NCAA Football

Recruiting Insider Buzz: Jim Harbaugh Can Lead Michigan to Top-3 Class in 2016

Michigan is looking to claw its way back to the top of the Big Ten, but the Wolverines and Jim Harbaugh have quite the steep hill to climb. 

Stephen Nelson is joined by Bleacher Report Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue to discuss Michigan's recruiting class. 

How far can Jim Harbaugh take the Michigan Wolverines? Check out the video and let us know!

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UCLA Football: Recruiting Update and Other Musings for the Bruins

What a whirlwind last few weeks it's been for Jim Mora and the UCLA football program. 

Since the conclusion of the season, the program has been in the spotlight nationally on a number of fronts—and not always depicted in the best light. As a journalist, it's made for an interesting time. As a football coach and supporter of the program, there's been some shaky moments. 

However, some of those unfortunate events have recently found clarity. 

This piece will speak about the latest musings from within the program. This includes personnel news, a coaching update and a bizarre situation involving a prominent rap mogul. 

It will also speak about the recent influx of commitments UCLA has garnered recently. 


Welcome, Adrian Klemm and Soso Jamabo

UCLA got some very positive news with the reinstatement of offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and the enrollment of elite running back talent Soso Jamabo. 

As has been reported, Klemm was serving a suspension over alleged NCAA recruiting violations. This three-month suspension was recently lifted, and it enabled Klemm to return to his acting duties as a coach. 

This is significant on many levels. Obviously, Klemm will now be able to work with his personnel. UCLA had an amalgam of coaches and graduate assistants handling Klemm's duties in his absence. 

Perhaps most importantly, Klemm is now able to recruit—something he does exceptionally well. 

The enrollment of Jamabo is also a major boon for the Bruins. After battling multiple legal issues in April, Jamabo joined his fellow freshmen on campus this past Sunday. 

The Texas native should instantly impact UCLA's depth chart at the skill positions. His versatility enables him to be lined up at multiple spots across the field. 


A Look at the Recent Commitments

In the last few weeks, UCLA has garnered the pledges of five high school prospects. 

High school teammates Marcus Moore and Jalen Starks both committed to the Bruins within days of each other. 

Starks is one of the top fullback prospects in the country—and is exactly the type of big back running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu loves. Not only can he carry the ball and block, but he can also catch passes out of backfield well. 

Moore is a tough, physical player. He plays with a tremendous motor along the defensive front. Although a bit undersized, he figures to potentially put on enough weight to play as a 3-4 defensive end—or even move inside to tackle down the line. 4-star athlete Dymond Lee chose UCLA over a host of schools—including Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Nebraska and Washington. 

Although regarded as a wide receiver by virtually every publication, Lee will enter UCLA initially as a quarterback. He joins Matt Lynch as the second signal-caller within the Bruins' class. It will be interesting to see which position he'll ultimately perform at once he gets on campus. 

The last two recent commitments both hail from the special teams department. 

Kicker JJ Molson out of Montreal committed to UCLA last week. Ranked as the No. 2 kicker in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking, he has a powerful leg. Interestingly enough, his family owns Molson Brewery and the Montreal Canadiens. 

Not to be outdone, UCLA also secured a commitment from the No. 2 punter in the class of 2016 in Bailey Raborn out of Lafayette, Louisiana. 

Molson and Raborn add to an already impressive special teams haul for UCLA—whom also has a pledge from the No. 1 long snapper in the country in Johnny Den Bleyker. 

The commitments of the aforementioned three are significant. Starting kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn, starting long snapper Christopher Longo and starting punter Matt Mengel will all graduate after this year.

As a result, the high school troika mentioned above will all likely start as true freshmen in 2016. 


The P. Diddy Saga

In case you were living under a rock, famed rapper Sean Combs (also known as Diddy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and a host of other monikers) was arrested on UCLA's campus Monday afternoon for allegedly getting into an altercation with UCLA strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi. was the first to report on the ordeal, which is detailed here. Combs was arrested on these charges, courtesy of UCPD. 

Suffice it to say, it's a strange situation all the way around. Combs' son—Justin—is a defensive back on the team. There's no telling what fallout will come. 

At this point, everyone is in a wait-and-see mode. 

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UCLA Football: Recruiting Update and Other Musings for the Bruins

What a whirlwind last few weeks it's been for Jim Mora and the UCLA football program. Since the conclusion of the season, the program has been in the spotlight nationally on a number of fronts —and not always depicted in the best light...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Former Vanderbilt Football Players Granted Mistrial After Rape Conviction

Former Vanderbilt football players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were granted a mistrial by Nashville Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins after one juror failed to reveal that he was a victim in a statutory rape case, per Stacey Barchenger of the Tennessean.  

Vandenburg, 22, and Batey, 21, were convicted of multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery, among other charges, in January. Their defense attorneys, however, maintained that the juror in question failed to disclose that he was the victim of a statutory rape in the hope that he would be put on the jury and that his history in such a case affected his ability to be impartial.

Despite protestations from the prosecution, Judge Watkins sided with the defense.

"The defendants have a right to a fair and impartial trial, a right that was violated by juror No. 9's conduct," the judge's order read, per Barchenger.

The defense is expected to request that both men be granted bonds after the judge's ruling.


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Ranking the Top SEC Quarterbacks of the 21st Century

The SEC conference has produced some of the best football players over the years, and the quarterback position has yielded some real stars. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee joined Stephen Nelson to rank the best SEC quarterbacks of the 21st century. 

Who deserves to be at the top of this list? Check out the video and let us know! 


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Miami Hurricanes Fact or Fiction: Is Brad Kaaya a Legitimate Heisman Contender?

The Miami Hurricanes enter the 2015 season with high hopes after coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign. How will they fare next season in the ACC?'s Peter Ariz joined Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson as they played a game of fact or fiction.

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Ohio State vs. The Field: Who Would You Take to Win CFB National Championship?

The Ohio State Buckeyes surprised many people last season by winning the CFP National Championship, but OSU won't be sneaking up on anyone this year. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Adam Kramer and Barrett Sallee debate whether they would take Ohio State or the field. 

Can anyone stop the Buckeyes from winning the national championship? Check out the video and let us know!

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Terrelle Pryor's Complicated Legacy at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Winning has a weird way of framing perception in sports, whether it's what we're willing to put up with, what we're willing to forgive or what we're willing to roll the dice on.

A mere bounce of the ball can make a player an instant legend, while a shoestring tackle can render him a goat. A championship campaign can erase past sins, or a string of losing seasons can increase the perceived value of a player twofold.

Either way, it's the outcome of games that ultimately determines how we view players—both in their present and their past.

Nobody should know that better than Terrelle Pryor.

It was just four years ago that the former Ohio State quarterback's legacy found itself in limbo as he opted to leave school amid the same scandal that forced Jim Tressel to resign after 10 seasons in Columbus. In the four years sandwiched between the end of Pryor's college career and Monday's news that the Cleveland Browns had claimed him off waivers, so much has changed for both Pryor and the Buckeyes that our memory of his time at Ohio State remains just as complicated, but undoubtedly changed by the paradigm-shifters that are wins and losses.

"If you really knew what happened, there was nothing evil," Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said of the memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal and subsequent cover-up that led to Pryor's and Tressel's departures. "A couple mistakes, terrible mistakes were made, but it was not with intent."

It's easy to nod along with Meyer, shrug your shoulders and shake off what was one of the most turbulent times in Ohio State history as "no big deal" as Columbus still basks in the afterglow of last season's improbable run to the first College Football Playoff championship. Even without the healing of a national title, subsequent scandals at Auburn, Miami (Florida), North Carolina and especially Penn State made "Tatgate" look relatively benign compared to how it was viewed—or portrayed—at the time.

But while the benefit of hindsight is advantageous, it too is skewed by wins and losses.

The same rang true of Pryor's legacy before his college career was marred by controversy, as his 31-4 record over the course of three seasons made him one of the winningest signal-callers in Buckeyes history. A 5-star prospect from Jeannette, Pennsylvania, Pryor chose Ohio State over Michigan and Penn State after delaying his college decision for a month after signing day.

A prospect of Pryor's caliber was obviously well worth the wait, and it didn't take long for the freshman quarterback to enter the Buckeyes starting lineup. After a blowout loss to USC, Pryor took over for senior captain Todd Boeckman in the fourth week of the season and helped lead Ohio State to a share of the Big Ten championship and subsequent BCS bowl appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Looking back now, it's hard to view the rest of Pryor's time in Columbus as nothing but a success, as he went on to add two more Big Ten titles and a pair of BCS game MVPs (2010 Rose Bowl, 2011 Sugar Bowl) to his resume. Re-watching his old college games on the Big Ten Network, his ability appears even more remarkable, as he put up spread-system-type numbers in Tressel's conservative pro-style system.

But despite his always apparent ability, Pryor remained a polarizing player at Ohio State, as there always seemed to be a sense that he could improve as a passer. Even after breaking a Buckeyes single-season record for total offense in 2010 (3,526 yards), Pryor wasn't named an All-Big Ten selection, and his inability to navigate a relatively weak schedule to a national title game only hurt his cause.

Every subsequent season of Pryor's career was supposed to be the one where he finally put it together, which made what happened in 2011 all the more painful. After six months of suspensions and speculation, Tressel finally saw his way out, and Pryor followed suit shortly after.

The 6-7 season Ohio State endured in the following months should have only proved just how valuable Pryor was, but it was hard for Columbus to ignore its anger at him for putting the Buckeyes in that position in the first place. It was easier to blame the college kid who committed the violation than the head coach who covered it up, especially when that head coach had 10 years of winning and a national title built up as goodwill.

Pryor and Tressel may have been equally responsible for Ohio State's first losing season since since 1988, but make no mistake: At the time, it was the quarterback who took the heat.

Winning, however, has a funny way of easing pain, and Pryor didn't even have to do any of his own to land back in the good graces of Buckeye fans. As the third-round pick of the 2011 supplemental draft struggled to establish himself as a starting quarterback in three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Meyer managed to bring Ohio State back to life, reeling off a 38-3 record—including 24 consecutive wins—in his first three seasons as the Buckeyes' head coach.

With Ohio State back on track, it certainly became easier to allow bygones to become bygones with Pryor, especially knowing what we know now about the culture of college football. Now, instead of complaining about what Pryor didn't do, Buckeye fans wonder what Pryor could have done had he ever played in an offense as quarterback-friendly as the one that just helped lead Ohio State to the national title.

It also doesn't hurt that many Buckeye fans now once again have a rooting interest in Pryor's success with his addition to Columbus' most popular NFL team. After failed stints as a signal-caller with the Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, the 6'4", 234-pound Pryor is trying his hand at wide receiver, hoping to capitalize on the raw athleticism that made him one of college football's top players.

In an odd twist of fate, one of Pryor's first times suiting up for his new team will come at Ohio Stadium, where the Browns will host their annual Brown & Orange Scrimmage on Aug. 7. Pryor, who is still serving a five-year "disassociation" from his alma mater, will undoubtedly receive a more welcoming ovation than he would have just a few years ago, thanks in large part to the success the Buckeyes have found under Meyer.

How Pryor will be remembered in five years—whether it be as a Brown or a Buckeye—remains to be seen. But it's a safe bet that winning will continue to play a significant role in whatever that legacy is.


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

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UCLA Football: Bruins' Most Important Player at Each Position

With the 2015 season rapidly approaching, the UCLA football program is about to begin its summer workout session. The freshmen have already moved onto campus and have started the process of attending school. 

As is the case with any barbershop-type conversation, everyone speculates and offers opinions as to which player on the team is the important cog at his specific position. 

This piece will do just that—it explains the most significant Bruins for each individual spot. More times than not, the player with the most talent will also suffice as the one with the highest significance level.

Let us take a look at the roster and dive into this topic. 

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UCLA Football: Bruins' Most Important Player at Each Position

With the 2015 season rapidly approaching, the UCLA football program is about to begin its summer workout session. The freshmen have already moved onto campus and have started the process of attending school...

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Meet Donnie Corley: The Face of the Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp

Four years ago, Donnie Corley came to the Sound Mind Sound Body camp as one of hundreds of kids with dreams of taking the next step in their football careers.

A native of Detroit and a student at local power Martin Luther King High School—where the camp’s founders attended high school—that experience gave him his first taste of what big-time football was all about.

Fast-forward to present day, and Corley—a 6’2”, 180-pound 4-star receiver who rates among the top pass-catchers in the 2016 cycle—has more than 40 offers under his belt.

In his fourth and final SMSB camp as a player, Corley’s rise is a fitting fruit of the labor that has gone into making this camp among the nation’s finest showcases for prep talent.

“I first came [to SMSB] when I was in eighth grade,” Corley told Bleacher Report. “That’s when I started. Just being a young guy and going against some great competition and some older guys, I remember them showing me the ropes and stuff. Now, I’m kind of the veteran to this. So it’s a cool feeling.”

As one of the top recruits out of the Motor City in the 2016 cycle, Corley is next in line to carry on a tradition that King alums, like current assistant head coach Terel Patrick, helped forge in the hallways of the school some 30 years ago.

Schools such as Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee are schools fighting to land his commitment. In addition to those powers, he also mentioned Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and LSU as programs he hopes to visit later in the summer. 

Through Corley’s ascension from unknown to national recruit, the SMSB camp and the city of Detroit served as the perfect backdrop to help revive the city’s reputation as a hotbed for gridiron talent.

There are a couple of factors that make the SMSB camp unique with respect to the multitude of showcases around the country.

For starters, way before satellite camps became a hot-button topic, SMSB has had various college coaches attending its camp for quite some time.

Another area that was a big part of the camp’s vision was focusing on creating seminars designed to teach the campers in attendance about life skills and using the game of football as a vehicle to enhance their opportunities moving forward.

This year, head coaches such as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Penn State’s James Franklin served as guest speakers.

“I think that you come down here and realize that you are a part of something bigger than yourself,” Dantonio said. “As a coach, I don’t care what level you are at. You are always looking for ways to give back and impact other people. This is a chance to do that on a large level with kids from all over the country. I’m no different than these kids. Thirty years ago, if they would’ve had a camp like this, I would’ve been sitting in the same seats.”

However, it was another speaker, in particular, who perhaps resonated most with the recruits in attendance—soon-to-be Hall of Fame running back and Detroit native Jerome Bettis.

“Jerome is living proof to what we always tell the kids,” Patrick said. “You don’t owe the camp anything. You don’t owe the coaches at King anything. The only thing you owe us, is that one day, if you become successful in the NFL or as a businessman, director or VP, to come back and show your face and help a kid by showing him that you made it and that they can make it too because they are relatable to you and your journey. They are from where you are from.”

It’s the second straight year The Bus has returned to Detroit to speak at the camp.

Before he embarked on a successful college career at Notre Dame and a pro career, Bettis was once a prolific recruit in the Motor City as a touted running back out of Mackenzie High School.

“It’s fitting because this is an area that has a lot of talent,” Bettis said. “But so many times, that talent doesn’t realize its full potential because of bad decisions, academics and things like that. It’s important that it started here because they have a chance to reach and impact so many more kids and help them in their lives.”

Of all the recruits in attendance, Bettis’ message seemed to hit home with Corley the most.

“It means a lot to me,” the nation’s No. 112 prospect overall said of seeing Bettis come back home. “Seeing that someone like that can come from Detroit and reach those heights, it’s cool to see. At the same time, I don’t look at it like it is pressure. I believe in what I can do, and I will keep working to get better every day.”

Now, Corley is sitting in a similar position to where Bettis was 25 years ago.

However, Patrick notes that his star player didn’t rise up to his spot because he was always a freakish athlete.

Instead, it was his work ethic and ability to take to coaching that helped him reach the goals he stated to Patrick upon his arrival at the prep level.

“The thing about Donnie and why he is a really good role model for the younger kids coming up in the program is that Donnie was not a superstar,” Patrick said. “Donnie was a not a youth league superstar. It wasn’t natural or God-given. Donnie worked his butt off to get to the point where he is today.”

Corley, who reports a 3.3 cumulative GPA and has plans to major in electrical engineering in college, learned his work ethic from his parents and two older sisters—both of whom are currently in college.

Living in a city that has endured its share of tough times in recent years, he doesn’t have to look far to find inspiration to stay on his current path.

“You ride around and see some bad things, so it motivates you to work hard and try to create a better opportunity for yourself,” Corley said. “You have to concentrate on doing the right things and making the right choices.”

He’s heard and digested those messages on an annual basis at the SMSB camp. Now, he’s doing his part to pass along those messages to the younger kids coming up in the camp and at his school.

“The good thing about Donnie is that he is very approachable,” Patrick said. “He jokes around with the young kids, and he’s a good leader. You can still give back, and you can still be a role model even at a young age. Donnie is 17 years old, but you have no idea who is looking up to him right now. He has accepted that part of it, and he’s flourished in that role.”

For his part, Bettis said that he hopes to see Corley expand his reach within the camp after he moves on to college.

“I would tell him don’t stop coming,” Bettis said. “When you go to college, keep coming back. Now you start coaching and getting involved in other ways. Because what happens is, when you come through this camp, and other players see that you were here every year, they see the success, and they can chart that success, and it helps inspire them.”

From SMSB’s humble beginnings as a showcase for top in-state talent to its profile as a national event today, the city’s past and present greats are working hard to ensure that both its homegrown talent and the camp’s reputation continues to grow.

Corley seems to recognize and appreciate his role in that process.

That’s because it wasn’t too long ago when he was just a face in the crowd. 

Now, he’s the face who commands the crowd’s attention.

“[Donnie’s] the total package,” Patrick said. “I know that other kids can see themselves when they look up at him.”


Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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1 Nightmare Recruiting Scenario for Every Top 25 Recruiting Class

The summer is a time for optimism for college football fans. Every team is undefeated at this point, and renewed hope hits almost every fanbase.

That feeling carries over into recruiting too. More and more players are starting to choose their schools, which creates hot streaks and big moves up the recruiting rankings for some programs.

But with this article, let's check the optimism at the door.

Recruiting is a wild affair that has as much disappointment as delight. One flip can turn momentum in a cycle, and whiffing on a can't-miss prospect can sometimes change the direction of a program.

Here are the nightmare scenarios for each top 25 recruiting class in 247Sports' 2016 composite rankings. Outside of everybody decommitting and a completely empty fax machine on signing day, these are the worst realistic cases for each team for the rest of this cycle.

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Does Auburn Need WR Duke Williams to Be a Superstar in 2015?

When mentioning the top stars in the SEC, it won't take you long to land on Auburn wide receiver D'haquille "Duke" Williams.

For good reason.

The 6'2", 224-pound monster was a solid weapon for head coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee in 2014, hauling in a team-high 45 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns and establishing himself as one of the best all-around wide receivers in college football.

Now, with Auburn breaking in new quarterback Jeremy Johnson and a new No. 1 running back, it's up to Williams to be one of the leaders of the offense.

But does he need to be a superstar?

Not really, although I'm sure Williams, Malzahn and Lashlee would welcome that title if he earns it in 2015.

Williams is going to demand plenty of attention from opposing defensive backs and defensive coordinators. While plenty of passes will still go his way, in a perfect world for the 2015 Tigers, it might be best to have Williams serve as a decoy from time to time and let the rest of the talented wide receiving corps take advantage of one-on-one coverage.

It seems like Ricardo Louis has been on the Plains for a decade. Now the 6'2", 215-pound speedster is entering his senior season with an opportunity to take the place of former Tiger standout Sammie Coates as the primary deep threat in the offense.

Pressure? Not according to Louis.

"Pressure, to me, is like I have to do it," Louis said in April, according to former writer Joel A. Erickson. "I don't want to put that on myself, because I know I'm a great player if I just go out and play."

The duo of Williams and Louis could prove to be one of the SEC's best and further open up an Auburn offense that is going to be more balanced anyway thanks to the presence of Johnson—who's much more dangerous as a passer than his predecessor, Nick Marshall.

There are even more weapons around Williams who absolutely have the talent to make an impact.

Marcus Davis and Melvin Ray are veteran backups who have been part of the rotation for the last two years and know what's expected of them by the offensive staff.

Tony Stevens has plenty of potential, and at 6'4", 205 pounds, can present matchup nightmares for the third- or fourth-best defensive backs on the other side of the ball. Can he be consistent, though?

"The thing with Tony that I've liked is from a mental standpoint," Lashlee told Ryan Black formerly of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "He should be after two years. I feel like he feels (good enough) about the system to where we can move him around a little bit. That will give him a chance to get on the field more and to help us more."

There are even more stars waiting in the wings who don't have that experience.

Myron Burton caught seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in the spring game, according to the school's stats. At 5'9", 184 pounds, Stanton Truitt has the size and quickness to be dangerous in the slot. Meanwhile, 4-star signee Darius Slayton has all the makings of a potential superstar.

If things go according to plan, Williams' most important work for Johnson and the 2015 Tigers will be as a threat who not only succeeds as a receiver but creates advantageous matchups for the rest of the receiving corps.

He's one of the best receivers in the SEC, and as long as "Duke" reminds the opposing defense of that from time to time, the Auburn offense will be tough to stop.


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.

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Best Offensive Coordinators in College Football

Offense gets all the attention in college football, but actually compiling a list of the best offensive coordinators is actually a tad more complicated than you'd think. Basically, there's not one defined set of responsibilities from one OC to another. Everyone does it a little differently. 

With few exceptions, we try to stay away from the co-offensive coordinator titles as much as possible. This is a common thing in college football, but it's easier to pin down everything when it's one person running the show. Additionally, the tough part about listing offensive coordinators is that so many head coaches, in essence, hold that position. In many instances, the head coach will call the plays while OCs will draw up game plans. 

Some of these things are unavoidable. With that in mind, let's proceed. Selections were made on offensive stats, improvements, accolades and player development.

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