Rashad Alexander

Two legal incidents preceded UK WR’s suspension

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When it was announced that Rashad Cunningham was one of two Kentucky football players suspended for the season opener, the reason given was, of course, unspecified violations of team rules.  We now know, however, a little more of what preceded Cunningham’s suspension.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the wide receiver was involved in a pair of legal incidents this offseason.  The first, the paper writes, “involved a noise violation at his residence and a subsequent citation for failing to pay the fines in that case.”

The second one was a bit more serious as Cunningham was charged with misdemeanor theft of property. Cunningham has a trial date on that charge set for early November.

Cunningham told the Herald-Leader that, as it relates to the second charge, it was simply a “misunderstanding between the subject and myself.” He also denies that his suspension is connected to the two incidents.

UK has declined to say whether the issues were the impetus for the one-game ban.

Cunningham, who has not yet caught a pass during his three seasons in Lexington, is not listed on UK’s two-deep depth chart. He did, though, have eight catches for 80 yards in the spring game a few months ago.

Coming out of high school in Mobile, Ala., Cunningham was a three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2011 recruiting class.

(Photo credit: Kentucky athletics)

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

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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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