Prior to becoming a sure-fire, first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer with the San Diego Chargers, Junior Seau was an All-American linebacker at USC and one of the fiercest, most instinctive players at his position to ever grace a collegiate field.
Sadly, and as you have no doubt heard in some way, shape or form by now, Seau’s life ended earlier Wednesday at the age of 43, reportedly by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
The how’s and why’s and myriad other difficult, painful questions will be raised in the coming days and weeks, but, for now, Seau’s death has left a huge extended family grieving and grasping for answers to the unanswerable. In statements released by USC shortly after Seau’s death was confirmed, both athletic director Pat Haden and head coach Lane Kiffin touched on a loss that’s reverberated across the sports world.
“We are tremendously saddened to hear this news and our hearts go out to his family and children,” Haden said in his statement regarding a player whose final season at USC in 1989 ended with unanimous first-team All-American honors. “Junior Seau was one of the greatest legends in USC football history. He will always be remembered by USC as the original No. 55.”
“This is a very sad day. The USC football program and the entire Trojan Family extends our condolences to Junior’s family,” Kiffin said of Seau, who leaves behind three children. “He was one of the greatest Trojans of all-time. Our team and fans were very fortunate to see him just a couple of weeks ago at our Spring Game at the Coliseum. He will be deeply missed.”
Trojans past and present took to Twitter as well in the immediate aftermath of the stunning news, sharing their thoughts on the loss of one of the all-time greats in the storied history of USC football:
Failing to make much of a dent during his first two-plus years in Knoxville, Neiko Creamer has decided to ply his football wares elsewhere.
Wednesday evening, UT head coach Butch Jones confirmed that Creamer has decided to leave the Volunteers football program and will transfer out. According to Jones, he and his staff will help the tight end find the right fit at a new home.
No reason was given for Creamer’s decision to look elsewhere, although the opportunity for more playing time would be a good place to start.
A three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Creamer, whose father, Andre, played for the Vols in the eighties, was rated as the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Maryland. After redshirting as a true freshman, and working as both a linebacker and tight end, Creamer played in one game during the 2015 season.
A former Bowling Green football player who claimed he suffered permanent brain damage has settled a lawsuit with the university.
According to the Toledo Blade, Cody Silk will receive a $712,500 settlement in the agreement reached between himself and BGSU. As part of the agreement, the university did not admit fault and the former offensive lineman agreed that he would not pursue any further damage claims.
Silk had filed his suit in 2013, claiming “that BGSU coaches and medical staff failed to withhold him from practices after he suffered repeated concussions.” Silk claimed that he had suffered two concussions in 2010, but was cleared by the football program’s medical staff to return to full-contact status in practice; shortly thereafter, he suffered a third concussion.
The lineman subsequently parted ways with the team, lost his scholarship and dropped out of school.
The settlement came after Silk’s attorneys had asked the Ohio Court of Claims to reconsider their initial rejection. From the Columbus Dispatch:
The court initially rejected Silk’s claims, finding Silk signed a release of liability to play football in which he assumed the risk of possible injury. He refiled the claim last year. A state attorney claimed Silk was exaggerating and overreporting his symptoms, but the settlement will keep the case from going to trial.
In their motion for reconsideration, Silks’ representation contended, the Blade wrote, “the release [of liability] didn’t cover ‘wanton and willful misconduct,’ which he alleged BGSU’s conduct was.”
An injury that wiped out most of Keon Hatcher‘s 2015 season has resurfaced.
On social media over the weekend, Hatcher posted a video which revealed his left foot encased in a post-surgery boot. WholeHogSports.com subsequently confirmed through multiple sources that Hatcher had indeed undergone surgery recently.
The website writes “[i]t’s unclear why Hatcher required the surgery or whether he will miss any practice or playing time because of the surgery.” The university has thus far declined to address the receiver’s status, although head coach Bret Bielema could be expected to touch on the situation during a post-spring press conference Thursday.
During Arkansas’ Week 2 upset loss to Toledo, Hatcher suffered a broken left foot that at first was expected to sideline him for a minimum of six weeks but, following surgery, ultimately cost him the remainder of the season.
At the time of the injury, Hatcher was the Razorbacks’ leader with 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2014, he led the team with 558 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
Hatcher received a medical hardship waiver for the 2015 season, which will allow him to return as a fifth-year senior this season.
Seeing the writing on Virginia’s depth chart wall, Nick Johns has decided to take his leave of Charlottesville.
As more and more kids are doing these days — especially the cool ones — Johns took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to leave the Cavaliers football program and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere. According to the quarterback, he was given an unrestricted release from his UVa. scholarship.
Johns, who is not related to returning Cavalier starting quarterback Matt Johns, was a three-star member of UVa.’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the District of Columbia. As he didn’t see the field as a true freshman, Johns’ main claim to fame during his brief time with the Cavaliers was a driving while intoxicated charged he accrued last August.
With Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, a Texas/Arizona transfer, in a dead-heat for the starting job exiting the spring, and former East Carolina starter Kurt Benkert added as a graduate transfer over the weekend, Nick Johns’ decision to leave for a better shot at playing time is understandable.