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Odds on Where 4-Star WR Tyler Vaughns Commits to on Wednesday

One of the nation’s most explosive playmakers will come off the board on Wednesday when 4-star receiver Tyler Vaughns announces his commitment.

According to Scout’s Greg Biggins, Vaughns will choose from a group of four finalists that include Alabama, Georgia, USC and Washington.

The 6’3”, 175-pounder is the nation’s No. 2 wideout and the No. 33 player overall in the 2016 class. As a junior, Vaughns hauled in 83 receptions for 1,183 yards and 12 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.

Which school holds the inside track on landing the Golden State speedster? 

Let’s break down the odds for each of his finalists.


Alabama and Georgia: 25-1

Two of the finalists in the race to land Vaughns are SEC powers Alabama and Georgia. 

Both programs extended offers to Vaughns earlier in the spring, and both have a high need for receivers in the 2016 cycle.

However, neither school has been able to get him on campus for a visit. 

While both programs have proven themselves as powerhouses in the recruiting world, it’s hard to imagine Vaughns choosing to leave California and attend either school sight unseen.


Washington: 12-1 

Vaughns visited Washington last season when they hosted Arizona State, according to Scout’s Scott Eklund.

While the Huskies are rebuilding under second-year head coach Chris Petersen, Vaughns came away from the visit high on the Huskies program and its potential to grow in the future.

"The school was really impressive,” Vaughns told Eklund. “I really liked the facilities and the academic stuff they showed us. They support their players well, and they are like a family. The coaches are great, and I really like what the program there and the school have to offer."

That visit will have to be the lasting impression on the mind of Vaughns if the Huskies are indeed the pick.


USC: 5-1

USC has been the longtime favorite to land Vaughns, and there are a few reasons that is the case.

For starters, Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff also have the receiver position as a priority in the 2016 cycle.

USC already has three receivers committed in its 2016 class, including Vaughns’ prep teammate and fellow 4-star Trevon Sidney.

The Trojans have proximity to home in their favor, and they were able to host him last week, as he visited to watch the team’s first two practices of fall camp, as noted by Scott Schrader of FightOn247.

As noted by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, USC is Vaughns’ childhood favorite.

“I grew up watching USC and everything,” Vaughns told Wiltfong. “That was my first school and my first offer so that was pretty big.”

Taking all of those factors into consideration, it would be a huge shock if Vaughns announces for any program other than USC on Wednesday.


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


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The State of High School Football Recruiting in Texas

DALLAS — It's no secret; for years the state of Texas has been known as a major recruiting hotbed nationwide.

Teams like TCU and Baylor were on the outskirts of playing in the College Football Playoff tournament with the help of a roster loaded with in-state players. Last year's national finalists, Ohio State and Oregon, featured eight Texans combined.

The talent is there in the Lone Star State, and while it's important for the nation to notice, it may be even more of a priority for the in-state coaches to recognize this—and keep those players in the state.

How important?

"In Texas? Very," said Jeff Fleener, head coach at Brandeis High School in San Antonio. "Everyone recruits Texas, so if you don't recruit them, you're playing against them."

Aug. 10 kicked off regular-season practices for many Texas public high schools, which, from a recruiting standpoint, means more and more athletes are preparing to finalize official visits for the coming months. It's that time of year in which prospects, 5-stars on down, look for the college homes that best fit them athletically and academically.

It's also that time of year in which college coaches are not only trying to win football games on the field but also win important recruiting battles. And ask any coach in the state—keeping the Texas athletes close to home is a priority.

"If you're a Texas school and you miss out on Texas kids," Fleener said, "where are you getting [players] from?"


Talent east to west

At first glance, no coach was happier to be at Big 12 media days than David Beaty. For the new Kansas head coach, being at the Omni Dallas Hotel last month was a homecoming of sorts.

Beaty cut his teeth coaching high school football in the Dallas area, and he was emphatic in reminding the media about his Texas roots, name-dropping high schools, junior colleges and coaches throughout his Monday press conference.

"I'm an old Texas high school football coach," Beaty said, "and I consider those guys [Texas high school coaches] to be my brothers."

Beaty said he's preparing to create a faster, stronger, more disciplined brand of football for the Kansas fans. Part of that will involve a new recruiting philosophy—a philosophy that will include targeting the state he has so many ties to.

It's a philosophy that makes sense—and one that works.

"I think it's important for any school anywhere to recruit Texas," said Joey McGuire, head coach at Cedar Hill School outside of Dallas. "For instance, when Tulsa and Kansas were going to bowl games, they had a large number of Texas kids on their rosters.

"If you are a Texas school, you better start by getting the best this state has to offer, in my opinion."

McGuire's argument can be supported by recent numbers. Of the 2015 class' top 300 players in 247Sports' composite rankings, 42 came from the Lone Star State. The 2014 class had 35 Texans in the top 300, while 41 Texans were a part of the top 300 in the 2013 class.

And those numbers don't include the 4-star, 3-star and 2-star in-state athletes whom college coaches take a chance on. Coaches will tell you that the talent level stretches more than 800 miles west to east, north and south, from El Paso to Texarkana and all points in between.

"I think any of us who have been around the state coaching at in-state universities know that's where the bread and butter is," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "You want to keep those players in the state and keep those high school coaches knowing you're recruiting their players."


Numbers don't lie

There are 11 FBS schools in Texas: Baylor, Houston, North Texas, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, UTEP and UTSA. Those schools combined to have 266 commitments from high school and junior college in the 2015 class. Of those 266, 194 hail from Texas.

In other words, nearly 73 percent of the talent recruited in Texas colleges are home grown. That number would be elevated if UTEP was taken out of the equation. The Miners had 23 committed players, but only seven were from a Texas school. On the flip side, all of SMU's committed and signed athletes are in-state products.

For Baylor coach Art Briles, recruiting is quite simple. Get the best players from the area you know—and the area that, in turn, knows the player.

"If you're going to get home cooking, you need to be at home," he said. "It's vitally important to the nature of football in the state of Texas to stay—for these guys to stay in state.

"Why would you run off and make Granmama watch it on TV when she can jump in the car with family members and come watch you play in person, hug your neck, take you out to dinner and tell you she loves you in person? That's why you stay home—family."

Of the top-50 ranked 2016 athletes from Texas, 29 are committed to an FBS program. Of those 29, 12 are committed to out-of-state schools.

"It's all about keeping those guys close," Kingsbury said.

Beaty was the wide receivers coach and a recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M before taking over the head-coaching gig at Kansas. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Rice. From 1994 to 2005, he was a high school coach.

Beaty knows the state. He's ventured all over Texas looking for talent as an assistant college coach. As Kansas' head coach, Beaty has made Texas a recruiting priority, as four of the eight 2016 commits are from the Lone Star State. Seven of the 24 in the 2015 class who signed with Kansas in February are Texans, as well.

"One of the things for me is we are located in one of the finest, most fertile grounds for high school athletes in the country," he said at Big 12 media days, "and those athletes are coached by some of the finest high school coaches in the country."


'We will always recruit this state'

The Texas Longhorns statistically have been the recruiting leader of the state throughout the 21st century, save a year or two from Texas A&M. The majority of those years were under the leadership of Mack Brown.

Now with Charlie Strong as head coach, Texas is not only trying to keep its recruiting relevancy but also win over in-state athletes who are looking at playing for TCU or Baylor because of recent success or Texas A&M because of the opportunity to play in the SEC.

The Longhorns, who only have seven commits in the 2016 class, currently are sitting at 48th overall in 247Sports' recruiting team rankings. They also sit in sixth place among the in-state team rankings, less than a point ahead of No. 49 SMU.

For many, that number comes as a shock. The prestige of the program hasn't helped with 2016 recruiting, but Strong is hoping for a big finish closer to signing day—something similar to what the Longhorns did with the 2015 class.

Strong has been criticized for not landing more star in-state players. While he landed the No. 1 in-state 2015 prospect, Malik Jefferson, he was unsuccessful in getting any other top-10 Texans, including Alabama cornerback Kendall Sheffield, Ole Miss receiver DaMarkus Lodge and the Texas A&M combo of quarterback Kyler Murray and defensive tackle Daylon Mack.

Strong's response to that: Keep shooting for the stars, and never forget that even though Texas is a priority, other states have quality athletes, as well. He is big on recruiting the state of Florida.

"There are a lot of good players, and the high school coaches do a great job in this state," Strong said. "We will always recruit this state, because we're the University of Texas, and they will always be our home ground.

"But it's like anything else; when you have needs and if you can't get what you want, then you have to go outside the state. But we're always focused on this state."


Prospects galore for coaches

More and more Texas athletes are looking at SEC or Pac-12 opportunities. Multiple broadcasts show the Alabamas, Auburns, Ohio States, Florida States, Oregons, UCLAs and USCs of the world to the point that a Texas athlete won't have to leave his house to watch a game.

TCU and Baylor coaches can use an important fact in their recruiting pitches with 2016 and 2017 targets: Both teams were that close to playing in the College Football Playoff last season.

Briles believes a national-title opportunity isn't far away, particularly with athletes he considers "some of the best in the nation."

"These guys grew up in Texas, and we play the best football in the nation right here and can win a national championship. Right here," he said.

Fortunately for Briles and the rest of the coaches, there are quite a few uncommitted athletes still available. Among those are the top-ranked Texan, and the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle and No. 2 overall player, 5-star Greg Little.

Add in players like 5-Star safety Brandon Jones and the 4-star trio of safety Deontay Anderson and receivers Devin Duvernay and Tyrie Cleveland, and it's clear to see there's plenty of opportunity for an in-state to boost its class with a stud athlete.

For Patterson, getting highly rated in-state athletes is a bonus, but it isn't the end-all, be-all. Getting coachable in-state athletes is the overall objective.

Patterson uses Jerry Hughes as an example. The Buffalo Bills defensive end was rated a 2-star athlete by Rivals.com before he went to TCU.

"People said he was a 2-star," Patterson said. "Jerry Hughes was never a 2-star. He was a 4-star or higher.

"There's no way you're going to keep everybody in the state, unless you go back to the old scholarship rules to where you can go out and take 50 guys a season and keep them all. The ones that we want, that fit what fits TCU, I think that's very important to put a circle around the ones we think we'll make us better."

Keeping as many athletes as possible in state is the goal. It's a goal every in-state coach aspires to achieve, and telling future stories of winning with a Texas-dominated lineup is something that can be used as a recruiting tool.

What's more important, it's an achievable goal, particularly with the personalities of the in-state coaches.

"There are so many players out there," Kingsbury said, "and you can find them."


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand and at Big 12 media days. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

10 Biggest Upset-Alert Games of the 2015 College Football Season

When preseason predictions are made—much like the ones you'll see these next few weeks at Bleacher Report—potentially tricky contests for big-time programs are chalked up as sure wins. They're easy calls.

But each and every season, college football shows everyone that they should expect the unexpected.

Last year, Ole Miss and Mississippi State kicked off their times in the spotlight with wins over top-10 foes Alabama and LSU, respectively. Arizona began its surprise Pac-12 South title run with a win over Oregon, and Virginia Tech went into the Horseshoe and beat Ohio State—although it all worked out in the end for the Buckeyes.

Then there were the real shockers, like Indiana's win over SEC East champion Missouri and Northwestern's defeat of Wisconsin. In the Group of Five, UConn cost UCF its shot at an outright AAC title with an upset few saw coming.

With the race for the four College Football Playoff spots looking wide-open heading into the 2015 season, let's take a look at 10 contenders who should be on high-alert for one of these upset losses to an unranked opponent this year. These matchups were based on timing on the schedule, potential matchup problems and past history with certain opponents.

Of course, a lot can change between now and the time several of these games kick off, but they look like possible giant-killers on paper in the preseason. Tell us who you think should be on upset alert this season in the comments below.

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Predicting the 2015 College Football Playoff

With the 2015 college football season beginning soon, Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer sat down to predict the top playoff contenders.

Who do you think they missed? Hit the comment section below.  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Dear Football: The 2015 Elite 11 Story |Ep. 2 'Rucksack Run'

Uninterrupted is a platform that allows personalities to connect with fans on a much deeper level, with insight and content not fit for other platforms, media outlets or channels.

Interested fans get a unique perspective that brings them closer than ever to the personalities they care about.

The Elite 11 Camp brings together the top high school senior quarterbacks in the country in search of the best 11. Watch above as they complete a "Rucksack Run" that tests them mentally and physically. 

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Georgia Football: Keith Marshall, Sony Michel Are Keys to Nick Chubb's Success

"Twenty-seven left and 27 right sounds pretty good to me. So as long as we’ve got that we’re gonna be all right." 

Those are the words of Georgia offensive tackle Kolton Houston after Saturday's scrimmage, according to Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

He's not wrong. 

That game plan helped Georgia go 6-2 down the stretch last year, including a Belk Bowl win over Louisville that saw "27"—star running back Nick Chubb—rush 33 times for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

"Not until he really had to start carrying the load did I realize how much stamina he could have in a game, in an SEC game, at times carrying it 25, 35 times in a game," head coach Mark Richt said at SEC media days in July. "That's pretty impressive."

Pretty impressive, indeed.

In a pinch for suspended star Todd Gurley and in place of banged-up reserves Sony Michel and Keith Marshall, Chubb—a 5'10", 222-pounder with track star speed and a bruiser's mentality—proved that he could be a home run hitter, a workhorse and one of the best closers in college football.

That wasn't Plan A for the 2014 Georgia Bulldogs, and it won't be Plan A in 2015 either.

"That's not our goal for our back," Richt said. "I don't want a guy to carry 35 times a game his whole career all season long. We want to share the load."

As he should, despite the success Chubb had last year.

While Chubb was awesome for a half-season last year, replicating that success for a full season and absorbing twice as many carries (or more) is a lot to ask. Because of that, senior Keith Marshall and sophomore Sony Michel are huge keys to Chubb's success and the success of the 2015 Bulldogs.

Marshall came to Georgia in the same class and with more hype than that of Gurley. But the 5'11", 212-pounder with enough wiggle to shake leaves off of a tree has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. Now healthy, Marshall has been the talk of fall camp, according to Bruce Feldman of FoxSports.com:

Michel, the 5'11", 212-pound home run hitter from Plantation, Florida, was the freshman sensation in 2014 long before Chubb. Michel rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns over the first three games of the season, while Chubb earned just 12 carries over the same span. Michel earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors with his 155-yard performance vs. Troy, but a shoulder injury derailed his freshman campaign and opened the door for Chubb to shine.

As Logan Booker of Cox Media Group noted on Twitter, Richt and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer could get creative with how they use Michel this season:

Michel and Marshall are vital to the success of Chubb and the Bulldog offense.

They'll not only take pressure off of Chubb but give Schottenheimer the option to be diverse within the running game. That could take on extra meaning if the new quarterback—whoever wins the job—can't stretch the field and/or the wide receiving corps doesn't progress like it needs to.

A solid, diverse, deep running back corps will help Chubb stay fresh for a full season and keep opposing defenses from keying on Chubb too much.

If  that happens, all the quarterback needs to be is a game manager—just like Hutson Mason was last year.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national 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

B/R CFB 250: Top 29 Offensive Linemen

Bleacher Report's CFB 250 is an annual ranking of the best players in college football, regardless of NFL potential. Through interviews with B/R Experts Matt Miller, Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer, authors Brian Leigh and Brian Pedersen have studied, ranked and graded the top athletes in the country, narrowed that list to 250 and sorted by position. Today, we present the Top Offensive Linemen.


Other CFB 250 Positions


It's a rebuilding year for college offensive linemen.

Only four of 25 blockers return from last year's CFB 250, and all four are offensive tackles. The top 13 interior linemenall left school this offseason.

However, there are reasons for optimism.

Of the four offensive linemen who return from last year's list, three could have declared for the draft but didn't. And it wasn't for a lack of opportunity: All three were mentioned as top-50 prospects. They just chose to return to college.

Additionally, three of four left tackles return from the College Football Playoff, including two rising sophomores. And the one playoff team that loses a left tackle (Oregon) returns the player projected to start there last season before tearing his ACL in spring camp.

It's not like the well has run dry.

But before we dig into that, a disclaimer. The linemen who follow were graded as college prospects, not as NFL prospects.

Targeted skills such as run blocking are important at both levels, but there is a difference between college run blocking and professional run blocking. If a lineman can open holes in the SEC or the Big 12, it doesn't matter if he can open holes in the NFC North. At least not here, it doesn't.

This is all about college performance. 

Note: If two players finished with the same grade, a subjective call was made based on whom we would rather have on our team right now. Also, all recruiting info refers to the 247Sports composite rankings.

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This New, Outspoken Gus Malzahn Is Great for College Football

For the most part, coaches don't want to stir the pot. 

The days of Steve Spurrier saying "you can't spell 'citrus' without 'UT'" are long gone, and save for a couple of subtle shots and stances on legislative issues, political correctness has taken hold during "talkin' season."

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is changing that—at least a little bit.

The third-year head coach of the Tigers and 2013 SEC champion has shown this offseason that he isn't afraid to stir the pot a little bit. 

Most recently, Malzahn told ESPN.com's Chris Low that the ghosts of last season's Iron Bowl versus Alabama still haunt him, and his Tigers should have lit up the scoreboard.

"We didn't score touchdowns in the red zone. We should have put 60 on them, and we didn't," Malzahn said. "That was the most disappointing thing, when you have a chance to do something special and don't, and then we gave up all those fourth-quarter points."

That's not playing the "what if" game. That's just honesty, plain and simple.

The Tigers settled for four field goals of 25 yards or less in the first half alone, the last of which came on a frantic, mismanaged drive to close out the first 30 minutes of the game, in which Malzahn let far too much time tick off the clock inside the 5-yard line.

Sure, credit is due to Alabama's defense for shutting down Auburn when it counted most. But Malzahn is an offensive coach who believes in his system. Of course, he's going to think about "what might have been" and what he could have done differently.

This comes on the heels of Malzahn's SEC media days appearance where he also took a not-so-subtle jab at the Crimson Tide's newfound emphasis on pace of play.

"Just about everybody in our league has some type of tempo, even the teams that used to gripe about it are actually doing it now," he said.

Again, that's honesty. Alabama averaged 72.7 players per game last year—nine more than it averaged in 2013. 

His honesty isn't exclusive to his intrastate rival. 

Satellite camps have become a hot-button offseason issue over the last two seasons, and new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made waves this offseason with several southern camp stops, including one in talent-rich Prattville, Alabama.

"The chances of a team up north coming into our state and a player that us or Alabama wants are slim to none," he said.

He's not wrong.

Neither fullback Kingston Davis nor linebacker Dytarious Johnson—the two class-of-2016 prospects from the state who are committed to Michigan—have offers from Auburn or Alabama, according to their 247Sports bios. That's not to say that Malzahn—and all SEC coaches—aren't threatened by Harbaugh.

They are, but mostly because those high-profile coaches and programs are allowed to recruit when coaches in the SEC (and ACC) can't.

Malzahn 2.0 is great for college football.

He's not going to stir the pot like former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin did with former Florida head coach Urban Meyer prior to the 2009 season, but he's going to be honest when it's time to be honest instead of living in a world of political correctness.

That's OK.

After all, this is football, and as much as it seems like it is life or death for fans, players and coaches, it's still only a game.

Have fun with it.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national 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

Ranking the 13 Best Game-Day Traditions in College Football

The pageantry surrounding a game-day atmosphere is simply spectacular. 

Ardent pride for one's school is palpable—and often showcased in a myriad of ways. Each university brings something different to the table on the actual game day. The uniqueness creates a culture rooted in togetherness and camaraderie. 

This piece will talk about the 13 best game-day traditions in college football. It will include acts made possible by the respective fan bases, universities and the teams themselves. 


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Virginia Tech Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

The Virginia Tech Hokies wrapped up their first full week of fall camp with a scrimmage Saturday in Lane Stadium. The highlight of Saturday's scrimmage was 359-pound freshman defensive tackle Tim Settle picking off a tipped pass and returning it for about 15 yards, displaying staggering athleticism for a player of his size.

More on Settle later. 

The most newsworthy item from Saturday's scrimmage was the amount of players not participating. Dadi Nicolas, Corey Marshall and Wade Hansen were among the starters who sat out nursing various ailments. Several backups also sat out, too, allowing some younger players the opportunity to step in and get some valuable practice reps. 

With Ohio State looming in just under three weeks, head coach Frank Beamer and his staff must be cautious with not overworking the starters in practice over the next couple of weeks. 


The Battle at Rover

Last week, it looked like junior Desmond Frye was in the lead to start at rover. Now, after the coaches had the opportunity to watch all of the players for one full week, freshman Adonis Alexander has entered into the mix to start at rover.

Frye remains the starter, but that hold may be tenuous. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster lavished the praise on the first-year player from Charlotte, North Carolina, per Virginia Tech's official website:

He’s a dynamic, special guy. He’s obviously got to learn and continue to develop. I think he’s a guy that can be a dynamic playmaker for us. He’s long. He reminds me of Kam Chancellor. He can really run, and he’s physical. He’s played rover the last three days, and I think he’s a guy that can help us down the road. How quickly? We’ll find out. I’m hoping sooner than later. 

Frye is a player who's been around the program four years and has yet to make his mark. He has good size (6'2", 200 lbs.) and athleticism, in addition to a strong grasp of Foster's defense.

However, Alexander has obviously impressed the coaching staff.

At 6'3", 192 pounds, Alexander has outstanding size and the frame to add 15 or 20 more pounds of muscle in Tech's strength program. 

Expect Frye to begin the season, but don't be surprised if it's Alexander taking the majority of snaps midway through the season.


Settle's Impact

Defensive tackle is the deepest position on Virginia Tech's roster, and it's not even close. The Hokies return a pair of former All-ACC players in Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall in the starting lineup. Behind those two players, Tech has Nigel Williams, Woody Baron and Ricky Walker. Williams and Baron could start for a number of teams.

Also in the mix are a pair of redshirt freshmen: Vinny Mihota and Steve Sobczak. Mihota will likely play snaps at defensive end because of the lack of the depth at that position, plus coaches just want to see him on the field. 

Speaking of coaches wanting to see someone on the field, Settle perfectly fits that description. But coaches will be facing a dilemma with the talented newcomer: redshirt him or let him play and be a third-team defensive tackle? 

In a perfect world, all coaches want the best players on the field, and you never know when an injury—or two—could weaken a strong unit. It would not be in Tech's best interest to pull a redshirt off Settle six or seven weeks into the season. Foster is arguably the top defensive coordinator in the country, and he should just find a way to get Settle in the mix this fall. 

Beamer has certainly taken notice of Settle's athleticism, according to Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times.

"He's got the lightest feet of any [350]-pound guy you've ever seen in your life," Beamer said. "He's easy."

Bitter reports that starting defensive end Ken Ekanem was impressed with Settle after seeing him dominate his old high school.

"I remember watching a highlight film on him, and he used to go against my high school team," Ekanem said. "His first snap was against my high school team, and he just blows past the center and blows up the running back. I was like, ‘God, we’re getting this guy?’"

Seeing what happens with Settle will be one of the more intriguing storylines to follow the next three weeks. 


Raymon Minor Now at Whip Linebacker

Minor, a 6'2", 221-pound redshirt freshman from Richmond, practiced at the 'backer position during his first season on the team, as well as this past spring. With depth possibly a concern at the whip linebacker position, Minor has now moved there.

Minor is a great athlete and should excel at the position.

At one time, whip linebacker was one of the more important positions on Tech's defense, but the increased use of the nickel back has diminished the significance of the position to a degree. However, if Tech is in its base defense, the whip linebacker will be on the field.

Foster felt Minor was a natural at the whip linebacker position, per Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“I see a dynamic big athlete that’s not afraid, explosive,” Foster said. “That was kind of that move. Let’s play to his strengths.”


Keep an Eye on Yosuah Nijman

While Settle and freshman quarterback Dwayne Lawson are the most-hyped members of this freshmen class, keep an eye on offensive tackle Nijman.

Nijman, a 6'6", 277-pounder, arrived in January as a defensive lineman. Coaches quickly felt Nijman would make a dominant offensive lineman with his combination of power, length and athleticism and moved him to the offensive side this past spring. 

Offensive line coach Stacy Searels loves Nijman's potential and sold him on the move by referencing former Hokie Duane Brown, who arrived at Virginia Tech as a tight end and moved to offensive tackle, per Will Grooms of The Key Play:

"Duane Brown was a tight end, and now he's an offensive tackle for the Houston Texans, and he's making $54 million. That would sell for me," Searels said. "A lot of those guys that have played nine or 10 years in the league were tight ends or defensive linemen and have moved over."

Nijman has been playing first-team offensive tackle in the first week of fall camp as starter Jonathan McLaughlin's been a little banged up. 

According to HokieSports.com's Jimmy Robertson, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler loves what he sees:

He’s going to be a good player, not a good player, a great player. He’s long. He’s super athletic. Things are starting to slow down for him. Is he complete right now? No. He needs to gain weight. He’s 277 pounds. But that guy is a talented guy. If he continues to develop, he’s going to be a special player for us.

Don't be surprised if Nijman, like Settle, forces his way onto the field sooner rather than later.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Noah DeHond to Clemson: Tigers Land 4-Star OT Prospect

The Clemson Tigers added their second commitment to their 2017 recruiting class Monday with the addition of 4-star offensive tackle Noah DeHond.

DeHond announced on Twitter he'll soon call "Death Valley" home:

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, the Hightstown, New Jersey, native is the No. 32 offensive tackle and No. 236 player overall in 2017. He's also the sixth-best player in the state of New Jersey.

DeHond's decision comes as a bit of a surprise because 75 percent of the experts on 247Sports' crystal ball predictions expected him to pick the Alabama Crimson Tide. Barton Simmons of 247Sports couldn't say enough about the Tigers' good luck Monday night:

DeHond—listed at 6'7" and 317 pounds—is simply a massive presence on the offensive line. In addition, he shouldn't need to fill out his frame too much, which is a problem you sometimes see with taller offensive linemen in college. They might weigh 290-plus pounds, but that's not necessarily a good thing when you're talking about a player who's 6'6" or 6'7".

DeHond has the requisite strength to excel at the next level.

As long as he can become a bit more agile, he has the potential to be a cornerstone of the Clemson offensive line in a few years. 

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2018 No. 1 QB Trevor Lawrence Models His Game After Peyton Manning

The No. 16 isn't an accident. Trevor Lawrence is a huge fan of Peyton Manning and what he did as a college quarterback at Tennessee.

With every pass, every audible, every move big or small Manning makes, Lawrence makes a habit to match. It's not a bad idea for any quarterback to imitate someone who now is considered one of the most respected quarterbacks in NFL history.

Particularly when you're the top-ranked quarterback in your class.

"Every time I watch him, I always notice his awareness and how he calls his audibles," said Lawrence, the Cartersville, Georgia, prospect who is ranked the No. 1 overall player in the 2018 class, per 247Sports. "He's just really smart. He knows everything going on and what everybody is supposed to be doing."

The multiple accolades Manning has earned over his career are something Lawrence can use as a barometer for ultimate success. As a 15-year-old sophomore, Lawrence now is focusing solely on getting better. On Aug. 10, he tweeted that his focus would be on getting Cartersville to a state championship and that additional questions—including those involving recruiting—should go to his father or his coach.

Although Lawrence is very appreciative of his early offers, he's got a plan to adhere to.


Statistics support talent

Physically, Lawrence resembles Manning. Both were tall, skinny quarterbacks in high school. Lawrence is 6'5" and 190 pounds. Manning was around that size when he attended Isidore Newman School in New Orleans.

As a freshman last season for Cartersville, Lawrence put up solid numbers, throwing for 3,042 yards and 26 touchdowns. He completed better than 60 percent of his passes (187-of-310) and, with all of his assets on and off the field, quickly impressed college recruiters.

"I think I'm pretty smart on the field. I try to make good decisions," Lawrence said. "My arm is pretty strong; I don't know if I have the strongest in my class, but I think it's strong enough."

Lawrence considers himself a pro-style quarterback, but he also has decent speed. He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, and his length and long strides make him appear to be faster on the field.

Colorado State was Lawrence's first scholarship offer, as he received it in April. He has a good relationship with head coach Mike Bobo from his days as an offensive coordinator at Georgia.

In little time, one offer turned to three, which turned to seven, which turned to 15 for Lawrence. His latest offer came from Michigan.

"I was really excited to get the first one," Lawrence said of his offers. "Everything's kind of escalated since then. I'm still very appreciative of all the schools who offer.

"Getting [the Michigan offer] was pretty cool. [Head] Coach [Jim] Harbaugh is a good offensive coach. He's coached in the Super Bowl. I've talked to him for a while. It's been a pretty good deal."


The recruiting game

Lawrence has 15 offers, but a sophomore season similar to or better than his freshman season could double his offer list. He currently has offers from coast to coast, but there are five schools, he said, that have caught his attention early in the process.

"Right now, everything is very premature," he said, "but I'm looking at Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Duke and Clemson.

One school to keep an eye on is Tennessee, particularly for a young quarterback who is a huge Peyton Manning fan. And then there's Georgia, the in-state school.

Duke is a dark horse of sorts, as it doesn't have the national prestige of the other football programs but has enjoyed very good seasons recently. It should be known that Duke coach David Cutcliffe coached both Peyton Manning at Tennessee and younger brother Eli Manning at Ole Miss.

It still boggles Lawrence's mind that roughly four months ago, he was without an offer. And now, he has his pick of schools to choose from.

"It's crazy. I think about how I may not have all the offers, but I definitely have the ones I need and want," he said. "You only need one, and it's just a blessing to know I can go to college for free."

Offers, for the time being, are taking a backseat to his team goals, which involve him leading Cartersville to a state title. The phone calls are no longer a distraction, as he is taking a hiatus from the recruiting chatter.

He also is doing his part to make sure his player ranking isn't questioned. Being the top-ranked player means playing as flawlessly as possible, and if he plays flawless football, that could mean big things for his team.

"It's good to say I'm the No. 1 quarterback in this class, but that doesn't mean that I'm better than everyone else just because of the rankings," Lawrence said. "I have to show that hard work pays off, and I have to prove it every Friday night. The last thing you want is to have people saying you don't deserve it because you don't prove it."

It's simple math for Lawrence: Play to win every day.

After all, it's what Manning did. And it's what Manning still does.

"That's who I look at," Lawrence said of Manning. "He's definitely a good role model. He's done it all."


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

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Diddy Says He Has Been Banned from UCLA Football Practices After Arrest

After he allegedly swung a kettlebell at the team's strength and conditioning coach, Diddy has apparently been banned from attending UCLA Bruins practices.

"As I know right now I'm not allowed," Diddy said when asked on Power 105's The Breakfast Club whether he would watch his son, Justin Combs, practice (h/t Arlene Washington of the Hollywood Reporter).

He didn't elaborate about when that decision was made, as he posted a photo of his son at practice on Instagram four days ago:            

The 45-year-old rap mogul was arrested and charged with assault for reportedly attacking Sal Alosi at UCLA's athletic facility after Alosi was "screaming intensely" at Justin during practice, per Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to pursue felony charges against Diddy. TMZ reported in June that Bruins head coach Jim Mora and members of his staff just hoped to move on and didn't want to see Diddy facing any charges stemming from the incident.

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Diddy Says He Has Been Banned from UCLA Football Practices After Arrest

After he allegedly swung a kettlebell at the team's strength and conditioning coach, Diddy has apparently been banned from attending UCLA Bruins practices...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Notre Dame Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — As fall camp continues back on campus, Notre Dame football is now within three weeks of its season opener against Texas under the lights at Notre Dame Stadium.

More than midway through camp, let’s take a look at the past week of practice, and comments from head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish.



While much of the news surrounding the Irish in 2015 deals with returns—whether from injury or academic issues—Notre Dame must now move forward with a major personnel loss, as defensive tackle Jarron Jones is out for the season with an MCL injury.

During an 11-on-11 situation at practice last week, Jones was rolled up on—“kind of a freak deal,” Kelly said—and suffered the injury. Jones is scheduled for surgery this week. The 6’5”, 315-pounder from Rochester, New York, logged 11 starts last season before enduring a Lisfranc injury that finished his campaign. Jones racked up 40 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, in 2014.

“Just one of those things you can never prepare for,” said Kelly, who added that Jones will return next year.

Kelly said true freshman Jerry Tillery and sophomore Daniel Cage are expected to fill Jones’ void, while true freshman Elijah Taylor will likely be active rather than redshirted. Junior Isaac Rochell will not slide inside in Notre Dame’s base defense, Kelly said.

Tillery enrolled early at Notre Dame and was one of the spring standouts.

“Invaluable to have him here in the spring given the fact that obviously he’s gonna have a pretty prominent role for us on the defensive side of the ball,” Kelly said of Tillery. “That obviously is a big plus for us. He knows the defense pretty well.”

Jones will remain around the team and travel with the squad, Kelly said.

Irish fifth-year linebacker Jarrett Grace, who missed the 2014 season and the second half of the 2013 circuit with a leg injury, said Saturday he had spoken with Jones.

“I told Jarron, I said, ‘Look, man. You can contribute to this team so much still. Just because you’re sidelined, it doesn’t minimize your role. You can really reach out to all these young guys, offer insights to the guys who are gonna be filling in for you,’” Grace said.

For his part, Grace said he truly feels like an athlete again, past the pain that still surfaced in the spring.

“It’s really good,” Grace said of his health. “The spring was awesome just to get my feet wet, but I was working through a lot of pain. But now I feel I can really contribute to this team.”

Senior running back C.J. Prosise is dealing with a hip flexor and missed Saturday’s practice. Kelly said Prosise will start moving around Monday and should be close to 100 percent by Saturday.

Freshman linebacker Josh Barajas (pulled hamstring) is likely out for two weeks, per Kelly.


Malik Zaire

As his second career start nears, Irish junior quarterback Malik Zaire has impressed Kelly.

“What I like about him is [he’s] extremely coachable,” Kelly said Saturday. “I like that he’s focusing in on some of the detail areas that are so important at the quarterback position.”

Zaire and the Notre Dame offense logged plenty of red-zone and situational work in practices open to the media in the past week. Kelly praised Zaire’s overall offensive management, red-zone functionality and communication.



Notre Dame’s freshman class ranks highly among Kelly’s list of key takeaways through the first bulk of fall practices.

“We’ve got great competition,” Kelly said. “That’s the biggest difference with this team compared to any of the other teams that I’ve had here at Notre Dame. We’ve got great competition. A lot of it is built up from last year. Then this freshman class has added a lot to the competition as well.”

Even as far back as national signing day, Kelly has touted the incoming cornerbacks: Shaun Crawford, Nick Coleman and Ashton White. All three have flashed in the fall, and Crawford and Coleman have staked their claim to first-team practice reps.

Crawford struck Kelly as a “football player” for his work on special teams in high school, not to mention his ability at corner. Coleman, meanwhile, possesses “great make-up speed,” according to the head coach.

In addition to Crawford, Coleman and Tillery, Kelly tabbed linebacker Te'von Coney, another early enrollee, as a potential rookie contributor.

On the offensive side, Notre Dame’s depth at wide receiver is impossible to ignore. Slot man C.J. Sanders brings elusiveness and an ability to cut at full speed that Kelly said the Irish “haven’t had … in my time here.” Equanimeous St. Brown is ahead of schedule, per Kelly, and “runs like a deer,” coupling such natural ability with the toughness to return to practice within 24 hours of two separate sprained ankles.


Josh Anderson

When walk-on senior running back Josh Anderson met with head football equipment manager Ryan Grooms on Wednesday, he had no idea how his life was about to change.

“Look, we want you to model this uniform,” Grooms told Anderson. “You’d fit the uniform, and it’d be funny.”

So Anderson agreed to don the Shamrock Series uniform, set to be unveiled Thursday morning.

“OK. I like that,” Anderson replied. “The next morning I put on the uniform.”

What followed?

As shown in the video that has since gone viral, Kelly announced Anderson had earned a scholarship.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Anderson said Saturday. “It was amazing. Oh, man. I can’t even tell you how great I feel.”

Growing up in California, Anderson loved Notre Dame and wanted to attend the university in South Bend, Indiana, just like his father had. A two-time letterwinner at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, Anderson could have played collegiately at the Division II, Division III or FCS levels. He was also accepted to Navy.

But Anderson was admitted to Notre Dame, contacted assistant coach Mike Denbrock and toured campus with the now-associate head coach while visiting South Bend as an accepted student. Anderson joined the team as a preferred walk-on.

After many practices and countless hits from his time on the scout team, all while balancing a pre-med course load, Anderson landed a scholarship.

“I can’t even believe it,” Anderson said. “My parents are still kind of in shock. It’s like life hasn’t been real the past few days. It’s just unbelievable. I have so much great support around me—friends and family. I’m so blessed, so thankful. God is so good. That’s all I can say.”

Anderson called his parents Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. His father, Joe, back in California, picked up the phone at 5:30 local time. Joe put Josh on speakerphone so his wife, Darlene, could hear the news. Josh called back a few hours later to ensure his parents of the news.

Since the video circulated, Anderson’s phone has been active.

“Friends and family, just about everybody I met ever in my entire life is telling me congratulations and that they’re happy for me,” Anderson said.


Quick Hits

Kelly said Thursday that senior cornerback KeiVarae Russell passed one NCAA hurdle and still has one more to go. Ishaq Williams’ situation, Kelly added, is still pending. The head coach had no updates as of Saturday afternoon.

In addition to Notre Dame’s leadership and the play of the Irish freshmen, Kelly singled out linebacker Jaylon Smith as one of the biggest positives.

“Jaylon Smith is remarkable in terms of what he’s doing on the field,” Kelly said. “He is on his game.”

Kelly said junior wide receiver Will Fuller is the leading option at punt returner, though Sanders wowed the crowd Saturday with a length punt-return score. Kelly said he doesn’t necessarily prefer Sanders as the top return man, but the Irish would be fine with the freshman if he emerged as the go-to guy.

Graduate student safety Avery Sebastian, who’s using his fifth year at Notre Dame after arriving from Cal, has earned first-team reps so far this fall.

“We’re pleased with him,” Kelly said. “I thought we were gonna get more of a situational guy, option, box safety, but he’s shown himself to know our defense pretty good. He picks up things very well, pretty smart guy.”

Sebastian said Notre Dame has already exceeded his expectations since the summer transition.


All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

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Alabama Football: Week 2 Fall Camp Stock Report

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although the University of Alabama held its first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday, the big news from it didn’t emerge until Monday morning when senior quarterback Jake Coker wasn’t on the field for the first practice of a two-a-day.

Just after noon Alabama released the following statement from Nick Saban: “Jake Coker has a minor foot injury that we think will keep him out of practice for several days. Our physicians anticipate a full recovery.”

Although the prognosis was mostly good news in that Coker appears to have avoided a potentially serious setback, the timing couldn’t have been worse, as this is the most important week of training camp for the quarterback competition.

Last year Blake Sims won the starting job with his performance in the second camp scrimmage. This camp’s version will be held this upcoming Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The coach will likely discuss the team’s approach at the position during his next press conference on Wednesday afternoon. Coker is competing with junior Alec Morris, sophomore Cooper Bateman, redshirt freshman David Cornwell and true freshman Blake Barnett but is the only one of the five to have attempted a pass in a game.

Morris doubles as the backup punter, while Bateman is the holder for the kickers.

To give an idea of how unusual the situation is: Alabama hasn’t had a starting quarterback miss a start since Saban arrived in 2007.

Alabama didn’t release any statistics from the first scrimmage, and afterward Saban said, “I can’t really say that one guy was better than another.” He also didn’t mention Coker’s injury, making it likely that it was discovered after the scrimmage.

“Offensively, I think we got better as the day went on in terms of how we competed, how we played,” Saban said. “A lot of the success that we had in the scrimmage offensively came toward the end of the scrimmage. We made some plays, got some confidence and that kind of got people going. Which, I think when you have young players and a lot of new players that’s something that is really important for them to be able to gain.”

Otherwise, Alabama appears to have avoided any major injury setbacks during training camp:

  • Coaches are being cautious with senior running back Kenyan Drake (hamstring), and freshman Bo Scarbrough (knee) has been limited. Scarbrough will also serve a four-game eligibility suspension in September.
  • Junior wide receiver Chris Black is close to returning from a sprained ankle. Sophomore Robert Foster suffered a sprained knee in the scrimmage but was back practicing on Monday. Alabama is already without sophomore Cam Sims (knee) and junior Raheem Falkins (leg).
  • Redshirt freshman cornerback Marlon Humphrey (“pulled muscle”) is still limited.
  • Reserve redshirt freshman offensive lineman Josh Casher (torn pectoral) remains out. Freshman tackle Lester Cotton missed some practice time with an undisclosed injury. Freshman defensive lineman Anfernee Jennings (back) has yet to start practicing with the team.


Taking it easy on the running backs

With Alabama having some depth concerns at running back, in addition to the quarterback competition, the focus during the first scrimmage was on the passing game.

“I didn’t really want to see anything from the running backs, if you want to know the truth about it,” Saban said. “We wanted Derrick Henry to carry the ball six times. I’ve seen him carry the ball enough not to make him go out and prove himself in a scrimmage that means nothing to no one.”

Instead, younger players like true freshman Damien Harris, who could be pressed into service early, and redshirt freshman Ronnie Clark have been getting extra reps.

“I think he learned today what it takes to play college football, which is a good thing, and he had some production,” Saban said about Davis. “Ronnie same thing. Some of the young guys really got an opportunity and I think that’s a good thing.


The name is Minkah

The surprise of camp has been cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick, who hasn’t been playing like a true freshman. 

“Minkah’s done a really, really good job,” Saban said. “He’s very instinctive and learns quickly, understands concepts. He’s probably going to a be a guy that, if he continues to progress, could make some contribution for us this year.”

Fitzpatrick, who enrolled early, was rated a 5-star prospect in the Class of 2015 by 247Sports but 4-star in its composite rankings. Regardless, the prospect out of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, was considered one of the top 50 players in the nation.

“You can tell he’s focused in,” senior linebacker Reggie Ragland said. “Most freshmen hit that wall when they first get into camp and he hasn’t hit that wall yet. He’s still out there focused in, looking good, moving around like he’s been doing that for years.”


Crimson Tide bits

• Ragland has been getting some work in at outside linebacker to be a pass-rusher in certain situations. “I can do more than play inside linebacker,” he said. “If I can show that I can pass-rush and get to the quarterback, we can do a bunch of other stuff too.”

• Prior to his hamstring injury Drake was also trying his hand at kick returner: “I feel pretty comfortable,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since coming here, but obviously we had a pretty seasoned veteran at kick return in Christion Jones before. So just having the opportunity to do that now, as long as—the most important thing is ball security—so as long as you can maintain the ball and make plays at the same time, you can be successful.”

• Saban called sophomore ArDarius Stewart the offense’s most consistent wide receiver. “I think he's the next guy that we need to sort of be the man when it comes to playing receiver and playing with consistency.” True freshman Calvin Ridley appears to be on pace to land a rotation spot.

• Fall semester classes begin on the Alabama campus on Wednesday.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer. Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.

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SEC Football: Biggest Surprises Midway Through Fall Camp

We've reached the midway point of fall camp, and that means there's depth-chart movement across the South.

Who's leading the quarterback battles? Which running backs are taking charge? Which true freshmen are pushing for playing time?

Some of those questions are starting to get answered. The most surprising fall camp storylines based on depth and scheme are in this slideshow.

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No. 1 WR Nate Craig-Myers Updates Recruitment Status, Schools He Hopes to Visit

While Florida State has long been the perceived favorite for 5-star receiver Nate Craig-Myers, it’s the rival Florida Gators who appear to be trending him in the days leading up to beginning of his senior season.

Most observers would make the connection that the sudden change is due to his brother—3-star corner Jayvaughn Myers—committing to the Gators earlier this month.

However, Craig-Myers said that is not entirely the case.

“They were recruiting me hard before my brother committed,” Craig-Myers told Bleacher Report. “Now, I feel like they are really trying to make me a top priority.”

Throughout his recruitment, Craig-Myers has been consistent in stating that both players are not a package deal.

Jayvaughn echoed that sentiment after the brothers attended a Gators summer camp last month, as noted by GatorBait’s Luke Stampini.

“It’s possible, but we ain’t really focusing on [playing together in college],” Myers told Stampini. “It’s possible though. We’re doing it separate.”

Still, the Gators have been slowly building momentum with the nation’s top-rated receiver and No. 19 player overall in the 2016 class.

Nate said his last visit was beneficial in helping him get to know new head coach Jim McElwain and his staff.

“It was a good experience. It was fun to sit down and talk with the new coaching staff and get a feel for them,” Craig-Myers said. “I just feel like [McElwain] is going to take this program in the right direction. He’s a great guy. He’s a very down-to-earth person, and I like that about him.”

As for the Seminoles, Craig-Myers notes that while FSU is still in the picture, the dialogue between the two sides has tapered off recently.

“Really, we haven’t been talking that much lately,” Craig-Myers said. “There’s no reason for it. It’s just we haven’t been communicating as much.”

Still, the race to land the 6’2”, 205-pound Tampa product has a long way to go before he makes a decision.

Along with Florida, Alabama and Miami are two other programs he said are recruiting him the hardest.

The next item on his agenda is lining up his official visit schedule. He said some trips could take place later in the season or after his season concludes.

“I don’t have my official visits set up yet,” Craig-Myers said. “I just want to get out to a few schools and see what they have to offer. Notre Dame, Alabama, Miami, Ohio State and North Carolina are some of those schools.”

As for what he is looking for in a home at the next level, a few traits will take precedent in his search for the perfect fit.

“I want to find a place that fits me the best and feels like home away from home,” Craig-Myers said. “Just somewhere I feel comfortable on and off the field, and somewhere I can compete for a chance to play right away.”


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


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Florida Football: 2015 Game-by-Game Schedule Predictions

A new era of Florida football will officially begin in a few weeks as Jim McElwain starts to rebuild the Gators toward title contention in the near future.

Florida has plenty of reasons for optimism under McElwain, an offensive-minded head coach who had championship-level success as a coordinator in the SEC before a pair of bowl trips in three seasons at Colorado State.

The Gators return seven starters from a fierce defense, including an elite secondary that features star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.

But there are plenty of question marks in Gainesville, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Gators still have position battles to solve, and an offensive line that was ravaged by injury in spring practice only returns one starter.

With the 2015 kickoff less than three weeks away, let's take a game-by-game look at the Florida schedule and post some predictions for the Gators' first season under McElwain and his new staff. 

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College Football 2015: Who Will Win the Heisman Trophy?

With the 2015 season nearly underway, it is high time to discuss potential Heisman candidates. Bleacher Report's Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down which top contenders could win the coveted award this December.

Who do you think should win the Heisman Trophy? Hit the comment section below.

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