NCAA Football

Versatile 4-Star Josh Brown Will Make FSU's Defense 'Frightening'

Josh Brown—a 4-star outside linebacker, per 247Sports' composite rankings—has been turning heads on the recruiting trail. With Brown's commitment to Florida State University, Jimbo Fisher and his staff are getting a true gamer and all-around athlete. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder offers his insight on Brown's game and what he brings to the Seminoles. 

Can Brown step in and contribute right away? Check out the video and let us know! 

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10 College Football Players Who Will Take Huge Strides Forward in 2015

As good as Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott’s 1,878 rushing yards looked in 2014, did you know he only posted 262 yards in 2013?

That’s when he was a freshman playing behind Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall, seniors who posted 1,521 and 536 yards, respectively.

Elliott, once a 4-star prospect from St. Louis, proves an important point—even if you’re good, really good, the situation has to be just right for you to flourish.

The following athletes are all really good, but each has been waiting, some longer than others, for the right combination of factors. 

The time is here.

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Alabama Football: Redshirt Freshmen Set for Breakout 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Fourteen scholarship members of Alabama’s 24-member No. 1-ranked 2014 recruiting class saw the field for the Crimson Tide in 2014.

For the other 10, they sat on the sidelines for a redshirt year while their teammates went to an SEC Championship and the inaugural College Football Playoff.

But several of them could be in line for a much different 2015.

Through offseason work and spring practice, a handful showed they could play big roles in 2015.

Let’s take a look at some redshirt freshmen who could breakout next season.

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UCLA Football: Who Is Replacing Every Former Bruin Taken in 2015 NFL Draft?

The UCLA football team will be tasked with replacing three former Bruins taken in the 2015 NFL draft. 

It will not be easy by any stretch of the situation. Jim Mora's squad will have to account for the loss of its most experienced defensive lineman a season ago (Owamagbe Odighizuwa), a Butkus Award-winning linebacker (Eric Kendricks) and arguably the most successful starting quarterback in program history (Brett Hundley). 

Fortunately, UCLA's head man has built up sufficient depth throughout the squad. While it's unlikely that the eventual replacements will replicate the production accrued by Kendricks and Hundley, there are some talented options waiting in the wings. 

This piece will look at three current members of the team ready to step up and assume the vacant roles left by the Bruins' NFL draftees.  

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UCLA Football: Who Is Replacing Every Former Bruin Taken in 2015 NFL Draft?

The UCLA football team will be tasked with replacing three former Bruins taken in the 2015 NFL draft. It will not be easy by any stretch of the situation...

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Florida State Football: How Would Everett Golson Fit in Jimbo Fisher's Offense?

When news broke last week that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson would indeed transfer after graduating this spring, after months of speculation, the list of potential teams he could play for in 2015 read like a list of finalists for a 5-star high school recruit.

Since then, potential pitfalls have surfaced that could keep Golson from heading to the SEC, parts of the Big Ten or to Texas, Notre Dame's first opponent this fall. Not part of that initial short list was Florida State, but now the Seminoles might be the front-runner to land the fifth-year senior, according to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow:

Whether Golson actually ends up playing for the Seminoles is still uncertain, as neither the player nor the school has commented on the subject. Tom D'Angelo of The Palm Beach Post believes the interest at this point is one-sided:

Golson has started 23 games for one of the country's most high-profile programs, including 11 as a redshirt freshman in 2012 when he led the Fighting Irish to the BCS title game. He has thrown for 5,850 yards with 41 touchdowns and rushed for another 14 scores.

From a talent standpoint, Golson is far more accomplished than any quarterback on Florida State's roster. With Jameis Winston now in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie camp, the competition to replace him remains ongoing but is currently lead by junior Sean Maguire, Winston's backup in 2014. The Seminoles also have sophomore John Franklin III, redshirt freshman J.J. Cosentino and true freshman De'Andre Johnson battling for the starting job, while freshman Deondre Francois arrives in the summer.

But just because Golson has started elsewhere and had success doesn't mean he'd be able to slide right into Jimbo Fisher's complicated system. The fact that FSU might even be interested in Golson shows how hard it is to play quarterback there, as Maguire is in his fourth year in the program and wasn't been able to lock down the gig during spring practice.

Looking back on Fisher's time in Tallahassee, the only time he's gone with a quarterback with two or fewer years in the system was with Winston in 2013. But Winston was a special case, one of the smartest players in college history, and the fact he was a redshirt freshman made no difference.

Before him, though, EJ Manuel didn't become a full-time starter until his fourth year in the program, and in Fisher's first year in 2010 he stuck with returning starter (and fifth-year senior) Christian Ponder rather than skew younger.

If Golson were to transfer to FSU, his first exposure to the Seminoles' playbook—other than what he could see from the opposite sideline last October when Notre Dame played in Tallahassee—wouldn't come until preseason training camp begins in late July. That would make for a very steep learning curve, and with such a short time to impress he'd have to blow Fisher's mind and blow away the competition to become the starter.

There are similarities between FSU's offense and what Golson ran at Notre Dame but not many. The Fighting Irish were more spread-oriented, compared to FSU's pro-style approach (which keeps sending quarterbacks to the NFL, unlike Brian Kelly's system at Notre Dame).

Bud Elliott of SB Nation's Tomahawk Nation blog weighed in on Golson's potential fit at FSU over the weekend, noting that Golson has the arm strength and mobility to rival what Winston did the past two years, but the rest of his makeup is full of questions.

Despite his physical skills, Golson was also a turnover machine against Power 5 competition, throwing more than an interception per game and adding 12 fumbles. He had five games in which he failed to hit the seven yards/attempt mark, and was a 55 percent or worse passer in more than half of his games against the Power 5.

Elliott also noted that Golson's size (6'0", 200 lbs) might make it difficult to throw effectively out of a pocket, which could then force FSU to tweak its system to make him fit. And if he struggled with the passing, it could mean converting him more or a run-first quarterback, requiring further schematic adjustments.

Because of the talent that FSU has at the skill positions, though, Golson might not have to do much to be successful. Hand it off to Dalvin Cook and Jacques Patrick, throw it up for Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane, Bobo Wilson and George Campbell, and just try not to turn it over like he did during the second half of 2014 for Notre Dame. The game plan wouldn't need to be as complicated as for existing FSU passers, in effect turning Golson into a game manager.

However, Golson's legs can still beat you, something that can't be said of most so-called game managers. That added element could more than make up for any shortcomings in the passing game.

If Golson and FSU ultimately choose to link up for 2015, it will be with the aim of having him be the starter and getting him prepared for an NFL career. Fisher has a proven track record of developing NFL quarterbacks, with Ponder, Manuel and Winston all getting drafted in the first round, and if he could manage something close to that with Golson it would further enhance his reputation as a QB guru.

 

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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Would Everett Golson Make Florida State a National Title Contender?

According to 247Sports'Ryan Bartow, the Florida State Seminoles are the leaders to land Everett Golson. Golson transferred from Notre Dame last week. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Golson to Florida State and what it would mean for Sean Maguire. 

Will Everett Golson land at FSU? Check out the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

2016 DE Commit Julian Okwara's Speed Will Fuel Success on Notre Dame Defense

According to 247Sports, Julian Okwara is a 4-star weak-side defensive end who is committed to Notre Dame.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Okwara's impact on the field.

How good can Julian Okwara be at ND? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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