Redshirt not in Ok. St.’s lexicon when it comes to Lunt

Leave a comment

Yet.

It’s been exactly 40 days since Wes Lunt played an entire game for Oklahoma State, and will be 42 when Saturday rolls around.  It’s been 33 days since the true freshman quarterback has actually taken a snap in a game that counted.

A knee injury suffered in the Sept. 15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette win has led to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Lunt’s status, although in early October head coach Mike Gundy referred to the presumptive starter’s status as day-to-day.

A couple of week’s after that proclamation, Lunt is officially listed as questionable for the Iowa State game this weekend, although the coaching staff continues playing coy as to whether it’ll be the season-opening starter or the starter since — J.W. Welsh — under center.  With the Cowboys officially reaching the halfway point of the season Saturday, though, the word “redshirt” has entered into the discussion as far as those outside the program are concerned.

For those on the inside?  It hasn’t been according to Gundy by way of the Daily Oklahoman.

“No. Certainly, when he was lying on the field out there, everybody thought he was done for the season, so it was not anything that would have to be up for discussion.

“Then we found out that it wasn’t that type of injury. Now, it just becomes a day-to-day basis on stability and strength and pain tolerance.”

As Lunt has already burned his true redshirt by way of playing in a game, a medical hardship waiver would potentially be in play.  Here is a summation of NCAA bylaw 14.2.4 as it pertains to any medical hardship waiver requests:

  • The student-athlete may not have participated in more than two contests or dates of competition or 20 percent of the team’s completed contests/dates of competition.
  • The injury or illness must occur prior to the completion of the first half of the season.
  • The injury or illness does not have to occur during practice/competition, but it must be incapacitating.
  • Appropriate medical documentation must exist and be provided.

As it would relate to Lunt, if it gets to that point and OSU takes that tack, 20 percent of his team’s 12 games would be 2.4, which the NCAA rounds up to three; he’s played in three games this season.  And, if a medical hardship waiver is to be sought, none of the participation in contests can occur after the first half of that sport’s season has been completed; as noted above, OSU will be playing its sixth game and will have reached the halfway point of the 2012 season.

Thus, OSU is at the very outer limits, NCAA-wise, as to what they can do with Lunt.  The OSU program is in a tough spot when it comes to how to handle this situation, bringing their QB of the future back for what walks, talks and looks like a .500-ish season vs. bringing their QB of the future back and risking an aggravation of the injury that results in what would essentially be a lost season of eligibility.

And if Lunt plays this weekend — or the next or the next, etc. — and has no injury issues?  The above is a moot point.

Division II, Division III and NAIA title games set while FCS heads into semifinals

Getty Images
1 Comment

Outside of a thrilling Army-Navy game and the Heisman ceremony, it was an empty Saturday at the highest level of college football.

But no so at the lower levels.

The divisional playoffs are cranked into high gear. Let’s take a brief look at where everything stands in each division.

FCS

Top-seeded and defending champion James Madison needed a last-second field goal to survive visiting Weber State, 31-28, on Friday night, while No. 5 seed South Dakota State routed New Hampshire, 55-14.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed and winner of five of the last six national titles North Dakota State walloped Wofford, 42-10 in Fargo. No. 6 seed Sam Houston State outlasted upstart Kennesaw State, 34-27, to send the Bearkats into their fifth semifinal game in the last seven years.

Semifinals: No. 5 South Dakota State at No. 1 James Madison — 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPNU; No. 6 Sam Houston State at No. 2 North Dakota State — 8 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN2.

Division II

No. 4 seed West Florida traveled north and upset top-seeded Indiana (Pa.), 27-17 on Saturday, to send the Argonauts into their first championship game. No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Commerce fended off the option attack of No. 3 Harding (Ark.), 31-17, putting the Lions in their first title game as well.

National championship: No. 2 Texas A&M-Commerce vs. No. 4 West Florida — 6 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN2 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Division III

In a similar dynamic to FCS, the defending champion is on a collision course with the traditional champion. In the first semifinal, defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) blanked Brockport (N.Y.), 24-0. The Crusaders will make their third trip to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, looking to win their second title.

In the other semifinal, Mount Union (Ohio) overcame a 21-10 deficit to beat Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 43-40. The Purple Raiders will play in their 20th Stagg Bowl — all of them coming since 1993, and 19 of them since ’96 — with a shot at their 13th national championship. However, Mount Union has won just — “just” — two national championships since 2009.

National championship: Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) vs. Mount Union (Ohio) — 7 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN at Salem Stadium in Salem Va.

NAIA

The NAIA was off this weekend, taking a break in between last week’s semifinals and Saturday’s national championship. Defending champion Saint Francis (Ind.) out-gunned previously-undefeated Morningside (Iowa) 43-36 in the first semifinal, while Reinhardt (Ga.) held off undefeated Southern Oregon, 37-34 in double overtime.

National championship: Saint Francis (Ind.) vs. Reinhardt (Ga.) — 6 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN3 at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Minnesota lands commitment from 6-foot-8, 395-pound offensive tackle

Getty Images
1 Comment

P.J. Fleck is going to need a bigger boat.

Minnesota has landed a commitment from the largest recruit on record, as 6-foot-8, 395-pound offensive tackle Daniel Faalele has committed to the Gophers. Faalele made the announcement on his Twitter page on Saturday night.

A 3-star recruit, Faalele is rated as the No. 29 offensive tackle in the country, according to 247Sports. He listed 20 offers, including from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and LSU.

As the story goes, Faalele did not find football; football found him. He was discovered by a recruiter from Hawaii working out at a gym in his native Melbourne, Australia. He attended a Michigan satellite camp in Australia and played this season — his first season in pads — at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

In making the trip from the Land Down Under to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Faalele will be joined by a pair of IMG Academy teammates in offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap, Jr., and quarterback Zack Annexstad, who also committed to Minnesota on Saturday.

Those pledges now give Minnesota the 26th best recruiting class in the country and the sixth best in the Big Ten — but the No. 1 class in the Big Ten West — in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Minnesota’s class may not be the best in the country, but it’s among the biggest — both in size (the Gophers have 25 pledges thus far) and stature.

Texas A&M suspends DT Zaycoven Henderson amid felony gun charges

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Texas A&M defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson was suspended amid multiple felony charges on Saturday.

As detailed by Ben Baby of the Dallas Morning News, witnesses say Henderson pointed a rifle at one person outside College Station’s Campus Village Apartments and threatened to kill two others and allegedly threw the gun out of a fleeing car as police arrived on the scene. The car was later tracked down by College Station officers, who discovered marijuana in the car.

He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence and marijuana possession. The first charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in a prison. The second is a third-degree felony and the third is a misdemeanor.

He was booked into the Brazos County (Texas) jail at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Texas A&M has suspended Henderson indefinitely, which really only lasts one game as the senior from Longview, Texas, was set to close his Aggies career in the Belk Bowl against Wake Forest on Dec. 29 (1 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Henderson made 35 tackles with five TFLs and 2.5 sacks in 12 starts this season. He was honored as a member of Texas A&M’s senior class at the annual team banquet earlier this weekend.

UCLA reportedly hires Paul Rhoads as defensive backs coach

Getty Images
1 Comment

Chip Kelly has reportedly hired one of the most respected men in the business to his staff. According to a report from Sports Illustrated‘s Bruce Feldman, Paul Rhoads is on his way to Westwood to coach UCLA’s defensive backs.

Rhoads spent the past two seasons at Arkansas, the first as defensive backs coach and the second as defensive coordinator in addition to his duties with the secondary. He’s best known, of course, for his 7-year run as the head coach at Iowa State, where he took the Cyclones to three bowl games and created this viral moment before any of us knew what “going viral” went.

In addition to Arkansas, Rhoads also owns defensive experience at Auburn, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Pacific, Ohio State and Utah State.

UCLA finished last season ranked 74th in pass efficiency defense, yielding a 57.1 percent completion rate for 7.3 yards per attempt with seven interceptions against 18 touchdowns.