Gamecocks hope starting guard can return midseason


The good news for South Carolina is that a member of its starting offensive line is expected to play this season. The bad news? It’s going to take a while before he gets back on the field.

At a press conference Sunday, head coach Steve Spurrier said he’s hopeful starting guard Mike Matulis (pictured, No. 76) is ready to play midseason. The offensive lineman suffered what was described as a severely sprained knee during a scrimmage last weekend.

Midseason for the Gamecocks this year would be somewhere around the Oct. 4 game against Kentucky or the Oct. 18 game against Furman, meaning Matulis is expected to miss the first five games of the year.

Matulis, who entered camp as the starter at right guard, missed the entire 2013 season after suffering a shoulder injury during summer camp. He started five games in 2012, one year after being named a Freshman All-American.

On the depth chart released Sunday, redshirt sophomore Cody Waldrop is listed as the starter, with redshirt freshman Alan Knott listed as the backup.

Additionally, Spurrier said he is expecting star running back Mike Davis to be back to full speed by Thursday, the same day the Gamecocks open the season against Texas A&M in Columbia. Davis, a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, has been hampered by a rib injury for a good part of summer camp, missing a couple of practices early last week.

He returned to practice late last week, with Spurrier indicating Davis would play in the opener.

Utah State player upgraded to fair condition after collapse

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Utah State redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is in fair condition on Friday, one day after collapsing at spring football practice following sudden cardiac arrest, the university announced.

Davis, initially was listed in critical condition, was breathing on his own. He is in the intensive-care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Davis’ parents arrived in Utah on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Davis, who is from Carlsbad, California, collapsed at Merlin Olsen Field and was immediately treated by the training staff, the university said. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

The university said Davis was stabilized in the Logan hospital before being moved to Ogden.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.