NCAA Football News

Trae Elston, Damore'ea Stringfellow Arrested: Latest Details, Updates and More

Ole Miss football players Trae Elston and Damore'ea Stringfellow were reportedly arrested early Thursday on charges of disorderly conduct. Elston also faces a resisting arrest charge.    

Hugh Kellenberger of The Clarion-Ledger reports that further details surrounding the incident that led to the arrests are not yet publicly available. The only information relayed in the log was that it occurred after midnight.

"Safety Trae Elston and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow were both arrested shortly after midnight today and charged with disorderly conduct, according to the Lafayette County Detention Center's booking log," Kellenberger reported.

It's the second incident involving Stringfellow in less than a year. Adam Jude of The Seattle Times reported in April that he pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges relating to an altercation following last year's Super Bowl.

The wide receiver has since transferred from Washington to Ole Miss. He was forced to sit out the 2014 campaign, but was expected to return to action next fall.

Elston just finished a junior season that saw him register 59 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in 12 games.

There is no word yet on how the situation will impact their status with the Rebels.


Read more College Football news on

Torrance Gibson vs. Brian Cole: Did OSU or Michigan Get the Better Athlete?

The Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry extends beyond the field onto the recruiting trail. The Buckeyes landed 4-star dual-threat quarterback Torrance Gibson, while the Wolverines landed 4-star athlete Brian Cole, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder debates which school got the better athlete.

Who will have a bigger impact on his program?

Watch the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on

5 College Teams That Will Have the Most Players Taken in the 2015 NFL Draft

Do you like mock drafts? Good, because you're going to see around 10,000 of them (give or take) over the next few months. Be prepared for those mock drafts to change, perhaps significantly in spots, as individual stocks rise and fall. 

Still, there should be a handful of schools that will have several players taken—perhaps in the double digits. Only 74 underclassmen declared for the draft—compared to 98 a year ago—but there are plenty of seniors and early graduates for NFL organizations to consider. 

Which schools will have the most players drafted this spring?

Here are our best projections based off rankings from B/R draft guru Matt Miller

Begin Slideshow

Is 5-Star OLB Osa Masina a Lock to Commit to USC on Friday?

Lauded Utah linebacker Osa Masina will announce his collegiate intentions Friday, Jan. 23, and USC seems to be situated in a strong position among top contenders.

The Trojans, who hosted Masina in late November for the last of his three official visits, are considered the favorites among national recruiting experts. USC is projected to sign him by 58 percent of analysts in 247Sports' crystal ball predictions, garnering the six most recent predictions. 

Masina, a 6'3.5", 230-pound U.S. Army All-American, is also still weighing offers from fellow finalists and Pac-12 programs Arizona State and UCLA.

"My experience with USC and their coaching staff has definitely been positive, but I'm still considering all my options," he told Bleacher Report earlier this month.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff have been diligent in their pursuit of the Brighton High School standout. USC paid him a visit Wednesday, showing some last-minute love before the big decision:

Masina rates third nationally among outside linebackers in 247Sports' composite rankings and 35th overall among 2015 prospects. He skill set has garnered more than 20 scholarship offers from some of the country's top college programs.

"Just recently he had to tell Oregon, Stanford and Notre Dame he wasn't going there, which is a very difficult thing," Brighton coach Ryan Bullett told Brandon Gurney of the Desert News.

Masina compiled a career-high 97 tackles and 10 sacks in 2014, per MaxPreps. His prowess as an all-around playmaker is further evidenced by 2,239 rushing yards and 33 scores on the ground since 2013.

He shined among America's elite high school football talent last summer at The Opening, an invite-only showcase held at Nike's world headquarters in Oregon. His athleticism compared favorably among the majority of front-seven defenders in attendance.  

"I enjoy getting after it on defense," Masina said in Oregon. "I'm working to improve and build up my strength. I think I can make an early impact in college."

USC obviously views him as a pivotal piece of its plan to coordinate a strong final push toward national signing day. The Trojans are still firmly in the mix for several coveted recruits, including fellow 5-star defenders Iman Marshall and Rasheem Green.

A commitment from Masina would certainly provide a positive start toward the Trojans' lofty goals with less than two weeks remaining until signing day.

USC already welcomed 4-star inside linebacker Cameron Smith to campus as an early enrollee, and he'll participate in spring camp. The Trojans are also considered a favorite for fellow Utah linebacker Porter Gustin, who hosted Sarkisian on Tuesday for an in-home visit:

Gustin told me he's likely to end up in an interior role at USC if that's where he lands. Masina complements both him and Smith well with his ability to wreak havoc off the edge and patrol the perimeter as an outside presence.

UCLA is arguably the biggest threat to USC, and it hosted Masina on campus for a game in October. However, 5-star Bruins defensive end commit Keisean Lucier-South sat next to him at the Rose Bowl and noted his interest in the Trojans.

“I spent a lot of time talking with Osa Masina at the UCLA game, and he really seemed interested in USC," he told me afterward. "It’s a place he could see himself playing."

More than three months later, there's little lingering doubt that Masina will ultimately end up in a Trojans uniform.

Consider USC a prohibitive favorite when he steps to the podium Friday.


All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise stated. Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on

New Arkansas OC Dan Enos Will Provide Much-Needed Spark to Hogs Offense

Arkansas had been without an offensive coordinator ever since Jim Chaney decided to take the same position on Pitt's staff, and his replacement came out of left field.

Actually, it wasn't even left field. It was from outside of the ballpark.

Central Michigan head coach—yes, head coach—Dan Enos has been tabbed as the new offensive coordinator for the Hogs.

"We are thrilled to have Coach Enos joining us in Fayetteville," said head coach Bret Bielema in a statement emailed by the school. "Dan is a great fit for our program. He runs a pro-style offense and brings expertise at the quarterback position as both a player and coach. We played against each other in college and he was a very intelligent and talented quarterback who showed great toughness and leadership."

Enos spent five seasons at Central Michigan. He led the Chippewas to three straight seasons in which they finished .500 or better overall, finished over .500 in the MAC and earned two bowl bids.

"I want to thank Bret (Bielema) for this wonderful opportunity to be part of something special at the University of Arkansas," said Enos in the statement. "The challenge of winning a championship in the SEC and developing young men at the highest level of college football is very attractive. Bret and I share many of the same philosophies and I’m excited to open the next chapter of my coaching career down in Fayetteville."

During his time at Central Michigan, Enos produced two 1,000-yard rushers—Zurlon Tipton (1,492 yards, 19 touchdowns) in 2012 and Thomas Rawls (1,103 yards, 10 touchdowns) in 2014. 

That will play well with Arkansas, which returns the dynamic duo of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins at running back—both of whom topped the 1,000-yard mark last year for the Razorbacks.

While Enos will run a traditional pro-style offense in Fayetteville, he is willing to open things up when appropriate, and will swing the pendulum ever so slightly away from Bielema's old-school values and more toward the new era.

In four of Enos' five years at Central Michigan, his starting quarterback topped the 3,000-yard mark through the air. Bielema has only had one quarterback throw for more than 3,000 yards in his entire head coaching career—when Russell Wilson threw for 3,175 at Wisconsin in 2011.

What's more, Enos provides a head coaching presence in a coordinator role, which is huge for the development of the offense. Instead of scrambling and finding somebody to earn that trust, Enos will walk into the meeting room and demand it.

Why the jump?

Money could be a good reason. He was only making $360,000 as Central Michigan's head coach last year, according to the USA Today coaching salary database.

According to Kurt Voigt of the Associated Press, he's getting quite a bump in pay by taking a "step down."

As Andrea Adelson of ESPN notes, it's not the first time a "group of five" head coach has left to become an assistant in either the NFL or a Power Five school.

Central Michigan's loss is Arkansas' gain.

The Enos hire is surprising, but he's the perfect fit for what Arkansas wants to do. He's traditional, but flexible, which will pay immediate dividends for the Razorbacks.


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

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

Read more College Football news on

These Monster Linemen Recruits Are Ready to Dominate College Football in 2015

The 2015 class is full of absolute monsters who are ready to bring their talents to the college circuit. These are the recruits who are ready to make an immediate impact. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer give their picks for the biggest monsters in the 2015 recruiting class. 

Who will be the biggest monster from this class next season?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on

Ranking Every Big Ten Football Team by Best Returning Players

Ten players return next season from the All-Big Ten media first team. Nine players return from the coaches' first team, and 17 players return from either of the second teams.

But how are those star players distributed?

The Big Ten is notoriously imbalanced, a chasm existing between Ohio State and everybody else. Michigan State and Wisconsin make up the second tier, but after that there's another steep drop-off.

Or at least that's how the league was last season. With so many players leaving, might one of those teams be primed for a fall? Might another team be primed for a leap? You never know.

Obviously, there is more nuance to winning football games than "Who returns the best players?" But star power is undoubtedly important. The rosters with the most talent from last year's All-Big Ten teams, plus the honorable mentions, have a distinct early advantage.

Here's a look at who each Big Ten team returns.

Begin Slideshow

Watch Most Dangerous 2015 Recruit Christian Kirk Score from 6 Positions

Christian Kirk is a 5-star wide receiver, as per the 247Sports composite rankings, and he is one of the most versatile and dangerous players in the 2015 recruiting class. 

Watch this mixtape of Kirk scoring from six different positions on the field, showing off his incredible athletic prowess that will surely be an asset next season at Texas A&M. 

Read more College Football news on

Perception, Reality and the Role of College Football Recruiting Hostesses

For college football recruiting hostesses, the difference between perception and reality is nearly as big as the difference between a 5-star blue-chip prospect and an uninvited walk-on.

There is an unfortunate stigma that comes with the job. Often thought of as just "eye candy" to show to recruits, the reality is that they're one of the most integral pieces of the college football puzzle. 

"Like everything else in college football and really in our society, abuse leads to restrictions," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema told B/R. "If everybody would just do it the right way, in the right manner and with the right approach, we wouldn't have any problems. When people try to abuse the situation or stereotype the situation, that brings negativity on all of it."

Hostess programs have been cast in a negative light over the last few years, including former Tennessee hostess Lacey Pearl Earps' role as "The Closer" for Lane Kiffin's program on Rocky Top (via: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports).

"Our job was to flirt with them," Earps said in The System, a book published in 2013 and written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (via Wetzel). 

But is that truly the case? 

"People think they are there to just be 'eye candy' and whatever happens, happens," said B/R national recruiting writer Tyler Donohue, who was a recruiting assistant for the Rutgers football program from 2006 through 2008. "From my experience, there was more flirting from the prospects trying to spit game, and maybe the girls would smile at them. I never saw a reciprocation or anything like that."

The perception that recruiting hostesses engage in nefarious practices in the hopes of luring that next superstar to campus is one that hostesses routinely fight and hope will change.

"The perception of things is not always how it is in reality," said Meredith Martin, a former hostess at the University of Georgia in 2008. "You don't want people to assume you're one way because you have this job, when in reality, it's very different."

The primary role for hosts and hostesses during the week is to assist in creating and distributing recruiting materials to prospects.

"Day-to-day, they were really important, because your goal as a Division I program was to get mail in front of prospects as much as possible," said Donohue. "They were the ones printing stuff out, cutting the cardboard, stuffing envelopes, making sure addresses are right, getting it out there. They're almost the secretarial cog of our recruiting department. While we were next door watching tape, they were doing the clerical work."

On the weekends, the duties change a bit. Coaches are busy during game days and on busy recruiting weekends during the offseason, there's only so much of the head coach to go around.

It's up to the hostesses and hosts to show prospects around on official visits, which typically include a tour of the athletic facility, meetings with coaches, training staff and administrators, a tour of campus and meetings with academic advisers and teachers. Many of those stops along the way are specifically chosen by the football staff based on the major each prospect intends to pursue.

Amy Eikmeier was a campus tour guide for the office of admissions at Nebraska in 2006 and added recruiting hostess responsibilities from 2007 through 2009. Her responsibilities didn't change all that much.

"I'm not an expert on the football program, but that wasn't my role," she said. "My role was about life as a student. Obviously I learned some things about the football program and facilities, so I could discuss those with recruits, but it was more about what it's like going to school here, the academic side and all of the opportunities.

"Other than the football stuff, a lot of it was very similar to the things I did in my job as a general tour guide and working for new student enrollment."

Many schools, including Arkansas and Nebraska, have male and female hosts for recruits for game days, official visits and unofficial visits. Rather than just "eye candy," hosts and hostesses are chosen based on their ability to connect with prospects and convey the message that the school is trying to deliver.

"I can promise you, I'm not a good-looking individual," joked Ian Anderson, a former Nebraska recruiting host. "You had to be a tour guide of some sort [to be able to host recruits]. You had to give a practice tour to make sure you were able to give a tour of the university and answer any academic questions. If you were good at that and able to give positive unofficial tours consistently, then you could be able to do official visits. It was kind of a perk. If you were doing official visits, it was because you earned your way up there, not because you were the best looking."

That's it, as far as requirement for the job. Did anything happen after hours?

"I did not ever party with the team or recruits, and I do not know of any other hostesses who did," said Martin, who is a longtime Georgia fan who applied for the unpaid job online prior to the 2008 season.

Eikmeier echoed those same sentiments. 

"No," she said when asked if she had ever heard of any hosts or hostesses doing that. "I mean, you read things I suppose, but no, I've never heard of that personally or anything like that."

For most hostesses, working in the athletic department allows them to get a foot in the door that could lead to career advancement.

"A lot of these girls have aspirations," Donohue said. "It's kind of a bummer, because many had aspirations just like I did. Some wanted to work in an NFL front office one day or run things in a recruiting office. There is that negative connotation that goes with it."

Do players party at night? Sure, that happens. 

Sometimes—as was the case during the Colorado scandal in the mid-2000s that cost former head coach Gary Barnett his job in Boulder—sex and alcohol are present in places where recruits hang out during visits.

During game days, the duties of a hostess are rather straightforward.

An itinerary is created based on the specific desires and goals of a prospect but for the most part, game day includes a sample of campus life, experiencing the traditions that make the school great and a trek down to the field as the players prepare for the game.

"We arrived [at the facility] four hours before game time to meet our recruit and their family, coach or whoever they brought as their guest," Martin said. "From there, we would eat either lunch or dinner depending on the time. We would get on the bus, ride to the stadium, stand down on the field during warmups and then go up to a suite for a snack before going to our seats."

That might sound easy, but when a large group of people who might be unfamiliar with the stadium, campus and crowds that accompany both on game day, it's a logistical nightmare. Hosts play an integral part of moving along the process.

"People probably don't realize this, but we have something like 150 tickets reserved each weekend for game-day recruiting," Bielema explained. "So 'Johnny B. Goode' comes on campus, and he's entitled to three tickets. Not only does he need guidance, but his guests need guidance, and they have to be herded through a huge amount of traffic. You can't just lay out two yellow ropes and guide them to their seats."

On top of the logistical issues that go along with the orchestrated chaos of official visits, hosts are also charged with keeping an eye on potential NCAA violations.

"You have people trying to get at them who we know we can't let them get at them," said Bielema, whose program, like many nowadays, employs both male and female recruiting hosts. "A highly recruited kid is recognizable, and you don't want a donor grabbing him. You would be blown away with the amount of detail our recruiting department goes through just to avoid potential NCAA violations.

"One time, at my previous institution, I had a tackle, Joe Thomas, who was a great player, first-round draft pick, an unbelievable player in the NFL. He just happened to be on campus in the offseason with his wife playing in the sand volleyball game. My O-line coach is walking with a recruit and literally ran into him, unplanned. We had to turn that in as an NCAA violation. I mean, how much sense does that make?"

It isn't just first-round draft picks or the donors that hosts need to be on the lookout for, though.

"The NCAA is stiff," Anderson explained. "I had an official visitor one time who wanted to call home and needed to use my phone. I told him that he couldn't do it because he doesn't pay for the minutes."

Typically, once the game wraps up, hosting duties are done and prospects on official visits are handed off to their player hosts.

"If it was a night game, it'd be an all-day tour," Eikmeier said. "If it was an afternoon game, typically we would be responsible for the time before the game and not always after the game. It just depended on the schedule and what the football [office] has planned for them, because they have player hosts as well. Sometimes the player host would take over responsibilities after the game."

How do players get matched up with specific hostesses?

Sometimes high-profile players will request specific hostesses, as former blue-chip running back Bryce Brown did with Earps, according to Benedict and Keteyian. But that's largely out of the hands of the hosts and hostesses.

"That was all decided by people above me," said Eikmeier. "The coordinators for the football department would figure out who's coming in, organize the tour and who were the hosts for those recruits and set up all of the specific stops along the tour."

At Rutgers, according to Donohue, hosts and hostesses are in charge of different areas and show recruits around based on when they arrive on campus. Some hostesses escorted players through Scarlet Walk, others pointed out other traditions around the school, while others waited at will call to make sure that each visitor gets the appropriate number of tickets and sideline passes.

In fact, hosts and hostesses sometimes serve a greater purpose for the parents or guardians of the prospect, rather than the prospect himself.

"Everybody thinks we're trying to do it for the 17- or 18-year-old young man, but it's that parent who can ask a question to another student that they'd never ask a full-time employee or a coach," Bielema said. "We'd get better feedback from our hosts because those hosts are not viewed as a coach or an employee."

It's a system that's mutually beneficial for the player and host. Prospects get an in-depth tour of the school, and hostesses get to meet prospects and families from various backgrounds, each with different goals for themselves and their families.

"The same thing applies in the workplace," Martin said. "You're going to be put in all different kinds of situations and meet different people constantly, and it's important to be able to communicate and relate to them."

For some, it's also a chance to give back to the school they love and be part of the team. 

Martin comes from a Georgia family that bleeds red and black. Her role as a hostess added extra meaning to national signing day and games that involved players who she hosted.

"My parents are big fans and season-ticket holders, and follow [recruiting] very well," she said. "So they'd be really excited for me when players I knew committed, and made national signing day very special.

"It’s really exciting knowing that you had a tiny little part in making their experience a good one, and if they end up coming to the school that you want to do well. It’s exciting and a proud moment knowing that you had a part in that."

Had a part in it, even if it comes with a negative perception that isn't reality.

"Think of the young lady that wants to be a host," Bielema said. "She doesn't want that image out there. She's doing it for the love of her school and maybe [to] put it on her resume."


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

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

Read more College Football news on

CFB Recruiting 200: Top 12 Safeties

After thorough study using specific scoring criteria, Bleacher Report recruiting analysts Sanjay Kirpalani and Tyler Donohue have graded the top 200 players in the 247Sports Composite Rankings and provided in-depth analysis. As national signing day draws near, Bleacher Report provides a position-by-position breakdown of the best college football recruits. Today, we present the Top Offensive Tackles. 

Other Positions 

Safety is a position that has become a valued commodity in the college game today.

Players at the spot have to be versatile enough to cover receivers and tight ends, and they have to be physical defenders in run support. 

The 2015 group has a number of elite athletes, headlined by 5-star Florida State pledge Derwin James, who is the No. 6 player overall in the 2015 class.

The latest batch in Bleacher Report's CFB 200 series will focus on safeties, scoring them on their abilities in key metrics such as ball skills (20 points), tackling (30 points), run support (25 points) and pass coverage (25 points). The cumulative figures from those traits resulted in our overall grade of each prospect. 

How does the 2015 group of safeties stack up?

*All analysis from Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Sanjay Kirpalani. All rankings courtesy of 247Sports Composite Rankings

Begin Slideshow

Georgia Football: 5 Things That Must Change for the Bulldogs to Improve in 2015

The Georgia Bulldogs finished the 2014 season strong with a win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl. They ended the year with a 10-3 record and a Top 10 finish in both polls.

That looks good on paper, but the Bulldogs know they could have accomplished more if they did not come out flat against the South Carolina Gamecocks and Florida Gators. However, the Bulldogs will have a strong nucleus coming back in 2015, and they should be a favorite to win the SEC East and possibly the entire conference.

But in order for that to happen, there are a few areas the Bulldogs need to improve in to be a better team this upcoming season. Here are five things that need to change in order for the Bulldogs to improve in 2015.

Begin Slideshow

Senior Bowl 2015: Rosters, Top Prospects for College All-Star Game

The 2015 Senior Bowl game doesn't take place until Saturday, but the most valuable action takes place in the many practices leading up, as NFL scouts get an up-close look at every single prospect.

What these players do during Saturday's game obviously will have a lasting impact, but the first and second impressions are already being made for top prospects and sleeper picks alike. The predraft season is a crazy time in which prospects see their stocks plummet and soar in the span of a few months, and it all begins with college all-star events such as the Senior Bowl.

Bleacher Report's NFL analysts Matt Miller and Matt Bowen are on hand in Mobile, Alabama, and shared their early impressions from Day 1 of practice:

This year's roster includes some notable players who move the needle, but they may have trouble translating to the NFL—such as Alabama quarterback Blake Sims or Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall. But for now, let's look at some of the top prospects in the game who should be destined for early Round 1 selections.


2015 Senior Bowl Information

When: Saturday, January 24 at 4 p.m. ET

Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

TV: NFL Network


Note: Team rosters courtesy of the Senior Bowl official site.


Senior Bowl Top Prospects

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

One of the later risers among another loaded crop of offensive linemen, LSU's La'el Collins has a golden opportunity to distance himself from some fringe first-round players at his position in Mobile.

After a star-studded senior year with the Tigers that had him pancaking the SEC's best edge-rushers down after down, Collins already emerged as Miller's second-best offensive tackle on his big board and the No. 14 overall prospect. But a pair of other standout linemen in Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings and Colorado State's Ty Sambrailo got early second-round grades from Miller and could steal the spotlight if Collins struggles.

That's not to be expected, however. In fact, Miller noted how Collins has already gotten started dominating the field:

Seeing a player with as high of a draft stock as Collins in the Senior Bowl is truly a rare occurrence, but Mike Loyko of noted how it's certainly not hurting the LSU product's case:

Already looking the part of a can't-miss prospect, Collins just might give Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff a run for his money for the top spot at their position if he shows up the competition in Mobile.


Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Danny Shelton just continues to make more and more fans as he looks to stake his claim as perhaps the best interior defensive tackle in the draft class.

OK, that title may be all but secured by USC junior Leonard Williams. But nobody in Mobile can touch Shelton's impact, and he's having no problem wowing folks heading into the Senior Bowl.

The first and most striking statement Shelton made in Mobile this week was on the weight scales, weighing in at a behemoth-sized 343 pounds, as Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples noted:

Teams that have one know it, and teams that don't know it even more, but one thing is apparent in today's NFL—you need an impact nose tackle, if not a pair of impact defensive tackles, to succeed in the trenches. We see players carve out a role simply due to their size, but they don't last in the league unless they can move along with it.

Shelton certainly can move, with noticeably quick feet that make him impossible to guard one-on-one. He may not make an impact on every down, but he can surely plug up the run as Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network noted:

With every tip of the weight scales and jaw-dropping rep, Shelton is seemingly moving his way into the first half of Round 1.


Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

Thanks to a weak crop of inside linebackers in this draft class and his own emergence, Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman is bound to start shooting up draft boards.

Miller only has one inside linebacker with a Round 1 grade, but Perryman comes in not far behind as the No. 3 overall player at his position and No. 43 overall. Not bad for a 5'11" player, noticeably undersized for his position.

But while he'll never be mistaken for tall, his instinct-driven play and aggressive nature coming downhill to stop the run make him a no-brainer to translate well to the next level. He tends to make people notice him often with his hard-hitting style, as told by Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke, who is on hand in Mobile:

Midway through the South practice, the crowd in attendance let out a collective cheer, leading to this exchange between two scouts in front of me:

'What happened? I missed it.'

'Perryman blew somebody up. Probably happens a lot.'

For those doubting Perryman's size, look no further than a similar player selected in last year's draft—49ers linebacker Chris Borland. Also 5'11", Borland was a third-round pick in 2014 and surprised many, and he absolutely exploded as a rookie with 107 tackles despite starting the season buried on the bench.

Don't be shocked if Perryman—almost identical in size and playing style—follows in Borland's footsteps wherever he lands.

Read more College Football news on

Former College Football Coach and NFL Player Ray Nagel Dies at Age 87

Ray Nagel, who served as the head football coach at Iowa and Utah in addition to athletic director stints at Washington State and Hawaii, died last Thursday. He was 87.

His daughter, Nancy, confirmed Nagel's death to The Associated Press. Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser spoke with a family friend who confirmed Nagal's health had been deteriorating since 2013 and his death was of natural causes.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Nagel was a local star before spending his collegiate days at UCLA playing halfback and quarterback. He also spent one year coaching and playing with the Chicago Cardinals of the early NFL before moving full time into coaching in 1954.

An assistant at Oklahoma and UCLA, Nagel took the head coaching position at Utah in 1958, lasting a solid eight seasons. He led the Utes to a 1964 Liberty Bowl victory and finished his tenure with a 42-39-1 record before taking the Iowa job.

At Iowa, Nagel lasted five largely unsuccessful seasons. He went 16-32-2 before being let go, never finishing better than 5-5.

After leaving the Hawkeyes, Nagel spent the remainder of his professional career in administration. He was the athletic director for Washington State from 1971-76 and then took over Hawaii's programs from 1976-1983. He also spent time with the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and was the executive director of the Hula Bowl from 1990-95.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on

Why the St. Louis Rams Must Draft Dorial Green-Beckham

The "Greatest Show on Turf" featured one of the most potent passing attacks in football history, but the St. Louis Rams have been inept in that department ever since. The addition of a potentially elite wide receiver, such as Dorial Green-Beckham, could help the franchise rekindle that lost aerial excitement.

The attack was fueled by two great receivers—Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt—and the drop-off was enormous after both players exited their prime years.

Between 1999 and 2006—which extends slightly beyond the "Greatest Show on Turf Era"—the Rams averaged 270.4 yards per game on average. During that stretch, the Rams never finished below fifth in the NFL in passing, and the team finished with the No. 1 passing offense for three consecutive seasons from 1999 and 2001.

Since 2007, the Rams have averaged just 195.9 passing yards per game, and St. Louis' passing offense has finished no higher than 18th (2012).

Other factors have certainly contributed to the decline, but the lack of talent at the receiver position has been one of the major setbacks. In fact, if you look at the top 10 passing offenses of 2014, all of them possess at least one receiver who can be considered top-tier (other than Keenan Allen of San Diego, who had an off year and played in less than 14 full games):

  1. Indianapolis Colts: T.Y. Hilton (82 Catches, 1,345 Yards)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown (129 Catches, 1,698 Yards)
  3. New Orleans Saints: Jimmy Graham (85 Catches, 889 Yards), Kenny Stills (63 Catches, 931 Yards)
  4. Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas (111 Catches, 1,619 Yards)
  5. Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones (104 Catches, 1,593 Yards)
  6. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremy Maclin (85 Catches, 1,318 Yards)
  7. New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. (91 Catches, 1,305 Yards)
  8. Green Bay Packers: Jordy Nelson (98 Catches, 1,519 Yards)
  9. New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski (82 Catches, 1,124 Yards)
  10. San Diego Chargers: Keenan Allen (77 Catches, 782 Yards)

Also, the elite quarterbacks of this league—Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck—all have at least one of the above receivers to throw to.

Top-notch quarterback play certainly makes receivers look better than they actually are, but it can be the other way around as well. Good receivers can make a middle-of-the-pack passer become a top-10 NFL quarterback.

Sam Bradford can elevate his receivers to a degree. Both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson were solid contributors in St. Louis, but both receivers have declined since leaving the team. However, Bradford is incapable of elevating receivers the way Manning, Brady, Rodgers and Brees can.

If the Rams can move on from mediocrity and provide Bradford with a truly remarkable talent at the receiver position, such as Green-Beckham, the passing offense will surely flourish in a way we haven't seen since Holt and Bruce were wearing the horns.


Dorial Green-Beckham: Is His All-Pro Talent Worth the Gamble?

With Green-Beckham, the talent is hardly the biggest concern. He's impressive on the field, and no one denies that—at least, not anyone who's seen him play or knows anything about him.

It's the off-field troubles that will make teams reluctant and send Green-Beckham's draft stock into limbo. The legal concerns are both numerous and troubling.

It started off with a 2012 arrest for marijuana that resulted in a one-game suspension for Green-Beckham while with the University of Missouri, according to The Associated Press' Alan Scher Zagier (h/t The Huffington Post). Then, in 2014, Green-Beckham was arrested for another incident related to marijuana, according to USA Today, but he claimed the drugs did not belong to him, and he hasn't been charged.

Concerns with marijuana are common enough and considered minor in some cases, but Green-Beckham's final alleged off-the-field meltdown in 2014 ultimately ended his NCAA career.

According to The Associated Press (via, an alleged heated confrontation between Green-Beckham and his girlfriend reportedly ended with him injuring a female (a friend of the girlfriend) by giving her a two-handed shove down several stairs.

Green-Beckham was dismissed from Mizzou following the alleged incident, though no arrest was made and he wasn't charged. He transferred to Oklahoma for the 2014 season, but the NCAA never allowed him to play a down.

Given the NFL's issues with domestic abuse, the reported incident between him and his girlfriend will raise red flags and rightfully so.

Even so, some NFL team is going to overlook the off-field concerns and take a gamble on him. The Rams will have to carefully consider their options and decide if they should be that team.

While it's important for teams to take moral stands and keep things in perspective, we must also remind ourselves that this is a league of redemption and second chances. Just ask Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Tyrann Mathieu and countless others.

Though Green-Beckham has only been found guilty of trespassing (related to his first arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession), a lot will depend on his predraft interview with Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead. If they determine that Green-Beckham won't have any more off-field problems, then he deserves to be on the team's draft board.

After all, Fisher has a reputation for controlling questionable characters and getting them on the proper track.

The team drafted Janoris Jenkins in the second round of 2012, and his draft stock suffered from his own marijuana concerns. Since then, Jenkins has been a professional and hasn't caused any problems off the field. The Rams took a similar risk with Kenny Britt in free agency, and not only has Britt excelled, but he has developed into a team leader.

Green-Beckham is from Missouri. Keeping him in-state with his family and support system intact, while remaining under Fisher's watchful eye, could reignite his career in a big way.

As for his contributions on the field, there's no question that drafting Green-Beckham will immediately pay dividends, as long as he keeps his head straight. He's the rare, elite talent the Rams have been trying to pair up with Bradford for years.

It's still hard to say where the Rams should target him in the draft. There are two likely scenarios that could have Green-Beckham wearing horns:

1. If the elite and obvious selections at No. 10 overall—Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Amari Cooper—are all unavailable, it wouldn't be hard to argue that Green-Beckham is the best overall player at No. 10.

2. If Green-Beckham's stock suffers and he slips to the back end of the first round, it would not be unwise for St. Louis to trade back into the first and grab him.

Green-Beckham will have to blow teams away at the combine (not just on the field, but in the interviews as well). If that happens, he's a legitimate first-round pick and will likely be viewed as one of the best pure receiver prospects since A.J. Green and Julio Jones.

If the Rams snag a receiver of that caliber, the aerial drought we've witnessed since the end of the "Greatest Show on Turf" could come to a sudden end.


Steven Gerwel is the longest-tenured Rams Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and serves as the Rams' game-day correspondent. You can find more of Gerwel's work by visiting his writer profile or by following him on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on

Nebraska Football: It's Not About If Mike Riley Wins, It's About How

Bo Pelini never lost more than four games in one season as Nebraska's head football coach.

As the Associated Press reported back in November (via USA Today), Pelini was 66-27 during his tenure with the Huskers. It was the "highest win total for a Nebraska coach through his first seven seasons and one more than Hall of Famer Tom Osborne had."

His firing prompted questions, like the one Berry Tramel of asked in December. "Why is Bo Pelini out of a job and Kirk Ferentz isn't?" That was only one question of many.

For a lot of folks, Pelini's dismissal was perplexing. How could you fire a coach who wins at least nine games every season?

The answer is simple. Pelini being fired actually had very little to do with how many wins and losses he had and everything to do with how he won and lost. That's what most fans think, at least. It also appears to be how the University of Nebraska was thinking, too, as displayed in a statement made after leaked audio of Pelini speaking with his former players surfaced, per

His habitual use of inappropriate language, and his personal and professional attacks on administrators, are antithetical to the values of our university. His behavior is consistent with a pattern of unprofessional, disrespectful behavior directed by Mr. Pelini toward the passionate fans of Nebraska, employees of the university and, most concerning, our student-athletes. This behavior is not tolerated at the University of Nebraska and, among many other concerns, played a role in his dismissal.

Nebraska's new head coach, Mike Riley, seems to be the opposite of Pelini. In fact, the national media made it clear how beloved he is when the news broke that he would be coaching the Huskers.

Riley fit athletic director Shawn Eichorst's wish list, too. After Pelini was fired, Eichorst made it clear what mattered most in the next coach.

"I want us to compete for Big Ten championships and national championships," Eichorst said, per "But those pursuits are meaningless unless we do it the right way: with class, sportsmanship and integrity."

That's what Riley brings to the table. Of course he'll want to win. What coach wouldn't? The difference that Eichorst and Nebraska fans are betting on is that Riley will handle the losses differently than Pelini did.

As's Mitch Sherman noted, Pelini was consistent, but that wasn't all he was. "Consistent yet volatile," Sherman wrote. "It's a bad mix anywhere, especially in conservative Nebraska. "

As for Riley? He's anything but volatile. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports called him likable, approachable, smart and competent. Steve Gress of the Corvallis Gazette-Times told NET News that Riley is a "genuinely good person." Most fans feel the same.

“I think it will be good for the program,” Nebraska fan Mike Johnson told Chris Peters of the Omaha World-Herald. “We need somebody with good leadership, somebody that can recruit really good and bring some talent here.”

Nebraska also needs a coach who won't lose the big games in explosive fashion. Even if things don't go the Huskers' way, it seems unlikely Nebraska fans will find Riley on the sideline swinging his hat at a referee. That's what matters.

Ask a Nebraska fan what is most important and winning will likely be high on the list. However, doing it with class won't be far behind. For Riley, that's what it's all about.

Fans shouldn't expect a perfect season out of the new head coach, especially not right away. What fans can, and should, expect is someone to live by the words engraved on the outer walls of Memorial Stadium.

"Not the victory but the action." 

Read more College Football news on

Oregon Football: How Royce Freeman Can Enter Heisman Contention in 2015

The Oregon Ducks may have lost their Heisman Trophy winner, but there may be another contender in Oregon’s backfield next season.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s first ever Heisman winner, will be taking his talents to the NFL next season. Mariota, if he had chosen to return next season, would have had a chance to become the second player ever to win two Heismans.

The next Heisman contender up for the Ducks wears No. 21. His name is Royce Freeman.

As a true freshman in 2014, Freeman quickly established himself as Oregon’s most powerful running back. On the season, Freeman ran for 1,365 yards—ranked No. 27 nationally—and scored 19 touchdowns, an Oregon freshman record. In fact, Freeman’s 19 touchdowns rank No. 3 all-time at Oregon behind Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James, each of whom scored 21 touchdowns.

Oregon running backs have found tons of success in the “blur” offense, first introduced by former offensive coordinator and head coach Chip Kelly in 2007. The Ducks have ranked in the top 22 of rushing offense each of the past eight years, including seven consecutive top-10 finishes from 2007-2013. 

The only time that the Ducks didn’t finish in the top 10 in rushing offense was this past season. While that may jump out at you, remember that Oregon’s offense revolved around a Heisman-winning QB in 2014.

Now, with Mariota out of the picture, the Ducks should put more of an emphasis on the ground game. If they don’t, they may not continue to be one of the best programs in the country.

Oregon’s QB situation next season is cloudy at best. If Oregon wants to once again win the Pac-12 title and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff, the Ducks must make Royce Freeman the star of the show. 

The odds are steep, but it’s not impossible for a team to have back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners. Four schools have accomplished this feat before, though only three schools have accomplished it with two different players. 

In 1936 and 1937, Yale accomplished the feat with Larry Kelley and Clint Frank. Nine years later, Army pulled off the back-to-back with Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis. In 1974 and 1975, Archie Griffin of Ohio State became the first and only player to repeat as the Heisman. Lastly, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush of USC won the award in 2004 and 2005, though Bush’s award was eventually stripped and vacated by the NCAA.

So, what does Freeman need to do in order to become a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and pull off the first back-to-back in a decade?

Well, based on how running backs have won the award in the past, he’s going to need to have a season for the ages, and the Ducks are going to have to be one of the best teams in the country.


Heisman Running Backs

Since 1994, only six running backs have been awarded college football’s highest honor. Moreover, only two running backs have won the Heisman Trophy since the turn of the century.

It’s becoming much more difficult for running backs to win the award; however, it’s not impossible.

Here are the stats of the six running backs who have won the award over the past 20 years:

Every Heisman-winning running back since 1994 has eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark, except for Mark Ingram in 2009. What Ingram had going for him was that Alabama was undefeated and he was clearly the best player on the team.

Based on these statistics, it's reasonable to say Freeman is going to need run for around 2,000 yards and score more than 20 touchdowns, and the Ducks are going to need to be a Top Five team.

Winning the Heisman Trophy requires a little bit of luck, especially as a running back. You not only need to be on a fantastic football team, as evidenced by the record of the Heisman Trophy running backs, but you also need to be at your best in a year in which there are no quarterbacks who stand above the rest.

There have also been some running backs who’ve come close to winning the award in recent years. In fact, some of these backs have had seasons for the ages and still fallen short of winning the Heisman Trophy for one reason or another.

Here’s a look at four running backs who finished second in the Heisman voting over the past 10 seasons:

Melvin Gordon's season from 2014 clearly stands out here. Gordon lost the award for two reasons. One, his team wasn't truly in contention for a spot in the CFP, and two, there was some guy named Mariota who had one of the best seasons in college football history and happened to play on a team destined for the College Football Playoff. 

Freeman faces some stiff competition next year, as the group of quarterbacks who may be in contention for the Heisman looks pretty deep. Players like TCU's Trevone Boykin, Ohio State's Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett, USC's Cody Kessler and others are more likely to get preseason Heisman buzz.

In order to win the award, a running back must unequivocally be the best player on a team that is one of the best in the nation. 

If Freeman is to be in contention for the award in 2015, the Ducks must win the Pac-12 title and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff, and he must be absolutely dominant in each and every game.


The Future

Freeman is a gifted, powerful runner who absolutely tore up Pac-12 defenses in 2014 once he was given the role as Oregon’s primary back.

After Oregon lost its only regular-season game to Arizona on Oct. 2, Freeman was handed the reins to the starting job. In each of the next eight games, all played against Pac-12 opponents, he registered 98 or more yards in every game, averaging over 119 yards per contest. In those eight games, he scored 11 rushing touchdowns.

However, something happened to Freeman after the Pac-12 Championship Game. While the emergence of sophomore Thomas Tyner certainly played a part in Freeman’s diminished role, it is also worth noting that Freeman, a true freshman, had never played as much football in one season as he did in 2014. Fifteen games is a lot to ask from any player, let alone a kid right out of high school.

In Oregon’s two bowl games—the Rose Bowl and CFP National Championship—Freeman only rushed for 66 yards on 22 carries, though he did score twice against Florida State.

In order to become a legitimate Heisman contender, he is going to need to find a way to have a more consistent year. He’s also going to need to save his most impactful performances for the big stage against top opponents.

There will be no shortage of national stages for him to shine on. Oregon’s 2015 schedule is littered with highly regarded opponents and nationally televised games. For starters, Oregon will travel to Michigan State on Sept. 12, their second game of the season. 

Freeman burst onto the scene last year against the Spartans, as he rushed for 89 yards on 13 carries, including two touchdowns—one of which clinched the game for the Ducks. That’s the game in which he proved he was ready for the spotlight. 

This time around, he’ll be looking to show he’s a Heisman contender.

As the season progresses, Oregon will have to face the likes of Utah, Washington, Arizona State, Stanford and USC. All five of those games will present Freeman with the opportunity to strut his stuff, especially the late-season games against the Cardinal and Trojans.

If he can carry the Ducks through that late-season gauntlet and into the Pac-12 title game, he may find himself with a ticket to New York.

The odds of Royce Freeman capturing the second Heisman Trophy in school history are likely astronomical. However, there’s little doubt he is talented enough to be considered for the award.

Freeman is going to need to put up monster numbers along the way and get a little help from other candidates around the country. If he is able to lead the Ducks to a Pac-12 title and a second consecutive berth in the College Football Playoff, all bets are off.

Another Oregon Heisman run may be improbable, but it’s most certainly not impossible.


Statistics courtesy of unless otherwise stated. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise stated.

Jason Gold is Bleacher Report’s lead Oregon writer. Follow Jason on Twitter @TheSportsGuy33.

Read more College Football news on

Clemson Football: Offseason Goals for Tigers' Offense

During former offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ tenure, the Clemson Tigers found record-breaking success offensively. During his four seasons, the Tigers put up some of the best offensive numbers in school history, including having the highest scoring offense ever at Clemson in 2012.

Now Morris is gone, so where does that leave head coach Dabo Swinney and company?

Swinney immediately promoted Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott to serve as co-offensive coordinators, and it will be Elliott who calls the plays next season. The returning cast looks almost identical to that of this season, but how much of a factor will having a new offensive coordinator have?

The Tigers were above average this season offensively, but the kind of consistency that wins championships just wasn’t there. When quarterback Deshaun Watson was in the game, the offense was clicking and firing on all cylinders, but the Tigers struggled in the regular season with him injured.

So what will it take for the Tigers offense to get back to being one of the best in the nation? Here are three things the Tigers offense should be focused on this offseason.


A More Efficient Run Game

The Tigers were not consistent running the football this season. Wayne Gallman came on strong late in the year—finishing with three games over 100 rushing yards—but there were games when the Tigers couldn’t get much at all going on the ground.

That has to change next season if the Tigers want to compete for a national championship. Watson has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but the offense needs a solid running game to get things going.

Swinney’s group has plenty of potential at the position, so we should see improvements. Gallman, Tyshon Dye and Adam Choice all return as sophomores, and C.J. Davidson and Zac Brooks will provide veteran leadership to the position.

A lot of the problems with the run game were due to the fact that the Tigers just didn’t have enough healthy bodies up front. The offensive line was very thin from a depth standpoint, but this unit has a chance to recover physically and improve collectively this offseason.


Offensive Line

Speaking of the offensive line, it has to improve before the Tigers can consistently compete with the top teams in the country. The Tigers allowed 27 sacks this season, which was tied for 68th in the nation. Watson seems to have a very high football IQ, but any quarterback will make mistakes every now and then under pressure.

If the offensive line can get a strong push for the running game and give Watson time to utilize his many weapons, this unit could be scary good in 2015.


Develop the Backup Quarterbacks

I’m sure this area will receive much more attention this offseason with Brandon Streeter in as the quarterbacks coach, because this was an area that needed to be better in 2014. Tucker Israel and Kelly Bryant will both enter the picture in 2015 and compete for the backup job, along with Nick Schuessler.

Watson has missed time due to injury on three different occasions since coming to Clemson, so it’s unclear how he will hold up physically next season. The Tigers will need to have all of the backups prepared, because they may be relying on one of the true freshman signal-callers at some point during the year.

Read more College Football news on

Texas Football: Why Jay Norvell Is the Right Man for the Longhorns

The Red River Rivalry has added another layer to the heated battle on the field. After Texas head coach Charlie Strong let go of wide receivers coach Les Koenning, Strong decided to choose a familiar face as his replacement: former Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell.

Norvell comes to Texas after spending seven years in Norman coaching the Sooners. And he appears to be the type of coach the Longhorns offense needs. 

Norvell coached three of the most talented wide receivers in recent Sooners history—Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills and Juaquin Iglesias—and coached three Big 12 championship teams.

Norvell also coached for six years in the NFL and was a part of the staff who helped lead the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2003.

The new wide receivers coach has a lot to offer the Texas Longhorns. He has experience coaching spread offense, has proved to be a successful recruiter, understands what it's like to recruit against other Texas schools and has a proven track record of developing special offensive talents.

Offensive coordinator Joe Wickline was one of the only coaches who had experience game-planning against Big 12 opponents in 2014. Adding Norvell to the mix will help the offense and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson in more ways than one.

Now the Longhorns have two veteran coaches who understand what it takes to have successful Big 12 offenses. Norvell also has experience with the no-huddle, uptempo offense that utilizes a quarterback run game. In fact, one could argue Oklahoma was one of the first Big 12 schools to run the no-huddle, uptempo offense, and that type of offense is becoming the norm in college football today.

Norvell's experience with a quarterback run game should not be overlooked. Many Texas fans expect to see freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard under center in 2015 and one of Heard's biggest upsides is his ability to run the ball.

If Heard is the answer for Texas next season, Norvell's track record coaching quarterbacks who can run the ball will most likely come in handy.

It will be interesting to see how the offense changes in Year 2 with Norvell in the mix. But one thing is certain: Change needs to happen sooner rather than later.

If anyone watched the Longhorns play in 2014, he or she would know the offense was cringe-worthy and sometimes nonexistent. That may come off as an overexaggerated statement, but it's 100 percent accurate. 

The last time the public saw the Texas offense was in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, and it was not pretty. Texas struggled to move the ball all game against Arkansas, and at one point in the fourth quarter the Longhorns had more penalty yards than total offensive yards. 

The end result was a 31-7 loss in a game where the offense only managed 57 total yards.

It's clear change needed to be made, and Norvell could be a huge addition to the Longhorns' puzzle.

Between Wickline and Norvell, the Longhorns now have two coaches who not only understand what it takes to run offenses in the Big 12, but also what it takes to win championships in the conference. The duo combines for coaching four Big 12 title teams.

There is a lot of unknown that will follow the Longhorns offense next season, but adding Norvell to the mix is a step in the right direction for the future of the Texas offense.


Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.

Taylor Gaspar is Bleacher Report's featured columnist covering the Texas Longhorns. Follow Taylor on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar.

Read more College Football news on

Is 4-Star WR Damarkus Lodge Headed to the SEC or Texas?

For the past couple of weeks, it appeared as though 4-star Texas wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge was leaning toward either Ole Miss or Texas A&M as his future college home.

Then Wednesday happened.

Lodge made an unscheduled (to the masses) unofficial visit to Texas on Wednesday. Along with him: Texas A&M quarterback commit Kyler Murray.

And just like that, Lodge has successfully achieved mind-control status over everyone following his recruiting process. On Monday, most folks thought it was down to Texas A&M and Ole Miss, now we get to add the Longhorns to the list.

So who wins? Random, mid-week recruiting trips aren't made to troll the masses.  The Texas trip means something.  Question is, what? 

What We Know:

Fact: Here's what we know as fact: Lodge decommitted from Texas A&M in September, but the Aggies never turned their backs on the four-star receiver from Cedar Hill, Texas, and what was once a rocky relationship is now seeing smooth trails.

Fact: Lodge has always been a fan of Ole Miss. He has an official visit planned to Oxford this weekend. Ole Miss is something of a second home to Lodge, as his family is from Mississippi. He lived in Mississippi through middle school. Additionally, he has a former high school teammate there in WR Quincy Adeboyejo.

Fact: Lodge did admit to having interest in Texas after Cedar Hill won its second consecutive state championship in December. Baylor also has been a player in his process, and Lodge has watched what freshman K.D. Cannon has done in such a short time with the Bears.

Lodge, however, chose not to officially visit either Big 12 school. He still has one more visit available if he chooses to take it, and he has an open date for the weekend of Jan. 30.

While the Big 12 is a great spot for a star receiver, you have to wonder if the official visits will play a role in the final decision. With that said, Texas A&M and Ole Miss are still front-runners in his process. And if we're breaking down those schools, two questions arise.

Which school fits his game best? Which school fits his personality best?

If we're going with the first question alone, Ole Miss is the place for him. Lodge is a receiver who, while humble, is highly competitive, and he wants to be the primary receiving option in an offense. The Rebels finished the year with seven players recording double-digit receptions. Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, Vince Sanders, Evan Engram and Adeboyejo combined for 192 of Ole Miss' 258 receptions last season.

Compare those numbers to Texas A&M, a team that loved to spread the ball out to multiple receivers. Eighteen players recorded at least one catch for the Aggies this past season. Of those 18, Malcome Kennedy, Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones and Speedy Noil all had at least 46 receptions.

If Lodge can deal with sharing the ball, then this is where the second question comes into play. He has established friendships with quite a few Texas A&M recruits, commits and current players. He also has former high school teammates in WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez and linebacker Richard Moore, an early enrollee, in College Station. Moore was a Texas A&M decommit before recommitting just before leaving to College Station this month.

The trip to Austin for the Texas unofficial will be a topic of discussion until national signing day, but it will take a lot for the Longhorns to win the battle against Texas A&M and Ole Miss. It's definitely possible, but it won't be easy.

Read more College Football news on

Michigan Football: Can Wolverines Land 5-Star Iman Marshall?

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has made inroads with several premier prospects since his arrival, but none carry more clout than California cornerback Iman Marshall.

The 5-star recruit remains uncommitted two weeks shy of national signing day and reciprocated interest from the new Wolverines regime by traveling to Ann Arbor on Sunday for an official visit. Marshall followed up a two-day stay at Florida State with the journey north, where he was immediately greeted by the man who lured him to campus.

"Coach Harbaugh actually picked me up from the airport," he told Greg Biggins of

Marshall, the top-rated defensive back in 247Sports' composite rankings, is racking up frequent-flier mileage this month. Aside from trips to Michigan and Florida State, the Long Beach Poly High School standout is also set to visit LSU (Jan. 23) and Oregon (Jan. 30).

Despite not being a destination on his official visit itinerary, USC remains the perceived favorite to sign Marshall. He is projected to pick the Trojans by 98 percent of expert predictions in 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

Steve Sarkisian and company have welcomed him to the university frequently during this recruiting cycle, including multiple game-day visits last fall. USC views Marshall as an integral part of a final push that could also include commitments from fellow 5-star targets Rasheem Green (defensive tackle) and Osa Masina (linebacker).

However, he told Ryan Bartow of 247Sports he's still considering "everyone" in the aftermath of his time in Ann Arbor.

Although he appeared to lose interest in Michigan as things deteriorated in 2014, the Harbaugh hiring immediately piqued his interest.

"Coach Harbaugh going to Michigan is a game-changer," he told Allen Trieu of The Detroit News. "Obviously, he knows what it takes to get to the highest level. He has changed Stanford and the 49ers around."

Even before Harbaugh entered the mix, Marshall respected the program.

"The legacy of that team is known, and a degree from Michigan can take you places," he told me last summer.

He paid homage to that legacy Monday, posing in front of a photo that features legendary Wolverines defensive back Charles Woodson. Marshall donned the same Michigan jersey—No. 2—that the Heisman Trophy winner wore during his college career:

He also gained insight into the future of Michigan's defensive backs. Marshall discussed a possible pairing with top-ranked 2014 cornerback Jabrill Peppers, according to Biggins.

He was telling me what a great secondary we could have if I went there. He said he's actually moving to safety this year and the opportunity to come compete for a starting spot is wide open. I know nothing is ever given to you, especially at a place like Michigan but just knowing there's an opportunity there is all I'm asking for.

The opportunity is certainly there for the taking at Michigan.

Harbaugh understands he needs to boost a class that currently includes just six commitments and rates 95th nationally in 247Sports' composite rankings. A pledge from a player of Marshall's caliber would serve strong notice that things are on the upswing for the Wolverines.

Based on his admiration for Harbaugh and his willingness to spend time on campus halfway across the country from home, Michigan is suddenly a legitimate contender to swipe Marshall away from the West Coast.


Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on