College football spring games: Position fights and beginners to keep

There are eight spring games being used Saturday, each by prominent programs surrounded by questions.Oklahoma transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel shows up in Eugene coming off a 30-touchdown season in 2015 with the Sooners. The question is, can he do even more with Oregon this coming season? Nineteen Colorado players have actually gotten in the transfer website considering that its opening on April 16. How can coach Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes utilize the portal to its advantage to fill out those gaps?We break down key position battles, prospective breakout players and must-see beginners for

Saturday’s games. Position fight to enjoy: The Terps have five players competing for the beginning quarterback job following the departure of Taulia Tagovailoa, the Big Ten’s all-time leading passer. Sophomore Cameron Edge, redshirt junior Billy Edwards Jr. and NC State transfer MJ Morris have an edge in experience over redshirt freshman Champ Long and redshirt sophomore Jayden Sauray.Coach Mike Locksley isn’t expected to name a starter till deep into summer camp. Edwards had 7 hurrying touchdowns in 8 games last season– consisting of

3 against Michigan. He was frequently used in short-yardage situations, and the staff wishes to see if he can toss it a bit more. Morris played in nine games and began seven over the previous two seasons for NC State, where he totaled 1,367 passing lawns, 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Edge played in two games and threw the ball simply 3 times.– Heather Dinich Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Many interesting beginner: Freshman quarterback Dylan Raiola has actually been the talk of Lincoln ever since he rotated from Georgia to sign with the Huskers. Raiola has been competing throughout the spring with Heinrich Haarberg, who started in all 5 Nebraska wins in 2023, and fellow freshman Daniel Kaelin, who ended up being the very first in-state prospect to become an Elite 11 finalist. Both Haarberg and Kaelin can winning the starting job, and Raiola can’t count on landing the QB1 title despite reaching Nebraska as ESPN’s leading pocket passer and the No. 11 overall hire in the 2024 class.Coach Matt Rhule informed ESPN that Raiola’s”nerve”to move within the pocket and look downfield, even when pressured, has actually stood out. Rhule remains in no rush to end the quarterback competitors, but Raiola’s spring game performance will be under the microscope.– Adam Rittenberg Position fight to enjoy: Quarterback. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has actually

marked this season for a possible breakthrough, and has enough back on defense, running back and other areas to deliver. To keep pace in the expanding Huge 10, though, the Scarlet Knights need more from a passing game that ended up 124th nationally in yards and 125th in efficiency.Returning starter Gavin Wimsatt and Minnesota transfer Athan Kaliakmanis, who began last season for the Gophers, have actually completed throughout the spring. They will be throwing to a group of young receivers who have drawn great reviews from Schiano, consisting of freshmen Ben Black and KJ Duff. Wimsatt has actually started 19 games for Rutgers over the past two seasons however need to show he can distance himself from Kaliakmanis.– Rittenberg Many

appealing newbie: It’s difficult to look beyond Oklahoma transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who is coming off a 3,660-yard, 30-touchdown season with the Sooners. The Ducks will be Gabriel’s 3rd team throughout his college career, and after watching what Dan Lanning & Co. finished with Bo Nix the past couple of years, it will be remarkable to see what they can get out of Gabriel in Eugene, beginning with the spring showcase.Gabriel is no stranger to new beginnings– this will be his sixth season in college and, though

he had a down year in 2021, he’s never ever thrown for fewer than 3,000 backyards. Oregon has the skill to be a title contender, but a lot will rely on how Gabriel fits and excels within the Ducks’system.– Paolo Uggetti UCLA running back TJ Harden wants to handle a larger function this season. Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire Breakout player: Running back TJ Harden. With Carson Steele departing for the NFL after tallying over 3,000 rushing yards in three seasons with the Bruins, the stage is set for Harden to take on a bigger role in his third year at UCLA. Harden had a strong sophomore campaign, with 827 lawns and 8 touchdowns, and is primed to get more carriesunder a new-look Bruins attack. The spring game will be a display screen of a new-look UCLA group under first-time head coach DeShaun Foster and previous NFL offensive planner Eric Bieniemy. But Harden and returning quarterback Ethan Garbers are 2 of the players who must bring some semblance of continuity while standing out under a brand-new offending system.– Uggetti Many interesting beginner: The Wildcats’defense suffered heavy losses– both to the NFL draft and to the transfer portal with the departure of head coach Jedd Fisch to Washington. But brand-new coach Brent Brennan brought some appealing additions with him from San José State, consisting of defensive lineman Tre Smith who was a first-team All-Mountain West edge rush last season and had 6.5 sacks.Everyone knows the Arizona offense will be a force in the Big 12 under returning phenom quarterback Noah Fifita, but it will likely be the defense — and players

such as Smith– who will identify the number of wins Brennan can get in his very first year. The Wildcats’ spring game need to be an intriguing test case of how that defense is jelling and how Smith fits within it.– Uggetti Breakout player: Protective lineman Sean Martin was limited in the 2023 season, with coach Neal Brown saying he had a disease that sometimes avoided him from practicing. It was a blow for the Mountaineers as Martin revealed flashes in 2022 in 12 games(8 starts), consisting of registering 2 sacks against Oklahoma and six tackles, a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble against Baylor. Brown stated Martin will be at full strength in 2024, larger and stronger at 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, and believes he might play his way into being an early-round NFL draft choice.– Dave Wilson Many appealing newbie: LinebackerKaleb Elarms-Orr gets here from Cal after racking up 87 tackles in 2015( 3rd in the Pac-12 with 7.9 per game ), including 15 versus Arizona State, and was second-team all-conference. He’ll plug into a new 4-2-5 defense run by Andy Avalos together with linebacker Namdi Obiazor, a change from Joe Gillespie’s 3-3-5 plan that ranked 100th in total defense last season.Elarms-Orr has all-conference capacity and will be a crucial piece to fixing a defense that quit 69 points to Oklahoma in the season’s last game.– Wilson Position fight to watch: Running back. With senior Nakia Watson and his five seasons of tailback play no longer in Pullman, the competitors to be the Cougs’leading back seems broad open. Wazzu also dismissed sophomore running back Jaylen Jenkins from the group due to breaking group guidelines in the middle of last season.Djouvensky Schlenbaker, Dylan Paine and Leo Pulalasi all have minimal experience however are returning players seeking to increase their brings this year. Schlenbaker and Pulalasi are 2 who have actually revealed looks of their skill in the past, while Paine is a walk-on who has been around for 5 seasons now.

Completing the group are a pair of three-star freshman potential customers in Wayshawn Parker and Josh Joyner, who might get chances to flaunt their possible too.–

Uggetti< img height ="320" width=” 570″src=””/ > Travis Hunter will flaunt his abilities at nickelback this spring. Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire Position battle to view: Cornerback. Last season, Travis Hunter displayed his flexible ability, capturing 57 passes for 721 yards and 5 goals as a beginning receiver, while acquiring 31 takes on, three interceptions and five pass breakups beginning at cornerback. This spring he’s shown more of his adaptability, and we have the chance to see that on screen in the spring game Saturday.Hunter has actually shifted inside to play nickelback. Cornerbacks coach Kevin Mathis informed press reporters previously in the spring that the choice to have Hunter take associates at nickel was a by-product of a plan that new defensive coordinator Robert Livingston has set up. Plus, it will allow Hunter to cover the slot, where the opposition’s best receiver typically lines up. Transfer cornerbacks Preston Hodge and DJ McKinney have impressed in the early going, while former five-star cornerback Cormani McClain has gone into the transfer portal.– Andrea Adelson

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