NCAA Football

Sorry Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban Isn't Giving Up His Recruiting Crown Anytime Soon

Is there a new sheriff in town? 

First-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is trying to take the office.

In his first offseason as the head coach of the Wolverines, Harbaugh has taken the recruiting world by storm, embarking on a trek across fertile recruiting grounds via satellite camps in an effort to raise the awareness of the new-look Michigan program.

That noise you hear is Alabama head coach Nick Saban yawning at Harbaugh's advances.

Sure, there has been some highly, or exaggerated, dust-ups, like Saban going off at SEC spring meetings last month on the different rules across conferences on events like satellite camps.

"We need to have the same rules in the big five in all leagues," Saban said. "If we're going to compete for the championship and everybody is going to play in the playoff system, then we need to get our rules in alignment so that we are all on a level playing field.

"These things need to be global; otherwise we are going to become a farm system for all of the other leagues."

Does that sound like Saban is whining? USA Today's Dan Wolken thinks so, and the Indianapolis Star's Gregg Doyel has gone so far as to say that Saban is possibly scared of Harbaugh.

"I think Alabama football coach Nick Saban is all about Nick Saban," Doyel wrote. "I think he's possibly scared of Michigan's Jim Harbaugh."


Saban—and all SEC coaches who voted unanimously against satellite camps—aren't scared, they're mad that other coaches are out recruiting when they can't. That's very reasonable.

In fact, all Saban has done in the face of Harbaugh's roving satellite camps/recruiting tour is reel in six commitments in the month of June, including 4-star offensive tackle Charles Baldwin, 4-star linebacker Jaquan Yulee and 4-star dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts.

The run of commitments have launched Alabama seven spots up the class of 2016 team rankings to the fifth spot, one spot ahead of another school in Michigan—Michigan State. The Wolverines chime in at No. 16.

What's more, as Drew Champlin of notes, Saban even picked up three class of 2017 commitments this month in 4-star wide receiver D.D. Bowie, 4-star guard Netori Johnson and 4-star tackle Alex Leatherwood.

Harbaugh's commitments from the SEC footprint in the class of 2016?

He has pledges from 3-star cornerback Antwaine Richardson and 3-star defensive tackle Rashad Weaver from Florida, as well as 3-star fullback Kingston Davis and 3-star linebacker Dytarious Johnson from Prattville, Alabama.

Is that impressive? Sure.

Dipping down into the sunshine state for a couple of prospects, as well as raiding Saban's backyard for two more is nice, but as Matt Scalici of notes, it's not like Harbaugh is landing southern superstars.

That tweet was sent before Weaver committed to the Wolverines over the weekend.

Michigan was relevant on the recruiting trail under Brady Hoke too, and look what it got for it—three straight mediocre seasons and two straight sub-.500 records in the Big Ten.

Is Harbaugh's trek through the south making an impact? It's opening up the eyes of players and getting the maize and blue out there, which will help.

Will it help Harbaugh unseat Saban as the king of college football recruiting? Not a chance.

Saban has reeled in five straight top-ranked recruiting classes in the 247Sports Composite, and a sixth (and perhaps seventh) don't look too far-fetched. 

Maybe first, Harbaugh should worry about being the best recruiter in his own state.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of 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.

Read more College Football news on

2015 SEC Football Media Days Schedule Officially Released

Before South Carolina hits the field for its Thursday night opener on Sept. 3, the SEC season will unofficially kick off next month with the annual offseason circus known as SEC media days.

On Monday morning, the conference released the lineup for the four-day event, which will take place in Hoover, Alabama, July 13-16.

This will be the first year media days will open with an address from Greg Sankey, who took over for former commissioner Mike Slive on June 1.

Auburn's Gus Malzahn and selected players will join Sankey in the opening session on Monday, followed by Florida's Jim McElwain and Vanderbilt's Derek Mason in the afternoon.

Here is the full media days schedule of times for Sankey and the SEC's 14 football programs:

A list of players attending media days will be released in early July, one week before the start of the event.

The SEC also released its logo for media days Monday morning:

Among the things to watch for in this year's media days—the event will have live coverage for fans on the SEC Network—will be the head coaches' takes on the growing satellite camp debate and new rules that were approved at SEC spring meetings last month.

The conference will also announce the media's All-SEC selections and predictions for the upcoming season during the four-day extravaganza.

Of course, fans shouldn't miss the times when LSU's Les Miles and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier take the podium for questions. Both head coaches are known to steal the show as the most entertaining parts of "Talkin' season," as Spurrier called it last year.

Other highlights from 2014 media days included Mississippi State's Dan Mullen talking European soccer, Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones stopping his press conference to dance and an Australian man who flew to Hoover just to meet Nick Saban.

Basically, you never know what to expect from SEC media days, and this year should be no different.


Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.

Read more College Football news on

B/R 5th Down: Old School Urban Meyer Photo, FSU Offered 300-Pound 14-Year-Old

Editor's Note: The 5th Down captures the top social college football stories of the week. Because the long, grueling offseason is underway, we'll focus on things that make us laugh, think or maybe cry, but mostly laugh. 


1) Old School Urban Meyer Had a Killer Mustache

Here's a photo of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer circa 1987 when he was an assistant coach for the Buckeyes. It's probably the best photo you'll see today. Or this week. 

Let's all recognize that Meyer used to have a strong mustache game. (Sup, ladies?) Because 5th Down is a fan of facial hair—looking right at you, Paul Rhoads—we're putting in a formal request that Meyer re-grow his 'stache. Similar to a playoff beard, Meyer can't shave it until the Buckeyes lose a game.

That could be a while. 


2) What Are They Feeding Eighth-Graders These Days?

Over the weekend, eighth-grader Tru Thompson received a scholarship offer from Florida State. The days of being surprised by someone receiving an offer at such a young age are over., after all, has set up profiles for middle schoolers. 

But here's the thing about Thompson, a defensive tackle prospect: He's already 6'0" and weighs in at about 300 pounds. Just re-read that sentence again. Now, one more time. 

I don't know what schools are putting in their french bread pizzas, but it's doing something. Thompson's still a kid, but at that size, that's a big man. What's more, Thompson drew raves for his strength and athleticism, according to Michael Langston of

Tru Thompson from Griffin (Ga) stands 6-foot tall and weighs in at 300-pounds. But considering he wears size 18 shoes you can bet that he'll grow a few inches, and probably add a few more pounds, by the time he enrolls in college in 2019.

Considering his youth, Thompson is still in the early learning stages of his position. However, his amazing athleticism and strength caught everyone's attention at the camp. Turning in a 40-time of 5.1 seconds on Thursday also impressed onlookers. 

Everybody hits their growth spurt at different times, but there's no way Thompson is done growing. That's almost unthinkable. 


3) Speaking of FSU, Here's Derwin James Jumping Over a Person

Florida State freshman safety Derwin James has been the talk of Tallahassee since enrolling early this year. Hyped from the beginning, James justified the chatter by recording a pick-six against leading quarterback Sean Maguire just a few snaps into the spring game.

Now, he's staying busy during the summer months of the offseason by jumping over people because that's totally normal and something anyone can just do

It doesn't matter so much that the person was crouching ever so slightly. James had, what, several inches of clearance there? Has anyone tested his DNA to make sure he's not, you know, a terminator or something?

The whole backflip-pass-catch thing is so last week. The box jump may as well be the Macarena. It's all about leaping over standing human beings now. Your move, Internet. 


4) Your Awesome College Football Troll of the Week

Former Ohio State offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley had some fun recently at Oregon's expense while in Eugene. Check out the photo below. It's top-notch as far as trolling goes. 

Ohio State, of course, beat Oregon in the College Football Playoff in January. What really sets this apart is that Bentley included the Oregon "O" in the "O-H-I-O" formation. It was a nice touch.  


5) Mark Dantonio Served as the Grand Marshal for a Sprint Cup Race

The Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway took place Sunday, and Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio served as the grand marshal for the event. As part of his duties, Dantonio got to shout: "Drivers, start your engines!" 

Look, we know Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh—with or without a shirt—has been all the talk lately. But only one coach had the silky smooth voice worthy of starting up dozens upon dozens of modified engines made of pure horsepower and muscle. 

That's not nothing. 


6) Here's Bret Bielema Calling the Hogs, Because that Never Gets Old

Arkansas' baseball team made it to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Since Hogs head coach Bret Bielema is pretty big into school spirit, he traveled up to Omaha to help cheer on the team. Along the way, he led a sizable group of Razorback fans in calling the hogs: 

Watching Bielema do this will never not be fun.   


7) LaQuan McGowan Throws out First Pitch at Rangers Game

Baylor tight end LaQuan McGowan, all 400 pounds of him, is a personal favorite here at 5th Down. Why? Because there's nothing we love more than watching large men achieve great things. 

McGowan, who has some folklore going for him ever since he caught a touchdown pass in the Cotton Bowl in January, recently threw out a first pitch for a Texas Rangers baseball game: 

Not bad. Pretty good form and all that. Really, though, the peak McGowan moment would have been if he had hit an inside-the-park home run. That would require him to actually, you know, play professional baseball—we understand the technicality there. Still, that's about as close to a LARGE MAN TOUCHDOWN equivalent in baseball as you're going to get. 


8) You Want More College Football Cakes? You Got More College Football Cakes

June is officially wedding season, which means you're going to see a lot of college football-inspired baked goods. Remember, these are couples who likely don't believe in fall weddings. 

The three cakes below all have some great craftsmanship, but the Toomer's Corner one is especially well done. You also can't go wrong with the Clemson cake, which has a ton of detail. 

Still waiting on the college football cake that replicates Western Kentucky's Big Red.

It would have to be red velvet, right? 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. He's growing a terrible mustache on Twitter @BenKercheval

Read more College Football news on

FSU Stat Projections: Is Jalen Ramsey Best Defensive Player in College Football?

Jalen Ramsey is one of the top defensive players in the country. He leads a fairly young Florida State defense into a 2015 season that promises to be a good one. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer gives his stat projections for the FSU DB next year. 

What kind of season will Jalen Ramsey have in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — With Notre Dame football’s incoming freshmen arriving over the weekend, classes starting Monday and a slew of visitors lined up, the Irish coaching staff continued to dish out offers during the past week, extending another 11 across the country.

Each week we’ll be keeping tabs on the new scholarship offers sent out by the Notre Dame coaches, tracking the recruiting process as the Irish focus their attention toward the classes of 2016, 2017 and maybe even 2018.


Melquise Stovall

A commitment to USC didn’t stop Notre Dame from offering class-of-2016 running back and cornerback Melquise Stovall on Thursday.

The 5’8”, 180-pounder is the No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 156 overall prospect in the country. Stovall, who hails from Lancaster, California, pledged to the Trojans in mid-April. He rushed for 1,603 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2014 as a junior.

“I was talking to the running back coach [Tony Alford] before he left [for a job at Ohio State],” Stovall told Irish247’s Tom Loy in May. “We talked a lot. Now, I started talking to the wide receivers coach [Mike Denbrock].” … I do love the tradition of Notre Dame and the school itself. It’s great.”


Carlo Kemp

Notre Dame jumped into the mix with an offer for class-of-2016 strong-side defensive end Carlo Kemp on Tuesday.

The No. 17 strong-side end and No. 291 overall player, Kemp hails from Boulder, Colorado. The 6’3”, 255-pounder also has offers from Nebraska, Colorado, Colorado State and Wisconsin, among others, according to Loy.

“It means a lot to me,” Kemp told Loy. “It’s awesome to finally pick up an offer from a school that I’ve wanted for a very long time.”

“I’m talking with my mom right now to figure out a good date to visit Notre Dame,” Kemp told Loy. “I’ll get up there again later this summer.”


Dontavious Jackson

Class-of-2016 linebacker Dontavious Jackson’s fruitful week began with an offer from Notre Dame and ended with an offer from Alabama.

At 6’2”, 239 pounds, Jackson is the No. 4 inside linebacker and No. 122 prospect in the country. The Houston product boasts an extensive offer list that includes LSU, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, UCLA and others.

As a junior, Jackson piled up 165 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and six sacks.

“I’m thinking of taking an official visit,” Jackson told Loy. “It feels amazing, and I’m thankful.”


Jeffrey McCulloch

The Irish didn’t stop at just one Houston-area class-of-2016 linebacker, as they extended an offer to outside linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch on Friday.

The 6’2.5”, 230-pound McCulloch is the No. 9 outside linebacker and No. 103 overall recruit in his class. Notre Dame joined Florida State, Stanford, Florida, USC, Oregon, Alabama and others with the offer.


Koby Quansah

Class-of-2016 inside linebacker Koby Quansah received an Irish offer Wednesday.

Quansah is listed as 6’1”, 212 pounds and checks in as a 3-star linebacker—29th at his position and No. 407 in the country. The West Hartford, Connecticut, native also holds offers from Nebraska, Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, in addition to others.

“Man, this offers means so much,” Quansah told Loy. “It’s great. I was talking to [Irish assistant] coach [Mike] Elston and then I talked to [Irish defensive coordinator Brian] VanGorder. That’s when I found out about the offer, from Coach VanGorder. He told me he didn’t need to see me in person and that based on my tape and Coach Elston’s recommendation, he said that he wanted to offer me. It meant a lot that he liked me and I didn’t even have to visit just to get it.”

Quansah said while he hasn’t completely narrowed down his recruitment yet, Notre Dame is in his top group, along with Michigan and Duke.

“I was talking to my coach recently about visits to Michigan and Notre Dame,” Quansah said. “I’m gonna try to visit both on the same trip. If not, I’ll definitely see both on official visits.”


Donte Vaughn

Class-of-2016 cornerback Donte Vaughn took a midweek visit to Notre Dame and came away with an offer Wednesday.

At 6’3”, 192 pounds, the 4-star Vaughn is the No. 27 cornerback and No. 302 recruit in the country. The Memphis, Tennessee, product also claims offers from Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi State and Tennessee.


Ty Chandler

Nashville, Tennessee, product Ty Chandler became the third class-of-2017 running back to haul in an Irish offer when Notre Dame touched base Monday.

The 5’11”, 180-pounder is the No. 7 running back and No. 66 overall prospect in his class. Chandler attends Montgomery Bell Academy, the same Nashville school that produced Irish redshirt freshman offensive lineman Alex Bars. LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, among others, have also offered Chandler.

The Irish have also offered 2017 running backs Najee Harris, an Alabama commit, and Maleik Gray.


Wyatt Davis

Notre Dame’s lone class-of-2017 commitment, Dillan Gibbons, is an offensive lineman, and the Irish have offered as many offensive linemen in the class as any other position.

They targeted another Wednesday by extending an offer to class-of-2017 tackle Wyatt Davis.

David is the No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 33 player in the country. Currently pegged as a 5-star recruit, Davis is listed at 6’5”, 290 pounds and has offers from Michigan, Miami, Florida, UCLA, USC and Oklahoma, among others.

“I was very excited,” Davis told Loy. “I’ve always wanted to check out Notre Dame and see what they were all about. I was really excited about this offer.”

“Coach Denbrock wants me to come out for a visit and check them out,” Davis said. “He wants me to stay in contact with [offensive line] coach [Harry] Hiestand.”


Tyrell Ajian

Class-of-2017 athlete Tyrell Ajian landed a Notre Dame offer Saturday.

Ajian is the No. 3 athlete and No. 43 overall player in the country. The Mansfield, Ohio, product has visited Ohio State multiple times this spring and is scheduled to be on campus at Notre Dame this weekend for the Irish Invasion camp.

“Everything excites me about the Irish,” Ajian told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “Such a strong, physical team with a great tradition. I’ve always loved watching them.”


JaCoby Stevens

Class-of-2017 wide receiver and safety JaCoby Stevens received an offer from the Irish on Wednesday, per 247Sports’ Barton Simmons.

The 6’2", 200-pound Tennessee native is the No. 4 athlete and No. 44 prospect. Stevens’ other offers include Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU and Tennessee, in addition to others.


Amon-Ra St. Brown

A familiar surname popped back onto the Notre Dame recruiting radar Friday when class-of-2018 wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown landed an offer from the Irish.

The Anaheim, California, native is the brother of Irish incoming freshman wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and class-of-2017 wide receiver Osiris St. Brown, who also holds an offer from Notre Dame. Amon-Ra St. Brown is just the second class-of-2018 prospect to receive an offer from the Irish. He joins fellow California wide receiver Jalen Hall, who heard from the Irish in mid-April.

“It’s amazing that Equanimeous, Osiris and I can all go to the same school,” Amon-Ra told Loy. “It’s great. We’ll see what happens next, but it’s great that Notre Dame made sure that we all had an offer. It’s incredible. I mean, I’m almost speechless and still in shock.”

Notre Dame is the fourth school to offer St. Brown, following the lead of Boise State, Washington State and Utah.

“My dad called coach Brian Kelly and coach let him know that I had an offer from Notre Dame,” St. Brown said. “I was amazed. It’s truly a blessing. This is by far the biggest offer I’ve gotten yet. I’m shocked and amazed.”


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.

Read more College Football news on