John Smith

John L. Smith moving on without arrested/suspended players


The fate of Arkansas’ suspended trio of Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson was thought to be known by Aug. 2. 

Turns out, we may know already.

Arkansas coach John L. Smith said on the second SEC media day that the all suspended players, including linebacker Tyler Gilbert, were not in the school’s media guide, and according to, “indicated that this is permanent.

Smith has been saying the suspended players were not part of the program for some time, but now it seems there’s no coming back. The four players were arrested this spring.

Wade would be the most notable Razorback not to return, having eight receptions for 62 yards last year.

In other Arkansas news, both quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis said they have spoken to former coach Bobby Petrino, who was fired this past spring for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate (and lying about it). Both said the former coach called to apologize to them about what happened.

“I think there is genuine remorse there,” Wilson said. “I think he feels bad about what happened.”

From Davis:

“He called me. He said, ‘Man I hope you have a very good year.’ He apologized. He said, ‘I’m sorry for everything that happened.’ I let him know, he was very humble, he was very hurt on the phone. I told him not to be so hard on himself. I told him, ‘You made a mistake. You’ll get back from it.’ He said, ‘Thank you man, I love you.’ That was pretty much it.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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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.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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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