Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:04 am

FSU loses talented rSo CB Rhodes to knee injury

With a come from behind victory over Notre Dame in Thursday night's Champ Sports Bowl, the Florida State Seminoles took a significant step towards re-establishing themselves as a national force.

Unfortunately, redshirt sophomore cornerback Xavier Rhodes, one of the key players expected to help the Seminoles take the next step in 2012, suffered an ugly knee injury in the third quarter that could impact his ability for next season.

Though an ESPN sideline reporter characterized the injury as a "sprained knee" during the telecast, a source at the game said the injury "looks bad" and anticipated an MRI being ordered for Rhodes Friday.

Though only a redshirt sophomore, Rhodes had already established himself as one of the more intriguing press cornerback prospects in the country. The 6-1, 215 pound Rhodes had been enjoying a strong game matched up one on one with Notre Dame star Michael Floyd, proving the hype he'd begun to build with his play was well deserved. Though targeted on several occasions, Rhodes had helped limit Floyd, NFLDraftScout.com's top senior receiver for the 2012 draft, to only 3 catches for 22 yards in over a half of work.

On the play in which he was injured Rhodes collided with Floyd and safety LaMarcus Joyner competing for a pass down the left sideline. All three players hit the ground hard.

Rhodes initially popped up quickly off the sideline but then dropped suddenly to the ground, grasping his left knee in obvious pain. Florida State doctors quickly converged on him, and after a few moments, carefully helped off the field. Quickly thereafter it was announced that Rhodes had been ruled him out for the rest of the game with a sprained knee.

Floyd was able to return for a few plays, catching two passes for 19 yards, including a juggling five yard toughdown on the drive. He was limited the rest of the game due to what an ESPN sideline reporter characterized as a shot taken to his midsection. His absence clearly limited the Irish offense as they were out-scored 15-0 in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 18-14.

Floyd's inability to get back onto the field was disappointing. His injury, however, isn't likely to have any real effect on his pro stock.

For Rhodes, who some suggest had requested a grade from the NFL Advisory Committee, the extent of his injury could have a much greater impact. 

Including the Champs Sports Bowl, Rhodes recorded 43 tackles in 2011. He also defended five passes, with one interception this season. 
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:21 pm

Sleeper CB prospect Johnson tased, arrested

Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, considered one of the elite small school prospects of this year's draft, was tased and arrested by Missoula, Montana police early Sunday morning.

Johnson, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 10 rated cornerback for the 2012 draft, was arrested along with junior quarterback Gerald Kemp around 3 am outside of a loud party. One of the players hit police in the chest. Each player grabbed at officers, according to police. NBC Montana reports that each "resisted and were tased. Both Johnson and Kemp faces charges of obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Both boded out of jail, and will appear in municipal court Monday."

Showing rare transparency that frankly other, bigger schools could take a lesson from, The University of Montana notes the arrests on their official website, quoting Missoula Police Sgt. Collin Rose as saying that "Alcohol appears to be a huge part of this. All charges are a misdemeanor at this time."

Misdemeanor or not, the situation is one that scouts will certainly want to take a look at. They'll be sure to do their due diligence as Johnson not only has pro size, he's proven to be quite a playmaker for the Grizzlies.

Johnson, 6-2 and 204 pounds, had been steadily rising up scouts' boards. An all-conference selection after each of the past three seasons, Johnson was recognized as an All-American in 2011, posting 44 tackles, seven passes broken up and four interceptions -- including two he returned for touchdowns. A year earlier, Johnson was even more productive, totaling five picks and 11 passes broken up.

This year opponents had largely stayed away from him. Of his 31 tackles thus far, 24 were of the solo variety. He had not recorded his first interception of the season, but had posted six pass breakups and forced a fumble. For his career, Johnson has 13 career interceptions.

There had already been speculation in the scouting community that the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game (among others) were considering inviting him. With the arrest, Johnson can only hope that he'll be allowed to participate in one of these premier all-star fesitivites not only to prove he can play with the elite talent in the country, but also to clear his name with pro teams.
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