Meandering our way through the offseason, a single one-liner at a time…
— Steve Spurrier being, well, the Ol’ Ball Coach when it came to his South Carolina team Thursday: “Pretty sorry practice tonight, it really was.”
— Jeff Driskel returns to practice at Florida after missing six sessions due to an emergency appendectomy.
— Further south, UCF’s Blake Bortles also returned to practice, albeit in a limited capacity.
— Things aren’t looking good on the injury front for starting Illinois STAR Eric Finney.
— Utah safety Reshawn Hooker suffered what could be a career-ending concussion.
— Starting Wisconsin linebacker Ethan Armstrong out indefinitely with what for the time being is being described as a minor leg injury.
— Clemson players give a roar of approval over individual iPads; Dabo Swinney calls the technological development a game-changer.
— Changes abound on myriad fronts at the wide receiver position at Kansas State.
— Veteran Florida State wide receiver Willie Haulstead academically ineligible and won’t play in 2013.
— Competing for a starting linebacker spot, Toledo’s Jaylen Coleman will instead spend the next couple/few months rehabbing a knee injury.
— Western Michigan’s strength & conditioning explains why he took his players on a field trip to a local grocery store.
— Washington has decided to retire the famed Husky Helmet Car.
— The Wisconsin coaching staff surprises walk-on senior Nick Hill with a scholarship during a team meeting.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah