Unfortunately, there’s sobering news coming out of Norman as a member of the Oklahoma football program is now facing a very significant and serious health issue.
As he acknowledged on his Twitter account Monday, and subsequently confirmed by SoonerScoop.com, Oklahoma center Austin Woods has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The website reported that Woods began chemotherapy yesterday, while the offensive lineman said he was diagnosed with Stage 3 of the disease last Thursday.
CancerResearchUK.org briefly outlines the various stages of the disease:
- Stage 1 means there is Hodgkin’s lymphoma in only 1 group of lymph nodes or lymphoma in 1 body organ only
- Stage 2 means Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2 or more groups of lymph nodes or an organ and 1 or more group of lymph nodes. In both cases, the 2 sites of lymphoma must be on the same side of the diaphragm
- Stage 3 means Hodgkin’s lymphoma on both sides of the diaphragm
- Stage 4 means that many groups of lymph nodes contain Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it has spread to body organs such as the liver, bones or lungs
In a tweet posted to his account very early this morning, Woods wrote simply, “Strong and positive attitude.” That tweet came after he had written “Fighters mentality. Round 1…” earlier in the day Monday, presumably prior to the initial round of chemotherapy.
Woods stated that he is doing his treatment the OU Stephenson Cancer Center. On his Facebook page, Woods has his current mindset on full display:
The Sooners have yet to address Woods’ health situation or what the long-term prognosis is for the junior, although that could happen as early as today.
According to the school’s official website, Woods was the starting deep snapper on place kicks and also saw action on the offensive line in four games. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Woods as he battles this insidious disease.
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