Posted on: September 2, 2009 1:02 pm
Despite starting 35 consecutive games for the Volunteers, center Josh McNeil's recurring knee injuries are expected to keep him off the team this year, and according to head coach Lane Kiffin, may prematurely end his career.
Kiffin made the announcement to media Tuesday after it was discovered that McNeil would once again have to undergo surgery on his knees. The preseason second-team All-SEC pick and preseason Outland Trophy prospect had his knee scoped last week and doctors found his knee to be in such poor shape that according to Kiffin "...Now they're looking at a longer surgery to go back and do some more stuff - a surgery that would take a long time to even have because the things they'd have to get to have the surgery done."
"There's a good chance Josh won't be playing for us, and probably won't play football ever again, unfortunately," Kiffin said.
Specifics of the MRI were not released. However, the finality of Kiffin's comments certainly make it appear that McNeil has a long way to go before there is any chance of his playing in the NFL.
The fall from NFL graces for McNeil has been both quick and steep. McNeil had petitioned the NFL Advisory Committee after last year for an early prognosis of his grade (reportedly earning a 5th-7th round grade) and signed with Tennessee as the top-ranked center prospect in the country amid great fanfare.
Posted on: September 1, 2009 10:56 pm
With only a few days before Oklahoma State opens their season against Georgia in one of the biggest games of the weekend, the Cowboys' best defensive player was arrested.
Cornerback and return-extraordinaire Perrish Cox was stopped last week for speeding and then found to be driving with a suspended licence, which caused his arrest and carries a $240.00 fine.
Head coach Mike Gundy chose to ignore requests for comment other than to say, "We will handle all things internally." Cox is expected to remain as a starter for the Cowboys against Georgia and sensational sophomore A.J. Green Saturday.
Cox, 6-0 and 195 pounds, has the size, speed and overall athleticism to emerge as the nation's top senior cornerback prospect. While much of the Big XII has struggled with pass defense, Cox has steadily developed into a shut-down corner, posting 21 pass breakups over the past three seasons, including 6 interceptions. Of course, he's known more for his return skills to this point than his pass defense. With over 2,600 return yards and 5 combined touchdowns (4 on kickoffs, 1 on a punt), he, along with Alabama's Javier Arenas, ranks as the country's most formidable special teams weapon.
He'll need to make better decisions off the field, however, if he is to take advantage of his obvious athleticism.
Posted on: August 27, 2009 7:59 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2009 8:05 pm
The 2009-10 college football season gets underway in just a few minutes tonight on CBS College Sports with Abilene Christian hosting Northwest Missouri State at 8 pm EST.
Before you write off these two programs as small schools with less than ideal talent, know that Abilene Christian has a left tackle in Tony Washington (#78) who was ranked by some NFL scouts as a potential Top 75 pick for the 2010 draft. He earned All-American honors last season and was voted the Offensive Lineman of the Year.
There is talent on the other side of the ball with the Bearcats offering potential late round prospects Myles Burnsides (FS, #15) and LaRon Council (RB, #27) . Burnsides is a three-time all-conference pick, including first-team choice after each of the past two seasons and a All-American last year with 46 tackles and 4 interceptions. His savvy, physical play has some scouts ranking him as the best small school safety in the country.
Council lacks the straight-line speeds scouts prefer, but it is difficult to argue with his production. Council broke Xavier Omon's school record with 27 rushing touchdowns during the regular season last year. Including the playoffs, Council scored a staggering 36 touchdowns, leading the nation. He also finished third in the country with 1,739 rushing yards. To put things in perspective, Xavier Omon, has been impressive in early preseason work this summer with the Buffalo Bills, leading the team in rushing attempts and rushing yardage after being drafted in the sixth round two years ago.
Besides the potential NFL prospects, this looks like a terrific game. ACU and NW Missouri State will be playing for the third time in less than a year. ACU beat the Bearcats on their own turf early last year, but the Wildcats were beaten months later and knocked out of the D-II playoffs. The rubber-match should be very entertaining, considering the talent and the fact that ACU and NWMU each enter the game ranked among the top five.
NFL scouts and I will certainly be watching... If you're interested in some real Diamond in the Rough candidates and some good college football, you should too...
Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:32 pm
The tragic news that Boston College outside linebacker Mark Herzlich was found to have Ewings sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, may have a happy ending.
Though he still faces multiple rounds of chemotherapy, only a small tumor in his left femur was found by doctors in their latest tests, a marked improvement from this spring, when Herzlich announced his condition and that doctors didn't expect that he'd ever be able to play football again. The results of recent tests, however, have Herzlich and doctors cautiously optimistic that he might be able to return to Boston College in 2010 and possibly on to the NFL from there.
As he told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, "Things are going really well. The goal right now is to get rid of the tumor completely and to be healthy. That's the goal right now and they're encouraged that's what's going to happen."
Herzlich, the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, was viewed as one of the elite NFL prospects entering the season. In fact, National Football Scouting ranked him as the top overall prospect.
Posted on: August 25, 2009 12:41 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2009 12:43 pm
An already weak senior crop of running backs took a hit Tuesday with the news that 6-2, 211 pound James Starks will miss the 2009 season after tests revealed a labral tear in his shoulder that will require surgery and 4-6 months of rehabilitation, according to head coach Turner Gill.
Starks, who redshirted as a freshman, does not have any eligibility remaining. He'll have the option of petitioning the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility or begin the process of rehabilitating with an eye toward impressing scouts at the 2010 Combine.
Starks, Buffalo's career rushing leader (3,140 yards, 34 TDs), exploded onto the scene last year, rushing for 1,333 yards and 16 touchdowns in helping lead the Bulls to their first MAC title and a berth in the International Bowl, the first bowl game in school history. The total, the most in a single-season in Buffalo history, came despite Starks missing nearly three full games due to injury.
A lanky runner with good burst to get upfield and surprising strength, Starks had been pegged by scouts as a middle-round pick capable of moving up the board with good workouts.
Posted on: August 25, 2009 12:23 pm
The Senior Bowl, the preeminent all-star game for prospective NFL talent, may be on the verge of moving.
Though the Senior Bowl began in Jacksonville in 1950, it moved to Mobile, Alabama a year later and has been a fixture there since. The game this past January, however, concluded the contract the Senior Bowl had with Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
As a result the Senior Bowl, which is run by the Mobile Arts and Sports Association, has begun filtering through the cities that have previously expressed interest in hosting the game, should organizers elect to move it. Tampa and Jacksonville are reportedly among the cities in consideration, though negotiations remain ongoing between the game's organizers and Ladd-Peebles' board of directors.
While proposals have been swapped in an effort to keep the game in Mobile, its home for the past 58 years, according to the Financial News and Daily Record of Jacksonville, the Mobile Arts and Sports Association is looking at other options. "We have a conference call with them next week," Mike Bouda, director of sports and entertainment for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, told the Financial News and Daily Record of Jacksonville. "I really believe we have an opportunity to move it to the next level."
The Senior Bowl had been previously linked to Tampa, with Under Armour, the Senior Bowl's title sponsor, reportedly discussing a potential move to the city since March.
Though Senior Bowl spokesman Kevin McDermond would not confirm whether any contact with Jacksonville, Tampa or any other city was scheduled, the Mobile Arts and Sports Association issued the following statement yesterday:
"In the spring we clearly stated that due to circumstances it would be prudent if not necessary to consider options. Subsequently, representatives acting on behalf of the Mobile Arts and Sports Association have identified and distributed a request for proposal to multiple cities in the Southeast that have expressed interest."