NCAA Football News

The Opening 2015: Power Ranking Every 7-on-7 Team

An entertaining week of events at The Opening is highlighted by a star-studded seven-on-seven tournament that tests the skill set and competitiveness of America's premier college football prospects.

The action, which takes July 7-10 at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, puts bragging rights on the line and can ultimately impact how recruits are rated nationally. National television will broadcast portions of the tournament, adding another element of intrigue.

Based on each team roster, here's how we rank all six seven-on-seven squads before things get underway in Oregon.

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Elite 11 Analysis: Ole Miss Commit Shea Patterson Flashing 'Top-Tier QB' Talent

Shea Patterson is the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class, per 247Sports composite rankings, who is committed to Ole Miss. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder reviews the future Rebels signal-caller.

How good can Patterson be for Ole Miss? Check out the video and let us know!

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Maxwell Award Watch List 2015: Full List and Bleacher Report Favorites

Welcome to watch-list season, college football fans.

The offseason is slowly reaching its end, with conference media days coming up and the start of fall camp just weeks away. Preseason predictions are nearing their peak, with media members and fans giving out their selections for the best teams and players in the country.

On Tuesday, the National College Football Awards Association released the first of its 16 preseason watch lists of the season, including one of the biggest awards not named the Heisman Trophy—the Maxwell Award, given to college football's "player of the year." 

Here are the names that make up this year's massive list of preseason Maxwell candidates:

While the Maxwell and Heisman basically serve the same purpose, they usually have different winners. 

Before we get to Bleacher Report's favorites for the 2015 Maxwell, here are four main trends for the award from the last 15 seasons:

Oh So Close: Since Ricky Williams and Ron Dayne's back-to-back Maxwell-Heisman wins in 1998 and 1999, only three players have won both awards in the same year. But each of the last 15 Maxwell winners finished at least in the top three of Heisman voting in their award-winning seasons.

Older Guys: While five of the last eight Heisman winners were freshmen or sophomores, the Maxwell has only given out the award to one underclassman in the last 15 years—Tim Tebow in 2007. The Maxwell leans toward older players, especially seniors—as evidenced by AJ McCarron and Manti Te'o's wins over Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel, respectively.

Quarterback Club: Like the Heisman, the award has mostly gone to quarterbacks, with a couple of exceptions. The Maxwell has had two non-quarterbacks win the award since 2000—Te'o and Larry Johnson—but Mark Ingram lost the award to quarterback Colt McCoy during his 2009 Heisman campaign.

Just Win, Baby: The first part of the 2000s featured a handful of winners who were on three- or four-loss teams, such as Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Brady Quinn. However, each of the last seven Maxwell winners played on teams with at least 10 wins and no more than two losses by the end of the postseason.

With these criteria in mind, here are the preseason picks to take home the Maxwell at the end of the year.



TCU QB Trevone Boykin: Boykin is the early favorite to win the Heisman and currently sits at 6-1 odds to pickup the stiff-arming trophy, according to Odds Shark. He will play for a major national championship contender in the second season of a high-powered offense that transformed him from underwhelming backup to one of the most dangerous weapons in college football. Boykin could run away with the Heisman this year, making him a strong candidate to take home the Maxwell, too.

USC QB Cody Kessler: The USC senior might not be able to put up the same eye-popping yardage of a dual-threat quarterback like Boykin, but he has a great chance to take home some hardware if the Trojans break into double-digit wins this season. Kessler ranked fourth nationally last season in both QB rating and touchdowns, and he did it with only five interceptions to his name. Excellent pocket passing on a winning team has been the recipe for success for several recent Maxwell winners, including McCarron and Andrew Luck.

Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott: Prescott has an advantage here as a dual-threat senior who should put up major numbers in a spread offense. While the Bulldogs have to replace most of their starters this year, he still has a star target in the 6'5" De'Runnya Wilson and plenty of experience in Dan Mullen's scheme. If Mississippi State can avoid a big letdown season in a tough SEC West, Prescott could win the Maxwell without being on a surefire title contender.

Michigan State QB Connor Cook: Sparty's star senior already has the look of a player who could grab the Maxwell. Cook led the Big Ten last season in passing yards per game and only threw eight interceptions. With some improvement in his efficiency and completion percentage, Cook would be the perfect choice to take home the Maxwell Award.

Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott: Let's throw in one non-quarterback to the favorites list, shall we? Elliott is a great choice for Maxwell contention because he'll be an upperclassman this fall and already has the second-best Heisman odds of any player in the country. With some more carries in 2015, Elliott could break the 2,000-yard mark and make a serious run at ending the quarterbacks' streak with the Heisman and the Maxwell.



Florida State QB Everett Golson: Imagine the amount of buzz Golson would get if he won the Seminoles' starting job, cut down on his turnovers and led his new team to another College Football Playoff berth.

Alabama RB Derrick Henry: The bruising 6'3", 242-pound Henry has advantages in a potential Maxwell race because of his status as a junior and his place as the No. 1 running back on the defending SEC champions.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan: If the Cardinal bounce back and become a contender again in the Pac-12, this senior signal-caller has all the tools to succeed with an experienced offense in 2015.

Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson: Auburn's new starting quarterback hasn't been a regular starter yet in his career, but his extremely efficient work so far in Gus Malzahn's fast-paced offense makes him a contender.

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller: Any Ohio State quarterback will be a contender, but Miller starring again for the Buckeyes after a major injury and a fierce position battle would make him a can't-miss candidate.


Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.

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Bednarik Award Watch List 2015: Full List Released

The Maxwell Football Club released the initial watch list Tuesday for the 2015 Chuck Bednarik Award. The honor is given annually to the top defensive player in college football. Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III is the current trophy holder.  

Along with Wright, some of the top contenders heading into the season include Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa, Baylor defensive lineman Shawn Oakman and Florida defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III, among others.

Here's the complete watch list from the Maxwell Football Club:

Wright was a monster in the middle of the Wildcats defense last season. He racked up 163 total tackles, including 29 for a loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles while helping lead the team to a 10-4 record and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl.

Given Arizona's fast-paced style of play, the talented linebacker should be in line to produce another award-contending season.

Bosa should be firmly in the running once again, too. The edge-rusher, who's already projected to go first overall in early 2016 mock drafts, has registered 21 sacks over his first two seasons with the Buckeyes and will continue to benefit from the team's terrific depth up front.

Along with the aforementioned Oakman and Hargreaves, some other names worth monitoring closely include A'Shawn Robinson from Alabama, Shilique Calhoun from Michigan State, Su'a Cravens from USC and Robert Nkemdiche from Ole Miss.

Some notable past recipients of the coveted award are Pat Fitzgerald, Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers, Paul Posluszny and Ndamukong Suh.

It's also worth noting this will mark the first season the award will be handed out without its namesake around to witness the achievement. Chuck Bednarik died in March but left behind some outstanding advice for those looking to follow in his legendary footsteps:

All told, there's a great group of defensive players out there this season, which should make the awards race even more intriguing.

Wright probably enters the campaign as the favorite, but that distinction will likely be passed around several times before a winner is crowned in December.


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2017 OT Kadeem Telfort Flips Commitment from Miami to Florida

As if the rivalry between Florida and Miami (Florida) wasn't heated enough, a new log was thrown into the fire Tuesday with the announcement by 3-star 2017 offensive line prospect Kadeem Telfort that he was switching his commitment from Miami to the Gators.

Telfort, a 6'6", 306-pound tackle for Miami, is rated by 247Sports as the No. 396 prospect in the 2017 recruiting class. The 43rd-best offensive tackle and the No. 52 player in the Sunshine State had committed to Miami in February but since then had picked up offers from Auburn, Florida and South Florida. He unofficially visited Gainesville on June 9.

Telfort is set to be a junior this fall at Norland High School, the same school that produced former Miami guard Ereck Flowers, the No. 9 pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

His value as an individual recruit is superseded by what his change in commitment means, that Florida coach Jim McElwain and his staff are turning the corner in their effort to regain a strong footing in south Florida, while at the same time squashing some of the momentum the Hurricanes have amassed the last few months.

All three of Florida's commits for 2017 are from the Miami area, including 4-star Fort Lauderdale quarterback Jake Allen, who pledged on July 1. Additionally, five of the Gators' 14 commits for 2016 are from south Florida, a sign that ex-Miami coach Randy Shannon (now an assistant with Florida) still has some of his old connections, per David Furones of the Miami Herald.

Miami's 2017 class is still looking quite good, as Telfort was the lowest-rated of the eight players who had been on board, and 247Sports still has the Hurricanes ranked second overall behind Ohio State. Their 2016 class currently ranks fifth with 22 pledges, including seven who are rated at four stars.


Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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Jonathan Taylor Domestic Violence Charge Dropped: Latest Details, Reaction

Former Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor had a domestic violence charge against him dropped Tuesday after pleading guilty to criminal mischief.  

Stephanie Taylor of the Tuscaloosa News provided the update. Taylor was arrested back in March after a woman called police and stated she was assaulted by him.

Marq Burnett of USA Today reported officers found the victim had minor neck injuries and later arrested Taylor after determining there was probable cause. He was charged with "Domestic Violence 3rd Degree Assault and Domestic Violence 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief."

Alabama decided to dismiss the defender from the team as a result of the situation. He had previously been let go from the Georgia program, as well. notes he was arrested twice during his time with the Bulldogs. He was charged with felony aggravated assault and family violence after allegedly striking his girlfriend with a closed first and choking her. He was also one of four players arrested for collecting double payments of checks.

Taylor has likely run out of chances to play football with any top college programs. The Bulldogs gave him a second chance, and the Crimson Tide were willing to give him a fresh slate, but in both situations, he failed to live up to his end of the bargain.

He was a 4-star prospect who rated just outside of the top 50 nationally in the class of 2012, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. It's always unfortunate to see that type of talent get wasted, but his off-field issues equate to major red flags.


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Alabama Football: Why WR Robert Foster Will Break Out in 2015

One look at the Alabama offensive depth chart, and you'll see plenty of unfamiliar players who probably seem more like myths from signing classes past than bona fide superstars.

That will change as the season progresses, as some of those players will break out and become impact players for the Crimson Tide.

Robert Foster is one of those unfamiliar names who will explode onto the scene in 2015.

The former 5-star prospect in the class of 2013 has been in Tuscaloosa for a while, biding his time behind stars such as Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White and waiting for his time to shine. The door is finally open thanks to massive roster turnover at the wide receiver position, and the 6'2" 194-pounder will not only walk through but also kick the whole thing down.

Foster isn't exactly a clone of Cooper, but he's close.

He has tremendous ball skills, is incredibly agile (especially for a taller wide receiver) and has the same kind of ability to create big plays after the catch. As Matt Zenitz of noted last month, he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash in spring testing, which makes him the fastest Crimson Tide receiver and the fourth-fastest player on the team.

We saw glimpses of this in the spring game when Foster—who was named co-offensive MVP with fellow receiver ArDarius Stewart—caught six passes for 125 yards for the first-team offense. 

"I was very pleased with the way our two young receivers played today," head coach Nick Saban said in quotes released by Alabama. "They both made plays, they both played with confidence."

As Bama Sports Radio on VSporto noted when the show tabbed Foster as the No. 2 breakout candidate on the Crimson Tide, it appears that the Monaca, Pennsylvania, native is putting it all together.

What's more, Foster is apparently doing everything right off the field from a preparation standpoint—which might be a departure from the norm.

According to his high school coach, Mark Lyons, per Matt Zenitz of, the redshirt sophomore has taken a more professional approach to the offseason:

I think his overall approach is different. I know he's developed physically. But I think the key to Robert was him developing mentally and maturing. And not that he was doing stupid things. It was just understanding the importance of activities outside of the football field. I'm talking film room, meeting room, getting together with your quarterback, getting together with your position coach.

Plus, he's in a situation on this year's Crimson Tide offense that's perfect for him to break out and become a star.

With nine new starters on the offensive side of the ball and the top three receivers from last year gone, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has to find a go-to receiver who can stabilize the offense and keep defenses off running backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake.

Just like last year, he has to do that with a new starting quarterback.

Preparation, meet opportunity.

This year's offense won't look exactly like last year's, and it's unlikely that any receiver in crimson and white will catch 124 passes like Cooper did, but it will resemble it in a lot of ways, with Foster and Stewart likely joining forces to create the same stability.

If that happens and there's another "1B" option alongside Foster, it will open things up for him and let his 4.4 speed shine through.

That sounds like a recipe for downfield passing success and one that will vault Foster into stardom sooner rather than later.

Foster isn't going to be Cooper, nor should that be expected. He can, however, resemble him quite often, provide the same kind of impact as the former Heisman Trophy finalist and help the Alabama offense take the next step in Year 2 under Kiffin.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of 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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Predicting the 10 Hardest Hitters for 2015 College Football Season

What’s the nastiest hit you’ve ever seen?

Was it South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney blowing up Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the 2013 Outback Bowl?  What about Nebraska’s Kenny Bell violently blocking Wisconsin’s Devin Smith in the 2012 Big Ten title game?

All big hits have the same components: a skilled athlete with speed, girth, opportunity and aggression.

Here’s a look at 10 guys who are not only capable of being destructive on the football field but have a history of hitting hard.  They’ll play enough this season to deliver a repeat performance.

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Dorial Green-Beckham Q&A: Titans Rookie Talks Maturing into a Pro—and a Father

CLEVELAND — Dorial Green-Beckham is one of the most intriguing players in this season's NFL rookie class.

He has the stunning size (6'5", 237 pounds) and speed (4.49 in the 40-yard dash) to be the next Randy Moss. He has the off-field resume to be the next troubled player who is out of the league quickly and not quietly.

During the NFL Rookie Symposium, Green-Beckham listened to numerous speakers discuss the pratfalls of an NFL career, spent time working with children in the league's Play 60 program and toured the Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton.

He also spoke with Bleacher Report for a few minutes.


Bleacher Report: You seemed to really enjoy your experience at the Play 60 program more than most. I saw you laughing and joking a lot with the kids and the other players. Was there something special about that for you?

Green-Beckham: I remember when I was growing up, I didn't have anything like that. I feel it's important to me because when I was growing up I didn't have stuff like this. I was the type of kid that I played basketball all through when I was young and through high school. I didn't get involved in football, really, until my senior year.


B/R: So you were dreaming about being Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, not Randy Moss.

Green-Beckham: Oh yeah, I was a LeBron [James], Michael Jordan type of guy. 


B/R: And then suddenly it was like you could be the next Calvin Johnson.

Green-Beckham: Yeah, like out of nowhere. ... Watching these kids, I think about the times I could have been out here doing this. I could have been involved in football a whole lot more. Just seeing a smile on these kids' faces, it makes me smile. In the future, I could see my son being able to do stuff like this. With me, his dad, having a bright future, he could be able to see things through me that I wasn't able to do. So when he gets older, he can chase his dreams even further.


B/R: When is your son due?

Green-Beckham: In a couple of weeks. My girlfriend is back in Missouri. She knew she was pregnant back when I was at Oklahoma.


B/R: So talk about the feeling of being a father.

Green-Beckham: I wasn't expecting it to be this soon. But then again, I'm kind of glad that it's now because I'm excited for it. I can't wait for the baby to get here, and I'm going to do the best for him. For me, with my whole background of being adopted, that's important for me. I didn't have my pops growing up, and now that I'm having a son, I'm going to give my son everything I didn't have, which is a father.


B/R: My father wasn't around for most of my life. I remember when my first son was born, I just kept wondering, "How do I do this?"

Green-Beckham: Exactly. For me, not having that father figure around, I'm going to give my son everything I can. I had my coach who adopted me to teach me how to do this, and so I know what kind of father I need to be because I learned from Coach [John] Beckham.


B/R: So you have a career about to start and a child on the way. You have a lot of things going on, and you've been through a lot in your life. You have gotten in trouble and not been allowed to play. How much does that make you say you have to focus?

Green-Beckham: I think about that a lot. I know that with my career starting out and my son on the way, I know it's a lot. But I know that me having a son is going to be a big factor in me being able to just focus on football and focus on [my girlfriend] and my son. I want to see him grow up.


B/R: So it sounds like you're forced to grow up in a hurry in this situation.

Green-Beckham: Yeah, I do feel like that after all the stuff that I've been through in college. I was young. I was really young at the time, and now I do feel like a grown man. Being out here, being drafted, this game is a job, and it's a big man's job. That's the difference between college and now. You never know how soon you could get cut in this business.


B/R: How great can you be?

Green-Beckham: Really, it's up to me how I want my future to turn out. And really, I want to be great. I want to be the guy that has like 12 or 15 years in the NFL. I want to be that guy that people talk about, but it's up to me to make that happen. I have to be there every day, fighting for that career and fighting for my kid.


B/R: The theme of this week is largely about dealing with off-field issues. You have been through a lot of problems. What flips that switch in your head to make sure that when you leave the practice facility everything is going to be taken care of correctly?

Green-Beckham: I know in the back of my head that I came a long way and that everything works now and everything is important now. I know everybody is watching. I know I can't have no more of those days. I know what everybody is expecting of me. I know that I have to continue to be the best person I can be, and I have to continue to be the best teammate I can be and not let anybody down.


B/R: Is it good that people are watching you so closely?

Green-Beckham: It is because those people are watching me grow into the type of man I'm going to become or the type of man I'm becoming. There is still going to be time that people talk about how I'm a bad person, but by being around me, that's going to change their way of looking at me. I've been through some bad situations, but that doesn't define who I am.


B/R: But is it good to have the pressure of people looking at you constantly, wondering when you might fail?

Green-Beckham: For me, it makes me feel like I have a chip on my shoulder to prove that I've grown, I've matured and I'm going to take care of my family.


B/R: Cris Carter gave the closing remarks for your group at the symposium and called you out of the crowd to stand next to him on stage for a minute. Then he said that despite having a 16-year Hall of Fame career, he would love to change places with you. That's a powerful statement from a man who has accomplished so much. How did you take that?

Green-Beckham: He also called me over to talk for a good five minutes or so after that and asked how I've been doing and what I liked about the process. I said I had a good time here and I've been working to put myself around better people.


B/R: He called you up there for a purpose, though. He's definitely trying to make a point to you.

Green-Beckham: Yeah, but that's not the first time we've talked, either. We talked a little bit before I left Oklahoma about my decision to come out or stay. Why was it good or why wasn't it good. It's all turned out for the best, but it's him being there for me.


B/R: Walking around the Hall of Fame, you seemed to be very interested.

Green-Beckham: It's just a lot of history. It's my first time being here. It's the first time for a lot of these guys, and seeing this stuff is pretty cool and having that feel.


B/R: That feel that you hope one day you're part of the Hall?

Green-Beckham: Yeah, that's the goal, but it's like they say: It's all about what we put into it. That's my decision to see if I want to fight to be in the Hall of Fame or have a great season or be one of those guys to just go out there. But this is all new to me, and seeing everybody's facial reaction to all this is really big for me.


B/R: My nephew has come to live with my wife and me, so I'm curious to know from you, what was the biggest hurdle you faced in learning to trust somebody after you went through the adoption process?

Green-Beckham: For me, it's different because I've had a relationship with the Beckhams from before I was adopted because I had two brothers who played for [Coach] Beckham. So I always would be around him and go see my brothers play. He wasn't the head coach until my freshman year, but he was coaching. So anytime I went to see the game, I was getting familiar with him. Obviously, [the Beckhams] knew a lot about my background, and just because my brothers and all them played for Coach Beckham, I could easily trust him.


B/R: My nephew lived on a youth ranch for a couple of years. How much bouncing around did you do along the way before you were adopted?

Green-Beckham: I went through three or four homes bouncing around trying to settle in. After a while, that whole going from different places at a young age, you don't know what to do. Like, who do you want to be around? For him, I feel like he wants to be comfortable with the people who have been there for him rather than meeting different people and going through all these different homes. That can be stressful.


B/R: Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson?

Green-Beckham: Uh, both? The great Randy Moss. I want to be the great Randy Moss. But I really don't want to put limits on anything. I'm going to prepare and be ready and be my own man. I'm going to be Dorial Green-Beckham. I want to be that. I want you all to say, "That's just Dorial. That's him."


Jason Cole covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.

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Elite 11 2015: Results, Rankings, Highlights and Reaction from Monday

The 2015 Elite 11 football camp offers a glimpse of the most talented quarterbacks of tomorrow, as many of the nation's top high school signal-callers descend on Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Monday marked the beginning of The Opening Finals, where the field generals got the chance to strut their stuff in front of camp host Trent Dilfer and numerous others in attendance.

Marquee college QBs such as Penn State's Christian Hackenberg and Notre Dame's Malik Zaire serve as counselors and even fling the pigskin around themselves. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly heard Zaire did well in his mentoring role:

But the focus was on the prolific prep passers as they sought to distinguish themselves against the best competition available in the country.

One young man who stood out among the bunch was Georgia commit Jacob Eason. The 5-star Georgia commit is the No. 1 pro-style passer by 247Sports' composite rankings, and he lived up to that billing on Monday.'s Jeremy Crabtree made quite a gaudy comparison for Eason, which seemed suitable given how much zip he was getting on the ball:

A couple of other supreme athletes who also sport exceptional arm talent were Malik Henry—247Sports' No. 3 pro-style passer—and Jarrett Guarantano, who plan to play college ball at Florida State and Tennessee, respectively.

Although these drills were against air, the combination of touch and power Guarantano showed on the following throw hints at the upside he has, courtesy of ESPN's Tom VanHaaren:

Bleacher Report's Damon Sayles tweeted footage of Henry ripping a ball down the left sideline to display his own exceptional ability:

Another amazing arm who wowed those bearing witness was Shea Patterson, whom some believe to be the country's best ahead of Eason. Slated to attend Ole Miss, Patterson had to have Rebels fans feeling good about his impending arrival.

Scout Recruiting provided a glimpse at just how quick Patterson's release is—and how much velocity he can generate:

Elite 11's official Twitter account assembled a highlights package of various impressive throws from throughout the day:

With so many of the top-tier players to keep track of, Bleacher Report's Michael Felder provided a glimpse into the camp participants who stood out to him but may be a bit under the radar at the moment:

This Elite 11 camp has turned out future NFL No. 1 overall picks such as Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Jameis Winston to name some recent success stories. Numerous others have gone on to have great college careers, so the final rankings from Elite 11 will definitely be worth paying attention to.

It will be hard to distinguish which players are better than the rest from just on-field drills. Camps like these show the importance of the QB position and also suggest the best recruits will be even more prepared to make an instant splash in the NCAA upon setting foot on campus.

There is still one more day remaining for the Elite 11 prospects. Now that the foundation has been set, they'll be tasked with going out and executing the installed offensive game plans to show what they really have at this point in their young, promising careers.


Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Does Georgia Commit Jacob Eason Deserve No. 1 QB Ranking for 2016 Class?

Jacob Eason is the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 class, as per 247 composite rankings, but does he belong at the top of the list for QBs? 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder debates whether Eason should be the top-rated QB in the country. 

Do you think Eason is deserving of the No. 1 QB ranking? Check out the video and let us know!

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Auburn vs. Alabama: Which Is Better Fit for Top Uncommitted QB Jawon Pass?

Jawon Pass, a 247Sports 4-star dual-threat QB, is opening eyes out on the recruiting trail. He has progressed nicely and will soon commit to a school.

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Pass' game and how far he has come as a quarterback in the video above.

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Elite 11 2015: Biggest Takeaways from Day 1

BEAVERTON, Oregon — The beautiful campus at Nike World Headquarters saw 18 of the nation's best quarterbacks grinding in hot temperatures Monday.

It was the first day of official throwing sessions in a week of Elite 11 competition expected to be long but memorable.

Here are five key takeaways from the first day in Oregon.


Football only for focused UGA commit Eason

Georgia 5-star commit Jacob Eason is the nation's top-ranked quarterback and the No. 3 overall player. On Monday, he showed that the ranking isn't a fluke. Eason completed passes from all angles and distances, and his throws came with velocity and accuracy.

In short, Eason looked as poised and focused as he has throughout the Elite 11 camp circuit. This heightened level of concentration may be in part because he's no longer a multi-sport high school athlete. Eason recently announced on social media that he played his last high school baseball game, going out in style by hitting a home run. 

Eason looked the part with each throw. At 6'5" and 205 pounds, he physically looked like he was in football shape, and he completed passes that received approval from a few of the Elite 11 coaches.

With all of Eason's focus now on football, this could be great news for Georgia fans if Monday's showing was any indication of the future.

"Baseball's over," he said. "It's football time."


Big Ten (East) the majority of the bunch

The Big Ten is well-represented with six of the 18 quarterbacks committed. Of those six, five are committed to play for teams in the Big Ten's East Division.

Michigan pledge Brandon Peters, Michigan State commit Messiah deWeaver, Maryland-bound Dwayne Haskins, Rutgers pledge Anthony Russo and Penn State commit Jake Zembiec all had their share of shining moments during both of Monday's sessions.

A sixth Big Ten commit—Nebraska pledge Patrick O'Brien—also impressed coaches and evaluators with a consistent performance. Nebraska plays in the conference's West Division.


Decision days coming for uncommitted QBs

The committed players are always a nice conversation piece at events like the Elite 11, but when there are uncommitted players on the verge of announcing, all attention seems to turn in that direction.

For 4-stars Jawon Pass and Dillon Sterling-Cole, decisions aren't far off. Pass said that his verbal commitment will come late next week, and one of three schools will be chosen.

"Auburn, Alabama or Louisville," Pass said, "and it'll be on the 16th [July 16]."

Pass will be a nice get for one of those schools, as he's a 6'5", 220-pound dual-threat option who improves with every lesson learned through Elite 11 tutelage.

For Sterling-Cole, a decision may not come as soon. The 6'2½", 183-pound quarterback said he still has his top eight, but Arizona State and Florida are two schools that are currently separating themselves from the rest of the pack.

"I'm coming to a close," he said. "The schools I'm evaluating are showing that they actually want me to play for them. I'll post a top five real soon, probably in a week or so."


Lone Star State representation

Of the 18 quarterbacks in attendance, the state of Texas represented nearly one-quarter of the group: Texas 4-star commit Shane Buechele, Oklahoma State 3-star pledge Nick Starkel, Texas Tech 3-star commit Jett Duffey and uncommitted 4-star Dillon Sterling-Cole.

All four had their moments throughout Monday. A strong-armed Starkel regularly showed his ability to put zip on the ball. Duffey made the kind of adjustments that won him two Elite 11 regional MVP awards. Sterling-Cole made every throw with poise and appeared calm in every drill.

Buechele demonstrated accuracy and the ability to throw in and outside the pocket. At the end of Monday's sessions, Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer told the athletes that the Longhorns commit is putting himself in position to compete for the overall top spot.

Starkel said each Texan wants to win the Elite 11 competition, but they're all rooting for each other.

"It's a great experience. We're all out competing, but the Texas guys are together more than the others," he said. "We're kind of sticking together and fighting as a team out there."


Once participants, now counselors

Before they were college quarterbacks, they were prep stars aspiring to be considered Elite 11-worthy.

The Elite 11 camp counselors are integral to the competition, as they not only can offer advice and assist in drills but also share their Elite 11 experiences of the past. The counselor team features a few members of the 2012 Elite 11 class.

Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, Ohio State's J.T. Barrett, Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs and Notre Dame's Malik Zaire all are from the 2012 class. Clemson's Deshaun Watson, a 2013 Elite 11 participant, is also in Oregon as a camp counselor.

"We're learning a lot right now from them," South Carolina 4-star commit Brandon McIlwain said. "We're learning about mental toughness and being able to work together in extremely challenging situations. It's been a grind, but being able to push through anything, it's really helping a lot."


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

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QBs Who Blew Up Day 1 of the Elite 11

The Opening has begun out in Oregon, with the top players in the country all showcasing their skills. One position that always garners eyeballs is quarterback. 

Bleacher Report college football analyst Michael Felder breaks down which quarterbacks put on a show during Day 1 and may have made a name for themselves in the process. 


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'Fast Rising' QB Dillon Sterling-Cole Would Be Great Fit for Florida Gators

Dillon Sterling-Cole has opened eyes early on at The Opening in Oregon. The signal-caller remains uncommitted but has several big-time offers on the table. 

How would Sterling-Cole fit in at Florida? Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder answers that question and more in the video above. 

Check out the video and let us know! 

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De'Andre Johnson Dismissed by FSU: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

The Florida State Seminoles dismissed freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson on Monday following a charge of misdemeanor battery stemming from a June 24 incident in which he struck a woman in a bar.

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples obtained an official release from the Seminoles' athletic department indicating Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher announced the decision to dismiss Johnson:

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported June 30 that Johnson faced the battery charge, and the Tallahassee Democratsubsequently released video footage of the incident. Johnson, 19, was suspended indefinitely just one day after the altercation occurred.

The true freshman enrolled early in January to get a jump on Florida State's complex pro-style offense. Although it would have been a long shot to push Everett Golson and Sean Maguire for the starting job, Johnson could have been the next face of the Seminoles program under center years down the road.

That potentially bright future in Tallahassee has been wiped away in a flash. Johnson was bound to be dismissed once the disturbing video of his confrontation surfaced, especially with the off-field issues that plagued former FSU star QB Jameis Winston.

Johnson is enrolled in courses on domestic violence and has been apologetic about the entire saga, according to It still may not be feasible for the former 3-star recruit, per 247Sports, to expect a second chance at playing NCAA football at the highest level.   

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Virginia Tech Football: 2015 QB Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

Quarterback problems have plagued the Virginia Tech Hokies on and off for four years now, since the departure of Tyrod Taylor after the 2010 season. Logan Thomas was under center for three years and had some great moments, however the majority of his tenure was marred by turnovers and inconsistent play.

Speaking of turnovers and inconsistent play, Michael Brewer gave the the Hokies plenty of both in 2014. Brewer, who transferred from Texas Tech before last season began, had his share of good moments, too. Specifically, Tech's win over eventual national champion Ohio State in September. 

As we head into the 2015 season, VT's last official depth chart had Brewer tied atop the depth chart with junior Brenden Motley. Brewer took the majority of first-team snaps in spring practice and was terrific. Motley being listed as co-No. 1 with Brewer was more likely a way for offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler to motivate Brewer before his senior season. 

While there may not be an all-out quarterback competition this fall for the Hokies under center, Brewer will have to play well—each week—to hang onto the job. VT has a ton of talent at the skill positions and will not waste it with inefficient quarterback play in 2015.

Here's a look at Tech's quarterback depth chart and some analysis on each player. 

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No Question About It: J.T. Barrett Will Start for Ohio State Buckeyes in 2015

Ohio State won the national championship in 2015, and it is continuing its success for next season with one of the most intriguing quarterback battles in recent memory.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder gives his expectations for starting quarterback for the Buckeyes next season. 

Who will start at quarterback for Ohio State in 2015? Check out the video, and let us know!

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Hackenberg Has Skills to Be No.1 Pick but Must Reduce Mental Mistakes

The Penn State Nittany Lions are looking to return to the top of the Big Ten, but it is a crowded group. The Nittany Lions will have to ride on the shoulders of star quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder discusses whether Hackenberg is a top-tier QB.

Would you consider Christian Hackenberg an elite QB? Check out the video and let us know!

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Huskers Football 2015 QB Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

As we get closer to the start of fall practice, now is a good time to start looking at the Nebraska Cornhuskers football roster and depth chart to get a better idea of what we might see this season. There’s no more important position on the field than quarterback, so it makes sense to start with the signal-caller.

New head coach Mike Riley will be bringing a different offensive philosophy to Lincoln, so it’s still a little difficult to guess what Nebraska will look like on that side of the ball. But given what we know so far, here is what Nebraska’s depth chart should look like—and why.


Starter: Tommy Armstrong Jr.

Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s experience makes him the clear choice to start the season under center for Nebraska. After the spring game, according to the Omaha World-Herald, Riley had this to say about Armstrong: “The thing that never wavered about Tommy was, and is a separator for him right now, and that's his confidence. He's a confident guy and he plays like it.”

As a starter for Nebraska, Armstrong is 15-5. His underlying statistics, though, do not inspire confidence. He has a 52.9 completion percentage and a 31-20 touchdown-to-interception ratio. It's hard to construct a scenario where Nebraska wins a conference title when its quarterback has those statistics.

Riley has a history of producing quarterbacks, though. His most recent protege, Sean Mannion, broke the Pac-12’s all-time passing record at Oregon State and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. Riley will need to work that magic on Armstrong’s efficiency numbers to get Nebraska where it wants to go this year.


No. 2: AJ Bush or Zack Darlington

At the spring game, it was clear that AJ Bush and Zack Darlington are next in line at quarterback for Nebraska. The two quarterbacks have different skill sets. Bush, at 6'3" and 220 pounds, is more imposing and capable of moving the ball with his legs. Darlington, while able to move, looks to be more effective in the pocket, throwing the ball.

The spring game is a terribly small sample size and, as such, should be used with caution to make any judgments. But from that limited data set, Darlington was the only quarterback on Nebraska’s roster who appeared to have the accuracy and arm strength to make the throws NU will need to be successful next season:





Tommy Armstrong Jr.






AJ Bush






Zack Darlington






Ryker Fyfe






Again, it's a small sample size. Darlington isn’t going to win the starting job just because of a good spring-game performance. But it was the type of performance Nebraska will need from its quarterback to be successful going forward.


No. 4: Ryker Fyfe

Ryker Fyfe’s standout performance as a walk-on freshman earned him a scholarship and playing time in a live game against Michigan State last season. He has the size (6'2", 210 lbs) and physical ability to compete as a Nebraska quarterback, an impressive accomplishment for a walk-on. And he played well enough to keep an Elite 11 participant in Johnny Stanton behind him on the depth chart, ultimately causing him to transfer.

But while Fyfe’s accomplishments are impressive, he is behind the other three on the depth chart. Armstrong’s experience gives him an advantage over all the quarterbacks on the roster. And the athleticism and potential of both Bush and Darlington give them the advantage over Fyfe.


This column first appeared at the Double Extra Point, which you can follow on Twitter @DblExtraPoint.

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