NCAA Football News

Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez Stars in James Bond-Style Hype Video

“Rod…Rich Rod.”

Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez channeled his inner James Bond in a new hype video the team released.

The clip shows the Wildcats leader swinging from an upper-deck rope, players driving sports cars on the field and, to keep things football-related, highlights from last season.

Of course, the title Licence to Thrill is a play on the Bond film, Licence to Kill.

This is really some top-notch marketing.

[YouTube]

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Isaac Nauta Tweets Official Visit Plans: Who Holds Edge in Chase for 5-Star TE?

Isaac Nauta, perhaps the most prized uncommitted offensive prospect in high school football, is preparing plans for a multiconference college tour this season.

The 5-star tight end intends to officially visit Georgia, Michigan, USC and TCU, per his Twitter account:

He left his fifth and final official visit open—or at least private.

Nauta, a 6'4", 237-pound senior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, decommitted from Florida State in July. He had spent the previous eight months considered a cornerstone of another impressive Seminoles recruiting class.

His decommitment occurred just weeks after his dominant performance at The Opening, an elite, invite-only showcase at Nike's world headquarters in Oregon. He teamed up with 4-star Florida State quarterback commit Malik Henry to reach the nationally televised championship game of the seven-on-seven tournament:

Both Henry and Nauta were named to the All-Tournament team, allowing Seminoles fans to imagine a future in which the young duo torched opponents in Tallahassee.

Instead, Nauta is resetting his recruitment. Only two of the tight end's official visits are return trips.

Georgia and TCU previously welcomed him to campus, while USC and Michigan will need to capitalize on upcoming opportunities to impress the coveted playmaker.

Nauta is a rare college-ready talent at tight end. He's rated No. 1 overall among pass targets, including all 2016 wide receiver prospects, in composite recruiting rankings.

Attention shifted toward the Georgia Bulldogs immediately after Nauta distanced himself from Florida State. He starred in the Peach State at Buford High School prior to his IMG transfer this offseason.

The Bulldogs have been contenders since the start of this widespread recruitment. After initially striking out on Nauta, Georgia is now the perceived team to beat.

According to 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions, 72 percent of experts expect Nauta to end up in Athens.

"Georgia, from the beginning, and when I made my decision, they were in my top four, but really they were in the top two," Nauta told Kipp Adams of Dawgs247. "They have always been at the top for me. Really the proximity to home plays in their favor. ... So Georgia has atmosphere, closeness to my family and a great tight end coach as advantages.”

The Bulldogs, who host him on Oct. 3 for a highly anticipated game against Alabama, appear to be a prohibitive favorites in this race. Nauta represents another paramount piece of the puzzle for first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Georgia already holds commitments from 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason and similarly dynamic tight end/wide receiver Charlie Woerner.

“Eason is a cool and funny guy and a great quarterback who hasn’t even reached his potential yet,” Nauta told Chris Kirschner of DawgNation. “Eason is going to be a baller on the next level. I mean, everyone wants to play with a great quarterback because they ultimately are in the driver’s seat in big-time games.”

The Bulldogs' collection of offensive weapons in the 2016 class could eventually grow to include Nauta, 4-star wide receiver Kyle Davis and top in-state running back Elijah Holyfield.

Holyfield and Davis are both expected to announce their college choices this fall.

If you're looking for the likeliest program to lure Nauta beyond his home state, keep close watch on Michigan here. Head coach Jim Harbaugh and his son, Wolverines tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, have ardently pursued top-tier talents at the position since they arrived in Ann Arbor.

They lost a head-to-head battle with UCLA for elite 2015 tight end Chris Clark but are now primed to welcome two premier prospects for official visits this season. Philadelphia tight end Naseir Upshur, a 4-star talent who also shined at The Opening, is also expected to attend a game.

If Upshur doesn't choose Michigan, odds are in favor of him landing at Florida State as Nauta's replacement.

No team should be counted out at this stage, and another program—perhaps Texas or LSU—could slide into that last official visit slot before a final decision is reached. Until Nauta's national letter of intent is signed, sealed and delivered, he can anticipate constant attention from college coaches.

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler on Twitter @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Isaac Nauta Tweets Official Visit Plans: Who Holds Edge in Chase for 5-Star TE?

Isaac Nauta, perhaps the most prized uncommitted offensive prospect in high school football, is preparing plans for a multiconference college tour this season.

The 5-star tight end intends to officially visit Georgia, Michigan, USC and TCU, per his Twitter account:

He left his fifth and final official visit open—or at least private.

Nauta, a 6'4", 237-pound senior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, decommitted from Florida State in July. He had spent the previous eight months considered a cornerstone of another impressive Seminoles recruiting class.

His decommitment occurred just weeks after his dominant performance at The Opening, an elite, invite-only showcase at Nike's world headquarters in Oregon. He teamed up with 4-star Florida State quarterback commit Malik Henry to reach the nationally televised championship game of the seven-on-seven tournament:

Both Henry and Nauta were named to the All-Tournament team, allowing Seminoles fans to imagine a future in which the young duo torched opponents in Tallahassee.

Instead, Nauta is resetting his recruitment. Only two of the tight end's official visits are return trips.

Georgia and TCU previously welcomed him to campus, while USC and Michigan will need to capitalize on upcoming opportunities to impress the coveted playmaker.

Nauta is a rare college-ready talent at tight end. He's rated No. 1 overall among pass targets, including all 2016 wide receiver prospects, in composite recruiting rankings.

Attention shifted toward the Georgia Bulldogs immediately after Nauta distanced himself from Florida State. He starred in the Peach State at Buford High School prior to his IMG transfer this offseason.

The Bulldogs have been contenders since the start of this widespread recruitment. After initially striking out on Nauta, Georgia is now the perceived team to beat.

According to 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions, 72 percent of experts expect Nauta to end up in Athens.

"Georgia, from the beginning, and when I made my decision, they were in my top four, but really they were in the top two," Nauta told Kipp Adams of Dawgs247. "They have always been at the top for me. Really the proximity to home plays in their favor. ... So Georgia has atmosphere, closeness to my family and a great tight end coach as advantages.”

The Bulldogs, who host him on Oct. 3 for a highly anticipated game against Alabama, appear to be a prohibitive favorites in this race. Nauta represents another paramount piece of the puzzle for first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Georgia already holds commitments from 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason and similarly dynamic tight end/wide receiver Charlie Woerner.

“Eason is a cool and funny guy and a great quarterback who hasn’t even reached his potential yet,” Nauta told Chris Kirschner of DawgNation. “Eason is going to be a baller on the next level. I mean, everyone wants to play with a great quarterback because they ultimately are in the driver’s seat in big-time games.”

The Bulldogs' collection of offensive weapons in the 2016 class could eventually grow to include Nauta, 4-star wide receiver Kyle Davis and top in-state running back Elijah Holyfield.

Holyfield and Davis are both expected to announce their college choices this fall.

If you're looking for the likeliest program to lure Nauta beyond his home state, keep close watch on Michigan here. Head coach Jim Harbaugh and his son, Wolverines tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, have ardently pursued top-tier talents at the position since they arrived in Ann Arbor.

They lost a head-to-head battle with UCLA for elite 2015 tight end Chris Clark but are now primed to welcome two premier prospects for official visits this season. Philadelphia tight end Naseir Upshur, a 4-star talent who also shined at The Opening, is also expected to attend a game.

If Upshur doesn't choose Michigan, odds are in favor of him landing at Florida State as Nauta's replacement.

No team should be counted out at this stage, and another program—perhaps Texas or LSU—could slide into that last official visit slot before a final decision is reached. Until Nauta's national letter of intent is signed, sealed and delivered, he can anticipate constant attention from college coaches.

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler on Twitter @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Football: How Vernon Adams Can Win Ducks Starting QB Job by Week 1

The biggest math test in college football is finally over, as is the long national nightmare for Eastern Washington Eagles transfer Vernon Adams Jr. The Football Championship Subdivision human highlight reel is officially a member of the Oregon Ducks. The dream for Adams to play at the highest level of college football is still alive, as B/R colleague Adam Kramer wrote Thursday evening.

But now comes the harsh reality: Adams was a superstar at his old program and a two-time runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS' version of the Heisman Trophy. That's not the case in Eugene. The competition between him and front-runner Jeff Lockie is very real.

"At Oregon, he's below the walk-ons in terms of where he fits in," said B/R colleague Michael Felder, a former defensive back for the North Carolina Tar Heels. "He's the new kid in school.

"He has to figure out whom he's going to eat lunch with."

If Adams is to start for the Ducks in Week 1 against his old team, he'll have to earn every bit of respect possible from his teammates and the coaching staff. It starts with the fact that Adams is a late arrival to preseason camp, which for Oregon began Monday, Aug. 10.

In June, Andrew Greif of the Oregonian reported there was unfinished business with Adams' arrival, stemming from the now-infamous math class. He has taken care of it, but it's important to remember Adams announced his transfer to Oregon in February.

Granted: Lord knows most of us have had to take (and retake, and maybe retake again) some crucial tests during college. They're not fun. And beyond the stress and frustration of it all, a "football purgatory," as Kramer described, awaited Adams if he did fail.

No one should want that for him.

All the same, Adams had intentions of moving on from Eastern Washington six months ago under the condition that he would be allowed to play immediately once he graduated. Adams did graduate—eventually—but not within the timeline he initially promised.

That, Felder explains, can create trust issues in the locker room. Put simply, Adams didn't take care of his business when he said he would. His responsibility now is to show that type of misstep won't happen again. 

Adams' challenge between now and Sept. 5 is twofold. On the practice field, Adams has to show he can digest the playbook. He can receive help from teammates on running the offense, but he can't rely on them. He has to show command.

Ultimately, Felder said, "he either gets it or he doesn't." 

And because Adams wasn't able to work out with his new teammates over the summer, he'll have to come early and stay late to develop a rapport with Oregon's wide receivers, running backs and offensive line. "That type of chemistry takes time. That's the reason [quarterbacks and receivers] throw over the summer," Felder said.

Secondly, and just as importantly, Adams has to show up humble and willing to work. The college football world outside of Oregon's locker room may expect Adams to be the starter, but that's not the attitude he can have himself.

"Adams has to be genuine," Felder said. "He has to show he cares about them [teammates]. He has to show that he has the same goals as they do.

"If that means he has to carry balls during practice, it means he has to carry balls during practice." 

As counterintuitive as it may sound, Adams also has to shadow Lockie. Yes, the two will compete against each other. Yes, Adams arrives looking to "steal away" Lockie's grip on the job. But showing respect to a guy who has been in the program for four years is a good way to, in turn, earn everyone else's respect.

Lockie doesn't possess the physical gifts Adams does. There's not a thing in the world Lockie can do if Adams pulls even with him in the quarterback race. However, pulling even isn't a given, either. Lockie knows the offense backward and forward.

We don't know yet if Adams does. 

Lockie's not going to outrun anyone like Marcus Mariota did or throw the ball 80 yards down the field with the flick of a wrist, but all signs indicate that he can move the chains. 

We don't know yet if Adams can.

Lockie has the respect of his teammates. Adams has to work on that. 

All of these things mean something, and nobody knows that better than head coach Mark Helfrich, who elaborated on what Oregon's offense would look like under Lockie to Fox Sports in July

Jeff Lockie had an outstanding spring, and I know to a person in our program, we have a hundred percent confidence in him and all those around him.

The key to replacing a great player, a once-in-a-lifetime player, however you want to describe a guy like Marcus is everybody has to do their job better. We don't need somebody to come in and try to be Superman when they're not. We need them to play their role well, utilize the strengths we have on our team and go. 

Adams can bring Oregon's offense to a level that Lockie probably can't, but don't mistake that for Helfrich not having confidence in Lockie. If, in a few weeks, all things are equal, it wouldn't be surprising for Adams to get the nod.

Why? Because he can give you highlight reels like this: 

But there's a lot that Adams needs to prove before anyone can even consider him to be on the same level as his main competitor.

"And that's hard to do," Felder said.

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Football: How Vernon Adams Can Win Ducks Starting QB Job by Week 1

The biggest math test in college football is finally over, as is the long national nightmare for Eastern Washington Eagles transfer Vernon Adams Jr. The Football Championship Subdivision human highlight reel is officially a member of the Oregon Ducks. The dream for Adams to play at the highest level of college football is still alive, as B/R colleague Adam Kramer wrote Thursday evening.

But now comes the harsh reality: Adams was a superstar at his old program and a two-time runner-up for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS' version of the Heisman Trophy. That's not the case in Eugene. The competition between him and front-runner Jeff Lockie is very real.

"At Oregon, he's below the walk-ons in terms of where he fits in," said B/R colleague Michael Felder, a former defensive back for the North Carolina Tar Heels. "He's the new kid in school.

"He has to figure out whom he's going to eat lunch with."

If Adams is to start for the Ducks in Week 1 against his old team, he'll have to earn every bit of respect possible from his teammates and the coaching staff. It starts with the fact that Adams is a late arrival to preseason camp, which for Oregon began Monday, Aug. 10.

In June, Andrew Greif of the Oregonian reported there was unfinished business with Adams' arrival, stemming from the now-infamous math class. He has taken care of it, but it's important to remember Adams announced his transfer to Oregon in February.

Granted: Lord knows most of us have had to take (and retake, and maybe retake again) some crucial tests during college. They're not fun. And beyond the stress and frustration of it all, a "football purgatory," as Kramer described, awaited Adams if he did fail.

No one should want that for him.

All the same, Adams had intentions of moving on from Eastern Washington six months ago under the condition that he would be allowed to play immediately once he graduated. Adams did graduate—eventually—but not within the timeline he initially promised.

That, Felder explains, can create trust issues in the locker room. Put simply, Adams didn't take care of his business when he said he would. His responsibility now is to show that type of misstep won't happen again. 

Adams' challenge between now and Sept. 5 is twofold. On the practice field, Adams has to show he can digest the playbook. He can receive help from teammates on running the offense, but he can't rely on them. He has to show command.

Ultimately, Felder said, "he either gets it or he doesn't." 

And because Adams wasn't able to work out with his new teammates over the summer, he'll have to come early and stay late to develop a rapport with Oregon's wide receivers, running backs and offensive line. "That type of chemistry takes time. That's the reason [quarterbacks and receivers] throw over the summer," Felder said.

Secondly, and just as importantly, Adams has to show up humble and willing to work. The college football world outside of Oregon's locker room may expect Adams to be the starter, but that's not the attitude he can have himself.

"Adams has to be genuine," Felder said. "He has to show he cares about them [teammates]. He has to show that he has the same goals as they do.

"If that means he has to carry balls during practice, it means he has to carry balls during practice." 

As counterintuitive as it may sound, Adams also has to shadow Lockie. Yes, the two will compete against each other. Yes, Adams arrives looking to "steal away" Lockie's grip on the job. But showing respect to a guy who has been in the program for four years is a good way to, in turn, earn everyone else's respect.

Lockie doesn't possess the physical gifts Adams does. There's not a thing in the world Lockie can do if Adams pulls even with him in the quarterback race. However, pulling even isn't a given, either. Lockie knows the offense backward and forward.

We don't know yet if Adams does. 

Lockie's not going to outrun anyone like Marcus Mariota did or throw the ball 80 yards down the field with the flick of a wrist, but all signs indicate that he can move the chains. 

We don't know yet if Adams can.

Lockie has the respect of his teammates. Adams has to work on that. 

All of these things mean something, and nobody knows that better than head coach Mark Helfrich, who elaborated on what Oregon's offense would look like under Lockie to Fox Sports in July

Jeff Lockie had an outstanding spring, and I know to a person in our program, we have a hundred percent confidence in him and all those around him.

The key to replacing a great player, a once-in-a-lifetime player, however you want to describe a guy like Marcus is everybody has to do their job better. We don't need somebody to come in and try to be Superman when they're not. We need them to play their role well, utilize the strengths we have on our team and go. 

Adams can bring Oregon's offense to a level that Lockie probably can't, but don't mistake that for Helfrich not having confidence in Lockie. If, in a few weeks, all things are equal, it wouldn't be surprising for Adams to get the nod.

Why? Because he can give you highlight reels like this: 

But there's a lot that Adams needs to prove before anyone can even consider him to be on the same level as his main competitor.

"And that's hard to do," Felder said.

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Rivalry Games That Should Make a Return

While conference realignment has been a success for several college football programs, the shock wave of change ripped apart some of the game's best annual matchups.

Bring up a rivalry game that doesn't happen anymore, and realignment is usually to blame.

New conferences and scheduling regulations make it tougher for high-profile contests to return, while old-fashioned bitterness over the changes has been the cause of death for some rivalries.

College football still has plenty of excellent rivalry games each and every year, but there are a few holes in the annual schedule when it's compared to the past.

Here's a look at 10 historic rivalry games that have gone by the wayside and need to make a return in some form or fashion down the road. While a few should be annual matchups again, any number of scheduled meetings for others would be welcome for fans everywhere.

Which rivalry game do you want to see make a return? Let's hear it in the comments below.

Begin Slideshow

College Football Rivalry Games That Should Make a Return

While conference realignment has been a success for several college football programs, the shock wave of change ripped apart some of the game's best annual matchups.

Bring up a rivalry game that doesn't happen anymore, and realignment is usually to blame.

New conferences and scheduling regulations make it tougher for high-profile contests to return, while old-fashioned bitterness over the changes has been the cause of death for some rivalries.

College football still has plenty of excellent rivalry games each and every year, but there are a few holes in the annual schedule when it's compared to the past.

Here's a look at 10 historic rivalry games that have gone by the wayside and need to make a return in some form or fashion down the road. While a few should be annual matchups again, any number of scheduled meetings for others would be welcome for fans everywhere.

Which rivalry game do you want to see make a return? Let's hear it in the comments below.

Begin Slideshow

Meet the Man Behind Notre Dame's Green Monster Inspired Uniforms

Glance back at Notre Dame football’s Shamrock Series uniforms worn in the 2014 matchup against Purdue in Indianapolis, and you won’t find green. You won’t find a leprechaun, and you won’t find a shamrock.

That’s because before Under Armour and Notre Dame even designed those 2014 threads, they’d already agreed on the recently released, all-green outfit the Irish will don in the 2015 Shamrock Series game against Boston College at Fenway Park in Boston in November.

“Collectively, we agreed that we were gonna do green in the Fenway Park game essentially at the onset of our agreement with Notre Dame,” said Adam Clement, Under Armour’s senior creative director for team sports.

Notre Dame announced its matchup with the Eagles at Fenway Park in late December 2013. One month later, Notre Dame and Under Armour formalized their new partnership.

“Last year when we did Shamrock we wanted to keep it really about Notre Dame and the core of Notre Dame, which is why it was focused on campus buildings, it was blue and gold only,” Clement said. “Also, a component of that which we couldn’t talk about last year was that we knew this year we wanted to do green for several reasons.”

Clement calls it a “double whammy.” Boston’s Irish heritage and the leprechaun’s green outfit made the color a natural choice. Of course, with Fenway’s 37-by-231-foot wall looming in left field beyond the yard markers, the selection was simple.

“What is the most iconic part of Fenway Park? Clearly, we all know it’s the Green Monster,” Clement said. “We wanted Notre Dame to come out green on green to personify the Green Monster.”

With that primary component agreed upon, Clement and his team went to work on the full uniform. Clement leads a department that will grow to 17 members in the very near future, and he and one other designer worked specifically on the Shamrock Series uniforms. Beyond them, however, eight other people from various groups—product managers, sourcing specialists, tech designers and sports marketing folks—had their hands involved from Under Armour’s side.

“What’s amazing is the amount of people on this side that have to touch it in order to actually get this to the field,” Clement said.

Clement worked directly with Irish head football equipment manager Ryan Grooms, who served as the point person on Notre Dame’s chain of communication, which included the input of athletic director Jack Swarbrick and head coach Brian Kelly.

“The relationship with schools, it’s different for each school,” Clement said. “With Notre Dame, it’s fantastically collaborative. Ryan Grooms, he’s an integral part in this whole process. We have very open dialogue about what we want to do each year.”

Knowing the uniforms would be green provided a baseline and made the process easy, Clement said. With Grooms and the Irish aware of the color choice, Notre Dame gave Under Armour the flexibility to do its own research, find stories and begin to tell those stories.

“[Notre Dame] makes sure it’s authentic, it’s real and it makes sense for them,” Clement said. “We’ll present a concept to them. Then they have a few tweaks here or there. Collectively, we come to this final resolution that we’re all really proud of.”

Clement jokingly knocked on wood and said, so far, Notre Dame’s tweaks have been minor, citing the consistent communication throughout the process and the biggest aspect, the color.

“Our relationship with Notre Dame has been such a lock-step relationship,” Clement said. “We’ve been really side by side this whole time.”

The uniform’s stripes have 11 breaks to represent Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national championships. “Fighting Irish” text graces the right pant leg, a nod to the “The Original Fighting Irish” painting in Kelly’s office, a work that portrays the idea of standing shoulder to shoulder on a united front, Clement said. Such detail typifies one of the functioning principles in Under Armour’s design department: no art merely for art’s sake.

Clement, who earned his bachelor of fine arts from James Madison, recalled various college courses. For certain projects, Clement and his classmates would construct their designs and put them on the wall for the rest of the class to critique. On one occasion, Clement worked all night and waltzed into class quite pleased with his work. He put it up on the wall. The professor asked why he did what he did.

“I had no answer,” Clement recalled.

Because I think it looks cool. What answer are you looking for?

Take it off the wall. Find a concept. When you have a concept, come back and put it back up on the wall.

“From that day forward, that’s how I work,” Clement said. “That’s how my team works. Everything that we do will always have a reason. We won’t do design for the purpose of what’s trendy or what’s cool.”

Clement stressed the overall importance of thick skin in his line of work, joking there’s a good number of people “that want me dead because of some of the things I’ve done.” So he understands that while some Irish fans may hate the green-on-green look, Clement thinks they may be able to appreciate the concept behind it, the level of detail and the stories told through art.

“They can appreciate the concept behind it,” Clement said. “That will allow this uniform to stand the test of time. People won’t look back at this and think it’s the worst thing ever because there’s something about the University and about the team and the history that’s embedded into the design.”

Notre Dame and Under Armour fine tuned details such as the texture on the helmet and the shine of the leprechaun head decal on the helmet. The uniform was finalized during the 2014 season.

“The rest of the world saw this for the first time yesterday, but for all of us involved, both at Notre Dame and here at Under Armour, it’s almost old news because we’ve seen it for so long,” Clement said.

 

All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet the Man Behind Notre Dame's Green Monster Inspired Uniforms

Glance back at Notre Dame football’s Shamrock Series uniforms worn in the 2014 matchup against Purdue in Indianapolis, and you won’t find green. You won’t find a leprechaun, and you won’t find a shamrock.

That’s because before Under Armour and Notre Dame even designed those 2014 threads, they’d already agreed on the recently released, all-green outfit the Irish will don in the 2015 Shamrock Series game against Boston College at Fenway Park in Boston in November.

“Collectively, we agreed that we were gonna do green in the Fenway Park game essentially at the onset of our agreement with Notre Dame,” said Adam Clement, Under Armour’s senior creative director for team sports.

Notre Dame announced its matchup with the Eagles at Fenway Park in late December 2013. One month later, Notre Dame and Under Armour formalized their new partnership.

“Last year when we did Shamrock we wanted to keep it really about Notre Dame and the core of Notre Dame, which is why it was focused on campus buildings, it was blue and gold only,” Clement said. “Also, a component of that which we couldn’t talk about last year was that we knew this year we wanted to do green for several reasons.”

Clement calls it a “double whammy.” Boston’s Irish heritage and the leprechaun’s green outfit made the color a natural choice. Of course, with Fenway’s 37-by-231-foot wall looming in left field beyond the yard markers, the selection was simple.

“What is the most iconic part of Fenway Park? Clearly, we all know it’s the Green Monster,” Clement said. “We wanted Notre Dame to come out green on green to personify the Green Monster.”

With that primary component agreed upon, Clement and his team went to work on the full uniform. Clement leads a department that will grow to 17 members in the very near future, and he and one other designer worked specifically on the Shamrock Series uniforms. Beyond them, however, eight other people from various groups—product managers, sourcing specialists, tech designers and sports marketing folks—had their hands involved from Under Armour’s side.

“What’s amazing is the amount of people on this side that have to touch it in order to actually get this to the field,” Clement said.

Clement worked directly with Irish head football equipment manager Ryan Grooms, who served as the point person on Notre Dame’s chain of communication, which included the input of athletic director Jack Swarbrick and head coach Brian Kelly.

“The relationship with schools, it’s different for each school,” Clement said. “With Notre Dame, it’s fantastically collaborative. Ryan Grooms, he’s an integral part in this whole process. We have very open dialogue about what we want to do each year.”

Knowing the uniforms would be green provided a baseline and made the process easy, Clement said. With Grooms and the Irish aware of the color choice, Notre Dame gave Under Armour the flexibility to do its own research, find stories and begin to tell those stories.

“[Notre Dame] makes sure it’s authentic, it’s real and it makes sense for them,” Clement said. “We’ll present a concept to them. Then they have a few tweaks here or there. Collectively, we come to this final resolution that we’re all really proud of.”

Clement jokingly knocked on wood and said, so far, Notre Dame’s tweaks have been minor, citing the consistent communication throughout the process and the biggest aspect, the color.

“Our relationship with Notre Dame has been such a lock-step relationship,” Clement said. “We’ve been really side by side this whole time.”

The uniform’s stripes have 11 breaks to represent Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national championships. “Fighting Irish” text graces the right pant leg, a nod to the “The Original Fighting Irish” painting in Kelly’s office, a work that portrays the idea of standing shoulder to shoulder on a united front, Clement said. Such detail typifies one of the functioning principles in Under Armour’s design department: no art merely for art’s sake.

Clement, who earned his bachelor of fine arts from James Madison, recalled various college courses. For certain projects, Clement and his classmates would construct their designs and put them on the wall for the rest of the class to critique. On one occasion, Clement worked all night and waltzed into class quite pleased with his work. He put it up on the wall. The professor asked why he did what he did.

“I had no answer,” Clement recalled.

Because I think it looks cool. What answer are you looking for?

Take it off the wall. Find a concept. When you have a concept, come back and put it back up on the wall.

“From that day forward, that’s how I work,” Clement said. “That’s how my team works. Everything that we do will always have a reason. We won’t do design for the purpose of what’s trendy or what’s cool.”

Clement stressed the overall importance of thick skin in his line of work, joking there’s a good number of people “that want me dead because of some of the things I’ve done.” So he understands that while some Irish fans may hate the green-on-green look, Clement thinks they may be able to appreciate the concept behind it, the level of detail and the stories told through art.

“They can appreciate the concept behind it,” Clement said. “That will allow this uniform to stand the test of time. People won’t look back at this and think it’s the worst thing ever because there’s something about the University and about the team and the history that’s embedded into the design.”

Notre Dame and Under Armour fine tuned details such as the texture on the helmet and the shine of the leprechaun head decal on the helmet. The uniform was finalized during the 2014 season.

“The rest of the world saw this for the first time yesterday, but for all of us involved, both at Notre Dame and here at Under Armour, it’s almost old news because we’ve seen it for so long,” Clement said.

 

All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Don't Let Him Fool You, Urban Meyer Will Know His QB Decision Sooner Than Later

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Urban Meyer took the podium following his team's first practice of fall camp, the Ohio State head coach didn't waste time playing coy.

With an unprecedented quarterback competition officially underway, Meyer knew what was on everybody's mind and didn't even wait for a question to broach the subject of the now-ongoing battle between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett.

"J.T. and Cardale—they're fine. There's no update other than they're fine, I guess," Meyer said while delivering rare opening remarks in his post-practice press conference.

"It's even. Straight even."

The three-time national champion head coach expects his quarterback conundrum to remain that way throughout the first half of fall camp as he gives equal reps to both Jones and Barrett. In fact, Meyer entered the preseason so set on giving an equal shot to each of his signal-callers to reclaim their starting status that he determined who would take the first rep of Monday's practice by flipping a coin.

Meyer claimed he wasn't even sure at the time who won the toss—it was Jones calling "heads"—only furthering the illusion that Jones and Barrett are currently deadlocked.

"It's a little bit of a work in progress. Our objective is [in] the first dozen practices, 50-50 right down the middle," Meyer said. "Have we ever done it like this? I can't think we have."

But while Meyer aims to give both Jones, the national championship winner and potential first-round pick, and Barrett, the reigning National Freshman and Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, equal opportunities, a front-runner between the two will eventually emerge.

And that may happen sooner than Meyer would lead you to believe.

Especially when considering that while Jones and Barrett are similar in some ways, they're much different in others. At 6'5", 250 pounds, Jones is known for his cannon of an arm and bulldozer-like style of running, while Barrett—listed at a generous 6'2", 225 pounds—is a bit shiftier while carrying the ball and more accurate with his intermediate passing game.

With no shortage of playmakers surrounding the quarterback, the Buckeyes have the ability to adapt to either skill set.

"You have to base it on, 'what can your signal-caller do best?'" Buckeyes offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said. "Our offense has the flexibility within the system and all the talent at all the different positions that we can kind of move it in the direction we want."

But the sooner the Ohio State offense figures out how it's going to attack opponents—especially the defensively stout Virginia Tech in the opener—this season, the better. While Meyer may want to give both Jones and Barrett until the midway point of fall camp before determining a pecking order, it simply may not be a realistic goal.

Meyer, of course, begs to differ, pointing to the experience of the two quarterbacks as the primary reason why neither needs full "starter reps" at this very moment. Jones is a fourth-year junior who spent a year out of high school at a prep academy, while Barrett already has 12 starts under his belt, leading Ohio State to an 11-1 record a season ago.

"They're both established guys. Cardale, not necessarily, but Cardale's been here a long time now. It's his eighth year here," Meyer said jokingly. "J.T. has played a lot of football.

"We won't announce anything until the first guy who takes the field against Virginia Tech. That won't happen."

That last part is key.

Although Meyer stated he has an idea of when he'll determine a starter, if all goes according to plan, no one will know who that will be until the Buckeyes' first offensive series of the season. That means even once one quarterback sets himself apart from the other, we likely won't know about it, and should it happen ahead of schedule, Meyer won't have any incentive to share.

Because if this is all about keeping a secret from the Hokies in order to alter their preparation for the opener, why would Meyer want to proclaim his quarterback competition as anything but "dead even?"

With Ohio State's first practice session in pads having just wrapped up, Jones and Barrett appear to remain on equal footing. But in the four practice periods that were open to the media on Friday, it was Jones running the first-team offense, although he may have just won the coin toss for the day.

If it were up to Jones, however, he would prefer that it be his play and not good fortune that lands him in the starting lineup.

"The pressure's on because you've got a guy who wants to play as bad as you," Jones said. "I'd prefer not to flip a coin for who goes first."

Sooner rather than later, Meyer may not need to. But if the head coach has his way, he'll keep everybody guessing for the rest of the summer—including, most importantly, Virginia Tech.

 

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 CFBStats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Don't Let Him Fool You, Urban Meyer Will Know His QB Decision Sooner Than Later

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Urban Meyer took the podium following his team's first practice of fall camp, the Ohio State head coach didn't waste time playing coy.

With an unprecedented quarterback competition officially underway, Meyer knew what was on everybody's mind and didn't even wait for a question to broach the subject of the now-ongoing battle between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett.

"J.T. and Cardale—they're fine. There's no update other than they're fine, I guess," Meyer said while delivering rare opening remarks in his post-practice press conference.

"It's even. Straight even."

The three-time national champion head coach expects his quarterback conundrum to remain that way throughout the first half of fall camp as he gives equal reps to both Jones and Barrett. In fact, Meyer entered the preseason so set on giving an equal shot to each of his signal-callers to reclaim their starting status that he determined who would take the first rep of Monday's practice by flipping a coin.

Meyer claimed that he wasn't even sure at the time who won the toss—it was Jones calling "heads"—only furthering the illusion that Jones and Barrett are currently deadlocked.

"It's a little bit of a work in progress. Our objective is [in] the first dozen practices, 50-50 right down the middle," Meyer said. "Have we ever done it like this? I can't think we have."

But while Meyer aims to give both Jones, the national championship winner and potential first-round pick, and Barrett, the reigning National Freshman and Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, equal opportunities, eventually a front-runner between the two will emerge.

And that may happen sooner than Meyer would lead you to believe.

Especially when considering that while Jones and Barrett are similar in some ways, they're much different in others. At 6'5", 250 pounds, Jones is known for his cannon of an arm and bulldozer-like style of running, while Barrett—listed at a generous 6'2", 225 pounds—is a bit shiftier while carrying the ball and more accurate with his intermediary passing game.

With no shortage of playmakers surrounding the quarterback, the Buckeyes have the ability to adapt to either skill set.

"You have to base it on what can your signal-caller do best?" Buckeyes offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said. "Our offense has the flexibility within the system and all the talent at all the different positions that we can kind of move it in the direction we want."

But the sooner the Ohio State offense figures out how it's going to attack opponents—especially the defensively stout Virginia Tech in the opener—this season, the better. That's why while Meyer may want to give both Jones and Barrett until the midway point of fall camp before determining a pecking order, it simply may not be a realistic goal.

Meyer, of course, begs to differ, pointing to the experience of the two quarterbacks as the primary reason why neither needs full "starter reps" at this very moment. Jones is a fourth-year junior who spent a year out of high school at a prep academy, while Barrett already has 12 starts under his belt, leading Ohio State to an 11-1 record a season ago.

"They're both established guys. Cardale, not necessarily, but Cardale's been here a long time now. It's his eighth year here," Meyer said jokingly. "J.T. has played a lot of football.

"We won't announce anything until the first guy who takes the field against Virginia Tech. That won't happen."

That last part is key.

Although Meyer stated he has an idea of when he'll determine a starter, if all goes according to that plan, no one will know who that will be until the Buckeyes' first offensive series of the season. That means that even once one quarterback sets himself apart from the other, we likely won't know about it, and should it happen ahead of schedule, Meyer won't have any incentive to share.

Because if this is all about keeping a secret from the Hokies in order to alter their preparation for the opener, why would Meyer want to proclaim his quarterback competition as anything but "dead even?"

With Ohio State's first practice session in pads having just wrapped up, Jones and Barrett appear to remain on equal footing. But in the four practice periods that were open to the media on Friday, it was Jones running the first-team offense, although he may have just won the coin toss for the day.

If it were up to Jones, however, he would prefer that it be his play and not good fortune that lands him in the starting lineup.

"The pressure's on because you've got a guy who wants to play as bad as you," Jones said. "I'd prefer not to flip a coin for who goes first."

Sooner rather than later, Meyer may not need to. But if the head coach has his way, he'll keep everybody guessing for the rest of the summer—including most importantly, Virginia Tech.

 

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 CFBStats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jerry Kill, Minnesota Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The University of Minnesota's football program has made big strides under head coach Jerry Kill, and the school rewarded him for that progress Friday.

Kill, who is the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Minnesota to an 8-5 record in 2014, secured his future Friday by adding another year to his current deal, according to Marcus R. Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Fuller also provided specifics related to the new contract:

Kill took the reins at Minnesota in 2011 after three years at Northern Illinois. The Gophers went 3-9 in his first season, improved to 6-7 in 2012 and have gone 8-5 in each of the past two campaigns.

Minnesota athletics are currently in turmoil as former athletic director Norwood Teague resigned after sexual harassment allegations surfaced.

Kill provides stability as one of the central figures at the university, and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press believes he will be a key figure in Minnesota's search for a new AD:

The 53-year-old coach is so influential that Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune sees his profile increasing even more now that Teague is out of the picture.

Much of that perceived influence is speculation, but there is no question that there are high expectations for Kill and the Gophers to produce on the field in 2015.

While Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten overall, the West Division is very much up for grabs, and Minnesota figures to be one of the top contenders.

A great deal of confidence has been shown in Kill's ability to lead, but now it's time for him to take Minnesota to the next level on the heels of consecutive winning seasons.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jerry Kill, Minnesota Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

The University of Minnesota's football program has made big strides under head coach Jerry Kill, and the school rewarded him for that progress Friday.

Kill, who is the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Minnesota to an 8-5 record in 2014, secured his future Friday by adding another year to his current deal, according to Marcus R. Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Fuller also provided specifics related to the new contract:

Kill took the reins at Minnesota in 2011 after three years at Northern Illinois. The Gophers went 3-9 in his first season, improved to 6-7 in 2012 and have gone 8-5 in each of the past two campaigns.

Minnesota athletics are currently in turmoil as former athletic director Norwood Teague resigned after sexual harassment allegations surfaced.

Kill provides stability as one of the central figures at the university, and Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press believes he will be a key figure in Minnesota's search for a new AD:

The 53-year-old coach is so influential that Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune sees his profile increasing even more now that Teague is out of the picture.

Much of that perceived influence is speculation, but there is no question that there are high expectations for Kill and the Gophers to produce on the field in 2015.

While Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten overall, the West Division is very much up for grabs, and Minnesota figures to be one of the top contenders.

A great deal of confidence has been shown in Kill's ability to lead, but now it's time for him to take Minnesota to the next level on the heels of consecutive winning seasons.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Rising Stars Emerging in College Football 2015 Fall Camps

The start of preseason camp is a time when, for many position battles, there's a clean slate. Sure, spring practices help mold depth charts, but they are by no means final. 

In this early part of August, reps are more evenly divided and new players have the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of playing time. In the following slides, we look at freshmen and transfers who are beginning to emerge as fall camp rolls on. 

While the following players may not start, they are at least pushing for playing time and have specifically caught the eyes of their coaches and teammates. 

Begin Slideshow

Rising Stars Emerging in College Football 2015 Fall Camps

The start of preseason camp is a time when, for many position battles, there's a clean slate. Sure, spring practices help mold depth charts, but they are by no means final. 

In this early part of August, reps are more evenly divided and new players have the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of playing time. In the following slides, we look at freshmen and transfers who are beginning to emerge as fall camp rolls on. 

While the following players may not start, they are at least pushing for playing time and have specifically caught the eyes of their coaches and teammates. 

Begin Slideshow

How Becoming College Football's 1st Jordan Brand Will Impact Michigan Recruiting

NBA legend Michael Jordan is jumping into the college football industry, and Michigan will take center stage. The Hall of Fame hoops icon and six-time league champion announced brand association between his popular Nike branch and the Wolverines on Thursday evening:

Michigan, scheduled to start a $169 million Nike deal next year, is the first college football program to partner with the Jordan franchise. You can already find the brand's "Jumpman" logo on the shoes and assorted clothing of recruits across America.

When Jordan's shoes are released and re-released, it can send some athletes into hysteria. Now Ann Arbor will become new territory for the brand's reach. 

"It's going to interest a lot of kids with the brand because everyone loves that brand," 5-star wide receiver Nate Craig-Myerstold Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com. "To be the only program with Jordan will definitely help."

Michigan is already enjoying the benefits of "freshness," aided greatly by the arrival of superstar head coach Jim Harbaugh. The "cool factor" he's created before claiming a single victory has helped the Wolverines surge in 2016 recruiting rankings.

Just 6-10 against Big Ten opponents since 2013, Michigan made a splash by hiring Harbaugh last winter. The Wolverines have landed eight 4-star commitments since April and sit seventh nationally in composite class ratings.  

This latest development keeps momentum moving in a positive direction:

You better believe high school standouts immediately noticed.

"The Jordan logo is going to give us a bunch of swag at Michigan," Wolverines tight end pledge Sean McKeon told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

David Long, the No. 1 cornerback in the state of California and a Wolverines target who committed to Stanford earlier this month, also expressed excitement:

So did Michigan running back commit Kingston Davis:

Programs are always looking for any kind of an edge on the recruiting trail, whether it's athletic facilities, university faculty or simple aesthetics like gear. Players are typically allotted an expansive wardrobe of team-affiliated apparel during their time on campus, including shorts, shirts and hoodies, to wear as they please.

There's also an array of on-field possibilities, as Michigan enters a new frontier for college football. The Jumpman logo has become one of the globe's most recognizable brands and soon we'll have a chance to see how the marketing experts behind it influence a new realm. 

The Jordan name is worth $480 million to Nike, according to MJ's attorney Frederick Sperling.

Oregon has undeniably benefited from its relationship with Nike, strengthened by company co-founder and university alumnus Phil Knight. The Ducks routinely roll out unique uniform styles and patterns never seen before by the general public.

People who appreciate athletic fashion more than first downs have become enamored with Oregon's game-by-game outfit unpredictability. Michigan may find itself in a similar situation with Jordan, an established innovator in the sports world.

Whether you live in Detroit or Denver, expect to see more Michigan apparel flow into shopping centers as the university moves forward with Jordan. The ultimate result is more money headed to a prestigious athletic department that will reportedly pay Harbaugh a minimum of $40.1 million during the next seven years.

As outlandish as it may seem to some, partnering with a premier line like Jordan could ultimately be just enough to sway a coveted recruit. Without question, Thursday's announcement is a win in Ann Arbor.

"I love the Jordan brand and I was super happy Michigan went with Nike," top-ranked 2016 tight end Isaac Nauta told VanHaaren. "Everyone loves to be decked out in the best and newest gear, so that definitely helps."

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

How Becoming College Football's 1st Jordan Brand Will Impact Michigan Recruiting

NBA legend Michael Jordan is jumping into the college football industry, and Michigan will take center stage. The Hall of Fame hoops icon and six-time league champion announced brand association between his popular Nike branch and the Wolverines on Thursday evening:

Michigan, scheduled to start a $169 million Nike deal next year, is the first college football program to partner with the Jordan franchise. You can already find the brand's "Jumpman" logo can on the shoes and assorted clothing of recruits across America.

When Jordan's shoes are released and re-released, it can send some athletes into hysteria. Now Ann Arbor will become new territory for the brand's reach. 

"It's going to interest a lot of kids with the brand because everyone loves that brand," 5-star wide receiver Nate Craig-Myerstold Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com. "To be the only program with Jordan will definitely help."

Michigan is already enjoying the benefits of "freshness," aided greatly by the arrival of superstar head coach Jim Harbaugh. The "cool factor" he's created before claiming a single victory has helped the Wolverines surge in 2016 recruiting rankings.

Just 6-10 against Big Ten opponents since 2013, Michigan made a splash by hiring Harbaugh last winter. The Wolverines have landed eight 4-star commitments since April and sit seventh nationally in composite class ratings.  

This latest development keeps momentum moving in a positive direction:

You better believe high school standouts immediately noticed.

"The Jordan logo is going to give us a bunch of swag at Michigan," Wolverines tight end pledge Sean McKeon told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

David Long, the No. 1 cornerback in the state of California and a Wolverines target who committed to Stanford earlier this month, also expressed excitement:

So did Michigan running back commit Kingston Davis:

Programs are always looking for any kind of an edge on the recruiting trail, whether it's athletic facilities, university faculty or simple aesthetics like gear. Players are typically allotted an expansive wardrobe of team-affiliated apparel during their time on campus, including shorts, shirts and hoodies, to wear as they please.

There's also an array of on-field possibilities, as Michigan enters a new frontier for college football. The Jumpman logo has become one of the globe's most recognizable brands and soon we'll have a chance to see how the marketing experts behind it influence a new realm. 

The Jordan name is worth $480 million to Nike, according to MJ's attorney Frederick Sperling.

Oregon has undeniably benefited from its relationship with Nike, strengthened by company co-founder and university alumnus Phil Knight. The Ducks routinely roll out unique uniform styles and patterns never seen before by the general public.

People who appreciate athletic fashion more than first downs have become enamored with Oregon's game-by-game outfit unpredictability. Michigan may find itself in a similar situation with Jordan, an established innovator in the sports world.

Whether you live in Detroit or Denver, expect to see more Michigan apparel flow into shopping centers as the university moves forward with Jordan. The ultimate result is more money headed to a prestigious athletic department that will reportedly pay Harbaugh a minimum of $40.1 million during the next seven years.

As outlandish as it may seem to some, partnering with a premier line like Jordan could ultimately be just enough to sway a coveted recruit. Without question, Thursday's announcement is a win in Ann Arbor.

"I love the Jordan brand and I was super happy Michigan went with Nike," top-ranked 2016 tight end Isaac Nauta told VanHaaren. "Everyone loves to be decked out in the best and newest gear, so that definitely helps."

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cordell Broadus, Snoop Dogg's Son, Gives Up Football: Latest Details, Reaction

Cordell Broadus, the son of rapper Snoop Dogg, is leaving the UCLA football program after deciding to end his playing career this week. He's reportedly expected to remain at the school as a student.  

Tracy Pierson of Scout.com reports Broadus didn't show up for the team's fall camp and didn't immediately communicate his decision to the school. Sources told Pierson the receiver started "wanting to do his own thing" at UCLA after being pushed into the football spotlight by his father.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports confirmed the incoming freshman's decision to stop playing football.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora provided a statement Friday, per the team's website:

Cordell informed me yesterday that he has decided to pursue other passions in his life - in particular his love of film through his company Film School Productions. Cordell is an amazing young man with many talents, and we wish him nothing but the best as he continues to pursue his degree at UCLA.

Broadus and Snoop Dogg starred in a documentary miniseries on ESPN titled Snoop & Son, which chronicled his recruitment process. He ended up choosing UCLA over several other options, including USC, his dad's favorite team.

His decision to walk away from the football field is a surprising one. He checked in as a 4-star prospect and was ranked as the No. 26 wide receiver in the class of 2015, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

An intriguing combination of size and athleticism made him a notable addition to the Bruins' incoming class. He needed a little more polish in terms of route-running before he was going to make an impact, but his long-term outlook remained promising.

The decision shouldn't have a major impact on UCLA during the 2015 campaign. The team returns its top five wideouts from last season, which would have led to a minimal role for Broadus. But it does make the position a slightly bigger need for the 2016 recruiting class.

There's always time for Broadus to make a return to football in the years ahead if he has a change of heart. As for now, however, it sounds like he's ready to go in another direction.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cordell Broadus, Snoop Dogg's Son, Gives Up Football: Latest Details, Reaction

Cordell Broadus, the son of rapper Snoop Dogg, is leaving the UCLA football program after deciding to end his playing career this week. He's reportedly expected to remain at the school as a student.  

Tracy Pierson of Scout.com reports Broadus didn't show up for the team's fall camp and didn't immediately communicate his decision to the school. Sources told Pierson the receiver started "wanting to do his own thing" at UCLA after being pushed into the football spotlight by his father.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports confirmed the incoming freshman's decision to stop playing football.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora provided a statement Friday, per the team's website:

Cordell informed me yesterday that he has decided to pursue other passions in his life - in particular his love of film through his company Film School Productions. Cordell is an amazing young man with many talents, and we wish him nothing but the best as he continues to pursue his degree at UCLA.

Broadus and Snoop Dogg starred in a documentary miniseries on ESPN titled Snoop & Son, which chronicled his recruitment process. He ended up choosing UCLA over several other options, including USC, his dad's favorite team.

His decision to walk away from the football field is a surprising one. He checked in as a 4-star prospect and was ranked as the No. 26 wide receiver in the class of 2015, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

An intriguing combination of size and athleticism made him a notable addition to the Bruins' incoming class. He needed a little more polish in terms of route-running before he was going to make an impact, but his long-term outlook remained promising.

The decision shouldn't have a major impact on UCLA during the 2015 campaign. The team returns its top five wideouts from last season, which would have led to a minimal role for Broadus. But it does make the position a slightly bigger need for the 2016 recruiting class.

There's always time for Broadus to make a return to football in the years ahead if he has a change of heart. As for now, however, it sounds like he's ready to go in another direction.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn Football: What D'haquille Williams' Return Means for Tigers Offense

After almost a full week of missed practices and increased speculation on his future at Auburn, D'haquille "Duke" Williams is out wide for the Tigers once again. But that doesn't mean everything is back to normal on the Plains.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced Thursday evening that Williams had returned to the practice field earlier that day for the first time since last Friday, August 7.

According to Malzahn, Williams had resolved his unnamed "discipline issue" and was allowed to be reinstated with the program.

"He's taken care of what he needed to take care, but it's a daily deal, just like everybody else on our team," Malzahn said Thursday, according to James Crepea of AL.com. "They're going to have to come out there and practice with a great attitude, great effort and earn their playing time on the field."

Those last few words from Malzahn are important. Williams did not run with the first-team offense on Thursday, and it may be a while before he does that again.

"He was at the bottom of the depth chart (on Thursday)," Malzahn said, via Crepea. "He's going to earn his way back up. He understands that. For anybody that missed that many practices, that's to be expected."

The long-term effect of Williams' return to the team is quite obvious.

Auburn will be able to start the 2015 season against Louisville with its leading receiver instead of virtually starting over at the position. Take away Williams and Auburn's departed seniors, and the Tigers are without a staggering 79.4 percent of their receiving yards from last season.

The presence of Williams out wide is especially vital this season for what Auburn will most likely do on the offensive side of the ball.

Now that junior Jeremy Johnson has taken over for Nick Marshall at quarterback, the Tigers have a true pocket presence who is more dangerous with his arm than with his legs. In Williams, Johnson will have a dangerous intermediate threat with an incredible catch radius.

Barring any more off-field issues, Auburn's offense should reach a new level this season with a more experienced version of its All-SEC receiver.

But the short-term effects of Williams' return will be just as important for the Tigers.

If Williams is indeed practicing at the bottom of the depth chart for Auburn, that means that several other receivers will continue to get opportunities to practice with the first-string offense for the time being.

According to a story earlier in the week by Crepea, Auburn has rotated Ricardo Louis, Melvin Ray, Myron Burton Jr. and Darius Slayton as Williams' usual spot at split end/"X" receiver. Tony Stevens, who backed up Coates last season, has played a number of roles during the offseason.

"Those are guys that have played that position before and are doing a nice job," offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said, via Crepea.

While Williams represents a major chunk of Auburn's passing attack, he can't do it alone. Williams thrived in his first season at Auburn opposite Coates, a standout receiver.

More first-team reps for players such as Ray, Stevens, Burton and Slayton should be extremely valuable for the offense throughout the rest of fall camp. And Williams' demotion puts more spotlight on Louis, a senior who will most likely start opposite his fellow senior.

"I'm a senior, I'm a leader, and when things like (Williams' being out) happen, somebody has to step up and that's my responsibility," Louis said, via Crepea. "Nobody has to tell me, 'Ricardo you have to step up.' I already know it's time to step up, and that's what I'm going to do."

As Phillip Marshall of Auburn Undercover wrote on Friday morning, Williams surely won't be at the bottom of the depth chart when the Tigers head to the Georgia Dome in a few weeks to take on Louisville.

"Williams, as a bona fide star, is different than a third-teamer trying to make the travel squad," Marshall wrote. "He just is. To pretend otherwise is folly. His teammates want to trust him. They want to believe in him. They know they have a better chance to reach their goals if he is part of the pursuit of those goals."

Until Williams can prove to Malzahn and his teammates that he deserves to be back on the first-team offense, a few more Auburn receivers who will have to step up this fall will get valuable reps with the starters.

If Williams can take advantage of what is most likely his last chance at Auburn, the Tigers are in a win-win situation at wide receiver after a week of tension.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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