NCAA Football News

B/R CFB 250: Top 15 Pro-Style Quarterbacks

Bleacher Report's CFB 250 is an annual ranking of the best players in college football, regardless of NFL potential. Through interviews with B/R Experts Matt Miller, Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer, authors Brian Leigh and Brian Pedersen have studied, ranked and graded the top athletes in the country, narrowed that list to 250 and sorted by position. Today, we present the Top 15 Pro-Style Quarterbacks.

 

College football continues to go through an offensive metamorphosis, with more and more emphasis on spreading the field and speeding up the tempo. These approaches have diminished the need for a traditional dropback passer, but there are still plenty of teams that execute a pro-style attack and prefer someone who is known more for his arm and command of the pocket than his ability to use his feet.

Just take a look at our list of the best pocket passers in college football today and you'll see that many of the top programs still employ this style of play.

Much has changed since our last ranking in the winter, as five of the top seven pro-style quarterbacks from the 2014 season have either graduated or turned pro. Those who returned have moved up the list, while some newcomers who either broke through late last year or are primed to do so in 2015 are getting their time in the limelight.

The following rankings are based primarily on players' skills as a college quarterback rather than how they'd fare in the NFL. Though they may be using the remainder of their time in school to develop their game for the pro level, their goals are centered on helping their teams succeed, first and foremost.

The rankings are based on a tabulation of six different categories (accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence, mobility, football IQ and leadership) and evaluations made by our writers in conjunction with Bleacher Report football experts.

 

Note: Any ties in overall grades were broken based on which player would give a hypothetical college all-star team the best chance to win.

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Ranking College Football's Top 25 Tailgating Schools for 2015

We’re less than three weeks away from the opening of the 2015 college football season. It’s been a long, cold winter and a hot summer waiting for the season to get here, but it’ll be worth it once the nation’s best teams hit the gridiron again.

While your favorite players are preparing for the season, you should be preparing, too—for tailgating.

Done properly, college football is an all-day experience, from loading up your car with the day’s supplies to the celebration following a thrilling victory for your team.

Tailgating is a huge part of that equation. Great food, beverages and friends all make tailgating special, and there’s no better place to do it than at a college football game. Some places do it a little bit better than others, though.

Here’s a look at the top 25 tailgating schools in college football. This is not a scientific list, but rather one that was ranked based on my travels as a college football writer and on national reputation.

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College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

Given the momentum the program will carry into the 2015 season, USC figures to be one of the more interesting teams to follow in the months leading up to national signing day.

The Trojans currently have 15 commitments and a class that ranks No. 9 in the country, according to the 247Sports team rankings.

While the class is loaded with talent, one position in which it has yet to land a recruit is at running back.

Last week, Steve Sarkisian and his staff offered the nation’s top all-purpose back in 5-star South Carolina product and current Clemson commit Tavien Feaster, according to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports.

Over the last two seasons, the 6’0”, 204-pounder has rushed for 2,582 yards and 30 touchdowns.

While he’s been committed to the Tigers since February, a visit to Tennessee late last month brought about questions as to the strength of his commitment.

However, Feaster reiterated that he’s firm to the Tigers shortly after.

Still, the Trojans are taking a swing for the fences in offering the top prospect from the Palmetto State.

Time will tell if Sarkisian and his staff can convince the electric playmaker to give the Trojans a serious look.

 

Auburn Offers 2016 4-Star DE

With new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp now in control at Auburn, one area he’s looking to shore up in the 2016 cycle is along the defensive line.

Last week, the Tigers offered one of the nation’s top pass-rushers in 4-star defensive end Terrell Hall.

The 6’5”, 250-pounder decommitted from Ohio State earlier this month, as noted by Bleacher Report’s Tyler Donohue

Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and UCLA are among the programs that Donohue notes are in the running to land official visits from Hall. However, Auburn is hoping to become a factor down the stretch for the elite defender from Washington, D.C.

 

Michigan After 2017 4-Star QB

Since taking over as the head coach at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh has been aggressive and active in recruiting top talent from all over the country.

The Wolverines' latest offer went out to stud 2017 quarterback Davis Mills, who is among the top juniors in the state of Georgia.

The 6’3”, 189-pounder, who threw for 2,267 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore, already holds 20 offers heading into his junior season.

Arizona State, Miami, Stanford and UCLA are among his early suitors. However, the recent interest from the Wolverines has his attention, as detailed by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

 

2018 QB Nets Big 12 Offer

Among the schools who consistently produce high-octane offenses is Texas Tech. 

Coincidentally, the Red Raiders have consistently had quarterbacks that produce big numbers. 

Last week, head coach Kliff Kingsbury gave 2018 Idaho native Colson Yankoff his first offer.

The 6’3”, 180-pounder is the first passer Kingsbury has offered in the 2018 class and one of a select few in that class to receive an offer from the Red Raiders. While the Red Raiders are the first program to tender him, his recruitment is one that could take off in the coming months. 

 

Best of the Rest 

2016

 

2017

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

Once upon a time, the Tennessee football team struggled to convince any highly rated defensive linemen to come to Knoxville, and the Vols defense plummeted to the bottom of the league because of it.

Year after year came and went with UT middling in the trenches. Former coach Phillip Fulmer occasionally found a diamond in the rough during his latter years; Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley rarely did when it came to the defensive front.

Oh, how things have changed under coach Butch Jones and defensive line coach Steve Stripling.

The Vols may have several unresolved questions as the season draws closer, but defensive line isn't one of them. As a matter of fact, UT is deep and loaded at the position, and the group, quite simply, could be special.

Tennessee's players know it, too.

Curt Maggitt, Derek Barnett, Kyle Phillips, Dimarya Mixon, Corey Vereen and LaTroy Lewis highlight an extremely talented defensive end rotation that should be among the nation's best.

Though the interior isn't as deep, freshmen Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle join Danny O'Brien, Kendal Vickers and Owen Williams to round out a group that's only going to get better. UT also has some players with enough versatility to slide inside if needed.

Four- and 5-star players are all over the field, and the Vols are playing up to those rankings thus far in camp.

Following Saturday night's open practice, there were no comments glossed with coachspeak when Jones discussed his ends. He told Volquest.com's Rob Lewis:

You can never have enough depth, particularly up front, it can change on one play. But we do have a luxury at the defensive end position that we've never had since we've been here. These individuals continue to grow and develop, they're playing with a lot of confidence. Now we need to continue to get that same depth at the defensive tackle position.

To say Jones hasn't had this kind of depth on the line since he's been here is an understatement. Tennessee hasn't enjoyed this type of talent revival at the position since the early 2000s, when some of the greatest lines in school history roamed the field.

Everybody talks about McKenzie and Tuttle (and they continue to show flashes of brilliance, reportedly) but an overlooked star is Phillips, the former U.S. Army-All American end from Nashville.

He was the first freshman to have his black helmet stripe removed (a rite of passage where newcomers earn their position group's recognition). 

The same kind of buzz that surrounded Barnett a year ago now is reserved for Phillips.

There's even a possibility that Phillips could start in some sets. Having that kind of depth and talent is huge for a team that is trying to find the right player mix at linebacker.

When you've got a strong defensive line, it can mask a lot of issues. Toss that in with the secondary the Vols are expected to field, and you get an idea why all that excitement is swirling around Knoxville. 

The Vols have to prove it on the field, but right now, it appears that the defensive line is going to be a team strength.

One thing's for sure: They sure are doing stuff daily in practice that is getting caught on Twitter and making fans excited about what's to come, such as this move from Barnett:

 And another weekly domination video from McKenzie:

 

'North Gate' and More Injuries

When Knoxville's FOX Sports radio affiliate tweeted rumors that Marquez North was "feared lost for the season" on Thursday, it caused a worry frenzy that engulfed the Vol Nation.

Thankfully, after half a day of weeping and gnashing of teeth, Jones squelched the concerns.

"He'll be back here very, very shortly," Jones told Nashville radio station WPRT-FM on Thursday afternoon (via the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Patrick Brown). "He won't miss much time."

Though the 6'3", 229-pound rising junior hasn't proven himself to be a star yet, the reaction to the injury should tell you how valuable UT fans consider him to be.

North is a huge target with elite skills. He hasn't put everything together yet, but he has the size and ability to stretch the field. It's big news for UT that he looks like he'll be OK for the season.

UT has endured a very physical training camp so far with only fifth-year senior guard Marcus Jackson expected to miss extended time so far. Though there hasn't been any word on junior defensive end Lewis, he has missed all of camp so far.

The Vols are definitely feeling the effects of the injuries.

According to GoVols247, Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara, John Kelly, Jack Jones, Brett Kendrick, Jason Croom, Cody Blanc, Darrell Miller, Dillon Bates, Cortez McDowell, Stephen Griffin, Andrew Butcher, Chris Weatherd, Evan Berry, Cameron Sutton and Jalen Reeves-Maybin missed or were limited in the open practice.

None are feared out for a long while.

 

Passing Fancy

If Tennessee is going to do what its fans want and win some marquee matchups this season, the Vols are going to have to fare better in the vertical passing game than they have in the past two seasons.

The early returns in that department are mixed.

Though Joshua Dobbs has been one of the toasts of college football this offseason, the bottom line is his accuracy is a developing trait. Considering the receivers have been an injury-riddled letdown the past couple of years, their improvement during camp is welcome. But the consistency still isn't there yet.

"That'll be a work in progress," Jones told the Tennessean's Matt Slovin. "We have made progress but not to where we're game ready yet."

The freshman duo of Jauan Jennings and Vincent Perry continue to show flashes of brilliance, and potential stars like Pig Howard, Josh Smith and Josh Malone have had their moments. The unit really misses North and Jason Croom, who've been hobbled. But once they return, that group will be exciting to watch.

It's all going to depend on Dobbs' accuracy beyond eight to 10 yards downfield and how UT adapts to new coordinator Mike DeBord's play-calling. If all that works out, the Vols could be potent because everything being mentioned around the running game right now is extremely positive.

 

Rocky Top Roundup

  • Nobody seems to have a firm grasp on the middle linebacker role yet. Redshirt junior Kenny Bynum and walk-on Colton Jumper have gotten most of the positive coach praise thus far, but freshman Darrin Kirkland Jr. is coming on strong. That's a battle that will be waged over the next 15-20 days.
  • The Vols continue to mix and match personnel on the offensive line, but as of now, it appears that the five that most often go out with the first team are left tackle Kyler Kerbyson, left guard Jashon Robertson, center Mack Crowder, right guard Jack Jones and right tackle Coleman Thomas.
  • Not only is redshirt sophomore running back Alvin Kamara making an impact, he's already being referred to as the voice of the offense by the coaching staff. Indeed, Kamara is always in front of the media, and the quotable runner said this week that having him, Jalen Hurd and Dobbs in the same backfield has the potential to be "scary."

 

All recruiting information obtained from 247Sports unless otherwise noted. All stats gathered from UTSports.com unless otherwise noted. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee lead writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Texas Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report for the Longhorns

Fewer than two weeks into fall practice, the Texas Longhorns would-be quarterback competition seems a little one-sided, and true freshmen are ascending into two of the most important roles on the team.

Such has been the standard for Charlie Strong's team. Hardly anything has gone as expected, headlined by the surprising early transfers of Cecil Cherry and then Duke Catalon.

But on the flip side of that coin, the guys who are still in the program seem to be working hard. That's especially true for Strong's first full recruiting class, who all seem to be dead-set on making an early impression.

 

Stock Up: QB Tyrone Swoopes

Through over a week of spring practice, we're getting only weak evidence of Tyrone Swoopes ceding reps to Jerrod Heard at quarterback.

By all accounts, Swoopes has been absolutely killing it in camp. Coaches on both sides of the ball see "a different guy," and he's been very sharp throwing the ball, as noted by Horns Digest's Annabel Stephan.

But Stephan does make one important distinction. Swoopes is still throwing in an environment in which he's mostly protected. He can't get hit, and the defense isn't putting real heat on him in the pocket. We know he can throw, but can he weather the storm when the heat is on?

We have seen Swoopes tear it up, particularly in games against Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. He certainly has potential, and that version of him proved to be a pretty tough to stop.

If that's who Texas gets next season, then this team will be just fine. That'll have to bear out when the scrimmages start happening, which is also when Heard's dual-threat ability will shine through. 

It's still a competition, but Swoopes is acing the section that matters most to his future.

 

Stock Down: CB Holton Hill

As first reported by Horns Digest William Wilkerson, prized freshman Holton Hill has finally been cleared to practice. The only thing is, his path to the starting lineup isn't quite as straight as it was earlier this summer.

In Hill's absence, both Kris Boyd and Davante Davis have been showing off some impressive skill sets. Boyd could eventually end up as the nickel corner because of his quicks and physical brand of play, while Davis can match Hill's length on the outside. Both guys are going to play.

Hill's a great talent, so there's no reason to think he's fallen behind. 247Sports' Jeff Howe reported that he was "better than advertised" this summer, so the belief is he'll be worked into the rotation sooner rather than later.

However, he has an uphill battle to be the Week 1 starter at Notre Dame.

 

Stock Up: WR John Burt

With few exceptions, the 2015 class has been excellent in fall camp. From Malik Jefferson to DeAndre McNeal to Charles Omenihu, these guys are getting after it.

And John Burt might be the best of them all.

Texas' 6'2" freshman taking first-team reps has gone past the point of being a motivational technique. The big Florida wideout is dominating the work load in the same outside role that saw John Harris crack the 1,000-yard mark in 2014.

As noted by 247Sports' Howe, Burt has arguably the most complete skill set of the Texas receivers. He's fast, quick enough to do work after the catch and he can climb the ladder to finish plays. He's going to be really tough to handle as he continues to add weight.

Burt might not be Texas' leading receiver this season, but he's going to be very important to this offense from the get-go. 

 

Stock Down: OT Marcus Hutchins

Joining Burt with the first-team offense, Patrick Vahe has really come on in fall practice. As of now, it's looking like it's happening at the expense of senior Marcus Hutchins.

Vahe has been coming on strong since camp began, and it sounds like the coaches have seen enough. As noted by SB Nation's Wescott Eberts, he's a mauler with a background in run-heavy offense, adding toughness to a line that was pushed around at times last season.

With Vahe now getting his shot with the ones, Hutchins looks like the odd man out. A converted defensive tackle, Hutchins has worked hard to hold down the left tackle spot, but his inexperience at the position stood out often last season. 

Now Hutchins is watching freshman Connor Williams hold down his spot, while Vahe handles right guard. We'll have to see if it sticks because that's Kent Perkins' best position, but the coaches wouldn't mess with the cohesiveness of this unit unless they felt like it would pay off long-term.

So unless Hutchins can prove otherwise, it looks like he's going to have to lead as a second-teamer. 

 

Stock Up: LB Breckyn Hager

This section could easily be devoted to the freshman running backs, who have each been excellent. Then again, if you didn't know Chris Warren, Kirk Johnson and Tristian Houston could ball, you just haven't been paying attention.

So, for now, let's through some praise in the direction of Breckyn Hager

One of the lowest-rated commits in Texas' class, per 247Sports, Hager has been turning heads. The son of Britt Hager, Texas' all-time leading tackler, has made an easy transition from defensive end to middle linebacker, and Horns Digest's Wilkerson thinks he's the steal of the class:

To a certain extent he has been the talk of camp. He’s extremely quick off the ball, is tough-nosed like his pops, understands angles really well, and just flat out knows how to tackle. I’ve heard more talk about him from teammates during camp than anyone. I had one person close to the team tell me that he “is going to be a monster.” This could end up being a huge steal for the staff. I think it already is.

Malik Jefferson looks like the middle linebacker of the future, but every team has room for a guy like Hager. He's got a great pedigree, and he flat-out knows how to play the game.

The Longhorns lived to regret not giving former Baylor All-Big 12er Bryce Hager, Breckyn's older brother, a shot. They made it right by going after the youngest member of the family, and he looks like he's going to pan out beautifully.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Baylor Long Snapper Jimmy Landes Snaps Ball into Trash Can from Top of Stadium

The long-snapping one-upping continues. We've recently seen Buffalo Bulls long snapper Corbin Grassman show off his pinpoint accuracy, but Baylor Bears fifth-year senior Jimmy Landes wanted to show he has both accuracy and power. 

On Sunday, Landes shared a video via Twitter of himself snapping a ball from the upper deck of Baylor's McLane Stadium down into a trash can on the field.

[Twitter]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

The first week of fall camp is in the books for Urban Meyer and Ohio State, and unsurprisingly, there are a number of huge storylines developing for the reigning national champions.

The coaching staff is sorting through a number of key position battles—most notably at quarterback as J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones compete for the starting spot. But there's plenty more going on in Columbus, including a huge (and surprising) boost to the wide receiver unit and a few freshmen who are already making a strong impression.

Here are the key takeaways from the Buckeyes' first week of fall camp.

 

Quarterback Battle is 'Refreshing,' Not Distracting

Ohio State's quarterback battle was the hottest storyline of the college football offseason, and after Braxton Miller announced his move to wide receiver, it left Barrett and Jones to fight for the starting spot in fall camp.

Speaking at Big Ten media days in Chicago last month, linebacker Joshua Perry said that the competition wouldn't be a distraction, according to Tony Gerdeman of the Ozone.

Those guys are going to get after it and they’re going to compete and that’s all that we ask for at every position, that the guys compete. You hear about it every time we talk about it but they really do care a lot about each other, so it’s not going to be one of those nasty competitions. Obviously I have a lot of faith in our coaching staff and what they can do, so they’ll pick the best candidate for the job, but it will be interesting in camp to see what happens.

What has happened, though, is exactly what Perry forecasted. Barrett and Jones' relationship is a strong one off the field, and they're pushing each other to be better in an amicable way on it. And because of that, Meyer is encouraged by what he's seen so far.

"They're both working their tails off, and it's one of the most refreshing competitions I've ever witnessed," Meyer said, according to Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer. "When I say best friends, they're unbelievable how well they get along.

"This one is very genuine, because I've even witnessed it where guys are battling for a spot and I hear that (support) but I don't see it," Meyer added, via Lesmerises. "I mean, they really encourage each other, they push each other. It's unique. I think it's very unique." 

But after one week, there's no clear indication for who's leading the race. Meyer said that he plans to talk with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck to evaluate his signal-callers after the first week of camp. Either way, the starter won't be announced to the public until the first offensive play of the Virginia Tech game.

 

Wide Receiver Corps Bolstered By...2 Quarterbacks

When camp officially opened, all eyes were on Miller, the two-time Big Ten MVP, as he transitioned from his natural position of quarterback to wide receiver. 

He had an up-and-down day to open camp, showcasing his natural athleticism and playmaking ability while also highlighting his need for repetitions as a new member of the receiving unit. But as the week has gone on, he's grown more comfortable operating on the perimeter of Meyer's powerful spread offense. 

“It’s like playing a video game, you just put anybody anywhere,” Miller said of Ohio State's offense, according to Tim Shoemaker of Eleven Warriors. “For real.”

That much was certainly true for Torrance Gibson, the highly rated 4-star dual-threat quarterback who committed to Ohio State's 2015 class. Gibson was a highly covered prospect who was recruited by many schools as a wide receiver, but he chose Ohio State because he wanted to play quarterback.

Fast forward to fall camp, though, and Gibson has mirrored Miller in moving to wide receiver.

"I told [Meyer] I want to get on the field," Gibson said, according to Eric Seger of Eleven Warriors. "I feel like if I sat on the bench I wouldn't be helping this team, I'd be selfish. That's not the type of guy I am."

That move has given Ohio State's wide receiver unit a lethal 6'4" athlete with 4.4 speed. And while the staff envisions Gibson moving back to quarterback next year, they're envisioning his athleticism on the perimeter this fall.

"He has skills that most human beings should not have," wide receivers coach Zach Smith said, via Seger. "His size and speed is very, very unique."

 

2 Freshmen Lose Black Stripe

Ohio State's new crop of freshmen are trying to prove their worth, a task that's much easier said than done on a team loaded with talent. But when the coaching staff and the upperclassmen decide one of the first-year players is worthy of officially joining the team, they ceremoniously remove the piece of black tape on the freshman's helmet.

Through one week of camp, two freshmen have lost their "black stripes."

The first freshman to break through was Isaiah Prince, the 4-star offensive tackle who flipped from Alabama to Ohio State on National Signing Day. He's been so solid to start fall camp that he not only lost his stripe, but he's also already cracked the offensive line rotation.

It didn't take much longer for Michael Weber, a 4-star running back from Detroit, to join Prince as an instant-impact freshman. 

With Curtis Samuel's move to H-back, the Buckeyes are short on depth at running back. There's Bri'onte Dunn, a solid fourth-year junior who stepped up during fall camp. Beyond that, there are only question marks on the depth chart, which has given Weber a special opportunity this fall.

He's taking advantage of that opportunity, showcasing his blend of speed and power from the Buckeyes backfield.

It's not like Ohio State needed another elite playmaker in it's offense, but it looks like it has one in Weber.

 

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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Georgia Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

With the Georgia Bulldogs in the thick of fall camp, it was time for them to get involved in more game-like situations in Week 2. So that led to them having their first scrimmage of camp, which was held at Sanford Stadium on Friday.

No stats were provided to the media, according to Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but based on the reports, it was still easy to tell who stood out and who needed more work.

So here’s a look at the Week 2 fall camp stock report for the Bulldogs.

 

Stock Up: Terry Godwin

Godwin wanted to make an impression in the scrimmage because he is a guy who can make an impact at wide receiver right away. He was able to do just that. As linebacker Jake Ganus explained to Emerson, Godwin had a long reception in the scrimmage.

Ganus went on to say that Godwin is “elusive. Fast. Quick” and an “instinctive playmaker.” This is good for Godwin, who was nursing a shoulder injury earlier in the week.

There’s a chance that Godwin could make the starting lineup when the season begins. Malcolm Mitchell is set at one receiver position, but Godwin could make a run at the other starting receiver spot, which is being contested by a few more young receivers, including Isaiah McKenzie.

 

Stock Up: Sony Michel

In the scrimmage on Friday, Sony Michel worked with the first-team offense, according to Emerson.

Nick Chubb also got some work in with the first team, but we all know what he can do.

As for Michel, we only got to see a little bit of him because of the injuries. He did score a touchdown in the scrimmage, but he told Emerson the point was for him to show the coaches what he can do since he wasn’t able to take part in the scrimmage during fall camp last year.

Michel played in eight games last season, making one start, and he rushed for 410 yards and five touchdowns. He’s expected to see a lot of playing time if he can stay healthy.

 

Stock Down: Christian Payne

There was some bad news to come out of the scrimmage, as fullback Christian Payne “suffered a ‘small crack’ in his fibula.” A walk-on from the Athens area, Payne was working with the first-team offense before suffering the injury. This is what his mom said in a Facebook post as soon as the news went down, according to Emerson:

“Prayer request for Christian Payne!! Got small crack in fibula this afternoon at practice. No surgery or cast needed, just crutches for about 4 weeks of healing. Pray for patience and healing!”

Emerson noted that “Quayvon Hicks, the senior who has started off and on during his career, should move up to first team.”

 

Holding Steady: Lorenzo Carter

It looked like Lorenzo Carter took a step back when the second week of fall camp began. According to Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph, Carter took a demotion from defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who relegated the outside linebacker to the second-team defense.

Pruitt was angry with Carter and decided to put him with the reserves. He was making a point to Carter that he coaches everyone the same and no player is above the team.

Lorenzo Carter was with the 2s in the scrimmage because coach Pruitt was sending a message. Got on him hard this week in practice. #UGA

— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 14, 2015

But while working with the second team, head coach Mark Richt told Butt nobody “could hardly touch him.” However, Richt went on to say that “if he was working against the ones it would have been a better battle for him.”

Because of Carter’s talent, he should be with the first-team defense soon assuming he can get on Pruitt’s good side. Since he was busy working with the second team, Davin Bellamy saw more action with the first team, according to Butt.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

With the Georgia Bulldogs in the thick of fall camp, it was time for them to get involved in more game-like situations in Week 2. So that led to them having their first scrimmage of camp, which was held at Sanford Stadium on Friday.

No stats were provided to the media, according to Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but it was still easy to tell who stood out and who needed more work.

So here’s a look at the Week 2 fall camp stock report for the Bulldogs.

 

Stock Up: Terry Godwin

Godwin wanted to make an impression in the scrimmage because he is a guy who can make an impact at wide receiver right away. He was able to do just that. As linebacker Jake Ganus explained to Emerson, Godwin had a long reception in the scrimmage.

Ganus went on to say that Godwin is "elusive, fast, quick" and an "instinctive playmaker." This is good for Godwin, who was nursing a shoulder injury earlier in the week.

There’s a chance that Godwin could make the starting lineup when the season begins. Malcolm Mitchell is set at one receiver position, but Godwin could make a run at the other starting receiver spot, which is being contested by a few more young receivers, including Isaiah McKenzie.

 

Stock Up: Sony Michel

In the scrimmage on Friday, Sony Michel worked with the first-team offense.

Nick Chubb also got some work in with the first team, but we all know what he can do.

As for Michel, we only got to see a little bit of him because of the injuries. He did score a touchdown in the scrimmage, but he told Emerson the point was for him to show the coaches what he can do since he wasn’t able to take part in the scrimmage during fall camp last year.

Michel played in eight games last season, making one start, and he rushed for 410 yards and five touchdowns. He’s expected to see a lot of playing time if he can stay healthy.

 

Stock Down: Christian Payne

There was some bad news to come out of the scrimmage, as fullback Christian Payne suffered a small crack in his fibula. Payne, a walk-on from the Athens area, was working with the first-team offense before suffering the injury. This is what his mom said in a Facebook post as soon as the news went down, according to Emerson:

“Prayer request for Christian Payne!! Got small crack in fibula this afternoon at practice. No surgery or cast needed, just crutches for about 4 weeks of healing. Pray for patience and healing!”

Quayvon Hicks, who has been the starter on and off during his career, will likely move up on the depth chart.

 

Holding Steady: Lorenzo Carter

It looked like Lorenzo Carter took a step back when the second week of fall camp began. According to Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph, Carter took a demotion from defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who relegated the outside linebacker to the second-team defense.

Pruitt was mad at Carter and decided to put him with the reserves. He was making a point to Carter that he coaches everyone the same and no player is above the team.

Lorenzo Carter was with the 2s in the scrimmage because coach Pruitt was sending a message. Got on him hard this week in practice. #UGA

— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 14, 2015

But while working with the second team, head coach Mark Richt told Butt nobody could touch Carter. However, Richt went on to say that if Carter was working against the first-team offense, he would have had a different challenge.

Because of Carter’s talent, he should be with the first-team defense soon assuming he can get on Pruitt’s good side. Since he was busty working with the second team, Davin Bellamy saw more action with the first team.

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Ricky Town Requests Transfer from USC: Latest Comments, Reaction

Quarterback Ricky Town has requested a transfer away from USC, family sources told Gerard Martinez of Scout.com.

Continue for updates.

USC Will Grant Town a Transfer Sunday, August 16

Coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed Town will transfer, via the Trojans official Twitter account. 

It's particularly fascinating because Town hasn't even appeared in a game for USC. Since he signed a letter of intent with the school, however, he'll have to sit out a year before he can play for another program, per Michael Casagrande of AL.com.

It's not the first time he's flipped programs, as he was initially committed to Alabama before decommitting in January of 2014.

247Sports lists Town as a 4-star recruit and the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2015. He was expected to be a future star for the Trojans, so Sunday's news surely comes as a shock for the team and its supporters, especially after he participated in spring practices and with the regular season now just weeks away.

He likely would have sat out for a year with USC as a redshirt freshman in 2015 as Cody Kessler has a hold on the starting gig. If Town didn't see a future with the Trojans, transferring now rather than redshirting and losing another season due to changing programs certainly would have made sense.

 

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Ricky Town Requests Transfer from USC: Latest Comments, Reaction

Quarterback Ricky Town has requested a transfer away from USC, family sources told Gerard Martinez of Scout.com.

Continue for updates.

USC Will Grant Town a Transfer Sunday, August 16

Coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed Town will transfer, via the Trojans official Twitter account. 

It's particularly fascinating because Town hasn't even appeared in a game for USC. Since he signed a letter of intent with the school, however, he'll have to sit out a year before he can play for another program, per Michael Casagrande of AL.com.

It's not the first time he's flipped programs, as he was initially committed to Alabama before decommitting in January of 2014.

247Sports lists Town as a 4-star recruit and the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2015. He was expected to be a future star for the Trojans, so Sunday's news surely comes as a shock for the team and its supporters, especially after he participated in spring practices and with the regular season now just weeks away.

He likely would have sat out for a year with USC as a redshirt freshman in 2015, however, as Cody Kessler has a hold on the starting gig. If Town didn't see a future with the Trojans, transferring now rather than redshirting and losing another season due to changing programs certainly wouldn't have made sense.

 

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Can Arkansas Be an SEC West Contender Without RB Jonathan Williams?

August isn't a time when fans want to hear "breaking news" about stars of their favorite teams, and Arkansas Razorbacks fans found that out the hard way Sunday.

The school announced Sunday that star running back Jonathan Williams will miss a significant period of time after suffering a foot injury in Saturday's scrimmage.

Head coach Bret Bielema commented on the injury in a release emailed by Arkansas:

I have no doubt that Jonathan will come back stronger than ever. Anyone that knows Jonathan Williams knows this is just another opportunity for him to prove the man of character and substance that he really is. It’s an unfortunate injury to a great young man, but we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. There are short- and long-term impacts of how he proceeds, and we want to make sure he does what’s best for him and his family, and his career beyond Arkansas.

Williams, a senior who came back to school after rushing for a team-high 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns and considered a jump to the NFL, commented on the injury in the release.

"This is no doubt a tough moment, but I know through my faith and hard work that I will make a full recovery," said Williams.

It's a tough blow to Arkansas because, while junior Alex Collins is an established star after rushing for 2,126 yards over the last two seasons, Williams is the most complete back on the roster. What's more, Arkansas' edge on offense was the ability to sub running backs for a full four quarters and keep them both fresh in an attempt to wear down opposing defenses.

The unselfish nature of both running backs is something that Bielema has taken a ton of pride in, first at Wisconsin and now at Arkansas, and Williams' absence will put a ton of pressure on either Collins to carry the load or reserves such as junior Kody Walker and freshman Rawleigh Williams III to step up and play more of a significant role in the backfield rotation.

Should Jonathan Williams' injury change your perception of the 2015 Hogs? 

Not really.

If you felt they were contenders before, you should still feel the same way. 

The other running backs will still be successful behind that massive and experienced offensive line, and the presence of new offensive coordinator Dan Enos—who produced 3,000-yard passers in four of his last five seasons as the head coach at Central Michigan—will help quarterback Brandon Allen become more of a threat in the downfield passing game.

If that happens—and it should—the running game will be just fine.

If you're more cautious in your approach of the 2015 Hogs based on the defensive holes they have to fill, this shouldn't really impact where you expect them to finish in the SEC West pecking order. The bottom line is that linebacker Martrell Spaight, defensive end Trey Flowers and defensive tackle Darius Philon accounted for 37.5 of Arkansas' 81 tackles for loss last year (46.3 percent).

Whether Williams is playing running back or not, Arkansas still needs to replace that production.

The injury is terrible news because he was one of the best and most underrated running backs in the SEC. I mean—he wasn't even the most recognizable running back on his own team, despite two years of tremendous work alongside the electric Collins.

His absence, though, isn't going to make or break the Hogs' SEC West title hopes. Those hopes rest on defensive coordinator Robb Smith and his ability to restock the front seven.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national 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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Can Arkansas Be an SEC West Contender Without RB Jonathan Williams?

August isn't a time when fans want to hear "breaking news" about stars of their favorite teams, and Arkansas Razorbacks fans found that out the hard way on Sunday.

The school announced on Sunday that star running back Jonathan Williams will miss a significant period of time after suffering a foot injury in Saturday's scrimmage.

Head coach Bret Bielema commented on the injury in a release emailed by Arkansas:

I have no doubt that Jonathan will come back stronger than ever. Anyone that knows Jonathan Williams knows this is just another opportunity for him to prove the man of character and substance that he really is. It’s an unfortunate injury to a great young man, but we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. There are short- and long-term impacts of how he proceeds, and we want to make sure he does what’s best for him and his family, and his career beyond Arkansas.

Williams, a senior who came back to school after rushing for a team-high 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns and considered a jump to the NFL, commented on the injury in the release.

"This is no doubt a tough moment, but I know through my faith and hard work that I will make a full recovery," said Williams.

It's a tough blow to Arkansas because, while junior Alex Collins is an established star after rushing for 2,126 yards over the last two seasons, Williams is the most complete back on the roster. What's more, Arkansas' edge on offense was the ability to sub running backs for a full four quarters and keep them both fresh in an attempt to wear down opposing defenses.

The unselfish nature of both running backs is something that Bielema has taken a ton of pride in first at Wisconsin and now at Arkansas, and Williams' absence will put a ton of pressure on either Collins to carry the load or reserves such as junior Kody Walker and freshman Rawleigh Williams to step up and play more of a significant role in the backfield rotation.

Should Jonathan Williams' injury change your perception of the 2015 Hogs? 

Not really.

If you felt they were a contender before, you should still feel the same way. 

The other running backs will still be successful behind that massive and experienced offensive line, and the presence of new offensive coordinator Dan Enos—who produced 3,000-yard passers in four of his last five seasons as the head coach at Central Michigan—will help quarterback Brandon Allen become more of a threat in the downfield passing game.

If that happens—and it should—the running game will be just fine.

If you're more cautious in your approach of the 2015 Hogs based on the defensive holes they have to fill, this shouldn't really impact where you expect them to finish in the SEC West pecking order. The bottom line is that linebacker Martrell Spaight, defensive end Trey Flowers and defensive tackle Darius Philon accounted for 37.5 of Arkansas' 81 tackles for loss last year (46.3 percent).

Whether Williams is playing running back or not, Arkansas still needs to replace that production.

The injury is terrible news because he was one of the best and most underrated running backs in the SEC. I mean, he wasn't even the most recognizable running back on his own team, despite two years of tremendous work alongside the electric Collins. 

His absence, though, isn't going to make or break the Hogs' SEC West title hopes. Those hopes rest on defensive coordinator Robb Smith and his ability to restock the front seven.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national 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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jonathan Williams Injury: Updates on Arkansas Star's Foot and Return

Arkansas was dealt a major blow Sunday, as the school announced running back Jonathan Williams would miss an "extended period of time" with a foot injury, per Brett Brecheisen of ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Continue for updates. 

Williams Will Need Surgery on His FootSunday, August 16

Head coach Bret Bielema spoke about the injury Sunday:

I have no doubt that Jonathan will come back stronger than ever. Anyone that knows Jonathan Williams knows this is just another opportunity for him to prove the man of character and substance that he really is. It’s an unfortunate injury to a great young man, but we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. There are short and long term impacts of how he proceeds and we want to make sure he does what’s best for him and his family, and his career beyond Arkansas.

Williams tried to remain positive as well.

“This is no doubt a tough moment, but I know through my faith and hard work that I will make a full recovery,” he said.

Losing Williams is a huge blow for Arkansas. He's rushed for 2,321 rushing yards in his career, 10th all time for the program, including 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014. He was expected to be a major focal point of the offense this season in Arkansas' physical running attack.

The Razorbacks do have Alex Collins at running back, who rushed for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, so they still have a solid option in the rushing game. He'll need to carry an even larger load until Williams is able to return from injury, however.

 

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Jonathan Williams Injury: Updates on Arkansas Star's Foot and Return

Arkansas was dealt a major blow Sunday, as the school announced running back Jonathan Williams would miss an "extended period of time" with a foot injury, per Brett Brecheisen of ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Continue for updates. 

Williams Will Need Surgery on His FootSunday, August 16

Head coach Bret Bielema spoke about the injury Sunday:

I have no doubt that Jonathan will come back stronger than ever. Anyone that knows Jonathan Williams knows this is just another opportunity for him to prove the man of character and substance that he really is. It’s an unfortunate injury to a great young man, but we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. There are short and long term impacts of how he proceeds and we want to make sure he does what’s best for him and his family, and his career beyond Arkansas.

Williams tried to remain positive as well.

“This is no doubt a tough moment, but I know through my faith and hard work that I will make a full recovery,” he said.

Losing Williams is a huge blow for Arkansas. He's rushed for 2,321 rushing yards in his career, 10th all time for the program, including 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014. He was expected to be a major focal point of the offense this season in Arkansas' physical running attack.

The Razorbacks do have Alex Collins at running back, who rushed for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, so they still have a solid option in the rushing game. He'll need to carry an even larger load until Williams is able to return from injury, however.

 

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Urban Meyer Comments on Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett QB Battle

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer isn't about to tip his hand one way or the other in the team's quarterback battle. Speaking about how Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett have performed in practice, Meyer was careful to avoid favoring one or the other.

"It's unbelievable how well they get along," he said Sunday, per OSU's official Twitter account. "They're both working their tails off—one of most refreshing competitions I've ever witnessed."

When asked whether Barrett or Jones has inched ahead in the race for the starting job, Meyer remained neutral, telling reporters the two QBs are "both right there," per Dave Briggs of the Toledo Blade.

His decision was made slightly easier after Braxton Millerconfirmed his position switch from quarterback to wide receiver. Miller weighed in on a potential two-quarterback system, saying "There's always going to be two quarterbacks on the field (this year)," via Austin Ward of ESPN.

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg weighed in with his opinion on the QB situation this past Wednesday:

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Meyer hasn't named his starting quarterback just yet. The longer he waits, the harder he makes it for Virginia Tech, which opens its season against the defending national champions on Sept. 7.

The Hokies coaching staff still has to operate under the belief that either Jones or Barrett could take the majority of the snaps for Ohio State, which gives the Buckeyes a distinct advantage.

Meyer will almost certainly wait until the last minute before he makes public his choice.

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Urban Meyer Comments on Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett QB Battle

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer isn't about to tip his hand one way or the other in the team's quarterback battle. Speaking about how Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett have performed in practice, Meyer was careful to avoid favoring one or the other.

"It's unbelievable how well they get along," he said Sunday, per OSU's official Twitter account. "They're both working their tails off—one of most refreshing competitions I've ever witnessed."

When asked whether Barrett or Jones has inched ahead in the race for the starting job, Meyer remained neutral, telling reporters the two QBs are "both right there," per Dave Briggs of the Toledo Blade.

His decision was made slightly easier after Braxton Millerconfirmed his position switch from quarterback to wide receiver. Miller weighed in on a potential two-quarterback system, saying "There's always going to be two quarterbacks on the field (this year)," via Austin Ward of ESPN.

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg weighed in with his opinion on the QB situation this past Wednesday:

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Meyer hasn't named his starting quarterback just yet. The longer he waits, the harder he makes it for Virginia Tech, which opens its season against the defending national champions on Sept. 7.

The Hokies coaching staff still has to operate under the belief that either Jones or Barrett could take the majority of the snaps for Ohio State, which gives the Buckeyes a distinct advantage.

Meyer will almost certainly wait until the last minute before he makes public his choice.

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Mustapha Heron to Auburn: Tigers Land 5-Star SF Prospect

One of the most explosive and exciting prospects in the class of 2016 is off the market, as wing Mustapha Heron committed to Auburn on Sunday.

"I had no idea," Heron told Evan Daniels of Scout.com when asked if he was thinking about committing ahead of the visit. "But I got a vibe here that I didn't get at any other schools that I visited. It was a family oriented thing."

According to 247Sports, the Waterbury, Connecticut, native is a 5-star prospect who rates as the No. 4 small forward and No. 23 overall recruit in the nation.

His recruiting process has been interesting, as he previously committed to the University of Pittsburgh. After surveying his situation, though, Heron ultimately withdrew that commitment in April, per Adam Finkelstein of ESPN Recruiting Nation.

According to Raphielle Johnson of CollegeBasketballTalk, it is believed that Heron had a change of heart due to former Pitt assistant Barry Rohrssen going from the Panthers to Kentucky and now to St. John's. That is significant since Rohrssen and Heron's father played together overseas.

With that in mind, Daniels speculated that Heron might lean heavily toward the Red Storm:

Even as many factors seemed to point in the direction of St. John's, however, New York Rens AAU head coach Andy Borman claimed that Heron and highly recruited teammate Rawle Alkins were considering all options, per Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv:

Mustapha Heron and Rawle Alkins are wide open. They want to be recruited. They do not have any leaders in the clubhouse at this point in time. Anyone who says these kids are leaning toward a school doesn't know. They want to be recruited.

Regardless of how interested Heron was in keeping his options open, there was no shortage of top schools pursuing him.

At 6'5" with an ability to either run the point or play shooting guard, the Sacred Heart High School product is among the most versatile and skilled players in the entire 2016 class.

Perhaps no collegiate sport demands more from young players than basketball. With so many guys dominating as freshman and becoming one-and-done NBA prospects in recent years, Heron will be expected to contribute significantly from Day 1.

The fact that he's just outside the top 20 recruits in the country suggests that he could be an instant difference-maker, and it is clear that several schools felt that way about him as well.

Heron wavered with regard to his college decision, but one can only assume that he now believes he is in an ideal situation to succeed. If that is indeed the case, then he will undoubtedly be among the freshmen to watch during the upcoming season. 


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Mustapha Heron to Auburn: Tigers Land 5-Star SF Prospect

One of the most explosive and exciting prospects in the Class of 2016 is off the market, as guard Mustapha Heron committed to Auburn on Sunday.

"I had no idea," Heron told Evan Daniels of Scout.com when asked if he was thinking about committing ahead of the visit. "But I got a vibe here that I didn't get at any other schools that I visited. It was a family oriented thing."

According to 247Sports, the Waterbury, Connecticut, native is a 5-star prospect who rates out as the No. 4 small forward and No. 23 overall recruit in the nation.

His recruiting process has been interesting, as he previously committed to the University of Pittsburgh. After surveying his situation, though, Heron ultimately withdrew that commitment in April, per Adam Finkelstein of ESPN Recruiting Nation.

According to Raphielle Johnson of College Basketball Talk, it is believed that Heron had a change of heart due to former Pitt assistant Barry Rohrssen going from the Panthers to Kentucky and now to St. John's. That is significant since Rohrssen and Heron's father played together overseas.

With that in mind, Daniels speculated that Heron might lean heavily toward the Red Storm:

Even as many factors seemed to point in the direction of St. John's, however, New York Rens AAU head coach Andy Borman claimed that Heron and highly recruited teammate Rawle Alkins were considering all options, per Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv:

Mustapha Heron and Rawle Alkins are wide open. They want to be recruited. They do not have any leaders in the clubhouse at this point in time. Anyone who says these kids are leaning toward a school doesn't know. They want to be recruited.

Regardless of how interested Heron was in considering all options, there was no shortage of top schools pursuing him.

At 6'5" with an ability to either run the point or play shooting guard, the Sacred Heart High School product is among the most versatile and skilled players in the entire 2016 class.

Perhaps no collegiate sport demands more out of young players than basketball. With so many guys dominating as freshman and becoming one-and-done NBA prospects in recent years, Heron will be expected to contribute heavily from day one.

The fact that he's just outside the top 20 recruits in the country suggests that he could be an instant difference-maker, and it is clear that several schools felt that way about him as well.

Heron wavered with regard to his college decision, but one can only assume that he now believes he is in an ideal situation to succeed. If that is indeed the case, then he will undoubtedly be one of the top freshmen to watch in the nation during the upcoming season. 


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Preseason College Football Rankings 2015: Predicting NCAA Top 25

College football season is nearly upon us.

It seems like yesterday Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes seized the throne. Now they're doing so again when it comes to the 2015 iteration of college football rankings, first and foremost with the Amway Coaches Poll.

Call it the first of many epic releases with so many poll iterations running right on through the season and to the ever-important College Football Playoff. For now, preseason polls walk a tightrope of on-paper analysis, production from last year and simple projections. 

Let's take a stab at the NCAA Top 25 below while awaiting the start of the season.

 

NCAA Top 25 Predictions

 

Prediction Breakdown

The Obvious: Ohio State Tops All

There's no reason to knock the Buckeyes out of the top slot. 

After all, most figured this would be the year Meyer morphed his impressive recruiting classes into a title contender, not last year when they took home the inaugural CFP. 

Feel free to call it an embarrassment of riches in Columbus. Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington lead a ridiculous defense, while Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett form perhaps the best quarterback depth chart in the country.

Offensive weapons weren't a problem either thanks to wideouts such as Michael Thomas and Corey Smith, but the spot got an added boost when former quarterback Braxton Miller decided to change positions. He explained the decision to ESPN.com's Austin Ward:

Because you know, my main focus was playing quarterback. Coming back from my injury, the thing was, my distance on the ball wasn't all the way there yet. I was thinking about, ‘Hey, why am I still working on quarterback when I can do something else that can prepare me for the future and be the best at what my craft is?' Get the ball in my hands, make plays.

Again, an embarrassment of riches.

Ohio State's schedule looks great for an undefeated run, too, although an opening-week showdown at Virginia Tech might prove difficult. After, Michigan State and Michigan to close the season stands out.

Regardless, as far as preseason polls go, Ohio State rules.

 

The "For Now" Rank: TCU

The biggest surprise of last year now has to live up to the hype with a target on its back. 

Of course, this refers to the TCU Horned Frogs, a 4-8 team before last year's epic 12-1 campaign cut just short of the CFP thanks to a 61-58 loss to Baylor.

Then again, the same offense capable of putting up such basketball-esque totals returns this year. Surefire Heisman Trophy contender Trevone Boykin, who is one season removed from throwing for 3,901 yards and 33 scores with another 707 yards and eight scores on the ground, is the leader of the pack.

ESPN.com's Max Olson explained why Boykin stands such a sound chance at the Heisman, and in doing so also helps to show why the Horned Frogs deserve a strong nod in the preseason polls:

"That includes four starting offensive linemen, three of the top four running backs, and eight of the top nine wide receivers from a year ago. In all, TCU's offense will feature nine senior starters. That level of experience and familiarity is insanely valuable."

Granted, there is some turnover the Horned Frogs will need to deal with on defense, but with an offense this potent and experienced, the pros look to outweigh the cons.

For now, the Horned Frogs get to enjoy a high rank. To keep it, the experience must shine through with nobody sleeping on them this time.

 

The Shocker: Arkansas

Things are looking up for the Arkansas Razorbacks and coach Bret Bielema.

Everyone seemed ready to write off the Razorbacks once again last year after a rough season-opening loss to Auburn, which made sense given the program's recent history.

Then things turned around for the team after a 35-28 overtime loss to then-No. 6 Texas A&M, followed by a 14-13 loss to then-No. 7 Alabama. Fast forward a few weeks and the team almost did the unthinkable before suffering a 17-10 loss on the road at the hands of then-No. 1 Mississippi State.

Winning did happen soon after. The Razorbacks took down a ranked LSU squad 17-0, a then-No. 8 Ole Miss team, 30-0 before a 31-7 romp of Texas in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.

Now the Razorbacks look to build on the foundation. The team returns a whopping 14 starters, including five along the offensive line and quarterback Brandon Allen. Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are back, too, after acting as college football's lone 1,000-yard duo last season:

The approach doesn't change—Bielema wants to pound the rock and play shutdown defense. Teams knew it was coming last year and some of the most notable couldn't stop it.

Sprinkle in another year of experience and things should improve despite the depth of the SEC. The schedule isn't easy, but Bielema and the Razorbacks deserve the preseason spotlight before getting to work.

 

Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

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