NCAA Football News

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.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Freshmen Ready to Answer the Call

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — From the moment Kahlil McKenzie stepped foot on campus in Knoxville, the hype has been big enough to fill Neyland Stadium and beyond.

The 6'3", 344-pound defensive tackle and former 5-star prospect from Walnut Creek, California, came to Tennessee as the next big thing along a Tennessee defensive line that helped the Vols finish second in the SEC in third-down defense in 2014 and returns seven of eight members of the two-deep.

It didn't matter.

McKenzie was the first man up in the "circle-of-life" drill on the 50-yard line in front of more than 40,000 orange-clad Vol fans at open practice at Neyland Stadium, and he received the biggest applause from the fans.

The monster with tree trunks for legs stayed low in the one-on-one drill, and set the tone for a defensive line depth-chart battle on Rocky Top that could transform the Vols defense from solid in situations, to one of the most complete units in the SEC.

Another defensive lineman—early enrollee Kyle Phillips—looks fully recovered from an injury that kept him out of spring practice. He not only won his one-one-one circle-of-life drill but ran his man back 10 yards, earning a big round of applause from the crowd.

"Kyle plays really hard," defensive lineman Derek Barnett said. "Last year, I messed up a whole lot. Kyle, he messes up and still makes plays. I don't know how he does it. He has a great passion for the game."

High praise from a guy like Barnett, who finished second in the SEC with 20.5 tackles for loss as a freshman in 2014.

That defensive line is in a place that is unlike anything head coach Butch Jones has seen on Rocky Top.

"Can never have enough depth, particularly up front. We do have a luxury at the defensive end position that we've never had since we've been here," he said. "We talk about power in performance in being nine strong, and that group takes great pride in their performance."

It wasn't just the defensive freshmen who stood out, though.

Jauan Jennings, the true freshman early enrollee who played quarterback in the spring, won several battles at the line of scrimmage and hauled in pass after pass, including a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone for a touchdown during red-zone work.

"He's been doing a great job," quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. "Every day, he comes in hungry and ready to learn. He might make a mistake, but he makes it full-go and corrects it the next time—which is great to see."

Another freshman, 5'10" Vincent Perry, made several stellar catches including a couple on third-down work and one back shoulder fade for a touchdown in red-zone action. 

"Vincent's an individual who's progressively and continuously gotten better each and every day," Jones said. "Vincent has done a very good job. I think he's playing with confidence right now. So much goes into the development when it comes to the speed of the game, and we always talk about not letting the mind tie the feet up."

In a wide receiving corps that includes Marquez North, "Pig" Howard, Jason Croom, Josh Malone and Von Pearson, it's going to be very difficult for Jones and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord to keep those two off the field.

As for how many freshmen will play for the Vols in 2015, head coach Butch Jones doesn't want to put himself in a corner.

"As camp goes on, individuals will continue to define their roles with putting their identities on video," he said.

Several key freshmen showed under the lights on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium that they can play key roles on a Vols team that appears ready to make a big splash on a national level after nearly a decade of absence.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com. Barrett 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

Tennessee Freshmen Ready to Answer the Call

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — From the moment Kahlil McKenzie stepped foot on campus in Knoxville, the hype has been big enough to fill Neyland Stadium and beyond.

The 6'3", 344-pound defensive tackle and former 5-star prospect from Walnut Creek, California, came to Tennessee as the next big thing along a Tennessee defensive line that helped the Vols finish second in the SEC in third-down defense in 2014 and returns seven of eight members of the two-deep.

It didn't matter.

McKenzie was the first man up in the "circle-of-life" drill on the 50-yard line in front of more than 40,000 orange-clad Vol fans at open practice at Neyland Stadium, and he received the biggest applause from the fans.

The monster with tree trunks for legs stayed low in the one-on-one drill, and set the tone for a defensive line depth-chart battle on Rocky Top that could transform the Vols defense from solid in situations, to one of the most complete units in the SEC.

Another defensive lineman—early enrollee Kyle Phillips—looks fully recovered from an injury that kept him out of spring practice. He not only won his one-one-one circle-of-life drill but ran his man back 10 yards, earning a big round of applause from the crowd.

"Kyle plays really hard," defensive lineman Derek Barnett said. "Last year, I messed up a whole lot. Kyle, he messes up and still makes plays. I don't know how he does it. He has a great passion for the game."

High praise from a guy like Barnett, who finished second in the SEC with 20.5 tackles for loss as a freshman in 2014.

That defensive line is in a place that is unlike anything head coach Butch Jones has seen on Rocky Top.

"Can never have enough depth, particularly up front. We do have a luxury at the defensive end position that we've never had since we've been here," he said. "We talk about power in performance in being nine strong, and that group takes great pride in their performance."

It wasn't just the defensive freshmen who stood out, though.

Jauan Jennings, the true freshman early enrollee who played quarterback in the spring, won several battles at the line of scrimmage and hauled in pass after pass, including a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone for a touchdown during red-zone work.

"He's been doing a great job," quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. "Every day, he comes in hungry and ready to learn. He might make a mistake, but he makes it full-go and corrects it the next time—which is great to see."

Another freshman, 5'10" Vincent Perry, made several stellar catches including a couple on third-down work and one back shoulder fade for a touchdown in red-zone action. 

"Vincent's an individual who's progressively and continuously gotten better each and every day," Jones said. "Vincent has done a very good job. I think he's playing with confidence right now. So much goes into the development when it comes to the speed of the game, and we always talk about not letting the mind tie the feet up."

In a wide receiving corps that includes Marquez North, "Pig" Howard, Jason Croom, Josh Malone and Von Pearson, it's going to be very difficult for Jones and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord to keep those two off the field.

As for how many freshmen will play for the Vols in 2015, head coach Butch Jones doesn't want to put himself in a corner.

"As camp goes on, individuals will continue to define their roles with putting their identities on video," he said.

Several key freshmen showed under the lights on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium that they can play key roles on a Vols team that appears ready to make a big splash on a national level after nearly a decade of absence.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com. Barrett 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

Is the Crimson Tide Quarterback Battle Taking Too Long?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — There are certain givens that Nick Saban has come to accept over the years—things that he sees coming from far away yet remains powerless to do anything about.

Saturday was a perfect example. After his wife, whom he affectionately calls “Miss Terry,” watched this year’s team for the first time during the Crimson Tide’s initial scrimmage of training camp, Saban was well aware what the topic of conversation would be when he got home.

“I’m going to get a real earful about the quarterbacks, and who played best and who she likes the best and all that,” he said, although the coach would be the first to admit that her opinions about personnel decisions are usually pretty good.

Nonetheless, with the coach saying that none of his five quarterbacks really stood out, the overflow of candidates is beginning to draw parallels to the Republican Party’s presidential chase. Senior Jake Coker, redshirt freshman David Cornwell, junior Alec Morris, sophomore Cooper Bateman and true freshman Blake Barnett are all still in it, while fans are developing opinions about who should win based on very little information.

Saturday’s scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium was closed. Players were off limits to reporters, and Alabama didn’t release any statistics, which was unusual. Saban would have probably preferred to comment on politics instead of the ongoing competition/controversy, but he expressed his growing frustration that more of a hierarchy hasn’t developed.

“As soon as we start gaining a little bit of confidence in a guy and we put him in a situation where ‘OK, you have a chance to be the guy,’ then they have to take advantage of that,” he said during his post-scrimmage press conference. “They have to be able to take the ball and run with it. We’ve seen that a couple of times and then it’s a little bit like, ‘Giddy up, whoa!’

“I’m just waiting for somebody one day to sort of break out and have a couple of good days and sort of say, ‘OK, I’m ready to do this.’ You have to win the team. I see guys struggling to win the team and then something happens, but that’s got to happen and somebody has to make it happen. I can’t make it happen. As bad as I want to make it happen, I can’t make it happen.”

For Coker especially, the only one of the five to attempt a pass in a college game, there’s more than one way to take this. On the one hand, he’s now been on campus for more than a year after transferring from Florida State and still hasn’t emerged as the starter.

On the flip side, as the lone senior, the longer this drags out, the better his chances are of starting the opener, even it’s by default.

“When AJ (McCarron) and Phillip Sims were here, they (alternated) during the first game and that’s how we figured it out,” Saban said. “So do I want it to happen that way? No.”

If you go back to that first game of the 2011 season, McCarron completed 14 of 23 passes (60.9 percent) for 226 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sims was 7-of-14 (50 percent) for 73 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

McCarron ended up starting the following week at Penn State. Alabama won 27-11, and the job was essentially his. As a sophomore he started every game not only that season but the subsequent two as well, and the Crimson Tide won back-to-back national championships.

A huge potential problem this time, though, is the schedule. The McCarron-Sims game was the first following the devastating tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, and the rebuilding community couldn’t wait for the season to start. Against overwhelmed Kent State, Saban’s alma mater, the Crimson Tide easily won 48-7.

This year Alabama opens against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas (8 p.m. ET, ABC), in the marquee matchup of Week 1. Two weeks later it’ll host an extremely talented Ole Miss team.

So one can see why Saban might be getting a little eager for someone to take a strong lead.

In the meantime, all five will continue to get reps as the team moves forward and starts preparing for the second, and final, scrimmage next Saturday. A year ago that’s when Blake Sims finally separated himself from Coker.

Saban gave an inkling of just how much of a surprise that was. When answering a question about how Alabama has been experimenting by using signs to quickly relay play calls from the sideline, he stated: “I’m not even saying that we’re going to be a no-huddle team, but we felt like last year we were kind of learning how to be a no-huddle team on the run because of the personnel we had. We thought it was best suited for Blake.”

Saban also provided a strong hint that Alabama’s game plan might go back to being more like it was two years ago, when it relied more on its defense and running game.

“I don’t think that we need to have a quarterback who has to win the game,” Saban said. “I think that if we could have someone who could play well enough and make good choices and decisions and not make the major errors that would affect the game, that probably would keep us in the game.

“With the rest of the players that we have, I think we’d have a good chance.”

Being an effective game manager was a huge plus for McCarron in 2011. After the two picks against Kent State, he didn’t throw another interception until seven games later, against Tennessee on Oct. 22. He finished with just five.

As for whom Miss Terry likes, even Saban had to laugh when a reporter asked.

“I haven’t had an earful yet, but I know it’s coming,” he repeated. “The real head coach will speak."

  

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer. Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Is the Crimson Tide Quarterback Battle Taking Too Long?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — There are certain givens that Nick Saban has come to accept over the years—things that he sees coming from far away yet remains powerless to do anything about.

Saturday was a perfect example. After his wife, whom he affectionately calls “Miss Terry,” watched this year’s team for the first time during the Crimson Tide’s initial scrimmage of training camp, Saban was well aware what the topic of conversation would be when he got home.

“I’m going to get a real earful about the quarterbacks, and who played best and who she likes the best and all that,” he said, although the coach would be the first to admit that her opinions about personnel decisions are usually pretty good.

Nonetheless, with the coach saying that none of his five quarterbacks really stood out, the overflow of candidates is beginning to draw parallels to the Republican Party’s presidential chase. Senior Jake Coker, redshirt freshman David Cornwell, junior Alec Morris, sophomore Cooper Bateman and true freshman Blake Barnett are all still in it, while fans are developing opinions about who should win based on very little information.

Saturday’s scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium was closed. Players were off limits to reporters, and Alabama didn’t release any statistics, which was unusual. Saban would have probably preferred to comment on politics instead of the ongoing competition/controversy, but he expressed his growing frustration that more of a hierarchy hasn’t developed.

“As soon as we start gaining a little bit of confidence in a guy and we put him in a situation where ‘OK, you have a chance to be the guy,’ then they have to take advantage of that,” he said during his post-scrimmage press conference. “They have to be able to take the ball and run with it. We’ve seen that a couple of times and then it’s a little bit like, ‘Giddy up, whoa!’

“I’m just waiting for somebody one day to sort of break out and have a couple of good days and sort of say, ‘OK, I’m ready to do this.’ You have to win the team. I see guys struggling to win the team and then something happens, but that’s got to happen and somebody has to make it happen. I can’t make it happen. As bad as I want to make it happen, I can’t make it happen.”

For Coker especially, the only one of the five to attempt a pass in a college game, there’s more than one way to take this. On the one hand, he’s now been on campus for more than a year after transferring from Florida State and still hasn’t emerged as the starter.

On the flip side, as the lone senior, the longer this drags out, the better his chances are of starting the opener, even it’s by default.

“When AJ (McCarron) and Phillip Sims were here, they (alternated) during the first game and that’s how we figured it out,” Saban said. “So do I want it to happen that way? No.”

If you go back to that first game of the 2011 season, McCarron completed 14 of 23 passes (60.9 percent) for 226 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Sims was 7-of-14 (50 percent) for 73 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

McCarron ended up starting the following week at Penn State. Alabama won 27-11, and the job was essentially his. As a sophomore he started every game not only that season but the subsequent two as well, and the Crimson Tide won back-to-back national championships.

A huge potential problem this time, though, is the schedule. The McCarron-Sims game was the first following the devastating tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, and the rebuilding community couldn’t wait for the season to start. Against overwhelmed Kent State, Saban’s alma mater, the Crimson Tide easily won 48-7.

This year Alabama opens against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas (8 p.m. ET, ABC), in the marquee matchup of Week 1. Two weeks later it’ll host an extremely talented Ole Miss team.

So one can see why Saban might be getting a little eager for someone to take a strong lead.

In the meantime, all five will continue to get reps as the team moves forward and starts preparing for the second, and final, scrimmage next Saturday. A year ago that’s when Blake Sims finally separated himself from Coker.

Saban gave an inkling of just how much of a surprise that was. When answering a question about how Alabama has been experimenting by using signs to quickly relay play calls from the sideline, he stated: “I’m not even saying that we’re going to be a no-huddle team, but we felt like last year we were kind of learning how to be a no-huddle team on the run because of the personnel we had. We thought it was best suited for Blake.”

Saban also provided a strong hint that Alabama’s game plan might go back to being more like it was two years ago, when it relied more on its defense and running game.

“I don’t think that we need to have a quarterback who has to win the game,” Saban said. “I think that if we could have someone who could play well enough and make good choices and decisions and not make the major errors that would affect the game, that probably would keep us in the game.

“With the rest of the players that we have, I think we’d have a good chance.”

Being an effective game manager was a huge plus for McCarron in 2011. After the two picks against Kent State, he didn’t throw another interception until seven games later, against Tennessee on Oct. 22. He finished with just five.

As for whom Miss Terry likes, even Saban had to laugh when a reporter asked.

“I haven’t had an earful yet, but I know it’s coming,” he repeated. “The real head coach will speak."

  

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer. Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Wolverines Will Reportedly Wear All-White Road Uniforms in 2015

In their first season under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan Wolverines are going to have a new—or old, depending on how you look at it—look when playing on the road.

According to Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com, Michigan will wear all-white road uniforms this season.

The new uniform will be very similar to the one the team wore back in 1974. Per Balas, the change to the throwback uniforms was made at the request of Harbaugh.

Here is a look at the previous road uniform:

The 2015 season will be Michigan's last season with Adidas, with the Wolverines switching to Jordan Brand in 2016.

How do the new uniforms grade out?

[Chris Balas, h/t Sports Illustrated]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Wolverines Will Reportedly Wear All-White Road Uniforms in 2015

In their first season under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan Wolverines are going to have a new—or old, depending on how you look at it—look when playing on the road.

According to Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com, Michigan will wear all-white road uniforms this season.

The new uniform will be very similar to the one the team wore back in 1974. Per Balas, the change to the throwback uniforms was made at the request of Harbaugh.

Here is a look at the previous road uniform:

The 2015 season will be Michigan's last season with Adidas, with the Wolverines switching to Jordan Brand in 2016.

How do the new uniforms grade out?

[Chris Balas, h/t Sports Illustrated]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Clemson Football Bans Players from Using Social Media During Regular Season

It's safe to say Clemson football won't be doing it "for the 'gram" this season. 

According to Scott Keepfer of USA Today, Clemson football players have been forbidden from using social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even Instagram during the season. The ban started on August 3, the first day of fall camp. 

This isn't the first time the Tigers have done this; as Keepfer notes, Clemson players have gone without social media during the regular season for several years now.

It's not clear who started the policy in the first place; according to Aaron Brenner of the Post and Courier, some say the senior class decides the policy each season, but senior guard Eric Mac Lain indicated head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff institute the rule. 

Taking away social media from kids born in the 1990s is like taking away water from a fish at times. A majority of 18- to 22-year-olds would find it incredibly difficult to handle a ban like this, and at least one coach was taken aback when he heard what Clemson was doing, according to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman:

Tigers wide receivers coach Jeff Scott is on board with his team's call, though:

And it seems the players have bought into it. Junior tight end Stanton Seckinger spoke about it with Keepfer:

Every time I pull my phone out, the first thing I want to do is click on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. This ban takes that out of your head. It’s not that I don’t still have the urge, but I know I can’t do it, so it doesn’t occupy my thoughts. I don’t exactly love the ban, but I think it’s a great idea.

By banning social media, Clemson is looking to cut down on added distractions that could rattle its players before games or affect their performance. This move could even go as far as helping them sleep better. Instead of staying up late and fiddling with Facebook the night before practices and games, players have one less option to keep them awake. 

A well-rested player will be one who is mentally sharp on game day, improving his chances to make a split-second decision at the right time.

The Tigers will need that timing to be perfect this season. Clemson enters the season ranked 12th in the nation by the Amway Coaches Poll. With a somewhat favorable schedule—with Notre Dame and Florida State as its biggest hurdles—Clemson has a nice setup to make a serious run at the College Football Playoff. 

And if the program thinks taking away social media will increase the team's chances of a national championship, then let the experiment continue and alert the followers that their friends and favorite players are going on a little hiatus. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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