NCAA Football News
It’s hard to believe, but spring football is already entering its final stages around the ACC. Syracuse has already wrapped up its first spring under Dino Babers. On Saturday, Clemson, Duke, Florida State and Wake Forest will put their best faces on for spring football games, with games stretching through April 23 when Georgia Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech host games of their own.
In other words, we’ll soon pass another milepost on the road to the 2016 college football season opener. Real, meaningful games are less than five months away, and the ACC is plenty excited. Over the last three seasons, the league has gained plenty of national respect. Florida State won the final BCS National Championship and made the College Football Playoff in the following season, and Clemson followed suit by beginning the 2015 season 14-0 before falling to Alabama in the national title game.
With new coaches Mark Richt (Miami), Justin Fuente (Virginia Tech), Bronco Mendenhall (Virginia) and Babers in the league, ACC officials have reason to believe their conference will take another step forward in the near future, with the hopes of another power emerging to join the Seminoles and Tigers. Will it happen this fall?
Let’s take a look. We’re predicting the win-loss records of every ACC team, considering factors such as returning talent, schedule and recent track record.
The South Carolina quarterback battle just added another competitor—and it's somebody out of the class of 2017.
That's not a typo. A class of 2017 quarterback could be starting for South Carolina in 2016.
Jake Bentley, a 4-star prospect from Opelika, Alabama, announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he will graduate from high school a year early and begin his South Carolina career this summer.
Bentley, who is the son of South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley (who was an analyst at Auburn last season and a legendary former high school coach in South Carolina), will join a loaded quarterback battle at South Carolina this summer that includes redshirt senior Perry Orth, true freshman early enrollee Brandon McIlwain, sophomore Lorenzo Nunez and junior Connor Mitch.
As Dayne Young of WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, notes, Bentley will head east to Columbia with hype attached to his name.
Does Bentley have the chance to start right away?
A chance, sure.
But asking a kid who should be a senior in high school to learn an offense, figure out the speed of the game and beat out a crowded pack of talented quarterbacks in essentially a month of practice is too much to ask, no matter how much time he has spent around the game with his father.
McIlwain has already jumped to the front of the pack in his first spring practice, and Muschamp said that he and Orth looked great prior to the collarbone injury that knocked the latter out of action this spring, according to David Caraviello of the Post and Courier.
Bentley's quest to start is only one part of the story, though.
The bigger news that stems from Bentley's decision is that the quarterback talent Muschamp has amassed in Columbia is incredibly impressive.
Bentley has a 0.9511 ranking, according to 247Sports, and now joins McIlwain, who boasted a 0.9254. Muschamp has successfully recruited two of the top three quarterbacks South Carolina has had over the last decade.
Think about that for a second.
Muschamp, who's hardly known for developing quarterbacks into stars, now has a better reputation of recruiting top-tier quarterbacks to South Carolina than Steve Spurrier—a man who literally changed the game of college football because of quarterback play.
What he will do with those quarterbacks is still a mystery, but he's giving himself and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper plenty of chances for success with players who not only are highly rated, but also touted for different reasons.
Bentley has a strong arm, can stretch the ball sideline-to-sideline and make all of the throws required to keep defenses honest. What's more, he's a good runner who can at least pose a threat on read-options, which is a staple in Roper offenses.
McIlwain is the opposite. His ability to create on the ground is as good as it gets, and is no slouch in the passing game either.
Muschamp has things cooking on the recruiting trail in Columbia.
The next step is having that potential translate to success on the field.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.
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Though there aren't many football-related worries in Ann Arbor, the Michigan Wolverines wrapped up spring practice with a handful of mild concerns.
Perhaps to the irritation of some, the primary topic remains Michigan's quarterback battle. But with a competition this important, it's simply unavoidable.
While the Wolverines avoided serious injuries this spring, a series of ailments revealed a minor yet notable depth issue.
Michigan has five months to address each concern—none of which are debilitating individually. However, they could pose a significant problem if combined.
AUBURN, Ala. — There should be a different feeling in the air this Saturday when football returns to the Plains.
Unlike the last couple of years under head coach Gus Malzahn, the Auburn Tigers won't be entering their annual A-Day spring game as one of the SEC's preseason darlings. After a 7-6 campaign in 2015, there's more talk of hot seats than titles in Auburn.
With eyes on a turnaround 2016 campaign, Auburn will wrap up a spring camp featuring plenty of new potential starters and assistant coaches. The all-important quarterback battle, the race for the lead running back position, a new-look offensive line and the fifth defensive coordinator in six years will all be major storylines for the Saturday afternoon scrimmage.
Which players should Auburn fans keep their eyes on the most on A-Day? Here are 10 players—representing all the major offensive and defensive position groups—to watch when the Tigers unofficially open their 2016 season inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Which Auburn players are you most looking forward to seeing this weekend? Shout them out in the comments below.
Oklahoma 4-star commit Chris Robison, the eighth-ranked pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017, clearly has a great arm. Just how impressive is it, though? We here at Bleacher Report put his accuracy to the test.
We made Robison hit a target on the field from the upper deck of a stadium. It wasn't just any stadium, though. He did it at AT&T Stadium, one of the largest in the country, with a seating capacity of 80,000.
Check out the soon-to-be Sooner's ridiculous trick shot in the video above.
Star ratings via 247Sports.
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Tennessee football coach Butch Jones harps all the time on the idea that the Volunteers haven't yet built a program that is as stocked with depth and talent as any of their peers around the country.
Whether that's poor-mouthing with a purpose or not—the Vols should be really good in 2016, and nobody on Rocky Top is shying away from those expectations—several freshmen will still play this year.
Part of that is out of necessity, but the bottom line is that UT is recruiting at such a high level that the talent is simply too good to keep off the field.
However, a few star upperclassmen will block some uber-talented first-year players.
Defensive back Tyler Byrd, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and running back Carlin Fils-aime would play on a lot of teams around the country, but they didn't make the list because UT is in an enviable place at those positions.
That's a product of consistent classes, and Jones is working on building a program that should be able to compete on a yearly basis.
The Vols have a good chance to have a good year in '16. Perhaps, it can even be special. But as many promising junior and senior players as there are in orange and white, the Vols will still rely on freshmen of the redshirt and even true variety.
Let's take a look at 10 freshmen who'll be on the field a whole lot this year for Tennessee.