Kyle Prater

Prater granted waiver, will play for Northwestern in ’12

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Nearly six months to the day that it was announced he was transferring from USC, Kyle Prater has officially learned he will be playing football in 2012.

In a press release, Northwestern announced that the NCAA had granted a residency waiver to Prater.  That means the wide receiver won’t be forced to sit out the customary transfer season and will instead be eligible to play immediately for the Wildcats.

“Kyle has worked extremely hard since coming to Northwestern to prepare himself for this season and it’s great that he will be rewarded for that effort,” NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We’re happy to see him return to the football field and get the chance to play in front of his friends and family here in Chicago.”

Prater was a five-star member of USC’s 2010 recruiting class, the No. 1 receiver that year and the No. 3 player in the country at any position according to  Despite the hype and the athletic promise entering USC, Prater’s brief two-year tenure with the Trojans was marred by both injuries and getting buried in the rotation behind the likes of Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, partly as a result of myriad health issues.

The 6-5, 215-pound receiver was a redshirt as a true freshman in 2010, and caught just one pass for six yards this season.

Now, Prater, who participated in spring practice earlier this year, is ready for the football return to his home state.

“It’s been a long road so first and foremost I want to thank God for the chance to play football and do what I love,” Prater said. “I feel blessed for the opportunities I’ve found at Northwestern and am excited to get back on the field this fall. My family is very important to me so it means a lot for them to be nearby while I play football and earn my degree at Northwestern. I’m thankful for this decision from the NCAA and am ready to be on the field with my teammates when this season begins.”

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