The topsy-turvy 2013 season for Texas’ Daje Johnson will end on a decidedly down note.
Sunday afternoon, the Longhorns announced that the wide receiver/running back/return man is one of three players who have been declared academically ineligible and will not play in UT’s Alamo Bowl game against Oregon. Also out are offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle and tailback Jalen Overstreet.
The losses of Johnson and Estelle will serve as significant blows to Texas’ offense.
When healthy — and staying out of trouble — Johnson has accumulated 757 all-purpose yards in 2013 and started six games. Johnson scored three touchdowns this season — one each rushing, receiving and on a punt return — along with being one of the team’s top return specialists.
An ankle injury cost Johnson playing time early in the season, and a suspension for violating unspecified team rules kept him out of the Thanksgiving Day game against Texas Tech.
Replacing an injured Josh Cochran, the sophomore Estelle started the last eight games of the season at right tackle.
The redshirt freshman Overstreet ran the ball 20 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
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