NCAA Football News

4-Star CB Trayvon Mullen Reveals Why He Released a New Top 10

Trayvon Mullen is confident he's going to make an immediate impact in college.

"I can make a difference coming in as a freshman and help change a defense," the coveted cornerback recruit told Bleacher Report. "That's what I expect to do wherever I go to school."

He isn't quite sure where that will be yet but felt motivated to make an announcement Monday. 

Mullen, a 6'2", 175-pound prospect at Coconut Creek High School in Broward County, Florida, shined some light on his whirlwind recruitment process Monday by tweeting an updated top-10 list in order of preference:

Rated fifth nationally among cornerbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, Mullen holds more than 40 scholarship offers from across the country. He was compelled to release the list based on new developments in the process.

"It's a situation that I've been able to get to know some other coaching staffs," Mullen explained. "I felt like it was the right time."

As he noted in the post, Mullen isn't excluding any teams at this stage. Even if they didn't make the cut on his latest list of favorites.

"I'm not in any hurry to make a decision," he said. "There's still a long way to go and schools I need to see in person."

Interestingly, Mullen hasn't visited TCU to this point. That didn't stop the Horned Frogs from landing atop his list.

TCU was ranked seventh in a top-10 list he released last month. Florida State, now sitting at third in this crowded race, was the former leader.

"I don't want to say that FSU dropped. This is just how I'm feeling at the moment," Mullen said. "Even though I haven't visited TCU yet, I really like the school and I've had some good conversations with the coaches."

Baylor, the second of three Texas programs to land on his list, extended an offer last Friday. Mullen explained that was a school he was eagerly waiting on and placed the Bears at No. 4.

"I just think I could really stand out at both Baylor and TCU," he said. "Not a lot of South Florida kids play college football in Texas, so I could be different. I feel like I could be a big fish at both schools. They've had a lot of success lately and I could help get those programs to the point they want to be at."

Mullen again flashed self-confidence by stating another element that intrigues him about TCU and Baylor.

"I like Big 12 football because they throw the ball a lot," he said. "That means I can make a bunch of big plays."

LSU has long been considered a top contender in this group and that doesn't change after the Tigers land second on Mullen's list. The team is projected to sign him by 68 percent of expert predictions in 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

"I can see myself being the next big cornerback at LSU because they've had a lot of guys like me there before who had similar talent," he said. "I love the coaches there too."

SEC squads comprise half of the list. LSU is joined by Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M.

Mullen pointed to Auburn's coaching changes as motivation to explore the program further moving forward. He spoke highly of new defensive hires Will Muschamp and Tavaris Robinson.

"They're going to do big things at Auburn because that's exactly what the team needed," Mullen said. "They always move the ball offensively, so it was important for them to bring in some coaches to make things happen on defense. I feel like they can win a national championship in these next couple years."

Clemson is another program to keep an eye on here. Though the Tigers round out this list at No. 10, Mullen called the university a "dream school" and said he expects them to rise in coming months.

"I grew up watching Clemson and always really liked them," he said.

It's another sign that this seems to be an extremely fluid list, regardless of whether Florida State or TCU is occupying the top spot. Mullen mentioned Tennessee and Ole Miss as programs that could potentially enter the equation.

Baylor is proof that he's willing to thrust a new interest into the forefront of his recruitment.

"I'm not rushing anything and I'll keep updating my list depending how I'm feeling," he said.

Mullen doesn't currently have any upcoming visits planned, but reiterated Baylor and TCU are two campuses he intends to spend time at in an unofficial or official capacity. His current mindset is leaning toward taking all five official visits before any decision is made.

This is easily one of the most open-ended and unpredictable recruitments in the 2016 class. With a talent like Mullen up for grabs, expect a wide variety of programs to continue their pursuit as long as possible.


All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Physical 2016 WR Bryan Edwards the Perfect Fit for South Carolina

Bryan Edwards, a 3-star wide receiver, per 247Sports, has committed to play his college ball at South Carolina. The talented wideout from Conway, South Carolina, will bring his size and athleticism to the Gamecocks this fall. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Edwards' game and what he can bring to South Carolina. 

Will Edwards make an immediate impact? Check out the video and let us know!

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Which Program Would Give Everett Golson Best Chance to Improve on NFL Skill Set?

Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has one year of eligibility left to show he's an NFL quarterback. If he wants NFL training, his best option is to go to college football's current NFL factory. 

That would be a team he nearly beat a year ago: Florida State. 

According to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, "Florida State is seen as the eventual destination" for Golson, who released a statement last week announcing he would transfer from Notre Dame. "Barring a last-minute change of heart or any influence from elsewhere, [Florida State’s] where he’s headed," a source told Bartow. 

That report was corroborated by Keith Arnold of NBC Sports, but it's not clear yet if FSU reciprocates the interest: 

If Golson does end up transferring to Florida State, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better situation if he wants to end up in the NFL—which, of course, sums up pretty much everyone at this level. This goes for any program, regardless of whether Golson is eligible to transfer there or not (the SEC, for example, has a graduate transfer restriction that would be a roadblock). 

The first—and maybe only—thing to look at is the track record Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher has of putting quarterbacks into the NFL. These players aren't just getting drafted, either; they've been first-round selections. 

In the past 10 years, Fisher has coached four quarterbacks who went on to become first-round picks:

Say what you will about the NFL careers of those picks to date—Jameis Winston excluded; his pro career is only beginning, and he's easily the best prospect of any of the four—but Fisher gets his players drafted high and paid handsomely. That's part of his job. What happens after that is no longer under his control. 

If you're Golson, how do you look at that and not come away impressed? He's not transferring to switch positions. He could have done that at Notre Dame. Golson has one year of eligibility left to prove he's worth taking as a quarterback in the 2016 draft. This decision has a lot of weight behind it. 

There will be challenges if Golson does transfer to Florida State. All the quarterbacks listed above were multiyear starters who fit the prototypical NFL passer mold. The current front-runner to succeed Winston, Sean Maguire, is cut from the similar physical cloth as well. 

Golson is on the smaller side (he's listed at 6'0" and 200 pounds), but that's never going to change for him. For Golson, it's about controlling what he can control. 

Could Golson learn a more NFL-friendly playbook in a few months time and make the necessary reads/decisions quickly? Can he improve dramatically on the ball-security issues that plagued him a year ago? Can he come in to the locker room as a new face, develop chemistry and be viewed as a leader quickly? 

Despite his shaky spring game last month, Maguire is still viewed as the favorite to start in Week 1, because he has that experience. 

Those are NFL problems rookie quarterbacks face, too. Right now, you're not going to find a better spot to train them than Florida State. And Golson's history at Notre Dame suggests he would be up for the occasion. 

Golson won the starting job as a redshirt freshman in 2012 and helped lead the Irish to a national championship appearance against Alabama. He missed the '13 season because of academic, but spent that time working with quarterback guru George Whitfield. Golson returned in '14 and had one of the more prolific passing seasons in Notre Dame history. 

It might be the most ridiculous qualifying statement uttered in a while, but when Golson wasn't turning the ball over, he looked like a completely different passer from 2012-14; a much better one. He has ability but hasn't been able to consistently use it.

Fisher's job would be to get that consistency out of Golson. If there's a head coach/quarterback guru who can get the most out of his signal-callers and prepare them for the NFL, it's Fisher. 

None of this is to say that Golson will win the starting job at Florida State or anywhere else. He would have to beat Maguire in preseason camp first before we have that discussion. But if Golson is looking for a place where he could start and get an NFL crash course at the same time, the Seminoles seem like a great fit.  


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

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Which Recruiting Powerhouses Are After Future 'Superstar' CB Deangelo Gibbs?

Deangelo Gibbs is a 5-star cornerback in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's currently uncommitted but is leaning heavily toward Georgia. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Gibbs' game. 

How good can this cornerback be at the next level? Check out the video and let us know!

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Auburn Football: Why Ricardo Louis the Real Key to the Auburn Offense

When you think of who might be the centerpieces of the Auburn offense in 2015, the obvious names come up.

Quarterback Jeremy Johnson is shooting for a 3,000-yard passing, 1,000-yard rushing season, wide receiver D'haquille "Duke" Williams is a freak as a possession receiver who lines up all over the field and running backs "Roc" Thomas and Jovon Robinson are both potential stars in an Auburn ground game that's well-versed in creating stars.

Let's dig a little deeper, though.

If you're looking for the true "key" to the Auburn offense, look no further than wide receiver Ricardo Louis.

The 6'2", 215-pound senior who seems like he's been at Auburn for a decade is best known for being on the receiving end of the "Miracle on the Plains" vs. Georgia in 2013, but the best could be yet to come in a variety of ways.


Replacing Sammie Coates

Sammie Coates was one of the best deep threats in the nation over the last two seasons, when he averaged 21.62 yards per catch and helped kick-start an Auburn offense that barely knew what a downfield passing attack was in 2012. 

Williams can provide that threat, but if you're head coach Gus Malzahn, it's a better move to simply try to replicate Coates' production with somebody else and keep Williams in the same role as last year.

Louis can do that. 

He doesn't have the same frame or strength of Coates, but he is bigger than most realize and has the speed to create space downfield.

"We need someone to assume that role and we've been really good the last couple of years of taking the top off and opening things up," offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said this spring, according to James Crepea of the Montgomery Advertiser. "But I think Ricardo, he can still be an all-around, well-rounded receiver."

He doesn't have to match the production of Coates, but if he poses the threat of being able to do it, that might be all Johnson and Malzahn need to open up the passing game. Those windows to Williams and the rest of the receivers will be a little bit more open, safeties won't be able to focus so much on the run and that balance that Malzahn has been searching for over the last year will finally be attained.


Edge Threat

For the majority of the last two seasons, running back Corey Grant was the primary edge threat in Malzahn's multidimensional ground attack. 

Down the stretch last year, though, things changed a bit.

Grant saw his production decrease, and Louis saw his responsibility on the ground grow. Louis earned just five carries over the first six games of the 2014 season, but against South Carolina, his role changed. He rushed three times for 102 yards against the Gamecocks—including a 75-yarder for a score—which set the tone for the rest of the season.

He rushed 10 times for 111 yards, 50 of which came against Texas A&M and 41 of which came in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.

Will the Auburn defense look different this year with Johnson—who's more of a pro-style passer—taking the snaps?

Yes, but the multidimensional rushing attack will still be in place, and it will likely be Louis providing that edge threat before the snap as the option on jet sweeps.


Veteran Leadership

Auburn saw several veteran offensive skill players move on to the NFL this offseason, including Coates, quarterback Nick Marshall, running back Cameron Artis-Payne and tight end C.J. Uzomah. That has left a void in the leadership structure of the Auburn offense.

Enter: Louis.

Malzahn is expecting big things from Louis on and off the field in 2015.

"He's one of those guys—one of those seniors that has a lot of experience, a lot of big-game experience and has played well in big games," he said, according to Tom Green of the Opelika-Auburn News. "We really just want (him) to take that next step. He's one of our leaders, so we'll expect big things out of him next year."

He'll have help, though. Williams has a year in the system under his belt, and with veterans Marcus Davis and Melvin Ray with him in the receiving corps and Johnson's experience as a backup, there are plenty of players to help him provide that leadership.

Because of all that he's been through—from the frustrations of the 2012 season to the highs of 2013 and the step back in 2014—Louis can help the Tigers through the good and bad times that pop up this fall, and potentially back to the Georgia Dome for a shot at the SEC title.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and 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.

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Versatile 4-Star Josh Brown Will Make FSU's Defense 'Frightening'

Josh Brown—a 4-star outside linebacker, per 247Sports' composite rankings—has been turning heads on the recruiting trail. With Brown's commitment to Florida State University, Jimbo Fisher and his staff are getting a true gamer and all-around athlete. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder offers his insight on Brown's game and what he brings to the Seminoles. 

Can Brown step in and contribute right away? Check out the video and let us know! 

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10 College Football Players Who Will Take Huge Strides Forward in 2015

As good as Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott’s 1,878 rushing yards looked in 2014, did you know he only posted 262 yards in 2013?

That’s when he was a freshman playing behind Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall, seniors who posted 1,521 and 536 yards, respectively.

Elliott, once a 4-star prospect from St. Louis, proves an important point—even if you’re good, really good, the situation has to be just right for you to flourish.

The following athletes are all really good, but each has been waiting, some longer than others, for the right combination of factors. 

The time is here.

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Alabama Football: Redshirt Freshmen Set for Breakout 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Fourteen scholarship members of Alabama’s 24-member No. 1-ranked 2014 recruiting class saw the field for the Crimson Tide in 2014.

For the other 10, they sat on the sidelines for a redshirt year while their teammates went to an SEC Championship and the inaugural College Football Playoff.

But several of them could be in line for a much different 2015.

Through offseason work and spring practice, a handful showed they could play big roles in 2015.

Let’s take a look at some redshirt freshmen who could breakout next season.

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UCLA Football: Who Is Replacing Every Former Bruin Taken in 2015 NFL Draft?

The UCLA football team will be tasked with replacing three former Bruins taken in the 2015 NFL draft. 

It will not be easy by any stretch of the situation. Jim Mora's squad will have to account for the loss of its most experienced defensive lineman a season ago (Owamagbe Odighizuwa), a Butkus Award-winning linebacker (Eric Kendricks) and arguably the most successful starting quarterback in program history (Brett Hundley). 

Fortunately, UCLA's head man has built up sufficient depth throughout the squad. While it's unlikely that the eventual replacements will replicate the production accrued by Kendricks and Hundley, there are some talented options waiting in the wings. 

This piece will look at three current members of the team ready to step up and assume the vacant roles left by the Bruins' NFL draftees.  

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Florida State Football: How Would Everett Golson Fit in Jimbo Fisher's Offense?

When news broke last week that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson would indeed transfer after graduating this spring, after months of speculation, the list of potential teams he could play for in 2015 read like a list of finalists for a 5-star high school recruit.

Since then, potential pitfalls have surfaced that could keep Golson from heading to the SEC, parts of the Big Ten or to Texas, Notre Dame's first opponent this fall. Not part of that initial short list was Florida State, but now the Seminoles might be the front-runner to land the fifth-year senior, according to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow:

Whether Golson actually ends up playing for the Seminoles is still uncertain, as neither the player nor the school has commented on the subject. Tom D'Angelo of The Palm Beach Post believes the interest at this point is one-sided:

Golson has started 23 games for one of the country's most high-profile programs, including 11 as a redshirt freshman in 2012 when he led the Fighting Irish to the BCS title game. He has thrown for 5,850 yards with 41 touchdowns and rushed for another 14 scores.

From a talent standpoint, Golson is far more accomplished than any quarterback on Florida State's roster. With Jameis Winston now in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie camp, the competition to replace him remains ongoing but is currently lead by junior Sean Maguire, Winston's backup in 2014. The Seminoles also have sophomore John Franklin III, redshirt freshman J.J. Cosentino and true freshman De'Andre Johnson battling for the starting job, while freshman Deondre Francois arrives in the summer.

But just because Golson has started elsewhere and had success doesn't mean he'd be able to slide right into Jimbo Fisher's complicated system. The fact that FSU might even be interested in Golson shows how hard it is to play quarterback there, as Maguire is in his fourth year in the program and wasn't been able to lock down the gig during spring practice.

Looking back on Fisher's time in Tallahassee, the only time he's gone with a quarterback with two or fewer years in the system was with Winston in 2013. But Winston was a special case, one of the smartest players in college history, and the fact he was a redshirt freshman made no difference.

Before him, though, EJ Manuel didn't become a full-time starter until his fourth year in the program, and in Fisher's first year in 2010 he stuck with returning starter (and fifth-year senior) Christian Ponder rather than skew younger.

If Golson were to transfer to FSU, his first exposure to the Seminoles' playbook—other than what he could see from the opposite sideline last October when Notre Dame played in Tallahassee—wouldn't come until preseason training camp begins in late July. That would make for a very steep learning curve, and with such a short time to impress he'd have to blow Fisher's mind and blow away the competition to become the starter.

There are similarities between FSU's offense and what Golson ran at Notre Dame but not many. The Fighting Irish were more spread-oriented, compared to FSU's pro-style approach (which keeps sending quarterbacks to the NFL, unlike Brian Kelly's system at Notre Dame).

Bud Elliott of SB Nation's Tomahawk Nation blog weighed in on Golson's potential fit at FSU over the weekend, noting that Golson has the arm strength and mobility to rival what Winston did the past two years, but the rest of his makeup is full of questions.

Despite his physical skills, Golson was also a turnover machine against Power 5 competition, throwing more than an interception per game and adding 12 fumbles. He had five games in which he failed to hit the seven yards/attempt mark, and was a 55 percent or worse passer in more than half of his games against the Power 5.

Elliott also noted that Golson's size (6'0", 200 lbs) might make it difficult to throw effectively out of a pocket, which could then force FSU to tweak its system to make him fit. And if he struggled with the passing, it could mean converting him more or a run-first quarterback, requiring further schematic adjustments.

Because of the talent that FSU has at the skill positions, though, Golson might not have to do much to be successful. Hand it off to Dalvin Cook and Jacques Patrick, throw it up for Travis Rudolph, Ermon Lane, Bobo Wilson and George Campbell, and just try not to turn it over like he did during the second half of 2014 for Notre Dame. The game plan wouldn't need to be as complicated as for existing FSU passers, in effect turning Golson into a game manager.

However, Golson's legs can still beat you, something that can't be said of most so-called game managers. That added element could more than make up for any shortcomings in the passing game.

If Golson and FSU ultimately choose to link up for 2015, it will be with the aim of having him be the starter and getting him prepared for an NFL career. Fisher has a proven track record of developing NFL quarterbacks, with Ponder, Manuel and Winston all getting drafted in the first round, and if he could manage something close to that with Golson it would further enhance his reputation as a QB guru.


Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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Would Everett Golson Make Florida State a National Title Contender?

According to 247Sports'Ryan Bartow, the Florida State Seminoles are the leaders to land Everett Golson. Golson transferred from Notre Dame last week. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Golson to Florida State and what it would mean for Sean Maguire. 

Will Everett Golson land at FSU? Check out the video and let us know! 

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2016 DE Commit Julian Okwara's Speed Will Fuel Success on Notre Dame Defense

According to 247Sports, Julian Okwara is a 4-star weak-side defensive end who is committed to Notre Dame.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down Okwara's impact on the field.

How good can Julian Okwara be at ND? Check out the video and let us know!

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