02/13/19- Austin Smith, rJr, Tennessee, 6-2, 246 Coach Jeremy Pruitt told fans during a recruiting celebration on Thursday night in Nashville that offensive lineman Chance Hall will retire from football and go on medical exemption scholarship. With Hall dropping off the roster, he will not count against the 85-scholarship limit. Additionally, Pruitt told reporters that offensive lineman Drew Richmond and linebacker Austin Smith will not be with the team when it begins spring practice next month. Both players entered the NCAA transfer portal and are seeking new schools. Smith, another fifth-year senior, appeared in 23 games during his Tennessee career. His most extensive playing time came as a freshman in 2015, when he played in 13 games and made one start. If he graduates this semester, he can play for another FBS school next fall as a graduate transfer. - Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel
01/11/19- Jon Greenard, rJr, Florida, 6-3, 263 Former Louisville linebacker Jonathan Greenard has enrolled at Florida as a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play in 2019. The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder from Hiram, Georgia, missed most of last season because of a wrist injury sustained in the opener. He led the Cardinals with 15 1/2 tackles for loss in 2017, including a team-high seven sacks, and was named a team captain last year. Greenard played for current Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Greenard could help the Gators offset the loss of linebacker Vosean Joseph and maybe pass-rushers Jachai Polite and CeCe Jefferson. Joseph and Polite left school early to enter the NFL draft. Jefferson was a senior. Joseph led Florida with 93 tackles, including four sacks, in 2018. Polite tied a school record with six forced fumbles and finished with 11 sacks, two shy of Alex Brown's school record set in 1999. - AP College Football
01/02/19- *Vosean Joseph, Jr, Florida, 6-0, 226 Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph has decided to leave school early and enter the NFL draft. The junior announced his decision via social media Wednesday, saying "my Mom and Dad have always told me to go after my dreams." He adds that he's developed "as a player but even more so as a person" during his three years at Florida. Joseph led the Gators (10-3) with 93 tackles this season, including a goal-line stop on fourth down against Michigan in the Peach Bowl. Nine of his tackles were for a loss, including four sacks. He also had four pass breakups. He was at his best against LSU in early October, finishing with 14 tackles and two sacks. Joseph is the fourth Florida player to turn pro in recent weeks. Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson declared for the draft in late November. Offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Jachai Polite did the same following the Peach Bowl. Running backs Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett are still weighing their options. - AP College Football
01/02/19- *Jachai Polite, Jr, Florida, 6-2, 242 Florida defensive end Jachai Polite has decided to leave school early and enter the NFL draft. The junior announced his decision via social media Monday, saying "I can't wait to prove to NFL teams that I can be and will be the best defensive lineman in the NFL." Polite tied a school record for forced fumbles in a single season when he recorded his sixth against Michigan in the Peach Bowl on Saturday. He also finished with 11 sacks this season, falling two shy of Alex Brown's school record set in 1999. Polite says "the lessons I have learned in Gainesville will carry with me to the next level, with my goal always being the same ... #RetireMoms!" Polite is the third Florida player to turn pro in recent weeks. Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson declared for the draft in late November and offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor did the same after the Peach Bowl. Linebacker Vosean Joseph and running back Jordan Scarlett could follow. - AP College Football
12/17/18- Dee Walker, rSo, Arkansas, 6-2, 216 Arkansas linebacker Demetrius Walker has been suspended from the football program after being arrested on drug and weapon charges. Washington County booking records show the 21-year-old Walker was arrested for delivery of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver, simultaneous possession of drugs and guns and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail Wednesday and has a hearing scheduled for Friday. It was unclear if he has a lawyer. The University of Arkansas said in a statement Thursday that Walker is suspended "indefinitely," and the school will monitor the case and cooperate with related legal and campus issues. Walker is a sophomore and played in all 12 Razorback games this season. He finished with 17 tackles, including nine solo stops. - AP College Football
12/05/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258 2018 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY AWARD WINNER: Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club on Monday night. Allen became the first Kentucky player to win the award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Allen received the honor over the following finalists: LSU safety Grant Delpit, Alabama nose guard Quinnen Williams, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The award was won last year by former North Carolina State star Bradley Chubb, who was selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.
Allen, who was also named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, recorded 14 of his 28.5 career sacks in 2018. His 11 career forced fumbles are even with former Wildcat and current Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. Allen led Kentucky with 84 tackles and paces the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (18.5) and forced fumbles (five). He is the fourth SEC representative to win the award, joining Georgia's Champ Bailey (1998), LSU's Glenn Dorsey (2007) and Alabama's Jonathan Allen (2016). Allen is a finalist for five other major awards: the Walter Camp National Player of the Year, the Butkus Award (nation's best linebacker), the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Lott IMPACT Trophy (defensive player of the year) and Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year). - The Sports Xchange
12/05/18- *Brian Burns, Jr, Florida State, 6-4, 235 Florida State defensive end Brian Burns has declared for the NFL draft. Burns announced his decision Monday on Twitter. He told Yahoo! Sports his time at Florida State was "some of the best years of my life" but also says he can't pass up the opportunity to turn pro. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Burns was named a first-team All-ACC pick has been projected by some draft analysts as a potential first-round selection. Burns had 23 career sacks, which places him in a tie for seventh on Florida State's all-time sack list. He had 10 sacks in his junior season and also set career highs with 52 tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss. He was often one of Florida State's most consistent players on a defense that struggled in the second half of the season as the Seminoles (5-7) missed out on a bowl game. Florida State coaches are still waiting on decisions from a small group of draft-eligible juniors, including quarterback Deondre Francois, linebacker Dontavious Jackson and cornerback Levonta Taylor. - AP College Football
12/04/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258 LB Josh Allen was named the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club on Monday night. Allen became the first Kentucky player to win the award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player.
11/27/18- Germaine Pratt, rSr, North Carolina State, 6-3, 240 2018 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): LB Germaine Pratt, Gr., NC State, 125 Votes,...Pratt, in his first season as a starter at linebacker, leads the ACC in tackles per game with 9.8, a mark that is 10th nationally among the Power-5. He also leads the Pack with 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. - NC State Football
11/27/18- *Jachai Polite, Jr, Florida, 6-2, 242 NOV 26 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JACHAI POLITE, FLORIDA, Junior, Defensive End, Daytona Beach, FL/Mainland,...Jachai Polite recorded six tackles (4 solo), including 3.5 for losses and 2.5 quarterback sacks as Florida defeated Florida State, 41-14. Polite added one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry as the Gators improved to 9-3. Notes: Jachai Polite is the ninth Florida player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the second this season, joining defensive teammate Vosean Joseph (LB, Oct. 7). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation
11/20/18- Dontavious Jackson, Jr, Florida State, 6-2, 228 NOV 19 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Dontavious Jackson, Florida State, Jr., LB; Alief, Texas,...Jackson led Florida State with 14 tackles in Saturday's 22-21 win over No. 20 Boston College, including his first sack of the season ... Jackson's 14 tackles tied his season and career highs and were one shy of the FSU team high in 2018 ... Spearheaded a defense that held the Eagles' prolific rushing attack to 2.6 yards per carry, 1.7 yards less than BC's average yards per carry coming into the game. - ACC Football
11/20/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258 Josh Allen of Kentucky and Devin Bush of Michigan are among the five finalists for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's best linebacker. The other finalists announced Monday were Tre Lamar of Clemson, Dylan Moses of Alabama and Devin White of LSU. The winner will be announced Dec. 6. Allen and Bush were also last week named finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy that goes to the country's best defensive player. Allen leads the Southeastern Conference and is third in the country with 13 sacks. Bush is the leading tackler on the nation's No. 1 defense. Moses is the top tackler for No. 1 Alabama. White is fifth in the SEC in tackles with 98 and Lamar an interception, two sacks and 60 tackles for Clemson. - AP College Football
11/19/18- Jameon Gaskin, Fr, Valdosta State, 5-11, 219 2018 GULF SOUTH CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Jameon Gaskin, Valdosta State,...Gaskin ranked third on the conference champions in tackles with 55, 25 of which were solo efforts. He also contributed 2.5 sacks on the season in 10 appearances. He is the second VSU defensive player to earn the league's top freshman award (Malcolm McClenton, 2015). - Gulf South Conference Football
11/14/18- Cardell Rawlings, rSr, Wingate, 6-1, 240 2018 SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cardell Rawlings, Wingate,...Rawlings was a force on the defensive line this season. The senior from Smithfield, N.C., racked up 75 total tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and a conference leading 14.5 sacks. He forced three fumbles, had two fumble recoveries and broke up two passes during the year as well. Rawlings is ranked third in NCAA Division II in sacks per game, averaging 1.32 per contest. He is also ranked No. 6 in tackles for loss per game, with an average of 1.80 per game. He was named SAC AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Year once for his efforts this season. - South Atlantic Conference Football
11/14/18- James Prater Jr., Sr, Ashland, 6-0, 244 2018 GLIAC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: James Prater Jr. - Ashland,...Ashland senior defensive end James Prater Jr. is the 2018 GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year. Prater Jr. joins former Cleveland Brown Jamie Meder (2012-13) as Ashland's GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year winners. In 2018, Prater Jr. was second in the GLIAC in sacks (9½) and tied for third in tackles for loss (15), and finished runner-up on the team with 65 total tackles (27 solo). Prater Jr. also broke up four passes. Prater Jr. is Ashland's all-time leader in tackles for loss (46), and is tied for ninth all-time on the Eagles' sack list (22½). In his final two seasons alone, Prater Jr. racked up 19½ sacks, 38½ tackles for loss, 128 total stops and 12 pass breakups. - Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Football
11/14/18- Taj Conway, So, Virginia Union, 5-11, 210 2018 ALL-CIAA SECOND TEAM: Linebacker - Taj Conway, Virginia Union,...Virginia Union's Khari Johnson, Tyrone Glanton, Quantaye Battle, Taj Conway and Jaiden Reavis were named Second Team All-CIAA. Conway, a sophomore linebacker from Richmond, Va., had 64 tackles this season. - Virginia Union Football
11/12/18- Darrell Taylor, rJr, Tennessee, 6-3, 247 NOV 12 SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darrell Taylor, LB, Tennessee,...Totaled four sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and seven tackles...Led Tennessee to 24-7 upset over No. 11/12 Kentucky as Vols held the Wildcats to a season low in points and the second-lowest totals in rushing yards (77) and total yards (262)...Taylor's four sacks are tied for the most by any player in the FBS in 2018...He is only the third Vol ever to have four sacks in a game...It marked the second three-sack game for Taylor this season. - SEC Football
11/12/18- *Sutton Smith, rJr, Northern Illinois, 6-0, 234 NOV 12 MAC WEST DIVISION SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Northern Illinois DE Sutton Smith,...Northern Illinois junior defensive end Sutton Smith (St. Charles, Mo.) made a key special teams play in a 38-15 win over Toledo on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Smith changed the game when he blocked Toledo punter Bailey Flint's third punt of the game late in the second quarter, picked up the block and ran it in for a touchdown. The block and 27-yard return turned a 10-9 NIU lead into a 17-9 margin going into halftime. More amazing is the fact that the block came when NIU was in "punt safe" mode, not going for a block, and was an instinct play by Smith. He earned 38 total punt return yards on the play, and added a sack, a tackle for loss and forced his fourth fumble of the year on defense. Smith's punt block was his second of the year; he ranks third in the nation in blocked kicks and in punt return touchdowns. - MAC Football
11/12/18- Darrell Taylor, rJr, Tennessee, 6-3, 247 NOV 12 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DARRELL TAYLOR, TENNESSEE, Junior, Outside Linebacker, Hopewell, VA/Hopewell,...Darrell Taylor recorded 7 tackles, four quarterback sacks and forced one fumble as Tennessee defeated #11 Kentucky, 24-7. With the victory, the Volunteers improved to 5-5, 2-4 in the SEC. Notes: Darrell Taylor is sixth Tennessee player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the first since quarterback two-time recipient Joshua Dobbs (Nov. 20, 2016). - Walter Camp Football Foundation
11/08/18- Jordan Brailford, rJr, Oklahoma State, 6-3, 241 Oklahoma State's Jordan Brailford has enjoyed an outstanding season, ranking among the nation's top 10 in sacks and tackles for loss this season. For the Cowboys to have any hope of upsetting No. 6 Oklahoma on Saturday, the junior defensive end needs another strong outing against elusive quarterback Kyler Murray. Oklahoma State (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) leads the nation with 33 sacks. Brailford is tied for fourth with nine and ranks sixth with 15.5 tackles for loss per game. Going against Murray, who has been sacked just nine times all season and sits sixth in the country with 2,689 passing yards, will be a major challenge for Brailford and OSU. "He's been an exceptional pass rusher up to this point," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy of Brailford. "He has a combination of speed and power and he has really good flexibility. Even in the NFL, the guys that are good pass rushers, they can carry a certain speed up field, but then they can dip and have flexibility to get down under those blocks. "He's been great. He's been active, he's been a good leader and makes plays. He draws quite a bit of attention, which he should." Oklahoma State is coming off a 35-31 loss at Baylor last week in which the Bears erased a 31-21 Cowboy lead in the final six minutes. - AP College Football
11/06/18- Kaulana Apelu, rSr, Oregon, 5-10, 208 LB Kaulana Apelu will miss the rest of the regular season with a fracture of his lower leg, Ducks coach Mario Cristobal confirmed this week. Apelu, the Ducks' second-leading tackler, suffered the injury during Saturday's victory over UCLA. This is the second straight season an injury has caused Apelu to miss multiple games. He missed the final eight games of the 2017 season with a broken ankle. However, Apelu is expected to be ready to return for Oregon's bowl game this season.
11/05/18- Josh Allen, Sr, Kentucky, 6-4, 258 LB Josh Allen had only three tackles, but got the first fumble recovery of his career -- actually, two, which were Kentucky's only takeaways of the game. The Wildcats cashed in on one with a field goal, and the other kept Georgia from trying a long field goal in the closing seconds of the first half. "I saw a loose ball and I had to go get it for my team," Allen said. "It just happened to be me."
11/05/18- *Jachai Polite, Jr, Florida, 6-2, 242 DL Jachai Polite hasn't decided whether he will come back for his senior season, but the 6-foot-2, 242-pound Daytona Beach native has certainly improved his stock during a breakout junior season. Polite's seven sacks is the most for a Gator player through the first nine games of the season since Dante Fowler had 8.5 sacks through nine games in 2014, and Polite's four forced fumbles are tied for the FBS lead among defensive linemen.
11/05/18- Merlin Robertson, Fr, Arizona State, 6-2, 235 NOV 5 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Merlin Robertson, Fr., LB, Arizona State (Gardena, Calif.),...Led ASU with nine tackles, including one TFL, and recorded his first career interception in ASU's 38-20 upset of No. 16 Utah...Led a Sun Devil defensive effort that held the Utes, who came in averaging 41 points in their past four games, to only 325 yards for the game and only three points in the second half...After the Utes scored on three straight possessions, Robertson picked up his first career interception on Utah's first possession of the second half...Also nominated: Colin Schooler, LB, ARIZ; Bobby Okereke, LB, STAN; Christian Rector, LB, USC: Corrion Ballard, DB, UTAH; Skyler Thomas, S, WSU. - Pac-12 Football
11/05/18- Clay Johnston, rJr, Baylor, 6-1, 226 NOV 5 BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clay Johnston, LB, Jr., Baylor,...The junior linebacker Johnston led the Bears with a career-high 17 tackles, including 14 solo stops, in Baylor's 35-31 win over Oklahoma State. Johnston's 17 tackles were the most for a Baylor defender since 2013. - Big 12 Football