Sunday, January 18, 2004

IU designates Randle El's No. 11 an 'honor jersey'

College football notebook

The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 11 of former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El was designated as an "honor jersey" on Saturday and will be worn only by players who earn the right to that number.

Randle El, now a receiver-returner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, set an NCAA record for career yards rushing by a quarterback (3,895) and was the first player in NCAA history to pass for at least 40 touchdowns and score at least 40 TDs in his career.

He was recognized during halftime of Saturday's Northwestern-Indiana basketball game.

"It is a big honor. I'm grateful," he said. "To go through college and play the way I played and now ... be honored for it, it's truly a blessing."

Randle El was named the Big Ten's most valuable player after his senior season in 2001.

He was a second-round NFL draft pick by the Steelers in 2002.

The criterion for awarding No. 11 to future Indiana players was not specified.

GEORGIA: Georgia defensive end Robert Geathers will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Geathers filed his paperwork before Thursday's deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft, even though he said earlier in the week he would stay in school.

Geathers, who started every game last season, could have faced a competition to retain his starting job opposite David Pollack. Coaches talked to Geathers about the possibility of redshirting this season.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Geathers recorded three sacks and 33 tackles last season.

He could become the third member of his family to play in the NFL. His father, Robert Sr., played defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills, and uncle Jumpy Geathers was a pass-rushing specialist with the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos.

OKLAHOMA: Former Nebraska interim coach Bo Pelini was hired as Oklahoma's co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Saturday, joining the Cornhuskers' longtime conference rival.

He replaces Mike Stoops, who left Oklahoma to become Arizona's head coach last month. Pelini will share duties with the Sooners' other co-defensive coordinator, Brent Venables.

Pelini joins a staff that produced the nation's third-ranked defense.

Pelini interviewed for Nebraska's head coaching position, but didn't get the job and was one of seven assistants fired last week by new coach Bill Callahan.

Pelini took over as Nebraska's defensive coordinator in December 2002, taking over a unit that finished 55th nationally in total defense and turning it into the strength of the team in one season.

The Cornhuskers had the nation's 11th-ranked defense.

Pelini served as interim head coach after Frank Solich was fired Nov. 29, coaching the Huskers to a 17-3 victory over Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl.

NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame strong safety Garron Bible is one of two seniors who have declined to apply for a fifth year of eligibility next fall.

Bible, who started the last half of the season, said injuries and personal reasons factored in his decision. Receiver Ronnie Rodamer also will not apply for a fifth year.

"It was a real tough decision," Bible told the South Bend Tribune. "But in the end, I felt I made the best decision for me."

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