Photo credit: Troy Athletics

Troy mourns passing of DE Jadarius Garner


Troy’s football program is mourning the tragic loss of Jadarius Garner, who passed away near his home town of Clarksdale, Mississippi on Thursday. Mississippi State Police have not released a cause of death at this time.

“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to Jadarius’ family in this time of grief,” Troy football head coach Larry Blakeney said in a statement released by the school. “Jadarius was a well-respected member of our football team and his loss will be felt by all of us.”

Garner, a defensive end, played his second season with the program following a transfer from a junior college. According to a release from Troy, he appeared in all 12 games played by the Trojans this season. His performance this season was highlighted in Troy’s September 7 blowout of Savannah State. Garner led the Trojans with six tackles, including credit for two sacks and five solo tackles and he forced two fumbles. He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

“I wanna play well every game,” Garner said after that game. “I wanna be great.”

Garner was 20 years old.

UPDATE (10:43 p.m. ET): The Associated Press is reporting some awful details about Garner’s death. Mississippi Highway Patrol say Garner’s body was found on the side of U.S. Highway 61 in Boliver County after two cars had run him over. Garner was pronounced dead on the scene.

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

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
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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