Feed aggregator

College Football Players Who Should Change Positions in 2015

Remember that time Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill started the 2010 season as a receiver and finished as the starting quarterback?

Tannehill came to A&M as a 3-star dual-threat prospect, switched to receiver and wound up back at quarterback.  He is now the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, where he landed as the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

The story illustrates how position changes in college football are driven by need.  Jerrod Johnson threw eight picks in two games at the beginning of the 2010 season, so the Aggies opted to move Tannehill (the No. 1 receiver in 2008 and the No. 2 guy in 2009) back to quarterback. 

Here’s a look at nine players who may have a shot at making a move based on need combined with size and experience.  All represent opportunities for coaching staffs to get creative.

 

Begin Slideshow

Nebraska Football: Realistic Expectations for Mike Riley in 2015

Nebraska football fans, like most fanbases, tend not to dwell on the reasonable. The word “fan,” derived from “fanatic,” suggests a tendency to demand the unreachable and expect glory regardless of the challenges facing their favored team.

But, of course, part of our job here is to curb that enthusiasm, or at least direct it. So as we approach spring practice, here are some reasonable expectations for Nebraska in 2015.

 

Nebraska will turn the ball over less

Interestingly, this observation came from data compiled by CFB Matrix’s Dave Bartoo, who was suggesting that turnover margin is not predictable (or at least that turnover margin tends to revert to the mean). But there are always outliers, of course.

In the last five years, out of 120 teams playing FBS football, only eight had a negative turnover margin in each of those five years. Guess which team was one of the eight?

Yes, that’s right. Nebraska was No. 108 overall, with turnover margins over the last five years of minus-two, minus-11, minus-12, minus-one and minus-one, respectively. Mike Riley’s Oregon State teams, on the other hand, were No. 39 nationally, with turnover margins of plus-four, plus-three, plus-eight, minus-eight and plus-four over the past five years.

Sure, past performance is no guarantee of future earnings, especially when it comes to turnovers. But given Nebraska’s remarkable (if distressing) consistency regarding ball security in the last five years under Pelini, it’s fair to assume that a coaching change can be expected to result in an improved turnover margin.

 

Nebraska will throw the ball more

This one may be a bit of connecting the dots, but hear me out. One of the first quarterbacks Nebraska offered for the 2016 class, according to 247 Sports, was Dwayne Haskins, a pro-style prospect. In and of itself, that would be little cause for notice.

But we really have little idea what type of offense Nebraska under Mike Riley will run. We know that his previous quarterback at Oregon State, Sean Mannion, broke the Pac-12 career passing record. So we know Riley is certainly not afraid to have his quarterback put the ball in the air.

Certainly we don’t know a lot about what Riley’s offense in Lincoln will be. And the fact that Nebraska has offers out to seven dual-threat quarterbacks suggests that Riley is not desperate to abandon the idea of a mobile quarterback.

But the fact that he is offering a pro-style quarterback like Haskins suggests at least the potential to look at throwing the ball more.

 

Nebraska will notch an upset

This may be another comparison that isn’t exactly fair, given where Oregon State is in the pecking order compared to Nebraska. But Riley’s Beavers in his tenure notched some impressive giant-killings, arguably more impressive than anything Bo Pelini logged in Lincoln.

As a smart and particularly handsome analyst observed, in the last seven years Nebraska has beaten two teams ranked in the Top 15 (No. 7 Missouri in 2010 and No. 9 Michigan State in 2011). Over that same period, Oregon State beat five teams ranked in the Top 15 (No. 1 USC in 2008, No. 2 Cal in 2007, No. 9 Arizona in 2010, No. 13 Wisconsin in 2012 and No. 6 Arizona State in 2014).

So Riley has shown that he can upset teams with better talent. If he can take that skill and apply it to the roster he will be inheriting and assembling in Lincoln, then Nebraska fans could be in store for some memorable experiences.

 

For a different look at Nebraska football, check out The Double Extra Point.

Or you can use the Twitter machine to follow @DblExtraPoint.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Shane Buechele to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star QB Prospect

The Texas Longhorns added a major piece to their 2016 recruiting class on Monday, securing the commitment of 4-star quarterback Shane Buechele.

The prep star confirmed his decision on Twitter:

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he is ranked 184th overall and fourth among dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2016 recruiting class. ESPN.com's Max Olson believes the Longhorns got a great talent for the future:

Andrew King added that locking up a talented in-state player like Buechele is also a nice boost for head coach Charlie Strong:

In an interview with Horns247's Jeff Howe, Buechele spoke very highly of assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson and the job Watson did to sell him on Texas.

"He seems very real and to me, that's the big thing," he said of Watson. "Recruiting is a big deal and they might just be talking jibber jabber and telling me what I want to hear. Coach Watson's for real and tells me the truth. I really enjoy that."

Especially after the school failed to lure incoming Texas A&M recruit Kyler Murray to Austin, the need for Texas to add a quarterback was clear for all to see.

In Buechele, Strong and the Longhorns found their man.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Football: Ducks with the Most to Gain in Spring Practices

For head coach Mark Helfrich and the rest of the Oregon football program, the 2014 season is a thing of the past. It’s time to kick off the 2015 season and put together another championship-caliber campaign.

The Ducks have lost their best player—2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota—and others to the NFL and graduation. However, Oregon still possesses the scariest offense in college football and some of the best skill position players in the nation.

Defensively, Oregon will need to replace the six starters it lost and continue to be one of the most prolific ball-hawking teams in America.

Making it back to another College Football Playoff will be challenging, especially considering the losses Oregon has incurred. If the Ducks are to make another run in 2015, numerous players are going to have to step up in a big way.

For those players wanting to make a significant leap in 2015, it all starts in spring practices, which kick off on March 31.

Here are five players who can help themselves in a big way during spring practices, which conclude on May 2 after Oregon’s spring game.

Begin Slideshow

Oregon Football: Ducks with the Most to Gain in Spring Practices

For head coach Mark Helfrich and the rest of the Oregon football program, the 2014 season is a thing of the past. It’s time to kick off the 2015 season and put together another championship-caliber campaign...

Begin Slideshow

Virginia Tech Football: 5 Players with the Most to Gain in Spring Practices

It may seem hard to believe, but spring practice is just around the corner. For college football fans, it's the best time of the year—outside of opening weekend. The Virginia Tech Hokies, coming off a 7-6 campaign, will look to get back among the ACC elite in 2015.

That march begins in just over a month when the Hokies report to spring practice. The annual spring game will be held on April 25 at 2 p.m. ET.

Fortunately for the Hokies, they only have to replace seven starters combined on both sides of the ball. 

Last season was a banner year for Tech freshmen. Players like Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, Cam Phillips, Wyatt Teller, Greg Stroman and Andrew Motuapuaka all made significant impacts for Virginia Tech. That bodes well for Tech's hopes of returning to the top of the ACC.

Which Hokies player will step up in 2015? Here are five players with the most gain in spring practice. 

Begin Slideshow

Nebraska Football: 5 Players with the Most to Gain in Spring Practices

Spring practice officially begins for Nebraska football on Saturday, March 7. As head coach Mike Riley gears up for his first season with the Huskers, there are key players Nebraska fans will have their eyes on.

Plus, Husker fans are anxious to see what Riley and his staff can do with the current roster. That's what makes this spring even more intriguing. Whether it's the possibility of a quarterback controversy or the question marks on defense, there's plenty that spring practice needs to sort out.

Nebraska's annual spring game is April 11, which gives the Huskers a little over a month before fans get a firsthand look at what the 2015 team has to offer. What will fans see, especially from key players?

Let's take a look at the players who have the most to gain in spring practices.

Begin Slideshow

4-Star CB Chad Clay Names Georgia Favorite, Says He'd 'Love to Stay at Home'

One of the biggest names in attendance for Georgia’s junior day last weekend was 2016 4-star corner Chad Clay.

The 6’0”, 177-pounder, whose father, Willie Clay, was a standout defensive back at Georgia Tech and in the NFL, said that the Bulldogs made a strong impression on him during the weekend’s festivities.

“Coming out of this visit, I’m going to put Georgia at No. 1,” Clay told Bleacher Report. “They made a really big jump in my mind.”

But what is it about the Bulldogs that has them trending with one of the nation’s top corners in the 2016 class, and how did this weekend’s trip open his eyes up to the possibility of staying close to home?

For starters, Clay has developed a strong bond with Bulldogs defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

On this trip, Clay said that he got to interact more with the staff and Pruitt in particular.

“This time, it stuck out to me more because I got a lot more one-on-one time with the coaches because it wasn’t like a game atmosphere where they had to worry about a game,” Clay said. “Coach Pruitt and the defensive staff really seem like they have a plan in the future going forward to get Georgia in contending for a playoff spot every year. They really put a big emphasis on recruiting the Georgia kids.”

Clay was one of several in-state standouts in town over the weekend, as noted by Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247.

He also notes that he’s developed a strong bond with a number of top prospects he played with during the Rising Seniors game last December. The group of recruits had such a good time that he admits that he has pondered the thought of staying home and building something special in Athens.

“When I think about it, in the long run, I’d love to stay at home and play with some of my good friends and people I’ve grown up with since I’ve been playing football,” Clay said. “To stay at home and play college football and win, that would be a great thing.”

There’s another layer to Clay’s recruitment that makes the current direction of this process all the more intriguing.

Of course, Clay’s father starred for the rival Yellow Jackets, but his mom attended Georgia, which makes Chad’s recruitment quite the topic of interest in the Clay household. 

“The crazy thing is, my dad, he always tells me he will leave it up to me and he wants me to make the best decision for me and my life because he’s already lived his,” Chad said.

“She’s the one who came up with me for junior day because my dad was out of town and she really liked it. She was talking to Coach [Mark] Richt and Coach Pruitt and she really likes UGA from an academic standpoint. She said there’s a feeling of trust between her and the coaching staff at UGA.”

The Bulldogs are now in the driver’s seat with one of the many studs on a loaded squad at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia. However, Clay has visits lined up to a few SEC programs coming up in the near future—with a timeline for his decision also on the horizon. 

“I don’t have the exact dates, but I know I have trips to LSU, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi State coming up,” Clay said. I want to make a decision by May or by the summer time. So these visits will be crucial coming up.”

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

12 Legacy College Football Recruits in Class of 2016

Remember the days of watching that stud athlete make play after play in college football in the 1980s or 1990s?

Some of those studs have grown up to become fathers of stud athletes, and those young studs are a year away from showing their skills on the college football scene.

Feel old yet?

Watching legacies of college football stars always brings out the water-cooler questions. Will the sons end up better than the fathers? Will the sons follow the fathers' footsteps by attending the same university? Can the sons finish with a better football resume?

The Class of 2015 had its share of sons looking for similar success that their fathers enjoyed in college. Kyler Murray, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, signed with Texas A&M and hopes to have a career like his father Kevin, who was an All-American quarterback for the Aggies in the 1980s.

Here are 12 2016 prospects, in alphabetical order, with fathers who once shined in college football.

Begin Slideshow

Will Jim Harbaugh's Big Personality Overshadow Michigan Football in 2015?

This isn't exactly breaking news, but Jim Harbaugh has a big personality.

Need proof? Look no further than the new Michigan head coach's Twitter account.

Yes, while other head coaches use their Twitter accounts purely as a promotional tool—such as Harbaugh's Ohio State counterpart, Urban Meyer—the Wolverines head man has opted to put a personal twist on his return to Ann Arbor. Tweeting almost daily, it's not uncommon for Harbaugh to uniquely wish his players happy birthday, share his thoughts on historic anniversaries and post pictures of himself among other members of the Michigan elite.

He's even (allegedly) subtweeted Meyer. And Harbaugh's ability to create headlines hasn't been limited to 140 characters or fewer either.

Since accepting the Wolverines' head coaching job at the end of December, Harbaugh has become college football's most meme-worthy coach. Whether it's eating pizza courtside at a basketball game, tutoring NFL prospects Jameis Winston and Bryce Petty or unintentionally going face-to-face with Tom Izzo, the former 49ers head coach has shown an uncanny ability to go viral on a consistent basis.

Even his introductory press conference with the Wolverines made waves on the web.

“I don’t know if anyone saw me trip on the way in,” Harbaugh said as he laughed off his stumble. "A lesser athlete would've gone down."

Harbaugh's bold personality is apparent in everything he does and appears to be one of Michigan's greatest assets moving forward. But with his first spring football at the helm of his alma mater kicking off Tuesday, his Twitter presence will take a backseat, the happenings on the gridiron taking precedent.

Make no mistake, Harbaugh's personality isn't going anywhere—it's just as evident on the sideline as it is online. But once the Wolverines are finally on the football field, what kind of effect will it have?

For all of the positive public relations Michigan has enjoyed since Harbaugh's hiring—including a likely much-needed boost in ticket sales—the Wolverines are yet to prove they're anything more than a mediocre football team. Last season, Michigan endured a 5-7 campaign under Brady Hoke, and with only one month on the recruiting trail before signing day, Harbaugh only managed to add the nation's 38th-ranked recruiting class to his roster.

The revitalized Wolverines fanbase is embracing Harbaugh's tweets right now, but how will it receive them if Michigan's struggles continue in 2015?

One precedent worth examining is Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, another social media-active coach who has only accumulated a combined 10-15 record in his first two seasons in Fayetteville. Bielema seemingly racked up Twitter miscues as quickly as he did losses with the Razorbacks, which made him an easy target for the college football blogosphere.

Being the butt of jokes hasn't affected Bielema's job security, however, with Arkansas recently extending his contract through 2020. The former Wisconsin coach also doesn't have a track record that matches that of Harbaugh, who took the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl in his first three seasons in the NFL.

He may not have been on Twitter then, but the former Pro Bowl quarterback's personality was just as apparent during his time in the Bay Area. Even without a social media platform of his own, Harbaugh still managed to make viral headlines with stories about his wardrobe, facial expressions and offseason activities.

In fact, one could argue that Harbaugh's intensity and uniqueness have been the primary forces behind his success. And neither has prevented him from completing a turnaround as a head coach before.

When Harbaugh took over Stanford in 2007, the Cardinal were coming off a 1-11 season. In each of his four seasons at Stanford, Harbaugh managed to increase the team's win total, culminating with a 12-1 Orange Bowl-winning campaign in 2010.

That was the same year the 49ers went just 6-10 despite possessing one of the more talented rosters in the NFL. San Francisco opted to turn to Harbaugh when hiring a new head coach in the offseason, beating out the Miami Dolphins, who were also vying for his services.

The Toledo, Ohio, native's time in the pro ranks was hardly a disappointment, as he amassed back-to-back NFC West championships in his first two years on the job and a third straight trip to the conference title game in 2013. A clash of personalities with San Francisco management had more to do with his departure than performance, which shouldn't be an issue in his return to Ann Arbor.

Because for the first time since Lloyd Carr left the Wolverines following the 2007 season, Michigan is finally united behind a single leader. But with a roster still left with much to prove on the field, only time will tell whether Harbaugh's strong personality will be a uniting or dividing force in Ann Arbor.

But make no mistake, when the Wolverines take the field for their first spring practice under Harbaugh on Tuesday, his attitude will be evident.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tom Bradley Hired as UCLA DC: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Tom Bradley will reportedly leave his post as West Virginia senior associate head coach to become the defensive coordinator at UCLA.    

ESPN.com's Kevin Gammell reported the news on Monday:

Bradley was a longtime fixture on the Penn State coaching staff, where he played as a defensive back before rising to defensive play-caller from 2000 to 2011 (h/t WVUSports.com).

That experience gives Bradley plenty of credibility as the Bruins' new coordinator. Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports approved of Bradley's hiring:

The Bruins have a quarterback in Brett Hundley to replace as it is—increasing the need for a stout defense in 2015 to stay in Pac-12 contention.

But the concept of coaching two-way dynamo and linebacker Myles Jack had to be enticing when UCLA offered Bradley the position.

Mark Whicker of LA News Group highlighted one element of Bradley's raging success as a coach:

Penn State produced a lot of great players at Jack's position during Bradley's stint in University Park, keeping the Nittany Lions' heritage of "Linebacker U" intact. Now Jack may become even better under Bradley's tutelage.    

Bradley's years in the Big Ten should rub off on UCLA. He figures to bring a physical brand of football to the West Coast. With Jack leading the way and a promising 2015 recruiting class thanks to a solid national signing day haul, the future appears bright for head coach Jim Mora's Bruins.

Since he's had such a strong track record of developing future NFL players, Bradley should only help bring in superior talent to UCLA's program, too.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tom Bradley Hired as UCLA DC: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Tom Bradley will reportedly leave his post as West Virginia senior associate head coach to become the defensive coordinator at UCLA. ESPN...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Georgia Insider Buzz: 5-Star DT Julian Rochester Says Athens Feels 'Like Home'

Georgia had a rocky season, but it's looking to bounce back in recruiting. The Bulldogs are looking to return to the top of the SEC East. 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson was joined by 247Sports' Georgia beat writer Rusty Mansell to discuss the Bulldogs' 2016 commits.

What kind of recruiting class can the Georgia Bulldogs have in 2016?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Tigers' 2016 Dream Recruiting Class

LSU had a bumpy season on the field, but it is hot after it on the recruiting trail. The Tigers had a great recruiting season in 2015, and they are looking to continue that success with a stellar 2016 class. 

Bleacher Report college football analyst Barrett Sallee gives his picks for the dream recruiting class for LSU.

Who are the must-have recruits for LSU?

Watch the video, and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Derrick Brown Tweets Top 8 Schools: Which Team Holds Edge for 5-Star DT?

Derrick Brown has everything a program wants in a defensive tackle. Strength. Size. Agility. A mean streak.

Brown has 25 offers, but on Monday, the 6'4", 309-pound brick wall trimmed his list to eight schools—all eight representing the SEC. He tweeted that Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU made the cut.

We know the conference, but when looking at favorites, keep your eye on the first three schools he tweeted. And consider the last school one to watch, as well.

Georgia has to be considered an early favorite. Georgia was one of his first offers, and with the campus being less than an hour from his home of Buford, Georgia, proximity will have an advantage. In an interview last month with Jake Reuse of Rivals.com, Brown said he speaks frequently with head coach Mark Richt, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

Georgia is the leader according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions, but Auburn, LSU and Alabama are three schools who could challenge the Bulldogs in the race. Auburn and Alabama both are within reasonable driving distance from home, and both are contenders for SEC championships each year. Brown has made multiple unofficial visits to both schools.

And then there's LSU, a school Brown wanted to visit for last week's junior day but, according to Justin Rowland of Rivals.com, couldn't make the trip because of a scheduled student council retreat. He told Rowland that he was a fan of the team's defense, and an unofficial visit could take place around spring break.

Since November, Brown has been to Mississippi State, Alabama and Vanderbilt. He also wants to make visits to the four aforementioned schools, per Rowland.

Player-coach relationships will be very important as Brown looks to trim his list from eight. Defensive line coach Rodney Garner has been his primary contact at Auburn. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and defensive line coach Bo Davis are Brown's contacts at Alabama.

LSU is a wild card because of his budding relationships there. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is Brown's recruiting contact, and he told Rowland that while everything is still new, he likes Orgeron's passion for the game.

The winning school gets someone who can be an immediate impact player on the defensive line. Brown could be an all-conference player early in his career.

Georgia is hoping he'll be that kind of player in Athens. The other schools are hoping to do enough to make Georgia a runner-up in the race.

 

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

FSU Insider Buzz: What Are the Chances Seminoles Land No. 1 DE Shavar Manuel?

Florida State continues to have success on the recruiting trail, landing another top-five class in 2015. The Seminoles now set their sights on 2016, where they are looking to make a huge impact. 

Bleacher Report's Stephen Nelson sits down with 247Sports recruiting analyst Josh Newberg to discuss Florida State's 2016 recruiting class. 

What kind of class will FSU have in 2016?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A week after offering scholarships to more than 20 prospects, Alabama took its foot off the gas a little bit this week, not quite doling out that many offers.

The Crimson Tide are continuing their post-signing-day push and added another member to their 2015 class in the prospects.

Here’s a rundown of Alabama’s offers from this week.

 

T.J. Simmons, 2016 3-star wide receiver from Pinson, Alabama

It didn’t take long for Alabama to add a wide receiver to its 2016 class. The Crimson Tide offered Simmons on Thursday, and Simmons committed right away:

Pinson is currently rated a 3-star prospect and the No. 86 receiver in the country from just down the road at Clay-Chalkville High School. Alabama was only his second SEC offer, behind Mississippi State, and he committed immediately.

"It means that I have a chance to go play for one of the best teams in the country," Simmons told AL.com’s Jeff Sentell. "Alabama has one of the best programs in the country."

Simmons broke down the speedy commitment to Sentell. Nick Saban offered him a scholarship over the phone.

“I told him if he didn't mind then I would like to go ahead and commit," Simmons said. "He was like 'Okay, cool' and he was like talk to your family and make sure this is what you want to do, but if this is what you want to then then I will accept it. I said I wanted to play at Alabama."

Simmons also said that he plans to attend Georgia’s junior day with a Clay-Chalkville teammate but otherwise wants to “slow down” his recruitment.

Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles broke down what the commitment means here.

 

Nico Collins, 2017 wide receiver from Pinson, Alabama

Alabama is hoping that its most recent commit can pay dividends down the road.

A day after it offered and got a commitment from Simmons, the Crimson Tide extended an offer to his 6’4” teammate and fellow wide receiver, Nico Collins.

Collins does not yet have a star rating on 247Sports or any other recruiting service. He is a tall, physical specimen who has a lot of developing to do after just his sophomore year in high school.

Still, the offer speaks to what kind of potential Alabama sees in Collins.

Simmons spoke fondly of his teammate, per AL.com’s Jeff Sentel:

Nico and I learn from each other. I teach him things here and there and we still listen to and work with (Clay-Chalkville receivers coach) coach (Chris) Mills to get better at what we do. Coach Mills has really helped us both on different stuff. I'm trying to get Nico to work hard in the weight room to get bigger. He's really tall and lanky and I really want to work with him hard so he can add more muscle and get bigger and become an even better player.

You can see the height difference here:

Simmons and Collins only have a year left playing together in high school but might get the chance to continue being teammates in college.

 

Keyshawn Johnson, Jr., 4-star 2017 wide receiver from Mission Viejo, California

It was a big week for wide receivers and Alabama offers, continuing with one of the biggest names in the 2017 class.

The Crimson Tide extended an offer to Johnson Jr., the son of NFL legend Keyshawn Johnson, on Monday.

Johnson, Jr. told 247Sports’ Alex Gleitman how he felt about the offer:

I talked to Coach Saban on the phone and he offered me personally. That made it very special. It's a great offer. Any offer I would be blessed to have whether it's the best team in the nation or the worst. Any coach that sees me as talented enough to play for their college is something special. But Alabama, that's crazy. I still don't really have a favorite, but they stand as high as anyone else on my list.

Johnson, Jr. is working his way up through the recruiting rankings, now the No. 19 receiver in the country and No. 93 prospect overall, per 247Sports. His crystal ball is currently split 50-50 between Ohio State and USC, but he still has a ways to go before a decision.

Bleacher Report’s Brian Leigh looked at what the offer means for Johnson, Jr.’s recruitment.

 

Other offers from the week

Donnie Corley, 2016 4-star wide receiver from Wyandotte, Michigan

Khalid Kareem, 2016 4-star defensive end from Farmington, Michigan

Jeffrey Simmons, 2016 4-star defensive end from Macon, Mississippi

John Simpson, 2016 4-star offensive guard from North Charleston, South Carolina

Craig Watts, Jr., 2016 4-star safety from St. Petersburg, Florida

Devwah Whaley, 2016 4-star running back from Beaumont, Texas

Jaquan Yulee, 2016 4-star inside linebacker from Chesapeake, Virginia

Darel Middelton, 2016 3-star tight end from Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Carlin Fils-Aime, 2016 running back from Naples, Florida

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Fast-Rising DB Spencer Perry Gets Auburn Offer, Calls Will Muschamp 'Genius'

Spencer Perry saw his recruitment process switch gears on Saturday, when he received offers from three powerhouse programs.

The standout 2016 defensive back collected scholarships from Michigan, Florida and Auburn. The Tigers extended an offer while Perry spent time on campus for a junior day, culminating a lengthy recruitment with the team.

“I’ve been talking to Auburn for a year but it’s been a much different situation with the other schools," he said.

Perry's past experience with Florida and Michigan was far abbreviated. Neither team maintained significant correspondence until last week.

"I kind of saw that one coming and knew Auburn just wanted to get me on campus and make sure my size is the same as it's listed," he said. "Michigan and Florida were more of a surprise."

Perry, who claims to stand at 6'3", 200 pounds, has quickly formed a relationship with Auburn's recent additions on the defensive staff. Former Florida head coach Will Mushchamp warranted substantial respect when he accepted the position of Tigers defensive coordinator.

"I truly believe Muschamp is one of the few defensive masterminds in college football," Perry said. "He's a genius on that side of the ball and understands how to put his players in position to dominate. It's the kind of defense you want to be a part of in the next few years."

Auburn defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson also made a strong impression on Perry during the visit.

"T-Rob can relate well with anybody, and he's the kind of coach who tells you things how they really are—not just what you want to hear," he sad. "One of the coolest things about junior day was when my parents and I sat down with him while he explained his defensive game plan and how I would fit in it."

Auburn, like most interested college programs, is targeting Perry as a safety. His physical stature and range are rare for the position, and he appears comfortable embracing that role for years to come.

"Pretty much every coach tells me that my size and athleticism make me different than a lot of other top safeties," Perry said. "They say I'm 6’3”, 200 pounds but move like I’m 5’11”, 160 pounds when I react to the ball. I understand how to use my body when I hit people. Some players go too low or too high on tackles. I fire through full force with my head forward."

His skills have quickly caught the attention of several top-tier college squads.

Though he lived in Auburn last season, Perry has since transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Now Sunshine State programs have entered the mix with increased interest.

The Gators extended an offer on Saturday and Perry anticipates some upcoming visits to The Swamp.

"Now that I'm at IMG, it'll be easier to get up to Florida," Perry said. "I know a lot of my teammates have interest in the Gators, too, so there will be some opportunities for us to check it out."

He is also set to visit Tallahassee this upcoming weekend. Perry, who noted his decision-making process is "totally wide open," believes another offer could await him at the Seminoles' junior day.

"Florida State has shown interest for a while, but when Florida offered, it seemed like FSU became more urgent with wanting me there," Perry said.

Beyond the Southeast region, Perry plans to visit Michigan "sometime this spring". The Wolverines have utilized former Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin as a key recruiter in the area.

Perry noted his decision-making process remains "totally wide open" right now. He mentioned Miami, Oklahoma and Ohio State as other potential eventual possibilities.

Though he only held a short list of collegiate opportunities until recently, things have heated up for Perry. Saturday's flurry of offers have swiftly altered the course of his recruitment.

"It changes a lot," Perry said. "I was taking things slow and really waiting for schools to start showing some more interest. Then suddenly, three of the county’s biggest schools reached out with offers. The process is definitely picking up.”

 

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

Player ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Design Company Creates Alternate Concept Helmets for College Football Teams

The Oregon Ducks have led the way in bringing bold uniforms to college football. For those who would like to see their favorite team follow suit, a design company has come up with new helmet concepts for NCAA football programs.

Last week, the sports world fell in love with the NFL helmet concepts that Deeyung Entertainment created. The design company has added plenty of college football helmet designs since the NFL helmets went viral.

Take a look below and see what you think of the helmet concepts.

 

Florida State Seminoles

 

Georgia Bulldogs

 

Michigan Wolverines

 

Missouri Tigers

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

 

The rest of the helmets can be seen here.

[Fresh Football Helmets]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Texas Football: 4 Players with the Most to Gain in Spring Practices

The Texas Longhorns will return to the football field March 25 to kick off year two of the Charlie Strong era. After a 6-7 season, the Longhorns need to make drastic changes on the field, and it will begin with spring practice. 

The biggest question mark on the team will be at quarterback, but that will be just one of the positions the coaches will need to figure out for the upcoming 2015 season.

With practice right around the corner, here's a look at four Longhorns with the most to gain in the spring.

Begin Slideshow

Pages