James Wilder Jr.

FSU’s James Wilder arrested on pair of charges


As a five-star recruit in 2011, James Wilder and didn’t make much of on-field impact for Florida State during his true freshman season.

Unfortunately for both the player and the program, the running back is making some off-field noise heading into spring practice 2012.

According to TomahawkNation.com, Wilder was arrested recently on a pair of felony charges stemming from an incident that initially began as an attempt by the police to arrest his girlfriend.  Wilder has officially been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

Wilder’s girlfriend, Bianca Carmada, was in the process of being arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear when the player allegedly became physically involved in the legal process.  From the website:

Sources tell Tomahawk Nation that Wilder allegedly grabbed his girlfriend away from the deputy as he was trying to arrest her and then allegedly slapped the deputy’s hand. The deputy as unharmed.

Based on the site’s description of what allegedly transpired, it would seem those felony charges will quickly evaporate into misdemeanors.  However, the Rivals.com FSU site had a slightly different account of how the events transpired, which appears below with our emphasis added:

As a deputy escorted the woman to a patrol car, Wilder, 19, began to tell the deputy that the woman was not going to jail. The release states that Wilder stepped between the deputy and the woman and pushed the officer. The officer unholstered his taser and advised Wilder that he would be tased if he continued to interfere.

The release says Wilder began “yelling obscenities” while still saying the woman would not be going to jail.

Wilder was then placed under arrest.

The school has yet to comment on the situation, although standard operating procedure for something such as this is a suspension until the legal issues are resolved.

Wilder last year was the No. 2 running back in the country and the No. 11 at any position according to Rivals.com.  He rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown during his first season in Tallahassee, with nearly half of those yards (76) coming in a 52-point win over 1-AA Charleston Southern the second week of the season.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

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.