The 2011 season wasn’t particularly bountiful on the good-news front for Minnesota, but 2012 is starting off a little bit better for the Gophers.
Senior cornerback Troy Stoudermire suffered a fractured arm in September and did not play the remainder of the season. At the time it was thought he might’ve played his final game at Minnesota. As it turns out, benevolence has ensured that it wasn’t.
The Gophers announced via a press release Friday that Stoudermire has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the Big Ten and was given another season of eligibility in 2012. The release stated Stoudermire’s participation in the 2011 season — he played in four games before the injury — will not count against him, and this year will be his final season of eligibility.
“This is great news for Troy and for our program,” head coach Jerry Kill said. “I’m really excited for Troy and glad to have him back with us next season.”
“I’m just excited and happy,” Stoudermire said. “I’ve been waiting on this thing for a long time. Now, I’m just looking forward to getting back there for my first workout and getting back with the team.”
In addition to his standout play in the secondary, Stoudermire is also the conference and school record-holder for kickoff return yards with 3,102.
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