A Texas A&M Aggies defense already faced with challenges leading into 2013 added two more over the weekend. Defensive backs Deshazor Everett and Floyd Raven were charged with assault in an April fight, The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports.
The Eagle writes Raven turned himself into Brazos County Jail Monday morning.
Both Everett and Raven are projected starters. Their possible absence from the A&M roster, pending disciplinary action, leaves an already-depleted defense even thinner. The Aggies return just four starters from last year’s group, of which Everett was a part.
He finished 2012 with 56 tackles and two interceptions — one was especially noteworthy:
Will Everett have an opportunity to duplicate this feat? Alabama visits Texas A&M in Week 3. The severity of charges against the cornerback will likely dictate his fate.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers defense faces a similar situation. Bo Pelini dismissed two players from a unit that last year, was the least effective in Pelini’s tenure.
Neither linebacker Thomas Brown nor defensive end Ernest Suttles were members of the Husker defense that allowed 192.5 rushing yards per game and 26 touchdowns on the ground. However, each could have provided much-needed depth in the front seven.
Nebraska faces a UCLA offense that set the tone for the Huskers’ run-stop challenges last year. The Bruins rolled off 653 yards of total offense, 344 of which were via the rush. Quarterback Brett Hundley is one of the nation’s most talented dual-threat quarterbacks.
In sacrificing depth in a unit that requires it, Pelini sent a stern message about player conduct, a topic of particular interest at present.
Scrutiny on team discipline is at a high in the wake of former Florida Gators star Aaron Hernandez’s arrest. Accusations of Urban Meyer enabling players with an overly lax attitude resurfaced.
Programs tread a fine line between the sport’s growing win-at-all-cost mentality, and addressing more important, off-field issues. Meyer won two national championships at Florida, while rival Mark Richt has been roundly panned for his failure to deliver one to Georgia.
Richt’s team has had its share of arrests, but he has also been stern in his discipline. Last summer, he doled out lengthy suspensions to All-American Bacarri Rambo and starter Alec Ogletree, and dismissed leading rusher Isaiah Crowell.
The off-field transgressions at A&M and Nebraska coincide with an ongoing investigation at Vanderbilt, which led to the suspension of four players.
That legal troubles are now present at Vanderbilt, a program with just a single player arrest in recent years, might be used as evidence of a larger problem in college football.
And indeed, college football outpaces other sports for player arrests, citations and charges in 2013, according to ArrestNation.com. Its 76 are double that of the NFL and college basketball, which are tied for second most.
Interestingly though, at .07 the percent of college football players arrested or cited is slightly lower than the NFL (approaching 2 percent), and college basketball (~.08 percent).
Still, the sheer number of college football arrests and headlines they create lead to valid concerns. Pressure is on coaches like Sumlin to handle player arrests decisively.