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Colorado State grants release to potential starting RB Donnell Alexander

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday
NCAA Football: Nevada at Colorado State
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Nov 9, 2013; Fort Collins, CO, USA; Colorado State Rams running back Donnell Alexander (7) runs after a reception in the first quarter against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Hughes Stadium. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Colorado State running back Donnell Alexander was granted his release from the program to be closer to his family, coach Jim McElwain said this past weekend.

Alexander, who was the Rams’ second-leading rusher last season, was in line to be the starter this year, but his mother told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that her son did not get adequate support from the school in a time of need, which prompted the transfer.

“Donnell had a tragic event happen with his sister and what put the icing on the cake for him was that when that situation happened, he didn’t get any support from CSU. That made his decision,” Kim Alexander told The Coloradoan, though she did not give specifics on the event.

McElwain told media he had no issues granting Alexander’s release and that he wanted Alexander to be able to handle his personal issues. Colorado State is even keeping Alexander on scholarship through the end of the semester so he can finish his studies.

“Like I told him, wherever we can facilitate you getting closer to home, feeling better and being at peace with the things you’re dealing with, I’ll help you,” McElwain said after Saturday’s practice.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald noted that Alexander's mother is facing felony charges in Arapahoe County Court in Denver with an arraignment set for April 4. It also notes that Kim and Donnell Alexander are defendants in a civil action in Arapahoe County Court in Denver, with a return date on summons set for today.

Alexander had 71 carries for 428 yards and two touchdowns last season. He also had the game-tying two-point conversion in the New Mexico Bowl.

Alexander’s departure leaves a huge hole in the Rams’ backfield. Starter Kapri Bibbs left school early for the NFL and Davon Riddick, the third-string running back, switched to cornerback. Walk-on Eric Williams becomes the only returning player at that position, and Bryce Peters and Jasen Oden, who was a former safety, fill out the depth this spring. The Rams did sign three running backs to the 2014 class.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter

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