Andre Davis, Ronald Darby

Hernia surgery could sideline FSU’s Darby for spring

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As if Ronald Darby‘s true freshman season at Florida State wasn’t outstanding enough, it becomes even more impressive when viewed in the light of what most would consider a rather significant injury.

Dating back to his high school days, Darby has been bothered by a hernia that he both literally and figuratively simply ran through — in addition to being a highly-touted football recruit, Darby is also something of a track phenom.  The injury, though, had gotten to the point where simply running through it was no longer an option as the Orlando Sentinel reports the defensive back underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a sports hernia.

The procedure and subsequent rehab could sideline Darby through May, which would prevent him in participating in the Seminoles’ spring practice sessions that are set to commence in March.  Darby could also miss the outdoor track season as a result of the surgery.

A Seminoles track coach told the Sentinel that, since Darby is on a football scholarship, they’ll defer to the football program as far as a timetable on a return to competition.

“We saw last year in high school that he had the injury last year and didn’t get it fixed and he didn’t run very well,” Ken Harnden said. “I would much rather get it right and come back and have him try to run really fast next year. So we’re not going to rush it.

“And they’re [the football program] paying the bills so we have to be careful with what we do over here.”

In 2012, Darby played in all 14 games and, at season’s end, was named the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.  With fellow corner Xavier Rhodes leaving early for the NFL draft, Darby will be expected to play a more integral role in an FSU defense that’s been one of the top units in the country over the past couple of seasons.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.