NCAA Football News

Watch HS QB Chris Robison Nail Trick Shot from Top of AT&T Stadium

Oklahoma 4-star commit Chris Robison, the eighth-ranked pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017, clearly has a great arm. Just how impressive is it, though? We here at Bleacher Report put his accuracy to the test.

We made Robison hit a target on the field from the upper deck of a stadium. It wasn't just any stadium, though. He did it at AT&T Stadium, one of the largest in the country, with a seating capacity of 80,000.

Check out the soon-to-be Sooner's ridiculous trick shot in the video above.


Star ratings via 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Football: Freshmen Who Will Play Significant Snaps in 2016

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones harps all the time on the idea that the Volunteers haven't yet built a program that is as stocked with depth and talent as any of their peers around the country.

Whether that's poor-mouthing with a purpose or not—the Vols should be really good in 2016, and nobody on Rocky Top is shying away from those expectations—several freshmen will still play this year.

Part of that is out of necessity, but the bottom line is that UT is recruiting at such a high level that the talent is simply too good to keep off the field.

However, a few star upperclassmen will block some uber-talented first-year players.

Defensive back Tyler Byrd, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and running back Carlin Fils-aime would play on a lot of teams around the country, but they didn't make the list because UT is in an enviable place at those positions.

That's a product of consistent classes, and Jones is working on building a program that should be able to compete on a yearly basis.

The Vols have a good chance to have a good year in '16. Perhaps, it can even be special. But as many promising junior and senior players as there are in orange and white, the Vols will still rely on freshmen of the redshirt and even true variety.

Let's take a look at 10 freshmen who'll be on the field a whole lot this year for Tennessee.

Begin Slideshow

Urban Meyer Responds to Recruit's Criticism over His OSU Visit

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is widely seen as one of the best recruiters in all of college football, but Kentucky signee Landon Young did not like the way the three-time national champion and his school pursued him as a prospect.  

Young, who is a 4-star offensive tackle and part of Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, criticized Meyer’s treatment of him as a recruit to David Collier of SECCountry.com. Meyer took note and responded Tuesday to the criticism, per Austin Ward of ESPN.com.

Meyer said he read the comments and discussed them with his staff: “We have a lot of respect for him as a player, a lot. I was very disappointed in our staff that we didn't offer him earlier. Then about the treatment thing, we don't do that on purpose, if that's his feelings. I went back and talked to our staff about it.”

Meyer did make sure to point out “that was one [recruit] out of 650 saying ‘Someone has treated me bad,’” per Ward.

Young made visits to Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina as a prospect before ultimately choosing the hometown Wildcats. However, the Lexington native made news as he recalled his negative interactions with Meyer when he asked the Ohio State coach why he wasn’t on the Buckeyes’ radar earlier in the process, per Collier:

I had gone up to camp there, and they had treated me like a piece of meat, just treated me like crap… I said, ‘Well coach, back when I was just committing to Kentucky and keeping my options open, I came up to a camp and sent you my film and everything, and you didn’t even reply. It seemed like y’all just deleted it.’

He said, ‘Well, if you look back at that time, you were how big?’ I said, ‘6-7, 270, just like I am now.’ He said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial tackle, an insubstantial player,’ so he was saying I (didn’t) even amount to being able to be recruited by Ohio State as a four-star tackle. He said, ‘Now what offers did you have?’ I said, ‘I had my one from Kentucky,’ and he said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial player with insubstantial offers from an insubstantial school.’

If anything, Kentucky fans probably won’t enjoy hearing one of the most prominent names in all of college football calling their program insubstantial, but Young was clearly affected by Meyer’s approach and spurned the Buckeyes for the Wildcats. 

Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors thought of another way Young could have interpreted the entire thing:

Alas, Ward noted Meyer did disagree with the idea Young was not a good enough player for Ohio State in his response to the offensive tackle’s comments.

Meyer instead realized it probably took his staff too long to recognize how valuable of a recruit Young could be up front for the Buckeyes offense and said as much, per Ward: “When we did want to offer him afterwards and felt like he was a great player, I think we missed on him early on and I was very upset with our coaching staff and the recruiter in that area and the position coach.”

Kentucky hopes Young proves himself on the field enough during his college career that Meyer and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff regret missing out on him. He is 6’7” and 270 pounds, but 247Sports lists his 40-yard-dash time as 4.80, which is a testament to his athletic ability at that size. He can move laterally to protect the passer or maul defensive linemen up front to create holes for the rushing attack.

The fact Young chose Kentucky over Ohio State and Alabama, among others, is newsworthy in itself. The Buckeyes won the national title during the 2014 season and are coming off a 12-1 campaign and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2015. They have also won at least 10 contests in 12 of the last 14 years and have Meyer as a three-time national champion leading the way.

Ohio State is one of the pillar programs of the sport, and its reputation on the recruiting trail will probably only grow when a number of Buckeyes are selected in the upcoming NFL draft.

Historically, Ohio State is usually not battling with the likes of Kentucky for some of the top players in the Midwest and some of the northern states in SEC country like the Wildcats. Rather, it frequently competes with the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame and Michigan State, as well as national powerhouses such as Alabama.

However, Young's choosing Kentucky is no fluke. The Wildcats have some momentum under head coach Mark Stoops and check in with the No. 10 class for 2017, per 247Sports' composite team rankings. While 247Sports lists the Buckeyes as the No. 1 group for 2017, the Wildcats are among some of the sport’s top classes and will look to continue that upward trajectory on the recruiting trail.

Ohio State was the No. 4 class in 2016, while Kentucky was No. 34, per 247Sports

If Kentucky is able to consistently land players like Young, Meyer will have to worry about another program near his home state of Ohio.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

How Commitment of 4-Star QB Tristan Gebbia Impacts Future of Nebraska Recruiting

Two weeks ago, Nebraska fans were happy with their two 3-star commitments in wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty and linebacker Willie Hampton. But there were those who silently wondered when the class would have its breakout opportunity.

On March 23, the Cornhuskers were excited to have 4-star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. commit. The buzz followed.

Monday was another huge day for Nebraska fans, as the program landed a 4-star quarterback in Tristan Gebbia. Ranked the nation's No. 8 pro-style quarterback, Gebbia chose the Cornhuskers over West Virginia, Washington, Washington State and Ole Miss—the school where his father, Rich Gebbia, played tight end.

"I've spent a lot of time with Coach Lang [offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf] and [head] Coach [Mike] Riley," said Gebbia, a 6'3", 180-pound quarterback. "I've gotten to see them practice up close and personal. Plus, Keyshawn loves it there. He'd been telling me he wants me to come with him. We've had a pretty good connection the last three years, and he said, 'Why not take it to the next level?'"

Nebraska picked up a quarterback who had great numbers as a junior, according to MaxPreps. He threw for 4,435 yards and 45 touchdowns and completed 63 percent (278 of 442) of his passes. Additionally, Gebbia rushed for five touchdowns.

Quarterbacks like Gebbia tend to be keystone commitments for programs. Offensive athletes want to make plays with him. Defensive athletes want to get better practicing against him. In Nebraska's case, Gebbia's commitment is a huge win for a variety of reasons.

First, Gebbia gives Nebraska a quality option at one of recruiting's most competitive positions. There are only 14 pro-style and 10 dual-threat quarterbacks nationwide listed as at least a 4-star prospect. Of those 24 total quarterbacks, prior to Gebbia's commitment, only four were uncommitted targets.

Second, Gebbia's pledge helps establish what appears to be a budding pipeline between Nebraska and Calabasas High School. Safety Marquel Dismuke signed with Nebraska in February, and the Cornhuskers are expecting to add Johnson and Gebbia next February.

And you can bet that Nebraska is doing all it can to add more Calabasas players in the near future. Among that short list are 5-star cornerback Darnay Holmes and 2018 cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing discussions of Gebbia's commitment involves depth at the position. Nebraska, upon Gebbia signing his national letter of intent, will enter the 2017 season with three players competing for the starting QB job. Gebbia, early enrollee Patrick O'Brien and A.J. Bush, who just finished his redshirt freshman year and was listed as the team's third-stringer last season, will compete for playing time. If Gebbia doesn't start as a freshman, he'll definitely push his competition to be better, which will help Nebraska in a tough Big Ten Conference.

Having Gebbia as a part of the Nebraska roster is huge for Riley and his program. Now it's all about keeping Gebbia committed. Look for Ole Miss to continue recruiting him, as he is a Rebel legacy. Before committing, Gebbia took an unofficial visit to Ole Miss over the weekend.

"The trip's been great," Gebbia said Saturday. "I've spent a lot of time with the coaches and watched their scrimmage. I just wanted to see the SEC up close and personal. As an athlete who wants to get better, you look forward to seeing all you can and getting as much out of it as possible."

Gebbia's recruitment will be one to watch, but for now, all arrows point to him becoming a Cornhusker when it's time to sign his letter of intent.

"It's pretty great," he said of Nebraska. "You get great football, and the life outside of football is great. That's what I wanted."

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Incoming 2016 College Football Freshmen with Famous Parents

Not all incoming college freshmen football players are looking to put their family name on the map. While the vast majority of newcomers aren't necessarily accustomed to an expanded spotlight, others grew up in environments that commanded one. 

Whether their parents were entertainers or celebrated athletes in football or some other sport, several 2016 signees have plenty to live up to when it comes to family success. We examined a collection of prospects who inherit some level of fame from parents who previously gained public affection.

Begin Slideshow

Ranking the Top 25 Sophomores Heading into the 2016 College Football Season

Freshmen are the future, juniors are the next batch of pro stars and seniors are the veterans who know how to get it done. Where do sophomores fit into the equation?

It's like the crossroads class in college football, the purgatory between being a newcomer and an upperclassman. Quite often, sophomores are the most forgotten of any group unless they managed to stand out as freshmen.

That's what we have with our list of the 25 best sophomores heading into the 2016 season. It's a group that began to draw attention last year, but in most cases, that was just the start of their run. We've ranked them based on what they've achieved to this point and what they're in line to do this fall, when their role expands from being a first-time contributor to a go-to asset.

Begin Slideshow

4-Star WR Isaiah Robertson Tweets Top 6: Who Holds an Edge in His Recruitment?

Several universities remain in the mix to sign heavily pursued Illinois wide receiver Isaiah Robertson, with six standing out for the 4-star recruit.

Robertson, a 6'3", 190-pound prospect from Neuqua Valley High School in suburban Chicago, revealed a list of favorites on Tuesday afternoon:

His top options, in alphabetical order, are Illinois, Iowa, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt. The collection is heavy on Big Ten contenders, which is to be expected considering his proximity to conference programs.

Robertson, rated No. 27 among wide receivers and No. 214 overall in the 2017 class, picked these schools to highlight from a large group of scholarship offers. His alternatives include Maryland, Indiana, Iowa State and Syracuse.

He began collecting offers as an underclassman, with in-state Illinois extending an offer shortly after his breakout sophomore campaign. Robertson racked up 721 receiving yards (24 per catch) and five scores in 2014.

His offer total surpassed double digits last fall, when he commanded attention on both sides of the ball.

He tallied 81 tackles and four interceptions at safety, according to Allen Trieu of Scout.com, adding 50 receptions for 803 yards and nine touchdowns on offense.

While Robertson is ranked among receivers, the jury may still be out when it comes to determining his ideal collegiate fit.

He seemed receptive to a variety of roles during a September discussion with Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

“I really think that I’m more of an athlete recruit,” Robertson told Wiltfong. “Defense and offense and returning the ball, I really feel like I can get the job done anywhere it needs to be done with the right preparation."

Notre Dame was the latest school to open its doors. The Fighting Irish presented an offer on Saturday, setting the stage for an appearance in his top six.

Robertson's rapport with the program continues to accelerate, courtesy of recent visits to South Bend, Indiana. These campus trips proved vital as both sides advanced from mutual flirtation to a full-fledged scholarship offer:

His decision to drop a list of favorites just days later hints that he's ready to move forward to the next phase of a widespread recruitment. The Note Dame offer may have served as motivation to do so, as Wiltfong wrote it's one Robertson "wanted as the process picked up."

The Irish have netted each commitment projection in his 247Sports Crystal Ball, but there will be substantial competition from Big Ten schools.

Penn State has seen its passing attack sputter for stretches under head coach James Franklin, and the program failed to make a major splash at receiver last signing day. Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton, the only Nittany Lions to surpass 20 catches in 2015, will be seniors when Robertson enrolls.

Illinois is attempting to redefine itself following the hiring of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. The 2007 NFC champion will attempt to capitalize on new Illini buzz by capitalizing with local talent, and he may not discover a more impressive player than Robertson while assessing the Chicago area's recruiting landscape.

Wisconsin gains an edge due to family ties with the school. His father, Pollis Robertson, was a Badgers basketball player in the 1980s, though there's been little to indicate a legacy commitment is imminent.

As an in-depth search for Robertson's ideal fit continues, look for further diligence through visits and communication with coaches to determine what comes next in his career.

“We have certain criteria that we look for,” Pollis Robertson told Matt Freeman of Irish Sports Daily. “First and foremost would be academics. Second to that, it’s definitely the football program and in his case, we look at the tradition, coaching staff, players that are there and the position needs."

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Tyler via Twitter @TDsTake.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

Many schools around the country visit the state of Florida in hopes of finding talent to supplement their rosters with. 

One program that has frequented the Sunshine State with a decent amount of success is the USC Trojans.

Head coach Clay Helton and his staff are hoping to find more talent from Florida in the 2017 cycle.

Last week, the Trojans offered a pair of defensive standouts in 4-star linebacker VanDarius Cowan and 4-star safety Daniel Wright

Cowan, who is committed to Florida State, is the nation’s No. 5 outside linebacker and the No. 78 player overall in the 2017 class.

The 6’0”, 170-pound Wright—who holds more than 30 offers—rates as the country’s No. 8 safety and No. 102 player overall in the current cycle.

Last month at the Miami Opening Regional, Cowan spoke on the strength of his commitment to the Seminoles.

“I’m 80 percent committed. I just keep the other 20 percent open to other schools,” Cowan said.

Meanwhile, Wright has FSU among his group of early leaders, but he doesn’t plan on making a decision until after his senior season at the earliest.

If the Trojans can find a way to get either Sunshine State defender on campus, they could once again become a factor in the state of Florida in the 2017 cycle.

 

Georgia Offers Ohio DB

While it’s commonplace for Big Ten schools to recruit in the SEC’s backyard, it’s more of a rare occurrence for the reverse scenario to unfold.

Last week, SEC power Georgia looked to the state of Ohio to offer 4-star corner Amir Riep.

The 6’0”, 180-pounder—who rates as the nation’s No. 14 corner and the No. 131 player overall in 2017—from Colerain High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, has collected 40 offers.

The offer comes on the heels of Riep visiting Athens. If he schedules a return visit, the Bulldogs could become a major contender in the race for his services.

 

Clemson After New Jersey ATH

After its race to the national championship game, Clemson is building momentum nationally with top recruits in the 2017 class.

Last week, the Tigers hit the state of New Jersey to offer 3-star athlete Markquese Bell.

According to Cory Fravel of 247Sports, the Tigers offered Bell—who also landed an offer from fellow ACC program Pittsburgh last week—as a safety.

Bell has 16 offers to date, with Michigan—who hosted him on an unofficial visit last week—being one of the main contenders in his recruitment at this stage.

 

Penn State After Stud 2018 CB

The 2018 class is loaded with recruits who are the sons of former NFL players. One such talent is corner Houston Griffith—whose father Howard was a fullback who won a pair of Super Bowls during his stint with the Broncos.

The younger Griffith is a 6’0”, 180-pound corner who has landed offers from programs such as Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Tennessee before his junior year.

Penn State is the latest powerhouse to jump in the mix for Griffith, who netted an offer from the Nittany Lions last week.

Given his size, athleticism and bloodlines, Griffith figures to become a national recruit sooner than later.

 

Best of the Rest

2017

 

2018

 

2019

 

2020

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Fans Need Patience Despite Hype Building Around Bo Scarbrough

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It was media day for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Arizona and a radio show had asked University of Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand if he would participate in a live interview.

The players were all wearing their jerseys, but the person introducing him obviously never saw the name on his back. It led to an awkward moment when the first question was about the other guy who wore No. 9 for the Crimson Tide.

“Yeah, Bo Scarbrough, how does it feel to be behind Derrick Henry?” Hand said while telling the “crazy” story. Needless to say he was taken aback while the co-host quickly jumped in with, “Well, I don’t know about that, but he might be hitting Derrick Henry in practice. He’s one of the 14 guys on the D-line.”

Hand can joke about it now, but he still shakes his head at the memory. At least the radio personalities didn’t say he looks like a young Mike Tyson.

“Awww, man. C’mon. Don’t do me like that,” Hand said about the slight resemblance.

“I like to think I just look like Da’Shawn Hand.”

Players tying to make a name for themselves can be tough enough at Alabama, but some come in with an expectation level that borders on the ridiculous even though they can go unrecognized when walking down the street.

Crimson Tide fans in particular are guilty of the over-optimism regarding big-time prospects, especially at high-profile positions. For example, this time a year ago every Alabama beat reporter was asked nearly non-stop about new quarterback Blake Barnett like he should have been starting already.

This spring there have been comparable comments like, “Hey, I hear Jalen Hurts is pretty good,” but it hasn’t been as relentless.

They always seem to ignore the fact that every quarterback Nick Saban has brought in has redshirted his first year to give him a chance to develop, get accustomed to the college game (and lifestyle) and learn the offense.

AJ McCarron was nearly the exception to that when Greg McElroy suffered cracked ribs against Florida in the 2009 SEC championship game. Instead, he helped lead Alabama to back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and with the extra year nearly pulled off the three-peat.

For Hurts to play this season it would likely be because either 1) Alabama had numerous injuries at quarterback, 2) he beat out every else on the depth chart, and/or 3) the dual-threat player brings such a unique element to the offense that the coaches felt it’s worth giving up a year of eligibility to play him.

But Scarbrough falls into a different category when it comes to fan buzz: big playmakers who they can’t get enough of. We’re talking about Julio Jones- and Henry-kind of hype.

Even his own teammates have regularly drawn physical comparisons between Scarbrough and last year’s starting running back.

“There’s not really a difference,” said linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, who practiced for two years against Henry. “They have the same body style.”

During his testing at the NFL combine, Henry measured 6’3” and 247 pounds, and still ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds.

Scarbrough is listed as being 6’2” and 240 pounds, although he came into the spring having lost 10 pounds because Alabama believes 230 to be his ideal playing weight.

“We give everybody a muscle mass, body fat, hydration, functional movement test,” Saban explained. “We try to work hard with [team nutritionist Amy Bragg] to come up with what’s the most efficient, effective weight for a guy. We see how this guy’s moving, how he’s running relative to how he used to run.

“Sometimes these guys keep lifting weights and they just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I think at certain positions, especially skill positions, that’s not always advantageous.”

It also signaled one important thing everyone needs to remember: Scarborough isn’t Henry and it’s unfair to expect him to be.

Maybe eventually he’ll post comparable or even better numbers, but for now here’s what Scarbrough’s done: Seven games, 18 attempts, 104 rushing yards (5.8 average per carry), and one touchdown. His longest carry was just 24 yards.

He’s still learning the offense, the blocking schemes, his teammates, the opposition and so forth. It took Henry two years to put all together to the point he could make his Heisman Trophy run, but if Alabama had to open the 2016 season tomorrow, Damien Harris would probably start at running back.

He was a consensus 5-star recruit as well in 2015, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and has a little more experience at this level.

“I certainly see a more confident and knowledgeable guy in Damien this spring so far," Saban said.

Together the two could potentially form quite a combination this season, especially if Alabama’s offensive line takes a step forward as many believe could happen. But for now the key word is "potential" because no one knows things like how they’ll hold on to the ball on third-and-short and pick up blitzes until they do it.

Consequently, take last Saturday’s scrimmage when Scarbrough had a 95-yard touchdown and was credited with 132 yards on nine carries, as verification that he’s fully arrived.

Consider it an important first step in following his own path, albeit one of which few will want to get in the way.

“Man, he brings it, so you better bring it,” Hand said. “He’s a man.”

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages