Johnell Barnes

Duke WR injured hand in bar ‘altercation’

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For the second time in less than two months, a member of the Duke football program went and got himself involved in an “incident” at a local drinking establishment.

According to The Chronicle, the school’s student newspaper, wide receiver Johnell Barnes got into an “altercation” with a Blue Devils lacrosse player very early Sunday morning at an off-campus bar.  Barnes injured his hand during the scuffle and has been seen wearing a cast around campus this week.

No arrests have been made and no charges filed, at least as of yet.

The school is aware of the incident, with a school spokesperson telling the paper that it “is being handled through the student conduct process.”  Despite the lack of a police report, both student-athletes could face school-related discipline.

Head coach David Cutcliffe has yet to address the situation.  He did say during a press conference Monday, without mentioning Barnes specifically, that a couple of things had surprisingly “popped up yesterday.”

Duke is on a bye this weekend, and its unclear if the injury and/or discipline will keep Barnes on the sidelines when Duke returns to the field Oct. 12 against Navy.

Barnes has five receptions for 107 yards, included two for 73 last Saturday.  The true freshman is also the team’s leading kick returner, averaging 20.4 yards on 10 returns.

In mid-August, wide receiver Ty Smith and cornerback Hud Mellencamp, the son of the singer with the same surname, were charged with felony battery for an incident that occurred earlier in the summer.  both of the players, both walk-ons, remain with the team as his case works its way through the legal system.

(Photo credit: Duke athletics)


Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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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.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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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