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Georgia DT Jordan Davis and LB D’Andre Walker to be game-time decisions in Sugar Bowl

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Georgia may be down a couple of defensive starters for the Sugar Bowl against Texas on New Years Day. According to head coach Kirby Smart, defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker D’Andre Walker could be game-time decisions for the Bulldogs.

Walker injured his groin in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama at the end of the season. He had missed some practices leading up to the bowl game early on after leaving the SEC Championship Game in the fourth quarter. Walker’s absence would be a tough one for Georgia as he is the team’s leader with 11.0 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. The senior may still get a chance to play, but it would not be a shock at this point to see him sit out the game whether or not it is his decision with a bright NFL future on the horizon. Davis, a freshman, has 1.5 sacks this season and 25 tackles.

Both players have reportedly been active in practices closer to the Sugar Bowl, but how much they play against a live opponent remains to be seen.

Georgia is already playing without Deandre Baker, who is skipping the Sugar Bowl to focus on the NFL.

Former Alabama signee commits to rival Tennessee

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This is quite the turn of events.

In December of 2017, Davis signed on as an early piece of Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class.  Expected to enroll at the university early, Jordan Davis instead enrolled at a junior college, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College, in mid-July as he failed to qualify academically at UA.  In October of this year, the defensive lineman took to Twitter to announce that he was recommitting to the Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban.

A month later?  Never mind as Davis confirmed on the same social media site that he has verbally committed to Tennessee and former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

In an interview with 247Sports.com not long after that announcement, the Tennessee native expounded on his decision.

“It’s just somewhere I wanted to truly go, somewhere I feel that I can really make a difference,” Davis told the recruiting website. “I just want to do something different. I want to do something big. I want to do something big for my hometown and my state.

“I mean, I shocked the world with that one.”

Davis was a consensus four-star 2018 signee, rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 6 weakside defensive end in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Tennessee; and the No. 108 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.  Only two defensive linemen in the Tide’s class this year — Eyabi Anoma and Stephon Wynn — were rated higher than Davis.

Whether Davis follows through on his latest commitment a month from now remains to be seen.

Louisville TE arrested for threatening to kill his girlfriend accused of sexually assaulting different woman

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This is not a good look, at all, for the player specifically and the football program in general.

On Oct. 15, Louisville tight end Kemari Averett was arrested on a pair of charges, including one felony, after he was accused of holding a gun to the head of his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, and threatening to kill her. The sophomore was indefinitely suspended by the football program two days later.

Prior to that, the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported, another unidentified woman alleged she was raped by Averett in mid-August and reported the incident to an on-campus crisis center the same day the sexual assault allegedly occurred. On Oct. 8, the university ordered Averett to have no contact whatsoever with the woman; on Oct. 9, a report was filed with the university police department regarding the alleged rape and an investigation was launched.

Four days later, Averett was on the field for the U of L’s road trip to Boston College.

“If the university notifies us of information that necessitates action, we act. We did not have information that would have suspended [Averett] from competition,” athletic director Vince Tyra said in a statement earlier this week, addressing whether or not the football program was aware of the rape investigation when Averett played against the Eagles.

Thursday night, head coach Bobby Petrino, who had remained silent as Averett’s issues grew, issued a statement as well.

Kemari was already suspended from all team activity due to the incident on Oct. 15 when I was notified of the most recent charge against him. He remains on suspension from all football activities and facilities while an investigation is conducted. I take all charges of misconduct seriously and act swiftly when conduct does not meet our expectations.

In an interview with the Courier-Journal, Averett claimed he had a previous relationship with his accuser, but had not spoken to her in the four months leading up to the alleged sexual assault. Averett further claimed that he was at football practice at the time of the alleged sexual assault and could provide corroborating evidence, although he declined to share it with the newspaper.

Averett’s defense attorney, Aubrey Williams, described the rape accusation to ESPN.com as “baseless garbage. As of this posting, the player has not been charged in connection to the alleged rape.

I’m already looking like the bad guy,” Averett told the Courier-Journal. “I know my word, it don’t matter right now. … I’m just the big and bad guy.”

In connection to the incident involving the girlfriend who is the mother of Averett’s child, Williams, the player’s attorney, told the Courier-Journal following a preliminary hearing Thursday that his client has been evicted from an off-campus apartment affiliated with the university and barred from stepping foot on school grounds. “The county prosecutor said in Thursday’s hearing that Averett has been deemed a Persona Non Grata by the University of Louisville, explained on the university’s website as ‘a person who is not welcome at the University of Louisville,'” the newspaper wrote.

Averett was originally facing one count each of felony first-degree wanton endangerment and misdemeanor fourth-degree domestic violence.  The former charge has since been amended to second-degree wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor.  A jury trial on that case is on the docket for late February of next year.

Averett, a true sophomore from Atlanta, had started four games for the Cardinals through the first half of the season.  He’s caught eight passes for 65 yards and was tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns prior to the off-field issues surfacing.

Police: Louisville TE Kemari Averett held gun to girlfriend’s head, threatened to kill her

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A very scary and disturbing incident is the latest to trigger a resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Louisville tight end Kemari Averett was arrested on one count each of first-degree wanton endangerment and domestic violence (fourth-degree assault).  Averett is accused of holding a gun to the head of his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, and threatening to kill her.

From the Courier-Journal‘s report:

According to an arrest citation, Averett was at the woman’s house Sunday night to study and left his backpack. The woman went over to Averett’s apartment to return the backpack Monday night. He walked to the car and gave the woman a baby outfit and ultrasound pictures, according to the citation.

When he retrieved the backpack, he noticed his laptop was missing, the citation said.

She told Averett she wasn’t aware the laptop was missing. Police said Averett then came at the woman, put a gun to her left temple and said, “(expletive), I will kill you.”

Averett then told her to return to her hometown, and “I’ll have my people looking for you,” police said. He also told a witness in the back seat that, “I should pistol whip your (expletive) for running your mouth,” the citation said.

As a result of the arrest, the 20-year-old Averett has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.

“Kemari Averett has been suspended immediately from all football activities per further investigation,” a statement from head coach Bobby Petrino began. “He will not have access to our facility or be involved in any team activities during this suspension.”

Averett, a true sophomore from Atlanta, has started four of the six games for the Cardinals this season.  He’s caught eight passes for 65 yards and is tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns.

No. 1 Alabama looks like same old Tide in romp over Louisville

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The last we saw these Crimson Tide, Tua Tagovailoa used his electrifying, unorthodox style to team with a group of young, athletic wide receivers to lead an astonishing comeback past Georgia to win the national championship. Nine months later, not much has changed. No. 1 Alabama opened the year with yet another neutral site romping, blowing out Louisville 51-14 in Orlando.

The win was Alabama’s 74th straight over an unranked opponent, an AP poll record.

Nick Saban finally, officially deemed the sophomore Hawaiian has his starting quarterback just before the top-ranked Crimson Tide kicked Saturday night, and it was immediately evident why. Alabama accepted the ball to open the game and immediately moved 65 yards in seven snaps, reaching pay dirt on an 11-yard strike from Tagovailoa to Jerry Jeudy.

The Tide’s next drive ended prematurely when a Tagovailoa connection to Devonta Smith (the fellow sophomore on the receiving end of Tagovailoa’s golden rainbow last January) ended in a fumble at the Louisville 17-yard line. No matter, Alabama forced a three-and-out and then marched 55 yards in six plays, scoring on a 9-yard Tagovailoa rush, pushing their lead to 14-0 at the 4:04 mark of the first quarter.

Louisville threatened to get on the scoreboard on the ensuing possession, but Jawon Pass was intercepted by Deionte Thompson, one of five new starters in Alabama’s defensive backfield, in the end zone. After a 25-yard return, Alabama was inside Louisville’s 10-yard line three plays later, thanks largely to a 49-yard rainbow from Tagovailoa to true freshman Jaylen WaddleNajee Harris gave Alabama a 21-0 lead three plays later.

If there was one weak point for Alabama in the first half — and you know a sect of Tide fans is looking for one — it’s that Jalen Hurts played two second quarter series and the Tide didne’t score on either of them. The junior’s two series covered a combined 52 yards but both ended in punts.

Alabama seemed content to take a 3-touchdown lead into the break, but Waddle broke free for a 31-yard punt return to the Louisville 25 with 27 ticks left in the half, and Tagovailoa returned to capitalize in the form of his second touchdown pass to Jeudy of the night with nine seconds remaining in the half, staking the Tide to a 28-0 lead at the break.

Louisville finally got on the board at the 6:27 mark of the third quarter when Jawon Pass found tight end Kemari Averett for a 12-yard touchdown pass, but the Cardinals never seriously threatened the Tide. Josh Jacobs scored twice for Alabama in the second half, first on an 18-yard rush, then on a 77-yard kickoff return, and Shyheim Carter pushed the Tide over the half-a-hundred mark with a 45-yard pick six midway through the fourth quarter. Pass again connected with Averett for an 8-yard score to complete the scoring with 1:55 to play.