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Good, Alexander Booted From Team; Approx. 15 Scholarship Players Remain

August 16, 2010

Per Steve Williams on PackPride:

Coach O’Brien announced this evening that OL Denzelle Good and Morgan Alexander are no longer with the team.

“They did not live up to their expectations so they are no longer on the football team.”

Good was a four-star, redshirt-freshman offensive guard who was expected to be the #2 right guard heading into the season. Alexander was a running back prospect coming out of high school who’s listed as a WR on the roster.

Speculation on the thread is that it’s a grades issue. If so, I can understand the suspension, though I hope that O’Brien has left the door open for these two gentlemen to return to the squad if they get their grades back in order. Seems only fair if they’ve been in his good graces otherwise to this point.

This means, of course, even fewer players filling out the roster and a continuation of the “subtraction by subtraction” phase State’s been in over the last four years. If there’s a silver lining it’s that they’re not on the defensive side of the ball, but that does little to ease the woes of losing one of State’s most talented offensive linemen in a year where there’s little experience along the o-line to lean on.

The debate on the thread linked above surrounds the wisdom of the move given the squad’s attrition rates thus far under O’Brien. I haven’t gone back to double check this list compiled by posters seniorwolf60, maliciouself and wolfinphoenix, but here are the players lost permanently during O’Brien’s tenure to either suspension or career-ending injury :

Amato era recruits:
Harrison Beck
Marcus Bond
Justin Burke
Curtis Crouch
Nathan Franklin
Ced Hickman
Geron James
Gerard Miller
Deandre Morgan
Levin Neal
Rashard Phillips
Gavin Smith
Avery Vogt
Javon Walker
John Ware

TOB recruits:
Thomas Barnes
Dominique Ellis
Mike Golder
Kyle Linney
Desmond Roberts
Anmad Jaradat
Morgan Alexander
Denzelle Good
Chris Ward
Akeem Cunningham
Jimmaul Simmons
Deion Roberson

That’s a pretty meaty list. A lot of those folks from the Amato classes were kids who didn’t mesh with the new staff, and they’re reasonably understandable departures.

But (assuming that list is correct and comprehensive, which I’m not sure of) 12 of TOB’s own recruits have washed out for one reason or another. On an 85-man roster, that’s a sizable chunk of recruiting talent that’s no longer with the team in just O’Brien’s fourth season.

Ultimately you want O’Brien to make the decisions that best benefit the long-term interest of the kid. Allowing players to skate by on shaky academics teaches them nothing, so kudos to Tom for teaching them no one is above discipline when they deserve it.

But at some point something must be done to curb the continuous attrition from all sides that seems to constantly nibble away at State’s depth chart each and every year. You certainly can’t hand-hold every kid to and from class everyday, but damn, there has to be something–some resource or means–that can keep these kids from pissing away their education and roster spots.

With each player removed from the team, O’Brien gets closer and closer to jeopardizing his own job.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 10:56 am

    If only I knew of someone with experience tutoring football players. Sigh …

    • August 16, 2010 11:17 am

      Those tutors can be some shady characters, lemme tell ya.

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