Georgia received some good news earlier this week on the NFL front from the offensive side of the ball, but have suffered another early loss on the defensive side.
Even as it has yet to be officially announced by the school, Kwame Geathers confirmed to Gentry Estes of 247Sports.com that he’s foregoing his final season of eligibility in favor of early entry into the NFL draft. Geathers said he’s already informed the UGA coaching staff of his decision.
“I’m going to go ahead and leave,” Geathers told the website. “I felt like I was ready to go. I think I did everything at Georgia that I wanted to do. I felt like it was time to get a jump on the next step in my career.”
The 6-6, 355-pound Geathers played in 34 games the past three seasons, and was named to the All-SEC Freshman team following the 2010 season. He was credited with 40 tackles — four for losses — and one sack in 2012.
The nose tackle becomes the third Bulldogs defensive player to publicly affirm their desire to take their game to the next level, joining linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury