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Jacob Breeland Commits to Oregon: Ducks Land 6'5" TE Recruit

The Oregon Ducks secured a commitment from under-the-radar Southern California tight end Jacob Breeland on Tuesday, giving the team two prospects in its 2015 recruiting class...

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Breaking Down the Latest in Alabama's QB Battle

Spring practice is underway at Alabama and the battle to replace AJ McCarron is heating up. Redshirt senior QB Blake Sims is in Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide, but Florida State transfer Jacob Coker will arrive in the summer and is expected to win the starting job. 

Replacing McCarron is no small task. Nick Saban is looking for a QB that will minimize mistakes and get the ball to the Crimson Tide's playmakers. Sims has an opportunity to show Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin he has what it takes to lead the Tide in the spring, but Coker might be a better option come summer. 

Check out Matt Scalici from AL.com break down the latest in the Alabama QB battle with Adam Lefkoe

 

Highlights courtesy of XOs Digital

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Tennessee Moving Season Opener to Sunday Night Great Move for Program

Tennessee already had a tricky opponent on the schedule for Week 1, and the Vols have decided that they're going to step into the spotlight for that matchup in front of a curious audience.

The Vols announced on Tuesday that their Week 1 matchup with Utah State at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville will be pushed back one day to Sunday, Aug. 31, and will kick off at 7 p.m. on the new SEC Network.

"The atmosphere and energy in Knoxville will be unrivaled," head coach Butch Jones said in a release from Tennessee. "We're also excited about being one of the schools featured on the first weekend of SEC Network football telecasts, and we are looking forward to this tremendous opportunity."

Good move for Tennessee?

No, it's a great move.

The SEC Network will show at least six games on opening weekend, including two on Thursday, Aug. 28 (Texas A&M vs. South Carolina and Temple vs. Vanderbilt), and SEC Nation, the SEC Network's "GameDay clone," will originate from Auburn on Saturday, Aug. 30 before the Tigers host Arkansas.

Opening weekend combined with the launch of the SEC Network on Aug. 14 has allowed the SEC to own opening weekend and create a four-day football festival across the Southeast.

Not only will Tennessee be a part of that festival, it'll now be a featured part in prime time on Sunday night against an opponent that can absolutely spring the upset.

Utah State isn't a power, but the Aggies are tricky.

They should get electric quarterback Chuckie Keeton back after an ACL tear ended his 2013 season prematurely. SEC fans remember the Aggies from their near-upset of then-defending national champion Auburn in the season-opener in 2011, but they've also topped Utah, taken Wisconsin and USC to the wire, and beaten a ranked Louisiana Tech team over the last three seasons.

They're not a pushover by any means, and a good performance by the Vols should resonate across the country. 

Is it a risk?

Sure it is. The first two games on Tennessee's schedule should be considered "tricky," as both Utah State and Arkansas State will make the trek to Rocky Top.

But this Tennessee team needs to know about itself before hitting the meat of its schedule, when it travels to Norman, Okla., in Week 3. Creating a big-game atmosphere on the opening weekend—even if that's a bit of a stretch—will benefit this young Vols team that will play Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama and South Carolina this season.

It needs to be ready, and Utah State on a Sunday night in front of a national audience (and yes, it will be a national audience on the SEC Network once carriage deals are completed) will provide Jones an opportunity to find out a lot about his team.

 

*Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. 

 


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Ex-Michigan Safety Josh Furman Will Transfer to Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has picked up a much-needed addition—and that may be putting it lightly—to the back end of its secondary. Former Michigan safety Josh Furman, who is on track to graduate this spring and should be eligible to play in 2014, confirmed on Twitter that he is transferring to OSU.

Furman, who was conspicuously absent from the online roster Michigan posted this spring, made the confirmation after being asked directly by Jimmie Tramel of the Tulsa World:

Last year's Cowboys defense was stronger than any of Mike Gundy's tenure, finishing No. 6 in the country in the Football Outsiders F/+ ratings. However, it loses both starting safeties—Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary—to graduation, and oft-used backup Lyndell Johnson was reportedly kicked off the team this offseason.

Furman was a Week 1 starter for Michigan last season, finishing the year with three total starts. He made 32 appearances, mostly in a reserve and special teams capacity, during his three active years in Ann Arbor, but the size of his role was in question heading into 2014, which may have played a part in his decision to transfer.

According to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, the Wolverines started sophomore Delano Hill, who has only made one game appearance (as a reserve linebacker) in his college career, at one of their safety spots during last Saturday's spring game.

It's hard to gauge exactly how their secondary will shape until 5-star recruit Jabrill Peppers arrives this summer, but the Wolverines aren't oozing depth at the position.

The experience of Furman will be missed.

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Odds on Where 5-Star WR George Campbell Lands at Next Level

George Campbell, the No. 1 WR in the 2015 class, is sure to have an impact wherever he lands. The 6'3", 184-pound athlete has the physical talent and technique to make any offense in the country better. 

Campbell had previously committed to Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines, but he decommitted last December. Do the Wolverines still have a chance to bring in Campbell? Clemson is also in the running. After losing a lot of star power to the NFL draft in 2014, can the Tigers reload their roster in 2015 with the supremely talented Campbell?

Check out Adam Kramer break down the odds on where George Campbell will play at the next level. 

 

Highlights courtesy of XOs Digital.

Rankings from 247 Sports Composite

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football: Comparing Everett Golson and Malik Zaire

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame has not named a starting quarterback. Everett Golson and Malik Zaire are jockeying for that position.

Seems simple enough, right?

Who knows when a starter will be named, but let’s dig into the quarterback competition and break down both Golson and Zaire in a variety of categories to try to gain a clearer picture of the position battle.

 

*All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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Florida Football: 5 Players to Watch in Gators' Spring Game

We are just a few days away from the Florida Gators spring game and finally being able to see firsthand what these coaches have been talking about for the last couple of weeks.

If you’re no stranger to spring ball, you’ll know that coaches tend to brag about a lot of their players throughout camp, but it’s sometimes a different story when they take the field in live action.

That’s why the spring game is so important. It gives everybody a chance to display what they’ve been working on in a game-like atmosphere.

Let’s see what the freshman cornerback is truly capable of, how the quarterback looks and if a particular defensive lineman is really ready for an expanded role.

Here are some of the Florida Gators you should really be watching during this year’s spring game. 

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USC Football: Former 5-Star Chris Hawkins Ready to Take Charge in Secondary

USC's secondary is chock full of talent, and the coaches in Troy have been waiting for the next athlete to step up and assert himself as a playmaker. Through four weeks of spring ball, redshirt freshman cornerback Chris Hawkins has risen to the occasion.

With new secondary coach Keith Heyward having an objective eye for his stock, essentially every healthy athlete in the defensive backs corps has had equal opportunity to impress. That's especially important for the corner spot opposite Josh Shaw, which will likely be filled by way of competition. So far, Hawkins is proving that he's ready to live up to his highly touted status out of high school.

And this year, the coaches are definitely paying attention.

"He made a play," Heyward told FoxSports.com's Rahshaun Haylock after Saturday's scrimmage, referring to an interception the cornerback made. "I'm trying to find playmakers."  

Hawkins came into USC as a 5-star talent, but by no choice of his own, he ended up watching the 2013 season from the sidelines instead of participating.

When Anthony Brown got injured before USC's game against Hawaii, Hawkins thought he was going to be chosen to replace Brown. Instead, former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast called on Devian Shelton, and Hawkins knew then that the decision to redshirt had been made for him.

As fate would have it, Shelton only appeared in that one game for USC and has yet to make any significant contributions since. 

The old regime may have overlooked his immediate value to the team, but Hawkins is making sure to avoid a similar outcome this spring. So far, it seems to be working.

Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox sung the cornerback's praises after Saturday's scrimmage:

Because he's performing so well, Hawkins is a legitimate threat to dethrone Kevon Seymour, who really improved and impressed during the second half of the 2013 season. Hawkins has the pedigree to be a regular starter and a desire to prove that he can live up to the reputation with which he came to USC.

Hawkins elaborated to Haylock about what his goals are for the spring:

I made it a point to send a message on the first day (of spring practice) that this is not the 17-year-old kid anymore. This isn't the young one, the little one. I'm still a pup but I wanted to make it clear...I'm here and I'm here to stay.

During next week's spring game, Hawkins will really have his time to shine. It will be in his best interest to leave a lasting impression on the coaches, as the competition during the fall is only going to intensify when USC's loaded 2014 signing class arrives on campus. After all, 5-star DB/WR Adoree' Jackson is coming, and he won't be denied.

Hawkins needs to use these remaining spring practices to show that he has star quality and to prove that the secondary needs him to be successful. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC Football: Former 5-Star Chris Hawkins Ready to Take Charge in Secondary

USC's secondary is chock full of talent, and the coaches in Troy have been waiting for the next athlete to step up and assert himself as a playmaker...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

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