NCAA Football

SEC Football: Power Ranking Top 15 Players Heading into 2014 Season

Pads are popping, depth charts are being sorted out and the 2014 season is almost upon us.

But before toe meets leather and we begin the most exciting three months in sports, let's take a look at some of the stars in the nation's top football conference.

Quarterback turnover from a year ago has diminished the star power around the SEC, but there's plenty of talented players returning—many of whom will be in the thick of the discussion for the Heisman Trophy.

Who are the top stars in the SEC? We rank the top 15 in this slideshow.

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Florida State Football: Charles Kelly Brings Stability to 'Noles Defense

Florida State will have its third defensive coordinator in as many years when the Seminoles take the field in 2014.

Mark Stoops left FSU after three seasons to become Kentucky's coach in December 2012. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher hired Jeremy Pruitt in January 2013, and he helped direct the nation's No. 1 defense (allowed 12.1 points per game). Pruitt then surprisingly left FSU to become Georgia's defensive coordinator in January.

So Fisher opted to promote Charles Kelly from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach. While such turnover could be viewed with raised eyebrows, especially for a program looking to repeat as national champion, Fisher feels that promoting Kelly makes sense for the team.

"You don't always want change," Fisher said Sunday at FSU's media day. "It all reflects to how your players react to him, and that's been tremendous. (Kelly is) a tremendous football coach and tremendous guy."

"Hire good people, people are going to want them," said Kelly. "When you do a good job, people are going to come after your (coaches). I think that says a lot about Jimbo. I think it says a lot about his being able to recognize people that can do the job that he wants done and work within the system."

Kelly said that he had wanted to work with Fisher for the past few years. The two actually coached together for a season in 1993 at Auburn (Fisher was the quarterbacks coach, and Kelly was a graduate assistant). They faced off a few times in the ACC when Kelly was an assistant at Georgia Tech from 2006-12.

Georgia Tech's defense was struggling midway through the 2012 season, and coach Paul Johnson fired defensive coordinator Al Groh after a string of three straight losses to Miami, Middle Tennessee State and Clemson. Ken Sugiura of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that the Yellow Jackets allowed an average of 46 points and 573.3 yards in those losses.

But Kelly became the interim defensive coordinator and turned things around. Georgia Tech won four of its last six regular-season games and reached the ACC Championship Game.

FSU defeated Georgia Tech 21-15 to win the league title, but Kelly's Yellow Jackets defense shut out the Seminoles in the second half, and E.J. Manuel was held to just 134 passing yards on the night. And Georgia Tech went on to dominate Southern California 21-7 in the Sun Bowl, as the Yellow Jackets held the Trojans to 205 offensive yards.

Just a few months later, Fisher hired Kelly. Fisher said he didn't promise Kelly that he could one day be the defensive coordinator, but Fisher did mention it as a possibility. Then, it became reality; Pruitt left Tallahassee a week after the national championship, and Fisher promoted Kelly in February.

"I've always been the type where if you work hard at what you do and do your job, things will take care of themselves," Kelly said. "I believe that. I'm very honored and very grateful for the opportunity."

Kelly is set to begin his 25th season as an assistant coach, and this is his biggest opportunity. He has been a position coach or coordinator at schools like Jacksonville State, Henderson State, Eufaula, Nicholls State and Georgia Tech.

But he is now leading what could again be the nation's top defense. While FSU lost an All-American corner in Lamarcus Joyner as well as defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, safety Terrence Brooks and leading tackler Telvin Smith, the Seminoles' recent recruiting success has ensured that there is plenty of depth.

The Seminoles return Mario Edwards Jr., a versatile, 300-pound end who can also slide inside and play tackle or drop back into coverage. Terrance Smith had 59 tackles last season and has emerged as a leader at linebacker. And the defensive backfield is loaded between corners like Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams and safeties like Jalen Ramsey, Nate Andrews and Tyler Hunter.

So far, the transition has gone well.

"The main thing for me is that, first of all, I work with a great group of guys," Kelly said. "Everybody has a job to do, and everybody does that job very hard. It's great working with Jimbo because it's a team—it's not offense, special teams, defense. We all work together to get better."

Kelly said he has relied heavily on his assistant coaches—Odell Haggins (defensive tackles), Sal Sunseri (defensive ends) and Bill Miller (linebackers). Haggins, Sunseri and Miller have a combined 87 years of experience as college coaches, including three national titles for Sunseri and two for Haggins.

"You think about Odell Haggins and how many national championship games he's been in," Kelly said. "You think about Sal, how many national championships he's been in and won. Bill Miller has been a coordinator at some really good places and been very successful. You have that to work with? That, to me, just helps you out as a coordinator." 

The other advantage for Kelly is that the players already knew him. He coached the linebackers in 2013 but kept tabs on the rest of the defensive players. So when Kelly was promoted, the transition felt smooth.

"I knew coach last year when he coached the linebackers," Darby said. "He was always a great dude, come talk to you, say, 'You're doing a good job.' Now that he's my coach, I see why the linebackers liked him so much. He's a great coach."

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter.

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Breaking Down Notre Dame's Latest Depth Chart Moves Midway Through Fall Camp

After Notre Dame's first week of fall camp, Brian Kelly's Irish squad is beginning to come into focus. With the team spending their first five days at the Culver Military Academy, the Irish returned to campus on Saturday for two practices, strapping on pads as the depth chart begins to emerge. 

As you'd expect, camp has helped unearth a few surprise contenders for starting jobs, while also separating the pack at some crowded positions. 

Let's take a run through some of the interesting depth-chart battles and update the ongoing competition as kickoff against Rice on August 30 approaches. 



Just about every first team rep has gone to quarterback Everett Golson. But this week will be an important one for Malik Zaire. After spending much of last week simply installing the system, Zaire will get his opportunity to step forward, with evaluations starting to take place as the offense evolves. 

"Look, if you're making the decision in these five days, you already knew who your quarterback was," Kelly said over the weekend. "I wanted to get the installation in, and then we'll really start to focus on who the guy is this week because we'll put them in those competitive situations in 7-on-7 and in our team [drills] that will allow them to make those kind of decisions."

Kelly has been consistent in his message that both quarterbacks will get their shot at winning the job. But unless Zaire takes a big step forward this week, it's feeling more and more like a matter of when Golson is named starter, not if.  

That's not to say that Zaire won't play. The more the sophomore quarterback gets comfortable, the more Kelly will give him an opportunity to play a supporting role in the Irish offense, with the staff likely giving Zaire a chance to get comfortable taking live game reps on their own schedule.


Running Back

With three candidates capable of handling starting duties, depth and competition is welcome during camp. While senior Cam McDaniel is a steady performer who will continue to play a role in the Irish offense, Kelly talked at length about what he's seen from sophomores Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston through their first week of work. 

For Bryant, the sophomore might still be trying to do too much, eager to make up for a lost freshman season that earned him a medical redshirt. 

"I think with Greg, mental errors and trust of his offensive line," Kelly said, identifying some areas where improvement is needed. "To give you an example, you have to be patient to let those linemen move to the second level. Greg will have a tendency to just spurt out without that block setting up. Cam does a great job of setting that up and then hitting it.

"Greg's gotta trust his linemen and not just let his athletic ability take over because that will work sometimes, but when you need it in those crucial situations, he's gonna run into an out. So learning the playbook and knowing all the ins and outs of what we do, and then trusting the blocking schemes."

Kelly's criticism of Folston speaks to the promise the young back has already shown. While most already assume a key role for all three backs, Kelly continues to push Folston to believe that he's capable of being the team's lead back. 

"Tarean, I think just, take it over, you know?" Kelly said. "At times I'd like to see him be more than just who he is. It almost seems like you have to push him a little bit more than I'd like. I'd like to see a little more, 'Hey, I'm gonna take this position over.' He's really talented, and it looks like we have to push him a little bit. I'd like to see a little bit more from him that, I want to be the starter and I don't want to share the ball with anybody. I think he's just got to decide every day that he's going to be the guy."


Offensive Line

In a change from spring drills, left guard has been manned by senior Matt Hegarty, while sophomore Steve Elmer has been outside at right tackle. That's left sophomore Mike McGlinchey as odd man out, one of the big surprises entering fall camp. 

But after a week of mixing and matching, Kelly talked about using this week as the one to start putting together a cohesive unit. 

"Monday, we've probably just gotta say, 'This is the five' and start to build," Kelly said. "We've been in a lot of different lineups out there. We're trying to find the right matches there. We're probably gonna have to start kind of settling in.

"When you guys see us again next week we're probably gonna be close to finding those five. We'll have an in-depth conversation, and that will probably be our No. 1 conversation as an offensive staff this week."

That means finally deciding what to do with Elmer, who has bounced between tackle and guard so far in his young career. After spending most of last season and all of the spring on the interior, flexing back outside hasn't been easy for the sophomore. 

"He has all the tools, but he's playing like he's a guard at tackle right now," Kelly said. "That's why it's important that we kinda settle in on where he is."


Finding a Role for Tyler Luatua

If there's been a surprise on the offensive side of the ball, it's been tight end Tyler Luatua. The Southern California native looks like a versatile battering ram for the Irish, giving Kelly a weapon in both the run and pass game. 

"He's gonna play. We're gonna feature some backfield sets that will allow him to really use his size," Kelly said. "He's close to 270 pounds, and when he brings it, he's a heavy load. We haven't had that kind of downhill physicality that changes the pace. We can still play fast and then play down hill. He gives us some really good flexibility. He's a fullback/H-back that gives us some versatility that we would like to have."

Notre Dame beat out Alabama for Luatua, and while his recruiting profile seemed to diminish throughout his senior season, he's a unique player who could pull the fullback position out of extinction in Kelly's spread offense. 


Young Talent Has a Chance to Help the Front Seven

If there's a place where young talent has a chance to step in and contribute, it's in the front seven of Brian VanGorder's rebuilt defense. On Saturday, Kelly identified four key freshmen who will likely make an impact off the edge. 

"I can tell you the guys that will help us. Jhonny Williams will help us. [Jonathan] Bonner will help us. [Daniel] Cage will help us. Let's see. Kolin Hill will help us," Kelly said. "Those four guys have shown an ability to pass rush on third down. Now they're probably not going be every down players, but they can come off the edge for us."

Two other high profile youngsters will likely be given a chance. Defensive end Andrew Trumbetti likely didn't qualify as a freshman in Kelly's mind, with the early enrollee already taking part in spring practice. Veteran center Nick Martin told Bob Wieneke of the South Bend Tribune that Trumbetti has stood out to him.  

It's too early to count out linebacker Nyles Morgan, though the young linebacker has a ton to learn as he tries to absorb the playbook at middle linebacker. 

"We're trying. It's a lot. We're bringing him along," Kelly said. "Brian [VanGorder] and [linebackers coach] Bobby Elliott are doing a great job, it's just a lot of work to get there. We had Manti Te'o, and in his freshman year...I said this when I watched him on film, he had a long way to go after his freshman year. And he was a five-star and one of the best players in the country."


*Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand. 

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Debunking the Myth That Nick Saban Defenses Can't Stop the No-Huddle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban has taken flak recently for a perceived weakness against teams that run some form of a hurry-up or no-huddle offense.

This was particularly brought to attention last year, when Alabama escaped a massive shootout with Texas A&M, lost to Auburn and then ended the season with a surprise loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

Maybe that’s why on Saturday, after the team’s first scrimmage of the fall, Saban sought to put an end to that perception when asked an otherwise innocuous question about working to combat such teams.

“But, you know, in all honesty, guys, you all make way too much of this,” Saban said. “I mean, the last game the team (Auburn) had 21 points against us with 30 seconds to go in the game, and I don’t think anybody held them to 21 points all year long. I saw them score 60 in the SEC Championship Game, or whatever."

Saban continued: “We shut Ole Miss out here. We had four turnovers against Oklahoma that led to 28 points ... So when you look in it deeply relative to how the other teams do, do we need to play better or do we play as well against those teams as maybe some other teams? I guess you could make the case for that.”

There’s no denying that Alabama struggled against those three teams last season. According to D.C. Reeves of, 41.7 percent of the Crimson Tide’s yards given up in 2013 came against Texas A&M, Auburn and Oklahoma.

But can you blame those results on Saban and Alabama struggling with uptempo teams? A closer look at the numbers and circumstances in those three games tells a different story.

Alabama actually gave up the most yards all season (and in school history) in its win against Texas A&M. So while it didn’t blemish the Crimson Tide’s record, it still raised concerns about their ability to stop these high-octane teams.

But Alabama’s performance against Texas A&M was more about talent than scheme.

Wonder Boy Johnny Manziel made magic on several occasions. And he had the benefit of a huge mismatch on the outside.

A&M wide receiver Mike Evans was listed at 6’5”, 225 pounds last season. His coverage for most of the day? 6’0”, 186-pound John Fulton and 5’10”, 194-pound Cyus Jones.

That led to the 279-yard performance he had against the Crimson Tide, not the system he was operating in.

When it has the talent advantage—like it did against Ole Miss—the opposing offensive game plan isn't a problem.

“How about keeping the ball away from them? How about controlling the ball on offense so they don’t have the ball so much?” Saban said on Saturday about the Texas A&M game. “That’s something that we did in the A&M game. We didn’t play very well on defense in that game, in my opinion.”

Alabama actually contained Auburn pretty well.

The Crimson Tide held the Tigers to just 393 yards of total offense—well below their season average of 501.3 yards per game. And their 28 (offensive) points were similarly low compared to Auburn’s 39.5-points-per-game season average.

(Saban pointed out that it was only 21 points with 30 seconds to go. With all due respect to Saban, Nick Marshall’s game-tying touchdown to Sammie Coates came with 32 seconds left on the clock, and you can’t just selectively omit points scored against.)

Alabama was gashed, to be sure, just not as much as Auburn had been doing to teams all year. And it squandered plenty of opportunities that had nothing to do with defensive preparation for tempo.

There were field-goal misses of 44, 33 and 44 yards. Amari Cooper dropped a touchdown in the end zone. T.J. Yeldon failed to pick up a 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter that could have iced the game.

Offensive and special-teams execution issues (including untimely field-goal return coverage) doomed Alabama in the Iron Bowl, not its defense.

And in the Sugar Bowl, an uninterested Alabama team met a highly motivated Oklahoma.

The motivation excuse can seem convenient, and it certainly doesn’t excuse a loss. But it could be a better reason for the defeat than weakness against a certain scheme. (And it did start a pretty entertaining back-and-forth between Saban and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.)

Saban noted the challenges he faced from an attitude perspective.

And from the players’ point of view, it’s hard to get up for a game like that when a national championship has become the standard.

Star wide receiver Julio Jones was in a similar scenario. The 2008 Alabama team lost a 31-17 dud Sugar Bowl to Utah after a tightly contested 31-20 loss in the SEC Championship Game. Jones noted the similarities in the two Sugar Bowl losses.

“You see, the Sugar Bowl, when we're there, it's like championship or not,” Jones said in a recent video interview with Sports Illustrated. “Sugar Bowl? Nobody cares about playing in the Sugar Bowl."

Saban’s point about the turnover margin in that game was true, too. Twenty-eight of the Sooners’ 45 points were scored off turnovers. Twenty-one of those points came off turnovers where Oklahoma took possession inside UA territory and includes a fumble recovered for a touchdown where the Oklahoma offense didn’t even see the field and an interception back to the 13-yard line.

That’s a problem with the offense putting the defense in a bad position to succeed, not a defensive weakness.

Alabama had defensive problems last year, to be sure, and gave up big plays at inopportune times. The Crimson Tide dealt with some entitlement issues and lack of execution on offense that was just as much, if not more, a reason for its two losses than the defense.

It’s easy to create a narrative based on wins and losses, but a closer look shows that Alabama facing uptempo offenses was not the main problem last season.

“I think we need to improve on defense period,” Saban concluded on Saturday. “I think we need to improve in coverage. I think we need to improve in mental errors. I think we need to improve how we strike people up front. I think we missed too many tackles today, so we’ve got to tackle a whole lot better. And we can’t give up big plays. And we’ve got to be able to pressure the quarterback better. So I think if we can do all those things better we’ll probably play against everybody better.”


Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats come from cfbstats. All recruiting information comes from 247Sports.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Breaking Down Team Michigan's Latest Depth Chart Moves Midway Through Fall Camp

Position battles were a hot topic Sunday at Michigan’s media day. Brady Hoke and his coordinators, Doug Nussmeier and Greg Mattison, held court and entertained questions from the media in attendance.

Here’s an update on the position battles of interest as Michigan heads into the second week of camp and prepares for Saturday’s public scrimmage.

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Preseason College Football Rankings 2014: Listing of Top 25 NCAA Teams

As the 2014 college football regular season swiftly approaches, the most highly debated topic surrounding the college football ranks is the list of Top 25 teams from the Amway Coaches Poll.

While some teams appear to be ranked in legitimate fashion, other Top 25 squads hold rather intriguing positions due to roster uncertainties stemming from the loss of several key players via the 2014 NFL draft.

Each year, the Top 25 rankings don't take long to undergo a severe transformation. After all, in the college ranks, one untimely early loss could have season-altering consequences. That's why these rankings are one of the most argued topics heading into every season.

Let's go ahead and fuel the fire by listing the Top 25 teams from the coaches poll and pose a few debatable questions regarding those rankings.


Alabama Worthy of No. 2 Ranking?

This may seem like a strange question—Alabama has been one of CFB's most dominant teams for years. However, due to the loss of quarterback A.J. McCarron, an unsettled quarterback controversy has plagued the team during the summer months.

Blake Sims and Florida State transfer Jacob Coker have been entrenched in a battle for the starting position that is showing no signs of ending anytime soon.

Even after the team's first scrimmage, head coach Nick Saban didn't indicate any clear leader when praising both players during a press conference, via Andrew Gribble of

I think they both did a lot of good things. I think they both have some things that they wish they had back. And I think they both probably made some choices and decisions that we can improve on.

But I also think that both guys showed that they're capable of doing what we need to do with them on offense so that we can be effective with the other players that we have.

The ongoing battle appears to be a detriment to locker-room morale. Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the division among the team's players:

There's no doubting this team's talent, but after faltering at the end of last season, receiving zero first-place votes and struggling with a quarterback controversy, questioning the Crimson Tide's ranking begins a legitimate debate.


Michigan State a Snub at No. 8 Overall?

While Michigan State saw several of its outstanding players leave at the end of last season—notably cornerback Darqueze Dennard, a first-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals—the team remains one of the most complete in the NCAA.

The Spartans maintained one of the most prolific defenses throughout the 2013 season, ranking third in points allowed, second in rushing defense, third in passing defense and second in total defense.

Due to some very experienced starting defenders this season, comprised mostly of juniors and seniors, there's no reason to believe this team will face any kind of significant decline.

The steady Connor Cook also returns as the team's starting quarterback this season. In 2014, Cook completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 2,755 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press relayed Cook's comments on the upcoming season:

He'll be joined in the backfield by running back Jeremy Langford, who rushed for 1,422 yards on 292 attempts—a 4.9 average—and 18 touchdowns one season ago.

The No. 8 ranking sure seems a little low for the reigning Rose Bowl champions.


South Carolina Deserving of Top-10 Ranking?

Here's another example of a team that certainly contains a great deal of talent—not to mention one of the best coaches in the business—but is also undergoing several changes which may not bode well for the upcoming season.

The big loss for this football team is freakish defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The first-overall selection of the 2014 NFL draft, Clowney will no longer be a threatening presence for the Gamecocks along the defensive front.

Even tough Clowney's production dropped off last season, he demanded constant attention from opposing offensive coordinators in each contest. South Carolina simply doesn't have that kind of presence going forward.

Another question mark is the departure of quarterback Connor Shaw. Last season, Shaw was extremely efficient, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards, 24 touchdowns and just one interception—he also brought an increased level of mobility.

This season, Dylan Thompson is currently slated to start for the team, although he hasn't shown a high level of efficiency. In relief appearances last season, Thompson completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 783 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Gamecocks must be wary of taking a step backward.

Let the debate rage on.

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Breaking Down Oregon's Latest Depth-Chart Moves Midway Through Fall Camp

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich is playing his initial 2014 depth chart close to the chest.

"There is a fine line in anticipating and predetermining, and we don't want to predetermine anything," he said last week at Oregon's media day, via Matt Prehm of 247Sports.

While several starting spots are locked in—Oregon returns the Pac-12's second-most veteran lineup behind only UCLA—there are enough positions to make for intriguing internal competition.

Helfrich spoke specifically of the wide receiver corps, which returns just one 2013 starter, Keanon Lowe.

In July at Pac-12 media days, Helfrich praised the leadership of the redshirt senior Lowe and noted redshirt freshmen Devon Allen's high potential.   

Darren Carrington and Dwayne Stanford should also compete for spots atop the wide receiver depth chart. The unit's development in fall camp will shape Oregon's offense in the season to come. 

"It might end up [being] three tight ends," Helfrich said last week per 247Sports. "Or two tailbacks."

A three-tight end set? No, Stanford head coach David Shaw was not added to Helfrich's staff in the offseason.

But the Ducks do have an abundance of options at the tight end position, with Evan Baylis, Pharaoh Brown and Johnny Mundt all having made starts in 2013. Add Koa Ka'ai, who has performed well enough this offseason to earn endorsements from tight ends coach Tom Osborne and quarterback Marcus Mariota, and there is indeed a wide variety of combinations for Helfrich to employ.   

As for Helfrich's two tailbacks comment, that wouldn't be a problem. Oregon is similarly stocked in the backfield, if not more so. 

Top returning rusher Byron Marshall and explosive sophomore Thomas Tyner are known commodities, but highly touted freshman Royce Freeman adds a new element.

So too does redshirt freshman Kani Benoit, another ball-carrier whose presence allows offensive coordinator Scott Frost and Helfrich to tinker with lineups.   

Oregon's linebacker corps can also dive deep into the depth chart with potentially productive reserves. One gaining attention through the first week of fall camp is redshirt freshman Danny Mattingly, a scout-team standout in 2013. 

"I see way more growth," Derrick Malone told Andrew Greif of The Oregonian. "Now he can show what he can do because he can play that much faster." 

Should Mattingly reach his high potential, he'll factor prominently into the rotation. But the collection of talent among the Oregon linebackers requires one to stand out in practice in order to make an impact come game day. 

Outside linebackers coach Erik Chinander addressed the level of competition with editor Rob Moseley

Guys like Tony Washington, Tyson Coleman, Christian French, Torrodney Prevot, they’re comfortable. They go out there, they don’t blink. I want to see who’s going to be that next guy—who can communicate, who can talk, who can think fast. But I also just want to throw them in there so they understand, this is what it’s really like.

Helfrich may be less playing coy with the depth chart than he is weighing all options—the options are abundant.  


Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise cited. Statistics compiled via  

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Breaking Down Oregon's Latest Depth-Chart Moves Midway Through Fall Camp

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich is playing his initial 2014 depth chart close to the chest. "There is a fine line in anticipating and predetermining, and we don't want to predetermine ...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Former 8th Grade Phenom Dylan Moses Named No. 1 Recruit in Class of 2017

The 2017 recruiting class, which is made up of high school sophomores, will have an unsurprising name at its head when the first 247Sports rankings are released Monday afternoon: future LSU linebacker Dylan Moses.

Barton Simmons of 247Sports made the official announcement:

"It definitely means a lot to me," Moses said of receiving the No. 1 ranking, per Simmons. "I’ve definitely been striving for it ever since I started playing football. I’ve always wanted to be the best."

Moses has been playing varsity football since he was in middle school and received his LSU scholarship offer in the seventh grade.

The hoopla of his recruitment reached a new level when he landed on the cover of ESPN The Magazine in July 2013, headlining the issue with a story by Kevin Van Valkenburg that said he was "changing the college recruiting process."

At 6'2", 220 pounds, Moses projects as an outside linebacker but could realistically play just about any position he wants at the next level. According to the ESPN story, he clocks a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, and he's also played some running back in high school.

The 2017 cycle is obviously a long way from being complete, but Moses, who plays at University Lab High School in nearby Baton Rouge, seems like a pretty safe bet to remain loyal to LSU.

However, that doesn't mean he won't keep looking other places. According to Simmons, Moses visited Florida State this summer and has also mentioned Texas and Alabama as intriguing alternatives.

"My thing right now is to continue to weigh my options and look at other schools," he said of his open-mindedness. "LSU will always be number one. I just want to make the right decision."

LSU landed the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2014 cycle, running back Leonard Fournette, and also has a commitment from the former No. 1 overall prospect in the 2015 cycle, cornerback Kevin Toliver II (who has since dropped down to No. 4).

The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2016 cycle, offensive tackle Gregory Little, committed to Texas A&M this summer, but Moses would get the Tigers back on the board with top-ranked recruits.

They just need to hold on to him for another three years.


Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT

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Ohio State Football 2014: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

Ohio State heads into 2014 looking to redeem itself after a disappointing end to its 2013 campaign. After exploding onto the scene with a 12-0 start, the Buckeyes suffered losses to Michigan State and Clemson, who were the only top-10 teams they faced all season.

With Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller at the helm, and everyone's eyes on the November 8 game against the Michigan State team that derailed Ohio State's playoff hopes a season ago, how will the Buckeyes fair this time around? Watch as B/R's experts break down this year's Ohio State squad.

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Notre Dame Football 2014: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

Following a 2013 campaign that saw the Notre Dame Fighting Irish finish with a 9-4 record and a win in the Pinstripe Bowl, Brian Kelly and Co. are looking to get back into national title contention.

Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on the coming season and what to expect from Notre Dame.

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Texas A&M Football 2014: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

Kevin Sumlin's Texas A&M Aggies were successful in 2013, with an overall record of 9-4 and a victory against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Now, Texas A&M will look to continue that success despite losing Johnny Manziel, Jake Matthews and Mike Evans to the NFL. Will the Aggies progress or regress this year?

Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on Texas A&M ahead of the 2014 season.

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Auburn Football 2014: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

Following a heartbreaking loss in last year's national championship game against the Florida State Seminoles, the Auburn Tigers are looking to finish the job in 2014.

Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on Auburn's season and make predictions for 2014. 

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5 Things We've Learned About Auburn Through Fall Camp so Far

The first week of fall practice had no shortage of new developments for the Auburn Tigers, who are now less than three weeks away from a highly anticipated opening kickoff against Arkansas.

Several new players on the Auburn roster have shaken up starter battles and other key positions on the depth chart, which has taken a couple of hits with the injuries to standout sophomores Alex Kozan and Carl Lawson.

A couple of positions that seemed to be set in stone have been opened in Auburn's second week of fall camp, including a crucial special teams spot.

The coaching staff will evaluate the entire depth chart for the upcoming week before turning toward preparations for a season-opening visit from Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks.

Here is a look at five new things we have learned about the defending SEC champions through the first 10 days of fall camp.

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College Football 2014: Who Is the No. 1 QB Heading into the Season?

The college football season is fast approaching, and there are a number of stud quarterbacks across the country. Florida State QB Jameis Winston is looking to repeat as Heisman Trophy winner and become only the second player in history to take home the prestigious award twice.

Could Oregon's Marcus Mariota get in his way? What about UCLA's Brett Hundley?

Watch as B/R's college football experts debate who the best QB is heading into the 2014 season.

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Baylor Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

The Baylor Bears will look to continue the momentum they've built in recent years under head coach Art Briles in 2014.

Although they lost to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl last season, they experienced a successful overall campaign, finishing 12-2 on the year with an 8-1 record in the Big 12 Conference.

Watch as B/R's experts analyze the Bears ahead of the 2014 season.

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4 Things We've Learned About Notre Dame Through Fall Camp So Far

Six practices into fall camp, Notre Dame football is off and running here in August with just 19 days remaining until the season opener against Rice.

The Irish returned to campus for practice on Saturday after spending the first five days of camp at Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.

Coach Kelly made quite the entrance today. More of this to come later today via @NDFootball and @WatchND...

— Leigh Torbin (@LTorbin) August 8, 2014

Irish head coach Brian Kelly lightened the mood toward the end of the week at Culver, and before we turn the page to Week 2 of training camp, let’s take a look at what we’ve learned from the first week of practices.

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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Stanford Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Stanford has been a dominant program in college football in recent years. Head coach David Shaw once again has the team in contention in the Pac-12 after winning the conference championship last season.

However, a loss in the Rose Bowl last year to Michigan State proved the team had holes that needed to be filled. Will Stanford see continued success in 2014?

Watch as B/R's experts examine the team ahead of the season.

Read more College Football news on

Stanford Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Stanford has been a dominant program in college football in recent years. Head coach David Shaw once again has the team in contention in the Pac -12 after winning the conference championship last season...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Texas Football: 5 Things We've Learned About the Horns Through Fall Camp So Far

The first week of fall camp is in the books for Charlie Strong's Texas Longhorns, with a rejuvenated David Ash leading the way.

It's "Phase Four" for Strong and his staff, who have taken to sleeping in the dorms with their players as they try to build the final product. And, of course, the effort of making the team earn its identity continued with practice uniforms and helmets being stripped of the Longhorn logo.

Though Strong's motivational tactics will continue to grab headlines, the real excitement is happening on the field for the first time since April. Almost all of the freshmen are practicing, and only a few players are still nursing major injuries, so we're finally seeing where all of Strong's efforts are truly leading.

So far, it's a walk-on starting at safety, a quarterback making a major comeback and important skill positions that need a freshman to step up.

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