College football notebook: RB Buie withdraws from West Virginia

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Andrew Buie has withdrawn from West Virginia, the office of the registrar confirmed Thursday.

Buie, a junior running back who led the Mountaineers with 851 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, slid down the depth chart during training camp this month and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that Buie had elected to redshirt this fall.

Holgorsen said Buie needed to "develop both mentally and physically" during his redshirt season and would return in the spring with two years of eligibility remaining.

"He had to make some decisions," Holgorsen said Tuesday. "Did we force him to redshirt? No. He just felt like it was in the best interest for him and in the best interest for the program to save his year."

Buie, from Jacksonville, Fla., could transfer, but Holgorsen said Thursday in his weekly radio show that Buie plans to take the season off and re-enroll at West Virginia in January. Buie and his family did not answer requests for comment.

Notre Dame

Coach Brian Kelly said wide receiver Luke Massa will be the third-string quarterback for the 14th-ranked Fighting Irish on Saturday because freshman Malik Zaire has not been medically cleared to play against Temple as he recovers from mononucleosis.

Massa was recruited to Notre Dame as a quarterback, but switched to wide receiver in the spring of 2011 when he was fifth among quarterbacks on the depth chart. Kelly said he hopes not to have to use Massa against Temple because of injuries, but said Massa can run the offense.

Kelly expects Zaire to be cleared for the game Sept. 7 against Michigan.

Stanford

Khalil Wilkes was walking off the field after Stanford's practice when offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren tapped him on the shoulder to deliver the news he had worked so hard to hear.

Wilkes won the starting center job.

"They kind of tried to wait till the last second to keep you pushing," Wilkes said. "Happy. Very happy. But he also said I can't let off the gas pedal. Our team's going to need me."

The fifth-year senior from Teaneck, N.J., beat out Conor McFadden in the most crucial competition in training camp. The announcement solidifies what should be one of the country's best offensive lines when the fourth-ranked Cardinal open the season Sept. 7 against San Jose State.

Florida

After two operations on his left knee in a five-month span forced Ronald Powell to miss all of last season, the fourth-year junior has a newfound appreciation for those often overlooked aspects of the game.

And that should make his return all the more special Saturday.

Powell, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker who led the team in sacks as a sophomore, will play his first game since the 2011 season when the 10th-ranked Gators open the season against Toledo.

"Going through something like this and something you never thought you'd go through, it doesn't matter how humble you are, you get humbler," Powell said this week. "It's a different experience. You learn to find value in things you may not have valued before."

Arizona

In their first season under Rich Rodriguez, the Wildcats flourished, winning a bowl game and re-engaging the fan base. The follow-up to that successful debut starts tonight against Northern Arizona. "NAU is a good football team," Rodriguez said. "They have most of their team coming back and they're going to be fired up and jacked up to come play Arizona. We try to focus a lot on us with how we play and how we prepare." The game will be the first in renovated Arizona Stadium in Tucson.

wvusports


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