NCAA Football News

Will Urban Meyer Continue Beating Jim Harbuagh for Top Michigan Prospects?

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is beating Michigan on and off the field.

Since taking over the Buckeyes in 2012, Meyer is a perfect 3-0 against the Wolverines, with the closest call coming in 2013 via a thrilling 42-41 affair in Ann Arbor. But Ohio State's head man has invaded the state of Michigan on the recruiting trail, and he's producing much more decisive victories over the Wolverines for The Mitten State's top prospects.

And that's a trend Jim Harbaugh hasn't been able to stop during his first five months in Ann Arbor.

The Buckeyes struck first in January 2013, when Damon Webb—a high 4-star recruit and Michigan's second-ranked prospect—announced his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes. He was the nation's No. 35 prospect and a big target for the Wolverines, but he spurned his home-state school because Ohio State was much closer to college football's biggest stage.

"The chance to win championships," Webb said of his collegiate choice, according to Miles Joseph of Eleven Warriors. "I think the Buckeyes are going to start winning national championships."

That was sound logic from Webb, who was a true freshman on Ohio State's national title-winning team last year. 

That run through the first-ever College Football Playoff paved a deeper road into Michigan as the Buckeyes stole 4-star running back Michael Weber and 3-star defensive end Joshua Alabi from the Wolverines during last year's recruiting cycle. 

Webb, Weber and Alabi all hail from Cass Technical High School in Detroit—Michigan's biggest in-state recruiting pipeline. They were the school's top three Division 1 prospects over the last two recruiting cycles, and they'll all be suiting up in Scarlet and Gray during their collegiate careers. 

Imagine Michigan doing the same to Ohio State's in-state pipeline: Glenville High School in Cleveland. The Wolverines haven't signed Glenville's top recruit since 2001 when it landed Pierre Woods—which was the year Ohio State was in transition under new head coach Jim Tressel.

But Ohio State's success recruiting Michigan was similarly fruitless before Meyer showed up.

During Tressel's decade-long tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes managed to snag just three players from the state of Michigan—James JacksonReid Fragel and Johnathan Hankins. Meyer has equaled that number with his last two recruiting classes alone, and he's looking to add to that total moving forward.

In fact, Meyer already hit paydirt for 2016 when Michael Jordan, a 4-star offensive tackle out of Canton, Michigan, announced his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes last Thursday. Jordan, Michigan's third-ranked prospect, chose Ohio State over the Wolverines, who had 2-1 odds over the Buckeyes to earn his commitment, via 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

The two rivals will be battling for other Michigan standouts like Michael Onwenu and Thiyo Lukusa before signing day in February 2016. Michigan is the favorite to land both players, but as Jordan showed last week, that doesn't matter much when decision time rolls around.

And if Harbuagh and Michigan don't start winning most of these battles, they'll have a hard time keeping up with the Buckeyes on the field. 

 

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.

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Which Team Has the Best Linebackers in College Football?

Defense wins championships, and in college football, some of the most important defenders are the linebackers. They are the generals out on the playing field.

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Adam Kramer and Barrett Sallee offer their picks forth top linebacking corps in college football today.

Who do you think has the best linebacker group in college football? Check out the video and let us know!

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Simon Cvijanovic Needs Support of Ex-Teammates to Put Tim Beckman on Hot Seat

It's been two days since Simon Cvijanovic first took to Twitter to air his grievances about Illinois head coach Tim Beckman.

But thus far, it's hard to imagine the former Fighting Illini offensive lineman has received the response he wanted.

Embarking on a prolonged Twitter rant that has now entered its third day, Cvijanovic has lofted numerous accusations at his former head coach and the Illinois program, including claims of mistreatment both personally and medically. The four-year letter-winner has yet to respond to multiple requests for an interview from Bleacher Report but hasn't been shy when it comes to sharing the intentions of his tweets:

And while the second and third goals of Cvijanovic appear noble on the surface, his primary objective is going to be difficult to accomplish without the support of his former teammates.

At least, it will if Cvijanovic's Twitter tirade continues to resemble that of a smear campaign without offering tangible proof of any of his lofty accusations. It'd be hard to imagine that the words of just one former player could affect the security of a head coach, particularly when Cvijanovic has repeatedly lobbed personal attacks at Beckman throughout his admitted "rampage."

That's the line of thinking Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas seems to be following as well, as he's taken note of Cvijanovic's serious accusations but continues to back his head coach. On a conference call with reporters, Thomas said he'll conduct an internal investigation into the former player's claims but has yet to find anything that corroborates Cvijanovic's story.

“He’s put the welfare of (Cvijanovic) above everything else,” Thomas said in the conference call. “The feedback I get from players and our players’ families is that our coaches genuinely care for them and treat them like their own children.”

Multiple Fighting Illini players and family members have backed up Thomas' sentiments. Like Cvijanovic, senior offensive lineman Ted Karras saw his 2014 season come to an end due to injury but insists that accusations of mistreatment from the Illinois coaching and medical staffs don't hold any water.

The same can be said for Matt DiLauro, the father of sophomore offensive lineman Christian DiLauro, as well as former Fighting Illini wide receiver Miles Osei. Conversely, the most prominent person to publicly back Cvijanovic's claims has been Andrew Weber, a former walk-on kicker who played under Beckman at Toledo. 

That's not to say neither Cvijanovic nor Weber is being truthful, but it's going to be hard for Cvijanovic to accomplish what he wants with just the support of one former player from another school. If Beckman has truly created a culture as ugly as the one Cvijanovic has described, it's more probable than not that more players—current and former—would have already come forward.

It also doesn't help Cvijanovic's case that he has admitted that he wasn't a fan of Beckman's before he ever played for him. Speaking to The Doug Gottlieb Show, Cvijanovic recalled Beckman lying to him about beverages in order to pump up Toledo's sponsor, Yoo-hoo, during a recruiting visit.

"The first major issue is that he lied to me on my recruiting visit at Toledo," Cvijanovic told Gottlieb. "He told me Yoo-hoo chocolate drink has more protein than Muscle Milk. Simple lie, didn't need to be said, but it made him seem like a liar to me. So on the way home, me and my dad decided I wasn't going to go to Toledo."

Nevertheless, Cvijanovic's and Beckman's paths would cross when Beckman took over Illinois in 2012.

Whether or not Beckman is really bending the truth about Yoo-hoo (which possesses two grams of protein to Muscle Milk's 25) is really a "major issue" is somewhat beside the point. What's clear is that while Cvijanovic's recent accusations should be taken seriously, his issues with his former head coach have predated his playing days and are only becoming public now that his college career is over.

Any speculation about Cvijanovic's motivation truly being rooted in revenge would be just that, but at this point, there's simply not enough evidence for Illinois to take action on his accusations. What Thomas' investigation will ultimately find remains to be seen, but if it's Cvijanovic's goal to bring down Beckman, he's going to need help.

And maybe it is. But it's going to take more than tweets like that. 

 

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 CFBStats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Cincinnati Bearcats Use Chipotle to Try to Sway Recruit

College coaches need to familiarize themselves with recruits well enough to know what they like and then use that information to win a recruiting battle.

For most young athletes, food is high on the priority list.

Accordingly, the Cincinnati Bearcats are pulling out all the stops to attract Homestead (Fort Wayne, Indiana) High School receiver Ben Skowronek, whom 247Sports lists as a 3-star recruit. As part of his recruitment, they sent him a flier detailing just how close Chipotle is to Nippert Stadium.

Most people love Chipotle, so it's a clever strategy. However, the Bearcats should also be hyping up some local restaurants, such as Skyline or LaRosa's, to sell recruits on the taste of Cincinnati in addition to well-known national chains.

[Twitter]

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Are Florida Gators Everett Golson's Best SEC Transfer Option?

It's been nearly a week since former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson announced that he is transferring from the Fighting Irish for his final season of eligibility, and it seems like he's been linked to just about every team.

Florida State, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Alabama—you name the school, and Golson has likely been mentioned in connection with it.

The latest school to jump into the Golson sweepstakes is Florida.

According to Andy Staples of SI.com, Golson visited the Gainesville campus on Tuesday morning after visiting intrastate rival Florida State on Monday.

The interest certainly makes sense. First-year head coach Jim McElwain is choosing between sophomore dual-threat quarterback Treon Harris and redshirt freshman pro-style passer Will Grier this summer, and Golson's experience playing major college football would certainly elevate him as the front-runner to win the job if he lands in Gainesville.

That might be easier said than done, though.

As Bleacher Report first reported in January, the SEC's new graduate transfer rule could stand in the way of Golson transferring to an SEC program since he was suspended from the school for the 2013 season after academic misconduct.

Let's toss that out for a minute and assume that Golson gets a waiver from the SEC office in order to transfer into the conference. Is Florida the best fit for Golson?

Nope.

If Golson is going to transfer somewhere and play quarterback, his goal is likely to start, get exposure and impress NFL scouts enough to get a decent shot at the next level.

While Florida certainly certainly would satisfy the first two factors on that list, the third is very much in question. Golson turned into a turnover machine last season, when he threw 14 picks, lost eight fumbles and generally drove Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly crazy in South Bend, Indiana.

Is that suddenly going to change behind a Florida offensive line that, if guard Trip Thurman doesn't come back from injury, has a total of zero starts under its belt, according to ESPN.com's Edward Aschoff?

Not a chance.

What's more, Golson's chances of ever making it at the NFL level would likely wither in the hot Florida sun if he continues to drive the turnover-machine train.

Despite the fact that Harris and Grier are inexperienced compared to Golson, it just doesn't seem to fit.

Georgia fits from schematic standpoint, but head coach Mark Richt seemed content with all three of his quarterbacks—Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park—during his press conference after the spring game.

Alabama fits too, but head coach Nick Saban seemed content with his group during the post-spring practice teleconference on Tuesday.

As Bleacher Report reported on Tuesday, Golson to South Carolina is "not happening."

That leaves LSU as the best SEC fit for Golson.

The Tigers have a solid offensive line, a laundry list of wide receivers who could wind up in the NFL and an offensive coordinator in Cam Cameron who not only has a pedigree in the NFL, but would likely be more willing to hand Golson the job after last season's struggles with Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris.

LSU would make a ton of sense for just about every reason imaginable.

Golson to Florida would seem more like a marriage out of convenience than anything else.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com 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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Michigan Football: How Dennis Norfleet's Dismissal Impacts the Wolverines

The surprising dismissal of Michigan Wolverines senior Dennis Norfleet on Tuesday sent shockwaves through social media, pelted messageboards with speculation and ignited talk radio’s finest.

"Evidently he was dismissed from the team, Dennis informed us he was no longer on the team," said Norfleet’s high school coach, Dale Harvel, according to Nick Baumgardner of MLive. "Something about a disciplinary thing between him and coach Harbaugh. Whether it was academics or something internal, I'm not sure. He just said they had a disagreement and he was let go."

While untimely for a team searching for production, the loss of the senior return man/athlete/receiver probably won’t put a major dent in Michigan’s offensive plans for 2015, if any.

Though “excited” about Norfleet’s possibilities for the upcoming season, first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh has repeatedly referenced power football as his weapon of choice, vowing to restore the familiar brand that has led to hundreds of victories for the Wolverines.

The days of the small, shifty mini-mites in Ann Arbor have run their course.

But it wasn’t supposed to be that way for Norfleet, a 5’7”, 168-pound stick of dynamite out of Detroit Martin Luther King.

According to 247Sports, he was the No. 7-ranked all-purpose back of the 2012 class, suggesting he would go on to have a successful career with the Wolverines, who, at the time, were burning opposing defenses with speedsters such as quarterback Denard Robinson and receiver Jeremy Gallon.

Norfleet was supposed to be one of those guys—someone who could make a crowd stand still in silence until he took off with rocket-like velocity.

Oddly enough, he never returned a kick for a touchdown during his time at Michigan. He came close, though, missing a few opportunities by a block or less; he leaves the team with 90 kick returns (the most in program history) and 2,293 return yards, the third-most on record. He’s one of three Wolverines with at least 2,000 career return yards. As a junior, he caught 11 passes for 115 yards.

Replacing Norfleet, who primarily handled return duties and projected to be a second- or third-string receiver, shouldn’t be too much to handle for Michigan, which has true freshman Brian Cole, a former 4-star recruit, and Freddy Canteen, a sophomore, steadily climbing the ranks.

In 2014, Canteen was the name of the spring game. In 2015, Cole, a former Saginaw Heritage star, gained some attention for his practice habits and overall athleticism. Each of them stands to fill Norfleet’s role.

At 6’1” and 185 pounds, Canteen has a recognizable size advantage over Norfleet—plus he has comparable speed and arguably better hands. Bobbled returns became an issue during Norfleet’s final two seasons.

As a true frosh this past fall, Canteen, a former 4-star recruit, appeared in 11 games with three starts. He finished 2014 with five catches for 22 yards. The minimal, almost nonexistent production was hardly expected from a guy who lit up spring; however, “Freddy Footwork” is on the ascent and qualifies as a top candidate to absorb Norfleet’s reps.

He’s actually pushing for a No. 1 job, so he wouldn’t be a literal replacement for Norfleet. In a sense, he’d be a plus-version of Norfleet. 

At 6’2” and 200 pounds, Cole is another versatile athlete—probably just as versatile as Norfleet, only seven inches taller and 32 pounds heavier. While in high school, Cole ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, earning recognition as one of the country’s elite prep talents.

Expectations for Cole are justifiably high. Due to having played in the spring game, Cole, the No. 5-ranked athlete of 2015, absolutely has an edge heading into camp—not to mention a wide-open window to playing time.

Due to Norfleet’s dismissal, it’d be easy to tab Jabrill Peppers as the No. 1 return man. But don’t rule out Cole and Canteen as fill-ins for Michigan’s kind of the “Atomic Dog.” Dancing prior to kicks probably won't be required, but doing so probably wouldn't hurt the next guy's chances.

Unlikely but not impossible, the vacancy could be plugged with Keith Washington, a superbly athletic do-all from Prattville, Alabama. The former 3-star recruit has now become somewhat famous for showing off his 4.3 speed during a visit with Harbaugh. 

Pencil him in as a contender. 

With Norfleet, there were possibilities but few results. Other than eclipsing 2,000 return yards, he wasn't much of a factor within the offensive scheme.

 

Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and references were obtained firsthand by the writer via press conference, press release or other media availability. All recruiting information comes via 247Sports.

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Top Incoming Freshmen with the Best Chance to Start in Week 1

Throughout spring practices, we've heard about early enrollee freshmen making an impact: UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson and Florida State safety Derwin James, just to name a few. 

But what about the freshmen who have yet to arrive on campus? Which incoming players from the class of 2015 can come in and, right away throughout preseason camp, earn a starting job?

That's what we're to project. 

Keep in mind that "starting" is a loose phrase. With so many different packages and subs at positions like defensive end/linebacker and in the defensive secondary, "starting" is more of a situational thing. With that in mind, here are the incoming freshmen from 247Sports' top 100 composite rankings who have the best chance to start in Week 1 based on post-spring depth charts and position needs. 

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Ranking the Top 5 NFL Prospects on Texas' Roster

The Texas Longhorns, under head coach Charlie Strong, have begun to turn the tide in re-establishing themselves as a strong contender. Dating back to his days at Louisville, Strong has been able to recruit players who have gone on to the NFL. 

Which players currently on the Texas roster are the best NFL prospects? 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder answers that question and more in the video above.

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Which 4-Star CB Is Helping Tennessee Gear Up for a Run at the SEC Title?

Marquill Osborne is a 4-star cornerback, per 247Sports' composite rankings, who is committed to Tennessee. Osborne is a tremendous athlete who can help improve the Vols defense. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down what Marquill can bring to the Tennessee defense.

How good can Osborne be for the Vols? Check out the video, and let us know!

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Ranking the Top 5 NFL Prospects on Ohio State's Roster

Ohio State is loaded with NFL talent every year. The Buckeyes don't rebuild; they just reload with top-tier recruiting classes year after year. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder gives his picks for the top NFL talent on the Buckeyes' current roster. 

Who do you think are the most NFL-ready players on OSU's team? Check out the video and let us know!

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Ranking the Top 5 NFL Prospects on Michigan's Roster

If there is a head coach in college football who knows what it takes to be an NFL player, it's Michigan's Jim Harbaugh. Having both played in the league himself and coached, Harbaugh has a keen eye for NFL prospects.

Who on Michigan's current roster has NFL potential?

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder answers that question and more in the video above.

 

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Every Top 25 College Football Team's Defensive Catalyst for 2015

If we could just get a stop...

Those words are muttered, uttered or yelled by pretty much every college football coach in the game—a communal desire for the defense to step up and make a big play. Whether it's to thwart a drive by the opponent or to force a quick possession and swing momentum in its favor, a big defensive play can do wonders for a team's chances for success.

And these are the guys who usually get it done.

Every team has that one player it can always call on to be the catalyst on defense, to make that big stop when it's needed most. They might not be the best defender on the field, but in crunch time, they're the one usually coming through.

Using Bleacher Report's post-spring practice rankings as a basis, here's our look at the defensive catalyst for every Top 25 team in the FBS.

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Georgia Football: Bulldogs Could Be in for Big Recruiting Month

The spring evaluation period of the college football recruiting calendar will come to a close at the end of May, but one school in particular is looking to close out the month with a flurry: the Georgia Bulldogs.

Mark Richt and his staff have already assembled a class with 10 commitments that currently rates as the nation's No. 6 class.

That commitment list could swell in the coming days as a pair of top in-state targets—4-star corner Chad Clay and 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Clark—have both stated their intentions to commit in the near future.

Georgia is heavily in the mix for both players, and if both choose to head to Athens, it could be the start of a charge toward a No. 1 class. 

According to Trent Smallwood of Rivals, Florida, Georgia Tech and Ohio State are the other schools battling to land Clay.

However, Georgia took the lead for Clay after a visit in February. While schools such as Ohio State have made a push for the 6'1", 180-pounder, he's been a fixture on the UGA campus in recent months and made it clear that the thought of staying close to home appeals to him. 

"When I think about it, in the long run, I'd love to stay at home and play with some of my good friends and people I've grown up with since I've been playing football," Clay told Bleacher Report in February. "To stay at home and play college football and win, that would be a great thing."

Similarly, Clark is on the verge of making his decision, perhaps by Friday, as Rusty Mansell of 247Sports noted.

Last month, Clark proclaimed the Bulldogs his leader.

The 6'3", 290-pounder is part of a loaded crop of defensive linemen from the Peach State this year.

Clay noted that a strong bond exists with a number of the state's top recruits from the 2016 cycle. Landing both in-state standouts would only seem to fuel the 'Dawgs' chances of racking up on other top Georgia prospects.

One such player would be 5-star defensive tackle Julian Rochester, who named Georgia his leader earlier in the spring and recently told Kipp Adams of Dawgs247 that he could also have a decision soon:

It might be...I am still debating. Maybe late May. I have a good idea where I want to go. I have kind of seen enough on my visits to make a decision. More yes than no.

Of course, the winds in recruiting can change in an instant.

However, the dominoes appear to be lining up for Georgia to land its first top-five class since 2009. But this class has the potential to be the best class Richt has signed in the last decade.

The happenings of the next few weeks could have a huge impact on Georgia's ability to lure one of the nation's elite classes to Athens on signing day.

 

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

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

Georgia lost a a lot of key personnel on offense this offseason, including top-10 draft pick Todd Gurley. The Bulldogs are never short on talent, but who will be their best player in 2015?

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder gives his offensive MVP for Georgia in the upcoming season.

Who will be the Bulldogs' offensive MVP? Check out the video and let us know!

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

Alabama is losing a lot on offense this offseason, including top-five draft pick Amari Cooper. The Crimson Tide are never short on talent, but who will be the best for them?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder names his offensive MVP for Alabama in the upcoming season. 

Who will be the Crimson Tide offensive MVP in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

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Jaquan Yulee Sets Decision Date: Odds on Where 4-Star LB Lands

One of the nation's top linebacker recruits will come off the board early next month when 4-star Virginia native Jaquan Yulee will announce his commitment.

The 6'3" 240-pounder is the nation's No. 6 inside linebacker prospect and the No. 152 player overall in the class of 2016. 

He will choose from five finalists: Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina, Michigan State and Virginia Tech.

How do the odds shake out for each of the schools in the running for Yulee?

Let's break down where each program currently stands in the race to land him and imagine the odds each will have for signing the young linebacker.

 

Michigan State: 20-1

Michigan State jumped into the race for Yulee when they offered him two months ago. 

Since head coach Mark Dantonio arrived in East Lansing nearly a decade ago, the Spartans program has evolved into a defensive juggernaut. 

While the Spartans have a need at linebacker in the 2016 class, they already have a pledge from 3-star Ohio native Joe Bachie—who committed to the Spartans a few weeks ago.

Taking that into account—along with the fact that Yulee has yet to make a visit to East Lansing—makes the Spartans a long shot in the race to land his pledge.

 

Florida State: 15-1

Perhaps no out-of-state school has had more recent success in pulling studs out of the state of Virginia than Florida State. 

Considering that linebacker is a priority for the Seminoles in the 2016 cycle, coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff would love to add Yulee to that list. 

However, three of the 'Noles 14 commitments in 2016 are from linebackers—with another pair of athletes in Jamal Couch and Jamel Cook who could end up as linebackers at the next level.

It's important to note that none of their current commits project as a true inside linebacker, but that may not matter in the end.

Similar to Michigan State's chances, the 'Noles have yet to get Yulee on campus. Considering his other three finalists have hosted him before, FSU seems to be on the outside looking in with Yulee's recruitment.

 

Virginia Tech 10-1

Virginia Tech has struggled to keep elite prospects in-state recently due to schools such as Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State, among others, raiding its territory.

The Hokies were the first school to offer Yulee back in 2012, which has given them a chance to build a strong relationship with the No. 4 player in the state of Virginia.

As noted by Evan G. Watkins of 247Sports, Yulee has a strong bond with Hokies tight ends coach Bryan Stinespring.

However, the recent momentum has his recruitment seeming to be favoring the out-of-state schools. Even if the Hokies are unable to earn his commitment in June, expect them to fight tooth-and-nail to land him on signing day.

 

North Carolina: 7-1

Heading into spring, North Carolina was the school that was trending heavily with Yulee.

In fact, the Tar Heels are still the heavy favorite, according to his Crystal Ball page

"North Carolina is still my school, no matter what," Yulee told Ryan Bartow of 247Sports (via Ross Martin of 247Sports). "They were there and they are still my grandma's favorite school right now out of everybody."

Considering that UNC had one of the nation's worst defenses in 2014, Yulee would figure to be a candidate to make an instant impact under new Tar Heels defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. 

Additionally, the Tar Heels have geography in their favor, as Chapel Hill is actually closer to his hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia, than Blacksburg is.

Coach Larry Fedora and his staff are hoping that those factors lead Yulee to select the Tar Heels next month.  

 

Alabama: 5-1

With five consecutive top-rated recruiting classes under his belt, head coach Nick Saban has established himself as the nation's premier recruiter.

Alabama was able to get Yulee on campus in March, and he named the Tide his leader shortly afterward, as noted by Shane Youngblood of 247Sports.

Youngblood also notes that Yulee has already scheduled a return trip for one of the Tide's camps during the summer—which could be an indicator of the direction he's leaning with his upcoming announcement.

Alabama has a need for inside linebackers and a stout tradition of producing NFL prospects at that position.

Given that the Tide have zeroed in on Yulee as a priority prospect, it's hard to bet on Saban and his staff surrendering their lead in the days leading up to his announcement.

 

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

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4-Star CB Trayvon Mullen Reveals Why He Released a New Top 10

Trayvon Mullen is confident he's going to make an immediate impact in college.

"I can make a difference coming in as a freshman and help change a defense," the coveted cornerback recruit told Bleacher Report. "That's what I expect to do wherever I go to school."

He isn't quite sure where that will be yet but felt motivated to make an announcement Monday. 

Mullen, a 6'2", 175-pound prospect at Coconut Creek High School in Broward County, Florida, shined some light on his whirlwind recruitment process Monday by tweeting an updated top-10 list in order of preference:

Rated fifth nationally among cornerbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, Mullen holds more than 40 scholarship offers from across the country. He was compelled to release the list based on new developments in the process.

"It's a situation that I've been able to get to know some other coaching staffs," Mullen explained. "I felt like it was the right time."

As he noted in the post, Mullen isn't excluding any teams at this stage. Even if they didn't make the cut on his latest list of favorites.

"I'm not in any hurry to make a decision," he said. "There's still a long way to go and schools I need to see in person."

Interestingly, Mullen hasn't visited TCU to this point. That didn't stop the Horned Frogs from landing atop his list.

TCU was ranked seventh in a top-10 list he released last month. Florida State, now sitting at third in this crowded race, was the former leader.

"I don't want to say that FSU dropped. This is just how I'm feeling at the moment," Mullen said. "Even though I haven't visited TCU yet, I really like the school and I've had some good conversations with the coaches."

Baylor, the second of three Texas programs to land on his list, extended an offer last Friday. Mullen explained that was a school he was eagerly waiting on and placed the Bears at No. 4.

"I just think I could really stand out at both Baylor and TCU," he said. "Not a lot of South Florida kids play college football in Texas, so I could be different. I feel like I could be a big fish at both schools. They've had a lot of success lately and I could help get those programs to the point they want to be at."

Mullen again flashed self-confidence by stating another element that intrigues him about TCU and Baylor.

"I like Big 12 football because they throw the ball a lot," he said. "That means I can make a bunch of big plays."

LSU has long been considered a top contender in this group and that doesn't change after the Tigers land second on Mullen's list. The team is projected to sign him by 68 percent of expert predictions in 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

"I can see myself being the next big cornerback at LSU because they've had a lot of guys like me there before who had similar talent," he said. "I love the coaches there too."

SEC squads comprise half of the list. LSU is joined by Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M.

Mullen pointed to Auburn's coaching changes as motivation to explore the program further moving forward. He spoke highly of new defensive hires Will Muschamp and Tavaris Robinson.

"They're going to do big things at Auburn because that's exactly what the team needed," Mullen said. "They always move the ball offensively, so it was important for them to bring in some coaches to make things happen on defense. I feel like they can win a national championship in these next couple years."

Clemson is another program to keep an eye on here. Though the Tigers round out this list at No. 10, Mullen called the university a "dream school" and said he expects them to rise in coming months.

"I grew up watching Clemson and always really liked them," he said.

It's another sign that this seems to be an extremely fluid list, regardless of whether Florida State or TCU is occupying the top spot. Mullen mentioned Tennessee and Ole Miss as programs that could potentially enter the equation.

Baylor is proof that he's willing to thrust a new interest into the forefront of his recruitment.

"I'm not rushing anything and I'll keep updating my list depending how I'm feeling," he said.

Mullen doesn't currently have any upcoming visits planned, but reiterated Baylor and TCU are two campuses he intends to spend time at in an unofficial or official capacity. His current mindset is leaning toward taking all five official visits before any decision is made.

This is easily one of the most open-ended and unpredictable recruitments in the 2016 class. With a talent like Mullen up for grabs, expect a wide variety of programs to continue their pursuit as long as possible.

 

All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Physical 2016 WR Bryan Edwards the Perfect Fit for South Carolina

Bryan Edwards, a 3-star wide receiver, per 247Sports, has committed to play his college ball at South Carolina. The talented wideout from Conway, South Carolina, will bring his size and athleticism to the Gamecocks this fall. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Edwards' game and what he can bring to South Carolina. 

Will Edwards make an immediate impact? Check out the video and let us know!

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Which Program Would Give Everett Golson Best Chance to Improve on NFL Skill Set?

Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has one year of eligibility left to show he's an NFL quarterback. If he wants NFL training, his best option is to go to college football's current NFL factory. 

That would be a team he nearly beat a year ago: Florida State. 

According to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, "Florida State is seen as the eventual destination" for Golson, who released a statement last week announcing he would transfer from Notre Dame. "Barring a last-minute change of heart or any influence from elsewhere, [Florida State’s] where he’s headed," a source told Bartow. 

That report was corroborated by Keith Arnold of NBC Sports, but it's not clear yet if FSU reciprocates the interest: 

If Golson does end up transferring to Florida State, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better situation if he wants to end up in the NFL—which, of course, sums up pretty much everyone at this level. This goes for any program, regardless of whether Golson is eligible to transfer there or not (the SEC, for example, has a graduate transfer restriction that would be a roadblock). 

The first—and maybe only—thing to look at is the track record Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher has of putting quarterbacks into the NFL. These players aren't just getting drafted, either; they've been first-round selections. 

In the past 10 years, Fisher has coached four quarterbacks who went on to become first-round picks:

Say what you will about the NFL careers of those picks to date—Jameis Winston excluded; his pro career is only beginning, and he's easily the best prospect of any of the four—but Fisher gets his players drafted high and paid handsomely. That's part of his job. What happens after that is no longer under his control. 

If you're Golson, how do you look at that and not come away impressed? He's not transferring to switch positions. He could have done that at Notre Dame. Golson has one year of eligibility left to prove he's worth taking as a quarterback in the 2016 draft. This decision has a lot of weight behind it. 

There will be challenges if Golson does transfer to Florida State. All the quarterbacks listed above were multiyear starters who fit the prototypical NFL passer mold. The current front-runner to succeed Winston, Sean Maguire, is cut from the similar physical cloth as well. 

Golson is on the smaller side (he's listed at 6'0" and 200 pounds), but that's never going to change for him. For Golson, it's about controlling what he can control. 

Could Golson learn a more NFL-friendly playbook in a few months time and make the necessary reads/decisions quickly? Can he improve dramatically on the ball-security issues that plagued him a year ago? Can he come in to the locker room as a new face, develop chemistry and be viewed as a leader quickly? 

Despite his shaky spring game last month, Maguire is still viewed as the favorite to start in Week 1, because he has that experience. 

Those are NFL problems rookie quarterbacks face, too. Right now, you're not going to find a better spot to train them than Florida State. And Golson's history at Notre Dame suggests he would be up for the occasion. 

Golson won the starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2012 and helped lead the Irish to a national championship appearance against Alabama. He missed the '13 season because of academic, but spent that time working with quarterback guru George Whitfield. Golson returned in '14 and had one of the more prolific passing seasons in Notre Dame history. 

It might be the most ridiculous qualifying statement uttered in a while, but when Golson wasn't turning the ball over, he looked like a completely different passer from 2012-14; a much better one. He has ability but hasn't been able to consistently use it.

Fisher's job would be to get that consistency out of Golson. If there's a head coach/quarterback guru who can get the most out of his signal-callers and prepare them for the NFL, it's Fisher. 

None of this is to say that Golson will win the starting job at Florida State or anywhere else. He would have to beat Maguire in preseason camp first before we have that discussion. But if Golson is looking for a place where he could start and get an NFL crash course at the same time, the Seminoles seem like a great fit.  

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. 

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Which Recruiting Powerhouses Are After Future 'Superstar' CB Deangelo Gibbs?

Deangelo Gibbs is a 5-star cornerback in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's currently uncommitted but is leaning heavily toward Georgia. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Gibbs' game. 

How good can this cornerback be at the next level? Check out the video and let us know!

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