NCAA Football

5 Recruits 4-Star QB Commit Shane Buechele Is Trying to Bring to Texas

The bad news for Texas Longhorns fans: Kendell Jones Jr., a coveted, 4-star defensive tackle from Killeen, Texas, chose Alabama over the in-state Longhorns on Friday.

The good news: There's still room to land plenty of quality talent. Arlington, Texas, 4-star quarterback Shane Buechele is doing his part in recruiting for the program.

Buechele, the nation's No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, on Monday said he has five players on a short list he's hoping to help land in Austin's Forty Acres. Buechele, who committed to Texas on Feb. 23, said he's making it a priority to recruit wide receiver Devin Duvernay, offensive tackle Jean Delance, running back Devwah Whaley, athlete Christian Wallace and versatile offensive lineman Tope Imade for Charlie Strong's 2016 class.

Duvernay, Delance, Whale and Wallace all are 4-star athletes. Imade is a rising 3-star who recently saw his strength go viral with a school record-setting deadlift.

 

Buechele on Duvernay: 'That man can run'

Of Buechele's five targets, Duvernay is the highest-ranked player. The Sachse, Texas, prospect is the nation's No. 3 wide receiver and No. 44 overall.

And he's deserving of his ranking. Buechele may even think he's a little underranked.

"This dude can just flat-out ball," Buechele said of Duvernay, an electrifying player at 5'11" and 195 pounds.

Duvernay would be a major pickup for the Longhorns. However, schools like Texas A&M, Baylor, Alabama and Oklahoma are notable contenders. Duvernay was invited to The Opening in March with an outstanding overall performance. In addition to showcasing a 37.7-inch vertical and throwing the power ball 37 feet, he also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds.

Need proof with how fast Duvernay is away from football? He won the Texas high school Class 6A state gold medal in the 100-meter dash. His time was blazing, as he won the race in 10.27 seconds.

"He's quick, has good hands, runs great routes and has extremely deceptive speed. That man can run. I definitely want to be able to throw him the ball."

 

Can the Longhorns land Delance?

Every quarterback wants a reliable offensive line to depend on. Delance could spearhead that line for the Longhorns—and for Buechele.

A former Oklahoma commit, Delance is the nation's No. 11 offensive tackle and a top-100 player overall. Texas is one of the schools high on the Mesquite, Texas, lineman's list, but the Longhorns will have to outduel Texas A&M, TCU, USC, Alabama, LSU and Michigan.

And Oklahoma. Earlier this month, Delance said Oklahoma is still in the race, despite decommitting from the Sooners in March after the actions of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Buechele knows the battle is somewhat uphill for getting Delance to Texas, but he is up for the challenge.

"I'm really going for him because we need that dominant lineman for our class," Buechele said. "He's a beast in the trenches, and the dude can play, no doubt. I want him protecting me."

 

Whaley could fill a need for Texas

At 6'0" and 205 pounds, Whaley has the body, speed and overall skill set to be a playmaker in the Big 12 and a valuable asset at Texas. Buechele knows the Longhorns are in need of a quality running back commit, and Whaley can be that player.

Currently, however, Whaley is considered a Texas A&M lean by prognosticators participating in his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. A Beaumont, Texas, prospect, Whaley also likes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama.

"Devwah is a player who can do mean things to a defense anywhere," Buechele said. "He can go in the gaps and can bounce it out and make people miss in space, then beat people with his speed. I would love to have a dude in the backfield like him."

The spring is an interesting time, as it allows college coaches to make their visits to campuses to sell their programs and philosophies to players. Whaley received a visit from Texas last week.

The big question: Can the Longhorns gain ground on the other schools? Buechele hopes so. In addition to giving Texas its first running back pledge of the 2016 class, he could be that power back with speed that could excel in Strong's offense.

 

Leadership, versatility make Wallace attractive

Wallace is the type of player who could play safety, outside linebacker, running back or wide receiver in the right system. It's the versatility of the Katy, Texas, athlete that Buechele is a huge fan of.

"We need him to come to Texas because he can make us better on either side of the ball," Buechele said of Wallace. "He's an overall defensive player, but it's always good to have such a good athlete like him."

According to Greg Powers of Scout.com, Wallace said three schools currently stand out—Texas, Mississippi State and Oklahoma. The former TCU commit is considered a Texas lean, per his 247Sports Crystal Ball, but nothing is set in stone until a signature is on a national letter of interest.

One thing is for sure: Whoever gets Wallace will get a player who not only wants to get better but also see his teammates around him get better. He was a leader and a motivator, along with being a solid defensive back, at The Opening Dallas regional.

Projected to be a safety in college, Wallace is ranked the No. 15 athlete in the country. At 6'2 ½" and 211 pounds, he's a big athlete with good speed, solid feet and a major hunger for getting better each day.

 

The sky's the limit for Imade

It's still early to determine if Imade projects to be an offensive guard or offensive tackle at the next level, but that's part of the charm of the Arlington, Texas, athlete.

Buechele has seen enough of Imade to know what he brings to the table. Buechele's Lamar High School squad and Imade's Bowie High School squad are district opponents.

"He's another O-line guy who has a lot of potential to be a great player," Buechele said of Imade, a 6'4 ½", 327-pound lineman with nearly 20 reported offers. "He's blown up this year and is a big guy who can block the big dogs on the D-line.

"He's in my district, so hopefully, I can pull him out to end up being a Longhorn."

Texas offered Imade on May 21 and is considered a school to watch in his process. Other schools to keep an eye on are Michigan, Texas Tech, Washington, Miami and Houston.

 

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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B/R 5th Down: Players Post Insane Catches, More Urban Meyer Photobombs

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

 

1. 'Tis the Summer of Ridiculous One-Handed Catches

When there are no more spring practices—or practice of any sort for the next few months—there's really only one thing athletes can do to pass the time: Make videos of awesome one-handed, acrobatic catches. 

Such videos are nothing new, of course, but it's not like you get all that tired of watching them. Since everyone's always trying to outperform someone else, these catches get more ridiculous over time. 

One of the trends that has caught on is the ol' backflip catch. One of the more recent players to post one of these videos is North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen: 

Khaleke Hudson, a 3-star athlete from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, didn't get into the backflip catch craze, but he did sky a human being while catching a pass one-handed, which is every bit as epic: 

The only thing we can hope for now is that players start doing this during actual games. 

 

2. Speaking of Which: De’Mornay Pierson-El Jumps Into The Sky

As you probably know, there are five layers to Earth's atmosphere: the troposphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere and exosphere. We're guessing Nebraska wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El reached somewhere between the second and third layers in this insane catch: 

Good grief, what was the vertical on that? The hang time? 

Pierson-El was one of the top punt returners in college football last season as a freshman (596 yards, three touchdowns) and figures to be a huge part of the Cornhuskers offense this year. If this video is any indication, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. just needs to throw the ball up there and let Pierson-El—who is only 5'9", mind you—go get it. 

  

3. Urban Meyer Can't Stop, Won't Stop Photobombing 

You guys, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has a problem. We need to talk about this. We've put it off long enough. 

Urban has to stop photobombing people. It's getting out of hand: 

For only pennies a day, you can provide hope to a helpless #UrbPhotoBomb sufferer. With your generous, tax-deductible donation, you'll receive a pamphlet with more information about the people you're saving. Photos of these innocent people can be seen courtesy of ElevenWarriors.com:

Oh, what's that? You don't want Meyer to stop photobombing people? OK then. Moving on. 

 

4. Drake Visits Houston 

Speaking of Meyer, let's check in on his former offensive coordinator, Tom Herman, who is crushing it at Houston. Last week, the Cougars football program received verbal pledges from defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Elliott. Oliver is a 5-star prospect and the No. 13 player in the country; Elliott is a 4-star player and the No. 12 overall player in Texas. 

You could say Houston has a lot of momentum right now, and oh, look at that: 

All we're saying is that Houston lands not one, but two blue-chip recruits and suddenly Drake shows up to take photos with Herman. 

(For the "well actually" crowd: We know he was in Houston for a celebrity softball game benefiting the Astros' Urban Youth Academy. This is awesome and well done on Drake's part, but please don't ruin the narrative for us.) 

 

5. Meet the Andy Warhol of College Football Landscaping

Sports teaches us many things, among them are the benefits of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. No one has taken that to heart more than this Tennessee fan, who was determined to get on Google Maps with this Tennessee logo: 

Now that's impressive. And time consuming. For anyone wondering, yes, this is real. Its coordinates are (36.004168, -85.878256), about 130 miles west of Knoxville. 

As always, #govowels.

 

6. Mason Rudolph Met Two Members of the Backstreet Boys

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph was in Israel last week with plans to be baptized in the Jordan River. While he was over there, Rudolph ran into two members from the Backstreet Boys: Nick Carter (right) and Kevin Richardson (left). 

And, hey, Kevin—there's no need to refer to him or any of the Backstreet Boys by their last name only because goodness knows no one did that when they were popular; they were Nick, Kevin, A.J., Howie and Brian, and oh my God, I still remember all of their names—still looks pretty good. Remember: He was already like 35 at the height of their popularity. 

Anyway—look, you can't stand there and act like the Backstreet Boys didn't have some jams in the '90s. Otherwise, that means you're either a stubborn N' Sync fan—and we all know Justin Timberlake was greater than the sum of those parts—or in denial. 

I mean, if it's good enough for Rudolph and Seth Rogen and the gang from This is the End, then it's good enough for the rest of us: 

 

7. An Update on Laquon Treadwell

Last November, Ole Miss receiver and potential 2016 first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell, sustained a horrific leg injury in a loss to Auburn. While running toward the end zone, Treadwell was tackled awkwardly, breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle in the process. 

Six months later, he's running routes and competing again: 

The body's ability to heal itself—with the help of modern medicine—is a remarkable thing. The fact that Treadwell can even walk, let alone run, cut and do everything else required of him, is nothing short of amazing. 

Treadwell is a great player and it'll be good to see him on the field again next season. More than anything, though, it's good to see that he can still play football at all. 

 

8. Your Weekly Jim Harbaugh Tweet...of the Week: Been There, Bro

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was watching the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, probably like millions of other Americans. Unlike millions of Americans, though, Harbaugh thinks he knows a thing or two about driving fast while looking cool. (Actually, never mind. That sounds like millions of Americans.) 

Impressed with the one-handed pace car-driving ability of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, Harbaugh was compelled to tweet "been there": 

Been there...like, driving a pace car? Driving 100 miles per hour or faster with one hand? Both? Either way, the image of Harbaugh flying along in his khakis is pretty amazing. 

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. He wants everyone to know that Backstreet's back at @BenKercheval

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Blake Countess to Auburn: Former Michigan CB Announces Transfer to Tigers

The Auburn Tigers got a major boost to their secondary Tuesday, as former Michigan Wolverines cornerback Blake Countess transferred to the school for his final year of eligibility.   

Countess made the announcement on his Instagram page: 

He'll instantly upgrade Auburn's secondary. Since he already graduated from Michigan, the senior is eligible to play right away, and he brings the experience of 30 starts at Michigan and an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season. 

JC Shurburtt of 247Sports believes Auburn got an excellent player:

According to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com, he is now the fifth Michigan player to transfer since Jim Harbaugh took over as coach, a list that includes running back Justice Hayes, offensive lineman Jack Miller, quarterback Russell Bellomy and tight end Keith Heitzman.

That's not completely shocking. New coaching hires tend to shake up the program to their liking when they arrive at a school, and Harbaugh has enough of a pedigree to make the changes he deems as necessary. He has a well-defined philosophy, and many Michigan recruits from the previous regime may not feel they fit well into that approach to the game. 

Perhaps Countess is one of them. Regardless, Auburn will simply be happy to be bringing aboard a talented, experienced cornerback to upgrade one of the weaker units on the team. Expect him to start from day one and adjust to SEC play without issue. 

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Here's an Old Picture of Jim Harbaugh Wearing a Michigan State Spartans Hat

Jim Harbaugh wasn't always a Michigan man. 

He was born in Ohio, went to high school in California and probably did lots of exciting, non-Wolverines-related things before playing college ball in Ann Arbor. His brother-in-law was an assistant basketball coach at Michigan State, too!

So I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for this picture of Harbaugh wearing a Michigan State hat.

The Majors' Ryan McCumber dug up the image, which shows Harbaugh posing with what appears to be one of his sons. (Jay Harbaugh, is that you?) In any case, here's the head coach of the Michigan football team wearing a Spartans hat.

Go Wolversparts!

 

Dan is on Twitter, where are your past mistakes will eventually be unearthed and retweeted.

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College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

USC is poised to make another run at a top-five recruiting class in the 2016 cycle. 

After last week’s addition of 4-star wideout Josh Imatorbhebhe, the Trojans have pulled into the No. 10 spot of the 247Sports Team Rankings.

Steve Sarkisian and his staff went cross-country to land Imatorbhebhe, but last week, the Trojans stayed closer to home in tendering 4-star Los Angeles native David Long.

The 6’0”, 175-pounder out of Loyola High School—which is located minutes away from USC’s campus—knows most people in recruiting circles have pegged him landing at USC, even before he had the offer.

“I know a lot of people think I am leaning to USC, but I am definitely wide open,” Long told James Hale of 247Sports back in March. 

However, he admits that he is most familiar with the Trojans and he’s been a fixture on their campus over the last couple of years.

“USC is probably two miles or less than that from my school and I have been around their campus a lot,” Long told Hale. “I started going to USC games my sophomore year. I think I made every USC game my sophomore year. I would say I have been to 10 to 15 games at USC.”

According to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Long won the MVP of the defensive backs segment at the Nike Opening Regional camp in Oakland earlier this month, and subsequently punched his ticket to The Opening. 

Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Stanford are among the other schools making a push for Long. But with the Trojans now firmly in the race, Long’s recruitment could take on a new direction moving forward.

 

Oklahoma Hits Texas

Texas has been a territory that Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma staff have had a strong presence in during his tenure in Norman.

Last week, the Sooners offered a pair of 3-star defenders from the Lone Star State in safety Chris Brown and linebacker Deonte Williams.

Arizona State, Duke, Michigan and Michigan State are among the schools who have offered the 5’11”, 183-pound Brown.

Meanwhile, Williams—who has recorded 117 tackles, including 33 for loss and 13 sacks over the last two seasons—has offers from Baylor, Iowa, Louisville and TCU, among others.

However, it appears as if the Sooners are hoping to make a move on both standouts from the Lone Star State.

 

Florida After Rising 2016 RB

Florida has already added a talented running back in 4-star JUCO pledge Mark Thompson

However, Jim McElwain and his staff hit the state of Texas last week to offer 3-star rusher D’Vaughn Pennamon.

As a junior, the 5’11”, 199-pounder accounted for 925 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns.

The Gators join Georgia and Ole Miss as fellow SEC powers who have offered Pennamon this month.

 

2017 Florida WR in Demand

Perhaps the hottest prospect in the country last week was 2017 4-star receiver Daquon Green.

The 6’1”, 183-pounder picked up five offers last week from Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Of that group, he noted that the tender from the Buckeyes came as a shock to him.

“Those [offers] are really big, especially Ohio State,” Green told Bleacher Report. “I've been looking for that one, but I didn't expect it this soon. It was a big surprise for me.”

Expect the interest in the explosive playmaker to continue to grow in the coming months.

 

Best of the Rest

2016

 

2017

 

2018

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

The Most Underrated and Overrated College Football Player in Each P5 Conference

Remember back in 1993, when ESPN’s Beano Cook predicted that Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus would win the Heisman twice?

That’s the definition of overrating a player.

Now, think back to 2009, when preseason Heisman short lists included everybody but the eventual winner, Mark Ingram (running back, Alabama), and runner-up Toby Gerhart (quarterback, Stanford).

That’s the definition of underrating players.                                                         

It’s not a question of athletes being good or bad; it’s a case of over-hyping some guys while under-hyping others.

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Power Ranking the 5 Toughest SEC Football Road Environments

In the SEC, every week is a battle—especially if you're away from home.

The conference is home to eight of the 20 largest college football stadiums in the country, according to FoxSports.com, including Kyle Field at Texas A&M, LSU's Tiger Stadium and Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bigger isn't always better, though. Which five stadiums create the most hostile environments? Based on size, fan enthusiasm and home success, our list is in this slideshow.

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10 Most Ready NFL Players Who Aren't Eligible for 2016 Draft

It's never too early to start thinking about the NFL draft. The draft has evolved into a yearlong process, with one draft barely ending before we're inundated with the next year's mock drafts (which are, of course, extra accurate a full year out from the actual draft!). Here's an very early 2017 mock draft from Bill Bender of the Sporting News

Point is, people love to talk about the draft, and we're no different. This fall, every big performance will fuel chatter and speculation about whether this will be the last time we see an early-entry candidate before they head to the NFL.

Some players, however, won't hear that chatter. After all, you have to be three years removed from high school graduation to declare for the NFL draft, and many talented sophomores won't reach that benchmark this fall.

Here's a look at the most NFL-ready players who aren't eligible for the 2016 NFL draft.

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The 10 Most Clutch College Football Head Coaches

When the game is late and the score is close, it takes a strong will and great confidence to come out on top. Coaches look for this in their players, but the coaches themselves must be able to make the right decisions during crunch time as well.

For those who do, they become known as being "clutch."

This doesn't just mean being able to win most of the one-score games their teams are involved in, but also to have the ability to make such games seem less stressful than they are. Same with those games that go to overtime or are against ranked teams.

With a calm demeanor and an intense focus on the task at hand, you'd think they're calling plays during the first quarter of a spring scrimmage instead of the final minutes of a big game.

Using this criteria, we've selected the 10 most clutch coaches in college football, detailing some of their most notable exploits in big-game situations.

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3-Star DB Khaleke Hudson Makes 1-Handed Catch While Jumping over Someone

Whoever lands defensive back Khaleke Hudson is getting an incredible athlete.

The 2016 3-star showed off his one-handed catching abilities as he jumped over a person into the end zone. And as we all know, slow motion makes everything look better, doesn't it?

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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Alabama Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

Two weeks away from its first summer football camp of the offseason, Alabama had somewhat of a quiet week on the recruiting trail.

Nick Saban and his staff sent out six offers this week, half of which were to 2018 players who don’t have star ratings and have only played one year of high school football so far.

Still, the week wasn’t without its fair share of splash offers, including one to a big-name NFL legacy.

Here’s a breakdown of Alabama’s offers of the week.

 

Thaddeus Moss, 2016 3-Star Tight End

Alabama’s quest for another tight end could come in the form of an NFL legacy, something that has been sort of a theme for the Crimson Tide’s recruiting efforts lately.

Randy Moss’ son, Thaddeus, got an offer from Alabama this week. Thaddeus Moss is a tight end who is most comfortable split out wide—exactly the kind of tight end Alabama needs to snag in this cycle.

“On film, Moss makes for an impressive flex tight end,” Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles wrote in February. “He can line up as an H-back, but his strengths are lining up wide and posing a problem for smaller defensive backs. Like his father, he likes making the catch at its highest point.”

Moss prefers not to do interviews, so it’s hard to get a read on where his recruitment is heading. His offer list has picked up steam lately, with schools like Michigan, Georgia and Oregon jumping in the mix.

For now, Moss has one more year left at Victory Christian in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his dad serves as defensive coordinator.

If Alabama can land Moss, and he’s anything like his dad, Alabama will be set at the tight end position for a couple of more years.

 

Jedrick Wills, 2017 4-Star Offensive Tackle

As reported by Scout's Brian Eldridge, Alabama started the week on Monday by offering the top player in the state of Kentucky who could develop into a bookend tackle one day.

It will be hard to get Wills out from his hometown Kentucky Wildcats, but as he gets more and more attention on the recruiting trail, he could start to pursue other options. Alabama has certainly shown a track record of getting its offensive linemen to the next level.

Mario Cristobal was in town to see another player, but Wills’ high school coach, Eric Shaw, turned Cristobal on to his rising junior tackle.

“(Cristobal) came by to see me this morning and talk to me a little bit,” Shaw told 247Sports’ Hank South. “Everyone is stopping by to see my soon-to-be senior Landon Young. I told him I wanted to show him Jedrick, and afterwards he told me to put them in the mix for him.”

Shaw thinks that the 6’5”, 300-pound Wills could continue to get bigger:

He has great feet to be 6'5", 310 pounds. I think he has the opportunity to be even bigger. He just turned 16 yesterday, he’s still growing and I think at the end of the day he might be 6’7” or 6’8”. He has very long arms and very good speed. He’s very aggressive, and he plays to his size. There are a lot of guys throughout the country that have the size and the strength, but they don’t have that nastiness to them, but he has it all.

Shaw also added that he thinks Alabama will be near the top of Wills' list when he starts to trim it down.

 

Other Offers from the Week

Al Blades, Jr., 2018 Cornerback:

Nik Bonitto, 2018 Strong-Side Defensive End:

Eriq Gilyard, 2018 Outside Linebacker:

B.J. Emmons, 2016 4-Star Running Back (Georgia Commit):

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The spring evaluation period is winding down in the recruiting world, and the Notre Dame football staff sent out another nine offers over the past week, following up an 11-offer week.

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

Notre Dame continues to identify and target safeties, especially after another potential option—class of 2016 safety Kenney Lyke, who pledged to Michigan State on Friday—dropped off the board.

 

Devwah Whaley

Class of 2016 running back Devwah Whaley landed an offer from Notre Dame on Wednesday, becoming the 15th running back in the class to receive an offer from the Irish, as he noted on Twitter:

The Beaumont, Texas, product is slotted as the No. 4 back and No. 118 overall player in the country. Two days before landing the Irish offer, Whaley sliced his list to 10 schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Texas.

We’ll see if Notre Dame can alter that top 10 after offering.

 

Antonneous Clayton

Notre Dame continues to target defensive ends in this recruiting cycle, and the Irish offered class of 2016 weak-side defensive end Antonneous Clayton on Wednesday, per Irish247’s Tom Loy:

The 6’4”, 218-pound end from Vienna, Georgia, checks in as the No. 26 player at his position and the No. 434 overall prospect in his class. Clayton also holds offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Florida and Alabama, among others.

“Notre Dame’s graduation rate is incredible,” Clayton told Loy. “I’ve done my research. That’s big for me. Football isn’t forever; it only lasts so long. I know a Notre Dame degree means a lot, and you can do a lot with it and build great connections in life because of it.”

Clayton will visit campus in June, per Loy. Clayton also said he has no favorites at this point in his recruitment.

 

Jonathan Smith

Class of 2016 linebacker Jonathan Smith reeled in a Notre Dame offer Thursday, according to 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow:

A 3-star prospect from Laurinburg, North Carolina, Smith is the No. 31 inside linebacker and No. 806 overall player in the country. The linebacker also boasts offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, where he’s visited multiple times.

 

Jonah Morris

One week after committing to Michigan State, class of 2016 linebacker Jonah Morris hauled in an offer from Notre Dame, per Loy:

Morris, who committed to the Spartans on May 12, is the No. 52 outside linebacker and No. 699 overall prospect in the class. Morris indicated roughly two weeks ago an Irish offer was forthcoming, per Loy.

“Notre Dame is supposed to offer me soon,” Morris said at the time to Loy. “I don’t know what the future may bring with my recruitment if that happens. Anything is possible, and anything could happen. It would be huge knowing that Notre Dame offered. Definitely a blessing.”

 

Jalen Elliott

Class of 2016 athlete Jalen Elliott received a Notre Dame offer Tuesday, an offer he referred to as a "blessing":

The 3-star prospect and No. 636 player in the class hails from Chesterfield, Virginia, and reports offers from North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Auburn and Georgia, among others. According to Loy, the Irish are "pursuing" Elliott as a safety.

Elliott described his summer plans to 247Sports’ Evan G. Watkins.

“In the summertime I plan to visit all of the recent offers I have gotten like Auburn, Georgia, possible Miami and Notre Dame and then I can get back to the schools I have been to like Virginia Tech and a few others,” Elliott said.

 

Najee Harris

The Irish are still hovering around 30 offers for the entire class of 2017, and Notre Dame targeted its second running back in the class and offered Alabama commit Najee Harris. Head coach Brett Dudley of Antioch High School tweeted an announcement:

The Antioch, California, product committed to the Crimson Tide on April 18 and currently ranks as the No. 1 running back and No. 15 overall player in the nation. 247Sports’ Barton Simmons described Harris as “so much more than a power back, showcasing outstanding change of direction, jump cut and make-miss ability and also the ability to catch the ball effectively out of the backfield.”

Harris joins Maleik Gray as 2017 running back prospects to land Irish offers.

 

Jake Moretti

Notre Dame offered its fourth offensive tackle in the class of 2017 on Wednesday, extending an offer to Jake Moretti. Coach Matt McChesney congratulated Moretti on the ND offer:

The Arvada, Colorado, native is the No. 11 tackle and No. 71 prospect in his class. He also totes offers from Wisconsin, Ohio State, UCLA, Nebraska and Michigan.

“It’s Notre Dame, what’s not to love? It has everything,” Moretti told Irish247.

 

Leonard Warner

Class of 2017 athlete Leonard Warner grabbed a Notre Dame offer Saturday, per Loy.

Warner is tabbed as the No. 7 outside linebacker and No. 106 overall prospect in the class. He holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Michigan and Miami, among others.

 

Jeffrey Okudah

The safety search continues, as Notre Dame joined the fray for class of 2017 safety Jeffrey Okudah with an offer Tuesday. Okudah tweeted the announcement:

The 5-star Okudah is ranked as the No. 1 safety and No. 20 overall in the class of 2017. The Grand Prairie, Texas, native holds offers from Duke, Ohio State, Alabama, USC, Miami, Texas, LSU and Florida State, among others.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

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Georgia Football: Bulldogs' 2015 Offseason Checklist

With summer approaching, the Georgia Bulldogs are getting closer to kicking off the 2015 season in September. And with this being the offseason, the players are getting into shape for when fall practice begins in August. The coaches are preparing for fall practice as well, but they are also working hard on the recruiting trail.

The goals are set for the Bulldogs to have a successful 2015 season. They were able to do some good things in 2104, but they were not satisfied after the win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl. In order for them to win the SEC and have a chance to reach the College Football Playoff, there will be some things they need to get done in the offseason.

Here’s the offseason checklist for the Bulldogs.

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Who Will Be LSU's Secret Weapon in 2015?

The LSU Tigers are a team ripe with big-time talent. From standout running backs to lockdown defenders, Les Miles and his staff have been able to get the most out of their players. 

But who on this roster will be the team's secret weapon in 2015?

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee was joined by Stephen Nelson as they answered that question in the video above. 

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Who Will Be Georgia's Offensive MVP for the 2015 Season?

The Georgia Bulldogs have long had one of the best offenses in the SEC. Last season was no exception with the emergence of two of the best running backs in the game, Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. 

But who will be Georgia's offensive MVP in 2015? 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee joins Stephen Nelson to answer that question in the video above. 

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Who Will Be Alabama's Defensive MVP for the 2015 Season?

The Alabama Crimson Tide have produced some of the best defensive players in the game. Nick Saban and his staff have always had an eye for defensive talent.

But who on this roster will be the defensive MVP for the Tide?

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee and Stephen Nelson discuss who could stand out on defense next season in the video above.  

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Every SEC Team's Best 2015 Heisman Candidate

There's no shortage of stars in the SEC in 2015, but aside from Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, there aren't many who play quarterback.

That presents a bit of a problem in the race for the Heisman Trophy—which has gone to a quarterback every year but two since 200.

Who will step up in the SEC? Our best Heisman candidate for each team based on position, impact, talent and scheme are in this slideshow.

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Texas Football: The Longhorns' 2015 Offseason Checklist

Even as a young, inexperienced football team, the Texas Longhorns have a straightforward path to improvement: Find a quarterback and fix your offensive line.

The Longhorns need to recruit much better this summer. They also need to figure out how to incorporate their incoming talent and find some playmakers who can make their offense respectable.

But what this really boils down to is putting a quarterback who can win football games in command and fielding an offensive line that can protect and run-block well enough to let that happen.

Little else matters to the immediate future of the program.

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Ohio State Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

The Ohio State Buckeyes' blitz on elite 2017 and 2018 football prospects continued as head coach Urban Meyer sent out seven new offers to underclassmen last week.

That's a trend that's been developing over the last month. With most of the targeting for the 2016 recruiting cycle nearly complete, the Buckeyes coaching staff is focusing on its long-term strategy.

That process led the staff to these blue-chip prospects last week.

 

Baron Browning, 5-Star Inside Linebacker (2017)

Of the seven offers sent out last week, none grabbed more attention than the one sent out to standout linebacker Baron Browning.

The 5-star prospect out of Kennedale, Texas, is rated the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 31 prospect overall for the 2017 class. He holds offers from programs such as Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas, but Baylor and Texas A&M hold the early lead for his commitment, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

It's early enough for the Buckeyes to change that, though, which is why Meyer and the coaching staff issued the offer. Recruiting the Lone Star State is difficult for teams as far north as Ohio State, but Meyer has found avenues into the talent-rich recruiting territory. Since taking over in 2012, Meyer has landed 4-star Texas prospects such as J.T. BarrettDontre WilsonDemetrius Knox and Tristen Wallace.

Can he add Browning to that list?

If he can, the Buckeyes will add one of the country's best linebackers to a 2017 recruiting class that's shaping up to be legendary. Ohio State already has six commits for its 2017 class, two of whom are 5-star prospects. Browning would be another elite piece to the brilliant puzzle Meyer is assembling. 

 

Ambry Thomas, 4-Star Cornerback (2017)

Keeping their focus on elite 2017 defenders, the Buckeyes offered 4-star standout Ambry Thomas on Wednesday.

Thomas, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is rated the No. 11 cornerback and the No. 150 prospect nationally. He has offers from major programs in the Midwest such as Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Missouri, but it's only a matter of time before his recruitment goes national. 

The offer from the Buckeyes surprised Thomas, though, according to Allen Trieu of Scout.com

I actually saw Coach Coombs and the wide receiver coach come in the building today, but I didn't think anything of it. Because they came in before, they came two weeks ago and there was nothing, but it's a wonderful feeling to know that a school like Ohio State is interested me, knowing that I'm only a sophomore.

Can Meyer and Ohio State steal another elite prospect from Michigan? That's something the Buckeyes have done regularly under Meyer, and pulling Thomas away from the Wolverines and the Spartans would be a huge victory for Ohio State.

 

Other Offers from the Week

Daquon Green, 4-Star Wide Receiver (2017)

Jonathan Ford, Unranked Defensive End (2017)

Asante Samuel Jr., Unranked Cornerback (2018)

Benjamin Sapp, Unranked Cornerback (2018)

Brian Snead, Unranked Running Back (2018)

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the Ohio State football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers' 2015 Offseason Checklist

Nebraska football fans settling into summer are well versed in checklists, having time in the offseason to get their gutters cleaned and barbecues fired up.

New Nebraska head coach Mike Riley has a big to-do list on his desk as he takes the reins in Lincoln. And while there are a number of demands on his attention, here are five things that he has been (or will be) working on between now and September.

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