Victim in alleged Philip Nelson assault shows improvement

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Finally, a sliver of good news in a story that’s previously seen nothing but heartbreak.

Earlier this month, now-former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson was arrested in connection to what was reportedly a vicious assault outside of a Mankato, Minn., bar. Nelson was ultimately charged with first- and third-degree assault in an incident that left the victim, former Div. II football player Isaac Kolstad (pictured), hospitalized and fighting for his life.

The family released a dire statement a week later, confirming that the 24-year-old Kolstad, who is married and has a young daughter, was on life support and had a portion of his brain removed after allegedly being kicked in the head repeatedly by Nelson and another male who is facing charges as well.

While Kolstad remains in a coma, his family wrote on a blog that updates the former Div. II football player’s progress, the swelling in his brain “has decreased even more and we are told by his physicians we are now ‘out of the woods’ for needing additional brain surgeries to repair damage from the injuries or other post-operative complications he was at risk for, but thankfully avoided.” The last family statement gave almost no hope that Kolstad would live let alone ever recover to any degree; today, however, there’s some optimism in the midst of the uncertainty.

Again, from the family’s blog:

Miracles are truly happening. Every day we are seeing small signs of improvement, small victories of potential recovery. To put it into perspective, when Isaac arrived in the Emergency Room on the night of his injury the physician’s scored him according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. The scale is scored 3-15. That night, Isaac scored a 3. His neurosurgical team of Mayo Physicians, both here in Mankato and in Rochester who were working as a team for his case, informed us that through their experience and through outside research, 97% of cases that arrive with scores below 5 do not survive or are left in a vegetative state. There was little hope that he would make any type of recovery. But right now, our Isaac is in the 3%, he is surviving. We are so hopeful that Isaac will continue to heal, continue to show us that he is working so hard, and continue to beat the odds. The tremendous support and love, the so many people who have reached out to our families, the prayers and positive thoughts have truly gotten Isaac this far. We again, can never thank you enough, and please continue to think and pray for all of those involved, we truly believe it will get Isaac to the recovery he had so small of a chance of reaching.

We said it before and we’ll say it again: While Kolstad lays in a hospital fighting for his life, Nelson is free on a $20,000 bond.

(Tip O’ the Cap: NJ.com)

Jalen Hurts has seen Heisman odds shorten since transfer to Oklahoma

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I guess that’s what happens when the school to which you moved has produced back-to-back Heisman winners at the position you play, eh?

In mid-January, as he was in the midst of transferring from Alabama, Jalen Hurts was listed by BetOnline.ag as a 9/1 shot to stake his claim as the winner of the 2019 Heisman Trophy.  Very shortly thereafter, Hurts’ move to Oklahoma was confirmed; a month later, in the latest odds released by the same online sportsbook, Hurts now sits at 13/2 to win this year’s version of the most storied trophy in college sports.

As was the case a month ago, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the way-too-early 2019 Heisman favorite at 7/2, although those odds have lengthened a bit from the initial 3/1.  The quarterback whose play on the field pushed Hurts out in Tuscaloosa, 2018 Heisman runnerup Tua Tagovailoa, also saw his odds lengthen a smidge from 4/1 to 5/1.

Most of the other odds remained relatively steady from that initial release, although USC quarterback JT Daniels and Clemson-to-Missouri transfer Kelly Bryant did both make a move from off the board to part of a mini-pack at 25/1.

For perspective given the fact that we’re still nearly seven months from the 2019 season kicking off, the 2018 Heisman winner, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, wasn’t among the two dozen or so college football players listed wagering-wise as potential winners around this time a year ago.  The top three Heisman odds at this time last year?  Stanford running back Bryce Love, Wisconsin running back Johnathan Taylor and Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, none of whom were finalists for the trophy won by Murray.

2019 signee who left Oklahoma for the military will instead transfer to another school

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Never mind, I guess.

Earlier this month, Derek Green, a member of Oklahoma’s 2019 recruiting class, revealed that he would be pursuing a career in the military instead of a career in college football.

“I don’t want to waste anybody’s time,” Green said at the time, “because Oklahoma has a great group of guys on that defense that’s there and coming in and I want them to be successful and they can spend more time developing them while I try to serve my country.”

Green also confirmed at the time that he would be placing his name into the NCAA transfer database, although “that’s just in case I want to go back to it later, but as of right now I’m going to serve my country.”

Fast-forward a few days, and Green announced via Twitter that he will be putting his military career on hold and transferring to a football program other than the one with which he signed back in December.

Green was a consensus three-star signee for the Sooners who enrolled in classes at the university earlier this month.  He was the only signee listed as a defensive tackle in OU’s class this year.

Virginia Tech transfer QB Josh Jackson tweets move to Maryland

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For the third time this offseason, first-year head coach Mike Locksley has pulled in a Power Five transfer to his Maryland program.

On his personal Twitter account Monday night, Josh Jackson announced that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career for Locksley at Maryland.  Nearly four weeks ago, it was confirmed that Jackson would be leaving Virginia Tech as the quarterback had placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As Jackson is expected to graduate from Tech in May, he would be eligible to play for Maryland this coming season.  Not only that, but he will have another year of eligibility he can use in College Park in 2020 as well.

After going through a tumultuous offseason, Jackson began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury in mid-September.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Jackson started all 13 games for the 9-4 Hokies. He passed for 2,991 yards and ran for another 324 yards while accounting for 26 touchdowns — 20 passing, six rushing.  The passing yards were the most for an FBS freshman that season, while the touchdowns passes were the second-most at this level.

Given the fact that he’ll be immediately eligible, Jackson will head into summer camp as the favorite to lay claim to the Terrapins’ starting job under center.

In addition to Jackson, Maryland has landed transfers from wide receiver Sean Savoy and linebacker Keandre Jones.  The former comes to College Park from Virginia Tech, the latter from Ohio State.

Ex-Arizona State LB Jalen Bates announces transfer to Colorado State

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Not long after declaring he was looking to transfer, ex-Arizona State linebacker Jalen Bates has found his landing spot. Bates is heading to Colorado State.

On Monday, Bates announced to his Twitter followers he is a Ram. The message was posted with a Photoshopped image showing him in a Colorado State football uniform. Bates started 10 games for Arizona State last season, and he has appeared in 18 games during his college career with the Sun Devils. That’s a nice addition for the Rams.

Having already earned his degree from Arizona State, Bates will be eligible to p[lay right away for the Rams this fall.