Prospect watch: Tough break

John Murphy
Yahoo! Sports

Arizona State senior running back Ryan Torain will miss the rest of the season with a potentially serious injury to his left foot.

The injury will require surgery, similar to the one that running back Kevin Jones of the Detroit Lions had after a comparable injury. Jones was injured last December and although team doctors said he could miss up to 12 months, he is back on the field for the Lions.

Torain will have to endure a long rehab process that will likely keep him out of all postseason events leading up to the NFL Draft.

SHIRLEY SUSPENDED

Fresno State senior defensive tackle Jason Shirley has been suspended for the remainder of the season after his arrest on suspicion of DUI. He was arrested following an accident earlier this month, but was already in trouble in the wake of a two-game suspension for violating team rules. Shirley, a massive run stuffer, needs to prove to scouts that he is not of poor character and understands the serious nature of his current off-field issues. He had earned a solid mid-round grade.

CHOICE SITS

Georgia Tech senior running back Tashard Choice could be out for several weeks after suffering a right knee injury that will require surgery.

HENNE HURT

Michigan senior quarterback Chad Henne suffered a minor injury to his throwing shoulder that caused him to miss several series in last week’s victory at Illinois. He has already battled through a leg injury. If Henne can put a late run together and lead an upset over current No. 1 Ohio State, scouts could give him a positive grade before the postseason.

LOBOS' SMITH STARS

New Mexico senior wide receiver Marcus Smith is an excellent prospect thanks to his size, speed and production as both a pass catcher and kickoff return specialist. Smith has been dealing with the death of his mother since mid-September. Smith, noted for his high character and focus, has not missed classes or practice and has produced a senior season that has scouts buzzing.

POSTSEASON UPDATES

• Hawaii senior quarterback Colt Brennan and Wake Forest senior offensive lineman Steve Justice have confirmed that they accepted invitations to the Under Armour Senior Bowl.

• University of San Diego senior quarterback Josh Johnson has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

BUTKUS SEMIFINALISTS

The Butkus Award committee announced the 10 players vying to be named top collegiate linebacker. Dan Connor of Penn State, Shawn Crable of Michigan, Jordon Dizon of Colorado, Erin Henderson of Maryland, Ali Highsmith of LSU, James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, J Leman of Illinois, Ben Moffitt of South Florida, Keith Rivers of USC and Wesley Woodyard of Kentucky made the cut. Three finalists will be chosen early next month. The winner will be announced in Orlando, Fla., in December.

SMALL SCHOOL PATROL

• Bentley (Mass.) senior offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau has suffered a minor left knee injury. Team doctors have said the injury could require surgery that would keep him out for a few weeks. Bernadeau is expected to be at full strength after rehab and able to play in all-star games.

• Bloomsburg (Pa.) senior running back Jamar Brittingham rushed for a career-high 257 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Millersville (Pa). Brittingham became the school's all-time leading rusher (5,219 yards). At just under 6-foot, 205 pounds he has good size, has been timed in the mid-to-high 4.5 range and shows good power.