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Notre Dame Football 2015: Complete Preview of Fighting Irish Offense

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished off the 2014 season with an 8-5 record. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Fighting Irish's biggest storylines on offense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think Notre Dame will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

CFB Defenses That Will Offer No Escape

Possessing a good defense is generally the hallmark of a successful football program. 

It can help to compensate for a sputtering offense—and even generate points via the creation of turnovers. This piece will speak about 10 teams equipped with what should be very good defensive units in 2015. 

The appearance on this list will encompass a few items—including returning starters, conference affiliation (in terms of one's schedule) and sheer talent. 


Honorable Mentions: Clemson, TCU, UCF, Virginia Tech, Miami, Southern Cal, Wisconsin, Utah, Arkansas, Louisville, UCLA, Stanford, Pitt, Virginia, Texas and Missouri. 

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Georgia Football 2015: Complete Preview of Bulldogs Offense

The Georgia Bulldogs finished off the 2014 season with a 10-3 record. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael FelderBarrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Bulldogs' biggest storylines on offense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think Georgia will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Football 2015: Complete Preview of Wolverines Offense

The Michigan Wolverines finished the 2014 season with a 5-7 record. But how will they fare in 2015?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Wolverines' biggest storylines on offense heading into the 2015 season in the video above.

How well do you think Michigan will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks Football 2015: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

The Oregon Ducks finished off the 2014 season with a 13-2 record. Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Oregon's schedule heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think the Ducks will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks Football 2015: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

The Oregon Ducks finished off the 2014 season with a 13-2 record. Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder , Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Oregon's schedule heading into the 2015 season...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Stanford Football 2015: Complete Preview of the Cardinal

The Stanford Cardinal finished off the 2014 season with an 8-5 record. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Cardinal's biggest storylines heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think Stanford will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Stanford Football 2015: Complete Preview of the Cardinal

The Stanford Cardinal finished off the 2014 season with an 8-5 record. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Cardinal's biggest storylines heading into the 2015 season...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Michigan Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Fall camp has officially started in Ann Arbor, so the Michigan Wolverines are back on the field and preparing for their first game of the 2015 campaign.

First-year head coach Jim Harbaugh has limited media access, saying the team is heading into a "submarine," per MLive's Nick Baumgardner.

Consequently, while updates on these players and position battles may be scarce, Michigan heads into camp with a couple interesting storylines—especially at quarterback.

Less than four weeks from now, the Wolverines will battle Utah in the season opener. Until then, Michigan fans should be keeping a close eye on a few particular stocks.


Hot Commodity: Jabrill Peppers, Safety

Jabrill Peppers' value is skyrocketing every day. He can play offense. He can play defense. He can return kicks. He can do everything on a football field.

But he’s also unproven.

It's not worth trying to slow the hype train, because it's already out of control. Nevertheless, it's important to point out some theories surrounding Peppers might have no weight—as of yet.

According to Baumgardner, Peppers hasn't engaged in "any sort of specific conversation with Harbaugh about playing offense."

We really haven't had an open discussion to it. He didn't know us from a can of paint when he first got here. He kind of had conversations with everyone about it, just one-on-one, and I don't know what other people talked about – but we talked about me being a guy who is going to be hungry and lead by example.

The 6'1", 205-pounder is a versatile defensive back and is expected to, at the least, line up at both safety and nickelback throughout the season. Michigan has the personnel in the secondary that allows defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin the ability to use Peppers in the most advantageous position, even if it fluctuates by opponent.

Peppers is bound to become college football’s next star. That doesn't mean he's going to be a first-team All-American. In 2015 specifically, will the payout be worth the investment?


Stock Up: Jake Rudock, Quarterback

The Iowa transfer isn't a glamorous choice. He's not the forward-thinking option. Nevertheless, Jake Rudock seems headed for the starting role over junior Shane Morris.

Rudock tallied 2,436 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, completing 61.7 percent of his passes while tossing just five interceptions. The 6'3", 208-pound shot-caller has the makings of a game manager, an approach Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod suggests Harbaugh may prefer under center:

"With a Wolverines defense that appears further along than the offense," Axelrod said, "Rudock's safer style of play could be preferable to Harbaugh, who got the most out of the similarly efficient Alex Smith during his time with the San Francisco 49ers."

Under Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, Michigan will attempt to feature a ground-and-pound attack. The object of the passing game is to use it sparingly, typically in an attempt to catch the secondary sleeping or merely out of necessity—like 3rd-and-long.

Additionally, while passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch should improve the efficiency of each quarterback, Rudock boasts a clear advantage over Morris. Through nine career appearances, the left-hander has managed a 49.4 completion percentage, zero touchdowns and five interceptions.

Though Rudock doesn't have a tremendously high ceiling, Harbaugh might not want to risk watching the value of his young quarterbacks plummet.


Stock Down: Ty Isaac, Running Back

After sitting out the 2014 season due to NCAA rules for undergrad transfers and an injury-shortened spring session, Ty Isaac has to make up for lost time.

Isaac will likely join Derrick Green as part of the one-two bulldozer—not just a punch—by season's end, but the USC transfer certainly won’t be handed a spot in the rotation. Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press notes Harbaugh hasn’t seen much of Isaac on the field.

"I feel like he's healthier (now) than he was," Harbaugh said. "Very minimal (exposure). He really only practiced for a day."

De'Veon Smith carried the load during the spring, so simply because the coaches have seen him work, the junior holds a slight edge in that department over Isaac and the other two competitors. Green sat out while recovering from a shoulder injury, and Drake Johnson missed practice because of an ACL tear.

Nevertheless, a 6'3", 240-pound freight train, Isaac made an impression on teammates while redshirting last year. According to John Niyo of the Detroit News, offensive lineman Kyle Kalis praised Isaac’s physical running style.

"I mean, he was bruising guys up. He was killin' it. We were all like, 'Oh, man, we cannot wait to see Ty!' … He's gonna be a threat."

It's clear no one should sell Isaac, but as the 2015 season approaches, he faces an uphill battle to climb the depth chart against solid competition.


All recruiting information via 247SportsStats from cfbstats.comQuotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Missouri Football 2015: Complete Preview of Tigers

The Missouri Tigers finished off the 2014 season with an 11-3 record. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down the Tigers' biggest storylines on offense heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think Missouri will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

With early commitments becoming the norm in recruiting, there’s also been a fair share of high-profile decommitments that have occurred in the summer.

One of the most recent cases of a prospect re-opening his recruit is 4-star defensive end Terrell Hall—who backed off an early pledge to Ohio State.

In the immediate aftermath of his announcement, the 6’5”, 250-pound Washington, D.C. native picked up offers from a pair of powerhouses in Florida and Oklahoma.

In particular, the Gators may have the chance to become a legitimate contender in Hall’s recruitment, as noted by Bleacher Report’s Tyler Donohue.

"I grew up a fan of Florida,” Hall told Donohue. “They told me they've liked me for a long time, and now that I'm decommitted, that's a school I think will really recruit me hard," Hall said. "I would highly consider taking an official visit there."

According to Donohue, Hall mentioned Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and UCLA as other contenders who could receive visits from him in the future.

Give his ability as a pass-rusher and the fact that he could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, Hall is a player who should be heavily courted in the coming months. 

Expect schools in the market for a talented and versatile pass-rusher to continue to court Hall until signing day.


Oklahoma Offers 2016 3-Star LB

Oklahoma’s most recent pledge came from 4-star linebacker Bryce Youngquist

The Sooners are now pursuing another talented defender who had a strong showing at The Opening after they offered 3-star linebacker Aaron Hansford.

The Washington, D.C. standout also possesses offers from Georgia, Maryland, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State, among others.

The Sooners have a need for linebackers in this cycle, but it remains to be seen whether they can make a push for Hansford. 


Stanford After 2017 Stud QBs 

Schools across the country are ramping up their efforts to identify top quarterback prospects in the 2017 class.

One school who was busy evaluating top rising junior signal-callers was Pac-12 power Stanford. 

The Cardinal offered a pair of 4-star passers in Jake Bentley and Davis Mills, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

Cardinal head coach David Shaw has recruited the quarterback position well during his tenure in Palo Alto—which is something that could appeal to stud young targets such as Bentley and Mills.


Texas A&M Offers Stud In-State 2018 DE

While many college coaches have done their homework on the 2016 and 2017 classes, a few standouts in the 2018 class have already flashed on the recruiting radar.

One such player in the Lone Star State is 4-star defensive end Max Wright.

Last week, in-state power Texas A&M offered the 6’4”, 235-pounder—who rates as the No. 3 strong side defensive end and No. 7 player overall in the 2018 class.

Wright also holds early offers from Duke, Georgia, Houston, Missouri and TCU.


Best of the Rest 







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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet College Football's Next Wave of JUCO Transfer Stars

College football programs are always looking for instant-impact players in every recruiting cycle. Coaches hunt for the athletes whose game could translate into playing time at the next level and press hard for their signatures on national signing day.

But a couple of months before the highly touted 5-star high school players finalize their college decisions in the first week of February, another group of football stars make their school choices in a less-glamorized manner. 

Junior college transfers have a higher first-year success rate than most signees, and plenty of programs have used these underrated talents to change their fates in a short amount of time.

Whether it's due to academics, off-the-field issues or just needing more time to develop, these players come into the FBS ranks with more experience than the heralded high schoolers.

Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Jason-Pierre Paul and Bruce Irvin played JUCO ball before becoming big-time NFL players. All-time greats Keyshawn Johnson, Warren Moon, O.J. Simpson and Roger Staubach started their careers at two-year schools.

In the most recent class of players to go onto the NFL, Randy Gregory, Nick Marshall, Martrell Spaight, Jaelen Strong and Kevin White excelled at the FBS level after time spent at a junior college.

Meet seven JUCO transfers who, according to the experienced coaches who led them these last two years, have great chances at starring during the 2015 college football season and joining some of those stars at the next level.

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4-Star Melquise Stovall Opens Up on USC Decommitment, What's Next

USC's 2016 class suffered a blow over the weekend when 4-star Lancaster, California, running back Melquise Stovall decommitted Saturday afternoon.

That loss could be Notre Dame's gain. Or Utah's gain.

Or even cross-town rival UCLA's gain.

Stovall, the nation's No. 4 all-purpose back, said he reopened his process after reassessing his recruiting situation, one which he admitted had minimal—if nonexistent—communication with USC the last few weeks. The Paraclete High School standout said he chose to decommit after a misunderstanding with the Trojans over how he was going to be used at the next level.

"They wanted to use me 99 percent of the time at running back, and that's not what I wanted," Stovall said. "I thought we had an understanding of me playing running back and slot [receiver]. I guess things change."

The versatility of Stovall out of the backfield alone makes him a key loss for USC, a team that only had Stovall as a running back commit. As someone who also can play cornerback, he is looking to line up at both running back and slot receiver in college.

So what's next for the 5'8", 180-pound athlete?

For starters, it's all about finding a program that will allow him to do what he wants. Stovall rushed for 1,603 yards and 20 touchdowns but also caught 21 passes for 415 yards and two touchdowns as a junior.

Stovall said he's open to hearing from all schools, but schools like Notre Dame, Utah, Washington State and Washington are among those that could be in the running thus far. Stovall added that Utah and Notre Dame are two schools that will receive official visits. Actual dates have yet to be determined.

"I watched [Utah's] game against USC, and I liked the way they moved the ball everywhere," Stovall said of the Utes. "The quarterback runs the ball, the running backs catch...everybody gets the ball. I like that they want to use me as a running back and a slot. Plus, I've got a great relationship with the coaches.

"Hearing about [Notre Dame's] tradition, people say you never get the full effect unless you go on an official visit. They also want to use me as a running back and as a slot. It seems like they really want me."

Stovall added that while he hadn't been in contact recently with the program, UCLA could be in a good position to land him. The Bruins, who Stovall said are "definitely in mind," have an all-purpose back committed in 3-star Demetric Felton, but with Stovall wanting to be used more in the slot, it could work out well for coach Jim Mora and Co.

Stovall said he's willing to give every interested program a chance—as long as those programs are willing to use him at running back and at slot.

"Playing slot is very important to me," Stovall said. "I feel like you limit me if you put me just at running back. I think I'm talented enough to do both. I'm real good in space, and I can catch as well as I can run.

"I want to be a slot who plays running back, maybe even just a slot. I want to be able to create so many lanes versus being limited at just one position."

Competing at The Opening allowed Stovall to show off his skill set. He helped the Lunarbeast team win the national 7-on-7 championship. In skills testing at The Opening finals and the regional round in Los Angeles, he's shown his speed (4.57-second 40-yard dash), agility (4.15-seconds shuttle), strength (40-foot power ball toss) and leaping ability (39.2-inch vertical jump).

Stovall said he still has love for USC but is uncertain about recommitting if the situation fell in his favor once again. For now, he's keeping all options open and making sure he does research to make the right decision.

"It's tough, because Frank Martin and I were helping to recruit guys for USC," he said. "I'm open to everybody right now. I just want to make sure I keep everyone in mind."


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 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Mississippi State Football 2015: Complete Preview and Predictions for Bulldogs

The Bulldogs finished off the 2014 season with a 10-3 record. Bleacher Report's college football analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Mississippi State's schedule heading into the 2015 season.

How well do you think the Bulldogs will do this year? Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Penn State's Anthony Zettel Nearly Knocks Teammate's Head off with Bottle Kick

The legend of Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Zettel just continues to grow.

Earlier this year, the 6'4", 284-pound Zettel showed off his incredible strength by tackling a tree to the ground. That helped set the stage for his latest trick.

In a recent video, the first-team All-Big Ten defensive lineman gave one of his teammates a pretty good scare in the locker room with another feat of strength. Zettel spun and kicked a water bottle, sending it flying right at his teammate's head.

Luckily, the Nittany Lion was able hit the deck before he got rocked.

Good luck to the offensive linemen who have to face Zettel this season.

[Twitter, h/t Lost Lettermen]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Regrading the AP's 2014 Top 25 Preseason Poll

College football has become a year-round game, with recruiting, spring football, summer workouts and, of course, the regular season. But few milestones on the seasonal calendar ignite as much passion as the release of the preseason top 25 polls. While they have no bearing on the College Football Playoff poll, which will be released weekly beginning in October, they set the table for the season and fans’ perception of their team’s worth.

However, they’re not always accurate, as you can tell by putting the preseason poll and the final postseason top 25 side by side. Every year, a team comes out of nowhere to join the national conversation. Think about it. Did anyone have TCU or Mississippi State pegged for anything special last August? Of course not. And the same will be true this fall, although we don’t know it yet.

Friday, the Associated Press will release its Preseason Top 25 poll. It’s the perfect time to take a look back and see what 2014’s preseason poll got right and wrong about how the season would unfold.

We’re grading each of the preseason Top 25 (and then some), with the letter grade based on how the team began the season and where it wound up. The grade is not a reflection on the team's season, rather how accurate its placement was in the preseason poll compared with where it ended the year.

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Georgia Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

The Georgia Bulldogs have wrapped up their first week of fall camp, and the biggest question coming into camp is who will win the quarterback position.

Greyson Lambert, Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta have all worked with the first-, second- and third-team offenses all week, and a starter won’t be determined until fall camp comes to an end. However, the quarterback position is not the only battle going on.

Wide receivers, linebackers and cornerbacks are some of the positions where young players have been battling with the veterans, and this has given coaches a chance to see the players who will be ready to contribute this season. That’s said, it’s only the first week of camp, so there will be a lot of time for players who struggled this week to step it up.

So here’s the Week 1 fall camp stock report for the Bulldogs.


Stock Up: Kolton Houston

With this being his final season, Kolton Houston is looking to end his career on a high note.  In the first week of camp, Houston was able to show his physicality during a pass-blocking drill because he is a guy who gives maximum effort, according to Jake Rowe of 247Sports.

Houston will start at tackle along with John Theus. He was able to have a strong 2014 season, as he helped the offensive line pave the way for a rushing attack that averaged more than 250 yards per game. There should be no reason he can’t be an All-SEC player.


Stock Up: Tim Kimbrough

The outside linebacker combination duo of Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd are as good as any duo in the country. But the inside linebackers for Georgia aren’t bad, either, and Tim Kimbrough is looking to be just as good as Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera.

Kimbrough has been getting a lot of work in with the No. 1 defense during the first week of camp, according to Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Mark Richt has liked the effort and energy he has put in.

Kimbrough was able to see some significant playing time last year. He should be able to make an impact in 2015 if he continues to work hard during camp.


Stock Down: Greyson Lambert

The race for the quarterback spot is still too early to tell, and nobody really separated themselves in the first week of fall camp. However, Greyson Lambert is a step behind Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta.

According to Rowe, Lambert’s timing was off in the Friday practice as he threw a few balls too early. It’s not anything he can’t correct, and he’s still trying to get a feel for the offense and the receivers. But he will need to get things going as soon as possible, because the first game is less than a month away and Ramsey and Bauta are looking sharp.

Greyson Lambert: "A lot of this is new to me."

— DawgPost (@Dawg_Post) August 4, 2015


Stock Down: Isaiah McKenzie

When the Bulldogs took part in the first full-padded practice on Saturday, Isaiah McKenzie could not be a part of it because he was nursing a hamstring injury.

McKenzie is expected to be starting at receiver this season, but he could lose out on that if he can’t get on the field. He also had a hamstring issue at the end of spring practice.

Because of his speed and hands, McKenzie is a huge asset to the offense and special teams this season. Hopefully, he will be back in the fold soon.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

2016 No. 1 ATH Mecole Hardman Jr. Unveils Top 10 in Epic Trailer

Mecole Hardman Jr., the No. 1 athlete in the 2016 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings, teamed up with Bleacher Report to reveal the top 10 schools he is considering.

Check out the video above to see which schools Hardman picked.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Tennessee Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Once Von Pearson was reinstated to the Tennessee football team and picked up where he left off before his suspension, the entire tone surrounding the Vols receiving corps changed.

The position group went from being a major worry to a point of excitement. 

Now, there's reason to hope that a group that is comprised of physical freaks will begin to live up to their massive expectations on the field. 

Junior Marquez North has drawn rave reviews thus far. Redshirt sophomore Josh Smith is stronger and reportedly looks closer to the player he was before a nasty high ankle sprain against Oklahoma cost him most of 2014. Jason Croom is big, strong and displaying leadership skills. Pig Howard is Pig Howard.

And on and on and on.

While Preston Williams' NCAA issues linger, another freshman—converted quarterback Jauan Jennings—is showing out. They're getting some of that swag back, too.

Nothing matters until the Vols get on the actual field against Bowling Green on Sept. 5, but a week ago with Pearson's status up in the air and with so many players returning from injury, the Vols had worries at the position.

Those have been at least temporarily alleviated during the opening week. Coach Butch Jones hasn't come out and mentioned a lot about the unit, but given all the positive comments flying around regarding individuals in the wide receiving corps, Tennessee has a bunch of talented guys playing well.

It just has to translate onto the field.


Everyday I'm Shufflin'

It remains to be seen whether the offensive line remains a liability, as it was a season ago, or if it begins to develop some consistency and continuity.

The first week of fall camp was all about the Vols trying to find their best five linemen.

That doesn't necessarily mean UT is struggling to find five viable starters. Instead, offensive coordinator Mike DeBord told GoVols247's Ryan Callahan just the opposite:

Number one, I don’t think there's any doubt that competition always makes an individual better and a unit better, so we've got great competition there right now. And I think the biggest thing is we're just going to have to find out who the five best guys are as we go through this training camp. And we're going to have to find them fairly fast, but once we get into pads, that'll really start to show. We were in shoulder pads (Thursday), and we'll look at the tape here and start the evaluation that way. But I like the competition. I like our guys.

Jones shuffled his linemen around more than a deck of cards—guards moving to center, tackles moving to guard, guards moving to tackle—during the first week. There is plenty of talent on Tennessee's line, but finding who fits where is something at which the Vols coaches are taking long, hard looks.

An injury to fifth-year senior guard Marcus Jackson, who has more starts than anybody else on the front, has things even more in limbo.

According to Volquest.com's John Brice and Brent Hubbs, Jackson "was held out of practice (Saturday) and is undergoing further medical examination for an upper-body injury that people in the program are worried could be potentially serious."

The article notes that sophomore Jashon Robertson and freshman Jack Jones worked at guard a day after Robertson played center. He started at guard last year. Kyler Kerbyson and Coleman Thomas worked at tackle. Regular tackle Brett Kendrick has worked some at guard this week.

Also, freshman Chance Hall, who played guard this spring, has been practicing at tackle. Star freshman Drew Richmond and redshirt junior Dontavius Blair also have been rotating in at tackle.


Your Weekly Dose of Kahlil (and More)

Jones may be sandbagging, but he called the defensive line "a very, very big area of concern" to GoVols247's Ryan Callahan this week.

That's a bit of a surprise considering how much buzz just continues to surround freshmen Kahlil McKenzie, Shy Tuttle and Kyle Phillips. Toss those guys in with starters Derek Barnett, Curt Maggitt, Danny O'Brien and others, and it makes you wonder if the comments aren't a motivational ploy.

Here's what O'Brien said to GoVols247's Wes Rucker about McKenzie this week:

…Kahlil? Man, he's just a freak. It's great to have a guy like that in our program. He's just gonna eat up double-teams, he's gonna make plays, he's just gonna be a great player for the University of Tennessee. …Being a true freshman is one thing. But being a 340-pound true freshman, that's a little different, too. He'll get there. That's what our program is based on, is practicing hard, so when the games come, it's easy.

If McKenzie can learn enough of the defense to get in for a large number of plays and command double-teams, it'll free up Barnett and Maggitt to beat single coverage to get to the quarterback. That's exactly what UT needs.

He absolutely obliterated third-year sophomore Austin Sanders in a drill this week.

Then, Tuttle did the same thing in the same drill against Jackson.

Former 5-star Phillips also probably needs to have a package of plays to get his athleticism on the field. How much has he impressed so far? Tight end Ethan Wolf gushed over his speed to Rucker:

"We watched on film a couple days ago, Kyle Phillips was running and chasing the ball down like 60 yards, and he probably ran a four-flat sixty," Wolf said. "I mean, he was moving. He looked like a wide receiver. We’ve got defensive ends that can really run, and one of those young guys (Phillips) can fly."


Rocky Top Roundup

  • There isn't any resolution to the middle linebacker battle thus far, but redshirt junior Kenny Bynum reportedly got most of the first-team reps this week. Dillon Bates, Colton Jumper, Darrin Kirkland Jr., Gavin Bryant and Austin Smith all got reps, too.
  • Jones told Callahan in the above-linked story that Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cortez McDowell could get on the field at the same time.
  • Former linebacker Jakob Johnson is getting an extended look at tight end this week.
  • There's no doubt who Tennessee's starting quarterback is, but that hasn't stopped Jones from mentioning several rave reviews of backup Quinten Dormady in the first week of practice (including in this article by the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Patrick Brown). Even though the Vols will have a true freshman backup, that may not necessarily be a bad thing.


All recruiting information obtained from 247Sports unless otherwise noted. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee lead writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Transfer of Florida RB Adam Lane Puts Pressure on Freshman Jordan Scarlett

Over the last decade, we've seen a surge of freshmen running backs making a major impact in the world of college football. 

From former South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore and former Auburn BCS National Championship Game offensive MVP Michael Dyer to last year's stud crop that consisted of Leonard Fournette (LSU), Nick Chubb (Georgia), Dalvin Cook (Florida State), Samaje Perine (Oklahoma) and Royce Freeman (Oregon), teams are more dependent on youngsters than ever before.

Florida freshman Jordan Scarlett isn't in that company yet, but he's one step closer.

Part of the reason is the transfer of the rising sophomore running back and Birmingham Bowl MVP Adam Lane. Florida announced the transfer of the Winter Haven, Florida, native on Sunday.

Lane rushed for 181 yards and a touchdown a year ago, including 109 in the bowl win over East Carolina. 

Now Scarlett has ascended to the consensus No. 2 spot on the running back depth chart behind established starter Kelvin Taylor. In just a few short practices, Scarlett—a 5'11", 210-pounder from Fort Lauderdale, Florida—has been wildly impressive, according to Nick de la Torre of GatorCountry.com:

That's huge, because he has all of the skills to be a superstar once he gets his chance to shine.

The former Florida Atlantic and Miami 4-star commit was one of the prize signings of first-year head coach Jim McElwain's first recruiting class in Gainesville, and McElwain's ability to use multiple running backs throughout the year should help Scarlett earn significant snaps this fall.

"You're going to need three guys at least to go through the year with," McElwain said, according to quotes released by Florida. "So what you hope to do is to find that guy that has the hot hand in the fourth quarter, okay. He's still fresh based on what you've done, and now let that guy kind of finish the game. That's kind of how we like to do it.  Obviously, that has a lot to do with the development of those young guys."

Make no mistake, the pressure is on Scarlett to be a key contributor from the moment toe meets leather in the season opener versus New Mexico State.

Regardless of what you hear about the progress of the quarterback battle between redshirt freshman Will Grier and true sophomore Treon Harris, the Gators will be a run-first, power team. They're going to establish the run and then work off play action. 

With quarterback and offensive line questions, it's tough to simply rely on the passing game undergoing an immediate turnaround, which means depth and creativity from McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier out of the running back position is paramount to the success of the 2015 Gators.

Scarlett was going to be a big part of that equation regardless of Lane's status, but now his development needs to be accelerated a bit in a transition year for the Gator program.

He has the talent, but now he has to grow up and learn the system in a hurry.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com. Barrett 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.

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