Max Garcia

Another ex-Terp eyeing Badgers; USC in play as well


Danny O’Brien confirmed earlier this week that he would continue his collegiate playing career at Wisconsin this season, a move that came a handful of weeks after deciding to transfer from Maryland.

As it turns out, his blindside protector in 2011 could be joining him in Madison in 2012 as well.  Maybe.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former Terps offensive tackle Max Garcia has four of his five “finalists” locked in — Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and USC (the West Coast school, not the East Coast one).  Garcia has either visited two of those schools — UGA, Ole Miss — this month and will visit the other two in the coming days.

For the fifth of his five allotted official visits, the Journal-Constitution reports, Garcia is deciding between Clemson, Vanderbilt and, yes, Wisconsin.

While Terps head coach Randy Edsall said the reasoning behind Garcia’s desire to transfer was he was homesick and wanted to play closer to home — he hails from Norcross, GA — it appears the lineman is more than willing to consider schools further north or much further west.  Perhaps most importantly, he has mom’s blessing to consider the Badgers and Trojans.

“Although USC and Wisconsin are further away from home, I spoke with my mother, who has a great role in my decision … and she ultimately wants me to be happy,” Garcia told the paper.

“Going through the recruiting process, you never know who’s going to be interested in you. I initially wanted to get closer to home but I cannot just pass on tremendous opportunities because of my initial feeling. Both programs offer an ideal opportunity academically and athletically that all the other programs I’m interested in do as well.”

It’s long been thought that Georgia was the front-runner for his services, with Florida running a close second as well.  Then again, it was thought Vanderbilt, and then Penn State, were virtual locks for O’Brien before the quarterback ultimately surprised some with his choice of the Badgers.

Garcia, who hopes to have a decision made before the end of April, started 12 games at left tackle for the Terps in 2011, and would have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2012 season.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.