Miami Wardogs football
|3 - 7||1 - 4||2 - 3||.300||206||337|
|2013-09-06||@||Grove||L||21 - 42|
|2013-09-13||@||Claremore||L||19 - 42|
|2013-09-20||vs||Pryor||W||32 - 20|
|2013-09-27||vs||Tulsa McLain||L||27 - 29|
|2013-10-04||vs||Catoosa||L||3 - 21|
|2013-10-11||@||Wagoner||L||21 - 55|
|2013-10-17||vs||Cleveland||L||30 - 47|
|2013-10-25||@||Vinita||W||32 - 27|
|2013-11-01||vs||Oologah||L||7 - 42|
|2013-11-08||@||Tulsa Webster||W||14 - 12|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
|There are no players associated with this team.|
Miami football News
NewsOK articles about Miami football, or articles mentioning current or former Miami football players.
Miami High School Varsity Boys Football
Feb 5, 2016
Oklahomans who have won Super Bowl rings share their stories with The Oklahoman.
Super Bowl: A look at Oklahomans with their Super Bowl rings
Berry Tramel, Jenni Carlson, John Helsley | Feb 5, 2016[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]4074717[/img] Super Bowl 50 is Sunday, and by the end of the night more than 50 players from either the Carolina Panthers or Denver Broncos will join the exclusive club of men who can boast of owning Super Bowl rings. We caught up with a few Oklahomans who were fortunate enough to join the illustrious club and picked their brains about what their rings mean to them, where they are now and all the wacky stuff that might have happened to them in between. "For me, it's just a very, very strong sense of achievement," said Clifford Thrift, the former Purcell linebacker who went on to win Super Bowl 20 with Chicago. "When I look at the Super Bowl ring, it's not just the fact that we won a Super Bowl, but I got to be part of something that literally made history. It's not just about that achievement, but all the little achievements getting to that point. That's really why I cherish it so much and wear it all the time. Not a reminder just that we won that game, bit all the little victories." [pagebreak] R.W. McQuarters, Tulsa Washington Super Bowl 42, 44 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]2990364[/img] "The ring is called the 'Ten Table Ring.' We had the captains, Michael Strahan, Eli Manning and probably Amani Toomer at that time, plus some of the older guys who had been in the New York system at the time and were a little bit older than I was. They had a meeting and came up with how we want the ring to be, here’s what the owners like, here’s what the players like. It was sort of a voice between the owners and the locker room. "The name of the ring is the 'Ten Table Ring' because you can basically see the ring from 10 tables away. That’s the theory behind the ring. Sometimes people ask to see it when they come by, but I don’t keep it at home. It doesn’t bother me that they ask. There are certain things I’d like to see that I haven’t seen before, and I’m sure if I had an opportunity to see them, I’d probably ask. I pretty much keep it put up. When I first got it, I wore it for a while. Then I put it up. A holiday, I might put it on. For me, it means hard work. A lot of perseverance. A lot of adversity. A lot of good. A lot of bad. Just the process of starting football all the way to the end and everything in between." [pagebreak] Tony Casillas, Tulsa East Central Super Bowl 27, 28 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3025606[/img] “I don’t wear it as much as people think. The first thing they ask you, ‘Where are your Super Bowlrings?’ One, it gives away my age. The ongoing joke around here is, ‘What do you call a Dallas Cowboy with a Super Bowl ring? Ancient.’ I used to wear them a lot more. I wore them quite a bit when I first got ‘em. Believe it or not, I’ll leave ‘em laying around, in my kitchen, on the nightstand, stupid places. I was actually going on a USO Tour about five years ago. I was going to take it with me. I couldn’t find it. I was like, anxiety attack, calling my insurance. Finally caught up with me being careless where I put ‘em. The day before, right after Christmas, sick to my stomach, a space in the very back of my closet, a place under my clothes, there’s my Super Bowl ring, right on a jewelry box. Seems like the last three-four years, kind of bring ’em out, because it becomes a timeless piece. "There’s a market for older players because of what we did in that era. People love ‘em. Wow. Never seen a Super Bowl ring. They’re looking at ‘em, their eyes light up. It’s like Christmas. As you get older, you realize the value of it, what it represents. When you’re actually in the moment, you don’t think about it. Everyone wants to try ‘em on. OK, first time I did that, little more naïve about it. ‘I don’t care.’ I gave my ring to someone, and they dropped it. Four sapphire diamonds, two karats each. And I lost a diamond. I was so (ticked) off. I looked all over it. Wore it about a month, looked like it had a hole in it. Had to get it replaced. So I’m not doing that anymore.” [pagebreak] Spencer Tillman, Tulsa Edison Super Bowl 24 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3534954[/img] “There’s an old Hebraic proverb that says don’t hide your candle under a bushel. I don’t wear it every day, but I will wear it to big events or events where it might be a conversation piece. And when I’m on television, I’ll wear it. I was doing Sean Hannity’s show, and he puts on my ring, and you know how he likes to throw his football? Sean had just lost about 14 pounds. He said, ‘Look, I’m doing the next segment. Give me your ring.’ So, he puts on the ring. He had the ring on and he threw a football to break, and the ring comes flying off. It goes sailing across the corner of the wall. You hear one of the camera people, go, ‘Whoaaaa!’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, what?’ He’s like, ‘Did you see that?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Good.’ So, Sean threw my ring across the studio floor there because his fingers were too small for it. But when I picked it up, it hadn’t been damaged at all. “I remember George Seifert delivering a speech — Bill Walsh had moved upstairs and was in kind of a GM role — and I remember him giving a pregame speech. He went around and related to each player based on their core values. I remember him going to Joe Montana, and saying, ‘Joe, you’ve been taking pilot lessons, I know it’s not cheap. You win this game, they’re paid for. In matter of fact, you may even be able to get yourself a small Cessna or something like that.’ He did that to four or five different guys. He said, ‘Spencer, I know you’re into broadcasting. Believe me, you win a couple of these, your value skyrockets.’ It’s like a degree in some ways — it only gives you an opportunity to compete. How do you convert an asset to a benefit. That, in essence, is what you’re doing with that ring.” [pagebreak] Tony Peters, Pauls Valley Super Bowl 17 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]4059879[/img] “When you always have this goal of reaching that pinnacle and, of course, to be recognized as a world champion, it’s quite an honor. You know that a lot of people go their entire career without having an opportunity, so you’re very appreciative of that.” Peters’ son, Justin, said, “He’d let us take it for show and tell when we were kids, so you’d take it to school. He’d just put it in our backpacks. It was always kind of fun having that growing up.” [pagebreak] Jon Kolb, Owasso Super Bowl 9, 10, 13, 14 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]635637[/img] “We didn’t even know we got Super Bowl rings. My roommate at Oklahoma State, Terry Brown, was the one who broke the news to me. We had just finished eating dinner the night before the Super Bowl. He said, ‘Oh, look at the ring you’re going to get.’ He showed me his (NFC) championship ring from the year before with the Minnesota Vikings. ‘You’re going to get one of these.’ He was over there laughing at me. I went back to the hotel and told my roommate, Sam Davis, we were getting rings. He said, ‘really?’ Most of us didn’t know you got a ring. It was the game that was important. "One reason Pittsburgh won four Super Bowls in six years, it was never about the ring. It was about the process. Now, it tends to be about the ring. I never wanted it to be just once. It was always, ‘that was fun, let’s do it again.’ My Super Bowl rings are in Oklahoma (in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame). We (the Steelers) were together a month ago. I don’t remember seeing any rings. My son was a wrestler. He won a championship medal, I said, ‘put it in a drawer and move on.’ That’s how we did things.” [pagebreak] Randy Hughes, Tulsa Memorial Super Bowl 12 [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]2748675[/img] “My Super Bowl ring disappeared out of my house about seven or eight years ago. I don’t know exactly what happened to the ring. It was at Christmas time and all my kids were in college. Must have had 100 people in and out of the house over Christmas. My ring disappeared. I never replaced it. But I haven’t had it in about five years. I am getting ready to re-order it in the next few days. I’m not sure whether mine was taken or I just misplaced it, but it disappeared. I was upset about it. I loved it. I remembered when I had worn it last. Put it on my nightstand. I didn’t wear it every day, so I didn’t notice missing it for a few days. One day I was looking for it, couldn’t find it. Haven’t seen anything on it on the Internet.” [pagebreak] Oklahomans with Super Bowl rings [img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]4074899[/img] HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER POS. NFL TEAM SUPER BOWL Ada Jeremy Shockey TE N.Y. Giants 42 Broken Arrow Alvin Bailey OL Seattle 48 Douglass Thomas Henderson LB Dallas 10, 12, 13 Edmond Memorial Scott Case S Dallas 30 Edmond Memorial Marcus Nash WR Baltimore 35 Enid Jim Riley DE Miami 6 Henryetta Troy Aikman QB Dallas 27, 28, 30 Lawton Eddie Hinton WR Baltimore 5 Lawton James Trapp DB Baltimore 35 Millwood Donovan Woods LB Pittsburgh 43 Moore Corey Ivy CB Tampa Bay 37 Owasso Jon Kolb OL Pittsburgh 9, 10, 13, 14 Pauls Valley Tony Peters S Washington 17 Pauls Valley T.J. Rushing DB Indianapolis 40 Purcell Cliff Thrift LB Chicago 20 Sand Springs Michael Bowie OL Seattle 48 Shawnee Darrien Gordon CB San Diego Denver 32 33 Tulsa East Central Tony Casillas DT Dallas 17, 18 Tulsa Edison Spencer Tillman RB San Francisco 24 Tulsa Memorial Randy Hughes S Dallas 12 Tulsa Rogers Don Chandler K Green Bay 1, 2 Tulsa Washington R.W. McQuarters DB N.Y. Giants New Orleans 42 44 Tulsa Washington Robert Meachem WR New Orleans 44 Westmoore Billy Bajema TE Baltimore 47
Feb 3, 2016
The latest developments on college football signing day (all times EST):9:25 p.m.COMMITMENT TRACKER: The last major recruit to make a signing-day decision was linebacker Caleb Kelly from California. He picked Oklahoma over Notre Dame and Oregon and became the highest-rated player of Bob Stoops' class.The last remaining five-star player is Demetri Robertson, an athlete from Georgia who has said...
THE LATEST: Oklahoma lands last big recruit of signing day
By RALPH D. RUSSO, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016The latest developments on college football signing day (all times EST): 9:25 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: The last major recruit to make a signing-day decision was linebacker Caleb Kelly from California. He picked Oklahoma over Notre Dame and Oregon and became the highest-rated player of Bob Stoops' class. The last remaining five-star player is Demetri Robertson, an athlete from Georgia who has said he planned to delay his choice. Robertson is considering Georgia and Notre Dame among his options. So with the final unofficial standings using the average of the various web sites that rank that classes looks like this: 1. Alabama 2. Florida State 3. LSU 4. Ohio State 5. Michigan 6. Ole Miss 7. Georgia 8. Clemson 9. USC 10. Auburn 11. Texas 12. UCLA 13. Florida 14. Notre Dame 15. Tennessee 16. Stanford 17. Baylor 18. Texas A&M 19. Michigan State 20. TCU 21. Penn State 22. Oklahoma 23. Nebraska 24. Oregon 25. Arkansas 8 p.m. THE FINAL (unofficial) STANDINGS: Recruiting ratings can move even after signing day if some highly rated players sign late. Demetris Robertson, a top-notch athlete from Savannah, Georgia, rated either a five- or four-star by the recruiting services, has said he won't sign for a few days. When he does, he could move the numbers. But using the numbers available at 5:30 p.m. and taking an average of the four most popular web sites that rank the classes (Rivals, Scout, 247Sports and ESPN) here is a "consensus" top 25. Earlier rankings mistakenly left out Michigan State. The Spartans came in at No. 18 1. Alabama 2. Florida State 3. Ohio State 4. LSU 5. Michigan 6. Mississippi 7. Georgia 8. Clemson 9. USC 10. Auburn 11. Texas 12. UCLA 13. Florida 14. Notre Dame 15. Tennessee 16. Baylor 17. Texas A&M 18. Michigan State 19. TCU 20. Penn State 21. Oklahoma 22. Stanford 23. Nebraska 24. Oregon 25. Arkansas WAITING ON KELLY: The last big-name recruit to commit on signing day will be linebacker Caleb Kelly, whose top choices are Oklahoma and Notre Dame. ____ 4:15 p.m. LES IS MORE: Remember when LSU almost fired coach Les Miles back in November? Well, it didn't hurt recruiting. LSU's highly rated class took a couple of hits on signing day, most notably losing stud linebacker Erick Fowler to Texas. LSU locked up its loaded class filled with the top talent in its state, including nine of the 10 highest rated players, and came away with a class that will rank in the top five national, according to most of the experts. __ 3:55 p.m. RANKINGS QUIP: There was some talk that Michigan State's recruiting class could end up in the top 10 this year — which would be unusually high for a program that has been hugely successful of late despite middling showings in the signing day rankings. By the time coach Mark Dantonio spoke Wednesday, the Spartans were down around the edge of the top 20 in some of the major recruiting rankings — solid, but not spectacular. "When I retire from here, I'm going to get a job in one of those places and I'm going to run my own service," Dantonio joked. ___ 3:50 p.m. BIELEMA DIALS IT BACK: Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze told Sports Illustrated that Arkansas coach Bret Bielema apologized to him for a comment he made earlier in the day on ESPN that sounded as if Bielema was being crictial of the way the Rebels and Florida recruit. Bielema said: "Florida is kind of the new Ole Miss. They're doing some things recruiting that kind of shocks you a little bit." Bielema later said he meant it as a compliment to the Gators: "This past week, we were competing versus them for a lot of guys, and we hadn't seen that before." __ 3:40 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: De La Salle (Ca.) High School teammates Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa announced their commitments at the same ceremony. One is staying in California, the other is leaving the state. Asiasi, a tight end, picked Michigan over UCLA and USC. Tagaloa, a defensive tackle, picked UCLA. ___ 3:23 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: As it reaches midday on the West Coast, UCLA is poised to finish strong. The Bruins scored big with California five-star linebacker Mique Juarez, who was also considering Ole Miss and Alabama. 3:17 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Not all the best players pick Alabama. Auburn landed one of the top defensive tackles in the country when Derrick Brown from Georgia picked the Tigers over the Crimson Tide and Georgia. No one will cry for the Tide, of course. A little earlier, defensive end Terrell Hall from Washington, D.C., chose the Tide over Maryland. 3:05 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: USC went all the way across the country to grab offensive tackle E.J. Price from Atlanta away from Auburn and Georgia. ___ 2:40 p.m. HARBAUGH ON THE ROAD: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced that the Wolverines will hold part of their spring practice in Florida. Always recruiting! MEANWHILE, IN COLUMBUS: While Harbaugh turned Michigan into a signing day spectacle, it was a quiet morning for Ohio State and that was just fine for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Ohio State lost out on a highly rated defensive back to Florida State, but otherwise a class that came into the signing day figuring to be one of the best in the country ended it as just that. The most notable name in the Buckeyes' latest class — Nick Bosa, the brother of Ohio State All-American Joey. Like his big brother, Nick Bosa is defensive end. ___ 2:10 p.m. BIELEMA BOMB: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is never shy about sounding off on opponents. During an interview on ESPN2 he took aim at Florida — and Mississippi. "Florida is kind of the new Ole Miss. They're doing some things recruiting that kind of shocks you a little bit." COMMITMENT TRACKER: Another blue-chipper for Alabama. Linebacker Mack Wilson picked the Crimson Tide. Not a big surprise, though when Kirby Smart left Alabama to become head coach at Georgia there was some speculation Wilson could end up in Athens with the former Tide defensive coordinator. Wilson joins buddy and fellow linebacker Ben Davis, who committed to the Tide earlier in the day. The two took their official visit together. ___ 1:40 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: The top junior college recruit in the country picks Tennessee. Jonathan Kongbo, a defensive end who played for Arizona Western College, chose the Volunteers over USC and Florida State. Kongbo committed to Tennessee last year, the de-committed earlier this year before ultimately signing with the Vols. ___ 1:12 p.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Rashan Gary, the nation's No. 1 recruit, picks Michigan. The defensive tackle from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey made his announcement on ESPN. Michigan was the presumptive front-runner. His old high school coach works for the Wolverines, Michigan's star defensive back Jabrill Peppers also went to Paramus Catholic and there are several other New Jersey players heading to Michigan in this recruiting class. Clemson was in the running, as well as a few Southeastern Conference schools. ___ 12:39 COMMITMENT TRACKER: Offensive tackle Landon Dickerson picks Florida State over Alabama and Tennessee, adding to a great day for Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles. A little earlier, Florida State flipped defensive tackle Shavar Manuel, who had been expected to sign with the rival Gators. Florida State and Texas were in the running for strongest performances signing days. COMMITMENT TRACKER: After losing out to Ole Miss on highly touted receiver A.J. Brown, a Starkville native, Mississippi State got a big win on signing day by landing defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons, who was considered the top prospect in the Magnolia state. 12:11 p.m. SLEEPOVER The sleepover worked. Quinn Nordin, the nation's No. 1 kicker, signed with Michigan. Nordin, you might recall, was previously committed to Penn State but Jim Harbaugh lured him away with a sleepover. During the Wolverines' signing day extravaganza in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh said his bed at the Nordin's home was one of the most comfortable he has ever slept in. ___ NOON COMMITMENT TRACKER: Always nice to take a player from a conference rival. Running back Vavae Malepeai from Hawaii flipped from his Oregon commitment to go to Southern California. The Trojans also lured Jamel Cook, an athlete who could wind up in the secondary, away from his Florida State commitment on signing day and beat Michigan for defensive end Connor Murphy. ___ 11:45 a.m. GARY'S CHOICE Rashan Gary, the top-rated recruit in the country from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey, was scheduled to announce where he will attend school at about 1:10 p.m ET on ESPN. He was headed to Bristol, Connecticut, by limousine, from his high school. Gary will choose from Michigan, Clemson or an SEC school. ___ THE SCOTT EFFECT? Tennessee added former Miami interim head coach Larry Scott to its staff last month, and the move apparently is already paying dividends. Tennessee signed two Florida residents who previously had been committed to Miami. The two players to make the switch were athlete Tyler Byrd of Naples and wide receiver Latrell Williams of Lake City. Scott, who served as Miami's interim head coach for the final six games of the 2015 season after Al Golden was fired, is Tennessee's new tight ends coach. — Steve Megargee reporting. ___ 11:30 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: The scores keep on coming for Texas. Linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch picked the Longhorns over Notre Dame and Stanford. ___ 11:26 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Receiver Drake Davis is heading to LSU. He picked the Tigers over Alabama. ___ 11:20 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Receiver Nate Craig-Myers from Tampa, Florida, pulled out a mini-statue of Aubie, Auburn's costumed Tiger mascot, to choose Auburn over North Carolina. ___ 11:09 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Receiver A.J. Brown is one of the best prospects in the state of Mississippi and he grew up in Starkville, home of Mississippi State. But he's going to Ole Miss. Brown told the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi: "I was going to stay (home), but I felt like they didn't do a good job of recruiting. I didn't feel wanted." ___ 10:50 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Linebacker Dontavious Jackson from Texas is heading to Florida State. Charlie Strong and the Texas made a later push to get Jackson, but the Seminoles closed the deal on him. It's the third big signing day commitment for the 'Noles who also landed defensive end Brian Burns and cornerback Carlos Becker, who was considering Ohio State. ___ 10:45 a.m. COMMITMENT TRACKER: Deontay Anderson won the day as far as spectacular commitments go. The four-star safety released a video on Bleacher Report of him skydiving, landing and opening up his jump suit to reveal and Ole Miss T-shirt. ___ AP College Football website: collegefootball.ap.org
Here are the signing day capsules for Southeastern Conference teams:___ALABAMATop 25 Class: Yes.Best in class: Ben Davis of Gordo, Alabama. The 10th-rated player nationally and top inside linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.Best of the rest: Lyndell "Mack" Williams (enrolled), Jonah Wilson, Charles Baldwin; RB B.J. Emmons, DB Nigel Knott.Late additions: Davis, Wilson, DB...
SEC football recruiting team capsules
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016Here are the signing day capsules for Southeastern Conference teams: ___ ALABAMA Top 25 Class: Yes. Best in class: Ben Davis of Gordo, Alabama. The 10th-rated player nationally and top inside linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Best of the rest: Lyndell "Mack" Williams (enrolled), Jonah Wilson, Charles Baldwin; RB B.J. Emmons, DB Nigel Knott. Late additions: Davis, Wilson, DB Shyheim Carter, Knott, DE Terrell Hall, Jamar King. One that got away: OL Landon Dickerson (to Florida State). How they'll fit in: Davis, whose father Wayne is Alabama's all-time leading tackler, and Wilson could help fill the void left by All-America middle linebacker Reggie Ragland. There's room for instant contributions elsewhere, too, including at safety and on the defensive line. ___ ARKANSAS Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: McTelvin Agim, DE, Hope (Ark.) Best of the rest: Devwah Whaley, RB, Beaumont, Texas; Austin Capps, DT, Star City, Ark.; Briston Guidry, DT, Metairie, La. One that got away: Running back Kyle Porter, who chose Texas. How they'll fit in: Agim was an early enrollee with the Razorbacks, and he hopes to play as a freshman. However, Whaley carries with him more than hope and is expected by himself and Arkansas' coaches to take the field in place of Collins and Williams in 2016. ___ AUBURN Top 25 Class: Yes. Best in class: DT Derrick Brown, Sugar Hill, Georgia is rated as the nation's ninth-best prospect overall in the 247Sports composite rankings. Best of the rest: DE Marlon Davidson, WR Nate Craig-Myers, OL Prince Michael Sammons. Late addition: Derrick Brown, Nate Craig-Myers. One that got away: Auburn recruited LB Ben Davis, who is heading to Alabama. How they'll fit in: The Tigers will have a defensive line rotation featuring five five-star recruits. JUCO quarterback John Franklin III, an early enrollee listed as an athlete, will likely compete with Jeremy Johnson and Sean White for the starting spot during the spring, and multiple receivers need to make impacts. ___ FLORIDA Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Antonneous Clayton, DE, Vienna, Georgia. The Gators needed to add depth on the defensive front after losing talented linemen Jonathan Bullard and Alex McAlister to the NFL draft. Clayton had 77 tackles, 27 tackle for loss, 13 quarterback hurries, nine sacks and a forced fumble last year at Dooly County High. Best of the rest: Feleipe Franks, QB, Crawfordville. Franks might just be the pocket-passer McElwain is looking for. The 6-foot-6 Franks threw for 2,766 yards with 35 touchdowns as a senior at Wakulla High last year. Late addition: Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Houston. Cleveland caught 46 passes for 982 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. One that got away: Shavar Manuel, DT, Bradenton. Manuel de-committed Wednesday and later signed with rival Florida State, leaving the Gators with just three defensive lineman and no defensive tackles in the signing class. How they'll fit in: Florida can only hope the offensive additions boost a unit that ranked 100th in the nation in scoring last season. Franks and Trask are expected to battle incumbent starter Treon Harris, Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio and Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby for playing time right away. ___ GEORGIA Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Jason Eason, QB, Lake Stevens, Wash.; Mercole Hardman Jr., ATH, Elberton, Ga.; Isaac Nauta, TE, Buford, Ga. Best of the rest: Michail Carter, DL, Jackson, Ga.; Ben Cleveland, OL, Toccoa, Ga.; Chauncey Manac, OLB, Fargo, Ga.; Julian Rochester, DL, Powder Springs, Ga.; Javon Wims, WR, Miami. Late addition: Hardman was a huge coup for the Bulldogs, giving them one of the nation's top-25 prospects to go along with early enrollees Eason and Nauta. Hardman, who has been compared to Southern Cal cornerback Adoree Jackson, picked his home-state school over SEC rivals Tennessee and Alabama. One that got away: DT Derrick Brown, the state's top prospect, went with Auburn over Georgia and several other SEC schools. While Smart was pleased with the players he got on the defensive line, Brown would've made Georgia's class truly special. How they'll fit in: Eason will compete for the starting quarterback job right away. The Bulldogs struggled mightily on offense last season, largely because of their struggles at the most visible position on the field. Incumbent starter Grayson Lambert returns, but it will be an upset if he keeps the job over Eason. Hardman will be expected to start at cornerback and likely handle kick return duties. Depending on how quickly he adapts to the college game, he could work his way into the mix at receiver, as well. ___ KENTUCKY Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Landon Young, OL, Lexington, Kentucky. Rated as a five-star prospect by at least two recruiting services, the 6-foot-7, 305-pounder is considered the state's top player. Best of the rest: Jordan Griffin, DB, Jonesboro, Georgia. Considering the Wildcats' secondary started three freshmen last season, the 6-foot, 175-pound, four-star prospect could quickly become part of the mix as well. He's among a trio of defensive backs Kentucky signed. "I think those guys will have an opportunity to compete for playing time and I look forward to working with them," defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said. Late addition: LB Jordan Bonner. The JUCO transfer committed in December but made it official this week. He'll have three years of eligibility remaining. One that got away: Kentucky had pursued DT Kobe Smith before the Lawrence, Georgia, native chose South Carolina. How they'll fit in: Though it takes time for linemen to develop, Kentucky's offensive line issues last season create a chance for Young and 6-6, 310-pound Tate Leavitt to become part of the rotation. ___ LSU Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Saivion Smith, DB, St. Petersburg, Florida. Best of the rest: Rashard Lawrence, DT, Monroe, Louisiana. Late addition: Kristian Fulton, DB, Metairie, Louisiana. One that got away: Erick Fowler, LB, Manor, Texas. How they'll fit in: The secondary has been an area of strength for LSU in recent seasons. With three starters returning, players like Smith and Fulton will be able to contribute immediately in the nickel and dime packages. "We have some lockdown corners who are going to be able to be impact players right away," Miles said. "They will give us a lot of flexibility when we move people around in the secondary." ___ MISSISSIPPI Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Shea Patterson, QB, Shreveport, Louisiana. Freeze said his opinion of Patterson continues to grow now that he's on campus: "I love everything about that kid." Best of the rest: Greg Little, OL, Allen, Texas. The 326-pound Little could be an immediate replacement for Tunsil at left tackle. Late addition: A.J. Brown, WR, Starkville, Mississippi. Ole Miss managed to coax Brown away from Starkville, which is the hometown of rival Mississippi State. The Rebels hope Brown can turn into the team's new Treadwell, who had the most receiving yards in the SEC last season. One that got away: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Macon, Mississippi. Ole Miss had hoped to bolster its defensive line with one of the Magnolia State's top prospects, but Simmons chose Mississippi State over the Rebels and Alabama. How they'll fit in: Patterson will probably get a year of seasoning behind rising senior Chad Kelly, who threw for more than 4,000 yards last season. Others like Little, Brown and Jones could play right away. ___ MISSISSIPPI STATE Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Macon, Mississippi. Best of the rest: Kobe Jones, DL, Starkville, Mississippi. Said Mullen: "We are looking for work ethic and high-character young men and he fits that for us." Late addition: Simmons. One that got away: A.J. Brown, WR, Starkville, Mississippi. The Bulldogs couldn't grab an elite prospect at a high school just a few miles from their campus. Instead, he went to rival Ole Miss. How they'll fit in: Simmons and Jones are two guys who could contribute immediately, but Mullen has a reputation of bringing young players along slowly. ___ MISSOURI Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Tre Williams, DL, Columbia, Missouri, Rock Bridge. Four recruits are among the St. Louis Post-Dispatch top 30 list — TE Brendan Scales, P-K Tucker McCann, OL Tre'Vour Simms and RB Jerod Alton. Best of the rest: Christian Holmes, CB, Atlanta, Georgia., McNair High Late addition: QB Micah Wilson, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lincoln Christian High One that got away: None. How they'll fit in: Odom was under the gun to produce after replacing Gary Pinkel in early December. It's not a wow class but it should help the school regain its footing in the SEC. ___ SOUTH CAROLINA Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Brandon McIlwain, QB, Newton, Pennsylvania. He turned down first-round MLB money to go to college and is already scrimmaging with the Gamecocks baseball team. Best of the rest: Bryan Edwards, WR, Conway, South Carolina; Jamarcus King, DB, Mobile, Alabama Late addition: WR Kiel Pollard of Moultrie, Georgia, was pledged to Arkansas before turning to the Gamecocks last week. One that got away: DT Karamo Dioubate of Philadelphia. Was considered a strong lean to South Carolina. No word yet on where he signed. How they'll fit in: McIlwain should get a chance to show if he can start. Edwards and Pollard will see early playing with receiver Pharoh Cooper off to the NFL. King is expected to bulk up the secondary. ___ TENNESSEE Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Nigel Warrior is rated as a five-star prospect by Scout, which had him as the nation's No. 20 overall recruit. 247Sports and ESPN also had him in their top 100. He's the son of former Tennessee and NFL defensive back Dale Carter. Jonathan Kongbo, who redshirted one year at Wyoming before transferring to Arizona Western College, is rated as the nation's No. 1 overall junior-college prospect by 247Sports. Kongbo has three years of eligibility remaining. Best of the rest: Tyler Byrd is rated as a top-100 recruit by most recruiting services. Jarrett Guarantano of Lodi, New Jersey, is rated among the nation's top five dual-threat quarterbacks in his class. Late additions: Warrior's morning announcement gave Tennessee a good start to signing day. The addition of Byrd and Latrell Williams shows that Tennessee's hire of former Miami interim head coach Larry Scott already may be paying off. Scott joined Tennessee's staff as a tight ends coach last month. Kongbo verbally committed to Tennessee in November, reopened his recruitment last month and then announced Wednesday he'd be joining the Vols after all. How they'll fit in: Kongbo could contribute as a pass-rushing complement to Derek Barnett, who has recorded 10 sacks each of the last two seasons. Tennessee replaces its two starting safeties from last season, so Warrior will have a chance to contribute right away. Byrd also has a chance to play immediately, whether it's on special teams or defense. Tennessee didn't get huge production from its wideouts last season, so junior-college receiver Jeff George could get an early look. ___ TEXAS A&M Top 25 Class: Yes. Best in class: Kellen Diesch, OL, Trophy Club, Texas. Best of the rest: Clyde Leflore-Chriss, WR, New Orleans. Late addition: Clifford Chattman, S, New Orleans. One that got away: Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, Texas, who chose Texas. How they'll fit in: Coach Kevin Sumlin has long said that he doesn't recruit players to sit on the sidelines, so expect to see many of these players fill big roles this season like freshmen WR Christian Kirk and DL Daylon Mack did in 2015. ___ VANDERBILT Top 25 Class: No Best in class: JoeJuan Williams, a 6-foot-3 cornerback from Nashville, Tennessee, is a consensus four-star recruit. Williams was rated as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Tennessee according to composite rankings of recruiting websites by 247Sports. Williams already has enrolled at Vanderbilt. Best of the rest: Quarterback Deuce Wallace, a consensus three-star recruit, passed for 3,505 yards and 37 touchdowns last season while leading Sevier County to the Tennessee Class 5A state championship game. Wallace, who had been committed to Northwestern at one point, has already enrolled at Vanderbilt. Sean Auwae, a 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman, is rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports,. Auwae didn't allow a sack or a tackle for loss his senior year at Kapolei (Hawaii) High School. Late addition: Josiah Sa'o, a defensive tackle from San Diego, announced Wednesday he was signing with Vanderbilt. The addition of Sa'o helped the Commodores absorb the loss of defensive tackle Brandon Adams, who flipped his verbal commitment from Vanderbilt to Georgia Tech in late January. One that got away: Bradlee Anae, a defensive end from Hawaii, selected Utah over Vanderbilt. Anae was rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout. How they'll fit in: Wallace adds immediate depth to a quarterback position following the transfer of Jonathan McCrary, who lost his starting job to Kyle Shurmur last season. Williams has the talent to make an immediate contribution, and his status as an early enrollee should only help in that regard. Mason is a former Stanford defensive coordinator, and this staff showed its West Coast ties by landing kicker/punter Sam Loy and Sa'o from California as well as Auwae from Hawaii.
Mike Coats Jr. and Jaylon Bowden grew up together and consider each other family. Their fathers Mike Coats and Joe Bowden played together at Oklahoma, becoming best friends.
Recruiting notebook: Sons of former OU linebackers Coats, Bowden joining up at Lamar
By Jacob Unruh, Scott Wright and Jason Kersey | Feb 3, 2016EDMOND — Edmond Santa Fe linebacker Mike Coats Jr. tweeted his commitment to Lamar on Jan. 16. A few minutes later, so did Jaylon Bowden, a Blinn College (Texas) defensive back. It certainly wasn't a coincidence. Coats and Bowden grew up together and consider each other family. Their fathers Mike Coats and Joe Bowden played together at Oklahoma, becoming best friends. “We didn't plan it at all,” Mike Coats Jr. said. “It's been a dream. We always said it would be cool when we were little.” Coats was on The Oklahoman's Big All-City team after recording 104 tackles, a sack and an interception last season. He will also play for former OU center Chuck Langston, who is now Lamar's offensive coordinator. But nothing will top playing with Bowden. “It's kinda like life going in a complete circle,” the elder Coats said. “It's special because a lot of other friends and former Sooners we've talked about that. It's been a blessing for our family and Joe's family to be able to come back together and be able to share that for the next five years.” Another Edmond Santa Fe linebacker, Dillon Hall, signed with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, returning to the town he called home until a couple years ago. Hall didn't base his decision on being able to return to Miami, OK. But it certainly played a small factor. “I had some options, but I felt NEO was best,” Hall said. “My dad went there, and he really enjoyed it. I love Miami. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to go back. But I think my best opportunity lies there, and if I go there and do good I think I have great things ahead of me.” Hall moved from Miami to Edmond before his junior season. He was joined by four teammates in signing with NEO — offensive linemen Jacob Goss, defensive back Charles Gaines, defensive lineman Diamen House and star running back Darran Williams. GARRETT FOLLOWING MUSTANG COACH'S PATH TO WYOMING Two-and-a-half years ago, Mustang's Chandler Garrett stood in a room at coach Jeremy Dombek's home surrounded by Wyoming football memorabilia. Now Garrett is about to be immersed in Wyoming football once again, only this time as a player, following in his coach's footsteps. “It's really ironic, because he was No. 11 and I'm No. 11,” the 6-5, 210-pound Garrett said Wednesday after signing his letter of intent with the Cowboys. “He played at Nebraska , and I'll play there in my second game. There are a lot of cool things like that. I think it's definitely where I'm supposed to be.” Much of the Wyoming coaching staff, led by Craig Bohl, was at North Dakota State when it began its run of Division I FCS national titles. While there, Bohl's staff recruited Carson Wentz, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound quarterback who is being speculated as a potential a top-five pick in this year's NFL Draft. “That coaching staff, they know what they're doing,” Dombek said. “They've sold out to recruiting Oklahoma kids. They like big, physical, tough quarterbacks. “It's a good fit. They think Chandler's a competitor, and they wanted him from the get-go.” Along with Garrett, tight end Bryce Roberts signed with New Mexico State and safety Kiante Miles signed with Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. HERITAGE HALL'S MCDANIEL, LOVE FIND IDEAL FITS Heritage Hall star Tevin McDaniel already has a date circled on his calendar two seasons into his college career at Air Force. Sept. 16, 2017, a game in the Big House against Michigan. “It's not like we're playing other teams,” McDaniel said. “These are teams that compete for national championships and we get to go play them.” McDaniel signed a Certificate of Intent with the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, pledging to join the academy that has hit Oklahoma hard this recruiting season. He was joined Wednesday by Altus star Taven Birdow, Edmond Memorial linebacker Zeke Mammen and John Marshall quarterback Lenard Leviston III. “There's a lot of good places elsewhere, but you look at Air Force and you think benefits,” McDaniel said. But when he first approached his mom Kartina about committing, she wasn't having it. “My initial thought was no way,” she said. “I'm not from a military family. My husband has some members in his family. Man, after the first time going up there, though, being part of the facility and understanding more of what the academy is offering all of those fears went out of my mind.” McDaniel said he wants to be a physical therapist and will major in behavioral sciences. He was especially excited to hear Birdow had signed Wednesday, which could lead to a powerful backfield with the duo that made The Oklahoman's All-State team. “From what I've heard, the dude is an animal on the football field,” McDaniel said. “I can't wait to get down there and get practicing to see what we can do together.” All Heritage Hall running back Terrell Love needed was a visit to Texas Southern's campus in Houston to seal the deal. The powerful senior known as “Tank,” did that last week, met his father's former Langston coach and reaffirmed his commitment to the university. “It played a little role,” Love said about his father, Terrell, playing for offensive line coach John Montgomery. “It was pretty cool I could play for someone who coached my dad. There's some trust between them. They still talk to this day. It's cool to think I'll be able to do that.” The 5-foot-10, 225-pound Love rushed for 1,670 yards and 31 touchdowns last season while helping the Chargers win a second straight state championship. He finished his career fourth on the school's all-time scoring list, behind Wes Welker, Barry J. Sanders and Sterling Shepard. NORMAN NORTH'S HOGAN WAITING TO SIGN Norman North running back Quan Hogan did not sign a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, choosing to wait until after his upcoming visit to Southeast Missouri State to make a decision. Hogan, a two-star prospect according to Rivals.com, held offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Ohio, Tulsa and Wyoming, but those schools' classes filled up while Hogan waited to make a commitment. He recently picked up the offer from Southeast Missouri State, Timberwolves coach Brent Barnes said, and is setting up a visit there soon. Hogan — ranked No. 26 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list — rushed for 1,309 yards and 28 touchdowns last season for the Timberwolves, and finished his high school career with 5,046 yards from scrimmage with 65 total touchdowns. DEL CITY'S TERRY WILSON SEALS THE DEAL WITH OREGON About six weeks after he made it sort-of-official, Del City's Terry Wilson made it officially official. And next month, it'll be real life. The Eagles' quarterback signed a non-binding financial aid agreement with Oregon in December, but he signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, alongside five of his teammates who signed with other college football programs. Wilson is on track to complete his high school coursework in the next couple of weeks, and he'll enroll at Oregon for the start of their spring term in March to take part in spring practice. “This seals the deal,” Wilson said. “I'll be in Oregon next month. I can't wait to get up there, try to get up the depth chart and possibly get on the field next year.” In addition to Wilson, Walter Watson signed with Missouri State, Sean Talley signed with Emporia State, Jeremiah Wilson and Percy Craig signed with Langston and Asjon Reeves signed with Southwestern Oklahoma State. Over their four-year high school careers, those players helped Del City reach the playoffs each season. “I feel like we left a legacy here,” Watson said. “The four years we were here, we really did big stuff, the whole 2016 class that we had here.”
Here are the signing day capsules for Atlantic Coast Conference teams:___BOSTON COLLEGETop 25 Class: NoBest in class: QB Anthony Brown, from Holmdel, New Jersey, will need to come through for the Eagles if they are going to turn things around long-term. BC turned to fourth-string walk-on John Fadule after Darius Wade broke his ankle in Week 3; Jeff Smith picked up a concussion and missed a...
ACC football recruiting team capsules
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016Here are the signing day capsules for Atlantic Coast Conference teams: ___ BOSTON COLLEGE Top 25 Class: No Best in class: QB Anthony Brown, from Holmdel, New Jersey, will need to come through for the Eagles if they are going to turn things around long-term. BC turned to fourth-string walk-on John Fadule after Darius Wade broke his ankle in Week 3; Jeff Smith picked up a concussion and missed a month. Best of the rest: WR Kobay White of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was a three-time all-state selection. Late addition: TE Korab Idrizi From Fort Lee, New Jersey, changed his mind after initially deciding on Rutgers. Two that got away: After defensive coordinator Don Brown left BC for Michigan, DB/QB Da'vante Cross decommitted from the Eagles. Cross will play quarterback at Virginia instead. How they'll fit in: The five offensive linemen in the recruiting class — including Eastern Illinois transfer Jimmy Lowery — could help return BC to its roots as an incubator of NFL blockers. ___ CLEMSON Top 25 Class: Yes. Best in class: Dexter Lawrence, DE, Wake Forest, North Carolina. Lawrence picked Clemson over Florida State, Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame. Best of the rest: Tavien Feaster, RB, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Tre Lamar, LB, Roswell, Georgia; Zerrick Cooper, QB, Jonesboro, Georgia; John Simpson, OL, North Charleston, South Carolina Late addition: CB Isaiah Simmons of Olanthe, Kansas, also was considering Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri and Louisville. One that got away: Defensive end Rashan Gary of Paramus, New Jersey. Gary, the nation's top prospect, had the Tigers has one of his two finalists before choosing Michigan. How they'll fit in: Lawrence will bid for immediate playing time with linemen Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd off to the NFL. Feaster has speed like former Tiger great C.J. Spiller, Swinney says, and could be the home run hitter Clemson has missed in recent years. ___ DUKE Top 25 Class: On the bubble. Best in class: Scott Bracey, WR, Richmond, Virginia. Best of the rest: Dylan Singleton, S, Lawrenceville, Georgia; Mark Birmingham, TE, Ashburn, Virginia; Brandon Hill, LB, Orangeburg, South Carolina. Late addition: Chidi Okonya, DL, Riverdale, Georgia. One that got away: Quarterback Chazz Surratt, the AP offensive player of the year in North Carolina, signed with the rival North Carolina. He had committed to Duke before switching to UNC over the summer. How they'll fit in: Duke brought in seven linemen — four offensive, three defensive — because Cutcliffe said those are the positions "you can't get short in." This class is marked by its versatility — most players play multiple positions and on both offense and defense. ___ FLORIDA STATE Top 25 class: Yes Best in class: Levonta Taylor, CB, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was the consensus top-ranked cornerback prospect in the country and committed early enough that he helped attract others to Florida State. He also could end up as a kick or punt returner. At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Tyler lacks in size but Fisher said he has a unique skill set, including great ball skills. Best of the rest: Malik Henry, QB, Long Beach, California. Fisher usually has true freshmen run the scout team but the 6-foot-3, 184-pound Henry has enough athleticism and is an early enrollee, meaning he could challenge for the starting spot during spring practice. Late addition: Shevar Manuel, DT, Bradenton, Florida. Manuel had originally committed to Florida but was wavering. Florida State remained in contact with Manuel and convinced him to flip at the last minute. One that got away: Safety Jamel Cook was leaning toward Florida State but the Miami native ended up going to Southern California. How they'll fit in: With the signings, Florida State will have 18 offensive linemen on scholarship when preseason practices begin August. Fisher said that not only benefits the offensive line in terms of building a rotation but should help guys develop faster. ___ GEORGIA TECH Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Jordan Woods, DE, Citra, Florida. Woods picked Georgia Tech over Florida, Tennessee and Miami. Best of the rest: Parker Braun, OL, Hallsview, Texas; Jay Jones, QB, McCalla, Alabama; Xavier Gantt, RB, Buford, Georgia; Dedrick Mills, RB, Waycross, Georgia. Late addition: CB Ajani Kerr of Powder Springs, Georgia, also was considering Central Michigan and Kennesaw State, among other schools. One that got away: Safety Romeo Finley of Niceville, Florida, listed Georgia Tech as his leader before making a late switch to Miami. How they'll fit in: Johnson recruited for immediate help at wide receiver. Stephen Dolphus (6-5, 200) of Westside High in Macon, Georgia, was compared to former Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. The other receivers in the class are Jalen Camp of Cumming, Georgia and Jair Hawkins-Anderson of Suwanee, Georgia. ___ LOUISVILLE Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Jawon Pass, QB, Columbus, Georgia. The Cardinals bolstered one of their strengths with the 6-foot-4 U.S. Army-All America quarterback, who ranked as the nation's 191st overall prospect by Scout. Pass may not supplant sophomore Lamar Jackson, who became Louisville's starter last season, but he joins his brother Khane, a safety who signed last year. Best of the rest: Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Fitzpatrick committed to Louisville more than a year ago, reconsidered this winter before sticking with his original choice after an official visit last weekend. "He sure made us work hard," Petrino said of the recruitment. The Cardinals beat out Nebraska and Indiana for the 6-2 receiver ranked in the top 220 nationally by Rivals and Scout. Fitzpatrick is one of four receivers signed. Late addition: London Iakopo, S, Long Beach (California) City College. Iakopo is one of two four-star safeties in the class along with incoming freshman P.J. Blue, and could see early action at the back of the Cardinals' defense. "He's very, very mature and he's going to give us a lot of leadership," Petrino said of Iakopo. One that got away: Rodjay Burns, Louisville, Kentucky. Ohio State lured Burns, a two-way standout, away from his hometown in the final week. A finalist for Kentucky's Mr. Football, Burns had 14 touchdowns as a receiver and four interceptions on defense as a high school senior. How they'll fit in: The Cardinals have seamlessly worked in youngsters and transfers on defense without missing a beat, so it wouldn't be shocking if their newcomers became contributors right away. Pass might be Louisville's quarterback of the future, the same thing that was said about Jackson and Reggie Bonnafon before both emerged as starting signal-callers. ___ MIAMI Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Sam Bruce, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 5-foot-8 star from longtime powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High is considered to be a slot receiver, but the Hurricanes see him getting to the outside as well. Bruce seemed to be wavering on his commitment in recent weeks, but he was the one that Miami fans did not want to see get away. "Very explosive player," Richt said. Best of the rest: Jack Allison, QB, Parrish, Florida and Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Orange Park, Florida. Allison is the heir apparent to Brad Kaaya as Miami's starting quarterback and jumped at the chance to enroll at what he long considered his dream school. And Quarterman — along with fellow mid-year linebacker enrollees Zach McCloud and Michael Pinckney — gives Miami immediate depth at that position and should be in contention for playing time in the fall. Late addition: Ahmmon Richards, WR, Wellington, Florida. He was a Miami commit before the Hurricanes fired Al Golden, and then re-opened his process to the point where some thought he would get away. One that got away: Tyler Byrd, CB, Naples, Florida. The consensus four-star prospect flipped his commitment to Tennessee — where former Miami interim coach Larry Scott is now on staff — on Tuesday night. Byrd was considered someone who would have been a key performer in 2016 for the Hurricanes. How they'll fit in: There's clearly spots to fill, and Richt didn't get all of Miami's needs taken care of in his first class. But there's a slew of talent returning, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Getting that trio of linebackers in early might be critical, and having Miami legacies like TE Michael Irvin Jr., S Jeff James (Edgerrin James' nephew) and DE Pat Bethel (son of former Miami TE Randy Bethel) in this class won't hurt. ___ NORTH CAROLINA Top 25 Class: Yes. Best in class: Kyree Campbell, DT, Woodbridge, Virginia. Best of the rest: Chazz Surratt, QB, Denver, North Carolina; Jay-Jay McCargo, OL, Alexandria, Virginia; Tomon Fox, DE, Lawrenceville, Georgia. Late addition: DB Patrice Rene (Alexandria, Virginia) originally committed to Rutgers but flipped to UNC in January. One that got away: WR Nate Craig-Myers (Tampa, Florida) chose Auburn over UNC on Wednesday. How they'll fit in: After a defensive turnaround last year under coordinator Gene Chizik, the Tar Heels loaded up on defense with 16 signees — including seven defensive backs and four linebackers — after losing seniors in the unit's back seven. ___ NORTH CAROLINA STATE Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Thaddeus Moss, TE, Charlotte. Best of the rest: Kelvin Harmon, WR, Palmyra, New Jersey. Late addition: Harmon, originally a South Carolina recruit who decommitted amid the Gamecocks' coaching change to Will Muschamp. One that got away: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Wake Forest, signed with Clemson. How they'll fit in: Doeren says he'd like to redshirt all but about six players. Moss and Harmon seem to be extreme talents who should have a chance to play soon. Frazier should be strong enough to make a quick impact. ___ PITTSBURGH Top 25 Class: On the bubble Best in class: Damar Hamlin, DB, Pittsburgh. Blazing fast with what Narduzzi called "the best feet, hips and most athletic corners you can recruit." Best of the rest: DL Keyshon Camp (Lakeland, Florida.), chose Pitt after originally committing to USC. RB George Hill (Youngstown, Ohio). Late addition: Rashad Weaver, DL, Cooper City (Fla.) One that got away: RB Miles Sanders (Woodland Hills) signed with Penn State. How they'll fit in: The beauty for Narduzzi is he's not quite sure. Though Whitehead made an immediate impact at safety last year — he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year after leading Pitt with 99 tackles — but he also saw snaps on offense, averaging 10 yards every time he touched the ball. There are plenty of prospects who could get a shot at similar double duty going forward. ___ SYRACUSE Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Moe Neal, ATH, Gastonia, North Carolina. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Neal was the nation's 43rd-ranked athlete in 247Sports.com's composite rankings. He scored 103 TDs in high school. Best of the rest: DE Jaquwan Nelson. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Nelson is rated three stars and the No. 54 weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2016 by 247Sports. Late addition: Devin Butler, who had previously committed to Maryland, decided Wednesday morning to go with the Orange. The 6-foot, 185-pound Butler also plans to join the Syracuse track and field team. One that got away: Three-star OG Stewart Reese of Fort Pierce Central High School in Florida. The 6-foot-6, 333-pound Reese, rated the No. 19 offensive guard in the Class of 2016 by 247Sports.com's composite rankings, opted for Mississippi State of the Southeast Conference on Monday. Syracuse, Reese's other finalist, had visited him twice in the past three weeks in addition to hosting him on an official visit in mid-January. How they'll fit in: The big story for the Orange is how quickly Babers can install his offense and who he picks to lead it. Sophomore Eric Dungey, despite at least one concussion and several other hard hits to the head last fall, succeeded Terrel Hunt after the senior starter's college career ended with a torn Achilles in the season opener. ___ VIRGINIA Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Tre Harbison, RB, Shelby, North Carolina. Ran for 5,770 yards and 100 touchdowns in a high school career that ended with back-to-back state championships and a 32-0 record his last two seasons. Best of the rest: Hasise Dubois, WR, Irvington, New Jersey. A 6-3 receiver who caught 97 passes for 1,976 yards and 26 touchdowns during his high school career and had nine interceptions as a defensive back. Late addition: Trysten Hill, DL, Lee, Florida. One that got away: Laderrian Wilson, RB, Kissimmee, Florida (went to Maryland). How they'll fit in: Mendenhall takes a unique approach to redshirting and want ___ VIRGINIA TECH Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Evans. He threw for 395 yards per game with 38 touchdown passes and just three interceptions last season, and has already enrolled at Virginia Tech. A dual-threat, he also ran for more than 400 yards. Best of the rest: Khalil Ladler, CB, Stone Mountain, Georgia. A four-star recruit who spent the past season recovering from a torn ACL. Late addition: Eron Carter, LB, Palatka, Florida was being recruited heavily by the service academies, Foster said, describing the 6-2, 230-pounder as "more of a thumper-type guy." One that got away: None. How they'll fit in: With Fuente bringing what Hokies fans hope will be the high-powered offense they have long craved, the quarterback battle will be crucial to how quickly they are able to meet those expectations. Evans and Joshua Jackson join three holdovers — Brenden Motley, Dwayne Lawson and Chris Durkin, and so the winter, spring and summer will be critical times. ___ WAKE FOREST Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Sulaiman Kamara, DT, Richmond, Virginia. Best of the rest: Byrd; Taleni Suhren, OT, Charlotte; Emmanuel Walker, DE, Holly Hill, South Carolina. Late addition: None. All but a few players have been committed since last September. One that got away: LB Riley Cole, who decommitted late from Alabama and signed late in the afternoon with South Alabama. How they'll fit in: For Wake Forest, the better question is WHEN they'll fit in. The Demon Deacons are at their best when they're patiently redshirting players and allowing them to develop. But during the past few years, they simply didn't have enough bodies to do that, a big reason why they were one of the nation's most inexperienced teams in 2015. Clawson says he would prefer to redshirt 80 percent of the incoming freshmen.
Feb 3, 2016
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Jimbo Fisher pledged to work toward helping Florida State win another title shortly after losing at Clemson last fall. The Seminoles' coach took a major step in that direction Wednesday, landing the top recruiting class in the Atlantic Coast Conference on national signing day.The Seminoles class of 25 players was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by recruiting services....
Florida State leads the way in the ACC on signing day
By PETE IACOBELLI, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Jimbo Fisher pledged to work toward helping Florida State win another title shortly after losing at Clemson last fall. The Seminoles' coach took a major step in that direction Wednesday, landing the top recruiting class in the Atlantic Coast Conference on national signing day. The Seminoles class of 25 players was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by recruiting services. Fisher gave much of the credit to his newest players, who he said helped recruit on-the-fence prospects at camps, college visits and all-star games. "Then they can talk via social media or via the phone. That is critical because, 'Hey, there he goes. I know him and I want to play with him,'" Fisher said. "I think it's even more of a factor now than it's ever been." Florida State's group includes cornerback Levonta Taylor of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was the consensus top-ranked cornerback prospect in the country and committed early enough that he helped attract others to the Seminoles. Fisher said Florida State filled several needs as it works to get back on top. The Seminoles were national champions in 2013 and College Football Playoff participants a year later. This season, though, Florida State lost its surpremacy to Clemson, which won the ACC championship and advanced to the national title game before losing 45-40 to Alabama. Clemson was right behind the Seminoles on signing day, bringing in a 23-person class Tigers coach Dabo Swinney expects to offset the loss of five defensive starters who gave up college early to enter the NFL draft. The Tigers brought in five defensive backs (they lost three starters in the secondary) and four defensive lineman to fill the void created when All-American Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd declared for the NFL draft. "It's amazing when you win games what it means when you step into a high school," said Brandon Streeter, Clemson's recruiting coordinator. ___ Other things about signing day around the ACC: TAR HEEL MO North Carolina's turnaround under defensive coordinator Gene Chizik from one of the worst defenses in school history to a bend-but-don't-break unit was key in that change. And that's why the Tar Heels went heavy on defense with 16 players, including seven defensive backs. "We were selling hope when we first got here: just stay with us and hang in there and we're going to get this done," Chizik said Wednesday. "We were able to say, 'Hey, look, these are the things are we felt we could improve in and would improve in, and they saw kind of the fruits of our labors. So I think a lot of them were excited about the possibility of jumping on board with that." NEW COACHES With Wednesday's national signing day behind them, several new ACC coaches still have to work to do. — Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente went heavy on quarterbacks in hopes of sparking the Hokies offense. But Fuente's class does not include any running backs or tight ends. — Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall said he will need to concentrate on attracting more offensive and defensive line help going forward in 2017's class. — Miami's coach Mark Richt kept his first class with the Hurricanes very close to home with 16 of 18 players coming from Florida, but Richt couldn't get all of Miami's needs taken care of in his first class. —Syracuse coach Dino Babers believes the class he signed this year when combined with next year's group will lay a foundation for the Orange to succeed. FAMOUS DADS & GRANDDADS Clemson brought in tight end J.C. Chalk, the grandson of Alabama national championship coach Gene Stallings, and defensive back Brian Dawkins Jr., son of the Clemson and NFL great. North Carolina State signed Thaddeus Moss, the son of former NFL star receiver Randy Moss. Not to be outdone, Miami signed Michael Irvin Jr., the son of Hall of Famer and former Hurricane great Michael Irvin. BC'S INSIDE MAN: KUECHLY Boston College coach Steve Addazio said the best recruiting tool for his program is playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday: former Eagles linebacker Luke Kuechly. "Who more would you want to be out front as the representation of the BC football program, and the Boston College (as a) university," the coach said. "What a great role model and what a great representative. He's just incredibly important to us." TECH STRUGGLES Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson brushes off his recruiting class's low national ranking, hopeful that a rebound from going 3-9 this past year will again perk up the Yellow Jackets. "I think the number that matters is at the end of the year what your record is," Johnson said. "Last year our record wasn't good and the year before it was pretty good. We've got to get back to where we were the year before."
Here are the signing day capsules for Big Ten Conference teams:___ILLINOISTop 25 class: No.Best in class: Dele Harding, LB, Elkton, Maryland.Best of the rest: Zarrian Holcombe, TE, Houston; Eli Peters, QB, Jacksonville, Florida, already enrolled; James McCourt, K, Parkland, Florida.Late addition: Izon Pulley, DL, Olney, Maryland. Cubit expects he will be a defensive end and could play soon.One...
Big Ten football recruiting team capsules
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016Here are the signing day capsules for Big Ten Conference teams: ___ ILLINOIS Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Dele Harding, LB, Elkton, Maryland. Best of the rest: Zarrian Holcombe, TE, Houston; Eli Peters, QB, Jacksonville, Florida, already enrolled; James McCourt, K, Parkland, Florida. Late addition: Izon Pulley, DL, Olney, Maryland. Cubit expects he will be a defensive end and could play soon. One that got away: Several players recently de-committed amid the turmoil in the program, among them Tre Johnson, OL, Orlando, Florida, who chose Miami. How they'll fit in: After playing essentially without tight ends last fall, Illinois signed three players at the position, including Holcombe, one of the top 40 or so in the country. If he can play right away, that could be a big help to the Illini attack. Also important will be the 13 defensive players and whether they can add much-needed depth. ___ INDIANA Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Richard Lagow, QB, Plano, Texas. Over the past two seasons, he threw for 4,496 yards and 38 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. He has two years of eligibility left. Best of the rest: Jonah Morris, athlete, Akron, Ohio. In high school, Morris played receiver and safety and at 6-4, 190 pounds could play either position at Indiana. The Hoosiers must decide where he fits best. Late addition: Shaun Bonner, TE, Moultrie, Georgia. At 6-3, 250, Bonner is expected to start out as primarily a blocking tight end, with the potential to become an offensive lineman. One that got away: Jovan Swann, DT, Greenwood, Indiana. The Hoosiers only had two in-state players, and they didn't get Swann, who picked Stanford. How they'll fit in: Lagow and Thompson should make immediate impacts. But much of this class was recruited to build toward the future. ___ IOWA Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Nathan Stanley, QB, Menomonie, Wisconsin. Stanley will likely be the most scrutinized player in this class over the next few years. Stanley shunned his home-state Badgers for Iowa, and at 6-foot-4 he looks like a prototypical pro passer in Iowa's system. It could be years before Stanley sees the field, with Tyler Wiegers set to take over for Beathard in 2017 and second-year freshmen Ryan Boyle and Drew Cook behind him. Best of the rest: Defensive ends Cedrick Lattimore, a 250-pounder out of Detroit, and Illinois product Romeo McKnight, could be next in line to blossom along Iowa's front. Running back Toks Akinribade had plenty of offers and Alaric Jackson is a 6-foot-7, 285-pound tackle who also played basketball, soccer, baseball and track. Iowa's best linemen have traditionally been multi-sport stars in high school. Late addition: Alaric Jackson, OL, Detroit. He reportedly turned down a late offer from Michigan. One that got away: U.S. Army All-American Bowl pick John Raridon of West Des Moines, Iowa, turned down Iowa and Iowa State in favor of Nebraska. How they'll fit in: Iowa brings back a ton of talent from last season's Big Ten West-winning team and the Hawkeyes usually redshirt most of their freshmen anyway. But Iowa will likely look for a few of them to contribute on special teams. ___ MARYLAND Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Terrance Davis, OG, Hyattsville, Maryland Best of the rest: Tino Ellis, WR, Hyattsville, Maryland, Richard Merritt, OL, Silver Spring, Maryland, Adam McLean, DT, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Late addition: Tyrrell Pigrome, QB, Pinson, Alabama. Pigrome, the Alabama Gatorade State Player of the Year, announced his decision Wednesday. One that got away: Recruited by former Maryland coach Randy Edsall, standout QB Dwayne Haskins flipped his commitment to Ohio State last month. Returning QB Perry Hills threw 13 INTs compared to eight TD passes in 2015, so getting Pigrome and QB Max Bortenschlager (Indiana) was very important. How they'll fit in: Many of these players will have an opportunity to play immediately as new coach DJ Durkin looks to put his stamp on the struggling program. ___ MICHIGAN Top 25 class: Yes. Best in class: DT Rashan Gary chose Michigan over Clemson and Southeastern Conference schools such as Alabama, Mississippi and Auburn. He is the first consensus No. 1 recruit to sign outside of the SEC since 2008, when Terrell Pryor went to Ohio State. Best of the rest: Devin Asiasi, who played for traditional power De La Salle High School in California, will get a chance to make a lot of plays because coach Jim Harbaugh loves having his quarterbacks throw to tight ends. The 6-4, 265 Asiasi is rated as one of the best players at his position in the country. Late addition: Elysee Mbem-Bosse, a linebacker from Georgia, was added relatively recently to the class. He will get a chance to play right away because Michigan will lose some linebackers to graduation. One that got away: Donnie Corley, a wide receiver from Detroit, chose to enroll at Michigan State last month. How they'll fit in: Even though Gary will be in the spotlight next fall, he will be able to ease into a role with a team that has a lot of depth on the defensive line. ___ MICHIGAN STATE Top 25 class: Yes. Best in class: Donnie Corley, WR-CB, Detroit Best of the rest: Josh King, DE, Darien, Ill. Late addition: Luke Campbell, OL-DL, Lewis Center, Ohio One that got away: Michael Jordan, OL, Canton, Mich., who signed with Ohio State. How they'll fit in: The Spartans have to replace QB Connor Cook after last season's run to the national semifinals. Although Tyler O'Connor and Damion Terry have been with the program for a while, both are unproven. Michigan State added QB Messiah deWeaver of Huber Heights, Ohio, and Corley could provide immediate help to a receiving corps that loses Aaron Burbridge and Macgarrett Kings from last season's team. ___ MINNESOTA Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Carter Coughlin, LB, Eden Prairie, Minn. Best of the rest: QB Seth Green, Allen, Texas; Tyler Johnson, WR, Minneapolis North HS; Garrison Wright, OL, Butler CC (Kansas); Sam Schlueter, OL, Victoria (Minnesota)/Mayer Lutheran HS; Kamal Martin, LB, Burnsville (Minnesota) HS; Philip Howard, WR, Minneapolis/Robbinsdale Cooper HS; Coney Durr, CB, Geismar (Louisiana) Dutchtown HS; Thomas Barber, LB, Plymouth (Minnesota)/Robbinsdale Armstrong HS; Vincent Calhoun, OL, Southwest Mississippi CC; Merrick Jackson, DL, Iowa Western CC. Late addition: Mark Williams, QB, Jackson (Alabama) HS. One that got away: Dedrick Snelson, WR, Pembroke Pines, Fla. Signed with Central Florida. How they'll fit in: Green will compete with sophomore Demry Croft to be the backup to Mitch Leidner. Calhoun (335 pounds) and Wright (318 pounds) could be in the starting lineup right away. Johnson and Martin are converted QBs marking a focus on athleticism. ___ NEBRASKA Top 25 class: Yes. Best in class: Lamar Jackson, CB, Elk Grove, California. He's a top-100 national recruit and Nebraska's highest-rated West Coast signee in more than a decade. With Jackson and safety Marquel Dismuke of Calabasas, California, among the five defensive backs in the fold, the Cornhuskers met their needs in the secondary. Best of the rest: John Raridon, OL, West Des Moines, Iowa. The 6-4, 271-pound guard is the top offensive line recruit and the son of former Nebraska offensive tackle Scott Raridon. Late addition: Matt Farniok, OT, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Bo Pelini staff started pursuing the 6-foot-5, 319-pounder two years ago and Riley's staff picked up the chase before landing his commitment a week ago. One that got away: Nebraska thought it had locked up four-star receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick of Waterford, Michigan. That was before Fitzpatrick took a visit to Louisville. He announced he would become a Cardinal on Tuesday. The Huskers are left with two receivers in the class. How they'll fit in: All eyes will be on QB Patrick O'Brien in spring practice. It would be premature to say he could challenge incumbent Tommy Armstrong, but he's well-positioned to be the No. 2 QB come fall. Raridon and Farniok beef up the offensive line, and Jackson and Dismuke could play right away. ___ NORTHWESTERN Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Roderick Campbell Jr., DB, St. Louis. Best of the rest: Jeremy Larkin, RB, Cincinnati; Riley Lees, WR, Libertyville, Illinois; Bennett Skowronek, WR, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Aidan Smith, QB, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Late additions: Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, WR, Minneapolis. One that got away: Defensive tackle Jovan Swann from Greenwood, Indiana, picked Stanford. How they'll fit in: With the losses of receivers Miles Shuler and Christian Jones to graduation, Lees, Skowronek and Chiaokhiao-Bowman have the chance to get playing time early. ___ OHIO STATE Top 25 class: Yes. Best in class: Nick Bosa, DL, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The spitting image of his older brother, former Buckeyes All-American Joey Bosa, the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder may step right into the spot vacated by his sibling. Best of the rest: Austin Mack, WR, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The 6-2, 210-pounder can help fill the void following the loss of Michael Thomas, one of nine Ohio State underclassmen leaving early for the pros. Late addition: Malcolm Pridgeon, OL, Nassau County (N.Y.) Community College. The 6-8 303-pounder chose Ohio State over Baylor on signing day. One that got away: Rashan Gary, DT, Paramus, New Jersey. The nation's No. 1 recruit is headed to Michigan, a signing that Wolverines fans will undoubtedly tout as a victory over the Buckeyes as Harbaugh tries to close the talent gap between the bitter enemies. How they'll fit in: Coach Urban Meyer has already identified Bosa and Jonathon Cooper, a 6-2, 234-pound defensive end from Gahanna, Ohio, as freshmen who will get playing time next season. ___ PENN STATE Top 25 class: Yes. Best in class: At 5-11, 200 pounds, four-star running back Miles Sanders of Pittsburgh is the key recruit in James Franklin's class. Best of the rest: Shane Simmons, a 6-4, 221-pounder, could make an immediate impact at defensive end and just might end up giving Sanders a run as the best player in the class. Late addition: Junior-college DT Brenon Thrift can help replenish reserves on defensive line with Austin Johnson, Anthony Zettel and Tarow Barney moving on and recent decommitments from DTs Karamo Dioubate and Michael Dwumfour. One that got away: S Andrew Pryts of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, flipped to Stanford on signing day. How they'll fit in: Penn State had to tread water under Franklin in the waning days of the NCAA sanctions. With a full class and full complement of players available at every position, perhaps Big Ten contention is on the horizon. ___ PURDUE Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Terrance Landers, WR, Dayton, Ohio. The 6-foot-4 receiver could give the offense a new dimension in 2016, and if he does the Boilers will finally have a solid nucleus of skill position players. Best of the rest: Simeon Smiley, DB, Pensacola, Florida. The transition to college is easier for freshmen to make at safety than cornerback and at 6-foot, 195 pounds, Smiley has the build to make an impact. Late addition: Rob Simmons, DE, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The 6-6, 216-pounder waited until the final week to pick Purdue. One that got away: Dylan Powell, OL, Hannibal, Missouri. Powell announced three weeks ago he was looking for other options and wound up choosing Stanford. How they'll fit in: The Boilermakers are losing both starting cornerbacks and may need some of those young DBs on the field in 2016. Barry Larkin and Lorenzo Neal won't be the only junior college players vying for playing time. Jalen Neal, a 6-8, 315-pound offensive lineman, could, too. __ RUTGERS Top 25 class: No. Best in class: Tylin Oden, QB, Columbia, Tennessee. While starter Chris Laviano and backup Hayden Rettig are returning, Oden has the athleticism to run the power spread offense. Best of the rest: Trey Sneed, RB, Orange Park, Fla. He had more than 10 scholarship offers including from North Carolina, Wake Forest and Louisville. Late addition: Ahmed Bah, WR, New York City. He helped Grand Street Campus to a 13-0 record and the school's first-ever New York Public Schools Athletic League State Championship. One that got away: Patrice Rene, DB. He committed to Rutgers in early August but changed his mind after Kyle Flood was fired. He will attend North Carolina. How they'll fit in: First-year coach Chris Ash's guiding rule was to find players who fit his program, who had character, intelligence, toughness and would compete. Four are early enrollees and they are already working out. With little depth, a lot of these players should play a role, even if just on special teams. ___ WISCONSIN Top 25 class: No. Best in class: DL Garrett Rand earned an invite to the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Rand, who had 92 tackles and 15 sacks as a high school senior, would also give a relatively young position group even more depth. Best of the rest: RB Sam Brodner of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was one of his state's top players last season. P Anthony Lotti was recruited from Flowery Branch, Georgia and figures to play right away. Late addition: DBs Caesar Williams and Deron Harrell. Harrell might not join the program until January 2017. One that got away: Touted running back prospect Antonio Williams dropped his verbal commitment to Wisconsin in October to commit to Ohio State. How they'll fit in: The sting of losing Williams is eased a bit with the late addition of Brodner, plus the return of Corey Clement to the Wisconsin backfield in 2016. There is depth at the position with Clement joining fellow returnees Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal.
Feb 3, 2016
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kirby Smart made quite a splash with his first recruiting class at Georgia.Even though he got a late start on the job, Smart landed one of the nation's leading collection of prospects Wednesday. Most notably, the Bulldogs picked up top-rated athlete Mercole Hardman Jr., who announced his decision during a morning ceremony at Elbert County High School in Elberton, Georgia. He...
UGa adds top athlete Hardman to early enrollees Eason, Nauta
Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kirby Smart made quite a splash with his first recruiting class at Georgia. Even though he got a late start on the job, Smart landed one of the nation's leading collection of prospects Wednesday. Most notably, the Bulldogs picked up top-rated athlete Mercole Hardman Jr., who announced his decision during a morning ceremony at Elbert County High School in Elberton, Georgia. He figures to break into the lineup right away on defense and could wind up playing offense, too. Smart, the former defensive coordinator at Alabama, was hired shortly after Georgia fired longtime coach Mark Richt but wasn't able to take over right away, staying with the Crimson Tide through their victory in the national championship game. Georgia signed plenty of familiar names. Running back Elijah Holyfield is the son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, while receiver Riley Ridley is the younger brother of Calvin Ridley, who as a freshman played a key pass-catching role for Alabama's national championship team. The Bulldogs also landed tight end Charlie Woerner, the nephew of former Georgia star Scott Woerner, who was recently elected the College Football Hall of Fame. Smart signed 13 players from within the state but missed out on top prospect Derrick Brown. ___ Other things to know: Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Jason Eason, QB, Lake Stevens, Wash.; Mercole Hardman Jr., ATH, Elberton, Ga.; Isaac Nauta, TE, Buford, Ga. Best of the rest: Michail Carter, DL, Jackson, Ga.; Ben Cleveland, OL, Toccoa, Ga.; Chauncey Manac, OLB, Fargo, Ga.; Julian Rochester, DL, Powder Springs, Ga.; Javon Wims, WR, Miami. Late addition: Hardman was a huge coup for the Bulldogs, giving them one of the nation's top-25 prospects to go along with early enrollees Eason and Nauta. Hardman, who has been compared to Southern Cal cornerback Adoree Jackson, picked his home-state school over SEC rivals Tennessee and Alabama. One that got away: DT Derrick Brown, the state's top prospect, went with Auburn over Georgia and several other SEC schools. While Smart was pleased with the players he got on the defensive line, Brown would've made Georgia's class truly special. How they'll fit in: Eason will compete for the starting quarterback job right away. The Bulldogs struggled mightily on offense last season, largely because of their struggles at the most visible position on the field. Incumbent starter Grayson Lambert returns, but it will be an upset if he keeps the job over Eason. Hardman will be expected to start at cornerback and likely handle kick return duties. Depending on how quickly he adapts to the college game, he could work his way into the mix at receiver, as well. ___ For the full list: http://www.GeorgiaDogs.com
Jan 31, 2016
HONOLULU (AP) — With no Super Bowl trip this season for the Seattle Seahawks, their stars came to play — and dominate — at the Pro Bowl.Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice on Sunday and earn offensive MVP honors at Aloha Stadium. Seattle teammate Michael Bennett was the defensive MVP after having the game's only sack and...
Russell Wilson throws 3 TDs in 49-27 Pro Bowl victory
By KALANI TAKASE, Associated Press | Jan 31, 2016HONOLULU (AP) — With no Super Bowl trip this season for the Seattle Seahawks, their stars came to play — and dominate — at the Pro Bowl. Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice on Sunday and earn offensive MVP honors at Aloha Stadium. Seattle teammate Michael Bennett was the defensive MVP after having the game's only sack and deflecting a pass. "To see us Seahawks out there is a real special thing," Wilson said. "It's a testament to our hard work and to see two Seahawks out there as MVPs is really cool." The Seahawks quarterback, who was the first player picked in the all-star game's draft, went 8 of 12 for 164 yards. He led scoring drives on three of Team Irvin's first four possessions. Wilson threw touchdown passes of 14 and 2 yards to Atlanta Falcons teammates Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, respectively, in the opening quarter. Early in the second quarter, Wilson connected with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley for a 10-yard score. The teams were drafted and captained by Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice. Winston Moss, Green Bay's assistant head coach and linebackers coach, filled in for the ill Mike McCarthy and coached Team Irvin. Kansas City's Andy Reid led Team Rice. A record 47 players declined to participate in this year's Pro Bowl, either due to injury or for personal reasons, or couldn't play because their teams are in the Super Bowl. Carolina had 10 players selected, including quarterback Cam Newton, while Denver had four, including defensive stars Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Wilson was the lone quarterback originally selected to participate in the game. "Any time you have the opportunity to play the great game of football, you take advantage of the opportunity," Wilson said. "Playing in the Pro Bowl is a special thing because to be able to see all the amazing players across the league, who are the best players in the world and to be able to play on one field together is a really, really cool thing." Bennett was busy on defense, but played one snap at quarterback late in the game and picked up 7 yards on a rush. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound defensive said it was his first experience under center in his career. "Only in my dreams," Bennett said with a laugh. Two other Seahawks players mixed it up midway through the third quarter when Team Irvin's Richard Sherman — a cornerback — was dropped for a 22-yard loss on a reverse by Team Rice linebacker Bobby Wagner. "He said that he knew what he was going to do," Sherman said. "He knew I was getting the ball and he knew he was making the tackle." Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston each added two TD passes for Team Irvin. Jacksonville's Allen Robinson, Tennessee's Delanie Walker, Philadelphia's Darren Sproles and Houston's DeAndre Hopkins had scoring receptions. Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce caught two scoring passes for Team Rice. Miami's Jarvis Landry also had a TD catch, and Tampa Bay's Doug Martin ran for a score. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the New York Giants had two of Team Irvin's six interceptions. After Kelce's 4-yard reception from Manning gave Team Rice a 7-0 lead, Jones tip-toed the left sideline just after hauling in Wilson's pass near the back corner of the end zone for a 14-yard score. Kelce caught the second of his two TDs on a 10-yard pass from Oakland's Derek Carr to cut Team Rice's deficit to 21-14. The Chiefs star, who signed a five-year, $46 million contract extension on Friday, tied Martin with a game-high five catches for 91 yards. Team Irvin added a score late in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Sproles to hold a 28-14 lead after two quarters. The halftime festivities included a parade of local high school football players. Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, a Honolulu native, led his alma mater, Saint Louis School, onto the field during the procession and was greeted by loud cheers from the sellout crowd of 50,000. It was the 35th time the NFL's annual all-star game was played at Aloha Stadium dating to 1980, and the third consecutive season that it has used an "unconferenced" format. The game was played at in Glendale, Arizona, last year. The site of next year's Pro Bowl has not yet been determined by the NFL, although it does have an option to return to Hawaii. Martin helped Team Rice cut the deficit to 28-21 in the third quarter with a 3-yard run early in the third quarter. But Team Irvin put the game away with three straight TDs: a 50-yard catch by Robinson from Bridgewater, a 53-yard reception by Walker from Winston and a 7-yarder by Hopkins, also thrown by Winston. Landry caught a 31-yard TD pass from Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor with 6:05 remaining in the game. Taylor was intercepted three times overall. Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eifert appeared to injure a foot during the game while diving for a pass for Team Irvin. It was the final game of Oakland safety Charles Woodson's 18-year career. He was escorted by his two young sons off the field to rousing cheers from the fans that remained. "I really got all the emotions out of the way a few weeks back, but this one is just the icing on the cake for me to be able to make the Pro Bowl, be able to bring my family over here and hang out in Hawaii," Woodson said. "It's been great." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Jan 31, 2016
In his first extended interview since he announced his move from football to baseball and left the Sooners extremely thin at quarterback this spring, Thomas indicated that his decision was based on several factors. None had anything to do with being disgruntled about football.
As much as Cody Thomas loves football, baseball has always had his heart
By Jenni Carlson Columnist email@example.com | Jan 31, 2016NORMAN — Cody Thomas leaned against the rail at the top of the dugout steps. These days, helmet and shoulder pads have been replaced by a baseball cap and cleats. Since the back-up Oklahoma quarterback announced a week ago that he was leaving football to concentrate on baseball, the crunch of tackles has given way to the ping of base hits. But as Thomas watched the late innings of an intrasquad scrimmage during Oklahoma's first official baseball practice of the season, he looked like he belonged. He was quick to applaud good effort. He was first to greet guys coming back to the dugout after a nice hit. "I love it over here," he said. "I've been having a great time so far." He smiled. "It's a good change." In his first extended interview since he announced his move from football to baseball and left the Sooners extremely thin at quarterback this spring, Thomas indicated that his decision was based on several factors. None had anything to do with being disgruntled about football. In fact, he said a return to football in the fall is entirely possible. But he wants to give baseball, his first love, his undivided attention for the first time in college. He wants to see what might be possible. He understands some people might not get his decision to leave football, especially since he ended the season as the back-up and he is playing behind a starter who suffered a concussion in two of the Sooners' final three games. Thomas knows what some people are probably thinking. "I'm a play away," he said. "My deal is, I've been a twisted ankle away for a couple years now, and for whatever reason, it hasn't really happened." Thomas doesn't feel like walking away from football is walking away from opportunity. He feels like he's walking toward one. *** Cody Thomas flew from Miami to Dallas-Fort Worth the morning after the Orange Bowl on a flight with a bunch of his teammates. He said goodbye at the gate to some who had connecting flights to other cities, then goodbye to others at baggage claim who, like him, had been met by family or friends. When Thomas parted ways with those guys, he expected to be back with them soon. Football was still his plan. But when Thomas got home to Colleyville, the affluent suburb on the northwest side of the Metroplex, he started thinking about the spring. He had changed majors, from business to multi-disciplinary studies with a focus in business, so that he could have some additional flexibility with intersession classes. Thomas did that in hopes of graduating in three years and getting his degree in May. As he looked at his classes, though, spring football practices were going to interfere with several of the classes he would need to graduate. That weighed on his mind. So, too, did the fact that he'd never been fully committed to baseball at any point during his college career. His first spring on campus, Thomas played baseball but also did spring football. His football duties were the priority, and baseball suffered because of it. "I was really just driving my body into the ground," he said. He never had the time — or energy — to focus on his swing, his timing, his skills. He never had a chance to be good. "I wasn't here enough," said the outfielder, who appeared in only 14 games two springs ago. "I knew they weren't going to play me. I just wasn't here enough, honestly. "I figure I need to be here if I want to have a shot at it." That was his calculation last spring when he left baseball to focus on football. The starting quarterback job was open, so Thomas decided he needed to be totally in on football, completely committed to that sport to have a chance at winning the spot. That didn't happen, and even though Thomas rose to the back-up spot by season's end, he appeared in only three games and attempted just three passes. He felt like his complete commitment to football hadn't gotten him anywhere. "Last year, I gave up baseball to focus on football," he remembers thinking while he was home after the Orange Bowl, "and that didn't work out so well." That's when he did something he hadn't done in almost a year. He picked up a baseball bat. *** Cody Thomas went to the batting cages a few times, not only to see how it went but also to see how it felt. Did playing baseball again feel right? He hadn't made any decisions about what he was going to do when he started swinging a bat again. Maybe he'd play baseball and football. Maybe he'd just do baseball. Maybe he'd stick with football. But the more he swung, the more Thomas realized what he wanted to do. Baseball was the first sport he played. He played it long before he started football. As much as he loves football, baseball has always had his heart. He approached his parents and told them he was thinking about playing baseball this spring, not football. They were "sort of shocked," Thomas said, but the more they talked about it and Thomas prayed about it, the more secure he felt. "I just felt like this was something I wanted to do, something I didn't want to leave college thinking, 'Man, I didn't ever really give baseball a shot,'" Thomas said. He made up his mind Saturday before classes started again, and Sunday, he went to the football offices to tell the coaches. Much like his parents, they were somewhat surprised but nevertheless supportive. "Right now, the plan is still to come back and be on the football (field)," Thomas said. "I just knew (focusing an entire season on baseball) was something that I needed to do. This was the only gut feeling I had about it all — I need to come out here and see what I can do and see if I can get on the field here." *** Nothing has been promised to Cody Thomas. The baseball team returns only one of its three regular outfielders from last year's team, but when Sooner coach Pete Hughes welcomed Thomas back to the team, it came with no guarantees. Thomas understands that. "I just really think I need a full season under my belt to develop at anything," he said, "and it just hasn't happened for me. "I just really haven't gotten on the field in anything. I need to give (baseball) a shot and see what happens." He has spent the past couple weeks at the baseball complex, hitting, lifting and working out. And he is starting to feel more comfortable, seeing the ball better and getting back his rhythm. He knows returning to a level that had pro scouts drooling over him in high school will take time — but that's what he plans to give baseball this spring. Thomas is excited to see what could happen. "I definitely am happy where I'm at right now," he said standing on the field at L. Dale Mitchell Park on a surprisingly sunny and warm winter afternoon. "I'm feeling good about it. That's what I keep telling people. "I'm good." Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Jan 25, 2016
The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football program has been reeling in a lot of Oklahoma City-area high school talent lately, and Monday was perhaps the best day yet for the Golden Norsemen. It began with a pair of Midwest City prospects, defensive tackle Worenn Davis and defensive back Aliik Sezer, who each verbally committed to the Miami, Okla., junior college. And late Monday night, the...
NEO lands four more OKC-area prospects in Davis, Sezer, Williams, McKaufman
scott wright | Jan 25, 2016[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]4054458[/img] The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M football program has been reeling in a lot of Oklahoma City-area high school talent lately, and Monday was perhaps the best day yet for the Golden Norsemen. It began with a pair of Midwest City prospects, defensive tackle Worenn Davis and defensive back Aliik Sezer, who each verbally committed to the Miami, Okla., junior college. And late Monday night, the Norsemen added two more area stars — Edmond Santa Fe running back Darran Williams and Douglass’ Patrick McKaufman, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound athlete. All four players announced their decisions on Twitter. NEO currently has more than a dozen outgoing players headed to Division I schools for the 2016 season.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed speedy wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield, a native of the Twin Cities area coming off a breakout year in the Canadian Football League.Sinkfield signed a reserve/future contract on Saturday, meaning he'll be on the roster for offseason practices. Sinkfield played at Hopkins High School and Northern Iowa, where he was listed at 6-foot-1...
Vikings sign speedy Sinkfield, WR from Hopkins, N. Iowa
Associated Press | Jan 23, 2016EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed speedy wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield, a native of the Twin Cities area coming off a breakout year in the Canadian Football League. Sinkfield signed a reserve/future contract on Saturday, meaning he'll be on the roster for offseason practices. Sinkfield played at Hopkins High School and Northern Iowa, where he was listed at 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds. He made headlines three years ago by running a reported 40-yard dash time of 4.19 seconds for NFL scouts at the University of Minnesota's pro day workout. Sinkfield spent time in camps of the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, but he never stuck. Now 25, Sinkfield had 69 receptions for 1,030 yards for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL in 2015.
Breakfast with Bevo: Texas' path to a Top 3 recruiting class (no, really)Rich TijerinaAustin American-StatesmanGood morning. Breakfast is served.It's January 22nd -- 22 down, 344 to go.And 12 till national signing day.YESTERDAY: The Spurs won their 12th straight (Suns). NBA All-Star Game starters were announced -- LeBron, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kyle Lowry for the East,...
Breakfast with Bevo: Texas' path to a Top 3 recruiting class (no, really)
Rich Tijerina, Associated Press | Jan 22, 2016Breakfast with Bevo: Texas' path to a Top 3 recruiting class (no, really) Rich Tijerina Austin American-Statesman Good morning. Breakfast is served. It's January 22nd -- 22 down, 344 to go. And 12 till national signing day. YESTERDAY: The Spurs won their 12th straight (Suns). NBA All-Star Game starters were announced -- LeBron, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kyle Lowry for the East, Kobe, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry and Russel Westbrook for the West. Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel said thanks, but no thanks to be Chip Kelly's defensive coordinator in San Francisco. Bill Johnson, the first American to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing (gold in 1984), died. At the Australian Open, Maria Sharapova won her third-round match and former champion Lleyton Hewitt retired from tennis. TODAY: Australian Open coverage starts at 9 p.m., on ESPN2. The Warriors and Pacers play at 10:30 (ESPN). TOMORROW: The Texas men, fresh off their upset of No. 6 West Virginia on Wednesday, travel to No. 3-Kansas (1 p.m., ESPN, 104.9). The 6th-ranked women host No. 19 Oklahoma (11 a.m., FSN, 105.3). The 3M Half-Marathon will be run, in Austin. More Australian Open. And former Texas stars Eric Metcalf (48) and Phil Dawson (41) will celebrate birthdays. Jan. 22 has a sports history. On this date, longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno died (2012); Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in the Lakers' win over the Raptors (2006); San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh retired after winning his third Super Bowl (1989); Mike Tyson recorded a TKO win over Larry Holmes for the heavyweight title (1988); the Washington Redskins knocked off the Dallas Cowboys 31-17 in the NFC championship game -- the Cowboys' third straight NFC title game loss (1983); Bum Phillips became the head coach of the New Orleans Saints (1981); the Baltimore Colts traded quarterback Johnny Unitas to the San Diego Chargers (1973); George Foreman, on his 20th birthday, had a TKO win over Joe Frazier to win the heavyweight title (1960); and 24-year old Fidel Castro, a former star pitcher for the University of Havana, pitched as a civilian to one batter in a Cuban winter league game -- future MLB player Don Hoak, five years before he led the Cuban Revolution (1951). Last year on Jan. 22, Jeff Gordon announced that 2015 would be his final season as a full-time NASCAR driver. Today's sports birthdays: Greg Oden (28) and Ray Rice (29). Other notables: celebrity chef Guy Fieri (48), former Journey singer Steve Perry (67). Today's trivia: Speaking of Journey, what founding member -- and original lead singer -- now lives in Dripping Springs? (Answer's at the end of Breakfast.) Top of the menu: Recruiting. We had two interesting recruiting reads in today's paper. One was a Big 12 primer that falls 12 days out of national signing day. The other was generated off a tweet from Texas wide receiver pledge Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, who promised that the Longhorns would finish with a Top 3 national class. (Right now, Texas' class ranks 33rd, according to 247Sports' composite ratings.) Texas' class ranked No. 9 in 2015. And while a Top 3 sounds like a pipe dream right now, our own Ryan Autullo identified 11 targets that could get the Longhorns there if Charlie Strong pulls off some late recruiting magic. Here are those 11 Texas targets, with comments from Ryan: * Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches. The country's top-ranked safety has visited Texas A&M and Texas and is scheduled to check out Arkansas and Baylor. Fab 55 rank: 3rd * Patrick Hudson, G, Silsbee: The long-time Baylor commit took a midweek visit to Texas and dined at the Vince Young Steakhouse with WWE superstar Mark Henry, who is also from Silsbee. Fab 55: 4th * Jordan Elliott, DT, Houston Westside: The one-time Houston commit is currently ticketed for Michigan. He's flipped before, and Texas is hoping he'll flip again. He's set to visit UT this weekend. Fab 55: 10th * Jeffrey McCulloch, LB, Aldine Davis: He'll announce on signing day. Fab 55: 16th * Stephon Taylor, DT, New Orleans (La.) McDonogh: Defensive tackle is a huge need for Texas. Taylor's the 19th overall prospect in Louisiana. He'll likely choose between Texas, LSU and Oklahoma. * Chris Daniels, DT, Euless Trinity: Rescinded his commitment to Oklahoma after visiting Texas last weekend. Read into that what you may. Fab 55: 19th * Erick Fowler, LB, Manor: Is committed to LSU, but this one's not over. Fab 55: 21st * Dontavious Jackson, LB, Alief Elsik: He'll announce between five schools on signing day. Fab 55: 23rd * Kyle Porter, RB, Katy: The Horns are running thin on options at running back after losing out on Devwah Whaley (Arkansas) and Darius Anderson (TCU). Interestingly, their competition for Porter is none other than Arkansas and TCU. Fab 55: 39th * Eric Cuffee, CB, Waco: The belief was he'd be Texas' by now. What's the holdup? Fab 55: 35th * Lil'Jordan Humphrey, ATH, Southlake Carroll: Humphrey played running back in high school, but at 6-5, 200, he's likely headed for a transition to receiver. Fab 55: 53rd Here's a link to our Fab 55, which Ryan updated this past Sunday. So, what else is being written out there about the Longhorns? After Wednesday night's win over West Virginia, Shaka Smart reflected on VCU's big 2011 upset win over Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, in advance of Saturday's Texas-Kansas showdown in Lawrence. The Waco Tribune-Herald had a nice read on Fred Akers, who'll be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 2. AROUND THE BIG 12: Oklahoma picked up a commitment from a 4-star defensive tackle on Thursday. And the Sooners' south end zone expansion project should be ready in 2017, perhaps in the spring, the Tulsa World reported. Kansas coach Bill Self says Frank Mason, who's averaged three turnovers in his last three games, needs to get right. The Des Moines Register caught up with Rutgers defensive line coach Shane Burham, who had been on Paul Rhoads' Iowa State staff since 2009. Burham believes the Cyclones will make a make a bowl game in 2016. And the paper also wrote about Aaron Mends, who'll be Iowa State's new inside linebacker. AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: Football: Mack Brown was honored with the 2015 Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award last week in Houston. And Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles might be ahead of schedule from his ACL injury, the Kansas City Star reported. Softball: Texas was picked third in this week's Big 12 coaches' preseason poll, behind Oklahoma and Baylor. The Longhorns open their season on Feb. 11. Track and field: Senior thrower Ryan Crouser was named the Big 12's athlete of the week after winning the shot put at last week's Texas A&M 11-Team Invitational. Swimming: Senior Cory Bowersox, who won three of his four events against No. 3 Georgia and No. 8 Auburn, was this week's Big 12 men's diver of the week. On the women's side, junior Madisyn Cox was the conference's swimmer of the week and senior Meghan Houston was its diver of the week. Last week, Cox beat the nation's No. 3-ranked swimmer (Georgia's Emily Cameron) in the 400 IM and won all three of her individual events vs. Auburn. Houston won three of her four events vs. Auburn and Georgia. Tennis: Senior Breaunna Addison, a two-time All-American, was the Big 12's women's player of the week after posting a pair of singles wins and a doubles win at the Miami Spring Invite last weekend. On Jan. 22, 2010: Conan O'Brien hosted his final Tonight Show episode on NBC. On Jan. 22, 2008: We lost Heath Ledger, who died from an accidental overdose. He would go on to win a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" a year later. On Jan. 22, 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, effectively legalizing abortion. Trivia answer: Original Journey organist and lead singer Greg Rollie, who left the band in 1980, now lives in Dripping Springs. He still performs with his Greg Rollie Band and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as the former singer of Santana. OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by. News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe ——— ©2016 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000003183,t000008060,t000008056,t000046469,t000007067,t000003194,t000391285,t000391277,t000381264,t000003195,t000007123,t000007083,t000003199,g000362661,g000065562,g000066164,g000065634,g000065603,g000065682,g000065659,g000065702,g000216885,g000065619
Good evening. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Massachusetts.Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Boston bureau at 617-357-8100 or 800-882-1407.Amy Anthony is on the desk until 8 p.m. New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or email@example.com. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at...
AP-MA--Massachusetts News Digest 6 pm, MA
Associated Press | Jan 20, 2016Good evening. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Massachusetts. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Boston bureau at 617-357-8100 or 800-882-1407. Amy Anthony is on the desk until 8 p.m. New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or email@example.com. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. UPCOMING TOMORROW DISTRACTED DRIVING BOSTON — Drivers in Massachusetts may soon have to put down the phone while driving. The Senate debates a bill Thursday that calls for Massachusetts to join more than a dozen other states — including Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut — which require drivers to use hands-free technology for cellphones. By Bob Salsberg. UPCOMING: 400 words by 5 p.m. BAKER-STATE OF STATE BOSTON — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker delivers his first state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature and TV viewers around Massachusetts. By Steve LeBlanc. UPCOMING: 130 words by 2 a.m., 500 words by 8 p.m., photos. BABIES-BODIES WORCESTER — A Massachusetts mother accused of killing two infants, concealing the death of a third and endangering the lives of her other children is due in court for a status hearing. Erika Murray has been held without bail since she was charged in 2014. Developing from hearing in Worcester Superior Court, timing uncertain. TODAY'S TOP STORIES YOUNG MAYORS FALL RIVER — Fresh-faced mayors who were in high school during President Barack Obama's first term took office this month in city halls around the country, but only one is running a place as big and challenged as this old New England factory town. Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, 24, is thought to be the youngest-ever mayor of a U.S. city with more than 50,000 people. By Matt O'Brien. SENT: 789 words, photos. OPIOID ABUSE BOSTON — State and federal law enforcement agencies are pledging to join together to crack down on doctors and other health care providers who illegally prescribe or dispense opioid painkillers. Attorney General Maura Healey says the illegal overprescribing of opioids is contributing to the spike in overdoses and deaths in Massachusetts. She said Wednesday her office had formed a task force with federal authorities to collaborate on investigations. By Steve LeBlanc. SENT: 487 words. BIG SNOWSTORM WASHINGTON — As people in the South and East readied themselves for a nor'easter that might bring heavy snowfall by week's end, snow fell on much of Kentucky and Tennessee and contributed to at least one traffic-related death Wednesday. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 1,002 words, photos. TUNA FISHERMAN FRAUD BURLINGTON, Vt. — Paul Hebert, a Massachusetts fisherman featured on the reality television show "Wicked Tuna" while, prosecutors allege, collecting government disability benefits, is due in federal court in Vermont for a change of plea hearing. UPCOMING: 250 words by 6 p.m. MAYORS SURVEY NEW YORK — Mayors across the U.S. say they worry about their cities' aging infrastructure and they'd like more state and federal support, according to a survey released Wednesday. The Menino Survey of Mayors, named for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who died in 2014, was conducted by Boston University's Initiative on Cities and funded by Citigroup. Its release coincides with the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which starts Wednesday in Washington, D.C. SENT: 330 words. STAPLES-OFFICE DEPOT FRAMINGHAM — Staples and Office Depot are planning to extend the deadline to get their business combination done. Staples is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Office Depot is based in Boca Raton, Florida. SENT: 219 words. IN BRIEF — CHARTER SCHOOLS: State Senate Democrats say they'll take a fresh look at charter schools in Massachusetts with a ballot question looming on the horizon. SENT: 130 words. — PREP SCHOOL-ABUSE: A new lead investigator has been chosen to look into allegations of sexual abuse at a prestigious Rhode Island boarding school. SENT: 130 words. — STOLEN TAXI: A Springfield man has pleaded not guilty to charges he held a gun to a taxi driver's head before robbing him and stealing his cab. SENT: 130 words. — FIRE-CLUTTERED HOME: Authorities say one man has died in a Scituate house fire that firefighters had trouble battling because of clutter inside the home. SENT: 130 words. — TANGLEWOOD SCHEDULE: The return of former Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Seiji Ozawa for the first time in a decade is among the highlights of the 2016 Tanglewood summer season. SENT: 130 words. — HOMICIDE SCENE-THEFT: A Massachusetts man who happened upon a double homicide, didn't report the deaths and stole $240 cash from the home has been sentenced to two years in prison. SENT: 130 words. — OPIOID ABUSE: Attorney General Maura Healey is planning to announce a new front in the state's ongoing battle with opioid abuse. SENT: 130 words. — FIRE-CLUTTERED HOME: Authorities say one man has died in a Scituate house fire that firefighters had trouble battling because of clutter inside the home. SENT: 110 words. — PARKING BAN REIMBURSEMENT: The city of Worcester will reimburse close to 350 people who had their cars towed after a winter parking ban went into effect during the early morning hours. SENT: 130 words. — GANG SLAYING TRIAL: The trial of the first of five people charged in connection with a gang-related slaying in Worcester has started. SENT: 130 words. — DEADLY FIRE-GLOUCESTER: Investigators say a fire in a Gloucester home last week that took the life of the resident was intentionally set by the victim and is an apparent suicide. SENT: 130 words. SPORTS EARLY SUPER BOWL BETS LAS VEGAS — The Super Bowl teams have yet to be determined, but that hasn't stopped Las Vegas bookies from posting odds on the big game. Eager bettors can put their money down at several sports books on the four possible matchups, and some already have. By Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 588 words. PATRIOTS-JACKSON FOXBOROUGH — Former three-time Pro Bowler Steven Jackson is in the unlikely position of being just a game away from a Super Bowl berth that he once accepted would never come. He last appeared in the playoffs as rookie with the St. Louis Rams in 2004. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 712 words, photo. PATRIOTS-FLEMING-GOOD SAMARITAN FOXBOROUGH — On his way home from practice, Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming rescued a woman whose car had begun smoking after an accident. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 584 words, photo. PRO PICKS The NFL has its final four, and the oddsmakers are forecasting tight games. Considering that the divisional matchups all finished with one-possession results, this weekend's championship games should be just as close, right? Well, maybe not in one case. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 680 words, photos. PATRIOTS FOXBOROUGH — The New England Patriots prepare for Sunday's AFC championship game against the Denver Broncos. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m. AFC CHAMPIONSHIP-DENVER'S DUO DENVER — This time, Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. won't be watching Tom Brady from the sideline and on crutches. Two years ago when the Patriots and Broncos met in the AFC championship, they were out with ACL injuries. They're once again the backbone of Denver's dominant defense and this time they have a chance to dethrone the defending champs. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 928 words, photos. CELTICS-RAPTORS TORONTO — The Boston Celtics travel north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. MIAMI-BOSTON COLLEGE BOSTON — No. 15 Miami visits Boston College on Wednesday night. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 1 a.m. Tipoff 9 p.m. OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL Boston U. at Colgate, 7 p.m. Army at Holy Cross, 7 p.m. ___ If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The University of Texas at San Antonio has hired LSU assistant Frank Wilson to replace former head coach Larry Coker.The school made the announcement Friday. Wilson was running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Tigers, who had a Heisman Trophy candidate in Leonard Fournette.The 42-year-old Wilson spent six seasons with LSU after one year as receivers coach at...
UTSA hires LSU assistant Frank Wilson as head coach
Associated Press | Jan 15, 2016SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The University of Texas at San Antonio has hired LSU assistant Frank Wilson to replace former head coach Larry Coker. The school made the announcement Friday. Wilson was running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Tigers, who had a Heisman Trophy candidate in Leonard Fournette. The 42-year-old Wilson spent six seasons with LSU after one year as receivers coach at Tennessee. He also coached at Southern Miss and Mississippi. After one year as a student assistant at his alma matter, Nicholls State, Wilson was a high school coach in his native New Orleans. Larry Coker started the program in 2009 and spent five seasons there before resigning Jan. 5. He won a national title at Miami in 2001. ___ AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org
NORMAN — Oklahoma picked up its 16th commitment for the 2016 recruiting class Thursday with four-star offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin. Valentin, from Philadelphia’s Imhotep Institute Charter High School, is the fourth offensive line commitment for the Sooners in this class. The other three — JUCO transfers Ashton Julious and Ben Powers and Harrah’s Logan Roberson — all all early enrollees...
Oklahoma football: Sooners pick up commitment from four-star offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin
Jason Kersey | Jan 14, 2016NORMAN — Oklahoma picked up its 16th commitment for the 2016 recruiting class Thursday with four-star offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin. Valentin, from Philadelphia’s Imhotep Institute Charter High School, is the fourth offensive line commitment for the Sooners in this class. The other three — JUCO transfers Ashton Julious and Ben Powers and Harrah’s Logan Roberson — all all early enrollees who will begin classes at OU next week. Valentin’s commitment comes on the first day after a recruiting “dead period,” during which college coaches aren’t allowed face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes. Oklahoma coaches hit the recruiting trail Thursday for their final push before national signing day in three weeks. Valentin chose Oklahoma over offers from Miami, Arizona State, Auburn, Michigan, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others Rivals ranks Valentin as the nation’s No. 18 offensive guard.
1972 — The longest winning streak in major professional sports is snapped when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 120-104. The Lakers had won 33 straight, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 39 points gave Los Angeles its first loss since Oct. 31.1980 — Goaltender Jim Stewart, playing in his first and only game with the Boston Bruins, gives up three goals in the first four minutes of the...
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Jan 9, 20161972 — The longest winning streak in major professional sports is snapped when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 120-104. The Lakers had won 33 straight, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 39 points gave Los Angeles its first loss since Oct. 31. 1980 — Goaltender Jim Stewart, playing in his first and only game with the Boston Bruins, gives up three goals in the first four minutes of the game and a total of five in the first period. He's replaced and never plays in the NHL again. 1982 — Joe Montana's third touchdown pass of the game, a 6-yarder to Dwight Clark, with 51 seconds remaining, lifts the San Francisco 49ers to 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC title game. 1998 — Michelle Kwan receives eight perfect 6.0s out of nine marks for artistry in the free skate to win her second U.S. Figure Skating Championship in three years. 2002 — Todd Eldredge wins his sixth U.S. Figure Skating Championships title. After skipping two seasons of competition, Eldredge edges defending champion Tim Goebel. 2004 — Michelle Kwan wins her seventh straight title and eighth overall at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Only one of the sport's greats, Maribel Vinson, has more U.S. championships, with nine. 2009 — Arizona, the lone NFC team not to make it to a conference championship game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, gets to host its' first NFC championship game after a stunning 33-13 win at Carolina. 2010 — Karlos Dansby's 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown in overtime gives the Arizona Cardinals a 51-45 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history. 2011 — Top-ranked Auburn beats No. 2 Oregon 22-19 in the BCS title game. Wes Byrum's 19-yard field goal with no time left — his sixth career game-winning field goal — caps off a perfect, 14-0 season. 2015 — North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz runs five yards for the winning touchdown about a minute after Tre Roberson's 58-yard run puts Illinois State ahead, and the Bison became the first team to win four straight FCS championships with a thrilling 29-27 victory. 2015 — Tom Brady sets a career record for postseason touchdown passes, leading New England back from two 14-point deficits for a 35-31 victory over Baltimore. Brady breaks Joe Montana's record with 46 postseason TD passes and the Patriots reaches their fourth straight AFC championship game. 1970 — The AFL wins its second straight Super Bowl as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 behind Len Dawson's superb quarterbacking and Jan Stenerud's three field goals. 1973 — The American League adopts the designated hitter rule. 1981 — Jim Plunkett completes 14 of 18 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Oakland Raiders to 34-27 victory over the San Diego Chargers for the AFC title. The Raiders are the first AFC wild-card team to advance to the Super Bowl. 1984 — The Denver Nuggets beats the San Antonio Spurs 163-155 in the highest scoring regulation-length NBA game. 1987 — Denver's John Elway leads the Broncos to a 23-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC Championship. Elway caps a 15-play, 98-yard march with a 5-yard TD pass to Mark Jackson to tie the game with 37 seconds remaining. Rich Karlis kicks a 33-yard field goal in overtime to give Denver the win. 1992 — Kristi Yamaguchi, runner-up the previous three years, wins her first title in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Christopher Bowman, the 1989 U.S. champion, wins the men's title. 1998 — Lleyton Hewitt, an Australian high school student ranked 550th, wins the Australian Men's Hardcourt Championship to become the lowest-ranked player to win an ATP Tour event. 2004 — Detroit allows 100 points for the first time this season, but the Pistons were still able to outlast Dallas 115-102. Detroit has its NBA-record streak of not allowing 100 points snapped at 38 games, including 36 this season. 2009 — Philadelphia, led by Donovan McNabb, eliminates the New York Giants 23-11 to reach the NFC title game for the fifth time in eight seasons. This is the first game in NFL history to finish 23-11. 2014 — LeGarrette Blount rushes for 166 yards and four touchdown as the New England beats Indianapolis 43-22 to advance to their third consecutive AFC championship game. Blount joins Ricky Watters, who had five touchdowns for San Francisco on Jan. 15, 1994, as the only players with four or more in a playoff game. 2014 — Gracie Gold wins her first U.S. figure skating title and 15-year-old Polina Edmunds finishes second. Charlie White and Meryl Davis win a record sixth straight U.S. ice dance title — one more than American ice dance pioneers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. 2014 — Alex Rodriguez is dealt the most severe punishment in the history of baseball's drug agreement when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz rules the New York Yankees third baseman is suspended for the entire 2014 season as a result of a drug investigation by Major League Baseball. The decision cuts the suspension issued Aug. 5, 2013 by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig from 211 games. 2015 — Roger Federer beats the up-and-coming Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4 to register his 1,000th career match and win the Brisbane International. Federer is the third player to win 1,000 times on the men's professional tour' joining Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071). 2015 — Green Bay rallies from an 8-point deficit as Aaron Rodgers throws two second-half touchdowns to beat Dallas 26-21 in an NFC divisional-round playoff. The Packers, helped immensely by a video reversal with 4:06 remaining, go undefeated at Lambeau Field this season. Dez Bryant's leaping catch at the Packers 1 on fourth-and-2 is reversed by referee Gene Steratore after Green Bay challenges. Instead of first-and-goal for Dallas, the ball goes to the Packers. 1951 — Ezzard Charles knocks out Lee Oma in the 10th round at Madison Square Garden in New York to retain the heavyweight title. 1958 — Dolph Schayes of the Syracuse Nationals sets an NBA record for career points in a 135-109 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Schayes scores 23 points to bring his career mark to 11,770, breaking the record of 11,764 held by George Mikan. 1958 — The NCAA rules committee makes the first change in football scoring rules since 1912 by adding the two-point conversion. 1960 — Syracuse's Dolph Schayes becomes the first player in NBA history to score 15,000 career points. 1969 — New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath "guarantees" a victory before the game against the 17-point favorite Baltimore Colts, then leads the AFL to its first Super Bowl victory, a 16-7 triumph over a Baltimore team that had lost only once in 16 games all season. 1975 — The Pittsburgh Steelers totally shut down Minnesota's offense, handing the Vikings their third Super Bowl defeat, 16-6. Franco Harris, the game's MVP, sets a Super Bowl rushing record with 158 yards. 1986 — Chicago's Denis Savard ties an NHL record for the fastest goal to start a period by scoring four seconds into the third period of the Blackhawks' 4-2 victory over the Hartford Whalers. 1991 — Princeton beats Cornell 164-71 in an unusual swimming meet. The schools agree to compete by telephone due to a blizzard making transportation to Ithaca, N.Y. a problem. Both teams swim in their owns pools and the results are exchanged by FAX. 2007 — Tadd Fujikawa, just shy of his 16th birthday, steals the show at the Sony Open. Fujikawa shoots a 4-under 66, making him the youngest player in 50 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour. 2008 — Tom Brady completes all but two of his 28 passes to lead New England to its second straight AFC championship game with a 31-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Patriots improve to 17-0, matching the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team to go unbeaten from the first game of the season through the Super Bowl. 2008 — The Green Bay Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 42-20 to reach the NFC championship game. Ryan Grant recovers from two fumbles that put the Packers down 14-0 after only four minutes. Grant sets a team postseason record by running for 201 yards, and scores three times. 2009 — Boston sets a club record with 22 points in overtime. Paul Pierce scores nine of his season-high 39 points in the overtime of the 115-109 win over Toronto. The Celtics better the mark set on Jan. 2, 1963, when it outscored the San Francisco Warriors 21-6 in a 135-120 win. 2012 — Dwight Howard breaks Wilt Chamberlain's nearly 50-year-old NBA record for most free throw attempts in a game, making 21 of 39 in the Orlando Magic's 117-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Chamberlain shot 34 for the Philadelphia Warriors against St. Louis on Feb. 22, 1962. 2013 — Colin Kaepernick rushes for a quarterback playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns and throws two scoring passes to Michael Crabtree in San Francisco's 45-31 win over Green Bay. 2013 — Joe Flacco throws a 70-yard game-tying touchdown to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left in regulation, helping send it into overtime and Baltimore beats Denver in the second extra period, 38-35. Trindon Holliday of the Broncos scores on a 90-yard punt return the first time Denver touches the ball and returns the second-half kickoff 104 yards to become the first player to score on a kick and punt return in the same playoff game. Both are playoff records for longest returns, as is the 248 total return yards he had. 2014 — Jeremy Abbott wins his fourth U.S. figure skating title. Teenager Jason Brown finishes second and defending champion Max Aaron places third. 2015 — Ezekiel Elliott rushes for 246 yards and four touchdowns and Ohio State wins the first national title in college football's playoff era, running over Oregon 42-20. 1962 — Wilt Chamberlain scores an NBA regulation-game record 73 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 135-117 triumph over the Chicago Packers. 1971 — Lenny Wilkens of the Seattle Supersonics, at 33, becomes the oldest All-Star MVP as he scores 21 points to give the West a 108-107 victory over the East. 1974 — The Miami Dolphins win their second straight Super Bowl in their third straight appearance with a 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Larry Csonka, the game's MVP, gains 145 yards on 33 carries and scores a touchdown. 1986 — NCAA schools vote overwhelmingly in favor of adopting the controversial Proposition 48. The rule requires that incoming freshman maintain 2.0 grade point averages and score 700 or more on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or a 15 on the American College Testing program. 1987 — Lewis Lloyd and Mitchell Wiggins of the Houston Rockets become the third and fourth National Basketball Association players to be banned from the league for using cocaine. 1991 — Phil Mickelson overcomes an 8 on the 14th hole to become the second amateur since 1954 to win a PGA Tour event as he posts a one-shot victory over Bob Tway and Tom Purtzer in the Northern Telecom Open. 1995 — America3, the first all-women's team in the 144-year history of America's Cup, wins the first race of the America's Cup defender trials, beating Team Dennis Conner by 1 minute, 9 seconds. 1997 — Spain's Carlos Moya becomes the first man to knock out the defending champion in the opening round of a Grand Slam event in 20 years. After 3 1-2 hours of brutal heat, Moya beats Boris Becker 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at the Australian Open. 2003 — Jennifer Capriati becomes the first women's Australian Open defending champion to lose in the first round in the Open era. Capriati, seeded third, loses 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 to 90th-ranked Marlene Weingartner of Germany. 2006 — Larry Brown becomes the fourth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 regular-season games as New York beats Atlanta 105-94. Brown, 1,000-762 in 23 seasons in the NBA, joins Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Pat Riley in the 1,000-win club. 2010 — Kobe Bryant nails a game-winning jumper with 28 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 100-95 victory over Dallas. The Lakers become the first NBA team to reach 3,000 wins. 2013 — Matt Bryant kicks a 49-yard field goal with 8 seconds left and the Atlanta Falcons bounce back after blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, defeating Seattle 30-28 in an NFC divisional playoff game. The Falcons lead 27-7 at the start of the final quarter before rookie quarterback Russell Wilson leads the Seahawks to three fourth-quarter touchdowns and a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds left. 2013 — Tom Brady becomes the winningest quarterback in postseason play, throwing for three touchdowns to beat Houston 41-28 and lift the New England Patriots into the AFC championship game. Brady gets his 17th victory, surpassing Joe Montana, by throwing for 344 yards. 1943 — Montreal's Alex Smart scores three goals in his first NHL game and leads the Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks. 1962 — Margaret Smith wins her third straight Australian Open with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Jan Lehane. 1968 — The Green Bay Packers win their second straight Super Bowl. The game draws the first $3 million gate in football history. Bart Starr, the game's MVP, completes 13 of 24 passes for 202-yards. 1973 — The Miami Dolphins, who went 14-0 in the regular season and won two playoff games, beat the Washington Redskins 14-7 in the Super Bowl to become the only undefeated team in NFL history. 1990 — Joe Montana sets an NFL record when he tosses his 30th and 31st postseason touchdown passes as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 30-3 in the NFC championship game. Terry Bradshaw had thrown 30. 1990 — John Elway passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns as the Denver Broncos advance to their fourth Super Bowl with a 37-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Championship. 2001 — Led by Kerry Collins' five touchdown passes, the New York Giants reach their first Super Bowl in a decade with a 41-0 romp past the hapless Minnesota Vikings — the biggest rout in NFC championship history. 2003 — Pat Summitt becomes the first women's college basketball coach to win 800 Division I games when her Tennessee Lady Vols beat DePaul 76-57. 2006 — Johnny Weir win's his third straight title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and Sasha Cohen takes the women's division. 2007 — In Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Kildow captures the top two places in a World Cup super-combi and Resi Stiegler just misses making it an American sweep. The 1-2-4 finish is a first for American women in a World Cup alpine skiing event. 2012 — Tom Brady throws for a record-tying six touchdown passes, five in the first half and three to Rob Gronkowski, to lead the New England Patriots to a 45-10 win over Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. 2012 — Alex Smith completes a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left just after Drew Brees put the high-powered Saints ahead, and the resurgent San Francisco 49ers capitalize on five New Orleans turnovers for a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory. 1965 — In one of the most notable trades in NBA history, the San Francisco Warriors deal Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and cash. 1967 — The NFL's Green Bay Packers open the Super Bowl series by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, 35-10. 1972 — Joe Frazier knocks out Terry Daniels in the fourth round at New Orleans to retain the world heavyweight title. 1978 — The Dallas Cowboys take advantage of eight Denver turnovers en route to a 27-10 victory over the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Butch Johnson's diving catch in the end zone completes a 45-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach and puts the Cowboys ahead 20-3 in the third quarter. 1990 — Golden State coach Don Nelson becomes the second man in NBA history to appear in 1,000 games as a player and coach as the Warriors dropped a 144-105 decision to the Indiana Pacers. Lenny Wilkens was the first to accomplish the feat. 1994 — Ricky Watters of San Francisco scores an NFL postseason-record five touchdowns as the 49ers beat the New York Giants 44-3. 1995 — San Diego linebacker Dennis Gibson twice knocks down passes in the end zone — the last one on fourth down — to preserve the Chargers' biggest NFL victory, a 17-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship. 1997 — Patrick Lalime becomes the first goalie since NHL expansion in 1967 to open his career with a 15-game unbeaten streak as Pittsburgh beats Hartford 3-0. 2000 — The Jacksonville Jaguars steamroll their way into the history books and the AFC championship game. In the second-most overpowering playoff performance ever, the Jaguars rout the Miami Dolphins 62-7. The 55-point margin is the second-largest in playoff history. 2001 — Peace College beats Bennett College 98-3 in women's college basketball as Bennett sets an NCAA Division III women's record for fewest points scored. 2004 — Michelle Wie shoots a respectable round of 2-over 72, leaving her nine strokes behind the leader after one round at the PGA Sony Open in Honolulu. Wie, 14, is believed to be the youngest player ever on the PGA Tour. 2005 — Michelle Kwan wins her ninth title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, tying Maribel Vinson for the all-time record. 2006 — Italian Giorgio Rocca wins his fifth consecutive slalom race, joining Alberto Tomba, Ingemar Stenmark and Marc Girardelli as the only men to accomplish the feat in a single season. 2007 — Gilbert Arenas makes a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a 51-point performance in Washington's 114-111 victory over Utah. 2011 — Kyle Kuric's lay-up with 4 seconds remaining caps a furious rally by No. 18 Louisville and the Cardinals stun Marquette 71-70. Louisville trails by 18 with 5:44 to go but close the game on a 24-5 run fueled by guard Preston Knowles. 2011 — Sixth-seeded Green Bay routs the Falcons 48-21 in Atlanta as Aaron Rodgers throws for three touchdowns and runs for one. The 48 points are the most for the Packers in a postseason game. 2012 — New York's Eli Manning throws three touchdown passes and the Giants shock the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in an NFC divisional playoff game. The Packers, 15-1 in the regular season, become the seventh consecutive Super Bowl champ not to advance to the Super Bowl the next year. 2014 — Anaheim steamrolls Vancouver 9-1 for its 18th victory in 19 games. The Ducks join the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens as the only teams in league history to win 18 times in a 19-game span. 1962 — Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 42 points and grabs 24 rebounds as he won MVP honors even though his East team lost to the West 150-130 in the NBA All-Star game. The West's Bob Pettit pulls down an All-Star record 27 rebounds. 1972 — The Dallas Cowboys dominate the Miami Dolphins, setting a Super Bowl record of 252 yards rushing en route to a 24-3 victory. 1974 — Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mantle is elected in his first year of eligibility and Ford in his second year. 1988 — Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, the CBS NFL Today tout for 12 years, is fired for his racial comments during an interview the previous day with WRC-TV in Washington. 1993 — Kansas beats Louisville 98-77 for its 1,500th win in school history. 1993 — Michael Jordan scores 64 points, but Chicago is upended in overtime by visiting Orlando 128-124. The Magic are led by rookie center Shaquille O'Neal, who has 29 points and 24 rebounds. 1995 — Palm Beach millionaire Malcolm Glazer buys the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an estimated $192 million. 2000 — In the first home playoff game in St. Louis' 33-season NFL history, the Rams show their entire awesome repertoire in routing the Minnesota Vikings 49-37. Kurt Warner finishes 27-for-33 and sets team playoff records for yards passing (391) and TD throws (5). The Vikings score three desperate touchdowns in the dying moments, making it the second-highest scoring playoff game in NFL history. 2008 — Bob Knight becomes the first men's Division I coach with 900 wins when Texas Tech beats No. 10 Texas A&M 68-53. 2011 — New York Jets stun the New England Patriots 28-21. The Patriots — who had the league's best record during the regular season — suffer their third straight postseason loss. Mark Sanchez throws three touchdown passes, Tom Brady is sacked five times and the Jets advance to their second straight AFC championship game. 2012 — Top-ranked Syracuse beats Pittsburgh 71-63 to open the season with 20 straight wins, to set a school record for most consecutive victories to start a season. Boeheim extends his Division I record for most 20-win seasons to 34. 2015 — The NCAA restores 112 football wins it stripped from Penn State and Joe Paterno in the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal and reinstates the venerated late coach as the winningest in major college football history. The NCAA announces the new settlement with the school weeks before a scheduled trial on the legality of the sanctions imposed in 2012. END ADV
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — New Tennessee tight ends coach Larry Scott says his brief stint as Miami's interim head coach has given him a new perspective on his usual role as an assistant.Scott led Miami to a 4-2 record as interim head coach this season after Al Golden was fired in October. Miami announced last month that it had selected former Georgia coach Mark Richt as Golden's permanent...
Scott says Miami experience has given him new perspective
By STEVE MEGARGEE, Associated Press | Jan 7, 2016KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — New Tennessee tight ends coach Larry Scott says his brief stint as Miami's interim head coach has given him a new perspective on his usual role as an assistant. Scott led Miami to a 4-2 record as interim head coach this season after Al Golden was fired in October. Miami announced last month that it had selected former Georgia coach Mark Richt as Golden's permanent replacement. Tennessee announced Monday that Scott had agreed in principle to become a tight ends coach on the Volunteers' staff. Scott said in a conference call Thursday that his 2015 experience has given him additional insight on what a head coach needs from his assistants. "You really understand the value of how important your job is as an assistant coach, to make sure you're doing your piece, carrying your weight and taking care of the guys in your room, making them better people and better players," Scott said. "You're taking care of your responsibilities in recruiting. You're just making sure each and every day you're coming in with the right mindset and attitude, that I'm going to attack the job - not just do my job. I'm going to attack it with an urgency and passion. "The more I do that, the more the operation runs smoothly." This marks the first time in his career that Scott has worked outside the state of Florida. He grew up in Sebring, Florida and played offensive tackle at South Florida. After working at various Florida high schools, Scott returned to USF in 2005 and stayed there until becoming Miami's tight ends coach in 2013. In a school release this week that announced Scott's addition, Tennessee coach Butch Jones called him "a great teacher, motivator and recruiter, and most importantly, a great mentor for our student-athlete." Jones added that the way Miami finished the season "speaks volumes to his leadership skills." "There's a couple of places in the country where you go, 'If I have an opportunity, I have to really look hard at it,'" Scott said. "This is definitely one of those places where when the opportunity presented itself, it really struck some heartstrings with me and my family." Scott said he also looked forward to working with Tennessee coach Butch Jones for the first time. Scott said he was familiar with his new boss from their years as Big East rivals when Jones coached Cincinnati and Scott was at USF. "I know his tenacity and prowess on the road in recruiting," Scott said. "I know how he is. I know his passion for what he does." Scott is replacing Mark Elder, who left Tennessee to become the head coach at Football Championship Subdivision program Eastern Kentucky. The addition of Scott is one of two staff changes Tennessee has made. Jones announced Wednesday that John Jancek wouldn't be back as defensive coordinator next season. Jones said he and Jancek had "mutually agreed to part ways." ___ AP college website: collegefootball.ap.org
Jan 5, 2016
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Larry Coker, who built the Texas-San Antonio football program from scratch in 2009, stepped down Tuesday after five seasons.The 67-year-old Coker had a 26-32 record at UTSA, including 3-9 this past season.Coker was considered a major hire for the fledgling program. He won a national title with Miami in 2001 but was fired there in 2006.Coker took over at UTSA two years before...
Larry Coker, who built UTSA from scratch, steps down
Associated Press | Jan 5, 2016SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Larry Coker, who built the Texas-San Antonio football program from scratch in 2009, stepped down Tuesday after five seasons. The 67-year-old Coker had a 26-32 record at UTSA, including 3-9 this past season. Coker was considered a major hire for the fledgling program. He won a national title with Miami in 2001 but was fired there in 2006. Coker took over at UTSA two years before it played its first game. When he took the job, the Roadrunners hadn't yet signed a single player, had no football facilities or even a schedule for their first season. His best season with the Roadrunners was 8-4 in 2012 but the team never made it a bowl game. Coker had one other winning season, 7-5 in 2013, but couldn't sustain the success. The Roadrunners had consecutive losing seasons the next two years. "I want to thank Larry for taking on the huge challenge of starting up this football program," said Lynn Hickey, UTSA associate vice president and athletic director. "It required an incredible amount of hard work and dedication over the past seven years. There were a lot of challenges and unknowns, but Larry was able to represent the university and the city of San Antonio in a first-class manner." Coker spent 37 years working his way from coach of a small Oklahoma high school to the helm of an elite college program at Miami. He led the Hurricanes to a 12-0 record and the national championship in 2001, his first year as head coach after taking over for Butch Davis. Fired five years later, Coker was out of football until landing at Texas-San Antonio, a place Coker envisioned as an eventual powerhouse location in one of the nation's largest cities and in the middle of some of the best high school football talent in the country. In a statement, Coker called UTSA a "special place" and said he was grateful for the chance to coach there. "The future of UTSA football is very bright and I look forward to watching the Roadrunners' success in the future," Coker said.
Jan 4, 2016
ATLANTA (AP) — After 15 years under Mark Richt's leadership, Georgia is set to begin 2016 with a new head coach.Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who replaced Richt on Dec. 6, will be on campus after coaching next Monday's national title game against Clemson.Smart already has one big goal accomplished after quarterback Jacob Eason, one of the nation's top recruits, decided to keep his...
Georgia football set to begin Kirby Smart era
By GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press | Jan 4, 2016ATLANTA (AP) — After 15 years under Mark Richt's leadership, Georgia is set to begin 2016 with a new head coach. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who replaced Richt on Dec. 6, will be on campus after coaching next Monday's national title game against Clemson. Smart already has one big goal accomplished after quarterback Jacob Eason, one of the nation's top recruits, decided to keep his commitment and enroll at Georgia this month. "I'm working on recruiting for the University of Georgia full-time," Smart said. "That's my heart and passion now. When I get back over to Tuscaloosa and I put on my other hat — I promise you that I'll be working as hard as I can to win a national championship." Richt had a career record of 145-51 but he won only two conference titles and none since 2005. He went 5-10 against Florida, the last two losses costing the Bulldogs a spot in the SEC championship game. Richt suffered a big blow when running back Nick Chubb, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, had season-ending knee surgery after going down in the Oct. 10 loss at Tennessee. It marked the second straight year that the Bulldogs, who lost Todd Gurley to a four-game suspension for signing autographs in 2014, were without their best player during the second full month of the season. Richt's offense couldn't overcome substandard play at quarterback. The unit struggled in its only season under coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Former coordinator and longtime Georgia assistant Mike Bobo, now head coach at Colorado State, was clearly missed. Smart will be expected to get even with Florida. Richt went 5-10 against the Gators, the last two losses costing Georgia an appearance in the SEC title game. The Bulldogs have lost 20 of the last 26 in the series. Georgia's bowl win likely won't have much effect on next season. Bryan McClendon was the interim coach in Georgia's TaxSlayer Bowl win over Penn State and has left to join the new staff at South Carolina. Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt didn't work the game. Pruitt is back on staff at Alabama as Smart's eventual replacement. Schottenheimer is looking for a job. Smart is busy preparing for the national championship, but he attended the bowl game briefly in Jacksonville, Florida. Smart's Georgia connections run deep. He grew up in South Georgia, starred at Bainbridge High School and lettered four years with the Bulldogs, earning first-team All-SEC honors as a senior. He coached on Georgia's staff in 1999 and 2005. Smart has yet to hire a new defensive coordinator. Jim Chaney left Pittsburgh as offensive coordinator last month to work in the same capacity for Smart. Standout defensive player Leonard Floyd is likely to apply early entry to the NFL draft. Chubb is on target in his rehab and might participate some in practice this spring. Sony Michel, who averaged over 100 yards in his eight games as Chubb's replacement, also returns. Georgia opens next season Sept. 3 at the Georgia Dome against North Carolina. Richt was hired as head coach at Miami a few days after being dismissed. ___ AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org
Here is a look at the complete 2015 All-State Football Team: OFFENSE Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight QB: Micah Wilson, Sr., Lincoln Christian, 6-3, 205 RB: Taven Birdow, Sr., Altus, 6-1, 215 RB: Jeremy Lewis, Sr., Lone Grove, 6-1, 195 RB: Grant Martin, Sr., Harrah, 5-9, 165 WR: Alec Davidson, Sr., Lincoln Christian, 6-1, 190 WR: Tevin McDaniel, Sr., Heritage Hall, 6-0, 220 OL: Tyler...
High school football: The Oklahoman's All-State teams and honorable mentions
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh, Staff Writers | Jan 4, 2016Here is a look at the complete 2015 All-State Football Team: OFFENSE Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight QB: Micah Wilson, Sr., Lincoln Christian, 6-3, 205 RB: Taven Birdow, Sr., Altus, 6-1, 215 RB: Jeremy Lewis, Sr., Lone Grove, 6-1, 195 RB: Grant Martin, Sr., Harrah, 5-9, 165 WR: Alec Davidson, Sr., Lincoln Christian, 6-1, 190 WR: Tevin McDaniel, Sr., Heritage Hall, 6-0, 220 OL: Tyler Brown, Sr., Lexington, 6-6, 315 OL: T.J. Fiailoa, Sr., Lawton MacArthur, 6-4, 330 OL: Rowdy Frederick, Sr., Broken Arrow, 6-5, 325 OL: Luther Harris, Sr., Heritage Hall, 6-6, 350 OL: Logan Roberson, Sr., Harrah, 6-5, 320 DEFENSE Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight DL: Ty Hughes, Sr., Jones, 6-1, 285 DL: Tramonda Moore, Sr., John Marshall, 6-5, 350 DL: Jace Webb, Sr., Hollis, 6-4, 310 LB: Levi Draper, Jr., Collinsville, 6-3, 225 LB: Matt Harman, Jr., Cashion, 6-2, 195 LB: Jimmy McKinney, Sr., Oologah, 6-1, 230 LB: Jon-Michael Terry, Sr., Victory Christian, 6-4, 240 DB: Jayden Benway, Sr., Altus, 6-0, 178 DB: B.J. Bradbury, Jr., Adair, 6-3, 190 DB: Tré Lang, Sr., Haskell, 6-0, 180 DB: Dillon Stoner, Sr., Jenks, 6-0, 180 SPECIAL TEAMS Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight K: Dalton Witherspoon, Sr., Moore, 5-9, 160 P: Kevin Rassatt, Sr., Western Heights, 5-7, 170 KR: Roger Barcheers, Sr., Poteau, 5-9, 180 PR: A.J. Freeth, Sr., Wagoner, 6-2, 185 ------------------ SECOND TEAM OFFENSE Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight QB: Mason Fine, Sr., Locust Grove, 5-11, 170 RB: Justice Hill, Sr., Tulsa Washington, 5-10, 180 RB: Jamall Shaw, Sr., Broken Arrow, 5-10, 190 RB: Darran Williams, Sr., Edmond Santa Fe, 5-11, 170 WR: Rubell Goe, Jr., McGuinness, 6-2, 185 WR: Josh Hampton, Sr., Cashion, 6-0, 185 OL: Chandler Anthony, Sr., Tuttle, 6-7, 295 OL: Grant Appelberg, Sr., Skiatook, 6-3, 295 OL: Tyler Banta, Sr., Carl Albert, 6-5, 280 OL: Isaac Barham, Sr., Bartlesville, 6-4, 280 OL: Jude Richardson, Sr., Norman North, 6-3, 280 DEFENSE Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight DL: Noah Jones, Sr., Southmoore, 6-5, 250 DL: Brock Martin, Jr., Oologah, 6-3, 210 DL: Roc Robbins, Sr., Collinsville, 6-1, 220 LB: Mike Coats, Sr., Edmond Santa Fe, 6-2, 215 LB: Cole Dixon, Sr., Sand Springs, 6-1, 205 LB: Blake Landon, Sr., Deer Creek, 6-1, 210 LB: K.J. Lee, Jr., Wagoner, 6-1, 225 DB: Manny Bunch, Sr., Roland, 6-1, 180 DB: Calvin Bundage, Sr., Edmond Santa Fe, 6-3, 195 DB: Joshua Jacobs, Sr., Tulsa McLain, 5-11, 200 DB: Lane Martin, Sr., Stratford, 6-0, 195 SPECIAL TEAMS Pos: Player, Class, School, Height, Weight K: Nathan Rushin, Jr., Duncan, 5-9, 160 P: Braxton Pickard, Sr., Edmond Memorial, 6-0, 195 KR: Maurice Wright, Sr., Luther, 6-1, 195 PR: Jason Pirtle, Sr., Locust Grove, 6-2, 195 HONORABLE MENTION Quarterbacks: Abe Anderson, Metro Christian; Jay Baker, Inola; Casey Base, Oologah; Alan Bentjen, Dewar; Matt Blackburn, Stratford; Rhett Boles, Tuttle; Kobe Brewster, Plainview; Baehler Buol, Noble; Nyc Burns, Berryhill; Keats Calhoon, Victory Christian; Gunnar Ewing, Hollis; Chandler Garrett, Mustang; Brandon George, Jones; Christian Gomez, Garber; Trey Gooch, Putnam City West; Tanner Griffin, Bixby; Gus Hall, Tecumseh; Grant Harmon, Lone Grove; Kyler Hensley, Mooreland; Braden Hudson, Putnam City; Ben Klutts, Poteau; Jack Lafferty, Watonga; Jesse Lambert, McLoud; Lenard Leviston III, John Marshall; Haddon McIntosh, Community Christian; Patrick McKaufman, Douglass; Bryan Mead, Rejoice Christian; Payton Metcalf, Hooker; Jacob Mullins, McGuinness; Mason Myers, Chandler; Michael Nolen, Meeker; Jake Northern, Coweta; Cooper Nunley, Jenks; Colton Penrod, Bartlesville; Matt Perry, Pauls Valley; Gage Porter, Elk City; Hunter Reed, Davenport; Luke Ring, Duncan; Malcolm Rodriguez, Wagoner; Caleb Scott, Destiny Christian; Clayton Sims, Deer Creek; Trevor Smith, Yukon; Ethan Spurlock, Mountain View-Gotebo; Tyler Stovall, Kingston; Casey Thompson, Southmoore; Jared Weathers, Coyle; Jace Welch, Keota; Terry Wilson, Del City; Matt Young, Turpin; Terrance Young, Cache. Running backs: Tyler Adkins, Tulsa Union; Tyrel Bell, Choctaw; Taylor Bentjen, Dewar; Traivon Bryant, Cleveland; Brandon Coszalter, Dibble; Justus Crites, Waukomis; Nathan Croslin, Purcell; Cody Eby, Adair; Christian Folks, Miami; Tucker Halstead, Minco; Quan Hogan, Norman North; Justin Hooper, Sequoyah-Tahlequah; Josh Houtchens, Cushing; Tabor Johns, Hennessey; Cody Koger, Fairland; Devonte Lee, John Marshall; Joseph Lemieux, Christian Heritage; Blakely Liebmann, Cashion; Terrell Love, Heritage Hall; Kooper Marsh, Thomas; Anthony Myers, South Coffeyville; Jaestin Nelson, Seiling; Devin Pratt, Enid; Kyle Qualls, Stratford; Dake Reese, Seminole; Nic Roller, Bixby; Trystan Slinker, Cache; Caleb Smith, Bethel; Jake Standlee, Meeker; Rhyln Stephens, McAlester; Tyler Stuever, Washington; LaQurious Taft, Tulsa Rogers; Tate Troxell, Edmond Memorial; O.J. Walker, Ardmore; Grant Ward, Cascia Hall; Dominique West, Davenport; Trevor White, Rejoice Christian; Dae Williams, Sapulpa. Receivers/tight ends: Levi Bagwell, Meeker; Justin Brown, Stillwater; Rico Bussey, Lawton Eisenhower; Cade Cabbiness, Bixby; Matt Chancellor, McGuinness; Dreyvon Christon, Putnam City; Drew Dan, Checotah; Breyden DeSpain, Oologah; Caylen Enfield, Garber; Gavin Garner, Newcastle; Cade Harrelson, Davenport; Nikia Jones, Wagoner; Zach Kerstetter, Deer Creek; Skye Lowe, Kingston; Brock Martin, Adair; Greg McCalister, Millwood; Adonis McGee, Lone Grove; Ronnie Moore, Destiny Christian; Mitchell Perkinson; Shayne Quick, Stigler; Dunya Rice, Southmoore; Diego Richards, Carl Albert; Christian Robinson, Noble; Quint Scoufos, Sallisaw; Matt Seratte, Cache; Sean Shaw, Jones; Austin Skelton, Poteau; Landon Stout, Bethany; Austin Taylor, Lindsay; Jaden Valles, Hooker; Jackson Winrow, Shawnee. Linemen: A.J. Armbruster, Clinton; Jamal Barkus, Putnam City North; Sheldon Barnes, Jenks; Alphones Bradford, Okemah; Blake Brigham, Heritage Hall; Tiller Bucktrot, Stroud; Lonell Burris, Choctaw; Alex Criddle, Tulsa Edison; Tristan Crowder, Bartlesville; Michelby Davis, Millwood; Worenn Davis, Midwest City; Bo Denny, El Reno; William Dominguez, Hilldale; Dorian Fagan Plainview; Wyatt Gassaway, Hilldale; Brent Girdner, Stilwell; Jake Gould, Perkins-Tryon; Allen Hammon, Millwood; Jacob Harrison, Seminole; Caleb Hash, Shawnee; Dyllan Haworth, Weatherford; Levi Herren, Cushing; Jackson Herring, Altus; Austin Hilton, McAlester; Riley Julian, Marlow; Gage Kaiser, Broken Arrow; Trenton Mannering, Thomas; Xavier Mason, Douglass; Trent McLaughlin, McAlester; Mason Minnix, Jenks; Hayden Moore, Duncan; DeWayne Rhodes, Luther; Jude Richardson, Norman North; Shemarr Robinson, Tulsa Central; Toby Sanderson, Edmond North; Ry Schneider, Minco; Brandon Scott, Owasso; Caleb Scott, Rejoice Christian; Hunter Soap, Sequoyah-Tahlequah; Kellen Stauder, Tulsa Union; Tre Towery, Westmoore; Mason Waldrop, Clinton; Walter Watson, Del City; Wyatt Whitmarsh, Southmoore; Tristan Wilbanks, Davenport; Grant Wilkinson, Crossings Christian; Joe Winfield, Deer Creek; Beau Wooden, Skiatook; Imani Woodley, Edmond Memorial; Jalen Yackeyonny, Cache; Lane Yoder, Adair. Linebackers: Demetrius Alston, Beaver; Landon Anderson, Stratford; Jarod Andrews, Washington; Austin Archey, Poteau; Pace Benefee, Carl Albert; Cole Broin, Plainview; Levi Cain, Lawton; Noah Canary-Vawter, Little Axe; Peyton Carmin, Cushing; Trae Davison, Hilldale; Baylor Feller, Altus; R.J. Goodman, Midwest City; Walker Graves, Adair; Kane Greco, Dibble; Dillon Hall, Edmond Santa Fe; Alex Hix, Locust Grove; Dezmond Howard, Centennial; Quantez Jim, Stigler; Tanner Knox, Seminole; James Lewis, Tulsa Memorial; Zeke Mammen, Edmond Memorial; Andrew McDonald, Heritage Hall; Chaz McGuire, Lone Grove; Dylan Morris, Mooreland; Austin Quillen, Jenks; Rowdy Reihs, Guthrie; Kyle Roberson, Wynnewood; Jacob Smith, OCS; Jacob Taber, Sand Springs; Trevor Taylor, Locust Grove; Jimmy Turner, Mount St. Mary; Kyler Vannoster, Fairland; Kyler Wade, Stratford; Parker Williams, Blanchard; Skylar Williams, Westville; Shiloh Windsor, Ada; Kress Woodward, Bixby. Defensive backs: Baylor Boyd, Oklahoma Bible; Justin Broiles, John Marshall; Tre Brown, Tulsa Union; Hunter Gnose, Skiatook; Paden Hayes, Kingston; Wyatt Hayes, Dibble; Ira Hurst, Bristow; Kegan Lawson, Blanchard; Derek Loccident, Westmoore; Austin Maine, Clinton; Kyle Mayberry, Tulsa Washington; Mark Mincey, Healdton; Braeden O'Dell, Marlow; A.J. Parker, Bartlesville; Caleb Powell, OCA; Grant Powell, Stroud; Jordan Prince, Edmond North; Josh Proctor, Owasso; Kyle Sanders, Sequoyah-Tahlequah; Aliik Sezer, Midwest City; Keyshawn Shells, John Marshall; Jensen Smith, Fairview; Sean Thompson, Choctaw; Hunter Voss, McGuinness; Hunger Webb, Okemah; Noah Wells, Putnam City North. Kickers: Hayden Ashley, Tulsa Kelley; Gabe Barton, Altus; Laben Fisher, Skiatook; Butch Hampton, Piedmont; Zachary Haney, Tulsa Washington; Divontrey Johnson, Star Spencer; Jack Markmiller, OCS; Garrett McLaughlin, Heritage Hall; Parker Noble, Deer Creek; Landen Sailing, Owasso.
Oklahoma football: Baker Mayfield's health is the biggest issue to come out of the Sooners' Orange Bowl lossJan 2, 2016
Nothing was more concerning than Mayfield suffering another concussion.
Oklahoma football: Baker Mayfield's health is the biggest issue to come out of the Sooners' Orange Bowl loss
By Jenni Carlson Columnist firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 2, 2016MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Funny how similar amounts of time can feel so different. When Oklahoma goes 32 days between Bedlam and the Orange Bowl, it feels like an eternity. When Baker Mayfield goes 40 days between concussions, it feels like a blink of an eye. There's never a good time to get a concussion, but this feels too soon. Way too soon. After Oklahoma lost to Clemson 37-17 in the national semifinal, there was a laundry list of issues for the Sooner Nation to fret. Lincoln Riley giving the ball to Samaje Perine five times on an opening drive that resulted in a touchdown, then only handing it to him five more times before halftime, including zero totes when the Sooners had a first and goal at the 4. Mayfield taking several big sacks instead of throwing the ball away. Several players committing unnecessary and crippling penalties. Perine injuring his ankle. Defenders looking slow. Linemen getting dominated. Still, nothing was more concerning than Mayfield suffering another concussion. Listen, I'm not suggesting that he has turned a corner down David Ash Boulevard or Clint Trickett Way. The truth is, Mayfield might never suffer another concussion. But here's another truth — every player who's ever cut a career short or been forced out of football because of concussions was concussion-free once upon a time. Then, they got one. And another. And ultimately, it wasn't advisable for them to play anymore. Their problem started with one. Now Mayfield, who also had one in high school, has had three. Mayfield suffered his second concussion, his first of this season, on Nov. 21 against TCU. It came on a play that wasn't out of the ordinary for him. He scrambled, then dove. But as he stretched, a TCU defender did the same. His helmet sickeningly smacked the back of Mayfield's helmet. He stayed on the turf for a split second longer than normal, but then he popped to his feet. No staggering. No stumbling. Still, the team's doctors and trainers checked Mayfield out, going through all the concussion protocols and looking for any sign of problems. They found none, so he returned to the field. Then at halftime, he reported a headache, one of the signs of a concussion. Medical personnel sidelined him for the rest of the game. They did the same Thursday night. Mayfield was clearly concussed after tackling Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware, who'd just intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter. Mayfield had wobbly steps when he tried to get to his feet. He had little idea where he was, according to bystanders on the sideline. One even said he looked like he might pass out at one point. As is the protocol, Mayfield went through concussion tests in Norman on Friday and will continue to be monitored and tested in the coming days. And who knows? Maybe he will bounce back as quickly as he did after the TCU game. He spoke to reporters only two days later and said he'd had no more headaches or problems. He returned to practice later that day. Had the Sooners beat Clemson, Mayfield might've been back on the practice field next week. Might've been cleared of all concussion symptoms. Might've been good to go for the national championship game. Seems unlikely, but after seeing that hit against TCU, it sure didn't seem like he'd be available for Bedlam. It's so hard to know how quickly the brain will heal. But here's something we do know – there's good science out there that says multiple concussions happening in a short amount of time can have devastating effects. A study of college football players showed a connection between multiple concussions at diminished cognitive performance, longer recovery times and increased chances of more concussions. And repeated brain injuries can lead to dementia, depression and worse. Might Mayfield play next season with that hard-charging, dare-deviling style and never suffer another concussion? Of course. He went 10 games this season without one. He played a ton of snaps. He took a ton of hits. A vast majority of them came and went without incident. Two, however, did not. A quarterback with a growing number of concussions is easily the biggest issue to come out of that Orange Bowl rout. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Dec 30, 2015
Since 2011, Clemson’s average Rivals.com team recruiting ranking has been 10.6. Oklahoma’s is 13.8. Both teams have also thrived on finding diamonds in the rough that weren’t as highly recruited but fit their systems.
Orange Bowl: Oklahoma and Clemson were built similarly on the recruiting trail
By Jason Kersey | Dec 30, 2015MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Oklahoma and Clemson enter Thursday's national semifinal as extraordinarily similar teams, both on the field and on paper. Both had an All-America, Heisman candidate at quarterback who can move. Both are starting a true freshman offensive tackle. Both played in the Russell Athletic Bowl last year. There's the Brent Venables factor. So is it any wonder that No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma — who will meet at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Orange Bowl — were built quite similarly on the recruiting trail? Since 2011, Clemson's average Rivals.com team recruiting ranking has been 10.6. Oklahoma's is 13.8. Both teams have also thrived on finding diamonds in the rough that weren't as highly recruited but fit their systems. Clemson safety T.J. Green was a two-star prospect out of high school with no other major scholarship offers, but has 74 tackles this season and has started all 13 of the Tigers' games. The Sooners picked up local stars Jordan Evans and Dominique Alexander in the 2013 recruiting class. Oklahoma was Evans' only Power Five conference offer, and both players had played other positions throughout their high school careers before settling in at linebacker. Now both juniors, Alexander and Evans have been the Sooners' two leading tacklers in both of the last two seasons. Both Oklahoma and Clemson have starting wide receivers who began their careers as walk-ons. The Sooners' Jarvis Baxter was a late junior-college transfer last summer who quickly earned a scholarship, while Clemson redshirt freshman Hunter Renfrow was placed on scholarship before this season and has started eight games. “Culture is the biggest thing,” said Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter, who also serves as the Tigers' recruiting coordinator. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney has done a great job with creating a culture where it's not just about football. “It's about creating a culture where kids can succeed in all areas of their life, and it really makes a tremendous impact on these kids later on after football. Whenever we get recruits and families on campus, it's very obvious that they see that.” Of course, the two programs' starting quarterbacks arrived on their respective campuses in vastly different fashion. Watson was a five-star prospect out of Gainesville, Ga., and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation in 2014. Mayfield is a two-time walk-on who only had scholarship offers from Florida Atlantic, Rice and Washington State despite his standout career at Lake Travis High in Austin, Texas. “Recruiting is all over the place,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops once said. “Three star, four star, five star. Zack (Sanchez) was a three star. Dominique was a three star. There's ambiguity and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder; that's kinda how it plays itself out. “If they're at Oklahoma, they're expected to play at high level; that's all there is to it.”
Dec 30, 2015
Stoops said the suspensions to three Clemson players wouldn’t affect the Sooners' preparations.
OU football journal: Bob Stoops says Sooners have not had any disciplinary issues in Miami
By Ryan Aber, Jason Kersey and Darnell Mayberry | Dec 30, 2015The day after Clemson coach Dabo Swinney sent three of his players home from Miami for violating team rules, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was asked if he had dealt with any disciplinary problems during their bowl trip. “We have not,” Stoops said in his final pre-Orange Bowl press conference. Clemson kicker Ammon Lakip, wide receiver Deon Cain and tight end Jay Jay McCullough were suspended Tuesday for the remainder of the College Football Playoff, reportedly for failing a drug test. While Lakip and McCullough weren't major contributors, Cain has been. The freshman had 34 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns this season, tied for third among Clemson receivers in receptions and second in receiving yards. Stoops said the suspensions wouldn't affect the Sooners' preparations. “It won't change anything we do, no,” Stoops said. “I'm sure they'll have another excellent player in there running routes.” Swinney said it would not be a distraction for his team. “Why would it be a distraction? ... Jay Jay McCullough and Lakip and Deon don't have anything to do with Shaq Lawson and how he plays the game, doesn't have anything to do with the rest of those guys,” Swinney said. “It's not a distraction at all. It's a distraction for me because I have to answer questions about three guys that break our rules and I have to deal with it but that comes with my job. Those guys, they're focused on doing what they do. Has nothing to do with them.” STOOPS: MAYFIELD WILL BE ABLE TO RELAX Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield talked early in the season about being too amped up going into games and how that might've affected his play a bit. Then when the Texas Tech game rolled around, Mayfield was asked if that problem would recur. It didn't and Oklahoma rolled over the Red Raiders behind an excellent performance from Mayfield. Stoops was asked Wednesday whether or not he was worried about Mayfield getting too worked up entering Thursday's game. “I understand that doesn't do well for me,” Mayfield told Stoops earlier in the year. Stoops said that offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley would talk to Mayfield before the game and tell him to “play within himself.” “For a quarterback, being overly amped doesn't always work,” Stoops said. “I often tell them when the guys are getting all juiced up, find your corner to collect yourself and get away from it because it's a little bit different animal to be the quarterback and all that they have to think of and operate in and he's done a great job of it, though, so I trust he'll handle it the right way.” COOKS: SANCHEZ IS HEALTHY The last few games of the season were a struggle at times for cornerback Zack Sanchez after he returned from an ankle injury he suffered against Texas Tech on Oct. 24. Sanchez missed two games, returning for the three-game stretch to end the season but was never close to 100 percent. “He didn't make any excuses about it,” secondary coach Kerry Cooks said. “He's healthy now. I think in his mind he's got some things that personally he wants to come out and show all the doubters so he's worked his tail off the last two or three weeks to prepare for this game.” GOODSON: KEEP IT SIMPLE TO BRING DOWN PERINE Oklahoma sophomore running back Samaje Perine has had an incredible college football career so far, but one of the things he's become best known for is his tough running style. Over his two years as a Sooner, several defenders have left games after trying to bring Perine to the ground. Clemson senior linebacker B.J. Goodson said Perine is a great player, but that tackling him comes down to doing the simple things right. “We've faced a couple big backs this year,” Goodson said. “He has a strong base. I think that's what separates him from the backs that we went up against this year. You have to run your feet on him, contact and wrap him up. The simple things. “I've watched a lot of film and a lot of guys don't do the simple things right. He puts on his pants just like I put on my pants. That's how I look at it.” HUMPHREY HAS ENJOYED REDSHIRT YEAR Oklahoma true freshman John Humphrey enrolled early last spring because he wanted to get a leg up and possibly compete for immediate playing time. It didn't work out that way for the League City, Texas, native, but he has taken it all in stride. “I think getting redshirted was the best thing for me,” Humphrey said. Humphrey has spent this season portraying the opponent's best wide receiver each week. Starting cornerback Jordan Thomas credited Humphrey for his play against Baylor All-American Corey Coleman earlier this season. This week, Humphrey is playing Clemson's Artavis Scott, who caught eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown last season against the Sooners. “The thing about him is, we play similar,” Humphrey said of Scott. “He's real shifty, fast. I think this week is perfect.” Asked about his season as a whole, Humphrey said he immediately saw the value in taking a redshirt year after he found out he wouldn't be playing. “I know there are some areas I need to work on,” Humphrey said. “Every single day, I've been working on my craft, whether it's strength, route running, catching the ball, blocking. “I've been doing that by playing the opponents' best receiver and going against — I'll say — the best defense in the nation each and every day.” MCCOY PREDICTS TITLE Gerald McCoy is a strong believer in this year's Sooners. The former Southeast and OU standout is picking the Sooners to not just beat Clemson on Thursday night, he's also picking them to win it all. McCoy confidently posted his prediction, complete with his reasoning, in an article on the playerstribune.com. “I hope y'all are sitting down, cause I ain't about to hold no punches,” McCoy wrote. “I'm not gonna be subtle about it. I gotta let everybody know right now. Forget Clemson. Oklahoma is gonna win the national championship.” McCoy reasoned that with explosive playmakers Perine, Joe Mixon and Sterling Shepard, all NFL-caliber players, along with electric quarterback Mayfield, “I don't think there's a defense in the nation — not even one coached by Brent Venables — that can hang with the Oklahoma offense for four quarters. We have too many weapons.” In Clemson, however, the Sooners will face a mental challenge as much as a physical one. “Every year, in every sport, when a team makes a championship run, there's always ‘that team' in the way,” McCoy wrote. “The team you got circled on your schedule, like, ‘All right if we're gonna do this, we gotta go through them.' After what happened down in Orlando last year, Clemson is that team for us. And they're gonna be that team we look back on after we win the whole thing and say, ‘We got 'em, that time.'” McCoy also expressed fond memories of playing under Venables at Oklahoma, even listing his former defensive coordinator who now holds the same position at Clemson as a mentor. “He was a mentor to me, and he always pushed me to go harder,” McCoy wrote. “He taught me to always out-prepare the opponent. I remember my first day on campus as a freshman, he came up to me and asked me what one of the defensive calls was. I was, like, ‘What? I literally just got here. I haven't even seen a play yet. I don't know what's going on…' But he just looked at me and said, ‘It doesn't matter. You gotta be ready.' That's who he is. That's how he coaches. He's so intense. I love Brent Venables.” Then came the “but.” “But he's got to go down, man,” McCoy added. SWINNEY: ‘IF WE PLAYED THE BEST CHRISTIANS, I WOULDN'T BE SITTING HERE' Swinney has been very outspoken about his Christian faith. Wednesday morning, he was asked during his press conference — with references to professed atheist Arian Foster — if he would be comfortable with an atheist on his team. “Absolutely,” Swinney said. “You know, my job is to win football games. We're going to always recruit and play the best football players. If we played the best Christians, I wouldn't be sitting here. I can guarantee you that. “But as a Christian, I love everybody. I really do. I don't judge other people. I think it's important that everybody can be who they want to be. I just know how I'm called to live my life and I try to be consistent with that. Be who you are. Whoever you are, be who you are.” WATSON WEARS FULLER PATCH Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson wears a patch on his jersey that no other Tiger wears. Below a Tiger paw and above an orange 4 is “FULLER,” with “1975” and “1978” just below. The patch is in honor of Clemson All-American quarterback Steve Fuller, who played for the Tigers in the ‘70s. Clemson retired Fuller's No. 4 in 1979, but Swinney called Fuller in summer 2014 and asked if he could offer the number to Watson, a ballyhooed freshman who wore that number in high school.
Dec 30, 2015
DALLAS (AP) — Mark Dantonio glanced toward Nick Saban during the final news conference before their teams meet in the College Football Playoff and gave a little grin at his old boss."He's letting me answer all the questions, I guess. First, anyway," Dantonio said Wednesday. "We'll probably get to kick off."The Michigan State coach didn't mind deferring to his counterpart from Alabama. If it...
Program-changers: Dantonio faces old boss Saban in playoff
By RALPH D. RUSSO, Associated Press | Dec 30, 2015DALLAS (AP) — Mark Dantonio glanced toward Nick Saban during the final news conference before their teams meet in the College Football Playoff and gave a little grin at his old boss. "He's letting me answer all the questions, I guess. First, anyway," Dantonio said Wednesday. "We'll probably get to kick off." The Michigan State coach didn't mind deferring to his counterpart from Alabama. If it wasn't for Saban, Dantonio and the Spartans might not be where they are today. The third-ranked Spartans and No. 2 Crimson Tide will ring in the new year Thursday night in a game that will determine which team plays for the national championship. "A lot of the things that we do are patterned after the things that I learned from him, whether it's technique in the secondary, in the back end a little bit, or defensively, or just the structure of the entire program, recruiting. A lot of different aspects," said Dantonio, who was defensive backs coach at Michigan State when Saban was head coach from 1995-99. Saban was very early in his coaching career when Dantonio first caught his attention as a player at Zanesville High School in Ohio. Saban watched Dantonio's coaching career progress, always impressed. When Saban got the Michigan State job, he hired Dantonio away from Kansas. The two parted ways when Saban went to LSU, where he won the first of his four national titles. Saban tried the NFL for a couple of seasons with the Miami Dolphins before returning to college in 2007. Hiring Saban changed everything for the Crimson Tide, a traditional power that was flailing as it tried to recapture past glory. Saban and Alabama have set the standard since, going 98-18 with three national championships and four Southeastern Conference titles. A couple months before Alabama landed Saban, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis was searching for a new head coach, with the Spartans coming off three straight losing seasons and firmly relegated to the second division in the Big Ten. Hollis had his eye on Dantonio, who was the Cincinnati coach at the time, and called Saban for a recommendation. Saban gave Dantonio a ringing endorsement and with little fanfare Michigan State hired a program-changing head coach of its own. "He's, obviously, blossomed into (doing) a fantastic job in terms of what he's done at Michigan State right now," Saban said. "And I think the world should recognize what a great job he's done." It would be hard not to at this point. Michigan State has won at least 11 games in five of the last six seasons. The Spartans have won two Big Ten titles, the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl in the last three seasons. Dantonio has clearly established himself as one of the best coaches in college football and turned Michigan State into an elite program. Since 2010, only Saban (70) and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher (68) have won more games than Dantonio (65). The only thing missing is a national championship. "This will be a great opportunity but a great challenge for us as a program," Dantonio said. "And we're looking forward to our moment." Some things to know as Alabama faces the Big Ten champion in the College Football Playoff semifinals for the second straight season. COOKING: Michigan State has won more games (34) with Connor Cook starting than any other quarterback in school history. The Spartans also had to win one of their biggest games of the season, at Ohio State, without Cook, who was out with a right shoulder injury. Cook played the two games after Ohio State and said earlier this week that his shoulder is "100 percent." It will need to be against the Crimson Tide defense, which ranks at or near the top of the nation in just about every significant statistical category, including sacks (46). "They look like an NFL defense in size, speed, the hits that they put on their opponents," Cook said. HEISMAN HENRY: Alabama Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is closing in on the first 2,000-yard rushing season in SEC history with 1,986 yards going into the Cotton Bowl. Henry has also run for 23 touchdowns, matching an SEC record, and had 18 straight games scoring a touchdown. Michigan State's run defense has been stingy, especially in big games against Ohio State and Iowa, but the 6-foot-3, 242-pound Henry is unlike any back the Spartans have faced. "They're going to try to run it straight at us, and we're going to try to stop them. There's nothing too crazy about it," Michigan State linebacker Riley Bullough said. Since 2000, 11 Heisman winners have reached the national title game. LAST-SECOND SPARTANS: Michigan State had heart-pounding, last-play victories against Michigan and Ohio State and went down to the final minute to beat Iowa for the Big Ten title. "I think that kind of competitive grit is something that you have to have a tremendous respect for," Saban said. "And you've got to know what you're up against when you play against people like that." ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
Dec 29, 2015
Thomas has returned home as an Oklahoma football player and will start at safety against Clemson in Thursday’s Orange Bowl (3 p.m., ESPN). His family-guided decision to leave south Florida for the Sooner State was about much more than feeling wanted.
Oklahoma football: Ahmad Thomas returns to the place his mother hoped he'd leave
By Ryan Aber Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org | Dec 29, 2015MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — When it became apparent Ahmad Thomas could be a college football player, the women closest to him were worried. The first program he started talking about was Miami. "We didn't want him to stay here," said Donnis Harris, Thomas' aunt. “We tried to show him that the people from Oklahoma really wanted him.” Thomas has returned home as an Oklahoma football player and will start at safety against Clemson in Thursday's Orange Bowl (3 p.m., ESPN). His family-guided decision to leave south Florida for the Sooner State was about much more than feeling wanted. Thomas, who struggled at times as a sophomore last season, has been a steadying presence in OU's secondary this season and will be a key to slowing down Clemson's top receiver, Artavis Scott, and the Tigers' passing attack in the semifinal. The decision Thomas made, with his family's guidance, to leave south Florida for the Sooner State was about much more than just feeling wanted. Both Harris and Marvice Thomas, Ahmad's mother, wanted him to leave the area where they'd all grown up. “It was OK but you still had the bad forces coming into the neighborhood,” Marvice Thomas said. “I kind of stayed on top of him, getting to know his friends and getting to know his friends' people. He knows that there was a bad reputation for Miami.” Thomas was raised a little more than a mile south of Miami Central High School, the inner city school that's produced a string of successful football players Willis McGahee, Devonta Freeman, Dalvin Cook and former OU halfback Elvis Peacock. Later he moved right across the street from the high school, which is a 12-mile drive from the glamour of South Beach and feels like a world away. “He comes from a tough neighborhood but Ahmad was never on the wrong side of that,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “He was always on the right side and that's why he's been successful.” A single mother, Marvice raised Ahmad with plenty of help from her mother and sister. They worked in education, Marvice in the court system. “I had a family that really cared about me and they just wanted the best for me,” Ahmad said. “I didn't understand that at the time because of things I grew up around. .. I had people say, ‘No, that's not right. Just because you've seen it all your life doesn't mean you need to do that.' “They always told me if I don't listen, I'm gonna learn on my own. I did learn on my own but I learned before it was too late. I could've been somewhere else instead of right here talking to y'all.” Marvice was terrified about the possibility that her son could wind up coming through the court system where she worked every day. “That's why I stayed hard on him,” Marvice said. “I only let him go so far and that was that. My family used to tell me all the time, ‘You're too hard on him. You need to ease up some. He's a good kid.' Yeah, as soon as I ease up, that's when his path is going to start changing. I just felt that was what I was supposed to do, being a single mom.” When Ahmad was 13 with his grandmother Shirley died. He picked his jersey number — 13 — to honor her. “I still hear her today saying my name,” Ahmad said. “I love my grandma. When she died, I didn't even understand what death was. That was real hard on me.” While the loss was tough, it brought mother and son much closer. “She always wanted what was best for me but she kinda came off too aggressive sometimes,” Ahmad said. “I never had a dad, so why are you always yelling at me? I just wanna go outside. It was rough because I didn't really know what discipline was, especially from a male, until I got to ninth grade and I had my coaches. They were like, ‘You need to listen to your mom.'” Marvice took more time to talk and listen to her son after her mom's death. “I saw little changes in him,” Marvice said. “I made it a point everyday when I got home, the first thing was, ‘Do you have any homework? Did you finish your homework? How was school today?' I was just trying to be there to guide him. Then I started asking him how he was feeling (and) he started opening up." After Ahmad decided to commit to Oklahoma — without having ever visited — his mother and aunt decided to leave the neighborhood. Marvice Thomas moved to Atlanta — she's planning on traveling back Wednesday for the game —and Donnis Harris moved to Miami Gardens, just north of Miami and the site of Sun Life Stadium, where the Orange Bowl will be played. Ahmad is glad to be back in Miami this week but he hasn't missed it. His trip home for Christmas before the team reported was his first since Christmas 2014. “I missed my family but I didn't get homesick,” Ahmad said. “I didn't miss nothing about home.”
Jan. 11863 — The first homestead claim was filed at Brownville.1891 — Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal and insurance organization, incorporated in Omaha.1926 — More than 4,000 people attended a reception at the state Capitol for the first official display of the state flagJan. 21939 — Gov. Kay Orr was born in Burlington, Iowa.1984 — The Miami Hurricanes defeated the top-ranked Nebraska...
Today in Nebraska-January
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Dec 29, 2015Jan. 1 1863 — The first homestead claim was filed at Brownville. 1891 — Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal and insurance organization, incorporated in Omaha. 1926 — More than 4,000 people attended a reception at the state Capitol for the first official display of the state flag Jan. 2 1939 — Gov. Kay Orr was born in Burlington, Iowa. 1984 — The Miami Hurricanes defeated the top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers 31-30 in the Orange Bowl to win the national collegiate football championship. Jan. 3 1949 — A huge blizzard that Gov. Val Peterson called one of the greatest catastrophes ever to hit Nebraska raged across the state. Twenty-five deaths were attributed to the storm. Jan. 4 1854 — A committee headed by Stephen Douglas reported to the U.S. Senate a bill creating the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which organized the Kansas and Nebraska territories. Jan. 5 1937 — The first session of the unicameral Legislature began in Lincoln. Jan. 6 1910 — Novelist Wright Morris was born in Central City. Jan. 7 1870 — The first 10 miles of the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad were completed. 1944 — Three seamen were killed in an explosion at the Naval Ordnance Depot in Hastings. Two more fatal explosions occurred later in the year. Jan. 8 1862 — Saunders County, formerly known as Calhoun County, was organized by an act of the Territorial Legislature. 1881 — Poet John G. Neihardt was born near Sharpsburg, Ill. 1910 — Chadron was chosen the site for the state's fourth normal school, now known as Chadron State College. Jan. 9 1866 — Territorial Gov. Alvin Saunders urged the Legislature to consider statehood. 1879 — A group of Cheyenne Indians broke out of Fort Robinson, leading Army troops on a chase that lasted several days in bitterly cold weather. 1953 — The state Supreme Court ruled that real estate should be assessed at actual value, touching off a controversy that lasted many months. Jan. 10 1917 — Buffalo Bill Cody died in Denver. 1975 — A blizzard driven by 60 mph winds struck Omaha, dumping up to 16 inches of snow. 1976 — An explosion and fire destroyed the Hotel Pathfinder in Fremont, killing 18 people. Jan. 11 1860 — Territorial Legislature authorized a special election to consider forming a state constitution. Jan. 12 1858 — William Richardson became governor of the Nebraska Territory. 1872 — Grand Duke Alexis of Russia arrived in North Platte for a bison hunt with Bill Cody. 1888 — The Schoolchildren's Blizzard. Jan. 13 1873 — Gov. Robert Furnas issued a proclamation organizing Sherman County. 1987 — Mayor Mike Boyle, of Omaha, accused of misconduct in office, was recalled in a special election. Jan. 14 1940 — Among manufacturing cities with 25,000 or more inhabitants, Omaha is the country's first city in the manufacture of butter. Jan. 15 1919 — The people of Sidney threw a welcome-home victory dance for servicemen returning from World War I. Several foxtrots were on the program. Jan. 16 1855 — The first session of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature opened. Jan. 17 1965 — An early Omaha landmark, the Omaha Paper Co. building, was destroyed by fire. Jan. 18 1856 — The Territorial Legislature chartered the Bank of Florence, which failed three years later. 2008 — An 18-year-old North Platte man pleaded guilty to charges related to a double homicide. Michael Grandon admitted killing Lori Solie and 5-year-old Tiara Solie, the mother and half sister, respectively, of Grandon's teenage girlfriend, Alisha Ochoa. 2012 — President Barack Obama rejected plans for a massive oil pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada through Nebraska and other states on its way to the Gulf Coast. The decision didn't kill the project, however. Jan. 19 1874 — Settlers and a band of Sioux Indians were involved in a skirmish near Elyria that became known as the Battle of Pebble Creek. The Indians withdrew after an exchange of shots with the settlers that left one settler dead. Jan. 20 1965 — The Omaha Benson High School Band, in Washington, D.C., for the inaugural parade, experienced a brief period of panic when members learned that their instruments had not arrived in the Capitol with them. Musicians and instruments were soon reunited when the mix-up was straightened out. Jan. 21 1879 — Cheyenne outbreak at Fort Robinson ends with the Battle of Antelope Creek. 1930 — Longtime Omaha Mayor Jim Dahlman died. Jan. 22 1879 — Nine Northern Cheyenne Indians were captured and about two dozen killed at the end of the Battle of Antelope Creek about 40 miles northwest of Fort Robinson. 1893 — The Capitol National Bank failed in Lincoln during a financial panic. Jan. 24 1949 — The village of Terrytown was incorporated. Jan. 25 1940 — Shattering all records for a movie here, "Gone With the Wind" opened at the Paramount in Omaha, with an advance sale of 17,000 tickets. Jan. 26 1856 — Dixon County was organized. 1916 — Keya Paha High School opened in Springview. Jan. 27 1949 — Thirteen inches of snow fell in Omaha during a blizzard. 1958 — Police found the bodies of three people at a Lincoln home, the first victims discovered in a murder spree by Charles Starkweather. Jan. 28 1940 — John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was not available to patrons of the Omaha Public Library. The Library Board had not taken formal action after a discussion to ban the book, but the librarian said the book had been catalogued and then withdrawn from circulation. Jan. 29 1958 — Mass murderer Charles Starkweather, of Lincoln, was arrested in Douglas, Wyo. Jan. 30 1965 — Noting that it is difficult to determine where to draw the line in laws regulating exotic dancing, the Omaha city attorney told a council member that he didn't think it rational to write an ordinance permitting only one wiggle per drum beat. Jan. 31 1876 — The Sioux Nation was turned over to the War Department. The U.S. government issued a decree the month before requiring that all Sioux Indians in Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana turn themselves in at reservations or be considered hostile.
Dec 28, 2015
During the trophy presentation after Michigan State won the Big Ten championship game, senior quarterback Connor Cook stared skyward just to watch the confetti falling from the sky.After the regular-season finale, his last game at Spartan Stadium, Cook ran around the stadium high-fiving anyone in reach."Just trying to savor moments like that," said Cook, the senior who is 34-4 as a starter for...
INSIDE THE PLAYOFF: Cook savors final games as Spartans QB
By STEPHEN HAWKINS and PAUL NEWBERRY, Associated Press | Dec 28, 2015During the trophy presentation after Michigan State won the Big Ten championship game, senior quarterback Connor Cook stared skyward just to watch the confetti falling from the sky. After the regular-season finale, his last game at Spartan Stadium, Cook ran around the stadium high-fiving anyone in reach. "Just trying to savor moments like that," said Cook, the senior who is 34-4 as a starter for the Spartans, including two Big Ten titles and a Rose Bowl victory. Cook said Monday that he spoke with his parents before the season, and their advice to him was to "sit back and smell the roses, and take it all in." He said it is amazing to be part of an incredible run of success at Michigan State. The No. 3 Spartans play in the Cotton Bowl for the second consecutive season. The game this year is a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against No. 2 Alabama for a spot in the national championship game. "He's lost four games here as a starter," co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. "If you can add a national championship title to it, there's probably nothing better." ___ Clemson coach Dabo Swinney got a special treat before Monday's practice. Hall of Famer Dan Marino stopped by Nova Southeastern University to visit with the Tigers, who held their next-to-last workout before facing Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve. "He's awesome," Swinney said. "He's from my era. I grew up in the '80s and '90s watching him play. He's one of the best to ever lace 'em up. Really neat to spend a little time with him." Marino spent his entire NFL career in south Florida, retiring in 2000 after 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. ___ For those looking forward to another confrontation between Oklahoma receiver Sterling Shepard and Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander before the Orange Bowl, forget about it. Turns out, momma knows best. Shepard said Monday he's toned down some of his antics at the request of his mother, especially after a much-publicized encounter with Alexander during pre-game warmups at last year's Russell Athletic Bowl. "My mom noticed it," Shepard said. "She was like, 'I don't like you doing all that talking at the beginning. Just let your game do the talking.' I was like, 'Yeah, I guess you're right.' She knows best. She's never steered me wrong. I kind of took that approach to this season and it's working out." Shepard is Baker Mayfield's favorite target in the Sooners' high-powered offense, coming into the Orange Bowl with 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last year, after some major jawing with Alexander before the game, Shepard was held to one catch with 13 yards. He was coming back from a torn adductor, which made it even tougher to compete against Clemson's star cornerback. Shepard is looking forward to the rematch. "It should be fun," he said. "I'm feeling 10 times better than I was last season." ___ Richard Mullaney wanted a chance to play for a national championship in his final season. That wouldn't have happened if the receiver had stayed at Oregon State. While the Beavers went 2-10 this season and didn't win a Pac-12 game, Mullaney has 34 catches and five touchdowns for No. 2 Alabama (12-1) Mullaney transferred to Alabama last summer after graduating from Oregon State. He has played in all 13 games, and started six, for the No. 2 Crimson Tide, who play No. 3 Michigan State in a national semifinal on New Year's Eve in the Cotton Bowl. "Walking in the locker room, I was a little intimidated. Obviously, it's Alabama, top-tier guys, five-star, Under Armour, All-America guys. I wasn't that. I knew I needed to work really hard. I'm just glad I came here," he said. "It's Alabama. They're always playing big games, and I wanted to win a national championship." Alabama is the only team that made the initial four-team College Football Playoff last season and then made it again this season. Mullaney, a California native, had 52 catches for 788 yards as a sophomore at Oregon State in 2013. But his junior season was shortened by an elbow injury. He's kept in touch with several of his former Beavers teammates throughout the season, and said that they're happy for him and "just kind of living through me." Mullaney said his parents and his brother who just graduated from San Diego State plan to attend the Cotton Bowl, along with his uncle, high school coach and a "whole crew of buddies." But his sister who goes to Arizona won't make it — she's preparing to go study abroad. Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry said Mullaney has meant a lot to the Crimson Tide, who after last season lost their top three receivers, including Amari Cooper, the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft after 124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. "He's a very efficient and consistent receiver. He does a great job," Henry said of Mullaney. "I'm glad he's had a great year, and glad he's with us." ___ Newberry contributed to this report from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hawkins contributed from Dallas ___ For more from inside the College Football Playoff, visit AP Now: College Football at http://collegefootball.ap.org/ap-now-college-football.
Dec 28, 2015
During the Russell Athletic Bowl last year, ESPN analysts Ed Cunningham regularly ripped into the Sooners during the 40-6 loss to Clemson.
OU football journal: Ty Darlington says criticism was deserved
By Ryan Aber and Berry Tramel | Dec 28, 2015During the Russell Athletic Bowl last year, ESPN analysts Ed Cunningham regularly ripped into the Sooners during the 40-6 loss to Clemson. “This really does look like the varsity vs. the JV right now,” Cunningham said during the second quarter of the game. He kept piling it on as the game progressed. “I don't know that there's enough Pepto Bismol in the state of Florida to help the Stoops brothers tonight,” Cunningham later said. Quarterback Baker Mayfield this week called the commentary “disrespectful.” Sooners center Ty Darlington recently watched the television broadcast for the first time. “I'm not going to say it was uncalled for because we very much deserved a lot of it, but it was pretty critical,” Darlington said. “I was surprised. I don't know if I've ever heard it.” RILEY: ‘BLOODBATH' IN PRACTICE Oklahoma's first two practices in Miami have been intense, offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said Monday. “We haven't had them on the field just incredibly long but the work has been a lot of quality work against obviously a very good defense,” Riley said. “That's been incredibly competitive. Our team period yesterday, you would have thought we were in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. “I told them it was a bloodbath and it was awesome. I think we've had a good mix of it. We've kind of gotten them back healthy, gotten some good work but also trying to maintain our edge and being physically and mentally prepared as well.” LUCK PLAYED A ROLE FOR RILEY Riley has often talked about his good fortune in moving quickly up the coaching ranks, to where he is this season—a 32-year-old offensive coordinator in the College Football Playoff and a recent winner of the Broyles Award as the top assistant in college football. Monday, he once again brought up luck and was asked how luck played into his rise. “A lot of places. I got lucky that Mike Leach was crazy enough to hire me when I was 23 years old,” Riley said. “I got lucky that honestly the whole thing went down when he got let go at Texas Tech and got a chance to call that game and kind of get an opportunity to show what we could do. "Got lucky that Shane Carden decided to come to East Carolina and Justin Hardy decided to walk on. Got lucky that Sterling Shepard stayed in school, that Samaje Perine's not selfish, that Ty Darlington is the smartest person in the room, that Bob Stoops wanted to take a chance on me and lived up to every word that everything that he promised me. “I could go on and on about that for awhile.” LAWSON GOES FROM CONCESSION STAND TO FIELD Shaq Lawson grew up in Central, S.C., a big Clemson fan. In fact, he worked a concession stand at Clemson games. Lawson would migrate to the field and jump over the wall and try to get game gloves from a generous Tiger. When Lawson would play video games, he would announce the game as if he actually was playing with Clemson. “I used to watch back when Kevin Youngblood and all those guys played and Charlie Whitehurst and all them,” Lawson said. “So I've been looking at Clemson since I was younger … just crazy that now I'm playing for Clemson.” So Lawson knows how far the Clemson defense has come. He's a defensive end with 17 career sacks, including 91/2 this season, when he was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. “It's a crazy change,” Lawson said. “I remember seeing them in junior year of high school watching (them) giving up 70 points to West Virginia (in the Orange Bowl), and the change over the years came, just different players developed for us and started it for us … and made the defense that much better and we've just been following up with it.” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney hired Brent Venables as defensive coordinator after that 70-33 loss in the Orange Bowl. In four seasons since he left OU, Venables has transformed the Clemson defense. “He helped me develop a lot,” Lawson said. “If you see him every day as a coach, he's just excited about defense, and he just helps put us in the right position to make plays. Our defense is so good, and the scheme he's got for us makes the players that much better.” TWO-POINT CONVERSION PLAY FUELS BOTH TEAMS The Sooners are in the Orange Bowl because of a defensive stop — safety Steven Parker knocked down the 2-point conversion pass of TCU quarterback Bram Kohlhausen with 51 seconds left in the game, preserving OU's 30-29 victory on Nov. 14. But the same might be said for Clemson. The 13-0 Tigers are the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, and their closest call was a 24-22 survival of Notre Dame. Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins led a horde of Tigers who stymied Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer on a 2-point conversion keeper with seven seconds left. Venables said that night in Clemson's Death Valley was huge, because it told the Tigers “we can screw it up and then find a way to get out of our own way. That was a great stop and that was a great play in our season.” Venables admitted the 2-point conversion play was a blur to him. “I'm like, ‘what just happened?'” Venables said. “I was so peeved still about that little pick route they ran for the touchdown, the fade route, because we were in a good coverage and we had one player wave off the coverage and he was going to run his own coverage, so I was still mad about that, and we just won that game and we got that stop. That was a heck of a play. But they had scored on that earlier.” QUOTABLE Mayfield on the comparisons between him and Johnny Manziel: “On the field I can see some similarities, scrambling around and making plays, but other than that it's a little overboard.”
Clemson junior Jordan Leggett has 34 catches for 442 yards and seven touchdowns. He was one of the finalists for the John Mackey Award and was named second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation.
OU football journal: Clemson's secret weapon is at tight end
By Jason Kersey and Berry Tramel | Dec 27, 2015The Associated Press picked OU's Mark Andrews as the All-Big 12 tight end. Andrews had 17 catches for 286 yards this season. Big 12 coaches voted OSU's Blake Jarwin the all-conference tight end. Jarwin had 14 catches for 190 yards. AP picked Kansas State's Glenn Gronkowski as the second-team all-conference tight end. Gronkowski had five catches for 76 yards. So it's simple to see that Big 12 defenses don't see a ton of tight end usage. That changes for the Sooners in the Orange Bowl. Clemson junior Jordan Leggett has 34 catches for 442 yards and seven touchdowns. He was one of the finalists for the John Mackey Award and was named second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation. “He gives them variety,” said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “He gives them a lot of different sets, and they move him around and put him in a lot of different positions to make plays, to be a blocker, to be a receiver. He's a very multiple player, so that's what he creates for you, and how are you going to match up. Are you going to play nickel, are you going to play regular? Those are all what they're trying to see, how we're going to play with this guy in the game.” Leggett is a chain-mover for Clemson. Twenty-eight of his 34 catches have produced first downs. SANCHEZ COMPARES, CONTRASTS BOYKIN AND WATSON Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez was asked Sunday morning to compare Deshaun Watson with TCU quarterback Trevone Boykins. The Sooners lost to Boykin last season, and didn't have to face him this season. Boykin was injured when the Horned Frogs traveled to Norman last month. “I think Trevone is the best athlete we've ever seen,” Sanchez said. “I think he's the best athlete we'll probably see. They're just different. Deshaun's a bigger guy. He's not as swift on his feet as Trevone is. There's not a lot of guys that are. “Not to say anything about Deshaun or that he's a bad athlete, but Trevone's a different animal, man. Trevone is somebody I've been friends with for awhile. He just brings a whole bunch of different things to the game. Their games are different.” Boykin was considered a Heisman Trophy candidate through most of this season until he threw four interceptions in a Nov. 7 loss at Oklahoma State. Watson finished third in this year's Heisman voting. STOOPS: KYLER MURRAY ‘FITS' After Sunday's practice, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops briefly addressed the recent news that he added former Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray for the spring 2016 semester. “Just saw a whole bunch of tape as a high school player that was great,” Stoops said. “Also a championship program he comes from and what he played at A&M I thought he did a really good job. I thought and he thought he fits with what we're trying to do here.” Murray started three games — and appeared in eight — as a true freshman for the Aggies this season. He completed 59.5 percent of his pass attempts, threw for 686 yards and rushed for 335 more. Murray threw five touchdown passes and seven interceptions. A five-star prospect out of Allen (Texas) High School, Murray led the Eagles to three state championships and a 43-0 record as the team's starting quarterback. He will sit out next season, per NCAA rules, and be eligible as a redshirt sophomore in 2017. WHAT MADE MIKE STOOPS DIFFERENT? Oklahoma safety Ahmad Thomas said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has been noticeably different this year. “I think he's more happy now,” Thomas said. “He has a situation now … I think he's more happy. He's not aggressive, none of that. He just wants to talk to you. ‘OK, this play, this play, this play.' “Last year, I just felt like he was missing something. He got that, and now he's more calm.” What is Thomas talking about? Mike Stoops' new girlfriend. Asked about that, Stoops laughed and said, “Right, and I've got a great corner out there, too.” CLEMSON'S ‘K-STATE GAME' WAS VS. MIAMI The Sooners had Kansas State. Clemson had Miami. OU's 55-0 rout of the Wildcats on Oct. 17 was a turning point in the Sooner season. But a week later, Clemson had equaling impressive road domination. The Tigers whacked Miami 58-0, in the same SunLife Stadium where the Orange Bowl will be staged Thursday night. “Miami was really when we got really all in, and the plan really started to just flow together,” Clemson tailback Wayne Gallman said Sunday. “We were good on both sides of the ball, so I think that's what we started to get good. Everything just clicked. The game plan was right. Everybody came to play, and we played perfect.” The numbers from those two games are eerily similar. First downs: OU 30-7 edge, Clemson 33-6. Total offense edge: OU 568-110, Clemson 567-145. Takeaway edge: OU 3-0, Clemson 3-1. Halftime score: OU 35-0, Clemson 42-0. One big difference in the two blowouts — Clemson was not coming off a loss. The Tigers are 13-0. The Sooners were coming off a 24-17 loss to Texas. QUOTABLE Leggett, on OU linebacker Eric Striker: “Striker is definitely a phenomenal athlete. It's going to be fun to play against him, and he has a pretty bada-- name.”