There are impressive recruiting runs, and then there are those stretches of earning offers that only a handful of athletes get to experience.
Oklahoma City cornerback Justin Broiles committed to Oklahoma on Monday afternoon, but before he announced his verbal commitment, the 4-star athlete juggled 33 offers. And of those 33, 31 came in a month's span.
It's hard to believe that the first week of February, Broiles was balancing offers from Tulsa and Arkansas State. On Feb. 8, Kansas State offered. Then Nebraska. Then the same-day trio of SMU, Houston and Colorado State. Then a next-day trio of Arkansas, Iowa State and Ole Miss.
Consider the massive influx commenced.
"The recruiting process has been crazy," said Broiles, who plays for John Marshall High School. "You know, going from two offers to having 33 in a month is crazy. I didn't expect for me to blow up like I did this early, but it's all been a blessing, and I'm thankful for it."
Broiles, the No. 2 player in Oklahoma in the 2017 class (the No. 1 player, linebacker Levi Draper, also has committed to Oklahoma), picked up the Sooners' offer last month while at an Oklahoma junior day. He said he chose the Sooners over offers from Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oregon, Arizona State and Red River rival Texas.
For Broiles, the decision was relatively simple.
"OU is just home," he said. "I've grown up an OU fan, and this is where I want to play my college ball."
The Sooners are getting an athletic, hungry cornerback in Broiles, a 6'0", 175-pound athlete who is a physical defender and a solid open-field tackler. Of his 47 tackles as a junior, 37 were unassisted. Broiles also saw time in John Marshall's offense as a receiver, catching 14 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, per MaxPreps.
Broiles' second week of February was one he said he'll never forget. After entering the preceding week with two offers, he watched his recruitment skyrocket with nine offers in a six-day span. Oklahoma happened to be the ensuing offer after that.
Broiles was a big get for Oklahoma, which is currently a top-five team in 247Sports' team recruiting rankings for the 2017 class. The Sooners has seven commits, and all seven are 4-star athletes. Broiles is an added piece to a talented secondary class that also features Southlake, Texas, safety Robert Barnes and Miami cornerback Trajan Bandy.
Now an Oklahoma commit, Broiles said he can sit back and focus on getting better for his senior year at John Marshall. But Broiles said he'll never forget the roller-coaster ride he had with recruiting, primarily in the month of February.
He also is happy to be a part of the recruiting class of the team he's followed since he was a young boy.
"When they offered, I kind of had a feeling to where I wanted to go," he said. "But after talking it over with my family and coaches, I came to the conclusion that this is where I want to play my college ball."
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles.
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Nothing makes the interminably long college football offseason drag along even slower than a prolonged position battle. Spring practice takes care of some of the questions surrounding your favorite team, but not all of them, and in most cases the queries left standing are big ones.
Who will start at quarterback? Who's going to rush the passer? Is there someone who can run the ball effectively? Will the line be able to open holes? Why is there so much uncertainty!?
With spring practice underway at many schools—and set to begin at several others—battles will be waged for open starting positions. Several will get filled as a result of spring competitions, and many of these position battles will not only continue on into preseason camp but might not end up getting decided until just before kickoff of that first game in the 2016 season.
Here's our look at the position battle for each power-conference school (along with top independents BYU and Notre Dame) that has a chance to last that long.
The million-dollar club in college football isn't just for head coaches anymore.
As salaries for college football's head men continue to skyrocket, there's been a trickle-down effect to their top assistants. That's especially true if the assistant is a top-notch defensive coordinator, as those dominate the salary databases in today's offense-friendly age of football.
With the 2016 coaching carousel almost coming to a complete stop—Illinois decided to take it for one more spin this past weekend—let's take a look at the assistant coaches who will be paid the most for their services this upcoming season.
The bulk of the information for this top-10 list came from the excellent assistant coach salary database at USA Today, which totaled up the pay for the 2015 contract year. Each coach is listed with his 2015 salary and his projected 2016 salary, with numbers for several assistants in new roles based on reported figures.
(For those who don't have a confirmed 2016 salary yet, their place on this list is based on their 2015 salary.)
Keep in mind that private schools such as Notre Dame, USC and Stanford aren't required to release their coaches' contract information like their public school counterparts. That's why that type of institution, with one notable exception, isn't found on salary lists like this one.
Which college football assistant do you think deserves the biggest payday? Find a name and salary amount that I missed in my research? Let me know in the comments below.
Immediate-impact prospects are tremendous additions to any college football program, but a collection of redshirt freshmen will provide that kind of boost in 2016.
Perhaps they served as a backup to an incumbent starter last season, entered a loaded roster or simply needed a year to develop.
But next season, the following second-year players have favorable opportunities to become key contributors on their respective teams.
You might even see a couple of these guys occupying major roles during the College Football Playoff.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fourteen minutes and 32 seconds.
That's how long it took for Urban Meyer to be asked about his quarterback and arguably the most important player on his roster, J.T. Barrett, following Ohio State's first practice of the spring on Tuesday.
The inquiry didn't come from a member of the national media, nor was the answer broadcast to millions of homes or even tweeted to tens of thousands of followers from the relatively small gathering of reporters inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center team meeting room.
In fact, the fifth-year Buckeyes head coach's opening spring practice press conference was pretty—for a lack of a better term—boring, in comparison to the three-ring circus that emanated from Columbus just a year ago.
"I was expecting high energy, and that's what we got. Our whole focus is on four-to-six [seconds], [point] A to B," Meyer said, repeating one of his signature mantras. "We've got a lot of work to do."
Such is life at Ohio State in 2016, where the TMZ-like atmosphere that surrounded the program 12 months ago and throughout the 2015 season has been replaced by a back-to-basics mentality necessary for a team with 16 open starting spots on its depth chart.
The Buckeyes might be the current national championship favorites according to oddsmakers, but don't tell that to Meyer, who's more concerned with a roster already bitten by injuries after just one day of spring practice.
"We have 11 right now—guys that we're counting on that can't go full-speed," Meyer said. "This is uncharted waters for me."
Ohio State's injury issue, however, underscores the larger theme in Columbus this spring, where intrigue and uncertainty has replaced a senior class responsible for 50 wins in four years and nine early departures-turned-NFL hopefuls from last year's team.
Even with a fully healthy roster, Meyer wouldn't yet know what he'll be able to count on, with 83.1 percent of his team's receiving yards, 73.1 percent of its rushing yards and seven of its top 10 tacklers from 2015 having walked out the door.
Indeed, it is "the year of development," as Meyer has called it on multiple occasions already—a clear departure from the known commodities last year's squad possessed after 2014's similarly young roster made its unexpected to the inaugural College Football Playoff championship.
The national media that flocked to Columbus to cover the eventual undisputed preseason No. 1 team was noticeably absent on Tuesday, instead delaying their travel plans to attend the Buckeyes' pro day on Friday.
Only this year, it will be the players actually participating in drills and not the ones standing on the sideline that scouts will be most interested in, as opposed to 12 months ago, when Ohio State's highly touted underclassmen overshadowed its outgoing seniors.
On this year's Buckeyes roster, surefire NFL prospects are few and far between, which isn't all that surprising given the lack of playing time available on last year's team.
"I do," Meyer answered when asked if he found himself missing the pro-ready talent that littered last year's team during Tuesday's practice session. "But it's part of growing up, I guess. When your daughter gets married and leaves home and when you see 14, 15, 16, 17 players who you really care about leave."
The difference, however, is you can replace those players—as difficult as it may be, given the gaping holes they left and the injuries that currently plague the Buckeyes roster.
That rings especially true with the wide receiver unit, where Ohio State was without Noah Brown, Curtis Samuel, Corey Smith and K.J. Hill on Tuesday. Brown, Samuel and Smith had previously been penciled in to be the Buckeyes' new starters, replacing the outgoing Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller.
Defensively, depth has suddenly become an issue as well, with Ohio State practicing with just two healthy scholarship safeties on Tuesday. Malik Hooker and cornerback-turned-safety Eric Glover-Williams worked with the Buckeyes' first team, while Erick Smith and Cam Burrows each found themselves sidelined with injury issues.
"With 11 guys out, that's the thing that kicks you in the teeth. If everybody's ready to go, I think you could do that," Meyer answered when asked if he thought he could make out a new depth chart from this spring. "But we're not."
That's not to say Ohio State doesn't have some certainty to fall back on, particularly in the form of Barrett, who at this time last year was dealing with an unprecedented quarterback competition involving himself, Miller and Cardale Jones. That makes for one less distraction this season for the Buckeyes, who will no longer have to answer questions pertaining to who their starting signal-caller will be.
And perhaps that's what will be most important for Ohio State this spring as Meyer attempts to eliminate what he terms "noise," in favor of a more football-focused approach to practice.
The uncertainty is there, but so is plenty the Buckeyes can count on. Just like the question about Barrett, it might just take a little longer to get to the destination than it did a year ago.
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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