NCAA Football News

1 Nightmare Recruiting Scenario for Every Top 25 Recruiting Class

The summer is a time for optimism for college football fans. Every team is undefeated at this point, and renewed hope hits almost every fanbase.

That feeling carries over into recruiting too. More and more players are starting to choose their schools, which creates hot streaks and big moves up the recruiting rankings for some programs.

But with this article, let's check the optimism at the door.

Recruiting is a wild affair that has as much disappointment as delight. One flip can turn momentum in a cycle, and whiffing on a can't-miss prospect can sometimes change the direction of a program.

Here are the nightmare scenarios for each top 25 recruiting class in 247Sports' 2016 composite rankings. Outside of everybody decommitting and a completely empty fax machine on signing day, these are the worst realistic cases for each team for the rest of this cycle.

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Does Auburn Need WR Duke Williams to Be a Superstar in 2015?

When mentioning the top stars in the SEC, it won't take you long to land on Auburn wide receiver D'haquille "Duke" Williams.

For good reason.

The 6'2", 224-pound monster was a solid weapon for head coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee in 2014, hauling in a team-high 45 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns and establishing himself as one of the best all-around wide receivers in college football.

Now, with Auburn breaking in new quarterback Jeremy Johnson and a new No. 1 running back, it's up to Williams to be one of the leaders of the offense.

But does he need to be a superstar?

Not really, although I'm sure Williams, Malzahn and Lashlee would welcome that title if he earns it in 2015.

Williams is going to demand plenty of attention from opposing defensive backs and defensive coordinators. While plenty of passes will still go his way, in a perfect world for the 2015 Tigers, it might be best to have Williams serve as a decoy from time to time and let the rest of the talented wide receiving corps take advantage of one-on-one coverage.

It seems like Ricardo Louis has been on the Plains for a decade. Now the 6'2", 215-pound speedster is entering his senior season with an opportunity to take the place of former Tiger standout Sammie Coates as the primary deep threat in the offense.

Pressure? Not according to Louis.

"Pressure, to me, is like I have to do it," Louis said in April, according to former writer Joel A. Erickson. "I don't want to put that on myself, because I know I'm a great player if I just go out and play."

The duo of Williams and Louis could prove to be one of the SEC's best and further open up an Auburn offense that is going to be more balanced anyway thanks to the presence of Johnson—who's much more dangerous as a passer than his predecessor, Nick Marshall.

There are even more weapons around Williams who absolutely have the talent to make an impact.

Marcus Davis and Melvin Ray are veteran backups who have been part of the rotation for the last two years and know what's expected of them by the offensive staff.

Tony Stevens has plenty of potential, and at 6'4", 205 pounds, can present matchup nightmares for the third- or fourth-best defensive backs on the other side of the ball. Can he be consistent, though?

"The thing with Tony that I've liked is from a mental standpoint," Lashlee told Ryan Black formerly of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "He should be after two years. I feel like he feels (good enough) about the system to where we can move him around a little bit. That will give him a chance to get on the field more and to help us more."

There are even more stars waiting in the wings who don't have that experience.

Myron Burton caught seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in the spring game, according to the school's stats. At 5'9", 184 pounds, Stanton Truitt has the size and quickness to be dangerous in the slot. Meanwhile, 4-star signee Darius Slayton has all the makings of a potential superstar.

If things go according to plan, Williams' most important work for Johnson and the 2015 Tigers will be as a threat who not only succeeds as a receiver but creates advantageous matchups for the rest of the receiving corps.

He's one of the best receivers in the SEC, and as long as "Duke" reminds the opposing defense of that from time to time, the Auburn offense will be tough to stop.


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

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Best Offensive Coordinators in College Football

Offense gets all the attention in college football, but actually compiling a list of the best offensive coordinators is actually a tad more complicated than you'd think. Basically, there's not one defined set of responsibilities from one OC to another. Everyone does it a little differently. 

With few exceptions, we try to stay away from the co-offensive coordinator titles as much as possible. This is a common thing in college football, but it's easier to pin down everything when it's one person running the show. Additionally, the tough part about listing offensive coordinators is that so many head coaches, in essence, hold that position. In many instances, the head coach will call the plays while OCs will draw up game plans. 

Some of these things are unavoidable. With that in mind, let's proceed. Selections were made on offensive stats, improvements, accolades and player development.

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Lou Holtz's House Damaged by Fire Likely Caused by Lightning

The Orlando, Florida, home of former college football head coach Lou Holtz suffered significant damage Sunday, likely due to a lightning strike that started a fire.

Yahoo Sports' Dr. Saturday tweeted out a picture of the damage done:

The Orlando Sentinel (via Graham Watson of Yahoo Sports) provided additional details about the house and the fire, noting it took multiple hours to extinguish the blaze. Per Watson, "The home, which is reportedly worth $1.6 million, was engulfed in flames and took 60 Orlando firefighters to fight and more than three hours to extinguish. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries during the blaze, but there were not other reported injuries."

Holtz retired from coaching in 2004 after spending six seasons at South Carolina. In 33 seasons as a college football head coach, the 78-year-old won 249 games and one national championship in 1988 with Notre Dame. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

He had been working as an analyst at ESPN since 2004 before leaving the network in April. 

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Derrick Nash, Central Michigan DB, Dies at Age 20

Derrick Nash, a Central Michigan football player who was diagnosed with leukemia, died from the disease at the age of 20 on Monday.

Central Michigan football's official Twitter feed announced the news Monday night:

Central Michigan director of athletics Dave Heeke released a statement about Nash's death, per

This is a very difficult loss for our football program and entire Chippewa Athletic Program. Derrick was an inspiration to us all and the fight he showed will never be forgotten. The incredible courage he exhibited in never allowing this terrible disease to dampen his positive outlook on life, is a tremendous representation of the type of man he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with Derrick's family and friends during this difficult time.

In May 2013, Hugh Bernreuter of spoke to Nash following his diagnosis and about signing his letter of intent to play college football. "Playing Division I football...I never thought I would get the chance, but I was getting the chance," Nash said. "Signing that letter of intent was the greatest moment in my life. It was something I thought would never happen."

CMU's release on its website noted that, after going through treatment, Nash took part in spring practice in 2014 and was set to earn a spot on the roster before doctors found the leukemia had returned.

Nash would never get the chance to play in a game for Central Michigan. He redshirted in 2014 while undergoing further treatment for the disease, though he did get to serve as an honorary captain for the Chippewas in the Bahamas Bowl in December.

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Georgia Bulldogs Fact or Fiction: Will Nick Chubb Lead SEC in Rushing in 2015?

The Georgia Bulldogs are seemingly always in contention in the SEC. Will that be the case in 2015?

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee as they played a game of Fact or Fiction.

Where will Georgia finish in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!   

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Top 5 Takeaways from ESPN's Updated Recruiting Rankings

The beauty of 247Sports' composite rankings is that they make shakeups in any of the four major recruiting sites—247Sports,, and—more of a topic of discussion in the college football recruiting world.

When ESPN released its updated ESPN 300 on Monday, a few players were rewarded with a bump in their 247Sports composite rankings.

Here are five takeaways from the new ESPN 300 rankings.


Sterling-Cole continues to impress

ESPN thinks very highly of quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole—and rightfully so. Once unranked in the ESPN 300, the uncommitted 4-star is now at No. 111 in the latest rankings.

Sterling-Cole's rise since the spring has been very impressive. When he won quarterback MVP honors at The Opening Dallas Regional in March, he was a 3-star player and the No. 27 dual-threat quarterback. He's now the No. 9 pro-style quarterback after showcasing his skills throughout the spring and summer.

All eyes are on Sterling-Cole, who has schools like Texas A&M, Houston, UCLA, Florida and several others on his list. Texas A&M fans are hoping to land him, as he is an Aggie legacy: His father is former Aggie Chris Cole, who went on to play receiver in the NFL for the Denver Broncos.


Major spikes from the defensive front

Nothing helps a player's confidence like watching his rankings escalate emphatically. Four uncommitted, 4-star defensive ends saw a rise of at least 70 spots on Monday.

Brandon Bowen proved to be the biggest winner, as he jumped 190 spots from No. 351 to No. 161. Another triple-digit jumper was Antonneous Clayton, who rose 106 spots from No. 217 to No. 111.

Prince Sammons, a bigger man among big men at 6'8" and 280 pounds, climbed from No. 258 to No. 159, just missing a triple-digit increase in the rankings. Justin Madubuike "only" rose 74 spots but managed to jump into the national top 100, escalating from No. 169 to No. 95.

A fifth defensive end, Georgia 4-star commit Chauncey Manac, rose 75 spots from No. 149 to No. 74.


More news about defensive ends

The new composite rankings feature 22 defensive ends in the top 200, and six of those are in the top 50. Nick Bosa is the nation's No. 2 strong-side defensive end behind 5-star Shavar Manuel, but Bosa, also a 5-star player, rose from No. 31 to No. 8 in the composite rankings. Manuel is at No. 6.

While Bosa cracked the top 10, other defensive ends saw an impressive bump in the composite rankings on Monday. Marlon Davidson, another 5-star defensive end, jumped from No. 53 to No. 22. Florida State 4-star commit Janarius Robinson rose 47 spots from No. 83 to No. 36. McTelvin Agim, a 4-star end and the top-ranked player in Arkansas, went from No. 79 to No. 55.


Geaux-ing for the win

Teams like Florida State, Miami and reigning national champion Ohio State have either double-digit commitments or near-double-digit commitments from the ESPN 300. However, the team to beat currently is LSU.

The Tigers are the top-ranked team in the 247Sports composite recruiting team rankings with 17 commits. Among the members in the ESPN 300 are 5-star cornerback Saivion Smith, 5-star defensive tackle Edwin Alexander, 4-star quarterback Feleipe Franks and 4-star receivers Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan.

The good news for LSU is that more commits could be coming. The Tigers are in a solid position to land 5-star studs such as defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence, offensive tackle Willie Allen and safety Brandon Jones.


An interesting race for No. 1

The top two players in the ESPN 300: Rashan Gary and Greg Little.

The top two players in the 247Sports composite: Rashan Gary and Greg Little.

The battle for the top-ranked player in the nation appears to be down to a dynamic, uncommitted, 5-star defensive tackle and a technically sound, 5-star offensive tackle committed to Texas A&M, respectively. Betwen them, the two have nearly 60 reported offers.

The summer and fall, however, will play a key role in who ultimately finishes as the No. 1 player.

Will it be Gary or Little, or will another 5-star prospect overtake them? Quarterback Jacob Eason is the No. 3 player in the 247Sports composite. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who rose 37 spots from No. 54 to No. 17 in the ESPN 300, is No. 4 in the 247Sports composite.

Next month's The Opening could be a determining factor in who ends up where.


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

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