NCAA Football

Why, and Where, Nebraska Football Should Set Up Recruiting Satellite Camps

When it comes to recruiting, many coaches will do whatever it takes, just shy of violating the NCAA rulebook, to get ahead. The Big Ten is no exception.

And Penn State's James Franklin is definitely pushing the limits. What exactly is he doing? Franklin and his staff are participating in a Georgia State football camp. As the York Dispatch reported, the SEC, of course, is not happy.

The NCAA prohibits coaches from hosting and running camps more than 50 miles from their own campuses. But there is a small loophole. As FoxSports.com points out, "What the NCAA does not prohibit, however, is coaches participating in camps more than 50 miles from their campuses. That would be against the rules only if a conference says it is, and the SEC is one conference that doesn't allow its coaches to do this."

So how does this affect Nebraska football? It doesn't, yet. But it could.

Head coach Bo Pelini should take note of Franklin's participation in satellite camps and find a way to get involved in camps of his own. After all, the NCAA isn't stopping him.

If Pelini and his staff were to participate in satellite camps, where should they go? Three strategically placed camps across the country could be the answer to future recruiting success.

 

Ohio

The 2014 class was the first since 2009 where the Huskers didn't take a recruit out of Ohio, per the Lincoln Journal Star. That didn't sit well with many fans. So maybe the solution is participating in a camp in the area.

If Nebraska were to participate in a camp in Ohio, it should be at Ohio University. The benefit of Ohio University is that head coach Frank Solich has ties to Nebraska. While his relationship with the Huskers hasn't always been perfect since his departure, time heals all wounds.

Pelini is typically focused in the south during recruiting, but there is talent in Ohio. Participation in a satellite camp in the area just might pick up a few extra solid recruits.

 

Texas

There were four recruits from the state of Texas in Nebraska's 2014 class. While the focus on the area has dwindled a bit since the Huskers departed the Big 12, there is still a good amount of emphasis on recruiting in the Lone Star State.

After all, the state of Texas has produced 35 signees for Nebraska under Pelini, per the Lincoln Journal Star. That's not a bad number.

There's a definite need to stay relevant in Texas. If the Huskers did decide to participate in a satellite camp, getting involved with either TCU or SMU would be the best bet. Both are solid programs where the Huskers could get an invite to participate in a camp.

Plus, SMU is in Dallas and TCU is in Fort Worth. Both areas would provide major exposure for the Huskers.

 

Louisiana/Florida

It doesn't matter if Pelini and staff chose to set up shop in Louisiana or Florida. Either would be a great option with their southern location.

Florida and Louisiana both offer a lot for Pelini and his staff. They know this, after all. That's why the 2014 recruiting class boasted three recruits from each state.

Joining a camp in SEC territory would likely upset the major southern conference, just like Franklin's participation at Georgia State's camp in Atlanta on June 10. But that's honestly not of Pelini's concern. As long as the Big Ten allows participation in satellite camps, why not participate?

If in Louisiana, the Huskers could work with Louisiana-Lafayette. Pelini has ties to Louisiana, and it's been a state he solidly recruits. Working with the Ragin' Cajuns satellite camp would make the relationship in the area stronger.

As for Florida, the University of Central Florida would be a good option. It's centrally located and would allow plenty of recruits to join in.

 

Whether or not Pelini follows in Franklin's footsteps is ultimately up to the head coach. However, participating in satellite camps would not hurt. As the Huskers continue to build the program, a strong presence in key states would be a major benefit. Satellite camp participation would do nothing but help.

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Penn State Football: Don't Confuse Recruiting Hype with on-Field Expectations

Penn State has earned a lot of headlines this spring, largely due to James Franklin and his early recruiting success.

Unfortunately, it's going to be a while before that success impacts the product we see on Saturdays.

Franklin's recruiting prowess has turned Penn State into one of the hottest teams in the country and has fans excited about the future—both near and distant. Some of that excitement is unfounded.

When the NCAA levied stern sanctions on the program in 2012, most fans agreed that the scholarship restrictions would be the most hindering penalty.

At times in 2013, the Nittany Lions were forced to play with fewer than 60 scholarship athletes and those in and around the program expect 2014 to be the worst year in terms of depth.

With just one starting offensive lineman back from last year and the loss of the top two receivers, the offense has some real holes to fill. The defense lost DaQuan Jones and Glenn Carson from the middle of its front seven and still doesn't have a great answer at corner, opposite Jordan Lucas.

The problems start with the starters, but a couple of injuries could really put this team in a bind. Achieving the success of 2012 or even 2013 seems like it will be difficult for this year's Nittany Lions.

However, Athlon Sports has ranked Penn State No. 22 in its preseason rankings and CBS Sports thinks even more highly of the Nittany Lions, putting them at No. 21 on their Inside Sports program.

CBS analyst Brian Jones offered this as an explanation:

James Franklin is taking Happy Valley by storm. If you can win at Vanderbilt and take a team that’s a perennial doormat into a team you've got to contend with in the SEC, just think what he can do with the talent they’re going to have at Penn State. The recruiting is off the chains already. He’s got a quarterback in [Christian] Hackenberg. They’re going to be fine, and they’re going to be filthy good. Mark my words.

It's hard to argue with most of that. Penn State is indeed going to be fine. It has Hackenberg and recruiting is doing extremely well. Still, most of what Jones pointed out won't be much help in 2014.

Athlon Sports is a bit more realistic, pointing out some of the flaws and acknowledging the depth issues via a quote from Franklin: “I think we've got really good football players and great kids here. We just don’t have enough of them. That’s the reality.”

The thought process behind its ranking seems more based on the schedule than the actual team itself. It's not that it necessarily thinks the Nittany Lions will be the 22nd-best team in the country, but that they'll win a good portion of their games due to the weak teams they'll be facing.

Being optimistic is great, but 22 is way too high “@OnwardState: .@AthlonSports ranked PSU No. 22 in preseason poll. http://t.co/GeTjopLnmI

— Eric Sion (@ericbsion) June 4, 2014

While that logic triggers a debate of its own, it's important to remember that a team with losses to Ohio University and Indiana in the last two seasons will be changing systems on both sides of the ball. At this point a year ago, most fans had Penn State beating Minnesota and UCF.

Picking winners in June makes for a sucker bet.

It's possible that players will step up at all the right positions and the team will have a healthy season. A favorable schedule could lend itself to another season above .500.

To call this Penn State team a Top 25 team is to say that it is better than the 2012 and 2013 teams. The only thing better about this team right now is what's going on off the field.

Franklin did have success at a perennial doormat and should get things going in the right direction at Penn State. His recruiting efforts will make an impact in the long run and the team may certainly be "filthy good" when those kids are wearing blue and white.

In 2014, success can be measured by progress.

There will be players forced into early action in 2014, but they'll create the core of this team going forward. Their maturation will go a long way in Penn State's long-term success—maybe at the expense of short-term success.

It's certainly understandable for fans to be pumped about the job Franklin and his staff have done on the recruiting trail. It's dangerous, though, to mix up recruiting rankings and preseason rankings.

 

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Ohio State Needs 5-Stars Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell to Boost 2015 Class

Despite being one of the nation's top programs with one of the best recruiters in college football at the helm, Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class is off to a slow start.

The Buckeyes' three-member class, which boasts a pair of 4-star cornerbacks and a 4-star quarterback, currently ranks No. 57, behind programs such as Texas-San Antonio, Florida Atlantic and Tulane.

Commitments from 5-star prospects Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell, however, would change that very quickly.

That possibility was raised when Cornell, a 6'4", 260-pound defensive end out of Saint Paul, Minnesota, sent this tweet out while on a visit to Ohio State this past weekend:

Cornell was in town for the Nike Camp and had a great time visiting with the Buckeyes and two of his "favorite coaches" in Meyer and defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

"I have a very good connection with both of them," Cornell said, according to Jordan Wagner of Eleven Warriors. "When I was here, it felt like family. It was love here. I like the facilities here and the academics are a high point."

The visit had Cornell dreaming of playing with Ohio's top high school recruit.

Hilliard is also very high on Ohio State. The 6'2", 230-pound outside linebacker recently named a top five of Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Notre Dame and Alabama. He was also in Columbus for the Nike Camp and had the opportunity to visit with the staff and take in the facilities at Ohio State.

The Cincinnati product is very familiar with the Buckeyes. Speaking with Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.comHilliard said that he has befriended players on the Ohio State roster and even knows some of the university professors. 

In what looks like good news for Buckeyes fans, Hilliard is nearing his decision.

"When I make a decision I want it to be 100 percent, because I don't want to decommit," Hilliard said, according to Lesmerises. "I want it to be my decision, hopefully in late June to early July."

The recruiting experts affiliated with 247 Sports' Crystal Ball feature have Ohio State as sizable favorites over Michigan and Iowa.

Landing both Hilliard and Cornell would give Ohio State two elite defensive prospects, but the Buckeyes wouldn't need to wait very long for them to make an impact.

According to Lesmerises' feature, Hilliard wants to make his decision early so he has time to recruit other players to the school of his choice. 

Cornell is already warm to the idea of joining forces with Hilliard. If Ohio State can get them in the fold, Meyer's slow recruiting start will fade very quickly.

 

All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @davidreg412.

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Georgia Football: Jeremy Pruitt's 5 Toughest Challenges in 2014

One has to wonder what Jeremy Pruitt expected when he was hired by Georgia. Surely, it wasn't this much drama in his first offseason.

After he was hired in January, a slew of assistant coaches departed, and he led a search for their replacements. He then rallied the troops for an impressive recruiting closeout on national signing day. He's seen players from his defense placed under arrest, dismissed from the team and transfer to other schools of their own volition. He's brought an offensive playmaker (J.J. Green) to his side of the ball and lost a former starter (Brendan Langley) to the offense.  

He's done all of this while trying to rebuild a defense that was severely disappointing in 2013. And yet, his real tests have not yet begun.

Here are five opposing offenses (in order of scheduling) that will present Pruitt with his toughest challenges in 2014.

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Building the Ideal College Football Quarterback for 2014

Science has prevailed. A company—which has chosen to remain nameless—has discovered a way to genetically engineer the perfect quarterback. 

The price of said quarterback is $100 million, although they’re currently offering QBs for the reasonable price of $95 million thanks to the “We’re Open For Business” sale. (Also, the list of boosters already on the waiting list is alarming; please call a friend with wealth ASAP if interested.)

While the process to build such a domination machine is far too valuable to reveal, think of it in terms you understand, like constructing your dream margarita: It’s not just the tequila. It’s also the lime, the Cointreau and, of course, the salt that can join together and create supreme liquid superiority. 

That’s what we’ve set out to do. Only, our ingredients are physical attributes and abilities from some of the elite college football quarterbacks in the country. The nameless company has decided not to include NFL quarterbacks for one very appropriate reason: The main scientist is a huge Alabama fan. 

With an elite group of players to choose from, tough decisions were made en route to building our dream QB. Here is our creation.

 

The Arm Strength of Penn State Quarterback Christian Hackenberg

He isn’t the complete package yet—he will be, likely sooner than later—although his development doesn’t impact this exercise one iota. We’re taking Christian Hackenberg’s arm strength in the name of science, even after seeing it for only one season.

Penn State’s star commitment started every game in 2013 as a freshman, and he would have been Uncle Rico’s favorite player out of the gate. Even the simplest out pattern has a special feel to it coming out of his hand, the kind of pace that simply cannot be taught.

I could talk endlessly about how far he could heave a Nerf Vortex, or why he was tabbed the arm strength component over players such as Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota—both of which would serve as fine selections in this department—but let’s allow Hackenberg’s arm to do the convincing.

Behold a meaningless spring practice completion. Even though it is absent from all box scores, it still should be hung on your living room wall, right next to that photo from your wedding.

There’s really not much else to add after that throw; he’s our guy.

 

The Strength (and Size) of Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston

It is difficult to tackle a human tank. I don’t know this firsthand, but this all became far too obvious while watching a slew of ACC defenders attempt to bring down Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with an arm tackle.

Do not do this. It will not end well.

It’s for that reason we’re taking the size and strength—doubling up, if you will—of the Heisman winner for our little genetic experiment. Winston is listed at 6’4" and 235 pounds on his official Seminoles bio, although he plays even bigger than that.

When things break down, you need a quarterback capable of pushing off a hopeful tackler. Few dismiss large individuals with the casual bravado of Winston, something he showcased often in 2013. While there is a deep catalog to sort through to showcase this trait, no moment highlights what he is capable of more than the final play of the first half against Boston College in 2013.

The arm strength isn’t too shabby, either. Neither is the full package.

 

The Legs of Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota

In the open field, he is a gazelle with a turbo engine and a full tank of nitrous strapped to his back. No player in the country looks more dangerous when healthy in space, although Oregon would be content with Marcus Mariota sliding as frequently as possible moving forward.

This is, without question, the most loaded category to pick from: Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall would also serve as wonderful selections for our non-FDA approved genetic creation. 

But with Mariota, his enormous Colin Kaepernick-esque gait is simply too tantalizing to leave out. A bum knee impacted this beauty a season ago, although don’t let that fool you. When all systems are a go, Mariota has the ability to outrun every mortal chasing after him.

His 57-yard touchdown scamper against Washington last season is one of many plays in his still-blossoming collegiate career in which he got to the second level and made the rest look far too easy.

Take your pick in this category. I’ll take Mariota (and maybe some of those masterful throwing genes will sneak in, too).

 

The Accuracy of Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty

He plays in an offense and for a head coach that could propel you (yes, you) to a 250-yard performance against Kansas. But don’t let that simplify Bryce Petty’s football-throwing excellence. He’s a marksman back there.

The No. 2-rated passer in the country last season also averaged more than 10 yards per attempt, one of only three quarterbacks in the country to hit such threshold.

It’s the little things with Petty: the screen passes at the numbers, the slants that catch a wideout in stride and the intermediate tosses that often go unnoticed. It’s why Baylor can operate the way it does, scoring 35 points in halves without breaking a sweat.

While you might be able to throw for 250 yards against Kansas, chances are you wouldn’t throw for 430 like Petty did in 2013. There’s an even bigger chance you wouldn’t deliver such output on only 20 completions.

Now is the time to turn away, Jayhawk fans.

Not simply a run-after-the-catch coordinator, Petty also has a lovely assortment of deep balls in his arsenal. He’s not quite on the Chris Leak-spiral level, although his ball placement is exactly what our quarterback needs.

 

The Mind (and Mentality) of Utah State Quarterback Chuckie Keeton

We have our car. Now we just need the engine.

While his game may not be celebrated as much as some of the other outstanding players included in our makeup, there’s something spectacular about the way Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton operates.

Like when he's able to make something out of nothing and pick up first downs with only one shoe.

He has the “it” factor we’d love to add to our genetic creation. It’s more than that, though. Keeton isn’t the game’s best improve artist; he’s a giant operating in a 200-pound body.

As much as his electricity is discussed, he simply is not given enough credit as a passer. In 777 career throws, Keeton has been intercepted only 13 total times. And over his first three seasons—the latest being cut in half because of a knee injury—Keeton has found the end zone 70 times.

He is intelligent and just reckless enough—and this is what we want within reason—to give our elite athlete a mind-set that he can score on every play. Given the physical tools that this mentality will be paired with, perhaps that’s not as crazy as it seems.  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida Football Recruiting: Position-by-Position Preview for the Class of 2015

The Florida Gators 2015 recruiting class is just getting underway, with eight current commitments on the board. Only a couple of those eight recruits are rated above the 3-star level, making this an unusually slow start for Florida.

With that being said, there are still several months between now and national signing day, and there are countless big names still considering bringing their talents to Gainesville.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

With a lot of work to be done to make this year’s class successful, let’s take a look at each position and see how things may pan out for the Gators. 

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Notre Dame Football: Insider's Preview of the 2014 Freshman Class

Recruiting is in full swing for the class of 2015 for Notre Dame and football programs around the country. But before we completely zero in on that next cycle of prospects, the summer months afford us the opportunity to check in on the incoming freshmen set to enroll at school in the coming weeks.

The Irish hauled in 23 commitments in their class of 2014, which ranked 10th in the nation. 

Today we’ll break down each of the soon-to-be freshmen. We’ll recall Irish head coach Brian Kelly’s laudatory thoughts on each player from national signing day and consider what may lie ahead for each signee in 2014.

Let’s get to it.

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Texas Football: Position-by-Position Preview of the Longhorns' 2015 Class

The time between the arrival of the 2014 class and fall workouts gives Charlie Strong and his staff a chance to familiarize themselves with next year's group. It's also a great time to get up to speed at some positions of need.

Strong's first full class has 10 commits, and each provides solid upside and a good fit for what he wants to build on the 40 Acres. Overall, he's done well with eight months left until signing day.

But between now and then, the coach has some serious needs to fill. He has yet to reel in a commit at receiver, tight end, defensive tackle, linebacker or cornerback, all of which will lose major contributors after the season.

Adding some top targets to those spots and hanging onto the current commits at the others will be the goals leading up to the fall.

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Biggest Things College Football Fans Need to Pay Attention to This Summer

Is college football season here yet?

Any fan of the college game has wondered this at least once, if not 27 times, since Florida State's thrilling last-second touchdown to beat Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game. After a season as great as the 2013 campaign, why wouldn't we want the next one to get here as soon as possible?

Alas, the long national nightmare that is the offseason must exist, though several mile marker-like events have helped bridge the gap to this point. We have had coaching changes, players declare for the NFL draft or transfer and there has also been national signing day and spring practice.

What's left? Well, besides a lot of heat and even more waiting, there still are a handful of college football-related things that warrant our attention between now and the start of training camp in late July and early August. Check out our list of the noteworthy happenings, both actual and potential, to pay attention to this summer.

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BYU Football Recruiting: 4 Reasons Why Osa Masina Should Sign with Cougars

Osa Masina is considered Utah's top 2015 prep prospect and is one of the nation's elite linebackers. The Brighton standout is a 4-star outside linebacker and has received offers from SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big 10 programs.

Masina announced his top eight schools in late April, but BYU didn't make the cut. A lot can change in the eight months between now and national signing day, and his opinion of the Cougars will hopefully change also.

Here are four reasons why Masina should choose to become a Cougar.

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Duke Football: Previewing the Defense for 2014

Defense has long been a problem for Duke. Even prior to David Cutcliffe’s arrival, the Blue Devils were competent on offense, but perpetually undermined any positives by giving up huge point totals to opponents.

Happily, Cutcliffe has proven to be more than just an offensive genius. Under his watch, the defense has improved by leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, the numbers don’t look good for Duke’s defense going forward.

The good news is that the Blue Devils return six starters from 2013. The bad news is that only three of those returning starters are seniors. Therefore, the defense may have earned a season’s worth of experience, but the players are still fairly young and prone to mistakes.

The three returning senior starters all play up front defensively. That’s a positive because Duke’s defensive line is a serious concern.

Kenny Anunike, Justin Foxx and Sydney Sarmiento were all huge parts of Duke’s front four last season. With those three linemen out of the picture, returning starter at nose guard Jamal Bruce will need new running mates on the defensive front.

Fellow seniors Dezmond Johnson and Jonathan Woodruff will attempt to help with the pass rush from the defensive end position. Both have some game experience and should be extremely familiar with the defensive system.

Meanwhile, junior Carlos Wray and sophomore AJ Wolf will seek to play beside Bruce on the interior part of the line.

All in all, there are a number of players looking to fill the vacated starting spots. Whether or not these players will generate a reliable pass rush and clog up running lanes is up for debate. None of them jump out as supremely talented or primed for a breakout year.

To be honest, Duke’s defensive line last year wasn’t particularly good.

This season, the defensive front almost certainly won’t be any better. In fact, it’s entirely possible that this defensive front will be noticeably worse than the 2013 one.

So, a weakness from last season may have gotten even weaker. If the defensive line fails to at least hassle the quarterback and slow the run game, it will put increased pressure on the defenders behind them.

Fortunately for Duke, there will be consistency, experience and talent at the linebacker position. Kelby Brown and David Helton are both returning starters from last season. Brown and Helton are also both seniors.

Most importantly, the two linebackers anchoring Duke’s defense are extremely skilled players.

Last season, Helton led the Blue Devils with 133 tackles. Brown was third on the team with 120. Helton and Brown each had one sack. Brown, who blitzed more frequently, also had 11 tackles for a loss.

Their experience and skill in the center of the Duke defense will be critical. The leadership from the linebacker position will be needed to make up for new faces on the defensive line and youth in the secondary.

The secondary is an interesting one. As with the defensive line, graduation robbed Duke’s secondary of key players. Both starting cornerbacks from 2013, Ross Cockrell and Garett Patterson, are gone.

The loss of Cockrell, who was named All-ACC twice in his career and drafted by the Buffalo Bills, is particularly devastating given his ability to take away a team’s best receiver.

Breon Borders and Bryon Fields will step in as Duke’s new cornerbacks. Though both are just sophomores, they did earn playing time last season. Ideally, that experience—limited as it was—will pay dividends because there isn’t much depth behind those two at corner.

Duke does have a bevy of safeties that logged significant minutes last season. Even though all of those players are underclassmen, their game-time experience will be crucial, as they’ll likely be called upon to help out Borders and Fields in coverage.

Jeremy Cash was second on the team in tackles and emerged as one of the premier safeties in the ACC. Sophomores DeVon Edwards, Deondre Singleton and Corbin McCarthy as well as junior Dwayne Norman will all shuffle in and out of the Duke secondary.

Such depth at the safety position should also enable the Blue Devils to come up with interesting schemes in the secondary.

Though young, those players have seen enough action to be battle-tested. Duke will need to figure out a way to use the depth at safety to cover for the inexperience at corner. If the secondary plays as a unit, it will be formidable enough to prevent big plays and give the defensive front more time to mount a pass rush.

The most troubling thing for Duke, however, is that the Blue Devils lived and died on defense by forcing turnovers last year. That’s a stat that’s difficult to maintain from year to year. Duke amassed 18 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles in 2013. Many of those changes in possession were timely.

In 2014, Duke will once again need some bounces to go their way on defense.

All told, Duke’s defense is a bit shaky in spots, but sports two reliable veteran linebackers and a variety of young secondary players with potential.

If the secondary can cohesively cover its weak spots, then the Blue Devils’ defensive line will be the only questionable cog in the defensive machinery.

So long as the front four can at least limit the run game and get some semblance of a pass rush, Duke should be able to mount enough resistance to at least slow opposing offenses.

As with 2013, the Blue Devils offense will be the star of the show. If the defensive unit can create a little havoc and prevent opponents from scoring over 30 points per game, Duke should have another fantastic season.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

3 Reasons 5-Star DE Josh Sweat Will Sign with Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Hokies have taken some hits with their in-state recruiting recently, but the program has the right combination of good relationships and roster openings to land 5-star defensive end Josh Sweat.

Sweat is the second-ranked player in the country and the top player in the state of Virginia, according to 247Sports, so landing him would be a huge win for the Hokies.

Tech is still reeling from the loss of major in-state defensive prospects like Quin Blanding, Andrew Brown and Derrick Nnadi to fellow ACC schools last recruiting cycle, which makes signing the Chesapeake, Virginia, native the team’s absolute top priority.

But while the Hokies might not have the best recent record with major prospects, Sweat already seems to be leaning their way. 

Sweat told 247Sports’ Evan Watkins that he plans to use one of his official visits to stop in Blacksburg (subscription required), and the recruiting site’s Crystal Ball prediction puts Tech in a tight battle with Florida State for his services.

The Hokies lost out on a very similar head-to-head matchup with the Seminoles last year—FSU’s Odell Haggins outmaneuvered Tech to land Nnadi on national signing day in 2013.

However, this time around, the Hokies should have enough to make a big splash and sign Sweat.

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25 Recruits with the Highest Ceilings in the 2015 Recruiting Class

Recruits with high ceilings are full of potential. Right now, they're raw in an area or two, but they have the natural talent to become good players after they get developed.

The 2015 class features a ton of prospects whose ceilings are sky-high. A few offensive tackles need to work on their technique, but they display exceptional athleticism to dominate. This list also features a few quarterbacks who just need to become more consistent with their mechanics in order to be great.

Also, even a few 5-star recruits will be discussed.

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Top Ten 2015 Recruits Who Are Not from Traditional Hotbeds

Traditional hotbeds such as Florida, California, Texas, Georgia and Alabama always see droves of college coaches checking out their top recruits. Even states such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Arizona, South Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia can be considered hotbeds today.

However, coaches need to be willing to go to nontraditional places to find the best talent. The 2015 class has a few recruits who aren't from the usual digs.

A 4-star defensive tackle hails from Canada, while Texas went to New Mexico for a 4-star quarterback. Plus, Hawaii and Connecticut each have two prospects are on this list.

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Georgia Football: 5 Reasons Why the Bulldogs' Defense Will Improve in 2014

It’s been a very interesting past couple of days for the Georgia Bulldogs. Head coach Mark Richt announced they have dismissed Tray Matthews from the team, which makes him the third defensive player to leave Athens this offseason.

Losing Matthews is a huge blow to the defense because he was the best safety on the team and he had the most experience. And the way the defense struggled last season, they can’t afford anymore losses of personnel.

That said, the defense is not a lost cause. 2014 marks a new beginning for the unit, and with a new coordinator as well as a talented set of players returning, they will be a much better group than what they were in 2013.

And here are five reasons why.

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Notre Dame Offers QBs Travis Waller, Jarrett Stidham to Replace Blake Barnett

Notre Dame lost prized quarterback prospect Blake Barnett on Wednesday when he ended a six-month commitment to the Fighting Irish by posting a statement announcing his decision on his Twitter account. Head coach Brian Kelly and his staff swiftly responded Thursday, taking a proactive approach in an attempt to replace him.

The team extended scholarship offers to a pair of 4-star passers. Notre Dame's new targets are Travis Waller (Anaheim, California) and Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas):

Less than 24 hours after losing a promising piece of the 2015 class, Fighting Irish fans can take solace in the fact that other options have quickly surfaced. Both players are at uniquely different spots in their respective stages of recruitment.

Waller, a 6'3", 190-pound Servite High School standout, has seen interest mount since mid-May. Offers from Cal, Maryland and Alabama have arrived in recent weeks.

Now that Notre Dame is in the mix, it's fair to say he's one the country's hottest recruits. Waller previously held offers from Arizona, Washington, Tennessee and Northwestern, among others.

He completed 54 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. Waller flashed excellent mobility in the process, rushing for 1,293 yards and another 13 scores.

Waller is rated No. 3 nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings. Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown is his top target at Servite, and the 4-star recruit expects to visit South Bend next week, according to 247Sports' Barton Simmons (subscription required).

Notre Dame may decide to go all-in on trying to secure the duo as a package deal.

Stidham, a 6'3.5", 190-pound prospect from the Lone Star State, doesn't present quite the rushing threat that Waller incorporates into his game but remains dangerous as a runner. He gained 821 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground as a junior.

His prowess as a passer places him above Waller in 247Sports' rankings, which rate Stidham No. 2 nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks. He completed 61 percent of pass attempts for 2,613 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2013.

Stidham displayed serious athleticism as a sophomore when he took snaps at wide receiver. Before shifting behind center, he caught 50 passes for 819 yards and 11 scores in 2012.

Unlike Waller, he has announced a collegiate commitment.

Stidham pledged to Texas Tech in March. He chose the Red Raiders over a lengthy list of options that includes Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and Texas.

Waller and Stidham are the latest quarterbacks to land on Notre Dame's radar but may not be the last. Kelly is likely to expand his options after the unexpected departure of Barnett.

The next step in the process will be to establish a rapport with both quarterbacks, who may be interested to understand why the Irish didn't target them during earlier stages of the 2015 recruiting cycle. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is more than likely immediately on a mission to lock down Stidham and alleviate any concerns the in-state star might have about his commitment to the Red Raiders.

With Barnett out of the picture, Notre Dame has quickly turned the page. Thursday's developments represent a strong step toward stabilizing the situation and getting things back on track for a recruiting class that currently rates 20th nationally in 247Sports' composite team rankings.

 

Recruit information and statistics courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

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Mizzou Football Team Takes Break from Offseason Workouts for Paintball Battle

There's no better way for football team to build camaraderie than to go into battle together.

Each offseason, the Missouri Tigers—players and coaches—take a break from their offseason workouts on the field to engage in a friendly competition. 

This year's competition: paintball.

Judging by the video, the paintball battle was a success.

[Gary Pinkel, h/t College Spun]

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College Football's Sleeper Teams to Watch in 2014

Yes, this is a sleeper teams slideshow. Yes, this inevitably means all of these teams will fall flat on their faces in 2014 because jinxing power knows no prejudice. 

For that, I am so, so sorry. 

But it's June, and it's still fun to think outside the usual favorites to find a team that could break out. How many folks had Michigan State finishing the 2013-14 season as one of the four best teams in the country? Or Duke making it to the ACC championship?

Which teams will emerge as sleepers this year? Our answers are in the following slides. 

Begin Slideshow

Jameis Winston's Girlfriend Shows She Has Game with 1-Handed TD Catch

Football never stops for Jameis Winston.

The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner was working on his passing with his girlfriend, Breion Allen. As she showed, she can make him look good with a slick one-handed catch.

This wasn't the first time that Winston and Allen have connected for a touchdown. This video was posted last summer:

Not to be outdone by his girlfriend, Winston also posted an impressive video of himself catching his own passes:

Which was more impressive, Allen's one-handed catch or Winston's one-man show?

[Jameis Winston]

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Multiple Big-Name College Football Stadium Replicas Get Made out of Legos

Legos can make just about anything, which is a good thing for sports fans.

College football has many notable stadiums throughout the country. Thanks to Etsy.com, fans can purchase select stadium replicas made from Legos.  

Of course, something like that won't come cheap. The stadium replicas are being sold for $400, so fans better be prepared to spend some money if they want to add an awesome collectible.

Not every stadium was lucky enough to be made out of Legos. Below are the ones that are currently up for sale.

 

Bryant–Denny Stadium (Alabama)

Jordan–Hare Stadium (Auburn)

Sanford Stadium (Georgia)

Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)

Michigan Stadium (Michigan)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (USC)

[Etsy.com, h/t Lost Lettermen]

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