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Alabama Fan's Anti-Auburn Shirt Features Very Obvious Fail

Trolling a rival is always fun, but it's important to make sure that the bashing can't be turned around and thrown back in your face.

One pro-Alabama shirt tried to take a shot at Auburn with the help of Wheel of Fortune. Unfortunately, the shirt features a glaring mistake.  

[Twitter, h/t SB Nation]

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SEC Extra Points with Barrett Sallee: Vernon Hargreaves' Injury, Bama QB Battle

Big Injury Scare

The first goal that comes to mind when thinking about this year's Florida team is "stay healthy."

Last year, 15 players suffered season-ending injuries (10 starters), and 25 players missed a total of 126 games, according to Florida's season wrapup notes.

If there are injuries during fall camp, a little bit of panic from Gator Nation is understandable. That's exactly what happened Thursday.

Star sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III injured his left knee in a scuffle during Thursday night's practice—which was open to the public. The AP All-American from a year ago was helped off the field and examined by Florida's medical staff, and Hargreaves' reaction understandably had Gator Nation holding its breath:

He’s walking around now, getting on cart being taken from practice field. He’s sitting in the passenger seat.

— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) August 8, 2014

Hargreaves visibly frustrated, hands on head, banging the cart in annoyance.

— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) August 8, 2014

Head coach Will Muschamp released a statement on VHIII's injury after practice, and it was surely met with relief:

Update from @CoachWMuschamp: “An MRI revealed that Vernon Hargreaves suffered a bone bruise and he is listed as day to day.”

— GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) August 8, 2014

Losing Hargreaves for a significant amount of time would have been a devastating blow to the Gators, and would have put a ton of pressure on some of the younger guys to step up—just as Hargreaves did as a true freshman. 

It's safe to assume that Hargreaves will miss at least some practice time, which means more reps for guys like Jalen Tabor and Duke Dawson—two early enrollees who were already in line for rotational snaps either as backups or, in Dawson's case, perhaps as the "nickel." 

 

All Quiet on the Bama QB Front

If you expected there to be some separation between quarterbacks early in Alabama's fall camp, well, you're probably a little disappointed right now.

There hasn't been.

Legit concern to freak out?

Not really.

Florida State transfer Jacob Coker has only practiced for a week, and while it's likely that he'll win the job (after all, head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin wouldn't bring him in to ride the pine), there was no chance for him to beat out senior Blake Sims and redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman early in fall camp.

The coaches were only able to have limited contact with him during "voluntary" offseason workouts, and they're not going to just hand the job to him until they've got a firm grasp of what he can and can't do.

This is not a typical quarterback battle. The unorthodox circumstances with a new offensive coordinator, an unproven graduate transfer going primarily up against a senior dual-threat signal-caller—Sims—almost forces this battle to go deep into fall camp.

It could go farther, too.

Coker is getting his fair share of hype—he was rated as the No. 1 breakout player (subscription required) in college football by ESPN insider Travis Haney—but don't be surprised if he and Sims both see time in the season opener against West Virginia in the Georgia Dome. Saban did it before, in 2011, with AJ McCarron and Phillips Sims. This battle almost requires it.

 

Lighting a Fire?

The Alabama quarterback battle isn't something to panic over. 

The Tennessee quarterback battle, on the other hand, might be.

Senior Justin Worley and sophomores Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman are competing for that job, and the early returns from fall camp haven't been pretty from head coach Butch Jones.

In fact, they've been downright ugly, according to Grant Ramey of the Maryville (Tennessee) Daily Times:

Butch on his QBs: "We're not playing winning football at that position right now. I'm always going to be brutally honest with you."

— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) August 7, 2014

Butch Jones continued on the three-man race at quarterback: "Efficiency is what we're hunting. And we're not efficient at that position."

— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) August 7, 2014

Last Butch on his QBs: "We're going to go back, we're going to refine it. But our passing game needs to take monumental strides"

— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) August 7, 2014

Motivation? Could be.

But this quarterback battle is much different than the one at Alabama. Jones let last year's battle go deep into fall camp, and Worley, the eventual winner, didn't look comfortable early in the season before getting pulled, regaining the job and then getting hurt. 

There's more urgency this time around on Rocky Top, and if the inconsistencies last another week or 10 days, it's time to push the panic button.

 

Depth and Versatility

Auburn's secondary was more of a punch line than a power last year, and now it's getting some pieces back.

Defensive back Josh Holsey tore his ACL in October of 2013 and is now back at the position he started his career at—cornerback. He'll provide a quality option for defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson opposite Jonathon Mincy, along with converted wide receiver Trovon Reed, Jonathan Jones and several incoming freshmen.

Holsey's versatility and ability to move back to the safety position will be incredibly valuable at boundary safety, where junior college transfer Derrick Moncrief is looking like a potential starter.

"He’ll know both the corner and the safety," head coach Gus Malzahn told Charles Goldberg of AuburnTigers.com. "We’re just trying to think through the year. Last year, we had a lot of injuries on the backend. He didn’t go through spring, but he got a chance to watch. So we had him out there at corner, but he does understand the boundary safety very well."

Moncrief has been out with an illness early this spring, according to James Crepea of the Montgomery Advertiser, which has allowed some younger guys to get valuable reps. Couple that with the versatility he provides and suddenly Johnson has options at the back end of the defense.

 

Beast Mode

The start of fall camp always gives us a chance to get a glimpse of how some players have developed during offseason workouts.

LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter has evidently been spending some time in the weight room. Possibly a lot of time:

More #LSU practice pics, including the freaky pipes of DE Danielle Hunter (FREE) http://t.co/7B07ItUGbepic.twitter.com/cjiUoZnxCs

— LSU Tigers (@Geaux247) August 7, 2014

Hunter and Jermauria Rasco are bookending the Tiger defensive line this year, and with guns like that, Hunter's swim move is going to be something fierce.

Speaking of fierce, remember the last time we saw Alabama running back Derrick Henry in game action? It was when he was accounting for 161 total yards and two touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.

The 6'3", 241-pound running back from Yulee, Florida is still a monster:

RB Derrick Henry at #Bama's practice today...#Beast (FREE) http://t.co/eFgoZNeJHYpic.twitter.com/ImKUgBtTkE

— BamaOnline (@BamaOnline247) August 5, 2014 

Anybody want to tackle him? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

One freshman burst on to the scene in Kentucky, and he's a big one.

Matt Elam, a 6'7", 375-pound defensive tackle from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, stepped foot on campus and the ground likely shook. Look at this guy

Matt Elam...mother of god pic.twitter.com/eLiIJBt5Ze

— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) August 5, 2014

Defensive ends Alvin "Bud" Dupree and Za'Darius Smith will certainly enjoy Mt. Elam taking up space in the middle of that Wildcat defensive line, which will allow the two veterans to get after the quarterback.

 

Steve Spurrier vs. The SEC Network

Whenever Steve Spurrier has something on his mind, he's going to tell you about it. This week, he took aim—subtly—at the NCAA.

While discussing the new SEC Network with his players, Spurrier took a shot at NCAA's rules which prevent players from being paid:

Spurrier joke w/ team, on SEC Net in 90+million homes: "I said 'you know what that means, don't you fellas? More money, but not for you.'"

— Michael Haney (@Haney1075) August 7, 2014

Spurrier: "The players need to share in it, just a little bit. I'm not talking about paying them $100,000 a year."

— Michael Haney (@Haney1075) August 7, 2014

Spurrier: "We're trying to give them a little pocket money and give their parents money to go back and forth to ball games."

— Michael Haney (@Haney1075) August 7, 2014

If that wasn't enough, Spurrier invited local media to sit in on film study, one day after the SEC Network's camera's did so:

Spurrier opening first 5 minutes of film study for media since SEC Network was given opportunity yesterday.

— GamecockCentral.com (@GamecockCentral) August 7, 2014

Never change, Head Ball Coach. Never change.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football 2014: Schedule Breakdown and Predictions

The Alabama Crimson Tide carry heavy expectations into every college football season, and 2014 is no different.

Will the Tide maintain their standard of excellence? Watch as B/R's experts predict how Alabama's season will shake out. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Football 2014: Complete Preview of Tigers Offense

In 2013, the LSU Tigers offense ranked 24th in the country in points scored, at 35.8 per contest, en route to a 10-3 campaign.

Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on the Tigers' offensive outlook ahead of the 2014 season.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Iowa Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

The Iowa Hawkeyes found success in 2013 after a disappointing 2012 campaign. The team finished the season 5-3 within the Big Ten Conference but failed to defeat LSU in the Outback Bowl and finished the year with an 8-5 overall record.

How will Iowa fare in 2014?

Watch as B/R's experts examine the Hawkeyes ahead of the regular season. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Power Ranking Top 50 Ranked CFB Players If EA Sports' NCAA Football 15 Existed

To the dismay of the virtual masses, EA Sports killed off its NCAA Football video game series this year following a string of lawsuits, potential future lawsuits and headaches over how student-athlete compensation would work in the not-too-distant future.

This crushed us video game folk, and it also killed my offseason and weekly columns at Bleacher Report.

Using NCAA Football (insert year here), I would begin simulating the season the nanosecond the game was released—usually picking up the game at midnight and simulating well past sunrise and sanity. Once this was complete, I would then simulate the top games on a week-to-week basis, highlighting the premier matchups.

It’s worth pointing out that the NCAA Football franchise exited our lives by going five-for-five with its BCS bowl picks last season. What an eloquent way to depart. Before we say goodbye, however, we’re taking the baton from our favorite game and running until we can’t run any longer (about 35 feet, give or take).

Since EA Sports won’t be providing individual player ratings for the 2015 class (and because the whole No. 7-is-actually-Jadeveon Clowney-thing is out of the bag) we will jump into the breach. We’ve assigned a rating to each of the nation’s top 50 players for the 2014 season and gone so far to address some of the notable virtual attributes that contribute to their rating.

Speed, power, arm strength, accuracy, blocking (both run and pass), trucking and other characteristics that were prevalent in the game have made the trek to our hypothetical world. It’s the most incredible scouting process imaginable, the result of one individual still struggling to cope with the loss of his best friend (a video game).

Let’s celebrate the death of the franchise—at least for now, because perhaps it will be back some day—by agreeing on every single rating and bellowing out "Kumbaya" in the comment section.

Begin Slideshow

Auburn Football 2014: Complete Preview of Tigers Defense

In 2013, Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson's unit surrendered 24 points or more in seven games. Now in his second year with the program, head coach Gus Malzahn will expect improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

How will Johnson, who is also in his second year with the team, and the defense fare in 2014? Will they be able to contend for the national championship?

Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on Auburn's defense before the season starts. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

The first week of fall camp for the 2014 season is about to wrap up at Ohio State, and unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of storylines to be found in Columbus.

Whether it's health concerns over their Heisman Trophy candidate, the return of a formerly dismissed player or Urban Meyer's thoughts on various position battles, the Buckeyes have found a way to consistently manufacture headlines with three weeks to go until their season opener against Navy.

What follows is a firsthand account from inside Ohio State's Woody Hayes Athletic Center over the last week. The Buckeyes have hardly hit their stride yet, but will look to build on a strong start as two-a-day practices approach in the coming week.

 

Miller Maintenance

As the media was welcomed to witness Ohio State's third practice of the week on Wednesday, one observation in particular was made by those in attendance: Star quarterback Braxton Miller was hardly participating.

With Miller's importance to the Buckeyes having been compared to that of LeBron James' to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was obviously concerning to see the reigning two-time Big Ten MVP sitting out in favor of understudies Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. But as Ohio State offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner explained, Miller's limited action on Wednesday was a part of a bigger plan to bring him back from offseason shoulder surgery.

"We have a really good plan to get him where he needs to be Aug. 30, and we don’t need to rush it. The guy has played for three years, so just bring him along like a pitcher in spring training," Warinner said. "An inning, then two innings, then three innings and by the time opening day comes, he can pitch seven innings for you or eight innings or whatever you need. So, I think we’re doing that the right way."

That seems to be in line with what Meyer stated Monday, when he said that the Buckeyes staff would be monitoring its star player's reps for the remainder of fall camp. Nonetheless, it's worth noting that Miller may not be capable of handling a full workload just yet, although he insisted to ESPN.com that's not the case.

“Nah, nothing [wrong] at all,” Miller told Austin Ward. “I’m 100 percent, just trying to stay healthy. I’ve got to get it back in shape."

 

The Reinstated Returns

When the Buckeyes hit the practice field for the first time on Monday, they did so alongside a familiar, albeit unexpected face.

After being dismissed from the Ohio State program in July as he faced charges of possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia and rioting/failure to disperse stemming from an incident in Lorain, Ohio, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle was reinstated to the Buckeyes roster moments before the start of the team's first fall practice.

Days earlier, the drug-related portion of Sprinkle's charges were dropped, and he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of failure to comply.

Sprinkle's return to the OSU program will come at a price, however, as he'll pay his way through school for the remainder of the summer before sitting out the Buckeyes' season opener against Navy.

"He was dismissed because of an arrest and some bad words was involved like cocaine or something like that and it was all dropped," Meyer explained. “He lost his scholarship for the summer. Every week, he has community service and a multitude of other things to take care of before he’ll ever see the field.”

While the 6'3", 283-pounder isn't expected to make much of an impact this season, his additional depth will be welcomed on an Ohio State defensive line that will be without suspended All-Big Ten defensive end Noah Spence for the first two games of the season.

 

Fear the Freshmen

A year ago, Meyer showed a reluctance to play true freshmen, ultimately redshirting 17 members of his 24-player class for various reasons. Meyer insists that this season will be different, and his actions have already proved it.

While Monday's dual-practice sessions were split between first-year players and veterans, two true freshmen were selected to work with the latter. Unlike their classmates, linebacker Raekwon McMillan and wide receiver Johnnie Dixon found themselves practicing with their older teammates on the first day of camp, after what Meyer described as "rare" offseasons for the two true freshmen.

"They act like pros," Meyer said of McMillan and Dixon. "They act like grown men, so we let them practice with the grown men today."

McMillan and Dixon aren't the only freshmen who have caught Meyer's eye thus far in fall camp, as the third-year Buckeyes head coach has also singled out Dante Booker, Kyle Berger, Sam Hubbard, Noah Brown, Parris Campbell, Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith.

Couple that with a talented crop of redshirt freshmen who have already impressed in camp, and a youth movement in Columbus could be on the horizon.

 

Camp Competition

As is the case with most fall camps, position battles have garnered significant attention, with Meyer stating that none has caught his eye more than the fight at left guard. And while Antonio Underwood may currently have a leg up on Joel Hale and Billy Price in that battle, a number of other races for starting spots have also begun to take shape.

After one week, it appears as though Jacoby Boren is ahead of Alabama graduate transfer Chad Lindsay at center, Ezekiel Elliott has emerged as the Buckeyes starting running back, Gareon Conley and Eli Apple are in a dead heat opposite Doran Grant at cornerback and Evan Spencer has been taking first-team wide receiver reps opposite Devin Smith.

Another interesting development has come at safety, where presumed starter Vonn Bell has been the odd man out, behind Tyvis Powell and Cameron Burrows.

Bell appears to have been motivated by the slight, performing admirably on Monday and recording a diving interception in a scrimmage situation on Wednesday. It's also worth noting that the sophomore missed the majority of spring practice due to an MCL injury.

With multiple scrimmages scheduled between now and the season opener, there remains plenty of time left for these position battles to play out before the Buckeyes' battle with the Midshipmen at the end of the month. But the first five days of camp have provided solid insight into who already has momentum, and who has catching up to do.

 

*All quotes obtained firsthand, unless noted otherwise.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kentucky Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Mark Stoops' Kentucky Wildcats had a difficult time competing in the coach's first year guiding the program. Kentucky finished the year with a 2-10 overall record and failed to win a game in the SEC.

Entering his second year at the helm, Stoops' squad will be expected to show improvement.

Watch as B/R's experts analyze the Wildcats ahead of the 2014 campaign.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Miami Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

The Miami Hurricanes experienced a successful overall season in 2013, finishing 9-4 with a 5-3 record within the ACC.

However, the season ended on a bitter note after losing to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Heading into the 2014 season, Miami will look for both its offense and defense to continue their momentum in order to enjoy another successful campaign.

Before the season starts, B/R's experts weigh in on the Hurricanes.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Notre Dame football kicked off its fall training camp with a week of practice at the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana.

By rule, the Irish were limited in padding for the first few days, but on Friday the squad was able to hold its first full-pad session. Notre Dame will return to campus and practice Saturday at home for the first time.

Let’s check in on some of the main storylines from the first five days of camp.

 

Quarterback Competition

#NotreDame QB Everett Golson sporting new Under Armour practice duds. pic.twitter.com/sEh0lJ266M

— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) August 4, 2014

We haven’t heard much on the quarterback front, as only the first practice was open to media members, providing a small sample size from which to extrapolate information.

Still, according to reporters at Monday’s camp-opening practice, Everett Golson took the first-team snaps.

Everett Golson took the first-team snaps for #NotreDame.

— Andrew Owens (@BGI_AndrewOwens) August 4, 2014

It makes sense for Golson, the older and more experienced signal-caller, to take the first-team snaps, at least out of the gate. And, again, it was only one practice, but reporters lauded Golson’s play.

Everett Golson looked better than Malik Zaire. Obviously one day in but looked more comfortable. EG ran first team offense. #NotreDame

— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 4, 2014

At the end of Monday’s practice, Irish head coach Brian Kelly analyzed one of the next phases in Golson’s development.

“You’re either fearful or fearless,” Kelly said to reporters. “And I think there was a time where he was a bit fearful at the quarterback position. I want to get him fearless. I think if we can get to that level where he’s fearless—I’m starting to see that move—that’s where we want to get him… If he gets to that level, it’s going to be fun and exciting to watch him play.”

Thought after viewing first #NotreDame practice: It's one day, and maybe no shock, but it'll be stunning if Everett Golson isn't QB starter.

— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) August 4, 2014

Everett Golson on not being named #NotreDame's starter yet: "I'm not disappointed at all." Said competition should raise his game.

— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 4, 2014

 

Kelly Fills in for Denbrock

On the eve of Notre Dame opening training camp, Kelly announced offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock will miss “the first few weeks of preseason camp” after a “recent surgical procedure.”

"I had surgery last week," Denbrock said in a press release. "I'm resting and feeling better every day, but I won't be able to join the team for the beginning of preseason camp. Safe to say, I'm already chomping at the bit to get back with the guys."

Kelly has assumed Denbrock’s duties during the absence, and the head coach shared his observations on the wide receivers with reporters following Monday’s practice.

“We’ve got really top-notch athletes at that position,” Kelly said. “Just spending a little bit more time with some fundamentals today on releases, transition, some of the things that I think really can help them develop a solid foundation because they’ve got a great skill set.”

Kelly said his added time with the wide receivers hasn’t greatly changed his overall ability to evaluate the entire offense. Offensive graduate assistant Ryan Mahaffey has handled wide receiver substitution when the position units all come together, and quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur does much of the individual skill-based teaching with the signal-callers anyway, according to Kelly.

Kelly did add on Monday that the Irish are happy to accommodate Denbrock for whatever he is capable of doing. The offensive coordinator has access to the practice film, Kelly said.

 

Consistency and Comfort the Keys on Defense

With a young defense dealing with a new defensive coordinator and a new scheme, it should come as no surprise two of Brian VanGorder’s buzzwords have been “consistency” and “comfort.”

In an interview with WatchND’s Jack Nolan after the second practice, VanGorder said the idea of consistency is something of a concern. However, the new defensive coordinator didn’t want to overstate that concern after just two practices.

“[Consistent good play and more productive plays], that will all come,” VanGorder said.

VanGorder said the new rule allowing organized team activities (OTAs) in the summer was advantageous for the defense, maybe even more so at Notre Dame because of the new system.

ND ran mostly a 4-3 defense, with Williams-Jones-Day-Okwara up front. Smith-Schmidt-Turner LBs, Luke-Collinsworth-Redfield-Russell DBs.

— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 4, 2014

According to VanGorder, getting his players to excel in that system comes down to comfort.

“They’ve got to get comfortable. They’ve got to be able to go out and play fast. That’s really the goal of all football players,” VanGorder said. “When they get a comfort level with all those things, now you have a player that’s playing fast. That’s when I think our scheme will become more effective and exciting for them.”

Perhaps the most important news item of the day: Brian VanGorder’s mustache is now a goatee. pic.twitter.com/ax4keqoB9B

— Andrew Owens (@BGI_AndrewOwens) August 5, 2014

 

Young but Deep

The list goes on and on.

Notre Dame lost a slew of proven, frontline players from last year’s team, from TJ Jones and Zack Martin to Louis Nix and Prince Shembo.

But while the 2014 team may be relatively inexperienced and untested, Kelly thinks there may be unparalleled depth this year.

“Our depth is probably—in my opinion— as good as we've ever had [in my five years at Notre Dame],” Kelly said in an interview with WatchND’s Jack Nolan. “They’re not as experienced, but they will get a chance to show that.”

Kelly said he won’t hesitate to dip into the depth, assuring Notre Dame will play a lot of players on both sides of the ball.

Getting today's work in at Culver... pic.twitter.com/lxp8359U2r

Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 5, 2014

When asked about players who stood out early on, Kelly highlighted some of those young, unproven players.

“I'd say it's the younger guys that played small roles last year,” Kelly said. “They are really starting to show themselves this season. Chris Brown is going to play a prominent role. Will Fuller is going to play a prominent role. I think you are going to see a lot more from guys like Devin Butler and Cole Luke. I think we all know that we are going to have to find some young guys to provide some pass rush.”

Notre Dame’s fate in 2014 could very well rest on the development of such young players, those asked to replace the Martins and Shembos of years past.

 

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

LSU head coach Les Miles finally got to play with his new toys at fall camp. 

The Tigers reported to campus for the beginning of fall camp on Sunday and hit the field on Monday. It was the first time Miles got to work with the heavily anticipated 2014 recruiting class

Miles was not disappointed. 

“I think what you see is some very, very talented guys, and some guys that learn quickly,” Miles said, per The (Shreveport) Times. "And this class is that style of class that you can win a national championship with at some point in time, hopefully sooner than later.”

LSU's practices have been divided into two sessions. The morning features projected starters, while the afternoon is focused on freshmen and backups. 

Friday will be the full team practice in full pads. Here is a recap of how things have gone the first four practices of camp.

 

Quarterback Battle Heating Up 

Miles has not given any indication of who his starting quarterback will be in the season opener against Wisconsin. Sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris have rotated working with the morning group. 

Jennings was with the morning group on Monday and Wednesday, while Harris took the Tuesday and Thursday repetitions. LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has worked closely with both quarterbacks on every aspect of their game. 

The battle between Harris and Jennings is a close one. Miles and Cameron will likely hold off on their decision for the next few weeks. Yet, Miles said Harris looked spectacular in Thursday's practice. 

"He (Harris) made some of the best throws I've seen today," said Miles per thenewsstar.com

 

Fournette and Freshmen Dazzle

Miles cannot wait to see Leonard Fournette in full pads Friday. 

"It's like having Tiger Woods on the golf course with a putter," Miles said on Wednesday, per The Times-Picayune. "You just want to see him tee off, don't you. We'll have to put pads on before we can see him tee off."

Fournette began the week working with the afternoon group and was eventually moved to the morning session on Wednesday. 

LSU's freshmen class of receivers also made a strong impression. The 6'3'' Malachi Dupre was working with the veterans on the first day of practice. 

D.J. Chark, Trey Quinn and Tony Upchurch also made their debuts. Chark, the lowest-rated recruit of the group, earned high praise from Miles. 

 

Jalen Mills Returns to Team

LSU safety Jalen Mills' second-degree battery charge for an alleged altercation this offseason was reduced to simple battery on Monday, per The (Shreveport) Times. Mills was on the field for practice the same day. He was inserted with the morning group on Tuesday. 

"A misdemeanor being what it is, we're moving forward," Miles said, per The Times-Picayune. "All I can tell you is we're going to handle it internally and work him right here."

Mills is LSU's best safety, and defensive coordinator John Chavis loves his versatility. But it is unlikely he plays in the season opener against Wisconsin.

LSU has plenty of young talent and depth at safety, including 5-star freshman Jamal Adams. Veteran returnees Rickey Jefferson, Ronald Martin and Corey Thompson are more than capable of filling the void. 

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer, Barrett Sallee and Michael Felder love the talent the Tigers have in the secondary. 

 

Big Cat Drill

LSU's famed Big Cat Drill was back this week. Geaux247.com's Shea Dixon has the full video. 

Dixon also captured LSU's skill position players going through "The Gauntlet." He archived the full list of participants at Geaux247.com

 

Fall Camp Schedule

LSU will practice again Saturday after putting on full pads for the first time Friday morning. On Sunday, the Tigers will have their annual Fan Day at 6:30 p.m. CST at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Carl Maddox Field House on campus. Media day will be held on the same day in the hours prior. 

When LSU returns to the field next Monday, expect similar practices to week one's. Do not expect any major position changes or decisions on the depth chart, especially at quarterback.  

Here is LSU's schedule for next week, via The Advocate.

Monday, Aug. 11, 9:15 a.m. practice

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. practice

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 9:15 a.m. practice

Thursday, Aug. 14, 4 p.m. walkthrough

Friday, Aug. 15, 8:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. practice

Saturday, Aug. 16, 10:45 a.m. scrimmage at Tiger Stadium (closed to the public/media)

 

*Rankings and stats provided by cfbstats.comsports-reference.com and 247Sports.com. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

AUBURN, Ala. — In the first two minutes of his first fall camp press conference, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn made three important announcements:

Starting quarterback Nick Marshall would not start against Arkansas for his marijuana citation.

Cornerback Jonathon Mincy would miss time in the opener too for his drug arrest.

Finally, SEC All-Freshman left guard Alex Kozan suffered an offseason back injury that required season-ending surgery.

With that news out of the way early in camp, it has been business as usual and back to football for Auburn.

The Tigers wrapped up their first full week of fall practice Thursday and will have their first off day on Friday. Since last Friday's opener, Auburn has had one scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium and its first two-a-day practice.

Here is a wrap-up of all the major news and notes from the defending SEC champions' first few days of fall camp.

 

Marshall and Johnson Rotating at First-Team Quarterback

Now that Marshall will not start the season opener against Arkansas, all eyes are on backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson.

In anticipation of the opener, Johnson has gotten more time to practice with Auburn's returning offensive starters.

Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee have not announced how much time Marshall will miss against the Razorbacks, but they both have said Johnson will get more time with the first-team offense this season.

"Me and Rhett decided Jeremy Johnson was going to have a bigger role regardless this year," Malzahn said. "We've talked about him and his ability and how we feel about him. We feel very good about our quarterback position as a whole."

Teammates say Johnson, who did not go live in Wednesday's scrimmage, has now taken more of a leadership role with the offense and with the entire team.

"Jeremy Johnson has come a long way from his freshman year," H-back Brandon Fulse said. "Most freshmen are immature, just kind of lollygagging, but now he’s stepped up. Jeremy Johnson will be a leader now and when Nick leaves, and he carries this team. First game, anytime you put him in, we have 100 percent that Jeremy Johnson will get the job done."

 

Offensive Line Depth Getting Tested Early

During the spring, Auburn experimented with rotations along the offensive line. A few tackles moved to the interior for some work, while other players flipped to the opposite side of the front five.

That experimentation is paying off early for the Tigers.

With Kozan out for the season, starting right guard Chad Slade moved to left guard, while starting right tackle Avery Young moved inside to guard. However, Slade was held out of Auburn's Tuesday practice and Wednesday scrimmage with a minor injury.

"He was one of the guys we held out," Malzahn said Wednesday. "He's fine. He just got a little banged up. Fall camp, a lot of times, especially with the guys we have a lot of information about, you just want to be smart."

According to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, Auburn's midweek scrimmage was focused on "evaluating the entire depth chart," which opened the door for several younger players to stand out in the deep offensive line unit. One player who impressed coaches was Slade's replacement, backup left guard Devonte Danzey.

"We've really seen him improve in the spring, and now he's just improved even more," Malzahn said. "It's almost good to put guys in there with certain groups, see how they respond, and so far, he's responded well. You know, we're trying to develop depth in our offensive line, especially without Kozan."

 

Several True Freshmen Making Early Impact

Last fall, Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams and Marcus Davis were some of the players who contributed to the Tigers' success as true freshmen. This fall, a whole host of newcomers are fighting for their chance to receive some spotlight and hopefully playing time when the season begins.

The biggest spotlight so far this camp has been from the biggest newcomer, 6'6" offensive lineman Braden Smith.

"If I saw Braden in public and I didn't know him at all, and you told me he was a freshman in college, I would not believe you at all," Slade said. "He's one athlete, big and strong. He's going to be something great."

Smith, who was nicknamed Drago because center Reese Dismukes said he "looks like the Russian of Rocky IV," is a freshman Auburn's staff has tabbed as a player with a shot to get in the rotation this fall. After he showcased his athleticism and pure power in offensive line drills throughout the week, the Kansas native was a topic of discussion for both offensive and defensive players in interviews.

On defense, true freshmen Raashed Kennion, Andrew Williams, Tre' Williams, Stephen Roberts and Markell Boston were singled out for praise in Ellis Johnson's Thursday press conference. Roberts has gotten additional work in Auburn's kick returner battle, along with running back Roc Thomas and wide receiver (and early enrollee) Stanton Truitt.

"Here's the deal with Stanton: He is super-fast," Malzahn said last Saturday. "He's got electric speed. So finding ways to get him the ball in space or maybe in the return game or something like that, he's capable of taking it the distance anywhere on the field."

 

Returning Defensive Starters Shifting to New Positions

The story of spring for Auburn's defensive line was "the Rhino package," senior defensive tackle Gabe Wright's name for the larger front four that will be used to combat power offenses.

Now, this fall, it appears the package's namesake will become more of a permanent feature at a new position: defensive end. The slimmer Wright wanted a chance to fill in the position after the departure of Dee Ford and the injury to Carl Lawson, and he has made an impression on the defense so far in camp.

“Gabe is very versatile at everything he does," linebacker Kris Frost said. "He’s very athletic and very strong. I could really see him at any spot on that D-line, and I know he’s going to succeed [at defensive end]."

While Wright is moving to a new spot on Auburn's heavily rotating defensive line, another returning starter is moving back to a familiar position in his return from injury.

Josh Holsey, who started as safety for the Tigers last season before tearing his ACL, is now getting most of his playing time at cornerback, where the team is trying to replace the departed Chris Davis.

"I know it's a big spot to fill from what he did last year," Holsey said. "I know from watching him my freshman year because I played boundary corner as well. I watched Chris Davis a lot. I know everything he did, and he taught me a lot of things. I know those are big shoes to fill, but I feel like I'm capable."

 

Quick Hits

Ellis Johnson gave an exhaustive injury update for his defense on Thursday evening:

- Defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence missed two practices and a scrimmage with an undisclosed injury before returning Thursday.

- Projected starting safety Derrick Moncrief missed a practice-and-a-half with an illness.

- Star Justin Garrett missed some time during Thursday's practice with an injury.

- Wide receiver-turned-cornerback Trovon Reed has been held out of practice with a "nagging" hamstring injury.

- Weak-side linebacker Khari Harding avoided missing practice time after injuring his wrist.

- Offensive lineman Austin Golson has been held out of the last few practices with an undisclosed injury. The Ole Miss transfer must sit out a year before he is eligible with the Tigers, but he was practicing with the second-string offensive line before his injury.

- On the positive side of injury news for Auburn fans, wide receiver Jaylon Denson is at 100 percent in practice. Denson suffered a season-ending tear to his patellar tendon against LSU in 2013. During the media viewing windows of the Tigers' earlier practices, Denson looked sharp running routes and making hard cuts. 

- The offense has practiced several times with a four-wide, no H-back shotgun set, which was seldom seen last season outside of the BCS National Championship Game. Defensively, Johnson has installed an "expanded dime package" for third-down situations that will include three-down linemen, two linebackers and six defensive backs.

 

Justin Ferguson is Bleacher Report's lead Auburn writer. Follow him on Twitter @JFergusonAU. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports. All stats courtesy of CFBStats.com.

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Nebraska Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Nebraska opened fall camp this week, which was kicked off by the annual Fan Day on August 1.

Bo Pelini has given the media access to fall camp, much like he did for spring practice. This will allow more insight for fans as the season gets closer. While it's only the first week, position battles and storylines are already starting to take shape.

 

News from the Week

Junior Charles Jackson will miss the entire season due to a leg injury, per Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald. The news is disappointing for the Huskers, who expected Jackson to start at nickel.

"It's a tough blow because he's put a lot of work in, a lot of time into it," Pelini said to the media. "It's very unfortunate for Charles."

Jackson still has his redshirt, which would allow him to play two additional years at Nebraska once fully recovered. Byerson Cockrell is expected to be Jackson's replacement.

In other injury news, long snapper Gabe Miller is out with a back issue. Pelini told reporters that he should be out at least a few days. His replacement is a work in progress.

 

Important Position Battles

Josh Banderas and Michael Rose Jr. are expected to compete for the middle linebacker job. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said it's likely the position battle will last throughout fall camp, per Nyatawa.

It's been pretty clear that the quarterback position is Tommy Armstrong's to lose. Pelini said as much during Big Ten media days, as the SandhillsExpress.com reported. Is that still the case?

During the Aug. 6 practice, offensive coordinator Tim Beck was asked how the quarterbacks look. Per Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald, Tommy Armstrong, Ryker Fyfe and Johnny Stanton all have work to do but are improving:

I feel like they're at practice three of fall camp, as sophomores. They've got a long way to go, yeah. Just inconsistency right now. We're putting in the install (of the offense) and their heads were swimming a little bit. But there's a lot of good things that they're doing right now. I'm pleased. I'm seeing improvement every day.

Stanton and Fyfe had a chance to work with the No. 1 offense this week. Reporters at camp were very impressed with Fyfe right off the bat.

Armstrong, on the other hand, looks ready to put in the time needed to guarantee the spot is his come Aug. 30.

 

Biggest Storylines

During the Huskers' first practice, something was different. That was the new Catapult GPS trackers. I took a more in-depth look at the trackers, which have been a favorite of Florida State's Jimbo Fisher. In fact, Fisher credits some of the Seminoles' success in 2013 to the trackers.

As for Nebraska, Pelini spoke briefly about them to the media following the Aug. 4 practice.

“They can track these guys, built up some data and learn a lot as far as making sure we’re tailoring practice the right way, not only for performance, but for injury prevention and that type of thing,” Pelini told reporters.

Efficiency has been the buzzword for fall camp so far. As 247Sports' Michael Bruntz noted, the Huskers practiced for a little less than two hours during the Aug. 4 practice. Bruntz also reported that, "Nebraska cut through some of the walk thru time at the beginning of practice, though the number of plays run won’t change."

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Ohio State Football: Why Curtis Samuel Will Live Up to Preseason Hype

When Curtis Samuel's name was called during a spring scrimmage in April, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer gave him one simple instruction.

"Just go," Meyer told the freshman running back, according to Ari Wasserman of Northeast Ohio Media Group. "Just get the ball and go.”

Moments later, Samuel broke through the line and darted past the defense for a 50-yard touchdown.

It was that playmaking ability that caught Meyer's attention during spring practice. Over the summer, Samuel earned the respect of upperclassmen on the team with his work ethic and maturity.

Speaking at Big Ten media days, star defensive tackle Michael Bennett raved about the young ball-carrier.

"Curtis Samuel has a lot of maturity for his age," Bennett said, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group's Doug Lesmerises. "He likes to work and he's gotten a lot better and a lot bigger. I remember he's got a different mentality that you don't see freshmen usually have."

On the set of ESPN's Mike & Mike show a few days later, Meyer revealed his excitement for the freshman running back.

"This guy named Curtis Samuel, a kid out of Brooklyn, New York, a true freshman who came in the spring. He really stole my heart," Meyer said. "He does everything right. He's a gifted athlete, kind of a freak athlete.

"This kid's a stud."

That assessment was just as true last year, when Samuel was rated a 4-star all-purpose back and the No. 59 overall recruit in the country. He had earned offers from programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and USC, but the opportunity to play in Meyer's spread offense was too good to pass up.

Samuel's hype train started crawling this spring, but as the 2014 season nears, it's gaining speed. And unlike some freshmen before him, Samuel is in great position to live up to the preseason hype.

That's because the Buckeyes have an actual need for his services. 

Dontre Wilson generated more preseason excitement last year than any freshman since Terrelle Pryor, but with Corey Brown at receiver and Carlos Hyde in the backfield, his opportunities were limited.

Both Brown and Hyde have graduated, creating a big need for playmakers. Wilson is in line to replace Brown in the slot, and Ezekiel Elliott is the front-runner to fill in for Hyde, but Samuel has surged past a number of talented players in a deep stable of running backs.

By the end of spring practice, Samuel was slotted as the No. 2 back behind Elliott, according to Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors.

“We have some depth there, but right now 15 (Elliott) and 4 (Samuel) are the two,” Meyer said.

That momentum carried over throughout the summer and into the first week of fall camp. 

As part of the Big Ten Network's football tour, Tom Dienhart was in Columbus on Wednesday to catch a firsthand glimpse of the Buckeyes. He was impressed with the blazer.

"The guy is pure, unadulterated speed at running back."

But it's not just his speed that's standing out.

According to Lesmerises, Bennett told a story highlighting Samuel's toughness. During spring practice, Samuel got his bell rung by senior defensive end Steve Miller on a simple inside run. The very next play, Samuel came right back and "just knocked someone else out cold."

It's rare for a freshman to have that kind of attitude, but Samuel is a speedy playmaker who is showing the ability to lower his shoulder and deliver a blow with the big boys.

In a video of Wednesday's practice, Samuel put that on display during Meyer's famed circle drill. Two players enter the center of a mob created by the football team, and after the whistle is blown, they go at it. The stronger man wins.

When it was Samuel's turn, he won (at the 16-second mark). 

Since arriving in Columbus in January, Samuel has done everything right. 

"That's why I enrolled early," Samuel said, via Lesmerises. "I wanted to get a head start so I was more ready to be a contributor in the fall."

If he stays on the same track, he'll have a big impact on the field this season.

 

All recruiting information via 247Sports.

David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412

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6 Most Valuable Backups in 2014 College Football Season

In the 85-scholarship era of college football, depth is as important as ever.

Gone are the days when the likes of Bear Bryant, Barry Switzer or Darrell Royal could stockpile talented players, stacking every key position at the depth chart if only to keep players away from their closest competitors.

The Football Bowl Subdivision’s 85-scholarship limit has evened the field in college football, allowing the likes of Boise State, Central Florida and Utah to win Bowl Championship Series games while competing in non-power leagues like the American Athletic Conference or Mountain West.

Finding players who can step in and duplicate a starter’s production when injuries inevitably happen is not easy, which makes having depth and solid backups so important.

Here is a look at a select group of players across college football who have emerged as the most talented backups. These men are capable of stepping in and making an impact should a starter be sidelined, or even if he stays healthy the entire season.

Begin Slideshow

Tennessee Volunteers Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Bolstered by all 32 newcomers and eager to return the program to prominence, the Tennessee Volunteers took the practice field to get ready for the season opener against Utah State.

Finally, football is here.

A week into drills, things have gone about as expected as coach Butch Jones has walked the thin line between encouragement and outrage.

The positive vibes come from the newcomers, but for somebody as admittedly impatient as Jones, the surliness emerges when the Vols take too long catching on to fundamentals.

With Chuckie Keeton and the Aggies looming just 23 days away, there's no time to waste.

Jones banned his players from the privilege of speaking to the media Monday, and they responded with a strong practice in pads Tuesday. The tough-love approach is necessary to getting away from the losing mentality that has taken root in Knoxville.

GoVols247's Ryan Callahan (subscription required) talked to Jones about the tests of the first week:

They’re being challenged—not only on the field, but, again, this being the final week of classes, so they have papers due. They have final examinations coming up. So I think it's just a combination of a lot of things, but I was very pleased in the way they fought through it today. But (it's) not fighting through it. It's more in how you attack the day, and I thought that they attacked the day exceptionally well.

August is going to be full of bumps in the road for such a young, inexperienced team. But absorbing the frustrating news with the positive is going to be something Vols fans need to get used to.

After all, as many as 20-22 youngsters could suit up for UT, and in the SEC pressure cooker, things are going to heat up quickly. Let's take a look at the buzz surrounding the first week of practice.

 

A Shaky Start for Signal-Callers

No Tennessee quarterback has separated himself from the others yet. While that's hardly unexpected a week into fall camp, it's definitely a concern.

A familiar theme echoed throughout the complex—the players who are supposed to be the offensive leaders are far too inconsistent.

Timing isn't where it needs to be, passes aren't on-point and the Vols must elevate the level of play as soon as possible.

The Daily Times' Dargan Southard noted UT had 62 balls hit the ground in the first practice, a number that shrank to 45 in the second practice. Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian said he would like to see that number "in the 20s."

"I need much more consistency at the quarterback position right now," Bajakian said. 

Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman have gotten a lot of action, but it would be a major surprise if anybody beat Justin Worley for the starting job. 

The media only get to watch a small portion of practice, and at least one practice observer—former UT receiver and Knoxville radio personality Jayson Swain—has been extremely impressed by the transformation of Worley from a season ago.

Still, Jones told Volquest.com's Brent Hubbs (subscription required) UT's signal-callers must make "monumental strides."

The Vols need for somebody to leave no doubt he's the starter. The longer the competition goes, the concern grows about the trio's inability to seize control of the job.

 

Youngsters Look Like Young Stars

As Jones allowed several of his prized freshmen to speak to the media—something uncommon from the past several seasons on Rocky Top—one thing became clear: Several of these kids are wise beyond their years. 

The Vols just hope they play beyond them.

"It's gonna be a slow process," UT freshman safety Todd Kelly Jr. told GoVols247's Wes Rucker. "It's a learning process. We just got here. We've only been here for about a month and a half. Ultimately we just want to make this program [a] better place."

Kelly looks like he's going to be one of the players who will get that opportunity quickly. Rucker noted T.K. is now running with the second-team defense at one of the safety spots.

With former walk-on Devaun Swafford the only player blocking his path to starting, that could happen sooner rather than later.

Freshman running back Jalen Hurd also has been impressive, and he was made available for interviews this week as well. That is yet another clear indication of how much the Vols will be depending on him right away.

The 6'3", 221-pound freshman hasn't overtaken Marlin Lane for the starting spot, but he is firmly entrenched as the backup and will get plenty of carries.

At that height, it's common for detractors to question whether Hurd can get low enough to be effective. But the Hendersonville, Tennessee, native who idolizes Eddie George urged his doubters to come see him answer their concerns.

Hurd was electrifying during spring practice, and he has picked up right where he left off when fall drills started. JC Shurburtt of 247Sports has Hurd on his SEC true freshman All-American watch list.

Freshmen such as Ethan Wolf, Josh Malone and Dimarya Mixon, who arrived before spring practice, are continuing their strong surges toward the top of the depth chart.

Various reports have mentioned positive vibes from other freshmen summer arrivals. Slot receiver Vic Wharton, defensive linemen Dewayne Hendrix and Derek Barnett as well as outside linebacker Dillon Bates all have drawn significant praise.

According to Rucker defensive line coach Steve Stripling said this about Hendrix and Barnett:

"I think Barnett and Hendrix have jumped out, and they’re showing that I think they’re mature enough and physical enough at this point to where we’ll see where they can end up on the depth chart."

The Vols are going to need them all, and even though they haven't been at UT long, the opportunity is there to play immediately. With no jobs safe, those kids are taking advantage.

 

Smith Surging and Updates on Other Position Battles

Like most true freshmen, receiver Josh Smith had no business playing a year ago. He finished a forgettable season with 12 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown, but he also had crucial drops at key times.

That's why he said he didn't really deserve to get on the field at all last year, especially after a knee injury hobbled him throughout the second half of the season.

This fall, the 6'1", 197-pound sophomore Knoxville native is making the most of a new year. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Patrick Brown, Smith has been starting in UT's base three-wide receiver sets along with Marquez North and Von Pearson.

In other words, in a crowded, talented Vols receiving corps, he is starting over stud freshman Josh Malone and redshirt sophomore Jason Croom. He has been extremely impressive so far.

As for other position battles:

  • Pearson is getting all the first-team reps in the slot, in front of last year's starter, Alton "Pig" Howard, Johnathon Johnson and Wharton. Pearson hasn't minced words when talking to the media about UT's receivers, either.
  • Swafford earned a scholarship this offseason, and thus far, he is the other starting safety alongside Brian Randolph, taking the place of incumbent LaDarrell McNeil. But Kelly is breathing down his neck.
  • According to Volquest.com writer Paul Fortenberry's depth chart, Danny O'Brien and Jordan Williams are getting the first-team reps at defensive tackle. Trevarris Saulsberry missed the spring, but he will be a major factor once he gets in shape.
  • The Knoxville News-Sentinel's Ben Frederickson (subscription required) reported that fifth-year senior and former walk-on Jacob Gilliam is still leading Dontavius Blair in the battle to be UT's starting left tackle. Blair has gotten in shape and looks much better than he did in the spring, however.
  • Fortenberry's depth chart also notes freshman Emmanuel Moseley firmly entrenched as the No. 2 cornerback, and Justin Coleman is the nickel.
  • If any freshmen are going to crack the starting rotation on the defensive line, it'll likely be Hendrix or Barnett. They've drawn huge praise from coaches so far, and Jones told Brown on Thursday that Barnett "has elevated the defensive line play."

 

Roundup From Rocky Top (News & Notes)

Tennessee received a major commitment over last weekend when 2016 4-star quarterback Austin Kendall of Waxhaw, N.C., pledged to the Vols. He is the nation's No. 9 pro-style passer in next year's cycle, according to the 247 Composite.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Brown, UT receiver Cody Blanc ruptured his Achilles tendon and will miss the season. Blanc was not a factor for significant playing time.

Freshman lineman Jashon Robertson has shifted from the defensive line to offensive line, where he is practicing as a guard, according to a report from GoVols247's Ryan Callahan.

The Daily Beacon reported junior defensive tackle Allan Carson has graduated and "decided to move on," according to UT spokesman Jimmy Stanton. Carson has never played very much at UT and didn't figure into the rotation.

 

All recruiting rankings and statistics courtesy of 247Sports Composite. All statistics gathered from CFBStats.com.

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter here:

 

@Brad_Shepard

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Georgia Bulldogs Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

Breakout newcomers, physical practices and injuries dominated headlines this week as the Georgia Bulldogs opened up fall camp.  If you missed any of the flurry of activities, here is what you need to know to get up to speed.

 

New Bulldogs Making Impressions

A number of new Bulldogs are already making impressions.  Shattle Fenteng (a cornerback JUCO transfer) has acquitted himself nicely (when healthy and fully participating) and already is climbing the depth chart. Fellow defensive back J.J. Green told Seth Emerson of Macon's Telegraph that Fenteng's length presents a unique challenge for receivers.  Georgia certainly could use a viable cornerback opposite senior Damian Swann.  

Meanwhile, one of the less-heralded newcomers on campus, Isaiah McKenzie, is establishing himself as one of the team's smaller (in stature) stars at just 5'8".  Green (who's quickly becoming one of Georgia's best sound bite generators) told Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "That guy's gonna make somebody some money someday."

And of course Lorenzo Carter (the Dawgs' top commitment in this year's class per 247Sports) is also holding his own.  Carter, who was highly coveted coming out of high school thanks to his size, strength and athleticism is looking every bit the future star that many have anticipated.  While the Dawgs may be blessed with a plethora of talented pass-rushers, Carter will be too good to ignore.

And, his aggressive disposition has already been noticed—in more ways than one.  According to Emerson (for the the Ledger-Enquirer), Carter participated in a little extracurricular jostling with offensive tackle John Theus this week.  Linebacker Jordan Jenkins explained that the situation didn't get too out of hand, but he said he wouldn't be surprised to see Carter "get into it with somebody again real soon."

 

Physical Practices

Those types of altercations are a byproduct of the intensity with which Georgia is practicing. 

Earlier this week, freshman running back Nick Chubb became a viral celebrity after toppling fullback Merritt Hall during a blocking drill.

 But as this footage (captured by Emerson) shows, it's not just the newcomers who are going hard this fall.  

 

Injuries Piling Up...Again

The heightened intensity of fall camp is already taking a physical toll on Georgia's roster.  Mark Richt is no longer offering full injury reports to the media (per Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald), but a number of Bulldogs have missed time or been limited in participation so far this fall:

  • Malcolm Mitchell, Wide Receiver
  • Chris Conley, Wide Receiver
  • Justin Scott-Wesley, Wide Receiver
  • Ramik Wilson, Linebacker
  • Leonard Floyd, Linebacker
  • Shattle Fenteng, Cornerback
  • Jay Rome, Tight End
  • Jordan Davis, Tight End
  • Ryne Rankin, Linebacker

 

Week 2 Storylines

Georgia will get its first scrimmage out of the way this week, and that could present big opportunities for players to climb the depth chart—especially with so many banged-up starters.  Look for strong performances from proven playmakers like Reggie Davis and Quayvon Hicks on the offensive side of the ball as they seek to work up a crowded list of offensive options.  On defense, expect sophomore Reggie Carter to continue asserting himself as a viable substitute for either Ramik Wilson or Amarlo Herrera at the inside linebacker spot.

After the scrimmage, expect new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's defense to look different as far as personnel is concerned.  Pruitt has placed an emphasis on getting opportunities for players and ensuring that the best 11 men are on the field.  Pruitt will find ways—even through position changes—to showcase his most talented players.  He's already been doing this frequently within the secondary, moving cornerbacks to safety and vice versa.  But, time is running out for such impactful position changes.  Moves will need to be made sooner rather than later.

Hopefully this is a week of mending for some of Georgia's best players.  Outside of the injury to Mitchell and the prolonged recovery of Scott-Wesley, no ailments appear likely to sideline Georgia stars for long.  But the team needs players like Rome, Floyd, Wilson and Conley at full speed in order to take strides forward.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.

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Florida Football: Week 1 Fall Camp Stock Report

The Florida Gators are one week deep into fall camp and seven days closer to the regular season taking place. Ladies and gentlemen, football is back.

The first week of camp usually gets off to a slow start, as players are just getting back into the daily grind and rhythm of the upcoming season. However, there are a few interesting updates and one scary report that just came out of Gainesville.

Florida is 22 days away from the regular season kicking off, but who’s counting?

 

Close Call

The biggest news of Florida’s fall camp so far was the injury to star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. You can just hear a collective gasp throughout the Gator community.

According to Iliana Limon Romero of the Orlando Sentinel, Hargreaves injured his knee after a scuffle broke out between defensive backs and wide receivers during “Oklahoma drills.”

Trainers put ice on Hargreaves’ knee and carted him off the field. Florida fans can breathe a little easier knowing that their top defensive player’s injury isn’t as serious as initially thought.

Florida experienced countless injuries last season, and the last thing it needed was for its top player to miss a significant amount of time. A serious injury would have doomed the season before it even began. Granted, a bone bruise is painful and will keep him out of practice for a while, but it certainly beats a torn ACL or anything broken.

As for the scuffle, it just goes to show that players are competing at the highest level and excited for the season to begin. As a coach, you like players to get a little testy during practice. However, this close call is going to remind everybody that they need to use their heads a little more before lashing out.

 

Quarterback Update

Only a week into practice and there’s a lot of love going on for quarterback Jeff Driskel.

Driskel seems to have adjusted nicely to the shotgun formation, a style of offense that will benefit him more under offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. He struggled a little bit with the transition in the spring game, often getting happy feet and simply looking uncomfortable when the pressure got to him.

Muschamp likes what he sees from the Gators' starting quarterback.

Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports considered Driskel one of his top performers of Florida’s most recent practice:

Driskel was sharp throughout the evening, though there were still a handful of passes he could have put better touch on. In early two-minute work, he connected with freshman tight end DeAndre Goolsby for a 20-yard touchdown pass in the right corner of the end zone over a defender. Later in pass skeleton work, he floated a perfect corner route to the left sideline between two defenders to Valdez Showers. He also connected with tight end Jake McGee on a 35-yard touchdown pass between two defenders on a slightly underthrown ball. In 11-on-11 work, he hit receiver Demarcus Robinson on a 35-yard touchdown pass on a fly down the right sideline.

Driskel threw more touchdowns in that paragraph than he did all of last season. If he can continue to mature in this offense and find the end zone on a consistent basis, there’s no question the Gators will be a team to pay attention to this season.

 

Running Back Depth 

While so much attention has been given to Driskel and the quarterback position, it seems like a lot of folks are ignoring Florida’s situation at running back.

It’s good and deep. One Florida player considers the backfield to be elite status, per Thomas Goldkamp.

"I would look at top to bottom and just like, I couldn't be a coach and have to decide this person is gonna start and this person is going to start," offensive tackle D.J. Humphries said.

Kelvin Taylor added about 10 pounds of muscle during the offseason and is a lot faster than he was as a freshman. Taylor is now pretty confident he would beat his father, Fred Taylor, in a race, according to Robbie Andreu of Gainesville.com:

“Somebody tweeted something like, 'Did Kelvin Taylor steal some of his dad's speed this summer?'” Taylor said. “I feel like I've gotten a whole lot faster, working with the speed program we had this summer and just training hard, working really hard.”

Florida has also experienced the return of Matt Jones, who looks sharp in camp after missing spring ball with an injury.

On paper, Florida has one of the better backfields in the country, and if it lives up to its potential, it would be good enough to help improve this offense drastically from a year ago.

All positive vibes so far from the Florida Gators.  

 

Extra Point

Check out Nick Washington interviewing some of his teammates. Spoiler alert: You'll learn something about Michael Taylor you never knew before. 

Until next week. 

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