Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Nkemdiche out of Sugar Bowl

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche has played his last college football game.

The Rebels star, recently charged with marijuana possession after a 15-foot fall at an Atlanta hotel, was suspended and will not play in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 against Oklahoma State. The school said he will enter the NFL draft as a junior.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement Sunday that Nkemdiche was told last week that he "will not be joining us" for the game.

Freeze said he'll share information with NFL general managers and scouts on Nkemdiche, "a unique and talented individual" who has made an "immeasurable impact on our program."

The 6-foot-4, 296-pounder is a second-team All-American and a possible top-10 draft pick. He has 29 tackles, seven for losses, including three sacks. He also scored three touchdowns for Ole Miss, which used him at fullback at times.

"I have learned a valuable lesson in the last week, and I look forward to showing NFL personnel that this is not representative of my true character," Nkemdiche said in a statement.

Police said Nkemdiche, 21, broke a hotel room window Dec. 12, walked about 15 feet, climbed over a wall and fell about 15 feet. He was taken to a hospital, ending up with stitches in his back and leg and a swollen ankle.

A police report said a double-pane window was broken and the room was in "complete disarray." The report also said there were "approximately seven rolled marijuana cigarettes" in plain sight that police linked to Nkemdiche.

Race to record: Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon set NCAA touchdown and scoring records late Saturday in a 47-28 victory over Arkansas State in the New Orleans Bowl. Dixon had 215 yards from scrimmage and scored four times to become the NCAA's career leader with 87 touchdowns and 522 points. Those records could fall in a week; Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds takes his 85 career touchdowns and 512 points into the Military Bowl on Dec. 28 against Pittsburgh on Monday. "If he gets the record, it will be great. If I keep it, it's even greater," Dixon said. Former Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel closed his college career by passing for 458 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (9-4), who ended an eight-game winning streak by the Red Wolves

Maryland: New coach DJ Durkin hired Walt Bell to be his offensive coordinator. Bell served as offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas State the past two seasons.

Georgia Southern: Colorado State defensive coordinator Tyson Summers was hired as coach Sunday night. He will replace Willie Fritz, who left to become Tulane's coach.

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