Week in Review

A weekly look back at the stories, including injury news, practice reports and other issues, that impact the draft of 2003. Updated 8/17

  • Auburn running back Carnell Williams has responded in the early part of the Tigers summer camp. Among other things, Williams had a 64-yard run, which was the highlight of Wednesday's scrimmage at Auburn. After a great start last year, the sophomore ended up missing the last six games of the season when he fractured his left fibula against Florida. Williams, only a junior, is highly ranked by NFL scouts.

  • North Carolina State receiver Jerricho Cotchery has been out of practice since suffering a minor shoulder injury and is being held out as a precaution. Cotchery, considered a first day pick in next April's NFL Draft, is a big-bodied receiver league scouts have keen interest in.

  • Former Clemson Quarterback Willie Simmons has enrolled at the Citadel, where he'll be playing this fall. After the NCAA transfer snafu he encountered at Florida A&M, Simmons appealed but was denied eligibility to play his final season for the Rattlers even though he was on campus before FAMU applied for I-A membership this summer. NFL scouts love Simmons' athletic skills and he may be tried at receiver or running back prior to next April's draft.

  • A meeting is to be held next Thursday to determine the playing status this season for UCF tight end Michael Gaines. Highly ranked by NFL scouts, Gaines was academically ineligible to play as a true freshman but graduated this summer, which restored his playing status for 2003 as a senior. Since then a question has arisen about a pair of classes Gaines received passing grades on.

  • Oklahoma State blocker Sam Mayes, one of the nation's most underrated linemen, has been playing right tackle rather than guard during most of the Cowboys' practices. Though not seen as a permanent move, this can only enhance his NFL stock.

  • Baylor linebacker John Garrett continues to look good in practice since returning from the knee injury that forced him to the sidelines last year. Though working with the second team now, he could break into the starting line-up by the start of the season. An athletic defender, he carried a mid-round grade prior to his injury.

  • Joey Harris was ruled academically ineligible for his senior season. Harris led the Boilermakers in rushing with more than 1,100 yards last season. He was considered by NFL scouts a potential late round pick next April. Academically ineligible to play as a true freshman, Harris only played two seasons for Purdue.

  • Bruce Perry suffered a high ankle sprain in practice Tuesday, which will force him to the sidelines for a minimum of two weeks to as long as six. This is bad news for Perry who, to date, was having a marvelous camp. Further worsening the situation is the fact Perry is coming off a torn groin, which sidelined him last season, and the lack of durability will surely knock him down draft boards.

  • While no official announcement has been made, Terrance Chapman, once a highly rated defensive end prospect, will not play for the Wolfpack in 2003. Chapman, who missed the 2002 season, has not met academic requirements for the upcoming campaign. After a terrific campaign in 2001, hopes were high for Chapman, who displayed terrific pass rushing skills.

  • Larry Fitzgerald's hamstring injury is not thought to be serious though he did not practice with the team on Friday. It may take some time for the receiver to return to full speed. The Panthers plan to take their time with Fitzgerald and not rush his return, as the major fear is that the injury will become a recurring problem during the season. Fitzgerald, a true sophomore three years removed from high school, is highly ranked by NFL scouts.

  • Cornhusker lineman Junior Tagoa'I was fined $350 by a Nebraska judge for a disturbing the peace charge and will be in court again next Friday for sentencing on other charges. Tagoa'I is not practicing with the team and a final decision on his playing status will be made by coach Frank Solich after the outcome of the final court hearing. Tagoa'i is considered a late round guard prospect by NFL scouts.

  • Texas A&M offensive tackle Jami Hightower will be out indefinitely, doctors say, while on medication for a severe infection. A two-year starter, the junior could potentially miss the entire 2003 campaign with his ailment. Hightower, a highly ranked pro-prospect by NFL scouts, rates high amongs underclassmen blockers.

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