NCAA Football News

Auburn Football: Why 2014 Season Should Be Playoff or Bust for Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn came out of nowhere in his first season as Auburn's head coach, leading his team to the SEC title and to within 13 seconds of the crystal football.

Now, he's got a much more dangerous opponent to deal with: expectations.

Auburn no longer is the upstart monster nobody saw coming. It's a bear. A big one with a target on its back.

Should this season be playoff or bust for the Tigers?

When asked about that last month in Atlanta, Malzahn dodged the question like a fighter ducking a right cross.

"We have high expectations at Auburn," he told B/R at a booster event in Atlanta. "It's a process. We're going to be as good as we can possibly be. That will be our goal again."

Coach speak? No doubt.

But let's be real. While Malzahn, and most other coaches, will focus on the process during the offseason, the goal for this team isn't just making the playoffs—it's winning the whole thing.

For that reason, anything short of a playoff berth should be viewed as a disappointment. 

Sure, losing running back Tre Mason, offensive tackle Greg Robinson and fullback Jay Prosch isn't ideal, but Malzahn has produced 11 1,000-yard rushers in eight seasons as a college head coach. That's not to say that Mason—who rushed for 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns—was a product of the system last year. He thrived in a system designed for him to thrive. 

That system won't change in 2014. 

In fact, it has what amounts to a fuel additive.

For the first time in his college coaching career, Malzahn has a starting quarterback returning for a second season in the system. That quarterback, Nick Marshall, already showed he has a big arm and the ability to be a weapon on the ground after rushing for 1,068 and 12 touchdowns last year. 

If the intermediate passing game continues to progress as it did this spring, this offense is going to be hard to stop. The presence of junior college transfer "Duke" Williams in addition to established deep threat Sammie Coates should put an immense amount of pressure on opposing defenses—even more than last season.

Defensively, Auburn was hit-or-miss last season. In fact, it was more miss than hit, particularly on Florida State's final drive of the national title game, where one missed tackle allowed Seminole wide receiver Rashad Greene to sprint 49 yards down the sideline to set up the 'Noles for the game-winning score.

But that defense, which was beat up in the secondary and inexperienced in the linebacking corps, was still good enough to get the Tigers in position to win it all.

They'll be better in 2014.

Linebackers Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy had great games in Pasadena and would have been the big story of the national title game had Auburn held on. The beat-up secondary will get a boost now that it's healthy and has competition coming from the 2014 recruiting class.

The secondary will also benefit from a deep defensive line, which should force pressure and mistakes.

Auburn has a lot of options up front, but the uncertainty surrounding sophomore Carl Lawson's knee injury will make that a work in progress during fall camp.

Having those options, though, will pay off and allow defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson to put his linemen in advantageous situations based on down, distance and situation once the season starts.

This team is motivated by "what could have been," as evidenced by "star" linebacker Robinson Therezie's tweet from February:


— ROBENSON THEREZIE (@cadilac_34) February 27, 2014

Auburn was on the brink last season. It has an offense that is easy to diagnose but impossible to defend and is healthy and building off experience on defense.

The schedule is tough, particularly down the stretch when the Tigers play South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama all over the final six weeks of the season. Such is life in the SEC, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse for a team that has the pieces to make another run.

Whether you believe Auburn won with luck last season or recognize that aspect of Auburn's season has been exaggerated, it absolutely should be playoffs or bust for Auburn.

With the coach, the scheme and the returning starters Auburn has in place, anything less would be a disappointment—coach speak notwithstanding.


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of and all recruiting information is courtesy of


Read more College Football news on

Meet Chuck Martin, the Next Hot Commodity in College Football Coaching

Hiding somewhere in the college football coaching ranks are the next versions of Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.

It’s inevitable, the big dogs—who have won more than one national championship— wind down their careers while a couple of younger guys work their way through the ranks to become supercoaches.  It happens covertly, behind the scenes, until one day we wonder, “Where did that guy come from?”

A prime candidate for such a run is Chuck Martin, the new head coach at Miami—the one in Ohio, not the one in Florida.

Take a look at Martin’s credentials and then file his name away for future reference.  He’s one of the guys who might be the guy in 10 years’ time.


The Story

Martin began his college football journey from 1986-90 as a safety and place kicker at Millikin University, a D-III program in Decatur, Illinois.  Martin earned All-American honors at both positions and was also named a GTE Academic All-American. 

Martin graduated with an accounting degree from Millikin and went on to get his master’s in physical education from Mankato State, now Minnesota State at Mankato, in 1993.  This is also where he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant from 1992-93.

After Mankato, Martin made assistant coaching stops at Wittenberg University (a D-III program in Springfield, Ohio), alma mater Millikin and Eastern Michigan before securing a defensive assistant position under Brian Kelly at D-II Grand Valley State in 2000.

Martin was promoted to head coach at Grand Valley State in 2004, succeeding Kelly who moved on to Central Michigan.  He led the Lakers to a 74-7 record in six seasons including five conference crowns and back-to-back D-II national championships.

In 2010, Martin followed former boss Kelly to Notre Dame, where he was initially hired to coach the secondary and coordinate recruiting.  In 2012, he was promoted to offensive coordinator, where he stayed until accepting the Miami job in December of 2013.


The Numbers

What’s impressive about Martin’s coaching resume is that he has had tremendous success both as a D-II head coach and as a coordinator at a powerhouse FBS program.

This answers several “can he?” questions, such as, “can he transition from a coordinator to a head coach?” and “can he survive in big time college football?”

As the head coach at Grand Valley State, Martin engineered a 40-0 run from Aug. 27, 2005 to Dec. 8, 2007, finally dropping a game in the ‘07 D-II semifinals. Perhaps even more impressive is the 48-0 regular-season game run Martin and the Lakers scored from Oct. 30, 2004 to Oct. 3, 2009.  

The Lakers never fell below double-digit wins in Martin’s six seasons, were 16-4 in postseason play and outscored opponents overall 2,844 to 1,186.

Though the success Martin enjoyed at Grand Valley State was built on the solid foundation that Kelly laid before him, it’s Martin who holds the honor of being the Lakers’ all-time winningest coach.  Take a look at how his numbers stack up against Kelly and Matt Mitchell, who’s been at the helm since 2010.

The numbers are proof that Martin can sustain an unmatched level of excellence. His story is not about a guy riding another coach’s coattails or that of a dynasty program where it’s impossible to screw it up.

At Notre Dame, Martin was the offensive coordinator in 2012 when the Irish ran the tables for a 12-0 regular-season finish and a spot in the BCS title game.

While Notre Dame’s offensive output stayed static under Martin, the big change when he took over the reins as coordinator was a significant reduction in turnovers.  Take a look at the progression in the Kelly era, keeping in mind that Martin became the OC in 2012.

The number of turnovers committed was slashed in half under Martin.  Though this drop could be explained in a number of different ways, it’s stayed down, which points to strong leadership and a culture change.  The team made fewer mistakes under Martin, and this led directly to more wins.


The Challenge

So, how big of a challenge does Martin face at Miami?  Take a look.

The statistics make two points clear.  First, Martin and his staff will have to revamp a program that’s struggled—on both sides of the ball—for at least two seasons.  Second, though Miami didn’t win a game last season, it is only three years removed from a 10-win campaign. 

Though it’s going to be difficult, it’s far from impossible.  And remember, success is relative. Martin won't need to win a string of MAC titles to be considered an attractive candidate for a head role at a bigger program. A couple of well-engineered, bowl-eligible seasons should be all it takes for him to become a hot commodity on the coaching carousel.


The Approach

The big question looms, how is Martin going to take his experience and skills and transform both Miami football and advance his own coaching career? Take a look at what he had to say to, according to Martin Rickman:

We want to be like that kid who likes to fight.  He may not even be the strongest or the meanest, but if you beat him up on Monday and Tuesday, he wants to fight you again.  That kid you never want to get in a fight with because you know it’s never ending.  You get sick of beating him up and by Thursday, it’s getting old and he’s still coming at you.

The big unknown is how Martin will fare turning things around at Miami.  At Grand Valley State, Martin took over a program that Kelly had groomed into a double-digit winning machine and sustained the success. Though he earned everything he got, he's never been the guy who righted the ship by himself.

If you’re wondering if little Miami of Ohio can spark a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks, remember this is the same program that launched such luminaries as Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Weeb Ewbank, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, Jim Tressel, John Harbaugh and Sean Payton.

It’s the Cradle of Coaches friend, and there’s a new baby in the crib.


Statistics courtesy of Sports-Reference College FootballCollege Football Data Warehouse and Biographical information courtesy of Miami.

Read more College Football news on

Pac-12 Football: 10 Best Players from BCS Era

There will be plenty of time to look ahead as the Pac-12 football season approaches, but we're looking back on the BCS era that came to an end with Florida State's victory over Auburn in the championship game last January.

The Pac-12 certainly didn't stand out over the past decade-and-a-half the way the SEC or Big 12 did, but you could put an all-star squad of the league's best since 1997 up against one from any other conference and feel good about it.

But who would make up that team? Or rather, which 10 players were the very best to play in the Pac-12 over the past 16 years?

We could spend several more paragraphs listing disclaimers and trying to ease the minds of fans whose favorite teams have no representation, but that effort would be meaningless. This is one man's opinion based on a combination of stats, awards, overall level of domination against the opponent and finally, what the player meant to a program.

Our one request is that rather than simply naming a player you feel should be on the list, include who should be replaced and why. Also feel free to consider this a halfhearted apology in advance for leaving off your favorite players.

Click ahead to see our list of the 10 best players from the Pac-12 during the BCS era.


All stats via Current players not included, though we should point out that Marcus Mariota could make an excellent case even after just two years. Because this list is limited to just 10, a number of greats were left off the list, such as: Aaron Rodgers, Troy Polamalu, Sam Baker, David Yankey, Marshawn Lynch, Akili Smith, Cade McNown and many, many more. NFL production does not factor in, which is a major reason for Polamalu's exclusion, though the decision was not an easy one.

Begin Slideshow

Re-Evaluating Clemson's 2011 Recruiting Class

Clemson's 2014 recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the best, if not the best, in school history. Currently, the Tigers have the No. 2-ranked class in 2014, with 20 verbal commitments, per 247Sports (subscription required).

However, it was the class of 2011 that is arguably the best in school history. 

Players such as Sammy Watkins, Stephone Anthony and Martavis Bryant were among the 2011 class. Watkins alone makes the class a success, but the depth of the entire class stands out.

Several players from the 2011 class, such as Anthony, Tony Steward and Cole Stoudt will play big roles in 2014. Of the 24 starting positions, including kicker and punter, as many as 14 members of the class of 2011 will start, or are in contention to start, this fall. 

30 players enrolled at Clemson in 2011. Of those players, only six left the program. 

Here is a closer look at Clemson's class of 2011. 

All recruiting rankings are courtesy of 247Sports

Begin Slideshow

Power Ranking Michigan's 2014 Schedule from Easiest to Toughest

This past week at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit, Michigan, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said that 2013 was in the past and that the Wolverines were only focusing on improving during 2014. 

With that being said, forget 7-6 if you can. And for good measure, put aside the losses to Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State just to be thorough. This year, Team 135 has the potential to be very different. Yet again, it could be very similar. 

It all depends on...well, you know this part, so feel free to join: "The O-line's development." There, that's out of the way. If Darrell Funk's men can't get it together and complete a comfortable transition, well, there's not much hope of bettering 7-6. However, if the line lives up to its billing and the wind blows in Brady Hoke's favor, 10 wins seem almost doable.

With this post, the lightest of duty to the most challenging opponents will be ranked in a trusty slideshow format. Feel free to suggest your rankings in the comments section.


Unless otherwise noted, Michigan's historical information comes courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library (UM) and MGoBlue. Schedule information comes from


Begin Slideshow

5 Uncommitted 2015 Recruits Who'll Help Texas A&M Land No. 1 Recruiting Class

Texas A&M has the No. 3 class in the 247Sports Recruiting Rankings. Landing the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation is realistic for the Aggies, as they sit in good position with many top uncommitted recruits.

However, the key to securing the top spot will depend on how Texas A&M fares with five critical prospects. A pair of 5-star in-state defensive targets are must gets for head coach Kevin Sumlin, while sealing the deal with an elite 4-star receiver must also be done.

If Texas A&M lands all of the following recruits, it will be tough leaving it out of the No. 1 spot for 2015.

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

Begin Slideshow

Every Big 12 Football Team's Ace 2015 Recruiter

Big 12 recruiting shouldn't be overlooked. Every program in the conference needs at least one ace recruiter on staff to go after and collect top talent.

While many Big 12 recruiting classes are developing at a slow pace, top recruiters in this league are still eyeing some of the nation's best 2015 prospects. Texas head coach Charlie Strong appears to have a trio of ace recruiters on his staff, while Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has seen his defensive line coach fare well on the recruiting trail.

Plus, West Virginia's ace recruiter is going at a great pace.

Begin Slideshow

Bleacher Report's 7-on-7 Defensive Dream Team for 2015

Last week, the 7-on-7 offensive dream team was revealed. Now, it's time for the same to be done on the defensive side of the ball.

Defenses on 7-on-7 teams are made up of back-seven defenders. This defensive squad was built with speed and range in mind at the linebacker position. The secondary was also built on speed, but an emphasis was put on size and length.

It's hard to see 7-on-7 offenses scoring on this unit.

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

Begin Slideshow

Re-Evaluating Notre Dame's 2012 Recruiting Class

Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class is as star-crossed as the season that it followed. Like the infamous 8-5 season that saw the Irish lose in dramatic (and painful) ways to USF, Michigan, USC and Florida State, the Irish's recruiting efforts also went wayward, both down the stretch to signing day and in the years that followed. 

A look back at the 2012 class tells two very different stories. First, the ones who didn't pan out. Headliners Gunner Kiel, Davonte Neal and Tee Shepard, all essentially contributed nothing to the program. A transfer from wide receiver Justin Ferguson gutted the skill players. (The recent arrest and indefinite suspension of Will Mahone adds another potential washout.) 

But to paint the class as a failure would be too simple. Despite the disappointments, Brian Kelly and his staff also found plenty of talent. KeiVarae Russell has started at cornerback from the moment he stepped on campus. Sheldon Day has the chance to be a standout along the defensive line.

Jarron Jones will start next to Day at defensive tackle. Romeo Okwara will line up next to them as a starter at defensive end. Ronnie Stanley will likely be a four-year starter at tackle for the Irish. There is plenty expected from Chris Brown and converted safety C.J. Prosise. 

Let's walk through Brian Kelly's 2012 recruiting class and take a look at how things have shaken out. 


*All recruiting rankings are based on's Composite rankings. 


Begin Slideshow

SEC Football: The 10 Best Players of the BCS Era

The SEC's streak of national championships in football ended when Florida State topped Auburn in the final minute in 2014, but one defeat doesn’t mar the league’s brilliant run through the BCS era.

No, the latter days of the BCS will be remembered as among the brightest days for the SEC—which rattled off seven consecutive titles.

Look up and down NFL rosters today and it becomes apparent that the SEC’s legacy from the BCS era isn't limited to what can be found in trophy cases.

Today we take on the unenviable task of attempting to pinpoint the top 10 SEC players from the BCS era.

Doing so isn’t easy. The SEC produced four Heisman Trophy winners during the BCS’ 16 years. It also watched its players combine for 91 consensus All-American honors over that period.

How strong is the talent on this list? Finishing a career as a two-time consensus All-American player doesn’t necessarily secure you a spot.

Here is our list.

Begin Slideshow

Re-Evaluating Nebraska's 2011 Football Recruiting Class

The 2011 Nebraska recruiting class was ranked No. 17 in the nation, per It was arguably one of head coach Bo Pelini's best classes to date.

The class boasted 20 total players, with 18 being freshman and two transferring from junior colleges. It was also the class that was well-discussed, as potential quarterback Bubba Starling was part of it.

Looking back on the class, not all players panned out as expected. On the other hand, there were some that ended up being worth much more than their star rating suggested.

But that's the tricky thing about recruiting. It's never clear what a star rating is worth until some time has passed. For the 2011 class, enough time has gone by to really look at what each position provided for the Huskers.

Read on to see how the 2011 Nebraska class ranks now.

Begin Slideshow

10 Position Groups That Will Hold Back College Football Playoff Contenders

No matter how stacked a college football team is at six of the seven major position groups—quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen and defensive backs—the presence of just one Achilles' heel is enough to undo an otherwise promising season.

For proof of this theory, look no further than its converse: That balance among all seven position groups is the key to becoming a champion. Care to find any discernible holes on the 2013 Florida State Seminoles or the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide?


One weak unit is enough to keep a team out of the College Football Playoff, and in 2014, the Playoff's first year, there will be no shortage of semi-flawed teams working to mask their biggest deficiency.

Whether said unit returns a bunch of underperforming pieces or loses most of its starters from 2013—or some combination of the two—there are reasons to believe it can hold the team back this year.

Whether it will is a different story, a narrative that depends on coaching and commitment from the players. But in all of the cases that follow, the unit has at least a couple of looming questions that could keep an otherwise championship-caliber team out of the CFP.

Chime in below, and let me know where you disagree.

Begin Slideshow

Predicting Where Tennessee Will Finish in 2015 Recruiting Rankings

After hauling in one of the nation's most well-rounded and star-studded recruiting classes in 2014, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is looking to follow up on his success in 2015. 

When Dave Hart introduced Jones as Tennessee's newest head coach on Dec. 7, 2012, "elite recruiter" was one of the last phrases anyone who followed college football would use to describe him.

But when Jones, who declared to's Dallas Jackson that Tennessee would recruit with "velocity and intensity," landed commitments from 4-star safety Todd Kelly Jr. and 5-star tailback Jalen Hurd within days of each other in March 2013, the college football world began to take notice.

Those commitments started a domino effect that led to a whirlwind summer and fall of Tennessee commitment after commitment. Now that the ink is dry on the letters of intent and his prized class is officially enrolled and on campus, Jones has his eyes set on a few blue-chip prospects who could catapult the Vols' 2015 class into the national top 10.


Kahlil McKenzie

Regardless of Jones' recruiting prowess, it's tough to argue that he hasn't benefited from an unusual number of highly talented legacy recruits who just happen to be reaching college age during his first couple of years on the job at Tennessee.

However, luck and family ties aren't the only things that are getting those young players—including defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie—to sign their names on the dotted line.

Whether he's playing Where's Waldo with Tennessee bucket hats on Twitter or enlisting the help of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, Jones has pulled out all the stops to make sure McKenzie knows he's one of the team's top targets, according to's Mike Huguenin


Drew Richmond

Of all of Jones's recruiting promises, living up to his word of owning the state of Tennessee, as reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Patrick Brown, may be the most important.

Memphis has always been a hotbed of talent, but it has also been a highly contested region for the Vols, as it's geographically much closer to rival schools like Ole Miss, Alabama and Auburn. 

Richmond is the top player in Tennessee and the 40th-best player in the country, according to Although Jones upgraded the talent and depth on the offensive line with the 2014 class, it's still a huge position of need for the Vols.

Landing the services of Richmond would not only help Jones continue to lock down the state and increase the overall class ranking, but it would also provide a big boost for the offensive line in the years to come.


Torrance Gibson

After landing commitments from in-state quarterback Jauan Jennings and Texas quarterback Quinten Dormady, it appeared that Tennessee had moved on from 5-star and top-ranked athlete/dual-threat quarterback Torrance Gibson.

But Gibson, who was in Knoxville at the time of Dormady's commitment, didn't drop the Vols from his top schools. In fact, his extended visit on Rocky Top only reinforced his preference for Tennessee over other programs like Auburn and LSU, according to's Wesley Sinor.   

Some analysts have speculated that Gibson may be better suited as a wide receiver. But no matter what position he plays, if Gibson commits to the Vols, his 5-star status will give Tennessee a sizable bump in the recruiting rankings. 


Tennessee's Final 2015 Recruiting Ranking: 10th in the Nation 

Jones already has the foundation of a great 2015 class for Tennessee, but it's the recruits he leads for that will make this class just as successful as the 2014 edition. 

McKenzie and Richmond are both heavy favorites to commit to the Orange and White, and their star power will give the Vols a big boost in the overall rankings. Gibson is less of a sure thing, but it won't be a surprise if he gives Jones his commitment any time between now and national signing day. 

Tennessee is also in good shape for JUCO running back Alvin Kamara, top-ranked JUCO defensive tackle D.J. Jones and in-state defensive end Kyle Phillips.

Combine those highly ranked players with current commitments like offensive lineman Jack Jones, wide receiver Preston Williams and defensive end Andrew Butcher, and it looks like Jones will have no problem cracking the top 10 on national signing day and establishing his reputation as an elite recruiter at Tennessee. 


All recruitingrankings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

Read more College Football news on

Florida State Football: Re-Evaluating FSU's 2011 Recruiting Class

Jimbo Fisher had to fight to build his 2010 signing class in just a few months after taking over for Bobby Bowden.

But, given time to build relationships, Fisher and his staff assembled 247Sports' No. 1 signing class in 2011. The group included four 5-stars—safety Karlos Williams, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, running back James Wilder Jr. and tight end Nick O'Leary—and 14 4-star prospects.

All were key players on the Florida State football team that won the 2013 national title. Williams shifted to running back and had 11 rushing touchdowns, while Wilder added eight TDs. O'Leary set a single-season record for FSU tight ends with seven TD receptions. And Jernigan was one of the leaders up front for a defense that allowed just 12.1 points per game.

The group also included tailback Devonta Freeman, who had a 1,000-yard season and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2013. And wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, who had 15 touchdowns last year, and Rashad Greene, who had 1,128 receiving yards.

"That's a pretty good class," Fisher said last fall. "They've done a great job of going to that next level. ... We thought it was special. But I've been in this business long enough to know that sometimes they don't always pan out."

The class has panned out. Of FSU's 22 starters in the BCS championship game, eight were from the class of 2011: Freeman, Greene, Bobby Hart, Tre Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, Josue Matias, Nick O'Leary and Terrance Smith. Benjamin, Wilder and Freeman are already off to the NFL.

Let's take a look back at FSU's star-studded 2011 class and how those players did in Tallahassee.

Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports. Career rankings among FSU's all-time leaders courtesy of FSU media guides

Begin Slideshow

5 QB Commitments That Have Shaped 2015 Recruiting Landscape

Quality quarterback play is pivotal throughout every level of football, but stability at the position pays off at the collegiate level long before a player takes his first snap. Quarterback prospects can serve as catalysts for recruiting classes, providing incentive for other offensive playmakers to pledge to a program.

Each quarterback commit also acts like a falling domino, further altering the recruiting landscape as programs search for alternative options and other passers step into the spotlight. We review the 2015 recruiting cycle so far, highlighting five decisions that changed the course of how teams approach an impressive crop of passers.

Begin Slideshow

SEC Football: 10 Bold Predictions for Fall Camp

Summer workouts are underway, the schedule for SEC media days is set and watch lists are being released.

Before we know it, pads will be popping and fall camp will be underway around the southeast.

Quarterback battles will dominate headlines, but there are other issues around the SEC.

Which position battles will be resolved, and which will linger into the season? Our top 10 bold predictions for fall camp are in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

Notre Dame WR Will Mahone Arrested, Charged with Multiple Felonies

Notre Dame wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested Sunday morning and is currently facing five charges—three of which are considered felonies in the state of Ohio.

According to Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune, the felony charges are assault of a police officer, intimidation of a public servant/party official and vandalism of a government entity.

The two other charges he faces, both of which are misdemeanors, are for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Hansen explained the alleged incident in detail:

Police say an officer advised Mahone to calm down and get on the ground, to which Mahone responded with, "(Expletive), white boy." Police say an officer then took Mahone to the ground, but he repeatedly resisted arrest. Once Mahone finally was able to be handcuffed, police claim, he responded, "(Expletive), you white piece of (expletive). Takes these cuffs off and I'll kill you. I'll (expletive) kill you."

As Mahone was being led to the cruiser, police allege, he began to scream and shout and tried to pull away. Mahone is further accused of whipping his head back in an aggressive manor, striking a police officer on his forehead. Police accuse Mahone of trying to kick police after they again took him to the ground. At that point, an officer drive-stunned Mahone to gain compliance. As he was being taken to the cruiser, Mahone is accused of continually yelling, "Take these cuffs off, and I'll kill all of you."

Once placed in the cruiser, Mahone allegedly violently kicked the window in the back seat of the cruiser and had to be drive-stunned again. While police were outside interviewing witnesses, Mahone allegedly began to spit on the windows and the seats of the cruiser, at which time a spit net was applied over Mahone’s head.

The cruiser was on its way to the hospital to treat a cut near Mahone's eye, but police instead drove to Mahoning County Justice Center after claiming Mahone stated "Good, get me out of these cuffs and I'll kill you and all them bitches there." He's then accused of offering one more threat: "Bro, when I get out, I got a Glock 9 for your (expletive)."

The charges without context are serious enough, but the explicit (and horrifyingly candid) nature of what Mahone allegedly said and did is the most disturbing part of this story. Shouting racial epithets and death threats at a police officer, if true, is the kind of thing that could lead to an extended jail sentence—not just a team suspension.

But the facts must be allowed to come out. Bleacher Report's Keith Arnold, writing for Inside the Irish at, preached patience with Mahone's case in the wake of similar incidents:

None of these details sound particularly good for Mahone's future in South Bend, though they should hardly be taken as gospel. It wasn't too long ago that Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese were taken in by local police with some hairy charges that eventually shrunk down to misdemeanor charges and community service.

Mahone has not seen the field much since arriving at Notre Dame before the 2012 season. He was a 4-star running back on the 247Sports Composite but has since been switched to slot receiver and struggled to get consistent reps because of injuries and competition.

A high ankle sprain relegated Mahone to just two brief appearances as a sophomore in 2013, and a broken foot knocked him out of practice this spring. He was already fighting an uphill battle to make an impact in South Bend, and the severe nature of these charges makes it reasonable to question whether he will ever play again.

Notre Dame officials released the following statement Monday morning, according to Hansen.

"The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system. Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law."

We'll keep you updated as we find out more.

Read more College Football news on

Re-Evaluating Miami's 2011 Recruiting Class

Headlined by 5-star Anthony Chickillo, the Miami Hurricanes brought in a 20-man recruiting class during the 2011 cycle. According to 247Sports, the 'Canes' haul was the No. 33 group in the nation, and it was sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

As the majority of signees become seniors, how have they fared while continuing their football careers at Miami—or even elsewhere?

While re-evaluating the overall unit, remember Al Golden was hired as head coach in mid-December, leaving the ex-Temple coach less than two months to retain current commits and convince others to join.

Prospects who slipped away will be mentioned when pertinent, but focusing on whether or not Golden and his staff developed their players is more important.

Note: All rankings courtesy of 247Sports Composite. Players will be classified into playing position at Miami, not as recruited.

Begin Slideshow

Re-Evaluating Penn State's 2011 Recruiting Class

While it's fun to grade and rank recruiting classes in the present, the truth is no one really knows how a group of kids is going to work out until after the fact.

Penn State's 2010 class was ranked 11th in the country and included the likes of Silas Redd, Khairi Fortt, Rob Bolden, Paul Jones, Dakota Royer and Kevin Haplea. Four years later, that class has become a bit of a punchline after each one of those players transferred or didn't finish his career as a Nittany Lion.

As fate would have it, the 2011 class—ranked 31st nationally—introduced us to the "Supa Six" and provided Penn State with arguably its best receiver ever as well as a group of kids who held the program together through trying times. 

Let's take a look back at the 2011 class after the fact and see how those players have worked out compared to expectations.

Begin Slideshow

Oregon Football Recruiting: Re-Evaluating Ducks' 2011 Signing Class

If Oregon ends the upcoming season with a Pac-12 or national championship, the 2011 signing class will be a primary reason why.

Former head coach Chip Kelly landed an impressive collection of recruits in 2011—certainly one of the program's best ever as far as individual talent.

The 2011 signing class features highly touted recruits who met their expectations and plenty of under-the-radar talents whose production at Oregon has vastly exceeded the scores they received as high schoolers.


Who Signed?

RB Antwan Baker: N/A

ATH Devon Blackmon: 4-star

RB Tra Carson: 3-star

LB Rahim Cassell: 3-star

LB Tyson Coleman: 3-star

DT Jared Ebert: 3-star

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: 4-star

OT James Euscher: 3-star

OT Jake Fisher: 3-star

ATH Christian French: 4-star

LB Carlyle Garrick: 3-star

LB Rodney Hardrick: 3-star

WR Miles Johnston: N/A

OT Tyler Johnstone: 4-star

DE Koa Ka'ai: 3-star

WR B.J. Kelley: 3-star

TE Colt Lyerla: 4-star

QB Marcus Mariota: 3-star

OT Jamal Prater: 3-star

WR Tacoi Sumler: 4-star

WR Rahsaan Vaughn: 3-star

LB Anthony Wallace: 4-star

OT Andre Yruretagoyena: 4-star



De'Anthony Thomas was the lone 5-star prospect of the class, and the Crenshaw High School star lived up to his prep accolades from the very outset of his Oregon career.

The multiskilled Thomas evolved from a primary receiving weapon and return specialist into an explosive running back, as well. He bolted early for the NFL draft after three standout seasons. Thomas, along with tight end Colt Lyerla, who was dismissed from the program early last season, are two 2011 recruits whose absences will leave noticeable voids on the Ducks offense.

Nevertheless, the remaining 2011 signees help make the 2014 Oregon offense one of the most fearsome in college football.

The diamond-in-the-rough mined on the recruiting trail in 2011 was quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota was just a 3-star prospect coming out of Honolulu's Saint Louis School.

Mariota was one of college football's premier players each of the last two seasons, certainly playing more at a 5-star level than 3-star.

An outstanding offensive line has helped Mariota establish himself as one of the top dual-threat playmakers in college football, and fellow 2011 prospects Tyler Johnstone and Jake Fisher are two cornerstones. Andre Yruretagoyena will provide much-needed depth, and potentially start early on as Johnstone recovers from a knee injury.

Oregon's defense also owes plenty of its strength to the 2011 class, particularly at linebacker. Much like 3-star prospect Mariota outperformed his ranking, the Ducks linebacker corps is loaded with former 3-stars who have developed into top-level contributors.

Rodney Hardrick is key to the Ducks' run-stopping efforts, and Rahim Cassell provides invaluable depth. Pass-rusher Tyson Coleman is expected to see a more prominent role at strong-side linebacker 2014.

Meanwhile, drop-end and former 4-star recruit Christian French should get his opportunity to break out this season. French has drawn comparisons to former Ducks star Dion Jordan.

"I look up to him a lot. That's my idol right there," French said of the versatile Jordan in a 2013 interview with Adam Jude of The Oregonian.

The face of the Oregon defense is another 2011 recruit, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. He earned 4-star billing at Chino Hills High School in Chino, California and has since developed into a true shutdown cornerback.



Quarterbacks: A+

Running Backs: A

Wide Receivers: C

Tight Ends: B-

Offensive Line: A

Defensive Line: D

Linebackers: A-

Secondary: A


Recruiting rankings culled from composite scores.

Read more College Football news on