NCAA Football News

5 Reasons 5-Star DE Keisean Lucier-South Will Sign with UCLA

Keisean Lucier-South is a 5-star defensive end from California who is one of the nation's top pass-rushers. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, Lucier-South combines excellent length with a quick first step to pressure quarterbacks down after down.

Many schools are after him, but UCLA leads in his 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Bruins have a lot going for themselves, but there are a few specific reasons as to why Lucier-South will sign to play in Westwood.

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

Begin Slideshow

Georgia 2014 Quarterback Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

The offense for the Georgia Bulldogs will have a chance to be dominant in 2014. The Bulldogs have an experienced offensive line, a very skillful set of receivers and they could arguably have the best set of running backs in the country.

But it all starts and ends with the quarterback position, and the Bulldogs should be squared away there as well despite not having Aaron Murray.

One of the reasons the Bulldogs were able to score a lot of points on offense the past few years was the play of Murray, who is now the SEC all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He came up short in terms of winning the SEC championship, but the quarterbacks who played behind Murray last year have a chance to do something he wasn’t able to do thanks to the rest of the talent on offense.

So let’s take a look at the top three quarterbacks for the Bulldogs in 2014.

 

Quarterback No. 1: Hutson Mason

This may be Mason’s first year as the starting quarterback, but because of a season-ending injury to Murray late last year, the fans got an early look of what to expect this season, as he played in the last 2.5 games.

In most areas, Mason is a lot like Murray. Both players make good decisions, they have strong arms, and both are very accurate. The one difference is Mason is not a scrambler like Murray, and Mason likes the offense to be more uptempo.

As it was mentioned earlier, Mason got his share of playing time last season, but he also got playing time in 2010 and 2011 backing up Murray. Here’s a look at his year-by-year stats at UGA.

Based on his experience in the system and what he was able to do last season, the players have a ton of confidence he can get the job done. Mason does not have the experience when it comes to being a starter, and there will be some times where things won’t go his way. But if he plays his game like he has throughout his career, the Bulldogs will have a very successful 2014 season.

 

Quarterback No. 2: Faton Bauta

When Mason was upgraded to starter last season, Bauta took over as the No. 2 quarterback.

He only played in three games last year and did not complete a single pass. However, he did have 22 rushing yards in the blowout game against Kentucky.

And that’s what Bauta brings to the table. He’s not a pocket passer like Mason, but he can scramble and gain a lot of yards with his legs as well as his arms.

When Bauta was coming out of high school two years ago, 247Sports listed him as the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the nation.

If he becomes the No. 1 starter for whatever reason, he would be a solid starter. Defenders would try to stop his running ability, but he has a good arm with a ton of zip. Bauta is the leading candidate for the starting job in 2015.

 

Quarterback No. 3: Brice Ramsey

After redshirting last season, Ramsey is ready to see a lot of action in 2014. The only problem is he will have to beat out Bauta, who has a little more experience.

Regardless, Ramsey arguably has the best arm out of the three quarterbacks and has a legit shot of becoming the backup quarterback before the season begins if he continues to improve.

Ramsey is more like Mason. He can throw from the pocket and likes the offense to be uptempo. But Ramsey is raw. He has not played the quarterback position as much as Bauta and Mason. So him being a starter this season will be a challenge because there are a lot of things he needs to work on.

But with him being the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the country in 2013, per 247Sports, Ramsey will be up to speed very quickly and will make a strong case for the starting job in 2015.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

10 College Football Teams Whose 2015 Recruiting Classes Won't Be as Good as 2014

While a few elite schools do so, it's tough to sustain recruiting success year after year. 

Some programs just find it hard to continue their recruiting run into the following cycle. Examining the 2014 and current 2015 rankings, several teams do not look to be in good position to repeat last year's recruiting success. 

A Big Ten powerhouse doesn't look like it will sign another upscale class this year, while an SEC school is finding life after a stud recruiting head coach to be one of hard knocks. Plus, an ACC school simply will not duplicate its previous year's class.

Begin Slideshow

Texas Longhorns 2014 Quarterback Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

David Ash is healthy and will be Texas' starting quarterback for as long as that holds true. But due to his history of injuries, the battle for the backup job could be just as important to the Longhorns' prospects for the 2014 season.

For better and worse, Case McCoy has exhausted his eligibility and will no longer be next in line behind Ash. It's a plus that we will never again see one of those wobbling sidearm lobs again on a college football field, but it leaves Texas without any experience behind Ash in fall camp.

Ash has missed 11 games and played hurt in at least two more, so that increases the chances we see a start from either Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard. In turn, there's a high bust factor for Charlie Strong's first season, but a healthy Ash could just as easily make it a 9- or 10-win campaign.

 

David Ash

Ash is the swing factor this season. With him, the Longhorns will be competitive in almost every game and have a chance to hit the fan-made 10-win goal.

But if he goes down, this team is going to struggle.

He isn't one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but Ash has the ability to cover up a lot of Texas' shortcomings. As shown by his YPA in 2012 and his brief appearances in 2013, he can get the ball down the field, and do so with accuracy. That's as important as anything in the Big 12.

The issue, of course, is whether Ash do that for 12 regular-season games. He's missed 11 games with injuries to his wrist and head before missing most of the spring with a foot injury. He's mostly back from the foot injury according top 247Sports.com's Jeff Howe, but the concussions will always muddy the waters.

That combined history makes it hard to trust in a player that otherwise would inspire great confidence in the upcoming season.

 

Tyrone Swoopes

When you're talking about a dropoff in just about every conceivable way, the one from Ash to his backups is a prime example. 

For now, Tyrone Swoopes and his 1.1 YPA are next in line should Ash succumb to another injury. He started the spring game in the junior's stead, completing 17 of his 30 passes for 229 yards and three scores. Those numbers indicate progress, but we can't forget that they came against the backups.

What Swoopes brings is a ton of potential. A better athlete now than a quarterback, the 6'5", 240-pounder can hum it downfield with the best of them and is always a threat to pick up yards with his feet. We just have no idea if he can do that in a game against an opponent's first-team defense.

The upside is there for Swoopes. But with this next guy already coming up in the system, his days as a quarterback may be numbered.

 

Jerrod Heard

He's here, and the future may begin sooner than expected with Jerrod Heard taking over the quarterback position.

Lost in the Howe's report about Ash's health is that Heard, the nation's top dual-threat prospect in 2014, is splitting the snaps with Swoopes. The 'Horns don't have any other options, but this kid's personality is to run with every opportunity he gets, as he told CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman:

I feel like I can play. Like coach said, it is up to me, but it's also how the situation goes.

The (QB) job is an open situation, especially with the new coaching staff and a new system coming in. It's an open job, so I'm going to try and get in, get my opportunity and take over.

And when you take a look at Heard's track record, you share the feeling. The two-time state title winner spent the summer working with George Whitfield, who has also mentored the likes of Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.

Heard is talented, well-rounded and motivated. Him seeing the field will mean some growing pains, but he will bring a level of excitement that Texas has lacked since 2009.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Elite 11 2014: Latest Results, Rankings, Highlights and Analysis

Each year, one of the biggest events for rising high school quarterbacks comes around as the Elite 11 Finals take place in Beaverton, Oregon. Following months of grueling competition, the top 18 signal-callers in the nation will fight for a spot in the final Elite 11 list.

Whether they have already committed to a school for their college tenure or are waiting to announce their decision, the competition helps draw attention to every notable quarterback in the field. The Nike event draws plenty of attention, with each of the quarterbacks earning spots on a team at The Opening.

Much like Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford before them, each field general hopes to enjoy a successful college career after the camp. Those notable alumni have helped build the foundation for the Elite 11, but who out of this year's crop will continue the history of success?

Here's a look at the entire field of competitors, per the event's official Twitter account:

Many of the top players in the nation will make their commitments at The Opening throughout the week, with one of those being 3-star quarterback Ross Bowers. According to 247Sports' "Crystal Ball" projections, Bowers is expected to choose California over Colorado State and several other programs.

With the event officially getting underway over the weekend, here's a look at the competition thus far. 

 

Day 1 Recap

After getting acquainted with their fellow competitors on Saturday through several difficult workouts, the quarterbacks finally took the field during Day 2 of the event.

During a series of drills that tested every quarterback's speed and arm, several players stood out on Sunday. One player that had a strong showing was Kyler Murray, a dual-threat quarterback who has committed to Texas A&M.

Barton Simmons of 247Sports passes along footage of the young signal-caller during workouts:

Murray comes into the competition with plenty of hype as a 5-star player and is apparently showing the same potential at the Elite 11 finals.

Another quarterback looking great on the field is recent Alabama commit Blake Barnett. After announcing his decision to join the Crimson Tide last month, Chad Simmons of Scout.com notes that Barnett shined on Sunday:

Barton Simmons also provides a look at the zip on the ball from Barnett:

Either player has a chance to be one of the top at the camp, as both Murray and Barnett are ranked inside the top three in the 247Sports' composite rankings for dual-threat quarterbacks.

One other signal-caller just behind both Murray and Barnett also made a statement on Day 1. Brandon Wimbush, a 4-star quarterback committed to Penn State, is also ranked as a top-five dual-threat QB and showed off his athleticism on Sunday:

With just one more day on the schedule for the Elite 11 finals before The Opening officially starts on Tuesday, each player will continue to try to shine through on Monday. As players like Wimbush, Murray and others prove themselves, other signal-callers have a chance to blossom.

On Tuesday, each quarterback will find out which team they will play for during The Opening in the seven-on-seven tournament. With only a few days remaining, all 18 players will continue to look to prove they are worthy of making the final list of the famed Elite 11.

 

Saturday Recap

Though there weren't many on-the-field events going down, Saturday of the "campetition" was an eventful one for the blossoming signal-callers.

Simply arriving at the camp is an experience for every player in attendance. With just 18 quarterbacks making the cut, the Elite 11 Twitter account noted the arrival of the special field generals:

ESPN analyst and famed quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. also provides a look at the field donning their new gear from Nike:

Along with their new clothes and shoes, the quarterbacks were also greeted by a familiar face.

After making their way to Beaverton, the players were treated to a memorable start to the event. Florida State's quarterback Jameis Winston, an Elite 11 alumnus who won the 2013 Heisman Trophy and National Championship, was part of the welcoming committee, via the Elite 11 account:

While the players were slowly getting comfortable in the finals environment, some were already plotting their plans for later in the week.

For now, only the quarterbacks have arrived for the Elite 11, but other top players will enter the fold during The Opening. One quarterback who plans to utilize the opportunity for recruiting will be USC commit Ricky Town, per Gerry Hamilton of ESPN:

Town committed back in January with the Trojans and is apparently looking to put more quality recruits around him at USC. He also commented on what he hopes to accomplish during the competition, per Barton Simmons:

It’s just an honor to be here. I’m trying to be part of the 11, be part of that fraternity and do the best that I can, and show that I am the best.

I think we’re all trying to compete here and prove we’re the best. I’m here just to compete against everyone, whoever I’m up against, I’m ready to compete and have fun.

Though it's an honor to make it to the finals, it's not all fun and games for the remaining players. Saturday saw all 18 of the quarterbacks take part in a series of strenuous tasks that pushed them all to the limits on Saturday and into Sunday.

Nike Football provides a look at the workouts:

With all of the player set to take the field on Sunday of the competition, Saturday set the stage for a tough camp that will help all of the top signal-callers. Heading into a week where they will look to separate themselves, every player will benefit from Saturday from a leadership standpoint.

 

Star ratings courtesy of 247Sports

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Texas A&M 2014 Quarterback Fall Practice Preview: Depth Chart and Analysis

The Texas A&M football team still does not know who will line up under center when the Aggies take the field on August 28 against South Carolina. There is a quarterback competition taking place, and it will continue into fall practice. 

Johnny Manziel's decision to leave Texas A&M after his sophomore season and move on to the NFL has left the Aggies with youth and inexperience on the depth chart. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has proved before that he can produce a prolific offense with young quarterbacks. 

The Aggies have been recruiting well at the position, and there is talent in the pipeline. Texas A&M fans are going to have to hope that talent can develop quickly so they can put a quality offense on the field in 2014. 

If the young quarterbacks on the roster are able to develop and stay healthy, then the Aggies will be able to compete for the SEC title in 2014. If they have multiple injuries at the position, then the Aggies will struggle to qualify for a bowl game. 

 

Kyle Allen

Kyle Allen is a true freshman quarterback from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 6'3", 200-pound gunslinger was the top-rated recruit in the country in 2014 according to 247Sports.com. 

Allen passed for 2,535 yards and 29 touchdowns with 10 interceptions as a high school senior in 2013. He passed for 3,119 yards with 36 touchdowns as a junior. He has a strong arm and is very accurate inside the pocket and on the run. 

Allen was able to enroll at A&M early and participated in offseason conditioning and spring practices. He ended spring practice listed atop the depth chart at the quarterback position. 

Sumlin has started a true freshman quarterback before. In 2010, the first- and second-string quarterbacks for the University of Houston were injured in a game against UCLA. The Cougars were forced to finish the season with true freshman David Piland as their starting quarterback. 

Piland started eight games for the Cougars and averaged 330.1 yards passing per game. He threw 24 touchdown passes against 14 interceptions. 

The increased access granted to coaches during the summer should really expedite Allen's development. The NCAA's new rule means that Sumlin and his staff can observe Allen throughout the summer and basically give him an extra three months of instruction.  

This new rule will decrease the experience gap between incoming freshmen and redshirt freshmen and sophomores in college football. There will not be as much of a shock to the system when practices and meetings start in August, and the freshmen should already have a solid understanding of the playbook when fall practice begins. 

The Aggies begin the 2014 season on the road at South Carolina. You never know how a freshman is going to react in his first collegiate game, much less on a national stage in an unfriendly environment. Aggies fans are going to have to hope that Allen is able to keep his cool and simply execute Sumlin's offense. 

 

Kenny Hill

Kenny Hill is a 6'2", 210-pound sophomore quarterback at Texas A&M. He saw action in four games, completing 72.7 percent of his passes with a touchdown and no interceptions. 

Hill is a dual-threat quarterback who offers the Aggies more of a running threat than Allen does. If Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital decide they want to keep a lot of the running components that Manziel added to the offense in place, then that would bode well for Hill. 

Hill and Allen were neck and neck in the competition for the starting quarterback spot until Hill ran into some off-the-field trouble and was suspended for the remainder of spring practice. He passed out in a bar district in College Station and was arrested for public intoxication. 

Hill was a 4-star recruit and the No. 8 ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2013 recruiting class according to 247Sports.com. He led his Southlake Carroll High School team to the 2011 Texas 5A state title as a junior. 

Hill split the second-team snaps in games with Matt Joeckel in 2013. Joeckel has since transferred to TCU to complete his career. 

If Allen is the starter to begin the year as expected, then Hill will make a very capable backup. He has a year of experience in the system under his belt and has played in front of large crowds before. 

Hill's ability to make plays with his feet cannot be discounted. Entering a season in which the Aggies do not know what to expect from their defense, the ability to extend drives and win the time-of-possession battle cannot be overlooked. 

Hill has already proved that he can take the offense down the field and score a touchdown. He will be a very capable backup for the Aggies in 2014. 

 

All the Rest

The Aggies enter the 2014 season with only two scholarship quarterbacks on their roster. There are three walk-on quarterbacks on the roster in Conner McQueen, Kobe Miller and Jordan Traylor. 

Miller and Traylor are true freshmen who are just beginning to learn the system. McQueen is a 5'10", 175-pound sophomore from Klein, Texas, who earned a letter in 2013. 

If Allen and Hill go down, then McQueen is the most likely candidate to go under center. The coaches would also likely consider converting one of their position players back to quarterback. 

Senior receiver Malcome Kennedy led Cayuga High School to the Texas 1A state title as the quarterback in 2009. He would get a look under center as well as 6'5", 230-pound redshirt freshman receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. 

Seals-Jones played quarterback during his injury-shortened senior season at Sealy High School in 2012. He is a tremendous athlete who has a decent arm and the ability to make people miss in open space. 

If Allen and Hill go down, you would likely see the Aggies resort to a variation of the zone-read offense that emphasized their running backs. The season would turn into a fight for survival and a bowl game. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages