Thanks to his immense talent level, it’s been a foregone conclusion for more than a year that Marqise Lee would leave USC early for the NFL. Thanks to myriad nagging injuries in 2013, that thought’s been further cemented in the minds of most draft observers.
For his part, though, Lee is only focused on the here and now at the moment even as an early jump remains inevitable.
Tuesday, the wide receiver told reporters that he hasn’t made a decision yet on returning to the Trojans for another season or making himself available for the April draft.
“I’ve been focusing on trying to leave all the outside stuff out,” Lee said. “Just focus on the weekend and actually getting the job done.”
Lee did not play against Colorado last Saturday, the third complete game he’s missed this season because of various knee and shoulder issues. He is, though, on track to play against archrival UCLA this weekend.
His first two seasons with the Trojans, Lee totaled 191 receptions and 25 touchdowns, including 118 and 14 in 2012. Because of the injuries — and Matt Barkley‘s departure — Lee has just 44 catches and two touchdowns. He’s caught two or fewer passes in three of nine games this season; that had happened just four times in 25 career games entering 2013.
Obviously the coaching staff wants him to return — even as they may not — with Lee’s position coach already getting his pitch to stay lined up.
“My deal for him is, ‘Do do you want to come back and try to see if you want to be a top-five pick?'” receivers coach Tee Martin said. “‘If just being a first-rounder is good for you, then go ahead.”
Failing to make much of a dent during his first two-plus years in Knoxville, Neiko Creamer has decided to ply his football wares elsewhere.
Wednesday evening, UT head coach Butch Jones confirmed that Creamer has decided to leave the Volunteers football program and will transfer out. According to Jones, he and his staff will help the tight end find the right fit at a new home.
No reason was given for Creamer’s decision to look elsewhere, although the opportunity for more playing time would be a good place to start.
A three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Creamer, whose father, Andre, played for the Vols in the eighties, was rated as the No. 18 player at any position in the state of Maryland. After redshirting as a true freshman, and working as both a linebacker and tight end, Creamer played in one game during the 2015 season.
A former Bowling Green football player who claimed he suffered permanent brain damage has settled a lawsuit with the university.
According to the Toledo Blade, Cody Silk will receive a $712,500 settlement in the agreement reached between himself and BGSU. As part of the agreement, the university did not admit fault and the former offensive lineman agreed that he would not pursue any further damage claims.
Silk had filed his suit in 2013, claiming “that BGSU coaches and medical staff failed to withhold him from practices after he suffered repeated concussions.” Silk claimed that he had suffered two concussions in 2010, but was cleared by the football program’s medical staff to return to full-contact status in practice; shortly thereafter, he suffered a third concussion.
The lineman subsequently parted ways with the team, lost his scholarship and dropped out of school.
The settlement came after Silk’s attorneys had asked the Ohio Court of Claims to reconsider their initial rejection. From the Columbus Dispatch:
The court initially rejected Silk’s claims, finding Silk signed a release of liability to play football in which he assumed the risk of possible injury. He refiled the claim last year. A state attorney claimed Silk was exaggerating and overreporting his symptoms, but the settlement will keep the case from going to trial.
In their motion for reconsideration, Silks’ representation contended, the Blade wrote, “the release [of liability] didn’t cover ‘wanton and willful misconduct,’ which he alleged BGSU’s conduct was.”
An injury that wiped out most of Keon Hatcher‘s 2015 season has resurfaced.
On social media over the weekend, Hatcher posted a video which revealed his left foot encased in a post-surgery boot. WholeHogSports.com subsequently confirmed through multiple sources that Hatcher had indeed undergone surgery recently.
The website writes “[i]t’s unclear why Hatcher required the surgery or whether he will miss any practice or playing time because of the surgery.” The university has thus far declined to address the receiver’s status, although head coach Bret Bielema could be expected to touch on the situation during a post-spring press conference Thursday.
During Arkansas’ Week 2 upset loss to Toledo, Hatcher suffered a broken left foot that at first was expected to sideline him for a minimum of six weeks but, following surgery, ultimately cost him the remainder of the season.
At the time of the injury, Hatcher was the Razorbacks’ leader with 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2014, he led the team with 558 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
Hatcher received a medical hardship waiver for the 2015 season, which will allow him to return as a fifth-year senior this season.
Seeing the writing on Virginia’s depth chart wall, Nick Johns has decided to take his leave of Charlottesville.
As more and more kids are doing these days — especially the cool ones — Johns took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to leave the Cavaliers football program and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere. According to the quarterback, he was given an unrestricted release from his UVa. scholarship.
Johns, who is not related to returning Cavalier starting quarterback Matt Johns, was a three-star member of UVa.’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the District of Columbia. As he didn’t see the field as a true freshman, Johns’ main claim to fame during his brief time with the Cavaliers was a driving while intoxicated charged he accrued last August.
With Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, a Texas/Arizona transfer, in a dead-heat for the starting job exiting the spring, and former East Carolina starter Kurt Benkert added as a graduate transfer over the weekend, Nick Johns’ decision to leave for a better shot at playing time is understandable.