While it’s not yet official, it appears Florida will lose its top playmaker in the secondary to the professional ranks.
Speaking to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, safety Matt Elam‘s high school coach Jack Daniels (whiskey up!!!!) intimated, as most had thought, that it’s a foregone conclusion the All-American will bypass his last season of eligibility and make himself available for the April NFL draft. The fact that Elam would likely be a first-round pick if he left early has the West Palm Beach Dwyer (Fla.) High School coach questioning why his former player wouldn’t leave collegiate eligibility on the table for a shot in the football bigs.
“I think he’s got his mind made up,” Daniels told Lieser. “He’s gone.
“He has the opportunity to be a high draft choice and make more in his signing bonus than most people make in 30 years. It’d be a bad business decision if he didn’t. If somebody told you they’d pay you a million dollars, would you go back to school?”
Following a year that saw him lead the Gators in interceptions with four and finish the regular season second in tackles with 65 and tackles for loss with 10, Elam was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press. As a five-star member of UF’s 2010 recruiting class, Elam was rated as the No. 2 safety in the country… the No. 3 player in the state of Florida… and the No. 25 player at any position.
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.