Already reeling from a reported incident of hazing, the North Carolina football team could see its defensive line take yet another hit as well.
An undisclosed eligibility issue has been hanging over the head fo defensive tackle Ethan Farmer throughout summer camp, even as he’s continued to practice with the team. The Raleigh News & Observer writes that “it’s unclear whether he’ll play when the Tar Heels open the season on Saturday at home against Liberty – or whether he’ll play at all this season.”
For his part, head coach Larry Fedora has all but ruled the senior out of this weekend’s game.
“I’d love to… But I don’t anticipate anything,” Fedora said when asked if there would be any news on Farmer’s availability prior to the opener. “It’s out of our control, so I don’t – I don’t know the speed of it. Nobody has indicated to me it’ll happen one way or the other. So I have no way of knowing. We’re preparing both ways, actually. Which makes it a little bit tougher.”
Farmer was expected to be a starting tackle heading into camp.
Late last month, a pair of defensive linemen, Shawn Underwood and Greg Webb, abruptly decided to leave the football program.
Underwood played in 20 games the past two seasons, starting five of those contests. He would’ve entered summer camp as a favorite to land a starting job.
Webb, a touted four-star member of UNC’s 2013 recruiting class, took a redshirt as a true freshman last season and would’ve been a part of the line rotation.
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