NCAA Football News

College Football Recruiting OL Rankings 2015: Top 10 After The Opening

They may not give the postgame interviews or get the glory on touchdown highlights, but offensive attacks can't function without strong performances from the big boys. Offensive linemen must counter an increasingly athletic crop of pass-rushers and defensive tackles while handling intricate blitz schemes and everything else the opposition throws their way.

Players with superior size who can create rushing lanes and protect the passer on a consistent basis quickly become coveted college prospects. Many of the nation's best blockers journeyed to Beaverton, Oregon, earlier this month to test their skills against elite completion at Nike's The Opening.

The event plays a paramount role in summer re-evaluations of the current recruiting cycle and resulted in newly released 247Sports composite rankings for the 2015 class. Bleacher Report watched the trench battles in Beaverton and continued to analyze 2013 game film to provide analysis on the nation's 10 top-rated offensive linemen, according to composite rankings.

 

This article is a part of Bleacher Report's CFB 200 Recruiting Rankings Series. The overall rankings are based on 247Sports Composite, which takes into account every recruiting service's rankings. The positional rankings also correspond with those composite scores. Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we take an in-depth look at college football's stars of tomorrow.

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LSU Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp

LSU head coach Les Miles has gaping holes to fill on his roster. Fortunately enough for Miles, he has talent at his disposal other coaches could only dream of having.

Miles spoke highly of his incoming freshman class of 2014 at SEC media days last week. He expects a few to contribute right away, including 5-star skill position players Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre. But expect none of them to begin fall practice as starters. 

LSU has plenty of talent returning next season as well. Tiger returnees probably feel the pressure from the incoming class, so they will attempt to prove their worth once the pads are strapped back on in early August. 

Here is a preview of what the depth chart will look like heading into fall camp. 

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Ohio State Football: 3 Players Sure to Surprise at Fall Camp

Coming off back-to-back losses to end the 2013 season, the Ohio State football team is looking for a fresh start, a renewed focus and another run at a national title. That starts in less than two weeks when the team officially reports for fall camp.

Urban Meyer has one of the most loaded rosters in college football, and he has one of the most lethal playmakers in Braxton Miller to trigger his explosive offense. With all that talent, there are bound to be a few players who break out and surprise the coaching staff.

Last year, players such as Dontre Wilson, Joey Bosa and Taylor Decker exceeded expectations and solidified their roles during fall camp. Who will be the surprise standouts in 2014?

 

Jalin Marshall

Wide receiver Jalin Marshall came to Ohio State with high expectations, but a string of injuries prevented him from making an impact on the field.

The coaching staff took a cautious approach with Marshall after he suffered a concussion in fall camp last year. That delayed his development, so the Buckeyes gave him a redshirt to preserve a year. Midway through an impressive spring camp this year, he suffered another setback when he tore his meniscus—an injury that required surgery. 

The recovery process was quick, however, and he spent the summer building chemistry with Miller to recover some of the ground he lost in the spring.

Marshall, a 4-star prospect and the No. 35 overall player in 2013, is expected to back Dontre Wilson up at H-back. If he can stay healthy, he has the size (5'11", 205 pounds) to be more effective motioning into Ohio State's interior rushing attack.

 

Erick Smith

After allowing 268 passing yards per game in 2013, the Buckeyes are retooling for a big turnaround this season.

That started with a change in leadership. Meyer brought in Chris Ash, a pass-defense specialist, to be co-defensive coordinator alongside Luke Fickell.

Infusing the secondary with top-level talent was step two in that process, and Meyer did just that with his 2014 class. The Buckeyes signed Damon Webb and Marshon Lattimore—the No. 5- and No. 6-ranked cornerbacks, respectively—alongside 4-star safety Erick Smith this February.

The Buckeyes are deep at cornerback, with redshirt freshmen Eli Apple and Gareon Conley backing up the starters, but Meyer doesn't have that same luxury at safety. He knows that Smith is talented enough to come in and contribute right away.

“Erick Smith, he’s a guy I'm really excited to get here,” Meyer said, according to Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors. "He played corner in the [U.S. Army All-American Bowl], but we plan on putting him at safety. And, once again, immediately [on the depth chart].”

 

Bri'onte Dunn 

Ohio State has to replace Carlos Hyde, who piled up 1,668 total yards and 18 touchdowns in just 11 games last year.

Ezekiel Elliott is in line for the starting role, according to Brian Bennett of ESPN.com, but Bri'onte Dunn has the opportunity to solidify himself as the No. 2 option. He can do that by offering a different running style than Elliott—the tough, hard-nosed style that Hyde used to gash defenses over the last two years.

Dunn is working hard to provide that same toughness, according to Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer.

Carlos, last year, he taught me a lot. He was like a brother to me. All that backs know we have a big gap to fill. Carlos was really good last year, and everybody is working hard to get to that point.

But (my size) helps me a lot. This offseason I have been getting really strong and working hard on my speed and my footwork. That all should carry into next season.

Ohio State has a deep stable of running backs, so Dunn will have to be at his best this fall to avoid being passed on the depth chart.

 

All recruiting information via 247 Sports. Stats via NCAA.com.

David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412

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5-Star Torrance Gibson: "I'm Not an Athlete, I'm a QB"

Torrance Gibson is considered the top uncommitted athlete in the 2015 class, according to 247Sports Composite. His combination of size and speed allows him to make big plays when he sees some open space. Gibson took some time to talk to Bleacher Report about the latest recruiting news as well as what position he would like to play at the next level. Where do you think this monster recruit will end up?

Watch Bleacher Report's Michael Felder speak with Gibson out at The Opening.

 

Rankings from 247Sports Composite

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Florida Gators Will Challenge for SEC East Title with Kurt Roper's New Offense

The Florida Gators are looking to come back strong after a disappointing 2013 season. With the addition of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, the Florida offense has the potential to get back on track in Gainesville.

How well do you think the Gators will do in 2014?

Watch Bleacher Report's Michael Felder break down exactly what the Gators will have to do with their new additions and current weapons in order to rebound from the 2013 season. 

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Michigan Commit QB Alex Malzone: 'I've Been a Michigan Man My Whole Life'

Alex Malzone is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the 2015 class. This Michigan native has decided to stay in state and head to Ann Arbor to play for Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines.

Malzone took some time to talk with Bleacher Report about everything from the Michigan coaches to Jabrill Peppers.

How well do you think this stud will do at Michigan?

Watch the video to get to know this future Wolverine.

 

Rankings from the 247Sports composite.

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8 Reasons College Football Coaches Can't Wait for Camp to Begin

Next week, college football preseason practices will spring to life across the nation.

Players will report for “fall camp” and two-a-day practices, one of the prime bonding times for any collegiate team. Players live together, eat together, sweat together and grow closer under the blistering August sun, preparing for the season ahead.

Coaches can’t wait for practice to get here. It is a chance for them to mold their rosters and see who they think will stand up in the crucible that is big-time college football. Who they can trust. Who they can’t.

Just as importantly, it’s a chance for them to keep a closer eye on their players. While NCAA rules now allow coaches to observe “voluntary” summer workouts, the beginning of preseason practice means the end of summer and the end of the period where coaches are worried about what their players are doing.

Summer can be a season for arrests as much as it is for player development, and this summer has been no different. Multiple players have found themselves ensnared by the long arm of the law, with various degrees of seriousness. Here are eight reasons that college football coaches are glad preseason practice is right around the corner.

 

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Notre Dame Football: 5 Players Sure to Surprise at Fall Camp

Just as there are always some spring heroes who burst onto the scene in camp, fall practice can also bring in another wave of surprises.

With Notre Dame football nearing its fall training camp, let’s consider five Fighting Irish players with the ability to turn heads and open eyes. In most cases, these are young players we think are lurking in the wings, ready to rise to a bigger role. But an upperclassman could also be primed to surprise with a breakout fall camp.

Away we go.

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Florida Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp

The Florida Gators will begin fall camp in a little over a week, and while there are a good amount of position battles still up in the air, we have a good idea where the team stands as far as a depth chart is concerned.

Whether certain players have established themselves over their careers or have made a move in spring ball, the overall depth chart isn’t going to change a ton since you last saw it. Of course, things could change in no time due to injuries or players not showing up, but barring those circumstances, this is likely the depth chart you’re going to get heading into fall camp and the regular season.

Let’s take a look.

 

Quarterback

Starter: Jeff Driskel 

Backup: Skyler Mornhinweg

While fans don’t have 100 percent confidence in Driskel, nobody is arguing that he’s the starting quarterback for Florida. Driskel fits Kurt Roper’s offense perfectly and is in the best position to succeed since he’s stepped on campus. He still has a lot of work to do if he’s going to be the main reason this offense turns around, but there’s no denying that he has the skill set to get the job done.

An official backup hasn’t been named yet, but Mornhinweg still has the edge until further notice given his experience. One of the true freshmen would really have to play out of his mind to steal the backup spot.

 

Running Back

Starter: Kelvin Taylor 

Backup: Mack Brown

Taylor is the starting running back and should have his workload doubled as a sophomore. It took a while for Taylor to get comfortable last season, but he started to come on late in the year and finished with 508 yards and four touchdowns on only 111 carries. Taylor has the potential to be one of the top backs in the SEC this season if used properly and given enough touches.

The backup spot is still up for grabs between Brown and Matt Jones, but the edge goes to Brown until Jones can prove he’s healthy. Even then, Florida is likely to use up to four running backs this season, so everybody is going to get playing time.  

 

Wide Receiver

Starters: Quinton Dunbar, Ahmad Fulwood, Valdez Showers

Backups: Demarcus Robinson, Latroy Pittman, Andre Debose

Dunbar, Fulwood and Showers are the most consistent returning receivers from last season. Dunbar’s senior leadership and 90 career receptions earns him a starting job as the X-receiver, while Fulwood’s production late last season makes Florida’s coaching staff confident that he can handle lining up at Z-receiver.

The slot will remain an ongoing position battle, but Showers made plays all over the field last season and has more upside to give than the other candidates.

Robinson is the most talented receiver on the entire roster, but he’s got to prove he can be a leader on and off the field. Everybody else is just jockeying for playing time and could get it if they have a solid performance in the fall practices.

 

Tight End

Starter: Jake McGee

Backup: Tevin Westbrook

As long as McGee shows up and is anything close to what he was in Virginia, he’ll be given the starting job and will instantly become a top option in this offense. In two seasons with the Cavaliers, McGee racked up 71 receptions for 769 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s an athletic tight end who can stretch out defenses and become that security blanket across the middle of the field.

McGee is a critical piece to Florida’s offensive success, and unless others can do more than what they’ve done in the past, he’ll be on the field nearly every play.

 

Offensive Line

Starters: D.J. Humphries, Tyler Moore, Max Garcia, Trenton Brown, Chaz Green

Backups: Kavaris Harkless, Roderick Johnson, Trip Thurman, Drew Sarvary, David Sharpe

The starting offensive line shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone. Humphries is one of the better tackles in the SEC when healthy, and Moore played well last season when he wasn’t injured. Green is also one of the best offensive linemen Florida has when he’s healthy. I guess the moral of the story is that this is a pretty respectable unit when everybody isn’t nursing injuries on the sidelines.

Garcia also looked solid at center throughout spring drills and the spring game, and he will only improve with the more reps he gets at his new position.

The backup offensive line is where the concerns come in, as there isn’t a lot of experience. The backups should see a lot of playing time early in the season to prepare them when needed down the road.

 

Defensive Line

Starters: Dante Fowler, Leon Orr, Darious Cummings, Jonathan Bullard

Backups: Alex McCalister, Jay-nard Bostwick, Caleb Brantley, Bryan Cox Jr.

Basically the same defensive line for Florida last season will hold down the fort again this season. Fowler lines up at the Buck position, while Orr, Cummings and Bullard fill up the nose tackle, defensive tackle and defensive end spots, respectively. On paper, this is one of the better defensive lines in the country, especially if Bullard can have that breakout season Florida fans have been waiting a couple of seasons to see.

Cox and Bostwick should have productive seasons as well if spring ball is any indication of things to come.

Overall, defensive line may be Florida’s most talented and deepest unit on the team.

 

Linebacker 

Starters: Jarrad Davis, Michael Taylor, Neiron Ball

Backups: Daniel McMillian, Antonio Morrison, Matt Rolin

Ball has pretty much guaranteed himself a starting job due to his experience and production over the course of his career and spring. Davis is just way too talented to leave off the field, as everybody saw toward the end of last year. Besides those two guys and maybe Taylor, who has been the quarterback of the defense, everybody else is interchangeable.  

There are going to be position battles at linebacker and certain guys are going to emerge, but there hasn’t been much of a difference between any of the players to make any drastic changes. Everybody is going to see the field this season and will have their chances to make plays.

Linebacker is a position that’s talented, but it has yet to reach its full potential.

 

Secondary 

Starters: Vernon Hargreaves III, Jabari Gorman, Marcus Maye, Jalen Tabor

Backups: J.C. Jackson, Keanu Neal, Marcell Harris, Duke Dawson

Hargreaves is the best player on the team, so there’s no way he’s losing his starting corner spot to anybody. Gorman’s experience and production in a limited role last season earns him the nod at free safety. And while I’ve been a bit of a Maye apologist the last year or so, he has to get the start over Harris heading into fall camp.

The battle everybody is waiting to see will be between Tabor and Dawson for the final cornerback spot. It’s going to be neck-and-neck throughout, but I give the edge to Tabor due to his overall length and the fact he’s better suited to cover some of the bigger receivers in the SEC.

Florida’s starting secondary is looking scary right about now.

 

Special Teams 

Starters: Austin Hardin, Kyle Christy

Backups: Francisco Velez, Johnny Townsend

Hardin is the only Florida kicker on scholarship, and while he made only four of 12 field-goal attempts last season, he was flawless in the spring game. Kicking is all about confidence, and considering Hardin has the leg, if he can just figure out the mental part of his game, he’ll be just fine.

Christy’s production fell off a cliff last season, averaging less than 40 yards per punt. However, Christy has shown in the past that he’s capable of being one of the top punters in the country, as he averaged more than 45 yards per boot as a freshman. Like Hardin, Christy should have things figured out by the time the season begins.

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Best- and Worst-Case 2014 Scenarios for Every SEC Football Team

SEC football found a new level of unpredictability last season when Auburn and Missouri topped all realistic expectations with their phenomenal runs.

Non-fans might have suspected the two sets of Tigers would be improved—maybe even greatly—but no unaffiliated, rational person could have projected their turnarounds.

Look no further than our own best-case, worst-case predictions from last year.

We thought Missouri would consider “reaching a bowl game as a success” and that Auburn could “surprise people” by “winning seven or eight games.”

However, learning from last year would leave this as quite the pointless exercise.

Yes, Alabama could potentially go 0-12 this year and Kentucky could potentially go 15-0, win the SEC and two playoff games to capture the national championship.

Neither scenario is even remotely viable. If you have strong feelings about one actually happening, you should consult either an oddsmaker or a psychologist—I’m not sure which.

Rather than overreacting to last year’s phenomena, we will list the best- and worst-case realistic scenarios.

In other words, we won’t predict that Arkansas will go 12-2, win the SEC and reach the national championship game any more than we would have predicted Auburn to do so last year.

We will use our own predictions teamed with the over/under totals provided by 5Dimes (via Adam Kramer’s site, Kegs ‘N Eggs, and Jerry Hinnen over at CBSSports). We will also attempt to separate the schedule into “likely wins,” “likely losses” and “toss-up games.”

Enjoy the predictions.

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Georgia Football: 5 Players Sure to Surprise During Fall Camp

One of the great things about fall camp is that every team gets a fresh start. Every team has the same record, and every team has the same goal. But in order for a team to reach its goal, the players will have to put in the work, and it starts at the beginning of August.

For the Georgia Bulldogs, we know star players such as Todd Gurley, Ramik Wilson and Leonard Floyd will put in a lot of work during fall camp to get ready for the upcoming season, but there should (and will be) a few players who will turn heads during camp which will lead to more playing time and the possibility of earning a starting position.

Here are five players sure to surprise during fall camp.

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2015 College Football Recruits Sure to Commit Before Football Season Starts

August is right around the corner, which means football season is rapidly approaching. Toward the middle and end of next month, many high school teams will kick off their seasons.

That also means a few college prospects will be looking to get their decisions out of the way so they can focus on their teams. While a recruit can decide at anytime on a school, several players appear set to announce before or around the start of football season.

A 4-star receiver will likely decide between a pair of Pac-12 schools, while another 4-star receiver could opt for a Big Ten program. Also, a speedy athlete will be announcing his decision within the next few weeks.

All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

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Every Power 5 Conference Team's Biggest Concern Heading into Fall Camp

Five weeks from now, the 2014 college football season will be officially underway. Well, sort of, if you consider a Wednesday night game between transitioning Georgia State and FCS Abilene Christian to be the appropriate start to the year.

The big games will begin in earnest the following night, Aug. 27, which means we have over a month left to wait for five months' worth of nonstop college action. And with the openers just around the corner, that means preseason training camps are about to get going.

The summer has been a relatively quiet time for most programs, unless they've had the misfortune of a player getting into trouble or suffering a freak injury. In most cases, it's been all about final preparations for camp, which includes figuring out what the biggest concern each team has heading into practice.

We've also gone ahead and determined the most pressing issue facing each team in the five power conferences (as well as major independents BYU and Notre Dame) as fall camp nears. Check out what your team should be worrying most about, or what you can hope your rival will be unable to address in time for the start of the 2014 season.

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Miami Football: Previewing 3 Biggest Position Battles Heading into Fall Camp

Position battles are inevitable, and the Miami Hurricanes head into fall camp with three major spots up for grabs.

The 2014 edition of the 'Canes faces a pair of obvious competitions, one oft-discussed topic and a newly created major issue.

Since Miami focuses so much on rotations, spots on the offensive and defensive lines demand depth over a top starter. This suggests finding a true starter is not necessarily an integral task.

However, a final battle—a role the team had extremely covered last season—is an essential facet of a well-rounded team, and its importance cannot be overlooked.

 

Quarterback

Down went Ryan Williams, in stepped Kevin Olsen, and the only thing that emerged was chaos. Olsen showed his inexperience during the spring game, leaving the quarterback situation completely unsettled.

Three months later, though, Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post quoted head coach Al Golden as saying the redshirt freshman "has changed his body. He's working harder. He's been a better teammate this summer. ... I think he's made a lot of progress this summer. He's starting out with a little more confidence."

However, that doesn't mean Olsen is the clear front-runner. True freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier will be included in the competition and not immediately saved for the sake of future eligibility.

"We're going to let it play out on the field," Golden told Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald. "I want to see what we have before we decide to redshirt them."

But as the talk of Williams taking over under center immediately following recovery intensifies, Kansas transfer Jake Heaps becomes a more intriguing candidate. If Golden is set on Williams as the No. 1 when available, Heaps may actually be the best option during the first few outings.

Instead of sending out a quarterback who has never seen collegiate game action, the 'Canes could use Heaps as an early-season stopgap until Williams is ready.

As noted by Porter, Golden plans on making the competition a two-man fight following the first scrimmage.

"We'll go from four to two fairly quickly and let the two battle for the rest of training camp," Golden said.

 

Outside Linebacker

Miami knew it would be relatively thin on the outside, but Thurston Armbrister, Raphael Kirby and Jermaine Grace are the only true linebackers on the squad with any collegiate experience.

"Any" is used cautiously, too, since Kirby and Grace have been primarily used on special teams. Armbrister has recorded the most snaps, appearing in 25 games, starting 10 and registering 73 total tackles.

Golden told Miller Degnan that junior edge-rusher Tyriq McCord will also be utilized at the position. Granted, McCord's role is unknown because he has never been an every-down linebacker and, well, the coach did not offer a clear indication of how McCord will fit into the scheme.

Additionally, Golden included Darrion Owens in the conversation. According to Porter, the coach said the true freshman is "going to make a case to play" during the upcoming season.

Then again, Golden does not have much of a choice considering the extreme lack of depth.

"We lost guys, we've got to move on," senior leader Denzel Perryman told Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel. "We've brought the younger guys along and they know the playbook right now. We just have to focus on the season."

 

Punter

No, it's not just a punter. Though he has one job—blast the ball—it's not as easy as it sounds.

During ACC media days, Golden mentioned to reporters that the team needs to find its starter, obviously acknowledging the void left by All-American punter Pat O'Donnell. After all, the Cincinnati transfer shattered a Miami record during his lone season in Coral Gables.

With Matt Goudis, Justin Vogel and Ricky Carroll in the mix, the 'Canes should have a respectable option by the end of fall camp.

According to Miller Degnan, Golden said Vogel "is doing a really good job" to this point. "The way it's looking now, according to Golden, is it's between Vogel and Carroll, though Goudis will also work there," she added.

Flipping field position is a crucial part of the game—it will be especially so if the Hurricanes offense initially struggles while breaking in a new quarterback.

 

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

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Michigan Football: Analyzing Brady Hoke's 5-Star Recruits

During the past three years, Michigan coach Brady Hoke has been in steady contention for the highest-profile recruits. He wins some, he loses some—he lives to recruit another day.

Entering this fall, the Wolverines’ head man has a pair of former 5-star prospects waiting to cut their teeth, carve their niche and establish reputations as consistent, high-level contributors: sophomore quarterback Shane Morris and sophomore running back Derrick Green.

The time for Green is near; for Morris, the other gem of 2013, another year of waiting is likely before he jumps into the No. 1 role. Conversely, no one will know until they know. They've played 10 minutes (not really), and they'll take time to develop.

But why wait until then? Why not analyze and speculate now? It’s as good a time as any.

 

Bring the Shane

Morris’ stand-up showing during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl prompted talk—lots of talk. But that’s all it’ll be, as there is zero chance of Devin Gardner not being Michigan’s starter this fall—barring a series of catastrophic events, of course.

With that being said, Morris, a 6’4”, nearly 220-pound pro-styler, was supposedly the best thing going a couple of years ago. But then he hit college, which means he sat. A year later, he has more experience and knowledge—and a new offensive coordinator, former Alabama play-caller Doug Nussmeier, who is renowned for his work with quarterbacks.

And he’s a fellow southpaw who just so happened to play professionally, which may or may not greatly benefit Morris.

Outlook: Morris has the tools to be a great college quarterback. However, with the addition of Wilton Speight to the 2014 class, not to mention Michigan’s eyes being set on 2015 and 2016 elites, I can’t confidently project stardom. He may get lost in the mix. Then again, he could live up to his enormous billing and set the bar a little higher for future generations.

The bottom line is that he’s good. Hoke got it right with Morris, who was a 5-star prior to his senior year at Warren De La Salle (Michigan).

 

Greener Pastures

“Running game, where are you?” could have been a question that Michigan’s coaching staff asked itself in 2013…and in 2012…but why be picky?

Luckily for the Wolverines, today is a new day, one which promises the resurgence—which was something that I said last year, and probably the year before—of a steady, feared and incredibly efficient backfield.

Green, a former Virginia high school superstar, was to be the savior, the one to breathe fresh air into an otherwise flat approach. However, like Morris, Green barely saw the field in 2013. He had a respectable outburst in Week 1 vs. Central Michigan and even finished the season with valuable, late-game yardage vs. Ohio State (L, 42-41).

Outlook: This fall has to be the year that Green either gets it or makes way for someone who does. That sounds harsh, sure. But considering Green’s profile, it’s not an illogical assumption. The 5’11”, 230-pounder has improved his physique during the offseason and seems destined for the rebound.

At one time, Green was the No. 1-ranked running back of his class, but he dropped to consensus top 10 prior to signing with the Wolverines.

 

Will Drake Get Busy?

A classic deep threat and a guy who can go down the middle, sky upward and fetch the ball—that’s Drake Harris in a nutshell. At 6’4” and somewhere in the neighborhood of 190 pounds, the former Grand Rapids Christian star's arrival to The Big House has been eagerly anticipated—maybe not to the point of Green or Morris, but there are more than a few who are waiting to see him flash his skills on a college field.

Outlook: Michigan’s depth at wide receiver is a great thing—but not for guys who are looking to crack the rotation. I’m not sold on Harris being a huge factor, but I won’t rule out that possibility. If he makes some sort of miraculous recovery from his hamstring injury, well, that's another story. I’ve been impressed with his ability for two years—even when he committed to Michigan State to play basketball—and foresee a productive career. 

At one time, Harris was considered to be the best receiver of 2014 by Rivals and 247Sports. He was ranked No. 8 when he signed with Hoke.

 

It’s Time to Have Pep

The No. 1-ranked athlete (No. 3 overall) of 2014 shouldn’t disappoint. He is, without question, the biggest pickup of Hoke’s coaching career. Generally speaking, he’s actually one of Michigan’s most notable signees.

Outlook: By now, you’re sick of the Jabrill Peppers chatter. By now, you’re ready to see the 6’1”, 205-pound Jersey kid pick-six his way into the record books. Not many true freshmen do much of anything, anywhere—let alone at Michigan. But this one is different; he’s of a rare ilk.

The football gods broke the mold when they made the one they call “Breezy.” If he’s not a program-changer, I don’t know who is.

 

Notable Misses

When mentioning home runs, it’s only fair to mention the whiffs. To be clear, the following players are included due to their former high interest in Michigan: 2014 DE Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama), 2014 RB Leonard Fournette (LSU), 2015 QB Josh Rosen (UCLA), 2015 WR George Campbell, 2015 RB Damien Harris.

However, as usual, Hoke remains in the hunt for several of 2015 and 2016’s most elite 5-star talents. And if his track record is of any indication, he’ll get his with relative regularity.

 

Note: At one time, each of the mentioned players carried a 5-star ranking from 247Sports and/or Rivals, two of the leading prospect grading sites. Hoke's classes/futures, via 247: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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

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Texas Football: Best Quotes and Key Takeaways from Big 12 Media Days

Thanks to Charlie Strong, Quandre Diggs and the announcement of some key returnees, the Longhorns turned in a noteworthy Big 12 Media Day on Tuesday.

It was more of the same from Strong on his first media day as Texas' head coach, continuing to drive home his core values and goals for the team. But Strong also offered some news, officially naming David Ash as his starting quarterback and announcing the return of suspended tailback Joe Bergeron.

Cedric Reed, a late addition to Texas' lineup, also offered a big announcement of his own that should cheer up Longhorn fans. 

But if you missed all of that, catching up with everything that Diggs had to say is a must.

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Ranking 10 Biggest Recruiting Rivalries in Class of 2015

Recruiting rivalries are all over the place nowadays in college football. Many teams do not stick to recruiting inside their regions anymore, which has birthed new rivalries on the recruiting trail.

For the 2015 class, several rivalries have formed due to the pursuit of several top recruits. Florida State and Alabama are in the middle of an arms race, while things have gotten even more intense between Auburn and Georgia.

Plus, USC and UCLA have renewed their rivalry on the California recruiting trail.

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Alabama Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp

Alabama fans are all too familiar with Nick Saban’s dislike of preseason depth charts.

As AL.com’s Michael Casagrande explained during spring practice, Saban prefers that his players focus on improving daily in favor of jockeying for roster position.

"I think some guys about now start to worry about the depth chart and where they are on the depth chart," Saban said. “Well we really don't have a depth chart.”

However, with fall camp set to get underway in early August, the picture will begin to become clear as to which players will find themselves in good position to take the field in the Tide’s season opener against West Virginia on Aug. 30.

Which players have an inside track on securing a spot, and which positions will feature the most intriguing battles in fall camp?

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1 Thing Each Top 10 2015 RB Recruit Must Improve On

Running backs are not as in demand as they once were. However, the 2015 class still has a great group of runners who can help offenses in college.

Looking at the top 10 running back recruits in the 247Sports composite rankings, each of them is an impressive prospect. However, each of them also has at least one thing he needs to improve on.

A speedy running back must get better at breaking tackles, while a powerful runner needs to lower his pad level. Also, a running back headed to an SEC school must improve his elusiveness.

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Nebraska Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp

Nebraska football fans know that fall camp is about to start, and with fall camp comes the depth chart battles that will help define the 2014 season. So while there are no official depth charts, we can speculate as to where things are at least starting out as fall camp opens. Of course, the battles in fall camp will go a long way toward determining what Nebraska’s depth chart will look like on August 30 when NU lines up against Florida Atlantic.

But until then, here’s a glimpse of where things might stand. Returning starters are in italics.

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