NCAA Football

Alabama Football: Power Ranking Tide's Best NFL Players of All Time

Long before Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been a factory pumping out some of the greatest players in NFL history.

Whether it was brash quarterbacks such as “Broadway” Joe Namath or game-changing talents such receiver Don Hutson or defensive end Derrick Thomas, a number of Tide alums have gone on to become dominant players after their college careers concluded.

Which former Tide stars rank among the program’s best NFL players of all time?

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Alabama Tight End Michael Nysewander Drinks Beer in Jorts at Talladega

Alabama tight end Michael Nysewander, a senior, was spotted drinking a beer in the infield at the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.

Unfortunately, he was wearing jorts. To top it off, it looks like he also tried to smash the can against his head. 

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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Texas A&M Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Aggie

The Texas A&M football team has multiple players who are anticipating the start of the NFL draft May 9. There are three Aggies who project to be selected early in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft

If an Aggie is selected among the top 10 selections in the draft, it will make it four years in a row that an Aggie has been taken with a top-10 pick. In 2011, Von Miller was taken with the No. 2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos. In 2012, the Miami Dolphins used the No. 6 pick to take Ryan Tannehill. In 2013, Luke Joeckel was the No. 2 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That is an unprecedented run of talent for the team. 

If an Aggie is taken in the first 10 picks, then Texas A&M will be the only school that can currently boast such an accomplishment.

This is a look at where the former members of the 2013 Aggie football team can expect to be taken in the 2014 NFL draft. 

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Fastest 40-Yard Dash Times from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

The Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine rolled into Arlington on Saturday at AT&T Stadium. With hundreds of high school athletes taking part, both from Texas and around the country, the 40-yard dash, as expected, generated the most interest of all the drills. 

Not surprisingly, the skill positions didn't disappoint. 

Defensive back Bryce Balous from McKinney North High School and Mayflower Senior High School (Ark.) running back Justin Bailey tied for top unofficial times in the 40 (4.39). 

Balous has an offer from Iowa, but the great thing about these combines is it provides more exposure for players who test well. Balous has incredible straight-line speed and is capable of catching anyone on the field, even if he's taken a bad angle on a play. He's also a contributor in the return game. 

4-star running back Jordan Stevenson, who is verbally committed to Texas for the 2015 class, had the next-best time with a 4.44 40. Stevenson would provide the Horns with a nice change of pace from bruising backs like Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. 

Getting more speed on the field is never a bad thing. Stevenson looks like he could contribute in a number of ways given his quickness. 

Another guy to keep an eye on is wide receiver Billy McCray from Rouse High School. Not only did he have one of the better 40 times, he tested out with one of the best overall scores of the day. McCray has gained serious interest in a handful of "non-Power 5" schools like SMU and Rice, and he could be flying under the radar. 

At 5'11" and 187 pounds, he could play slot receiver or defensive back with his athleticism. For someone under 6'0" tall, he also had the best vertical jump of anyone in the above group. 

It wouldn't be surprising to see McCray pick up several more offers from top-level programs over the next year. 

To check out other top performers from Saturday's combine, click here


 Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.

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USC Recruiting: 6 Recruits Every Trojan Fan Should Be Following This Summer

As the Trojans catch their breath after a sometimes grueling spring practice session, attention turns to the lifeblood of college football, that being recruiting.

And although for some college football recruiting is just an amusing way to pass time while waiting for the games to start, others will tell you it is a study unto itself. So it would seem given the abundance of websites with articles dedicated to all things college football recruiting.

Here is another.

However, this slideshow will depart a bit from what might be expected in terms of those precocious youngsters coveted most by the men of Troy.

After all, everyone who follows the Trojans closely knows that USC is in the game for mega-recruits such as cornerback Iman Marshall, linebacker John Houston and defensive end Rasheem Green, among many others. Great players to be sure but guys who are extensively covered in the media already.

Instead, this piece will look at the next tier of Trojan prospects—players USC has offered but who are not quite considered to be "5-star" guys by the so-called experts.

Nonetheless, great teams are built on the backs of these prospects and while they may not have quite ascended into the rarefied air of "elite status," they aren't too far behind.

And here are six of these guys you should keep your eye on this summer...


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USC Recruiting: 6 Recruits Every Trojan Fan Should Be Following This Summer

As the Trojans catch their breath after a sometimes grueling spring practice session, attention turns to the lifeblood of college football, that being recruiting...

Begin Slideshow

Top Performers from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

The Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine rolled into Arlington on Saturday at AT&T Stadium to host some of the most promising young football prospects from around the country.

Participants in the combine were divided into several groups, from local Dallas-Fort Worth recruits to out-of-state recruits. 

Bleacher Report was on site to a get a first-hand look at which stars of tomorrow stood out. The following were some of the top performers from Saturday's event. 

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Oregon Ducks Receive Slick Alamo Bowl Rings for Beating Texas

The Oregon Ducks may not have been happy with playing in the 2013 Alamo Bowl, but they should be pretty psyched about the rings they earned. Although the rings may not be as flashy as their uniforms, they still look pretty slick.

Oregon (11-2) ended the season on a high note with a 30-7 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl after being left out of the BCS. 

[The Oregonian, h/t College Spun]

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Thomas Tyner Looking Like De'Anthony Thomas 2.0

If De'Anthony Thomas was the first-generation, all-in-one running back, wide receiver and game-changer, Oregon sophomore Thomas Tyner is the 2.0 version.

Thomas left after the 2013 season with career marks of 26 rushing touchdowns and 15 through the air. After entering this month's NFL draft, Thomas left Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and offensive coordinator Scott Frost with the question of how to replace his many contributions. 

Tyner put on a performance in Saturday's spring game that proves Thomas' departure will not leave Oregon with such a hard-to-fill void after all.

In his three years with the program, Thomas gave the Ducks numerous options whenever he was on the field. Anytime he touched the ball, he could go for six points—and often did. 

Tyner will have the same explosiveness in 2014, only with a twist. Whereas Thomas was an X-factor, a wild card the Ducks unleashed at the right moment, Tyner has the ability to be a cornerstone of the offense. 

Tyner arrived at spring workouts last month 14 pounds heavier than his listed playing weight in 2013, Matt Prehm of reported. Now packing 215 pounds, Tyner is nearly 40 pounds heavier than Thomas.

Tyner has the size to be a durable feature back, a trait the smaller Thomas lacked. With that added muscle, Tyner can overpower defenders, much as he did Harrison in his highlight-reel carry Saturday—perhaps reminiscent of a certain Pro Football Hall of Famer. 

"He's a little bit of an Eric Dickerson-type mold—a little bit of a high runner," Helfrich told Tyson Alger of The Oregonian.

Combine that dimension of his game with a burst of breakaway speed, and Tyner is able to fulfill any number of roles for the Ducks in the ground game. Indeed, he'll be one of the team's most dangerous weapons. 

Teammate Dominique Harrison learned just how dangerous in the spring game. 

Tyner brought the same kind of versatility at receiver that made Thomas such a unique fit for the Ducks offense, scoring the game's first touchdown on a reception from quarterback Marcus Mariota. 

Mariota has a history of connecting with his running back in the pass game. In his two seasons paired with Thomas, the duo hooked up 67 times for nearly 700 yards. Tyner showed flashes of having the same kind of chemistry with the quarterback in 2013, hauling in 14 passes. 

On Saturday, the Mariota-Tyner tag-team looked ready to take another step as a one-two punch in the Ducks' aerial assault. B/R national lead writer Adam Kramer may have summarized the pair's dynamic best: 

Not safe for work, and not safe for Pac-12 defenses. Tyner's all-around game is a match-up nightmare and should prove to be an invaluable part of the arsenal in 2014.  

This is one upgraded version from its predecessor that will prove to be a big hit. 


Statistics compiled via

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Thomas Tyner Looking Like De'Anthony Thomas 2.0

If De'Anthony Thomas was the first-generation, all-in-one running back, wide receiver and game-changer, Oregon sophomore Thomas Tyner is the 2.0 version...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Oregon Spring Game 2014: Recap, Highlights and Analysis

We are about at the halfway mark in the long and arduous college football offseason, but fans of the Oregon Ducks were granted the opportunity to whet their appetite Saturday at the annual spring game.

Team Mariasu knocked off Team Twifo 27-7 in a game that was never really in doubt after the first quarter.

Spring games are somewhat strange as a supporter of the program because for every successful play, there is also a corresponding failure on the other side, but it should come as no surprise that quarterback Marcus Mariota was impressive Saturday. He saw limited action, but he had no issues moving the ball down the field with his arm and legs throughout the early going.

One note of interest for any Oregon game, including the spring game, is the uniforms of choice. The Oregon Ducks' official football Twitter account updated fans on the threads for the game and made sure to point out that a number of supporters were filling in before the game started:

Oregon was divided into two teams for the spring game during a draft with captains Mariota and Hroniss Grasu choosing "Team Mariasu" and Tony Washington and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu selecting "Team Twifo." Offensive coordinator Scott Frost was chosen by Team Mariasu, but he promised to keep the game plan fairly vanilla, via Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard

“We’re going to keep it pretty basic. We’ve got a lot of young guys playing in the spring game, so we’re not going to do anything too fancy. But it’s going to be really competitive, so I’m excited to watch those guys in a competitive situation.”

Of course, conservative by Oregon standards is still fairly exciting. Mariota got his team on the board first with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Tyner, and he also mixed in some flashy plays in the first quarter as well. Assistant athletic director for communications Andy McNamara and Oregon football provided some highlights:

Mariota wasn't done, and he connected with Devon Allen for an impressive 45-yard touchdown pass. He had team Mariasu up 14-0 after the first quarter and appeared in midseason form already. Considering he will be on the short list of Heisman contenders this year, that is welcome news for Ducks fans.

Thorburn was there for the touchdown play, but also echoed probably the most important sentiment of the entire spring game, given Mariota's incredible talent: 

Andrew Greif of The Oregonian provided fans with Mariota's noteworthy final stat line in limited action:

Team Mariasu also played some solid defense as the second quarter began. Tyree Robinson recorded an impressive interception: 

Perhaps the most important thing fans were keeping an eye on in the spring game was the performance of running back Thomas Tyner. De'Anthony Thomas declared for the NFL draft, and the Ducks certainly need depth and production at the position, considering the uptempo offense they run.

The good news along that front was that Tyner looked impressive in the early going. McNamara noted that he was running over defenders on his way down field:

Team Mariasu took a 14-0 lead into intermission and completely dominated the first half. The second half featured a running clock, so there was less action. That still didn't stop quarterback Jeff Lockie from adding to Mariasu's lead early in the third quarter with a 41-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Austin Daich.

It capped of an 80-yard drive in only six plays and kept the fans buzzing after the half:

Team Mariasu had a 21-0 lead after three quarters, and, with a running clock, Team Twifo was in trouble.

They started on the right foot, though, in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Taylor Alie connected with receiver Darren Carrington for a 20-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-7:

However, as it had all game, Team Mariasu's defense slammed the door shut on Team Twifo's comeback aspirations. Cornerback Dior Mathis registered an interception to end all realistic hope, and then, in typical Oregon pedal-to-the-metal fashion, Team Mariasu's offense scored on the final play of the game.

It was a 49-yard touchdown pass from Damion Hobbs to Devon Allen. The final score was 27-7.

As previously mentioned, it is difficult to draw too much from a spring game, because any offensive or defensive success means the corresponding unit failed, but Oregon fans should be pleased with Mariota's play. He dealt with injuries at the end of last season that certainly played a factor in late losses to Stanford and Arizona, so a fully healthy quarterback was a sight for sore eyes.

It was also clear during the game that Oregon fans are rearing for football. The announced attendance was more than 37,000 for the intra-squad scrimmage, and they were treated to a number of impressive plays.

Now, if only the season would hurry up and get here.


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