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SEC Football: 10 Bold Predictions for Fall Camp

Summer workouts are underway, the schedule for SEC media days is set and watch lists are being released.

Before we know it, pads will be popping and fall camp will be underway around the southeast.

Quarterback battles will dominate headlines, but there are other issues around the SEC.

Which position battles will be resolved, and which will linger into the season? Our top 10 bold predictions for fall camp are in this slideshow.

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Notre Dame WR Will Mahone Arrested, Charged with Multiple Felonies

Notre Dame wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested Sunday morning and is currently facing five charges—three of which are considered felonies in the state of Ohio.

According to Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune, the felony charges are assault of a police officer, intimidation of a public servant/party official and vandalism of a government entity.

The two other charges he faces, both of which are misdemeanors, are for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Hansen explained the alleged incident in detail:

Police say an officer advised Mahone to calm down and get on the ground, to which Mahone responded with, "(Expletive), white boy." Police say an officer then took Mahone to the ground, but he repeatedly resisted arrest. Once Mahone finally was able to be handcuffed, police claim, he responded, "(Expletive), you white piece of (expletive). Takes these cuffs off and I'll kill you. I'll (expletive) kill you."

As Mahone was being led to the cruiser, police allege, he began to scream and shout and tried to pull away. Mahone is further accused of whipping his head back in an aggressive manor, striking a police officer on his forehead. Police accuse Mahone of trying to kick police after they again took him to the ground. At that point, an officer drive-stunned Mahone to gain compliance. As he was being taken to the cruiser, Mahone is accused of continually yelling, "Take these cuffs off, and I'll kill all of you."

Once placed in the cruiser, Mahone allegedly violently kicked the window in the back seat of the cruiser and had to be drive-stunned again. While police were outside interviewing witnesses, Mahone allegedly began to spit on the windows and the seats of the cruiser, at which time a spit net was applied over Mahone’s head.

The cruiser was on its way to the hospital to treat a cut near Mahone's eye, but police instead drove to Mahoning County Justice Center after claiming Mahone stated "Good, get me out of these cuffs and I'll kill you and all them bitches there." He's then accused of offering one more threat: "Bro, when I get out, I got a Glock 9 for your (expletive)."

The charges without context are serious enough, but the explicit (and horrifyingly candid) nature of what Mahone allegedly said and did is the most disturbing part of this story. Shouting racial epithets and death threats at a police officer, if true, is the kind of thing that could lead to an extended jail sentence—not just a team suspension.

But the facts must be allowed to come out. Bleacher Report's Keith Arnold, writing for Inside the Irish at NBCSports.com, preached patience with Mahone's case in the wake of similar incidents:

None of these details sound particularly good for Mahone's future in South Bend, though they should hardly be taken as gospel. It wasn't too long ago that Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese were taken in by local police with some hairy charges that eventually shrunk down to misdemeanor charges and community service.

Mahone has not seen the field much since arriving at Notre Dame before the 2012 season. He was a 4-star running back on the 247Sports Composite but has since been switched to slot receiver and struggled to get consistent reps because of injuries and competition.

A high ankle sprain relegated Mahone to just two brief appearances as a sophomore in 2013, and a broken foot knocked him out of practice this spring. He was already fighting an uphill battle to make an impact in South Bend, and the severe nature of these charges makes it reasonable to question whether he will ever play again.

Notre Dame officials released the following statement Monday morning, according to Hansen.

"The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system. Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law."

We'll keep you updated as we find out more.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Re-Evaluating Miami's 2011 Recruiting Class

Headlined by 5-star Anthony Chickillo, the Miami Hurricanes brought in a 20-man recruiting class during the 2011 cycle. According to 247Sports, the 'Canes' haul was the No. 33 group in the nation, and it was sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

As the majority of signees become seniors, how have they fared while continuing their football careers at Miami—or even elsewhere?

While re-evaluating the overall unit, remember Al Golden was hired as head coach in mid-December, leaving the ex-Temple coach less than two months to retain current commits and convince others to join.

Prospects who slipped away will be mentioned when pertinent, but focusing on whether or not Golden and his staff developed their players is more important.

Note: All rankings courtesy of 247Sports Composite. Players will be classified into playing position at Miami, not as recruited.

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Re-Evaluating Penn State's 2011 Recruiting Class

While it's fun to grade and rank recruiting classes in the present, the truth is no one really knows how a group of kids is going to work out until after the fact.

Penn State's 2010 class was ranked 11th in the country and included the likes of Silas Redd, Khairi Fortt, Rob Bolden, Paul Jones, Dakota Royer and Kevin Haplea. Four years later, that class has become a bit of a punchline after each one of those players transferred or didn't finish his career as a Nittany Lion.

As fate would have it, the 2011 class—ranked 31st nationally—introduced us to the "Supa Six" and provided Penn State with arguably its best receiver ever as well as a group of kids who held the program together through trying times. 

Let's take a look back at the 2011 class after the fact and see how those players have worked out compared to expectations.

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Oregon Football Recruiting: Re-Evaluating Ducks' 2011 Signing Class

If Oregon ends the upcoming season with a Pac-12 or national championship, the 2011 signing class will be a primary reason why.

Former head coach Chip Kelly landed an impressive collection of recruits in 2011—certainly one of the program's best ever as far as individual talent.

The 2011 signing class features highly touted recruits who met their expectations and plenty of under-the-radar talents whose production at Oregon has vastly exceeded the scores they received as high schoolers.

 

Who Signed?

RB Antwan Baker: N/A

ATH Devon Blackmon: 4-star

RB Tra Carson: 3-star

LB Rahim Cassell: 3-star

LB Tyson Coleman: 3-star

DT Jared Ebert: 3-star

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: 4-star

OT James Euscher: 3-star

OT Jake Fisher: 3-star

ATH Christian French: 4-star

LB Carlyle Garrick: 3-star

LB Rodney Hardrick: 3-star

WR Miles Johnston: N/A

OT Tyler Johnstone: 4-star

DE Koa Ka'ai: 3-star

WR B.J. Kelley: 3-star

TE Colt Lyerla: 4-star

QB Marcus Mariota: 3-star

OT Jamal Prater: 3-star

WR Tacoi Sumler: 4-star

WR Rahsaan Vaughn: 3-star

LB Anthony Wallace: 4-star

OT Andre Yruretagoyena: 4-star

 

Re-Evaluation

De'Anthony Thomas was the lone 5-star prospect of the class, and the Crenshaw High School star lived up to his prep accolades from the very outset of his Oregon career.

The multiskilled Thomas evolved from a primary receiving weapon and return specialist into an explosive running back, as well. He bolted early for the NFL draft after three standout seasons. Thomas, along with tight end Colt Lyerla, who was dismissed from the program early last season, are two 2011 recruits whose absences will leave noticeable voids on the Ducks offense.

Nevertheless, the remaining 2011 signees help make the 2014 Oregon offense one of the most fearsome in college football.

The diamond-in-the-rough mined on the recruiting trail in 2011 was quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota was just a 3-star prospect coming out of Honolulu's Saint Louis School.

Mariota was one of college football's premier players each of the last two seasons, certainly playing more at a 5-star level than 3-star.

An outstanding offensive line has helped Mariota establish himself as one of the top dual-threat playmakers in college football, and fellow 2011 prospects Tyler Johnstone and Jake Fisher are two cornerstones. Andre Yruretagoyena will provide much-needed depth, and potentially start early on as Johnstone recovers from a knee injury.

Oregon's defense also owes plenty of its strength to the 2011 class, particularly at linebacker. Much like 3-star prospect Mariota outperformed his ranking, the Ducks linebacker corps is loaded with former 3-stars who have developed into top-level contributors.

Rodney Hardrick is key to the Ducks' run-stopping efforts, and Rahim Cassell provides invaluable depth. Pass-rusher Tyson Coleman is expected to see a more prominent role at strong-side linebacker 2014.

Meanwhile, drop-end and former 4-star recruit Christian French should get his opportunity to break out this season. French has drawn comparisons to former Ducks star Dion Jordan.

"I look up to him a lot. That's my idol right there," French said of the versatile Jordan in a 2013 interview with Adam Jude of The Oregonian.

The face of the Oregon defense is another 2011 recruit, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. He earned 4-star billing at Chino Hills High School in Chino, California and has since developed into a true shutdown cornerback.

 

Grade

Quarterbacks: A+

Running Backs: A

Wide Receivers: C

Tight Ends: B-

Offensive Line: A

Defensive Line: D

Linebackers: A-

Secondary: A

 

Recruiting rankings culled from 247Sports.com composite scores.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Football Recruiting: Re-Evaluating Ducks' 2011 Signing Class

If Oregon ends the upcoming season with a Pac -12 or national championship, the 2011 signing class will be a primary reason why...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Re-Evaluating Crimson Tide's 2011 Recruiting Class

When the University of Alabama football program celebrated national signing day in 2011, safety Vinnie Sunseri enjoyed seeing it from both sides for once, as he had already enrolled.

His joy was obvious. Sunseri's dad was part of Nick Saban's coaching staff, and everything had fallen just right so that the father and son could be together with the same team.

"Growing up I didn't get to see him too often because he was always out recruiting, always talking to other kids and stuff and I grew up envious of that," Sunseri told reporters that day. "Actually being able to be with him 24/7 is something that I'll remember the rest of my life. He is my hero."

While 2011 will always be remembered for the Crimson Tide winning the national championship after the devastating April tornadoes that went through the state, including Tuscaloosa, Alabama first won another recruiting title.

Even before offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio flipped from Auburn (three after signing day), Alabama was No. 1, according to 247Sports and Rivals, while ESPN and Scout gave the nod to Florida State.

"Recruiting is a big part of football," linebacker Trey DePriest said after enrolling early as well. "It makes your program what it is.

"We have a great class. I can't wait until they all get here in the fall."

With Kouandjio's addition, Alabama signed three 5-star recruits and 15 4-star recruits in 2011. Those who were incoming freshmen would now be seniors (juniors if redshirted), but five players from the class are already in the National Football League, including two who were junior college transfers.

The two things in particular that coaches coveted were leadership and more athletic defensive linemen, which on paper the Crimson Tide appeared to add.

"I think we have a lot of good players in this class. I think Trey (DePriest) and Vinnie (Sunseri) both, and maybe because they've been here so they were involved on a couple of recruiting weekends, you're talking about guys who are everything you could wish for if your children grew up to be like them," head coach Nick Saban said during his signing day press conference. "They have a lot of ability, they are hard workers, they are very committed, but they're very personable and caring for other people and can put somebody else ahead of themselves in terms of what they're doing and what their commitment is. Those two guys have been very impressive to me as well."

He added about the defensive line: "Even though we had some good players last year and I was pleased with the progress our defense made throughout the course of the year, so I'm not in any way trying to be critical, we weren't quite as athletic, we didn't have as many good pass-rushers."

Here's a look back at the Class of 2011. Rankings are the composite listings by 247Sports, nationally, position and by state. Positions are where the player was initially recruited:

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Best Fit for 6'7", 275-Pound Stud DE Canton Kaumatule to Succeed at Next Level

Canton Kaumatule, a 6'7", 275-pound defensive end from Hawaii, is one of the top playmakers in the 2015 class. Still uncommitted, Kaumatule is being recruited hard by some of the biggest programs in the country. 

His unique combination of size and speed gives him the potential to be an impact player immediately. CFB Analyst Michael Felder breaks down where Kaumatule will flourish at the collegiate level. 

Which program will give him the best chance to succeed at the next level?

Watch the video to find out.

 

Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

Rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

UCLA Football: Power Ranking Bruins' 2014 Schedule from Easiest to Toughest

Reaching the championship heights to which UCLA aspires in 2014 means navigating one of the most difficult schedules in college football.

Head coach Jim Mora leads the Bruins in a slate that features two power-conference opponents in the nonconference portion, as well as each of the top three finishers from the Pac-12 North a season ago in cross-divisional play.

With the top-to-bottom strength the Pac-12 exhibited last year only expected to solidify more in 2014, the Bruins' schedule embodies the cliche of "no weeks off."

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UCLA Football: Power Ranking Bruins' 2014 Schedule from Easiest to Toughest

Reaching the championship heights to which UCLA aspires in 2014 means navigating one of the most difficult schedules in college football...

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World Cup Counterparts for College Football's Top 2014 Teams

Summer is a difficult time for college football fans. The days are long and the news cycle is short, and it feels like an eternity stands between the middle of June and fall practice.

This year, though, the summer is a little less difficult—or at least it can be with an open mind. The FIFA World Cup, which is played every four years, has taken to Brazilian shores and is already in its infant stages. It is a spectacle like few (if any) in the sporting world.

It can make your summer go by faster.

Fans of the sport of soccer already understand this and are grateful for the World Cup's presence. Fans of college football alone do not and are not, which is why we have put together this list.

Not every World Cup nation has a close college football analogue, but many of them do. Drawing such comparisons—while far from a scientific exercise—can help put some of the games into context and, if all goes well, add a little intrigue for casual soccer viewers.

Sound off below, and chime in with any suggestions!

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Power Ranking Notre Dame's 2014 Schedule from Easiest to Toughest

Don’t look now, but we’re only two-and-a-half months out from the return of Notre Dame football.

The Irish commence their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Rice at Notre Dame Stadium and wrap up the regular season Nov. 29 against USC in the L.A. Coliseum.

Notre Dame’s slate of games features six tilts at home, three on the road and three at a neutral site—the Shamrock Series game against Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium, and two away games, against Navy and Syracuse, at FedEx Field and MetLife Stadium respectively. 

In ranking those 12 matchups from easiest to toughest, we’ll consider the projected quality of the opponent, the venue and the time of the season.

Let’s see how the schedule is shaping up.

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Insider Buzz: The 5 Players Atop Texas A&M's 2015 Recruiting Big Board

The Texas A&M Aggies are trying to build on their recruiting success by landing a monster 2015 class, and five names are currently at the top of their list.

Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe checked in with Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com to discuss the names atop the Aggies big board and which recruits will most likely end up in College Station.

Watch the video, and learn the latest on Texas A&M recruiting.

 

Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bleacher Report's College Football Locks of the Year for 2014

More then 200 college football games now have point spreads, a luxury made possible by the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.

For the eighth consecutive year, the Nugget released its CFB "Games of the Year" lines (h/t SB Nation), an exercise that has soared in popularity, especially in recent years. It began as a small 25-game release for the true degenerates. Now, it features point spreads from every week of the college football season, all laid out and available for your enjoyment.

Of course, much can change between now and August 30. Even more can (and will) change between now and late November.

But because we have betting options, it’s almost an obligation to handicap some of our favorite early picks. And to showcase the broad buffet of selections, each week of the college football season has been handed one “lock” along with a list of the notable opening numbers.

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Re-Evaluating Michigan's 2011 Recruiting Class

When Brady Hoke was hired in January 2011 to replace Rich Rodriguez after a disappointing 7-6 third season, he quickly had to assemble his staff and build a recruiting class.

Under Rodriguez, Michigan was capable of offensive fireworks but never found consistency on defense. Three seasons of defensive meltdowns were enough for athletic director David Brandon to send Rodriguez packing.

Now, Hoke finds himself at a crossroads, trying to rally the Wolverines after his own 7-6 third season and retooling his offense to better compete in the Big Ten.

He struck some gold in his first recruiting class but also missed—nine of the 20 commitments are no longer with the program.

This is a look back at Michigan's 2011 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 26 overall by 247Sports.

Position grades are determined by impact and whether the player is still with the program.

 

All season statistics from MGoBlue.com, the official University of Michigan athletic department website.

Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations in this article were obtained via press conferences or in person.

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Why Monster ND Signee Quenton Nelson Is Hardest-Working Recruit in the Country

2014 Notre Dame signee Quenton Nelson is one of the top-rated offensive tackles in the country, according to 247Sports, and he has the potential to contribute for the Irish right away.

The 6'5", 295-pound athlete has a work ethic that can't be matched, and Bleacher Report went behind the scenes with Nelson to capture his routine as he prepares for Notre Dame.

From the weight room to taekwondo, watch the video and see why this massive athlete will be so successful at the next level.

Special Thanks to Nelson's taekwondo coach Grand Master Kyong Hoon Kim, speed and agility coach Bobby Smith (RYPT), and weight strength coach Joe Mcauliffe

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Can Jake Heaps Make Miami an ACC Contender in 2014?

The old college try is now the old graduate student try. That's how you can sum up Jake Heaps' college career to date.

Heaps left high school in 2010 as a touted 4-star recruit on 247Sports.com. Other sites like Rivals.com had Heaps listed as the No. 1 quarterback prospect that year.

Despite the hype, it's been a tough go for Heaps. Things didn't work out for him at BYU after two years, so he transferred to Kansas in time to compete for the 2013 season. That lasted one year, with Heaps completing a mere 49 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Entering his final year of eligibility, the Miami Hurricanes' official website reports that Heaps has been added to the team's roster to essentially help bridge the gap for life after Stephen Morris.

Ryan Williams, a Memphis transfer, appeared to be the heir apparent to Morris, but sustained a torn ACL in the spring.

His status for the 2014 season is questionable, though his mother previously told the Miami Herald's Susan Miller Degnan that her son plans to return in time for the Sept. 20 game against Nebraska.

In any case, Miami is working with Heaps and redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen for now. By bringing in Heaps, Miami is adding depth to the position and can be more patient with true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier. 

It also shows that head coach Al Golden isn't sold on Olsen just yet.

"This time of year we always have our eyes open," Golden said during an ACC coaches conference in April about bringing in a transfer quarterback.

Olsen is the young talent, and Miller Degnan suggests he technically exited spring as the No. 1 guy but doesn't have any game experience. At least the same thing can't be said about Heaps—even if that experience is dicey.

Golden's choice boils down to which player gives the Hurricanes the best chance to win, but he's taking a risk either way.

If Golden goes with Heaps, it will demonstrate that the grad transfer was able to take command of the offense in a short period of time, developed good chemistry with the team's receivers and tight ends, and knows the playbook.

That, or Olsen really isn't ready to take the reins.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports opines that Heaps has a "good chance" of winning the starting job. He wouldn't have joined Miami if he didn't have a good chance. With programs looking for quick fixes at quarterback, grad transfers are en vogue.

The question is whether Heaps is the so-called "missing piece" for Miami. 

There's talent around the quarterback spot, for sure. The Hurricanes have playmakers on offense—namely running back Duke Johnson—and a good core of returning starters off last year's defense.

Still, that's a side of the ball that has to improve after finishing no higher than 10th in the conference in major categories.

The ACC's Coastal Division is wide-open this year. Miami has as good a shot as just about anyone to win it, even if the quarterback spot is a question mark.

That question mark may not be answered with Heaps, Olsen or anyone else.

 

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All stats courtesy of cfbstats.com

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Re-Evaluating Auburn's 2011 Recruiting Class

After winning the BCS National Championship in 2010, the Auburn Tigers turned the momentum from a storybook season into one of the program's highest-ranked recruiting classes.

The nation's No. 5 class signed the second-most 4-star recruits in the country and finished second in the SEC behind in-state rival Alabama.

The members of Auburn's 2011 class had wild starts to their Auburn careers, as the Tigers followed up a national title with an 8-5 season in 2011 and a historically bad 3-9 campaign in 2012. Their head coach was fired and replaced with the offensive coordinator from their first season on campus.

Auburn was able to rebound under Gus Malzahn in 2013 with an unforeseen 12-2 run to a SEC title and the final BCS National Championship Game, but how many of the 2011 signees played a role in the reversal?

The Tigers' top four recruits from the class of 2011 did not pan out at Auburn, but several other 4-stars played major roles in resurrecting the program last season.

Two of them became two of the nation's best players in 2013. Several others are still on the Plains, ready to finish their Auburn careers as full-time starters or important contributors.

Here is a look back at the booms and busts of Auburn's highly touted 2011 recruiting class.

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Brett Hundley's Heisman Campaign: Expect UCLA QB to Have Monster Season

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley had a stellar 2013, throwing for 3,071 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also added 748 yards and 11 TDs on the ground, showing off his skills at extending plays. 

What does Hundley have in store for 2014? Does he have what it takes to be among the Heisman finalists in New York City?

Check out Adam Kramer and Michael Felder predict what to expect from Brett Hundley in 2014. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Brett Hundley's Heisman Campaign: Expect UCLA QB to Have Monster Season

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley had a stellar 2013, throwing for 3,071 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also added 748 yards and 11 TDs on the ground, showing off his skills at extending plays...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

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