Since suffering a season-ending knee injury in Oregon State’s upset over Arizona Saturday, it’s been assumed James Rodgers would seek a medical hardship waiver and return to the Beavers for another season next year.
What is it they say about the word “assume”, though?
Rodgers made an appearance at OSU’s practice yesterday, and spoke to the media regarding his future. In not so many words, the wide receiver/return specialist says he’s not made a decision as to whether he will return for another season of college ball — a waiver would seem to be a slam dunk — or make himself available for next April’s NFL draft.
“I have a lot of time to think about that,” Rodgers said. “I’ll talk to coach (Mike) Riley and get his input on everything. And make my decision when the time comes.”
Rodgers will undergo surgery at some point in the near future to repair the damaged ligaments/tendons in the knee, at which point a clearer timeline on his full return to health following rehab will be known.
The school will submit the necessary hardship waiver paperwork to the Pac-10 on Rodgers’ behalf at the end of the regular season according to reports. The deadline for eligible players to submit paperwork for entry into the NFL draft is mid-January.
The combination of how his knee responds to the rehab plus the timeliness of a decision on the waiver and the draft deadline will likely play a big role in Rodgers’ ultimate decision.
Of course, as far as his brother is concerned, the decision’s already been made; OSU running back Jacquizz Rodgers said on a radio show earlier in the week that his sibling will be returning for another season.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah