San Jose State football
Getty Images

San Jose State player who suffered ‘major brain injury’ in car accident back home after two months of rehab

Leave a comment

There is some very inspiring and uplifting news coming out of the San Jose State football program to share this morning.

May 20th, the San Jose State football program confirmed, Kyane  Schmidt was involved in a single-car rollover crash, which caused the redshirt freshman to be ejected from the vehicle.  Details surrounding the wreck itself weren’t divulged at the time.

The aftermath, however, was horrific.

“[Schmidt] suffered a major brain injury,” the player’s parents wrote on the Caring Bridge website. “He was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in a deep coma. The doctor said he will be in a coma for multiple weeks. He’s going to need to fight… We believe in him.”

A little over two months later, after spending several weeks in a coma, Schmidt returned home late last month.  The parents again detailed the development on the same website.

‘Kyane is doing fantastic’ were the exact words from Kyane’s doctor over many updates echoed in the last few weeks, which have gone by with a blur. The detailed briefings from the medical staff have been a little far in between as they have navigated the schedule for updates amid Covid and the ever changing rules, but the wait has been worth it for the amazing news that we have been anticipating. Kyane is finally coming home tomorrow 7/30/20. I prayed from the first day that I would hear those words and a little over 2 months later, they are music to my ears and the reality that my son is coming home is so humbling.

Over the weeks, Kyane’s personality has emerged in full, finally without being held back as the last of his medications came to a recent stop. As he was emerging from the coma and using words that were uncommon in his vocabulary, now his usual jokes, smirks, facial expressions and familiarly used verbiage reveal that Kyane is close to 100% back and I feel he is mentally stronger than ever. Kyane has a determination and conviction that I know he never imagined he would use in overcoming a battle such as this, but years of training, focus, and sacrifice have given him the strength he might not even have realized he had to face this situation head on.

At this point, it’s unclear what Schmidt’s football future holds.

As a true freshman this past season, Schmidt was a walk-on offensive lineman.  He didn’t play a down for the Spartans in 2019.

Prior to the coronavirus shutting down the sport, Schmidt was transitioning to the other side of the line.

Justin Fields, Chuba Hubbard headline Maxwell Award preseason watch list

Maxwell Award
Getty Images
2 Comments

#WatchListSZN continues unabated, with the Maxwell Award next up on the preseason junket.

Friday morning, the Maxwell Award announced its preseason watch list consisting of 90 college football players from across the country.  Presently annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the sport.

None of the three finalists from a year ago, LSU quarterback and 2019 winner Joe Burrow, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, are on this year’s watch list.  Burrow and Young, incidentally, went 1-2 in the 2020 NFL Draft.  There are, however, six semifinalists from a year ago.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with 15 watch listers, followed by the ACC (14) and SEC (13).  The AAC and Mountain West, with nine apiece, have the most for Group of Five leagues.  And the other Power Fives?  The Pac-12 posted eight, the Big 12 seven.

Four individual schools, Alabama, Indiana, Louisville and Memphis, had three players apiece on the preseason watch list.  Another 11 have two each: Auburn, Boise State, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and SMU.

Below is the complete preseason watch list for the 2020 Maxwell Award.

NCAA Council formally approves six-week preseason model for football, which will begin July 13 for teams that start season Sept. 5

UAB football
Getty Images
1 Comment

The NCAA is proceeding with a significant step toward prepping for the 2020 college football season.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the NCAA Div. I Oversight Committee was crafting a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.  Last week, the NCAA announced that it has finalized its proposal for a preseason model for the sport.  However, the plan still needed the approval of the NCAA Division I Council.

Thursday, that expected thumbs-up came to fruition as the council has approved what will essentially be a six-week preseason for college football.  The NCAA writes that, “[a]ssuming a first game on Sept. 5, the model begins summer access activities July 13 and adds meetings and walk-throughs July 24.  Preseason practice begins Aug. 7.” Schools that open the seasoning Week 0 (Aug. 29), all of the dates would get seven days subtracted from them.  It’s unclear if teams whose first games are Sept. 3 will follow the Sept. 5 model or not.

The activities mentioned do not include the ongoing voluntary on-campus workouts.

As for the particulars?  The NCAA referred to its previous release as a guideline:

… student-athletes may be required to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week (not more than two hours of film review per week) from July 13-23.

Then, from July 24 through Aug. 6, student-athletes may be required to participate in up to 20 hours of countable athletically related activities per week (not more than four hours per day) as follows:

— Up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning.
— Up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which may include the use of a football.
— Up to six hours per week for meetings, which may include film review, team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc.
— During this 14-day period, student-athletes are required to get at least two days off.

The model does not make any adjustments to the legislated 29-day preseason practice period. In the previous example, the school’s preseason practice period would begin Aug. 7 with a five-day acclimatization period, followed by the opportunity for up to 25 on-field practices.

San Jose State mourns death of former Spartans LB Epie Sona

San Jose State football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

San Jose State football is the latest football program to mourn the loss of one of its own.

Epie Sona died at 26 on June 11.  No cause of death for the San Jose native has been released.

Sona played linebacker for San Jose State football from 2014-16. He graduated from the university in 2017 with a degree in small business administration.

“We are saddened by the news of the passing of an incredible Spartan alum,” the program wrote on Twitter. “We offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Sona actually began his collegiate career at De Anza College, spending two seasons at the JUCO.

During his three seasons with San Jose State football — he took a redshirt in 2014 — Sona played in 22 games.  He started three of those appearances.

Sona was credited with 18 career tackle, 2½ of which went for a loss.

A GoFundMe page has been created to honor Sona’s memory.  As of this posting, more than $13,000 has been raised toward the goal of $15,000.

“Unfortunately one of my very good friends KD former teammate Epie Sona passed away a couple days ago,” the page reads. “I am looking to help his family as much as possible so anything will be of help. Thank you and God bless.”

NCAA Oversight Committee crafting six-week practice period ahead of start of season

NCAA college football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The on-ramp to the 2020 college football season is coming into focus.

A significant milestone was reached last month when the NCAA announced it would allow member institutions to commence voluntary on-campus workouts June 1.  June 17, the NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote on a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.

That plan is currently being crafted by the NCAA’s Division I Football Oversight Committee. A draft of that group’s plan is expected to be finalized this Thursday, June 11.  The committee will then submit their plan to Div. I Council for approval.

As it stands now, ESPN.com is reporting, the committee is working on what would be a six-week run-up to the upcoming college football season.  For schools that begin the next campaign Labor Day weekend, the current proposal calls for mandatory workouts to commence July 13, followed by enhanced training July 24.  A standard summer camp would then kick off Aug. 7.  During the mandatory workouts and enhanced training, players will not be permitted to wear either helmets or pads,  They will, though, be permitted to use footballs.

Coaches, who, other than strength staff, can’t oversee the current voluntary workouts, would be permitted to take part throughout the entire six-week practice period being developed.

Of course, the schools scheduled to start the college football season the week before Labor Day — Notre Dame-Navy in Annapolis included — would see the three phases of the plan initiated earlier.  Whether it’s exactly a week earlier remains to be seen, although that would make the most sense.

As we stated earlier, the plan is still being crafted.  Therefore, it isn’t finalized.  In that vein, the first phase, the mandatory workouts, could be shortened.  From ESPN.com:

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is chair of the Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN’s Andrea Adelson that there is one area that might change between the proposed calendar and what gets approved on Thursday, and that is shortening the window between the start of required workouts on July 13 and the start of enhanced training on July 24.

“Some people are thinking the summer access is too long,” Lyons said, based on feedback the committee has already received. “There’s a concern by making that part a requirement, it extends it to too long a period and whether that should be adjusted to make it shorter. Instead of starting on the 13th, start on the 20th. I haven’t heard of all the concerns and that’s why it was put out to the conferences, to start getting more input.

Again, final approval from the Council is slated to be announced two weeks from Wednesday.  At that time, we’ll have a greater understanding as to exactly what the prep work for the upcoming college football season will entail.  Provided there is a 2020 college football season, of course.