NCAA Football

'Weapon X': 2016 Recruit Devin White a Jack-of-All-Trades Athlete

It's no secret that interested college coaches have the same conversations about Devin White.

Is he a linebacker at the next level, or a running back? Perhaps an H-back? Maybe a hybrid defensive end?

When discussing White, the answer is simple.

Yes. Yes to all. And then some.

"Effectively, I can play linebacker, wide receiver, running back, anything on special teams, wherever," said White, a 4-star athlete from North Webster High School in Springhill, Louisiana. "I'm going to work hard at everything just for the team. I'd play tight end just to give the team an extra boost, because I like to win."

In the world of recruiting, White is a Swiss Army knife of sorts, a jack-of-all-trades athlete who is expected to see early playing time because of the multiple ways he can be used on the field—on both sides of the ball. Few athletes at any level of competition have the combination of power, speed, athleticism, elusiveness and versatility White possesses.

In fact, members of the media began calling White "Weapon X" while at The Opening in Oregon last month. The moniker fits.

For starters, he's 6'1" and 255 pounds, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at The Opening. He also was one of the strongest participants at the event, throwing the power ball 44 feet. Only three players threw the it further.

And then there's White's athleticism: He showed his leaping ability with a 37.9-inch vertical in Oregon.

In short, he's an enigma.

"I think he's one of the more unique athletes that we've seen over the first five years of The Opening," said Brian Stumpf, vice president of football events for Student Sports, which puts on The Opening and the Elite 11. "You don't often find that combination of build and athletic ability, and it will be fascinating to see what position he ends up matriculating to at the next level as he continues to physically mature."


Versatile from the start

White originally thought he'd be the next great wide receiver. As a youngster playing Pop Warner ball, he was a go-to option as an outside receiver.

"I was a real skinny cat and kind of tall," White said. "That's where the catching came in. I've always been able to catch by playing wide receiver. I used to run a lot of routes. That's how it started."

As White got older, he got bigger. And stronger. By the time he started high school, he was a burly athlete who coaches felt fit best as a linebacker. His opportunity to play running back came when one of his teammates was injured.

"I was the man to step up," he said, "and I loved it back there."

As a junior, White rushed for 2,287 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had 1,094 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore.

"I'm coming downhill with power," said White, who averaged better than eight yards per carry last season. "If you don't want to tackle me, I'll find you. But it isn't just about running people over. I've got good footwork in the hole. I can make people miss, run a toss sweep outside and catch passes.

"The defense better blitz every gap, because they have 255 pounds coming at them full speed."

White is scary at running back, but then there's his work at linebacker. He finished his junior year with 93 tackles. He had 99 tackles as a sophomore.

White is a top-80 player who some feel would have a more promising college career on the defensive side of the ball. But ask White, and it's no secret that he loves having the football in his hand.

"I'm comfortable at linebacker, and I actually think that position is really easy for me," he said, "but I prayed about it, and I don't want to play it (in college). I'm focused on teams recruiting me to play running back."

Stumpf added, "I think staying at his weight currently, he's an ideal 3-4 inside linebacker who can take on blockers and also run sideline to sideline. But we also know that running back is in his heart."


Finding a winning program

On July 10, White released a top 10 of LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Texas A&M, Georgia, Arkansas and UCLA. He doesn't have a true timetable on when he'll announce his verbal commitment, but national signing day could be the big day.

One player who would love to call him a teammate is Ole Miss pledge Shea Patterson. The 5-star quarterback considers White one of his best friends and has been a fan of his playing style for a few years.

"For me, it's a little different from everyone else. He's like my brother," Patterson said. "I think Devin is one of those guys who is one of a kind. He's a freak of an athlete. He kind of reminds me a lot of Bo Jackson, because he can do a lot of stuff.

"I mean, he's 6'1", 250 pounds and running a 4.4. That's not supposed to happen. He's been someone I've thought about since I committed."

In June, White posted a cryptic tweet suggesting he knows where he wants to play college ball. While he refuses to tip his hat, his 247Sports Crystal Ball points heavily to his staying in-state, playing for LSU. Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia are schools to keep an eye on as well.

White considers himself a "people person and a family person," and the winning school will have a friendly campus environment, in addition to an outstanding football program.

"If you treat me like family, and I know you're there for me, that's what I'm looking for," he said. "Getting on the field, I'm a team player, so I'm going to do what I have to do to be a great player for the university.

"I want to believe in the coach in helping me get to the NFL, which is a final goal for me. Another thing: I just want to feel comfortable. At the end of the day, I want my parents at my games and for me and them to be comfortable with the university."

Patterson, who said he talks to White every day, believes his playmaking ability fits best at Ole Miss. His selling pitch is clear: He wants White to help bring a national championship to Oxford, Mississippi.

"I tell him that this class is good enough to where we can take the program over the hump," Patterson said. "I think it's something we can do. It's been done at other places like Alabama, LSU, and Auburn. We can do it and be legends."

Wherever he ends up, White wants to be a game-changer at the college level. After all, "GAME CHANGER" is his user name on Twitter.

And he can be that kind of player. At a few different positions.

"I can play linebacker or running back. On the offensive side, I can catch the ball, run the ball or block real well," White said. "I just want to be versatile on all sides of the ball. I thank God for blessing me.

"It's just God-given ability right now, but when I get to work with a college coach and perfect my craft, it will be something dangerous."


Staff Writer Tyler Donohue contributed to this report.

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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2017 4-Star RB Cam Akers Breaks Down Decision to Commit to Alabama

The Alabama offensive backfield has thrived throughout head coach Nick Saban's nine-year tenure, producing Heisman Trophy finalists and first-round NFL draft picks.

The Crimson Tide continue to stock that cupboard on an annual basis, evidenced yet again by a Tuesday evening commitment from coveted Mississippi playmaker Cam Akers. A junior at Clinton High School, he becomes the sixth member of Alabama's 2017 recruiting class.

"It's a very big deal to play for Nick Saban," Akers told Bleacher Report. "He produces successful young men who are also prepared for life after football. That's really what it's all about. I have a great relationship with Coach Saban and his staff."

The Crimson Tide welcomed him to campus Tuesday, nearly four months after extending a scholarship offer. Akers, a 4-star prospect, arrived in Tuscaloosa tempted to commit on the spot and ultimately opted to take that plunge.

"I've been thinking about committing for a while. During the visit, I saw and heard everything I needed to see and hear," he said. "That really put things over the top and made my decision."

Alabama adds to a class that already features Najee Harris, a 5-star rusher rated No. 1 among running backs in composite rankings. Akers, situated fifth on that list, further enhances a position that's also set to welcome top-five 2016 prospect B.J. Emmons next summer.

The Tide signed heralded 2015 running back Damien Harris in February. Including his 2017 haul, Saban has secured nine rushers rated in the top five at the position in their respective classes since 2011.

Naturally, carries can be hard to come by in a group loaded with former All-Americans.

"I rise to the occasion when faced with competition. I haven't been raised to back down from competition," Akers said. "I go straight for it, and that's what I'm going to do in college. I'm not even going to think about any other top recruits coming in."

He starred at quarterback last season, tallying 2,696 total yards and 37 touchdowns. Akers averaged 5.4 yards per carry and landed on the national recruiting radar for his mobility.

"Running back is my focus at the next level," he said. "I would also love to return kicks and try to make some big plays that way."

Akers certainly has the speed and athleticism to excel on special teams. He completed the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds while attending a recent camp at Georgia, per

The 5'11", 210-pound standout is also a formidable downfield weapon. He expects Alabama to exploit his receiving skills by shifting him into different settings as a dynamic offensive asset.

"They know I can motion out and bring the linebacker with me to open things up. They talk about using me in different ways," Akers said. "It's primarily running back, but there will be opportunities to line up all over the field."

He recalled watching Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake take turns in the spotlight as vital members of the Tide rushing attack. Akers is confident he can measure up to a lofty legacy in the Alabama backfield.

"There have been some great running backs with the program. I think I can be a combination of them all," he said. "I'm able to run and catch out of the backfield. Not many players are equally successful at both, so it's a big deal for me."

Akers, who recorded four 100-yard rushing efforts during a 10-win sophomore campaign, feels equipped to handle the pressure-packed situations that may await at Alabama.

"You can depend on me to make the important plays. When it's third down in the fourth quarter, I'm going to get the job done," he said.

Clinton High School head coach Judd Boswell vehemently vouched for his team's catalyst.

"He's the best damn high school football player I've ever seen in my life," Boswell told Drew Champlin of "He's a special kid. His will, his drive to succeed, he's just a different type of kid. He's one of those kids you coach once in a lifetime."

Akers expects to return to Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit this season. He is eyeing the Tide's games against Ole Miss (Sept. 19) and LSU (Nov. 7) as potential trip opportunities.

Despite his excitement surrounding Alabama, Akers isn't ready to completely shut down a widespread recruitment.

"I'll still be listening to other schools and visiting some campuses as the process continues," he said.

Tennessee, Michigan, LSU, Georgia and a pair of in-state programs are among suitors unlikely to stop pursuing the prized prospect

"Since Ole Miss and Mississippi State were my first two offers, there is definitely some pressure to stay here. Other schools have also really recruited me hard," Akers said. "In the end, I have to do what's best for me and my family. Right now, that means I'm going to Alabama."


Quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake. 

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Michigan Football: What Would Define Success in Jim Harbaugh's 1st Season?

The 2015 Michigan football team has received plenty of nationwide attention, but what truly defines success during Jim Harbaugh's first season at the helm of his alma mater is likely a different story.'s David Purdum wrote that the Wolverines have attracted the fifth-highest sum of money for national championship bets, trailing only Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Notre Dame.

However, finding a bookie to bet a single penny on Harbaugh and Co. winning the title—or even reaching the College Football Playoff—isn't advised. Michigan would be extremely fortunate to attain 10 wins this season.

Yet that doesn't mean the 2015 campaign is destined for failure. It doesn't mean another 5-7 season is acceptable, either.

Colin Becht of Sports Illustrated called Michigan the Big Ten's most underrated team. But if a reader stops after merely skimming the headline, the necessary context is lost.

While Michigan isn't ready to win the East Division, Harbaugh's crew can wreak some havoc in the standings. That starts with Team 136 winning games it's supposed to win.

Falling to Maryland is unacceptable. Losing to Rutgers cannot be tolerated. Edging Northwestern by one point thanks to a last-second hold from Drew Dileo shouldn't be repeated. The talent level of this Wolverines squad is too great for a Harbaugh-coached team to struggle against the lesser Big Ten programs.

Cruising to victories over Oregon State, UNLV, Maryland, Northwestern, Minnesota, Rutgers and Indiana should be a satisfying accomplishment in 2015. Overachieving would be entering the fourth quarter of those contests with the outcome essentially decided—in the Wolverines' favor.

The pressure to reach that goal rests mostly on defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who took over a unit that surrendered just 311.3 yards and 22.4 points per game last season. Theoretically, Michigan should only improve under Durkin, the leader of consecutive top-15 defenses at Florida.

If the unit reaches its potential, Michigan will consistently be a disruptive opponent. Nine players who started at least five games will return. In addition to those nine, Desmond Morgan, Jabrill Peppers, Wayne Lyons, Mario Ojemudia and Taco Charlton are expected to grab No. 1 roles.

Inexperience isn't a problem on that side of the ball. Ultimately, Michigan's defense should allow the team to challenge Utah and Penn State on the road and remain competitive in a couple of games in which a victory isn't anticipated.

"The Wolverines get three chances for a signature win against Michigan State, Ohio State and at Penn State," Becht said. "They're capable of stealing one of those."

Harbaugh and his staff are attempting to develop an underwhelming offense into a ground-focused force. When healthy, Derrick Green, Ty Isaac, De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson form one of the deepest running back groups in the nation.

Eight starters return, and passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch should improve the lackluster aerial attack despite uncertainty at quarterback. If Fisch helped Miami's Stephen Morris garner praise as a potential franchise quarterback in the NFL, the coach can make Jake Rudock or Shane Morris a fine player for 2015.

Plus, fortunately for the Wolverines, their two toughest games—MSU and Ohio State—will be played where the offense best performed in 2014: The Big House.

The total difference of home and road contests was 189 yards and 21.4 points per outing, which—while not a perfect measurement—is no small tally and provides insight into the inconsistent performance of the team.

If Michigan receives a solid offensive performance in either showing, well, crazier things have happened in college football when an already-stout defensive team gets some help.

The maize and blue finishing 2015 with victories over inferior foes and one top divisional opponent isn't a glamorous thought for Michigan supporters. It's certainly better than five wins and losing to Minnesota, Rutgers and Maryland again, though.

Harbaugh is bound to turn the program around, but his first season is still a rebuilding year. Expectations must be tempered until the team learns and actually understands an entirely new coaching style.

The road back to relevance demands patience, yet it starts with clear progress in how the Wolverines win games. Not merely if they do.


All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from cfbstats.comQuotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

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Ranking College Football's Best New Uniforms of 2015

College football uniforms are a flashpoint of discussion for fans and players alike. While some programs, like Penn State and Alabama, stick with classic, time-tested designs, others, like Maryland and Oregon, consistently push the envelope with flashy uniforms designed to generate social media buzz and attention from recruits.

New uniforms have become a constant part of every college football preseason, with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour unveiling brand-new designs that will take the field for the coming season. This season is no different, with a number of new looks hitting the scene. Here’s a look at the top new college football uniforms for 2015.


10. Notre Dame

Notre Dame jumped from Adidas to Under Armour this fall, but there is little change in the Fighting Irish’s classic look. The Irish will sport gold helmets with blue uniforms at home, gold pants and white numbers with gold trim.

The gold pants have the “ND” logo on the left hip, and the team will also sport blue undershirts with “IRISH” printed in block lettering on the sleeve, but those aren’t on the jersey itself. In recent years, Notre Dame has unveiled a special jersey for its “Shamrock Series” neutral-site games, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Irish handle their game against Boston College at Fenway Park.

In addition, like fellow Under Armour programs Auburn, Cincinnati, Maryland and Utah (all of which unveiled uniforms with minimal change), Notre Dame will wear jerseys with ArmourGrid technology, which Under Armour calls “the strongest, lightest, most durable fabric in the game” which will “make [an athlete] ungrabbable on gameday.” We’ll see about that this fall.


9. North Carolina

North Carolina is known nationally as a basketball school. Give the Tar Heels credit for embracing that image. Nike recently unveiled a new look for all 28 of UNC’s varsity sports, and while the football uniforms look very similar to their predecessors, there is one key change: argyle.

The Tar Heel basketball team has used the argyle pattern in its uniforms since 1991, and UNC has incorporated it as a secondary identity for every sport. With the new football uniforms, it is on the collar and the side of the pants for blue, white and (alternate) black options. North Carolina has won three men’s basketball national titles in the argyle, so why not see if that success can rub off?


8. Arizona State

Under Todd Graham, Arizona State has positioned itself as a program on the move, with consecutive 10-win seasons. The athletic department is on the move, too, going from Nike to Adidas this fall. Adidas created new uniforms that largely retain the look the Sun Devils had under Nike, using a glossier metallic accent across the board and a larger pitchfork logo on the pants.

The Sun Devils have a white-dominant, black-dominant and a classic, alternative jersey that evokes the program’s past with a red helmet and jersey, and gold pants. ASU’s look this fall won’t be that different, but it will be a nice update.


7. Miami

2015 is a crucial season for Miami coach Al Golden. Following a 6-7 record in 2014, Golden is firmly on the hot seat entering this fall. Regardless of what happens this fall, the Hurricanes will look sharp in new Adidas uniforms.

While Miami will keep its traditional helmets, the uniforms (featuring green, orange and white jerseys) are subtly different across the board. They have updated metallic stripes on the jerseys and pants, working in “hurricane” style cuts and patterns. The classic “U” logo is stitched on the back of the jersey, and the “Hurricanes” name is placed across the ribbing of the inside collar for players to see as they pull on the jersey. In addition, “Miami” is printed atop the numbers on every jersey.

Miami can create as many as nine different uniform combinations, and if the ‘Canes can win this fall, they’ll surely look good doing it.


6. Colorado

Colorado has struggled to regain relevance under coach Mike MacIntyre, who has a 6-18 record in two seasons in Boulder. But at the very least, the Buffaloes will look sharp on the field in 2015. In its first significant uniform overhaul since 2010, Colorado unveiled three jerseys, four pants and four helmet options that are interchangeable and allowing for dozens of different combinations.

The jersey has a new custom font with a contrasting outline, and both the alternate and away uniform numbers have a flatiron rock-like texture. The home uniform will have a black jersey and gold pants, while the away will be a white jersey and pants with contrasting black font. 

The helmet has a fine metallic paint that creates a gun-metal look with a larger logo. Colorado will also integrate an alternate uniform with a dark, steel-grey jersey and pants, as well as bold black numbers for a sharp, different look.


5. Wake Forest

Wake Forest hopes for a turnaround in Dave Clawson’s second season, and the Demon Deacons hope to look better doing it, too. The new Nike uniforms marry modern and traditional accents. For example, the black and gold uniforms feature a custom number font honoring Wake Forest’s founding in 1834 with angled notches at 18 and 34 degrees, top and bottom, respectively.

The jersey sleeves have a pattern that is drawn from Wake’s university shield and wrought-iron architectural details that are seen across campus, forming a stylized “W.” The collar includes the words “Deacon Tough” on the back of the jersey’s neckline and the “WF” logo on the hip of the pant. Wake will have black uniforms with gold pants, going all-white on the road and also mixing in an all-black alternate look. They’re all very modern and sharp.


4. Tennessee

Tennessee’s orange-dominant uniforms are recognized throughout college football, as is the classic “Power T” that adorns the Volunteers’ helmets. But the athletic department’s switch from Adidas to Nike brought updated “Mach Speed” uniforms that invoke some of the program’s tradition.

Tennessee will still have its traditional orange and white jerseys, as well as an all-orange look and an all-white look, but it will also add a grey uniform that represents the Great Smoky Mountains, a huge part of East Tennessee. The alternate helmet uses a grey mountain pattern. In addition, all of the uniforms have a taller, sleeker font for numbers and use half-checkerboard striping, invoking Neyland Stadium’s checkerboard end zones.

Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel says the Vols are feeling some "Swoosh swagger."

“It’s just amazing,’’ said defensive back Cameron Sutton. “It brings out the swagger in a team. Guys are excited to have Nike on. High energy throughout the course of the day, not just on the field. In meetings, everybody is attentive and ready to go.’’


3. Michigan State

Michigan State isn’t known for taking risks with its uniforms, and even though the Spartans have new Nike uniforms for 2015, the home and away sets (green jerseys and green or white pants at home, all-white on the road) haven’t changed much.

However, Michigan State does have an alternate design that has bronze accents throughout, including bronze sleeve caps. It also features a bronze helmet with an oversized green Spartan logo on the side, and it's a hit with the players. It is intended to connect Michigan State with the ancient Greek Spartan warriors.

“I do love the all green, but this is a little change-up, but at the same time it's Pro Combat,'' Spartans senior defensive end Shilique Calhoun told’s Mike Griffith. "I'm just waiting to see what game we wear it for.''

The alternate uniforms are striking, and it’d be fitting if Michigan State brought them out for Sept. 12’s huge home date with Oregon, known across football for its own sartorial splendor.


2. San Diego State

San Diego State unveiled some truly unique uniforms Tuesday. The Aztecs’ helmets and uniforms will feature the Aztec calendar, used by the Aztecs dating back to the 1400s. The helmets feature a black stripe down the middle and a red Aztec calendar on each side, with the school’s primary logo on the back.

The Aztecs will sport black jerseys at home and white on the road, with the uniform sleeve panels also featuring the Aztec calendar and San Diego State across the chest. The pants will be black with a three-inch striped panel on each side featuring the Aztec calendar. They’re sharp and very unique.


1. TCU

TCU broke through for a 12-1 season last fall, and the Horned Frogs capitalized on their success by unveiling bold, new Nike Mach Speed uniforms. The uniforms include an all-white look with purple numbers and a purple undershirt for away games, but the real fun starts with the home uniforms. They’re all-purple with white numbers and white undershirts, but they have a sublimated pattern that covers the entire jersey and pants, designed to invoke the toughness of the desert-dwelling horned frog.

Same goes for the alternate uniform, which is all-grey with the same sublimated pattern. The horned frog pattern also appears on both helmet designs. It’s a unique, fascinating look that will catch the eyes of fans across college football.

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How Losing RB Greg Bryant Impacts Notre Dame's Playoff Chances

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Just three days from the start of Notre Dame's fall camp, the Irish lost running back Greg Bryant.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kellyconfirmed Tuesday the junior will not play for the Irish in 2015, following a report from Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson that Bryant is academically ineligible for the season. Kelly said Bryant remains on scholarship and is allowed to practice with the team, though he won’t occupy a spot on the 105-man roster.

“There are certain expectations within our program that must be met on a daily basis,” Kelly said in a statement. “Quite simply, Greg did not meet those expectations.”

The loss of Bryant shouldn’t do much to change Notre Dame’s expectations, though. For all the hype surrounding Bryant, who pledged to the Irish in December 2012 as the No. 6 running back and No. 45 overall prospect in the class of 2013, his production hasn’t nearly matched his potential.

The Delray Beach, Florida, product played in three games as a true freshman before missing the rest of the season due to injury. Back for the 2014 campaign, Bryant carried just 54 times in a crowded backfield, collecting 289 rushing yards and three scores. He logged just 11 attempts in the final six games, including a 79-yard outburst against USC in the regular-season finale.

Bryant was already reportedly facing a suspension to begin the 2015 season. Now, he won’t tote the rock at all for the Irish this year.

While Notre Dame loses a physically gifted running back with an enticing blend of power and agility, Bryant’s absence won’t leave the Irish scrambling for answers. Fellow junior Tarean Folston is still the lead back, and he's coming off a sophomore season in which he tallied 889 yards and six scores on 175 carries.

C.J. Prosise, who switched from slot receiver to running back in the spring, will presumably stay put in the backfield. If Prosise, a 220-pounder with impressive speed, can build on a breakout spring in which Kelly doused him with praise, Notre Dame won’t miss Bryant much.

To be clear, it’d certainly be a plus to have Bryant around in the backfield, especially if the tailback made major strides in his third season on campus. But between Folston, Prosise and dual-threat quarterback Malik Zaire, the offense should be able to manage. In the Music City Bowl victory over LSU, the Irish rushed 51 times for 263 yards (5.2 yards per carry). Zaire led that charge with 22 attempts for 96 yards and a score. Prosise, out of the slot, piled up 75 yards on three rushes. Folston got the ball 21 times, grinding out hard-earned yards against a strong Tigers defense.

It’s one game with unique circumstances—a two-quarterback setup, a month of preparation—but there’s a ready-made template if Kelly and company would like to follow it.

Bryant only rushed twice for two yards against LSU. Still, injuries can quickly blow up a depth chart. True freshmen Dexter Williams and Josh Adams round out the running back pecking order, and reliable veteran Cam McDaniel is no longer waiting as a trusty safety valve.

Elsewhere on the offense, the Prosise ripple effect would be felt in the slot. Fifth-year man Amir Carlisle snagged 23 receptions for 309 yards in 2014, but 11 of those receptions came in the first three games. Depth will be important around Carlisle, who has battled injuries throughout his career, but the Irish are as well stocked at wide receiver as they are at any other position.

Speaking of depth, Bryant’s absence offers a clearer picture in the scholarship crunch. At the start of spring ball, Kelly said he finally felt Notre Dame had the depth “necessary to go and play football,” rather than tiptoe around with a depleted roster.

That depth, however, has raised questions about how the Irish can reach the 85-scholarship limit. Bryant’s absence coupled with Tuesday’s announcement that linebacker Michael Deeb and tight end Mike Heuerman have been medically disqualified should put Notre Dame in position to stay at or below the maximum.

Again, that’s not to diminish the significance of the Bryant news. Bryant arrived on campus in 2013 as one of the crown jewels of that star-studded recruiting class, and he was a terrific pull from Florida. He hasn’t approached expectations through two seasons, though, and won’t see the field in 2015. His future in South Bend is reportedly unclear, according to Sampson.

But Notre Dame moves on in 2015.



Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

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CFB Recruiting 200: Top 23 Defensive Ends in Class of 2016

After thorough study using specific scoring criteria, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analysts Damon SaylesSanjay Kirpalani and Tyler Donohue have graded the top 200 players in the 247Sports composite rankings and provided in-depth analysis on each young athlete. Bleacher Report will run a position-by-position breakdown series of the best college football recruits in the class of 2016. Here we present the Top Defensive Ends.

Other Positions

In today's game, a defensive end has to be able to showcase speed, elusiveness and power. It is expected to be one of the most versatile positions on the field.

Bleacher Report's CFB Recruiting 200 series will break down the top defensive ends in the 2016 class and grade them on key factors such as pass rushing, tackling, explosive strength, run defense, hands and overall motor.

How do the nation's top defensive end prospects measure up to one another?


All analysis provided by B/R National Recruiting Analyst Damon Sayles. All player rankings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

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Tennessee Football: First Impressions from 2015 Fall Camp

After the offseason crept by like a funeral procession, the Tennessee football team raced onto the field for its first practice of the fall Tuesday night.

It may have been the slowest the Volunteers were the entire evening.

The biggest news that came out of a very newsy night in Knoxville was the fact that everybody noticed how much bigger, more athletic and especially faster the Vols looked.

Two full-to-the-brim recruiting classes of highly ranked, SEC-caliber athletes brought in by coach Butch Jones have noticeably improved the caliber of player on Rocky Top.

Unlike UT teams of the past five or six years, this crop of Vols have benefited from coaching continuity, being in the same strength-and-conditioning program for multiple years now, and they've made physical improvements because of it. It doesn't hurt that Jones has brought in a bunch of stud prospects, too.

This looks like an SEC football team. That's something UT hasn't been able to say throughout the two-deep for some time.

In the limited time that the media got to witness and take video of practice, the speed difference was noticeable. It was one of the most noteworthy things that coach Jones pointed out afterwards, as well.

Few personify that speed difference more than running back Jalen Hurd. He bulked up to 6'3", 242 pounds over the offseason, and now fully healthy, he has elite quickness and is even more nimble on his feet than a season ago. 

In the practice video posted by Rocky Top Insider, Hurd looks impressively fluid. Nobody who weighs more than 240 pounds should be able to move like that.

Hurd showed flashes of what he can do when rested and healthy during last season's TaxSlayer Bowl and again during limited Orange & White Game action. With Alvin Kamara, Ralph David Abernathy IV and a duo of freshmen in tow to spell him, there may be more of that this season.

Though Jones noted the Vols need to improve in the passing game from the first day, everything was done in a frenetic pace from the first whistle of drills. That kind of tempo is how Jones and new offensive coordinator Mike DeBord want to play, and quarterback Joshua Dobbs was pleased with the strides in that area.

He believes UT has picked up right where it left off from the spring in that regard, according to's Grant Ramey:

It's different, obviously Coach Jones has been here a couple years as well and our team has definitely matured a lot since I first got here. There's a great flow to practice. It's kind of like when we walked on the practice field, it's like we practiced yesterday, it wasn't like we haven't been practicing for a couple months. That was a great feeling to have.

In photos and video, few pass the eyeball test like cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and newcomer Justin Martin.

They're tall, long-armed and extremely fast and fluid. When you take into consideration that neither of those guys are expected to be the strong points of the secondary, it should excite you to think of that unit's potential.

Throwing athleticism such as theirs into a group that already includes senior safety starters LaDarrell McNeil and Brian Randolph, athletic youngsters Todd Kelly Jr., Evan Berry and Rashaan Gaulden as well as junior star Cameron Sutton makes the secondary almost as exciting to project as the defensive ends.

Sutton, meanwhile, started his journey to fill a major void for the Vols on Tuesday: the role of leadership. Senior Curt Maggitt is a vocal, team-rejuvenating revival preacher, but, beyond him, there are few proven stalwarts in player-leadership roles.

Showing every morsel of attention to detail, Sutton chastised the second-team defense when they didn't hustle onto the field, making them do it over. That was a moment of practice Jones praised, according to GoVols247's Wes Rucker:

We had a great leadership opportunity today, and Cam Sutton took full advantage of it. When our second-team defense didn't sprint onto the football field, he called 'em all back and had 'em re-huddle and sprint onto the football field. He said,'‘That’s not the way we do things at Tennessee,' and he took advantage of that leadership opportunity. I think just the maturation and growth of a football family, a football family, you see that.

If the Vols look like they belong among the SEC royalty and they act like it, maybe they'll play like it. There's a long way to go and a lot of practice left, but all the reports made it sound like Tuesday was a good first step.


Out with Old, In with New

Tuesday marked the official beginning of freshman Sheriron Jones' Tennessee quarterback career and the end of Jauan Jennings'.

Both impressed.

Back in the spring game, Jennings flashed some dynamic athleticism running the option, but the former athlete prospect who was reclassified by 247Sports as a dual-threat quarterback never could get a firm grasp on throwing consistently.

Passing is sort of a necessity to play the quarterback position, and his slow development was going to put him behind the competition with Dobbs entrenched as the starter, classmates Jones and Quinten Dormady in the fold and all the exceptional recruiting UT is doing at that position.

Already this year, the Vols have a commitment from 4-star Jarrett Guarantano. Top-rated 2017 passer Hunter Johnson is high on Tennessee (per Rucker), as is top-rated 2018 prospect Trevor Lawrence, who has called UT his early leader (per 247Sports' Barton Simmons).

Therefore, Jennings was removed from the quarterback derby, and after his first day at wide receiver Tuesday, he may have found his new home.

The 6'4", 200-pound first-year player is a first-class athlete, and he made some catches that had coaches raving about his potential despite being very raw.

Butch Jones continued by saying to the Associated Press' Steve Megargee on Jennings: "He made some catches today where you kind of did a double-take and it got you excited. For Day 1, I was very, very, very encouraged with him."

As for Sheriron Jones, he's undersized, which would set things up for a redshirt season if he can't beat out Dormady for the backup duties. But the California kid has some workable tools. The few practice videos posted show a quick release and accurate downfield throwing from Jones.

Rocky Top Insider's Daniel Lewis had this to say about the freshman: "Jones made some good throws, no doubt about it. He had more command at the position than what we saw from Jauan Jennings in the the spring. He can really throw the football when he’s on. He clearly had his freshman moments as well, missing some guys from time to time and misunderstanding some routes."

As of right now, though, it appears Dormady has a grasp on the No. 2 job pretty firmly. 

"But I was really, really pleased with Quinten," Butch Jones said, according to GoVols247's Ryan Callahan. "I thought Quinten did some really good things, and just the growth and maturation from spring football. You could kind of see the momentum from the spring game kind of carry over into Practice One.”


D-Line Looking Fine

If the Vols get quality play from their defensive tackles, it's going to be a very good season on Rocky Top. 

Those are huge question marks considering UT must get key reps from true freshmen Shy Tuttle and Kahlil McKenzie at literally one of the two or three most difficult positions to play in your first year.

But, man, those two kids are massive.

It's hard not to get excited about their potential. McKenzie's legs look like oak stumps, and Tuttle has transformed from the cushy kid who arrived back in the winter to a grown man. Neither look like he's a freshman.

It's hard to tell anything about the physicality of your team without wearing pads, but these linemen have been around each other all offseason. So, when you've got a sophomore like Derek Barnett who was the nation's best freshman lineman a year ago praising you publicly, you've probably accomplished something.

Barnett knows what it takes to burst onto the scene, and he said Tuesday that McKenzie has what it takes.

When you couple that with the flashes Tuttle showed this spring and the fact that he's been working out for the past three months getting stronger, the sky is the limit for this UT line from a talent perspective.


All statistics gathered from unless otherwise noted. All recruiting information obtained from 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee lead writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

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Texas Football: Bold Predictions for the Longhorns' 2015 Fall Camp

When the Texas Longhorns begin fall camp Friday, the quarterback battle between Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard will dominate the discussion.

But this season's fall camp is about so much more than that. This is our first look at what a full-blown head coach Charlie Strong recruiting class looks like and what sort of attitude it brings to the program. It's also a chance to see what sort of magic offensive coordinator Joe Wickline can work after a full offseason with mostly the same group of guys.

Sure, the quarterback deserves our attention. It's the game's most important position, and the Horns have figured out how to underwhelm the entire country at it for five years in a row.

So follow what happens between Swoopes and Heard, but don't overlook what's happening elsewhere.

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Big Ten Football: Biggest Question Mark for Each Team

The pressure is mostly on quarterbacks and a few head coaches throughout the Big Ten heading into the 2015 college football season. 

Ohio State and Michigan State open up as the overwhelming favorites to win the conference given their preseason rankings at No. 5 and No. 6 in the Amway Coaches Poll, but the rest of the Big Ten is riddled with uncertainty. 

Outside of the Buckeyes’ J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones and the Spartans’ Connor Cook, every team in the Big Ten is in danger of potentially unsteady play at quarterback. This also includes Penn State and junior Christian Hackenberg, who is entering his third season under center in State College, Pennsylvania. 

Several coaches, like Illinois’ Tim Beckman, are in critical need of strong seasons, or they could be looking for a new job. 

These make up the bulk of issues across the conference, but there remain a few other unique obstacles for certain programs. Here is a look at the biggest question facing each Big Ten school this upcoming season.

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Young Oregon Fan Is Devastated Marcus Mariota Won't Be Team's QB Next Season

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was adored by Oregon Ducks fans during his days in college.

And now, he will be sorely missed.

This little Oregon fan in the video above was just enjoying a nice bowl of morning cereal when his dad dropped a (necessary) bomb on him: Mariota isn’t coming back.

Hearing the names of the Heisman Trophy winner’s potential replacements—Jeff Lockie and Vernon Adams—didn’t console the saddened youngster. He just wants Mariota back.

Sorry, little guy. We feel for you.

[YouTube, h/t College Spun]

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