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Schools to Watch After Decommitment of 4-Star DT Jordan Elliott

When news broke Monday about 4-star defensive tackle Jordan Elliott decommitting from Baylor, one question surfaced.

Will he stay in state, or will he play college ball far from home?

A 4-star lineman, Elliott is inching closer to 30 offers, and while the 6'4", 305-pound Houston product has the opportunity to play close to home, he has intriguing offers out of state that he will consider.

Which offers? That's the big question, as he chooses not to be specific. Elliott has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC and others—including his most recent offer from Miami.

The out-of-state schools will be a competitive battle with those in the Lone Star State. Elliott has Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Houston and North Texas—in addition to Baylor, a school he said he still has admiration and respect for.

"I totally respect Baylor as a whole," Elliott said. "It was a long, tough decision."

There's an aura of mystique that makes Elliott such a wanted target. He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds, blazing for a 300-pounder. He is expected to be most effective at defensive tackle, but he is capable of lining up as a defensive end if necessary. He had 12 sacks as a junior, proof that he's quick off the ball.

Although he's adamant about being wide open, Texas has been one of the schools high on his radar. Elliott visited the Longhorns a couple weeks ago after picking up an offer in February.

Elliott's 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have him going to Texas, but Texas A&M is a school to keep an eye on. Elliott told Bleacher Report after announcing his decommitment that he would take a trip to College Station this weekend. He was offered by the Aggies last month after their junior day.

There are those who believe the race for Elliott will come down to the two Texas rivals, but the good news for all of the schools is that he said he doesn't have a favorite. He added that he wants to set up unofficial visits throughout the spring and the summer.

Additionally, Elliott has said he doesn't have a problem playing college ball out of state.

Elliott is the nation's No. 12 defensive tackle. According to 247Sports, he finished his junior season with 78 tackles (31 for loss), along with his 12 sacks, for Westside High School.

No timetable has been set on a new decision date, but Elliott said he will take his time with the recruiting process the second time around. Look for his stock to rise as he continues to impress scouts during the spring.

 

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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Mike Krzyzewski vs. Nick Saban: Who Is the Better College Coach?

Mike Krzyzewski, fresh off his fifth national title at Duke, is being mentioned among the greatest coaches of all time, in any sport. On the gridiron, Nick Saban is a coach who has enjoyed unparalleled success winning four national titles in his 20 seasons as a head coach. 

Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe was joined by Barrett Sallee as they debated which is the better college head coach. 

Simple question: Who is the better college coach? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Boise St. Recruit Raymond Sheard Arrested for Bringing Unloaded Gun to School

Boise State lost a running back signee from its roster before he even stepped on the field.      

Alyssa Parrish of The Dallas Morning News reported that Raymond Sheard was arrested "for bringing an unloaded gun to school" and will no longer be attending Boise State for football:

Raymond Sheard, 19, was sent to the school office Tuesday where his suspicious behavior prompted school officials to search his backpack. They found an unloaded gun, non-prescription drugs and marijuana, Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard said.

Sheard has been charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and tampering with an ID, according to jail records.

Sheard was a highly regarded recruit who tallied 1,502 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in his senior campaign, per Parrish.   

Boise State won plenty of games last year on the back of a strong rushing attack, as Jay Ajayi tallied 1,823 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground. However, he declared for the NFL draft, which opened up the spot for other contributors.

Sheard was expected to at least compete for playing time as a freshman once he arrived on campus, especially after Ajayi’s departure. That clearly is no longer the case, and someone will have to step up as a result.

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Ohio State's Curtis Samuel Is Urban Meyer's New Next Percy Harvin

COLUMBUS, Ohio — "The Percy Harvin role."

It's a phrase that's been thrown around—almost recklessly—ever since Urban Meyer arrived at Ohio State in 2012. Otherwise known as the "H-back" or "Pivot" position in Meyer's spread offense, it's a spot that was made famous by Harvin during Meyer's time in Gainesville, where the wide receiver/running back played a prominent role in Florida's national championships in 2006 and 2008.

Originally, it was supposed to be Corey "Philly" Brown, but the now-Carolina Panther proved to be much more of a receiver than he was a viable ball-carrier on a consistent basis. Dontre Wilson brought the Harvin hype with him when he signed with the Buckeyes in 2013, but injuries and inconsistency have hampered the DeSoto, Texas, native in the first two years of his college career.

Jalin Marshall showed flashes of such versatility late last year but is now spending the spring practicing as a pure wide receiver. That move, however, was made possible by the emergence of another player who will try his hand at being the next Harvin, as Curtis Samuel has been the star of Ohio State's spring.

A 4-star prospect by way of Brooklyn, New York's Erasmus Hall, Samuel arrived in Columbus a year ago unsure of what position he'd play. The state of New York's top-ranked player primarily played running back during his prep days in the Empire State, but at 5'11" and 185 pounds, most recruiting sites projected him to play wide receiver at the next level.

Meyer had different ideas, sticking Samuel behind Ezekiel Elliott at running back in his first spring on campus a year ago. Gaining 10 pounds by the start of the season, Samuel remained the Buckeyes' second-string running back throughout their run to the national title, rushing for 383 yards and scoring six touchdowns in his debut campaign.

Samuel's start to his college career showed plenty of promise, but with Elliott emerging as the front-runner to win the Heisman Trophy heading into 2015, it was tough to tell where his touches would come from as a sophomore. That was until Ohio State opened the doors on its first practice of the spring, where Samuel could be seen being featured prominently as a wide receiver.

"He’s a guy that we’ve ID’d as a top-five playmaker right now in our program," Meyer said of Samuel. "The days of Curtis Samuel playing 10 plays [a game] are over."

That's just about what Samuel would have done had he remained purely a running back, spelling Elliott with most of his carries coming in blowouts. With his playmaking abilities, that would have been a waste of a year of eligibility, which is one of the biggest reasons why his move to the Pivot was made.

"He's a really good one," Meyer said. "With Zeke coming back healthy [from offseason wrist surgery], to see him stand on the sideline and watch Zeke play a bunch is not right."

It also doesn't hurt that of all of the players Meyer has tried in the Harvin role, Samuel might be the best fit.

Listed at 5'11" and 200 pounds on the Ohio State spring roster, Samuel is the same height and five pounds heavier than Harvin was in his final season at Florida in 2008. While he may not be as fast as Harvin—few in college football history have been—he does possess the same ability to change direction in the open field and versatility as both a pass-catcher and ball-carrier.

That's the key part when it comes to playing Meyer's version of the H-back, which lines up in the slot and can either run a route for a potential pass or motion into the backfield for a carry. While they each showed flashes, neither Wilson nor Marshall was able to do both on a consistent basis, but Samuel just might be the man for the job.

“Curtis is really talented,” Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith said. “He can play a lot of different spots. There are very few that he couldn’t."

While he still sees the occasional snap at running back, the majority of his time has been spent at receiver this spring in an effort to prepare him to play the hybrid role this fall. The plan is that by the time Ohio State opens up the season at Virginia Tech on Sept. 7, Samuel will be able to line up at either running back or wide receiver with the ability to motion to whichever spot he doesn't, creating mismatches for opposing defenses.

Exploiting such matchups has been a staple of Meyer's spread offense throughout his coaching career.

"The four or five wide receivers are constantly in motion, trying to create confusion for the defense and find that perfect mismatch in talent or opening in the defense that they then can exploit," American Football Monthly's Terry Jacoby wrote in 2006—Harvin's freshman season.

Among Samuel, Elliott, Marshall and Wilson, Meyer may have his largest collection of players capable of creating such offensive opportunities. That's before even factoring in the potential emergences of other players who have been enjoying big springs according to the OSU coaching staff, such as Noah Brown and Parris Campbell.

And while Ohio State will have options, all it takes is one player with multiple skill sets such as Samuel to provide the versatility—and speed—Meyer so desperately covets. He may not be as highly touted as Elliott heading into the season, but if Samuel makes the most of his new role, Meyer may have finally found his new Percy Harvin.

"We have to find ways to get him the ball in his hands," Meyer said. "Obviously Zeke Elliott's way high on the list, but Curtis Samuel is not far behind."

 

Ben Axelrod is Bleacher Report's Big Ten Lead Writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BenAxelrod. Unless noted otherwise, all quotes were obtained firsthand. All statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com. Recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Watch High School Football QB Do Full Flip over 2 Defenders for Incredible TD

Ross Bowers, a 3-star pro-style quarterback, per 247Sports, headed to Cal, will do anything to score a touchdown. If that means going fully head over heels, then he'll do it.

Check out this video in which Bowers does a full front flip into the end zone for a touchdown.  

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Complete Previews for Top 15 College Football Spring Games This Weekend

This weekend marks the earnest beginning of spring football games. Relevant teams such as Baylor and Michigan have already completed theirs, but those were anomalies.

This weekend, we get our first loaded schedule.

Six FBS teams will run their spring games on Friday, with 26 following Saturday. Included among those teams are five conference champions, 25 bowl participants and 15 bowl winners from 2014.

To help sort through the madness, here's a preview of the 15 biggest spring games on the schedule. Apologies to those we left off; we'll be watching you too, rest assured.

This is, after all, our last gasp of football until August.

Might as well breathe all the air we can.

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