With the college football season only one week away, I wanted to provide sports bettors with some of the most relevant injuries sustained during the offseason. The injuries outlined below should be taken into account as you begin handicapping the college football slate in week one (and beyond).
- Four players – wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams – have been dismissed from the football program in light of academic fraud allegations. All three of the defensive players are starters or significant contributors, while Daniels is a starter on the other side of the ball. Daniels’ 49 catches for 795 yards and seven touchdowns were second on the team last season;
- Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator, Mike Denbrook, missed the first few weeks of preseason camp to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. While Denbrook has returned to the practice field, he is not 100%.
- Starting quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the entire 2014 season after re-injuring his right shoulder durng practice on August 18. Miller is a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and leaves the Buckeyes with redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who has been battling with sophomore Cardale Jones to be Miller’s backup this season. Barrett has never thrown a pass at the collegiate level, while Jones has thrown just two.
- Starting running backs Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox will miss the entire 2014 season due to injuries sustained on August 18. Bourbon tore his ACL during a scrimmage, while Cox ruptured his Achilles’ tendon during practice;
- Previously, running back Darrian Miller, who finished second on the team in rushing in 2013, left the program for personal reasons. Shortly thereafter, four-star 2014 signee Traevohn Wrench failed to qualify academically.
- Top offensive player/running back Venric Mark has decided to transfer, while top wide receiver, Christian Jones, will miss the entire 2014 season due to a knee injury. Prior to announcing his intention to transfer, Mark was suspended for the Wildcats’ first two games of the season for a violation of team policy;
- Mark only played in three games last season, but he led the team in rushing with 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. Jones was Northwestern’s leading wide receiver last season with 668 yards and four touchdowns.
I will continue to provide relevant injury updates as we get closer to kick-off, but sports bettors should make note of the losses set forth above. Other recent injuries: Utah just lost starting cornerback Reginald Porter to a season-ending knee injury, while Arizona State will be without starting linebacker Carlos Mendoza for at least 3-4 weeks due to a left knee injury.