NCAA Football News

Jimbo Fisher Should Ignore the Allure of NFL and Stay at Florida State

From this point forward, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher will be connected to other jobs, both at the college and pro level. Welcome to being a Florida State fan in 2015. And 2016. And 2017. And so on. 

Appearing on ProFootballTalk Live on NBC Sports Network on Tuesday, Fisher said he "recently" heard from an NFL team about any possible interest in being a head coach. 

Exactly which team reached out and when remains unknown. As PFT's Mike Florio notes, the Bills, Jets, Raiders, Broncos, 49ers, Falcons and Bears have all "recently" filled head coaching spots.

It's a moot point now. Those jobs are filled, and Fisher remains with Florida State. Though he threw out the "never say never" line, for the moment, Fisher doesn't seem interested in the pros. That's a good thing; he's an incredible fit for the college game. 

The X's and O's of football transcend every level of the sport, and Fisher is a brilliant offensive mind. He could coach anywhere—from Houston, Texas, to Hoover, Alabama—and be able to find mismatches, call plays and develop talent. 

What changes from college to the pros is the coaching style, and that's not for everyone. Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh have dabbled in the NFL and, for their own various reasons, eventually found their way back to the college game. 

Fisher, on the other hand, has spent well over 20 years coaching exclusively in the college ranks. 

The dream of winning in the NFL can be alluring, but it's a different animal than college. The workload is different, managing egos and personalities in the locker room is different, the control/role within the organization is different. 

If Fisher knows that's not necessarily his bag, baby, then good for him. He explained that rationale to Florio: 

I love college kids. I love 18-to-22, 23-year-old kids.  I love the family life.  I love living in the towns I live in.  I love living in Tallahassee.  It’s a great place to raise a family, it’s a great place to grow.  You’re living in warm weather. I don’t have that ambition — not saying, again, I wouldn’t — but it’s not my driving force to have to be a pro football coach.

Could things change? Sure. Opportunities are all about timing and circumstances, both of which are fluid factors. 

Also, it helps to have an awesome agent. 

Overall, though, Fisher appears happy with his present situation. That's not just about FSU, either. As a college head coach, he can fill up an entire recruiting class of blue-chip prospects who will win 10 or more games every season. 

Yes, there's parity in college football, but not nearly as much as there is in the pros. In other words, Fisher has a machine running on all cylinders in Tallahassee—and is being paid well to run said machine—and it's showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Fisher has a hand in every little thing that happens with that machine. The operating manual? He wrote the thing. 

What's not to love?

Still, this is what happens when you win as many games as Fisher has—he's averaged 11.6 wins per year since taking over the Seminoles program in 2010—and put 25 players into the NFL since 2011. You're going to get attention from the highest level of the game, that's just a fact of life. Though the thought of losing Fisher is enough to put a lump in the throats of FSU fans everywhere, it truly is the highest compliment possible. 

Just because Fisher would potentially entertain an offer doesn't mean he's leaving, either. One of the best things anyone can do professionally is listen to what someone else has to say. 

Florida State fans probably don't need to worry about head coach Jimbo Fisher leaving for another college job. If that were going to happen, it would have been Texas in 2014. The only thing that resulted there was a new contract extension with FSU and a raise

The NFL could be a different story, but if it is, it'll be told someday in the future. 

The only thing that could change that is if Fisher gets burned out in Tallahassee, or if some unforeseen instance arises and Fisher is let go or resigns. Otherwise, this is a program with a lot going for it. Fisher is competing for national championships regularly, has a wealth of recruits from which to choose and an athletic department willing to do what it takes to win. 

That's a good situation anywhere. If Fisher isn't inherently driven by the challenge of the NFL like he says, it's a tough situation to leave, too. 

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

3-Star Sleeper Recruit That Keeps Notre Dame D-Line 'One of the Best' in CFB

The Fighting Irish ended their season on a sour note. Notre Dame had one the best recruiting classes in the country and looks to turn these young players into building blocks for the future.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder discusses the recruit who can make a huge impact for ND in the upcoming year.

What kind of impact can Micah Dew-Treadway have next season? Check out the video and let us know!

Recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Football: 2014 Backups Set to Explode in 2015

The LSU Tigers are a team that is always in contention. Head coach Les Miles and his staff have done a wonderful job on the recruiting trail, which has produced some elite talent over the years. But which players on the roster are ready for a more prominent role in 2015? 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee as he predicted which players on LSU will break out in 2015. 

How will LSU fare in 2015? Check out the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Will Grier Leads Florida QB Depth Chart, but Will He Win the Job?

One of the fiercest quarterback competitions in the SEC is currently taking place at Florida, where incumbent starter Treon Harris is battling redshirt freshman Will Grier for the top spot on the depth chart this spring for first-year head coach Jim McElwain.

Who's the leader?

Right now, it's Grier ahead of Harris and junior Skyler Mornhinweg, although that's mostly due to the fact that Harris has missed several practices this spring while dealing with a death in the family.

McElwain recently spoke with reporters about the battle at quarterback:

You know, obviously Will’s ahead simply because he’s been here more.

...

Obviously Skyler did a really good job in that first scrimmage. But just for the fact that for an unfortunate situation that has gone on in Treon’s life, obviously Will has been able to take the majority of the reps and Skyler has gotten a little bit better.

When all is said and done, could Grier be the man in Gainesville?

Absolutely.

Harris is more of a dual threat and Grier is a pure pro-style passer. In seven starts last season, Harris attempted more than 12 passes in just two of those games—the 34-10 win over Vanderbilt and 24-19 loss to Florida State.

That was in a system under the old regime that is much more conducive to dual-threat success. The system McElwain was successful with at Colorado State is geared toward pocket passers.

Garrett Grayson set the Rams' single-season record with 4,006 yards, and according to his Colorado State bio, he holds the career record in every major passing category.

Grier not only can be that guy, he has to be that guy.

Harris will have a role as a quarterback whether he's the starter or a situational backup, but Grier's accuracy and ability to find open receivers will make him the best option for McElwain and new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Perhaps even the only option.

Just how good can the 6'2", 200-pound Grier be?

His stat line from high school reads like a video game glitch. He threw for 14,565 yards, 195 touchdowns and 27 picks at Davidson (N.C.) Day from 2011-2013, but as Langston Wertz, Jr. of The Charlotte Observer pointed out during his senior year in high school, most of those numbers came against some rather weak competition in North Carolina's Division III and Division II.

Putting on weight has been one of his primary focuses once he arrived on campus last year. Now he's out in front, and a big factor on whether or not he wins the job will be if he can consistently stretch the field deep and become a difference-maker rather than just a caretaker.

Last month, Bleacher Report analyst Michael Felder said the following about Grier:

Obviously, he was a monster in high school, but the competition level left me wanting to see more. And, because he's not a physical specimen with a cannon for an arm or 4.3 speed, it is going to take proving he can make throws to the sideline and vertically to convince folks that he can lead the program.

That process has already started.

If you're looking for odds on who the next starting quarterback is going to be in Gainesville, the smart money is on Grier.

What's a slight lead now could turn into a big gap by the midway point of fall camp.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com 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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Biggest College Football Stories You Likely Missed During March Madness

The madness is over. Please resume your regular daily activities.

After several weeks of nonstop college basketball craziness, it's time to return to reality and go about our normal lives—which, if you're a college football fan, means keeping track of the comings and goings during the long offseason.

While you were busy having your brackets busted by buzzer-beaters, college football kept on trucking ever so slowly toward the 2015 season...which doesn't begin until Sept. 3 and can't come soon enough. It hasn't been the busiest of times over the past month, but there have still been some noteworthy developments worth catching up on in order to remain fully informed.

To help lift you from the fog of March Madness, we've put together a recap of the college football stories that you might have missed. Click through and get reacquainted.

Begin Slideshow

Updated Odds on Who Will Be Ohio State's Starting QB in 2015

In case you missed it, the Ohio State Buckeyes have a dilemma at the quarterback position. With three healthy and competent QBs on the roster (Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones), head coach Urban Meyer will have a tough decision when he chooses his QB1. 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Adam Kramer as he laid down his odds on who will win the starting job. 

Who will be the starting quarterback at OSU next season? Check out the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn Football: Can Jovon Robinson Be the Tigers' Every-Down RB?

You'll read about returning starters and their importance all offseason, but Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn just skips over those parts of preseason magazines.

After all, the names change, but the production at running back under Malzahn always seems to stay the same.

During Malzahn's nine seasons as a college head or assistant coach, his hurry-up, no-huddle, run-based offense has produced 12 1,000-yard rushers—including Cameron Artis-Payne, who led the SEC with 1,608 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago.

Who's the next in line?

It could be a somewhat familiar face.

Jovon Robinson originally signed and participated in the initial stages of fall camp at Auburn in 2012, but an eligibility issue sent him from the Plains to Georgia Military College. After sitting out a year, Robinson led all junior college running backs with 2,387 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in 12 games in 2013, according to NJCAA.org, and followed it up with 811 and nine touchdowns in nine games last year.

"He's a bruising-type back," 247Sports.com's Justin Hokanson told Bleacher Report. "He showed up to Auburn around 240 [pounds], which is a little too big, honestly. He probably would have told you that. He's probably a little under 230 now, which is where he needs to be and where he was when he broke 2,000 yards at Georgia Military College."

Can he be an every-down back in Auburn's offense?

Absolutely.

The 6'0", 230-pounder is clearly big enough to take the punishment between the tackles and has the speed to be dangerous off the edge.

"He's well-built, he's got good speed. He's a tough runner who runs with good pad level, from what I've seen," said Hokanson, who covered Robinson extensively during the junior college recruiting process. "He can catch the ball out of the backfield and is a great athlete. He's a really good fit."

While Artis-Payne, Tre Mason and Ben Tate all have thrived in Malzahn's offense at Auburn during his stints as head coach and offensive coordinator, Robinson's physicality brings a much different dimension to the table.

"Even Ben Tate was a good-sized back, but you never saw him busting through tackles," Hokanson said. "That wasn't his game. He was a tough runner and so was Artis-Payne, but they weren't 'Ronnie Brown' out there. Jovon could do things like that."

Robinson has already made an impact during his first full practice session this spring, according to Tom Green of the Opelika-Auburn News.

It isn't the physical aspect of the game that's most pressing for Robinson, it's the mental part. 

Picking up pass protection and understanding the subtleties in Malzahn's offense is exacerbated by Malzahn's desire to play fast and keep opposing defenses in base looks. 

Luckily for Auburn and Robinson, the Memphis native participated in some bowl practices after enrolling early and got a jump-start on the acclimation process.

"When he's just grabbing the ball and playing, he's doing well," offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee told Charles Goldberg of AuburnTigers.com. "It's just going to take time as far as the way we practice, the protections to knowing all the plays and where to line up, because we go faster than he's ever gone before. So in that regard, he's got a ways to go."

He's currently embroiled in a three-man race at running back with sophomores Roc Thomas and Peyton Barber. Of those two, Thomas is the one with more upside, but he could evolve into more of a change-of-pace back if Robinson ascends to the top spot on the depth chart.

Make no mistake, Auburn needs an every-down bruiser. 

While there are role players on the roster, the tempo in which Auburn operates requires Malzahn to eventually settle on a true No. 1 in order to prevent substitutions and keep opposing defenses as vanilla as possible.

Robinson can be that guy.

"If he's down to 230 or 228, he's going to be great," Hokanson said, "and I'd be surprised if he wasn't starting."

 

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.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Curtis Robinson: Top 7 Provides 'Combination of Academic and Football Success'

And then there were seven.

With 22 offers to choose from, 4-star linebacker Curtis Robinson found a commonality in seven. Announced via Twitter Monday evening, Robinson presented his top seven, in alphabetical order, of Duke, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington.

The common denominator with the seven: All could provide the total package, Robinson said. He's looking for success on the field, in the classroom and afterward as an alumni.

"It was hard to have to narrow it down from so many great choices," Robinson said, "but these seven are the ones that provide the best combination of academic and football success. That's really what it came down to.

"The schools with the best academics is what I first looked at, and then I went back and chose the ones of those top schools that would give me the best opportunity, football-wise."

In addition to being the nation's No. 10 outside linebacker, Robinson, from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, also is a solid student looking to major in business at the next level. On a 4.0 scale, Robinson has a 4.1 grade-point average with the help of AP courses.

As an athlete, Robinson also feels that he can build himself into an all-conference player quickly. He has built solid relationships with coaches from all seven schools, and he said he's made unofficial visits to Stanford, UCLA, USC and Notre Dame.

Trips to Duke, Washington and Ohio State could happen, Robinson said, but he's waiting to see how things pan out in the spring and summer. If the trips don't pan out, he said he will rely on the testimonials of a Mater Dei teammate.

"It's gonna be hard financially, but I definitely want to try to get out to them soon," he said. "Luckily I have [4-star linebacker] Ben Humphreys to talk to, because he visited both Washington and Duke. He can answer a lot about them for me, but I'd still like to get out to those three."

Whichever school lands Robinson will get a player who is extremely versatile. As someone who measured at Nike's The Opening Los Angeles regional at 6'2.5" and 208 pounds, Robinson can play both linebacker and wide receiver effectively. He's a lot stronger than he may appear to be, and he showed that at The Opening Los Angeles with his 38-foot power ball toss.

Robinson said all seven schools are sitting equal at the moment, but the possibility of trimming his list to five—or even three—could happen soon.

"I really just wanted to narrow it down to seven so I could get a better focus on them," he said. "But there's a chance that I may after the end of next week."

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jimbo Fisher: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation on Florida State Head Coach

Florida State's football team is going to look much different in 2015, but it's been assumed head coach Jimbo Fisher's presence would keep the train going. That may be the case, though his stay in Tallahassee may not be as long as Seminoles fans would like.   

Continue for updates. 

Fisher Hearing From NFL Team Tuesday, April 7

Speaking on Pro Football Talk Live (via Pro Football Talk), Fisher said there is one NFL team that talked to him "recently" about a potential head coaching job:

Adding to that, per Rob Guerrera of NBC Sports, Fisher did say an NFL job wasn't something he was actively seeking out and provided a good reason why:

In December, Fisher agreed to an eight-year contract extension with Florida State that runs through 2022. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, as college coaches switch jobs all the time and are usually only responsible for a buyout in the deal. 

If he were to make the jump to the NFL, which presumably wouldn't happen until 2016 at the earliest, it would be a change for him. The 49-year-old has spent his entire coaching career in college, starting as the quarterbacks coach at Samford in 1988. 

He would seem to have as much job security as any college coach in the country, not just because of his contract. He won a national championship two years ago, went undefeated in the regular season last year and led Florida State into the inaugural College Football Playoff. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

New UM QB Commit Brandon Peters on Jim Harbaugh: 'He Compared Me to Andrew Luck'

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh revved up recruiting efforts last weekend with three commitments, spurred by a Friday evening pledge from quarterback Brandon Peters.

The 4-star Indiana prospect arrived in Ann Arbor that day following a family spring break trip to Mexico. By the time he stepped on campus, Peters was prepared to become a Wolverine.

"I was ready," he said.

Peters, who previously listed Michigan among his top five options in mid-March, made those intentions known while dining with Harbaugh, Wolverines passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch, his parents and a special guest.

"Coach Jack Harbaugh was there, which was awesome," he said. 

The elder Harbaugh compiled 117 victories as a collegiate head coach and influenced sons—Jim and John—who squared off in the Super Bowl two years ago. He watched with delight as Jim secured his most pivotal 2016 pledge to date.

"It's really special. And getting to do it personally with Harbaugh was great," Peters said. "We were just sitting at dinner, talking about Michigan football, and he brought up my recruitment. He asked, 'How'd you like to come play for us?' I told him I'd love to."

Just like that, the 6'5", 205-pound passer became the first high school junior to commit to Michigan since Jim Harbaugh replaced Brady Hoke in late December.

The former San Francisco 49ers coach drew parallels to his early days at Stanford during discussions with the quarterback.

"He compared me to Andrew Luck," Peters explained. "It's a similar situation to what he had at Stanford, with Luck being the first quarterback recruit he brought in [with a full cycle]. He thinks I'm a really good fit for him at Michigan like Luck was for him there."

Jim Harbaugh inherited a pair of passers in the 2007 Stanford class—signed less than two months after he took over the program—before landing Luck in the 2008 recruiting cycle. The 4-star Texas product developed into an All-American and was selected first overall in the 2012 NFL draft.

Luck led Peters' favorite football team—the Indianapolis Colts—into postseason contention during each of his first three professional seasons. Considering his longtime fondness for the franchise, Peters was particularly honored by the comparison.

"Luck has a big arm and accuracy, and I think that's what I've got too," he said. "He's also an underrated runner. I think I have that athleticism. I'm not as strong as him yet, but I hope to get there someday."

Peters threw for 1,876 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2014 at Avon High School. He rushed for another 244 yards and five scores.

Rated ninth nationally among pro-style quarterbacks in 247Sports' composite rankings, Peters attracted plenty of attention from across the country. His top-five list also featured Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska and LSU.

He ultimately couldn't resist an opportunity to compete with the Wolverines. Peters pointed out Jim Harbaugh's personal achievements as a passer at Michigan and in the NFL as keys to the coach's allure.

"It plays a pretty big factor," he said. "You have a head coach who has experienced it all at the position and can help you progress through your career. It was definitely a big emphasis with Michigan."

Peters stayed in Ann Arbor through Saturday, attending the team's spring game. 

He was elated about the experience at his future home.

"It was a crazy environment. The stadium is just so big and a ton of people showed up for the game," Peters said. "There were some fans who knew who I was, and took pictures with me. I got to sign autographs for a few kids. It was awesome. I love Michigan fans."

They'll love him right back if he ultimately lives up to those lofty Luck comparisons.

For now, Peters is focused on helping the Wolverines secure a top-tier 2016 class.

"I'll definitely be putting in a good word for Michigan with the other recruits and just work to sell the program," Peters said.

Peters mentioned 4-star wide receiver target Desmond Fitzpatrick as a fellow prospect he spent time with during spring game festivities. Fitzpatrick is currently committed to Louisville, but he saw high school teammate David Reese flip from the Cardinals to the Wolverines on Saturday.

With a quality quarterback in place, Michigan can move forward more confidently on the recruiting trail. After a slow start, Jim Harbaugh now holds five commitments in a class that rates 24th nationally in composite rankings.

 

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

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

11 Most Intimidating Players in College Football

Football is a sport made for inherently intimidating people.

But among the group of big, strong, hardy athletes who gravitate toward the game in high numbers, a faction emerges as even bigger, stronger and hardier than the rest.

More often that not, this has to do with size, physique and pure physical appearance. But in some cases, smaller players earn a reputation based on how hard and often they hit.

Either way, players like this are the last things opponents want to see barreling toward them in a game filled with giants barreling toward them.

Sound off below and let us know who we missed.

Begin Slideshow

Ranking the 5 Best NFL Prospects on Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers are adding talent left and right to an already stacked roster. The Volunteers are a legit contender for the SEC title in 2015. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder ranks his top five NFL draft prospects on Tennessee's roster. 

Who is the best prospect for the Vols? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Is ACC Out-Recruiting SEC in Class of 2016?

The SEC’s dominance over college football may have ended in 2013 when its national title streak was snapped, but the nation’s most powerful conference has still been the preferred destination for the nation’s elite recruits.

However, Florida State ended the title streak and it appears that the ACC is trying to follow suit in recruiting in the 2016 cycle.

FSU and Miami are currently holding down the top two spots in the 247Sports Team Rankings for the 2016 cycle. 

But does the ACC hold the upper hand over the SEC thus far in the 2016 cycle?

It depends through which prism you choose to view the data on the 2016 class.

The SEC has commitments from 10 prospects who rank among the nation’s Top 50 prospects overall, while the ACC [including Notre Dame] has eight such pledges.

Despite the ACC’s perch at the top, the SEC still has five schools—Ole Miss, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State—rated in the Top 10.

Plus, assuming schools such as Alabama [No. 18]—the school that has finished with the top overall class five years in a row—Auburn [No. 22] and Texas A&M [No. 21] stay outside of the Top 15 is highly unlikely.

The last time one of those schools failed to finish in the Top 15 was in 2012.

Still, the ACC has three additional teams, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Duke, that have classes rated among the nation’s top 20 collectives. But, the league’s hot start can be attributed to a few factors.

For starters, Florida State’s national title in 2013 gave the league a much-needed shot in the arm in terms of credibility.

The ‘Noles have been recruiting at a high level ever since Jimbo Fisher took over in Tallahassee in 2009. However, FSU has some company in the form of Miami and Clemson in terms of recruiting among the nation’s elite.

Al Golden and the ‘Canes have returned to relevance by narrowing their focus to the talent-rich area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in South Florida.

Dabo Swinney has the Tigers poised to land their second consecutive Top 10 class. 

Additionally, seven of the Top 10 coaches in the current 247Sports Recruiter Rankings hail from the ACC—with coaches from FSU, Miami and Clemson currently holding the top three spots in that list.

The gains represent the fruits of the league’s labor after a strong showing on the field against the SEC last year, going 4-0 on rivalry weekend and with Georgia Tech throttling Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl.

However, the true test for the league will be to continually chip away at the SEC’s dominance on the field and on signing day.

The SEC is still king, for now.

But for its neighbors in the southeast, the upward trend for the once-maligned ACC is the latest signal that the league is serious about competing on the gridiron in the years to come.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages