NCAA Football News

Marvell Tell to USC: Trojans Land 4-Star Safety Prospect

USC added a critical piece to its 2015 recruiting class, as 4-star safety Marvell Tell pledged his commitment to Steve Sarkisian and the Trojans.

Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com notes the announcement:

Tell joins fellow US Army All-American Ykili Ross, who will accompany him at USC. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down the dynamic duo how they'll fare in Southern California.

The athletic safety is a product of Crespi High School (Encino, California) and is ranked as the No. 61 player in the country, No. 4 safety in the country and No. 9 player in the state of California, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.

He checks in at 6’2” and 175 pounds and has a listed 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds, per his 247Sports profile.

Tell uses his size and quickness to burst through any open lanes on the offensive line and attack the opposing rushing game. He covers plenty of ground, even from deep in the backfield, which helps him get to the line of scrimmage quicker than his opponents can react at the high school level.

Once he gets to the ball-carrier, Tell rarely misses a tackle in the open field.

In terms of pass coverage, those same athleticism traits that allow him to provide run support come into play. Tell possesses impressive lateral quickness, which helps him range from the middle of the field where he is positioned to either sideline. When the ball is in the air, he uses that speed to get in prime position when defending passes.

Brandon Huffman of Scout and Fox Sports was there to alert fans when Tell got in perfect position during the season at a critical moment:

Perhaps Tell's best trait is his reaction time and instincts from the safety position. He can be an enforcer for the Trojans' defense because he seems to have a nose for the football and breaks up critical passes when the game is on the line.

Thanks to this skill set, virtually the entire Pac-12 showed interest at one point or another. Per 247Sports, UCLA, USC, Washington State, Arizona State, California and Colorado, among others, offered scholarships while national powers such as Notre Dame, Nebraska, Louisville and Miami offered scholarships as well.

Given his versatility as both a run-stuffer and a coverage safety, his speed and his ability to stop routes and wrap up on tackles in the open field, look for Tell to contribute right away as a freshman.

He has the height of a prototypical safety, and will likely add muscle in his early days inside an elite collegiate weight-training program. From a physical standpoint, he will be fine as a freshman. 

Once he gets enough mental and physical reps on the actual field in games and practices, he will develop into a star at the back end of the Trojans' defense.

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Stefon Diggs Declares for NFL Draft: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Maryland's star wide receiver Stefon Diggs will reportedly skip his senior season with the Terps to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. 

According to Matt Zenitz of The Baltimore Sun, who spoke with the wideout, Diggs is taking his talents to the professional rank:

Diggs has been a steady playmaker for Maryland during his three years with the school. He does come with some injury history, having missed three games in 2014, but the junior led the team with 62 receptions, 792 receiving yards and five touchdowns. 

Draft expert Dion Caputi of NationalFootballPost.com thinks Diggs can perform at the next level with better quarterback play thanks to his natural speed:

Charles Davis of NFL.com listed Diggs as one of 10 underclassmen who should declare for the 2015 draft in December:

Diggs has been well-hyped since his high school days, but he's not yet had the breakout year we've been waiting to see from him. He's battled injuries, and another year with the Terrapins would give him a chance to have that big year that has eluded him. Diggs could prove his durability and give his stock a big boost.

His last game with the Terps was also one of his best. It came on December 30 against Stanford in the Foster Farms Bowl, in which Diggs finished with 10 catches for 138 yards in a 45-21 loss. 

Due to Diggs' injury problems, he's not likely to be a Day 1 pick. Given his speed and ability to create plays deep down the field, it won't be a surprise to see him go sometime in the second or third round. This looks like another deep class for receivers, so a player like Diggs could represent good value for his future team. 

Diggs isn't the biggest player at 6'0" and 195 pounds, so he will have to prove capable of getting off the jam at the line of scrimmage, but that speed is something no one can teach. The worst he should turn out to be is a slot receiver or as a utility player similar to what Tavon Austin does in St. Louis. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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Ykili Ross Commits to USC, Says He'll Be There for 'Next 3 Years'

The USC Trojans were able to add another promising player to their 2015 recruiting class on Saturday, but it looks like the young man doesn't plan on staying through his senior year.

Cornerback/wide receiver recruit Ykili Ross announced his decision to commit to USC, but according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, the 4-star recruit only plans on staying for three years.

After three seasons with the Trojans, Ross would have a chance to declare for the NFL draft, so he's already setting his sights on the pros despite not playing a single down in college.

We'll see if Ross can live up to his own expectations in the coming years.

[YouTube, h/t Twitter]

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Charlie Strong's Recruiting Streak Continues: Texas Lands Pair of 4-Stars

Devonaire Clarington, the No. 4 TE and Tim Irvin, the No. 23 ATH are two 4-Star recruits, as pre 247Sports composite rankings, who have both committed to the University of Texas.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder discusses the impact of these two recruits for the Longhorns.

What kind of impact can Clarington and Irvin have for Texas next season?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Tim Irvin to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star ATH Prospect

Michael Irvin carved the path to a Hall of Fame career at the University of Miami. His nephew, 4-star athlete Tim Irvin, has decided a path of his own, heading out of state to Texas.

Irvin committed to the University of Texas on Saturday, as noted by 247 Sports' Justin Hokanson. The 5'9" speedster chose Texas over Florida, Miami and West Virginia.

Heading into his announcement, most had predicted Irvin would choose Florida or Miami. His interest in the Gators had been trending upward, though Miami had an obvious pull. 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions gave Irvin a 65 percent chance of being a Hurricane.

As for Irvin himself, he did a nice job of keeping his decision a secret. In a recent interview with SB Nation's Wescott Eberts, Irvin was complimentary of all four schools and said he hadn't made up his mind.

"Not yet, I'm still talking to my family, friends, and my coaches about what I'll decide," Irvin said.

Now that Texas has landed Irvin, its next task will be finding his long-term position. He's listed as a running back, wide receiver and safety on his 247Sports profile and could potentially play any of the three at the collegiate level

Running back may be the most difficult given his size limitations. At 5'9" and 186 pounds, it's unlikely his frame can withstand the punishment of high-level college football. As a sophomore and junior, Irvin rushed for over 1,000 yards but moved away from the running back position for the most part as a senior, receiving only 11 carries.

Wide receiver comes with the family lineage, but it's likely Irvin tops out as a slot receiver. He's quick and has above-average hands, a combination that has turned many smaller players into pros. It'll just be interesting to see how he develops as a route-runner if that's the path Texas chooses to take. Irvin's versatility is an asset on the surface, but it also makes him raw regardless of his long-term position.

If head coach Charlie Strong and Texas are looking to make Irvin's transition the smoothest it possibly can be, Irvin might wind up at safety. His lack of size won't be as big of an issue on defense, and he's a polished run-stopper and has the quickness to become elite against the pass as well.

Finding the right spot for Irvin will probably take work. He's unlikely to find the field as a freshman and may need to become an upperclassman before becoming a star. But the potential here is immense.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Ykili Ross to USC: Trojans Land 4-Star WR Prospect

USC has landed coveted recruit Ykili Ross, an athlete capable of playing on either side of the ball as a wide receiver or cornerback. Wherever he ultimately lands, his playmaking ability should help him make an impact for the Trojans.

As Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports indicates, Ross announced he'll be headed to USC for the "next three years":

Ross is a 4-star recruit that's listed with the wide receiver group in 247Sports' composite rankings. He rates inside the top 200 nationally. The outlet's own rankings view him even more favorably, placing him inside the top 90.

Normally when a recruit is able to play on both sides of the ball, one position is noticeably stronger. The other position is more of a fallback plan should things not work out, thus giving the player a chance to reboot their efforts.

In Ross' case, he's showcased serious potential at both wideout and corner. It opens up more possibilities as he gets ready to begin his collegiate career.

Steve Sarkisian and the USC Trojans are turning a corner. With sanctions in their rearview mirror, they have become a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 South once again. Taking back the power in Los Angeles from rival UCLA begins with adding more talented recruits like Ross. 

Eventually he, along with the coaching staff, will have to pick a position for him to focus most of his attention. He sports an impressive combination of size and athleticism that's made him a matchup nightmare at the high school level.

It's that talent that allowed him to get chosen for the Army All-American Bowl, an honor he discussed with Scott Schrader of 247Sports.

"I was blown away when I learned I was being invited to such an incredible game with the best players in the country," Ross said. "It's the biggest bowl game in America and only a select few get this amazing opportunity. And to have all of these people show up and support me made this a day I will never forget. A lot of great players are playing in this game and I can't wait for it to get here."

On offense, he projects as a player who's going to run a lot of intermediate routes that will allow him to use that 6'2'' frame to his advantage. That equates to a lot of looks on third down to move the chains and in the red zone. But he also has enough speed to break a big play.

Defensively, he has the skill set necessary to become an imposing physical corner. Those types of players are really starting to gain traction, especially at the NFL level. So in terms of his future outlook, that probably presents the most upside.

That said, Jamie Uyeyama from SonofaCoach.com is confident he'll succeed on either side of the ball:

Poly High (Riverside) athlete Ykili Ross is going to have to eventually choose between wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. Right now it has to be a toss up as to what he will choose because he is very good at both. All I know is that someone is going to get an excellent football player to come to their school no matter what side of the ball he ends up on.

There will be a learning curve. When a terrific athlete, who's used that natural ability to thrive in high school, is forced to focus on one area, it's a transition. Things like technique and reads will come with time, but the potential is clearly there.

Even if Ross doesn't make an immediate impact, it's a solid signing. The long-term outlook is positive despite there likely being some short-term growing pains along the way.

 

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