NCAA Football News

Georgia Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Bulldog

The NFL draft is this week, and this year will be different for Georgia Bulldog fans.

Normally, the Bulldogs would have at least five players drafted each year. In fact, last year there were eight players from UGA drafted, including two in the first round.

But in 2014, it could (and more than likely will) be very out of the ordinary.

Part of the reason is there are not a lot of players graduating this season, but according to Bleacher Report NFL writer Matt Miller, there will be only two Georgia players taken in the draft. And if anyone has been following draft coverage for the past three months, the two Bulldogs Miller has being drafted should come as a surprise to nobody.

Here are draft projections for the former Bulldogs in the 2014 NFL draft.

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Clemson Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Tiger

The NFL draft is just days away, and for football fans, both college and NFL, the draft is like Christmas in May. 

The draft is a bit bittersweet for college fans. On one hand, you're excited for your favorite college players. But on the other hand, it's tough saying goodbye to players who meant so much to your school.

The Clemson Tigers are losing some major talent to the NFL in 2014. Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Brandon Thomas and Martavis Bryant are among the names Clemson fans will hear in this week's draft. 

As the Tigers prepare for the 2014 season, we take a look at where some of the former Tigers expect to go in the upcoming NFL draft. 

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7 Recruits Who Could Join 4-Star QB Blake Barnett at Notre Dame

Blake Barnett is a 4-star quarterback from California who committed to Notre Dame last fall. The Golden State passer is a 6'3.5", 195-pounder with great arm strength, confidence and athleticism.

Barnett will be the face of Notre Dame's recruiting class. He's a player head coach Brian Kelly will build around, which means many recruits around the country will be looking to join Barnett in South Bend.

A pair of defensive ends like the Fighting Irish, while a 5-star linebacker is also on the radar. Plus, Barnett could attract two big receivers.

 

All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' composite rankings.Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

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The NFL Comparison for Top 10 ATH Recruits from Class of 2015

Being labeled an "athlete" as a recruit means you are a versatile football player who projects to be able to have success at multiple positions. The 2015 class has a great group of talented athletes who will be the subject of some fierce arguments between offensive and defensive college coaches.

This piece will focus on the 10 elite athlete prospects, with each warranting an NFL comparison.

A 5-star athlete from Georgia plays like an NFL receiver, while an athlete from Ohio resembles an outside linebacker who plays for the St. Louis Rams.

All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.Player evaluations are based on review of tape from Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

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5 Top Performing Quarterback Recruits from 2014 Dallas Elite 11 Regional

The Elite 11 quarterback camp came through Arlington, Texas on Sunday—one day after the Nike Sparq Combine—hosting 70 quarterbacks from all over the country. 

From 4-star prospects, like Texas Tech commit Jarrett Stidham (pictured), to future stars of the 2016 class, some of the best high school talent was on display at AT&T Stadium. 

Bleacher Report was on hand to get a closer look. Which quarterbacks performed the best and stood out the most? The answers are in the following slides. 

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Alabama Football: Power Ranking Tide's Best NFL Players of All Time

Long before Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been a factory pumping out some of the greatest players in NFL history.

Whether it was brash quarterbacks such as “Broadway” Joe Namath or game-changing talents such receiver Don Hutson or defensive end Derrick Thomas, a number of Tide alums have gone on to become dominant players after their college careers concluded.

Which former Tide stars rank among the program’s best NFL players of all time?

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Alabama Tight End Michael Nysewander Drinks Beer in Jorts at Talladega

Alabama tight end Michael Nysewander, a senior, was spotted drinking a beer in the infield at the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend.

Unfortunately, he was wearing jorts. To top it off, it looks like he also tried to smash the can against his head. 

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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Texas A&M Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Aggie

The Texas A&M football team has multiple players who are anticipating the start of the NFL draft May 9. There are three Aggies who project to be selected early in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft

If an Aggie is selected among the top 10 selections in the draft, it will make it four years in a row that an Aggie has been taken with a top-10 pick. In 2011, Von Miller was taken with the No. 2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos. In 2012, the Miami Dolphins used the No. 6 pick to take Ryan Tannehill. In 2013, Luke Joeckel was the No. 2 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That is an unprecedented run of talent for the team. 

If an Aggie is taken in the first 10 picks, then Texas A&M will be the only school that can currently boast such an accomplishment.

This is a look at where the former members of the 2013 Aggie football team can expect to be taken in the 2014 NFL draft. 

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Fastest 40-Yard Dash Times from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

The Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine rolled into Arlington on Saturday at AT&T Stadium. With hundreds of high school athletes taking part, both from Texas and around the country, the 40-yard dash, as expected, generated the most interest of all the drills. 

Not surprisingly, the skill positions didn't disappoint. 

Defensive back Bryce Balous from McKinney North High School and Mayflower Senior High School (Ark.) running back Justin Bailey tied for top unofficial times in the 40 (4.39). 

Balous has an offer from Iowa, but the great thing about these combines is it provides more exposure for players who test well. Balous has incredible straight-line speed and is capable of catching anyone on the field, even if he's taken a bad angle on a play. He's also a contributor in the return game. 

4-star running back Jordan Stevenson, who is verbally committed to Texas for the 2015 class, had the next-best time with a 4.44 40. Stevenson would provide the Horns with a nice change of pace from bruising backs like Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. 

Getting more speed on the field is never a bad thing. Stevenson looks like he could contribute in a number of ways given his quickness. 

Another guy to keep an eye on is wide receiver Billy McCray from Rouse High School. Not only did he have one of the better 40 times, he tested out with one of the best overall scores of the day. McCray has gained serious interest in a handful of "non-Power 5" schools like SMU and Rice, and he could be flying under the radar. 

At 5'11" and 187 pounds, he could play slot receiver or defensive back with his athleticism. For someone under 6'0" tall, he also had the best vertical jump of anyone in the above group. 

It wouldn't be surprising to see McCray pick up several more offers from top-level programs over the next year. 

To check out other top performers from Saturday's combine, click here

 

 Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.

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USC Recruiting: 6 Recruits Every Trojan Fan Should Be Following This Summer

As the Trojans catch their breath after a sometimes grueling spring practice session, attention turns to the lifeblood of college football, that being recruiting.

And although for some college football recruiting is just an amusing way to pass time while waiting for the games to start, others will tell you it is a study unto itself. So it would seem given the abundance of websites with articles dedicated to all things college football recruiting.

Here is another.

However, this slideshow will depart a bit from what might be expected in terms of those precocious youngsters coveted most by the men of Troy.

After all, everyone who follows the Trojans closely knows that USC is in the game for mega-recruits such as cornerback Iman Marshall, linebacker John Houston and defensive end Rasheem Green, among many others. Great players to be sure but guys who are extensively covered in the media already.

Instead, this piece will look at the next tier of Trojan prospects—players USC has offered but who are not quite considered to be "5-star" guys by the so-called experts.

Nonetheless, great teams are built on the backs of these prospects and while they may not have quite ascended into the rarefied air of "elite status," they aren't too far behind.

And here are six of these guys you should keep your eye on this summer...

 

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Top Performers from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

The Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine rolled into Arlington on Saturday at AT&T Stadium to host some of the most promising young football prospects from around the country.

Participants in the combine were divided into several groups, from local Dallas-Fort Worth recruits to out-of-state recruits. 

Bleacher Report was on site to a get a first-hand look at which stars of tomorrow stood out. The following were some of the top performers from Saturday's event. 

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Oregon Ducks Receive Slick Alamo Bowl Rings for Beating Texas

The Oregon Ducks may not have been happy with playing in the 2013 Alamo Bowl, but they should be pretty psyched about the rings they earned. Although the rings may not be as flashy as their uniforms, they still look pretty slick.

Oregon (11-2) ended the season on a high note with a 30-7 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl after being left out of the BCS. 

[The Oregonian, h/t College Spun]

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Thomas Tyner Looking Like De'Anthony Thomas 2.0

If De'Anthony Thomas was the first-generation, all-in-one running back, wide receiver and game-changer, Oregon sophomore Thomas Tyner is the 2.0 version.

Thomas left after the 2013 season with career marks of 26 rushing touchdowns and 15 through the air. After entering this month's NFL draft, Thomas left Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and offensive coordinator Scott Frost with the question of how to replace his many contributions. 

Tyner put on a performance in Saturday's spring game that proves Thomas' departure will not leave Oregon with such a hard-to-fill void after all.

In his three years with the program, Thomas gave the Ducks numerous options whenever he was on the field. Anytime he touched the ball, he could go for six points—and often did. 

Tyner will have the same explosiveness in 2014, only with a twist. Whereas Thomas was an X-factor, a wild card the Ducks unleashed at the right moment, Tyner has the ability to be a cornerstone of the offense. 

Tyner arrived at spring workouts last month 14 pounds heavier than his listed playing weight in 2013, Matt Prehm of 247Sports.com reported. Now packing 215 pounds, Tyner is nearly 40 pounds heavier than Thomas.

Tyner has the size to be a durable feature back, a trait the smaller Thomas lacked. With that added muscle, Tyner can overpower defenders, much as he did Harrison in his highlight-reel carry Saturday—perhaps reminiscent of a certain Pro Football Hall of Famer. 

"He's a little bit of an Eric Dickerson-type mold—a little bit of a high runner," Helfrich told Tyson Alger of The Oregonian.

Combine that dimension of his game with a burst of breakaway speed, and Tyner is able to fulfill any number of roles for the Ducks in the ground game. Indeed, he'll be one of the team's most dangerous weapons. 

Teammate Dominique Harrison learned just how dangerous in the spring game. 

Tyner brought the same kind of versatility at receiver that made Thomas such a unique fit for the Ducks offense, scoring the game's first touchdown on a reception from quarterback Marcus Mariota. 

Mariota has a history of connecting with his running back in the pass game. In his two seasons paired with Thomas, the duo hooked up 67 times for nearly 700 yards. Tyner showed flashes of having the same kind of chemistry with the quarterback in 2013, hauling in 14 passes. 

On Saturday, the Mariota-Tyner tag-team looked ready to take another step as a one-two punch in the Ducks' aerial assault. B/R national lead writer Adam Kramer may have summarized the pair's dynamic best: 

Not safe for work, and not safe for Pac-12 defenses. Tyner's all-around game is a match-up nightmare and should prove to be an invaluable part of the arsenal in 2014.  

This is one upgraded version from its predecessor that will prove to be a big hit. 

 

Statistics compiled via CFBStats.com

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Recap, Highlights and Analysis

We are about at the halfway mark in the long and arduous college football offseason, but fans of the Oregon Ducks were granted the opportunity to whet their appetite Saturday at the annual spring game.

Team Mariasu knocked off Team Twifo 27-7 in a game that was never really in doubt after the first quarter.

Spring games are somewhat strange as a supporter of the program because for every successful play, there is also a corresponding failure on the other side, but it should come as no surprise that quarterback Marcus Mariota was impressive Saturday. He saw limited action, but he had no issues moving the ball down the field with his arm and legs throughout the early going.

One note of interest for any Oregon game, including the spring game, is the uniforms of choice. The Oregon Ducks' official football Twitter account updated fans on the threads for the game and made sure to point out that a number of supporters were filling in before the game started:

Oregon was divided into two teams for the spring game during a draft with captains Mariota and Hroniss Grasu choosing "Team Mariasu" and Tony Washington and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu selecting "Team Twifo." Offensive coordinator Scott Frost was chosen by Team Mariasu, but he promised to keep the game plan fairly vanilla, via Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard

“We’re going to keep it pretty basic. We’ve got a lot of young guys playing in the spring game, so we’re not going to do anything too fancy. But it’s going to be really competitive, so I’m excited to watch those guys in a competitive situation.”

Of course, conservative by Oregon standards is still fairly exciting. Mariota got his team on the board first with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Tyner, and he also mixed in some flashy plays in the first quarter as well. Assistant athletic director for communications Andy McNamara and Oregon football provided some highlights:

Mariota wasn't done, and he connected with Devon Allen for an impressive 45-yard touchdown pass. He had team Mariasu up 14-0 after the first quarter and appeared in midseason form already. Considering he will be on the short list of Heisman contenders this year, that is welcome news for Ducks fans.

Thorburn was there for the touchdown play, but also echoed probably the most important sentiment of the entire spring game, given Mariota's incredible talent: 

Andrew Greif of The Oregonian provided fans with Mariota's noteworthy final stat line in limited action:

Team Mariasu also played some solid defense as the second quarter began. Tyree Robinson recorded an impressive interception: 

Perhaps the most important thing fans were keeping an eye on in the spring game was the performance of running back Thomas Tyner. De'Anthony Thomas declared for the NFL draft, and the Ducks certainly need depth and production at the position, considering the uptempo offense they run.

The good news along that front was that Tyner looked impressive in the early going. McNamara noted that he was running over defenders on his way down field:

Team Mariasu took a 14-0 lead into intermission and completely dominated the first half. The second half featured a running clock, so there was less action. That still didn't stop quarterback Jeff Lockie from adding to Mariasu's lead early in the third quarter with a 41-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Austin Daich.

It capped of an 80-yard drive in only six plays and kept the fans buzzing after the half:

Team Mariasu had a 21-0 lead after three quarters, and, with a running clock, Team Twifo was in trouble.

They started on the right foot, though, in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Taylor Alie connected with receiver Darren Carrington for a 20-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-7:

However, as it had all game, Team Mariasu's defense slammed the door shut on Team Twifo's comeback aspirations. Cornerback Dior Mathis registered an interception to end all realistic hope, and then, in typical Oregon pedal-to-the-metal fashion, Team Mariasu's offense scored on the final play of the game.

It was a 49-yard touchdown pass from Damion Hobbs to Devon Allen. The final score was 27-7.

As previously mentioned, it is difficult to draw too much from a spring game, because any offensive or defensive success means the corresponding unit failed, but Oregon fans should be pleased with Mariota's play. He dealt with injuries at the end of last season that certainly played a factor in late losses to Stanford and Arizona, so a fully healthy quarterback was a sight for sore eyes.

It was also clear during the game that Oregon fans are rearing for football. The announced attendance was more than 37,000 for the intra-squad scrimmage, and they were treated to a number of impressive plays.

Now, if only the season would hurry up and get here.

 

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said in his pre-game interview on the Pac-12 Network's broadcast that the live-game format for Saturday's spring game was what the fans wanted to see.

Ducks faithful also had to have liked much of what they saw from Team Mariasu, named for captains Marcus Mariota and Hroniss Grasu, and Team Twifo, named for Tony Washington and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

Mariota was outstanding—not necessarily a surprise given his first two seasons leading the Ducks offense at quarterback. But he was in midseason form and looked every bit the Heisman Trophy candidate he is expected to be in 2014.  

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner was the star of a promising first-half effort from the Oregon front line. 

 

First-half analysis for the Oregon Ducks

Pass Offense

Mariota played three drives, somewhat surprisingly as GoDucks.com editor Rob Moseley tweeted. 

Offensive coordinator Scott Frost opened the passing game more to Mariota on his second and third drives, and the Heisman Trophy candidate responded with a pair of touchdown strikes. Mariota hit a wide-open Thomas Tyner on the first, a fitting score for the sophomore running back, who was arguably the top performer of the first half.

Mariota then delivered the play of the first half on the next possession. He evaded a defender in the pocket to avoid a sack, then following the move, he launched a perfectly placed, almost 50-yard bomb to Devon Allen for the touchdown.  

Though it was just three plays of an intrasquad scrimmage, Mariota's accurate long ball was a new addition to his already impressive repertoire. 

Mariota's performance on those possessions was enough to buoy the overall grade for the Oregon passing game, which was inconsistent otherwise. 

Jake Rodrigues, who is competing with Jeff Lockie for the second spot on the depth chart behind Mariota, passed with confidence on his first drive. He spread the ball among the wide receiving corps of Darren Carrington and Keanon Lowe early, but an end-zone heave was nearly an interception and a third-down conversion attempt was broken up.  

Taylor Alie came on for Rodrigues on Team Twifo's second possession but could get nothing going. He badly underthrew running back Ayele Forde on a play that, if converted, would have gone for a huge gain. On his second possession, Alie misjudged defensive coverage and was intercepted by safety Tyree Robinson. 

Lockie did not appear for Team Mariasu until the second quarter and never found a rhythm.  

 

Run Offense

The knee injury that hindered Mariota's rushing ability late last season is clearly no longer an issue. Mariota ran as well as he ever has and made great decisions in the option game. On one run, he flipped the ball to wide receiver Dwayne Stanford just before contact to extend the play. 

Last week, it seemed possible Tyner could miss the spring game. What a difference a week makes, as the sophomore was stellar, bursting through holes in the line for sizable gains. His signature moment came late in the second quarter when he ran over cornerback Dominique Harrison. 

Kani Benoit was impressive on his first two touches, but he was stripped for a fumble on his third straight carry of a second-quarter Team Twifo drive. 

Tyner and Mariota were the decided highlights of a steady, if unspectacular, overall rushing performance from both teams. Benoit's big run on his first carry, a long scramble by Rodrigues and a nice pickup from running back Kenny Bassett were the other notable plays in the game. 

 

Pass Defense

Linebacker Rodney Hardrick made a terrific play on the ball after a swing pass to Bassett, closing in on Bassett in pursuit and making a strip that Washington recovered. 

Coverage was tight for much of the half. Cornerback Dior Mathis made a few standout plays, including a third-down pass breakup. 

The only major misfire came on Mariota's first touchdown pass, when Tyner leaked behind the secondary with no one back in coverage. 

 

Run Defense

Team Mariasu's defensive front bottled up returning first-string running back Byron Marshall and the rest of the Team Twifo run game. 

The ability of both defenses to largely contain the big run play had to be a welcomed sight for new defensive coordinator Don Pellum.

While preventing the big play, the defensive line made a few of its own. Buckner stripped Benoit in the backfield. 

Junior college transfer and defensive lineman Tui Talia sniffed out a trick-play handoff to Johnathan Loyd for a highlight-reel tackle for loss. 

 

Special Teams

The punt team avoided Oregon basketball point guard-turned-wide receiver Loyd and successfully prevented any big returns.  

There were a number of major special teams gaffes in the first half, though, one of which was the result of Team Mariasu's coverage of Loyd. B.J. Kelley hammered Loyd before he caught a punt midway through the quarter. 

Matt Wogan's first field-goal attempt for Team Twifo was well short and would have been wide had it had the distance, and safety Erick Dargan muffed a punt early in the second quarter. 

 

Final game analysis for the Oregon Ducks

Pass Offense

The reserves settled in during the second half, led by Lockie. He connected with Austin Daich on a double-reverse pass, going 41 yards officially. 

Alie and Damion Hobbs also threw for scores in the second half. Alie hooked up with Carrington, who made a great catch.

Carrington's score was a bit of redemption for a dropped ball earlier in the half on a slant route. Rodrigues placed the ball perfectly and Carrington had an open lane to the end zone, but the protective wrap on his hand prevented him from making the reception.

None of the reserves fared as well as Mariota in the first half, but all were markedly improved in the passing game.  

 

Run Offense

The run game never quite jump-started in the second half, the result of a strong effort from the offense's defensive counterparts. Rodrigues pulled in on an option fake and broke off a huge run for the half's most notable rush play. He would have scored without the protective rules in place for the quarterbacks. 

Helfrich and staff gave the backup running backs more touches to get a complete look at the depth chart. Combined with more emphasis on the pass in order to give the quarterbacks repetitions, the ground attack was rather lackluster. 

 

Pass Defense

An improved overall effort from the quarterbacks tested the Oregon pass defense more in the second half. The secondary gave up a few more big plays after intermission than it had in the first half. 

Still, the coverage was mostly solid and the pressure the defensive line brought forced a few errant passes. Rodrigues and Team Twifo were denied a touchdown when Reggie Daniels made a terrific play on a fourth-down pass into the end zone. 

 

Run Defense

Along with the inspired play of Mariota and Tyner, the efforts of the Oregon run defense were a decided highlight of the Ducks' spring game. 

Hardrick was all over the field any time he was in the game to set the tone. With him leading the linebackers corps and Buckner powering the push up front, Pellum's efforts to improve the Ducks in the front seven this spring looked successful. 

 

Special Teams

Special teams play was improved in the second half in that it was without major incident.

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Oregon Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

Team Mariasu (Green) 14, Team Twifo 0 (White) ; Start of 3rd Quarter

Mark Helfrich and the Oregon Ducks will conclude their spring with a intrasquad contest at Autzen Stadium. 

The contest can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. The game will begin at 11:00 a.m. PT. On radio, the game will be on KUJZ (95.3) in Eugene, and KXTG (750 am) in Portland. 

Bleacher Report appreciates you tuning in with us. Please stick around for analysis, live scores and much more!

 

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UCLA Football: Jim Mora's 4 Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice

Heading into the summer, Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins have four concerns relating to the prospects of the 2014 season. 

Health at a key position will be paramount going forward. It would also be ideal to have a member of the crowded backfield separate from the proverbial pack and be "the guy" going forward. Lastly, depth concerns figure at two significant positions. 

There is no order determining the level of importance for the four concerns. One slide in particular is clearly depicted as the most pressing concern for the squad. 

Here's a look at the four biggest concerns post-spring practice for the UCLA Bruins. 

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Brady White to Arizona State: Sun Devils Land 4-Star QB Prospect

The quarterback is the heart and soul of any college program. Arizona State now has its potential quarterback of the future following a huge commitment.

Brady White, a 4-star quarterback from Santa Clarita, California, gave a verbal commitment that he would be playing with the Sun Devils following his senior season with Hart High School. Doug Haller of AZCentral reported the news:

Todd Graham tweeted shortly after the commitment:

The Sun Devils will have to wait on White taking over behind center, though, as he's a 2015 recruit. But if the numbers he puts up during his senior season are anything like his junior campaign, ASU might have a sensational quarterback coming into the program.

White threw for 4,535 yards, 41 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 63.5 completion percentage during his junior season. He also rushed for 320 yards and nine touchdowns on the year.

Hart's head coach, Mike Herrington, spoke about the one potential weakness for White, per Gerry Gittelson of the Los Angeles Daily News, saying, "That’s the only damper, the interceptions, but Brady is doing a really good job for us."

Even with the 18 interceptions during his junior season, White showed he has room to learn in his final year with Hart. But with his cool demeanor and great pocket presence, the 6'2", 190-pound quarterback has a chance to shine for the Sun Devils

Greg Biggins of Fox Sports points out that White was a huge factor during a recent camp:

With other notable offers from Maryland, Nebraska, Louisville and Penn State, the Sun Devils are getting a signal-caller who was widely coveted across the country. Thanks to his arm and accuracy, taking over the reins for ASU should definitely be in his future.

As college football puts a premium on great offenses, as seen in recent years with teams like Florida State and Oregon, getting a versatile quarterback means ASU is one step closer to contending not only in the Pac-12 South but on a national level.

 

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'Jameis' Famous Crab Shack' T-Shirts Released in Wake of FSU QB's Citation

In the wake of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's citation for shoplifting king crab legs, Smack Apparel has released a T-shirt that reads "Jameis' Famous Crab Shack Emporium" with "EAT 'EM LIKE YOU STOLE 'EM!" written at the bottom. 

The back of the shirts read "Our Crabs Are Always at a Five Finger Discount!" Florida fans everywhere can be expected to have these next season.

[CollegeSpun]

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USC Football: Offseason Recruiting Roundup


The Trojans coaching staff turns its attention to recruiting now that spring practices have been put to bed, and already USC is busy assembling the future of USC. With miles to go on the recruiting trial, Steve Sarkisian and his staff are using this offseason to woo top 2015 talent with the hopes of further impressing those recruits during the impending football season. While it's true that commitments this year don't always amount to much, it's always a good sign when a coach is able to shore up blue-chip recruits without having coached any games yet.

Here's a rundown of what's happening for the Trojans on the recruiting front, and what to expect going forward.

 

Trojan Commits

5-star QB Ricky Town

5-star OT Chuma Edoga 

3-star CB Taeon Mason

3-star QB David Sills

David Sills is USC's longest-standing commit, dating back to when former head coach Lane Kiffin extended him an offer in 2010. His commitment hadn't wavered until Sarkisian brought Ricky Town into the mix in January. The St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Calif.) quarterback's presence in the group almost certainly means Sills will decommit as recruiting season heats up later in the year, but for now, the Trojans have two quarterbacks on deck. 

Chuma Edoga is USC's newest commit, and already he's a pretty exciting prospect. Plucked right out of SEC country, Edoga is considered the fourth-best offensive tackle in his class. His courtship from USC suggests Sark is still trying to ensure the Trojans have a stout offensive line going forward. 

The Georgia native discussed with ESPN why he decided on the Trojans:

I committed to USC. I feel like I can get the best of both worlds by going to USC. First with football and then with their academics. I have a great relationship with coach [Tee] Martin and coach [Tim] Drevno. They are all pretty cool guys—real laid back. They really love the game of football and they are focused on what is best for me, they want to make me the best man I can be—just real genuine guys.

 

Top California Targets*

4-star WR Equanimeous St. Brown

5-star LB John Houston Jr. 

5-star DT Rasheem Green

5-star DE Keisean Lucier-South

5-star CB Iman "Biggie" Marshall

Updates

Equanimeous St. Brown recently picked up an offer from UCLA, so the Trojans and their rivals will go head-to-head for his commitment later this year. St. Brown also has some interest in out-of-state schools, like Notre Dame.

John Houston Jr. could be considered a Trojan lean at this point, as he recently donned USC sleeves during a 7-on-7 passing league tournament. 

Pac-12 schools like Stanford and Oregon are keen on Rasheem Green, and he recently spoke favorably about his visit to each school. He wasn't able to go to USC's spring game, but the Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.) defensive tackle got a visit from Coach Tee Martin earlier this week. Because USC has an active pipeline to Serra, he is another name to look out for in the coming months as a Trojan lean. 

An elite pass-rusher, Keisean Lucier-South is a recruit that is high on the Trojans' list. The coaches visited him at his school in April, and he received a personalized tour of USC's campus before the spring game. Schools like UCLA, Michigan and Notre Dame are also vying for his attention. 

Biggie Marshall attended both USC and UCLA's spring games, and he will also be at the center of a local battle between the Trojans and Bruins. He's already a household name in Los Angeles, and his commitment to USC would be a huge gain. 

 

Top Out-of-State Targets*

4-star OT Andre James

4-star WR Cordell Broadus

4-star DE Marquavius Lewis

4-star OLB/DE Porter Gustin

Updates

Andre James (Herriman, Utah) is considered the third-best offensive tackle in Utah and is rated No. 22 overall in his class. USC just offered him this week, and he also holds offers from Oregon and Washington. He visited USC in March, and a commitment from him would ensure a strong O-line presence in the years to come. Sark has been hard at work trying to build an O-line that can bring back the glory days of USC's power run game, and James is the kind of athlete that can help make that happen.

The son of longtime USC fan and international rap legend Snoop Dogg, Cordell Broadus (Bishop Gorman, Nev.) is a wide receiver target the Trojans want to lock down. UCLA is also vying for his commitment, in an effort to convert the Broadus clan into Bruin fans. 

USC's coaching staff has mined gold recently on the JUCO front, bringing in studs like Morgan Breslin and turning them into gems on Saturdays. Marquavius Lewis (Hutchinson C.C., Kan.) would be no exception. The 4-star DE is likely to end up at an SEC school, but it would be huge if the Trojans could sway him to the West Coast. 

Also from Utah, Porter Gustin is a promising linebacker target getting a lot of looks from Pac-12 schools. Right now, he's high on the Trojans and would be a great addition to the linebacking corps. 

 

Other Notes

Sarkisian has made great strides to restore some of the Pete Carroll flair to USC, namely, being open to the media and interacting with fans on a regular basis. USC's sanctions are lifted on June 9, and things could become more and more open as the year goes on. That said, the athletic department in Troy has announced that this summer's training camps (like Rising Stars) will continue to be closed to the media and the public.

No reason was given for continuing to keep the camps closed, nor have they indicated whether the media will have access to fall camp. 

 

*This is just a short list of the Trojans' top targets for 2015. As the offseason continues, new targets will be introduced in weekly roundups. 

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