Monday's college football: Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson to have surgery

Associated Press

Blacksburgh, Va. — Virginia Tech quarterback and former Saline standout Josh Jackson has a broken left fibula and will have surgery.

Coach Justin Fuente made the announcement Monday. The coach said the surgery will take place Tuesday, but gave no timetable for how long Jackson will be sidelined.

Jackson, in his second season as the starter, was injured in the third quarter of the Hokies’ 49-35 loss at Old Dominion on Saturday night.

Redshirt junior Ryan Willis replaced him and was 9 for 18 for 131 yards with a touchdown pass. He also ran four times for 30 yards.

Jackson set Hokies freshmen records last season by throwing for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was 36 for 58 for 575 yards with five touchdowns and one interception when he got injured at the end of a 19-yard run. He was carted off the field and returned to the sideline later on crutches and with his leg in a protective boot.

Willis, a transfer, started eight games as a freshman and two as a sophomore at Kansas before transferring.

Northwestern's top RB retires

Northwestern leading rusher Jeremy Larkin is retiring from football after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck and upper back.

Northwestern said Larkin’s condition is not life threatening, but prevents him from playing.

“Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won’t be on that field again, given I’ve played this game since I was 5 years old,” Larkin said in a statement. “I’m extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.”

Larkin, a sophomore, is in his first season as the top running back for the Wildcats (1-2). He is fifth in the Big Ten in rushing at 115.33 yards per game. He has 346 yards rushing, 19 catches for 127 yards and has scored five touchdowns for an offense that has otherwise struggled. The Cincinnati native had 618 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns last season as a freshman backup.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald said Larkin will serve as a student assistant coach.

“This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete,” Fitzgerald said. “But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him. The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. “

Northwestern hosts No. 14 Michigan on Saturday.

Extra points

Freshman Trevor Lawrence is the new starting quarterback for third-ranked Clemson, replacing senior Kelly Bryant — for now.

The move doesn’t mean Bryant is being benched, or won’t regain the starting spot. Though Clemson coach Dabo Swinney isn’t saying much about the change.

The team announced the decision a day after Swinney cut off potential quarterback questions on a teleconference Sunday night.

... Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says linebacker Quart’e Sapp remains a part of the team after the coach and linebacker offered conflicting accounts of a sideline incident.

Pruitt had said Saturday after Tennessee’s 47-21 loss to Florida that he asked Sapp to leave the sideline after the linebacker refused a request to enter the game. Sapp tweeted Sunday that “I never was asked nor did I ever refuse to go into the game.”

Pruitt said Monday he has since spoken with Sapp. Pruitt offered no details on the conversation but said “everybody makes mistakes” and “we’re going to move on and we’ll go from there.”