Press Conference: NFC North

Press Conference: NFC North
Josh Norris shares the most important conclusions from each NFC North draft class and how each player will be used with their new team.
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South Carolina sophomore WR Bryan Edwards (sports hernia) led the team with four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' spring game.

While Edwards required surgery to repair a sports hernia earlier this offseason and was initially a limited participant in spring practice, the 6-foot-3, 209-pounder was no worse for the wear in the spring game and should be a healthy participant in full come the start of August camp. He notched an impressive 44-590-4 receiving line as a true freshman. He and Deebo Samuel will be leading the South Carolina attack at receiver in 2017.
Source: SEC Country
May 23 - 6:37 PM

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura writes that "Takkarist McKinley's departure will still be felt (at UCLA), but [freshman DE Jaelan] Phillips' arrival will help lessen that."

"There was an adjustment period, of course," Bonagura wrote of Phillips' work this spring, "but by the end of the 15 practices he certainly didn't look like a player who had just enrolled in school." The analyst goes so far as to write that the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder "feels like a heavy favorite to be the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year." Phillips was a five-star recruit for the 2017 cycle and ranked as ESPN's No. 1 defensive prospect in the class.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 6:22 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2018 WR Kamryn Babb is planning summer visits to LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss.

Babb will be releasing a top-nine list on May 29. It can be reasonably assumed that the Tigers, Tide and Rebs will be on that list. Rivals recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy additionally tags Notre Dame, USC, Nebraska and Michigan as other programs with a solid chance of remaining in the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder's thoughts. Babb recently made an impression at the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in St. Louis, with the outlet calling him a "special player [who] is developing nicely as he marches toward the college game." The outlet is keen on the more explosive aspects of his game. He sits at a sturdy No. 75 overall on their 2018 master list.
Source: Rivals
May 23 - 6:09 PM

South Carolina junior TE Hayden Hurst was named preseason first-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports.

Hurst has had himself an interesting career. For starters, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB amateur draft. After his baseball prospects faded, he proceeded to walk on at South Carolina as a receiver prior to the 2015 season before subsequently transitioning over to tight end. That transition worked out beautifully, as the 6-foot-5, 253-pounder caught 48 passes for 616 yards and a touchdown in 13 games last season.
Source: SEC Country
May 23 - 5:53 PM

Iowa State WR coach Bryan Gasser called sophomore WR Deshaunte Jones is "just a kid [who] goes, goes, goes."

"He’s still raw on some things and certainly produced last fall, but he’s a guy that takes coaching really well," Gasser said. Playing as a true freshman last season, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jones logged a 37-536-6 receiving line. Star senior WR Allen Lazard is among his biggest fans, saying, "Seeing what he finished as at the end of last year to now is that he’s still growing and he still has a lot of room to grow, which is great for him because he has a lot of potential left." Jones initially joined Iowa State as a quarterback before transitioning over to receiver.
Source: The Gazette
May 23 - 5:38 PM

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura writes that "after last year's disaster it's hard to be overly optimistic at this stage (regarding the UCLA running game)."

The Bruins finished last in the FBS in total rushing with a mere 1,011 yards rushing. They averaged just 3.72 YPC. Bonagura believes that new OC Jedd Fisch's more friendly-to-running-backs system should help, but his main concern is that there is next-to-no new blood at the position, noting that "it's essentially the same cast." Soso Jamabo -- who rushed for 321 yards in 2016 -- and Nate Starks (292 yards rushing) are expected to once again shoulder the bulk of carries for the coming season.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 5:24 PM

SEC Country's Daniel Swinney passes along that South Carolina redshirt sophomore RB Ty'Son Williams "turned heads in the spring game."

Williams rushed for 83 yards on just 11 carries in the spring game. The 6-foot, 220-pounder transferred over to South Carolina from UNC last summer and subsequently sat out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer regulations. He was a three-star recruit for the 2015 cycle. With the Gamecocks, he is expected to work in a backup role behind Rico Dowdle during the coming season. A.J. Turner will also be in that backup mix.
Source: SEC Country
May 23 - 5:10 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2018 LB Teradja Mitchell is deciding between Ohio State and Florida State.

We won't be waiting around long for this pledge -- Mitchell indicated that he plans on making his commitment on June 2. Rivals analyst Adam Friedman notes that "for years" the 6-foot-2, 247-pounder has been close with "a number of players at Florida State." He believes that they are the front-runner to land his outlet's No. 56 overall prospect. The hype for Mitchell has been building for some time, with ESPN's Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert writing last summer that he "can be a punishing presence at linebacker."
Source: Rivals
May 23 - 4:55 PM
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