Prospect watch: Medical matters

John Murphy

Colorado State senior tight end/H-Back Kory Sperry, one of the most athletic and best pass catchers at his position, might seek a medical redshirt from the NCAA after suffering an apparent season-ending torn ACL in his left knee against California. He had an MRI on Monday. Sperry could return next year since he played as a true freshman with the Rams.

• Florida senior wide receiver Andre Caldwell will miss 2-4 weeks after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee in last week's win over Troy. He will not require surgery, but the lost time on the field could be costly in his efforts to raise his NFL stock. Caldwell returned to school after being told he would likely be a second- or-third round pick had he declared for the draft last year.

• Florida senior offensive tackle Phil Trautwein is expected to miss another six weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. Trautwein was expected to play the all-important left tackle position for the Gators, and had started to catch the eyes of scouts after playing well as a first-year starter last season. At 6-foot-6, 300 pounds he moves well for his size and spent the offseason improving his strength.

•Oregon State junior offensive guard Jeremy Perry, the Pac-10's Freshman of the Year in 2005 and an all-conference performer last season, could miss up to two months after suffering an undisclosed leg injury in the Beavers' home-opening win over Utah. Perry is an outstanding all-around blocker who once fully recovered has the chance to earn All-American-type honors.

• Tennessee senior tight end Brad Cottam, who suffered a left wrist injury during an August scrimmage, had surgery to correct the problem three weeks ago. He is unlikely to return until mid-to-late October. He is a fifth-year senior and was the No.1- rated senior prospect at his position. A healthy late and postseason return should keep him rated a day one prospect.

•Tulsa senior running back Courtney Tennial will seek a special medical redshirt from the NCAA after suffering an ankle injury that will prevent him from playing this season. A transfer from Oklahoma, Tennial was hoping to have a 1,000-plus yard season after leading his team in rushing a year ago (862 yards, 14 touchdowns).


Boston College senior defensive tackle B.J. Raji is working on his grades in an effort to regain eligibility for 2008. Raji petitioned the NCAA to restore his eligibility, but was denied. He intends to return to the Eagles next season.


Virginia Tech freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor will start against Ohio on Saturday after the Hokies' offense struggled the first two weeks. Taylor has Vince Young-like qualities as an athlete, runner and passer.


• Chadron State senior running back Danny Woodhead was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the week for the second consecutive time and 15th time in his career after gaining 280 yards of total offense and scoring three touchdowns against Northern Colorado. Woodhead rushed for 147 yards and added five catches for 133 yards. He has 8,189 yards of total offense during his four-year career, including 6,906 yards rushing. At his current pace he is the frontrunner for Harlon Hill Award, which is the Division II version of the Heisman Trophy. The 5-9, 200-pound senior has been timed in the 4.4 range in the 40. He has a 3.72 GPA.

• Duquesne senior wide receiver Bruce Hocker could challenge to be this year's small school version of or Jacoby Jones. Hocker had four catches for 104 yards and one touchdown in his first game against Bucknell. He has averaged more than 18 yards per catch over his four-year career, scoring 25 touchdowns on 112 career receptions. Linebacker Derron Thomas, a transfer from Pittsburgh, kicked off his senior campaign with 18 tackles, including 10 solos and one sack. The 6-foot, 235-pounder brings a good deal of experience to the Dukes.

• Southern Utah senior offensive lineman Matt Roan is beginning to make waves with West Coast scouts. The converted tight end was recruited to Virginia Tech before transferring, and has become a fixture on the Thunderbirds’ offensive line. He has moved from center to left tackle the past two weeks, while also serving as the team's primary deep snapper. He moves very well for his size (6-5, 290) and was timed right at-or-below 5.00 in the 40. An all-academic candidate, he's a smart, versatile blocker who has good pedigree. Let's just say he won't be the last guy signed to an NFL contract next April.