Five-star Cal transient leaving Florida, too


In February of 2010, five-star defensive end Chris Martin signed with Cal on National Signing Day — after being a Notre Dame non-binding verbal in 2009.

In July of 2010, Martin announced he was leaving Cal for Florida because “I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay Area.”

In January of 2011, and after transferring to his happy redshirt place, Martin lost the focus he sought and was hit with a distraction far away from his home in the form of a possession of marijuana charge, which didn’t become public knowledge until late April.

Two months later — and less than a year after the first time he latched onto it  — Martin has grabbed his football binky and stormed out from under the protective blanky of yet another football program.

OK, maybe not “stormed out”, but Martin has nonetheless left yet another team, with word coming Friday that the defensive end is leaving Florida.  According to the statement released by the university, it appears Martin now needs to be back closer to the Bay-area home he left in the first place.

Ya know, the same place that was the anti-Gainesville, the “somewhere else where I don’t have those distractions.”

“Chris and his family have indicated that it might be the best for him to be closer to home,” Gators head coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck.”

Martin was rated as the No. 2 defensive end, and the No. 18 player overall, in the country for the 2010 recruiting class.

There’s no word on where Martin may end up next, although a JUCO preschool should probably be in the discussion at this point.

Dalvin Cook returns to practice for FSU

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Dalvin Cook #4 of the Florida State Seminoles runs the ball against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Florida State defeated South Florida 34-14 as Cook rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.

Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week.  Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.

The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then.  Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.

Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.

Gophers down eight starters for game vs. Boilermakers

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 03: at Ryan Field on October 3, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Minnesota 27-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It would be an understatement of significant proportions to say that the Minnesota football team is banged up.

How banged up?  On his radio show Thursday, head coach Jerry Kill, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, revealed his team will be down a whopping eight starters for Saturday’s game against Purdue.

Kill’s revelation comes one day after he confirmed a total of 20 players donned non-contact jerseys in practice earlier in the day.

The coach didn’t specifically identify which starters would be sidelined, with the Pioneer Press writing “[t]he known injuries to starters include safety Damarius Travis (hamstring), cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), tight end Lincoln Plsek (back) and tackle Ben Lauer (knee/hand).”

One injured starter who will play, Kill confirmed, is quarterback Mitch Leidner. While not detailing any specific injury, Kill said Wednesday that Leidner “hasn’t been healthy. He’s been beat up.”

Overall, though, the Gophers’ health, or lack thereof, is bordering on historic.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 32 years in coaching,” Kill said yesterday. “The toughest thing for me right now is all of these kids that work so hard, and when they get hurt, it kills me. … We are running out of people.”

Coming off an 8-5 season last year, the Gophers are struggling. While they stand at 3-2 after five games, the three wins came by a total of nine points over the likes of Colorado State, Kent State and Ohio. Their second loss — the first was by six to TCU in the opener — was a 27-0 shutout at the hands of Northwestern in the Big Ten opener last weekend.