NCAA Football News

USC Pro Day 2015: Recap, Reaction for Leonard Williams and Top Trojans

When USC throws a pro day, the entire NFL shows up.

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams attended Wednesday afternoon's showcase, where they watched 15 former Trojans perform an assortment of on-field workouts. 

Here is the full list of participants, courtesy of USC Athletics:

Defensive tackle Leonard Williams, a projected top-five draft pick, forewent numerical testing after a strong performance at the scouting combine in February. He did, however, perform positional workouts.

Here he is showing some nimble footwork:

And here he is treating a blocking sled like a throw pillow:

Regardless, Williams' decision to take things easy opened the door for other players. The biggest beneficiary? Wide receiver George Farmer.

Farmer was the No. 8 overall recruit in the country in 2011, but injuries derailed his college career. He caught five total passes his first three seasons and missed all of 2013 with an injury, but he returned to catch 25 balls for 314 yards and four touchdowns in 11 games as a junior.

Eager to bank a paycheck while he's healthy, Farmer forewent his senior year and declared for the draft. His decision earned widespread skepticism—again: He's caught 30 career passes—but he justified his confidence with an official 4.35 in the 40-yard dash.

Farmer didn't attend the scouting combine, but his 40 would have tied Chris Conley (Georgia) and Kevin White (West Virginia) as the No. 3 mark among receivers. Considering his listed size (6'1", 220 lbs), that's a phenomenal number to have posted.

Farmer's vertical jump (34.5") left a lot to be desired, but Wednesday was a big day regardless. That 40 time earned him some money, and so did posting 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Fellow wide receiver Nelson Agholor, the higher-regarded NFL prospect, and running back Buck Allen stood on most of their scores from the combine. Agholor ran a 4.42 40 in Indianapolis, and Allen ran a 4.53, so there was no good reason for either to run again.

Agholor and Allen ran position drills, which is where they'll make their money anyway. Each has such a natural understanding of his position, especially Agholor, whose quantifiable performance at the combine—when combined with his intangible qualities—should make him a late first-round or early second-round draft pick.

Joel Klatt of Fox Sports raved about Agholor's hands:

Allen told reporters he scheduled a workout with the Carolina Panthers, who recently released running back DeAngelo Williams and must add young legs behind Jonathan Stewart. He will conduct the workout for Carolina Friday, per Bryan Fischer of NFL.com:

Shaw missed most of the season with ankle injuries—injuries derived from that infamous three-story fall—and so he didn't provide a lot of senior tape. Scouts arrived at pro day with an eye on his positional workouts, and though he didn't turn heads, he looked fine:

Any other notable performances? Sure.

Let's roll through them rapid-fire:

  • According to Real Sports Entertainment, linebacker Hayes Pullard ran a 4.59 40. If someone shares that time, DON'T BELIEVE THEM. Officially, Pullard clocked a 4.74 that was right on par with his time from the combine (4.78). If and when he's drafted, it will be for his strength, his leadership and his production—not his speed.
  • Tight end Randall Telfer skipped pro day after suffering a Lisfranc injury, per Michael Lev of The Orange Country Register. Telfer also skipped most of the combine, so this news comes as a major disappointment.
  • Former Trojan D.J. Morgan participated after retiring from the team in September. He retired so he could focus on track but always maintained that he had eyes for the NFL. Morgan played both running back and defensive back in Los Angeles, and though it's unclear where his future lies at the next level—or even what "next level" means—he did make noise with a 39.5-inch vertical.

 

Note: All recruiting info refers to the 247Sports composite rankings

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Spring Game Dates, Times, and TV Options for Every Top 25 Team

The calendar might not say spring for another week or so, but the sounds of pads smacking and whistles blowing say otherwise.

Spring football is well underway throughout the country, with most FBS teams in the midst of their allotted 16 practice days during a five-week span during the offseason. These workouts help new players get acclimated to the program while allowing upgraded systems to get implemented.

This culminates with an end-of-practice exhibition or scrimmage usually referred to as a spring game, which is open to the public and can serve as an early chance to see the stars of next season's team.

Spring games are scheduled nearly every week between now (Colorado holds its scrimmage on March 15) through early May, with Duke having already held its game on Feb. 28.

Using Bleacher Report's post-signing day Top 25 as a guide, we've put together a handy list of the dates, times and (when applicable) TV info for fans looking to watch a school's spring game. 

 

NOTE: Spring game television information is current as of Wednesday, March 11.

Begin Slideshow

Frank Iheanacho Arrested: Latest Details, Mugshot and More on Texas A&M WR

Texas A&M wide receiver Frank Iheanacho has reportedly been suspended from taking part in any athletics activities after he was arrested Tuesday in Brazos County, Texas.   

According to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicleciting the Brazos County justice system website, Iheanacho was "arrested on charges of failure to identify and providing false/fictitious information":

The charges stem from a February shoplifting incident in a Bryan Wal-Mart, according to KZNE Radio in College Station, which first reported the arrest. Iheanacho, a sophomore from Westside High, posted $2,000 bond on Tuesday, the day of his arrest.

Iheanacho has been suspended from all athletics activities per athletic department policy, according to an A&M spokesman.

Zwerneman also provided a look at Iheanacho's mugshot on Twitter:

Iheanacho played sparingly as a freshman in 2014, catching just two passes for 23 yards, but he was one of the top incoming receivers. He was ranked as the 13th-best wideout and the 89th-best player overall by 247Sports coming out of high school. 

The Aggies finished 2014 with a 7-5 record and defeated West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl. Iheanacho caught one pass for 13 yards in the game. Zwerneman's report does mention the team is currently going through spring practice before spring break next week. 

The school, as well as head coach Kevin Sumlin, will certainly monitor Iheanacho's situation before making any final determinations about his football eligibility. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football: 5 Redshirt Freshmen Ready to Contribute

As coach Brian Kelly enters his sixth season at Notre Dame, the program stands on solid ground. While both 2013 and 2014 fell short of their high-end expectations, Kelly has the program on the best footing we've seen since Lou Holtz roamed the sidelines. 

That has allowed the Irish to build their depth chart and stockpile talent that develops on the right timeline. 

A young roster in 2014 turns into an experienced group in 2015. And after sitting out as true freshmen last year, expect five redshirt freshmen to make their mark come this fall. 

With spring practice set to begin next week, let's look at five redshirt freshmen who are poised to make an impact. 

Begin Slideshow

Urban Meyer and Ohio State's Biggest Offseason Challenge

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State won't officially take the field as college football's defending national champion until Sept. 7, when the Buckeyes head to Blacksburg for a revenge game against the only team to beat them last season, Virginia Tech.

But that doesn't mean Urban Meyer will have to wait another six months to find the first opponent of the 2015 campaign.

It's a battle that started on the first day of Ohio State's spring practice on Tuesday and could continue all the way through a potential title defense in next season's College Football Playoff. With a roster full of young players eight weeks removed from winning the national championship—in football-crazed Columbus no less—Meyer knows he'll have to keep an eye on complacency as the Buckeyes inch toward the actual season.

"Do we have to be aware? We're human beings, man," Meyer responded when asked if he has to watch out for a sense of self-entitlement around his program. "Last year, I don't think we had that sense of entitlement at all. This year, I'm watching it."

Meyer said he hasn't seen any of it from his players—yet—but there's still nearly six months to go until the start of the season. The three-time national champion head coach has been in this position before, defending titles at Florida following the 2006 and 2008 seasons, neither time doing so successfully.

That wasn't necessarily due to complacency—the '07 Gators lost a lot of talent, and Meyer's '08 squad went undefeated before losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game—but the fourth-year Ohio State head coach has long stated his preference to coach an "angry" football team.

With a roster full of players who have just reached college football's pinnacle, that might not be the easiest attitude to install. After all, what's there to be angry about at Ohio State right now?

But if the words of Meyer's players are any indication, the Buckeyes aren't having any trouble coming up with sources of motivation—whether they be real or imaginary.

“We know that people are always going to doubt us, so that’s going to be a big thing for us,” senior linebacker Joshua Perry said after Tuesday's practice. "We know that we have a target on our back and that people are going to doubt us. We’ve still got something to prove every day that we go out there.”

Doubters? For Ohio State? Just two months removed from a national title run, 14 starters returning and three of the best quarterbacks in the country playing for arguably the nation's best coach? There can't be many.

But that hasn't stopped the Buckeyes from finding them.

“We did lose players who were vital to that team last year," left tackle Taylor Decker said. “I can see why there are reasons people could doubt us.

"Not that I believe in those,” he then added.

But while Perry and Decker—both three-year starters and presumed captains for the 2015 team—are already busy trying to maintain their team's competitive edge, they both are aware of the sense of complacency their head coach is fighting against. Make no mistake, Ohio State has gone from the hunters to the hunted after a playoff run that included wins over top-ranked Alabama and second-seeded Oregon.

It would be a shock if the Buckeyes weren't the country's preseason No. 1 team, and a favorable schedule would make anything short of a second consecutive playoff appearance a disappointing season. Bovada (via Odd Shark) currently lists Ohio State as a 4-1 favorite to repeat as national champion, the next closest team being Alabama at 7-1.

Decker, however, isn't ready to let his teammates buy it.

"It’s kind of scary, a team coming off a big season like we did, to have a letdown," the senior said. "You don’t want guys to think they’ve arrived or be entitled to winning games.”

Only many of these young Buckeyes have already arrived, the losses in last year's lineup being limited to just four players who were invited to last month's NFL Scouting Combine. Ohio State will return the current Heisman Trophy front-runner in Ezekiel Elliott, one of the nation's best defenders in Joey Bosa and one of the country's top quarterbacks—whether it be Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett or Braxton Miller who starts at signal-caller against the Hokies in September.

That, of course, is a long ways away, which is both good and bad for the Buckeyes. On the one hand, Ohio State has half a year left of hearing how great it is before taking the field for a game again. On the other, Meyer has that much time to guard against it.

"I don't feel it," Meyer said. "If I do, we dive right in. Not a whole lot of whispering. We dive right in and see what the problem is."

For now, Meyer insists he's more focused on seeing how his two new assistant coaches fit in with the Buckeyes' already established culture rather than forming an identity for next season's team. But if you listen to his players, the process already seems to be taking place.

"It wouldn’t be as fun if everybody was always cheering you on all the time," Perry said. "You kind of need those doubters to give you a little bit of that extra edge.”

It still remains unclear exactly who those doubters are. Just don't try telling that to the Buckeyes—they have mindset, and they're trying to maintain it.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages