NCAA Football News

FSU Must Dismiss De'Andre Johnson After Video of QB Punching Woman Released

This really isn’t complicated. It’s not a decision that should demand a vote, require extended conversations or necessitate any thought beyond the obvious.

After surveillance video surfaced of freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson punching a young woman at a Tallahassee bar, there is no reason he should be a member of the Florida State football team any longer.

I say that with complete respect for youth and a genuine hope that a 19-year-old kid—and that is precisely what he is—will rebound from a most regrettable incident that will impact his life significantly. The problem is that one can’t simply cite life inexperience as a reason to hit a woman. One can’t simply say that, since the woman punched him first, he should be allowed to punch back.

There is nothing one can say to make this acceptable in any context. The action itself eclipses the lengthy list of items that might “justify” it. There is no excuse—no matter how you believe the incident played out, no matter what you believe was said or no matter who threw the first punch.

Following his arrest last month, Johnson was charged with misdemeanor battery, as first reported by’s Mark Schlabach. Florida State had already announced, per Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples, that Johnson was suspended indefinitely from all team activities while the school gathered more information regarding what took place at Yianni’s on June 24.

On Monday, the Florida State Attorney’s Office released video of Johnson’s punch—courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat—that showed the altercation in full. The complete video is five minutes long. The version below shows the incident at roughly the 20-second mark. It shows Johnson and the female engage in a verbal exchange before physical contact is made.

Warning: This video contains graphic content.

Having video changes our perception of the event entirely. It adds depth. It provides, in this instance, unfortunate context. It doesn’t fill in all of the gaps, but it tells enough of the story. 

Johnson hit a woman with terrifying force—enough force to leave damage on her face that was noted in court reports, as relayed by USA Today's Karl Etters. His right hook, whether or not it was the first to be thrown, pretty much sealed his fate.

Jose Baez, the defense attorney for Johnson, issued a statement following the release of the video (via Bob Ferrante of Noles247):

While it is clear from the video that De'Andre Johnson was not the initial aggressor, his family wants to take the lead in helping him learn and grow from this experience. He is currently participating in community service, and faith-based programs focused on battered women, substance abuse, and the empowerment of children. De'Andre is extremely embarrassed by this situation and would like to express his heartfelt apologies to everyone, including those who were directly affected, Coach Fisher and his team mates, the entire Florida State University community, as well as his family and friends.

Should he have been hit to begin with? Of course not. Physical contact like this is completely unacceptable, regardless of the size or gender of the human being initiating it. This part is important: It’s also an incredibly delicate, difficult line to walk as you take a step back from the footage and look at it from a distance.

But Johnson’s overpowering response—a knockout punch fit for a ring—should be enough for the school to cut ties.

You don’t hit women. There is nothing delicate or difficult about this part. When you do this, you deserve the consequences. And they will be severe.

This, of course, is an unfortunate ritual football fans are now familiar with. The release of surveillance video involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his now-wife in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator changed how the public viewed that event and triggered the backlash that followed.

There was anger prior to the release of the footage—along with the light two-game suspension handed down by the NFL. But it really didn’t bubble over until the video surfaced. Once it did, it added the element of reality to it all, which prompted a collective outcry. As a result, the Ravens had no choice but to cut ties with Rice.

Florida State finds itself in a similar situation. Please don’t view these moments as equal or similar. They are unique events with unique people that warrant unique responses. But the school has a decision to make that will, like it or not, be influenced by the possibility of a public firestorm.

And given the current state of outrage—just search his name on Twitterand the existence of actual tape, it would be shocking to see Florida State back its player much longer. There is an undefinable point where players lose the benefit of rehabilitation in their current setting. Despite the fact that Johnson has yet to play a down for the program, it feels like we’ve jumped well past that possibility.

If Johnson is allowed to stay with the school, what message does it send to the fans? To the boosters writing checks? What message does it send about one of the nation’s biggest football factories?

I hope this is not the end of this young man. I hope that Johnson watches the tape and understands the magnitude of his mistake. He is 19; he has still so much left to do. But this, in present time, is unavoidable.

It is his problem. It is Florida State’s concern.

In a situation so personal, it’s callous to view Johnson’s likely dismissal as a business decision. He, like everyone else on that team, is simply a number. He takes up a roster spot that can be filled with relative ease. But in releasing him from the program, you are stating an important, obvious and necessary fact about your business, Florida State: that your players cannot—and will not—violently put their hands on a woman.

And if they do, they will no longer have the privilege of playing for one of the greatest football programs in the world. Nor should they. Period.

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Why Move from Adidas to Nike Matters for Michigan Football

For most programs, the news of a change in equipment suppliers would serve as a mere footnote, even during the dog days of the college football offseason.

But this has already been far from a standard summer in Ann Arbor. And Monday's news that Nike will be taking over Adidas as Michigan's official supplier in 2016 only proved as much.

While hardcore college football fans had their eyes on The Opening in Oregon, the Beaverton-based footwear manufacturer was helping make headlines for the more casual follower. Ever since Jim Harbaugh came to town, everything Wolverines-related has become consumable news, and Michigan's decision to trade in its three stripes for the world's most famous swoosh was no exception.

“After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was NIKE," U-M interim athletic director Jim Hackett said in a statement. "This decision, this partnership is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel."

It won't be the first time that the Wolverines will have donned the swoosh, as Michigan was a Nike school from 1994-2007 before inking the eight-year deal with Adidas that is set to expire on Aug. 1 of next summer. But for the Wolverines, their Nike rebirth couldn't have come at a better time as the remodernization of Michigan football under Harbaugh finds itself in full swing.

The fact that the Wolverines' deal with Adidas has coincided with what's largely been seven disappointing seasons of Michigan football has been just that—a coincidence—but one can't help but feel like their return to the top uniform supplier in college football is a step in the right direction. It's not just quantity but quality that has made the swoosh one of the sport's most prominent markings, with Nike outfitting 18 of the teams in last season's final AP Top 25, while Adidas laid claim to just four.

Unscientifically, Nike's uniforms have drawn a much better reception from college football fans as well, as evidenced by Monday's reaction to Michigan's switch.

That's not to say there will be a correlation between any future on-field success and the Wolverines' new duds, although if you're a believer in the cliche, "Look good, play good" philosophy, this certainly can't hurt. After all, Oregon has built an entire identity based on what it wears, with Nike providing the Ducks with more than 500 uniform combinations

"Every school has their niche, and God bless Oregon for finding their niche," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said of the Ducks in advance of the College Football Playoff championship. "That is a huge part of it."

A similar plethora of options in Ann Arbor is highly unlikely, and most forays into alternate uniforms by Adidas were seemingly met with resistance over the past few years by the Wolverines fanbase. But Nike has a stronger track record with such ventures than their soon-to-be predecessors at Michigan and could provide the football team with its own version of Ohio State's well received Pro Combat uniform set.

But as is the case with most deals, it might be the money that's the most telling aspect of the Wolverines' rebranding.

With its Adidas contract netting it an annual $8.2 million, one would imagine it would take a pretty penny for Michigan to move its sizable fanbase to a different supplier. And even with Michigan Daily's Zach Shaw reporting the Wolverines' will be Nike's "top deal"—financial details won't be released until July 13—that doesn't necessarily mean a raise from their Adidas deal, as Nike's current top client is Florida State, which it pays a reported $4.4 million per year.

In other words, it's highly likely Michigan took a significant pay cut to strike its new deal, just as Tennessee did when it switched from Adidas to Nike in 2014. Nike was also the preferred choice of Harbaugh throughout his new employer's search for a new supplier, according to's Steve Lorenz.

The reaction from recruits to Michigan's Monday news also appears to be positive, with most prospects stating that they wouldn't choose a school based on its uniforms, but if they had a say in the matter, they'd go with Nike. Perhaps that's why it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Wolverines are treating their return to Nike as more of an event than a transaction, with swooshes already popping up all over Ann Arbor.

Of course, as has been the case with most of the positive publicity that Harbaugh has obtained for his alma mater this offseason, all of it will be for naught without wins on the field in the fall. But even with their deal with Nike more than a year away from kicking in, the optimism surrounding the new era of Wolverines football is more than apparent.

“NIKE is a recognized leader in its field when it comes to product innovation," Hackett said. "We look forward to future collaboration."

Clearly, he's not alone.


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 Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Jake Zembiec Shows Improved Footwork at Elite 11, Can Be "Perfect QB" for PSU

Penn State commit Jake Zembiec, a 3-star QB according to 247Sports, is competing at The Opening showcase in Oregon.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Zembiec's game in the video above. 


All rankings accurate as of Monday, June 29.

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Elite 11 Buzz: McIlwain Has Skills to Bring Consistency at QB for South Carolina

South Carolina has had its share of struggles. After a disappointing 2014 season, the Gamecocks are looking to return to the top of the SEC East. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder discusses who could be the next option at quarterback for South Carolina.

Do you think the Gamecocks have found their future QB? Check out the video and let us know!

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One Trap Game for Every Power 5 College Football Team in 2015

Every college football schedule features both easy and tough games, but often the most troublesome ones fall somewhere in between.

These are known as trap games, matchups that gain their difficulty not so much from the opponent or locale but because of when they fall on the schedule. For instance, if a school is set to play two big home games against ranked teams in a three-week span, the road clash in between could spell doom if the opponent gets overlooked.

As much as schools work to prevent such games on their schedule, TV contracts and conference scheduling matrices sometimes lead to traps getting set. This year, we could see even more than normal, as the 2015 season is one week shorter than normal, and teams only have one bye week during the year.

Looking at the 2015 schedule for every power-conference team (and Notre Dame), here is a rundown of every team's most likely trap game. The one place we didn't look, though, is at the opening games. Despite a higher-than-normal occurrence of power-conference teams starting out on the road—15, to be exact—we're not considering the first game of the season to be a trap since it's a contest they'll have had all winter, spring and summer to prepare for.

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Michigan Announces Uniform Deal with Nike Through 2027

Nike will supply the Michigan Wolverines' 31 sports teams with uniforms, apparel and equipment beginning on August 1, 2016, and continue to do so until 2027. The university has an option to prolong the Nike arrangement until 2031 as well.     

A news release from Michigan's official athletics website confirmed the development and featured comments from interim athletics director Jim Hackett:

After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was NIKE...This decision, this partnership is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel. NIKE is a recognized leader in its field when it comes to product innovation and we look forward to future collaboration.

Adidas used to design the Wolverines' signature Maize and Blue gear, so this is a significant shift in uniform providers. Michigan's apparel figures to continue looking sleek and special with Nike's innovative designs and concepts.

Oregon has a deal with Nike, which has helped put its powerhouse football program on the map with a multitude of alternatives for jersey designs. What happens on the gridiron for the foreseeable future will inevitably be the primary focus in Ann Arbor for sports.

Former Michigan quarterback and newly minted head coach Jim Harbaugh is now the face of the Wolverines football program. Harbaugh had a successful NFL stint in San Francisco preceded by an exceptional overhaul at Stanford. It stands to reason he will be able to work his magic again given his resume.

After perhaps one year of struggles, Harbaugh can assert his will on Michigan, integrate his philosophy and truly get his players to buy in. It will happen to coincide with the issuing of new Nike uniforms, which ought to also signal the beginning of a big turnaround in the Big House.    

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Michael Irvin Jr. Commits to Miami: Hurricanes Land Son of NFL Hall of Fame WR

Almost 30 years have passed since the last time Michael Irvin caught passes for the Miami Hurricanes. Now the Hall of Famer's son—Michael Irvin Jr.—is heading to "The U."

According to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, Irvin Jr. verbally committed to Miami on Monday afternoon.

Irvin Jr. then took to Twitter to confirm his commitment:

The versatile 3-star prospect, who now plays at powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, is ranked as the No. 27 tight end and the No. 85 player in the state of Florida.

"It's what I've always wanted to do," Irvin Jr. told Bartow. "I like the coaches. They told me I would play all over for them. In the backfield, at tight end and at receiver."

Irvin Jr. is the 22nd player to commit to the Hurricanes' 2016 recruiting class. Miami currently has the most 2016 commitments of any program in the country and is No. 5 in 247Sports' composite rankings.

At 6'3" and 220 pounds, Irvin Jr. is a taller and heavier receiver than his father was out of high school. Irvin Jr. played his last three seasons of high school football at Prestonwood Christian in Plano, Texas. He caught 21 passes in a game against IMG Academy last year, which tied a Texas state record, and finished his junior season with 106 receptions for 1,239 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Irvin Jr. is now at his famous father's high school alma mater (St. Thomas Aquinas) and has committed to follow in his footsteps again at Miami.

"He was proud of me when I told him of my decision, and he thinks it will work out for me just like it did for him going there," Irvin Jr. told Bartow. "I chose Miami because of the tradition, and it's a great program."

Irvin Jr.'s decision won't take any recruiting analysts by surprise. Every one of his Crystal Ball Predictions at 247Sports had him going to the Hurricanes in what will probably be the easiest call of the entire recruiting cycle:

Thirteen schools have offered Irvin Jr. a scholarship, including Georgia, Michigan and NC State. But Irvin Jr. told Bartow the program that finished second for his commitment was fellow ACC school Syracuse, which offered him a scholarship in May.

Irvin Jr. is the second member of his family to recently commit to a Power Five program. His cousin, Tim Irvin, was a 4-star athlete in the Class of 2015 who enrolled at Auburn earlier this year.

However, Irvin Jr. has decided to stay in-state and keep the family tradition alive with the Hurricanes in a star-studded recruiting class that now has four receivers and two tight end commitments.


Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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

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College Football's Top 'Go-To' Wide Receivers for 2015

Your team needs a third-down conversion, a red-zone score or a last-ditch grab in the dying seconds of the game. Which receiver will your quarterback target?

For fans of some programs, the answer to that question is easy. Each of their schools' offenses has a can't-miss, go-to receiver—the one on the field who makes catch after catch.

Last season, college football had several of these stars whose catch-per-game rates were through the roof, such as Alabama's Amari Cooper, East Carolina's Justin Hardy and West Virginia's Kevin White. This year, a handful of wideouts are back to rack up the receptions and big plays as some of the top targets in all the land.

Before we get to this countdown, let's start with a definition. A "go-to" receiver in this list is someone who is a clear-cut No. 1 receiver who either led his team in catches by a huge margin in 2014 or has a great chance of doing so in 2015. These are the receivers the quarterbacks constantly "go to" a lot more than anyone else on the roster.

This definition, then, rules out some fantastic receivers who are part of standout tandems and trios with their teammates. Star wideouts at schools such as Baylor, Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, TCU and Texas A&M aren't on this list because they are more balanced in terms of hitting multiple receivers.

With all of that in mind, here are 10 of college football's top No. 1 targets for 2015. Tell us who you think is the No. 1 receiver of all of the No. 1 receivers and which other wideouts could make this list in the comments below.

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Biggest Takeaways from Rivals' First Top 100 for Class of 2017 Recruits

While many college football fans are focused on their schools' recruiting efforts for the upcoming class of 2016, the hype train for the nation's top talent in 2017 is already rolling.

On Monday morning, Rivals released its first Top 100 for the class of 2017, which features 15 players with 5-star ratings and 21 who have already announced their commitments.

Here are four takeaways from Rivals' new list of those highly touted recruits who will be faxing their letters of intent in 19 months:


1. Marvin Wilson at No. 1 overall is somewhat of a surprise.

The name many expected to come in at No. 1 overall on Rivals' first Top 100 for 2017 was LSU commitment Dylan Moses, who graced the cover of ESPN The Magazine before his freshman year of high school and started picking up scholarship offers from several of the nation's top programs in middle school.

But, in an early recruiting ranking upset, the Louisiana prodigy is ranked No. 2 overall behind massive Houston native Marvin Wilson.

The 6'4", 320-pound defensive tackle looks like the complete package of frame, technique and potential, and he plays a position that has boasted several No. 1 overall recruits in recent years.

"He's a terrific prospect with good size, agility, quickness off the snap, balance and a motor that never stops," Rivals' Mike Farrell said. "And he plays a position that is weighed more than linebacker or running back, the two positions that Moses projects at right now."

There's still plenty of time for class re-rankings between now and signing day in 2017, and Moses—or another top player—might show he's worthy of the No. 1 spot over Wilson. But right now, Wilson is the top dog according to Rivals.


2. The Southeast is once again the best place for 5-star talent.

Of the 15 players in this class who have already received a fifth star from Rivals, seven are from states in the Southeast. 

In addition to Moses, Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes, Georgia defensive back Deangelo Gibbs, Florida offensive lineman Calvin Ashley, Georgia linebacker Nate McBride, Georgia defensive back William Poole III and Kentucky offensive lineman Jedrick Wills are all 5-star players.

Georgia and Florida combined for 29 of the top 100 players, with Alabama and Tennessee each adding four players. Both Louisiana and South Carolina have three of their natives on Rivals' list.

The new list shows that the Southeast's powerhouse college programs will have their pick of some of the best players in the entire country.

The area already boasts more than half of Rivals' 5-stars in the class of 2016, including the top trio of North Carolina defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, Louisiana quarterback Shea Patterson and Alabama defensive lineman Marlon Davidson.


3. The class of 2017 looks to be balanced across the board.

All positions aren't created equal in recruiting rankings, but this Top 100 has a nice balance of offensive and defensive stars—skill players and linemen.

"We have a good mix of positions in the top 10 for 2017 with quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive tackle, defensive tackle, linebacker, safety and cornerback all represented," Farrell said. "We have a big wide receiver, a big running back, a big cornerback essentially in Gibbs who will be an amazing safety and a massive, long-levered tackle in Ashley."

That positional balance continues through the rest of the list, with each position group earning at least nine members on the top 100:

Perhaps the only outlier in this balance is at tight end. Texas native Brock Wright is the only player at the position to crack Rivals' first big list of 2017.


4. Ohio State has a head start in the race for the 2017 recruiting national title.

If these 2017 rankings are any indication, the rich will keep getting richer at Ohio State. The defending national champions lead the country in number of early commitments in the Top 100 with four.

Urban Meyer's staff already has pledges from 5-star in-state offensive lineman Josh Myers, 4-star Florida defensive back Shaun Wade, 4-star Florida athlete Bruce Judson and 4-star in-state defensive back Marcus Williamson.

Farrell called Myers "the best of a strong offensive tackle group," which includes three other 5-star prospects.

Florida State is close behind Ohio State with three current Top 100 commitments in the class of 2017. Alabama, TCU and USC each have a pair of pledges on the list.

The Buckeyes are also in the hunt for several other 5-stars on this list, including top quarterback Hunter Johnson, defensive back Lamont Wade and wide receiver Trevon Grimes.


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

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Charles West, BYU Football Recruit, Shot in Arm

Running back Charles West, who is committed to play at BYU in 2015, was shot in the arm Sunday while playing basketball at Coppell Middle School East in Coppell, Texas.

According to Claire Z. Cardona of the Dallas Morning News, the 18-year-old recruit ran after getting shot, was admitted to the hospital and has since been released.

Tim Montemayor of 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake City provided a look at the police report following the incident:

In the wake of his release from the hospital, West gave an update with regard to his health on Twitter:

Per Cardona, no arrests have been made, although police do have a person of interest. West's lawyer, Hunt Bonneau, also released a statement regarding the interest.

"It was broad daylight ... it wasn't like he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing," Bonneau said. "It's just kind of a really scary event that he'd been very lucky to get through."

West is a 3-star prospect who ranks as the No. 76 running back and No. 1,018 overall player in the Class of 2015, according to 247Sports.

The 5'9" Coppell High School standout is set to join a Cougars team that lost No. 2 running back Paul Lasike to graduation and currently has starter Jamaal Williams on the shelf with a knee ailment.

It is unclear how the injury as a result of the shooting might impact West's ability to play in 2015, but he is certainly lucky that something much worse didn't happen.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.  

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Should Ole Miss Worry About the NCAA Investigating Laremy Tunsil?

It's typically a risky proposition when a program opens the door to the NCAA amidst reported allegations, and it appears that the altercation between Ole Miss star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and his stepfather Lindsey Miller last month has done just that in Oxford.

According to Riley Blevins of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, NCAA investigators spoke with Miller on Friday about his allegations against Tunsil and the Ole Miss football program.

Miller and Tunsil were both arrested last month after Tunsil allegedly assaulted Miller at the Tunsil home in defense of his mother, Desiree Tunsil. According to Miller, the 6'5", 305-pounder who originally hails from Lake City, Florida, left the scene in a yellow convertible with multiple agents. 

The contact with agents wouldn't be an NCAA violation, but the ride would be classified as a minor impermissible benefit.

If you believe Miller, there's more to the story.

According to Blevins, Miller is singing like a bird, alleging that agents have given Tunsil cash, clothes, covered car insurance payments and more.

As RedditCFB noted on Twitter last week, Miller seems intent on tearing his stepson down.

Should Ole Miss—which has offered full support to the NCAA during the investigation—be worried about this situation?


No program in America is squeaky clean, and the incident between Tunsil and Miller essentially sent the bat signal to the NCAA offices in Indianapolis for investigators to come to campus and look around.

When officials come to town and start turning over rocks, you never know if they're going to turn over the wrong (or right) one and open up a huge can of worms.

Remember what happened with former Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green?

Green was rumored to be part of the agent-related party drama that enveloped many SEC and ACC stars in the summer of 2010 but flatly denied those rumors and said that he had "never been to Miami," where the parties took place.

It didn't matter.

NCAA officials walked through the door that the rumors created and found that Green had sold his Independence Bowl jersey from the previous season. That cost the star the first four games of the 2010 season.

In Tunsil's case, not only is the NCAA in town to investigate the matter, but some of the agents involved could be considered witnesses in the legal case involving Tunsil and Miller.

That's huge, because while the NCAA doesn't have subpoena power, the legal system does, and that could hand the NCAA another agent-related case on a silver platter.

Is this Tunsil mess going to lead to Ole Miss getting the Death Penalty or something so severe that it leads to the destruction of the football program? No, leave that talk for message boards. If this case leads to anything more, it's likely to be agent-related drama similar to the 2010 scandal that hit specific players at Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and others.

But Miller opened the door for the NCAA to come down and investigate some rather serious potential infractions. 

That's bad news for the program and something that should definitely concern the Rebels.


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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B/R 5th Down: Alabama Claims Most Successful SEC Program of All Time

Editor's Note: The 5th Down captures the top social college football stories of the week. Because the long, grueling offseason is underway, we'll focus on things that make us laugh, think or maybe cry, but mostly laugh.


1. Alabama Is Dominant and Wants You to Know

A broken heart inspired Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." A tweet from an outside linebackers coach will inspire the most heated debate of the summer—of the college football variety, that is—in the Southeastern part of the U.S.

Over the weekend, Crimson Tide assistant Tosh Lupoi tweeted a photo claiming Alabama was the "most successful SEC program of all time":

There are a few other programs in the SEC that probably have a thing or two to say about that. But what about you? Is Alabama the most successful SEC program of all time? Vote in our poll below:








2. Jalen Ramsey Is a Good Ol' Fashioned American

If there's one great thing about America, it's that red, white and blue go with just about everything. Since we as a country are still swelling with patriotism from the Fourth of July weekend—and from the U.S. Women's National Team totally crushing it in the Women's World Cup—here's Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey in some American concept art, if you will. 

Come to think of it, the Seminoles could do a lot worse than this American flag uniform, even if it is for Photoshop purposes only at the moment. 


3. Happy Fourth of July and Gig 'Em

Sparklers are the one of the least-rewarding fireworks out there. Actually, should they even be considered part of the fireworks family? They're good for children and weddings, and that's it. 

But sparklers can have an artistic purpose, as this Texas A&M fan captured on Twitter

That's pretty awesome. OK, sparklers. Y'all are fine. 


4. Things That Make You Smile, Part 1

Freshman Tennessee defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie is a star in the making on the field. He's also emerging as a good Samaritan off it. 

According to Andrew Holleran of, "a young Tennessee fan named Asa was on his way to Knoxville, Tenn., to purchase one of the Volunteers’ new Nike jerseys. While driving, Asa had a seizure, causing him to crash, sustain an injury to his spine and break his jaw." 

McKenzie, at the request of Asa's parents, went to visit the Vols fan in the hospital and posted this Instagram message afterward: 

Well done, Kahlil.


5. Things That Make You Smile, Part 2

The good news is that McKenzie isn't the only member of the college football community doing his part to positively affect others. UCLA head coach Jim Mora is offering up some help of his own. The bad news is that Mora is responding to something no six-year-old should ever have to endure. 

If you haven't seen it, Avery Huffman, the daughter of's National Director of Recruiting Brandon Huffman, was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a cancerous brain tumor. The location of the tumor has made surgery impossible.

In response, Mora, along with UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero and IMG College, are providing several package deals for fans who donate certain amounts to Avery's treatment. They range from tailgating packages to "Coach for a Day" packages, in which fans can fly on the team plane and attend a game from the sideline.

For those interested, here is Avery's GoFundMe page.


6. Hello There, College Football Playoff Countdown Clock

We know you can't wait for college football to start again. Yes, it's July, meaning you should be out camping or fishing or taking a vacation or doing literally anything else but pining for college football. But look at that, the SEC Network is playing a game from last season and, well, now you have to watch it. 

If this is you, don't worry—you're not alone. Meet the College Football Playoff countdown clock, unveiled at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport:

Emily Mahoney of the Arizona Republic had the story:

A handful of elected officials and local leaders, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira, gathered at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4 on Tuesday morning to unveil a clock counting down the days, hours and minutes until the College Football Playoff National Championship game kicks off in Glendale on Jan. 11.

Don't fret; the wait is almost over. Just another six months and the national championship game will be here.


7. Jim Harbaugh and Percentages

Last week while appearing on the radio with ESPN's Colin Cowherd, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh gave one of the most awkward interviews you'll ever hear. Rehashing what made it so painful would be repetitive. So if you enjoy punishment and awkward moments, you can watch the interview again below:

Or, you can skip to Harbaugh talking percentages on Twitter: 

Harbaugh only takes 50 percent accountability but doesn't openly blame Cowherd for the other half. Possible other explanations:

  • Ohio State
  • Watching Judge Judy
  • Can't talk; too busy scooping up recruits at satellite camps
  • Ohio State again
  • OK, never mind, he was blaming Cowherd


8. More Like Game of Jones, Amirite?

In case you missed it, Tennessee had a huge unveiling party for its new Nike uniforms. The threads themselves are pretty legit; they stay true to Tennessee's unique orange and white combo while incorporating some inspiration from the Smoky Mountains. 

Of course, what would a uniform unveiling be without a Game of Thrones reference? Here's Vols coach Butch Jones in "Game of Jones":

Here's our only question, though: Does this mean Jon Snow is actually [STATEMENT REDACTED]?



Last week, 5th Down shared a picture of Michigan running back Wyatt Shallman and a wallaby. The whole thing, while adorable, also seemed sort of sketchy. Can one actually possess a wallaby legally?

As it turns out, no, you cannot. Ben Freed of has the whole story of the wallaby being returned to its breeder; the long and short of it is that the wallaby was exchanging hands often, literally and figuratively speaking.

Below is a statement from Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation deputy director of captive animal law enforcement, to 

Ultimately a wallaby doesn't belong in a private home any more than a wolverine does. These students and the University of Michigan had an opportunity to step up and set a great example by allowing the wallaby to spend the rest of its life with other wallabies in a natural habitat in an accredited facility. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball.

Oh, a football pun.


10. Finally, Your College Football (Expansion) Quote of the Week

You want Big 12 expansion hot takes? TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte has Big 12 expansion hot takes. And his take is for everyone to simmer all the way down:

Of course, the irony in Del Conte's comments is that TCU dropped three spots last December—from No. 3 to No. 6, effectively knocking the Frogs out of the CFP field—due in part to the lack of a 13th regular-season game. If any program should have an expansion gripe, it's TCU.

Del Conte has a point, though. If anyone says they know the playoff formula, they're lying. If they think they know, they don't. What might benefit a team one year could hurt them another year. Making sweeping, rash decisions after one year isn't the route the Big 12, or anyone, should go.  

The Big 12's regular season was what it was. Imperfect? Yes. An unmitigated disaster? Not quite. TCU is still fielding a football team and will be highly ranked heading into the season with another good shot at a playoff spot. 

Life moves on. 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. He's researching marsupial adoption protocol on Twitter @BenKercheval.

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Top 5 Players to Watch at the Opening 2015

The Opening is upon us, and Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder is here to break down his top five players to watch at the event in Oregon. 

Who do you think we should watch?

Check out the video and let us know!

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SEC Football: Freshmen Who Will Explode in 2015

Every year, a handful of freshmen explode onto the SEC scene with stellar performances that elevate them not only into regional conversation, but national stardom.

Last year, it was Georgia running back Nick Chubb leading the way, along with LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett and Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

Which freshmen will explode this year in the SEC? Our picks, based on talent, scheme and opportunity, are in this slideshow.

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Donte Vaughn Reveals Top 8: Which School Is Best Fit for 4-Star CB?

Back in February, 4-star Tennessee cornerback Donte Vaughn revealed four schools that were sticking out to him in his recruitment. Over the last few months, interest in Vaughn has soared, and now he has an SEC-heavy list of his top eight programs.

The 6'3" Memphis native tweeted his top-eight list Sunday afternoon, and it consists of seven SEC programs and one major outsider—Notre Dame:

Vaughn, the nation's No. 27 cornerback and Tennessee's No. 7 overall recruit, noted he was still open to those schools outside his top eight that hadn't offered him a scholarship yet.

According to his 247Sports profile, Vaughn has 17 offers and interest in three non-offering schools at this point in Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon.

The three schools atop Vaughn's Crystal Ball Predictions are the two usual suspects for a Memphis-area recruit—in-state Tennessee and nearby Ole Miss—and Notre Dame. The Rebels have 25 percent of his predictions, while the Volunteers and the Irish are both at 38 percent.

Vaughn has become a wanted man on the recruiting trail because of his frame and skill set, which could make him a candidate for early playing time in college.

"Vaughn’s coveted size could trend him toward corner or safety at the next level," Irish247's Evan Sharpley wrote in June. "Enough athleticism to play multiple positions. Versatility is king. Long levers allow Vaughn to bully opposing wideouts on the snap of the ball."

The 4-star defensive back could realistically land anywhere on his top-eight list, but several schools stick out in the race for his commitment.

Ole Miss is looking to reload its feared "Landshark" defense over the next couple of seasons after the departures of star defensive backs Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt. Many of the Rebels' projected starters in the secondary for 2015—Tony Bridges, Tee Shepard, Trae Elston and Chief Brown—will be NFL draft-eligible after this season.

Vaughn's size and versatility would give him the chance to play multiple spots in Ole Miss' fierce secondary. The Rebels do not have a blue-chip defensive back currently committed in their class of 2016.

Notre Dame is an intriguing candidate for Vaughn. He is expected to visit South Bend later this month, and some believe the Irish are now the leaders for a recruit they want because of his physical gifts.

"Notre Dame has been recruiting me so hard since I got the offer," Vaughn told Irish247's Tom Loy last month. "They want me at cornerback and love my length, my size and my athleticism."

LSU is another contender because of the amount of defensive back talent the Bayou Bengals continue to stockpile in Baton Rouge. Of the blue-chippers LSU already has committed in the secondary for the class of 2016, Vaughn would be the biggest pickup in terms of size.

Also in the SEC West, Auburn and Texas A&M both have depth concerns in the secondary and are looking to rebuild their defenses with new coordinators Will Muschamp and John Chavis, respectively. Vaughn especially has the potential to play early and often at these two schools.

But perhaps the team that is the best fit for Vaughn is his home-state school.

Since Butch Jones took over as head coach, the Volunteers have become a recruiting power, and they have been able to land most of the top players in the state with their current staff.

Vaughn has the opportunity to join plenty of talented Tennessee natives working to bring the Vols back to national prominence.

His ability to play safety would also make him a great pickup for Tennessee.

The Volunteers currently have a commitment from 4-star North Carolina cornerback Marquill Osborne, but they don't have one who can also play in the back of the secondary.

Tennessee's two returning starters at safety this season—Brian Randolph and LaDarrell McNeil—are seniors. While the program has a couple of highly touted backups behind them, it didn't sign a blue-chip safety in its star-studded class of 2015.

According to GoVols247's Ryan Callahan, Tennessee would most likely want to take a pair of safeties in this year's class. Vaughn could pair up with another top prospect such as Nigel Warrior and fill a major need for Tennessee.

If Vaughn continues to be open to playing safety at the next level, Tennessee looks like his best fit. Thanks to close proximity, Tennessee's needs and Vaughn's versatility, the Volunteers still appear to be the one to beat for his signature.


Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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

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Every Top 25 College Football Team's Most Under-the-Radar Player

The great thing about college football is its ability to surprise. We spend all spring and summer focusing on stars and standout teams, but once the season actually begins, a player inevitably emerges who surprises us all and winds up playing a huge role in a successful season.

These could be players who are backups, players who haven’t gotten their opportunity just yet but could this fall, or players who have the ability but not the playing time. They might be players who you’re already aware of if you’re a fan of the team in question but someone the rest of the nation could use an introduction to.

Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan recently listed 25 players on the rise for 2015. We’re using Bleacher Report’s final post-spring Top 25 rankings by Ben Kercheval, with the players listed in the order that their team appears in the ranking.

Here’s a look at an under-the-radar player from each preseason top 25 team. 

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Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame football recruiting train has continually picked up steam during the summer months, and the Irish recently dished out more offers.

Notre Dame landed five commitments over a 14-day stretch, nearly doubling the size of its class of 2016.

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

And because of last week’s emphasis on The Opening, we’ll round up the last two weeks of recruiting activity here.


Cole Kmet

Three days after receiving a commitment from Brock Wright, Notre Dame extended an offer to another class of 2017 tight end in Cole Kmet on Monday.

The Arlington Heights, Illinois, product is the No. 5 tight end and No. 189 overall player in the country. Kmet has also received offers from Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina and Baylor, among others.

“It’s a big one for me,” Kmet told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “Such a great school with great academics and great football. It’s a big offer.

“I wouldn’t say I have a top five or top three right now, but it’s going to be at the top of my list when I decide on a school because they offer such a great opportunity for both academics and athletics.”

Wright is currently ranked as the No. 1 tight end in the class.

“They feel like both of us are good pieces to the puzzle and they’re not going to offer any more 2017 tight ends,” Kmet told Wiltfong. “They want both of us together.”


Adetokunbo Ogundeji

The Irish reached over into Michigan to offer class of 2016 weak-side defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji on June 25.

Ogundeji, the No. 48 defensive end and No. 781 overall prospect in the class, visited Notre Dame the following weekend.

“It was fantastic,” Ogundeji told Wiltfong. “I really was impressed by what I saw and heard.”

Ogundeji also boasts offers from Pittsburgh, California, Rutgers and Oregon, among others.

“I can see myself at any school, but ND is special and gives you chills when you walk onto the campus,” Ogundeji told Wiltfong.


Josh Lugg

Class of 2017 offensive tackle Josh Lugg snatched a Notre Dame offer on June 25.

Currently pegged as the No. 21 tackle and No. 160 overall player, Lugg is the seventh 2017 lineman to grab an Irish offer. The Wexford, Pennsylvania, product was on campus for the Irish Invasion camp last month and has also received offers from Northwestern, Duke, Boston College, Penn State, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Michigan State and more.

“It’s a huge honor to receive an offer from the University of Notre Dame because it is one of the most prestigious schools in the country,” Lugg told Irish247’s Tom Loy.


Jamir Jones

Class of 2016 outside linebacker/defensive end Jamir Jones visited campus June 23, landed his offer from the Irish and committed in one fell swoop.

Jones, the brother of current Irish nose tackle Jarron Jones, is ranked as the No. 70 outside linebacker and is a 3-star prospect.


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

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

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Georgia Football: Strengths, Weaknesses and Secret Weapons

The college football season starts in two months, and the Georgia Bulldogs are looking to do what they haven’t done in 10 years: win the SEC title.

Since losing to Alabama in the SEC title game in 2012, the Bulldogs have come up short of winning the SEC East the last two seasons. However, with the talent they have coming back this season, the Bulldogs could not only win the SEC, they could have a shot at the College Football Playoff.

As talented as the Bulldogs are, they do have a few question marks they will need to address during fall camp. The question marks have been exposed during the last two seasons, and that’s part of the reason the Bulldogs have not played at the Georgia Dome.

The Bulldogs will need a player who will shock everyone. There has to be that one player the opposing coaches can’t game-plan for, and that player could be the difference between the Bulldogs having a great season and having a season they want to forget.

So here are the strengths, weaknesses and secret weapon of the Bulldogs.

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Texas 2015 Quarterback Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

As we inch closer to fall practice, a familiar quarterback controversy is heating up for the Texas Longhorns.

Much like we saw leading up to the spring, returning starter Tyrone Swoopes has been doing all of the right things to stay atop the depth chart. He's earning the respect of his teammates and coaches alike, which is absolutely essential for a starting quarterback on such a young team.

But as we saw in the spring, Jerrod Heard will make this interesting with his athletic ability. He brings a big-play element with his feet that would be a great fit for the uptempo attack Charlie Strong and his staff want to run.

The battle here will make for an interesting storyline throughout camp, but it looks like Swoopes will hang on for at least the opener. Then, as the weeks go by, Heard's athleticism should settle the debate before the second half of the season.

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Ohio State Football: Can Buckeyes Run Away with 2017's No. 1 Recruiting Class?

Ohio State is at the top of the mountain after marching through the first-ever College Football Playoff, and that improbable championship run could put the Buckeyes atop the recruiting rankings in 2017.

That's something Urban Meyer is working toward, and he's well on his way with the class he's putting together.

The Buckeyes already have seven commitments for their '17 class, which currently ranks No. 1 nationally. They reclaimed the top spot from Miami with the commitment of Jake Moretti, a 4-star offensive tackle who offered his verbal pledge on Saturday.

With Ohio State's early success and the key targets left on the board, there's a chance that Meyer could run away with that No. 1 ranking.

The foundation for this class was set early by Danny Clark, a 4-star standout and pro-style quarterback hailing from Akron, Ohio. Clark committed in December 2013, just a month after finishing up his freshman season.

It took 13 months for the Buckeyes to get another commitment. 

On January 12—the night Ohio State steamrolled Oregon to win the national title—Meyer got his second '17 pledge from 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade. His announcement triggered a string of commitments for the Buckeyes, who brought 5-star offensive tackle Josh Myers, 4-star athlete Bruce Judson, 4-star cornerback Marcus Williamson and 4-star running back Todd Sibley into the fold before the close of spring practice. 

Ohio State's recruiting success shouldn't surprise anyone. 

Dating back to 2007, when LSU beat Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game, only two title-winning teams failed to sign the nation's top recruiting class the following year. The two exceptions were Auburn in 2010, which fired Gene Chizik after a disastrous 2012 season, and Florida State in '13, which just signed the nation's No. 3 class.

Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class is shaping up as one of the country's best—the 16-member group ranks No. 3 behind LSU and Florida State—but the positive impact of winning the College Football Playoff is showing up big for the 2017 recruiting cycle. 

Building off what the Buckeyes already have, Meyer is in the driver's seat for some of the nation's top '17 prospects. Specifically, Ohio State is in the lead for a pair of 5-star wide receivers in Trevon Grimes (rated the No. 1 wideout for 2017) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (a stud pass-catcher from Michigan's top in-state recruiting pipeline). 

Ohio State is also in the lead for the commitment of high 4-star prospects Isaiah Pryor (safety), Lamont Wade (cornerback) and Darnell Ewell (defensive tackle), and Meyer is in the thick of things for 5-star defensive end Joshua Kaindoh and 4-star receiver Keyshawn Johnson

With the momentum the Buckeyes have for 2017, it's hard to imagine them forfeiting their stranglehold on the No. 1 spot any time soon. 


All recruiting information via 247Sports.

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

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