NCAA Football News

Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel Celebrates Cotton Bowl Win by Dancing in Locker Room

The Missouri Tigers pulled out a wild 41-31 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Cotton Bowl on Friday, so they had plenty of reason to rejoice after the game.

The players weren't the only ones celebrating, though, as Coach Gary Pinkel decided to put on a show in the locker room.


Thanks to Pinkel for the video, and hat tip to Diehard Sport's Alex Friedman for the find.

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What 4-Star CB Marshon Lattimore Means to Ohio State Buckeyes

4-Star CB Marshon Lattimore has committed to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The 6'0", 175-pound athlete is one of the top prospects in the country and will be a phenomenal addition to coach Urban Meyer's strong 2014 defensive class.

What will Lattimore mean to the Buckeyes program?

B/R's college football analyst Michael Felder breaks down what to expect from this top recruit at the next level.

 

Highlights courtesy of XOSDigital.com

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Nyles Morgan to Notre Dame: Irish Land 4-Star ILB Prospect

Notre Dame landed a big prospect for its 2014 recruiting class on Saturday, landing a verbal commitment from Crete-Monee (Illinois) High School star linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Brandon Huffman of Scout.com first reported that Morgan made his decision.

According to 247Sports.com, Morgan is a 4-star recruit. Although verbal commitments are non-binding until 2014's national signing day, the junior is a big pull for Brian Kelly's '14 class.

Currently the No. 63 overall prospect in 247 Sports' rankings of the 2014 class, Morgan compiled 242 tackles during his sophomore and junior seasons and helped lead Crete-Monee to a 6A Illinois State Championship.

Morgan is listed at 6'2", weighs in at 220 pounds and has a listed 4.68 40-yard dash. He already has good size for a college linebacker, and his 40 time will only improve with more work. On film, he shows great instincts in finding the football, takes on blocks well and has the speed to make up for any missteps he accrues in the running game.

He and Laquon Treadwell (one of Ole Miss' newest 5-star freshman) were two of the best players at Crete-Monee during the 2012 season, and he'll have a chance to finish out his high school career as one of the best players in the history of Illinois sports—especially if he adds another 100-plus tackle season during his senior year.

Miles also had offers from Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Indiana and UCLA—among others—during his recruitment.

After winning Times' 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Honors (courtesy of The Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times), Miles has the pedigree of an elite prospect and will be expected to help the defense from Day 1 at Notre Dame.

Verbal commitments are non-binding, and the first day a 2014 recruit can sign his National Letter of Intent (NLI) is Feb. 5, 2014 (h/t NCAA.org). 

 

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What 4-Star ILB Nyles Morgan Means to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

4-star ILB Nyles Morgan has committed to play for Notre Dame next season. The 6'2", 225-pound athlete is an absolute bruiser, known for his hard hitting style and closing speed to the ball.

What will Morgan's commitment mean for the Fighting Irish?

BR's college football analyst Michael Felder breaks down what to expect from this top recruit at the next level.

Highlights courtesy of xosdigital.com.

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Rapper Drake Enjoyed Himself at the Orange Bowl

The Ohio State Buckeyes invited Drake to watch the Orange Bowl against Clemson, and it looks like he thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and his time there.

He got a press pass to watch from the bench, but his photos and video show he spent a lot of time in the stands.

 

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Why Charlie Strong Is the Best Fit for Texas Football

The Texas Longhorns have been among the more disappointing teams in college football over the past four years. After advancing to the BCS National Championship in 2009, the Horns have gone 31-21 while finishing ranked outside the Top 25 in three of those four seasons.  

This led to Mack Brown resigning this offseason, and now the program is searching for a head coach they hope can get them back to national prominence. 

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Louisville Cardinals Head Coach Charlie Strong will be the man Texas eventually hires. Here's the latest report from ESPN: 

This would be a great hire for Texas, and hopefully they'll get it wrapped up sooner rather than later so they can begin focusing on recruiting with only a month until National Signing Day.  

Here are the two things Strong has excelled at doing at Louisville, and why Texas should hire him expecting him to do the same there.

 

Talent Maximization

Before Strong got to Louisville, the Cardinals went 9-15 and had won just two Big East conference games in their previous two seasons. Entering the 2010 season, UL was projected as one of the worst teams in a BCS conference and likely to finish in last place in the Big East. 

But his first Cardinals team went 7-6, won the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and finished fifth in the Big East out of eight teams.

Not only that, but of the Cards' six losses, five of them were by just one touchdown or less, and it showed how in just one year Strong had changed the losing culture at Louisville. 

The next season saw Louisville go 7-6 again but finish in a tie for first place in the Big East, including a win over the conference champion West Virginia Mountaineers, who went on to defeat the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. It was now becoming evident Louisville was becoming a program that could compete with elite college football competition. 

His third year saw his Cardinals win the Big East and defeat the heavily-favored Florida Gators, who sported eight draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Speaking of which, Strong went 25-14, won the Big East and a BCS bowl game in his first three years while having only four players drafted into the NFL, and none of them were higher than a third-round selection. 

That's called maximizing your talent, something Mack Brown failed to do over his final four season at Texas, which led to his downfall. The first thing Texas needs to push for in its new coach is someone who recruits and develops talent well. 

That's what Strong thrives in and why he could come to Texas and make an immediate impact with as much talent as the Longhorns already have on their roster.

 

Focus on Defense

One of the biggest culprits behind the Longhorns' struggles recently has been the lack of consistently good defense. That was painfully evident early this year when the BYU Cougars ran for 550 yards, the most all-time by BYU and the most rushing yards the Longhorns had ever given up, according to the Salt Lake Tribune

Strong has built the Louisville defense into one of the best in the nation after it was among the nation's worst prior to his arrival. 

Per ESPN Stats and Info, Strong has had the Cardinals rank in the top 10 in the FBS in points allowed per game, yards per game, yards per play and sack percentage after ranking 75th or worse in those categories prior to his arrival. 

His star pupil at Louisville is Marcus Smith, who came to Louisville as a quarterback, but Strong helped morph him into a 6-foot-3, 256-pound defensive end who was just named the American Athletics Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

This, after registering 14.5 sacks in his senior season, the second-most in the nation. He's the truest testament to how well Strong develops and maximizes talent, particularly on defense. 

There may be bigger names that Texas can pursue, but given Strong's success at maximizing talent and building defense, the two things Texas needs the most right now, Strong may very well be the best hire the Longhorns can possibly make. 

 

 

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Bryce Dixon to USC: Trojans Land 4-Star TE Prospect

Four-star tight end Bryce Dixon has signed with USC.

Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com broke news of the decision:

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Dixon is the second-best tight end in the country, the 10th-best prospect in California and No. 116 overall.

The 6'4", 220-pound tight end is good enough to have earned a place in the 2014 Army All-American Bowl:

Dixon is the kind of prospect that leaves recruiters and head coaches drooling. The product of St. Bonaventure High School is a good mix of raw ability and actual talent. He's got great hands for a tight end and has an ability to find the ball in the air and snatch it out the sky.

In addition, the physical tools are all there. He has enough power to handle opposing linebackers, but his speed will create mismatches in the secondary.

The one concern you might have with Dixon is his size. Weighing 220 pounds when you're 6'4" is acceptable when you're a wide receiver, but it isn't for a tight end. While the position is becoming dominated more and more by athletic freaks, Dixon could stand to add a little more bulk. Where he is right now, he'd get bullied at the line of scrimmage.

It shouldn't be a big problem, since getting on a more regular strength and conditioning program should allow him to build some additional muscle.

Tight ends are becoming more and more like wide receivers, and Dixon no doubt fits that mold. With the right coaching, he could be one of, if not the best tight end in the country in a few years. It's a matter of him fulfilling his massive potential.

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Frank Iheanacho to Texas A&M: Aggies Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Wide receiver Frank Iheanacho wasn't even on the college football radar entering the 2013 season, but after a fantastic campaign at Westside High School in Houston, Texas, interest heated up. It all culminated in him committing to play at Texas A&M Saturday, according to Brandon Huffman of Fox Sports:

Despite Iheanacho's obvious physical tools, he had to play his way into the conversation this past season. According to 247Sports.com, he didn't play football in 2012, instead concentrating solely on basketball. He returned to the gridiron in 2013, though, and managed to reel in 44 passes for 652 yards and 16 touchdowns.

That touchdown total is what had so many top schools salivating. At 6'7" and 220 pounds, it shouldn't take Iheanacho long to be a red-zone weapon at the very least. He still has to develop other areas of his game, but he has all the potential in the world.

When asked about his return to the sport of football, Iheanacho told Brian Perroni of 247Sports.com that his teammates convinced him to give it another try.

“My teammates, I would talk to them about it,” Iheanacho said of returning to the football team his senior year. “Those are like my brothers. I really just wanted to come out and have fun with them and get to play football again.”

Per 247Sports.com, Iheanacho is the No. 71 overall recruit and the No. 8 overall wide receiver, which is amazing when you consider how little experience he has. Even so, Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, Missouri and a host of other top programs were vying for his services.

Iheanacho clearly seemed to enjoy the recruitment process as well. As seen in this photo courtesy of his Instagram account, he was quite impressed with what the Razorbacks had to offer:

Westside head coach Frank Byrd has had nothing but good things to say about Iheanacho, per Perroni.

“He’s a big kid that moves so well,” Byrd said. “We saw flashes of it his sophomore year but we didn’t know quite what to expect when he came back. He was just a natural route-runner. He was so smooth, especially for being so big."

What Byrd sees in Iheanacho is likely right in line with what those who were trying to recruit him saw. Even though he's still somewhat raw as he tries to convert his natural talent into on-field excellence, it is blatantly obvious that he has the ability to be a very special player.

As seen in this video of Iheanacho's high school highlights, he often uses his size to take advantage of smaller defensive backs. That is something that he must continue to do since he'll have a height advantage no matter who he goes up against.

With that said, there is more to the collegiate game than that. Iheanacho will have to polish his route-running even more, especially in the short and intermediate areas. He is a big threat over the top due to his leaping ability already, but he can be even better once he rounds out his game.

Clearly, there is plenty of belief that Iheanacho can take that next step since so many high-profile programs wanted him. He has finally made his decision, but the work has only just begun in terms of fulfilling his immense promise.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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5-Star RB Joe Mixon Scores, Flashes Money Manziel Sign at Army All-American Bowl

Five-star running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif.) will be playing his college ball for Oklahoma, according to Justin Hopkins of 247Sports, but one famous Texas A&M Aggies player is clearly among his influences.

After scoring a touchdown in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Mixon celebrated with the "show me the money" dance made famous by Johnny Manziel:

Manziel started doing the gesture as a redshirt freshman in 2012, celebrating scores all the way to a Heisman Trophy. But this year, after being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly selling autographs, he drew the ire of many by doing the same dance against Rice in the season opener.

Mixon is No. 10 in the all-purpose back 247Sports rankings for 2014. Earlier in the Army All-American game, he flashed another part of his skill set by taking a screen pass down the sideline for a long gain.

We'll let you know once he announces his commitment.

 

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How an Oklahoma Sugar Bowl Victory Brought Redemption for 2007 Fiesta Bowl Loss

It's safe to say that Oklahoma's triumph over Alabama in this year's Sugar Bowl was one of the greatest games ever played by the crimson-and-cream team. Quarterback Trevor Knight performed better than he had all year by throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns over the course of the game, while Bob Stoops became the only coach to win the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl since the beginning of the BCS era.

With this victory, the Sooners were able to bring some closure to one of their toughest losses in the history of their program: The 2007 Fiesta Bowl, where the Sooners took on Boise State.

For those who remember, the eighth-ranked Sooners emerged as the overwhelming favorite to win that evening, with many believing the Sooners would win with a seven-point deficit or higher. Meanwhile, the Boise State Broncos had plenty of momentum on their end thanks to the Western Athletic Conference championship triumph with an undefeated regular season. 

When the game started, Boise State took an early lead, and lead for most of the game before the Sooners fired back with 25 unanswered points to achieve their first lead of the game with 1:02 left on the clock, 35-28. 

With the game already looking to be a close one, fans on both sides were exhilarated when Jerard Rabb brought the ball down for a 35-yard touchdown run with seven seconds left in the game. The ensuing kick tied the game up 35-35. The game was sent into overtime.

Adrian Peterson gave the Sooners an edge with a 25-yard touchdown run, with the ensuing kick bringing the score to 42-35. Sooner fans knew that the game was going to go in Oklahoma's favor, but a six-yard touchdown followed by a Statue of Liberty trick play for a two-point conversion gave the Boise State Broncos the Fiesta Bowl win, 43-42.

The game was widely regarded as one of the greatest college football games ever played due to the dramatic fashion in which it ended. But while the Broncos received the fanfare which comes with being a victorious underdog, the Sooners were left with a crushed morale which, in some ways, they never recovered from. 

Sure, they've won more games than lost, and they have won multiple Big 12 titles since that fateful January day, but the fact of the matter is that they were ousted by what was supposed to be a lesser team. The 2007 Fiesta Bowl will always be remembered in college football history, and Oklahoma has to suffer the stigma of being the juggernaut that lost that night.

Fast forward seven years later to the 2014 Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Oklahoma. It was an odd reversal of roles as Oklahoma was touted as the underdog team led by Stoops, while the third-ranked, Nick Saban-led Alabama was the favorite to win. With three BCS National Championship wins in the last four years, including the last two, it looked like it was going to get ugly.

Yet Oklahoma played a better game against Alabama than they had all year long. Relying heavily on a passing game, the Sooners brought the fight to Alabama, who struggled uncharacteristically through the night. Their pro-style offense had faded and became more predictable to defend against. Through it all, it was Oklahoma who pulled off the upset with a 45-31 win over Alabama.

Although it wasn't a nail-biter like the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma's performance in the 2014 Sugar Bowl managed to become one of the biggest in the program's history. For one, it signals a possible resurgence for the program. Also, as opposed to any surprise last-minute plays, Oklahoma played almost flawlessly throughout the game. 

With that, the Sooners are the reigning Sugar Bowl champions. Knight's stock has risen greatly because of his performance. Look for the Sooners to bring the heat this fall when football season starts back up.

Follow Joseph on Twitter: @ThatSheltonGuy

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BCS Championship Game 2014: Don't Expect a Heisman Hangover from Jameis Winston

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Winning a Heisman Trophy changes your life forever. When a player carries that stiff arm trophy home from New York City, he's no longer a college football player—he's a sports celebrity, which is a different world.

Just ask Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Dealing with fame can be tricky, especially when there's work to be done on the field. Say, like winning the BCS National Championship Game?

That's the position Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston finds himself in, after he threw for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for another 193 yards and four touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2013, claiming college football's biggest prize in the process.

"My life hasn't changed at all because our goal as a team, it still isn't over yet," he said during his media appearance on Friday. "At Florida State, we began the season as everybody was looking at us as, like okay, they've got a freshman quarterback. Nobody is going to pay any attention, now we're in the National Championship."

Winston knows that his biggest step is in front of him.

"I still haven't reached my maximum goal," he said on media day on Saturday. "At the end of the day, I want to be the last person on that field and holding up that crystal ball. With all of the awards that an individual can receive, nothing is more important than hoisting up that crystal football with your team on that stage signing 'we are the champions'."

Besides, the Heisman hangover is more myth than reality these days.

Manziel set a Cotton Bowl record with 516 yards in a 41-13 win over Oklahoma last year, one month after hearing his name called in New York City. Baylor's Robert Griffin III accounted for 350 yards and two touchdowns in a 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl following the 2011 season. Auburn's Cam Newton didn't exactly look stellar in the Tigers' 22-19 BCS National Championship Game win following the 2010 season, but that crystal football is all that matters.

Seminole head coach Jimbo Fisher has liked what he's seen from his star quarterback during the month-long layoff between the ACC and BCS Championship Games.

"He looks like the old Jameis right back when were about to play Pitt (in the season opener)," Fisher said. "He's excited, but you see a guy who grinds and puts the film work in, he's practiced well and affected his teammates well."

Don't expect a Heisman hangover for Winston when toe meets leather inside the Rose Bowl on Monday night. For the redshirt freshman, it's just another game.

 

*Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.


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Erick Smith to Ohio State: Buckeyes Land 4-Star Safety Prospect

The crop of quality 2014 prospects available continued to dwindle as 4-star safety Erick Smith committed to play for Ohio State, according to Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch.

Per 247Sports.com, Smith is the No. 146 overall recruit in the nation and the No. 11 safety. The 6'1", 185-pound native of Cleveland, Ohio was a standout at Cleveland Glenville High School, and he will now take his talent to the collegiate ranks.

Smith was heavily recruited by a number of schools throughout the process, including Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Cincinnati and Illinois. He truly seemed to have his pick of the litter, but camaraderie may have ultimately played a role in his decision.

Ari Wasserman of Northeast Ohio Media Group wrote about the recruiting journey of three Glenville players back in September, and that group included Smith.

According to Wasserman, Smith, Marshon Lattimore and Marcelys Jones all planned to potentially attend the same school.

"Just knowing that we have the same schools and that we can continue to play together, that's just an amazing feeling," Smith said. "It is really indescribable just knowing that I can play with them for the next three or four years after this year. It's important, we are always talking about playing together."

Jones committed to Ohio State in December of 2012, but he continued to take visits with both Smith and Lattimore, per Wasserman, so the trio always seemed to be a package deal of sorts.

While some outsiders may find it difficult to view Smith as an individual because of that, there is no question that he has the ability to stand out on his own at a high level of college football.

Smith has made huge strides as a player over the past couple years, and he has garnered national attention. Josh Helmholdt of Rivals.com was particularly impressed when he watched Smith live back in November.

Per 247Sports.com's evaluation of the dreadlocked Smith, he is an all-around safety who excels in a number of different areas. He is rated a seven or eight on a 1-10 scale in every aspect, and he is especially adept at making plays on the ball and tackling.

It isn't always easy to project how a safety will translate from high school to college football since safeties have so many different responsibilities on the field. Smith looks the part of a leader, though, and that should help him make the jump in a fairly seamless manner.

In fact, Smith could very well be one of the biggest steals to come out of the class of 2014. He was a late bloomer of sorts, which means that many of the big programs were late to the party as well in terms of recruiting him.

He is still viewed as somewhat of an enigma, but such players often blossom into big-time superstars provided their upward trend continues.

All signs seem to suggest that Smith is getting better and better with each passing day, so he is certainly a player who is worth keeping track of the next few seasons.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Dwight Williams to UCLA: Bruins Land 4-Star LB Prospect

UCLA strengthened its defense on Saturday after Dwight Williams committed to the Bruins. The 4-star linebacker will be a great addition to Jim Mora's defense.

Williams announced his decision on Saturday, Jan. 3, during the 2014 Army All-American Game. 247 Sports' Justin Hopkins passes along the news:

Jeff Drummond of Fox Sports passes along this quote from Williams:

The decision is somewhat surprising, as Williams threw everyone off the scent by tweeting this photo with no UCLA hat present:

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Williams is 21st among outside linebackers and the 249th-best player in the country.

While not a freak athlete, the Junipero Serra High School senior is more than prepared to contribute at the collegiate level. He has great closing speed and reads the game in a way that allows him to be in the right position to make a play.

It's in the open field that you'll see Williams excel.

Along with his instincts comes a deftness in pass coverage. Williams can change directions very well and has enough speed to track down opposing players from behind.

Most of Williams' physical problems stem from his size. He's listed at 6'1", 205 pounds, so even if he adds a little more muscle when he gets on campus, he remain a tad undersized for the linebacker position.

That's not to say that Williams can't become a star in college, but his small stature will likely stunt some of his potential.

He's played inside linebacker in high school but will almost certainly be an outside linebacker in college because he's not equipped to handle the punishment in the middle of the defense.

Another problem area is his tackling. On the whole, Williams does well to get in front of the ball-carrier, square up and make the tackle. But there have been enough times where he's hit the opposing player and failed to wrap up.

It's only a minor issue and should be ironed out with the right coaching.

Williams should become a steady defender at the next level, and UCLA received a major boost on Saturday with his commitment.

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Jamil Kamara to Virginia: Cavaliers Land 4-Star ATH Prospect

Virginia made adding dynamic playmakers to their offense a priority during this recruiting cycle, and it's looking like the Cavaliers have landed one of the best.

According to the Washington Post, 4-star athlete prospect Jamil Kamara announced his decision to attend Virginia on Saturday:

Like all early commitments, Kamara is only entering a verbal agreement with Virginia. He cannot officially commit until the national signing period commences in February and can decommit without penalty during that time frame.

That being said, Cavs fans certainly have cause for rejoicing. A top-flight talent at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia, Kamara became one of the most highly sought-after skill position players in this class.

247 Sports' composite rankings bill Kamara as the sixth-best player in his home state and No. 8 "athlete" in the nation. He received offers from a bevy of schools, and his recruitment became something of an arms race in the ACC. 

By landing at Virginia, he gives Mike London's squad more than a little bragging room against his counterparts. Now it's just up to Kamara to make it worth the Cavs' while. 

Though he's listed as an athlete, most project Kamara as a wide receiver at the next level. At 6'2" and 211 pounds, Kamara is already built to withstand the punishment of playing every Saturday. He's a rangy wideout with great hands and can leap above his defenders to come down with big plays. Also unafraid to take a hit—likely due to his prodigious size—Kamara grabs a ton of balls other receivers would probably alligator-arm. 

Kamara's top-end speed is a bit of a concern, though. He is quick off the line and through his cuts, but there doesn't seem to be an extra gear after that initial step. That means he's probably more of a Michael Crabtree type of player in the long term—a guy who will make plays with his size and route-running strength rather than Tavon Austin-level speed. 

Nevertheless, if he continues developing a physicality at the line and hones his technique—particularly at his hips—Kamara could be a major contributor as early as his sophomore season.

With the Cavaliers looking for some help offensively in this class, they're off to a strong start after landing Kamara. 

 

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Brian Wallace to Arkansas: Razorbacks Land 4-Star OT Prospect

College football's top recruits continued to fly off the board today with four-star offensive lineman Brian Wallace of Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis being the latest as he has decided to play for Arkansas, according to the Army All-American Bowl's official Twitter feed:

Wallace is the No. 13 offensive tackle in the nation, and the No. 119 player overall, according to 247Sports.com's composite ranking. Among the teams interested in securing Wallace were Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Ultimately, the tackle picked the Razorbacks:

At 6'6" and 305 lbs., Wallace already has the ideal size needed to excel at the next level. As seen in this video, though, he is still very mobile for a big man, which means he should be able to hold his own against speed rushers once he settles in:

It's hard not to like Wallace since he has all the tools necessary to be a stalwart tackle against elite competition. It may take some time to settle in since the level of competition will be much higher than Wallace is accustomed to, but the natural talent is definitely present.

According to Greg Powers of Scout.com, Wallace projects as a right tackle currently, although that isn't set in stone.

Has very good upper and lower body playing strength. Has a very strong punch that stops defenders in their tracks. Strong enough to finish once he locks on. Seems to be a prototype RT with potential to be a LT.

Powers also understands why Wallace was so highly sought after throughout the recruitment process.

A big prospect who has a ton of potential and moves very well for his size. It is no surprise that he is heavily recruited by BCS programs. He is tall and long, but has good weight in the lower body and a strong, balanced base.

Wallace's already-impressive resume was also bolstered by an invite to the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Playing in that game allowed him to showcase his skill set on the national stage, and deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing Mark Davis was happy to have him, per Powers.

“Wallace is a talented athlete whose leadership and teamwork qualities have made him a standout at Christian Brothers College High School,” Davis said. “Only the strongest wear the Army colors, and we are proud to welcome all of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl players and commend each of them on their selection.”

As good as Wallace looks on paper as well as on tape, it's always difficult to project how an offensive tackle will translate. He hasn't yet been tested by a level of competition comparable to what he'll see next season and beyond, so it will definitely be an adjustment period for him.

What happens over the next year or so will say a lot about his progress even if he red shirts or doesn't play with great regularity. Wallace simply has to get his feet wet when it comes to competing collegiately, and then he'll be better prepared to take on a starting role when need be.

Until then, it will be very interesting to track Wallace's transition to major college football.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fact: During Charlie Strong's four seasons as Louisville's head coach, the Cardinals' defense were in the top 10 in the FBS in points per game, yards per game, yards per play and sack percentage.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN 

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BBVA Compass Bowl Goes Black After Vanderbilt-Houston Game Begins

Fans tuning into the BBVA Compass Bowl to see the Vanderbilt Commodores take on the Houston Cougars got an unpleasant surprise shortly after the opening kickoff: a loss of coverage.

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fact: Notre Dame has zero BCS Bowl wins all time. The Irish lost the 2001 Fiesta, the 2006 Fiesta, the 2007 Sugar and the 2013 BCS title game.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: Bleacher Report

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US Army All-American Bowl 2014: Commitment Tracker and Recruit Highlights

The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl is taking place today in San Antonio at the Alamodome. This is another outstanding high school all-star game that features many of the country's best recruits.

While watching the top prospects in these settings play is always great, hearing where they are finally going to college is even greater. Today, several recruits will be announcing where they will sign in February, according to 247Sports, and this tracker will have reactions and analysis on each announcement.

Keep it here on your computer while you watch the game!

Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

 

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Cold Hard Fact for January 4, 2014

Fact: On January 4, 2012, West Virginia scored an Orange Bowl-record 70 points to defeat Clemson 70-33. Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith had six touchdown passes in the game.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: OrangeBowl.org

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