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Shaun Nixon Injury: Updates on TCU RB's Status and Recovery

Coming off an injury-filled 2015 season, the TCU Horned Frogs are off to a bad start in 2016, with running back Shaun Nixon set to miss the entire season.

Continue for updates.

Nixon Ruled Out for 2016 Monday, July 18

Speaking at Big 12 media days Monday, head coach Gary Patterson revealed Nixon suffered an injury that will prevent him from taking the field this season, per John Taylor of College Football Talk.

Patterson did not specify what Nixon's injury is or how it occurred. This marks the second time in three years that Nixon will not see the field. He suffered a knee injury during an August practice as a true freshman that forced him to redshirt in 2014.

All of TCU's injuries at wide receiver last season (Josh Doctson, Emanuel Porter) made Nixon a big presence in the passing game. He finished second on the team with 47 receptions and fourth with 501 receiving yards.

The good news is that TCU is well-stocked at the running back position. KaVontae Turpin showed promise in limited duty last year, running for 116 yards on 20 carries, and Kyle Hicks was third on the team with 262 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The Horned Frogs also added former Michigan running back Derrick Green as a graduate transfer who is eligible to play in 2016.

Losing Nixon hurts TCU's depth at running back, but Patterson has been terrific at plugging players in who can keep the team playing at a high level. The Horned Frogs should be fine when they open the season against South Dakota State on Sept. 3.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Shaun Nixon Injury: Updates on TCU RB's Status and Recovery

Coming off an injury-filled 2015 season, the TCU Horned Frogs are off to a bad start in 2016, with running back Shaun Nixon set to miss the entire season.

Continue for updates.

Nixon Ruled Out for 2016 Monday, July 18

Speaking at Big 12 media days Monday, head coach Gary Patterson revealed Nixon suffered an injury that will prevent him from taking the field this season, per John Taylor of College Football Talk.

Patterson did not specify what Nixon's injury is or how it occurred. This marks the second time in three years that Nixon will not see the field. He suffered a knee injury during an August practice as a true freshman that forced him to redshirt in 2014.

All of TCU's injuries at wide receiver last season (Josh Doctson, Emanuel Porter) made Nixon a big presence in the passing game. He finished second on the team with 47 receptions and fourth with 501 receiving yards.

The good news is that TCU is well-stocked at the running back position. KaVontae Turpin showed promise in limited duty last year, running for 116 yards on 20 carries, and Kyle Hicks was third on the team with 262 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The Horned Frogs also added former Michigan running back Derrick Green as a graduate transfer who is eligible to play in 2016.

Losing Nixon hurts TCU's depth at running back, but Patterson has been terrific at plugging players in who can keep the team playing at a high level. The Horned Frogs should be fine when they open the season against South Dakota State on Sept. 3.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Big 12 Media Days 2016: Best Quotes and Reaction from Day 1

College football "talking season" continued Monday with the Big 12 Conference getting its turn at the podium. But for commissioner Bob Bowlsby, he might have been better off avoiding microphones altogether.

Bowlsby's opening press conference in Dallas went about as poorly as it could have, with a mix of flip-flopped responses to the Big 12's involvement in the Baylor sexual assault scandal, as well as the process the league will take to determine its championship-game participants when that returns to the schedule next year. The only thing that could have made things worse would have been further uncertainty about whether the Big 12 will or won't expand in the future, but that's not on the docket until Tuesday.

A time meant to promote his league and rave about its positives instead shed unwanted light on its blemishes, and how it's addressing them. While Bowlsby acknowledged on multiple occasions that the Big 12 has no legal standing to do anything about Baylor and its handling of sexual assaults, as detailed in the Pepper Hamilton report, he noted that the league's board of governors is "deeply concerned with the associational elements" of the issue because of how it makes the conference look.

"Certainly there are those among our board … that have felt the image of the Big 12 and the other members of the Big 12 have been sullied as a result of this incident," Bowlsby said, via Fox Sports 2's broadcast of Big 12 Media Days.

He also indicated that no written report from Baylor investigators Pepper Hamilton, beyond what has been released publicly, currently exists. However, Bowlsby made it seem like the conference had more information beyond that.

"We've already gotten more than the public on an oral basis," he said. "They're confidential discussions and I think they'll stay that way."

Bowlsby said the Big 12 board was set to meet with Baylor again on Tuesday, when individual board members will get a chance to ask what he expects will include some "hard questions." He said that's part of a league-wide effort toward "eradicating sexual assault on our campuses," though his way of qualifying the difficulty of doing that wasn't well received.

 

The path to a championship (game)

Earlier this year the Big 12 announced it would start holding a conference title game in 2017, bringing back a contest that went away in 2011 when conference realignment dropped the league to 10 schools. It will still be at that number next season, which leaves uncertainty as to how the Big 12 will select who plays for the title.

Bowlsby said the league will "probably end up playing divisions" but how those will be chosen is up in the air. Discussions could include using geography or an equity-based system, one where the divisions change every few years based on how teams have performed, with the goal of having that decided—along with when and where the title game would be held—by the "first of November, middle of November, by the end of the football season for sure."

With the Big 12 sticking to its nine-game round robin league schedule it guarantees a rematch in the championship game, and Bowlsby said a challenge will be avoiding having “late-season rematches” such as what the Pac-12 had in 2012 when Stanford and UCLA met in the regular-season finale and then played a week later for the conference title.

"Had we had a championship game last year it would have been Oklahoma against Oklahoma State," Bowlsby said.

TCU coach Gary Patterson, whose team's playoff snub (along with Baylor) in 2014 was part of the impetus to bring back the title game, said whatever route the Big 12 takes needs to be one that gives the league its best chance to earn a playoff bid. In one scenario, that might mean not having a championship at all.

"If you had an undefeated team, I'd say you don't need to have a championship game," Patterson said, via FS2. "If you have two tied teams then I think a championship game would help us. You can't have one that's 11-1 going in the championship game and the other be 7-4 because then in the computer rankings, you're going to hurt yourself."

TCU was picked by the Big 12 media to finish second, behind defending champion Oklahoma.

 

Taking the high road

Baylor and TCU's burgeoning rivalry the last few years led to plenty of barbs back and forth between Art Briles and Gary Patterson. With Briles no longer at Baylor, having been fired in the wake of the school's sexual assault scandal, might that mean TCU is going to have the leg up?

Rather than take that route, Patterson praised interim coach Jim Grobe as having "done a great job every place he's ever been" and that he doesn't see much changing at Baylor with a new coach.

Patterson also didn't bite when asked whether Baylor made the right move by firing Briles.

 

Breaking down the 'Baker Mayfield' rule

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield's transfer from Texas Tech in 2014 was at the center of a change in conference rules that previously called for walk-ons who transferred within the Big 12 to lose a year of eligibility. In June the league first voted to uphold that rule but a day later passed a measure that exempted walk-ons who weren't transferring to a school that had extended a scholarship offer.

While Mayfield, who now is eligible to return in 2017, is the poster boy for this rule change, Bowlsby said the conference "took individuals out of the discussion" and tried to look ahead to other players that could be affected by the previous version of the rule.

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said his school voted in favor of the change, which passed 7-3. He said he loved having him as a player and how he played with a chip on his shoulder and he enjoys seeing Mayfield succeed most of the time.

"I've cheered him on every game he's played (at Oklahoma) except one," Kingsbury said, via FS2.

 

About that new hairdo, Coach …

Mike Gundy is heading into his 12th season at Oklahoma State, having won 10 games in 2015 but losing its final three. The Cowboys return a league-high 17 starters, including junior quarterback Mason Rudolph and junior receiver James Washington, and were picked to finish third this season. With five of six at home to start the year they have a chance to build some momentum before tackling a tough second half.

But as much as the media was interested in hearing about what Gundy and his team has in store for the business up front, it wasn't nearly as intriguing as the party he's got going on in the back.

Though Gundy wasn't asked any questions about his 'do on stage Big 12 Media Days, Washington was asked by FS2's Erin Hartigan to weigh in.

"He said he was going to go with the 60s look," Washington said. "I just went, 'alright, dude, you do what you want.' Honestly, I kind of like it. He's kinda rocking it."

Gundy later told Kyle Fredrickson of the Oklahoman that he doesn't consider it a real mullet because it has to be "at least shoulder length and you've got to have some curls in it."

Not surprisingly, it did become a much-discussed topic on the Internet and social media. SB Nation's Jason Kirk went in-depth into Gundy's hairstyle origins, which apparently began during Gundy's OK State playing days in the 1980s.

 

All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports, unless otherwise noted. All statistics provided by CFBStats, unless otherwise noted.

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Big 12 Media Days 2016: Best Quotes and Reaction from Day 1

College football "talking season" continued Monday with the Big 12 Conference getting its turn at the podium. But for commissioner Bob Bowlsby, he might have been better off avoiding microphones altogether.

Bowlsby's opening press conference in Dallas went about as poorly as it could have, with a mix of flip-flopped responses to the Big 12's involvement in the Baylor sexual assault scandal, as well as the process the league will take to determine its championship-game participants when that returns to the schedule next year. The only thing that could have made things worse would have been further uncertainty about whether the Big 12 will or won't expand in the future, but that's not on the docket until Tuesday.

A time meant to promote his league and rave about its positives instead shed unwanted light on its blemishes, and how it's addressing them. While Bowlsby acknowledged on multiple occasions that the Big 12 has no legal standing to do anything about Baylor and its handling of sexual assaults, as detailed in the Pepper Hamilton report, he noted that the league's board of governors is "deeply concerned with the associational elements" of the issue because of how it makes the conference look.

"Certainly there are those among our board … that have felt the image of the Big 12 and the other members of the Big 12 have been sullied as a result of this incident," Bowlsby said, via Fox Sports 2's broadcast of Big 12 Media Days.

He also indicated that no written report from Baylor investigators Pepper Hamilton, beyond what has been released publicly, currently exists. However, Bowlsby made it seem like the conference had more information beyond that.

"We've already gotten more than the public on an oral basis," he said. "They're confidential discussions and I think they'll stay that way."

Bowlsby said the Big 12 board was set to meet with Baylor again on Tuesday, when individual board members will get a chance to ask what he expects will include some "hard questions." He said that's part of a league-wide effort toward "eradicating sexual assault on our campuses," though his way of qualifying the difficulty of doing that wasn't well received.

 

The path to a championship (game)

Earlier this year the Big 12 announced it would start holding a conference title game in 2017, bringing back a contest that went away in 2011 when conference realignment dropped the league to 10 schools. It will still be at that number next season, which leaves uncertainty as to how the Big 12 will select who plays for the title.

Bowlsby said the league will "probably end up playing divisions" but how those will be chosen is up in the air. Discussions could include using geography or an equity-based system, one where the divisions change every few years based on how teams have performed, with the goal of having that decided—along with when and where the title game would be held—by the "first of November, middle of November, by the end of the football season for sure."

With the Big 12 sticking to its nine-game round robin league schedule it guarantees a rematch in the championship game, and Bowlsby said a challenge will be avoiding having “late-season rematches” such as what the Pac-12 had in 2012 when Stanford and UCLA met in the regular-season finale and then played a week later for the conference title.

"Had we had a championship game last year it would have been Oklahoma against Oklahoma State," Bowlsby said.

TCU coach Gary Patterson, whose team's playoff snub (along with Baylor) in 2014 was part of the impetus to bring back the title game, said whatever route the Big 12 takes needs to be one that gives the league its best chance to earn a playoff bid. In one scenario, that might mean not having a championship at all.

"If you had an undefeated team, I'd say you don't need to have a championship game," Patterson said, via FS2. "If you have two tied teams then I think a championship game would help us. You can't have one that's 11-1 going in the championship game and the other be 7-4 because then in the computer rankings, you're going to hurt yourself."

TCU was picked by the Big 12 media to finish second, behind defending champion Oklahoma.

 

Taking the high road

Baylor and TCU's burgeoning rivalry the last few years led to plenty of barbs back and forth between Art Briles and Gary Patterson. With Briles no longer at Baylor, having been fired in the wake of the school's sexual assault scandal, might that mean TCU is going to have the leg up?

Rather than take that route, Patterson praised interim coach Jim Grobe as having "done a great job every place he's ever been" and that he doesn't see much changing at Baylor with a new coach.

Patterson also didn't bite when asked whether Baylor made the right move by firing Briles.

 

Breaking down the 'Baker Mayfield' rule

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield's transfer from Texas Tech in 2014 was at the center of a change in conference rules that previously called for walk-ons who transferred within the Big 12 to lose a year of eligibility. In June the league first voted to uphold that rule but a day later passed a measure that exempted walk-ons who weren't transferring to a school that had extended a scholarship offer.

While Mayfield, who now is eligible to return in 2017, is the poster boy for this rule change, Bowlsby said the conference "took individuals out of the discussion" and tried to look ahead to other players that could be affected by the previous version of the rule.

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said his school voted in favor of the change, which passed 7-3. He said he loved having him as a player and how he played with a chip on his shoulder and he enjoys seeing Mayfield succeed most of the time.

"I've cheered him on every game he's played (at Oklahoma) except one," Kingsbury said, via FS2.

 

About that new hairdo, Coach …

Mike Gundy is heading into his 12th season at Oklahoma State, having won 10 games in 2015 but losing its final three. The Cowboys return a league-high 17 starters, including junior quarterback Mason Rudolph and junior receiver James Washington, and were picked to finish third this season. With five of six at home to start the year they have a chance to build some momentum before tackling a tough second half.

But as much as the media was interested in hearing about what Gundy and his team has in store for the business up front, it wasn't nearly as intriguing as the party he's got going on in the back.

Though Gundy wasn't asked any questions about his 'do on stage Big 12 Media Days, Washington was asked by FS2's Erin Hartigan to weigh in.

"He said he was going to go with the 60s look," Washington said. "I just went, 'alright, dude, you do what you want.' Honestly, I kind of like it. He's kinda rocking it."

Gundy later told Kyle Fredrickson of the Oklahoman that he doesn't consider it a real mullet because it has to be "at least shoulder length and you've got to have some curls in it."

Not surprisingly, it did become a much-discussed topic on the Internet and social media. SB Nation's Jason Kirk went in-depth into Gundy's hairstyle origins, which apparently began during Gundy's OK State playing days in the 1980s.

 

All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports, unless otherwise noted. All statistics provided by CFBStats, unless otherwise noted.

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

NCAA, AFCA Reportedly Have Discussed Eliminating Kickoffs in College Football

With an eye toward player safety, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and American Football Coaches Association have reportedly discussed eliminating kickoffs from college football.

According to a Monday report by Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, the two bodies have had "informal talks" about finding an alternative for kickoffs, although they likely would not implement changes any earlier than the 2018 season.

Per Dodd, Big 12 Commissioner and oversight committee Chairman Bob Bowlsby believes kickoffs put players at risk more than anything else in the sport of football: "I don't think there is any doubt it is the most dangerous play in the game. How much that's the case and how we can fix it is unknown."

Although the data is preliminary, it appears injuries occur on kickoffs more often than other play types, and AFCA executive director Todd Berry believes that makes a rule change worth looking into, according to Dodd: "I'm excited we're starting to have this discussion. It looks like the data is skewed where we have more injuries on that play. If that's the case, we have to look at eliminating the play, modifying the play, change blocking schemes."

Both college football and the NFL have taken steps to reduce kickoff-related risks in recent years by moving back the starting point to the 35-yard line, thus increasing touchbacks.

Per Greg Johnson of NCAA.org, the rule change paid instant dividends for the FBS, as there were more touchbacks in the first month of the 2012 season alone than the entire 2011 campaign.

While the change has led to fewer big collisions on kickoffs, eliminating the play altogether is the only way to put a stop to them.

It's unclear how the NCAA intends to replace kickoffs should it reach that point, but the wheels are in motion to find other options at the least.

   

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

NCAA, AFCA Reportedly Have Discussed Eliminating Kickoffs in College Football

With an eye toward player safety, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and American Football Coaches Association have reportedly discussed eliminating kickoffs from college football.  

According to Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, the two bodies have had "informal talks" about finding an alternative for kickoffs, although changes would likely not be implemented any earlier than the 2018 season.

Per Dodd, Big 12 commissioner and oversight committee chairman Bob Bowlsby believes kickoffs put players at risk more than anything else in the sport of football: "I don't think there is any doubt it is the most dangerous play in the game. How much that's the case and how we can fix it is unknown."

Although the data is imprecise, it appears injuries occur on kickoffs more often than other play types, and AFCA executive director Todd Berry believes that makes a rule change worth looking into, according to Dodd: "I'm excited we're starting to have this discussion. It looks like the data is skewed where we have more injuries on that play. If that's the case, we have to look at eliminating the play, modifying the play, change blocking schemes."

Both college football and the NFL have taken steps to reduce kickoff-related risks in recent years by moving back the starting point to the 35-yard line, thus increasing touchbacks.

Per Greg Johnson of NCAA.org, the rule change paid instant dividends for the FBS, as there were more touchbacks in the first month of the 2012 season alone than the entire 2011 campaign.

While the change has led to fewer big collisions on kickoffs, eliminating the play altogether is the only way to put a stop to them.

It's unclear how the NCAA intends to replace kickoffs should it reach that point, but the wheels are in motion to find other options at the very least.

   

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

B/R Recruiting Notebook: 4-Star WRs Who Wowed at the Opening Taking Their Time

The Opening has come and gone, and some of the 2017 athletes have tunnel vision regarding their futures. While some are focused on next-level ball in college, others are all about making 11th-hour improvements in preparation for their senior seasons—many of which start next month.

Whatever the case, college football recruiting is a major topic of discussion as July inches closer to August. Here are some updates on a few of the top athletes in the 2017 class.

   

4-star WR Robinson in no rush with recruiting

In seven-on-seven competition at The Opening, James Robinson made his case for having the best hands among the talented wide receiver group. He even heard some people call him the overall best of the bunch. 

"I think so, too," Robinson said, smiling. "I had a couple of one-handed catches."

At rock bottom, the Lakeland, Florida, 4-star prospect made his case for a potential fifth star down the road. With 37 reported offers, Robinson's a wanted man, but when it comes to recruiting, he's set on taking his time and letting everything come to him rather than making a rushed decision.

Florida, Clemson and Ohio State are three schools believed to be in the driver's seat for Robinson, the nation's No. 6 wide receiver and No. 42 player overall in the 2017 class. Robinson, however, wouldn't tip his hat to which school has the edge.

"There are a couple of schools standing out right now," he said. "I'm just looking for a great head coach and watching all the other coaches on staff."

Many believe Robinson, a 6'3", 196-pound receiver, is Florida's to lose. Time will tell—and don't expect Robinson to leak anything early.

"I might commit soon, I might not commit soon," Robinson said. "It's just going to be a feeling kind of thing to me."

   

4-star WR Thomas: Alabama showing most love

Going against the best the nation has to offer was something East St. Louis, Illinois, wide receiver Jeff Thomas talked about post-The Opening. Ranked as a top-10 receiver nationally, Thomas used the event as a gauge of where he thought he was—and to which level he needed to take his game.

Thomas, who claims 15 offers, said he's using the summer as an opportunity to become a better player. Recruiting has taken a back seat, but he added that scheduling official visits will be apart of his daily itinerary soon.

"There are a lot of schools out there, and it's a hard decision," said Thomas, a speedy, 5'10", 170-pound athlete ranked as the No. 9 receiver and No. 62 player overall in the 2017 class. "I just want to take my time and make the right choice."

Thomas said Alabama, of all the schools, has shown the most love from a recruiting standpoint. Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan are three schools to keep an eye on as he winds his process down. Missouri likes the position it's in, as well.

The winning school gets an athlete with impressive speed and an ability to give defensive backs fits in one-on-one coverages. Thomas ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at The Opening.

If that school is Alabama, which is considered a favorite to land him, they'll get a competitor looking to be a consistent playmaker.

"I like their offense. I like the pace and the chemistry," he said. "They know how to get their wideouts open."

    

4-star DE/OLB Gumbs pushing back decision date again?

Hayward, California, 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid Addison Gumbs is considering pushing back his commitment timetable.

Gumbs was originally scheduled to announce his verbal commitment last month, but he decided to push the announcement timetable to July. On Sunday, he said he's strongly considering stretching his process out a few more weeks to where he doesn't make a rushed decision.

"I really want to see how things play out," said Gumbs, a 6'4", 220-pound athlete ranked the No. 10 weak-side defensive end and the No. 163 player overall in the 2017 class. "I just want to be sure I'm ready."

Gumbs has 27 reported offers, but schools like Oklahoma, Washington, UCLA and USC are four to keep an eye on as he closes in on a decision. Oklahoma and Washington are the two schools with predictions in his 247Sports crystal ball.

Each year, Oklahoma finds its way into the top list of several big-name athletes from the state of California. Gumbs is one of the few California residents the Sooners are targeting. Fortunately for the Sooners, the feeling is mutual.

"To be honest, I really have no clue what the big attraction is with other guys," said Gumbs, who visited Oklahoma in April. "All I know is that OU is a great school. They have a lot of things I like. The academics are good there, and I really like the coaching staff. Really, it's a great fit all around, no matter where you're from."

Gumbs said that he's a fan of Washington's ability to develop defenders and the way UCLA uses hybrid players. Of all the schools, Gumbs said he's visited USC the most. Gumbs added that his early official visit schedule will include stops to Oklahoma and UCLA.

    

Which school needs 4-star OT Eze most?

Nashville, Tennessee, 4-star tackle Obinna Eze was a part of that impressive offensive line group that turned heads at The Opening. Standing nearly 6'7" and weighing 279 pounds, Eze is a tackle who can bring length, technique and a bully's attitude to a college program.

With 16 offers, Eze has his choice of where he wants to play next-level ball, but don't expect him to make any decisions anytime soon.

"Honestly, I'm waiting until my official visits to make my decision," said Eze, a top-250 player nationally. "Right now, I don't have any visiting plans."

Eze is keeping the process at a snail's pace for the time being, choosing to focus on being a senior leader at Davidson Academy. He said that he's been hearing most from Auburn, Duke, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida, Memphis and Kentucky as of late.

Of those eight schools, only Memphis is without a tackle pledge. The Tigers have only one offensive lineman committed in 3-star guard Mikhail Hall. Florida (3-star Kadeem Telfort), Mississippi State (JUCO 3-star Tommy Champion) and Kentucky (3-star Austin Dotson) all have one tackle committed, and Eze would be a huge addition to one of those classes.

If Eze committed today, of the eight aforementioned schools, he'd be the top-rated commit for Kentucky, Duke, Vanderbilt and Memphis.

   

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

B/R Recruiting Notebook: 4-Star WRs Who Wowed at the Opening Taking Their Time

The Opening has come and gone, and some of the 2017 athletes have tunnel vision regarding their futures. While some are focused on next-level ball in college, others are all about making 11th-hour improvements in preparation for their senior seasons—many of which start next month.

Whatever the case, college football recruiting is a major topic of discussion as July inches closer to August. Here are some updates on a few of the top athletes in the 2017 class.

   

4-star WR Robinson in no rush with recruiting

In seven-on-seven competition at The Opening, James Robinson made his case for having the best hands among the talented wide receiver group. He even heard some people call him the overall best of the bunch. 

"I think so, too," Robinson said, smiling. "I had a couple of one-handed catches."

At rock bottom, the Lakeland, Florida, 4-star prospect made his case for a potential fifth star down the road. With 37 reported offers, Robinson's a wanted man, but when it comes to recruiting, he's set on taking his time and letting everything come to him rather than making a rushed decision.

Florida, Clemson and Ohio State are three schools believed to be in the driver's seat for Robinson, the nation's No. 6 wide receiver and No. 42 player overall in the 2017 class. Robinson, however, wouldn't tip his hat to which school has the edge.

"There are a couple of schools standing out right now," he said. "I'm just looking for a great head coach and watching all the other coaches on staff."

Many believe Robinson, a 6'3", 196-pound receiver, is Florida's to lose. Time will tell—and don't expect Robinson to leak anything early.

"I might commit soon, I might not commit soon," Robinson said. "It's just going to be a feeling kind of thing to me."

   

4-star WR Thomas: Alabama showing most love

Going against the best the nation has to offer was something East St. Louis, Illinois, wide receiver Jeff Thomas talked about post-The Opening. Ranked as a top-10 receiver nationally, Thomas used the event as a gauge of where he thought he was—and to which level he needed to take his game.

Thomas, who claims 15 offers, said he's using the summer as an opportunity to become a better player. Recruiting has taken a back seat, but he added that scheduling official visits will be apart of his daily itinerary soon.

"There are a lot of schools out there, and it's a hard decision," said Thomas, a speedy, 5'10", 170-pound athlete ranked as the No. 9 receiver and No. 62 player overall in the 2017 class. "I just want to take my time and make the right choice."

Thomas said Alabama, of all the schools, has shown the most love from a recruiting standpoint. Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan are three schools to keep an eye on as he winds his process down. Missouri likes the position it's in, as well.

The winning school gets an athlete with impressive speed and an ability to give defensive backs fits in one-on-one coverages. Thomas ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at The Opening.

If that school is Alabama, which is considered a favorite to land him, they'll get a competitor looking to be a consistent playmaker.

"I like their offense. I like the pace and the chemistry," he said. "They know how to get their wideouts open."

    

4-star DE/OLB Gumbs pushing back decision date again?

Hayward, California, 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid Addison Gumbs is considering pushing back his commitment timetable.

Gumbs was originally scheduled to announce his verbal commitment last month, but he decided to push the announcement timetable to July. On Sunday, he said he's strongly considering stretching his process out a few more weeks to where he doesn't make a rushed decision.

"I really want to see how things play out," said Gumbs, a 6'4", 220-pound athlete ranked the No. 10 weak-side defensive end and the No. 163 player overall in the 2017 class. "I just want to be sure I'm ready."

Gumbs has 27 reported offers, but schools like Oklahoma, Washington, UCLA and USC are four to keep an eye on as he closes in on a decision. Oklahoma and Washington are the two schools with predictions in his 247Sports crystal ball.

Each year, Oklahoma finds its way into the top list of several big-name athletes from the state of California. Gumbs is one of the few California residents the Sooners are targeting. Fortunately for the Sooners, the feeling is mutual.

"To be honest, I really have no clue what the big attraction is with other guys," said Gumbs, who visited Oklahoma in April. "All I know is that OU is a great school. They have a lot of things I like. The academics are good there, and I really like the coaching staff. Really, it's a great fit all around, no matter where you're from."

Gumbs said that he's a fan of Washington's ability to develop defenders and the way UCLA uses hybrid players. Of all the schools, Gumbs said he's visited USC the most. Gumbs added that his early official visit schedule will include stops to Oklahoma and UCLA.

    

Which school needs 4-star OT Eze most?

Nashville, Tennessee, 4-star tackle Obinna Eze was a part of that impressive offensive line group that turned heads at The Opening. Standing nearly 6'7" and weighing 279 pounds, Eze is a tackle who can bring length, technique and a bully's attitude to a college program.

With 16 offers, Eze has his choice of where he wants to play next-level ball, but don't expect him to make any decisions anytime soon.

"Honestly, I'm waiting until my official visits to make my decision," said Eze, a top-250 player nationally. "Right now, I don't have any visiting plans."

Eze is keeping the process at a snail's pace for the time being, choosing to focus on being a senior leader at Davidson Academy. He said that he's been hearing most from Auburn, Duke, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida, Memphis and Kentucky as of late.

Of those eight schools, only Memphis is without a tackle pledge. The Tigers have only one offensive lineman committed in 3-star guard Mikhail Hall. Florida (3-star Kadeem Telfort), Mississippi State (JUCO 3-star Tommy Champion) and Kentucky (3-star Austin Dotson) all have one tackle committed, and Eze would be a huge addition to one of those classes.

If Eze committed today, of the eight aforementioned schools, he'd be the top-rated commit for Kentucky, Duke, Vanderbilt and Memphis.

   

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

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football: Transfers Who Will Make an Impact in 2016

The transfer market has become one of the hottest markets in the country.

When former stars or starters are elbowed out at other FBS or FCS schools, there always seem to be other schools ready to welcome them with open arms.

In the SEC, several former difference-makers around the country have made their way to the best conference in college football after either graduating over the offseason or sitting out a transfer year after switching schools as undergraduates. 

Which former FBS or FCS transfers (not including junior college transfers) will make the biggest impact this year? Our picks based on talent, scheme and opportunity are in this slideshow. 

Begin Slideshow

SEC Football: Transfers Who Will Make an Impact in 2016

The transfer market has become one of the hottest markets in the country.

When former stars or starters are elbowed out at other FBS or FCS schools, there always seems to be other schools ready to welcome them with open arms.

In the SEC, several former difference-makers around the country have made their way to the best conference in college football after either graduating over the offseason or sitting out a transfer year after switching schools as undergraduates. 

Which former FBS or FCS transfers (not including junior college transfers) will make the biggest impact this year? Our picks based on talent, scheme and opportunity are in this slideshow. 

Begin Slideshow

Big Ten Football: Biggest Trap Game for Every Team in 2016

There are officially fewer than two months to go until the start of the college football season, which will contain no shortage of marquee games in the Big Ten.

From out-of-conference clashes to prime-time rivalries, tentpole-worthy games already fill the 2016 schedule—and that's before even knowing which unlikely contenders will emerge in the coming year.

But what about those games that you find yourself glued to, even though heading into it, the outcome never appeared in question? While the big-time battles help make college football so great, so too do the trap games, which have a way of sneaking up on teams at the most inopportune times.

So with the season right around the corner, let's take a look at the top games that you may not know you should be circling, which could cause unlikely trouble for your favorite team. These are the biggest trap games for each Big Ten team in 2016.

Begin Slideshow

Big Ten Football: Biggest Trap Game for Every Team in 2016

There are officially fewer than two months to go until the start of the college football season, which will contain no shortage of marquee games in the Big Ten.

From out-of-conference clashes to prime-time rivalries, tentpole-worthy games already fill the 2016 schedule—and that's before even knowing which unlikely contenders will emerge in the coming year.

But what about those games that you find yourself glued to, even though heading into it, the outcome never appeared in question? While the big-time battles help make college football so great, so too do the trap games, which have a way of sneaking up on teams at the most inopportune times.

So with the season right around the corner, let's take a look at the top games that you may not know you should be circling, which could cause unlikely trouble for your favorite team. These are the biggest trap games for each Big Ten team in 2016.

Begin Slideshow

Biggest Snubs and Surprises from College Football's Preseason Awards Watch Lists

Another sign that college football season is just around the corner—the parade of preseason watch lists—went through its annual summer march over the last couple of weeks.

The early watch-list season is much like a grand tallying of returning talent for the upcoming fall. For awards such as the Bednarik and the Maxwell, which each had 90 names on their initial watch lists, almost every notable player in the country makes the cut. Those in charge want to cover all their bases.

However, that doesn't mean every single deserving player gets added to these lists. It also doesn't mean every single watch-list member is without question. Although these lists are mostly spot-on year in and year out, there is always room for surprises.

Here are several notable snubs and surprises for the 16 recently unveiled National College Football Awards Association watch lists, which cover most positions and several broad player of the year awards for 2016.

The snubs are based on players' individual stats and performances from the 2015 season compared to others on the various watch lists. The surprises are based on a lack of standout numbers from 2015 compared to other candidates.

While being left off an initial watch list doesn't mean a player can't go on to win the award the upcoming season, it gives a good glimpse of whom the voters will be keeping an eye on when things kick off in September. These players will hope their play either does enough to get them added to the lists or surprisingly keep them in the running.

Begin Slideshow

Biggest Snubs and Surprises from College Football's Preseason Awards Watch Lists

Another sign that college football season is just around the corner—the parade of preseason watch lists—went through its annual summer march over the last couple of weeks. 

The early watch list season is much like a grand tallying of returning talent for the upcoming fall. For awards such as the Bednarik and the Maxwell, which each had 90 names on their initial watch lists, almost every notable player in the country makes the cut. Those in charge want to cover all their bases.

However, that doesn't mean every single deserving player gets added to these lists. It also doesn't mean that every single watch list member is without question. Although these lists are mostly spot-on year in and year out, there is always room for some surprises.

Here are several notable snubs and surprises for the 16 recently unveiled National College Football Awards Association watch lists, which cover most positions and several broad player of the year awards for 2016.

While being left off of an initial watch list doesn't mean a player can't go on to win the award in the upcoming season, it gives a good glimpse at who the voters will be keeping an eye on when things kick off in September. These players will hope their play will either do enough to get themselves added to the lists or surprisingly keep themselves in the running.

Begin Slideshow

The Best QB in Every College Football Conference for 2016

Quarterback is the most scrutinized position in the game of football. We obsess over quarterback recruitment, skills and competition. There are many ways to win in college football, but if you don’t have a talented quarterback at the helm of your offense, chances are a good defense and a solid running game will go for naught.

The advent of fast-paced, high-scoring spread offenses has only increased the worth of a good quarterback. They’re more prolific and powerful than ever, and the 2016 season will feature a plethora of talented signal-callers.

Here’s a look at the top quarterback in every FBS conference. Players were chosen for their skills, past statistics and overall reputation.

Begin Slideshow

The Best QB in Every College Football Conference for 2016

Quarterback is the most scrutinized position in the game of football. We obsess over quarterback recruitment, skills and competition. There are many ways to win in college football, but if you don’t have a talented quarterback at the helm of your offense, chances are a good defense and a solid running game will go for naught.

The advent of fast-paced, high-scoring spread offenses has only increased the worth of a good quarterback. They’re more prolific and powerful than ever, and the 2016 season will feature a plethora of talented signal-callers.

Here’s a look at the top quarterback in every FBS conference. Players were chosen for their skills, past statistics and overall reputation.

Begin Slideshow

Tyrie Cleveland, Rick Wells Arrested: Latest Details, Mugshots on Florida WRs

Florida freshman receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells were arrested Sunday for shooting BB guns and "causing more than $1,000 in property damage at Keys residential housing on the UF campus," according to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel.

The pair is being held in the Alachua County Jail and is charged with "criminal mischief for damaging property of more than $1,000—a third-degree felony—and shooting a missile inside an occupied dwelling—a second-degree felony," according to Thompson.

The police report indicated that three windows had been shattered, and video surveillance showed two men chasing and shooting at someone on Sunday evening. 

Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report tweeted each player's mugshot:

Cleveland was a 4-star recruit for the Gators and was considered the No. 2 wide receiver and No. 33 player overall in the Class of 2016, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He was the school's top recruit on the offensive side of the ball and was expected to earn major playing time and make an immediate impact during his freshman year.

As Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports wrote in June: "He's simply too explosive not to get on the field, even if he's a bit raw right away. The Gators don't have a guy on the roster with his combination of size, speed and hands."

Wells, meanwhile, was a 3-star recruit, also at wide receiver, and he was considered the No. 462 player in the Class of 2016, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Clemson Tigers 2016 College Football Betting Preview, Championship Odds

Clemson rolled all the way to the national championship game last season, coming within about a quarter of beating Alabama for the title. Now, the trick is to do it all again, plus one. And the oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark seem to like the Tigers' chances, lining them as the favorites in the ACC and among the favorites to return to the College Football Playoff.

 

2015 Clemson record: 14-1 SU, 8-7 ATS

2016 regular-season wins over/under: 10.5

2016 odds to win ACC: +150 (bet $100 to win $150)

Odds to win national championship: +800

 

Last Year in Review

Clemson catapulted off that bowl bombing of Oklahoma two seasons ago to sweep through last season, winning the big game over Florida State, outlasting North Carolina in the ACC title game and then beating the Sooners again in a national semifinal. The Tigers then led Alabama through three quarters in the national championship before eventually falling 45-40.

That's now five straight seasons of double-digit wins for Clemson, and not many programs can boast such a record.

 

This Year in Preview

The Tigers get back 12 starters this season, which is actually three more than they returned last season. Eight starters are back on offense, led by Heisman Trophy-favorite quarterback Deshaun Watson (4,109 yards passing, 1,105 yards rushing, 47 total touchdowns last year), 1,514-yard rusher Wayne Gallman, one of the best sets of receivers in the country and three along the offensive line.

However, only four starters return on defense after the departure of five of last year's top six tacklers.

 

Clemson 2016 Schedule

The Tigers open with a road game at Auburn, begin ACC play with a Thursday night game at Georgia Tech and play the big one at Florida State on October 29. They also get Louisville and Pittsburgh at home and miss the top three contenders in the Coastal Division—Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Clemson should be favored in every game this season except the one against the Seminoles.

 

Betting on the Tigers

Clemson is going to score a bunch of points again this season, but it might give up a few along the way as well. Tigers games averaged 60 total points last season, and that figure might increase. Keep an eye on the over result.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 College Football Betting Preview, Championship Odds

After exploding to win the national title two seasons ago, Ohio State went off as the favorite on most of last year's college football championship betting boards at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. However, a puzzling loss to a short-handed Michigan State cost the Buckeyes their shot at the repeat. This year, Ohio State rates among the favorites again despite losing about half its team.

 

2015 Ohio State record: 12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS

2016 regular-season wins over/under: 9.0

2016 odds to win Big 10: +175 (bet $100 to win $175)

Odds to win national championship: +700

 

Last Year in Review

Ohio State started 10-0 last season, but all was not exactly well. The Buckeyes played a weak schedule, and they went just 4-6 against the spread, struggling with teams like Northern Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota. Ohio State then managed just 132 yards of total offense while falling at home to a Spartans team playing its backup quarterback.

That loss eventually cost them a spot in the College Football Playoff. But the Buckeyes then responded by playing their two best games of the year, a 42-13 romp over Michigan at the Big House and a 44-28 victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl to finish No. 4 in the final rankings.

 

This Year in Preview

Ohio State will begin this season as one of the most inexperienced teams in all of FBS, but it will probably be one of the most talented. The Buckeyes return just six starters. Three are back on offense, including quarterback J.T. Barrett, but they have to replace an 1,800-yard rusher, last year's top three receivers and three along the offensive line.

In addition, just three starters return on defense following the loss of four of last year's top five tacklers. Still, this is Ohio State, which just replaces great talent with great talent year after year.

 

Ohio State 2016 Schedule

The Buckeyes played one of the weaker Power Five schedules in the country last year but will play a top-20 slate this season. The good stuff begins in Week 3, when Ohio State visits fellow national title contender Oklahoma. And while they later get Nebraska and Michigan at home, they have to play at Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State.

 

Betting on the Buckeyes

Betting Ohio State games over recent seasons hasn't really been that difficult, as the Buckeyes are 13-16 ATS at home over the last four seasons but 17-8 ATS outside of Columbus.

They're also 9-12 ATS during that span when favored by three touchdowns or more and 21-12 ATS in all other games. And that's where the value usually resides when it comes to betting on good teams: on the road, where the spreads are friendlier.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 College Football Betting Preview, Championship Odds

Alabama is two-for-two on reaching the College Football Playoff and won its third national championship in the last five seasons in 2015. The Crimson Tide remain stacked in the talent department, so beyond a couple of tough road games there's little reason to believe they can't make it three-for-three on making the College Football Playoff in the season ahead.

   

2015 Alabama record: 14-1 SU, 8-7 ATS

2016 regular season wins over/under: 9.5

2016 odds to win SEC: +175 (bet $100 to win $175)

Odds to win national championship: +700

   

Last Year in Review

A 10-1 wager on many national championship boards at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark heading into last season, Alabama overcame an early-season loss to Ole Miss and clearly stood as the best team in the country by season's end. The Tide beat Florida for a second straight SEC Championship Game victory, pounded Michigan State in the national semifinal, then made the big plays late to beat Clemson 45-40 in the title match. Alabama has now lost just seven games over its last five seasons.

   

This Year in Preview

Alabama only gets back 11 starters this season; however, that's one more than it had heading into last season, and it won the national championship. Six starters are back on offense, including maybe the best set of receivers in the country and three along the offensive line. However, the Tide have to replace a Heisman winner at running back and their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, just five starters are back on defense following the loss of four of last year's top five tacklers.

   

Alabama 2016 Schedule

The Tide will play one of the toughest schedules in the FBS this season. However, they get seven home games, just four true road games and a neutral-site bout with USC in Arlington, Texas, where they will own home-crowd advantage. Barring a shocker, they should beat the Trojans and go 7-0 at home.

But those four road dates hold the key; at Ole Miss (to whom they've lost twice in a row), at Arkansas, at East Division favorite Tennessee and the big one at LSU on November 5. Win three of those games, and they're probably playoff-bound. However, a split of those four might be pushing it.

   

Betting on the Crimson Tide

Alabama has won and covered eight of its last nine seasons openers, and those games weren't exactly against a bunch of FCS fodder. Over the last four seasons, the Tide have dominated Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin to the tune of four easy wins and three easy cash-ins.

Head coach Nick Saban has his troops ready to go from the opening gun, which might bode well for betting the opener against the Trojans.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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