Updates from Friday, March 21
According to Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN, Golden has withdrawn from Texas A&M, although he's expected to return to school at some point:
Sumlin addressed the status of Golden, a sophomore who hasn't practiced this spring while serving a suspension in the wake of an offseason arrest, after the Aggies' practice Thursday.
"He has withdrawn from school, and we expect him back this summer," Sumlin said.
Sumlin would not elaborate on the situation.
Updates From Tuesday, Feb. 25
According to Katie Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News, the players who have been arrested will be suspended indefinitely, as a direct result of university policy:
Two Texas A&M sophomore football defensive starters were arrested Sunday in Bryan and have been suspended from athletic activity, per department policy.
Lineman Isaiah Golden was charged with possession of two ounces or less of marijuana and released on $2,000 bond.
Linebacker Darian Claiborne was arrested for a noise violation, a Class C misdemeanor, and released on $300 bond. Claiborne was arrested in December for possession of marijuana and suspended for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Texas A&M linebacker Darian Claiborne was enjoying a promising freshman season as one of the few bright spots on the Aggies' vulnerable defense last year. An arrest got him suspended for the Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over Duke, and now Claiborne has had a second run-in with the law—this time with two teammates.
According to a Monday report from TMZ.com, Claiborne and defensive lineman Isaiah Golden were arrested at around midnight at a College Station apartment complex. Wide receiver Devante "Speedy" Noil was also detained but was let go by police and avoided custody.
It was Golden who was charged with possession of 1.9 grams of marijuana, per the police report, but Claiborne "became very loud...complaining that this was going to ruin [his] college football career," while police were questioning the players. That got him arrested for a noise violation.
A bottle of brandy was also found at the scene. Since all three players are under the age of 21, that didn't help their cause in this situation. They were parked in a handicap spot, too.
Claiborne is quickly running out of chances in College Station despite the strong impact he made at the heart of the Aggies' front seven in 2013, racking up a team-high 89 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
It appears as though he won't face any legal consequences for these actions. Nevertheless, head coach Kevin Sumlin has to be concerned about his talented rising sophomore, who figures to be a fixture in a starring role at Texas A&M for at least the next two seasons.
Golden is also an emerging star for the Aggies as a disruptive force in the trenches, so he may not be out of the disciplinary reach in terms of a potential suspension at the beginning of this coming season. Listed at 6'2" and 310 pounds, Golden started six games as a true freshman in 2013. He recorded 30 tackles, including three for loss.
As a big, physical force up front with a lot of potential, this isn't a step in the right direction for the young defensive lineman.
Noil is an incoming freshman and was rated as 247Sports' No. 1-ranked receiver in the class of 2014 in the site's composite rankings.
Although he's more of a diminutive slot weapon and won't help compensate for the loss of big-bodied wideout Mike Evans on the outside, Noil should be able to make some big plays for the Aggies. Since he's garnering comparisons to former West Virginia star and current St. Louis Ram Tavon Austin, it seems his future is bright if he has no further link to this incident.
The Aggies have the tall task of replacing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, too, and whoever throws Noil and the other receivers the ball will have a big impact on the team's success.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital expressed that senior Matt Joeckel is the favorite at the moment, with spring practice slated to start this coming Friday.
"He's the most experienced out of all of them in terms of running this offense," said Spavital, per ESPN.com's Sam Khan Jr. "I was pleased with how he handled himself."
But the prevailing story here is that Claiborne has made another substantial mistake and may miss at least one more game based on principle. Considering how bad the Aggies were on defense a season ago, it's not good news. Having an outburst at a police officer and lamenting aloud over poor decision-making shows that Claiborne still has some maturing to do as well.
With that said, there is plenty of time for Claiborne to turn things around, focus more on football and his priorities at Texas A&M and fulfill the immense promise he has as a playmaking middle linebacker.
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