Redshirt freshman Terrell Cuney is set to see his first action as part of the University of Texas' offensive line during the upcoming season, but that is currently in question due to a reported arrest.
Continue for updates.Report: Cuney Arrested Wednesday for ShopliftingThursday, Aug. 6
Just weeks before the start of the 2015 college football campaign, Texas head coach Charlie Strong may have a difficult situation to deal with involving his reserve center.
According to Chris Hummer of 247Sports, Cuney was arrested early Wednesday morning for shoplifting, although specifics regarding the incident have not yet been released.
Cuney is a 6'1", 278-pound lineman from Jasper, Texas, who rated as the No. 7 center recruit in the Class of 2014, per 247Sports.
Senior Taylor Doyle is currently entrenched as the Longhorns' starting center, with sophomore Jake Raulerson behind him, so Cuney isn't in line to play very much in 2015 regardless of his legal situation.
The primary concern relates to his status with the team, as Strong hasn't hesitated to discipline his players. In fact, he dismissed nine players in 2014 during his first season at the helm.
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After thorough study using specific scoring criteria, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analysts Damon Sayles, Sanjay 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 Pro-Style Quarterbacks.
- Overall Top 200
- Interior Linemen
- Dual-Threat Quarterbacks
- Defensive Backs
- Offensive Tackles
- Running Backs
- Defensive Tackles
- Tight Ends
- Defensive Ends
Every collegiate coaching staff spends a large portion of each recruiting cycle searching for its next offensive leader. The presence of an elite and accountable quarterback commit lends increased legitimacy to a recruiting class and can convince other playmakers to join forces for years to come.
As usual, the majority of America's top-rated passers pledged early and enter their final high school summer break with future intentions revealed. The 2016 crop of quarterback measures up well when compared to groups we've watched develop in recent years and promises to make a major impact on college football's competitive landscape.
We broke down every pro-style quarterback rated among America's top 200 players in 247Sports' composite rankings, taking a look at key attributes and their respective recruitments. Athletes are listed in order of composite rankings and graded based on analysis judging accuracy, arm strength, mobility, leadership, football IQ and pocket presence.
All prospects graded by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.
Technically, the initial 2015 Amway Coaches Poll doesn’t play a factor in the race toward the College Football Playoff, but best of luck telling that to pigskin-starved fans who have been clamoring for the sounds of the band and the crisp air of autumn Saturdays all summer.
The release of the preseason Top 25 is the clearest signal that football is finally right around the corner, and the poll was particularly good news for the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes, the SEC (eight ranked teams) and Big 12 title contenders TCU and Baylor.
The No. 1 Buckeyes sit in the driver’s seat on the road to a repeat title, but there are plenty of challengers waiting for a shot at Urban Meyer’s squad.
As is always the case with college football, there is an element of subjectivity with the rankings, which opens the door for criticism (and even compliments). After all, these teams haven’t even played a down of actual football this season and are already ranked in best-to-worst fashion.
Here is a look at the complete Top 25, as well as some reasons to praise and complain about the first coaches poll.
Best Selection: Ohio State at No. 1
Last year’s Heisman Trophy finalists were Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Alabama’s Amari Cooper and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. One thing they have in common (outside of their places on NFL rosters) is the fact that they all lost to Ohio State under the bright lights at the end of the 2014 season.
The Buckeyes team that steamrolled its way through the Badgers in the Big Ten title game, the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff and the Ducks in the national championship game is largely still intact heading into the 2015 campaign. That is worrisome news for the rest of the country and makes Ohio State the clear pick atop the initial coaches poll.
In fact, the Buckeyes are so loaded that they have not one, but two quarterbacks who could theoretically challenge for this year’s Heisman in Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett.
Former Big Ten Player of the Year Braxton Miller was set to join them in a quarterback race for the ages, but he will instead play wide receiver and H-back.
Miller's decision will only make Ohio State’s offense even more dangerous given his comments, per Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated: “It’s going to be electric. We had a great season last year, but we didn’t see anyone do off-the-wall type stuff. I’m sure guys miss seeing an explosive, 60-yard shake-and-bake run every once in a while.”
Miller’s electric first step jumped out when he lined up at quarterback, and he will have an even greater opportunity to demonstrate that as a skill player this season. Throw in weapons Jalin Marshall, Mike Thomas, Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson, Corey Smith and even youngsters Parris Campbell and Noah Brown, and it’s difficult to envision any defense slowing down Ohio State.
That’s not even mentioning star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who led the way in those final three games last year with a combined 696 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. With all the attention on the quarterback race, Elliott has the talent to win the Heisman Trophy this season behind a loaded offensive line that returns four starters.
The defense also figures to be among the nation’s best behind Joey Bosa (the potential No. 1 pick in next year’s draft), Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, Joshua Perry and Adolphus Washington.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller took the time to evaluate their pro prospects, and the mere fact that a draft expert already has his eyes on so many defenders from one team before the season even starts is testament to the talent and depth the Buckeyes boast:
Ohio State held Mariota and the dynamic Oregon offense to a mere 20 points in the title game, and they will shut down plenty of opponents this year as well.
With a stout defense and an offense loaded with game-changing playmakers, the Buckeyes were an obvious choice for the No. 1 team in the country. The initial coaches poll did not disappoint atop the rankings.
Overrated Selection: Oregon at No. 5
While Ohio State is right where it belongs at No. 1, the team it defeated in the national title contest is overrated at No. 5.
Oregon will still win plenty of games this season, but it is premature to say the 2015 version is one of the five best teams in the country. For one, there is simply no replacing Mariota, who threw for 4,454 yards and 42 touchdowns and added 770 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground on his way to the Heisman.
What’s more, the offensive line must replace three starters, including star center Hroniss Grasu. It is always difficult to break in a new quarterback, and that task will be even more challenging with a developing line and an early trip to East Lansing to face a daunting Michigan State defense.
Whether Vernon Adams or Jeff Lockie seizes the signal-caller reins, they simply won’t be able to run the offense at full gear until the line is completely ready. That may not come until after the Michigan State showdown, which could mean an early loss.
As for the defense that was last seen on the receiving end of Elliott’s stiff arm in the national championship game, it will no longer have All-American cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, defensive end Arik Armstead or cornerback Troy Hill, among others.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com pointed out that the Ducks could also be in trouble if they take a step back from last season based on the overall strength of the Pac-12:
USC is climbing back to full strength. More than a few folks believe the Trojans will return to the national picture this fall, displacing the Oregon/Stanford domination of the conference that began when Carroll bolted to the NFL after the 2009 downturn. USC remains USC. At full strength and well-coached, the Trojans are perennial national contenders, a combination of tradition, geography and wherewithal.
UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona and Utah all have traction in the South as nationally ranked teams, at least as long as they hold on to present head coaches. Speaking of the 1990s, Oregon's good friend to the North, the Washington Huskies, also should be on the uptick under Chris Petersen. The Huskies, Stanford and a rising California program should provide a challenge in the North over the next three seasons.
In other words, if Oregon football takes a step back, it could mean that its rivals took two steps forward.
Look for Oregon to take that step back without so many key contributors from last season. It will still be a nationally ranked team by December, but that ranking will not be in the top five with so many replacements.
Best Storyline to Follow: The Big 12 Arms Race
Last year, the Big 12 was left out of the playoffs in favor of Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Oregon even though TCU and Baylor only had one loss each.
The fact that the Buckeyes in particular had the opportunity to showcase their talent in the Big Ten Championship Game during a destruction of Wisconsin while the Big 12 did not have a title contest certainly contributed to the Horned Frogs’ and Bears’ fates.
If this year’s initial coaches poll is any indication, No. 2 TCU and No. 4 Baylor control their own destiny on the way to the postseason. All it takes is a spot in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings at season’s end to have a shot at the national championship, and this initial coaches poll sets up a thrilling race to the finish.
Around the Big 12 representatives, Ohio State and No. 6 Michigan State play each other, No. 5 Oregon is in a deep Pac-12 and No. 3 Alabama resides in an SEC with eight ranked teams. There will be plenty of losses near the top of the polls throughout the season, which opens up the door for TCU or Baylor to be a bride instead of a bridesmaid in this year's playoff.
What’s more, the actual showdown between the Bears and Horned Frogs happens Nov. 27 during Thanksgiving weekend. It represents a golden opportunity to make a late statement with the entire country turning its eyes toward football.
The winner will almost assuredly be in the College Football Playoff this time around if they avoid any significant upsets along the way. That is just what the Big 12 wants after missing out on the party last year.
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Notre Dame lost more depth across its defensive line Wednesday with the announcement that sophomore defensive end Kolin Hill will transfer and not report to fall camp.
Andrew Owens of Blue & Gold Illustrated passed along the news and noted that “it is not known where Hill is expected to transfer.”
Hill was not a defensive star during his freshman campaign in 2014, but he did see playing time as part of the rotation and managed seven tackles and two sacks. His best game came against archrival Michigan when he tallied 1.5 sacks.
This represents yet another blow to the defensive line before the 2015 season even begins. Defensive end Jhonny Williams transferred, while recruit Bo Wallace ultimately spurned the Fighting Irish and joined the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Mike Vorel of Notre Dame Insider put the personnel losses in perspective based on last year’s struggles:
Pete Sampson of Scout.com noted that Notre Dame will only have “six sure-fire eligible defensive ends this season” after the Hill news. Of that group, only Romeo Okwara, Isaac Rochell, Andrew Trumbetti and Grant Blankenship boast tangible experience.
The defensive line could receive a boost, though, if Ishaq Williams is reinstated by the NCAA. Williams was one of the players suspended during Notre Dame's academic dishonesty investigation in 2014 and is awaiting word on his status as of Wednesday.
The Fighting Irish have College Football Playoff aspirations for the 2015 campaign and were ranked No. 11 in the initial Amway coaches poll. The pass rush was inconsistent at best last season and a major reason why Notre Dame lost five of its final six regular-season contests and fell all the way to the Music City Bowl after a promising 6-0 start.
The only way Notre Dame will avoid that fate and cash in on its elevated expectations this year is with a better performance from its defense. It will not be able to survive efforts that fans saw last season when the defense allowed 43 points to Northwestern, 55 to Arizona State and 49 to USC, especially with games against Texas, Clemson, Georgia Tech, USC and Stanford on the schedule.
With Hill’s departure, it puts even more pressure on the defensive line to stay healthy and productive. Look for opponents to utilize the running game and force the Fighting Irish to rotate their thin group of linemen in an effort to wear down the defense.
The Fighting Irish offense may have to score plenty of points if a trip to the College Football Playoff resides in Notre Dame’s future.
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