Also see: Receivers and red flags
University of Georgia Bulldogs
Plant High School
Riverview High School
Charles started 29 of 40 games during his three seasons at Georgia, where he caught 94 passes for 1,370 yards (14.57 ypc) and 10 touchdowns. … He also blocked a punt that he advanced four yards vs. Vanderbilt in 2011. … In 2011, Charles started all 14 games, ranking third on the Bulldogs squad with a career-high 45 receptions for 574 yards (12.76 ypc) and five touchdowns. He was a finalist for the John Mackey Award and earned All-American honors from various news services, in addition to being named All-SEC first-team. He was inducted into the University of Georgia's Student-Athlete Leadership Academy and again garnered Georgia and SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition.
In a 2011 Yahoo! Sports report, Miami booster Nevin Shapiro alleged that Charles, his high school coach and some of his high school teammates toured Shapiro's home in 2008. The University of Georgia later issued a statement saying that there were no issues with the school or eligibility regarding Charles.
Michigan State University Spartans
St. Louis, Missouri
Saint Anne's-Belfield High School
Linthicum has started 27 of 39 games during his Michigan State career, catching 69 of 99 passes targeted to him (69.70%) for 860 yards (12.46 ypc) and three touchdowns, as 10 of those tosses were deflected by the opposition and the tight end dropped just one throw. … 46 of his Spartan receptions produced first downs (66.67%), as he converted 11 third-down attempts and had 39 receptions for at least 10 yards (56.52%), including 15 for 20 yards or longer. … Proved to be a standout "table-setter" for MSU, as 29 of his catches set up Spartans touchdown drives and another three came on possessions that ended with MSU field goals. … Thirteen of his grabs came inside the red zone, with three on goal-line plays. … Also recorded 18 touchdown-resulting blocks and 136 knockdowns/key blocks in 37 contests for the Spartans. … Including his time at Clemson University, Linthicum has snared 80 of 111 passes targeted to him (72.07%), as he posted 53 first downs (66.25%), converting 15 third-down throws, as he made 39 receptions for at least 10 yards, with 15 gaining 20 yards or more. … Set up 37 touchdown drives and five more that ended with field goals. … Eighteen catches came inside the red zone, including five on goal-line plays, as 39-of-80 of his collegiate receptions were for 10 yards or longer (48.75%), including fifteen catches for more than 20 yards. … Has been tackled for a loss just one time and dropped just one of those 111 passes targeted to him. … Added 19 yards on two kickoff returns and recorded one solo tackle. … Has registered 170 key blocks/knockdowns, coming up with 20 touchdown-resulting blocks for his complete college career.
Linthicum and Michigan State linebacker were arrested on March 11, 2011, in Aspen, Colo., after a bar fight and were charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault and eluding police. In April, the tight end accepted a plea deal down to a misdemeanor harassment charge and was sentenced to one year probation to include community service, anger management class and a fine.
EVAN Junior Rodriguez
Temple University Owls
North Bergen, New Jersey
West Virginia University
North Bergen High School
Rodriguez started 28 of 37 games at Temple, coming up with 69 receptions for 871 yards (12.62 ypc) and seven touchdowns, an average of 23.54 yards per game. … Carried once for a 1-yard gain and totaled 42 points. … Also recorded one solo tackle. … In 2011, Rodriguez was named first-team All-Mid American Conference. Starting all but the Bowling Green game, he alternated between fullback and tight end. The team finished with a 9-4 record, as their senior receiver led the squad with a career-high 35 catches for 479 yards (13.69 ypc). He would close out his career by leading the Owls to a 37-15 victory over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
Problems began soon upon his arrival at West Virginia after he was red-shirted for his freshmen year. The tight end said, "I didn't get along with the coaches out there." The coach at the time was Rich Rodriguez, who left in December 2007 to coach Michigan. Assistant head coach Bill Stewart took over as head coach on Jan. 3, 2008, but the North Bergen recruit would never play for the Mountaineers. Leaving West Virginia was not by choice. In March 2008, he was accused of grabbing a WVU night staff employee, pushing her into a wall and twisting her arm, according to a criminal complaint, the Daily Mail reported. The coaching staff, preaching "zero tolerance," dismissed him from the football team after he was charged with misdemeanor battery. The complaint says the employee required medical attention. Rodriguez faced up to a year in jail, if he was convicted.
WVU Director of Football Communications Mike Montoro said that the school first suspended Rodriguez from school in April and he was subsequently dismissed from the team. The case was later settled, as the player had the felony assault charge reduced to a misdemeanor disturbance and trespassing charge. That was not his only brush with the law, though. While enrolled at Temple in April, 2009, he was arrested for disorderly conduct.
DANIEL "Dan" HERRON
The Ohio State University Buckeyes
Warren G. Harding High School
Dan Herron started 22 of 41 games at Ohio State, rushing 592 times for 2,869 yards (10th on the school career-record list) and 32 touchdowns, adding 309 yards and a score on 44 receptions (7.02 ypc). … Scored 198 points and had 33 total touchdowns, as he also returned six kickoffs for 117 yards (19.5 avg), finishing with 3,295 all-purpose yards, an average of 80.37 yards per game.
Dan Herron was limited to only seven games as a senior while serving an NCAA-mandated suspension during the Buckeyes' first five 2011 contests. The tailback was one of several players that the NCAA said sold a jersey, pants, and shoes that he had previously worn in a game. The other suspended Buckeyes were quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who opted to leave the school and was selected in the 2011 NFL supplemental draft by the Oakland Raiders, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive lineman Mike Adams, and defensive end Soloman Thomas.
Further investigation into the incident eventually resulted in head coach Jim Tressel resigning from his position on May 30, 2011. Herron returned to the starting tailback spot back after his suspension, as Luke Fickell was named the interim head coach for the 2011 season. But, on Oct. 3, 2011, in an unrelated story, Herron was suspended for one more week due to being overpaid during a summer job in the Cleveland area.
Several ESPN analysts, including Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Spielman, said that they did not believe Herron or DeVier Posey, who was also suspended the first six games of the 2011 season as well, would ever play or should ever play at Ohio State again. They added, however, that the pair should still be allowed to practice, workout, and stay on scholarship at the university. Fickell did not heed the cable network analysts, immediately inserting Herron into the backfield upon his return. The fifth-year senior rewarded the new coach with 675 yards and three touchdowns on 134 carries (5.04 ypc) in his seven-game audition for NFL teams, but after sparking the team, which won the first three games upon Herron's return, OSU would lose its final four contests before Fickell was replaced as head coach by Urban Meyer for the 2012 schedule.
LUCAS "Luke" EDWARD NIX
University of Pittsburgh Panthers
Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania
Thomas Jefferson High School
Nix appeared in 40 games at Pittsburgh, starting 30 contests – 16 at right offensive tackle and 17 at right guard. … Finished his career with 145 knockdowns and 25 touchdown-resulting blocks. … Also recorded a solo tackle vs. South Florida during the 2009 campaign. The preseason All-Big East Conference selection and member of the Outland Trophy Watch List started eight games at right offensive guard, registering 38 knockdowns and six touchdown-resulting blocks. … The Panthers would manage just 350.08 yards in total offense (84th in the nation) and 24.23 points (83rd) per game, as the offensive line finished last among 120 major college teams by yielding 64 quarterback sacks for minus 422 yards. … Nix started the first five games before suffering a left knee sprain vs. South Florida that forced him to sit out vs. Rutgers, Utah, Connecticut, Cincinnati and Louisville before returning to the first unit for the West Virginia, Syracuse and Baylor (Alamo Bowl) clashes. … Without Nix on the field, the front wall was charged with 21 sacks for losses of 162 yards, giving up six sacks in each of the Rutgers and Utah games.
Nix was cited for disorderly conduct in March 2009 and charged with disorderly conduct for knocking over a garbage can (ultimately paid a fine).
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