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 Rivals.com. 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.”
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.