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Alabama Football: Projecting Crimson Tide's Post-Spring Two-Deep Depth Chart

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Spring is officially over, and the long march to August has begun.

We learned a lot about the 2015 Alabama football team over this last month or so. Favorites emerged at some positions, while depth was created at others.

Let’s take a look at where the Crimson Tide stand by taking a stab at the depth chart now that spring ball has wrapped up.


Note: The depth chart does not include 2015 signees who were not on campus for spring practice.

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Which Team Has the Best DB Corps in College Football?

Defense wins championships, and those on the other side of the ball rely heavily on the defensive backfield. College football is loaded with talent this year in this department, but which team has the best?

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael FelderBarrett Sallee and Adam Kramer debate which team has the best group of defensive backs in the country.

Who do you think has the most talent? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Football: Despite Spring Performances, Tigers Still Have a QB Problem

"When you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks."

It's an old cliche that's not often applicable in this day and age of college football, where quarterbacks get injured and coaches are well-schooled at using signal-callers with different skill sets.

For LSU in 2014, though, it was a 100 percent accurate description of the state of the quarterback position.

Anthony Jennings completed just 48.9 percent of his passes on the season, lost his job to Brandon Harris and was forced back into action after Harris completed just three of 14 passes in just over two quarters in his only career start—a road matchup vs. Auburn in early October 2014.

At the spring game over the weekend, though, the two quarterbacks gave the staff and Tigers fans a little glimmer of hope.

Jennings completed 13 of 20 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns while Harris completed 11 of his 17 passes for 178 and two touchdowns of his own.

"We threw the football much more in spring ball," head coach Les Miles said in quotes released by LSU. "We did the same in the spring game. I felt that both quarterbacks really executed their throws at a very high level."

The same kind of confidence resonated among the entire offense, as wide receiver Malachi Dupre stated, according to LSU:

I feel like they've both improved mentally. It's never been a physical problem. They've both become much better leaders and have just taken charge. I think it's shown. Moving forward, we have a lot of work we still have to do, but I feel confident and am looking forward to the season.

Progress of any kind is earth-shattering news in Baton Rouge, but there's still a quarterback problem.

As Russ Mitchell of CFN points out, most of the damage done by the quarterbacks came against the second-team defense—which was clearly a tremendous step back from the first-teamers.

The fact that, for the most part, the Tigers' No. 2 offense was on the field when facing the first-team defense can certainly be used to explain some of the struggles. It's still a major concern to see the quarterbacks go through many of the same issues they went through last year.

One of Jennings' major issues last year was indecisiveness in the pocket, and he took three sacks on the afternoon while playing with the purple team (second team). It was for that team that Harris threw the only interception of the afternoon—to true freshman Kevin Toliver II.

As Hunter Paniagua of TigerSportsDigest.com points out, even third-string early enrollee Justin McMillan lit up the second team like a Christmas tree on Saturday afternoon.

Spring game success is always a double-edged sword regardless of team. If one unit looks great, it can easily be used as an indictment on the other side of the ball. LSU's second-team defense has major issues and is a big reason why the quarterbacks looked good on Saturday.

Does that mean a sequel to last season's box-office flop is in store for the Tigers in 2015?

Not necessarily.

Both quarterbacks looked in control with the first-team offense, appeared capable of making the tough throws and helped more weapons—like Dupre and spring phenom D.J. Chark—develop over the course of the 15 practice sessions.

As a result, LSU now has something it hasn't had in a long time at the quarterback position—hope.

Let's hold off on closing the book on LSU's quarterback issues, though.

Hope is great, but now both quarterbacks have to build off that foundation during summer workouts and fall camp—something they were unable to do last year. 

This spring was a small step forward, but now the real challenge begins for Jennings, Harris and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.


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

Notre Dame Football Recruiting Offers of the Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame football directed last week’s attention toward Saturday’s spring-ending Blue-Gold Game, and the Fighting Irish had another opportunity to continue their recruiting efforts.

Each week, we’ll be keeping 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 classes of 2016, 2017 and maybe even 2018. The staff was quiet in dishing out offers this week with all the other activity.

Though the Notre Dame staff welcomed a double-digit combination of recruits and signees to campus for the weekend, Notre Dame’s biggest recruiting victory of the weekend came from the state of Ohio.


Isaiah Pryor

Class of 2017 safety Isaiah Pryor visited campus for the spring game and left with an offer.

The No. 2 safety and No. 28 overall player in the country, Pryor is a 6’2” 190-pounder from Lawrenceville, Georgia. The elite prospect’s offer list includes South Carolina, Stanford, Clemson, Florida State and Michigan.

“Coach Kelly offered me,” Pryor told Irish247’s Tom Loy. “They had a written scholarship offer for me and everything. It was crazy. Obviously, they couldn’t give it to me yet, since I’m only a sophomore. But it was amazing nonetheless.”

Pryor received the offer from Kelly before the game, per Loy.

“It’s very special,” Pryor said. “This place has everything. The academics are really the big selling point. You won’t find better than here. Then, with football, I liked what they did defensively, and the guys played hard. I could see myself playing in this scheme.”


News and Notes

Maybe more important than Notre Dame’s two-hour tussle Saturday was the news that followed roughly 24 hours later.

Class of 2016 offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg announced his commitment to Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.

The No. 11 offensive tackle and No. 83 overall player in the nation, Eichenberg visited South Bend on April 10 and was deciding between the Irish and Ohio State, where the Cleveland native visited at the beginning of the weekend. Eichenberg spoke to Loy about his decision:

My parents had sent me to a college prep school for high school and it seemed like I didn’t really have a choice of where I was going to school at the time. If I went where I wanted to go for high school, I would've never become the player or person I am today. The immature thing to do is focus your college years only on the game of football and not care about academics. I'm not saying that I can't play beyond college football, but there is always a chance that I won't.

You simply cannot pass up a Notre Dame education. I chose Notre Dame because of the academics. Football played a factor, but the majority of my decision came down to academic reasons.

Eichenberg joins fellow class of 2016 offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer in Notre Dame’s class. Kraemer, the No. 3 tackle and No. 25 prospect in the class, became the first member of Notre Dame's 2016 class when he pledged to the Irish in October. The Cincinnati native also chose Notre Dame over Ohio State, among others.

Earlier in the week, the Irish received a commitment from class of 2016 defensive end Julian Okwara, the brother of current Notre Dame defensive end Romeo Okwara.

In other recruiting news, Notre Dame cracked the top 10 for two targets from the class of 2016. Offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux slotted the Irish among his top 10 teams Wednesday night.

Boudreaux is the No. 8 guard and No. 233 overall player.

The Irish also landed among safety Craig Watts’ top teams Thursday.


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 a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco on Twitter.

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Cal Football Coach Pierre Ingram Arrested for Soliciting Prostitute

Pierre Ingram, the California Golden Bears football team's recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, was reportedly arrested during a prostitution sting by authorities in Oakland, per Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group.

Oakland police allege that Ingram solicited online and then met an undercover officer at a Motel 6 on April 16. They then arrested Ingram, and he was cited for misdemeanor solicitation of a lewd act.

Mike Vernon of the San Francisco Chronicle provided a statement from Ingram's attorney:

The school has placed Ingram on administrative leave. In a statement provided to Faraudo, the school said:

We are aware of the situation and at this time the University is in the process of gathering more information. We were first made aware of the situation prior to the spring game. Coach Ingram did not participate in the spring game (Saturday) and has been placed on administrative leave while the University looks into the matter.

Once that process is complete and the situation has been fully assessed, we will be in a position to comment further.

Ingram is entering his third year with the Golden Bears. He worked with the running backs in 2013 and 2014 before being moved to wide receivers in 2015. Before arriving in Berkeley, he spent three years with current Cal coach Sonny Dykes at Louisiana Tech.

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Inside the Pulse of the Defending National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — I am standing in front of a church; only it is no longer a church. It’s now a makeshift Ohio State merchandise store with "Clinton Predestinarian Baptist Church" still etched in stone above its arched doorway.

Right now, 15 hours before Ohio State plays a scrimmage in front of nearly 100,000 people, four middle-aged gentlemen are sitting in front of a makeshift store, drinking makeshift drinks while sitting in makeshift chairs. National championship T-shirts, flags and swag hang proudly behind and above the magnificent architecture—the red brick matching the bright scarlet paraphernalia up for sale. The stadium is a little less than a mile away.

It is an unusual place to sell jerseys and other pieces of memorabilia, although in many ways it’s football poetry. It’s also an extension of the program it proudly backs: unexpected, magnificent and calm before a tremendous, inevitable storm eventually breaks up the celebration.

For at least one weekend, however, none of that mattered. Not the quarterback quandary. Not the inevitable No. 1 ranking. Not the hopeful rebirth of a rival. Not even the future, which is remarkably bright. This was a time for everyone—from the fans to the man overseeing it all—to catch his or her breath.

It’s why 99,391 people willingly gave up their Saturday afternoon and watched a spring football game.

That warrants repeating. Nearly 100,000 people made the pilgrimage to Columbus to watch its football team, even without many of its superstars in action. The warm sun and high 70s didn’t hurt this effort, although giving credit to local meteorologists and Mother Nature would be an injustice to their dedication.

Scalpers circled the stadium like sharks as an ancillary ticket market took shape—for a spring game. Ticket lines wrapped around buildings. Parking lots overflowed, and the traffic pattern looked more like that of a Michigan game than spring. Some said it was even worse.

Tailgates were fully functional, and the intoxicating smell of grilled meats clouded the sky. A sea of bodies dressed in red consumed all lines of sight, while hot-air balloons hovered overhead.

This was no spring game; this was a statewide holiday. Actual football was, in fact, secondary.

“Ninety-nine thousand people,” head coach Urban Meyer said following the game. “I think I heard that over the P.A. system. Not surprised but extremely grateful to come watch a scrimmage, at times not a very pleasant scrimmage.”

As I made my way toward the stadium, I spoke with fans about the upcoming season ahead. Some were still puffy-chested; others were still levitating. Confidence and optimism oozed out of each and every corner of the stadium.

When the topic turned to the quarterback, the conversation switched gears. It didn’t turn negative—not in the least bit—but it was the only thing the 100,000 people in attendance didn’t see eye-to-eye on, at least not yet. Even local media members chimed in, struggling to reach a consensus.

You have to play Cardale.

J.T. Barrett is the best quarterback on the roster.

Play them both.

Don’t count out Braxton Miller.

Play all three.

For those keeping score at home, Cardale Jones came away with a slight edge in this informal public poll. But even with a flood of unique answers and differing stances, one constant remained: what a magnificent problem Ohio State has on its hands, at least right now.

The inquiries and observations trickled into the stadium as Ohio State’s lacrosse team was wrapping up its undercard performance against Maryland. At first, it looked like the Buckeyes were in line for an impressive showing—maybe 80,000 people.

As the scoreboard countdown began and lacrosse gave way for football, however, the emptiness of a stadium that sits 100,000 easily began to dwindle away. Red consumed all.

“The crowd today was unbelievable,” senior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt said. “Ninety-nine thousand was just 'wow!' Having that many people at a spring game is really special.”

The game that followed wasn’t exactly revolutionary in nature, although expectations were reserved. Only one of the three primary quarterbacks suited up. Ezekiel Elliott, perhaps the Heisman favorite, spent much of the day on the sideline with a selfie stick and a GoPro rather than logging carries.

The rosters weren’t without star power, although this was a watered-down, lite version of the product that will take the field in Blacksburg, Virginia, on September 7.

That was not unexpected. The head coach—who has openly expressed his moderate displeasure with these games—essentially stated as such beforehand. Still, this was a day that was not absent of excellence.

Cardale Jones flashed moments, uncorking more than 40 passes. He threw downfield often—cutting through the air with ease. Each time he did, an active crowd seemingly grew silent.

While more than half of his throws hit the turf, Jones provided a reminder of just how powerful and rare his right arm is, and more importantly, why he will be tough to beat out. He put an exclamation mark on this thought by unleashing a 74-yard throw to win a quarterback skills event over J.T. Barrett at halftime—along with former Buckeyes great Troy Smith.

“My arm was kind of tired,” Jones said. “I probably throw it a little further.”

Although Braxton Miller was idle during the throw-off as he works his way back from a shoulder injury, he did participate. During the game, he was standing 10 yards behind the offense, often times shoulder-to-shoulder with Meyer or Barrett. At the half, he also provided a reminder that he still has incredible athletic gifts.

Miller joined Elliott in the intermission in the annual race against the fastest students. Both prepared by removing their shirts and tossing them aside—a sign of business—which drew a massive applause. When the sprint had ended, Elliott barely edged the quarterback, who made up ground late. Both gobbled up open field with ease.

The second half featured a running clock as a full stadium leisurely began to lose its red. As the fourth quarter began, the excitement moved back outdoors—back to the tailgates and the cooked meat and the open air.

Gray edged Scarlet 17-14, for those interested in such things. Those in attendance weren’t the least bit flustered or consumed by the score. This was never about points or even final spring impressions; this was about staying healthy—above all—and celebrating a historic time for the program.

It was a day when the nation’s most discussed quarterback competition—one that will pick up intensity as August nears—took a backseat in the name of entertainment. And somehow, in some unusual and unfamiliar way, it all made perfect sense.

At some point in the next six months, the gluttony of quarterbacks will reach a boiling point. But on Saturday, the three showcased a wide range of potential while doing so with smiles.

“There's going to be a lot of people interested,” Meyer said on the quarterback race. “I know you [media], but the families and the player, much more. I want to be able to look those people in the eye and say this is where we’re at and not be a shocker when it happens.”

As I walked out of the stadium and past the sea of red—past the areas where scalpers unexpectedly clustered just a few hours earlier—the celebration began to slow. Sunburn showed on those who had refused to take the April sun seriously. Cars chugged along in game-day traffic.

I migrated back to where I started, to the redbrick structure with "Clinton Predestinarian Baptist Church" plastered on the front and “O-H-I-O” embedded on the side.

The crowd had grown in size since the night before as a tailgate broke out. Buyers shuffled out of the front doors, national championship merchandise in hand. Like the stadium only hours earlier, open seats were hard to come by.

Sitting in makeshift chairs, enjoying makeshift drinks, the group in place didn’t talk about the impending quarterback dilemma. It didn’t strain over the expectations to repeat. Jim Harbaugh’s name never surfaced.

Those moments are coming. They are unavoidable. The burden that comes with being king will hit the head coach and work its way down to the quarterbacks and eventually to the 100,000 people who visited the Horseshoe on an April afternoon.

But not then, not on Saturday. It was a celebration, after all.


Adam Kramer is the College Football National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Inside Ohio State's Championship Trip to the White House

WASHINGTON — Adept at time management as any president past the halfway point of his second term would be, Barack Obama managed to fit plenty into his ceremony with the Ohio State football team on Monday.

Hosting the reigning national champions at the White House three months after the Buckeyes captured the college football crown in Dallas, the 44th President of the United States imitated Joey Bosa's signature shrug, compared his arm strength to that of Cardale Jones and even teased Ezekiel Elliott about college football's banning of the crop top.

But before Urban Meyer and the Ohio State captains presented Obama with his own custom No. 44 scarlet and gray jersey, the leader of the free world had one last overarching message:

"You're welcome, America."

Obama said it somewhat in jest as laughter filled the room, referring to his open campaigning for college football to adopt a playoff system. But the president also made sure to note that if you check his track record of promises kept on PolitiFact.com, his cry for a playoff is met with a green check mark.

"I don't want to stir up controversy. You guys are the national champions—I'm not backing off the fact we need a playoff system," Obama said when Meyer visited the White House with his 2008 national champion Florida team. "We'll see how that plays itself out.”

While a playoff system back then may have prevented Meyer from capturing his second national title, he wouldn't have won a third last season without one, as the Buckeyes entered the sport's first-ever, four-team playoff as the No. 4 seed. In previous years, Ohio State would have been on the outside looking in at the national title game, unable to play its way in and peak at the right time as the 2014 Buckeyes did.

"I'm glad he's a sports fan," Meyer said of Obama on Monday. "He made the point several times, but it's true—he jumped right in the middle of the conversation about the College Football Playoff, and we obviously benefited."

It remains unclear how much Obama actually had to do with making the playoff possible—he had previously promised the "throw his weight around" when it came to the issue—but without its inception, many of Monday's memorable moments wouldn't have been possible. Obama likely wouldn't have been able to trade shrugs with Bosa or tease him about his recent haircut, to which the All-American defensive end responded, "I had to look good for you."

Nor would Obama have been praising Elliott for his 1,878-yard, 18-touchdown season, moments before thanking him for not wearing his signature crop top to the White House. When Elliott pleaded with Obama to convince the NCAA to reinstate his recently banned preferred style of jersey, the president said he was done campaigning on the Buckeyes' behalf.

"Look, I got you the Playoff, OK?" Obama said with a smile. "I got other things to do now."

And what would an Ohio State event be without a mention of the quarterbacks, as Obama praised Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett, before turning his attention toward Jones. Obama not only compared his own arm strength to that of the strong-armed signal-caller but made note of his unique nickname, which has gone viral since his insertion into the national spotlight.

"Anybody with a nickname like '12 Gauge' has to be taken seriously," Obama said. "Cardale Jones is not your average third-string quarterback."

Obama didn't offer a solution to Meyer's impending conundrum of whether to start Miller, Barrett or Jones for the 2015 season, although the Buckeyes head coach joked he might seek one. "I'm going to meet with him again and ask him some questions. That was my fault. I forgot to ask," Meyer said.

Jokes aside, Ohio State's presence in Washington was palpable before the Buckeyes even took center stage in the East Room just before 3 p.m. ET.

Buckeye greats Cris Carter and Archie Griffin were in attendance, as well as Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and former Ohio State Senior Vice President for Outreach and Engagement and U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty. The group joined in as the room broke out in a "O-H, I-O!" chant before Obama's arrival alongside Meyer, Ohio State president Michael Drake and athletic director Gene Smith.

Perhaps most telling of the pro-Ohio State atmosphere in the White House on Monday was that Obama drew the most laughs and biggest applause of the day when he made reference to Barrett breaking his ankle against "a certain team up north," much to Meyer's approval of the president's reluctance to mention rival Michigan by name.

"Obviously we were in the spotlight a lot towards the end of the year," tight end Jeff Heuerman said. "We know he keeps up on sports, so it wasn't that surprising."

The Buckeyes made the most of their visit to the nation's capital, arriving in the morning before sandwiching tours of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and Capitol Building around their trip to the White House. In addition to the since-departed seniors who are now training for the NFL draft, Ohio State was joined by another familiar face in former offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who is now the head coach of Houston.

With the Buckeyes having just ended their spring practice session, Monday's trip to Washington served as one last celebration of last year's special season. In 2009, Meyer was the first college football coach to visit Obama in the White House, and next year he'll attempt to become the last.

Whether or not the playoff will be to his benefit or detriment this time around remains to be seen.

"Coach Meyer and his coaching staff, they'll do a great job of keeping the guys motivated and keeping them ready to go for next year," said Heuerman, who is now preparing for the NFL draft. "It will be special things again, I'm sure."

On Monday, the Buckeyes and Obama set a pretty high bar for what "special" means.


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.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Expect New Auburn Starter Jeremy Johnson to Put Up 'Heisman-Caliber' Numbers

The Auburn Tigers have their new starting quarterback. According to head coach Gus Malzahn's official Twitter account, Jeremy Johnson is the man who will lead the Tigers offense in 2015.

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee and Stephen Nelson break down Johnson's game and project what type of numbers he can put up in Malzahn's uptempo offense.

How will Johnson perform for the Tigers? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Dakota State Football Coaches Entertain Players by Playing Game of 'Dizzy Punt'

After Dakota State's football players put in work during a recent practice, two of the team's coaches entertained them by playing a game of "Dizzy Punt."

The participants: Trojans head coach Josh Anderson and defensive coach Cory Miller.

The two coaches made themselves dizzy by spinning around a golf club 12 times before giving punting a shot. The results wound up being as hilarious as one might expect.

[YouTube, h/t The Big Lead]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Spring Buzz: Offensive Weapons Filling the Void Left by Amari Cooper

Alabama has been one of the most dominant teams in all of college football over the past 10 years. The Crimson Tide are looking to get back to their national championship ways.

Adam Lefkoe sits down with Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee to discuss the reaction to the Alabama spring football game. 

How good can Alabama be this fall? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Arizona Football: Projecting Wildcats' Post-Spring 2-Deep Depth Chart

Arizona wrapped up its fourth edition of spring practice under Rich Rodriguez on April 10, logging 100 plays in its spring game that was high on speed and offense with a handful of big defensive plays.

In other words, a lot like the Wildcats' 2014 season, when they won the Pac-12 South title and played in the Fiesta Bowl, reaching 10 wins for the first time since 1998.

Arizona returns a dozen starters from that team, and nearly all of them figure to slide right back into those starting spots this fall. The open jobs had plenty of competition this spring, and a handful of incoming freshmen who arrive this summer could contend for a gig.

Based on how the spring went, here's our best guess at Arizona's two-deep depth chart for 2015.

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Arizona Football: Projecting Wildcats' Post-Spring 2-Deep Depth Chart

Arizona wrapped up its fourth edition of spring practice under Rich Rodriguez on April 10, logging 100 plays in its spring game that was high on speed and offense with a handful of big defensive plays...

Begin Slideshow

National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes Visit President Obama at the White House

The Ohio State Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship and took their promised visit to the White House with President Barack Obama on Monday.

College Spun's Dan Lyons captured footage of President Obama leading the famous four-letter chant with all the Buckeyes behind him:

The players did a little bit of sightseeing around the Washington, D.C., area before making the trek toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but the Buckeyes' official Instagram page had plenty of photos from inside the White House as well.

A re-posted selfie from safety Vonn Bell included a multitude of Ohio State players:

The account also showed off the game ball from the Bucks' 42-20 victory over Oregon to claim college football's top prize along with the No. 44 jersey given to President Obama:

Head coach Urban Meyer was grateful for the opportunity to celebrate again:

Ohio State's official Twitter account provided several more snapshots from the scene in Washington along with what linebacker Joshua Perry had to say prior to the ceremony's official beginning:

Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon couldn't help but enjoy the social media buzz OSU's trip to the nation's capital generated:

Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch observed how the commander in chief himself was in awe of the tradition of greatness Buckeyes fans are accustomed to:

Former Ohio State star and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter was in attendance and captured an image of two key contributors from the Bucks' national title run—who are returning in 2015:

Pass-rusher Joey Bosa is one of the best in the nation at his position, while quarterback Cardale Jones is battling Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett for the right to start under center. Jones led Ohio State to its final three victories in the only extended action of his career.

The incumbent starter, Miller, was out for the entire 2014 campaign with a throwing shoulder injury, and Barrett hurt his ankle in the regular-season finale vs. Michigan, thrusting Jones into duty.

"And then we learn Cardale Jones is not your average-third string quarterback," said President Obama of Jones' performance down the stretch, per The Columbus Dispatch's Jack Torry.

President Obama also praised the Buckeyes for their character and resilience, according to Torry, and applauded the way Ohio State didn't throw in the towel despite the injuries Miller and Barrett suffered.

There will be plenty of hype surrounding this team, not only for its battle for the most important position on the field, but also because OSU has a real chance to repeat as national champion.

The record-setting 99,391 in attendance just for the Buckeyes' spring game is indicative of the attention surrounding the powerhouse program in Columbus. Whoever wins the QB derby figures to give Ohio State a great chance of winning, and the explosive spread attack will still feature phenomenal running back Ezekiel Elliott.

With defensive cornerstones like Bosa, Bell and linebacker Darron Lee, there are enough returning members from the national championship team to give credence to talk of back-to-back titles. It's up to Meyer and his players to stay focused and driven because all the talent to get it done is there.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Which 2015 Notre Dame Signee Has the Most Upside?

Notre Dame is looking to rebound after a subpar 2014 season. The Fighting Irish have turned in a fantastic recruiting class, but which one of their recruits has the most upside?

Stephen Nelson is joined by College Football Analyst Michael Felder to give the 2015 Notre Dame signee who has the most upside. 

Which 2015 commit do you think will make the biggest impact? Check out the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jeremy Johnson Named Auburn Starting QB, Has Skill Set to Be Heisman Contender

Everything about Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson screams "Cam Newton 2.0."

Johnson chimes in at 6'5", 230 pounds, has the same size and arm strength of the former Auburn signal-caller who led the Tigers to the 2010 national title and has the same kind of tough running ability between the tackles. 

Even their separate paths to become Auburn's starting quarterback are similar.

Newton held off a "heated" spring competition in 2010 that included Barrett Trotter, Neil Caudle and Clint Moseley to earn the starting job a week after spring practice. In 2015, it took head coach Gus Malzahn—who was Newton's offensive coordinator on the Plains—only two days to hand Johnson the job over Sean White and Tyler Queen.

Can he follow in Newton's footsteps and take home the Heisman Trophy?

Yep, and here's why:


Passing Prowess

Unlike former quarterback Nick Marshall, Johnson will take the job on a full-time basis with the passing prowess of a seasoned veteran.

The world got a taste of Johnson during the season opener last season, when he lit up Arkansas' defense for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half in place of the suspended Marshall. It was more of the same during Auburn's spring game on Saturday, when he completed 14-of-22 for 252 passes and two touchdowns.

During that game, he showed off his accuracy deep on several tough passes, including a touchdown to star wide receiver D'haquille "Duke" Williams and a fullback wheel route to Chandler Cox. He looked in command of the offense, comfortable with the timing routes (which was Marshall's biggest problem) and capable of putting up the 3,000 passing yards he set as a goal during the middle of spring practice while on the SEC Network.

"I'm very excited about this year, and I'm pretty sure the rest of the guys are, too," Johnson said after Saturday's A-Day Game, according to Charles Goldberg of AuburnTigers.com. "We're just coming on as a team and building team chemistry on and off the field."

Will that increased focus on the aerial attack change Auburn's offense?

Absolutely, but with veteran receivers such as Williams, Louis, Melvin Ray, Marcus Davis and fresh faces including spring star Myron Burton, there are plenty of options for Johnson—all of whom look capable of exploiting mismatches.

If he tops the 3,000-yard mark in Malzahn's run-based, power attack out of the spread, it will keep Auburn in the thick of the SEC West title race and sit well with Heisman voters who are seemingly always blinded by shiny passing statistics.



Speaking of Heisman voters being impressed with video game numbers, Auburn's system under Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is ready-made to send Johnson past that 3,000-yard passing mark and enter into uncharted passing waters in Auburn.

Malzahn was the first FBS coordinator in history to produce a 5,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and three 1,000-yard receivers in the same season when he did it at Tulsa in 2007. 

Is that harder to do at Auburn? Of course. Players and coaches are better, and Malzahn certainly won't sneak up on other coaches now like he did in 2007—which was just his second season in the college ranks. 

But the system works regardless, and now that Johnson is officially the starter—which was the worst-kept secret in the SEC—he has an entire summer to continue developing that relationship with his receivers and the staff, which will only help him progress from the potential star we've seen in spot duty during his career.

Auburn isn't the most quarterback-friendly system in the country. It's close, though, despite the fact that Malzahn didn't show it over the last two seasons with Marshall at the helm.

When you combine the veteran skill players returning with Johnson's familiarity with the high-octane scheme that's in place, you have the recipe for Heisman success.



Newton was the kind of quarterback—similar to former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow—that made 3rd-and-short the football equivalent of a gimme in golf.

Johnson can replicate that in 2015. 

He set the goal of 1,000 rushing yards in that interview with SEC Network, and while that may be lofty, doing the dirty work inside is more than enough to keep Heisman voters happy and keep Auburn in the national picture.

He has the frame to take the punishment and, in the limited time we've seen him on the ground, always seems to fall forward—just like Newton.

He's more than just a bruiser, though. As you can see in the video above from his senior season at Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Johnson (No. 6 in white) has breakaway speed and is much more elusive in space than you'd expect from a big guy.

That doesn't mean he's going to be a home run hitter, but he's capable of doing that at times, which will undoubtedly play well on his potential Heisman highlight reel.

Johnson allows Malzahn to replicate the same type of offensive scheme that won Newton the Heisman Trophy and Auburn the national title in 2010 more so than any other quarterback Malzahn has had since then.

If all goes according to plan, the script will lead Johnson to New York City in early December as a Heisman finalist.


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.

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Who Will Emerge as Brad Kaaya's Top Target for Miami Hurricanes in 2015?

The Miami Hurricanes graduated a ton of their top offensive players from 2014, leaving a huge void for Brad Kaaya and the Hurricanes offense. 

Bleacher Report college football analyst Michael Felder joined Stephen Nelson to discuss Miami's offense and potential returning players who could step up for the 'Canes. 

Who will step up for Miami? Check out the video, and let us know! 

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OSU Spring Buzz: Barrett Finally Looks Healthy, but Jones Still Leads QB Battle

Ohio State is the defending national champion, and it is looking to make another run at the title this year with a roster loaded with absolute studs. 

Adam Lefkoe sits down with Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer to discuss the takeaways from the Ohio State spring game. 

How good can this year's Ohio State team be? Check out the video, and let us know!

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President Barack Obama Leads 'O-H-I-O' Chant During Buckeyes' White House Visit

The national champion Ohio State Buckeyes made their trip to the White House on Monday, and President Barack Obama wasted no time in making the team feel right at home.

Once he stepped to the podium, President Obama led the room in Ohio State's signature "O-H-I-O" chant:

[The White House]

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Pro Player Comparisons for College Football's Top 25 Stars

As we look forward to watching today's college football stars play on Saturdays this fall, we can't help but wonder how they'd look if they were instead performing one day later each week.

In projecting what kind of a pro career a collegiate standout would have, it's common to compare his skills, size and mindset to that of someone who's currently in the NFL or was one of the more notable players at their position. This isn't a foolproof method, but it's one that pro scouts use to assess talent and it at least gives us some idea of how the best college players would handle the next level.

Take a look at our pro player comparisons for college football's 25 best players, chosen based on their rankings in Bleacher Report's list of the country's top sophomores and juniors and the top overall players heading into spring practice, listed alphabetically.

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5-Year-Old Yells 'Roll Tide!' When Groom Kisses Bride at Alabama Wedding

Alabama fans are some of the most loyal and diehard supporters on Earth.

As evidence, check out a five-year-old kid yelling "Roll Tide!" as the groom kisses the bride at a wedding.

A reader emailed Barstool Sports and elaborated on the scream:

I was at my girlfriends cousins wedding this weekend and they are all huge Alabama fans. As soon as they announced you may kiss the bride her 5 year old cousin screamed out “Roll Tide!!!”

[Barstool Sports]

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