For a head coach whose seat is varying degrees of warmth depending on the time of day and the pundit pondering his future at Tennessee, that headline would prove to be a godsend.
For opposing SEC defenses? Not so much.
One of the most talented — and unheralded — wide receivers in the country, Justin Hunter tore the ACL in his left knee during a September loss to Florida last year, ending the sophomore’s season before it ever really got started. While it was expected Hunter would make a full recovery in time for the 2012 season, one can never tell with this type of injury.
At least as far as one of the receiver’s teammates is concerned, however, he can tell exactly where Hunter is in the recovery process.
“Right now, I’d say that Justin is 100 percent,” cornerback Prentiss Waggner, who has been manning up against Hunter in offseason seven-on-seven drills, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “He’s got his weight up and he’s doing 225 (pounds) multiple times (in the bench press). He thinks he’s unstoppable.
“And he’s got a pretty good argument.”
Despite playing in less than three full games in 2011, Hunter still finished third on the Vols in receiving yards (314) and receiving touchdowns (two).
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 al.com.
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.”
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.