Kidney injury sidelines Jarvis

Nick Walton

Running back out for season, future unclear

Watch the press conference.

Senior running back Eugene Jarvis will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a kidney injury Saturday against Boston College.

Kent State football coach Doug Martin said Jarvis sustained the injury in the first half of the game.

“He’s as tough of football player as I’ve ever been around, and this is going to be real hard on him sitting around watching 10 football games,” Martin said. “He’ll be here as a leader, and he’ll come out of it stronger on the other side.”

Martin said he knew something was wrong with Jarvis at halftime against Boston College, and is glad the team didn’t have him risk further injury.

Martin announced the injury at his weekly press conference at Dix Stadium and was adamant about Jarvis getting a medical redshirt, which would allow the senior to play another season.

“I’m going to tell you right now, that is a slam dunk that that kid should get a sixth year,” Martin said. “If he doesn’t, then somebody’s not doing their job or the NCAA doesn’t care about kids.”

Martin was visibly upset as he dropped a stack of articles on the table detailing previous cases of players who had been granted a sixth year of eligibility.

“If this kid doesn’t get a sixth year, everybody in Kent should storm the NCAA, and we should burn the place down,” he said. “That’s my feelings on that, and I know I’m being very upfront and blunt on that, but that’s not right if this kid doesn’t get that year and people here are going to work our tails off to make sure he gets that year.”

Martin said the team has already started the process of applying for a medical redshirt and has the support of Athletic Director Laing Kennedy.

“(Kennedy) loves the athletes here and he’s going to make sure the compliance people get it done right,” Martin said. “One thing that’s near and dear to his heart are the student athletes, and he wants to see them taken care of.”

With 158 rushing yards on the season after two games, Jarvis would need 570 more to become Kent State’s all-time leading rusher.

Martin said the Flashes’ depth at running back with junior Andre Flowers, sophomore Jacquise Terry and freshman Dri Archer will help make up for Jarvis’ absence.

Despite not being on the field, junior safety Brian Lainhart still expects Jarvis to be an important member of the team.

“If he sees our team go backwards from this incident, that’s going to hurt him even more,” Lainhart said. “He expects everybody to keep fighting, use this as motivation, and he’s going to be out there pushing and make sure everybody is fine.”

Lainhart said the team is dedicating the season to Jarvis but still has to focus on doing their job.

“We just got to play our game. We can’t go out there and try to do too much,” he said. “I think people are going to try and make too many plays – just go out and play our game like we’re capable of playing and we’re going to be fine.”

Jarvis was also an important player for the Flashes on special teams with 77 punt return yards after the team totaled 90 total punt return yards last season. Kent State will count on junior running back Alan Vanderink to step up in the return game.

“Alan went back there Saturday at Boston College in the second half and caught the punts for us,” Martin said. “Alan can make plays for us, and now he’s got to go back there, and there can’t be a drop off from Eugene Jarvis to Alan Vanderink, and that’s going to be a monumental task for Alan.”

An emotional Martin said despite dealing with injuries, the Flashes would still have a winning season.

“We don’t have our starting quarterback, we don’t have our starting running back, I don’t care,” Martin said. “I’ll guarantee every Kent State fan right now this is going to be a winning football team, and this football team is going to be in a bowl game.”

Contact sports reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].