We Talkin' 'Bout Spring Practice: Wisconsin QB shuffle; Alabama CB injured
With spring football taking place across the country, Campus Union has decided to round up all of the important news and notes from each week in practice.
• Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave will miss the remainder of spring practice due to a nagging shoulder injury. Coach Gary Andersen spoke about the injury during Wednesday's Big Ten spring teleconference.
"It’s a concern. I would say it’s a, minimum, would be a moderate concern to me," Andersen said during the Big Ten spring teleconference. "It’s a concern. It's an issue. That's the reason for putting him out these last three practices to try to get a jump on the rehab as we move forward and the challenge is to truly identify the situation and then start the rehab process.
“I didn’t want to wait a week and have him go out there and keep doing the same things. He’s a tough young man. We’ve all seen him play a lot of games. He’s a tough-minded kid. We’ve got to see him get him as close to 100 percent and continually create competition. And he wants to get out there and fight that competition, because it is a competition at that spot, just like every position we have. For him to sit down is not what he wanted to do. But I believe it’s the best thing for him as our doctors and trainers and everybody get involved on getting him back to 100 percent in the summer time.”
Stave suffered the injury when he absorbed a big hit in the third quarter of Wisconsin’s 10-point loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. He is competing for the starting job with Tanner McEvoy, a touted former junior college transfer who played 10 games at safety last season before switching to quarterback. With Stave out, McEvoy will likely get the majority of first-team reps. Stave started all 13 games last season and passed for 2,494 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
• Oregon receiver Bralon Addison tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and could miss the entire 2014 season. Addison suffered the injury when he tried to make a cut while running a route during practice Wednesday, according to a source who spoke to the Oregonian. The extent of the injury was first reported by Comcast Sports Northwest.
Addison, Oregon's top returning receiver, caught 61 passes for 890 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the Ducks in punt return yards (and returning two punts for touchdowns) last season.
• Northwestern on Wednesday requested a review of the decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations board that recognized its scholarship football players as employees with the right to unionize. A majority of the 76 eligible players would have to vote yes in an election scheduled for April 25 in order to form the union.
At a spring practice last Saturday, coach Pat Fitzgerald said it was in his players “best interests” to vote against unionization. On Wednesday, starting quarterback Trevor Siemian -- one of the majority of NU players to file union cards with the NLRB -- echoed Fitzgerald’s comments when he explained in the Big Ten spring teleconference why he will vote against the union.
“This all happened in a way that, maybe I wasn’t … I kinda fault myself for getting into something and not gathering as much information as I could have initially when this happened. But at the same time we filed for employee cards, doesn’t mean that a union is right for this university or this school. So I think that distinction needs to be made too -- is just because you’re an employee doesn’t necessarily mean that a union is the right avenue, especially in a scenario at Northwestern where most guys on the team agree that we’ve been treated very, very well here.”
• Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday that Daniel Sams, who played quarterback in all 13 games last season, is switching to wide receiver. At his first news conference of the spring, Synder said the decision to change Sams’ position was mutual. From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
“The dialogue I had with Daniel was I want you to be happy, and I want to see you on the field,” Snyder said. “He approached me about playing wide receiver, and I made my recommendations to him. I said I would certainly abide by his and give him a chance, and he wanted to try it.
“There’s a lot of places Daniel can play. If he wants to play wide receiver he needs to go out and let reality set in, and he’s proven he’s not going to be bad there.”
Sams attempted just 52 passes but registered 807 yards (good for ninth in the Big 12) and 11 touchdowns on the ground last season. Jake Waters was Kansas State’s primary quarterback and is likely to be the starter this fall.
• Quarterback Cyler Miles was one of two Washington players suspended indefinitely in February for a violation of team rules after being investigated for an alleged assault. Huskies coach Chris Petersen left open the possibility that Miles, who was not charged in the incident, could return this spring. Asked Saturday by The Seattle Times if it was safe to assume that Miles would be out for the rest of spring practice, Petersen said:
“No. It’s not. We just haven’t really decided on that whole situation,” Petersen said. “It’s kind of one day, one week at a time. There’s no reason to rush anything, and we’re always going to do the right thing. I know everyone thinks they have their opinion on what the right thing is, but we’re going to do the right thing by the school, by this program and by the kids as well. I’ve said this before: This is such a political job and I’m never going to make decisions because of political reasons to make me look better, because you think ‘Oh that’s the right thing.’ Well, that’s not why we’re in this thing; we’re in (it) to do the right thing on all accounts. Sometimes, things just need to play out.”
• Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed Monday that sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson will miss the remainder of spring practice after suffering ligament damage in his knee during a scrimmage on Saturday.
"Eddie Jackson had an MRI Sunday which confirmed that he had ligament damage in his knee that required surgery," Saban said in a press release. "We have a great medical staff here and he will have the full support of everyone in the organization as he goes through the rehab process. We are confident Eddie will make a full recovery and be ready to go this fall."
According to sources who spoke to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, who first reported the injury, Jackson suffered a torn ACL. Jackson started four games (including Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma) and recorded 19 tackles, one interception and two pass break-ups last season. He had emerged as one of Alabama’s top cornerbacks.
• Columbia, Mo., police announced Thursday that no arrests will be made in connection to an incident that occurred Sunday involving Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. An incident report released Thursday indicated that a police officer withdrew a warrant for Green-Beckham’s arrest on a charge of burglary in the first degree after two women decided against pressing charges.
Coach Gary Pinkel suspended Green-Beckham indefinitely on Monday for a violation of team rules. Green-Beckham caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while helping Missouri to a 12-2 record and an SEC East title. He was the consensus top receiver recruit in the class of 2012.
UPDATE: Missouri announced in a statement Friday that Green-Beckham has been dismissed from the football program.
• Texas A&M has dealt with a multitude of player arrests this offseason. The latest incident occurred Sunday when sophomore wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones was charged with disorderly conduct. Attorney Cameron Reynolds said in a statement that Seals-Jones will fight the charges.
Seals-Jones was ranked the No. 2 receiver in the class of 2013 by Rivals.com. He played in two games last season before being granted a medical redshirt.
• Less than three weeks ago, Johnathan Loyd scored two points and dished out five assists in Oregon’s eight-point loss to Wisconsin in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Loyd is now focused on a different sport, as the 5-foot-8, 163-pound senior practiced with the football team this week and committed to play receiver in the fall. Under NCAA rules, the four-year Oregon point guard is permitted one more year of eligibility in another sport. He will wear No. 10.
Loyd received all-state recognition as a cornerback and return man while helping Bishop Gorman High win the Nevada State championship in his senior season.
• Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the rest of spring practice after suffering a slight crack in his collarbone during a scrimmage Monday. Coach Dabo Swinney said the injury was not serious and that Watson should be “fine” by the start of summer workouts.
“He played the entire scrimmage,” Swinney said Monday. “I am not really sure when he suffered the injury and I was not aware of it until after I met with the media after practice. This is a shame because he was having an outstanding spring. Fortunately this is not a serious injury. I hate that he will miss the Spring Game. I know a lot of people were anxious to see him make his debut in Death Valley. But he will be fine by the time summer workouts start again in May. He does not require surgery.”
Watson, an early enrollee, is competing with senior Cole Stoudt and redshirt freshman Chad Kelly to replace departed star Tajh Boyd. STAPLES: Clemson far from complacent during offseason of adjustment