CFB notebook: Two FIU players injured in drive-by shooting

The Sports Xchange

September 07, 2018 at 7:33 pm.

Two Florida International University football players were victims of a drive-by shooting on Thursday, according to Opa-Locka (Fla.) Police Chief James Dobson.

Dobson wrote on Twitter that starting junior running back Anthony Jones and freshman offensive lineman Mershawn Miller were shot in Opa-Locka while visiting friends and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are still looking for the shooter.

“Somebody drove by and starting shooting from a vehicle,” said Dobson, who added that police were looking for a newer model, four-door gray Nissan Sentra with no tag.

The Miami Herald reported that Jones was shot in the face and back, and Miller was shot in the arm. Both were both transported to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Jones was airlifted to the hospital and remained hospitalized Friday. Miller was taken by ambulance and later released.

“When you hear the news that we received today, your heart drops,” Florida International coach Butch Davis said. “We’ve been receiving encouraging reports on their conditions, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Anthony Jones and Mershawn Miller during this time.”

Florida International officials sent a letter to the university community expressing similar sentiments.

Raised along with Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook, who is his uncle, Jones sat out last season because of an injury. He started last week, and had 88 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 38-28 loss to Indiana.

FIU plays at Old Dominion on Saturday.

–Tight end Turner Cockrell of Vanderbilt has been battling cancer for the last year, the Commodores announced on the school’s athletic department website Friday.

Cockrell, a sophomore from Acworth, Ga., noticed two lumps on the right side of his neck last fall, according to the school statement.

“Prior to the diagnosis, my friends were joking like, ‘That’s cancer, you better get it checked out,'” Cockrell said. “I was like, ‘Nah, that couldn’t be it.’ When we got the official diagnosis, it took me by surprise. But having prior knowledge of cancer and treatment, I wasn’t terribly worried. I was obviously taken aback, but nothing I was too worried about right off the bat.”

In November, he was diagnosed with melanoma and a month later he underwent surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes from his neck, and later had radiation therapy for 20 consecutive weeks.

Despite the treatment, doctors said the cancer spread and a full-body scan in July disclosed unusual growths in Cockrell’s lungs. He is undergoing treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was scheduled for a procedure on Friday.

Cockrell watched Vanderbilt’s season-opening 35-7 victory over Middle Tennessee last week from the coach’s suite in the press box and was presented the game ball by his teammates afterward.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Cockrell was a three-star prospect out of Allatoona High School in Acworth in the 2016 signing class. He has not played in a game for Vanderbilt.

Cockrell made 13 receptions for three touchdowns and an average of 25.3 yards per catch for Allatoona’s run-oriented offense while earning all-state honors a senior. He set a school record with 93-yard touchdown reception in state semifinals.

–Guard Patrick Hudson of Texas remained hospitalized Friday, two days after he suffered heatstroke during practice, coach Tom Herman said.

Herman said the 6-foot-4, 335-pound sophomore had a “full body cramp” and the team’s trainers put him in a cold bath to get his body temperature down before an ambulance arrived.

Hudson was placed in the intensive care unit at the hospital but was moved to a regular room after his temperature returned to normal.

“Everything’s great,” said Herman, whose team plays Tulsa on Saturday. “His body temperature is back to normal. All the vitals are great.”

Herman said doctors were running tests to determine why Hudson’s body temperature spiked when those of others didn’t in 95-degree temperature during practice.

The coach said it was his decision to practice outside instead of using the school’s indoor facility.

“Patrick was initially being treated for exertional heat cramps during practice on Wednesday and in the process of treating him, our medical staff identified his body temperature rising,” said Anthony Pass, the Longhorns’ head football athletic trainer.

“We immediately went into our exertional heat illness protocol, which included cold water immersion in order to get his temperature down and to transport him to the hospital for further care. Patrick remains in the hospital and his condition continues to improve.

“He’s kind of a cramp guy. For a massive human being, he’s not very fleshy. He’s got a pretty low percentage of body fat.”

Hudson, listed as second team left guard on the Texas depth chart, played in the first two games last season and pushed Chris Warren III across the goal line for a touchdown against San Jose State.

However, Hudson sustained a knee injury in that game that knocked him out for the season.

Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of a heatstroke on June 13 after he was overcome by heat at practice two weeks earlier, prompting the school to part ways with its strength and conditioning coach.