NCAA Football News

Top College Football Gift Ideas for Father's Day

For those of you who may be panicking after reading this headline—yes, Father's Day is soon.

This Sunday, to be exact.

If you are reading this and are still scrambling to find a gift idea for your dad, there's a good chance he is a college football fan like you. After all, fandom for a school or the sport in general is usually passed down from generation to generation.

Here are five categories of gift ideas for the college football dad in your life. Each category contains a handful of suggestions to guide your search for the perfect Father's Day gift.

Getting something college football-related for your dad this Father's Day? Let us hear it in the comments section below—unless he also comments on here. We understand if you don't want to spoil the surprise.

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Isaiah Chambers Discusses Top 10: Where Will the 4-Star Sack Specialist Land?

Houston's Isaiah Chambers hears the stories from other defensive ends. He'll attend combines, camps and various events and listen to players reminisce about their memorable football seasons.

He hears them—and then he'll think about his season.

What Chambers did during his junior year at Aldine MacArthur was borderline mesmerizing. The 4-star talent, who recently announced his top 10, finished his junior year with 21 sacks, according to Angel Verdejo of the Houston Chronicle. What makes Chambers' sack stat even more impressive is that he did it playing Class 6A ball, Texas high school football's largest classification.

Chambers' list, in alphabetical order, includes Baylor, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Washington.

Where does that stack against some of the well-known stars of the defensive line during their junior years of high school? Ole Miss' Robert Nkemdiche had 18 sacks his junior year. Houston Texans defensive end and former South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney had 23 sacks and followed that with 29 ½ his senior season.

One of 10 schools will land a player in Chambers who has all the tools to be college football's next great sack master. Ranked as the nation's No. 6 strong-side defensive end, per 247Sports' composite rankings, Chambers is an athlete with great size, legitimate speed off the snap, a high football IQ and an ability to make plays.

"I think I play the pass pretty well," said Chambers, who measured in a 6'3 ½" and 258 pounds at The Opening Dallas regional in March. "I had 21 sacks playing Texas 6A ball; that's where the competition is going to b higher. I know they've got good ball in Florida and California, but playing Texas 6A ... to me, it meant a lot."

In addition to his 21 sacks, Chambers also had 78 tackles (32 for loss), four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for Aldine MacArthur last season. He said narrowing his list to 10 from 27 offers was tough, but he's very comfortable with his list.

"There was a reason why I took so long to hold off," Chambers said. "I kept putting schools in and taking schools out. It was kind of hard, because so many schools could have gone in. It was hard to weed good schools out, but I'm happy with my 10."

Chambers said his 10 includes schools that were the most relentless in recruiting him. He said he was able to build solid player-coach relationships with his recruiting contacts, and he feels he can fit in at any of the locations.

"The coaches that were recruiting me, a lot of times, they didn't even talk about football," he said. We talked about what the school could do for me and made sure I stayed on top of my grades. They went into detail about what I could do after football. I like that."

Wherever he ends up, Chambers wants to be an immediate impact player. He's improved, physically and technically, as a defensive end with the assistance of his defensive line coach. Steve Strahan was an All-Southwest Conference lineman at Baylor who was a sixth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the NFL draft.

"We work on my hands a lot," Chambers said. "All the stuff [Strahan] learned got him to the league. He teaches me about my hand placement, coming off the edge, going down and dropping my shoulder, stuff like that. I've got a pretty good D-line coach."

Good enough to turn Chambers into even more of a menace on the defensive side of the ball? Chambers said it's possible. He has his own personal goals as he prepares for his senior season.

"I think it's possible to get 28 or 30 [sacks]," he said. "I can get three in a game. I know Clowney had a lot his senior year, so why not?"

Of Chambers' top 10, five are in-state schools. Baylor, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Houston all would be ideal spots. The big question, with him being a Houston athlete, is if the near-meteoric rise in recruiting at the University of Houston is good enough to lure him.

Chambers is well aware of the "H-Town Takeover" campaign the Cougars are pitching to athletes in the greater Houston area, as Houston is looking to keep all the best talent as close to home as possible. Houston already has a defensive tackle combo of 5-star Ed Oliver and 4-star Jordan Elliott committed, and the program picked up a defensive end pledge Tuesday in 3-star Hasaun Glasgow.

"A lot of guys are talking about it around here," Chambers said. "It's pretty smart that they're trying to build a legacy. I wasn't looking at going to U of H at first, but they've really been preaching about the legacy thing. It definitely makes you think about it."

Of the 10 schools, Chambers said Houston, TCU, Michigan and Washington have been recruiting him the hardest. Playing out of state is an intriguing option for him, but he said he wants to take some official visits before making anything final. He said he's planning on going to Michigan later this summer.

With Michigan, Chambers said the coaches check in periodically, and he's a fan of the energy head coach Jim Harbaugh brings to the table. Washington, however, may be the school recruiting him the hardest. He said the Huskies have made him their top priority, and he's built good relationships with head coach Chris Petersen, defensive line coach Jeff Choate and defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski.

Along with a trip to Michigan, Chambers said he has plans of visiting Baylor and TCU before the start of the 2015 season. He said he's hoping to have a top five at that time.

Whatever the case, he knows he can't go wrong with his final choice. And he expects to be a sack master in college, as well.

"All of the programs on my list are good schools, and they're recruiting me hard," Chambers said. "It's just a matter of me getting to them and finding out more. I know I've got some pretty good choices."


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

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LSU Vaults to No. 1 Recruiting Ranking, but Will Tigers Stay on Top?

The LSU Tigers lead the 2016 national recruiting rankings after a Wednesday-night commitment from coveted Texas defensive back Eric Monroe:

Monroe, rated second nationally among safety prospects, pushed LSU past Ohio State and Florida State on the list. The Seminoles previously occupied the No. 1 spot for a significant stretch.

"Since my freshman year, the LSU coaches have been with me every step of the way," Monroe told Shea Dixon of 247Sports. “It felt great knowing we have that top class, and it feels good to say I can be a part of helping get that top spot. LSU is building something special right now.”

The Tigers now hold 17 commitments, with 12 players carrying distinction as a 4-star recruit or better. That total of top-tier talent is only surpassed by Ohio State, though the Buckeyes don't carry a 5-star pledge (LSU has landed two of them).

Head coach Les Miles matched his lowest win total at LSU last season when the Tigers finished 8-5. It snapped a four-year streak of double-digit victories, but an occasionally frustrating fall clearly couldn't halt momentum on the recruiting trail. 

Among LSU's latest haul of high school standouts, seven are considered top-10 prospects at their respective position.

Aside from Monroe, this collection features Feleipe Franks (No. 1 dual-threat quarterback), Saivion Smith (No. 2 cornerback), Donavaughn Campbell (No. 3 offensive guard), Jamal Pettigrew (No. 6 tight end), Edwin Alexander (No. 7 defensive tackle) and Erick Fowler (No. 8 outside linebacker). 

These additions promise to bolster positions across the roster, while substantial room remains for growth within this recruiting class leading up to national signing day.

Defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and offensive lineman Willie Allen are 5-star targets in Louisiana, while cornerback Trayvon Mullen, defensive end Emmit Gooden and linebacker Keion Joyner are among prized possibilities beyond state borders.

LSU certainly seems primed to sign a third consecutive top-five recruiting class in February. Its status atop the list remains to be seen, as several programs are also enjoying an immensely successful cycle.

Ohio State is fresh off a national championship run, and Urban Meyer rivals any recruiter in America. Florida State caught fire early, claiming a nation-high three 5-star prospects in the process.

Both teams have sights set on high-value talent moving forward and will undoubtedly add to quality stockpiles in the coming months.

Longtime LSU rival Alabama may be the most intriguing contender among this top pack.

The Crimson Tide started the 2016 cycle relatively sluggishly but continue to pick up the pace and piece together another strong group, surging to fifth overall this month. Head coach Nick Saban is attempting to do the unthinkable by assembling a sixth straight top-rated recruiting class.

The possibility becomes more viable with 5-star targets like Lyndell WilsonBen Davis and Rashan Gary reciprocating heavy interest. As usual, LSU will face Alabama for several common targets, including Allen, Lawrence and 4-star Louisiana wide receiver Mykel Jones.

There are a few wild-card classes that could eventually threaten LSU as things progress.

No team in top-10 rankings holds fewer commitments than Georgia (12) at this stage, but the Bulldogs rate seventh thanks to outstanding value among their pledges (two 5-stars and five 4-stars). It's another loaded class in the Peach State this year, and head coach Mark Richt is in solid position with many of those premier prospects.

Michigan failed to land a single 2016 commit during the first 14 weeks of head coach Jim Harbaugh's tenure. That situation shifted drastically this spring, and Michigan now sits ninth on the list with 10 pledges in June alone.

Don't underestimate Harbaugh's widespread appeal to high school athletes who've watched him win plenty of meaningful NFL games in recent years. A strong start to his first season in Ann Arbor could set off a series of major recruiting moves for the Wolverines.

Ultimately, Ohio State is the biggest threat to knock LSU off the mountaintop.

The Buckeyes are riding high on the recruiting trail and figure to receive more national exposure than anyone this fall, considering their champion status and a collection of potential Heisman Trophy candidates.

LSU deserves a lot of credit for unseating Florida State, but its stay at No. 1 may be temporary.


Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Rough Offseason Has Left Alabama's RB Depth Surprisingly Thin

In the winter of 2013, when Alabama signed Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones, it appeared that head coach Nick Saban was intent on constructing a city in west Alabama with a population consisting solely of running backs.

That appeared to be the case again during the two most recent recruiting cycles, when Bo Scarbrough, DeSherrius Flowers and Damien Harris signed with the Crimson Tide.

Now, that city looks more like a ghost town.

Kamara transferred to junior college and eventually to Tennessee, Tenpenny bailed, Jones was dismissed and Scarbrough tore his ACL in spring practice.

The running back corps took another hit on Wednesday afternoon, when the school announced via email that Flowers—who enrolled early in January and participated in spring practice—will not be cleared for enrollment at Alabama this fall because of a recently discovered initial-eligibility issue.

The 6'0 ½,", 204-pounder from Mobile, Alabama, was a 4-star prospect in the most recent recruiting class and being counted on to provide depth this year in the Tide backfield.

As Marq Burnett of the Anniston Star notes, that leaves Alabama's running back depth perilously thin behind Henry and the ultra-versatile senior Kenyan Drake.

That is going to put an enormous amount of pressure on incoming true freshman and 5-star stud Damien Harris because he's going to get his fair share of true No. 2 carries three months removed from high school.

Drake, assuming he's back to 100 percent after recovering from a broken leg suffered last fall against Ole Miss, will play a more hybrid running back/wide receiver role, with Henry gobbling up the majority of those first-team carries. Essentially, the duo will be 1A and 1B for offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

That means it's Harris and then a bunch of question marks in the true "backup" role, which not only gives Alabama zero margin for error on the injury front all year long, but also hurts the scout team and the way a defense prepares for opponents.

Flowers wasn't going to be a superstar this year, and barring a few late-game carries against UL-Monroe or Charleston Southern, he might not have even seen the field at all.

But he was good enough to give the defense something to contend with in practice on the scout team. Now that responsibility is going to fall on defensive back/running back Ronnie Clark, who's coming off an Achilles injury, as well as Buddy Pell, Hamilton Phillips and Lawrence Erekosima, all of whom walked on.

At the very least, Flowers would have been an effective emergency/scout team running back for the Crimson Tide, and his absence will hurt in that respect.

This is a true "rich man's problem" for Saban, though.

For normal teams, the transfer of a 4-star prospect (Tenpenny), dismissal of another (Jones), potential season-ending injury to another (Scarbrough) and eligibility issue with another (Flowers) in one offseason would derail the entire season.

For Alabama, it has cut away at the depth.

If somebody else gets hurt or departs the program, though, Saban's worst fears could become reality.


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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Eric Monroe to LSU: Tigers Land 4-Star Safety Prospect

Eric Monroe, a 4-star safety prospect out of North Shore High School in Houston, announced that he will play college football for LSU.

Shea Dixon of 247Sports reported the news.

Monroe is rated as the No. 2 safety in the Class of 2016 and the No. 31 overall prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings. What makes him intriguing is that he's 6'0" and 180 pounds, but he can bulk up even more before he steps onto the NCAA gridiron.

Added strength will only make Monroe more dangerous in the secondary. The young star already plays with plenty of aggression and isn't afraid to deliver a crushing hit. Such traits should allow him to be an effective run-stopper early in his career.

Monroe could improve his technique in coverage, as his tendency to overpursue due to his style of play can leave him susceptible to getting beat.

Opposing quarterbacks will have to look him off, though, because he has the natural instincts to read their eyes, anticipate where the throw is going, close quickly and put his exceptional ball skills to use.

It's more about refining footwork with Monroe than it is about sheer ability for him to become a better all-around safety.

Any criticisms are small shortcomings that Monroe should be able to overcome, provided he receives proper college coaching. He has shown dominant play in one of the most competitive high school football states in the country.

Monroe's range might be the most impressive component of his game, and it helps make up for any minor flaws he has.

The need to perform up to expectations in his prep career should bode well for him as he makes the transition to college. It should also help him manage the hype and see the field sooner than many of his 2016 classmates.


Note: All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Kemore Gamble Commits to Miami: What 4-Star WR Brings to Hurricanes

Miami continues to maintain momentum on the recruiting trail, adding an eighth commitment to its impressive 2017 class Wednesday afternoon.

The Hurricanes, holding 22 pledges in the 2016 cycle, landed local wide receiver Kemore Gamble, according to Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post. He is the second rising high school junior to join the group in two days, following a Tuesday announcement from Tampa tight end Tre' McKitty.

Gamble, a 4-star prospect from Miami Southridge High School, attended camp at the university earlier this month. Miami was the first college program to extend a scholarship offer in his direction.

Interest increased rapidly this spring, with offers arriving from Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville.

He is the second high-profile offensive weapon Miami head coach Al Golden has landed early in the 2017 recruiting cycle, joining fellow 4-star stud and dynamic running back Robert Burns.

The Hurricanes add an athlete who appears primed for a breakout junior campaign. He recently transferred from Coral Gables High School to Southridge, joining forces with 2016 Miami wide receiver target Freddie Pinder.

Gamble, a 6'3", 200-pound playmaker, caught just 15 passes in limited opportunities as a sophomore. Porter notes he turned those receptions into 187 yards and three touchdowns.

He cruises downfield with long strides, gaining separation in space by using elite length and desirable physicality. Gamble doesn't have a lot of experience running various routes consistently during games, so that's a part of his approach that warrants monitoring as he progresses.

Gamble fits in well as a yet another tall pass-catcher headed to Miami. He is one of five wide receivers currently committed to the Hurricanes and the first from his class.

Golden claims top-five classes in both the 2016 and 2017 recruiting cycles, with 30 total commitments between the two groups. Gamble pushes the 2017 haul to second overall nationally in 247Sports' composite rankings.


Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Watch Most-Offered 2016 Recruit Parker Boudreaux Announce Top 5

Parker Boudreaux, a 4-star offensive guard, per 247Sports, has over 70 offers on the table from some of the biggest schools in the country. 

Boudreaux sat down with Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson to announce his top five schools. 

Where will Boudreaux land? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Dream Scenarios for Every 2015-16 College Football Bowl Matchup

The college football offseason is far too long from a fan's perspective, lasting longer than the season itself and consisting of only minor distractions and time-wasters. Once the summer comes along, we've been away from the real thing for so long it's like living in a fever dream.

These last few weeks before training camp are when hope and expectation work overtime to push reality to the side. Anything is possible, and darn it if we don't think it's leaning closer to probable.

Bowl organizers can get swept up in this wave of optimism as well, cooking up dream matchups for their games that will make for great TV and even greater ticket sales. The likelihood of most of these happening is slim, but that's not really taken into consideration at this point.

Using the preexisting conference tie-ins and other agreements in place, we've made our own dream matchups for every 2015-16 bowl game.

These were selected similarly to how the real bowl pairings will be made, starting with the ones filled by the College Football Playoff and then filtering down to the lower-tier games featuring non-power opponents. This means some matchups aren't going to be particularly enticing from an overall perspective, but they're the best available at that point.

This list does not include the newly approved Arizona Bowl, as bowl organizers aren't certain it will happen in 2015, and it's the only one of the 41 games without a set date or time.

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Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Leap into Top 10 with Commitment of 4-Star Ben Bredeson

Ben Bredeson, a 4-star offensive tackle according to 247Sports, has committed to the University of Michigan. Bredeson's commitment launches Michigan into 247Sports' top-10 recruiting ranks. 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by 247Sports' Steve Lorenz to discuss the big Wolverine addition. 

Will Michigan remain in the top 10? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Every Top 25 Team's Must-Win Game of 2015 College Football Season

Sure, college football's coaches and players might call every game a "must-win." It's one of the biggest go-to cliches in sports.

But that doesn't mean it's completely true. Instead, when the schedules are finalized and the rosters are set, every team has that one game that it just has to win in order to keep its dreams alive.

Here is the biggest must-win game for every team in Bleacher Report's latest preseason top 25. These games were determined by the matchup's potential implications, placement on the schedule and amount of damage a loss could do to the team's conference and national title chances.

These aren't necessarily the biggest games on a given team's schedule, even though several of them are. They are the ones that can make or break a season the most.

Agree with the must-win selection for your team? Have any other suggestions? Share them in the comments below.

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Jim Harbaugh's Impressive Recruiting Haul Just Getting Started at Michigan

Jim Harbaugh remains nearly three months shy of his debut as Michigan head coach, but he's already helped to send a frustrating 2014 Wolverines season into the rear-view mirror.

College football programs that finish the fall at 5-7 aren't supposed to thrive on the recruiting trail. That sentiment held true for nearly the first four months of Harbaugh's tenure in Ann Arbor. The former Michigan quarterback and his coaching staff didn't land a single 2016 prospect until April.

Then, in head-turning fashion, the Wolverines caught fire.

Despite starting his tenure with a 14-week commitment drought in the cycle, Harbaugh has since served notice to the college football universe. The Wolverines, now up to 10 pledges in June alone, are surging and currently sit at ninth in 247Sports' national composite rankings.

Embrace the craziness folks—Harbaugh is already making a major impact in his return to college football. 

The 51-year-old, called "the LeBron James of coaching" by a blue-chip recruit within a week of his hiring, is ruffling feathers on the recruiting trail and getting the job done. When his satellite camps—held in seven different states—were called into question by SEC coaches, Harbaugh didn't blink.

"In my America, you're allowed to cross state borders," he told George Schroeder of USA Today. "That's the America I know."

He crossed a state border on Wednesday, securing a commitment from coveted Wisconsin offensive lineman Ben Bredeson. The 6'5", 293-pound blocker, rated fourth nationally among players at the position, chose Michigan over the in-state Badgers and Notre Dame:

Bredeson becomes the highest-rated 2016 Wolverines pledge and the ninth pickup this month. Following its initial 14-week lull, Michigan's new regime has reeled in 13 rising high school seniors since April.

The haul features another pair of high-profile offensive linemen in Detroit's Michael Onwenu and Illinois tackle Erik Swenson.

Bredeson was joined a few hours later by Florida defensive back Josh Metellus, who also announced his decision on Twitter:

Michigan received a significant boost in early April, when 4-star Indiana quarterback Brandon Peters joined the class.

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

The 6'5", 205-pound passer gained a potential backfield partner five days later when local 4-star running back Matthew Falcon announced his intentions. The dynamic in-state rusher believes Michigan will make significant strides in a hurry under Harbaugh.

"They’re doing big things. They’re on the rebuilding path to get Michigan back to where it once was," he told Bleacher Report.

A bevy of commitments have followed, further highlighted by Indianapolis running back/wide receiver Chris Evans and Florida cornerback Antwaine Richardson.

Michigan, which now boasts the third-ranked class in the Big Ten Conference, may just be getting started.

Future recruiting endeavors center on several top-tier players, including No. 1 overall 2016 prospect Rashan Gary. It may come down to Michigan versus several SEC powerhouses for his pledge, and the Wolverines employ his former high school coach in Gary Partridge.

"Michigan is going to do great things in a couple years," he told Bleacher Report. "You may not see it this season, but Michigan will be an up-and-rising program soon."

Gary, a New Jersey native, is among a group of mid-Atlantic standouts seriously considering a collegiate career in Ann Arbor. Maryland offensive lineman Terrance Davis, Pennsylvania tight end Naseir Upshur and New Jersey wide receiver/defensive back Ahmir Mitchell are each considered strong candidates to land with the Wolverines on national signing day.

“(Harbaugh is) a great recruiter," Mitchell told Bleacher Report. "He’s very hands-on and doesn’t like other people doing things for him. He was with us the entire visit. It was a lot of fun checking out campus, talking and spending so much time with a coach who has such a high reputation.”

Other primary possibilities include 5-star California linebacker Caleb Kelly, 4-star Kansas defensive end Xavier Kelly and dynamic New Jersey wide receiver Brad Hawkins.

The floodgates have finally opened for Harbaugh on the recruiting trail, but this party is just getting started. Michigan is primed for a scintillating summer, and a strong start to the season should set up the Wolverines to challenge for a top-five class in this cycle.

If you thought folks at Michigan were excited when the former San Francisco 49ers head coach returned to his alma mater, stay tuned for what lies ahead.

A foundation for a new and promising future is being laid piece by piece, commitment by commitment.


Quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue unless otherwise noted.

Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.

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