With junior quarterback Brett Hundley
coming back to school, the Bruins are probably the team to beat in the Pac-12 South this coming season. UCLA has more depth on its offensive line, which has been plagued by injuries the past couple of seasons and was dinged up again in the spring. Miami transfer Malcolm Bunche
, 6-foot-7 and 327 pounds, might slide into the left guard spot where Xavier Su'a-Filo
played last season. Tailback Jordon James
is healthy, and the Bruins like the depth behind him in Steven Manfro
, Paul Perkins
and redshirt freshman Craig Lee
. Linebacker Myles Jack
also might continue to see some playing time on offense, although he didn't run the ball much during the spring. Kenny Orjioke
emerged as a starting outside linebacker, where he will replace departed All-American Anthony Barr
, and end Owamagbe Odighizuwa
is back after missing all of last season with a hip injury.
If the Tigers are going to maintain pace with SEC West rivals Alabama and Auburn, their defense might have to carry the load early in the season. LSU coach Les Miles hasn't named quarterback Zach Mettenberger
's replacement, as sophomore Anthony Jennings
struggled during the spring game after a disappointing performance in a 21-14 win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Jennings, a sophomore from Marietta, Georgia, had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in LSU's spring game. He is being pushed by freshman Brandon Harris of Bossier City, Louisiana, who graduated from high school early and enrolled at LSU in January. Making matters worse for whoever starts at quarterback, the Tigers lost top receivers Jarvis Landry
and Odell Beckham Jr.
to the NFL draft. The good news: Miles and his staff have stockpiled tailbacks, including incoming freshman Leonard Fournette, the No. 1 recruit in the country according to ESPN RecruitingNation.
To a man, the Aggies insist they are out to prove that they were more than a one-man show the past two seasons, when former quarterback Johnny Manziel
was running through opposing defenses. Either sophomore Kenny Hill
or freshman Kyle Allen will have the unenviable task of replacing Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012. Senior Matt Joeckel looked to be on the outside looking in and transferred to TCU last month. Hill missed much of the spring because of a suspension for his arrest on public intoxication charges. He is expected to return to the team this summer and is probably the man to beat in the competition. Either way, the Aggies are loaded with running backs and feel good about their offensive line and deep receiver corps. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder also believes he has finally stockpiled enough depth to put an SEC-caliber defense on the field, although the Aggies might still be a recruiting class or two away from being a truly elite defense.