Normally when a new head coach takes over at a major college football program, it’s expected there will be some roster attrition.
Tuesday, the expected again happened to the Florida Gators football program.
For the fourth time since Will Muschamp replaced Urban Meyer as UF’s head coach, a player has decided to transfer out of Gainesville. The school announced via a press release Tuesday afternoon that running back Mike Blakely has requested, and received, a release from his scholarship so that he may ply his football wares elsewhere.
It’s unknown at this point in time where that elsewhere might be.
“Mike has come to the conclusion that the University of Florida is not where he wants to play football,” Muschamp said in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck.”
“Everyone at Florida has been very supportive of me in my time here and I’m thankful for the experience that I had, but I’ve made a decision to continue my college football career somewhere else,” Blakely said in his own statement.
Blakely was an early enrollee but did not participate in spring practice after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. Rivals.com had Blakely rated as the No. 6 RB in the country for the 2011 recruiting class.
If he decides to transfer to another Div. 1-A school, the Bradenton, Fla., native will be forced to sit out the 2011 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
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