Notre Dame adds 17 to 2012 football roster

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(Notre Dame’s press release on the Irish’s 2012 recruiting class.)

One transfer student and 16 high school seniors will have their names added to the University of Notre Dame football roster in 2012.

The 16 student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent represent 13 states – three from Indiana, two from North Carolina, plus one each from California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

As listed by group, Notre Dame adds 10 skill players, four power players, one big skill player and one specialist. As listed by position, Notre Dame adds five defensive backs, two wide receivers, two defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, two running backs, one linebacker, one long snapper and one quarterback.

Four of the 17 players – transfer running back Amir Carlisle and early-enrollee freshmen defensive lineman Sheldon Day, quarterback Gunner Kiel and defensive back Tee Shepard – enrolled at the University in January and are taking classes. They will participate in Notre Dame’s spring football practices that begin March 21. The other 13 players have signed national letters of intent and will arrive on campus by June 18 for the start of summer school.

Among the 16 players that will be freshmen for the Irish this fall are:

–       Four who were selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio: DL Jarron Jones, QB Gunner Kiel, RB KeiVarae Russell and DB Elijah Shumate.

–       Five who played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix: DL Sheldon Day, WR Justin Ferguson, OL Mark Harrell, DB Tee Shepard and OL Ronnie Stanley.

–       Nine members of the SuperPrep All-America Team: QB Gunner Kiel, RB KeiVarae Russell, WR Chris Brown, OL Ronnie Stanley, DL Jarron Jones, DL Sheldon Day, DB Tee Shepard, DB Elijah Shumate and DB C.J. Prosise.

–       Three members of the SuperPrep Elite 50: QB Gunner Kiel (10th), DB Tee Shepard (22nd) and DB Elijah Shumate (37th).

–       Eight members of the MaxPreps Top 200: QB Gunner Kiel (second), DL Jarron Jones (22nd), DB Tee Shepard (39th), OL Ronnie Stanley (116th), DL Sheldon Day (119th), DB Elijah Shumate (149th), WR Justin Ferguson (175th) and RB KeiVarae Russell (183rd).

–       Five members of the ESPNU 150: QB Gunner Kiel (52nd), WR Justin Ferguson (85th), DB Tee Shepard (90th), DL Jarron Jones (102nd) and DL Sheldon Day (143rd).

–       Eight members of the 250: QB Gunner Kiel (20th), DB Tee Shepard (76th), DB Elijah Shumate (113th), RB KeiVarae Russell (124th), OL Ronnie Stanley (176th), RB Will Mahone (197th), DL Jarron Jones (199th) and DL Sheldon Day (244th).

–       Nine members of the Top 300: QB Gunner Kiel (38th), DB Tee Shepard (39th), DL Sheldon Day (50th), DB Elijah Shumate (55th), OL Ronnie Stanley (66th), RB Will Mahone (201st), RB KeiVarae Russell (207th), DL Jarron Jones (229th) and DB CJ Prosise (276th).

–       Seven members of the 247Sports Top 247: QB Gunner Kiel (24th), DB Tee Shepard (50th), DL Sheldon Day (81st), DB Elijah Shumate (103rd), DL Jarron Jones (107th), RB KeiVarae Russell (122nd) and OL Ronnie Stanley (145th).

–       One recipient of their state’s respective Mr. Football player of the year awards: QB Gunner Kiel (Indiana).

–       One Gatorade State Football Player of the Year: QB Gunner Kiel (Indiana).

–       Three members of Tacoma News Tribune Western 100: RB KeiVarae Russell, DB Tee Shepard and OL Ronnie Stanley.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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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.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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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