The Bowling Green Falcons have lost a significant percentage of their wide receiver production from their 2015 season. These losses have been due to a number of different reasons, including graduation, early departures for the NFL, and transfers to other schools.
Now, you can add disciplinary reasons to that list. Robbie Rhodes, who transferred to BGSU from Baylor two years ago, has been dismissed from the team. According to John Wagner of the Toledo Blade, Rhodes' dismissal was for an unspecified violation of team rules.
After completing his high school career in 2012, Rhodes was one of the most prized college football prospects in America. He was ranked the second-best wide receiver prospect by both Scout.com and 247Sports.com, and 247Sports.com listed him as the top overall recruit in the state of Texas.
Rhodes chose to attend Baylor University and play in the high-octane offense of Art Briles. As a true freshman, he played in ten games for the Bears and caught ten passes for 157 yards. He was primed to continue his upward trajectory as a sophomore in 2014, but unfortunately, bad decisions got in the way.
In the spring of 2014, Rhodes was arrested under suspicion of marijuana possession and tampering with evidence, but charges were ultimately not filed in the case. Rhodes departed Baylor in June 2014 despite the fact that no official charges were filed in his case. Soon after, he announced that he was transferring to BGSU, where he would play for Dino Babers, an Art Briles disciple and former assistant coach at Baylor.
BGSU had to wait a year to put Rhodes on the field, and his addition to an astonishingly deep set of wide receivers in 2015 was highly anticipated. We even ranked him 15th in our list of the top 70 MAC players heading into the 2015 season. Sadly, whether it was due to off-field conduct, lack of effort, or other players simply being better, the promise was never realized.
Rhodes played in only seven of BGSU's 14 games during the 2015 season and touched the ball only ten times. He caught two passes in the Falcons' win at Maryland in the second week of the season, one a 64-yarder and another which went 44 yards for a score. He hauled in only one other pass all season, a 22-yard reception on Nov. 4th against Ohio. He also returned seven kickoffs, but all of those were in September. In other words, he touched the ball only once in BGSU's final ten games.
Given the losses of Roger Lewis, Gehrig Dieter, Ryan Burbrink, Chris Gallon and even Travis Greene, we have to assume that Rhodes would have been given every chance to play a large number of snaps in 2016. Perhaps he could have fulfilled his promise and put all his problems behind by making BGSU fans forget about Lewis and Dieter. Sadly, we'll now never know what might have been.
To be honest, this is probably something the Falcon faithful shouldn't sweat too much. Sure, the loss hurts from a depth and potential standpoint, but that's all Rhodes ever really was -- just a name of the roster who might help in the future. Now, his spot will be occupied by the next guy on the list, and that might just be a good thing.
Besides, BGSU still has the explosive Ronnie Moore, the budding Teo Redding and Scott Miller, and promising newcomers like JUCO transfer Darrion Landry. Rhodes' dismissal may be a distasteful distraction in the moment, but the on-field presence for Bowling Green's wide receivers this fall likely won't be affected much, if at all.