of those same schools are in the same boat again this year, making for yet another stressful offseason.

Here's our look at some quarterback competitions that will continue on through fall camp.

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Welcome to College Football's Quarterback Battle Saturday

You want quarterback storylines this spring? You got quarterback storylines this spring. And, perhaps, you'll also get some answers this weekend.

For some schools, like Ohio State, it's a good problem to have. The Buckeyes have three quarterbacks they can win with—and have won with. Other programs, like Texas, need to see improvement before they can feel good about what they have. 

Even more, like Alabama, just don't know who to pick yet. Lo and behold, all three of those schools—plus many more—will be ending spring practices this weekend with their annual spring games. With quarterback battles of every variety on display, there's no shortage of drama. 

(On that subject, full previews of this weekend's major spring games can be found in this handy-dandy primer.)

You're the impatient type. We know this. While we can't pick a starting quarterback for you—that would be great, though, because then Bo Wallace would have infinite years of eligibility—we definitely can set the table for what to expect. 

With that, here are the major quarterback battles taking place on Saturday. Included are rundowns on front-runners, dark horses and 50-50 battles. We also offer our best guess on the projected starters. 

 

Alabama

Who's Gone: Blake Sims (3,487 passing yards, 28 TDs, 10 INTs) 

Who's Up: Jake Coker (Sr.), Cooper Bateman (So.), Blake Barnett (Fr.), Alec Morris (Jr.), David Cornwell (Fr.) 

The Front-Runner: It has to be Coker. The Florida State transfer was predicted by some to come in immediately last year and win the job over Sims. Graduate transfer quarterbacks are all the rage, after all, and Coker only lost the quarterback competition at Florida State to Jameis Winston. In hindsight, that's not the worst guy in the world to be No. 2 behind. 

However, it took Coker some time to get adjusted to Alabama's offense. Now in his second year, Coker is more confident and comfortable, and he seems ready to take the next step. 

"He's playing with more confidence," head coach Nick Saban said per Matt Zenitz of AL.com. "I just think that the system that we're playing now is better suited for him in terms of what we're putting on him to do."

The Tide coaching staff is designing an offense to suit Coker's strengths, and that speaks volumes.

The Dark Horse: Cornwell. He's been taking some snaps with the first-team offense, according to B/R's Marc Torrence:

A source inside the scrimmage said that Cornwell took the first snaps at quarterback and was essentially a starter for one of the scrimmage teams. On an overall rough day for the quarterbacks, the source said, Cornwell continued to play meaningful snaps and made several nice throws.

Cornwell battled injuries last year and in high school. However, the coaching staff obviously thinks highly of the redshirt freshman if he's getting the chance to run the first-team offense. 

Projected Starter: Coker. 

 

Auburn

Who's Gone: Nick Marshall (2,532 passing yards, 798 rushing yards, 31 total TDs, 7 INTs)

Who's Up: Jeremy Johnson (Jr.), Sean White (RFr.), Tyler Queen (Fr.) 

The Front-Runner: Johnson. He didn't play much in 2014, attempting just 37 passes, but he did start the first half of the season opener against Arkansas while Marshall sat with a suspension. In that game, he completed 12 of 16 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. In the immortal words of one Adam Sandler, "Not too shabby." 

Johnson may be a more polished passer than Marshall, but he's also showing he has the wheels to make plays with his feet, per ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg:

And that's at a listed height and weight of 6'5" and 230 pounds. That's just not fair. 

The Dark Horse: White. Take it for what it's worth, but offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has been high on the redshirt freshman. 

"Jeremy and Sean, really, I've been pretty balanced with the way I've rotated them, splitting the reps," Lashlee said in March, via Joel A. Erickson of AL.com. "Those two guys have both overall had pretty good days. I'm really pleased with them trying to lead and be leaders out there."

Head coach Gus Malzahn followed up that quote in April by saying the reps between Johnson and White were "still fairly close,” per Tom Green of the Opelika-Auburn News

It's interesting to see Auburn's coaches publicly claim there's a competition. Whether it's in name only or not remains to be seen. But know this: The longer it takes for Auburn to name a starter, the more likely it's White who comes out on top. 

Projected Starter: Johnson

 

Louisville

Who's Gone: N/A

Who's Up: Will Gardner (RJr.), Reggie Bonnafon (So.), Kyle Bolin (RSo.), Tyler Ferguson (Sr.) 

The Front-Runner: This is a tough one because Gardner (QB1 last season) is recovering from a season-ending knee injury. As a result, he's been a spectator this spring. Bonnafon, last year's No. 2 quarterback, took the field first in a scrimmage last Saturday, according to Steve Jones of the The Louisville Courier-Journal

"We're not in any hurry to make a decision," Petrino said via Jones. "If it just happens that (someone) separates themselves, that's fine, but they've all got to get better. They all need reps in practice and need it with the No. 1s."

That should bode well for Gardner's chances. If he heals up correctly in time for preseason camp, Gardner could resume his role as the No. 1 guy. 

The Dark Horse: Bolin played alright in two end-of-season performances last year against Kentucky and then Georgia in the Belk Bowl. With Gardner out, he's been splitting first-team reps with Bonnafon.

However, Bonnafon is an intriguing option because of his ability to make plays with his feet. From many accounts over the past couple of weeks, Bonnafon has been standing out in scrimmages. If he looks as good in the spring game and carries that momentum through the summer months, he could push Gardner in August—especially if Gardner is rusty. 

Projected Starter: Gardner

 

LSU

Who's Gone: N/A

Who's Up: Anthony Jennings (Jr.), Brandon Harris (So.) 

The Skinny on Jennings: It wasn't pretty for Jennings last year, but he'll be the first to admit it. LSU ranked 116th nationally in passing yards per game and was extremely inefficient.

Jennings started 12 of the 13 games last season, which probably says more about Harris' development than his own. However, head coach Les Miles has been complimentary of Jennings this spring, giving the junior the edge over Harris in two of the three spring scrimmages. 

According to The Daily Reveille, Miles said Jennings and Harris will continue to split first-team reps in the spring game. If a starter had to be picked today, it would probably be Jennings, but it doesn't sound like the competition will end any time soon. 

The Skinny on Harris: Harris was a star in the spring game last year, but things just didn't click for him in the season as quickly as everyone expected. That's OK; he was just a freshman in 2014. It doesn't matter if you're a 5-star player or a walk-on, the adjustment to the college level is steep, and not everyone grasps the speed and concepts at the same time. 

According to Harris, via Jack Chascin of The Daily Reveille, that responsibility was on him.

"I wasn’t doing enough as an overall quarterback, and that’s one thing I want to do in 2015 is handle myself more like a professional,” Harris said. “If I have a question, don’t be afraid to ask it. If I mess up, admit the mistake and improve, and that’s one thing I’ve done going into this spring in these two practices.”

Harris provides LSU's offense with another dimension because of his athleticism. Because of that, his ceiling is probably higher than Jennings'. But he has to develop as a passer. Though his completion percentage was technically higher than Jennings' last year, he attempted only 45 passes. In his lone start against Auburn, he went 3-of-14 for 58 yards. 

Projected Starter: Jennings

 

Notre Dame 

Who's Gone: N/A

Who's Up: Everett Golson (Sr.), Malik Zaire (Jr.)

The Skinny on Golson: I'll say this for Golson: When you look at him simply as a passer, the senior looked like one of the most improved players in the country in 2014. He threw for at least 226 yards in each of the first 11 games. However, Golson was racking up big passing yards in part because the defense fell apart in the second half of the season. Part of the reason that happened was because Golson was turning the ball over so much. It was a vicious cycle. 

Golson's ball-security issues are a huge problem, and those types of tendencies aren't always easily fixed. It's been an up-and-down career for Golson, too. He led the Irish to a national championship appearance in 2012 before being suspended from the team for academics the following year and benched in favor Zaire at the end of last season. 

Golson hasn't spoken to the media this spring because he's been concentrating on his game and academics. From the sound of it, he's doing everything he can to make the most of his final year of eligibility. 

The Skinny on Zaire: Zaire's first major appearance of 2014, the regular-season finale against USC, was rough. Zaire went 9-of-20 passing and the game got out of hand quickly, as USC went on to win 49-14. However, he rebounded in his first start against LSU in the Music City Bowl, completing 12 of 15 passes, running for 96 yards and scoring two touchdowns (one passing, one running). 

The difference between Zaire and Golson, however, is pure experience. as J.J. Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com notes, Golson has notched 23 starts over his career. Zaire has one. As a result, Zaire is a bit of a wild card on the field. 

"There’s some things like today with Malik, sometimes he’ll check into things that we’re not quite certain as to what he was thinking,” head coach Brian Kelly said, via Stankevitz. “Everett, there’s no doubt about where his mind is relative to what he’s seeing and what he’s thinking, like, why did you go to that, Everett? It makes total sense."

Zaire is a talented player, but he has to show coaches between now and September that he can be on the same level as them in terms of reading defenses and making decisions. And he also has to demonstrate that he can take care of the ball. 

Projected Starter: Golson

 

Ohio State

Who's Gone: N/A

Who's Up: Cardale Jones (RJr.), J.T. Barrett (RSo.), Braxton Miller (RSr.) 

The Front-Runner: Jones. Not only is he the only healthy one available of the three, but he ended last season with tremendous momentum by winning the Big Ten championship, Sugar Bowl and national championship. 

However, of the trio, he's the least experienced starter. It's easy to forget that he's still a work in progress, as head coach Urban Meyer told Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated

You know, he’s a steady work in progress. He’s a 22-year-old man that once in a while reverts back to a 16-, 17-year-old mentality. He’s a genuine, great kid that has been interesting. This is psychology 101. There should be a chapter on Cardale Jones. His support back home is phenomenal, Ted Ginn, Michelle Nash, his mom, and it’s every day. Imagine having this conversation a year ago, two years ago. You’re going to have a crystal ball on this table and you’re going to put it to WisconsinAlabama and Oregon, and he’ll be your quarterback.

But Jones has all the physical gifts in the world. He's 6'5" and 250 pounds with a cannon for an arm. If Ohio State can get the same production from Jones he had in that three-game stretch every day in practice, plus improvement, he could be tough to beat out. 

The Dark Horse: This is a delicate situation, and one Meyer dreads to an extent. Two worthy quarterbacks are going to be disappointed with the decision he makes, no matter what. Miller hasn't played football in over a year, and he's behind Barrett in the injury recovery process. That's definitely noteworthy.

However, he is the most experienced quarterback and has won a ton of games. Players and coaches alike respect him. He's a perfect fit in Meyer's offense. If he's back to 100 percent by the time preseason camp rolls around, there's a good chance Miller could make a run at the No. 1 job. It will depend on how quickly he gets back up to speed moving the offense. 

Projected Starter: Jones

 

Texas

Who's Gone: N/A

Who's Up: Tyrone Swoopes (Jr.), Jerrod Heard (RFr.) 

The Skinny on Swoopes: The closer you examine Swoopes' career to date, the more you can understand its inconsistencies.

As a freshman, he had his redshirt burned in a game against TCU that was already decided…and then he was rarely used again. As a sophomore, he was introduced to a new coaching staff and new offense, then thrust into starting duty in the second game of the year, playing behind a thin, inexperienced offense line. If you count the new "wide open" offense Texas is installing this year, it'll be Swoopes' third offense in three years. 

So yeah, things haven't exactly gone according to plan for him. 

By many accounts, Swoopes looked like a new, improved player early on in the spring. Teammates have praised Swoopes' leadership as well, including running back Jonathan Gray while speaking to the media following the Longhorns' first spring practice. The question is whether that will translate onto the field going forward. 

The Skinny on Heard: Unlike Swoopes, Heard had his redshirt status preserved in 2014. That extra year of game experience helps Swoopes, but he also might have been inserted into action too quickly. Now, it seems as though Heard is reaping the benefit of those decisions. 

According to Jeff Howe of 247Sports, Heard is closing the gap on Swoopes. 

“He's hitting the open receivers, he's finding open receivers and making the correct checks,” head coach Charlie Strong said, via Howe. “He's throwing the deep ball when we open it up and throw it deep some.”

Swoopes has natural athleticism and seems like the perfect fit for Texas' new offense. But the mental part of the game—reading defenses, understanding concepts and reacting—has been holding him back. That comes with time. If the light starts to come on for Heard, though, he could easily surpass Swoopes. 

Projected Starter: Heard

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of cfbstats.com. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

How Rush of Recent Commitments Changes 2016 QB Recruiting Landscape

Much like the NFL draft, the quarterback position takes on a different level of importance for college coaches on the recruiting trail.

Wednesday was a big day on the quarterback recruiting front as three touted 2016 passers made their commitments.

A trio of 4-star quarterbacks—Devon Modster (Arizona), Tristen Wallace (Ohio State) and Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee)—all came off the board within hours of each other.

It's part of a recent trend that has seen top signal-callers end their recruitments well before the beginning of their senior year.

As it relates to the 2016 cycle, coaches and programs still in the market for a quarterback will have to move on to another group of passers who perhaps aren't household names yet.

Nine of the nation's top 10 pro-style quarterbacks have already made commitments—with Maryland 4-star Dwayne Haskins the only big name left in that category, and he's slated to announce his decision before June, according to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports.

In the dual-threat category, 4-star Jawon Pass is the only player in the top six who is still uncommitted.

With so many premier arms already locked into their future destinations, expect a second season of quarterback recruiting to begin, with new players whom teams have underrecruited to this point sure to emerge on the radars of bigger programs.

One such prospect who could see his stock explode is 3-star dual-threat passer David Moore.

The 6'2", 170-pounder—who accounted for 39 total touchdowns as a junior—has been a standout at both the Atlanta and Orlando Nike Opening Regional camps.

He currently has 16 offers, with Illinois, Oregon State and Wake Forest representing the three Power Five conference schools that have pulled the trigger. That list may grow now that other top passers have committed.

"I know he's getting attention from schools across the country, and I think he's a guy that we will see continue to grow in recruiting," said Elite 11 counselor Yogi Roth after observing Moore in Atlanta. "I wouldn't be surprised if he explodes all of a sudden once the dominoes start to fall at that position."

Similar to Moore, 3-star Minnesota native Kamal Martin is another dual-threat passer whose interest could pick up soon. Although he has yet to pick up his first official offer, the 6'3", 205-pounder listed a number of Big Ten schools, including Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, as schools that have been showing interest in him, according to Evan Flood of Badgers247.

A couple of pro-style passers who could be in a similar position are 3-stars Matt Little, who is committed to Western Michigan, and Dillon Sterling-Cole.

Little, a 6'4", 225-pounder with a cannon for an arm, told Bleacher Report at the Adidas Chicago Showcase last month that a number of schools are due in during his team's spring practice to watch him throw live.

"Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin," Little noted of the programs that have been in contact with him.

Texas standout Sterling-Cole rose to prominence after winning the Elite 11 MVP for the quarterback segment and earning an invite to The Opening, as noted by Bleacher Report's Damon Sayles.

Sterling-Cole currently has 12 offers—including one from Texas A&M, where his father played.

He's yet to pounce on the Aggies offer, which could signal an opening for other programs to throw their hat in the ring for the talented Houston native.

Of course, there are other names who can and likely will come to light heading into the summer and even into the fall. Given the nature of recruiting in these times, it’s also likely that some of the top quarterbacks who have committed end up flipping to other programs. 

Still, given the current state of recruiting at the quarterback position, expect the top programs in the market for help at the game's most critical position to ramp up their efforts to acquire a gifted passer 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.

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BYU Football: Offseason to-Do List for the Cougars

BYU recently completed its spring practices, which officially kick off preparation for the fall. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his team face a daunting schedule this fall, but they look forward to the opportunity. According to Bailey McMurdie of KSTU Fox 13, Mendenhall is particularly confident about his team's outlook for the upcoming season: 

We have a good team, and we have a really tough schedule, so that is a fantastic opportunity. [We have] a senior quarterback coming back that is one of the best in the country and an offense that scored most points since 2001. Really good leadership, I think, on the defensive side in a proven system with a proven staff. So, it could be a really fun year.

But what do the Cougars need to take care of before the kickoff at Nebraska? Here is an offseason to-do list for BYU.

 

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Rapid-Fire Predictions Where Top Uncommitted Athletes of 2016 Class Will Land

The 2016 recruiting class is full of big-time athletes. We're talking about football players so talented, they could play two different positions in college. 

Bleacher Report's National Recruiting Analyst Damon Sayles joined Stephen Nelson as they predicted where the top athletes will land at the next level. 

Where will these top athletes play at the next level? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Throwback Thursday: Watch Jameis Winston Pancake Defender in High School

We all know about Jameis Winston at Florida State—national champion, Heisman Trophy recipient. But what you might not know is Jameis was a heck of a player in high school. 

Watch Winston lay the wood on a defender when he was only a high schooler. 

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4-Star OL Parker Boudreaux Opens Up on Narrowing Down 75 Offers to a Top 10

Orlando, Florida, offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux may or may not get to 100 offers. The 4-star Bishop Moore Catholic prospect, who claims 75 offers, is indifferent about that achievement, particularly after Wednesday evening.

Boudreaux, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to a famous WWE Superstar, began the tedious process of trimming his list, singling out his 10 favorites. Making the list, in alphabetical order, were Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Southern, Iowa, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Penn State.

Boudreaux's list is eclectic at first glance, but if you ask him about each school, it makes sense. More importantly, of the 10 schools, he's visited eight. Notre Dame and Iowa, he said, will get visits by the end of the summer.

"I have 75 offers total right now, and it's not that hard to narrow down some schools once you visit others and get the right feel for the school and program," Boudreaux said. "But you also have to do a lot of research on the academics, what they offer, culture, history, tradition and, obviously, the football program."

Boudreaux lives in SEC country, and he has four SEC schools on his list. He's a fan of Alabama's academic support program and the family atmosphere and overall aesthetics Ole Miss provides.

Florida is the closest of the schools—roughly 80 minutes away—and he's building a good relationship with new head coach Jim McElwain. Of the four schools, Boudreaux may be the most familiar with Auburn, as he's made three trips there.

Boudreaux is considering playing in the ACC (Clemson), the Big 12 (Oklahoma), the Big Ten (Penn State and Iowa) and independently on NBC (Notre Dame). And then there's Georgia Southern, the lone non-Power Five school on the list. It's the one school some people are questioning.

To Boudreaux, including Georgia Southern in the top 10 was an easy decision.

"Georgia Southern is one of the greatest schools of all time. By far, the coolest coaches I've spent a lot of time with," he said. "I've been there four times now and can't wait to be back."

Boudreaux had something positive to say about each of his 10 schools. Here are his comments.

 

Alabama

"Alabama has one of the best academic support programs I've seen. The coaches are some pretty staight-up guys who will help you build your character in and out of the classroom. I visited during spring break, and I loved it. The fans are crazy, and the campus is very pretty."

 

Auburn

"I've been to Auburn three times now, and it gets better and better each time I go. It's a very small college town where everything evolves around football. They have some of the most crazy, diehard fans in the country, and I love it. Coach [Gus] Malzahn is awesome. He is truly a real dude who loves what he does and loves his players.

 

Clemson

"At Clemson, you can feel the great, outstanding culture in the atmosphere when you are walking around. You can tell right away it's all about being a family there. Coach Dabo Swinney is the most down-to-earth guy you'll ever meet in your life. He's doing an awesome job, and he's not ever going to BS you. He's one of the realest."

 

Florida

"Florida is a pretty cool place. It's only an hour and 20 minutes away from my house. The campus is beautiful, and the people are awesome. Coach Mac [McElwain] is going to put UF back to a top-10 team soon. They are lacking a lot of offensive linemen, so it's an awesome chance to come in and play early as a freshman. [Offensive line] coach [Mike] Summers always tells me how I could be the leader of the pack and get this thing rolling."

 

Georgia Southern

"With six national championships and just getting in [FBS] football, I think they are easily going to be a top-25 team. Coach [Willie] Fritz already is doing an outstanding job, going 9-3 [in 2014] and basically winning the Sun Belt [Conference]."

 

Iowa

"What attracts me to Iowa is it's the offensive lineman university. They put so many offensive linemen each year in the [NFL], and I know they would develop me as the best player on and off the field. Coach [Kirk] Ferentz has been doing a great job at Iowa, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does this year.

 

Notre Dame

"Notre Dame is like a bigger version of Bishop Moore. It is a private Catholic school with great academic support and awesome people. I'm visiting in the summer and can't wait. Coach [Brian] Kelly is truly a great guy as well as a coach. The tradition at Notre Dame is crazy, and I love it. Playing on NBC every Saturday isn't that bad either."

 

Ole Miss

"When we were driving into Oxford, it shocked my eyes how beautiful the campus was. Coach [Hugh] Freeze is a very, very authentic person. He truly cares about his players and everyone around the program. The people in Oxford are as nice as you can be, and it makes it feel like a family atmosphere."

 

Oklahoma

"When you step on campus, you can feel the amazing tradition flowing in the air. Coach [Bob] Stoops is an amazing, genuine guy who will take care of you just right. It's all about winning and family over in Norman. He said I would be the perfect fit, and he doesn't see why I couldn't go in as a freshman and make a big impact at Oklahoma." 

 

Penn State

"It's the most friendly environment I've been in. The people, fans, coaches, players...just everyone is as genuine as you can get. Coach [James] Franklin is going to build Penn State into a top program in the Big Ten, and I truly believe that. He's a guy who will take care of you forever and one of the best head coaches you can ask for. Also, craziest game I've ever seen in my life."

 

Boudreaux said he doesn't have a timetable for when he'll make a decision or when he'll trim the 10 to a smaller number. He may decide after his visits to Notre Dame and Iowa in the summer.

At 6'4" and now teetering just south of 300 pounds, Boudreaux is a physical offensive lineman who can play guard or tackle at the next level. He is expected to play guard in college and is ranked the nation's No. 8 guard in the 2016 class.

Boudreaux bench-presses 365 pounds, squats 460 and deadlifts 535. He also owns a 3.42 grade-point average.

 

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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LSU Football: What to Watch for in Tigers' 2015 Spring Game

Is it a make-or-break year for LSU head coach Les Miles

Not quite, but his offensive coordinator—Cam Cameron—might want to kickstart that offense in the final year of his contract; otherwise, he will be the fall guy in Baton Rouge.

Tiger fans will get a good look at their offense this Saturday when the Tigers hit the field in the annual National L Club Spring Football Game in Death Valley.

What should you keep an eye on when the Tigers hit the field?

 

It's All About the Quarterback

If you believe the reports coming out of Baton Rouge this spring, the light bulb has gone on for junior Anthony Jennings. The dual-threat incumbent starter from Marietta, Georgia, has impressed the coaching staff this spring thanks to his big-play ability and improvement in his efficiency.

Jennings completed nine of 14 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in LSU's third scrimmage of the spring, according to stats released by the school. Meanwhile, according to the release, true sophomore Brandon Harris completed just a "handful" of his 22 passing attempts according to Miles.

If the light bulb has indeed clicked for Jennings, that's great news for the Tigers. Could it be more of an indictment of Harris, though?

Harris pulled even with Jennings last spring but was unable to break through that glass ceiling and earn the starting job for good after he struggled in his only start on the road at Auburn. After Jennings completed just 48.9 percent of his passes last year and has posted a sub-50 completion percentage for his career, the job is there for the taking.

Can Harris take it?

It seems like he's fighting an uphill battle this spring, but a strong showing in the spring game for the second straight season would go a long way toward his quest to unseat Jennings from the top spot on the depth chart.

 

Bring The Heat

LSU finished with the SEC's best defense last year (316.8 YPG), but that number is incredibly deceiving. LSU finished with just 19 sacks (second-worst in the SEC), gave up 20 runs of 20 yards or more (ninth in the conference), has to replace starting defensive ends Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco and needs to install a new defense under coordinator Kevin Steele.

Where will that pressure come from?

Davon Godchaux and Christian LaCouture played well at times along the interior of the defensive line last year in the 4-3 system run by former coordinator John Chavis, but Steele is going to be more multiple. Those guys need to fit in with defensive tackle-turned-defensive end Maquedius Bain and pass-rushing specialist Tashawn Bower.

Watch the front seven, and particularly the front four, during Saturday's spring game. Steele is flexible enough to keep 4-3 elements in place while also mixing in some 3-4, which is likely the path LSU will have to go based on the way it has recruited over the last three or four years.

That means more players in different positions to get in the backfield and disrupt plays, which is something LSU desperately needs.

 

Options Outside

Travin Dural was LSU's only true weapon at wide receiver last year. The then-sophomore caught a team-high 37 passes for 758 yards and seven touchdowns. The 20.49-yards-per-catch average is nice, but the fact that Dural only caught 2.8 passes per game and that this figure was more than twice the average of LSU's second-most prolific receiver speaks volumes to just how anemic the Tigers passing game was last year.

Things have to change.

It's not like LSU is lacking in the talent department. John Diarse looked good at times last year, Malachi Dupre is a 6'3" former stud recruit who has as much upside as any receiver in the SEC and D.J. Chark is a 6'2" sophomore who has been impressing the coaching staff this spring. Chark had three catches for 99 yards in the most recent scrimmage, including a 70-yarder for a score.

"He's done a nice job of catching the football," Miles said, according to Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana. "He's improving each time he steps on the field. One thing about D.J. is that he has speed and ability."

Those guys have to help out their quarterback—whoever wins the job.

Dural is a proven deep threat—that much has been established. If somebody else can emerge as another deep option, it will open up those passing lanes for either Jennings or Harris, keep the secondary honest and help out the running game led by super-sophomore Leonard Fournette.

 

Offensive Play-Calling

Jennings got the majority of the criticism last year for his inability to consistently complete passes, but it seemed like both he and Harris were square pegs Cameron was trying to fit in round holes.

That can't continue.

Jennings was the dedicated running quarterback behind Zach Mettenberger in 2013, and Harris has the kind of explosiveness on the ground that can make him a bona fide stud when he gets the chance. Cameron is the one who can provide that chance in 2015.

"In quarterback play, you're continually trying to set aside the things you don't do well and focus on the things you do well without being unbelievably predictable," he told Ron Higgins of NOLA.com. "That's the catch.

"You can simplify, which is what you should do, but then comes the ability to be unpredictable. The magic is to be unpredictable but also simple enough so your guys can execute things."

That's clearly easier said than done for Cameron. The only curveball LSU threw last year offensively was in the regular-season finale, when Dural rushed for 49 yards against Texas A&M primarily off jet sweeps and Jennings became more of a threat on the ground by rushing for 119 yards.

Ideally, Cameron would like the light bulb to go off with the quarterbacks and be able to stretch the field. At this point, though, Plan B needs to be in place. That plan should include a more multidimensional rushing attack that features the quarterbacks running more and wide receivers coming off the edge on the jet sweeps. 

LSU can't win simply by being "The Fournette Show." Cameron needs to show in the spring game that there's a little more depth to his play-calling ability with dual-threat quarterbacks at the helm; otherwise, he could be out of a job this time next year.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com, unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and 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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Satellite Camps Take Big Ten Recruiting Battles Down South for Urban Meyer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Asked for his thoughts on hosting offseason satellite camps earlier this week, Urban Meyer didn't pull any punches when it came to the controversial recruiting practice.

"I think that should be outlawed. I don't think you should be able to do that," Meyer said. "I think you should just recruit on campus and do a good job."

But recruiting sometimes requires one to step outside of his comfort zone.

That even goes for Meyer, who has inked four consecutive top-seven classes since arriving at Ohio State in 2012. Meyer may not like it, but the reigning national head coach is admittedly willing to try a satellite camp while the loophole remains open in the Big Ten, despite scrutiny from the SEC and ACC.

"If it helps us, we'll do it," Meyer said. "And I think we might try one this year."

The fourth-year Buckeyes head coach said that no plans to hold such a camp have been finalized and discussions on the subject among the Ohio State staff have been ongoing. But should the Buckeyes play guest hosts to a camp, it would be hard to see it as anything but a direct response to Jim Harbaugh and Michigan's upcoming satellite-heavy summer.

Per GoBlueWolverine.com, the Wolverines staff will spend the early part of June outside of the Midwest Region, hosting camps in Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and California. As opposed to the SEC and ACC, which both place restrictions on their schools hosting camps farther than 50 miles away from their campuses, the Big Ten has no such guidelines in place.

Meyer claims that Ohio State's interest in holding such camp has nothing to do with any other school and would only happen if it best benefited the Buckeyes. But it's worth noting that when James Franklin and Penn State first made headlines by hosting satellite camps a year ago, Meyer and his staff stood pat.

"What happens is monkey see, monkey do. ‘They did this, so let’s go do it,'" Meyer said. “There’s easy ways to evaluate how your camp went. ‘Well, it went good.’ Did you get anybody out of the camp? No. Did people visit? I don’t know that. That’s something, if we do it, we’re not going to do it because some other schools are trying it.”

Based on those standards, the Nittany Lions' foray into satellite camps was hardly successful.

Hosting camps at Stetson University in Florida and Georgia State, Penn State failed to pull a player from the entire South Region in its 2015 class. Of the 25 signees in the Nittany Lions' 2015 class, 23 came from Penn State's traditional Northeast pipeline, with the only exceptions hailing from Indiana and Wisconsin.

Perhaps as a direct response, Franklin has opted to move this year's satellite camp closer to home, with The Virginian-Pilot's Harry Minium reporting that the Penn State staff will help host a camp at Old Dominion in Virginia on June 18.

So if he's against it and the only known data showed little-to-no success, why would Meyer—who has successfully recruited players from Florida, New Jersey, Texas, North Carolina and California throughout his time at Ohio State—even look into trying a satellite camp?

The answer remains unclear, but Michigan's presence is difficult to ignore.

Even before hosting his planned camp at Prattville High School in Alabama on June 5, Harbaugh has found success at the school by picking up a commitment from 3-star fullback Kingston Davis. If the positive buzz he's spent the offseason building is already helping him land prospects in the heart of the South, it's not a stretch to think he could find similar success in Florida, Texas and especially California, where he already has strong ties thanks to his days at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers.

Meyer didn't give any insight into where he would entertain holding such camp, but strengthening Ohio State's connections in Florida, Georgia and Texas would all seem to make sense. The evidence may not suggest that even being worth the Buckeyes' while just yet, but with Harbaugh's big summer looming, OSU would be better off safe than sorry.

And while it appears that's the approach Meyer is taking, he's also made it clear it's not his preference.

“Am I a fan of that? Not really," Meyer said. "A big allure to Ohio State is getting them here on campus."

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten Lead Writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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4-Star QB Devon Modster Commits to Arizona, Says He's Ready to 'Lead by Example'

Quarterback Devon Modster made the call on his college commitment Wednesday afternoon, electing to leave Southern California and become a member of the Arizona Wildcats:

The 4-star prospect picked Arizona over fellow finalists UCLA and Boise State. Modster landed a Wildcats offer last fall, which was followed by heavy interest from several Pac-12 opponents.

"I really like the way they run such a fast-paced offense," he said. "There are a lot of options involved there. They have the read-option, where you can actually hand it off, run it or throw it if you see someone open. It's a multioption attack."

Modster, a 6'2", 215-pound passer at Tesoro High School in Orange County, is the latest quarterback domino to fall in this 2016 recruiting class. Fellow 4-star prospects Tristen Wallace (Ohio State) and Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee) committed earlier Wednesday.

K.J. Costello, considered the top-ranked quarterback in California, committed to Stanford three weeks ago. Modster, who competes minutes away from Costello's Santa Margarita Catholic High School, was left as one of the premier uncommitted passers among high school juniors.

"I'm the kind of guy who leads by example," he said. "I'm not the kind of guy that's going to curse at you or anything, but I'll put in the work and show other players what it takes to get better."

Modster, rated 10th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, completed 58 percent of pass attempts in 12 games as a junior and led Tesoro to a nine-win season. He threw for 2,602 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2014, per MaxPreps.

His skill set also includes above-average mobility, as Modster finished second on the team with 680 rushing yards. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry en route to 12 rushing touchdowns. 

Modster's ability to attack opposing defenses in various ways seems well-suited for Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez

If he aims to become the next Wildcats star behind center, he must contend with various players at the position. Rising redshirt sophomore Anu Solomon took over as full-time starter last season and flashed big-time potential.

The Las Vegas product led the team to its first 10-win season since 1998, throwing for 3,793 yards and 28 touchdowns. He could be in line to orchestrate Arizona's offense through 2017 if his development remains steady.

Modster understands there's no smooth path to playing time once you make the leap to collegiate competition.

"You're always going to have to compete no matter where you go, with any team in any conference," he said. "College quarterbacks become starters for a reason."

The Wildcats averaged 35 points per game last season, and Modster will do what he can to ensure more offensive firepower enters the equation.

"I'm going to look around and see which receivers aren't committed," he said. "Even if they are committed, I'll try to get them to come play with me. I'll do what I can to persuade them and talk about the offense. I can't promise them the ball, but if we all work hard enough, they'll get their chance."

Modster is the fifth member of a recruiting class that also includes compelling California athlete Khalil Tate, who could also vie for time at quarterback. He intends to remain a part of that foundation, though he admits intrigue about exploring other parts of the country. 

"Once I'm committed, I'm committed. I'm not going to go shopping around," Modster said. "I would like to possibly take some official visits because it's a free trip, but if the coaches don't want me to, I'll respect that. They're my future coaches, so I won't take any officials if they won't let me.”

He doesn't plan to enroll early, but he could return to campus this season to cheer on his future squad. Modster can already envision himself taking center stage in Tucson. 

"I love the campus, the coaches are great, and it seems like the team is really close," he said. "I definitely want to mature and develop a little more leadership on the field. I want to be able to tell people where to go, lead by example and spread the offense as best I can."

 

All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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