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Top 5 Takeaways from ESPN's Updated Recruiting Rankings

The beauty of 247Sports' composite rankings is that they make shakeups in any of the four major recruiting sites—247Sports, Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com—more of a topic of discussion in the college football recruiting world.

When ESPN released its updated ESPN 300 on Monday, a few players were rewarded with a bump in their 247Sports composite rankings.

Here are five takeaways from the new ESPN 300 rankings.


Sterling-Cole continues to impress

ESPN thinks very highly of quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole—and rightfully so. Once unranked in the ESPN 300, the uncommitted 4-star is now at No. 111 in the latest rankings.

Sterling-Cole's rise since the spring has been very impressive. When he won quarterback MVP honors at The Opening Dallas Regional in March, he was a 3-star player and the No. 27 dual-threat quarterback. He's now the No. 9 pro-style quarterback after showcasing his skills throughout the spring and summer.

All eyes are on Sterling-Cole, who has schools like Texas A&M, Houston, UCLA, Florida and several others on his list. Texas A&M fans are hoping to land him, as he is an Aggie legacy: His father is former Aggie Chris Cole, who went on to play receiver in the NFL for the Denver Broncos.


Major spikes from the defensive front

Nothing helps a player's confidence like watching his rankings escalate emphatically. Four uncommitted, 4-star defensive ends saw a rise of at least 70 spots on Monday.

Brandon Bowen proved to be the biggest winner, as he jumped 190 spots from No. 351 to No. 161. Another triple-digit jumper was Antonneous Clayton, who rose 106 spots from No. 217 to No. 111.

Prince Sammons, a bigger man among big men at 6'8" and 280 pounds, climbed from No. 258 to No. 159, just missing a triple-digit increase in the rankings. Justin Madubuike "only" rose 74 spots but managed to jump into the national top 100, escalating from No. 169 to No. 95.

A fifth defensive end, Georgia 4-star commit Chauncey Manac, rose 75 spots from No. 149 to No. 74.


More news about defensive ends

The new composite rankings feature 22 defensive ends in the top 200, and six of those are in the top 50. Nick Bosa is the nation's No. 2 strong-side defensive end behind 5-star Shavar Manuel, but Bosa, also a 5-star player, rose from No. 31 to No. 8 in the composite rankings. Manuel is at No. 6.

While Bosa cracked the top 10, other defensive ends saw an impressive bump in the composite rankings on Monday. Marlon Davidson, another 5-star defensive end, jumped from No. 53 to No. 22. Florida State 4-star commit Janarius Robinson rose 47 spots from No. 83 to No. 36. McTelvin Agim, a 4-star end and the top-ranked player in Arkansas, went from No. 79 to No. 55.


Geaux-ing for the win

Teams like Florida State, Miami and reigning national champion Ohio State have either double-digit commitments or near-double-digit commitments from the ESPN 300. However, the team to beat currently is LSU.

The Tigers are the top-ranked team in the 247Sports composite recruiting team rankings with 17 commits. Among the members in the ESPN 300 are 5-star cornerback Saivion Smith, 5-star defensive tackle Edwin Alexander, 4-star quarterback Feleipe Franks and 4-star receivers Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan.

The good news for LSU is that more commits could be coming. The Tigers are in a solid position to land 5-star studs such as defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence, offensive tackle Willie Allen and safety Brandon Jones.


An interesting race for No. 1

The top two players in the ESPN 300: Rashan Gary and Greg Little.

The top two players in the 247Sports composite: Rashan Gary and Greg Little.

The battle for the top-ranked player in the nation appears to be down to a dynamic, uncommitted, 5-star defensive tackle and a technically sound, 5-star offensive tackle committed to Texas A&M, respectively. Betwen them, the two have nearly 60 reported offers.

The summer and fall, however, will play a key role in who ultimately finishes as the No. 1 player.

Will it be Gary or Little, or will another 5-star prospect overtake them? Quarterback Jacob Eason is the No. 3 player in the 247Sports composite. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who rose 37 spots from No. 54 to No. 17 in the ESPN 300, is No. 4 in the 247Sports composite.

Next month's The Opening could be a determining factor in who ends up where.


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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Danny Etling Transferring to LSU Is Great Insurance at QB for Les Miles

Ever since Matt Flynn led LSU to a national title following the 2007 season, the quarterback position—save for Zach Mettenberger's senior year in 2013—has been a wasteland.

Ryan Perrilloux couldn't stay on the field, Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee struggled, the Tigers won in spite of Jordan Jefferson and Anthony Jennings wasn't exactly a game-changer in 2014.

Help is on the way, just not immediate help.

According to Greg Ostendorf of ESPN.com, former Purdue quarterback Danny Etling will enroll at LSU this fall, will sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules and have two years to play starting in 2016.

He's a tremendous insurance policy for head coach Les Miles and his staff.

Ideally, Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron would like either sophomore Brandon Harris or junior (and recently suspended) Anthony Jennings to evolve into a star this year and hold down the job for at least the next two seasons. 

At this point, though, that might be the college football equivalent of searching for a unicorn, and having Etling waiting in the wings in 2016 will give Miles and his staff some security.

The native of Terre Haute, Indiana, completed 55.5 percent of his passes (239-for-429) during his first two seasons at Purdue, threw 16 touchdowns and tossed 12 picks. The former 4-star prospect in the class of 2013 has a strong arm, can stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball on time and on the money.

His stats from Purdue don't exactly jump off the page, but that's not the point nor is it all that important.

He's the most accomplished quarterback on the LSU roster right now, and unless Jennings or Harris bucks the trend and is successful in 2015, he will be next year when he's eligible to play.

Plus, Etling might benefit from the talent around him—especially at wide receiver where Malachi Dupre will be a junior when Etling can play, and other wide receivers like D.J. Chark, John Diarse and Tyron Johnson will have plenty of experience under their belts. 

As Barton Simmons of 247Sports notes, he could shine in the pro-style system of Miles and Cameron.

What's more, he'll be the only true pro-style quarterback on the roster in 2016. 

Jennings and Harris are both dual-threats, and the loser of the battle this year has a good chance of leaving before the 2016 season. Justin McMillan signed in the class of 2015 and enrolled early, but he is also a dual-threat. The Tigers have a commitment from 4-star stud Feleipe Franks, but he's also a dual-threat and it's a lot to ask for a true freshman to come in, play and succeed right away in the SEC.

Etling not only provides a solid pro-style option for the staff, but he also can act as a bridge to get from the current situation that's unstable-at-best, to Franks.

Does Etling have the same buzz surrounding his name as Florida State graduate transfer Everett Golson? 

No, of course not.

But he is a solid insurance policy for Miles to have in 2016 and beyond, and he could become a star with LSU's stable of wide receivers at his disposal.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

10 College Football Players with the Most 'Take It to the House' Potential

Annually, programs scour the country looking for players with the ability to turn an otherwise ordinary play into a big one—often resulting in points, or setting up a potential score. 

These players are few and far between when looking at the college football landscape. However, there are a prominent number of players with the ability to "take it to the house" at any moment. 

This piece will look at 10 players with this potential. It will exclude quarterbacks and solely look at receivers and running backs. The list of athletes will be presented in alphabetical order. 


Honorable mentions: Tyler Boyd, Travin Dural, William Fuller, Kareem Hunt, Adoree' Jackson, Brandon Sheperd, Ryan Switzer, Laquon Treadwell, Duke Williams.

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Virginia Tech Football: Hokies' Most Important Players at Each Position

Summer workouts are underway for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and fall camp is right around the corner. The Hokies are looking to get back to the top of the ACC after three middling seasons.

To overtake Florida State and have a shot at the College Football Playoff, Tech needs some of its better—and most important—players to stay on the field and produce at a high level.

Who are VT's most important players? Specifically, who is Virginia Tech's most important player at each positional unit? Keep in mind, an important player does not necessarily mean the best player, but generally those two things do go hand in hand.

Here's a look at the Hokies' most important players by position.

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Cyler Miles, Washington QB, Retires from Football Due to Hip Injury

The Washington Huskies' leading passer from last year, Cyler Miles, will reportedly retire from playing football, per ESPN's Joe Schad.   

Washington confirmed the news on its official website, announcing a chronic hip injury as the reason behind Miles' retirement.

"I am grateful to Coach Petersen and his staff for all the opportunities I have been given here at Washington," he said in the press release. "I am disappointed that my hip injuries will not allow me to continue playing, but I am committed to earning my UW degree and will leave the program with many great friendships and valuable lessons learned."

This isn't a recent issue for Miles. When he originally committed to Washington in February 2012 on signing day, he did so while on crutches as he recovered from hip surgery.

His status for the upcoming season was also in doubt after news that he took a voluntary absence from the team in March.

"Cyler is dealing with some things in his life that are more important than football, and he felt it was important to take some time away from the game," Huskies head coach Chris Petersen said in a statement at the time, per Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. "We are working to support him in any way we can and hope he returns back to the football field soon."

Miles threw for 2,397 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions for the Huskies in 2014. The team isn't exactly flush with experienced QBs who can replace him, per Stephen Cohen of SeattlePI.com:

Jeff Lindquist likely has the early track on the starting job. He went 10-of-26 for 162 yards and a touchdown while filling in for Miles in last year's season opener. The school had suspended Miles for the first game after he was involved in a fight in February 2014.

K.J. Carta-Samuels and Jake Browning did arrive with a fair amount of hype, though. Carta-Samuels was the 11th-best pro-style quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class, while Browning ranked No. 5 in 2015, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Diddy Arrested: Latest Details After Alleged Fight with UCLA Football Coach

Renowned rapper and pop culture icon Sean "Diddy" Combs was arrested Monday on UCLA's campus for assault with a deadly weapon after an alleged altercation with a football coach who was hard on Diddy's son during Bruins practice.

TMZ.com reported the news, indicating that defensive back Justin Combs, Diddy's son, was chewed out during strength and conditioning drills by an assistant coach while Diddy bore witness to the scene.

TMZ Sports later reported ex-New York Jets strength coach Sal Alosi, who was suspended for tripping a player during a 2010 game against the Miami Dolphins, was the coach involved in the alleged altercation.

After the practice session had ended, Diddy allegedly went to the coach's office in the school's athletic facility and grabbed him. According to a release on the university's official website, the weapon Diddy used was a kettlebell.

Bruins head coach Jim Mora also spoke on the matter, per the release: "I'm thankful that our staff showed the level of professionalism that they did in handling this situation. This is an unfortunate incident for all parties involved. While UCPD continues to review this matter, we will let the legal process run its course and refrain from further comment at this time."

Diddy is still in the UCLA campus jail for the alleged incident, which resulted in no serious injuries. 

Justin Combs, a rising redshirt junior who is listed at 5'7" and 170 pounds, has appeared in seven games for the Bruins. Ourlads.com does not list him on UCLA's current two-deep depth chart at the cornerback position. His playing time therefore figures to be sparse, save perhaps for sub-packages.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers' Most Important Player at Each Position

Nebraska football fans are well into barbecue season, enjoying the warm weather and wondering why the American League All-Star team will be almost entirely populated by Kansas City Royals. But the 2015 depth chart is never far from their minds, and over these lazy summer months it’s a useful exercise to think about which players are most important at each position.

It’s not necessarily a consideration of who is the best player, mind you, although it usually works out that way. Rather, it’s a question of who is the most important—which player at each position Nebraska needs the most. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the roster.

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Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

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

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

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

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


Malcolm Askew

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

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

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

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

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


Anthony McFarland Jr.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SEC Football: Predicting Conference's Top 2015 Stat Leaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Which Team Has the Most Lethal Offense in College Football?

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

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

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Surprises and Disappointments for Oregon's 2016 Recruiting Class

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

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

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Surprises and Disappointments for Oregon's 2016 Recruiting Class

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

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Schools to Watch After Brodarious Hamm's Decommitment from Tennessee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Recruiting info courtesy of 247Sports.

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

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


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

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

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

According to Brent Carney of KXAN.com:

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

Well done by the Longhorns here. 


2. Also, Alabama Players Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity

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

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


3. Urban Meyer's Basement Flooded

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

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


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

And, now, on to the lighter stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Below is Seacat's highlight video: 


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

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

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


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

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


9. Here's Video of Braxton Miller Throwing 

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

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


10. Jim Harbaugh Loves Him Some Lil Wayne

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

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


11. Finally, Your College Football Burn of the Week

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

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

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


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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Which Big 12 Teams Are Legitimate National Title Contenders?

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

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

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Projecting College Football's 2015 All-Breakout Team

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

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

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

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Tennessee Football: Volunteers' Most Important Players at Each Position

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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