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Tag:Nevada Wolfpack
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:34 pm

Nevada kicks leading RB/KR Mike Ball off team

University of Nevada head coach Chris Ault announced via a statement Tuesday that redshirt junior running back and kick returner Mike Ball has been kicked off the team.

Ault did not elaborate as to what Ball did to warrant being released from his scholarship, only indicating that his leading rusher violated team rules and protocol, leaving the university with little option but to move on.

Ball, who started five of nine games this season for the Wolfpack, had rushed for 704 yards and three touchdowns. He was also the team's career record-holding kick returner, having generated another 1,695 yards in that role.

The sudden suspension comes less than a month after Ball was recognized as the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week. Ball accumulated 216 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in a 45-38 win over Fresno State on October 22. Of his totals, a career-high 198 yards and a touchdown came on the ground. The other 18 yards came on two catches, including one for a score.

Ball was held out of Nevada's last game -- a 24-21 loss to Louisiana Tech. Had the Wolfpack been able to win they would have clinched at least a share of the WAC title.

Nevada is more prepared to handle the loss of their leading rusher than most. Ault's trademark Pistol offense is being capably run by quarterback Cody Fajardo, who currently has only 69 less rushing yards than Ball. Farjardo has scored 12 touchdowns on the year. Nevada also boasts two other running backs in Lampford Mark (513 yards, six touchdowns) and Stefphon Jefferson (413, five touchdowns) who have also rushed for significant yardage this season.

Listed at 5-10, 215 pounds Ball has the size scouts are looking for but would be wise to consider finding another school with which to play next season rather than leave early for the NFL. He hasn't been able to maintain a starting role with the Wolfpack despite flashing the agility, power and acceleration to spark interest.

Posted on: August 12, 2010 9:29 pm

Promising rookie gets "Hard Knocks" in HBO debut

Kevin Basped left the University of Nevada after a junior season in which he was recognized as a Second-Team All-WAC performer with 9.5 sacks.

Possessing a legitimate burst off the snap and as impressive a physique as any player in the 2010 draft, Basped was viewed as a potential mid round pick. I was told that he'd impress in workouts (and he did) posting a 4.75 second time in the 40-yard dash and lifting 225 pounds 26 times at the Combine while measuring in at 6-5, 258 pounds.

Teams operating out of a 3-4 alignment liked him as a rush linebacker. Teams using the 4-3 were impressed enough with his speed to consider him as a potential SAM convert, but thought he'd probably perform best remaining at the defensive end position he'd starred at while with the Wolf Pack. Along with Dontay Moch, an intriguing DE/OLB himself, Basped helped provide Nevada with one of the country's most formidable pass rushes.

With such obvious upside, I was very surprised to see Basped fall completely out of the draft.

Last night on the initial episode of HBO's fabulous series Hard Knocks , we learned why.

Basped's knees, at least according to Jets' doctors, were enough of a concern to release him. Head coach Rex Ryan and others had lauded Basped on a couple of occasions earlier in the show -- both for his play on the field and his toughness in dealing with the knee pain -- but the potential for Basped to be seriously injured and force the Jets to give him an injury settlement was apparently too much to bear.

Basped, who was signed by the Jets as an unrestricted free agent following the draft, was officially released August 8. The release didn't generate much national attention.

With the hype surrounding the inside look into the Jets' training camp via Hard Knocks , however, the sad reality of the NFL was on display for all to see.

Here's hoping that Basped is able -- through surgery or rehabilitation -- to get another shot at the NFL.
Posted on: June 12, 2010 10:14 am
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