NCAA Football News

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame football’s recruiting activity over the weekend was devoted to the Irish Invasion camp.

The Fighting Irish landed two commitments before the clock struck midnight on Friday, adding defensive back Jalen Elliott and wide receiver Kevin Stepherson—both Class of 2016 prospects.

Notre Dame also dished out a pair of offers earlier in the week, before the slew of prospects descended on Notre Dame Stadium to work out.

Each week, we’ll keep tabs on the new scholarship offers sent out by the Notre Dame coaches, tracking the recruiting process as the Irish focus their attention toward the 2016, 2017 and maybe even 2018 classes.

 

Malcolm Askew

Class of 2017 athlete Malcolm Askew received an Irish offer Thursday.

The McCalla, Alabama, native is the No. 26 athlete and No. 255 overall prospect in the country. Notre Dame joins Vanderbilt, Michigan State and NC State, among others, with its offer.

“It feels good to have that offer,” Askew told Irish247’s Tom Loy. “They have great tradition. I watched their spring game. I liked how they bounced around and got after it. I talked to (assistant) coach (Mike) Elston, and he said that all the defensive coaches loved me.”

Askew has taken unofficial visits to Georgia and Alabama in the past month.

“I feel like Notre Dame is going to end up high on my list,” Askew told Loy. “I’ll be up there later this summer and again in the fall. I know they graduated 97 percent of all African-American athletes. That’s really big for me, and it was nice to hear.”

 

Anthony McFarland Jr.

Class of 2017 running back Anthony McFarland Jr. received a Notre Dame offer Wednesday.

The 5’9”, 181-pound McFarland checks in as the No. 2 all-purpose back and No. 22 overall player in the country. Auburn, Alabama, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State are among the schools to offer the Hyattsville, Maryland, product.

“It’s another big one for me,” McFarland told 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow. “It’s one of the schools I grew up liking.”

 

Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting stats and information courtesy of 247Sports.com and all quotes obtained firsthand. Star ratings reflect 247Sports composite rankings.

Mike Monaco is the lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Predicting the Top 25 College Football Programs of the Next 10 Years

College football is perhaps the world's most unpredictable team sport. Programs come out of nowhere each season to contend for championships, and major powerhouses crumble under intense pressure. Major injuries, massive upsets and surprise coaching changes make the game even wilder.

So, with all that in mind, let's try to predict what will happen in the next 10 seasons!

Pinning down the future of a program is virtually impossible, but recent trends can be good guides for the future, even with the game's constant changes. In order to be a consistent power, teams usually have to recruit well—relative to their competition—and post plenty of wins year in and year out.

Here are this year's predictions of the Top 25 teams in college football for the next decade, which were chosen by average number of wins from the past five seasons, average recruiting class ranking from 247Sports' Composite measure and the directions the schools are trending at this point in time.

Debate this list in the comments below and predict the schools who will be the most likely—on paper, of course—to contend for national and conference titles for the next 10 years. 

Begin Slideshow

SEC Football: Predicting Conference's Top 2015 Stat Leaders

We are a few short months away from the start of the college football season, and this year, the SEC is sure to be filled with stars—both known and unknown—lighting up stat sheets with stellar play.

Last season, we saw Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott burst onto the scene and jump into the race for the Heisman Trophy with his dual-threat capabilities, freshmen defensive ends Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) and Derek Barnett (Tennessee) both surpass the conference's freshman sack record once held by Jadeveon Clowney and Ole Miss' Senquez Golson surprise everyone to lead the SEC and finish second in the nation with 10 interceptions.

Who will be the leaders in major stat categories in 2015? Our picks, based on talent, scheme and opportunity, are in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

Big Ten Football: Predicting Conference's Top 2015 Stat Leaders

The college football season is still more than two months away, but anticipation for the 2015 campaign is already building. That holds especially true in the Big Ten following the momentum built by the conference in last year's bowl season.

And while teams like Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and even Michigan have plenty to look forward to in the coming months, there are also several individual players with high expectations for 2015. Never has the Big Ten seemed so loaded with potential first-round NFL draft picks, nor has it possessed so many players capable of lighting up scoreboards and box scores alike.

With that in mind, here are my predictions for which Big Ten player will lead each major statistical category in 2015. Taken into account are the players' past performances, upcoming schedule, offensive/defensive systems and projected offseason development.

Begin Slideshow

Which Team Has the Most Lethal Offense in College Football?

Defense wins championships, but offense puts the people in the seats. Last year we had some explosive offenses that were shattering records left and right. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer debate who will have the most lethal offense in college football. 

Which team has the best offense in the country for 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Surprises and Disappointments for Oregon's 2016 Recruiting Class

The Oregon Ducks have long been a recruiting juggernaut. Head coach Mark Helfrich has taken the torch from Chip Kelly and landed some of the best talent in the country. 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by 247Sports' Justin Hopkins as they discussed all things Oregon recruiting. 

What other needs do the Ducks have? Check out the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Schools to Watch After Brodarious Hamm's Decommitment from Tennessee

Tennessee suffered a recruiting setback Monday, losing its grip on dominant offensive lineman Brodarious Hamm.

The 4-star prospect backed off a verbal pledge to the Volunteers that stood since April, according to Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports. His decision opens the door for other SEC programs to claim a commitment. 

Auburn particularly piques Hamm's interest. The 6'5", 320-pound tackle told Niebuhr he now considers the Tigers his new leader, going so far as to say a commitment could be "close."

It's a strong indication that Auburn is a heavy favorite moving forward and that his feelings toward the program probably played a pivotal role in his leaving Tennessee's 2016 class.

Hamm, a rising senior at Spalding High School in Griffin, Georgia, holds several scholarship offers. His list of options includes Alabama, Louisville, Mississippi State and LSU. 

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn welcomed him to campus last week. Hamm has a solid rapport in place with several Tigers assistants, including offensive line coach J.B. Grimes. 

"They told me they just really want me," Hamm told Niebuhr.

Auburn has always been part of the equation here, even after being edged out by the Volunteers for his initial pledge two months ago. Now at the start of summer, it would be a surprise if Hamm doesn't enter his senior season as a Tigers commit. 

Malzahn enjoyed an abundance of recruiting success in the Peach State during recent cycles, especially along the offensive front. He landed four linemen from Georgia last national signing day and now appears primed to add Hamm to that collection of blockers.

The in-state Bulldogs may ultimately emerge as Auburn's biggest threat.

Georgia extended an offer to Hamm when he was a freshman. He remains on head coach Mark Richt's radar two years later, despite sweeping changes on the Bulldogs offensive staff.

"I was surprised to get an offer from a school like Georgia during my freshman year, especially since I do not have that much film," he told Kipp Adams of DawgNation in 2013.

Hamm, rated 32nd nationally among offensive tackles in 247Sports' composite rankings, received a visit from Georgia assistant John Lilly this spring, just days after he spent time in Athens.

Chalk this one up as yet another head-to-head recruiting battle between the Bulldogs and Tigers. Auburn is out in front, but this chase could last longer than many expect if Georgia gains some momentum.

 

Recruiting info courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

B/R 5th Down: Texas, Alabama Help Their Community, Urban Meyer's Basement Floods

Editor's Note: The 5th Down captures the top social college football stories of the week. Because the long, grueling offseason is underway, we'll focus on things that make us laugh, think or maybe cry, but mostly laugh. 

 

1. Texas Football Players Help Clean Up Town Affected by Flooding

By now, it should be clear that 5th Down is all about having a good time and not taking things so seriously. Sports are fun and not really worth getting too worked up over. There's a whole big world out there with everyday problems that people have to face, problems that make wins and losses in a football game trivial by comparison. 

Right now, there are a lot of people in Texas with some huge problems. Several areas, most notably Central Texas, were hit hard by flooding over the past month. One of the most affected towns was Wimberley, located a little less than an hour southwest of Austin. Over the weekend, members of the Texas football team volunteered to help the cleanup process, which you can view in the video below: 

According to Brent Carney of KXAN.com:

A UT official said this came together within the past few days. [Head coach Charlie] Strong organized the group and as it turned out, the house they were assigned to help in the cleanup is home to a big Longhorn fan who no doubt got quite a thrill and several awfully large helping hands. 

Well done by the Longhorns here. 

 

2. Also, Alabama Players Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity

Texas players weren't the only ones lending a helping hand over the weekend. Several Alabama players volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, constructing a home for those in need:

A lot of jokes are made about the trouble some athletes get into during the offseason, but there are plenty of others doing great work out there. While those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, it's heartwarming to see the latter. 

 

3. Urban Meyer's Basement Flooded

Unfortunately, there's more bad news out of Columbus in regard to recent flooding. The basement in the home of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer flooded overnight thanks to a deluge of rain, according to Meyer's wife, Shelley. You can view the photos of the damage below: 

Thankfully, the water has been cleared out, but that's a tough renovation project no one wants to undertake.  

 

4. Ohio State (and Fans) Have Fun with Father's Day

And, now, on to the lighter stuff.

Father's Day was Sunday and the players and fans over at Ohio State had a field day with it. 

Things started out innocently enough, with quarterback Cardale Jones thanking others for all the well wishes. Jones' daughter, Chloe, was born last November, so this is his first Father's Day: 

Then, things took a turn for the hilarious. Buckeyes safety Tyvis Powell tweeted out this outstanding Photoshop of him and Jones in a father-son role: 

Jones and Powell have taken some jabs at each other over the past several months about who, exactly, is "dad" in the friendship. This time, anyway, Powell seems to have the upper hand. 

And then there's this, which is simply too good not to share: 

Happy belated Father's Day to Jones...and Powell...and Meyer.  

 

5. Former Texas A&M Safety to Appear on 'Big Brother'

We're all about awful reality television here at 5th Down, so it was awesome to read last week that former Texas A&M safety Clay Honeycutt will be appearing on the upcoming season of reality show Big BrotherEdward Aschoff at ESPN.com had the details: 

The former Aggie, who appeared in nine games last season and recorded five tackles and forced a fumble, is set to join the cast of the hit CBS reality show "Big Brother." The show is in its 17th season, and by the looks of Honeycutt's profile, he'll be portrayed as the southern gentleman who isn't afraid to compete but also has a softer side.

Considering former Georgia baseball player Josh Murray, brother of former Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray, won The Bachelorette last year, the SEC has some good history on its side here. 

  

6. Your Newest All-Name Team Nomination: IV Seacat 

Meet IV Seacat, a 2015 All-Name selection and long snapper from Southlake Carroll High School (TX) who recently accepted a preferred walk-on role at Texas Tech. In an interview with Daniel Paulling of 247Sports, Seacat said he believes he'll be able to compete for playing time right away in 2016: 

Texas Tech was my number one option from day one. Their long snapper is a senior now, so I know it’ll be a great opportunity to come in and start as a freshman. It would be awesome if I could come in and compete for one of the linebacker positions, but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll be completely fine with long-snapping.

Below is Seacat's highlight video: 

 

7. This Tennessee Fan's Sand Castle Is Better Than Yours 

Now this is a fine piece of sand castle architecture. This required time, skill and probably some blueprints. In other words, get out of here with that weak sand castle bucket game, because when it comes to structurally sound buildings made of granular rock/mineral, go big or go home: 

According to WBIR.com, the middle portion of the stadium—the actual field—is made of wood. So, technically, it's a sand-wood castle, but it's summer, so we're not so concerned about #wellactuallys. 

 

8. And Now Here's Peyton Manning Leading an Orchestra in 'Rocky Top'

There's not much to add to this, but there is a very important question: Can Tennessee experiment with this for a year? Imagine a Joshua Dobbs touchdown followed by a classy arrangement of "Rocky Top." You'd have to wait and listen before politely applauding afterward, right? That would be the oddest football game ever. 

 

9. Here's Video of Braxton Miller Throwing 

The Ohio State quarterback is slowly but surely coming along in his recovery from a season-ending shoulder injury last year. A report earlier this month from Alex Gleitman 247Sports said that Miller had been fully cleared to throw. Now, we have some video evidence of that. It's not much, but it's something: 

Ohio State's three-way battle for the starting quarterback job with Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones is expected to pick up in preseason camp. 

  

10. Jim Harbaugh Loves Him Some Lil Wayne

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is a man of many passions, one of which is Lil Wayne. Harbaugh recently sent the rapper a signed jersey with the note, "To Wayne, proud to be a fan of yours, Go Blue!" 

Lil Wayne recently played a show at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. One of his opening acts was former Wolverines walk-on quarterback Jack Kennedy

 

11. Finally, Your College Football Burn of the Week

As you may recall, Texas recently approved beer and wine sales at football games for 2015. Given the current state of the Longhorns program, it's an easy target for jokes. Exhibit 1 is Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp, who had the following money quote about alcohol at UT games: 

That's what you'd call an arrow straight into the feels. Never mind that the SEC doesn't allow alcohol sales, this is beautiful. 

Of course, we're all about fairness at 5th Down, so allow Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday to retort:   

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. Ben is working on his "Big Brother" audition video @BenKercheval

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Which Big 12 Teams Are Legitimate National Title Contenders?

The Big 12 narrowly missed a chance to have a team in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but the conference is chock-full of teams that will be dangerous in the 2015 season. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer debate the contenders and pretenders from the Big 12. 

Which Big 12 team has the best chance to make the CFP? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football: Despite Roster Questions, It's Playoff or Bust

By now, you're probably well-versed on "Alabama problems."

You know, the tough task that head coach Nick Saban faces virtually every offseason of replacing departed 5-star studs with other 5-star studs, some of whom have spent the majority of their respective Crimson Tide careers acting as tackling dummies in practice and helmet holders during games.

Oh, the life of the best coach in college football.

This year, those roster holes are almost exclusively centered on the offensive side of the ball, where Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin have to replace nine starters from last year's SEC championship squad that earned a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff. 

Those nine starters, including Heisman Trophy finalist wide receiver Amari Cooper and veteran quarterback Blake Sims, were integral pieces of Saban and Kiffin's championship puzzle. 

On top of that, the secondary has been a massive problem in Tuscaloosa for the better part of two seasons. Last year, the Tide gave up 133 passing plays of 10 yards or more—the worst mark in the SEC.

But who are we kidding? This is Alabama, and of course it's "playoff or bust" for this year's Crimson Tide.

As BamaOnline of 247Sports pointed out earlier this month, there's plenty to be excited about regarding this Alabama team.

Kiffin proved in 2014 that he is not only the right man to lead the Tide offense, but that he can also bring along an inexperienced quarterback as the season progresses. Not only can he succeed, but he can also set records. The Crimson Tide posted the best offensive season in program history last year, when it averaged 484.5 yards per game.

Losing Cooper and Sims hurts, but whoever wins the quarterback battle is in good hands with Kiffin, and wide receivers ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster looked incredibly dangerous as spring came to a close. What's more, Saban hit the graduate transfer market for some experience outside with veteran former Oregon State wide receiver Richard Mullaney—who's eligible immediately.

Besides, it's not like SEC football is going to be new to these fresh faces on offense.

Running back Derrick Henry led the Crimson Tide in rushing last year with 990 yards but is still technically a new starter. Fellow running back/hybrid weapon Kenyan Drake is a senior who's played a ton of football. O.J. Howard has been more of a myth than reality during his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa because he's struggled as a blocker, but he established himself as one of the most dangerous receiving tight ends in college football a long time ago.

These are good players who not only have raw talent but have also shown it in big games for several years.

On the defensive side of the ball, the front seven should be one of the best in college football, the secondary should benefit from the arrival of defensive backs coach Mel Tucker and the return of established corner Cyrus Jones from an offseason injury that kept him out of spring practice should stabilize the defensive backfield.

Despite all of those roster questions, Alabama is still +700 in Odds Shark's odds on who will win the 2015-2016 national title—second only to Ohio State.

While teams like Ohio State, Michigan State and TCU aren't as littered with roster questions as Alabama, this is still college football—a sport that is littered with inconsistency created by young men who are still learning the game. That's why we love it, and that's why we live it.

On top of that, the two Big Ten national title contenders have to play each other, TCU has Baylor and several other tough tasks in the Big 12 and the Pac-12 South—led by USC and UCLA—looks as difficult as it has ever been.

Of course it's "playoff or bust" in Tuscaloosa. 

Saban has won 10 or more games for seven straight seasons as the head coach of the Crimson Tide, and he has established a culture of winning at an elite level that's unrivaled in this generation. Because of that, the talent on the roster and the all-star team of assistants Saban has lured to Tuscaloosa, anything short of a return trip to the CFP should be viewed as a disappointment.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Projecting College Football's 2015 All-Breakout Team

College football is a game marked by change. Each fall, players emerge from relative obscurity to find starring roles for the nation’s best teams and gain notoriety all their own. Soon enough, they graduate or leave early for the National Football League, and the cycle of replacement-to-star begins anew.

We’re always looking for that next breakout player, the guy who goes from unknown in August to the Heisman Trophy race by October. They’re out there again in 2015. It’s just a matter of finding them. Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan has his picks for breakout players right here.

Here’s the All-Breakout team for 2015, a group selected for their ability to make a difference this fall, thanks to the combination of talent, skills and opportunity. It might not be a perfect list, but it will have plenty of impact players included regardless.

Begin Slideshow

Tennessee Football: Volunteers' Most Important Players at Each Position

A player's importance can be measured in very identifiable traits, and the Tennessee football program has many who are necessary cogs, especially within the framework of what is supposed to be a breakout season.

From guys who the Volunteers would be lost without to others who need to live up to massive expectations in order for the program to, there are players at every position who are needed, relied upon, depended on.

It starts with quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who is arguably the most important player on the entire team. The whole season may depend on whether he stays healthy considering he has three true freshmen behind him on the depth chart. 

On one line, an upperclassman has to be the anchor of a shaky unit. On the other side of the trench, a player who has never taken a college snap must show flashes of the transcendent prospect many predict he'll be.

Head coach Butch Jones has assembled an extremely talented team on paper, but the fact is most of them are still freshmen and sophomores.

From the upperclassmen who must teach those young pups winning ways (when they've never won anything of consequence in college) to the youngsters who have to quickly play up to their recruiting rankings, the 2015 Vols are loaded with players who are vital to this program returning to respectability.

Let's take a look at the most important players at every position.

Begin Slideshow

Georgia Football: Bulldogs' Most Important Players at Each Position

Summer workouts are in full swing for the Georgia Bulldogs, but it won’t be long before all players must report to Athens to take part in fall camp. Once camp starts, the entire team has to be focused and ready for what could be a very rewarding 2015 season if everything goes according to plan.

There will be certain players for the Bulldogs that need to be on top of their games in order for the team to win consistently. Guys like Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, Quincy Mauger and Nick Chubb will have to play like they did in 2014, because if they don’t live up to expectations, it could be a long season at Sanford Stadium.

But are they the most important players on the team? If they really don’t play up to their standard, will the team really falter?

Here are the most important players for each position.

Begin Slideshow

Top 10 Nike Uniforms in College Football

Nike has undoubtedly become the juggernaut of college football apparel. 

From schools such as Oregon, Nike's guinea pig for new-age gear, to Texas, where the brand has maintained a strong sense to tradition while still advancing the technology of the uniform itself, Nike jerseys routinely trend on social media and captivate audiences. 

Let's check out Nike's top 10 uniforms in college football.

Begin Slideshow

Michigan Football: Jim Harbaugh Brings Whole New Style to Camps, Recruiting

There is something to be said about the way Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh runs a football camp. Whether it’s by way of satellite reach, or through a grassroots setup in his own backyard, he continuously puts on a show at every turn.

Just ask some of the parents. 

"Look at him: He's like a kid out there. I love it!" said one player's father during the "A4 Aerial Assault" camp this past Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. 

The definition of “hands-on," Harbaugh participated alongside—and nearly as often—with more than 100 athletes at the quarterback-centric event over the weekend. Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, along with former Wolverines stars such as Denard Robinson, Todd Collins and Elvis Grbac, dropped by to assist pods of college hopefuls.

Thanks to a wildly successful “Swarm Tour,” Harbaugh has become the talk of college football, all day, every day. While most media and coaches have praised his aggressive approach, he’s managed to make a few people uncomfortable, particularly Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Alabama’s Nick Saban, coaches who have each publicly opposed Harbaugh’s satellite camps.

Harbaugh can’t and won’t please everyone, and the groaning from the SEC proves that his plan is working.

With that being said, recruits can’t get enough of Jim Harbaugh, a man whose reputation for development, competition and constant search for excellence has commanded the attention of some of the nation’s top preps.

“You know, I thought the camp was awesome,” said Allan Walters of Paramus Catholic (New Jersey), a 2018 QB who ended the day with an offer from Michigan. “He brought in baseball, he brought in soccer, he brought in a bounce house, he brought—he just brought everything, just to see how you could compete.

“I thought it was actually really great because it was much different than any other camp. It was much different than doing the typical 1-on-1s, and it showed how much everyone wanted to compete. It was really fun. You got to compete against people in a non-typical way.”

Despite being a week removed from his freshman year of high school, the sophomore-to-be has been around the circuit long enough to know what to expect at events. He's attended the Elite 11 regionals and various Rivals camps, but up until Saturday, he had never experienced anything remotely close to Harbaugh’s mix of grounders, fly-balls, kicking soccer balls into lacrosse nets from more than 10 yards away, par-4 football/trampoline golf courses and bounce houses.

“I don’t think there is any better coach in college football for the quarterback position than Jim Harbaugh,” said Walters, who enjoys doing more than standard footwork and arm strength training. 

“[Harbaugh’s] just a guy who has great methods. He develops great people, great quarterbacks, great players and great character. I mean, you can go down the list; he’s coached Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick and many more. He just develops and gets the best out of you—physically, mentally and academically. He just wants to see the best in you.”

Two weeks ago, Walters “threw a couple of balls” in front of Wolverines passing coordinator Jedd Fisch during the “Lauren’s First and Goal” camp in Easton, Pennsylvania. Impressed by the 6’2”, 200-pounder’s arm, Fisch wanted another look, so he invited Walters to the “Aerial Assault.”

“I registered, paid and we planned the trip,” said Walters, who traveled by plane with his father. “The camp was well worth it.”

More than just interested, Walters is strongly considering Michigan as his collegiate destination. But he also holds offers from Rutgers and Temple, and schools such as Michigan State, Texas, Penn State, USC and UCLA could be options as well, according to his 247Sports profile.

He's fortunate enough to have plenty of time to plot his course.

“I’d like to go through the process, wait and make my decision by this time next year,” said Walters, who was one of the youngest campers in attendance on Saturday.

Prior to the break following the morning session in Ann Arbor, Grbac mentioned “a few young guys” who were going to be “really good” down the road. It’s safe to say that Walters was among those promising quarterbacks witnessed by Grbac.

Stories such as Walters’ could become commonplace for Harbaugh, who is redefining and re-personalizing the world of football recruiting camps. They’re not completely new ways of approaching the game by any means—he’s done this type of stuff for years—but he seems to be incorporating a little extra effort into the rebuilding of his alma mater.

He’s Harbaugh, rebooted—and that’s been evident throughout the past several weeks.

Harbaugh’s approval rating isn’t high among SEC coaches, but he’s building meaningful relationships with high school coaches in the region, such as T.J. Jackson of Atlantic High School in Del Ray Beach, Florida.

“I think it’s great for them to just travel around and not wait on kids to come to them, because a lot of kids don’t have the financial stability to do that,” said Jackson, who volunteered weeks in advance for the camp at the University of South Florida. Jackson said the tour greatly helped Michigan’s presence in the state.

Jackson already has one former star at Michigan in defensive end Shelton Johnson, an incoming frosh, and he’ll send another to Ann Arbor in 2016: 3-star cornerback Antwaine Richardson, who credited Harbaugh’s satellite camp for essentially discovering him.

Rashad Weaver of Cooper City in Ft. Lauderdale, a 2-star tight end/defensive end, said the same about the benefits of satellite camping with Harbaugh. Without the tour, he would have never been able to make such early contact with Michigan. During a recent phone interview, he jokingly said that the $40 registration fee was the best money his mother had ever spent.

Once offered, both Richardson and Weaver committed.

Like the players, Jackson was also impressed by Harbaugh, who was himself and that's it. His regular-guy persona has previously won over other recruits and coaches, and there was no need to change, Jackson said.

Recruiting and coaching is about treating people like people, not clients or nameless faces. It’s about showing mutual respect and displaying genuine interest. Harbaugh's planting Every Man seeds everywhere he travels.

The same Harbaugh who interacted with players during the “Swarm Tour” and “A4” camp was probably a lot like the one who stepped into the office of Houston Stratford High School coach Eliot Allen back in 2007, looking to recruit a kid named Andrew Luck to Stanford.

"There's a lot of really good recruiters that are out there," Allen said in January, per Bill Landis of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. "In terms of the head coaches, he had a little bit different demeanor than the other guys who come in. He's sort of like a kid in a candy store. He's a high energy guy. Kids like to see that in their leader."

Following the morning session Saturday, Harbaugh made his way to the stands to talk to parents of campers, the same ones who laughed and cheered while watching the Michigan coach pick throws off the turf during baseball drills.

Afterward, he took a few moments to answer questions and explain a few things to local media members. He quickly jumped at the chance to detail the significance of his baseball drills, which were designed to identify those with natural arms.

“You can take athletic reps doing just about anything…climbing a tree… there’s so many things," Harbaugh said. "Climbing a tree would be for balance, you know, the athletic reps. There’s athletic reps everywhere to be found...”

He wasn’t being figurative, either. He was being quite literal, and his “everything has a purpose” mode of operation should continue warping the mold of ordinary recruiting and coaching.

He'll host or travel. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and references were obtained firsthand by the writer via press conference, press release or other media availability.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

With the offseason camp circuit in full swing, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaching staff have been very busy over the last few weeks. The Buckeyes completed their third one-day camp of the summer on Friday—an event that brought a number of high-profile prospects to Columbus.

But that wasn't Ohio State's sole focus over the last seven days, as Meyer and the staff extended offers to a trio of new targets.

 

Paris Ford, 4-Star Safety (2017)

The week's first offer went out to Paris Ford, a talented defensive back out of Pittsburgh.

Ford is one of the hottest safety prospects in the Class of 2017, boasting an offer list that includes Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, UCLA and 11 others. The 6'1", 180-pound athlete is rated as the ninth-best safety and No. 144 overall prospect in the nation.

But where does Ohio State stand? According to Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors, Ford is very high on Meyer and the Buckeyes.

"I like Ohio State a lot," Ford said, via Birmingham. "They've always been in my top three."

The Buckeyes are checking in as a contender now, but according to 247 Sports' Crystal Ball, they're the favorite to land his commitment.

 

Cole Kmet, Unranked Tight End (2017)

Ohio State really wants to bring in a tight end for its 2017 class.

Last week, Meyer dished an offer to Matt Dotson, a highly touted pass-catcher out of Cincinnati. The Buckeyes followed that up by offering another tight end last Tuesday, keying in on Cole Kmet at their on-campus camp.

Ohio State joined an offer list that already included Baylor, Louisville, Iowa and North Carolina, but to Kmet, his latest offer stood out for a number of reasons, according to Charles Doss of Land Grant Holy Land.

All the schools that offered have great programs, but being able to see Ohio State was really amazing. When I think of OSU football I think of leadership, tradition, and making you better as a man. The facilities are amazing there. Also their life after football program really caught my attention cause I know football won't last forever.

Based on the current roster and the 2016 recruiting class—which already has a tight end commitment in Jake Hausmann—the Buckeyes will likely take just one tight end for their '17 class. Whether that's Dotson or Kmet remains to be seen, but Ohio State's strategy for the position is starting to take shape.

 

Terrance Davis, 4-Star Offensive Guard (2016)

Most of Ohio State's 2016 targeting efforts are already in the books, but Meyer is still keeping an eye out for elite prospects who could bolster this year's class.

That process led the Buckeyes to Terrance Davis, a mammoth 6'4", 305-pound offensive guard out of Hyattsville, Maryland.

Davis is one of the most sought-after linemen in the country. He ranks second at his position and 83rd overall for the Class of 2016, boasting offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

But all of those schools trail Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines, who currently have the lead for Davis' commitment, according to 247 Sports' Crystal Ball. That sentiment was reinforced by Barton Simmons of 247Sports, who reported that Michigan was the team to beat in Davis' recruitment. 

With how late Ohio State's offer came in, it will be very hard for Meyer to win over this recruit, who seems to be trending toward the Buckeyes' biggest rival.

 

All recruiting rankings and information via 247Sports.

David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Harold Brantley, Missouri DL, in Serious Condition After Car Accident

Missouri defensive lineman Harold Brantley was involved in a car accident on Sunday and is in serious condition at University Hospital in Columbia.  

Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star reported the news, indicating Mizzou women's basketball player Maddie Stock was a passenger in Brantley's car, which flipped over on southbound U.S. 63 at 1:55 p.m. Stock suffered minor injuries and is in good condition. Neither Stock, 21, nor Brantley was wearing a seat belt.

Rivals.com's Pete Scantleburyrelayedanofficial statement from university athletic department spokesman Chad Moller:

Harold was injured in a car accident this afternoon on Highway 63 south of town. He was taken from the scene to University Hospital and is being treated for injuries. I don't have specifics yet...But will certainly pass along what I can when it becomes available. We are hopeful that he will be OK.

Ashley Zavala of KRCG 13 posted a few images from the scene of the accident:

Per Palmer, head coach Gary Pinkel has compared Brantley to current New York Jets star and former Tigers standout Sheldon Richardson, which provides an idea of the type of talent Brantley is on the gridiron.

A rising junior, the 21-year-old Brantley made 10 starts this past season, racking up 54 total tackles and five sacks.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet Ronnie Stanley, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top OL Heading into Next Season

Had Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley declared for the 2015 NFL draft, he well might have been the first offensive tackle off the board. After deciding to return to school, he is now the favorite to be the top offensive lineman selected in the 2016 NFL draft.

After spending his first playing season at right tackle in 2013, Stanley had big shoes to fill last year as Notre Dame’s replacement for Zack Martin, a four-year starter at left tackle who went on to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft and a Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys in his rookie season.

As good as Martin was at Notre Dame and already is in the NFL, Stanley could be more highly regarded as a prospect. Unlike Martin, who was always projected to move inside because of his measurables, Stanley has the prototypical length and athleticism that NFL scouts covet in an offensive tackle prospect.

Given that, he could have gone even higher in the 2015 draft than Martin went in 2014 (No. 16 overall). As Stanley explained via a release by Notre Dame’s official athletics website, however, he felt as though he has unfinished business in South Bend before he moves on to the next level:

This was a difficult decision. My dream isn't just to play in the National Football League. I want to win a national championship. I've waited to this point so I could watch the actual game and see if I felt any emotion, and I felt a great deal. I am a competitor. I want to play on the top stage so I've decided that I'm returning to Notre Dame for my senior year.

We've got a chance to have a special season next year. Many of my teammates are returning and I've made strong bonds with lots of them. If all of them weren't coming back this year it would've made it an easier decision to leave. All this, the opportunity to graduate, and much more, led to my decision to stay.

Technically, Stanley still has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining. He is considered to be a senior by Notre Dame, which always lists its players by class year, but he is actually a redshirt junior from an eligibility standpoint.

Based on the quote above, though, it sounds like Stanley already has his mind set toward moving forward to the NFL in 2016. If he continues to perform as well this upcoming season as he did last year, he’ll be in high demand.

 

Dominant in Pass Protection

When NFL teams look for a franchise left tackle, they search for a player who can consistently handle pro-caliber pass-rushers on the edge and provide consistent protection for the quarterback’s blind side.

Stanley, after just two years as a collegiate starter and just one season on the left side, looks as though he could do that already.

From a physical standpoint, he has optimal measurables for the left tackle position. A long-limbed lineman who is listed at 6’5 ½” and 315 pounds by UND.com, Stanley is a former high school basketball player who combines the size of a behemoth with the feet of a ballerina.

Even more striking than his physical tools, however, is how fundamentally sound he is in using them. Despite his relative playing inexperience, he already has refined technique in both his upper and lower body.

Stanley consistently lands proper hand placement on his opponents, which enables him to lock out his long arms, absorb punches and keep pass-rushers at bay.

The rising senior’s footwork is also excellent. When pass-rushers line up wide, Stanley (No. 78) is able to employ his smooth kick-slide to get out in front of the edge defender quickly, like he did on the following play against Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker (No. 44, bottom of screen):

While Notre Dame allowed 28 sacks last season, according to CFBStats.com, that was mostly because its former quarterback, Everett Golson, often didn’t know when to get rid of the football.

Golson likes to use his feet to maneuver the pocket and create plays, and Stanley regularly gave him the pass protection he needed to do so. A player who can be trusted in one-on-one matchups, Stanley does an excellent job of fighting with his hands and sliding his feet to mirror a pass-rusher in isolation and keep his man away from the quarterback.

On the play below, also from last year’s Florida State game, Stanley showed that ability as he was able to mirror Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (No. 16, top of screen) for a good five seconds, buying time for Golson to dance around the pocket before ultimately completing a shovel pass.

Stanley’s foot skills make him a fit for any offensive scheme. Have a mobile quarterback and want to create a moving pocket to extend a play? No problem, as Stanley showed on the following example of pass protection (working toward bottom of screen) against Stanford:

If you watch Stanley’s entire game versus Florida State from last season, you will see many examples of his not allowing his opponent—specifically, 2015 second-round draft pick Mario Edwards Jr.—to even get off the line of scrimmage. He consistently gets out of his stance quickly, shuts down most pass-rushing moves and exhibits strength in holding his ground against bull-rushes.

When a pass-rusher does start to get momentum toward the quarterback, however, Stanley does not panic. He is adept at adjusting his angle mid-play to guide an opponent around the back of the pocket, like he did on the following matchup with Pugh (bottom of screen) to not only buy time for Golson but enable the quarterback to take off running for a first down.

As Stanley moves forward into the 2015 season, he can still work on becoming more consistent as he blocks the blind side for a new Notre Dame starting quarterback, Malik Zaire, this year. All in all, though, Stanley has no glaring weaknesses that should stop him from being a successful pass protector in the NFL.

 

Can Stanley Make an Impact as a Run-Blocker?

How teams feel about the answer to that question could make a difference in whether or not Stanley is the top-10 overall pick he has the potential to be. While his pass-blocking skill is outstanding for a player who still has two years of collegiate eligibility left, he has not shown that he can make the same sort of consistent presence in the run game.

Despite his size and strength, Stanley has not exhibited much ability to generate power. He rarely drive-blocks defenders more than a couple of yards off the line of scrimmage, and he often struggles to move his man backward at all.

To a similar extent, he does not regularly translate his athleticism into making downfield blocks in space, though he shows more potential in that regard.

A screen block is not precisely the same as a run block, but nonetheless, the following clip—on which Stanley blocked Florida State safety Tyler Hunter to lead Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller to an 11-yard touchdown—shows his potential to accelerate to the second level and impose his size upon a smaller defender.

Stanley does not consistently show that level of ability to find a defender in space and get a body on him, so he needs to improve in that regard.

 

Where Does Stanley Fit in the 2016 NFL Draft?

Altogether, Stanley needs to make strides as a run-blocker this upcoming season if he is going to solidify himself as one of the top prospects in the 2016 NFL draft.

The good news is that NFL teams tend to value pass-blocking ability, especially in a prospective left tackle, more highly than run-blocking ability.

Furthermore, a lack of power should not stop a team from drafting Stanley, especially if he shows development in that area in 2015. While he could continue to get stronger through hard work in the weight room, his length and athleticism are naturally inherited traits that many offensive tackles—even some who are already starting in the NFL—are unable to match.

Stanley’s top competition to be the first offensive tackle chosen in the 2016 NFL draft could be Ole Miss junior Laremy Tunsil. He has similar physical attributes to Stanley but is not quite as natural in pass protection and is also coming off a fractured fibula suffered in the Peach Bowl last season.

Other offensive tackles who project as potential first-round picks and could compete for draft position with Stanley and Tunsil include Ohio State senior Taylor Decker, Michigan State junior Jack Conklin, Baylor senior Spencer Drango and Texas Tech senior Le'Raven Clark.

Regardless of how those players or any other offensive linemen who might emerge as top prospects perform, Stanley should be one of the first players selected in the 2016 NFL draft assuming he declares, stays healthy and continues to perform at the high level he did last season.

In comparing Stanley to prospects from recent drafts, he does not yet project at the same elite level as the top two offensive tackles from the 2014 draft, No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson and No. 6 overall pick Jake Matthews. If he can take a leap forward as a run-blocker and have an excellent junior season, he could reach that level.

Within the 2015 draft pool, however, Stanley might have already given No. 5 overall pick Brandon Scherff a run for his money. As aforementioned, some draft analysts—including Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller—felt that Stanley would have been the top prospect at the position this past spring.

Adding to that, Miller also considers Stanley to be among a group of six prospects who stand out, in his opinion, as the top talents in the 2016 draft class.

All of those players (spoiler alert: you might see a few of them as our top-prospects-by-position series moves to the defensive side of the ball) have the potential to be among the top picks next spring.

Stanley’s case in comparison to some of the others, though, is not only bolstered by his skill set but also his position—left tackle—which is typically valued at a premium in the NFL draft.

 

This article is part of a series on the projected top prospects at each position for the 2016 NFL draft. Also read:

Meet Jared Goff, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top QB Heading into Next Season

Meet Ezekiel Elliott, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top RB Heading into Next Season

Meet Tyler Boyd, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top WR Heading into Next Season

Meet Evan Engram, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top TE Heading into Next Season

 

All GIFs were made at Gfycat using videos from Draft Breakdown and YouTube.

Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL Draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jim Harbaugh Sent Rapper Lil Wayne a Custom Autographed Michigan Jersey

Jim Harbaugh is apparently a big fan of Lil Wayne, so much so that he sent the rapper an autographed custom Michigan Wolverines jersey.

Harbaugh tweeted out a photo of Lil Wayne with rapper Jack Kennedy. Kennedy was a walk-on quarterback at Michigan from 2009 to 2012. Kennedy was one of the openers for "Big Show at the Joe" at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Friday night. 

Harbaugh penned the jersey with "To Wayne, proud to be a fan of yours, Go Blue!" 

Expect to hear Lil Wayne boom through the stadium speakers this upcoming season. 

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football: Power Ranking Top 10 RBs for 2015 Season

As difficult as it is to find playmaking quarterbacks on 2015 SEC football rosters, it's every bit as easy identifying stud runners.

The league is loaded with top-shelf tailbacks for the upcoming season.

From home run threats, to grind-it-out gamers, to a few guys who can do it all, this year's group may be the strongest stable of runners the conference has seen in several years.

So, who's the best, especially when the top three seem so interchangeable? When you look at Alabama's Derrick Henry, Georgia's Nick Chubb and LSU's Leonard Fournette, you know right away they're freaks of nature.

But they're also durable workhorses who will be forced to shoulder most of their teams' offensive loads this season with inexperienced or historically inefficient quarterbacks at the helm.

Then there are the two Arkansas running backs who belong high on the list. Everybody has a favorite between Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, but who ranks higher? How about Tennessee's super sophomore Jalen Hurd? Where does he fit?

There are numerous other former top recruits who have little or no sample sets of game reps, too. That played a factor in the rankings as well.

Considering past performance, elite potential and their dependability factor on the success of their respective teams, let's take a look at the top 10 runners in the rugged SEC.

Begin Slideshow

Pages