Trey Miller, Manti Te'o

Manti Te’o headlines 2012 Lott Trophy watch list

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You know what this means, right?  Yep, the 2012 season is slowly creeping up on us.

In the first of many, many of these to be released, the Lott Impact Trophy Award announced its watch list for the upcoming season.  A total of 42 players from 37 schools and six conferences were represented on the initial watch list.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is the only finalist for the 2011 award, won by Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, on the 2012 watch list.  There are two 2011 semifinalists on the list — Ohio State defensive lineman John Simon and Oklahoma State cornerback Brodrick Brown.

The Big Ten paced all conferences with nine players on the list, followed by the Pac-12 with eight, the ACC and Big 12 with seven, the SEC with five and the Mountain West with two.  Four players from independent programs are also among the first round of honorees.

A total of five schools were represented by two players each on the list — Florida State, Iowa State, LSU, Texas and Wisconsin.

Of the 42 players, 28 are seniors and 12 are juniors.  There are just two sophomores on the initial watch list — Georgia LB Jarvis Jones and Purdue defensive tackle Kawaan Short.

Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004, the Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and the Legends Coaches, which is a distinguished group of former college football head coaches.

Below and after the jump is the complete 2012 Lott Trophy watch list:

David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Chris Borland, LB,. Wisconsin
John Boyett, FS. Oregon
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois
Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State
Tra’ves Bush, S, Navy
Kyle Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech
Steve Greer, LB, Virginia
Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State
Demontre Hurst, DB, Oklahoma
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan
Patrick Larimore, LB, UCLA
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Brandon Magee, LB, Arizona State
T.J. McDonald, S, USC
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Brandon Ogletree, LB, BYU
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
J.C. Percy, LB, Boise State
Ray Polk, S, Colorado
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
Eric Reid, S, LSU
Luke Ruff, S, Wyoming
Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue
John Simon, DT, Ohio State
Baker Steinkuhler, DT, Nebraska
Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
Bjoern Warner, DE, Florida State
Zach Watts, LB, Army
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Five-star ‘Bama signee set for second surgery in three months

Lyndell Wilson
Rivals.com
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Even as Lyndell Wilson has yet to play a down of college football, the highly-touted 2016 signee simply can’t buy an injury break.

In late March, Wilson announced via Twitter that he would be undergoing surgery in short order to repair a torn labrum in one of his shoulders.  Three months later, the linebacker announced via the same social media site that he has to undergo a medical procedure to repair a torn meniscus in one of his knees.

Per Wilson’s tweet, that has since been deleted for whatever reason, the surgery will be performed Tuesday.  There’s no prognosis on how much time Wilson will miss, including whether he will be available for the start of summer camp in early August.

While the tweet announcing the surgery no longer appears on his Twitter feed, a retweet and another of his own tweets suggests he has yet another injury hurdle to overcome.

For what it’s worth, the school has yet to address any potential health issues with which Wilson may be dealing.

Wilson was one of five Rivals.com five-star recruits signed by the Tide this recruiting cycle. The Montgomery, Ala., native was rated as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Alabama; and the No. 26 player overall by that recruiting service. 247Sports.com had the 6-1, 235-pound high schooler as the No. 15 overall prospect in the Class of 2016.

Art Briles played a role in Auburn landing ex-Baylor signee

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 06:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears during play against the Northwestern State Demons at McLane Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Art Briles may be out as Baylor’s head football coach, but he still has some influence over at least one member of his last recruiting class.

Over the weekend, Kam Martin announced via Twitter that he had committed to play his college football for Gus Malzahn at Auburn.  The running back chose Auburn over another contender in TCU.

Malzahn and Briles are good friends who, prior to Briles’ dismissal in the wake of the sexual assault scandal in the football program, brainstormed together this offseason.  When Martin received a release from his BU National Letter of Intent, he turned to Briles for advice, with his former coach advising him that Auburn would be “a great fit.”

“He helped me — I still have a great relationship with him,” Martin told 247Sports.com. “He just told me Auburn is a great fit for me with Coach Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff. He said if I was going to Baylor and he was there, it would be the same type of vibe (as at Auburn). He told me Coach Gus would take care of me. He said with him, it’s about the player, about the university.

“And shoot, he’s an offensive guru.”

A four-star 2016 prospect, Martin will be eligible to play for said guru’s squad this coming season.

Notre Dame lineman Parker Boudreaux expects release from hospital in couple of days

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13: The Leprechaun and cheerleaders of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the field before the game against the Boston College Eagles on October 13, 2007 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Fortunately for one member of Notre Dame’s football team, the news on his health isn’t as dire as it once seemed.

Over the weekend, one of Parker Boudreaux‘s Irish teammates tweeted that the offensive lineman needed prayers as he had been hospitalized with a serious brain infection.  While the hospitalization part was accurate, it appears the diagnosis was, thankfully, far off-base.

Shortly after those social media missives started making the rounds, a school spokesperson confirmed to the South Bend Tribune that Boudreaux is indeed hospitalized but “is in stable condition and resting comfortably.”

Boudreaux himself took to social media Sunday to somewhat address the developments…

 

… while also taking to social media late Monday night to offer up a bit more of an encouraging update.

What is specifically ailing Boudreaux has not been confirmed, although the lineman retweeted a tweet which stated that “Boudreaux had been admitted to a South Bend hospital with what is thought to be meningitis.” Fortunately, it appears the meningitis is of the viral variety rather than bacterial, which is ofttimes fatal.

It’s expected that Boudreaux will remain hospitalized through at least the mid-part of this week before being released. What this may or may not do for his availability for at least the start of summer camp in early August is unknown.

A three-star member of the Irish’s 2016 recruiting class, Boudreaux was rated as the No. 18 guard in the country.

South Carolina DB Ali Groves takes medical hardship, will remain on scholarship

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The injury-plagued career of a member of South Carolina’s secondary has officially come to an end.

USC officials confirmed to The State that Ali Groves will not return to the Gamecocks football team. The defensive back has taken a medical hardship waiver, making him ineligible to suit up again for the Gamecocks.

The Georgia native will, though, remain on scholarship. He’s expected to graduate later this year with a degree in business administration.

A three-star member of USC’s 2013 recruiting class, Groves was rated as the No. 47 safety in the country. Groves sustained a right shoulder injury his true freshman season, with the injury lingering over the next couple of seasons as well.

This past spring, Groves, who didn’t play a down for the Gamecocks, was moved from cornerback to safety. Twice in his career, Groves was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.