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  It didn't take long for the SIU football team to develop injury concerns about a star player for the Sept. 3 season opener at Incarnate Word. Coach Nick Hill said that sixth-year senior wide receiver Avante Cox is down with a hand injury suffered in practice and that it's not certain that he'll be able to suit up when the Salukis travel to San Antonio. "Avante's not out for the season," Hill said, "but it just depends on is it a four-week injury and can we get him back for the game? Or is it a six-week injury? We'll get him back at some point, but he's definitely hurt." Cox battled a shoulder injury over the second part of 2021, missing three games, including a second round FCS playoff defeat at North Dakota State. He still finished with 43 catches for 739 yards and five touchdowns. - TheSouthern.com

rSr/2023 WR Avante CoxSouthern Illinois
News Source: TheSouthern.com
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Cooper Hodges, Appalachian State, Rs Jr OT,...Hodges also has made the watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's best interior lineman on offense or defense. Hodges has received All-Sun Belt recognition after each of the last three seasons, as he's been App State's starting right tackle for 39 consecutive games. He graded out at 86 percent and had a team-high 84 knockdown blocks in 2021. - Appalachian State Football

rSr/2023 OG Cooper HodgesAppalachian State
News Source: Appalachian State Football
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  Louisville isn't without experienced players heading into Season 4 under Scott Satterfield. The Cardinals return seven players with starting experience on offense and 10 on defense after going 6-7 in 2021. Still, the team lost valuable players like CJ Avery to graduation while others like Tyler Harrell opted to hit the transfer portal. The Cardinals don't have to worry, though, given the host of new players available to help fill in those spots.

When the Cardinals experienced a good amount of turnover among their wide receivers, they turned to the transfer portal to address their need for bodies and experience. Tyler Hudson made the transition from the FCS level at Central Arkansas to Louisville after finishing fourth nationally in receiving yards with 1,242 on 62 catches in 2021. His height (6-foot-2) and experience will be key in helping to bolster Louisville's passing game. - Courier Journal


rJr/2024 WR Tyler HudsonLouisville
News Source: Courier Journal
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  2022 PRESEASON ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM NOMINEE: Deslin Alexandre, University of Pittsburgh,...Alexandre (Pompano Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) will play his sixth season with Pitt's program and has been active in the Pittsburgh area community since he stepped on campus in 2017. A 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive linemen with 11 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss across 49 games in his impactful collegiate career, Alexandre's leadership as a team captain last season helped the Panthers win their first outright conference championship in program history. For several years, Alexandre has regularly been among the leaders in community service hours volunteered by all Pitt student-athletes - not just football players. His outreach has included serving food at local homeless shelters, visiting hospitalized veterans, donating his per diem to local youth football teams and raising funds for those in need in his native Haiti. - Pittsburgh Football

rSr/2023 DE Deslin AlexandrePittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Football
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  Former Clemson/current University of Miami receiver Frank Ladson will likely be among a rare group of players who by the end of 2022 can say they played for one team, transferred to a program they previously faced, then faced their original team after transferring. "I missed home,'' said the 6-4, 205-pound Ladson, a fourth-year junior who was rated as high as a five-star prep receiver (PrepStar) and four-star wideout by other major recruiting sites when he played at Homestead South Dade High School. "It was time to come home." Not only has Ladson caught passes from No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Trevor Lawrence, he's now catching passes from projected first-round pick Tyler Van Dyke.

Charleston Rambo, who set UM's single-season school receiving record in 2021 (1,172 yards and seven touchdowns on 79 catches) and is now battling for an NFL spot with the Carolina Panthers, played in the 2019 and 2020 College Football Playoff. "Some of the guys asked me about it. Like, 'What's the biggest game you ever played in? The loudest game you ever played in?' Ladson said Thursday after the the sixth day of fall camp and first session in full pads. "It's just a different type of atmosphere. You're in the playoff [and] you're playing for a championship. At the end of the game they bring a stage out and confetti falls." Ladson, whose Clemson career was marred by consecutive seasons of sports hernia injuries which he said necessitated two surgeries - one on each side - said he's now healthy, fighting for a starting spot and doing everything he can to become the big-bodied receiver the Hurricanes need. - Miami Herald


rJr/2024 WR Frank Ladson Jr.Miami
News Source: Miami Herald
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Tyler Grubbs, Louisiana Tech, So LB,...Grubbs, a two-time All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana selection has started all 22 of his games as a Bulldog and led the team in total tackles (99 and 97) in each of his first two seasons. The 247Sports freshman All-American selection finished in the top five last season in C-USA tackles per game (8.1) and also led the team in tackles for loss (10.0) while registering a season-high 13 tackles against SMU. Grubbs was also recently named first-team preseason All-CUSA by Athlon Sports and collected second-team CUSA honors from Phil Steele. The New Orleans, La., native has been one of the best linebackers in the nation since bursting onto the scene in 2020. His career mark of 8.91 tackles per game ranks second nationally among all active players. He is also among the FBS active career leaders in solo tackles per game, ranking 19th with 4.05. - Louisiana Tech Football

rSo/2025 ILB Tyler GrubbsLouisiana Tech
News Source: Louisiana Tech Football
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  Ahmad Walker and Quinton Reese were familiar faces around Liberty's indoor practice facility during spring practices. The two sported blue non-contact jerseys and couldn't participate in drills, but they were eager observers as they absorbed everything in front of them. The defense was undergoing a transformation under new coordinators. Walker and Reese weren't practicing or running through the intricacies of new schemes. Instead, they were visualizing each move and spending time in the film room, ensuring they were ready for training camp.

Not bad for a sophomore linebacker like Walker or a redshirt sophomore safety like Reese, two players who are expected to be significant contributors for a defense looking to build on back-to-back campaigns of finishing 11th nationally in total defense. "It was a pretty good learning experience with what we're doing with the new defense and everything," Walker said of approaching the spring practices. "I feel like it's going to be good for the defense, and I feel like we'll be able to play faster and smarter." Walker had scheduled surgery to clean up some damage in one of his knees, something position coach Josh Aldridge said "wasn't anything major," and Reese finally got back on the field earlier this month after suffering a torn bicep in the Flames' 41-13 win over Middle Tennessee on Oct. 9, 2021. The injury kept Reese out for the final six regular-season games and the Flames' lopsided win over Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl. - Lynchburg News and Advance


rSo/2025 FS Quinton ReeseLiberty
News Source: Lynchburg News and Advance
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Derick Hall, Auburn, Sr Edge,...Hall returned for his senior season on the Plains after a banner junior year in which he recorded nine sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He made three sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and six tackles in the Iron Bowl, earning recognition on the coaches' All-SEC second team for the season. In three seasons on the Plains, Hall has registered 88 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 12. 5 sacks. As a sophomore in 2020, Hall twice earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performances vs. LSU and Mississippi State. - Auburn Football

Sr/2023 OLB Derick HallAuburn
News Source: Auburn Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Zach Harrison, Ohio State, Sr DE,...Harrison is the most experienced defensive end on the roster with 33 games played and 14 starting assignments...The current team leader with 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 quarterback sacks...A team captain in 2021 who had a fine year with 8.0 TFLs, 4.0 sacks, four pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and two quarterback hurries. - Ohio State Football

Sr/2023 DE Zach HarrisonOhio State
News Source: Ohio State Football
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  2022 PRESEASON STATS PERFORM FCS SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: DL - Jordan Lewis, 6-3, 195, junior, Southern (2020),...Lewis had a record season for the Jaguars by winning every possible award an FCS and HBCU player can win in only five games. He finished the season with 27 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 15.0 tackles for a loss of 82 yards, one force fumble and six quarterback hurries. - Southern Football

rSr/2023 OLB Jordan LewisSouthern
News Source: Southern Football
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  2022 PRESEASON JOHN MACKEY AWARD WATCH LIST: CAMREN McDONALD, FLORIDA STATE,...Played in all 12 games with 11 starts in 2021...caught 24 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns...ranked second on team in catches and touchdown receptions...Started all nine games and caught 23 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. - Florida State Football

rSr/2023 TE Camren McDonaldFlorida State
News Source: Florida State Football
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  LaVonta Bentley has, through the years, earned a reputation as one of the Tigers' hardest workers. The Birmingham, Ala., native has stayed after practice to work on his pass-rush technique with defensive linemen Kevin Swint and Tyler Davis. He took up yoga in recent months to feel the burn of a well-held Downward Dog, but it also mentally centers him ahead of an important season. It's not certain how many snaps Bentley will receive in Clemson's tag-team, but he has set the bar high. He wants 45 tackles in his first three games, which is 15 more than he had all of last year.

"Everyone has a why. My why is to help my mom out, be that guy in the household that they look up to, my nephews, nieces, and everyone," Bentley said. "Just to put that work in over here and, hopefully, I can make it to the NFL and set my family up. Just to have that, be self-driven, all about the process." There is a feeling, if Clemson's linebackers play up to their potential, there will be ample opportunity to make plays. They roam behind one of the nation's best defensive lines, which should make it difficult for blockers to reach the second level. So there is no excuse for the Tigers not to fly to the ball. "I want us to be around the ball no matter what, be relentless, be on the ball," Bentley said. "Even if you wasn't on the tackle, a solo tackle, make sure you're around that ball and get there." - Charleston Post Courier


rJr/2024 ILB LaVonta BentleyClemson
News Source: Charleston Post Courier
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  It took a while for Jake Briningstool to find his spot in Clemson's offense as a true freshman. But when he did, his contributions were hard to miss. His first career catch was a diving grab against Florida State, and his two grabs against UConn went for 31 yards and a 25-yard touchdown. In an admittedly limited sample size, that's 22.3 yards per catch. Senior Davis Allen is Clemson's most well-rounded tight end, a more-than-capable blocker and receiver, but expect "Brinny" to see more first-team reps and targets in 2022. Position coach Kyle Richardson said Briningstool's athleticism is comparable to that of two-time Mackey Award finalist and Clemson star Jordan Leggett. - The State

So/2025 TE Jake BriningstoolClemson
News Source: The State
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  08/13/22 - DE Ali GayerSr/2023, LSU + More +

  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Ali Gaye, LSU, Rs Sr DE,...Returns for a fifth season of college football in 2022...Will be one of college football's top defensive ends and pass rushers in 2022...An injury against Kentucky ended his season after appearing in only four games in 2021...For career, has played in 14 games, starting 14 times...51 career tackles to go with 12.0 tackles for loss (-54) and 4.5 sacks (-31)...Batted down 7 passes, credited with 5 quarterback hurries, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. - LSU Football

rSr/2023 DE Ali GayeLSU
News Source: LSU Football
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  Isaac Darkangelo leaned into a family maxim when he decided to transfer from Northern Michigan. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker had already carved out a starring role at Division II Northern Michigan. He totaled 60 tackles in 10 games as a true freshman, and his 105 tackles in 10 games as a sophomore ranked him second in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. But Darkangelo always dreamed of playing football in the Big Ten. He grew up in Big Ten country in Brighton, Mich., which is situated north of Ann Arbor and in between East Lansing and Detroit. Darkangelo also had the confidence he could compete at that level.

So he entered the transfer portal. Former Illinois coach Lovie Smith took a chance on the All-GLIAC Second Team linebacker as a walk-on. Darkangelo had his Big Ten opportunity. "One big thing in my family is to have no regrets in whatever you do," Darkangelo said Wednesday afternoon after the Illini wrapped up another training camp practice ahead of their Aug. 27 opener against Wyoming. "Honestly, I knew if I didn't take the chance on myself, I would regret it for sure...My biggest motivation was I didn't want to let my family down. I always wanted to play in the Big Ten - I knew I could - and I wanted to come here and prove myself." Darkangelo had to wait for the opportunity to prove himself. He sat out the 2020 season after transferring. Then came the coaching change from Smith to Bret Bielema. Darkangelo's fortunes ultimately weren't hurt. He earned a scholarship last fall, played in all 12 games and wound up one of the top-rated special teams players in the Big Ten. - News Gazette Tribune


rSr/2023 ILB Isaac DarkangeloIllinois
News Source: News Gazette Tribune
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