Tuesday morning, a rumor began making the rounds that South Carolina’s Ace Sanders had told at least one person close to him that he was leaving the Gamecocks early for the NFL draft. We put in a call to Joe Kinnan of Manatee High School — Sanders’ father is on Kinnan’s football coaching staff — who told CFT that, the last he had heard, his former player would be returning to Columbia for another season.
Based on the chatter coming from Sanders’ Twitter timeline, that’s not likely to be the case.
In a tweet directed at himself a short time ago, Sanders wrote “welcome to the real world… Time to make it happen!” followed by one in which he speaks in the past tense of his time at the school.
“Day full of emotion for. Thank you everyone apart of #GamecockNation. I appreciate everything you did for me. #TearsOfJoy I love you guys!!!” Sanders wrote, which was followed up by a congratulatory message from former teammate and current Buffalo Bill Stephon Gilmore — “S/o to my homie @AceSanders1 going pro” — that was retweeted by Sanders.
The move would be more than mildly surprising as it had long been thought that he would indeed return for his senior season.
Early-entry paperwork needed to be submitted to the NFL by 4 p.m. this afternoon. The school has not yet confirmed Sanders’ future football intentions, although that seems to be a mere formality at the moment.
Sanders led the Gamecocks in receptions (45) and receiving touchdowns (nine) in 2012, and was one of the most electrifying punt returners at the FBS level. His 14.8 yards-per-return average was good for fourth in the nation, returning two of 29 punts for touchdowns.
One of the most consistent pieces of Wisconsin’s passing attack, such as it is, will be on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
A UW official confirmed to madison.com that Austin Traylor sustained a right-arm injury in Saturday’s loss to Iowa. As a result, the tight end will be sidelined for the rather broad period of 4-8 weeks.
At best, Traylor could return for the Nov. 7 game against Maryland after missing contests with Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois and Rutgers. At worst, he’d miss the remainder of the regular season, but could return for a bowl game, and perhaps the Big Ten championship game if the Badgers were to earn another berth.
Because he’s already played in five games this season, Traylor would not be eligible for a medical hardship waiver if he were to miss the remainder of the year.
Traylor is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with three while his 15.6 yards per reception is tops on the team. He’s third in receiving yards with 156 and tied for fourth with 10 receptions.
With each passing day, it appears Miami won’t be able to avoid one of the most talented and productive running backs in the country.
Thursday, Dalvin Cook returned to practice for the first time this week. Cook suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, and had spent the previous two days of practice riding a bicycle while the rest of his teammates prepped for the in-state and conference rivalry game against The U this Saturday.
The Palm Beach Post wrote that Cook showed “no signs” of the hamstring injury that had some worried about his availability in Week 6.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher, who said Wednesday he doesn’t “ever count Dalvin out” because of his healing ability, will meet with reporters later this evening and could address Cook’s status for the weekend then. Or, he could play to keep the Hurricanes guessing, even as most assume the All-ACC back will be on the field.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th.