It doesn’t get more heartbreaking than this.
Thursday night, Overland Park (Kan.) Shawnee Mission West High School football player and Kansas verbal Andrew Maloney had just caught a 63-yard touchdown pass when things began to go horrifically wrong. The defensive back/wide receiver’s coach said the player became dizzy and disoriented; his cousin, who was at the game and rushed onto the field after noticing something wasn’t right, said “Andre [was] laying there, drooling, with his head tilted to the right. He was conscious, but you could tell he wasn’t clear. He was mumbling. It didn’t make sense.”
Maloney was rushed to a local hospital via ambulance and underwent a three-hour emergency surgery to remove a blood clot. Sadly, the surgery was unsuccessful and, Friday, the family decided to remove a non-responsive Maloney from life support as the stroke claimed the high schooler’s life.
He was just 17 years old.
“We are absolutely devastated by the news of the passing of Andre Maloney,” KU head coach Charlie Weis said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken at the loss of such an outstanding young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his mother, Rosalita. We knew from the moment we met Andre just how special he was and he will never be forgotten. The Jayhawk family will forever hold Andre close to our hearts.”
Maloney, a three-star player according to Rivals.com, had verbally committed to Kansas in June of this year.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his family and friends. I can’t even begin to imagine.
(Photo credit: Kansas City Star)
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