Late last month, Todd Graham said he’d be “shocked” if Carl Bradford didn’t return to Arizona State for his senior season.
A couple of weeks later, and a day before the deadline for such declarations, color Graham shocked.
In a statement sent out Monday, Graham confirmed that Bradford has decided to forego his remaining eligibility and make himself available for the 2014 NFL draft. As the defensive end/linebacker has already signed with an agent, there’s no chance he could change his mind and return to the Sun Devils.
“It was an honor and a privilege to coach Carl Bradford at Arizona State University,” the head coach’s statement read. “Carl leaves ASU with his degree and that is what we are most proud of.
“Additionally, with players like Carl, Will Sutton, Chris Young, Osahon Irabor and Alden Darby we built the No. 1 defense in Pac-12 Conference play and one of the top rated units nationally. We want to be known for tough, stout defense at ASU and Carl helped us achieve that in 2012 and 2013. We appreciate Carl for being a great Sun Devil and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
In 2013, Bradford led ASU with 18 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead in sacks with 8.5. He also intercepted one pass and forced three fumbles.
For that effort, he was named second-team All-Pac-12.
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”