We opened Wednesday morning by noting that FIU had lost one of its top cornerbacks for the entire 2013 season due to academic issues. A day later, Tulsa’s feeling the Panthers’ secondary pain.
Not so unexpectedly, Tulsa has confirmed that Demarco Nelson has been declared academically ineligible for the remainder of the 2013 season because of the NCAA’s Progress Towards Degree Requirement. The school had appealed to the NCAA on Nelson’s behalf last week; The Association officially denied the safety’s reinstatement Wednesday.
Nelson was forced to sit out the Golden Hurricane’s season opener because of the academic issue and as the school appealed.
“We’re extremely disappointed that Demarco will not be able to compete this season,” head coach Bill Blankenship said. “He’ll need to concentrate his efforts on academics and be in a situation to play and graduate next year.”
After sitting out this year, Nelson will have one year of eligibility remaining he can use in 2014 as a redshirt senior.
Nelson had started the past 39 games for the Golden Hurricane before missing the season-opening loss to Bowling Green. That streak is tied for second nationally and behind only Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (now 42).
Following the 2012 season, Nelson was named second-team All-Conference USA
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