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Christian Wilkins to Clemson: Tigers Land 4-Star DT Prospect

Clemson's defense just got a whole lot bigger.  

Christian Wilkins, a 4-star defensive tackle prospect who has starred at Suffield Academy in Connecticut, announced his decision to attend Clemson on Monday, adding the latest coup to the Tigers' 2015 class.

Wilkins chose Clemson over a group that included Penn State and Ohio State. Well more than 20 schools in all expressed interest during this process, a majority of which coming from the ACC-Big Ten region—where high school coaches got pretty familiar with Wilkins' brand of dominance.

A 6'4", 290-pound defensive tackle, Wilkins is considered the No. 56 prospect in the nation and eighth-best player at his position by 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also the top-ranked prospect in the state of Connecticut.

Given Connecticut's overall shakiness as a hotbed of Division I talent, Wilkins has consistently been at a size and skill advantage throughout his high school career. His ability to overpower opposing offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage made him impossible to block without double- and triple-teams.

A starter since his freshman season, Wilkins recorded 57 total tackles and seven sacks as a junior, according to MaxPreps, despite coaches scheming to mitigate his effectiveness.

More impressive is Wilkins' overall versatility for a kid his size. He also lined up occasionally at tight end in the Suffield offense, going for 209 yards through the air as a sophomore. It's highly unlikely that he'll get any time on the offensive side of the ball in college—outside of some possible jumbo sets—but his ability to step in speaks well for his athletic profile.

"He has great athleticism for his size," Suffield Academy coach Drew Gamere told ESPN's Jared Shanker (h/t ESPNBoston.com's Brendan Hall). "I forget he's 300 pounds all the time." 

In mid-May, 247Sports' crystal ball said he was a 91 percent certainty to attend Ohio State, with Notre Dame coming in at a 9 percent chance. Now in early January, the crystal ball changed dramatically, as Penn State was favored at 81 percent, followed by Ohio State at 16 percent and Notre Dame at 3 percent.

Thus, Wilkins' decision may come as a surprise to many considering those were more well-informed guesses than anything. Wilkins did a great job of keeping his options open. He is going to have an adjustment period to deal with the uptick in competition, which the Tigers should be able to afford him. It would be surprising if he played all that much as a freshman.

Wilkins is a tantalizing talent and bolts off the snap for someone his size. He's just not equipped with the necessary moves and counters needed to deal with actually going against players his size. What's more, Wilkins will also be making the adjustment from defensive end to defensive tackle—similar positions, but ones with entirely different responsibilities.

For someone so physically gifted and already equipped with a college body, Wilkins is a bit of a project. There's no reason to think he won't develop with Clemson's infrastructure in place. We're just more likely to hear about Wilkins' ascent as a junior and senior rather than an instant domination.

Considering Wilkins was looking at schools in direct competition with the Tigers, it's safe to say they'll be more than happy to express a little patience.

 

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Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Will Ohio State Stop Marcus Mariota and Oregon's Stellar RB Crew?

The Oregon Ducks have one of the most explosive offenses this season. The Ohio State Buckeyes defense continues to improve with every single game. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Adam Kramer debate who has the edge in this national championship match. 

Who has the upper hand: the Oregon offense or the Ohio State defense?

Watch the video and let us know!

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

2015 Early Enrollees Who Will Make Biggest Impact

A new trend in recruiting is the wave of top prospects who forgo their final semester of high school in order to enroll early at the school of their choice.

Last year, Cameron Robinson (Alabama) and Dalvin Cook (Florida State) were among the notable first-year players who took advantage of getting a jump on their college careers.

The 2015 class has a handful of elite talents who are arriving on campuses sometime this month.

Which early enrollees have a chance to be impact players this fall?

 

Note: Players listed in alphabetical order.

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Everett Golson Transfer Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Star QB

Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson is considering leaving South Bend to play out the final year of his NCAA eligibility. Sources tell NOLA.com's Jim Kleinpeter that Golson is interested in joining the LSU Tigers.  

Here are the details of Golson's reported interest in taking his talents to Baton Rouge, as the signal-caller's academic background is creating some complications:

LSU is exploring the possibility but would have to obtain a waiver from the conference office since Golson was declared academically ineligible for the 2013 season. The SEC rule allows graduate student transfers without waivers if the student maintained eligibility, had no significant disciplinary issues at the old school and earned all possible [Academic Progress Rate] points.

Shea Dixon of 247Sports.com reported what he was hearing regarding Golson and the Tigers:

Golson himself commented on the rumors via his Twitter account:

Golson threw for 3,445 yards and 29 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in 2014, but he slumped somewhat down the stretch as the Irish lost their final four regular-season games.

The senior did help Notre Dame to a 31-28 victory over LSU in the Music City Bowl, albeit in a timeshare situation with Malik Zaire. Losing grip on the starting job had to give Golson incentive to prove something greater if he has any hope at a football future.

LSU doesn't have the greatest quarterback situation, so Golson can capitalize on a situation with little competition. Dual-threat QBs Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris haven't established themselves as the clear-cut answer under center.

Running a pro-style offense coordinated by former NFL coach Cam Cameron also offers Golson a chance to bolster his professional prospects. Stepping up to SEC competition should be an indicator of what Golson is truly made of as a quarterback as well.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

8 Burning Questions Heading into the Boise State Broncos Offseason

It's safe to say no one expected Boise State to bounce back this fast.

After losing their head coach late last year, along with the majority of the coaching staff and a few recruits, it seemed as though the Broncos were destined for regression.

Athletic director Mark Coyle and university president Bob Kustra had other ideas though, and on December 11, they inked a deal for former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to return to take over as head coach. 

During his press conference, Harsin made several references to the past, and in the following weeks he began to fill out his coaching staff with former Broncos, each of whom had gone on to find success elsewhere.

He brought Mike Sanford, who was coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers at Stanford while coordinating the Cardinal recruiting effort, in to run the offense and call plays, and lured Marcel Yates, who had been co-defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, back to run the defense.

Boise State became the only program in the nation who had alumni running the offense, defense and calling the shots as the head coach.

After a few weeks the motto for the 2014 season emerged: "Attack the Future."

And attack they did. After getting steamrolled in the season opener against Ole Miss, the Broncos rebounded to win 12 of the next 13 games, including eight in a row to finish the season.

They played hard, set numerous school records and sprinkled in just enough trick plays to remind everyone that this was Boise State back to its roots. They clinched an at-large berth in the Fiesta Bowl and held on to win a nail-biter against 10th-ranked Arizona, clinching the school's eighth 12-win season since 2002.

So what does Harsin have up his sleeve for an encore?

Believe it or not, the outlook for next year is even brighter, despite the fact that the Broncos will have to replace record-setting players at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the questions that Harsin and Co. will need to find answers for before kickoff of the 2015 season.

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