NCAA Football News

Ohio State Stat Projections: Will Ezekiel Elliott Top His Breakout 2014 Season?

Ezekiel Elliott was absolutely unstoppable in Ohio State's run through the first College Football Playoff, leading the Buckeyes to a national championship. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer gives his predictions for Elliott's stats next season.

What kind of year will the OSU running back have? Check out the video and let us know!

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Top Performers from the Opening Regional Charlotte

The 2016 recruiting class is rounding into form, with many of the top athletes making names for themselves at various regional outings across the nation. The Opening Charlotte was the latest installment where these players got to hone their craft. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder and Recruiting Analyst Damon Sayles broke down which players impressed them the most out in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

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Auston Robertson Reveals New Top 3: Odds on Where Versatile 4-Star Lands

As the top-ranked recruit from the state of Indiana, defensive end Auston Robertson showed on May 3 at The Opening Chicago regional that the ranking was justified. Per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, he won the majority of his reps against quality offensive linemen.

A quick, strong athlete who only seems to get better each week, Robertson has his share of schools to choose from. Before the camp, the nation's No. 7 weak-side defensive end discussed recruiting and reconfirmed to SB Nation's Wescott Eberts his top three of Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Somewhere between then and last Thursday, however, the 6'5", 230-pound athlete has decided not only to switch things up in his top three, but also make a move that has the potential to stir up an always-on recruiting battle between rivals.

Robertson reportedly has replaced Ohio State with Michigan in his top three, according to ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren (h/t College Spun's Dan Lyons), and he's set to announce his commitment on June 7 at the RAS Camp in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Will Robertson, who is from Fort Wayne, stay in state or choose out of the two Big Ten schools representing Michigan?

Robertson would be a great defensive addition for all three programs. He has a quick first step, and he uses his length to disrupt run and pass plays. Robertson also has the skills to be a productive tight end at the college level.

With a little less than a month before decision day, here are odds for each school in Robertson's top three.

 

Michigan State (3-1)

With Michigan taking Ohio State's place in the top three, Michigan State and Notre Dame both have a chance to pull away in the race for Robertson. The Spartans appear to have a slight edge over the Irish currently.

Per his 247Sports timeline, Robertson last visited Michigan State last month. He's made a few trips to East Lansing since receiving an offer in September. He's built a strong relationship with the majority of the coaches, particularly defensive line coach Ron Burton, and, according to Josh Helmholdt of Rivals.com, he keeps in contact with several players in the Spartans' 2016 class.

Building relationships is half of the recruiting process. Robertson's comfort level with Michigan State gives the program an advantage as he inches closer to his decision next month.

 

Notre Dame (4-1)

Like Michigan State, Notre Dame has been in the running for Robertson for a while. All three schools are roughly within a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Fort Wayne, but Notre Dame is the closest of the three. Having family come to watch Robertson at home games would mean making a 90-mile trek northwest.

Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and recruiting coordinator Mike Elston have been in contact with Robertson. He's looking to take a visit to the campus in the immediate future. He told Helmholdt he wanted his mother to take in the campus experience before he made any final decisions.

Robertson was offered in June during a Notre Dame summer camp. The Irish are hoping to land their seventh commitment and another defensive end to join 4-star Julian Okwara in the class.

 

Michigan (5-1)

With Ohio State out and Michigan the new team in, the big question is whether or not the Wolverines can make up enough ground to take over the Spartans and the Irish. Robertson helped Michigan's cause by taking a visit to the campus earlier this week with the No. 2 player in Indiana, 4-star wide receiver Austin Mack, a fellow resident of Fort Wayne, according to Wiltfong.

Robertson has been to Michigan a few times, and getting one-on-one time with head coach Jim Harbaugh and other coaches has proven to be valuable. He told Wiltfong that he likes how Michigan has coaches with NFL experience.

If Michigan is able to land Robertson—as well as Mack—it would mean the Wolverines would have Indiana's top three recruits. Harbaugh was able to get 4-star quarterback Brandon Peters, the No. 3 player in Indiana, to commit on April 3.

 

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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Alabama Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal sent out this coffee-induced tweet about recruiting South Florida, he wasn’t kidding:

Cristobal, the Crimson Tide’s South Florida ace and consensus 2015 Recruiter of the Year, made a tear through that area this week. Alabama sent out offers to eight prospects from the greater Miami area, including five from the 2018 class.

He is definitely one of the more vocal Crimson Tide position coaches during practice, and he’s showing that he can bring that same intensity to the recruiting trail while looking for the “next Amari Cooper.”

Alabama also offered a couple of other scholarships and brought on a local preferred walk-on for 2015 at a position of need.

Here’s a rundown of the Crimson Tide’s recruiting week.

 

Run Through Florida Includes Two NFL Legacies

Asante Samuel Jr., 2018 Cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Benjamin Sapp, 2018 Cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Two weeks ago, Alabama went after the son of a high-profile athlete, offering Evander Holyfield’s son, Elijah. This week, it did that two more times, but with an eye on the NFL.

Alabama sent out offers to Benjamin Sapp, the son of free-agent cornerback Benny Sapp, and Asante Samuel Jr., the son of the former Pro Bowl safety.

The two are also teammates, playing at Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas.

“I went into my coach’s office, and he told me (about the offer),” Sapp told 247Sports’ Hank South. “It was just very exciting. I’m extremely blessed to be offered by them.”

Samuel and Sapp are obviously a few years away from playing at the college level, but the offers are already starting to roll in for the 2018 defensive backs. Samuel already has offers from LSU, Miami and South Carolina, while Sapp is being courted by Miami, South Carolina and West Virginia.

“(My parents) were very happy for me,” Sapp told South. “They told me just to stay humble, and just keep working.”

 

Local Quarterback Joins as Preferred Walk-On

Seth Franks, 2015 2-Star Pro-Style Quarterback from Northport, Alabama

You can add a sixth name to Alabama’s quarterback race, though he would be a massive long shot to actually win the job.

Seth Franks, a quarterback from Northport, Alabama, just across the river from Tuscaloosa, accepted an offer to join the Crimson Tide as a preferred walk-on. He won’t be on scholarship, but Franks will join the team and compete at the position like anybody who is.

“Coach (Jody) Wright came to me with the opportunity,” Franks told 247Sports’ Hank South. “I had a couple of small offers from schools, but living in Northport it’s been a dream, being fifteen minutes away (from Tuscaloosa), it was kind of just a done deal when he offered me the spot.”

Franks transferred from Brookwood to Tuscaloosa County High School after his sophomore season. He’s rated the No. 87 pro-style passer by 247Sports and is a 2-star recruit. The only offer listed on his 247Sports page is from Jacksonville State.

“Starting off I’ll probably just be on scout team getting reps there,” Franks told South. “Basically I hope to just work my way up. It’ll be a great experience playing for Coach Saban. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll work my way up and be playing.”

Franks also told South that Wright informed him that an eventual scholarship offer could be in his future.

 

Other Offers From the Week

Oluwole Betiku, 2016 4-Star Defensive End from Gardena, California

Miguel Edwards, 2018 Cornerback from Pompano Beach, Florida

Donovan Georges, 2018 Inside Linebacker from Hialeah, Florida

Blake Hickey, 2016 3-Star Offensive Guard from Godley, Texas

Trey Smith, 2017 4-Star Offensive Tackle from Jackson, Tennessee

Patrick Surtain, Jr., 2018 Cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Deandre Wilder, 2017 4-Star Outside Linebacker from Opa Locka, Florida

Marco Wilson, 2017 4-Star Cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Daniel Wright, 2017 4-Star Safety from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Florida Fan Bride Uses Wedding Cake to Pull a Fast One on Alabama Fan Groom

It's no secret that football rules life for SEC fans. For Robert Sabin and Amanda Perryman, football was a way to mess with each other at their wedding.

Sabin and Perryman recently tied the knot and became husband and wife. Luckily for them, their love for each other outweighs their love for their respective schools.

Perryman is a graduate of the University of Florida, while Sabin, conveniently, is a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Just imagine what football season is like for that household.

Sabin found a wild way to show off his fandom at his wedding. The groom's cake featured Alabama coach Nick Saban holding a BCS championship trophy and riding an elephant at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Because Roll Tide.

Well, according to College Spun's Matt Lombardi, Perryman somehow found out about the cake and pranked her husband. After she learned about the Crimson Tide-themed cake, she had the bakers dye the inside of the cake orange and blue—Florida colors.

She wins. 

[Twitter, College Spun]

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Check out the 7th Grade QB Who Already Has Division I Offer

Tee Webb, a seventh-grade quarterback from Carrollton, Georgia, may only be in junior high, but that isn't stopping him from turning heads on the recruiting trail. He was recently offered a scholarship to the University of Louisville. 

Check out his amazing highlights in the video above!

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College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

The spring evaluation period is in full swing with coaches making visits to high school campuses throughout the country.

Included in that group is Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies—who have bolstered their presence in neighboring Louisiana in recent years.

Last week, the Aggies offered a pair of 3-star defensive ends Caleb Roddy and Willie Baker, who hail from the Pelican State. 

The 6’4”, 245-pound pass-rusher told Taylor Hamm of GigEm247 that the offer definitely got his attention. 

"I'm glad they offered me. It's definitely a big offer. They're high on my list now. I'm definitely interested and I'm trying to visit this summer," Roddy told Hamm.

Roddy—who recorded 79 tackles with 12 sacks as a junior—holds more than 15 offers with Arkansas, Ole Miss and Tennessee, among the other schools in the running for him.

Baker is another versatile defender from Louisiana who has grabbed the attention of new Aggies defensive coordinator John Chavis. 

Like Roddy, Baker is also hoping to visit College Station in the near future, per Hamm.

"They're high on my list," Baker told Hamm. "I'm trying to get out there for their camp in June. I should be able to make it."

The Aggies have signed a total of five Louisiana players in the last two classes, and they are hoping their luck continues in that talent-rich state.


Texas After Top 2016 CB

The Aggies weren’t the only powerhouse from the Lone Star State to be on the road in Louisiana.

Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns also headed east to offer 4-star corner Kristian Fulton, according to Demetric Warren of Varsity Preps.

Fulton is the nation’s No. 4 corner and the No. 35 player overall in the 2016 class. 

According to EJ Holland of 247Sports, Fulton has already planned to make an unofficial visit to Texas later this summer.

 

Michigan State Offers Top 2016 Florida WR

Coconut Creek High School in Pompano Beach, Florida, has been a hot spot for college recruiters, with 2016 4-star receiver Binjimen Victor being one of the main attractions. 

The 6’4”, 170-pounder added another huge offer when Michigan State tendered him last week. 

Victor has more than 40 offers to his credit, with Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Ohio State among the programs heavily pursuing him. 

According to SpartanTailgate, Victor is a candidate to visit East Lansing later in the summer.

 

Clemson Offers Rising 2017 DT

Clemson is a school with deep ties to the Mid-Atlantic region, and Dabo Swinney and his staff have been active in the Carolinas and Virginia during the evaluation period.

One of his prime targets is 2017 4-star defensive tackle Eric Crosby, who landed an offer from the Tigers last week. 

Florida State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech are among the early schools who have offered Crosby. 

Crosby rates as the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle and the No. 109 player overall in the 2017 class.

 

Best of the Rest

2016

 

2017

 

2018

 

2019

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. 

 

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College Football Teams We Wish Could Do 'Hard Knocks' in 2015

Over the past few years, professional football fans have found a beacon that carries them toward the beginning of the NFL regular season: Hard Knocks.

For the uninitiated, Hard Knocks is a reality documentary series that takes a look at the inside workings of an NFL training camp, focusing on position battles, rookies struggling to make the team and the home life of players and coaches alike, among other things.

It has been a highly popular venture for HBO and the NFL, with fans speculating each summer about which team will be selected to be spotlighted. Since 2001, nine seasons of the program have been produced, and it has now become a yearly program.

So we got to thinking: What if HBO expanded the concept to the college ranks? College football coaches are notoriously private and paranoid, but an all-access look at a college program would be fascinating. Here are 10 programs that we’d drop everything to watch on Hard Knocks.

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Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame football coaching staff stayed busy on the road last week, dishing out a handful of offers as the spring recruiting season rolls along.

Each week we’ll be keeping tabs on the new scholarship offers sent out by the Notre Dame coaches, tracking the recruiting process as the Irish focus their attention toward the classes of 2016, 2017 and maybe even 2018.

 

Tren’Davian Dickson

Class-of-2016 wide receiver Tren’Davian Dickson reported a Notre Dame offer Saturday.

The 4-star prospect from Navasota, Texas also boasts offers from Michigan, Alabama, USC, Texas and Oklahoma, among others. Listed at 6’0”, 171 pounds, Dickson is the No. 18 wide receiver and No. 114 overall prospect in the class.

 

Andrew Pryts

Safety is expected to be a position of emphasis in the forthcoming recruiting cycles for Notre Dame, and the Irish extended an offer to class-of-2016 safety Andrew Pryts toward the beginning of the week.

Pryts hails from Hermitage, Pennsylvania and is slotted as the No. 19 safety and No. 370 overall player in the country. Pryts’ other offers include UCLA, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, among others. Pryts has taken unofficial visits to Ohio State, Michigan State, UCLA and Michigan in recent weeks.

“It’s a great school with both football and academics,” Pryts said of Notre Dame to Irish247’s Tom Loy before receiving his offer. “I’ve always been interested in Notre Dame. I’ve heard nothing but great things about them. I would like to get up to campus to start building relationships with the coaches and get familiar with the campus if an offer comes.”

 

Stewart Reese

The Irish dove into Florida to offer class-of-2016 offensive lineman Stewart Reese on Monday, according to Loy.

The 6’5”, 348-pounder from Fort Pierce, Florida is pegged as the No. 37 offensive tackle and No. 389 overall player in the nation. Reese has taken multiple visits to Florida State, and the 3-star lineman checked out Miami, as well, in late March.

Per Loy, Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand came through Florida to have a look at Reese.

 

Greg Johnson

Class-of-2017 athlete/cornerback Greg Johnson hauled in a Notre Dame offer Friday.

The 5-star player is ranked as the No. 2 athlete and No. 42 prospect in the country. Johnson also holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA and South Carolina, among others.

As Loy notes, Johnson joins a slew of fellow Augustus Hawkins High School products, such as 2017 wide receiver Joseph Lewis, 2017 wide receiver Taariq Johnson and 2018 wide receiver Jalen Hall, to receive recent Irish offers.

 

Taariq Johnson

The Irish coaching staff stayed busy in the Los Angeles area and also offered class-of-2017 wide receiver Taariq Johnson.

Also a Hawkins High School standout, Johnson is the No. 20 wide receiver and No. 131 overall player. At 6’4”, 210 pounds, Johnson has accumulated a half-dozen offers thus far.

“It’s great,” Johnson told Loy. “Truly a blessing. To receive an offer from such a prestigious program, I feel honored. We are most definitely thankful for the offers and appreciate them but are still open to different schools.”

 

Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

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5 Top-Performing Quarterback Recruits from 2015 Charlotte Elite 11 Regional

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Saturday's Elite 11 regional featured two previous regional winners, commitments from Oklahoma, North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest and a host of other talented gunslingers looking to make a name for themselves and potentially earn an invitation to The Opening.

When the competition ended, 3-star quarterback Jett Duffey—who competed in his third The Opening regional this spring—claimed his second quarterback MVP honor. More importantly, the Mansfield, Texas, gunslinger left Charlotte with the coveted ticket to the Elite 11 finals this summer in Oregon.

Duffey was one of a few stars from the Elite 11, which featured roughly 80 quarterbacks from 15 states. Here are five quarterbacks who showed that they were legitimate contenders and earned the respect of the Elite 11 coaches in attendance.

Additionally, Brian Stumpf, vice president of football events for Student Sports and one of the leaders of both the Elite 11 and The Opening, provided insight on each of the quarterbacks. He also gave feedback on three other quarterbacks to watch from Charlotte.

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