Christine Michael, Homer Mauga

Christine Michael ‘way ahead’ of where A&M thought he’d be


While there is still uncertainty as to the availability of a transfer running back in 2012 for Texas A&M, another coming off a devastating injury is showing signs of being on well his way to a full return to health.

As the Aggies kicked off the first spring practice under new head coach Kevin Sumlin, Christine Michael was back participating in drills with his teammates.  Michael went down with a torn ACL in early November and missed the remainder of the 2011 season.

Less than five months later, Michael’s new coach seemed taken aback a bit over how far the back has come in such a short period of time.  And how hard it may be to keep the senior off the practice field.

He’s way ahead of where I thought he would be,” Sumlin said according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I had to tell him to go sit down, and I look back up and he’s back in there.”

Sumlin intimated that he would attempt to curb Michael’s enthusiasm somewhat in a post-practice conversation, no doubt looking to stress to the player that he doesn’t want the rehab to be pushed so hard and so fast that it results in a setback.

Despite missing the last four games because of the injury, Michael still finished second on the Aggies in rushing yards (899) and rushing touchdowns (eight).  He was A&M’s leading rusher at the time of the injury, and ended up leading the team in yards per carry (6.0).

As far as the other “situation” in the Aggies’ backfield, it was reported earlier this week by at least two media outlets that Oklahoma transfer RB Brandon Williams‘ appeal for a hardship waiver had been denied.  As it turns out, that’s not even remotely the case, at least not yet.

In response to the speculation, A&M released a statement Friday addressing the speculation.

“Contrary to Internet and other published media reports, Texas A&M has not sent a waiver to the NCAA regarding football running back transfer Brandon Williams,” the school’s statement read. “We are in the process of putting together information for a request, but we have not submitted anything to the NCAA on behalf of Brandon Williams at this time.”

It’s unclear when an appeal for a waiver will be filed, or when a final decision will come down from the NCAA.  If the waiver is denied, Williams will be forced to sit the 2012 season in order to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”

Illini’s leading rusher, Josh Ferguson, officially ruled out vs. Iowa

Josh Ferguson, Jordan Italiano
Associated Press
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If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.

On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa.  The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.

Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.

Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team.  He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.

With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.  Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.