Dion Sims

Pair of Southern Miss receivers arrested for alleged armed robbery & kidnapping


Two Southern Mississippi wide receivers are in some deep legal trouble. Yesterday, James Cox and Kyle Foster were arrested on three felony charges including armed robbery, kidnapping and burglary of an occupied dwelling.

The details involving the incident in question are still unknown beyond the charges and arrests. Southern Mississippi’s athletics department is aware of the situation though and awaiting the legal process to play out.

“We have been made aware of the situation and we are continuing to gather information at this time,” Southern Miss spokesman Jack Duggan said in a statement shared with Hattiesburg American.

Cox was sixth on the Southern Miss roster for receiving in 2014 with 15 receptions for 219 yards and two touchdowns.Foster was eighth on the team with 168 receiving yards on 12 receptions in nine games. Cox earned Conference USA academic honor roll honors in 2013 as a freshman.

Foster was eighth on the team with 168 receiving yards on 12 receptions in nine games. Foster played at Syracuse in 2011 and redshirted with the program in 2012. He played the 2013 season at Dodge City Community College before transferring to Southern Miss in 2014. Foster is a cousin of NFL player Dion Sims.

CFT Predicts: the Big Ten


As the 2013 season draws near, we peek into our crystal ball and guess project how each of the five major conferences will play out. Today, we examine the Big Ten.  

While we’re at it, be sure to check out our other conference predictions: SEC, Pac-12

Leaders Division

1. Ohio State (Last year: 12-0)
What happened last season?
Urban Meyer‘s first year with the Buckeyes was flawless, at least as far as things go in the win-loss column. Though Ohio State had no postseason to look forward to thanks to NCAA sanctions, it went undefeated during the regular season. That’s propelled OSU to become one of the preseason favorites to appear in the final BCS championship.

So why are they ranked here?
The more appropriate question would be why wouldn’t the Buckeyes be ranked here? Meyer is easily one of the best in the game and quarterback Braxton Miller is now the betting favorite to win the Heisman. There are some concerns along the defensive front for this team, but it doesn’t have the appearance of something that will be an insurmountable problem.

Anything else?
The Game against Michigan can go either way, but there’s really only one spot I can potentially see Ohio State slipping. That would be an Oct. 5 game at Northwestern. The Wildcats enter 2013 with some hype (there’s something you don’t type everyday) after winning 10 games last year.

2. Wisconsin (Last year: 8-6; lost to Stanford in Rose Bowl) 
What happened last season?
The Badgers can thank the NCAA for getting to the Big Ten title game as both Ohio State and Penn State watched from home. The Badgers struggled with offensive consistency throughout the year even though Montee Ball was among the leading rushers in the country. 

So why are they ranked here?
Gary Andersen takes over for the departed Bret Bielema. Though Ball is gone and the quarterback situation needs to be figured out, this is a veteran team with some recognizable names still around like running back James White and receiver Jared Abbrederis. The bigger concern lies on defense, which will be moving to more of a 3-4 this year.

Anything else?
The Badgers avoid Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska this season. It may not help Andersen win the Leaders Division in his first year, but it should help with a few more W’s. Also, QB Tanner McEvoy has started getting some looks at receiver and should help in that department.


Record number of underclassmen enter NFL draft


We’ve been keeping track of underclassmen who have declared for this year’s NFL draft. This morning, the NFL released its list of 73 underclassmen who have been granted “special eligibility” for the draft by being at least three years removed from high school before declaring.

That number is a new record, breaking the one held in 2012 with 65 underclassmen declaring. In 2011, 56 players left early and 53 took off in 2010. In fact, the 73 who declared this year is 30 more than in 2004.

Of the 73 players, 33 come from SEC schools, or began their careers at SEC schools. That’s far and away the most of any conference. LSU has 11 underclassmen with ties to the program represented.

You can view the NFL’s release HEREbut here’s the alphabetized list.

Keenan Allen WR, California
David Amerson DB, North Carolina State
Alvin Bailey G, Arkansas
Stedman Bailey WR, West Virginia
David Bakhtiari T, Colorado
Dwayne Beckford LB, Purdue
Le’Veon Bell RB, Michigan State
Giovani Bernard RB, North Carolina
Tyler Bray QB,Tennessee
Terrence Brown DB, Stanford
Duron Carter WR, Ohio State
Knile Davis RB, Arkansas
Mike Edwards DB, Hawaii
Matt Elam DB, Florida
Zach Ertz TE, Stanford
Gavin Escobar TE, San Diego State
Chris Faulk T, Louisiana State
Sharrif Floyd DT, Florida
Michael Ford RB, Louisiana State
Travis Frederick C, Wisconsin
Kwame Geathers NT, Georgia
William Gholston DE, Michigan State
Johnathan Hankins DT, Ohio State
Jajuan Harley DB, Middle Tennessee
DeAndre HopkinsWR, Clemson
Justin Hunter WR, Tennessee
Jawan Jamison RB, Rutgers
Stefphon Jefferson RB, Nevada
Tony Jefferson DB, Oklahoma
Jelani Jenkins LB, Florida
Luke Joeckel T, Texas A&M
Jarvis Jones LB, Georgia
Jose Jose DT, Central Florida
Joe Kruger DE, Utah
Eddie Lacy RB, Alabama
Marcus Lattimore RB, South Carolina
Corey Lemonier DE, Auburn
Bennie Logan DT, Louisiana State
Stansly Maponga DE, Texas Christian
Tyrann Mathieu DB, Louisiana State
Dee Milliner DB, Alabama
Barkevious Mingo DE, Louisiana State
Kevin Minter LB, Louisiana State
Sam Montgomery DE, Louisiana State
Brandon Moore DT, Texas
Damontre Moore DE, Texas A&M
Alec Ogletree LB, Georgia
Cordarrelle Patterson WR, Tennessee
Bradley Randle RB, Nevada-Las Vegas
Joseph Randle RB, Oklahoma State
Jordan Reed TE, Florida
Eric Reid DB, Louisiana State
Greg Reid DB, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes DB, Florida State
Sheldon Richardson DT, Missouri
Nickell Robey DB, Southern California
Logan Ryan DB, Rutgers
Ace Sanders WR, South Carolina
Darrington Sentimore DT, Tennessee
Tharold Simon DB, Louisiana State
Dion Sims TE, Michigan State
Akeem Spence DT, Illinois
Kenny Stills WR, Oklahoma
Levine Toilolo TE, Stanford
Spencer Ware RB, Louisiana State
Menelik Watson T, Florida State
Bjoern Werner DE, Florida State
Steve Williams DB, California
Marquess Wilson WR, Washington State
Brad Wing P, Louisiana State
Cierre Wood RB, Notre Dame
Robert Woods WR, Southern California
Tom Wort LB, Oklahoma

TE Gavin Escobar leaving SDSU for NFL

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For the first time this year, San Diego State is on the receiving end of an early departure from the NFL.

SDSU head coach Rocky Long confirmed to the San Diego Union-Tribune that tight end Gavin Escobar has decided to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL draft.  Based on how his comments read, it doesn’t appear Long was in total lockstep with the decision.

“I never know if it’s a good or bad decision. I let the young man and his family decide,” Long told the paper. “I gave him my opinion and want him to make that decision.

“I told him we wanted him to come back, and the benefits of coming back, but families do a good job of deciding these things.”

Escobar led the Aztecs this season in receptions (42, receiving yards (543) and receiving touchdowns (six).  For his career, the 6-6, 255-pounder totaled 122 catches for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Escobar becomes the third player at his position to declare early for the draft, joining Florida’s Jordan Reed and Michigan State’s Dion Sims.  All told, 41 underclassmen have officially announced their intention to leave eligibility on the table for a shot at the NFL.

Gholston gives Sparty early NFL trifecta


After officially losing running back Le’Veon Bell and tight end Dion Sims to the NFL draft two days ago, Michigan State’s taken an expected early hit to the defensive side of the ball as well.

While the school has yet to officially announce his departure, defensive lineman William Gholston confirmed to 247Sports.com Friday that he has decided to eschew a final season with the Spartans and will instead ply his football wares at the NFL level.  Gholston said he informed head coach Mark Dantonio of his decision Friday.

“After thinking everything over and talking to coach Dantonio, I knew it in my heart leaving for the NFL was the best decision for me,” Gholston told the website. “I want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point in my career and everything the entire Michigan State has done for me.”

Despite his immense talent, there was one little reason that played a significant role in his decision.

“Every snap, every down and every step I take throughout life is for him,” Gholston said of his three-month-old son. “My son means everything to me because he is part of me in everything I do.”

The 6-7, 278-pound Gholston led the Spartans this season in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (13).  The former five-star recruit is viewed by most draft analysts as a first- to second-round talent.