Stunner: Russell Wilson given release by N.C. State

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Well, this is certainly an unexpected development.  Kinda.

Back in February, head coach Tom O’Brien appeared to slam the door shut on the possibility of quarterback Russell Wilson — runner-up for the ACC’s Offensive Player of the Year last season as well as a baseball player in the Colorado Rockies’ minor league system — returning to North Carolina State for one more season in 2011.  Of late, however, Wilson has intimated that he was considering a return to football, although O’Brien fired back at that speculation by stating Wilson would be the backup if he returned.

After today’s news, such talk has abruptly become a moot point.

In a release issued by the school Friday evening, O’Brien announced that Wilson — third in school history in passing yards (8,645) and second in passing touchdowns (76) — has been released from his NCSU scholarship and is free to transfer to another school if he still desires to play football at the collegiate level.  The decision to release Wilson also makes it crystal clear what O’Brien has been stating for a month a more: Mike Glennon is his starter at QB for the 2011 season.

“Russell and I have had very open conversations about his responsibilities respective to baseball and football,” said O’Brien in a statement. “While I am certainly respectful of Russell’s dedication to baseball these last several years, within those discussions I also communicated to him the importance of his time commitment to NC State Football.

“My staff and I thank him for his contributions as a member of Wolfpack football and to this University and wish him only the best in the future.”

Wilson said in his own statement that while he “remain[s] undecided on the option of playing college football this coming season, I believe it is in the best interest of the players and coaches involved to end any speculation of my return to the Wolfpack. It has become apparent that the time has come for the program to move on without me.”

Even as Wilson remains undecided about his football future, the name of one possible destination immediately popped into our mind when we first heard the news of the talented QB’s release: South Carolina.  Given the uncertainty swirling around Stephen Garcia, the Gamecocks would be a near-perfect landing spot for Wilson if he decides to continue playing football at the collegiate level.  As Wilson has already received a degree in communications from NCSU, he would be eligible to play immediately at USC — or anywhere else at the Div. 1-A level, for that matter — provided he enrolls in a graduate program not offered at his former school.

It might be worth at least a shot for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.  Hell, the one-and-done method at the QB position didn’t work out too shabby for another SEC school in 2010; who’s to say lightning can’t strike in the same conference in back-to-back seasons?

UPDATED 7:09 p.m. ET: The Raleigh News & Observer reports that, based on the terms outlined in his release, Wilson will not be permitted to transfer to any school in the ACC or one on their 2011 schedule.  The Wolfpack’s non-conference slate consists of Liberty, South Alabama, Cincinnati and Central Michigan.

Knee injury knocks Boston College QB Anthony Brown out for a second season

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Anthony Brown had his redshirt freshman season cut short due to a knee injury, battled back to start all 12 games in 2018 and BC’s first six contests this fall, until yet another knee injury knocked him out for another season.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio revealed Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season with what the school is calling a “lower leg injury.” Brown made a cut avoiding a tackle during BC’s Oct. 5 game against Louisville and immediately clutched his left knee. Boston College lost the game, 41-39, though Brown began the contest 6-of-7 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re very, very sad for Anthony. He worked hard to get himself where he was. He’s seventh all-time in passing in BC history and heading towards greater things this year. He’s had a great career and he’s prepared and practiced and put so much into it. We’re so proud of him,” Addazio said.

The fourth-year junior from Cliffwood, N.J., finishes his season 81-of-137 for 1,250 yards with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 128 yards and two scores.

“It’s a tough deal, but he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back,” Addazio said. “We’re gonna love him and support him and get him back to where he was, but his season has come to an end.”

Brown can return as a fifth-year senior in 2020, with two year-ending knee injuries under his belt, literally and figuratively.

Virginia loses CB Bryce Hall for the season

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Virginia has lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall revealed Monday.

He suffered an ankle injury in Virginia’s loss to Miami on Friday and underwent surgery on Monday, which will spell the end of his college career. The injury came while Hall was blocking on a punt return. Trainers put the injured ankle in an air cast and, while players on both teams gave him good wishes, ESPN decided the injury was gruesome enough that it would not air replays of the play.

“Bryce Hall is in good spirits,” Mendenhall said. “We expect a good recovery, he sustained a left ankle injury and had surgery Monday. We do not expect him back this season. He is an amazing young person, I am thankful for his efforts and to be his coach. On the bus after the game, Bryce was sitting behind me and he said to me, ‘Coach, I’m a human buoy.’ He has been exemplary in everything he has done here.”

Hall is the best player on Virginia’s roster. The Harrisburg, Pa., senior entered the season a Preseason All-American on multiple lists and led the nation in 2018 with 24 passes defended. He also posted two interceptions and 62 tackles, earning him First Team All-ACC honors.

 

South Carolina apologizes for hedge-ripping after Gamecocks upset of No. 10 Georgia

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South Carolina pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, knocking off then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in overtime, in Athens. And the ‘Cocks left Sanford Stadium with souvenirs, claiming some of Georgia’s famous hedges for themselves.

Some hedges were even seen in the hands of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, a Georgia player and former Bulldog.

While some may call it good, old victory fun, Georgia AD Greg McGarity did not have a sense of humor about his shrubbery getting ripped up.

“I don’t like it all,” he told DawgNation. “We sure don’t do that when we win at an opponents’ venue under Kirby’s leadership.”

McGarity also said his South Carolina counterpart, Ray Tanner, apologized for his team’s postgame celebration.

“Ray just apologized for those actions,” he told the site.

UTSA QB Frank Harris lost for the year

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UTSA quarterback Frank Harris will miss the remainder of the season with an upper body injury, head coach Frank Wilson announced Monday. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.

Harris has not played since originally suffering the injury in a 45-3 loss to North Texas on Sept. 21. He was on the sideline in a sling during the Roadrunners’ loss to UAB on Saturday.

A second-year player from the San Antonio era, Harris has missed most or all of the last three seasons while dealing with injuries. He appeared in eight games as a senior at Schertz Clemens High School, then missed all of 2018 with an ACL injury.

In three full games this season (he did not throw a pass against North Texas), Harris completed 66-of-91 passes for 486 yards with three touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 126 yards.

In Harris’ absence, UTSA has turned to LSU transfer Lowell Narcisse, who went 8-of-19 for 94 yards while rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown in a 33-14 loss to UAB.