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5-Star Ed Oliver Is the 'Most Ready and Polished DT of 2016'

Ed Oliver, a 5-star defensive tackle in the 2016 class, per 247Sports, is making heads turn on the recruiting trail. The 6'2", 285-pound athlete has several offers on the table from seemingly every top program in the country. 

Bleacher Report's Michael Felder breaks down Oliver's game and where he expects the big man to play at the college level. 

Check out the video, and let us know!

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Most Important College Football Spring Game QB Battles to Watch

Spring practice exists for a number of reasons, but none more so than to help figure out who will start when the college football season begins in September. And no position is more key to get settled than the quarterback, which is why the competitions for that spot tend to serve as the main event at spring games.

April is when most FBS teams wrap up spring ball with their final scrimmages, and there are plenty of quarterback battles to check out. Though many competitions won't officially end until training camp, how candidates perform in the spring game can serve as either a springboard to starting in the fall or the harbinger of a spot further down the depth chart.

It also can prompt some passers to look elsewhere for a starting opportunity, as the weeks immediately after spring games are when we could see some quarterbacks announce their intentions to transfer.

Which are the most important spring game QB battles to watch in the coming weeks? Check out our list, then give us your thoughts in the comments section.

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How Jim Harbaugh Has Impacted Urban Meyer's Recruiting Strategy

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Michigan getting ready to wrap up spring practice and Ohio State in the midst of it, camp season is right around the corner for two of the Big Ten's tent-pole programs.

But while camps can give coaches the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the country's top prospects, Urban Meyer admittedly isn't as excited for them this year as he was in 2014.

That's because, as opposed to last year, when the Buckeyes left spring practice with just two players committed to their 2015 class, Ohio State already has eight verbal pledges for its 2016 class.

In a class that could possibly top out around 20 players, the Buckeyes could be just about halfway there, leaving less room for players to earn offers in-person at camp like Darron Lee did in 2013 and Nick Conner did a year ago.

"The calendar's been moved up. We've had a bunch of commitments already and I'm not a huge fan of that," Meyer said following Ohio State's sixth spring practice session on Tuesday. "I kind of liked it last year when we didn't have many and you get to know players better."

The fourth-year Buckeyes head coach was quick to point out that he likes Ohio State's 2016 class—which currently ranks fourth in the country—but would have rather seen it take more time to take shape. Recruiting, however, is very much a matter of keeping up with the Joneses, and there's a new family in town that has caused Meyer to speed up his pace.

That would be about three hours northwest of Columbus, where Jim Harbaugh has taken Michigan's recruiting strategy to whole new level since taking over the Wolverines program at the end of 2014. Michigan hasn't been shy about handing out scholarship offers in the past three months, extending 156 invites to play for the Wolverines in the 2016 class alone.

"People offer scholarships now like Pop-Tarts," Meyer said.

Meyer didn't mention the Wolverines specifically, and Michigan isn't the only school that has been liberal with its scholarship offers. But the increase in scholarship offers going out from Ann Arbor has been impossible to ignore, especially as it pertains to prospects with mutual interest from Ohio State.

With more than 10 months remaining until national signing day, the 156 scholarships for 2016 are the most offered by Michigan in the past 18 years. As recently as five years ago, the Wolverines were routinely handing out offers that only reached double-digit totals, and this year's cycle has already doubled the 62 scholarships Rich Rodriguez offered in 2010.

As for the effect Harbaugh's strategy has had on the Buckeyes, Ohio State has offered 143 scholarships in the 2016 class, a pace well ahead of what Meyer showed he preferred in his first four classes since arriving in Columbus.

It's not that the three-time national champion head coach hasn't offered large numbers too—in 2015, the Buckeyes offered 228 scholarships—but many of OSU's offers under Meyer haven't come until the start of the camp season.

"In a perfect world, you watch them go to camp, watch them three or four games their senior year and say, 'I'll take him. This is a perfect fit,'" Meyer said of his preferred recruiting pace. "This school's offered 40 kids in the state of Ohio and I'm like, ['Wow']...we prefer to go much slower than that."

Again, Meyer didn't specifically mention Michigan, but it's not a coincidence that there's been significant overlap in the offers extended by the Buckeyes and Wolverines in the 2016 class. No fewer than 55 prospects in the 2016 class hold offers from both Ohio State and Michigan, including Buckeye commits Kareem Walker and Terrell Hall, and Wolverines pledge Erik Swenson.

Any time two teams strive to recruit both nationally and within the same region as Ohio State and Michigan do, there's bound to be some similarities in their respective offer lists.

But the fact the that Meyer has felt the need to keep pace with Harbaugh's rapid rate is telling, especially as the new Wolverines coach has aimed to increase his program's presence in Ohio with the hiring of former St. Edward High School coach Rick Finotti as Michigan's director of operations.

"Sure," Meyer said when asked if took notice of Harbaugh's hiring of a prominent Ohio high school coach. "They hired a quality guy, a really good football coach. I don't blame them. Do we monitor it? We monitor everything."

That includes offers, which is why the increase in invitations from the Wolverines has resulted in an increase in offers from the Buckeyes. Of course, there's a difference between a ceremonial offer and one that's actually committable, which is why schools are able offer scholarships for close to 10 times as many spots that they have open.

That could also be why Michigan currently possesses just two commitments in its 2016 class, despite offering so many scholarships. It also doesn't help that, despite the positive P.R. Harbaugh has provided for his alma mater, the Wolverines still don't have the same type of momentum the Buckeyes are currently enjoying coming off of January's run to a national title in the College Football Playoff.

But despite possessing an edge over his archrival, Meyer isn't about to become complacent. That's why he's taken note of Harbaugh's most recent moves and attempted to make the proper adjustments—not that going head-to-head with Michigan is anything new for the Buckeyes.

"I think that gauntlet was thrown down in the 1800s," Meyer said.

And with the Wolverines having already offered scholarships to 30 players in the 2017 class, they won't be stopping anytime soon.

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten Lead Writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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FSU Pro Day 2015: Recap, Reaction for Jameis Winston, Eddie Goldman and More

Florida State hosted its annual pro day Tuesday, and the event attracted much attention to benefit a team that won 29 consecutive games.

According to Lindsay Rhodes of NFL Network, at least five NFL head coaches—Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans and Lovie Smith of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—made the trip to Tallahassee:

They made the trip with good reason, too. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller included 12 Florida State players in his seven-round mock draft, including eight in the top 81 picks. Here they are in order:

  • QB Jameis Winston (Round 1, Pick 1)
  • CB Ronald Darby (Round 1, Pick 15)
  • DT Eddie Goldman (Round 1, Pick 24)
  • CB P.J. Williams (Round 2, Pick 39)
  • OC Cameron Erving (Round 2, Pick 41)
  • DL Mario Edwards (Round 3, Pick 79)
  • WR Rashad Greene (Round 3, Pick 80)
  • OG Tre' Jackson (Round 3, Pick 81)
  • OG Josue Matias (Round 4, Pick 113)
  • TE Nick O'Leary (Round 5, Pick 160)
  • OL Bobby Hart (Round 6, Pick 213)
  • RB Karlos Williams (Round 7, Pick 256)

Quarterback Winston, the obvious main attraction, made the bold decision to throw 102 passes. For comparison, Johnny Manziel threw 65 passes at Texas A&M's pro day last season:

"Man, I'm a competitor," Winston told his tutor, George Whitfield, when they originally planned to throw 60 or 70 passes. "I want to give them everything."

The passes varied from easy, quick routes to deep routes and throws against simulated pressure. Winston looked sharp in all facets, demonstrating accuracy that Jason Staples of Nole Digest called uncanny:

Uncanny, indeed. Winston completed his first 35 passes before missing a difficult throw to Greene on the sideline.

In total, he threw 11 incompletions, five of which were drops:

Winston also showcased his mobility, throwing well on the run. He posted one of the slowest 40-yard dash times among quarterbacks at the NFL scouting combine. But, like Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, that doesn't make him immobile.

However, it should be noted that after starting strong, Winston ran out of gas and looked winded in the second half of his workout, according to Joel Klatt of Fox Sports. Kurt Warner of NFL Network criticized his footwork and mechanics, too.

Here are some high-quality videos of the workout, courtesy of Wayne McGahee III of Nole Digest. Decide how he looked for yourself:

Winston did not post a perfect workout. He will not go down with pre-draft legends, such as Sam Bradford. However, he showed initiative by throwing (when he really didn't need to) and likely helped his stock more than he hurt it. Tuesday was a good day for Winston.

It just wasn't a great one.

"There's nothing to disappoint you," Smith said afterward, according to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times.

He sums things up perfectly.

Elsewhere, defensive tackle Goldman cemented his status as a first-round prospect. After not working out at the combine, he validated what scouts have seen on tape—he moves unlike a 6'4," 336-pound human being has any right to move.

Specifically, he ran a 5.12 in the 40-yard dash:

He looked quick in position drills, too:

Defensive end Edwards, who weighed 294 pounds last season, has continued to shed weight. He checked in at 278 pounds at the combine and trimmed that number to 272 pounds Tuesday.

He also left the facility with a rep for the New England Patriots:

(That is typically a good sign.)

Cornerback P.J. Williams might have made himself some money. He helped his stock during position drills, per Jared Shanker of ESPN.com, and improved his 40-yard dash from a 4.57 at the combine to an unofficial 4.49, per Rob Rang of CBSSports.com.

Here's a video of Williams and Darby—both might become first-round draft picks—running cornerback drills:

Darby impressed in position drills as much as P.J. Williams, according to Shanker, which means no clear-cut favorite emerged from the duo.

Scouts will continue the same argument they've conducted since August: Which Florida State cornerback is better?

Additional notes:

  • Greene and tight end Kevin Haplea played well in Winston's workout. Greene dropped one deep pass (a dime roughly 50 yards down the field) but otherwise looked like a solid Day 2 pick. He will work out with Winston in Tampa Bay and also plans to visit to the Philadelphia Eagles, per David Visser of Chop Chat
  • Goldman is a busy man: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, he'll meet with or visit the the Cleveland Browns, the Indianapolis Colts, the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions, the New England Patriots (another good sign) and the Carolina Panthers in the next couple of weeks.
  • Converted center Erving, who entered last year at left tackle, continues to show a quick learning curve. He looked fluid in OL drills and snapping the ball to Winston, and he could well be the first center drafted. He played well enough down the stretch that, in my opinion, he should be.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jameis Winston: Breaking Down FSU QB's Pro-Day Workout

Jameis Winston still has a lot of work to do convincing NFL teams he can lead a franchise off the field. On it? The Florida State star never heard many questions about his ability. 

That may change after Tuesday's pro-day workout.      

Throwing before a packed house filled with scouts, executives and coaches, Winston was inconsistent amid an elaborate scripted program. He completed 91 of his 102 attempts—a number well above the norm—and flashed a combination of athleticism and on-field intelligence that could satisfy even his harshest critics.

"Man, I'm a competitor. I want to give them everything," Winston told his private quarterback coach, George Whitfield, per Jenna Laine of Fox Sports 1

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports commented on the uniqueness of Winston running the throwing program himself:

That said, the reviews ran much closer to tepid than the overwhelming praise he received at the scouting combine. Confident in the pocket but struggling while on the move, Winston showed excellent zip amid struggles with ball placement. The workout especially got going after some initial jitters, which former Pro Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner commented on, via the NFL's college football Twitter account:

The workout itself, curated by Whitfield, focused on getting Winston on the move. He was chased by brooms on a number of snaps and was forced to throw across his body, cavorting himself in a number of awkward positions. Meant to flash his improved conditioning and ability to fire the ball in on the run, Winston's routine arguably wound up doing more harm than good.

Former NFL executive Joe Banner outright called the workout "bad":

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman provided comments from a scout who was on site, who had a different opinion:

Conditioning-wise, Winston showed signs of exhaustion. He was sweating profusely at points—perhaps a product of his high attempts total and the nature of the workout—which former NFL quarterback Shaun King chalked up as irrelevant.

However, King was critical of Whitfield, citing the quarterback coach's shaky resume at making players better:

In two seasons at Florida State, Winston threw for 7,964 yards and 65 touchdowns against 28 interceptions. A no-doubt-about-it No. 1 pick had he been able to declare following his freshman season, Winston's bouts with inconsistency Tuesday continue a trend prevalent throughout his sophomore year. After posting a 40-touchdown, 10-interception campaign in 2013, Winston came back with 25 touchdowns against 18 picks this past season.

As Winston flashes inconsistency on the field, questions will only continue to crop up about his off-field behavior. His transgressions at Florida State range from deeply troubling to silly college antics, but they will nonetheless continue to dog him as he attempts to clinch the No. 1 draft spot.

Winston said he changed his ways, per College Football 24/7:

Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher, one of Winston's staunchest backers, called the constant discussion a "character assassination" in an interview with WDAE Radio in Tampa Bay (via IHeartRadio.com, per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com):

Why is there a question? Because of the character assassination that he's lived through in the media, and the (misinformation) and half-truths that have been printed. What amazes me about this whole process is the unprofessionalism of a lot of major newspapers, and a lot of major outlets that did not report the whole truth of the situation and only slanted it for their own opinion.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, will in all likelihood be deciding between Winston and Oregon's Marcus Mariota come April 30. Nearly every major outlet had Winston as a favorite coming into Tuesday's workout, a position bolstered by the organization's public praising of the polarizing prospect.

Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer told JoeBucsFan.com:

You know, we spent a lot of time with Jameis. We spent a lot of time with Marcus Mariota. There are other potential players that could be up there with the first pick. But yes, we as an organization are comfortable. We’re comfortable with Jameis.

If the Bucs are truly sold, it's unlikely anything minus an outright disaster could have changed their minds. Pro days only have as much meaning as you put into them. Their scripted nature makes it hard to provide a true assessment, and ultimately, film means far more than anything Winston did Tuesday. By the sounds of it, though, Tampa's brass was more than pleased with the workout, per ESPNU (via CBS Sports' Will Brinson):

Criticisms from outsiders aside, the only opinion of Winston that matters is Tampa Bay's. Thirty-one teams may feel he was a little underwhelming, but if the Buccaneers are ready to hitch their wagon to him, then none of those teams will even get an opportunity.

Assuming they're not putting up a smokescreen, there's little reason to think Winston will be available when the Tennessee Titans are on the clock at No. 2.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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Once 402 Lbs, Louisville Commit T.J. 'Big Snack' London on Quest to Lose 100 Lbs

When Columbus, Georgia, defensive tackle T.J. London, a 3-star prospect, verbally committed to Louisville on March 4, the primary topic of discussion wasn't his ability to disrupt run games or how much potential he had to be a defensive game-changer.

Everybody wanted to talk about the Carver High School lineman's size. A close second was his nickname, which referred to his size.

London's reported size at the time of commitment was 6'3" and 402 pounds. The defensive tackle, nicknamed "Big Snack," said the weight was legitimate when he visited Kentucky at the end of February for junior day, but he has now grown an inch and has slimmed to 385—and he has plans to get even thinner.

"I'm trying to get to anywhere from 295 to 310," London said. "A lot of coaches want me around 330, but if I can get down to at least 310, it'll help me in the future. I'll be a way better player."

Losing roughly 100 pounds is a lofty but achievable goal, particularly for someone who already has lost 17 pounds in roughly six weeks. Put the weight-loss goal on London's things-to-do list for the spring, along with improving overall quickness, gaining additional upper-body and lower-body strength and becoming even more of a dominant lineman.

Recruited by Louisville defensive line coach L.D. Scott, London said he's solid with Louisville and is looking forward to the tutelage from Scott and head coach Bobby Petrino. London added that he has been hearing a lot from Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina State. Kentucky and Tennessee have offered.

Choosing Louisville, however, was something London said made sense, after the program separated itself from others with how it potentially wanted to use him.

"A lot of schools want me to play nose guard," he said, "but that's one of the reasons why I like Louisville. They want to evaluate my game and see if I should play 3-tech or someplace else. I want to play wherever my game can get better overall. That's another reason why I want to lose the weight.

"Coach Scott has been there the whole time. He's kept it real with me. I keep up with him two or three times a week. He's just a down-to-earth guy. One of the things he told me is to follow my heart and do what's best for me."

London said he weighed between 360 and 370 during the season. He didn't realize that his weight shot up so quickly after the season. The weigh-in at Kentucky caught him off-guard, he said, and he was willing to do whatever to lose it.

London has been running and getting quality workout time in the gym to turn things around. He also said he's changed his diet. Big breakfasts are very rare, if not nonexistent, and lunches include fruits and low-calorie snacks.

"I'll eat oranges, strawberries, pineapples...fruits like that," London said. "Lunches used to be where I'd probably eat a full dinner. Now, I'm doing better. My coaches are helping me out a lot with my workouts. They've got me doing a lot on the field and in the weight room."

London said he will be at Louisville for the annual spring game on April 17. He originally chose the Cardinals over offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State and North Carolina State.

"I liked everything about them," London said. "The defense they run, we run it in high school. I like the defense and the coaches there. Plus, I've got a teammate going up there [2015 safety signee Khane Pass]. Everything seemed right for me."

247Sports has London as the nation's No. 42 defensive tackle. As an interior lineman pledge, London is a valuable get for Louisville. The Cardinals signed three defensive linemen in the 2015 class, but all three—4-star Devonte Fields and 3-stars Drew Bailey and Tim Bonner—were defensive ends.

Louisville's last defensive tackle signee was 2014 Tae Thibodeaux, who redshirted his freshman year. In fact, since 2012, Louisville has only signed three defensive tackles: Thibodeaux, 2012 signee DeAngelo Brown, who finished his redshirt junior year, and 2013 signee Kyle Shortridge, who completed his redshirt sophomore year.

Before he arrives on campus, London said has some big, yet attainable, goals to accomplish. It starts with decreasing his size and making sure he's getting better Regardless, he's excited about his future and looks forward to putting on a Cardinals uniform.

"I'm solid to Louisville," London said. "It's a 10 out of 10."

 

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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College Football Hot Seat Coaches Having a Good Spring

It's never too late to get off the coaching hot seat, right? Who says your fate has to be determined?

Spring practices are a time for optimism. It's a fresh slate and a chance to start over. For coaches on the hot seat, that opportunity to start from scratch couldn't come soon enough. 

In the following slides are five head coaches who are not only looking to turn things around in 2015, but who have a real chance at doing so. Maybe a coach is getting an important player back from injury or settling an important position battle. Some coaches on here are recruiting lights-out or seeing significant improvement with key players. 

These are the coaches on the hot seat who are having a great spring. 

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4-Star Josh Imatorbhebhe Says Georgia Offer 'Adds New Dimension' to Recruitment

Josh Imatorbhebhe earned his first scholarship offer last January, watching that list expand to include more than 20 teams during the past 14 months.

Despite holding an array of collegiate opportunities from across the country, one offer frustratingly eluded him throughout the recruiting process. Georgia—the flagship football program in his home state—changed that Thursday by extending a scholarship on campus. 

“It felt like before Georgia was kind of tugging me back and forth with my emotions," Imatorbhebhe admitted.

A conversation with Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt cleared things up Thursday for the 4-star wide receiver. Georgia does indeed want him, a sentiment that seemed difficult to grasp in recent months. 

"They were showing interest during the summer after my sophomore year and a few games into my junior season I thought things were going pretty well for me on the field," he said. "I was expecting an offer. Instead, that’s when it seemed like they pulled back and I was like 'Why?'"

Imatorbhebhe caught a career-high 59 passes for 1,072 yards and 15 touchdowns at North Gwinnett High School in 2014, per MaxPreps. He collected offers from Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Louisville, Auburn and Arizona State after the start of his junior campaign, while his relationship with Georgia remained relatively quiet. 

The Bulldogs, who suffered late class of 2015 decommitments from 4-star receivers Darius Slayton and Van Jefferson, reignited interest this month. Georgia invited Imatorbhebhe to attend a spring practice last week, though he was reluctant to attend due to a less-than-ideal rapport with the program and homework obligations. 

Upon some encouragement from his high school coach, Imatorbhebhe made the 50-mile drive to Athens. 

“I guess you could say I went there with blind faith, because I really didn’t want to get my expectations too high about an offer possibly coming," he said. 

Imatorbhebhe spent a couple of hours watching the Bulldogs work through drills and scrimmages, becoming more familiar with how things operate during a practice session under Richt. 

Afterward, Georgia players were treated to a speech from program legend Herschel Walker before heading back to the locker room. As team members dispersed, Richt approached Imatorbhebhe with a formal offer.

Georgia may have been late to the party, but that's when it officially joined the race for his commitment. 

Changes within the offensive coaching regime seemed to serve as a catalyst for increased interest in Imatorbhebhe.

Longtime Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo accepted the head coach position at Colorado State in December. Georgia responded by hiring former St. Louis Rams and New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and later shifted veteran running backs coach Bryan McClendon to wide receiver duties.

“The coaches could tell how I felt and basically said, 'Look, please don’t hold it against us. We have a new offensive staff and we’re really high on you,’” Imatorbhebhe explained. "They were really apologetic about that and tried to make me understand that I’ve become a priority now.”

He hopes Georgia follows through with sustained interest and dialogue, something he views as an essential part of the recruiting process.

“I’m not going to a school where I don’t feel wanted, so it’s important for me to hear from the coaches on a regular basis," Imatorbhebhe said. "(Auburn coach) Gus Malzahn called my coaches earlier today to talk to me and we spoke for 15 minutes, so that sends a message right there."

He's excited about his new offer from a nearby powerhouse and hopes it translates into a stronger relationship with the Bulldogs coaches.

"With Georgia being so close in proximity, I would hope they’d visit my school to check up on me and make me feel like I’m truly wanted on their campus," Imatorbhebhe said. "The only way to see that is when coaches go out of their way to establish communication.”

Georgia joined the mix with enough time to enter his cluster of contenders. Imatorbhebhe plans to begin trimming down that list at the end of spring. 

“I didn’t want to be greedy by focusing on one school that hadn't offered me when 20 other programs already had," he said. "I was pretty content with the coaches who had been involved in my recruitment, but now Georgia adds a new dimension to my recruitment. It gives me more options about whether I want to stay closer to home or go further away.”

He is on the verge of exploring schools of the "further away" variety. Imatorbhebhe will visit Arizona State, USC and Stanford during spring break between April 3-8, before returning home to attend the April 11 spring game at Florida, where his brother is an early enrolled freshman.

He has a list of elements he's looking for at each potential landing spot.

“My mom and I were talking about priorities for finding the right college program the other night," Imatorbhebhe said. "First is academics, second is a need—not just a want—at my position and third is quarterback.”

Georgia already holds a pledge from the top-ranked 2016 passer in Jacob Eason

“Just to see his accuracy, stature and strong arm makes him somebody I’d really love to play with," Imatorbhebhe said. "He looks like a good quarterback, but also a good leader. If the chips fall that way and I end up at Georgia, I’ll definitely be happy that he’s the guy throwing me the football.”

 

All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue.

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Who Are the Fast-Rising Recruits of the 2016 Class?

The 2016 recruiting cycle is in full swing, with several regional events already in the books. With that, there are a crop of players that have been opening eyes and rising up the ranks. 

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks downs some of the young players who are quickly establishing themselves as fast risers. 

Where will these young studs land at the next level? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Raekwon Davis Remains Committed to Alabama but Is 'Open to Being Recruited'

NEW ORLEANS — It didn't take long for Alabama defensive tackle commit Raekwon Davis to get noticed at The Opening New Orleans regional. As someone who measured at 6'7½" and 314 pounds, Davis usually is the first one to get noticed—and the first one to be critiqued if he's at a camp or combine.

Davis made sure his play at The Opening kept the criticism at bay Saturday, and the 3-star lineman not only won the event's defensive lineman MVP award but also earned an invitation to The Opening national competition this summer in Oregon.

"It's just a great feeling. I'm just blessed with the opportunity," Davis said. "I've worked so hard, and nothing has come easy, so it's great to be apart of an elite group."

Before earning his invite, Davis discussed his recruiting process and the next steps in finalizing his college plans. Although he is committed to the Crimson Tide, Davis, who is from Meridian, Mississippi, said he will visit Mississippi State this week.

"I just like the family atmosphere there and how the coaches care about the players not only on the field but off the field," Davis said of Mississippi State. "I'm still pretty solid with Alabama; I'm just open to being recruited because it's still early in the process."

Unofficial visits to Starkville are nothing new for Davis, as he has been on campus a few times. The same can be said about Alabama, as Davis has camped at Alabama and been to a few home games.

It may be premature to say Davis is looking at other schools, but the big lineman is keeping the door of his recruiting process ajar. He was recruited to Alabama by both defensive line coach Bo Davis and running backs coach Burton Burns, but he also is being recruited to Mississippi State by recruiting coordinator/safeties coach Tony Hughes.

Davis understands that his choice is, as he called it, "a life-changing decision," and he said he doesn't want to have any regrets by not taking visits. Alabama fans shouldn't feel slighted, as Davis added he plans on taking another visit to Alabama next week.

Ole Miss, as an in-state school, is an option to keep an eye on in Davis' process. Florida is also a school to watch, as the Gators are the latest to offer.

The winning school, Davis said, will have a healthy combination of intangibles—one that he feels Alabama possesses.

"I want a school that is dedicated to hard work on and off the field," Davis said. "[I want] a school that has players around me who play with confidence, know what it takes to win and know how to win in the big games and in the classroom."

Davis is ranked the nation's No. 31 defensive tackle and the No. 17 player from the state of Mississippi. Other reported offers include South Carolina and Louisiana Tech.

 

Damon Sayles is a national recruiting analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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Tennessee Football: 2014 Sleeper Recruits Who Will Make an Impact This Season

Head Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has been on a hot streak when it comes to the recruiting trail. The Volunteers continue to build off previous success, making them a very dangerous team. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down the 2014 recruits who could make a big impact for Tennessee in the upcoming season. 

How good can the Vols be next season? Check out the video and let us know!

Recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Suddenly, Alabama Coach Nick Saban Is Making All the Wrong Calls

Monday wasn't the time for Nick Saban to defend himself or the good that his system of second chances has done.   

It was the time to express horror, genuine horror, for a woman who showed up at a police station with marks on her neck and alleged that one of Saban's players, Jonathan Taylor, had assaulted her. It was the time for Saban to admit he had made a colossal mistake in bringing Taylor into the Alabama program less than a year after Taylor had been kicked off the team at Georgia over a domestic violence arrest. It was time for Saban to apologize.

It seemed like Saban understood this. Taylor was kicked off the Alabama team. Saban said he had "learned" from the incident.

But then it came time to say what, specifically, he had learned.

"I still think he's a good person," Saban said.

Huh?

"No, I'm not sorry for giving him an opportunity," Saban said. "I'm sorry for the way things worked out. I'm not apologizing for the opportunity we gave him."

Huh?

"It's time to move on."

HUH?

Saban was not the victim here. He is the face and conscience of a program that seemed to be the picture of perfection just 18 months ago. Perfection is impossible to keep up, even if your name is Saban. There are just too many moving parts, too many elements, too many human beings. And in Saban's case, too much ego. Even the greatest plans from the greatest control freaks eventually run out of control.

Saban and Alabama football have lost their momentum. And his press conference Monday ended an unusually bad and public run for such a buttoned-up program. Not only was Taylor arrested for the second time on domestic assault charges, but also early Saturday morning defensive back Geno Smith was arrested for DUI.

That was his second DUI arrest in three years. Saban said that Smith would have to do some things before he would be allowed back on the practice field. He wouldn't specify what those things are, saying they're private.

Also on Saturday, receiver Cam Sims tore his ACL in practice and will require reconstructive knee surgery. And while that is just a minor thing in comparison to Taylor and Smith, and of a totally different nature, it all adds up to the worst week of Alabama football under Saban. It's the worst look ever for Saban.

Something happened to the program after the Iron Bowl of 2013. Saban made a bad call, Auburn ran a missed field goal back for a touchdown and the Alabama perfection was gone. Then the Tide lost to Oklahoma in a bowl game. And last season, Saban and Alabama were a step behind the times in the loss to Ohio State in the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State's offensive line ran over Alabama's defensive line.

That's what is so disturbing about Saban and his decision to bring Taylor in. Saban talked at length Monday about how many young men he has helped by giving out second chances. He insisted—at the wrong time—that he will continue to do that.

But when he brought in Taylor, was that a big-hearted move or the move of a desperate coach who sees the momentum of his dynasty disappearing? Was he doing it to help a young man or was he bringing in a 335-pound defensive lineman so his team could stand up to Ohio State better next season?

Sometimes, coaches get that mixed up in their own heads. Either way, Saban seemed almost oblivious Monday to the conversation going on about football and domestic violence.

And Smith's two DUI's shouldn't be forgotten, either. When Saban allows him back, that will be a third chance.

"As you would with your own children in your own home," Saban said, "you don't throw them out with the bath water every time something goes wrong."

Saban said Taylor was given specific guidelines, including zero tolerance, for staying on the team. He said Taylor had done everything Alabama asked of him. But after this weekend, "the guy cannot be on our football team."

The Teflon has worn off at Alabama. And Saban continued to say that he would look to give other young men second chances. It almost seemed like a message to potential recruits, a message from a coach who knows his program is suddenly off its axis.

This wasn't the time for that.

 

Greg Couch covers college football for Bleacher Report.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Clemson Football: 2014 Backups Set to Explode in 2015

The Clemson Tigers, coming off a 10-win season, have their sights set on 2015. Much like every team in college football, they will need a new crop of players to step up and perform.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down which players he believes are ready to take on a bigger role for the Tigers in 2015.

How will Clemson fare in 2015? Check out the video and let us know! 

Recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Teams and Players Primed for Huge Bounce-Back Years

As the calendar flips from March to April, spring has officially sprung across the nation. With spring  football in full swing on football-starved FBS campuses, hope springs eternal. This will be the year that quarterback gains consistency with a new offense, or an injured player finds his groove, or an ugly 2014 turns into a 2015 full of promise.

This is the time of year when coaches, players and fans have pure optimism that they’ve put the ugly seasons of their past behind them and they’re ready for a huge season. Here are nine players and teams who, for one reason or another, are primed for huge bounce-back years in 2015.

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Georgia Football: Week 2 Spring Practice Stock Report

Seven spring practices are in the books, and the Georgia Bulldogs are looking more and more ready for the 2015 season after each session.  Last week was an important one for the Bulldogs, who were able to scrimmage for the first time this spring Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

There were a few players who stood out, and those players are making a case for playing time in the fall. There were other players who could not take part in the scrimmage because of injury concerns, and that will be something the coaches will pay close attention to moving forward.

And then there was one position battle that was on display at the scrimmage, but each player was able to make plays, and that makes the decision for the coaches that much tougher. However, one player stood out and could make a case for being the starter despite having less experience than the two others.

Here is the stock report for the second week of the Bulldogs’ spring practice.

 

Stock Down: Keith Marshall Injured

Keith Marshall is looking to finish his career strong in Athens with a productive 2015 season. However, he is not off to a great start, suffering a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice. Marshall was not able to take part in the first scrimmage Saturday.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt told Jake Rowe of 247 Sports that he’s not sure how severe the injury is. Odds are Marshall won’t practice the rest of the week or the rest of spring depending on the severity of the injury.

Hamstring injuries are something that can be tricky, so the coaches will keep an eye on Marshall, especially with him being prone to injuries the last two years.

 

Stock Down: Sony Michel Out

As unfortunate as Marshall’s injury is, Sony Michel’s could be worse. The rising sophomore running back will miss the rest of spring practice because of a collarbone injury.

This is the same injury that plagued Michel last season. Seth Emerson of The Telegraph (Macon, Georgia) reported that Michel will not need surgery, and Richt told Emerson that Michel should be fine in a couple of weeks.

Having Michel out for spring practice is disappointing. It looked like he was going to have a great spring. But with the running back depth so strong for the Bulldogs, Michel just needs to rest the collarbone and great ready for fall camp.

 

Stock Up: A.J. Turman Running Hard

Speaking of running back depth, A.J. Turman had a great Saturday when he rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries in the scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. Turman also added one catch for 15 yards.

This is the first time Turman has been healthy since last spring, and he’s making sure he’s taking advantage of every opportunity.

Turman showed glimpses of what he is capable of last spring but could not display it in the fall because of a foot injury. If Turman is able to stay healthy this spring and during fall camp, he will get his touches in 2015.

 

Stock up: Jacob Park on the Rise

All three quarterbacks did some great things in the scrimmage. But if there was one quarterback who stood out, it would have to be redshirt freshman Jacob Park.

Against the third-team defense, Park was able to tally 187 passing yards and one touchdown with only four pass completions. He was working with the third-team offense but has also seen time with the first and second teams during spring practice.

I'll say this about #UGA QB Jacob Park: Kid's got some moxie. And "a cannon" of an arm per Jay Rome. #postpracticeinterviews

— AJC UGA (@ChipTowersAJC) March 24, 2015

It’s going to take time for Park to get up the depth chart because Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta have in-game experience. But if Park continues his upward trend, he could be on top of the depth chart when fall camp begins.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

UCLA Football: 3 Starters on the Hot Seat in 2015 Spring Practice

When looking at the start of spring camp on March 31, there are three returning starters on the UCLA football team who need to look over their shoulders. 

The proverbial hot seat is always an interesting entity. Spring ball opens the door for many inexperienced players to prove themselves. More often than not, there are a few surprises—which could ultimately lead to a usurping of a starting spot at the cost of more experienced members of the team. 

This piece will look at three returning starters potentially dealing with this situation. Two of the Bruins in question might be bypassed by more talented players, while a third is dealing with the misfortune of injury. 

Here are three returning starters on the hot seat for the UCLA Bruins during spring practice. 

 

 

Begin Slideshow

UCLA Football: 3 Starters on the Hot Seat in 2015 Spring Practice

When looking at the start of spring camp on March 31, there are three returning starters on the UCLA football team who need to look over their shoulders. The proverbial hot seat is always an interesting entity...

Begin Slideshow

Ranking the 10 Best Defensive Players in College Football

It's interesting to note that Chuck Bednarik, the man who gave his name to the award for the best defensive player in college football, didn't have as much respect for the modern game. Bednarik wished players would still play offense and defense, like he did.

The young men in contention to win the 2015 Bednarik Award don't play offense, except for maybe some trick plays here and there.

The 10 best defensive players in college football are indeed highly skilled in many areas of their game. Most of these guys have made such an impact on the field in only two years that some are putting them in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, granted they declare for it. Eight of the players on the list are rising juniors.

Keep reading to see who makes the grade.

Finally, Bednarik might have been a 60-minute man, but these guys are going to do something Bednarik could have only dreamed of: become multimillionaires playing the game they love. Also, in honor of Bednarik, make this a two-way conversation by adding your comments below.

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Texas Football: Longhorns' Week 1 Practice Stock Report

There have already been plenty of surprises through Texas' first week of spring practice. Several young Longhorns are boosting their stock at key positions, but the defense still really needs somebody to step up.

As expected, Texas' offensive attack has been the most obvious change from last season. The pace has obviously quickened, and running back Johnathan Gray had some effusive praise for its impact on the team:

I like how it spreads out everything where you can run and pass. It mixes up everything. The defense doesn't know what's going to happen. It helps out the running back, quarterback, the wide receivers and the offensive line. I love this offense.

Just as before, it's still unclear who eventually runs this ramped-up attack. Tyrone Swoopes has made the early statement, leading a group of upperclassmen who have responded to the need for some leadership. Even the offensive line, which struggled for most of last season, has shown some signs of real depth thus far.

At this point, the main concern lies with Charlie Strong's defense, where injuries and a lack of experience are already catching up along the line and secondary.

Going forward, fixing this and getting more out of redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard will be of the utmost importance.

 

Stock Up: QB Tyrone Swoopes

The rave reviews continue to pour in for junior Tyrone Swoopes, who has taken an early lead for the starting quarterback job.

Media, coaches and teammates have all been singing Swoopes' praises this spring. 247Sports' Jeff Howe sees a decisive edge as a passer, showing an improved ability to go through his progressions and deliver an accurate ball.

In the same interview cited above, Gray also elaborated on the maturation he's seen from the big junior.

"He's grown up a lot," said the senior running back. "He's been more of a leader. He's pushing guys past their limits, and it's what you want from a quarterback. He's starting to lead us, and I see it from him."

Reportedly carrying less weight than last season, the quicker reads and added freedom to run should lead to more of the Swoopes we saw put up huge numbers against Iowa State and Oklahoma. The competition is far from over, but he's put himself in a good position to keep his job.

 

Stock Down: QB Jerrod Heard

As encouraging as it's been to see Swoopes improve, it's been almost as disappointing to see Jerrod Heard so clearly behind him.

This isn't to say Heard looks like a bust. He's obviously an electric athlete with superior skills once he's on the move, per Howe. But right now, he's a projecting as a passer, which doesn't bode well for him beyond a specialty role.

Heard has to become a serviceable passer who can capitalize when the defense overcompensates for his legs. Until he makes up ground in that department and as a leader, the coaches will lean toward Swoopes.

 

Stock Up: RB/WR Daje Johnson

Is this finally the year Daje Johnson turns into the offensive terror he's shown he could be? He's finally acting like he wants to this spring.

Seemingly suspended since he returned a punt 85 yards against Oklahoma, Johnson was very close to not being a Longhorn anymore. He started off his time with Strong on a bad note, and he ended up suspended for the first half of 2014.

It wasn't that Strong had anything against Johnson. Even when he was squarely in the doghouse, Johnson's rare ability had his coach singing his praises back in August:

Daje is a special player with a lot of ability. The thing you like about him, he is so explosive with the ball. He can get the ball in his hands and he's one of those guys who can make people miss and a guy who can break away at any time.

Seven months later, Strong is happy with where his all-purpose weapon, and can't wait to get him the ball.

He has come a million miles. I think that it was probably July, a year ago, and we had a talk. I think at that time I had suspended him like five or six games. I said to him, you have to prove to me you want to be here. And at that time he said to me: I'll tell you what, I will not be in your doghouse again. So, I'm hoping that he sticks to it. But what an explosive player. He has so much ability. He's one of the guys you can get the ball to him in the open field, make a guy miss and take it.

A focused, involved Johnson should mean some big plays for this offense. He possesses unbelievable 4.34 speed according to ESPN, and he has a rush, reception and return of over 70 yards for his career.

Now that Texas is trying to push the pace, Johnson has a chance to put up huge numbers as long as he stays the course.

 

Stock Down: DE Derick Roberson

This early in the spring, it's difficult to differentiate who's excelling from who's struggling. At this point, injuries are the toughest pill to swallow, especially with a player like Derick Roberson.

Still battling a shoulder injury, the top recruit from Texas' 2014 class has yet to see the field and will now miss spring football.

Raw from a physical standpoint, Roberson needed all of the practice he could get to compete for a starting job this fall. The Longhorns desperately need a pass-rushing presence, and he's easily Texas' most talented player in that department.

Without Roberson, incumbent starter Naashon Hughes will get a chance to keep his job. SB Nation's Wescott Eberts notes that he struggled with consistency as a redshirt freshman, but his length and range make him a high-ceiling option once the game slows down for him.

Roberson's absence also should expand freshman Malik Jefferson's role in the defense. The 6'2" freshman was a frequent blitzer in high school, and his agility would be a problem for opposing tackles.

 

Stock Up: OT Tristan Nickelson

All four of Texas' early enrollees along the offensive line are providing depth. So far, it's Tristan Nickelson who has been taking starter's reps.

Less heralded to this point than Connor Williams and Brandon Hodges, Nickelson has been the one running with the first team at right tackle. He's absolutely massive at 6'8", 312 pounds, and should provide some road-grading ability to an offensive line that couldn't pave a sidewalk in 2014.

With Joe Wickline at the controls, Nickelson's spot could easily go to someone else by the next time we get a look at this group. Still, his size should be an asset, and the overall depth the new guys provide will pay dividends this season.

 

Stock Down: The No. 2 Cornerback Spot

The competition for the No. 2 cornerback spot was still open when Sheroid Evans went down with a knee injury last week. He was just the obvious top candidate.

Evans, who took a redshirt after tearing his ACL last season, went down on Saturday, according to Rivals.com's Anwar Richardson

The severity of the injury has yet to be disclosed, but the assumption is that it's bad. He had been nursing the previous tear since October 2013, and re-injuring that same knee would end his football career in all likelihood.

The worst part is that Evans was tearing it up before he got hurt. “Sheroid is still Sheroid: fast as can be,” top corner Duke Thomas told 247Sports' Jeff Howe. “He's still one of the top-10 fastest, or whatever he was before the injury. He's flying out there.”

Now that second spot is in total limbo for the rest of the spring. Nobody else on the roster has any real game experience, and top recruits Holton Hill and Kris Boyd don't arrive until the summer.

Jermaine Roberts and Bryson Echols will each get a hard look in the meantime.

 

Stock Up: DB John Bonney

The good news in the secondary is John Bonney is stepping up to take Quandre Diggs' spot in the nickel, one of the defense's most important roles.

At 5'10" and 180 pounds, Bonney doesn't fit the mold of what the Horns have traditionally trotted out in this spot. As 247Sports' Jeff Howe discusses, he's small by most every metric and isn't an especially explosive athlete. 

What Bonney does bring is football smarts and decent length for a player his size. The Longhorns need a player like that who can diagnose what the offense is trying to do now that Diggs and Jordan Hicks have graduated.

As with every open spot, the coaches will experiment with this position once this exceptional group of freshmen arrives on campus. Bonney has to spend the rest of the spring proving his football IQ can trump superior physical traits.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all stats and information courtesy of TexasSports.com.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Virginia Tech Football: Week 1 Spring Practice Stock Report

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Spring practice kicked off last week for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and head coach Frank Beamer's 29th season in charge of his alma mater officially began. 

Optimism is plentiful in Blacksburg. The Hokies, coming off of three straight disappointing seasons (at least to their lofty standards), have several starters returning on both sides of the ball, and several young players are getting their first taste of college football this spring. 

The biggest question surrounding Tech, though, is at quarterback. Senior Michael Brewer returns as VT's starter and is atop the spring depth chart. Surprisingly, junior Brenden Motley is listed as the co-starter with Brewer at quarterback.

Don't read too much into that. If the season began today or tomorrow, Brewer would be the guy under center. However, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler is pushing competition at several spots on offense, and the quarterback position is among them. 

Loeffler believes the Hokies have a chance to be a very good team in 2015 if the team gets more from the quarterback position and won't hesitate to go with either Andrew Ford or Chris Durkin—both redshirt freshmen—if Brewer and Motley struggle, per VT's official website:

It’s an open competition, but you have to start somewhere. The flame is going to be hot with Brewer and Motley because I have a gut feeling that we have an opportunity to be a good team. If the quarterback position plays better, we’ll definitely be a better team. So they’re going to step up and start playing better.

The quarterback position will continue to receive scrutiny, especially if Brewer struggles this spring. Highly touted freshman Dwayne Lawson arrives on campus this summer and could push the incumbents for playing time immediately. 

While quarterback talk is exciting, there were several newsworthy events from Virginia Tech's first week of spring practice.

 

Injuries

Spring practice is terrific for fans. It gives them a few weeks of football action between seasons to talk about who'll replace departed stars or give them a first look at newcomers to hold them over until the season begins several months later.

However, for coaches, spring practice is fun, but also a time to exercise caution.

That means if one of your better players is battling a nagging injury or recovering from a minor surgical procedure, he sits. Returning starters don't necessarily need spring as much as younger players or first-time starters do.

For the Hokies, a few big-time players will miss spring practice.

All-American cornerback Kendall Fuller will sit out the spring after undergoing offseason surgery on his wrist. Arguably the best corner in the nation, Fuller doesn't need the reps as much as Greg Stroman, Shawn Payne or true freshman Mook Reynolds do. 

Brandon Facyson, who missed last season with leg injuries, will miss spring as he continues to recover. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is excited about Facyson's potential once he returns, though, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN.

"We need to get him back healthy. If he can go back and play like he did his freshman year, we’re getting a dynamic player back," Foster said.

Defensive tackles Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall are out this spring, too. Maddy, who, like Facyson missed the majority of last season, should be ready to go this fall. Marshall is recovering from an ankle injury, and Foster is just taking it easy with him. 

"Corey Marshall, we’ll just play that one by ear but I really think we’re probably looking at holding him out and just getting those guys healthy and ready to attack this thing in the summer and have a great summer offseason strength program," Foster said.

All-ACC defensive end Ken Ekanem is out as well. Ekanem underwent shoulder surgery, but he should be good to go this summer. 

 

Attrition 

While Tech is taking the cautious approach with several injured starters, seven players chose not to return to the program.

Wide receivers Carlis Parker and Kendrick Holland, linebackers Josh Trimble and Dahman McKinnon, offensive lineman Adam Taraschke, defensive end Dewayne Alford and defensive back Zach Snell are now all former Hokies.

Of those players, Parker and Holland are probably the most surprising. 

Willie Byrn's departure left open the No. 3 receiver job, and Parker, a 6'4" speedster, was in line to replace him. Holland, a member of last season's terrific freshman class of receivers, was expected to be in the mix, too. 

Trimble played in 36 career games, making five starts at linebacker. He was a standout on special teams and a top backup at whip linebacker. McKinnon was also a contributor on special teams.

Taraschke and Snell never played a game for Tech.

 

Wide Receiver Depth a Concern

Parker and Holland were each expected to be in the two-deep at receiver this fall. The biggest competition for both players would've been Jaylen Bradshaw.

Now, Bradshaw has the spotlight all to himself. 

Bradshaw, a 6'0", 188-pound redshirt freshman from Chesapeake, Virginia, impressed coaches last fall, but a hamstring injury kept him out and forced a redshirt season. 

Loeffler is excited about Bradshaw's potential but warns not to expect him to match Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips' production as freshmen last fall, per Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times:

I’d like to see him kind of like where Cam and Isaiah were at the end of training camp, I’d like to see him at that spot and then really have a great summer and a great training camp to try to catch up to the two older guys that played.

Bradshaw feels he's ready to compete because of his experience on the practice field last fall. 

"I learned a lot from last year going against our first defense in practice," Bradshaw said. "It kind of gave me something to look forward to this spring. So it’s kind of like an ordinary look and I’m used to seeing it from last year."

Senior Demitri Knowles, a once-promising player, is back in the mix after being usurped last fall by Ford and Phillips. To be fair to Knowles, he injured his ankle in the offseason last year, opening the door for the freshmen to cruise past him on the depth chart.

Knowles caught 45 passes for 641 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore two years ago. He's one of the faster players on the team and has one last chance to rejuvenate his career. 

Deon Newsome is another talented player to watch. Newsome primarily only touched the ball last season to run the jet sweep from the receiver position. He's an elusive open-field runner and must prove to coaches he can run strong enough routes to be more than just a bit player at receiver.

Veterans Kevin Asante and Charley Meyer could also figure into the mix. Just two years ago, Meyer was the talk of fall camp, but that has yet to translate onto the field. 

 

Bryan Manning is the Virginia Tech lead writer for Bleacher Report and you can follow him on Twitter @bdmanning4

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