USA Football Suffers Personnel Losses

With the spring semester concluded, the news has become official that a dozen or more USA football players will not be with the team next season. Almost all are academic casualties but perhaps this doesn't mean the end of their USA football careers.

The losses among the scholarship players will definitely affect depth for USA in 2011. The offensive line in particular was hard hit as three players, Adoniss Madison, Sean Kennedy and Ucambre Williams are leaving the program. All three players had very good springs and Williams was selected as the most improved offensive lineman of spring practice.

The defensive backfield also took a hit with the loss of hard-hitting cornerback Jerron Mitchell and freshman Terrell Brigham. Mitchell has been a crowd pleaser during his time in Mobile with his physical style of play. Last year he contributed 34 tackles, four for a loss and had an interception. Terrell Brigham played sparingly, having only seven tackles and a recovered fumble, but he was voted the most improved defensive back in the spring by the coaches.

Elsewhere on defense, the losses were defenive ends Kendall Bagnerise (eight tackles, one TFL)and FAU transfer Jarred Williams (seven tackles, 1.5 sacks) as well as linebacker Josh Chestang (14 tackles, three TFL, one sack), a player who had been with the program since it's first recruiting class.

Speaking of longtime players, the Jags first ever signee, Richard Ross is also an academic casualty. Signed as a running back, he had converted to tight end and had been voted the most improved at that position this spring. Last season he had five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.

No surprise on this list is quarterback Raymond Cotton, who has already begun the process of transferring to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. After transferring from Ole Miss, Cotton showed his athleticism despite a shoulder injury as he rushed nine times for 110 yards and a touchdown while completing one of three passes for 16 yards.

The last players to mention are wide receiver Jared Palmer and running back Johnny Lockett. Palmer, who recorded no catches last year, is leaving due to grades, but Lockett (11 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown) has decided to give up football.

Unfortunately these are not likely to be the last losses for the 2011 team. There are players who need a strong academic showing this summer to stay eligible and the odds are that some will not make it. It is possible that some of these players that are ineligible will go to junior college next year, recover their eligibility and return to USA. Hopefully the impact of their loss will not heavily affect this year's results.

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