NCAA Football News

Week 1 Injuries That Will Have Biggest Impact on 2015 College Football Season

Injuries were a common theme during the first week of college football season.

Numerous teams lost star players in their first games of the year and will have to mine the depth chart for replacements.

Other teams were slightly luckier, losing star players for a close-ended period, but they'll still have to cope for the next few weeks or months. In a sport such as college football, where there's only 12 games on the schedule and every loss is proportionately magnified, that still means a lot.

The injuries that follow will have a major impact on the rest of the season. How these players' teams replace them will shape the narrative of power-conference title races and major national awards.

Sound off below and let us know which Week 1 injury you think was the most important.

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Grading New College Football Starting QBs' Week 1 Performances

The start of a new college football season meant the start of a new era for plenty of programs across the country—especially when it came to the quarterback position.

While the game still has several star signal-callers, plenty of potential title contenders and Power Five dark horses lined up with new No. 1 quarterbacks in Week 1 of the 2015 campaign. 

More than half of the nation's top 10 teams had to replace starters at the position this year, including three of the four College Football Playoff teams from last season.

Let's take a look at the 22 new full-time starting quarterbacks in the Power Five conferences—and at Notre Dame—and grade their Week 1 performances based on decision-making, comfort within the offense, ability to create big plays and leadership in their new roles.

Players who have recorded starts in their career but haven't been full-time starters, such as Auburn's Jeremy Johnson, were eligible for this list—as well as transferred starters like Florida State's Everett Golson.

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College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

Texas head coach Charlie Strong has always been adept at identifying and developing defensive talent throughout his coaching career. 

Heading into his second season in Austin, Strong and his staff are continuing to hit the recruiting trail in hopes of stocking the Longhorns roster with talented playmakers.

Last week, the ‘Horns offered 3-star in-state corner Obi Eboh

The 6’1”, 184-pounder now has 30 offers under his belt, but as noted by EJ Holland of 247Sports, the tender from the Longhorns is something he’s been anticipating for quite some time. 

“It’s in-state, and they have a pretty good business school,” Eboh told Holland. “ They also have a really good fanbase. My interest has always been high. I’m just going to continue to talk to [defensive coordinator], Coach [Vance] Bedford.”

Eboh wasted little time in jumping on the offer, as he committed to the ‘Horns a few days later. 

With his size and length, Eboh projects to be a great fit in Strong’s defense.

As a junior, he recorded 56 tackles and 11 pass breakups for Texas prep powerhouse Southlake Carroll High School. 

Among the other schools pursuing Eboh were Arizona State, Arkansas, Boston College, California and Oklahoma.

Eboh is the first corner and the ninth commitment overall in the Longhorns 2016 class.


Miami After 2016 California WR

Following his decommitment from Oregon last month, 4-star wide receiver Theo Howard has been a coveted prospect in the last few weeks.

His most recent offer comes from ACC power Miami.

As a junior, Howard hauled in 52 receptions for 869 yards and seven touchdowns.

Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and USC are among the Pac-12 powers hoping to keep Howard closer to home for college.


2017 Georgia CB Nets Huge Big Ten Offers

The interest in 2017 4-star corner William Poole III has been steady, but last week saw the Peach State defender add four new offers to his growing list of suitors. 

Included in that group were tenders from Big Ten heavyweights Michigan State and Ohio State.

“[Ohio State] was a highly anticipated offer,” Poole told Bleacher Report. “They came to see me back in the spring. [Cornerbacks] Coach [Kerry] Coombs came to one our practices to check me out and he spoke with me afterward and told me that he liked me and thinks that I’d be pretty good on the next level. A couple of months later, when the rules allowed them to, they came back to offer me.”

Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Georgia are among the other schools who are courting Poole.

While he’s a long way off from making a decision, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will try to land another stud defender from the state of Georgia.


LSU Offers Stud 2017 ATH

Another rising junior in Georgia who has secured a bevy of college offers is 4-star athlete Jamyest Williams

Last week, SEC titan LSU joined his long list of offers by tendering the 5’9”, 170-pounder from Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee are among the notable schools that are in the hunt with Williams in the early stages of his recruitment.

However, Williams—who prefers to play corner at the next level—is likely to have interest in the Tigers considering their rich history of producing elite defensive backs.


Best of the Rest









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

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'I Owed It to Her': 2017 QB Willie Cherry Has Big Night Following Mother's Death

There was no doubt in Willie Cherry Jr.'s mind. He was going to score Rider High School's game-winning touchdown Friday night against Amarillo High in the panhandle of the state of Texas.

Call it fate. Call it a vital obligation to fulfill. Call it being at the right place at the right time. Just know that when it came down to making one of the biggest plays of his life—even with his body in pain after taking a jarring hit earlier—nothing was going to stop Cherry from achieving.

It was one of Cherry's mother's final wishes. "Achieve."

Cherry rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns, the last coming on the final play of the game, to lift Rider to a 27-24 win against Amarillo. He also played the game a little more than 24 hours after losing his mother, Tieshia Youngberg, to colon cancer. Youngberg was days away from celebrating her 34th birthday.

For Cherry, winning on Friday was beyond personal. It was the only option.

"My whole right arm was hurting, and I was having a problem with my thumbnail," Cherry said. "But this was for my mom. I had to do it. There wasn't a choice. I owed it to her."


"One family, one team"

A 2017 quarterback for Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, Cherry is a 6'2", 191-pound athlete who has been a varsity player since his sophomore season. As Rider's quarterback, he's hoping to follow in the footsteps of another former Rider signal-caller, Ohio State's J.T. Barrett.

Cherry's described by teammates as someone who is soft-spoken off the field, a playmaker and a leader on it. He's also described as someone who is all about family.

And Thursday's news was beyond devastating—not only to him, but also to his extended family at Rider.

"The day we all found out, it was a sad time for everybody," said Rider 4-star wide receiver T.J. Vasher, a Texas Tech commit. "He was real down about it. The day of the game, I sat next to him on the bus. He slept a lot and just listened to music, but as teammates, we knew we had to be there for him."

"We just wanted to be there for support, because that's a tough deal for anyone to go through," Rider head coach Marc Bindel added. "Any time you lose a parent, it's tough. Not a lot of people have gone through it, especially high school kids. We just wanted to support him any way we could."

Rider's team motto is, "One family, one team." The news of Youngberg hit the entire locker room hard, but when Cherry decided to play Friday night, it served as motivation for the entire team.

And the last thing they wanted to do was let Cherry down.

"I didn't think he was going to play," Bindel said. "I thought it'd be too emotional for him. There's more important things in this world than football, but he said he wanted to play, and we supported that decision. He said he wanted to honor his mom. His teammates wanted to help."

So when it was time for Rider—on the 1-yard line and down by three to Amarillo with 1.2 seconds remaining—to make its final move, Bindel said he didn't have a doubt who the playmaker would be.

Cherry, however, was surprised to get his number called. But when the ball was snapped, he raced to the right side of the field, used his blockers and dove into the end zone for the winning score.

"I thought the ball was going to T.J.," Cherry said, "but Coach [Bindel] said he dreamed of this [Thursday] night. He told me to run a zone right, to run outside and run hard."

"Willie is electrifying," Vasher added. "He showed how good he was on that play. And he did it for his mom."


Saying goodbye

Cherry lives with his father, Willie Sr., in Wichita Falls. His mother lived in nearby Vernon, Texas, but he was very close with her.

Cherry said Youngberg had stage IV colon cancer—where cancer has spread from the colon to multiple organs—but she didn't want the majority of the public to know because she didn't want anyone worrying about her.

Her funeral is still pending and will be determined after Monday.

"Thursday morning, I checked him out of school," Cherry Sr. said. "His mother had a real low blood pressure. From that experience, he knew she was going to go at any time."

Cherry Sr. said he checked his son out to get the chance to speak with his mother. She was in sound mind, and Cherry Sr. described the time between Youngberg and their son as "their special moment."

"When I was there, I talked to her about two-and-a-half hours," Cherry said. "We talked about life and being successful. She wanted me to lead others. She told me to always work hard and told me that nothing would be given to you."

The hours of conversation were just enough motivation for Cherry. Sadly, he said the situation wasn't a first-time event. He said he had an aunt with cancer in 2008—which may have helped him prepare for his mother's death.

"I think this time," Cherry Sr. said, "what made him feel better about it all was that he had an opportunity to say goodbye."

Cherry received the final word about his mother while assisting with Rider's junior varsity game. The next day, emotions ran high, but football served as a much-needed distraction.

It helped having teammates who were more than sympathetic about Cherry's loss.

"All week, we would finish practice with a prayer. We prayed for him every day," Vasher said. "Before we hit the tunnel [in Amarillo], a lot of us said, 'Let's do this for Willie.' We just tried to lift him up and get him ready to play."

When the night ended, Cherry delivered. Not just for himself or his teammates, but for his mother.

And after Cherry scored the game-winning touchdown, he was hugged by Bindel, then teammates, and then made a beeline to the Rider crowd.

"I was looking for my dad," he said. "I just wanted to hug him."


Leading by example

The multiple pieces of advice Youngberg gave Cherry before she passed included aspiring for greatness. On the field, Cherry has a goal of being just as well-known of a quarterback as Barrett one day.

Currently, Cherry has early interest from Nebraska, but both Bindel and Vasher believe the offers will come very soon because of Cherry's athleticism and leadership skills.

"He is definitely a Division I athlete," Bindel said of Cherry, who started as a sophomore wide receiver last season. "He's just a great athlete, and we needed him on the field."

"He's a complete athlete," Vasher added. "You can put him anywhere on the field, and he'll make plays. He's a strong, fast, smart player. I know he'll be great at the next level."

Cherry said his mother's death gives him one more reason to be nonstop in his quest to be the best quarterback possible. He currently bench-presses 250 pounds and squats 345. He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds.

Expect bigger and better numbers. And expect him to keep his mother's words close with every minute of improvement.

"Lead by example. That's what she'd tell me," he said. "That, and show my team that even in a bad situation, you can come out positive."

The grieving process has been made easier with the help of his teammates, but the support from classmates and friends via social media has been overwhelming. It's something Cherry isn't taking for granted.

And after Friday's performance, it's something his father feels he can handle with the help of a strong support crew.

"I feel more comfortable now because I know she wanted him to play for her," Cherry Sr. said. "At first, I was nervous. I mean, he lost his mother; I haven't even lost mine yet. I didn't know what the outcome was going to be, with him being a teenager. But now I know he's up for this."

Cherry added, "This whole year, our coaches taught us to tell our parents we love them every day. I texted my mom and told her I love her every day. She knows I love her, and now, I have to do everything to honor her."


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes and statistics were obtained firsthand. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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James Conner Injury: Updates on Pitt RB's Knee and Recovery

Pittsburgh running back James Conner will miss the remainder of the 2015 season after suffering an MCL injury in Saturday's 45-37 win over Youngstown State.

Continue for updates.

Conner's Heisman Dreams Dashed with Knee Injury Monday, Sept. 7

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported Conner will have surgery this week. He posted 77 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries before exiting the game in the second quarter. While the injury was initially categorized as minor, further testing revealed Conner had torn his MCL.

"I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes," Conner said in a statement released by the school. "This is a temporary setback and I'm going to work even harder to bounce back. Even though I won't be able to play this season, I'm going to be right beside my teammates and help them every way I can to have a great season."

Conner, a junior, came into 2015 as one of the preseason favorites for the Heisman Trophy. He rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns last season, emerging as one of the most formidable threats in the country. A bruising back with a throwback style, Conner came into the season hoping to flash more of his all-around game.

"I can still make people miss," he told Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report. "And I try to make people miss first. I use my size to my advantage because I know it's not fun to tackle someone with a linebacker build."

McMurphy weighed in on Conner's injury, noting the rash of players who saw their seasons end in Week 1:

The injury will end Conner's Heisman chase and possibly keep him in school for another year. He entered the season with a clear path toward being one of the first running backs taken in the 2016 draft. But given that position's fungibility and Conner's specific skill set, this red flag would be a major step backward.

Sophomore Chris James will likely take over at running back for the Panthers.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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Seven-Step Drop: West Coast Losses Damper Week 1 Enthusiasm

All 234 days of the offseason has made every college football fan hungry. Each long day without the sport tends to make us that much keener for a new season to begin. 

As a result of this, we tend to overreact about Week 1 more than others because we are suddenly presented with an all-you-can-eat buffet of games over one long weekend. When you’ve been famished for so long, overeating is a natural side effect.

This takes hold in many forms. Who could forget the Kenny Trill era at Texas A&M last year or when Auburn had to hold on against a lowly Washington State team in the opener in 2013? It can be dangerous to overreact during Week 1 but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few lessons. 

One thing we figured out early on was that the Pac-12 reputation did not get the bounce the league wanted to. Following a fantastic postseason run that nearly brought a national title to the West Coast, Week 1 did not keep the momentum going. A pair of road favorites in Stanford and Colorado fell, while Washington State looked anemic in a loss to FCS Portland State. It also didn’t help that Arizona State, in a rare matchup of Pac-12 and SEC teams, looked like they were on their heels the entire game against Texas A&M.

There is good football being played on the West Coast and the league’s elite teams still look primed to compete to get into the College Football Playoff. But, rightly or wrongly, the conference still faces an issue when it comes to respect from the rest of the country and bad starts like the one the Pac-12 had don’t help perception to begin the season. Teams can only do so much about exposure and time zones but the bottom line is results matter and in this day and age, West Coast losses seem to have a greater impact than the West Coast wins.

There were positives, don’t get me wrong. The Los Angeles schools took care of business against overmatched opponents and looked good doing it. Oregon’s offense appears to be humming right along with Vernon Adams (even if the defense was a little leaky). Utah made the most of the dawn of the Jim Harbaugh era by grabbing a win. As a league, they still captured a pair of wins over Power Five opponents, more than all but the SEC can lay claim to.

And as bad as the Pac-12’s weekend was, they were not the only conference in a leaky boat. The Big Ten finished just 7-6 overall, and 3-6 against FBS teams, ahead of Ohio State’s Labor Day showdown with Virginia Tech. Of those seven wins, just one came against a Power Five opponent and the six others were made of victories over FCS and MAC opponents. Indiana was nearly upset by FCS foe Southern Illinois and held on for the win despite giving up 659 yards of offense and 47 points.

Still, Pac-12 fans should be used to the ridicule by now when one of their teams falls to a lowly opponent. West Coast football can, and should, be doing more to stand out on the field. Week 2 offers a quick fix to help change perception, but it’s up to the 12 teams to make it happen.


Stats of the week

- TCU is 20-1 when ranked in the top five under head coach Gary Patterson. Following a win against Minnesota, the Horned Frogs are also 95-3 under Patterson when allowing 17 points or less.

- Iowa’s 99-yard scoring drive against Illinois State was the team’s first drive of that length in 13 years.

- Texas and Penn State each ran just 52 plays in their losses on Saturday. Georgia, which canceled their game with 9:54 left in the 4th quarter, also ran just 52 plays but managed to rack up 92 yards more than the Longhorns and Nittany Lions did combined.

- Counting Illinois’ Bill Cubit, new head coaches went just 8-8 in their respective openers.

- Oklahoma’s Dru Samia became just the third true freshman to start at offensive tackle for the Sooners.

- Baylor set a school record against SMU with 10.48 yards per play.

- BYU’s last second heroics to steal a win in Lincoln ended Nebraska’s 29-game win streak in season openers, dating back to 1985. Florida has the longest active streak at 25 games.



Quote of the Week

From LSU head coach Les Miles, following the cancellation of the Tigers’ game against McNeese State in which they didn’t play a down.



Tweet of the Week

SBNation’s Matt Brown, just seconds before BYU’s wild Hail Mary to beat Nebraska.



Play of the Week



Sound from Saturday

Via Cougar IMG radio network, BYU play-by-play man Greg Wrubell goes absolutely crazy when Mitch Matthews catches a Hail Mary from Tanner Mangum.


Pre-snap reads

Oregon at Michigan State

Both defenses could use a little work after a shaky Week 1 performance in which each gave up some big plays in the passing game. The Spartans will no doubt be looking for revenge but might not have enough to contain the Ducks again. It will be a close, back-and-forth affair but Vernon Adams will prove to be the difference maker in a win. 

Oklahoma at Tennessee

Are the Vols back? We’ll find out early in this game against Oklahoma, which finds itself being a slight road favorite heading into Knoxville (-3 per Oddshark). The Air Raid offense of new coordinator Lincoln Riley appeared sharp in OU’s opener with new QB Baker Mayfield at the helm and both has to be licking their chops at facing a defense that gave up plenty of big plays to Bowling Green. Look for a few big plays early from each team before the invading Big 12 squad pulls away.

LSU at Mississippi State

The Tigers essentially punted in Week 1 after cancelling their opener so we’re not exactly sure what kind of progress starting signal-caller Brandon Harris has made. Still, any improvement in the passing game should help lessen the load on Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette. MSU looked a little out of rhythm in their first game but do have the edge in experience with Dak Prescott back. Special teams will prove to be the difference in this one, as LSU sneaks out of Starkville with a win.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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B/R Recruiting Notebook: 5-Star Greg Little Announces Top 5, Has a 'Secret 3'

A verbal commitment is anticipated in November for 5-star offensive tackle Greg Little, and one thing is for certain: He will play SEC football in college.

In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report, Little, the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle and No. 2 overall player, said LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn have made his top five. The onetime Texas A&M commit said he still likes the Aggies, but he has his reasons for choosing the other five SEC programs.

"I like all of the programs. All five are contenders every year," Little said. "Ole Miss is very family oriented. Alabama has the tradition. LSU has a great atmosphere and a great offensive line coach [Jeff Grimes]. That's my guy. With Georgia, my dad is from Athens, so there's a lot of family already out there. With Auburn, my mom really likes the coaching staff there."

All five schools are looking at Little to ultimately play the left tackle position. Little said Alabama will start him at right tackle until Cam Robinson declares for the NFL draft. He's expected to be a top draft pick when that time comes.

In addition to his top five, Little, who measured in at 6'6" and 318 pounds at The Opening in July, added that he has a "secret top three" that he will release at a later date. Nov. 4 is his birthday, and that's the date he's expecting to announce his verbal commitment.

Little, who has nearly 30 offers from coast to coast, said he will take all five visits to his top schools. He added that while some wondered if narrowing his choices to a top five was tough, he saw the process exactly the opposite.

"I thought it was pretty easy," he said. "I mean, people know where they want to go. For me, it didn't take that long. My dad played in the SEC. He told me that real men play in the SEC, and I want to go there and dominate." 


7 to Watch for 4-star CB Knott

Sept. 23 is a big day for 4-star cornerback Nigel Knott, as he will not only announce his college plans, but will also receive his Under Armour All-America Game jersey.

Two days later, the nation's No. 5 cornerback and top-ranked player from the state of Mississippi is expecting to make a return to the field after having knee surgery over the summer. Before he officially begins his senior season, Knott said he wanted to solidify his college plans, which is why he'll choose from of seven schools.

Knott said Alabama, USC, Oregon, Florida State, Tennessee and in-state schools Mississippi State and Ole Miss are finalists when he makes his decision. He said he's going to use the last couple of weeks to do his own research and make an educated decision overall.

"I know I'm going to be there for four years, so I want to be comfortable wherever I go," Knott said. "Wherever I'm comfortable is where I'm going to ball out. I want to be at a place where I know the coaches will do right for the players, and the players will do right for the program."

Knott is expected to be successful at the next level, as he has an athletic pedigree. His father, David Knott, spent  time in the NFL, CFL and arena leagues after playing in the secondary at Ole Miss. His older brother, Chris Givens, is a wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams. Another brother, Nick Knott, played running back at Wake Forest, and his sister, Deja Givens, is a high jumper for the Mississippi State track and field team.

Knott recorded 112 tackles and 16 pass breakups as a junior. However, his athleticism has been his calling card. Knott ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds at The Opening in July. He also completed the 20-yard shuttle in 3.94 seconds, vertical jumped 46.5 inches and threw the power ball 39.5 feet.

And who can forget this incredible backflip catch?


More Records for Oklahoma QB Commit

Oklahoma quarterback commit Austin Kendall has quite a few Union County, North Carolina, high school football records. Add two more to the list.

Per, Kendall set the county's all-time career passing mark with a 229-yard performance for Cuthbertson. He now has 6,650 career yards, bypassing Sun Valley's Ryan Smith (6,624 yards).

To add, Kendall threw two touchdown passes, which tied him with Smith for all-time career touchdown passes. Both quarterbacks now have 76 for their careers.

"It felt like any other game," Kendall said. "I tied the passing touchdowns, so I only passed the passing yards record so far. Hopefully next week, I can pass the TDs [record]."

And afterward? What's the next high school milestone Kendall's chasing?

"State championship, for sure," he said. "That's the biggest thing in my book."


Can Ole Miss Land Another IMG Athlete?

The race for 4-star wide receiver Drake Davis is cut and dry for the time being. It includes three SEC schools in order.

"LSU is above Texas A&M, but Ole Miss is above LSU," Davis said. "Some people know."

The race for Davis isn't over, but the Rebels are in excellent position to land the multifaceted athlete, who lined up at several positions for IMG Academy over the weekend when the team traveled to Texas to play Ohio State quarterback commitment Tristen Wallace and DeSoto.

Ole Miss did its part of keeping Davis interested Saturday in scoring a 76-3 win against Tennessee-Martin. You can bet that he's also receiving tidbits about Ole Miss here and there from his IMG teammate, 5-star quarterback and Rebels commit Shea Patterson.

"I want to see how great of a season they have this year and how great of a season Shea has," Davis said. "I trust Shea. If I go to the same college with him, I will be putting my career in his hands. I know I can trust him."


Sleeper watch: Texas RB Having Huge Games

Running back Peytton Pickett may be under the radar nationally, but the state of Texas has taken notice.

Through two games, Pickett has 508 rushing yards and six touchdowns for Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas, including a 242-yard, two-touchdown performance Friday. The 5'9", 185-pound back has shown excellent bursts in the open field along with solid field vision and elusiveness.

Pickett currently has offers from SMU, Liberty and Delaware State. Look for his stock to rise as he continues the 2015 season.


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

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5-Star RB Tavien Feaster Totals 312 Yards, 5 Touchdowns in Week 2

Billed as the nation’s top running back prospect in the 2016 class, Tavien Feaster delivered an emphatic statement to back up those lofty credentials in leading Spartanburg (South Carolina) High School to a 49-20 win over Union County in Week 2.

As detailed by Paul Martin of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Feaster and his squad endured weather delays caused by lightning strikes in the area to earn a huge win and improve to 2-0 on the season.

When the skies weren’t lit up with dangerous weather, the Clemson pledge supplied enough electricity on the field while rushing 10 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also added three receptions for 119 yards and another two scores, according to stats provided by Vikings Sports Information Director Zachary Johnson. Finally, he added a 51-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

He averaged more than 22 yards each time he touched the ball.

His Week 2 performance follows up a strong showing in Spartanburg’s season opener. In a nationally televised showdown against Wakulla (Florida), Feaster accounted for 182 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in a 42-14 win.

"He's an asset to our team," Spartanburg head coach Chris Miller told Martin. "He's such a phenomenal player. He really doesn't say that much, but when he does speak, people listen."

His early-season display is a prime example of what makes him such a dangerous playmaker.

As he projects to the next level, his game appears to be a perfect fit in Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s high-octane offense. He has the speed and athleticism to be a nightmare in open space, similar to former Tigers All-American running back C.J. Spiller. 

Whether it be as a running back, return man or receiver, Feaster’s strong start to his senior season is proof that he is one of the nation’s top playmakers in the 2016 cycle.


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

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Michigan Football: Report Card Grades for Every New Starter

The Michigan Wolverines returned a strong majority of their starters, but that experience didn't pay off in the season-opening loss to Utah.

With that being said, head coach Jim Harbaugh tabbed more than a handful of players who weren't fixtures in the 2014 lineup, and their individual successes certainly varied.

Jabrill Peppers took his long-awaited starting spot, but the highly touted defensive back stumbled through some problems in the first half. Although Peppers responded in the latter portion of the game, the same can't be said for the rest of the starters.

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Evander Holyfield's 4-Star Son Elijah Rushes for 168 Yards, 4 TDs in Week 2

Friday was a pretty big day on and off the field for 4-star running back Elijah Holyfield.

Earlier in the day, the 5’10”, 204-pounder—who is the son of famed former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield—ended a high-profile recruitment by committing to the Georgia Bulldogs.

He celebrated cementing his future by turning in a dominant performance, rushing for 168 yards on 17 carries and scoring four touchdowns in helping lead Woodward Academy (Georgia) to a 36-29 win over St. Pius X in double overtime, as noted by Radi Nabulsi of Rivals.

According to Score Atlanta (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Holyfield forced a second overtime with a touchdown run, and he clinched the win with another score on the Eagles' second possession.

After sitting out the season opener due to injury, Holyfield’s return and subsequent performance is likely to please Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt and the team’s fanbase.

The nation’s No. 5 running back and No. 165 player overall selected Georgia over Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina, among others.

As Barton Simmons of 247Sports detailed, landing Holyfield was a huge get for Richt and his staff.

From a physical standpoint, Holyfield fits the mold of recent freakish running backs that Georgia has had with Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb.

He’s got the size and power to get tough yards in between the tackles, but he possesses the type of speed and agility to create his share of explosive plays.

Chubb and Sony Michel will be juniors next season, and both could potentially test the NFL draft waters. Also, the Bulldogs will lose Keith Marshall after this season. 

Holyfield has the potential to become the future of the Bulldogs backfield after Chubb and Michel depart the Classic City.


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

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SEC Football Re-Established Its Dominance in Week 1

Reports of the SEC's death have been greatly exaggerated.

The conference once known for its dominance on the national stage—including seven straight national titles from 2006-2012—had gone winless in major bowls in each of the last two seasons, including Auburn's national title loss to Florida State following the 2013 season and Alabama's loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl semifinal following the 2014 season.

During the first weekend of the 2015 season, the Tide turned.

It wasn't the 12-1 overall record and unblemished Saturday that was impressive, although it certainly looks fantastic on paper. It was the way several teams with lingering questions answered the call against tough competition.

Remember the last time Texas A&M had a defense?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Arizona State does. The Aggies held the 15th-ranked Sun Devils and their high-flying offense to just 291 yards, notched 14 tackles for loss and sacked quarterback Mike Bercovici nine times

As Gabe Bock of TexAgs Radio noted after the game, the new-look Aggies under first-year defensive coordinator John Chavis were flying all over the field at NRG Stadium.

Does it matter that an Aggies team that has predictions all over the map dominated one of the best teams from the Pac-12 South—one of the best divisions in college football? You bet it does. Especially since that Aggies team did it primarily with its defense, which has been its sore spot for years.

Remember when Alabama had massive offensive questions, no quarterback and would struggle to replace former wideout Amari Cooper? All Alabama did was roll up 502 yards on a good Wisconsin defense, quarterback Jake Coker solidified his starting role, got nine receivers involved in the passing game and announced running back Derrick Henry as the best running back in the SEC.

Oh, and of course, the defense is still legit. The Crimson Tide held the 20th-ranked Badgers—a team known for its success on the ground—to just 40 rushing yards for the game. 

"We kind of dominated the line of scrimmage, were able to stop their run," head coach Nick Saban said in quotes released by Alabama. "I thought we played really well defensively. Didn't get the turnovers like we wanted. Never got off the field always on third down like we wanted. But I thought our guys really competed and played hard, and I was really proud of the way we came out, especially in the second half on both sides of the ball and kind of dominated the game."

Auburn is known for offense, and that clearly was a struggle on Saturday thanks to first-year starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson's three picks. Defensively, though, the Tigers were solid. Led by defensive tackle Montravius Adams and "Buck" Carl Lawson, the new-look Tigers defense under defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was all over Louisville early.

"I am very excited about this season and what the defense can do," Adams said. "We forced a lot of turnovers and got a lot of sacks. That shows people that we are getting better."

No, not all the wins count toward SEC dominance.

Mississippi State sleepwalked through a road win versus Southern Miss, Kentucky let Louisiana-Lafayette hang around for far too long and UT-Martin and Southeast Missouri didn't exactly pose challenges for Ole Miss and Missouri, respectively.

But instead of rolling snake eyes in its biggest games, the SEC hit the point with money backed up on the pass line. The wins in big games have changed the narrative back in the SEC's favor, provided a slightly bigger cushion over the conferences nipping at its heels, including the Pac-12, and gave its heavyweights a little house money for the conference to play with for the rest of the season.

It was needed.

I wrote earlier this summer that, in terms of seeding within the College Football Playoff, the SEC has lost the benefit of the doubt. Teams within the conference won't be given an automatic bump simply because of that SEC patch on the jersey, like Alabama did when it was ranked No. 1 heading into the College Football Playoff a year ago.

That won't change in 2015, because one weekend doesn't form a narrative or set a perception in stone—as we learned last year when the Big Ten was "down and out" with no shot for the CFP after Week 2. It will, however, serve as a solid foundation to return that benefit of the doubt if one or more SEC teams can make major waves on the national stage this January. 

Perception is reality in college football, and if a conference has the perception of being the unquestioned No. 1 conference in the country, it helps all of its teams. The SEC did all it could to re-establish that perception in Week 1.

Not a bad debut.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics are courtesy of

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 SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Notre Dame Football: How the Irish Can Survive Without Tarean Folston

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Three incompletions, including one drop, and a few procedure penalties were about all that went wrong for Notre Dame football offensively in Saturday’s 38-3 thrashing of Texas. But the Irish took a major hit when running back Tarean Folston exited in the first quarter with what proved to be a torn ACL, ending his season.

Folston, Notre Dame’s leading rusher in 2014 with 889 yards (5.1 yards per carry), tore the ligament in his right knee and will have surgery in the next seven to 10 days, Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in a teleconference Sunday.

“That's football. We're certainly disappointed for Tarean. He's worked so hard to get where he is,” Kelly said. “But that's the nature—there's nothing you can do about it. That's why you try to develop the depth in your program.”

Just minutes into the 2015 regular season, Notre Dame had already lost three important pieces, including a pair of starters: Folston, defensive tackle Jarron Jones (MCL) and cornerback Shaun Crawford (ACL).

How can the Irish survive without Folston?

The margin for error and the leeway in depth are shrinking, and Folston is a talented back, but Notre Dame has the pieces and potential to mitigate the harm.

Quarterback Malik Zaire and running back C.J. Prosise, who now ascends into the top role, will be tasked with powering the rushing attack. It’s only a small sample size, sure, but Zaire has looked comfortable running the zone read through nearly 10 meaningful quarters of action in his career.

Prosise, who switched from slot receiver to running back before the season, collected 98 rushing yards on 20 carries Saturday against the Longhorns.

“When we put him there in the spring, I was extremely pleased with what I saw at first glance and that was his inclination was to run inside and play physical,” Kelly said after Saturday’s win.

Kelly explained that it’s vital for a running back to naturally want to run inside. From there, a back can learn the nuances of the position. Prosise, for instance, was expecting a different handoff once and has a few adjustments to make in pass protection, per Kelly.

“But he's a big kid, athletic, strong,” Kelly said. “He's not afraid. He's a veteran, and I think he showed that tonight.”

Prosise was set to play a key role in Notre Dame’s offense even with a healthy Folston. And while he doesn’t have the experience and seasoning that Folston does, Prosise provides at least a similar rushing ability for the Irish offense to stay on course.

Perhaps the more concerning byproduct of Folston’s injury is its ripple effect down the depth chart. Instead of Folston and Prosise—who clearly reside in a tier multiple steps above freshman backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams—sharing nearly all of the work at running back, Kelly has to dip lower and lower into the reserves.

Adams rushed for 49 yards and two scores on just five attempts Saturday, scampering through some gaping holes excavated by the Irish offensive line. Kelly called Adams a “quick study” who was able to learn Notre Dame’s protections early on.

“He has, surprisingly, picked it up quicker than I thought he could,” Kelly said. “The game of football comes to him pretty easily. He picks up concepts and schemes. And when you're talking to him about pressures and things of that nature, he has a really good sense. … It's just a kid that's really sharp and picks things up quicker than most freshmen.”

Five rushes against Texas are not to be confused with a sterling resume. But Notre Dame is in better shape than it might have appeared even on, say, Friday.

To be clear, Folston’s absence hurts. A lot. He’s a talented junior running back with plenty of experience in Kelly’s system.

But Notre Dame can weather this storm and limit the damage. The Irish certainly cannot afford another injury at running back. The depth is already dangerously thin. Yet for the time being, Zaire and Prosise can carry the load, with Adams knowingly filling in for Prosise when necessary.

The margin for error, though dwindling, hasn’t withered entirely. Notre Dame can survive this latest injury.


All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

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College Football Rankings 2015: Predicting Week 2 AP and Amway NCAA Polls

Most teams kicked off their 2015 NCAA football season this past weekend. One that didn't is the one that figures to remain ranked atop the Associated Press and Amway polls.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were No. 1 in the initial releases, and they'll be in action Monday evening on the road against Virginia Tech. It's a highly anticipated first contest for OSU, which will trot out two Heisman-caliber quarterbacks in J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.

Several teams did acquit themselves well on opening weekend, though—potentially meriting a bump in the national hierarchy. Below are projections for the AP and Amway polls in Week 2, followed by analysis on the notable developments.





There's no way the Buckeyes are moving from their perch as the defending champions for the foreseeable future—unless they lose to the Hokies and sink in next week's poll.

Based on the slight differences in the AP and Amway from the opening week, the projected rankings are a reflection of where certain teams were placed before. One uniform change, though, is TCU falling out of the No. 2 spot for the time being.

The Horned Frogs had some issues against Minnesota in pulling out a 23-17 victory. They weren't nearly as dominant as Big 12 rival Baylor, which took it to SMU 56-21, or Alabama, as Wisconsin was no match for the Crimson Tide's offense that looked sharp with quarterback Jake Coker at the controls.

Alabama coach Nick Saban applauded Coker and star running back Derrick Henry after the game.

"Offensively, we started a little bit slow, that was kind of the plan, not put too much on the quarterback," said Saban, per "When we opened it up and created some balance, I thought Jake played really well. Obviously, Derrick Henry did a nice job."

Even Auburn's hard-fought win over Louisville merits consideration for leapfrogging TCU.'s Kirk Barton weighed in on the Tigers' start compared to the Horned Frogs:

There is some evident SEC bias in that take on the situation, but it's merited considering how strong the conference tends to be. Look no further than Texas A&M and how the Aggies annihilated Arizona State 38-17—a Pac-12 team that was well inside the Top 25 in both polls.

ESPN's Danny Kannell certainly noticed what Texas A&M did:

Furthermore, the hire of the SEC offseason may have been the Aggies landing longtime LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis. The impact has been immediate, as Brett McMurphy of illustrates:

Two strong non-SEC teams from the weekend were Notre Dame and Florida State. Commonly linked by transferred Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson, these two programs seem to have gotten the best of both worlds with Golson's transfer to Tallahassee.

The Fighting Irish rolled out dual-threat QB Malik Zaire on Saturday and steamrolled Texas 38-3. ESPN Stats & Info referenced how precise Zaire was in carving up the Texas secondary:

Notre Dame is sure to gain early buzz for beating a marquee opponent—even if the Longhorns aren't that strong in 2015.

Golson ran FSU's pro-style offense well in a 59-16 romp over Texas State. Although the opponent was hardly a challenge, it was still a strong debut for the signal-caller, as he threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns. With Dalvin Cook to help in the backfield, Golson should continue rolling in the early going as he fills the big shoes of Jameis Winston under center.

It's too early to make any rash judgments or drastic changes to the rankings, especially since many teams in the Top 25 in both polls won with relative ease. That's how the beginning of the season tends to go before conference play separates the contenders from the pretenders.

What is rather certain is that the race for the second edition of the College Football Playoff figures to be loaded with quality teams. Now fans will see just how high of a bar Ohio State sets starting Monday night.

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NFL Draft 2016: Updated Prospect Radar, Post-Preseason

The college football season is underway and so are preparations for the 2016 NFL draft. While players and teams attempted to win their season-opening games this past weekend, scouts across the country focused in on the nation’s best senior players, such as Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, and other players who could declare for the draft after this season, such as Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

No one’s draft stock is determined in the first week of the college football season, but there were certainly some players who raised their profiles—and others who failed to meet expectations—in their initial games of the year.

Which players have already put their professional-quality skill sets on display in Week 1, and which prominent names have already had flaws in their games exposed? The following slides take a look at some of the week’s most noteworthy studs and duds among players who are eligible to go pro in 2016.

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Eddie Vanderdoes Injury: Updates on UCLA Star's Knee and Return

The UCLA Bruins have Pac-12 title aspirations this season, but their chances took a significant blow Sunday with the loss of defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes for the season.

Continue for updates.

Vanderdoes Diagnosed with Torn ACL Sunday, Sept. 6

Vanderdoes collapsed to the ground in the third quarter of Saturday’s showdown with the Virginia Cavaliers and eventually limped off the field. The team hoped for good news after tests, but Edward Lewis of confirmed the worst Sunday: “Eddie Vanderdoes tore his ACL in the game yesterday. Crazy thing is he returned to action. He'll miss the season after surgery.”

Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times pointed out how difficult this loss would be moving forward for the Bruins even before the team declared Vanderdoes out for the season: “Losing Vanderdoes would be a severe blow to the Bruins. He and Clark are a formidable duo up front. Virginia averaged only 2.9 yards per carry on 34 rushing attempts.”

Vanderdoes earned All-Pac-12 honorable-mention status a season ago and finished with a team-high eight tackles in Saturday’s 34-16 win over Virginia. The Pac-12 is loaded with potentially elite offenses, including Oregon’s, USC’s and Arizona State’s, and the only way UCLA will win the conference is with a strong defensive effort.

Aaron Taylor of CBS Sports underscored how much harder that will be without the defensive lineman:

As Taylor suggested, UCLA has potential replacements for Vanderdoes, including young sophomores Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. They are inexperienced but talented, and they must now fulfill their expectations for a highly regarded team.

The Bruins also have linebacker Myles Jack as one of the best defensive playmakers in the country who will prevent opposing offenses from racking up many extended scoring drives.

UCLA has the defensive pieces to compete for a conference crown, but it will miss Vanderdoes’ ability to stuff the run and create pressure up the middle.

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College Football Week 2 Odds: Michigan State vs. Oregon, Betting Highlights

The biggest matchup on the Week 2 college football betting slate is too close to call, at least according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, as the Michigan State Spartans play host to the Oregon Ducks at Spartan Stadium on Saturday night.

The sportsbooks opened the Ducks vs. Spartans betting matchup as a pick 'em Sunday afternoon, although early wagering did push Michigan State to a three-point favorite.

Michigan State, No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 in Week 1, beat the Western Michigan Broncos 37-24 as a 16-point favorite in its opener. Oregon, No. 7 in the AP Top 25 in Week 1, is coming off a 61-42 win over the Eastern Washington Eagles as a 35-point favorite.

Michigan State lost 46-27 as a 14-point road underdog against Oregon last September.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened as 11.5-point favorites on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers for Week 2 at the sportsbooks, with that line slipping a bit to make the Irish 10.5-point chalk by late Sunday. Notre Dame beat Texas 38-3 as a nine-point favorite in Week 1 but announced Sunday that running back Tarean Folston suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson led his new team, the Florida State Seminoles, to a 59-16 rout of the Texas State Bobcats in Week 1, with the quarterback throwing for 302 yards and four touchdowns in the contest. The Seminoles opened as big 29-point home favorites for their Saturday matchup against the South Florida Bulls at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Oklahoma Sooners and the LSU Tigers both opened as slim three-point road favorites for their Saturday games, with Oklahoma facing the Tennessee Volunteers and LSU going up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The BYU Cougars, meanwhile, opened as 1.5-point home underdogs against the Boise State Broncos after they lost quarterback Taysom Hill to a season-ending foot injury over the weekend.

The Utah Utes opened as 11-point home favorites against the rival Utah State Aggies for their Friday night matchup, while bigger favorites on the early lines for Week 2 include the Wisconsin Badgers as 33-point chalk at home against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks and the Alabama Crimson Tide as 34-point chalk at home against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

And the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes don't get their season started until Monday night against the Virginia Tech Hokies, but they opened as huge 38-point home favorites for their Week 2 matchup against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors this weekend at the sportsbooks. Ohio State is a 14-point favorite against Virginia Tech.

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Braxton Miller, Not Either of the QBs Will Be Ohio State's X-Factor in Week 1

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Ohio State takes the field for its season opener against Virginia Tech on Monday night, one of college football's biggest questions of the offseason will finally be answered—and it won't have anything to do with who's playing quarterback for the Buckeyes.

Yes, the outcome of the unprecedented battle between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones to be Ohio State's starting signal-caller will finally be revealed when one of the two takes the field for the Buckeyes' first offensive series of the season. But once it's figured out who will be QB1 in Columbus moving forward, all eyes will turn to a former Ohio State quarterback looking to make an impact at a new position.

And Braxton Miller may just need to make that impact sooner rather than later.

Miller's move to wide receiver was arguably college football's most-talked-about position change this summer, after the two-time Big Ten MVP decided that the injured shoulder that had already cost him his 2014 season wouldn't allow him to make the Buckeyes' quarterback competition a three-man race. The move was also viewed as a luxury of sorts due to an Ohio State roster already stacked with no shortage of talent at its skill positions.

But as the Buckeyes' season opener has approached, what was supposed to be a deep wide receiving corps now finds itself depleted, especially as far as Ohio State's matchup with the Hokies is concerned.

It started in late July when Urban Meyer announced wide receiver Corey Smith and H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson would be suspended for the first game of the season due to violations of team rules. It continued when wide receiver Noah Brown—who the Buckeyes staff raved about throughout fall camp and appeared to have established himself as a starter—broke his leg with two weeks remaining until the start of the season.

With that, Ohio State will enter Lane Stadium with just one of its top five leading receivers from a season ago active for the game. That's only increased the importance for Miller to pick up his new position quickly, as the 6'2", 215-pounder finds himself listed as a co-starter at H-back alongside sophomore Curtis Samuel.

"Depth at receiver is a concern for this game," Meyer conceded last Monday. "Talent isn't, [but] depth is a concern."

The good news for the Buckeyes is that as fall camp neared its end, the former quarterback appeared to be making strides in his transition from throwing passes to catching them. Hamstring issues had hampered Miller early as he adjusted to his new running regime—which at times required him to run four times as much as he did during his practice days as a quarterback—but no longer appear to be a problem heading into Monday night.

To Meyer, the slow start was an expected speed bump that has now been overcome just in time for the start of Ohio State's season.

"I knew there would be growing pains. It's rather comical when I heard, 'Just play him at receiver or go put him at corner.' It usually takes a year-and-a-half to play receiver to do it correctly," Meyer said. "Braxton has, really the last two days, has been outstanding. The whole idea of his body getting used to basically a track practice every day is taking root, so he had a really good two days."

Whether or not that is merely coach-speak from Meyer or the sign of a big season opener for Miller remains to be seen. But the reality is that the Buckeyes will be counting on him to make plays against Virginia Tech on Monday night, whether he's ready for his new role or not.

Miller's importance to the Buckeyes' game plan is especially apparent when considering that Michael Thomas will be Ohio State's proven wide receiver heading into Monday night's matchup and will likely be covered by Hokies All-American cornerback Kendall Fuller. Wideouts Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin and James Clark all have promise but have yet to play significant snaps in their college careers.

Given the way Virginia Tech bottled up the Buckeyes' wideouts a season ago in OSU's lone loss of its national championship season, it's likely that one of the Buckeyes' unproven receivers is going to need to enjoy a breakout game on Monday night.

And while he may be inexperienced at his new position, Miller has at least been on the field for prime-time battles before, although it's been more than 20 months since he played in an actual game. Meyer also hasn't ruled out returning the two-time Big Ten Quarterback of the Year to his old position for some familiar snaps from shotgun to add a new dynamic to the OSU offense while spelling either Barrett or Jones and taking pressure of off star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"Now the one thing Braxton can do, you snap him the ball," Meyer said. "He's done that enough to go and there is potential of that as well."

Meyer's message is clear: One way or another, the Buckeyes will find a way to get the ball into Miller's hands on Monday.

At this point, doing so is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity.


Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Mark Meyers Suspended Indefinitely: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

The Michigan State Spartans lost depth at an inopportune time in their season on Sunday.

According to Mike Griffith of, coach Mark Dantonio announced junior safety Mark Meyers was suspended indefinitely “after a reported operating while intoxicated charge (OWI) that occurred Saturday night or early Sunday morning in East Lansing.”

Griffith pointed out the arrest was first reported by, “citing Ingham County jail records that confirmed Meyers was an inmate on Sunday morning before being released later in the day on bond.”

Dantonio commented on his decision, per Griffith: “I suspended Mark Meyers for an incident last night, and he’s suspended indefinitely.”    

Meyers is the backup free safety to Montae Nicholson and also appears on special teams. He played in 13 games last season and 14 games as a redshirt freshman. He may only be a backup, but the timing is less than ideal for the Spartans to lose important depth on the defensive side of the ball.

The Oregon Ducks come to East Lansing on Saturday for one of the most anticipated nonconference games on the entire college football schedule and bring an explosive uptempo offense with them.

Eastern Washington isn’t exactly the 1985 Chicago Bears on the defensive side of the ball, but Oregon put up an astounding 731 total yards and 61 points on the board in Saturday’s win. It was business as usual for the offense considering it led the nation in total yards a season ago and finished fourth in points per game.

If the Spartans hope to make the College Football Playoff this season as one of the best teams in the country, they could use a marquee nonconference win before jumping into Big Ten play. Saturday’s showdown with the Ducks is their best chance to accomplish just that, but they will be at less than full strength on defense without Meyers.  

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Most Impressive College Football Freshmen in Week 1

Who says you have to sit on the sidelines and wait your turn as a freshman? With football being a 365-day sport, freshmen are more prepared than ever before to see the field right away. Not only that, freshmen are thriving not only in their first seasons, but their first starts in some cases. 

Which freshmen stole the spotlight in Week 1 of the 2015 college football season? We highlight 10 first-year players and redshirts who came up big right out of the gate. Selections were based on stats, highlight plays and on-field impact, win or lose. 

Also, since Week 1 is not technically over, we'll update this post as performances warrant. 

Have anyone else worth mentioning? Sound off in the comment section below.

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Tarean Folston Injury: Updates on Notre Dame RB's Knee and Recovery

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Tarean Folston suffered a torn ACL in Saturday's season-opening 38-3 win over Texas.

Continue for updates.

Folston Out for Season with Torn ACL Sunday, Sept. 6

Michael Bertsch, Notre Dame's director of football media relations, confirmed the news on Folston, which turned Saturday's triumph into something of a Pyrrhic victory for the Fighting Irish to start the 2015 campaign.

Folston was in line to be the surefire starter this year as a junior after splitting time in his first two seasons and making the most of his opportunities therein. He entered Saturday's contest with an average of 5.2 yards per carry and 1,359 career yards rushing.

After Folston registered 19 yards on three attempts, C.J. Prosise replaced him against the Longhorns. The senior is the clear candidate to take over in his absence, and he racked up 98 yards on 20 carries in the Texas game.'s Tyler James lamented Folston's unfortunate injury situation:

Although Folston brought considerable explosiveness to the backfield, Prosise presents an intriguing blend of skills in his own right. He converted from slot receiver to tailback and caught the program's attention as a standout performer in spring practices.

"C.J.'s as good a player as we've got on the offensive football team right now, in my opinion," Irish receivers coach Mike Denbrock in April said, per's JJ Stankevitz. "He's versatile, he could play anywhere we put him."

In addition to possessing uncommon versatility, Prosise boasts deceptive speed at 220 pounds that makes him a playmaker Notre Dame can count on in a variety of ways. A creative offensive mind like coach Brian Kelly can certainly find ways to utilize him effectively.

Freshman Josh Adams came through for Notre Dame on Saturday as well with 49 yards on five rushes and two touchdowns. Perhaps Adams can carve out a role as the primary complement to Prosise—or free up the latter to have more live game reps split out as a receiver.

With Prosise installed as the feature back next to dual-threat quarterback Malik Zaire, the Irish should still present opposing defenses with a host of problems. Folston figures to factor in as a senior, presuming he returns healthy enough with his big-play ability intact.

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