Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 5:08 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If there's any team in the country that could withstand losing a consensus five-star running back to injury, it's probably Alabama; having a potential Heisman candidate in Trent Richardson and a backup in Eddie Lacy who only averaged 7.2 yards-per-carry a year ago can give a team a lot of leeway.
But unfortunately for the Tide and incoming freshman back Dee Hart, it looks like Alabama will need it. Hart is reportedly scheduled for 8 a.m. surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ACL suffered during a 7-on-7 drill. Hart is expected to be out for 7-10 months, putting his 2012 spring camp participation in jeopardy as well as the certain loss of the 2011 season.
A consensus prep All-American and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl MVP, Hart was one of the brightest jewels in the Tide's typically star-studded 2011 class. After enrolling early, Hart enjoyed a productive spring, scored on a 17-yard touchdown run in the Tide's Crimson-White game and served as the team's primary punt returner in that game. Though facing an uphill battle to unseat Lacy as the Tide's regular backup, Hart was expected to play a big role on special teams and could have featured as a third-down, change-of-pace back.
But for now, all of that will have to wait as Hart rehabs and prepares for a 2012 comeback. As for the Tide, as long as Richardson and/or Lacy remain healthy, they'll be fine. If they don't, well, maybe we'll find out there's not quite as much leeway as we think.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 21, 2011 10:51 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
It has not been a good spring for anterior cruciate ligaments in the state of Arizona.
And it only got worse yesterday, with the news that starting Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer will undergo surgery next week to repair a torn ACL suffered in Saturday's spring game. Fischer will miss at least the start of the 2011 season, if not longer.
The bad news for the Wildcats is that Fischer -- who finished in the team's top six in tackles, tackles-for-loss, and sacks last year -- will likely be replaced by a trio of true freshmen who haven't even arrived on campus yet, per the Arizona Daily Star. The worse news is that Fischer is the third Wildcat to tear his ACL this spring, following starting safety Adam Hall and backup running back Greg Nwoko.
So is there any silver lining to the Wildcats' injury woes? If there is, it's that their in-state rivals in Tempe have it just as bad in the torn ligament department, if not worse.
We're not aware of anything that could be slipped into Arizona's drinking water that would attack the ACLs of college athletes. But officials might want to start checking, just to be certain.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 12:52 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Football is a cruel game. And though it is occasionally, it's not often more cruel than it has been to Georgia senior offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant.
Sturdivant burst on to the scene as a true freshman in 2007, starting every game for the Bulldogs at left tackle to earn freshman All-SEC honors and a handful of freshman All-America nods. But in 2008, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and missed the entire season. In 2009, he started the Bulldogs' season opener against Oklahoma State and tore another ACL, ending his season again. He battled back to start seven games in 2010, and entering Saturday's scrimmage had been penciled in -- though it was more like ink -- for one of Georgia's two starting tackle spots.
That won't happen. Sturdivant left the scrimmage having torn his third ACL in four years . Per Georgia head athletic trainer Ron Courson, Sturdivant will have surgery this week to repair the ligament. He is expected to miss the entire 2011 season.
The blow is a severe one for the Georgia offensive line, a group that underachieved substantially last season, is working for a new position coach in Will Friend, and will now have to replace Sturdivant with either a converted guard or a player of limited (if any) SEC experience. If no unit on the team was as important this spring as the offensive line, it's possible no injury aside from one to Aaron Murray could hit them as hard as this one.
But the blow is no doubt even more savage for Sturdivant personally. He had previously discussed his furstration with having to undergo rehab a second time after his second tear, and had considered leaping to the NFL a year early while he could. With his injury history, a sixth year of eligibilty is a certainty if he wants it, but there's a lor of arduous rehabbing work and consideration to be done before that bridge is crossed.
If Sturdivant does elect to return to the Sanford Stadium field, we'll be wishing him nothing but the best. Football may be cruel, but there are times it seems to be too cruel, and this is one of those times.
Posted on: April 6, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 1:12 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Sometimes spring practice brings bad news: a broken ankle, an academic suspension, a player or two who can't seem to get on track.
And sometimes, unfortunately, the news goes beyond "bad." That's the kind of news Arizona State's Dennis Erickson was forced to announce yesterday, confirming that two senior Sun Devil starters' seasons are in jeopardy after tearing their ACLs in spring camp:
Even details like "All-Pac-10" and "481 receiving yards" don't entirely do justice to how devastating the losses of Bolden and Simpson are. Without Bolden, the Sun Devils not only won't start one of the nation's best cover corners, they'll likely be forced to replace him with untested redshirt freshman Devan Spann. (The Sun Devils now have only two scholarship corners available this spring.) Simpson, meanwhile, was easily ASU's biggest deep threat a year ago, the only Sun Devil wideout with more than three receptions to average better than 13.5 yards a reception.
Thanks to USC's postseason ban, the Sun Devils have been the tentative offseason favorite to claim the inaugural Pac-12 South divisional title. But with every further blow in what's been a tumultuous offseason -- be it the concussion-forced departure of Steven Threet, an uninspiring recruiting class, players arrested or shot -- ASU's favorite role has been more and more tentative, and now the loss of Bolden and Simpson is the biggest blow of all.
Meaning that unless Brock Osweiler and Vontaze Burfict live up to every inch of their hype and then some, it may finally be time for the prognosticators to look elsewhere.
Posted on: April 1, 2011 4:08 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Arizona and UCLA have a few things in common this spring, namely that both are coming off of disappointing seasons and are hoping for a big spring camp to propel them to greater things this fall.
Unfortunately, another thing both now also have in common are injuries to players expected to be key contributors in 2011. It's the same old story for the snake-bitten Bruins, who in 2010 saw multiple offensive lineman go down to injury and tackle Jeff Baca miss the season with an academic problem. Now Baca's season is in jeopardy again, but this time for a fractured ankle suffered during an 11-on-11 drill Thursday.
Baca has already undergone surgery, but according to the L.A. Times Bruin officials do not know if he'll be able to return in time for fall camp. It's a huge blow both individually for Baca -- who started 13 games in 2009 but likely needed as much practice time as he could get to knock off the rust of missing last season -- and for a Bruin line that's struggled to find healthy bodies for what seems like the entirety of Rick Neuheisel's Los Angeles tenure.
If there's any consolation for UCLA, it's that they're not the only members of the new Pac-12 South dealing with an injury problem. Following the departure of Nic Grigsby, Arizona power running back Greg Nwoko was expected to take a much larger share of the rushing load after carrying 57 times for 270 yards a year ago.
But that may not happen after Nwoko suffered a serious knee injury last weekend:
"He was just making a cut, trying to elude a tackler," said Arizona coach Mike Stoops. "Just a freak injury."
Nwoko has already used his redshirt season, removing that as an option. He's not the only personnel issue for the Wildcats, either, as two reserve linebackers have left the team, Stoops announced, giving the Wildcats only five scholarship players on the unit.
None of this means that either the Wildcats or Bruins can't bounce back this fall. But it's not the way either Stoops or Neuheisel would have wanted to start such a critical spring, either.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:43 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
As far as injury woes go, no one at Texas or Wisconsin is going to do too much complaining in the light of the injury plague affecting already-shorthanded USC.
But there's probably going to be at least a little griping after potential all-conference performers at both schools had surgery this past week to repair a broken foot, sidelining them for the duration of spring practice.
At Texas, the player in question is outside linebacker Jordan Hicks, who Longhorn officials confirmed via Twitter has broken his right foot. A consensus five-star megarecruit and prep All-American in the class of 2010, Hicks got his feet wet with 21 tackles as a true freshman and is expected to become a major contributor to the Longhorn linebacking corps this fall under aggressive new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. But those expectations may have to be dialed back with Hicks forced to miss the rest of spring, and no doubt falling behind his teammates in adjusting to Diaz's schemes.
At Wisconsin, wide receiver Nick Toon -- son of New York Jets great Al Toon, though you probably knew that already -- is taking on a very different role this spring after breaking a bone in his left foot:
The Badgers football team started spring practices on Tuesday, with Toon on crutches and his left foot in a boot after surgery last week to repair a fracture to the fifth metatarsal.
Unlike Hicks, the senior Toon has enough experience that the missed practice won't hurt him too badly. But who it might hurt is Budmayr, who could certainly benefit from working on his timing with his future No. 1 receiver and gaining the confidence that comes with throwing to a steady, veteran hand like Toon.
The good news for both Texas and Wisconsin -- other than that neither is USC -- is that both Hicks and Toon should be 100 percent by the time fall camp rolls around. But for one team looking to atone for a 5-7 disaster and one trying to preserve their precarious perch atop the Big Ten, even relatively minor setbacks like these can prove crucial come the crucible of the season.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 11:49 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Oregon State already knew it would be down one Rodgers when star tailback Jacquizz Rodgers took his 3,877 career rushing yards and 46 touchdowns to the NFL a year early. But Mike Riley and the Beavers still expected to be able to rely on receiver/returner extroadinaire (and Jacquizz brother) James Rodgers, the preseason All-American who was lost for 2010 with a Week 5 knee injury against Arizona. Despite playing in a higher percentage of the season's games than typically allowed for a medical waiver, Rodgers was granted a fifth year of eligibility in January thanks to having not taken a redshirt year.
But will Rodgers even be able to use it? The answer is in doubt after the Oregonian reported that Rodgers has undergone a second surgery on the knee:
Rodgers' mother, Tasha Williams, said by phone Tuesday that as far as she knew, the surgery went well ...We obviously wish Rodgers the best of luck in his recovery efforts, but certainly not as hard as Riley's wishing; without James (and with Rodgers nursing his own injuries), the Beaver offense cratered down the 2010 stretch run, scoring 20 or fewer points in four of their last five games. With neither brother on hand, Riley (who the Oregonian notes has already made comments that might indicate he's not planning on having James available) could have a hard time finding enough playmakers to keep the heat off of quarterback Ryan Katz.
It's not a stretch to say the difference between a return to the Beavers' typical form under riley and a second straight bowlless disappointment might be how well Rodgers' knee recovers this offseason.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:55 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 8:59 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Yesterday we found out that the NCAA had denied Jeremiah Masoli's waiver request for immediate eligibility, leaving him sidelined for the 2010 season unless Ole Miss successfully appeals the decision. The Rebels suffered another blow to their lineup on Tuesday, being forced to sit defensive end Kentrell Lockett for the season opener with a heart condition.
Lockett, the senior team captain, was sidelined from practice with an irregular heartbeat and after undergoing tests has been ruled out for the opener against Jacksonville State with no timetable of return. There is no timetable for his return though he is in stable condition.
Head athletic trainer Tim Mullins said Lockett has a “rhythm problem” with his heart. He began experiencing it during Saturday’s scrimmage and was immediately cared for by local doctors. He has since seen heart rhythm specialists in Memphis and now in Cleveland, Ohio.Sophomore Gerald Rivers will start in Lockett's place and coach Houston Nutt mentioned that Jason Jones could expect to see some significant time as well.
"It’s all hands on deck," Nutt said. "You’ve got to work by committee now.”
In Ingram-esque knee surgery news, Clemson starting linebacker Brandon Maye will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday and miss the Tigers' season opener against North Texas on Saturday. Maye participated fully in practice as recently as Monday, but head coach Dabo Swinney seems confident that he will return to the lineup, possibly in time for the Presbyterian game September 11.
"Brandon just finished the best camp of his career," said Swinney. "He had some swelling on Monday and Tuesday and after an MRI it was determined he needed arthroscopic surgery."Maye will be replaced by Tig Willard at weakside linebacker. After redshirting the 2008 sesaon, Willard made 10 tackles in 32 special teams plays last season. Willard also has a family tradition to uphold in Death Valley, being the nephew of former Clemson defensive tackle Richard McCullough.