NCAA Football News

Strong Scrimmage Shutout Great Sign for Auburn's Defense Under Will Muschamp

When Gus Malzahn walked off the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Monday, Auburn's offense hadn't scored a single touchdown all day.

A pointless performance would probably cause the offensive-minded head coach's brain to short-circuit. After all, the Tigers have averaged at least 35 points per game during his two seasons in charge.

But Malzahn was surprisingly pleased with the outcome.

"The bottom line is the defense whipped the offense today," Malzahn said, per Brandon Marcello of "From a head coach's standpoint, I kind of like that."

Auburn reportedly ran 90 plays during its first scrimmage of fall camp, and the normally prolific offense only put up two field goals while fumbling three times.

Call Monday's scrimmage another sign of the Will Muschamp effect that has swept Auburn in 2015.

As Marcello noted in his post-practice recap, this performance is part of a growing trend under the Tigers' new defensive coordinator:

The performance by the defense is notable on the Plains, where offense usually dominates post-scrimmage headlines.

The development, however, does follow what can only be termed now as a trend for Will Muschamp's defense. The Tigers' A-Day scrimmage included only 38 total points, a stark contrast to the 58-3 score in 2014.

Whether the results translate in the season opener Sept. 5 against Louisville remains to be seen, but the early signs sure are promising for the Tigers' revamped defense under the former Florida head coach's guidance.

Muschamp's most identifiable characteristic as an assistant coach is his trademark intensity, and his defenses usually reflect that attitude out on the field.

Auburn players have remarked on the defense's physicality and intensity throughout the first few days of fall practice. On Monday, they had their first opportunity to show it in a completely live-ball situation.

"We were physical. That is something Coach wants us to be," senior cornerback Jonathan Jones said, per Ryan Black of Auburn Undercover. "I think we met his expectations today [of] being physical. We still have to improve a lot on X's and O's, but you can't beat how physical we were."

That physical nature has been lacking from Auburn's defenses under Malzahn and former coordinator Ellis Johnson. Across the last two seasons, Auburn has allowed an average of 410 yards per game.

Muschamp's defenses, however, have been elite everywhere he's been since his first stint as an Auburn assistant—especially when compared to the post-Tommy Tuberville years on the Plains.

One of the key figures in Auburn's defensive revitalization project under Muschamp excelled in Monday's scrimmage.

According to Black, Malzahn said sophomore defensive end and pass-rushing specialist Carl Lawson was "unblockable" Monday.

"You've just got to know where he's at. There's no doubt about that from an offensive standpoint," Malzahn said. "He disrupts. He's a disruptor, and a lot of times, even if he's not making the play, he disrupts stuff for other people."

Jones echoed his head coach and heaped praise on the Tigers' entire defensive line.

"Carl was great. The whole front, honestly, and that's going to help us this year," Jones said, per Marcello. "But having him back full go and out there pressuring quarterbacks, being unblockable—and the whole front, honestly, they dominated today, and I think that's really where the physicality started today, was with the front."

Monday marked Lawson's first live scrimmage since his ACL tear and subsequent surgery in the spring of 2014. He missed the entire season for the Tigers, who struggled mightily in pass rushing en route to a disappointing 8-5 record.

Lawson and the rest of the defense wasn't allowed to tackle junior quarterback Jeremy Johnson during the scrimmage, but Auburn's offensive leader still felt the effects of the strong performance.

"They were flying around, making plays," Johnson said, per Black. "They just beat us today."

Even though Johnson played a limited role in the scrimmage and the Tigers were still without top wide receiver Duke Williams due to a "discipline issue," Auburn's defensive performance is yet another sign of better things to come from the less successful side of the ball on the Plains.

And considering the amount of success Auburn has had moving the ball in game situations, one shouldn't worry about a rare scoreless performance from a Malzahn offense.

The Tigers offensive stars are already focused on rebounding from Monday's misfire in another scrimmage on Saturday.

"They definitely brought their energy today," senior wide receiver Ricardo Louis said, per Tom Green of the Opelika-Auburn News. "They brought that intensity. Offense is going to have to pick up next time we get out there."

They just know the bar is continuing to be raised by the new-look Muschamp defense.


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

Read more College Football news on

10 College Football Players with Most to Prove in 2015

Thousands of college football players are set to hit the field in less than a month when the 2015 season gets underway. After a long offseason, they'll finally get to see if they can reach the goals they've set for the year. It will also be the first opportunity to prove themselves worthy of playing at this level, and possibly beyond.

Some players have much more to prove than others. Based on what they've done to this point in their career, or because of things that might have happened since last season ended, several of the most notable players in FBS head into 2015 looking to show they're worthy of the praise or deserve more than they're getting. Others are looking to get back on track after a checkered past, either on or off the field.

Here's a look at 10 players who have the most to prove in 2015.

Begin Slideshow

Why This Is the Most Important Week of Florida's Fall QB Battle

Not all quarterback battles are created equally.

For some teams in certain situations, prolonged battles are acceptable based on learning curve, early-season schedule and similar contenders vying for the job. For others, a quick resolution goes a long way toward a successful season.

Consider Florida part of the group that could benefit from a quick decision.

Early in fall camp, first-year head coach Jim McElwain said the battle between true sophomore dual-threat Treon Harris and redshirt freshman pro-style passer Will Grier is close through one week, according to Landon Watnick of

"If you’re asking is there separation yet, I haven’t really seen it. But I will say this: their command is what I’ve been really happy with," McElwain said, according to Scott Carter of "They both have had really shining moments. They’ve both had some moments where you kind of scratch your head and wonder where that came from."

The Gators will scrimmage Friday, according to Watnick, which makes this the most important week of the Florida quarterback battle.

The primary goal for McElwain and new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is to establish what Florida's offensive identity will be this year. That identity could vary greatly depending on who is taking the snaps and, more importantly, how much trust the offensive line earns from the coaching staff.

It's clear McElwain wants to instill his pro-style system in the Gator program, but considering the uncertainty of the offensive line, it might be best for the 2015 Gators to write it in pencil this year rather than ink.

If the offensive line can't protect and opposing defensive fronts are teeing off on the quarterback, he might be best served to put a guy back there who can move like Harris and try to become more multidimensional within the running game rather than putting a big emphasis on stretching the field deep.

Instead of ripping the old system off like a Band-Aid, the staff might have to transition slowly, which could give Harris a great shot at winning the job.

However it plays out, it's something that needs to be decided quickly.

An offensive identity has been Florida's version of Sasquatch or a unicorn since 2011. It's been a figment of of the imagination of Gator fans. 

That needs to change, despite the fact that the schedule sets up in a way that might suggest the Gators could ease into it.

Florida doesn't need to be great this year in order to compete with the SEC's big boys. As was the case under former head coach Will Muschamp, the defense will keep them in virtually every game. If the Gators can focus on a few things they do well offensively, that's all the identity they need. 

That identity needs to develop in fall camp and be perfected early in the season so that the Gators can hit their SEC schedule running at Kentucky and vs. Tennessee in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively.

Choosing a quarterback is the first step in establishing that identity.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93 XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter: @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on

College Football Awards for the 2015 Offseason

Channeling our inner Professor Farnsworth, we have good news for everyone: The 2015 college football season is drawing nigh. Congratulations, you've nearly made it through the grueling offseason. All that's left is to get through preseason camp. 

And stay healthy. For goodness' sake, nobody tear anything. 

But before we move straight into football, let's take a look back at what made the offseason so interesting with the official Bleacher Report College Football Awards—2015 Offseason Edition. From the best quote to the best viral video, from the MVP to the worst controversy, we look back at everything that made the last few months bearable. Additionally, we'll mix in some storylines for the upcoming season as part of our flashy awards ceremony. 

Also, there are no trophies or red carpets or anything like that. It's just us with an "attaboy" pat on the back. 

Begin Slideshow

Stanford Samuels III Names Top 3: Could 'Noles Legacy Recruit Head to SEC?

A trio of heavyweights is among the schools tied at the top for 2017 4-star corner Stanford Samuels III, according to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports.

Alabama, Florida State and Georgia are the schools that have separated themselves early in the running for the nation’s No. 5 corner and the No. 38 player overall in the 2017 cycle.

However, the Seminoles are the perceived front-runners in his recruitment due to the fact that his father, Stanford Samuels Jr., played corner at FSU from 2000 to 2003.

With the news that two SEC powers are in the running for Samuels, is the possibility becoming more realistic that Samuels could land somewhere other than Tallahassee for college?

Given the success that both Alabama and Georgia have had on the recruiting trail in recent years, it’s tough to discount them as potential threats in the race for Samuels.

Bartow notes that Samuels took visits to all three schools in the summer.

According to Hank South of BamaOnLine, Samuels enjoyed his first visit to Tuscaloosa.

“I talked to Coach (Kirby) Smart and got had a lot of interest from Coach (Nick) Saban while I was up there,” Samuels told South. “They were going over some of the coverages and schemes that they run. Basically they were telling me to keep my head straight and stay focused on getting better at football every day, and not get lost in the process.”

He also visited Georgia for its annual "Dawg Night" camp in July. As Bartow details, Samuels was impressed with the momentum that the Bulldogs have been able to build with the nation’s elite recruits.

However, with that said, Florida State still has reason to feel confident in landing Samuels in the end.

As detailed by Chris Nee of Noles247, while Samuels admits he has grown up a fan of the ‘Noles, he said that he doesn’t feel any added pressure to go to FSU because his father went there.

Instead, the Seminoles coaching staff, particularly defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, has done a good job of building a relationship with him and helping sell the ‘Noles program as being the best fit for him in the end.

"Every time I come up here, he treats me just like I am his son," Samuels III told Nee about his bond with Kelly. "He treats me great. Home-style, makes me feel at home. He makes me feel comfortable."

Additionally, Florida State has a lengthy history of producing elite corners—with both of last year’s starting corners being selected in the first three rounds of the 2015 NFL draft. 

While the Tide and the Bulldogs can boast similar selling points, his comfort level with the FSU program will be tough to beat when it comes time for him to make his decision.


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

Most Unique Academic Majors for 2015 Power Conference College Football Players

As last week's Most Popular Academic Majors story showed, college football players tend to run in the same packs when it comes to their courses of studies.

The vast majority of players in Power Five conferences are enrolled in some sort of business major, while other common majors such as communication, sociology and sport management followed. 

But a handful of athletes have decided to carve out their own unique paths in academics during their time on campus. They don't stick to the usual courses—in fact, some have interesting majors that no one else in the sport studies.

The SEC has two star players who have their eyes on the skies, while another one tends to focus on the bugs that crawl on the ground. Ohio State has an animal-loving leader on its offensive line, and USC has an established music producer already out in Hollywood.

Take a look at several players with some of the most unique majors in college football, and the paths they took to achieve their academic goals.

Begin Slideshow

USC Football 2015: Complete Preview of Trojans Offense and Defense

The USC Trojans finished off the 2014 season with a 9-4 record. Bleacher Report's College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Adam Kramer break down USC's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think USC will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Texas A&M Football 2015: Complete Preview of Aggies Offense and Defense

The Texas A&M Aggies finished the 2014 season with a 8-5 record. How will they fare in 2015?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee break down Texas A&M's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season in the video above.

How well do you think Texas A&M will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Ole Miss Football 2015: Complete Preview and Predictions for Rebels

The Ole Miss Rebels finished the 2014 season with a 9-4 record. How will they fare in 2015?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee break down Ole Miss' biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season in the video above.

How well do you think Ole Miss will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Tennessee Football 2015: Complete Preview of Volunteers Offense and Defense

The Vols finished off the 2014 season with a 7-6 record. Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Tennessee's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think the Vols will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Arizona State Football 2015: Complete Preview and Predictions of Sun Devils

The Arizona State Sun Devils finished the 2014 season with a 10-3 record. How will the fare in 2015?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Adam Kramer break down Arizona State's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season in the video above.

How well do you think the Sun Devils will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Don't Expect a Resolution to the Georgia QB Battle Anytime Soon

One of the hottest quarterback battles in the SEC is taking place this August in the Classic City of Athens, Georgia, as junior Faton Bauta, sophomore Brice Ramsey and Virginia graduate transfer Greyson Lambert are squaring off for the top spot on the depth chart.

Don't expect a resolution anytime soon, because this quarterback battle could last a long time.

With a week in the books during spring practice, head coach Mark Richt isn't dropping any hints, and it appears, according to Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that approach has trickled down to the players, including running back Keith Marshall.

Expect that to be the theme of fall camp for the Bulldogs, because this battle is going to last quite a while.

This has been an offseason of change for the Georgia offense, despite the relative stability of running back Nick Chubb and an offensive line that's one of the SEC's best. Gone is one of the best offensive coordinators in college football in Mike Bobo, gone are reliable wide receivers Chris Conley and Michael Bennett, gone is redshirt senior Hutson Mason—who, while inexperienced going into last year, was fully comfortable with the personnel and system.

On top of that, new coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has come in with an NFL-style install process that, while good for the players to prepare for the next level, still takes some getting used to.

"When he's teaching, he's rolling through. He's not taking five minutes to teach one play. It's like 10 seconds, and you better know it by tomorrow," wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell said following the spring game. "He's brought that in. Every time we install, it's quick. A 30-play install might take five minutes."

Considering where the quarterback battle stands right now, Schottenheiemer and Richt are best served to take their time.

Ramsey and Bauta went through spring, but Lambert just got to campus in late July after finishing up his degree in Charlottesville and has to play catchup early in fall camp. 

Shouldn't he deserve a fair shot at winning the job?

For that to happen, based on the new system and how it's being installed, a prolonged quarterback battle is necessary unless one of the contenders absolutely knocks the socks off of the staff over the next week or so.

Luckily for Georgia, the schedule sets up perfectly for the battle to linger into the season. 

The season opener vs. Louisiana-Monroe shouldn't be much of an issue and will give the staff a chance to judge whoever is still in the mix in a game setting. It's not so much the cupcake to open the season, though, that's important; it's Game No. 2 at Vanderbilt the following week.

It's not like Vandy is a tough place to play, but a road conference game is a fantastic place to separate the contender from the pretender prior to the Week 3 showdown with South Carolina. 

The scheme and the schedule are set up perfectly for this quarterback battle to shape up exactly like Alabama's did in 2011. Phillip Sims and AJ McCarron shared snaps in the opener vs. Kent State, and then McCarron took control on the road against a good Penn State team and never let it go.

Expect a similar script for the 2015 Georgia Bulldogs.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93 XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on

Penn State Football 2015: Complete Preview and Predictions for Nittany Lions

The Penn State Nittany Lions finished the 2014 season with a 7-6 record. But how will they fare in 2015?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Penn State's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season in the video above.

How well do you think Penn State will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

South Carolina Football 2015: Complete Preview of Gamecocks Offense and Defense

South Carolina finished off the 2014 season with a 7-6 record. Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee break down South Carolina's biggest storylines on offense and defense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think the Gamecocks will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

15 Non-Power 5 College Football Players You Need to Know for the 2015 Season

Did you know that since 2000, 12 of the 32 quarterbacks who started in the Super Bowl didn’t play for a Power Five team in college?

That’s 38 percent of the field.

It proves an important point: You don’t have to play for Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma or USC to be a good football player.

It also means that you don’t have to play for a big-time program to become one of the greatest football players of all time. Think of Brett Favre of Southern Miss, Jack Lambert of Kent State and Walter Payton of Jackson State.

The following 15 athletes all have the right stuff for a big 2015 season; a lucky few may even go on to be a part of football history.

This is what will be referred to as their “humble beginnings."

Begin Slideshow

Who Will Be College Football's Best Quarterback in 2015?

Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston headlined as the nation's top quarterbacks in 2014, but who will hold the crown in 2015? Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer discuss who they think is the best QB in 2015.

Who do you think is the top quarterback in college football? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Virginia Tech Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Fall camp finally began last Friday for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and the countdown to the season opener against the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes is officially on.

The start of fall camp is intoxicating for fans across the country. Whether you're a fan of the Washington State Cougars, the Florida State Seminoles or Virginia Tech, everyone begins the season with a clean slate and big expectations.

On the first day of practice for the Hokies, they received a surprise in the presence of Michael Vick. Vick watched practice and spoke to the team about embracing the opportunities that are in front of it, per Brian Woodson of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

Just to embrace the opportunity they have in front of them, don’t take it lightly. I told them everything they wanted in their life is right there ahead of them, whether it is in the NFL or graduating and moving on to other things.

They have a great opportunity to do so many things with their lives. This is the platform, they deserve it, they worked hard to get here obviously. This entire program and school will give them everything they need and provide them with everything they need as long as they put in the hard work.

Vick expects to be back on campus for the showdown with the Buckeyes on Labor Day.

As far as the current Hokies go, it was a busy first few days of camp. With 16 starters returning, there aren't many starting positions up for grabs. The biggest battle in camp could be at "Rover," where three-year starter Kyshoen Jarrett is gone. Tech expected C.J. Reavis to be its starter at the position this year, but the school dismissed him in July after an unspecified violation of the university's rules.

Currently, junior Desmond Frye, senior Donovan Riley—a cornerback—and junior Der'Woun Greene are competing to win the starting job.


Brandon Facyson Is Back

Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller formed an outstanding freshman duo at cornerback two years ago. Both received All-ACC and Freshman All-American honors, combining for 11 interceptions.

However, Facyson suffered a leg injury that slowed him early last season and eventually forced him to miss the last nine games of the year. In December, Facyson broke his leg in practice and later received a medical hardship waiver.

For the first time in a while, Facyson is a full go in practice, and defensive coordinator Bud Foster has seen the Facyson of 2013, according to Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“I saw the Brandon Facyson I saw two years ago, playing with a lot of confidence,” Foster said. “He’s not even thinking about that leg. It’s good to see.”

It is good to see. The Hokies are tinkering with Chuck Clark—who replaced Facyson in the starting lineup last season—at free safety this fall and need Facyson at full strength across from Fuller.

Facyson believes breaking his leg in December was beneficial to a full recovery.

“It gave my leg the chance to heal correctly and a chance to be 100 percent at the end of the day,” Facyson said. “So I’m thankful for it. I just kind of went with it, rolled with the punches.”

If Tech has a healthy Facyson across from Fuller in the season opener, it will allow Foster to get even more creative with his blitz packages than he did in last season's win over the Buckeyes.


Shai McKenzie Suspended for One Game

Virginia Tech has reinstated sophomore running back Shai McKenzie to the football program. However, he will miss Week 1 because of an off-field incident in the offseason, per Andrea Adelson of

McKenzie's return will be a boost to the running game behind J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds.

McKenzie played in five games last fall before tearing his ACL and missing the remainder of the season. He was off to a strong start to his career as he ran for 106 yards on just nine carries in the season opener before rushing for a touchdown in the win over Ohio State. McKenzie finished his shortened freshman campaign with 269 rushing yards, three touchdowns and an average of just over five yards per carry.

Coleman may be entrenched as the starter, but McKenzie offers a different style than both Coleman and Edmunds. He's a patient runner with great vision.

McKenzie's return from ACL surgery is going well, and he should be ready for Week 2.


News, Notes and Attrition

Every fall, a player or two who were on the spring roster don't make it to Week 1 of the regular season. That's not just in Blacksburg; that's everywhere. Whether it's an issue over playing time, a transfer or an injury, players leave schools all the time.

Unfortunately for the Hokies, they lost Reavis in a situation that didn't pertain to football.

Another former top recruit, Holland Fisher, could also be done in Blacksburg. He hasn't been in practice yet, and his situation appears to be tenuous, at best, per Barber:

Former kicker Carson Wise is transferring, per the Roanoke Times. Wise wasn't going to beat out Joey Slye, so his departure makes sense.

Also on the roster front, Tech did get some good news with Dahman McKinnon's return to the program. The backup linebacker played in six games last fall before suffering a knee injury against Western Michigan. McKinnon briefly left the team in the spring but is back in the mix now.


Beamer Way

Longtime head coach Frank Beamer played for the Hokies and is entering his 29th season in charge of his alma mater. He put Virginia Tech on the national map and has kept it there with 22 consecutive bowl appearances.

Now the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has rewarded Beamer and his wife Cheryl for their contributions to the school by renaming Spring Road—a road that runs by Lane Stadium—Beamer Way.

Vick thought it was an honor befitting his legendary former coach:

Beamer deserves it, he deserves everything that he has embodied up to this point. This program wouldn’t be where it is at without him so it feels good to be part of something that, I won’t say was built from ground up, but being around a guy who pretty much paved the way for a lot of people. 

Coach Beamer did that for me, he did that for a lot of my brothers that I played here with, and these guys that are set to make a mark in their careers as well.

Beamer is a beloved figure not only in the eyes of his former players but also in the Blacksburg community.

Athletic director Whit Babcock was effusive in his praise of Beamer, per the team's official website:

“Coach Beamer personifies our department’s core values of integrity, service, honor and excellence, and Hokies being ‘one team, strong together’. This is our way of saying thank you."

Read more College Football news on

Ohio State Football: Inside Braxton Miller's 1st Day as a Wide Receiver

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As he stood on the practice field outside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, it'd be hard to argue that Braxton Miller didn't look the part.

Preparing to participate in his first official practice as a wide receiver, Miller donned a new jersey —trading in his No. 5 for a No. 1—a visored helmet and perhaps most importantly, gloves.

At 6'2" and 215 pounds, the former Buckeyes quarterback stretched with his old position group before the start of Ohio State's first practice of preseason camp on Monday but soon found himself running routes once individual drills began.

And although Miller may have looked crisper than expected while doing so, it was clear that the two-time Big Ten MVP still has some adjusting to do when it comes to playing his new part.

"He looked like it was his first time playing receiver," quarterback Cardale Jones said of his former stablemate's wideout debut.

That's probably because it was.

Learning to do anything new is going to take some time, even for an athlete as supremely gifted as Miller. Still, the assumption by some seemed to be that his transition to wide receiver would be a seamless one, based primarily on a career that's seen Miller rush for 3,054 yards and 32 touchdowns in his three seasons as a quarterback.

But scoring on a QB counter or read-option play doesn't require the same skill set that turning a short pass into a long one does, as Miller found out on Monday.

Only the first four of the 25 periods that made up the Buckeyes' practice were open to the media on Monday, but Miller dropped multiple passes thrown his way while running undefended routes. 

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer admitted afterward that Miller seemed "unsure" at times as he lined up for plays at his new position.

"The whole thing is, get the plan and then execute the plan," Meyer said. "That involves your split, your release and that's what's different for Braxton. Before, it was quarterback and the comment he made to me, 'Quarterback you gotta worry about everyone's world. At receiver you gotta worry about your world.'

"I see him a little bit unsure, but you turn around and get the play, which we gotta fight through that quickly."

That's not to say the day was a bad one for Miller—perhaps just a necessary one.

When he did haul in passes, he managed to show off the joystick-like ability that made him one of college football's most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks before a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder suffered a year ago brought an end to his days as a signal-caller.

"Fast," Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett said when asked to describe Miller's performance on Monday. "When he’s out there making moves, he broke a couple people off today.”

But as Jones mentioned, Miller still needs to work on doing the things that will put him in that position at his new spot. After all, the Huber Heights, Ohio, native's ability to make people miss has never been in question.

"Of course he's going to show speed, of course he's going to show quickness and catch the ball, but there's more than that in playing receiver," Jones said. "Understanding the depth of routes, getting in and out of breaks, and things like that."

The latest Ohio State roster lists Miller as a "QB/H-back," but Meyer insists he's now a full-time wide receiver.

In order to truly learn the position, the Buckeyes' head coach believes his former star signal-caller will need to fully entrench himself in the process with just four weeks to go until Ohio State's season opener against Virginia Tech.

And with H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson as well as wide receiver Corey Smith suspended for the Buckeyes' battle with the Hokies, the reality is that Ohio State may need Miller to do more than just look the part sooner than originally thought.

Monday offered some hope that the talented ball-carrier will be able to do just that, but it also provided a reminder—for both Miller and fans alike—of how far he still has to go.

"That position, to play it right—not just to play it, but play it right—is like any other position," Meyer said. "In fact, it might be more complicated."

The three-time national champion head coach remains hopeful Miller will get the hang of it and meet his expectation of being an "impact player." But with fall camp officially underway, the clock is now ticking.


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

Read more College Football news on

Will the Oregon Ducks Wear These Glow-in-the-Dark Jerseys for the 2015 Season?

The Oregon Ducks might be lighting up the Pac-12 in a new, and literal, way.

The university's athletics account tweeted a preview of a poster featuring the silhouette of a player suited up in a glow-in-the-dark uniform Monday.

But could it be a tease for actual game-day uniforms?

One can only hope.

There hasn't been any official comment on the speculation—yet.

But it seems within reason, considering how fellow Nike school Ohio State announced on the same day it'd be offering these glow-in-the-dark kicks to Buckeyes fans:

[Oregon Ducks, Ohio State Buckeyes, h/t College Spun]

Read more College Football news on

Sam Bruce Sets Official Visits: Who Is Most Likely to Flip 4-Star Miami Commit?

Sam Bruce committed to Miami more than a year ago, but the 4-star wide receiver is keeping the door open for other college football programs to change his mind.

He shared intentions to utilize upcoming official visits at Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Ohio State this season during a conversation with Luke Stampini of 247Sports.

Bruce, a 5'8", 180-pound senior at Sunshine State powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School, is also set to return to Coral Gables for an official visit with the Hurricanes. He pledged to Miami last July, nearly two months shy of his junior season.

Rated fifth nationally among wide receivers in 2016 composite recruiting rankings, Bruce commanded national attention early in his high school career. His list of scholarship offers also includes Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and South Carolina.

He caught 65 passes during the past two campaigns, totaling 1,099 yards and 16 touchdowns. The nephew of former NFL star Isaac Bruce is one of the most scintillating offensive weapons in Florida.

We documented his dynamic skill set during Bleacher Report's CFB Recruiting 200 Series.

His diminutive stature may scare off scouts who put major stock in measurables, but we challenge the doubters to watch this beast go to work. Bruce is a relentless competitor who plucks passes in traffic and manages to gain separation from defenders who typically hold a height advantage. He also excels at an often overlooked quality scouts should always keep a close eye on with receivers—a willingness to aggressively block defenders downfield.

Bruce is the Hurricanes' top-rated recruit in a 2016 class considered top 10 in national composite rankings. Miami remains the front-runner for now, but there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the future of a program that finished 6-7 last season.

“I’m pretty locked into Miami," he told Stampini. "Just weighing my options."

The inclusion of Ohio State is intriguing, as the Buckeyes are an outlier on his itinerary. He expects to spend time at a trio of in-state schools this fall and Auburn isn't too far of a hike within the region.

Clearly, Columbus presents quite a change of scenery.

Head coach Urban Meyer maintains significant credibility in the Southeast after leading Florida to a pair of national championships. His 2016 and 2017 recruiting hauls already include four Sunshine State products, headlined by 5-star defensive end and St. Thomas Aquinas teammate Nick Bosa.

Bruce plans to attend the Buckeyes' Oct. 17 game against Penn State, per Stampini.

While the defending champs figure to play a prominent role during the remainder of this pursuit, it's Meyer's former squad that catches our attention most. 

The new Gators regime is rebuilding an offensive attack that routinely sputtered during recent seasons. Those efforts have already focused on St. Thomas Aquinas twice. 

Florida signed 4-star running back Jordan Scarlett last February after he flipped from Miami. St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Jake Allen, a junior, committed to Florida last month after visiting Florida State, Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan.

The prized passer instantly made his teammate a paramount priority and accompanied him to Gainesville in late July. He hopes high school classmates Bruce and 5-star 2017 receiver Trevon Grimes join him in a Gators uniform.

"Sam and 'Tre' are both my boys. I'm definitely going to talk to them about becoming Gators," Allen told Bleacher Report. "That's where I need to start getting guys, at my own school. They know I'll be honest with them about the process and they'll be honest with me. It would be huge to play with them both in college."

Florida is the most recent university to host Bruce and will welcome him to campus at least one more time before signing day. The date of his official visit with the Gators remains unknown.

“[Head coach Jim McElwain’s] message to me was he was hoping that when this thing is all said and done, I’ll be a Florida Gator," Bruce told Stampini. "It’s a lot of love coming from Florida."

That trend has been noted by national analysts, who've given the Gators a recent surge in his 247Sports Crystal Ball. The past five expert predictions project Bruce to sign with Florida.

The fact Bruce plans to take all five official visits proves he's open to exploring options beyond Miami. Recent developments indicate Florida is the team most likely to alter his allegiances.


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