To the surprise of almost no one, San Diego State is losing its top offensive threat to the NFL.
Running back Ronnie Hillman confirmed to the San Diego Union-Tribune that he will be leaving the Aztecs early and making himself available for the April draft. Hillman made the decision after receiving word from the NFL’s draft advisory board that he would be taken somewhere around the third round.
Although Hillman is only a true sophomore, he’s eligible for early entry to the draft as he’s three years removed from high school. He failed to qualify academically his first year out of high school.
In his two seasons, Hillman has rushed for 3,243 yards and 36 touchdowns. He finished fifth in the country yards rushing per game in 2011 (131.6) after finishing 10th in 2010 (117.9).
The Union-Tribune also notes that RB Dillon Baxter, who announced his decision to transfer from USC last November, wants to transfer to the Aztecs and hopes to make the move official once some academic paperwork is cleared up.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
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. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”