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|
Miami football News
Mark Few coached Gonzaga into an NCAA Tournament sensation. A perennial Cinderella. He’s still at Gonzaga 15 years later. Shaka Smart coached Virginia Commonwealth to the 2011 Final Four. Smart remains at VCU. Phil Martelli coached Saint Joseph’s to a No.
Wichita State's Gregg Marshall: Mid-majors keeping great coaches
Berry Tramel | Apr 17, 2014Mark Few coached Gonzaga into an NCAA Tournament sensation. A perennial Cinderella. He’s still at Gonzaga 15 years later. Shaka Smart coached Virginia Commonwealth to the 2011 Final Four. Smart remains at VCU. Phil Martelli coached Saint Joseph’s to a No. 1 seed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. He’s still at Saint Joe’s. Brad Stevens coached Butler to back-to-back Final Fours. He didn’t leave Butler until the Boston Celtics came calling. So maybe it’s not so surprising that Gregg Marshall remains the coach at Wichita State. Marshall took the Shockers to the 2013 Final Four, then coached WSU to a No. 1 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and 35 straight wins, before a last-second loss to Kentucky in the Midwest Regional quarterfinals. Marshall was in town Monday night for the Devon College Basketball Awards. He was honored as the national coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Marshall was a guest during my radio segment on The Sports Animal, and I asked him about the relatively new trend of highly-successful coaches at mid-major schools staying put rather than chasing bigger money at more higher-profile leagues. “I can’t speak for those other gentlemen,” he said of Few and Smart, “but I’ve got a family. My wife Lynn was a college basketball player. She’s deeply invested into our program as well as the community. “I’ve got a son who’s a junior in high school at Trinity Academy in Wichita, and a daughter who will be in the ninth grade next year. So I’ve got 11th- and 8th-graders. “We’re very happy. We’ve got a wonderful administration that has given us everything we need to be successful.” To be sure, all kinds of mid-major coaches still jump to the big conferences. OU’s last two coaching hires (Lon Kruger from Nevada-Las Vegas, Jeff Capel from VCU) came the mid-major ranks, though UNLV is in many ways a different kind of mid-major. OSU’s last hire (Travis Ford from Massachusetts) came from the mid-major ranks. Kansas State hired Bruce Weber from Southern Illinois. Wake Forest just hired Danny Manning from Tulsa. Boston College just hired Jim Christian from Ohio. Georgia Tech hired Brian Gregory from Dayton. Clemson hired Brad Brownell from North Carolina-Wilmington. Miami hired George Larranga from George Mason. Nebraska hired Tim Miles from Colorado State. Ohio State hired Thad Matta from Xavier. Iowa hired Fran McCaffery from Siena. Illinois hired John Groce from Illinois. Penn State hired Pat Chambers from Boston U. UCLA hired Steve Alford from New Mexico. Arizona hired Sean Miller from Xavier. Oregon hired Dana Altman from Creighton. Colorado hired Tad Boyle from Northern Colorado. Washington hired Lorenzo Romar from Saint Louis. Southern Cal hired Andy Enfield from Florida Gulf Coast. Florida hired Billy Donovan from Marshall. Alabama hired Anthony Grant from VCU. Georgia hired Mark Fox from Nevada. Texas A&M hired Billy Kennedy from Murray State. Vanderbilt hired Kevin Stallings from Illinois State. That’s just the way it’s done in college basketball. Most major conference schools use the mid-majors as their marketplace. It’s the natural order. But some coaches – Stevens, Few, Smart, Marshall – have defied convention, not just with their success, but with their stability. The truth is, it’s easier to get to the Final Four from a Wichita State than it is a Kansas State or a Minnesota or an Auburn or a Washington. Big money does not equate to big success. “We’ve got great players that allow us to coach ‘em, they do things well on and off the court,” Marshall said. “They’re really fantastic ambassadors for any university. But especially in the realm of college basketball, they handle their business like professionals on and off the court. They’re a joy to coach. “And what we’ve done with that combination is with my staff, we’ve worked to the point we can go to the Final Four. We’re two possessions away, two years ago (2013), from playing for a national championship. We go 35-0 and get a No. 1 seed this year, so we feel like we’re a player in the college basketball scene. We’re relevant. “Me personally, I’m not a jumper. There’s a lot of goodwill that Wichita State has built up, and the community of Wichita, with me personally. So it’s going to take one heck of an offer. I’m sure Shaka and Coach Few and those guys feel the same way.” What Few has done at Gonzaga, and what Marshall is doing at Wichita State, is win with veteran players. While Kentucky and other national powers have to reload virtually every year as their starts declare for the NBA, Wichita State takes the court with experienced players. “You look at Arizona today (Monday),” Marshall said. “They lose Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson (to the NBA draft). They probably anticipated that, but it doesn’t make it any easier. You’re continually having to replace really, really good players. The better players you get, the quicker you’re going to have to replace them, it seems. “That’s leveled the playing field a little bit and given us an opportunity to get guys that can be 23-year-old redshirt seniors. We redshirt players every year. We’ve got a couple of guys coming from prep school this year. They’ll be a little older. When you’re 22, 23, competing against 18-, 19-years olds, there’s certainly an advantage in that.” And while Wichita State had a senior star in Cleanthony Early, the Shockers also sported younger players who will just get better. “If you’ve seen guys like Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton, Darius Carter, if you’ve seen those guys plays, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Those guys can play with anybody in the country. “I’ve just got to get them directed in the right path, and everyone being on the same page, just give them a little bit of structure, but they know how to win. It makes it very comforting for a coach to have a backcourt of Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker, two rising juniors.” Some school could hire away Gregg Marshall from such a plum situation. But it better be a good job. His salary jumps to $1.76 million this month, an enormous amount for a non-football school. A power-conference university could give Marshall a hefty raise. But could it give him the kind of relevancy that he talked about at Wichita State? In other words, Marshall might go to Kentucky, but he’s not going to LSU. Marshall might go to Michigan State, but he’s not going to Iowa. Marshall might go to Kansas, but he’s not going to Iowa State.
Apr 3, 2014
The panel will be led by former Oklahoma Sooner standout Jim Riley, who played for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He will be joined by five other former NFL players from the state.
High school notebook: Former NFL players to lead anti-drug discussion in Yukon
By Scott Wright, Jacob Unruh and Trent Shadid | Apr 3, 2014Six former NFL players will be featured speakers at the Town Hall Meeting of the YuCan Coalition, a Yukon organization that fights drug and alcohol abuse. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Yukon High School, 1777 S. Yukon Parkway, and is open to the public. The panel will be led by former Oklahoma Sooner standout Jim Riley, who played for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He will be joined by five other former NFL players from the state. The panel consists of former Sooners Roy Williams and John Goodman, as well as former OSU standouts Derrel Gofourth and Terry Brown. Former Philadelphia Eagles player Kenny Blair of Oklahoma City, who has coached at Northeast Academy and Northwest Classen, is also on the panel. For further information about the meeting, contact Kent Mathers at 314-5475. SHAWNEE GOLFERS OFF TO HOT START The Shawnee boys golf team continued its hot start with its second tournament victory in the span of a week on Wednesday. Coming off a win at their home course at Shawnee Country Club last week, the Wolves won at Coffee Creek in Edmond Wednesday with a team total of 318. Deer Creek was second at 323. Shawnee senior Daniel Langley shot 5-over-par 75 to win individual medalist honors, while teammate Morgen Pettigrew was fifth with a 78. The Wolves were runners-up at Seminole last week as well. EIGHT HIGH SCHOOL MASCOTS IN USA TODAY POLL The high school sports section of USA Today is hosting a contest for the best mascot in the nation, and eight Oklahoma schools have their mascots in the competition. The Woodward Boomers, Claremore Zebras, Dewey Bulldoggers, Bray-Doyle Donkeys, Eufaula Ironheads, Miami Wardogs, Newcastle Racers and Wright City Lumberjax are competing against each other in the first round of voting. The winner of the state round will advance to the regional round. The third and final round of voting to decide the nation’s best high school mascot will end April 25. Voting for the state round will continue until April 8 and can be found at contest.usatodayhss.com. ANTLERS’ MCNUTT WINS OSSAA BOARD ELECTION Antlers High School principal Bryan McNutt is the newest member of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors after he won the runoff for the Southeast Quadrant II spot. McNutt will begin his term with the board in August. Also, current board member and Enid superintendent Shawn Hime’s resignation was accepted by a 12-0 vote at last week’s meeting. Hime was the Northwest Quadrant I representative and his term was scheduled to end June 30. SUBURBAN CONFERENCE WRESTLING AWARD WINNERS NAMED Deer Creek’s Cole Pacheco (182 pounds) was named Suburban Conference Wrestler of the Year after capping his senior season with a third-straight state title. Pacheco’s teammate Tanner Cole (106 pounds) received Newcomer of the Year honors after winning a state title as a freshman. Piedmont’s Blane Culp (170 pounds) and Chickasha’s Josh Latham (195 pounds) were the two other state champions to make the first team. Dayton West (113 pounds) was also a first-team selection from Deer Creek, which tied Piedmont for the most first-team honorees. The Wildcats also had Reece Henry (138 pounds) and Fransisco Lopez (145 pounds) named to the first team. OCA GIRLS ALL-STATE ROSTERS ANNOUNCED On Thursday, the Oklahoma Coaches Association released the rosters for the annual girls basketball All-State games in Tulsa. The games will be played Wednesday, July 30 at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center. The small-school game begins at 7 p.m. with the large school game to follow. Here’s the complete roster for each of the four teams. Large East Toree Thompson, Broken Arrow; Jordan Doyle, Broken Arrow; McKenzie Cooper, Shawnee; Janee Arnold, Tulsa East Central; Savannah Gray, Fort Gibson; Kamry Chamberlain, Vinita; Faith Ihim, Tulsa Memorial; Aaliyah Blakley, Ada; Lexi Williams, Inola; Esther Udoumah, Tulsa Union; Coaches: Mike Hughes, Broken Arrow; Dottie Slabaugh, Broken Bow. Large West Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe; Jasauen Beard, Midwest City; Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert; Whitney Jones, Deer Creek; Chandler Roof, Weatherford; Darian Hill, Harrah; Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North; Aimee Rischard, Mount St. Mary; Taylor Ely, Norman; Paj Jackson, Lawton MacArthur; Coaches: Andy Bloodworth, Plainview; Robb Mills, Enid. Small East Baileigh O’Dell, Verdigris; Logan Burgess, Tonkawa; Marissa Goodman, Frontier; Baylee Evans, Red Oak; Molly Kerr, Adair; Miranda Griffin, Ketchum; Megan Womack, Stroud; Omega Reese, Tonkawa; Bailey Stephens, Adair; Miranda Stiles, Kiowa. Coaches: Jim Upshaw, Kellyville; Kurt Heller, Sperry. Small West Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall; Gabbie Parsons, Cordell; Jade Jones, Pond Creek-Hunter; Morgan Vogt, Okarche; LaNesia Williams, Northeast; Jamie Gibson, Thomas; Taylor Mendell, Lomega; Kassy Easter, Sayre; Hannah Millar, Erick; Andi McGill, Turner. Coaches: Kenny Bare, Velma-Alma; Richard Carney, Hobart. REPORT: EAST CENTRAL TO HIRE FORMER NSU COACH Tulsa East Central is set to hire former Northeastern State football coach Kenny Evans as its football coach, the Tahlequah Daily Press reports. Evans confirmed to the paper he has had conversations with Tulsa Public Schools. The move will not be official until the TPS Board of Education meets Monday. Evans was 22-44 during his six years at NSU and was fired following the RiverHawks’ season-ending loss to Central Oklahoma in November. He had interviewed with several high schools in north Texas and also turned down a scouting position with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Daily Press reports. A source told The Oklahoman earlier this year that Evans interviewed at Westmoore, but was not a finalist for the job that went to new coach Adam Gaylor. He would be replacing Bobby Klinck, who resigned earlier this year to become the defensive coordinator at Broken Arrow.
BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Garrett Benge, Yukon (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Corey Cupp, Tuttle (SW Christian) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore...
Oklahoma high school sports signing list: Sunday, March 23
Mar 22, 2014BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Garrett Benge, Yukon (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Corey Cupp, Tuttle (SW Christian) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore (Coffeyville) Jake Dyer, Westmoore (Ft. Scott CC) Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (OSU) Brenden Fowler, Yukon (Crowder) Josh Garbrecht, Edmond North (Redlands) Aaron Garner, Edmond North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Colton Huggard, Southmoore (Connors St.) Ty Jackson, Southmoore (Midland) Bradley Kinsey, Norman North (Wichita State) Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert (OU) Connor Litterell, Tuttle (Cowley County) Joe Lytle, Yukon (OCU) Mitch Malherbe, Bishop McGuinness (Barton CC) Conner Mangham, Pocola (Connors St.) Mason McAlister, Yukon (Cowley County) Justin McGregor, Carl Albert (Cowley County) Tyler McIntosh, Tuttle (SW Christian) Joe Nostrand, Norman North (Frank Phillips) Blake Owen, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Paul Reed, Norman (Pomona College) Luke Reynolds, Edmond North (Butler County) Reed Roberts, Guthrie (Harding) Seth Sandlin, Stigler (Carl Albert) Dalton Secrist, Tuttle (SW Christian) Ryan Skalnik, Verdigris (Neosho) Will Sprayberry, Moore (NOC-Enid) Dalton Tillison, Dale (Seminole St.) Quin Walbergh, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Reid Wall, Byng (OSU) Cameron Warren, Carl Albert (OU) Hunter Wilson, Spiro (Stephen F. Austin) Logan Wigley, Yukon (NOC-Enid) BOYS BASKETBALL Chauncey Collins, OKC Storm (TCU) Stephen Edwards, Putnam City West (Santa Clara) Omega Harris, Putnam City West (UTEP) Collin Jennings, Harrah (UMKC) Jace Kerr, Forgan (UCO) Mitch Solomon, Bixby (OSU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Jasauen Beard, Midwest City (Oral Roberts) Kaely Bond, Mount St. Mary (American) Katy Custer, Dickson (OBU) Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert (Oral Roberts) Miranda Griffin, Ketchum (NSU) Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe (Denver) Jayden Oliver, Putnam City (Oral Roberts) Chandler Roof, Weatherford (UMKC) Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall (Tulsa) LaNesia Williams, Northeast (OU) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Rylee Bellmon, Perry (UCO) Deven Bond, Poteau (UCO) Maddie Brown, Jenks (UCO) Karlie Hamman, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Taylor Harrill, Cache (St. Gregory’s) Emily Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Erin Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Grey Howard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa) Mikayla Howorka, Tuttle (SWOSU) Anthonio Humphrey, Douglass (Kansas) Ainsley Ibison, Broken Arrow (OC) Heather Johnson, Noble (St. Gregory’s) Abbey Mace, Norman North (OU) Kambre Major, Millwood (Missouri Baptist) Katherine Muegge, Deer Creek-Lamont (OBU) Courtney Nelson, Putnam City North (Pittsburg St.) Hayley Redwine, Norman (OU) Kevin Roddy, Duncan (Virginia) Stephen Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Sheri Snyder, Deer Creek (UCO) Belle Wallace, Norman North (OU) Michaela Werner, Grove (OCU) FOOTBALL Jalen Adams, Southmoore (North Texas) Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial (NEO) John Ashcraft, Southmoore (NEO) Fre’Darian Ashley, Northwest Classen (NEO) Keaton Baggs, Broken Arrow (La.-Monroe) Nick Basquine, Norman North (OU)* Trenton Ball, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Cameron Batson, Millwood (Texas Tech) Ty-Chris Beasley, Muskogee (NWOSU) Kevin Bell, Lawton (NSU) Tyler Bess, Hollis (Langston) Tre Betts, Sand Springs (Missouri St.) Tyrone Beverly, Lawton Eisenhower (Langston) Dustin Blasingame, Carl Albert (Southwestern, Kan.) Trevor Blassingame, Guthrie (UCO) Dominic Blue, Muldrow (SWOSU) Samuel Bond, Madill, (UCO) Luke Booker, Edmond Memorial (OBU) Cameron Booty, Jenks (NEO) Tyler Bowling, Yukon (Tulsa) Rashaad Boyd, Putnam City West (Langston) Jordan Brailford, Tulsa Washington (OSU) D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa Central (Tulsa) Anthony Bryant, Southeast (SNU) Trey Buckner, Kingfisher (OBU) Madison Bunch, Roland (SNU) Thor Burnside, Oologah (NEO) Darrius Burris, Piedmont (NEO) Tristan Butcher, Coweta (UCO) Beau Butler, Midwest City (Wesleyan University) Kai Callins, Guthrie (Emporia St.) Mason Camp, Enid (Baker) Patrick Cantrell, Beggs (NWOSU) Cody Carnes, Alex (NWOSU) Nigel Carter, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Zac Cater, Durant (NEO)* D.C. Chance, Commerce (NEO) Adim Chukwurah, Norman North (UCO) Montana Clark, Tuttle (NEO) Sam Clemens, Enid (Baker) Emmanuel Cole, Millwood (OBU) Drew Cook, Casady (Emporia St.) David Cornwell, Norman North (Alabama) Austin Cross, Grove (OBU) John Custar, Sharon-Mutual (OBU) Jalan Daniels, Blanchard (NEO) R.J. Dantzler, Southmoore (Panhandle St.) Cole Darnell, Edmond Memorial/OSU (OBU) Ronnie Davis, Midwest City/NEO (Kansas) Matt Day, Westmoore (ECU) Jakcob Dean, Norman (Arkansas Tech) Mike’Quan Deane, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Robbie Decker, Elk City (Henderson St.) Rayce Denton, Heritage Hall (Arizona Christian) Quincy Dotson, Millwood (NSU) Andre Dowuona-Hammond, Yukon (OSU)* Garrett Duckworth, OCS (OBU) Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe (Missouri St.) Frankie Edwards, Mustang (OBU) Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner (UCO) Josh Farley, Norman (NSU) Michael Farmer, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) T.J. Filer, Chickasha (NEO) Jared Fink, Dewey (OBU) Hadyn Ford, Wagoner (UCO) Cooper Free, Sharon-Mutual (SWOSU) Trayvon Gamble, Edmond Memorial (Langston) Max Gillett, Norman (William and Mary)* Matt Giroux, Yukon (Tabor) Diesen Gorham, Perkins (Emporia St.) Karson Green, Madill (NEO) Jesse Gregory, Tuttle (NEO) Anthony Grimes, Norman (Hastings) Aaron Guess, Prague (NWOSU) Blake Gunn, Casady (Pomona College) Noah Hammons, Westmoore (UCO) Cameron Hanan, Plainview (ECU) Justice Hansen, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Dylan Harding, Jenks (OSU) Kieron Hardrick, Westmoore (SEOSU) Cade Harkins, McAlester (SNU) Bryan Hartfield, Midwest City (NEO) Tre Harvey, Catoosa (ECU) Hunter Hasen, Barnsdall (Langston) Dakota Haynes, Southmoore (Doane) Riley Hess, Alva (NWOSU) Tristan Hill, Mustang (Georgia Southern) Daavon Hilley, Tulsa East Central (Langston) Stephen Hocker, Enid (Emporia St.) Matt Hockett, Norman (OSU)* Craig Hofeld, Destiny Christian (OBU) Eli Hooks, Deer Creek (UCO) Ty Hooper, Alva (NWOSU) Jordan Huff, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Armando Ibarra, Tulsa Washington (Langston) Dallas Jackson, Meeker (NWOSU) Mack Jensen, Casady (OBU) Tazden Jevons, Dibble (NSU) Laquan Johnson, Del City (Langston) Louden Johnson, Wayne (ECU) Trey Johnson, Hugo (NEO) Corben Jones, Yukon/Emporia St. (SWOSU) Brandon Jones, Midwest City (NSU) Jake Jones, Verdigris (Ottawa) Johnny Jones, Douglass (UCO) Miles Jones, Edmond North (Briarcliff) Quinzell Jones, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO)* Wyatt Jones, Sulphur (ECU) Robert Jordan, Yukon (Tabor) Taber Jordan, Plainview (OBU) Drew Kaiser, Broken Arrow (Evangel) Blake Kalman, Bethany (UCO) Micah Kee, Woodward (NWOSU) Ryland Ketchum, Alex (NWOSU) Coleman Key, Broken Arrow (Colorado State) Cory Keyes, Southmoore (Missouri Southern) Connor Kinsey, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Chris Klick, Cherokee (SWOSU) JaVone Knox, Putnam City (SNU) Larry Lambeth, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Camron Large, Ada (ECU) Grant Lee, Clinton (NWOSU) Andrew Lesnick, Ponca City (NWOSU) Wiley Lester, Putnam City (NEO) Alex Lewis, Broken Arrow (OBU) Billy Lewis, Durant (NEO)* Jacob Lewis, Bishop McGuinness (Princeton) Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage (UCO) Austin Link, Tuttle (NEO) Boyea Lockett, Tulsa Union/Illinois (OBU) Bishop Louie, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Jaylen Lowe, Owasso (NEO) Noble Lybrand, Bethany (ECU) Kameron Lyons, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Austin Mack, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Austin Madison, Oologah (SNU) Anthony Mason, Del City (NEO)* Zac Maynard, Davis/NEO (SWOSU) Bailey McKay, Claremore (SWOSU) Corneilus McKiver, Centennial (NEO) Gary McKnight Jr., Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Devin McLelland, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Ace McMahan, Ringling (SWOSU) Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood (Sam Houston St.) Jacob McMullen, Choctaw (NEO) John McQueen, Claremore (NEO) Jeffrey Mead, Tulsa Union (OU) Seth Mead, Woodward (NWOSU) Carson Meier, Tulsa Union (OU) Gage Meisinger, Claremore (OBU) Bradyn Meyer, Yukon (Baker) Chandler Miller, Bixby (Tulsa) Nick Mills, Tuttle (NEO) Jordan Mitchell, Owasso (Tulsa) Trevor Mitchem, Spiro (NEO) Michael Moana, Lawton Eisenhower (Houston) Tyler Moniz, Sequoyah-Claremore Mildren Montgomery, Douglass (Tulsa) Daniel Moore, Duncan (Henderson St.) Khalil Moore, John Marshall (NEO) Trevor Moore, Edmond North (North Texas) Zack Moore, Kingfisher (SWOSU) Cole Moos, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Luis Morales, Guthrie (Langston) Gerrell Murry, Putnam City (SWOSU) Dawson Myers, Cushing/NEO (OBU) Quentin Nails, Tulsa McLain (NEO) Landon Nault, Kingfisher (Emporia St.) Joe Neece, Cashion (Emporia St.) John Cole Neph, Owasso (OSU)* Jose Ochoa, Alex (NWOSU) Cameron Oliver, Owasso (UT-San Antonio) Brendan O’Steen, Seminole (NEO) Jacob Overton, Minco (OBU) Zak Owen, Blanchard (NEO) Cade Parker, Norman (OU)* Steven Parker, Jenks (OU) Logan Parks, Yukon (NEO) Cade Pfleider, Avla (NWOSU) Dustin Pierce, Jones (Mid-America Nazerene) Caden Pratt, McAlester (SEOSU) Christian Preston, Savanna (SEOSU) Stephen Price, Empire (SNU) Payton Prince, Norman North (Tulsa) Ryan Rackley, Sulphur (ECU) Wyatt Rathjen, Miami (NEO) Kale Reed, Comanche (SNU) Shaliamere Rentie, Beggs (NEO) Keishawn Richardson, Putnam City/NEO (West Virginia) Cole Ridgway, Norman (NSU) Wesley Rivas, Tahlequah (William Penn) Tanner Robertson, Mustang (OBU) Korie Robinson, Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Sinue Rodriguez, Sallisaw (NEO) Sam Rolle, Edmond Memorial (Hastings) Tyquae Russell, Midwest City (NEO) Caden Sander, Deer Creek (OU)* A.J. Sanders, Elk City (Panhandle St.) John Sasser, Perkins (SEOSU) David Seagle, Cascia Hall (UCO) Dallas Sealey, Lawton (Abilene Christian) Myykhail Shaw, Lawton (NEO) Isaiah Shawver, Carl Albert (Hastings) Tyler Sipe, Norman North (UCO) Akii Smith, Stilwell/NEO (North Texas) Devion Smith, John Marshall (NEO) Dillon Smith, Meeker (SEOSU) Jalen Smith, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Janson Smith, Tulsa Union (NEO) Jarome Smith, McAlester (SEOSU) Jeremy Smith, Berryhill (Tulsa) Marguess Smith, Southeast (NEO) Myles Smith, Broken Arrow (SNU) Trey Smith, Guthrie (Langston) Nathan Sosa, Christian Heritage (OBU) Jacob Spady, Hinton (SNU) Pierce Spead, Southmoore (NEO) Evan Sprayberry, Moore (Tabor) Jordan Stafford, Hugo (UCO) Dalton Stout, Bethany (Southwestern, Kan.) Ross Stovall, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Braden Stringer, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Payton Striplin, Little Axe (Langston) Carter Swanson, Ardmore (Garden City CC) Trent Taber, Jenks (OSU)* Lindell Tate, Edmond North (OU)* Myles Tease, Tulsa Washington (UCO) Justin Tharp, Thomas (SWOSU) Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ivan Thomas, Lawton (OSU)* Stevie Thompson, Carl Albert (Pitt St.) Devin Thornburg, Alex (NWOSU) Quintonio Tolon, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Clay Trotter, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Trey Tully, Plainview (OBU) Brett Tye, Jenks (Pitt St.) Houston Tyler, Southmoore (The Citadel) Nathan Voreis, Tuttle (SNU) Rowdy Votaw, Madill (NEO) Jaelon Walker, Southmoore (UCO) Malik Walker, Spiro (NEO) Cody Ward, Hartshorne (SWOSU) Khalil Warren, Del City (NEO) Michael Warren, Lawton (Iowa State) Ty Watkins, Westmoore (NEO) Caleb Webster, Claremore (NWOSU) Eric Weed, Putnam City (SNU) Jordan Weltzheimer, Edmond Memorial (Air Force) Cameron Westbrook, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Papi White, Seminole (Ohio) Xavier Whitehead, Mustang (Langston) Kelby Wickline, Stillwater (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Willliams, Lawton (NEO) Jonathan Willis, Tulsa Washington (Oregon St.) Dolee Wolf, Beggs (NEO) Conner Wood, Owasso (NEO) Skyler Wood, Nowata (UCO) Chantz Woodberry, Carl Albert (SWOSU) Ryan Woolman, Locust Grove (NSU) Trey Wormington, Norman North (UCO) Colton Wright, Tahlequah (SWOSU) Ty Yeates, Jenks (William Penn) Dakota Young, Lawton Eisenhower (NWOSU) GOLF Emma Allen, Tulsa Union (OCU) Lexi Armon, Owasso (NSU) Jacob Bishop, Edmond Memorial (Wichita State) Trent Evans, Edmond Memorial (Kansas State) Talor Fisher, Bethel (St. Gregory’s) Emily Folsom, Deer Creek (SWOSU) Jessica Gremling, Moore (Southwestern, Kan.) Nick Heinen, Edmond North (OSU) Matthew Henry, Pauls Valley (ECU) Madison Herron, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Alexander Hughes, Tulsa Edison (UCO) Sam Humphreys, Edmond North (Tulsa) Drew Ison, Edmond Santa Fe (Drake) Ashley Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Kaylee Neff, Mustang (Redlands) Casey Paul, Owasso (Tulsa) Griffin Pierce, Edmond North (OU) Zac Schaefer, Oklahoma Christian (OC) Chad Smith, Plainview/OU (OBU) Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union (UCO) Ty Tamura, Edmond Memorial (OC) Cody Troutman, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO Hannah Ward, Poteau (Arkansas-Little Rock) Emilee White, Comanche (SNU) Ariel Wixson, Jenks (Rogers State) Hayden Wood, Edmond North (OSU) Daniel Echevarria, Cascia Hall (Wichita State) LACROSSE Sam Heaton, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jake Hobbs, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jessica Prewitt, Broken Arrow (OBU) ROWING Charlotte McMeekin, Classen SAS (Princeton) Hannah Naylor, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Rachel Parks, Classen SAS (Tulsa) Cody Shafer, Tulsa Union (OCU) Madison Wilfong, Washington (UCO) BOYS SOCCER Truman Berghall, Jenks (OBU) Durham Chilcoat, Jenks (OBU) Clay Collier, Edmond North (OC) Josue Depaz, Putnam City West (OBU) Tyler Hatfield, Norman North (Harding) Julius James, Moore (NSU) Zac Medawattage, Edmond North (Eastern Illinois) Michael Mitrik, Jenks (Tulsa) Alex Mullet, Edmond North (Midwestern St., Iowa) Nathan Osborne, Jenks (OBU) Daniel Paugh, Heritage Hall (OCU) Tyler Ridener, Jenks (Central Arkansas) Keaton Van Eck, Norman North (Dallas) GIRLS SOCCER Reagan Ballard, Edmond Memorial (UCO) Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union (OSU) Abby Bright, Edmond North (OSU)* Kayla Buster, Broken Arrow (NSU) Olivia Butler, Putnam City West (SWOSU) Karla Cabello, Puntam City North (Mid-America Christian) Lexi Carroll, Norman North (UCO) Jordan Cleveland, Moore (USAO) Anna Crawford, Mustang (OU)* Amanda Dial, Edmond Memorial (ORU) Lana Duke, Edmond Memorial (OSU)* Courtney Essary, Carl Albert (UCO) Hannah Frogge, McGuinness (UC-Santa Barbara) Melissa Giles, Broken Arrow (NSU) Caitlyn Hanslovan, Verdigris (ORU) Hannah Hover, Edmond Santa Fe (Ouachita Baptist) Morgan Kent, Sapulpa (NSU) Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North (Alabama-Birmingham) Madi Logsdon, Tulsa Union (NSU) Mikayla Lowery, Deer Creek (OBU) Mackenzie Marquardt, Norman North (OC) Julia Mathis, Broken Arrow (NSU) Kayle Moore, Southmoore (USAO) Kali Newman, Norman North (OU) Lauren Parker, Stillwater (USAO) Hannah Robinson, Southmoore (SNU) Simone Ryan, Norman North (UCO) Sheridan Spelman, Norman North (Lindenwood) Katelin Teter, Claremore (NSU) Victoria VanHootegem, Norman North (Florida Atlantic) Sydni Wiles, Mustang (OC) Katelyn Williams, Moore (USAO) Morgan Wilson, Piedmont (USAO) Summer Witt, Verdigris (ECU) SOFTBALL Kelsey Arnold, Holland Hall (OU) K.C. Beardsley, Southmoore (Ft. Scott) Sheridan Bond, Edmond North (OC) Kelsey Bortvit, Carl Albert (USAO) Katelyn Brown, Southmoore (SNU) Kortney Brown, Duncan (Rose St.) Riley Brown, Bethany (Lipscomb) Kasey Jo Burgess, Sand Springs (OBU) Shelby Carel, Tuttle (UCO) Makenzie Carpenter, Jenks (Connors St.) Chloe Clifton, Wayne (Seminole St.) Cheyanne Coffman, Apache (Rose St.) Mallory Collins, Sand Springs (OSU) Chris Coplen, Stigler (Eastern) Bre Davis, Piedmont (UCO) Peyton Garrett, Tuttle (NWOSU) Shannon Godfrey, Tulsa Kelley (St. Gregory’s) Ashli Hafford, Blanchard (East Central) Caitlin Hall, Moore (OBU) Sable Hankins, Moore (Lamar) Macey Hatfield, Lindsay/Seminole State (OU) Morgan Heard, Carl Albert (UCO) McKayla Hendrix, Jenks (Seminole St.) Morgan Hildebrandt, Lincoln Christian (Central Christian, Kan.) Heather Jones, Norman (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kaitlyn Kromer, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Reneé Leonard, Rush Springs (Rose St.) Brayden Lindsey, Wynnewood (Western Texas) Destinie Lookout, Westmoore (OU) Shayla Lucas, Westmoore (USAO) Jenna Lynn, Moore (OBU) McKenzie Martin, Perkins-Tryon (NOC-Tonkawa) Stephanie Martin, Kellyville (Rose St.) Lauren Mason, Cache (Rose St.) Brianna McArthur, Moore (Central Arkansas) Kierra McFadden, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Abby Meador, Carl Albert (OCU) Lauren Miller, Blanchard (East Central) Shelby Miller, Bethel (Seminole St.) Kate Myers, Jenks (Tulsa) Alexa Nolen, Stigler (Connors St.) Madison Norkyke, Edmond North (OC) Randee O’Donnell, Tahlequah (OSU) Amy Reynolds, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Shelby Robinett, Tuttle (SW Christian) Michael Rowlen, Jones (Des Moines CC) Kecia Sharp, Mount St. Mary (Robert Morris) Michaela Smith, Norman North (UT-Dallas) Sethe Story, Heritage Hall (Austin College) Kourtney Tanner, Edmond North (UCO) Aspen Vail, Little Axe (St. Gregory’s) Katie Ventress, Bethany (Rose St.) Krista Waggoner, Carl Albert (West Virginia Wesleyan) Taylor Watham, Blanchard/Cowley (NWOSU) Jessica Watkins, Glenpool (Rose St.) Emily Watson, Deer Creek (Tulsa) Mindy Winters, Tuttle (Rose St.) MacKenzie Wright, Carl Albert (Wichita State) Lauren Zalewski, Rush Springs (Rose St.) SWIMMING Reid Hibbs, Southmoore (Towson) Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle (Evansville) Kasey Rein, Piedmont (Evansville) TENNIS Taylor Factor, Moore (Seminole) Emily Faulkner, Casady (Harding) David Hager, Edmond North (Davidson) Annie Hayes, Edmond North (UM-St. Louis) Spencer Papa, Edmond North (Tulsa) Easton Parker, Bixby (NSU) VOLLEYBALL McKayla Benner, Norman North (SNU) Dani Chase, Yukon (SNU) Kate Decker, Edmond North (OBU) Madison McClure, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Kenzie McMullen, Edmond North (OCU) Micayla Payne, Southmoore (Hillsdale) Holly Randall, Edmond North (OCU) Kamille Smith, Midwest City (Bellevue) Taylor Turner, Deer Creek (ECU) WRESTLING Andrew Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Joel Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Lance Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Nathan Marek, Southmoore (OU) Derek White, Edmond North (Nebraska) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee averaged 15.1 points per game for the Vikings, who finished 26-2 and state runner-up. The General Motors employee died at age 59.
Tributes: Stanley Stanley Lee helped Northeast reach the Class 3A basketball finals in 1972
By Scott Munn | Feb 26, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: •Stanley Lee, 59, of Oklahoma City earned a basketball scholarship to Texas Tech, where he earned a degree in physical education. He spent 30 years working for General Motors, where he stood tall among his co-workers. At 6-foot-7, Lee teamed with fellow starters Lawrence Wilson, Roy Burris, Russell Post and Clarence Lucky to help the Northeast High School basketball team reach the Class 3A state championship game in 1972. The No. 1-ranked Vikings entered the tournament at the Big House with a 24-1 record, their only loss coming against Tulsa Washington. Lee and Co. beat Guthrie and Okmulgee in the first-two rounds but lost a 64-59 title decision to an unbeaten Miami squad that received game-clinching free throws from future OU All-America wide receiver Tinker Owens. Lee finished the season averaging 15.1 points per game. •Curtis Richmond, 68, was a customer service manager for United Airlines in Houston. He grew up in Oklahoma, where he excelled in football, basketball and tennis in the 1960s at Shawnee High School. As a senior, Richmond was named Shawnee’s Athlete of the Year. He won state tennis championships in singles and doubles and compiled an 82-4 record as a high-schooler. Richmond then played tennis at Southeastern State University and was an NAIA All-American as well as the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference champion in singles and doubles. He was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame and also the Missouri Valley/Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame. •John Langford, 88, of Oklahoma City was a member of the PGA for 66 years. He played in the PGA Championship eight times and had two top-10 finishes. Langford later played in the Senior PGA Championship as well as several local tournaments. •Former Oklahoma wrestler Sid Terry died in Wichita, Kan., at age 75. Terry was a championship wrestler at Edmond High School and received a scholarship to OU. He lettered for the 1958, ’59 and ’60 seasons. Terry won the Big Eight championship at 157 pounds in 1960, the same season the Sooners won the national championship. Terry was a second-team All-American in 1959; that season, he had a landmark victory as a 167-pounder. He defeated previously unbeaten Bruce Campbell to help OU stun defending national champion Oklahoma State. After college, Terry was a flight instructor for the Air Force and worked in the insurance business. •Louis Arambula, 80, of Moore was a Golden Gloves boxing champion as a teenager. Arambula fought in the 126- and 135-pound divisions for the Oklahoma City Elks and Southside boxing clubs. He was a veteran of the Korean War and spent 37 years as an air traffic controller. • Danny Thurman, 68, of Sand Springs was an Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War. He would spend 22 years as a mechanic at Fred Jones Ford and used those wrenching skills in dirt car racing. Thurman owned and served as a crew chief for local super modified drivers such as D.E. Suggs, George Armstrong, Donnie Crawford and Herb Copeland. Thurman owned race cars that twice won points championships at Tulsa Speedway. • Dwight Rymer had a way of breaking away from the pack. He starred in track and field at Cheyenne High School, winning five first-place ribbons during his career. That speed and agility came in handy as an Army soldier during World War II. Rymer was captured in Luxembourg by German forces, and while marching to a prisoner of war camp, he and comrade slipped under a bridge. They then hiked through the mountains to freedom in Belgium. Rymer, a Morrison resident, died at age 89 after careers in dairy farming, education and banking. • Deneen Olson Uhrman, 49, of Jenks was a career educator. As a youngster, she was one of the first girls to play Little League baseball in her native Ohio. She was a four-sport letterman at Loraine Catholic High School. • Donald Booher, 80, of Tulsa remained a Chickasha Chicks sports fan long after he graduated. He was a member of Oklahoma State baseball teams that qualified for the College World Series in 1954 and 1955. Booher liked to hunt and fish, and he was an avid golfer who played on courses in Ireland and Scotland. He had a hole-in-one. •John Yaroslavski Jr., 66, of Norman was a high school cross country and track standout in his native New Jersey....Jack Hammock, 80, of Oklahoma City was a cabinet maker who enjoyed calf roping on the side....Ann Jones Colby, 80, of Vinita played high school basketball with sister Sallye at White Oak. ... Mildred Turner Marshall, 85, of Lawton was a barrel racer and played basketball at Walters High School. ... • Joe Richardson, 74, of Fort Worth was a Snyder High School graduate who returned to his alma-mater as a coach. He spent three years at Snyder before coaching in Irving, Texas. ... Jimmy Brown, 16, was a junior at Tecumseh High School. He played for the Savages’ bowling and golf teams. ... Raymond Lutomski, 79, of Shawnee was a bullrider who often participated in the old Harrah rodeo.
Feb 25, 2014
Jason Collins played an NBA game the other night and made history. The first openly-homosexual player in a major team sport. Someone asked me what I thought, and I said, does he get back on defense? That’s what was foremost in my mind, after that Thunder-Clipper debacle the other day.
Discrimination: Jason Collins, Michael Sam & Tim Tebow
Berry Tramel | Feb 25, 2014[img]2358637[/img] Jason Collins played an NBA game the other night and made history. The first openly-homosexual player in a major team sport. Someone asked me what I thought, and I said, does he get back on defense? That’s what was foremost in my mind, after that Thunder-Clipper debacle the other day. Michael Sam came out of the closet, too, before taking part in the NFL Combine, where he didn’t test all that well. The Missouri pass rusher, the reigning SEC defensive player of the year, might not get drafted, and it won’t be for social reasons. It will be because scouts don’t believe he can get to the quarterback enough. But I salute the courage of Collins and Sam. What they did wasn’t easy to do. I don’t know how much public or locker-room ridicule they might face. The pros aren’t college. In Collins’ case, for example, he’s not going to be subjected to nearly as much verbal use in NBA coliseums as he would have been in college gyms. Student groups – led by Sam’s own Missouri, which has had the ridiculous Antlers for decades – can be quite vicious. So can older fans. You don’t get quite the same vile reception in the NBA as you do in college. There’s the occasional superfan in the NBA who takes upon himself to be king of the jerks, but those guys you can pick out. You can look them in the eye, and whether they shut up or not, they know that you know who they are, and there’s an unspoken agreement that said superfan could be squashed like a bug at the ballplayer’s discretion. Crowds are different. Mobs chanting in unison are much more sinister, because that’s not a breakdown of an individual spirit, that’s a breakdown of society. And when society breaks down, we’re all in trouble. The NFL is a little different, in that its fans can be coo-coo. Oakland. Buffalo, I’m told. Cleveland, back in the day when it had an NFL franchise to care about. College football crowds can be rough, too, but football is different. The fans are farther away. They aren’t as accessible to the field of play. The players are padded up for car wrecks. In basketball, players are physically and emotionally vulnerable. Not so in football. So Michael Sam probably will hear some things but should be able to tone it out rather easily. The locker room? Sam’s coming along at the perfect time. Collins has paved the way, so Sam’s not an all-sports pioneer, just an NFL pioneer. And the Richie Incognito scandal in Miami has every NFL locker room on notice. Quit playing Animal House. Quit acting like fools. Be professional. There still are knuckleheads everywhere. But even if you don’t condone Sam’s lifestyle, condemnation is not the proper reaction. Even if you don’t understand it, mockery is not the proper response. The truth is, we would all be appalled if we knew the details of most NBA and NFL sexual activities. In case some have forgotten, heterosexuality does not equate to purity. Which is as good a time as any to talk about Tim Tebow. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why isn’t Tebow on an NFL roster? I don’t advocate handing him a franchise. He’s not one of the 32, or 50, best quarterbacks in the world. But top 100? There’s no chance Tebow is not. He’s unorthodox. His passing form doesn’t pass the eye test. He’s inaccurate. But Tebow has a certain je ne sais quoi. He gets some things done. He’s 9-7 as an NFL starting quarterback and he beat the Steelers in the 2011 playoffs. And now he can’t find a job. The Cowboys late last season were quarterback desperate. Tony Romo was out with a back injury, and Dallas had nothing behind Kyle Orton. So Dallas signed Jon Kitna for the season finale against the Eagles. Let me repeat. Dallas signed 41-year-old Jon Kitna, who last played in the NFL in 2011 and who had been coaching high school in his native Washington state. Kitna is a grizzled old pro who in a pinch would learn the plays and not make dumb decisions. If Dallas had been forced to go with Kitna, the Cowboys would not have lost 48-10. Guaranteed. They would have lost 31-10. Guaranteed. The Cowboys would rather have lost with dignity than risk the mockery of signing Tebow. Tebow might have gotten the Cowboys beat 48-10. Likely would have. But Dallas would have had a better chance of beating Philly with Tebow than beating Philly with Jon Kitna. So why has Tebow been ostracized? Same reason we figured homosexuals were staying in the closet. Fear. Fear of the media circus. Fear of the chemistry disruption in the locker room. The NFL is full of born-again Christians. But for some reason, Tebow has become the lightning rod. Most of that is his own doing. He wears his Christianity on his sleeve, not necessarily in a humble-Christ way, but in a self-promotional way that turns off many people. There was a time in the 2011 season, during Denver’s amazing run to the playoffs, that Tebow was the single-most popular player in the NFL. More popular than Tom Brady. More popular than Adrian Peterson. More popular than Peyton Manning. It was crazy. Tebow resonated with people, both good and bad. Pro and con. In the same way that Michael Sam and Jason Collins is a hero to many and a villain to some, Tebow polarized. But my question is this. If a franchise was willing to accept the social spotlight and locker-room adjustments that came with signing Jason Collins, and the Netropolitans were, and if an NFL franchise is willing to accept the social spotlight and locked-room adjustments that will come with drafting or signing Michael Sam, why has no team grabbed Tim Tebow when it has a quarterback emergency? The answer is clear. Not all spotlights, not all adjustments, are created equal. Tim Tebow is kept out of quarterbacking in the NFL by a shaky arm and reverse discrimination.
Feb 23, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL locker room has long been an unforgiving place.There's a reason the popular behind-the-scenes training camp reality show on HBO is called "Hard Knocks," right?The aggression and confidence inherent with elite athletes playing a physically punishing sport can bring about a boys-will-be-boys atmosphere that, considering the case in Miami last season, has the...
Maybe Michael Sam will fit in NFL just fine
DAVE CAMPBELL, Associated Press | Feb 23, 2014INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL locker room has long been an unforgiving place. There's a reason the popular behind-the-scenes training camp reality show on HBO is called "Hard Knocks," right? The aggression and confidence inherent with elite athletes playing a physically punishing sport can bring about a boys-will-be-boys atmosphere that, considering the case in Miami last season, has the potential to turn brutal. But with Michael Sam on the verge of becoming the league's first openly gay player, maybe he'll fit in just fine. This is 2014, after all. Sexual orientation isn't as big of a deal for Sam's generation as it was for their fathers'. Though the stigma of the offensive linemen bullying scandal was still swarming the Dolphins, there were signs at the NFL scouting combine this weekend that the locker room is a more modern, tolerant environment it might be given credit for. It's easy to say the right things, but some of those words still spoke volumes inside Lucas Oil Stadium. "Those problems in Miami, those surprise me because I think that we never had those issues in Denver when it came down to the things that went on in that locker room and the things that were said," said Hall of Famer John Elway, Denver's executive vice president of football operations and general manager. "I think every locker room that I've ever been in in the NFL and the guys I've been around have always respected the right of other players. There is a line you don't cross. I still believe that's the way the majority of the NFL is." Sam's former Missouri teammate, wide receiver L'Damian Washington, wondered what all the fuss was about with questions about whether Sam would be welcomed by his peers in the league when the Tigers had no problem doing so. "Most of the guys already knew him and it wasn't a big deal, but we had freshmen on the team who were 17 years old out of high school — 17 years out of high school you're pretty immature," Washington said. "They just could be like, 'Aw, we've got a gay guy on our team.' But those guys embraced it, because he was a great teammate. He was a great guy. He never brought any of that to the locker room. I feel like if a 17-year-old freshman can accept the fact that a teammate has a different preference in sex, then why can't 33-year-old vets accept that fact?" Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians downplayed the danger, too. "None of that matters in the locker room as long as we're all in it to win, and in every locker room I've ever been in it was all about winning. So if you have a hand in us winning and you were different, guys accepted it," Arians said. "Now the fans? That's a different story. I've walked into stadiums where gentlemen are teaching their sons how to moon the bus and moms are teaching their daughters what their middle fingers are for. It's not a ring finger. That scares me more, what's going to be said from the stands and the fans. But the locker room? The locker room won't be a problem." Sam, who was joined in his situation Sunday when openly gay NBA player Jason Collins signed with the New Jersey Nets to become that league's first openly gay players, said he's not concerned about unruly customers, either. "I've been getting a lot of great positives from all kinds of fans. And you know when I'm on the field I really don't focus on fans, so I just focus on my responsibilities, which is the guy right across from me," Sam said. Maybe someday the guy right across from him will be openly gay, too. "It will get to the stage where it doesn't even need to be announced, like me announcing I'm straight," Memphis punter Tom Hornsey said. "It's being put on a pedestal for being the first one, but I believe as time goes on it will be the norm." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell commended Sam for his "honesty and courage" after his announcement two weeks ago. The league's competition committee has begun to consider ways to clean up language on the field by policing for racial and sexual slurs. This multi-billion-dollar business isn't exactly a collection of cavemen, no matter what emerged in Miami. "We want to be and a culture of respect, communication and laying out that foundation and being intentional about communication throughout the building," Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said, adding: "We want to set the standard around the league." ___ Online: AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org
Berry Tramel jumped on the Power Lunch chat to discuss Bret Bielema's inflammatory comments, Marcus Smart's return from suspension and his Mount Rushmore of pasta. Here's the full transcript:
Berry Tramel chats NCAA pace-of-play change, Marcus Smart's return and Pastagate
staff reports | Feb 21, 2014NewsOK Sports 10:42 a.m. Plenty to talk about today. Thunder-Heat. Marcus Smart's return. Bret Bielema's uncomfortable comments. Berry Tramel will be on at 11 a.m., so get those questions in now. Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started. Billy Bob 11:00 a.m. Have you ever heard comments any more ridiculous than the one's we just heard from the Arkansas coach, or do you not agree with me that they were ridiculous? Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. You're talking about Bret Bielema's theory that a Cal player's death is attributable to uptempo football. He might have some ground to stand on. But I don't know what it is. I thought the player died during a training run. I don't really understand the correlation. Bielema said he has a hard time getting a beleaguered player out of the game. I think that's nonsense. I see players go to the ground all the time in an obvious manuever to slow down the game. If players do that when they're NOT hurt, why can't a player do it when he is hurting? -M 11:02 a.m. Please let the OSU losing streak come to an end... Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. It would be nice. If the Cowboys don't beat Tech on Saturday, you wonder when it will end. I mean, OSU goes to TCU on Monday night, but the way this season is going, the Frogs could win. Now, if OSU could win Saturday, then beat TCU, they've got a little momentum going for when Kansas comes to Stillwater a week from Saturday. Brant 11:03 a.m. Last night's game exemplified why the Thunder needed Westbrook back. KD played heavy minutes while Westbrook was gone and has looked tired lately. The Thunder need a fresh and focused KD for the playoffs. It would be great if KD won MVP but a Championship is the Thunder's goal. Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. Well said. You're right. Durant is gassed. Westbrook will provide all kinds of benefits and soon. Now, that doesn't mean OKC is in position to beat Miami. The Heat showed last night that it still has the Thunder's number. Orange Boy 11:04 a.m. This new OL Coach for OSU - He has coached at some big-time schools - but has he also been fired from every one of those coaching jobs? If so, why would Gundy go with a reject? Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. I don't know. I don't know if Connelly has been fired from more than Arizona State, but I know he was fired from ASU and was coaching high school last season. So that's a strange hire. Maybe the guy can coach. We'll have to see. But it was strange. harry man 11:05 a.m. well is OKC fans seeing parts of the thunder team that has been hidden? With a week off can really hurt a team. LA Clippers sunday...see what happens.. Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. A week off can hurt a team, though the Thunder wasn't playing well when the break occurred. OKC needed some rest. Unfortunately, the guy who needed the most, Durant, didn't really get it. All-Star weekend is a whirlwind for all-stars. Crimson Jesus 11:06 a.m. Slow start again for the Thunder. Is that going to come back and bite them come playoff time. Seems like they've made a habit of starting slowly. Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. Especially against the Heat. In what I consider the biggest game in Thunder history, Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Miami jumped to a 15-2 lead. Or something like that. Then held on for a tight victory. Win that game, and who knows how the rest of the series goes. Slow starts have continued to be a problem. Just Saying 11:07 a.m. I think Marcus Smart may be better off as a 10 or 12 pick rather than a 1 or 2. He may lose a few million but he will get to play with a better team. Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. And not face as much pressure. I agree with you completely. Smart is better off at 10 or 12. However, that doesn't mean he was better off returning to school. This season has been a disaster. the key to this decision is make a decision and then make it the right one. Smart made a decision and then made it the wrong one. Galileo 11:08 a.m. Berry, about Bielema and player safety in general. I don't think the pace of the game is the problem. It's the change from a game that was designed to be played near the line of scrimmage in a "scrum" manner to the current game that is so spread out that too many hits are happening in open space by defensive back and linebackers who have a running start. What do you think about rules changes that would reduce the spreading of players all over the field? Why not do something with hash marks or zones that limit how many players can line up wide. Any ideas? Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. You raise a good point, but you're also advocating artificial elements to change the game. That's always dicey. What we've seen are more rules for behavior -- striking, illegal contact, those kinds of things -- than rules for structure. It's a serious debate and one that won't go away. Football in many ways is under siege. Versace 11:10 a.m. Any word on new uniforms for OU football? Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. No. But I've got to believe we'll see some tinkerings. Not with colors, but with styles, and maybe just for special occasions. Sometimes, you can't even tell who's playing anymore. Floyd 11:12 a.m. Did anyone on the Thunder look good last night? Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. I would say Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones were the only guys who came close to their standard. I mean, even Nick Collison looked lost. I liked Jeremy Lamb's and Derek Fisher's aggressiveness, but their shots were off. Everyone was just out of sorts. But I thought Jackson stabilized things in the first quarter and was solid and aggressive throughout, even though his shot didn't fall. Brant 11:13 a.m. The Thunder don't necessarily need Perkins' defense against the Heat and the Heat have problems with Indiana's big lineup. Why not start Adams and pound the ball inside to him until the Heat show that they can stop it? Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. That's an interesting question. The answer, I'm sure, is that Perk guards Bosh -- and does a decent job -- but no way could Adams guard Bosh. But you're right in that Adams absolutely could make the Heat pay for going small. No way does Miami want Bosh trying to keep Adams off the block. Of course, the Heat might just switch LeBron onto Adams. LeBron probably could block out Adams. Byron Houston 11:14 a.m. Does OSU make the NCAA's when it's all said and done? Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. Not in basketball. I don't see it. The Cowboys are 4-9 in the Big 12. 16-10 overall. They've played poorly for more than a month. If OSU finishes halfway strong, 3-2 or something, to even make it a debate, then the Cowboys still are 7-11 in the Big 12 (which is a no-good to the committee) and 19-12 going into the Big 12 Tournament. I think OSU has to finish 8-10, get to 20-11, win that first-round game in Kansas City, play well in the next game against Kansas or beat Texas or OU, then take their chances. I don't think 3-2 gets it done. Galileo 11:16 a.m. True, adding artificial elements are always quite dicey. But structural alignments are at least measurable, as opposed to judgement calls on player behavior (striking and targeting). Talk about dicey. There is no easy answer but I think the combination of larger, stronger players coupled with the spreading of the field is a big factor. Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. Oh, you're right. No doubt. I just think it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Few teams spread out for half a century, and when they finally did, it was only a player or two. But now, everyone is spread out. Here's an idea. How about trimming the width of the field. Go from 160 feet wide to 140 feet wide. That would make the ground easier to cover for the defense, would turn the game back closer to the scrum-based game you mentioned. In the same way that basketball actually needs a bigger court because everyone is so much bigger and faster, but maybe football needs a smaller field for the same reason. Byron Houston 11:19 a.m. So, if they don't make the Big Dance you have to assume they get rid of Ford, crazy contract or not. Say that happens, throw some names out there you think they take a look at... Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. I don't see how you can fire Ford if the payoff is in the neighborhood of $2 million. Basketball once was a money maker at OSU. You had to have success. Now, basketball is more a sense of pride. Football carries the freight. But anyway, I have no idea where OSU would turn. I need to start researching it. dr. el prez 11:20 a.m. Berry, how many empty seats and overall indifference to the program will Mike Holder and Boone Pickens accept before addressing the potentially expensive buyout of Travis Ford? Does Ford get a free pass this season if O State fails to make the Dance, or is it a certainty he gets at least one or two more seasons beyond this one? Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I think Ford will be back. That contract is too stiff. Indifference to the program bothers Holder, but I don't know that Boone cares all that much. I mean, he wants to win, but people who think he'll pony up another huge check just to pay off a basketball coach, I think that's misguided. Boone gave OSU a ton of money to have a fighting chance, and OSU has used that money to produce quality football. But money to fire a basketball coach? I don't see it. Trent 11:22 a.m. NCAA sedd for the Sooners? Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. Let's see. I'd say 5-6-7 right now. Finish strong, high side of that, with even a chance at a four with really strong wins. Finish weak, low side. OU I still think is headed for a second-place Big 12 finish, which would strength the Sooner resume. Luke 11:23 a.m. # 5 in country with talks of final 4 to NIT and disaster of a season. Ford needs to go. Agree? Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. I think it would be best if OSU could make a change, just to erase all the negativity. But I don't see how OSU can make a change, because of the contract. So I'd work to make things better in other ways. Look for ways to reinvigorate the fan base. Look for ways to improve. Ford is actually very good with people. At least from my experience. If he's alienated the fans beyond the W-L record, then I think that's correctable. Guest 11:25 a.m. I know the Pacer are a better matchup an the Thunder would have a better chance of winning a title if Indy was the foe instead of Miami, but beating the Heat would be a lot more satisfying. Am I crazy? The Finals would be a war and I think far more competitive than last time, and sure he Thunder could come up short, but I want to see OKC Miami. Both team have won on the others home floor with the home team not playing well both times so I don't think you can take a lot ou of either matchup Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. I don't think you can take a lot out of either matchup. But I think you can take a lot out of the last eight matchups. Seven wins by the Heat. With largely the same rosters. Certainly the same core players. So yes, you're crazy. Much better to get the right matchup than some sense of satisfaction over beating the HEat. Brant 11:26 a.m. Do you know where I could get some of that pasta from pastagate? It is getting close to lunch time and Ikard made it sound like some good grub. Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Ikard is pulling our leg. Banquet pasta is no way to eat. Galileo 11:27 a.m. I like the idea of narrowing the field. It accomplishes the same as my idea but it eliminates the enforcement problem. It also preserves the 100 yard gridiron length tradition. Also easy an inexpensive to implement because it doesn't require construction. Added benefit is it allows more space on the sidelines. Both OSU and OU's narrow sideline dilemma solved! Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Man, we are solving the world's problems right here on this chat. Two completely different problems, solved by one simple change. Of course, at a place like Kansas, where the football field is surrounded by that old track, the fans would be half a mile from the action. Not that anyone at KU would care. dennis 11:28 a.m. Favorite Heat player? Least favorite Heat? Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. Favorite? Chris Bosh. I used to not like him because he plays with that mouthpiece during games and looks all evil. But in reality, he's a very agreeable guy to interview. Really enjoyed chatting with him last night. Least favorite? Dwyane Wade. Not all that enamored with a guy who splits with his wife (maybe for good reasons, I'm not saying one way or the other), has a big custody suit in which I assume Wade had the world's best lawyers, then writes a book about fatherhood. Spare me. Byron Houston 11:31 a.m. Mount Rushmore of Pasta? Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault. Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I did my Rushmore list of all kinds of things yesterday. You can read it here. http://newsok.com/mount-rushmore-the-ultimate-list/article/3935593 I had my four favorite Italian joints on the list. No. 1 is Garozzo's in KC, followed by Pete's Place in Kreb, The Grotto in Scottsdale and Charlie Gitto's in St. Louis. Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault. Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. Oops, got those out of order. Sorry. But it's a good question. OU has had more sustained, consistent success. OSU has had more epic periods, thanks to Iba and Sutton. But it's close on both regards. The difference historically is that when OSU got down, it stayed down for near a quarter century. When OU was down ('60s), it didn't stay down that long. Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. OK, super questions. I appreciate it. I've got to go now. Talk to you next week.
Feb 14, 2014
ATLANTA (AP) — Jim Fregosi's big league career got off to a real quiet start. His first three at-bats, as a teenager for the expansion Los Angeles Angels, he hit grounders back to perennial Gold Glove pitcher Jim Kaat.Over the next half-century, Fregosi made a lot more noise in majors.Fregosi, a six-time All-Star shortstop who went to manage the Angels to their first playoff appearance and...
Former manager, All-Star Jim Fregosi dies at 71
CHARLES ODUM, Associated Press | Feb 14, 2014ATLANTA (AP) — Jim Fregosi's big league career got off to a real quiet start. His first three at-bats, as a teenager for the expansion Los Angeles Angels, he hit grounders back to perennial Gold Glove pitcher Jim Kaat. Over the next half-century, Fregosi made a lot more noise in majors. Fregosi, a six-time All-Star shortstop who went to manage the Angels to their first playoff appearance and guide the rowdy 1993 Philadelphia Phillies into the World Series, died Friday after an apparent stroke. He was 71. Popular on and off the field, full of opinions and an outsized personality, Fregosi could argue with the best of 'em. He could also laugh at himself, and would poke fun at his part in one of baseball's most-lopsided trades — the deal that sent him to the New York Mets for a young, wild pitcher named Nolan Ryan. The Atlanta Braves said they were notified by a family member that Fregosi died early Friday in Miami, where he was hospitalized after the apparent stroke while on a cruise with baseball alumni. Fregosi ended more than 50 years in baseball as a special assistant to Braves general manager Frank Wren. "Jim played a vital role in our club over the last 13 years," Wren said Friday. "As a senior adviser he was someone you could always pick up the phone and get a feel for the players in the game. He covered all 30 teams for us and was such a positive, knowledgeable resource. He lit up a room and had just great relationships throughout the game. "When I first became GM, one of the things that made the transition so easy was having Jim as close as a phone call for advice and help or encouragement." Braves president John Schuerholz said the team would find a way to honor Fregosi this season. "He gave a lot to the game no matter what uniform he was in, no matter whether he was a player, a coach or a scout," Schuerholz said. "Some people say he could have managed again right now. He was so smart and knew the game so well. I agree with that." Schuerholz said Fregosi "didn't grow into this personality. I think he was born with it. I think he had that personality when he was born." Along with the Phillies and Angels — where he was reunited with Ryan and made the playoffs in 1979 — Fregosi managed the Chicago White Sox and Toronto. He took over the White Sox in the middle of the 1986 season after Tony La Russa was fired, and was hired by the Blue Jays after manager Tim Johnson was dismissed during spring training in 1999 for lying about his military service record. Phillies president David Montgomery said the team and others in baseball "lost a dear friend." "He'll be remembered for his vibrant personality, wisdom and love of the game," Montgomery said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathy is extended to his widow, Joni, daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer and sons Robert and Jim." Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Fregosi's death "leaves a hole in the unique fabric of our great game. He was a great friend and mentor to so many, no matter what hat he wore." "He was a one-of-a-kind baseball lifer," he said. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig spoke of Fregosi's widespread relationships in the game. "The outpouring of support in recent days illustrates the vast respect that Jim earned in a great baseball life," Selig said in a statement. Fregosi was an infielder in the majors from 1961 to 1978, hitting .265 with 151 homers and 706 RBIs. His best seasons came with the Angels. From 1964-69, he teamed with second baseman Bobby Knoop to form a strong double-play combination. They played together in the 1966 All-Star game. Knoop, now an Angels coach, said Fregosi was the kind of guy who "would not have a tattoo, but would cover your back. He was a tremendous person who had tremendous passion for the game and loved the Angels." The Angels retired Fregosi's No. 11 in 1988 and said he was a personal favorite of former owner Gene Autry. "His personality was infectious, his love of the game legendary, and his knowledge endless," the team said in a statement. Fregosi was traded from the Angels to the Mets after the 1971 season for a package of players that included Ryan. Fregosi played just 146 games over two seasons for the Mets and hit .233 with five home runs; Ryan turned into a Hall of Fame pitcher. Fregosi later played for the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He began his managing career at 36 with the Angels in April 1978 — two days after his final game as a player with the Pirates. In 15 seasons as a manager, he posted a 1,028-1,094 record. With the Phillies, Fregosi handled a team that included a lot of rough-and-tumble players and helped them reach the 1993 World Series. Philadelphia was beaten by Toronto on Joe Carter's winning home run in Game 6. Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton called Fregosi "the best manager I've ever played for." "Our relationship was so special ... and he was the one that taught me how to be a leader," Daulton said. "Fregos and I could relate to each other whether we were in the clubhouse or on the field. In 1993 The City of Brotherly Love changed the world ... Fregos was the driving force!" Lenny Dykstra, a Phillies star in those days, said Fregosi "was a player's manager." "Jim Fregosi was the reason that 1993 was one of the most exciting years in Philadelphia sports history," he said. James Louis Fregosi was born in 1942 in San Francisco and excelled in baseball, football basketball and track and field at Serra High School. He signed with the Boston Red Sox out of high school and went to the Angels in the 1960 expansion draft.
Feb 8, 2014
Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at email@example.com.
Oklahoma high school sports signing list: Feb. 8, 2014
Feb 8, 2014BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore (Coffeyville) Jake Dyer, Westmoore (Ft. Scott CC) Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (OSU) Josh Garbrecht, Edmond North (Redlands) Aaron Garner, Edmond North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Colton Huggard, Southmoore (Connors St.) Ty Jackson, Southmoore (Midland) Bradley Kinsey, Norman North (Wichita State) Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert (OU) Joe Lytle, Yukon (OCU) Mitch Malherbe, Bishop McGuinness (Barton CC) Conner Mangham, Pocola (Connors St.) Justin McGregor, Carl Albert (Cowley County) Joe Nostrand, Norman North (Frank Phillips) Blake Owen, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Paul Reed, Norman (Pomona College) Luke Reynolds, Edmond North (Butler County) Reed Roberts, Guthrie (Harding) Dalton Tillison, Dale (Seminole St.) Quin Walbergh, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Reid Wall, Byng (OSU) Cameron Warren, Carl Albert (OU) Hunter Wilson, Spiro (Stephen F. Austin) BOYS BASKETBALL Chauncey Collins, OKC Storm (TCU) Stephen Edwards, Putnam City West (Santa Clara) Omega Harris, Putnam City West (UTEP) Collin Jennings, Harrah (UMKC) Jace Kerr, Forgan (UCO) Mitch Solomon, Bixby (OSU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Jasauen Beard, Midwest City (Oral Roberts) Kaely Bond, Mount St. Mary (American) Katy Custer, Dickson (OBU) Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert (Oral Roberts) Miranda Griffin, Ketchum (NSU) Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe (Denver) Jayden Oliver, Putnam City (Oral Roberts) Chandler Roof, Weatherford (UMKC) Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall (Tulsa) LaNesia Williams, Northeast (OU) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Karlie Hamman, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Emily Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Erin Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Grey Howard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa) Ainsley Ibison, Broken Arrow (OC) Abbey Mace, Norman North (OU) Kambre Major, Millwood (Missouri Baptist) Katherine Muegge, Deer Creek-Lamont (OBU) Kevin Roddy, Duncan (Virginia) Stephen Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Belle Wallace, Norman North (OU) Michaela Werner, Grove (OCU) FOOTBALL Jalen Adams, Southmoore (North Texas) Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial (NEO) John Ashcraft, Southmoore (NEO) Fre'Darian Ashley, Northwest Classen (NEO) Keaton Baggs, Broken Arrow (La.-Monroe) Nick Basquine, Norman North (OU)* Trenton Ball, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Cameron Batson, Millwood (Texas Tech) Ty-Chris Beasley, Muskogee (NWOSU) Kevin Bell, Lawton (NSU) Tyler Bess, Hollis (Langston) Tre Betts, Sand Springs (Missouri St.) Tyrone Beverly, Lawton Eisenhower (Langston) Trevor Blassingame, Guthrie (UCO) Dominic Blue, Muldrow (SWOSU) Samuel Bond, Madill, (UCO) Cameron Booty, Jenks (NEO) Tyler Bowling, Yukon (Tulsa) Rashaad Boyd, Putnam City West (Langston) Jordan Brailford, Tulsa Washington (OSU) D'Angelo Brewer, Tulsa Central (Tulsa) Anthony Bryant, Southeast (SNU) Trey Buckner, Kingfisher (OBU) Madison Bunch, Roland (SNU) Thor Burnside, Oologah (NEO) Darrius Burris, Piedmont (NEO) Tristan Butcher, Coweta (UCO) Beau Butler, Midwest City (Wesleyan University) Kai Callins, Guthrie (Emporia St.) Mason Camp, Enid (Baker) Patrick Cantrell, Beggs (NWOSU) Cody Carnes, Alex (NWOSU) Nigel Carter, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Zac Cater, Durant (NEO)* D.C. Chance, Commerce (NEO) Adim Chukwurah, Norman North (UCO) Montana Clark, Tuttle (NEO) Sam Clemens, Enid (Baker) Emmanuel Cole, Millwood (OBU) Drew Cook, Casady (Emporia St.) David Cornwell, Norman North (Alabama) John Custar, Sharon-Mutual (OBU) Jalan Daniels, Blanchard (NEO) R.J. Dantzler, Southmoore (Panhandle St.) Cole Darnell, Edmond Memorial/OSU (OBU) Ronnie Davis, Midwest City/NEO (Kansas) Matt Day, Westmoore (ECU) Jakcob Dean, Norman (Arkansas Tech) Mike'Quan Deane, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Robbie Decker, Elk City (Henderson St.) Quincy Dotson, Millwood (NSU) Andre Dowuona-Hammond, Yukon (OSU)* Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe (Missouri St.) Frankie Edwards, Mustang (OBU) Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner (UCO) Josh Farley, Norman (NSU) Michael Farmer, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) T.J. Filer, Chickasha (NEO) Hadyn Ford, Wagoner (UCO) Cooper Free, Sharon-Mutual (SWOSU) Trayvon Gamble, Edmond Memorial (Langston) Max Gillett, Norman (William and Mary)* Matt Giroux, Yukon (Tabor) Janari Glover, Millwood (Western Illinois) Diesen Gorham, Perkins (Emporia St.) Karson Green, Madill (NEO) Jessie Gregory, Tuttle (NEO) Anthony Grimes, Norman (Hastings) Aaron Guess, Prague (NWOSU) Blake Gunn, Casady (Pomona College) Noah Hammons, Westmoore (UCO) Cameron Hanan, Plainview (ECU) Justice Hansen, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Dylan Harding, Jenks (OSU) Kieron Hardrick, Westmoore (SEOSU) Cade Harkins, McAlester (SNU) Bryan Hartfield, Midwest City (NEO) Tre Harvey, Catoosa (ECU) Hunter Hasen, Barnsdall (Langston) Dakota Haynes, Southmoore (Doane) Riley Hess, Alva (NWOSU) Tristan Hill, Mustang (Georgia Southern) Daavon Hilley, Tulsa East Central (Langston) Stephen Hocker, Enid (Emporia St.) Matt Hockett, Norman (OSU)* Eli Hooks, Deer Creek (UCO) Ty Hooper, Alva (NWOSU) Jordan Huff, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Armando Ibarra, Tulsa Washington (Langston) Dallas Jackson, Meeker (NWOSU) Mack Jensen, Casady (OBU) Tazden Jevons, Dibble (NSU) Laquan Johnson, Del City (Langston) Louden Johnson, Wayne (ECU) Trey Johnson, Hugo (NEO) Corben Jones, Yukon/Emporia St. (SWOSU) Brandon Jones, Midwest City (NSU) Johnny Jones, Douglass (UCO) Miles Jones, Edmond North (Briarcliff) Quinzell Jones, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO)* Wyatt Jones, Sulphur (ECU) Robert Jordan, Yukon (Tabor) Taber Jordan, Plainview (OBU) Blake Kalman, Bethany (UCO) Micah Kee, Woodward (NWOSU) Ryland Ketchum, Alex (NWOSU) Coleman Key, Broken Arrow (Colorado State) Cory Keyes, Southmoore (Missouri Southern) Connor Kinsey, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Chris Klick, Cherokee (SWOSU) JaVone Knox, Putnam City (SNU) Larry Lambeth, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Camron Large, Ada (ECU) Grant Lee, Clinton (NWOSU) Andrew Lesnick, Ponca City (NWOSU) Wiley Lester, Putnam City (NEO) Alex Lewis, Broken Arrow (OBU) Billy Lewis, Durant (NEO)* Jacob Lewis, Bishop McGuinness (Princeton) Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage (UCO) Austin Link, Tuttle (NEO) Boyea Lockett, Tulsa Union/Illinois (OBU) Bishop Louie, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Jaylen Lowe, Owasso (NEO) Noble Lybrand, Bethany (ECU) Kameron Lyons, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Austin Mack, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Austin Madison, Oologah (SNU) Anthony Mason, Del City (NEO)* Zac Maynard, Davis/NEO (SWOSU) Bailey McKay, Claremore (SWOSU) Corneilus McKiver, Centennial (NEO) Gary McKnight Jr., Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Devin McLelland, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Ace McMahan, Ringling (SWOSU) Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood (Sam Houston St.) Jacob McMullen, Choctaw (NEO) John McQueen, Claremore (NEO) Jeffrey Mead, Tulsa Union (OU) Seth Mead, Woodward (NWOSU) Carson Meier, Tulsa Union (OU) Gage Meisinger, Claremore (OBU) Bradyn Meyer, Yukon (Baker) Chandler Miller, Bixby (Tulsa) Nick Mills, Tuttle (NEO) Jordan Mitchell, Owasso (Tulsa) Trevor Mitchem, Spiro (NEO) Michael Moana, Lawton Eisenhower (Houston) Tyler Moniz, Sequoyah-Claremore Mildren Montgomery, Douglass (Tulsa) Daniel Moore, Duncan (Henderson St.) Khalil Moore, John Marshall (NEO) Trevor Moore, Edmond North (North Texas) Zack Moore, Kingfisher (SWOSU) Cole Moos, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Luis Morales, Guthrie (Langston) Dawson Myers, Cushing/NEO (OBU) Quentin Nails, Tulsa McLain (NEO) Landon Nault, Kingfisher (Emporia St.) Joe Neece, Cashion (Emporia St.) John Cole Neph, Owasso (OSU)* Jose Ochoa, Alex (NWOSU) Cameron Oliver, Owasso (UT-San Antonio) Brendan O'Steen, Seminole (NEO) Jacob Overton, Minco (OBU) Zak Owen, Blanchard (NEO) Cade Parker, Norman (OU)* Steven Parker, Jenks (OU) Logan Parks, Yukon (NEO) Cade Pfleider, Avla (NWOSU) Caden Pratt, McAlester (SEOSU) Christian Preston, Savanna (SEOSU) Stephen Price, Empire (SNU) Payton Prince, Norman North (Tulsa) Ryan Rackley, Sulphur (ECU) Wyatt Rathjen, Miami (NEO) Kale Reed, Comanche (SNU) Shaliamere Rentie, Beggs (NEO) Keishawn Richardson, Putnam City/NEO (West Virginia) Cole Ridgway, Norman (NSU) Korie Robinson, Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Sinue Rodriguez, Sallisaw (NEO) Sam Rolle, Edmond Memorial (Hastings) Tyquae Russell, Midwest City (NEO) Caden Sander, Deer Creek (OU)* A.J. Sanders, Elk City (Panhandle St.) John Sasser, Perkins (SEOSU) David Seagle, Cascia Hall (UCO) Dallas Sealey, Lawton (Abilene Christian) Myykhail Shaw, Lawton (NEO) Isaiah Shawver, Carl Albert (Hastings) Tyler Sipe, Norman North (UCO) Akii Smith, Stilwell/NEO (North Texas) Devion Smith, John Marshall (NEO) Dillon Smith, Meeker (SEOSU) Jalen Smith, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Janson Smith, Tulsa Union (NEO) Jarome Smith, McAlester (SEOSU) Jeremy Smith, Berryhill (Tulsa) Marguess Smith, Southeast (NEO) Myles Smith, Broken Arrow (SNU) Trey Smith, Guthrie (Langston) Nathan Sosa, Christian Heritage (OBU) Jacob Spady, Hinton (SNU) Pierce Spead, Southmoore (NEO) Jordan Stafford, Hugo (UCO) Dalton Stout, Bethany (Southwestern, Kan.) Ross Stovall, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Braden Stringer, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Payton Striplin, Little Axe (Langston) Carter Swanson, Ardmore (Garden City CC) Trent Taber, Jenks (OSU)* Lindell Tate, Edmond North (OU)* Myles Tease, Tulsa Washington (UCO) Justin Tharp, Thomas (SWOSU) Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ivan Thomas, Lawton (OSU)* Stevie Thompson, Carl Albert (Pitt St.) Devin Thornburg, Alex (NWOSU) Quintonio Tolon, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Clay Trotter, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Trey Tully, Plainview (OBU) Houston Tyler, Southmoore (The Citadel) Rowdy Votaw, Madill (NEO) Jaelon Walker, Southmoore (UCO) Malik Walker, Spiro (NEO) Cody Ward, Hartshorne (SWOSU) Khalil Warren, Del City (NEO) Michael Warren, Lawton (Iowa State) Ty Watkins, Westmoore (NEO) Caleb Webster, Claremore (NWOSU) Eric Weed, Putnam City (SNU) Jordan Weltzheimer, Edmond Memorial (Air Force) Cameron Westbrook, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Papi White, Seminole (Ohio) Xavier Whitehead, Mustang (Langston) Kelby Wickline, Stillwater (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Williams, Lawton (NEO) Jonathan Willis, Tulsa Washington (Oregon St.) Dolee Wolf, Beggs (NEO) Conner Wood, Owasso (NEO) Skyler Wood, Nowata (UCO) Chantz Woodberry, Carl Albert (SWOSU) Ryan Woolman, Locust Grove (NSU) Trey Wormington, Norman North (UCO) Colton Wright, Tahlequah (SWOSU) Dakota Young, Lawton Eisenhower (NWOSU) GOLF Emma Allen, Tulsa Union (OCU) Lexi Armon, Owasso (NSU) Jacob Bishop, Edmond Memorial (Wichita State) Trent Evans, Edmond Memorial (Kansas State) Talor Fisher, Bethel (Arizona Christian) Emily Folsom, Deer Creek (SWOSU) Nick Heinen, Edmond North (OSU) Matthew Henry, Pauls Valley (ECU) Madison Herron, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Alexander Hughes, Tulsa Edison (UCO) Sam Humphreys, Edmond North (Tulsa) Drew Ison, Edmond Santa Fe (Drake) Ashley Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Kaylee Neff, Mustang (Redlands) Casey Paul, Owasso (Tulsa) Griffin Pierce, Edmond North (OU) Zac Schaefer, Oklahoma Christian (OC) Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union (UCO) Ty Tamura, Edmond Memorial (OC) Cody Troutman, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO Hannah Ward, Poteau (Arkansas-Little Rock) Emilee White, Comanche (SNU) Ariel Wixson, Jenks (Rogers State) Hayden Wood, Edmond North (OSU) Daniel Echevarria, Cascia Hall (Wichita State) LACROSSE Sam Heaton, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jake Hobbs, Edmond North (Lindenwood) ROWING Charlotte McMeekin, Classen SAS (Princeton) Hannah Naylor, Edmond Memorial (OU) Rachel Parks, Classen SAS (Tulsa) Cody Shafer, Tulsa Union (OCU) Madison Wilfong, Washington (UCO) BOYS SOCCER Clay Collier, Edmond North (OC) Josue Depaz, Putnam City West (OBU) Tyler Hatfield, Norman North (Harding) Zac Medawattage, Edmond North (Eastern Illinois) Alex Mullet, Edmond North (Midwestern St., Iowa) Keaton Van Eck, Norman North (Dallas) GIRLS SOCCER Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union (OSU) Abby Bright, Edmond North (OSU)* Olivia Butler, Putnam City West (SWOSU) Lexi Carroll, Norman North (UCO) Amanda Dial, Edmond Memorial (ORU) Lana Duke, Edmond Memorial (OSU)* Courtney Essary, Carl Albert (UCO) Hannah Frogge, McGuinness (UC-Santa Barbara) Hannah Hover, Edmond Santa Fe (Ouachita Baptist) Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North (Alabama-Birmingham) Mikayla Lowery, Deer Creek (OBU) Mackenzie Marquardt, Norman North (OC) Kayle Moore, Southmoore (USAO) Kali Newman, Norman North (OU) Hannah Robinson, Southmoore (SNU) Simone Ryan, Norman North (UCO) Sheridan Spelman, Norman North (Lindenwood) Victoria VanHootegem, Norman North (Florida Atlantic) SOFTBALL Kelsey Arnold, Holland Hall (OU) K.C. Beardsley, Southmoore (Ft. Scott) Sheridan Bond, Edmond North (OC) Kelsey Bortvit, Carl Albert (USAO) Katelyn Brown, Southmoore (SNU) Riley Brown, Bethany (Lipscomb) Kasey Jo Burgess, Sand Springs (OBU) Shelby Carel, Tuttle (UCO) Mallory Collins, Sand Springs (OSU) Bre Davis, Piedmont (UCO) Ashli Hafford, Blanchard (East Central) Macey Hatfield, Lindsay/Seminole State (OU) Morgan Heard, Carl Albert (UCO) Morgan Hildebrandt, Lincoln Christian (Central Christian, Kan.) Heather Jones, Norman (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kaitlyn Kromer, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Destinie Lookout, Westmoore (OU) Shayla Lucas, Westmoore (USAO) Kierra McFadden, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Abby Meador, Carl Albert (OCU) Lauren Miller, Blanchard (East Central) Kate Myers, Jenks (Tulsa) Madison Norkyke, Edmond North (OC) Randee O'Donnell, Tahlequah (OSU) Amy Reynolds, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Shelby Robinett, Tuttle (SW Christian) Michael Rowlen, Jones (Des Moines CC) Kecia Sharp, Mount St. Mary (Robert Morris) Michaela Smith, Norman North (UT-Dallas) Kourtney Tanner, Edmond North (UCO) Katie Ventress, Bethany (Rose St.) Krista Waggoner, Carl Albert (West Virginia Wesleyan) Taylor Watham, Blanchard/Cowley (NWOSU) Emily Watson, Deer Creek (Tulsa) MacKenzie Wright, Carl Albert (Wichita State) SWIMMING Reid Hibbs, Southmoore (Towson) Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle (Evansville) Kasey Rein, Piedmont (Evansville) TENNIS Emily Faulkner, Casady (Harding) David Hager, Edmond North (Davidson) Annie Hayes, Edmond North (UM-St. Louis) Spencer Papa, Edmond North (Tulsa) Easton Parker, Bixby (NSU) VOLLEYBALL McKayla Benner, Norman North (SNU) Dani Chase, Yukon (SNU) Kate Decker, Edmond North (OBU) Madison McClure, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Kenzie McMullen, Edmond North (OCU) Micayla Payne, Southmoore (Hillsdale) Holly Randall, Edmond North (OCU) Kamille Smith, Midwest City (Bellevue) Taylor Turner, Deer Creek (ECU) WRESTLING Andrew Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Joel Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Lance Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Nathan Marek, Southmoore (OU) Derek White, Edmond North (Nebraska) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I conducted an online chat on Friday morning, but I had a noon appointment and had to cut it off at the scheduled 11:30. I usually go over if we’ve got extra questions, and we had extra questions. So I saved the questions and am posting them with their answers now.
More chat questions: Does the Thunder care what you think?
Berry Tramel | Feb 7, 2014I conducted an online chat on Friday morning, but I had a noon appointment and had to cut it off at the scheduled 11:30. I usually go over if we’ve got extra questions, and we had extra questions. So I saved the questions and am posting them with their answers now. Guest: “Can you relate to the Thunder’s team officials or coach, what your readers are asking questions about the team, and are they receptive to such questions whether simple or complex for them?” I would say they are as receptive to your questions as they are to ours. You don’t get a whole lot out of Thunderville unless you’re talking to Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins or sometimes Derek Fisher. Guest: “What do you think is the real story on Deondre Clark — going to LSU and it slipped out, or is OU still in the mix?” Slipped out. It’s clear that Clark signed with LSU but wanted some kind of drama. I suppose that’s what he got. Mike: “Can you explain Gundy’s paranoia. He must think people are knocking his door down trying to figure out what OSU is doing football wise. Won’t let QBs talk. Gundy himself is not talking to the media. Had his recruiting press conference on Thursday and basically lied about the reason. If there is a school that needs as much good pub as possible, it’s OSU. If I’m the media, I just don’t go to Stillwater anymore. Your thoughts?” Oh, it’s not that bad yet. You still need to go to Stillwater. Most press conferences also include some availability to assistant coaches and players. But the whole thing is so needless. There’s no reason for Gundy to be at war with the media. He’s been a media darling for literally 30 years. And now he’s alienated the media, at a place that historically has had to fight for a decent share of the marketplace. Not smart. Guest: “‘Ibaka is in the conversation, but (Suns guard Goran) Dragic is the one guy that should be on the team. If I had to pick between him and Ibaka, I would have gone with Dragic.’ Do you agree with Barkley?” Oh, probably not. But I have no big complaint. I don’t understand why the all-star roster is limited to 12. Seems like 15 would be a good number. One per team, though not required that every team have a representative. I think Ibaka is terribly underrated. But Dragic is having a great year, too. David: “What do you think about the disparity in salary between Texas OC Joe Wickline ($535,000) and the DC Vance Bedford ($760,000)? Salaries reported yesterday by ESPN. Do you think Texas is doing the right thing regarding the Wickline buyout, and wouldn’t Holder and OSU not be legally required to contest such a possible loss of $600,000?” Well, I don’t really understand the question “legally required.” If you’re asking me if Texas is trying to pull a fast one, the answer is yes. Shawn Watson, Charlie Strong’s assistant head coach and the real offensive coordinator, is set to make $650,000. Guest: “Were you rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks? Any wager on it?” Betting is silly. I don’t bet. I sort of wanted the Seahawks to win, for this reason. I’ve never really wanted an NFL team to win the Super Bowl because it won a certain free-agent derby. That’s what we have in the NBA, and it’s lousy. We don’t have that in baseball. One guy can’t swing a franchise. It appeared that Peyton Manning might be able to do that, getting Denver to the Super Bowl. I don’t want the NFL to ever get to that point. Guest: “Any news on Russell Westbrook coming back?” Nope. I assume it’s still after the All-Star Game. Which is still 13 days away. The Thunder plays next Thursday at the Lakers, then gets a week off before hosting Miami. D: “What would you say about OU and OSU recruiting? Successful?” Sure. Both signed 25-27 future all-pros. I think it’s fabulous. Guest: “What was your trip all about to New York?” Convention of the international order of bird watchers. We meet every three weeks. Spongebob squarep…: “Do you think the Gundy issue with the media goes to him not wanting to play as tough a non conference schedule? I could see how Gundy would not want that published. A lot of media ran with that during his last courting to Tennessee and last contract negotiation.” I have no idea what he’s upset about. He might be just trying to prove who swings the biggest stick. D: “How long do you see the slump/rebound when Westbrook returns taking?” I don’t know if there will be a slump, but I do think there will be an adjustment period. Especially if Westbrook had returned when the Thunder was playing at a high level. But let’s be honest. The last three games, the Thunder has slipped a little. At Washington, home against short-handed Memphis and Minnesota. I think Westbrook won’t interrupt things much, and then the Thunder will be in a higher gear quickly. Paul: “Do you think the big twelve will ever get back to 12 teams or more?” Not any time soon. No good candidates. And no good reason to expand. We’ll see how the new college football playoff goes. If something occurs to make the Big 12 feel the need to expand, they could get interested in the likes of Brigham Young, I suppose. But for now, no. Jack: “So I thought Tech denied (Baker) Mayfield’s transfer? Does this just mean he has to sit out a year?” No. It means he loses a year’s eligibility. In other words, he’s eligible in 2015 and will be a junior. It’s a raw deal. A totally raw deal. D: “Will Thabo be back in OKC next year?” I’m going to guess yes. Defensive specialists generally don’t get much on the free-agent market. So it’s not like some team will spend $5 million or so on Thabo. I think OKC would like him back, because his perimeter defense remains strong. I could see the Thunder giving Thabo $3 million a year for three years. Guest: “If Brooks knows how to play his bigs, why did he lose six consecutive times to the Heat?” He was being loyal and stubborn. But he might have lost anyway. And the only ones that really count are the Finals. Regular-season games are interesting but not terribly relevant. They reveal matchup advantages, but not much beyond that. Miami was a better team two years ago, whether Brooks went small or not. Jack: “So with Bell moving to TE, who is the backup QB next year?” I am writing about this for Saturday’s paper. It’s a two-man derby. Cody Thomas or Justice Hansen. And if Knight is hurt bad, good-bye to tight end. Blake Bell will be back. Guest: “What does Brooks need to do better against the Heat, aside from their last win?” How about make his 3-pointers? Or close out on Miami’s shooters? Or get back in transition? Oh, wait. He’s not playing. If Brooks will just go small more often, he’s done his duty. The rest is up to the squad. Guest: “Which should osu fans be more excited about, (Mason) Rudolp(h) or tyreek hill?” The odds are greater that Hill will make the bigger impact. But if Rudolph is the quarterback, then he’s the answer. My guess: Rudolph doesn’t start the season but does finish the season. Guest: “So Gundy lies. Please let us know what you are talking about and give us some examples to back up your statement.” Gundy said Bill Young’s future is up to Bill. Two weeks later, Young is fired. After an August practice, Gundy said no one was injured but was asked about the ambulance that arrived at practice and carried away someone. Gundy said there was no ambulance, even though everyone saw it. Gundy said he would not be hiring an offensive coordinator; two or three days later, Dana Holgorsen was hired. Gundy said Zac Robinson would start because Bobby Reid was injured; then Gundy admitted Reid was fine. Do you want me to go on? Jack: “Do you see any potential trade deadline deals with the Thunder?” No. I think they’re standing pat. But you never know. Guest: “Why is Brooks not like playing from the post and loves mostly jumpers? Is he a small type player like he was?” Who plays from the post? Minnesota? Charlotte? Who else? The Thunder does not like mostly jumpers. The Thunder likes to attack the basket. The Thunder has an incredibly efficient offense. To ask for more is being a little silly. Midwestokie: “General thoughts on the OU’s 2014 class? Who is the headliner of the class when you look at immediate playing time, need, readiness etc?” I don’t know. I guess the running backs will play immediately. Mixon and Perine. OU needs tailbacks. Guest: “What is still lacking to make Adams a premier center?” Defense. Guarding the pick’n roll, primarily, but also the post. Adams will be a very good player. But he’s got to defend better. Guest: “The Seahawks team is not the high salary team and still won the championship, even with a college coach. Can the Thunder do the same?” The Thunder is a small market team, but it’s not a small salary team. The Thunder is paying Durant and Westbrook (and Ibaka) a ton of money. The Thunder is skirting with the luxury tax. Jared: “What’s your thoughts on Jeremy Lamb’s play this year, his development and his future role/ceiling?” I love how Lamb is playing. He’s one of the keys to the Thunder surge. I doubt he’ll ever be a star, but he’s a very solid player with a bright future. Mike: “Final 4 in football playoff next year is, OU, FSU, Alabama, USC my prediction.” I think the first three are contenders. I don’t know about Southern Cal. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Trojans won’t be in it. Jack: “Is Travis Ford done?” No way. First off, his team’s in a slump. His program’s not unraveling. Second, there’s plenty of time for rallying. Third, his contract will keep him safe. Ford has another 6-7 years on his contract. OSU can’t afford to fire him. RK: “Been meaning to ask someone about this for quite awhile. Your thoughts on the Big 12 Baseball Tourney moving to T-town in 2015?” I think it’s an OK move. It had lost momentum in OKC. Truth is, OKC might have outgrown the Big 12 Baseball Tournament. Maybe it’s time for Tulsa to have a turn. We’ve got a lot going on in OKC. NCAA championships. NCAA regionals. The NBA. The Big 12 baseball tournament sort of got lost. Oklahoma Man: “Why would any average high school student decide which college to attend based on a Sports Illustrated article. Have you been out in the cold to long?” No one bases any decision on any one thing. But OSU no doubt had to conduct some damage control after the SI series. And all those parents who send their daughters to OSU from Dallas and Houston are going to want to know what the heck is going on. Guest: “Do you think PJIII will be a starter next season and who will he replace?” Heck no. He plays Durant’s position. I guess if OKC lost Thabo, the Thunder could be looking for a perimeter starter, but you can’t ask Durant or Jones to cover 2-guards on a regular basis. So no. No starts in Jones’ future. Guest: “I know you like Brooks, does he have a weakness in your opinion?” Oh sure. I don’t think his X’s and O’s are as strong as some coaches’. But those great tacticians sometimes can’t motivate players. Let me ask you this. In six years, have you ever seen the Thunder not play hard? Ever seen the Thunder loaf? Ever seen the Thunder disrespect the game? Westbrook on occasion has gotten mad, but he’s gotten over it. Perkins can have a dicey disposition. But Brooks has handled all that extremely well. Lawton: “The quarterback with the most college starts on next year’s OU team will be Baker Mayfield. With Travis Knight’s history of injuries, and with more a QB- running game, wouldn’t it be in OU’s best interest to get involved in the Mayfield’s appeal to the NCAA to not sit out a year?” Hey, that’s an excellent idea. I don’t know on what grounds he’ll appeal, but it couldn’t hurt. You’re right. OU’s deep QB well suddenly has gone shallow, with Bell moving to tight end and Thompson transferring. Bebe: “Any chance OU will move Orlando Brown to tailback?” I don’t know anything about it. He seems a little large to be playing tailback, doesn’t he? Sam P.: “Thunder roster stands as is for the rest of the season. Chemistry is good. Results have been good. Players developing nicely. Russ will be back soon.” I think you’re right.
An overall look at how the 14 schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference fared Wednesday on Signing Day.___ATLANTIC DIVISIONBOSTON COLLEGENational rankings: (Rivals 42; Scout 61).Best in class: Connor Strachan, lb, Needham, Mass.Best of the rest: Jonathan Hilliman, rb, Jersey City, N.J.; Harold Landry, de, Fayetteville, N.C.; Mike Knoll, k, Cuyahoga Falls, OH.Late additions: Nat Dixon, wr, Lynn...
ACC signing day capsules
The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2014An overall look at how the 14 schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference fared Wednesday on Signing Day. ___ ATLANTIC DIVISION BOSTON COLLEGE National rankings: (Rivals 42; Scout 61). Best in class: Connor Strachan, lb, Needham, Mass. Best of the rest: Jonathan Hilliman, rb, Jersey City, N.J.; Harold Landry, de, Fayetteville, N.C.; Mike Knoll, k, Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Late additions: Nat Dixon, wr, Lynn Haven, Fla.; Noa Merritt, dl, Sparta, N.J.; Oseh-Lie Saine, dl, Lincoln, R.I. One that got away: Defensive back Tre Tarpley from Pittsburgh, Pa., flipped his commitment from BC to Vanderbilt over the weekend. NOTE: "This is our class. Last year we were able to bring in a couple of guys," BC second-year coach Steve Addazio said. "This is a class that we put a full year in to and we know them very well. Anytime you sign 30, that's a large number. There can be some misses, but we feel great about this class." ___ CLEMSON National rankings (Rivals 13; Scout 28). Best in class: Deshaun Watson, QB, Gainesville, Ga. The Parade All-American who amassed 17,134 yards of total offense is expected to compete with senior Cole Stoudt and sophomore Chad Kelly for the starter's job. Watson committed to the Tigers in February 2012 and held firm despite overtures from schools like Alabama, Auburn and Ohio State. Best of the rest: Artavis Scott, WR, Oldsmar, Fla. Picked Clemson over home-state schools Florida, Florida State and Miami. Late addition: None. Of the drama-free day, Clemson recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott said "when your 5-star quarterback is already on campus you can sleep a little better the night before signing day." One that got away: Andrew Williams, DE. Clemson didn't have strong hopes of landing Williams, but crossed their fingers before he chose Auburn. NOTES: Clemson's class includes linebackers Judah Davis and J.D. Davis, the twin sons of former Tigers great Jeff Davis, who's now an assistant athletic director for his alma mater. ... Clemson's lone defensive end signee was Richard Yeargin of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., who had committed to Notre Dame but re-opened his recruitment after the season. ___ FLORIDA STATE National rankings (Rivals 4; Scout 4). Best in class: Dalvin Cook, RB, Miami Central HS Best of the rest: Ermon Lane, WR, Homestead (Fla.) HS; Travis Rudolph, WR, Cardinal Newman (Fla.) HS Late addition: Ja'Von Harrison, WR, Kathleen (Fla.) HS, had been committed to Virginia Tech. One that got away: Malik McDowell, DE, Southfield (Mich.) HS. NOTE: "Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane I think our big-time players," Fisher said. "But I think Ja'Von (Harrison) is right there in that same caliber of them. And then when you get three of them, so spread the field, inside guys, outside guys, they're all big-bodied guys. But the big-bodied guys that have the capability and have the quickness to go inside, which is rare." ___ LOUISVILLE National rankings (Rivals 46; Scout 45). Best in class: Reggie Bonnafon, QB, Louisville. Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, the 6-3, 205-pounder was Louisville's first 2014 signee by the staff of former Cardinals coach Charlie Strong, now at Texas. Bonnafon threw for 2,606 yards and 16 touchdowns against just eight interceptions last season. He also rushed for 895 yards and 18 TDs. Best of the rest: RB L.J. Scott, OL Lukayus McNeil, OL Danny Burns, DE Terry Ramsey, TE Charles Standberry. Late additions: Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad, LB, Fort Pierce, Fla; Cornelius Sturghill, WR, Memphis; Jimmie Terry, OL, Madison, Miss. All three committed to the Cardinals on Wednesday. One that got away: Devin Pike, TE, Cincinnati. He had committed last July to Louisville but switched to Wake Forest last week after making his official visit. NOTE: Petrino loves offense and lavishly praised Bonnafon, who fits his philosophy: "I'm really excited about Reggie Bonnafon and being able to have him come in, a guy we feel is very, very talented throwing the ball," he said. "He can make all the different throws, is accurate and has a strong arm. He also has the ability to run the ball." ___ N.C. STATE National rankings: (Rivals 30; Scout 26). Best in class: Kentavius Street (Greenville) is rated as a four-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals ranked the defensive end as the No. 2 recruit in North Carolina. Best of the rest: N.C. State loaded up with instate talent, including safety Germaine Pratt (No. 9 in state by Rivals) and quarterback Jalan McClendon (No. 9 in state by Scout). Late addition: Cornerback Troy Vincent Jr., son of the former NFL Pro Bowl defensive back, was originally committed to Penn State. But when coach Bill O'Brien left to coach the NFL's Houston Texans, Vincent switched his commitment to the Wolfpack. "Troy's very technical," Doeren said. "He's been backpedaling since he was 3 years old." One that got away: N.C. State couldn't quite reel in instate receiver Trevion Thompson of Durham. Thompson, Scout's No. 3-ranked recruit in the state, signed with Clemson. NOTES: Early enrollee Ty Linton originally signed with rival North Carolina in 2010 before signing to play baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He recently decided to play college football and Doeren — who had recruited him while an assistant at Wisconsin — got him to sign with N.C. State instead of UNC. "It's great to have a freshman that's 23 years old that's ... going to offer some unique experiences and life lessons to our team," Doeren said. ... The Wolfpack added five offensive linemen and six defensive linemen. ... N.C. State signed six from Georgia. ... Nine players in the class enrolled for the spring semester. ___ SYRACUSE National rankings (Rivals 48; Scout 51). Best in class: KJ Williams, WR, Bethlehem, Pa. Best of the rest: Alin Edouard, QB, Miami; Steve Ishmael, WR, Miami; Chris Slayton, DE, Chicago. Late addition: Denzel Ward, OG, Chicago. One that got away: Zeek Rodney, DT, Rock Hill, S.C. ___ WAKE FOREST National rankings (Rivals T-55; Scout 66). Best in class: Clawson's class had no players rated higher than three stars by either recruiting service. The best of the bunch might be three-star TE Devin Pike (Cincinnati), whom Scout.com rated as the nation's 32nd-best player at his position. Two of Pike's brothers played for the University of Cincinnati. Best of the rest: The Demon Deacons signed two quarterbacks with impressive pedigrees. Travis Smith went 41-0 at Ithaca (Mich.) High School with three consecutive state titles. John Wolford threw for 126 career touchdowns at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Fla. — breaking the state record set by Tim Tebow. Late addition: Fourteen players committed from Jan. 16 to signing day, assistant Zach Stone said. DE Willie Yarbary (Augusta, Ga.) defected from Indiana's class after the Hoosiers changed defensive coordinators. One that got away: Wake Forest got most of the players it wanted. The Demon Deacons offered Demarquis Gates last week but the linebacker signed with Mississippi. NOTE: Wake Forest appeared to cast a wider net than perhaps in previous years. Clawson signed players from 12 states, including Michigan, Arkansas and Mississippi. "I am really proud of our staff. We hit the ground running," Clawson said. "There wasn't one day that a coach could be on the road that we weren't all on the road." ___ COASTAL DIVISION DUKE National rankings (Rivals T-55; Scout 66). Best in class: Zach Harmon (Toledo, Ohio) is rated as the nation's 20th-best center by Scout.com. Best of the rest: Cutcliffe's quarterbacks always attract attention — he's a key mentor for Super Bowl MVPs Peyton and Eli Manning — and his latest QB signees are Johnathan Lloyd (Graham, N.C.) and Nicodem Pierre (Miami). Lloyd enrolled early and took part in Duke's pre-Chick-fil-A Bowl practices, and Cutcliffe says he has "great feet, about as fluid as you would want to be and he's quick." Late addition: Sixteen of Duke's signees committed in 2012 or '13. The last to say he would sign — WR Trevon Lee (Miramar, Fla.) — made his announcement Monday and Cutcliffe said the Blue Devils' big year helped sway him. Cutcliffe says Lee "has certainly got a lot of talent" but shied away from saying he would be an immediate difference-maker. One that got away: None. Duke didn't appear to have any late defections from its class because Cutcliffe doesn't like to play games with the recruiting process. "You didn't hear the word decommit. ... If you decommit, odds are, you never committed," he said. NOTE: Cutcliffe spent Sunday watching his pupil Peyton Manning lose the Super Bowl from a luxury box at Metlife Stadium and he said "as I'm going in, maybe in the hundreds of people said, 'We followed your team, we love your team, etc. etc.' ... All that does have an effect." ___ GEORGIA TECH National rankings (Rivals 47; Scout 47). Best in class: RB Myles Autry, DB Step Durham Best of the rest: WR CJ Leggett, C Andrew Marshall, WR Qua Searcy, DE KeShun Freeman, DB Lance Austin, DB Lawrence Austin Late addition: Autry One that got away: DT Mike Sawyers of Nashville signed with Tennessee. NOTE: Johnson summoned up his customary annual critique of Georgia Tech getting ranked low in recruiting services when he said, "If you go back and look for the last six years, there's four teams in the ACC who've won more games than all of the others. Those teams are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. And that's my view of the star system. So if our recruiting is so bad, and that is so accurate, then we must be great coaches. And from what I read from you guys (media) I don't believe that. You can't have it both ways. So that's the facts. That's not spin. That's just facts." ___ MIAMI National rankings (Rivals 12; Scout 11). Best in class: Brad Kaaya, QB, West Hills, Calif. Best of the rest: Malik Rosier, QB, Mobile, Ala.; Trevor Darling, OL, Miami; Joseph Yearby, RB, Miami; KC McDermott, OT, Wellington, Fla.; Chad Thomas, DE, Miami, Fla.; Michael Wyche, DT, East L.A. College. Late addition: David Njoku, a 215-pound wide receiver and tight end from Cedar Grove, N.J., committed last week. One that got away: Travonte Valentine, a 335-pound defensive tackle from Hialeah, Fla., had committed to the Hurricanes but re-opened the recruiting process last month and signed with Louisiana State. ___ NORTH CAROLINA National rankings (Rivals 20; Scout 31). Best in class: RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C.) set Mecklenburg County records with 3,690 yards rushing and 53 touchdowns this season. He originally committed to Notre Dame but Fedora credits assistant coach Gunter Brewer with "staying on him. When he realized that, 'I don't have to go across the country to reach all my dreams and goals.' ... That was big." Best of the rest: Fedora landed the son of NFL and former Wake Forest receiver Ricky Proehl. Fedora says WR Austin Proehl was "the most competitive guy on the field" at his summer camp and "you know his dad, you know what his dad has done. The kid's a gym rat." Late addition: North Carolina picked up commitments last month from four-star OL Jared Cohen and three-star WR Devin Perry. One that got away: None. Fedora says he locked up 20 of his 22 recruits before July 2013, didn't lose anyone to any signing-day drama and kept the class together despite a handful of departures from his coaching staff — most notably offensive coordinator Blake Anderson's move to Arkansas State head coach. "A lot of those guys committed. ... They weren't tied to a coach. They were tied to the university," Fedora said. NOTE: Fedora has placed an emphasis on recruiting the state of North Carolina, and eight of his signees were from the state. He's landed North Carolina's past two AP prep players of the year in Hood and T.J. Logan. "Those eight guys from the state are actually seeing what's happening here in Chapel Hill. They see the future," Fedora said. "They understand what we're preaching and they're seeing it on the field and they're getting excited." ___ PITTSBURGH National Rankings (Scout 42, Rivals 44) Best in class: Alex Bookser, OT, Pittsburgh, Pa. Best of rest: Adonis Jennings, WR, Clementon, N.J. Late addition: Hez Trahan, DE, Philadelphia, Pa. One that got away: Wade Freebeck, QB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Quotable: "We've had chances to be around him and had a chance to see him play, and we really think he can add a lot to what we think is a pretty good offensive line group that we have already," Pitt coach Paul Chryst said about offensive tackle recruit Alex Bookser. ___ VIRGINIA National rankings (Rivals 40; Scout 40). Best in class: Quin Blanding, S, 6-4, 210, Virginia Beach. A five-star recruit rated as the top safety prospect in the nation by virtually every recruiting service. He and fellow UVA signee Andrew Brown were named co-Defensive players of the year by Tom Lemming. Best of the rest: Andrew Brown, DT, 6-4, 290, Chesapeake. Jamil Kamara, WR, 6-2, 210, Virginia Beach. Steven Moss, OL, 6-5, 275, Fredericksburg. Late addition: None. One that got away: Will Richardson, OL. Originally committed to the Cavaliers, but flipped a few weeks ago and signed with N.C. State. NOTE: Despite much speculation about London's future as the Cavaliers stumbled to a 2-10 finish, he said "it was gratifying to see that the young men that made a commitment earlier stuck with their commitment and really galvanized the entire class going down the stretch." ___ VIRGINIA TECH National rankings (Rivals 25; Scout 35). Best in class: Melvin Keihn, LB, 6-2, 215, Towson, Md. Best of the rest: C.J. Reavis, DB, 6-0, 190, Chester, Va. Marshawn Williams, RB, 5-11, 224, Hampton. Late addition: Raymon Minor, LB, 6-3, 215, Ashland, Va. One that got away: Ja'Von Harrison, WR. Committed to the Hokies long ago, but showed up at his signing in a Florida State hat and signed with the home-state Seminoles. Would have been highest-rated recruit.
An overall look at how the 14 schools in the Southeastern Conference fared Wednesday on Signing Day.___EAST DIVISIONFLORIDANational rankings (Rivals 7; Scout 10).Best in class: Jalen Tabor, CB, Washington, D.C. Already enrolled in school, Tabor is a significant addition since starting CBs Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson left school early for the NFL.Best of the rest: David Sharpe, OL,...
SEC Signing Day Capsules
The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2014An overall look at how the 14 schools in the Southeastern Conference fared Wednesday on Signing Day. ___ EAST DIVISION FLORIDA National rankings (Rivals 7; Scout 10). Best in class: Jalen Tabor, CB, Washington, D.C. Already enrolled in school, Tabor is a significant addition since starting CBs Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson left school early for the NFL. Best of the rest: David Sharpe, OL, Jacksonville, Fla. Sharpe should help fill the team's biggest need. Late addition: Treon Harris, QB, Miami. Coach Will Muschamp convinced Harris to switch from Florida State to Florida, prying a gifted athlete away from the defending national champion. One that got away: Adoree' Jackson, ATH, Gardena, Calif. A budding track star, Jackson probably would have given Florida a top-five class. But he chose USC over Florida, LSU and UCLA. NOTE: Muschamp finds it amusing to see other staffs celebrate signing day. "They film these staff rooms and the staffs all cheer when they get the (guy)," he said. "Most of the time, you know. You know if you're getting them and you know if you're not. If you haven't talked to them in 48 hours, you're not getting them. So that's an indicator. If you're on the phone that morning with mom and dad and brother and uncle, you're probably going to sign them. But still, you never know. It's always a little stressful, a little anxious." GEORGIA National rankings (Rivals 8; Scout 12). Best in class: DE Lorenzo Carter, RB Sony Michel Best of the rest: Chubb, TE Jeb Blazevich, DT Lamont Gaillard, WR Isaiah McKenzie, QB Jacob Park. Late addition: Georgia made a successful late run to sign McKenzie, who attends the same high school as Michel. McKenzie had Virginia Tech, Florida and Mississippi on his list of finalists. Also, West Hall tight end Hunter Atkinson picked Georgia over Cincinnati, where he had committed. One that got away: DE Andrew Williams from Eagles Landing Christian Academy near Atlanta chose Auburn over Georgia and Clemson. NOTE: "He's a guy that we believe can come in and make an immediate impact on our football team. He's got a big skill set. I don't think he's just a running back. I think he's got great hands and will be able to do stuff out of the backfield," Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on Michel. KENTUCKY National rankings (Rivals 14; Scout 20). Best in class: Drew Barker, QB, Conner, Ky. Ranked by Rivals.com as Kentucky's top prospect, his early commitment to the Wildcats over South Carolina and others opened the eyes of top-flight recruits who began looking at Kentucky as a viable choice. Best of the rest: Matt Elam, DE, Elizabethtown, Ky. Chose the Wildcats over Notre Dame and Alabama. Late addition: Lloyd Tubman, DE. The Louisville native picked Kentucky on Wednesday over the hometown Cardinals and Nebraska. One that got away: Derrick Kelly, OL. The Havana, Fla., product de-committed from the Wildcats to accept a late offer from national champion Florida State. NOTE: Barker is among seven recruits enrolled this semester and was featured in a Kentucky football commercial that ran in parts of the state during halftime of Sunday's Super Bowl. Wildcats offensive coordinator Neal Brown said the new QB "has those abilities that will give him the opportunity to come in and compete, and he's going to be thrown into the fire this spring. MISSOURI National rankings (Rivals 35; Scout 32). Best in class: Andy Bauer, OL, DeSmet HS, St. Louis, Mo. Best of the rest: Nate Brown, WR, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga. Late addition: Spencer Williams, DL, First Coast HS, Jacksonville, Fla. One that got away: DT Poona Ford signed with Texas NOTE: "When we started winning, being successful, he just changed his mind." — Pinkel on Bauer. SOUTH CAROLINA National rankings (Rivals 22; Scout 30). Best in class: Bryson Allen-Williams, LB, Ellenwood, Ga. Best of the rest: Dante Sawyer, DE, Suwanee, Ga.; Dexter Wideman, DT, Saluda, S.C. Late addition: ATH Chris Lammons, DT Dexter Wideman. One that got away: None. NOTE: The biggest difference in Spurrier's 2014 class compared to his first classes at South Carolina is he tends to land all the players he wants. "All the papers we sent out came back with a signature on it. Hasn't always been that way," Spurrier said. TENNESSEE National rankings: (Rivals 5; Scout 4). Best in class: WR Josh Malone is rated as the nation's No. 27 overall prospect by Rivals. Best of the rest: RB Jalen Hurd, LB Dillon Bates, S Todd Kelly Jr., DE Dewayne Hendrix, TE Daniel Helm, DE Derek Barnett, RB Derrell Scott, DB D'Andre Payne, DB Rashaan Gaulden and DT Michael Sawyers are all rated among the nation's top 250 prospects by Rivals. Late addition: Sawyers, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., withdrew his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt after Penn State hired away former Commodores coach James Franklin. Sawyers visited Tennessee last weekend and signed with the Vols on Wednesday. One that got away: DE Cory Thomas made a Signing Day switch to Mississippi State after verbally committing to Tennessee. VANDERBILT National rankings (Rivals 50; Scout 50). Best in class: Nifae Lealao, DL, Sacramento, Calif. A 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman, Lealao had a four-star rating by both Rivals and Scout. Best of the rest: Ronald Monroe, ATH, Houston. Monroe played quarterback but is listed as an athlete. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said Monroe is talented enough to play a handful of positions, and they plan to move him around. Late addition: Lealao came to Vanderbilt for an official visit last weekend, and Mason couldn't have been happier after watching the lineman play basketball last week. "To see him on the basketball floor was amazing," Mason said. "He made my ears perk up, and that doesn't happen often." Tall and lengthy: Mason says he wants "space takers" to fill up lanes, and he got just that with 11 of the 22 players committed listed as 6-3 or taller. ___ WEST DIVISION ALABAMA National rankings (Rivals 1; Scout 1). Best in class: DE Da'Shawn Hand of Woodbridge, Va., could bring a pass rushing prowess that Saban has been seeking. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder collected 56 sacks during his four-year high school career. Best of the rest: LB Rashaan Evans, OL Cam Robinson, ATH Bo Scarbrough, OL Dominick Jackson and CBs Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey are also five-star prospects, according to at least one service. Late addition: For the second straight year, Alabama raided rival Auburn's backyard for a high-profile linebacker. Evans joined Reuben Foster in leaving Auburn High School for Tuscaloosa. "As soon as Rashaan committed to us, Reuben Foster called me and absolutely said that he was a much better recruiter than I was and he was really responsible for that," Saban said. One that got away: There weren't many important targets the Tide whiffed on. They made a late run for Miami commitment (and signee) Chad Thomas, a five-star defensive end. ARKANSAS National rankings: (Rivals 29; Scout 32). Best in class: Bijhon Jackson, DT, El Dorado, Ark. Best of the rest: Kendrick Edwards, WR, Miami, Fla.; Cole Hedlund, K, Argyle, Texas; Frank Ragnow, OT, Chanhassen, Minn.; Brian Wallace, OT, Florissant, Mo. Late addition: JoJo Robinson, WR, Miami, Fla. One that got away: Solomon Thomas, DE, Coppell, Texas. NOTE: "Brian might have been one of our more heavily recruited kids. He's a very talented young man with nothing but upside in front of him. He has the potential to maybe help us right away." — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on OT Brian Wallace. AUBURN National rankings (Rivals 9; Scout 9). Best in class: RB Roc Thomas is a top-15 overall recruit by both Rivals and Scout. He could compete with Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne to replace Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason in the backfield. "We really feel like he's got the ability to come in immediately and make a huge impact," Malzahn said. Best of the rest: Five-star WR D'haquille Williams, who is already enrolled, was Rivals' No. 1 junior college prospect. LB Tre' Williams is another five-star recruit who was rated one of the nation's top two linebackers by several recruiting sites. Both play positions where Auburn has immediate needs. Late additions: Auburn picked up two more big men on signing day. Braden Smith of Olathe, Kan., was rated the nation's top guard by Scout. Auburn targeted him hard after Greg Robinson left for the NFL draft. Auburn beat out Clemson and Georgia for Andrew Williams, rated as the No. 12 defensive end by 247Sports and Rivals. One that got away: Auburn High School five-star linebacker Rashaan Evans chose Alabama in another signing-day announcement. He would have been Auburn's top-rated signee if he had signed with his hometown school. LSU National rankings: (Rivals 2; Scout 2). Best in class: Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans, La. Best of the rest: Malachi Dupre, WR, River Ridge, La. Late addition: Travonte Valentine, DT, Hialeah, Fla. One that got away: Cameron Robinson, OL, West Monroe, La. (Alabama) NOTE: Les Miles on Leonard Fournette: "The inhibitor for a running back is he is big and doesn't have great speed or he has speed and is not quite big enough. So, you have to work on his speed or build him up. Leonard Fournette has both size and speed. He has ball skills and great vision. He is a guy who will step in and play." MISSISSIPPI National rankings (Rivals 18; Scout 14). Best in class: Rod Taylor, OL, Jackson, Miss. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Under Armour All-American could help the Rebels right away on the offensive line. He was the consensus top-rated recruit in Mississippi and among the nation's top interior offensive linemen. Best of the rest: Breeland Speaks, DL, Jackson, Miss.; Markell Pack, WR, Purvis, Miss. Speaks and Pack will be expected to compete for playing time quickly. Pack could help fill the void left by WR Donte Moncrief, who declared for the NFL Draft. Late addition: Tee Shepard, DB, Fresno, Calif. The Rebels surprised many by landing one of the nation's top junior college defensive backs. He could help immediately at a spot the Rebels need some depth. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Shepard has some work to do academically, but the coach is optimistic he can be eligible next season. One that got away: Malachi Dupre, WR, New Orleans. The Rebels wanted Dupre, but it was always a long shot to lure the star receiver from LSU. MISSISSIPPI STATE National rankings: (Rivals 41; Scout 39) Best in class: Aeris Williams, RB, West Point, Miss. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Williams rushed for nearly 4,000 yards during his prep career and could help the Bulldogs' backfield immediately. Best of the rest: Gerri Green, LB, Greenville, Miss.; Jamoral Graham, WR, Decatur, Miss. Mississippi State hopes Green is the latest in a long line of quality linebackers in Starkville. Late addition: Cory Thomas, DL, Bessemer, Ala. The Bulldogs were able to add some depth along the defensive line with Thomas. The 6-foot-5, 273-pounder was also considering Tennessee. One that got away: Tee Shepard, DB, Fresno, Calif. Mississippi State thought it had a great shot at Shepard, who was one of the nation's top junior college defensive backs. He ended up signing with rival Mississippi. TEXAS A&M National rankings (Rivals 6; Scout 5). Best in class: QB Kyle Allen. Best of the rest: DE Myles Garrett. Late addition: Zaycoven Henderson, DT, Longview, Texas. One that got away: Mattrell McGraw, DB, New Orleans. Note: One member of Texas A&M's recruiting class will never play a down of football for the Aggies. Dallas Skyline cornerback Cedric Collins committed to the Aggies before his junior year in 2012, but discovered at the end of that season that he had a rare congenital cervical problem and couldn't continue his football career. The Aggies chose to give him a scholarship anyway, and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said the decision was about "honoring commitments."
Here are the signing day capsules from each of the Big 12 schools:___BAYLORNational rankings (Rivals 34; Scout 23).Best in class: KD Cannon, wr, Mount Pleasant, Texas.Best of the rest: Davion Hall, wr, Texarkana, Texas; Terence Williams, rb, Ennis, Texas; and two junior college transfers who are already enrolled at Baylor, Jarell Broxton, og, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Grant Campbell, lb,...
Signing day capsules for each Big 12 school
The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2014Here are the signing day capsules from each of the Big 12 schools: ___ BAYLOR National rankings (Rivals 34; Scout 23). Best in class: KD Cannon, wr, Mount Pleasant, Texas. Best of the rest: Davion Hall, wr, Texarkana, Texas; Terence Williams, rb, Ennis, Texas; and two junior college transfers who are already enrolled at Baylor, Jarell Broxton, og, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Grant Campbell, lb, Bakersfield, Calif. Late addition: None, the Bears got early commitments and they stuck. One that got away: None. Baylor fans watching a webcast that included a shot of the fax machine set next to the Big 12 championship trophy on the Waco campus saw every national letter of intent they expected to see. NOTE: Briles said the Bears' success on the field is certainly having an impact on recruiting, not to mention the team moves into a new stadium next fall. "The difference now and three years ago? Three years ago, we were selling hope, vision and trying to acquire something," he said. "Now we're selling defending something. Our job is to defend a Big 12 championship." ___ IOWA STATE National rankings (Rivals 56; Scout 52) Best in class: Allen Lazard, wr, Urbandale, Iowa. Best of the rest: Jordan Harris, lb, Clarksdale, Miss.; Martinez Syria, rb, Humble, Texas; Mike Warren, rb, Lawton, Okla.; Brian Peavy, db, Houston, Texas; Darius Lee-Campbell, qb, Spring, Texas. Late addition: Willie Harvey, lb, Hastings, Fla., who picked Iowa State on Monday after decommitting from Southern Mississippi. One that got away: Tommy Mister, rb, 6-0, 210, decommitted after Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads fired offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope and signed with Indiana. NOTE: "He's a guy that will knock people's fillings loose. That's how he plays. He's productive. He shows up and plays very physical. He's got that mental approach to the game. He's very smart." — Rhoads on linebacker Jordan Harris. ___ KANSAS National rankings (Rivals 55; Scout 62). Best in class: Traevohn Wrench, rb, Gardner, Kan. Best of the rest: Jacob Bragg, ol, Nacogdoches, Texas; Kyron Watson, lb, East St. Louis, Ill.; D.J. Williams, dl, Lufkin, Texas; Derrick Neal, wr, Dallas. Late addition: Corey Avery, rb, Dallas, who picked Kansas this past week after visiting Nebraska and considering Ohio State, LSU and Texas. One that got away: Austin Stevens, dl, Montclair, N.J., committed to Kansas in September and switched his pledge to Boston College in December. NOTE: Kansas invested heavily in football hotbeds Texas (11 players) and Florida (four), while picking up three in-state recruits. But as evidence of the lengths Weis was going to secure talent, he also lured prospects from six other states and Canada. ___ KANSAS STATE National rankings (Rivals 46; Scout 57) Best in class: D'Vonta Derricott, lb, Henrico, Va. Best of the rest: Terrell Clinkscales, dt, Maywood, Ill.; Dalvin Warmack, rb, Blue Springs, Mo.; Dalton Risner, ol, Wiggins, Colo.; Elijah Lee, lb, Blue Springs, Mo. Late addition: Isaiah Riddle, lb, Newnan, Ga., picked the Wildcats on signing day over Memphis and Louisville despite never visiting the school. One that got away: Aaron Sharp, qb, Humble, Texas, who committed to Kansas State last July but switched to UCLA in January. NOTE: The Wildcats hope Derricott and Clinkscales fill two of the biggest holes. Derricott was courted by nearly every Big 12 school while Clinkscales switched his commitment from Nebraska. ___ OKLAHOMA National rankings (Rivals 15; Scout 13). Best in class: Joe Mixon, rb, Oakley, Calif. Best of the rest: Mark Andrews, wr, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Alex Dalton, ol, Troy, Ohio; Samaje Perine, rb, Pflugerville, Texas; Dallis Todd, wr, La Mirada, Calif.; Steven Parker, db, Jenks, Okla. Late addition: Orlando Brown, ot, Duluth, Ga. NOTE: Coach Bob Stoops called this one of his best classes. He said the win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl helped close out several recruits. ___ OKLAHOMA STATE National rankings (Rivals 27; Scout 14). Best in class: Tyreek Hill, ath, Garden City, Kan. Best of the rest: Gyasi Akem, lb, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Keenen Brown, wr, Houston; Mason Rudolph, qb, Rock Hill, S.C. Late addition: Jarrell Owens, de, Palestine, Texas One that got away: Steven Parker, db, Jenks, Okla. (Oklahoma) NOTE: Hill has a listed time of 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. As a sophomore at Garden City Community College last season, he had 32 catches for 532 yards with six touchdowns and he carried the ball 101 times for 659 yards and five touchdowns. ___ TCU National rankings (Rivals 51; Scout 38). Best in class: Shaun Nixon, rb, Lake Travis, Austin, Texas. Best of the rest: Ty Barrett, ol, Dallas Skyline; qbs Foster Sawyer, Fort Worth, and Grayson Muehlstein, Decatur; wrs Corey McBride, Geismar, La., and Emanuel Porter, Dallas Lincoln. Late addition: Nixon, a four-star recruit, had committed to Texas A&M before his surprise visit to TCU last weekend. Patterson called him a "guy who stood out who wanted to come to TCU. I don't think you ever turn down a great tailback." One that got away: DE Jarrell Owens, who was also a running back at Palestine High, committed to the Frogs last summer. But the 6-3, 240-pounder switched to Oklahoma State after a visit to Stillwater last weekend and signed with the Cowboys on Wednesday. NOTE: Ty Summers was a dual-threat All-District quarterback with 3,774 total yards and 47 touchdowns at San Antonio's Reagan High. Patterson recruited him to play linebacker, like he has done with other former high school QBs, including Jason Phillips, who is an NFL linebacker for Philadelphia. "A little bit going back to my old ways," Patterson said. "He ran with the ball more than he threw it. He's a very physical player." ___ TEXAS National rankings (Rivals 20, Scout 16 ). Best in class: Jerrod Heard, qb, Denton, Texas Best of the rest: Poona Ford, dt, Hilton Head, S.C. Late addition: Chris Nelson, dt, Lakeland, Fla. One that got away: Sione Teuhema, de, Keller, Texas NOTE: Coach Charlie Strong wasn't hired to replace Mack Brown until Jan. 6, which meant he had to scramble to hold on to some previous commitments and lure others. The class won't be considered as strong compared to what Texas fans are used to, but no one will care if the Longhorns win on the field. ___ TEXAS TECH National rankings (Rivals 43; Scout 35). Best in class: Patrick Mahomes, qb, Whitehouse, Texas. Best of the rest: Justin Stockton, rb, Cibolo, Texas; Ian Sadler, wr, Argyle; Devin Lauderdale, wr, Houston; Nigel Bethel, db, Miami; Rika Levi, dl, South San Francisco, Calif. Late addition: Shaquille Davis, ol, Ponomo, Calif. One that got away: Zaycoven Henderson, dt, Longview, Texas (Texas A&M). NOTE: "He's a winner," coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Mahomes. "You watch him play and he willed his team to victories over and over." ___ WEST VIRGINIA National rankings (Rivals 38; Scout 40). Best in class: Dravon Henry, db, Aliquippa (Pa.) HS. Best of the rest: William Crest, qb, Dunbar HS, Baltimore. Donte Thomas-Williams, rb, Hillside HS, Durham, N.C. Late addition: Dontae Angus, ol, Martin Luther King HS, Philadelphia. Angus had initially committed to Florida. One that got away: Josh Krok, ol, McKinley HS, Niles, Ohio. Krok signed with Kentucky after making a visit last month to Lexington, Ky. NOTE: Holgorsen called Henry "one of the better players in the Northeast" who can play cornerback or safety and be used as a returner.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bearcats signed a junior college quarterback who will compete for the starting job next season.Jarred Evans of Santa Barbara Community College has enrolled at Cincinnati and will be a front-runner for the job, along with sophomore Gunner Kiel, who sat out last season after transferring from Notre Dame. Evans was one of the most notable members of coach Tommy Tuberville's...
Bearcats sign potential starting QB Jarred Evans
JOE KAY, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2014CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bearcats signed a junior college quarterback who will compete for the starting job next season. Jarred Evans of Santa Barbara Community College has enrolled at Cincinnati and will be a front-runner for the job, along with sophomore Gunner Kiel, who sat out last season after transferring from Notre Dame. Evans was one of the most notable members of coach Tommy Tuberville's recruiting class on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Evans reminds Tuberville of dual-threat quarterback Munchie Legaux, who tore ligaments in his left knee last season. "Jarred Evans is a kid that I've had my eye on for a year," Tuberville said. "He reminds me a lot of Munchie. Jarred is probably a more proficient passer because that's what he's done more, throw the ball. But he can really run, he's got a lot of speed." Kiel's experience running the offense in practice last season makes him the leading candidate to replace Brendon Kay, who has graduated. Cincinnati's highest-rated recruit is linebacker Kevin Mouhon, who is the brother of Bearcats defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon. Kevin Mouhon originally committed to Tennessee, but changed his mind and will play with his brother. Kevin Mouhon attended a football camp at Cincinnati last year and made a visit. "Silverberry was probably our better recruiter," Tuberville said. "Kevin came to games, came for an official visit. I think family won out in this situation." ___ CINCINNATI National rankings (Rivals 58; Scout 61). Best in class: Kevin Mouhon, Norcross, Ga. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker originally committed to Tennessee and former Bearcats coach Butch Jones. He changed his mind in part because of his brother, Cincinnati defensive lineman Silverberry Mouhon, who is entering his junior season. Best of the rest: QB Jarred Evans, 6-2, 190. The transfer from Santa Barbara Community College has already enrolled and will be eligible for spring football, where he'll push sophomore Gunner Kiel for the starting job. LB Marcus Tappan from Glendale College also has enrolled and could get early playing time. CB J.J. Pinckney from Sylvania Southview in Ohio provides size (6-3, 186) at one of the Bearcats' thinnest positions. Late addition: Davon Witherspoon, a safety from McArthur High School in Miami, was the last recruit signed on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defensive back will add to the depth in the secondary. One that got away: Hunter Atkinson, TE. Atkinson, a 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, waited until Tuesday to choose Georgia over Cincinnati. "We knew we had a battle with Georgia and we lost last night," Tuberville said. ___ Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay
OU football recruiting: Sooners' 'monster' recruit Devante Bond just in his fourth season of organized footballFeb 4, 2014
When Devante Bond showed up for 2010 preseason drills at Foothill High School, it didn't take long before football coach Allen Berg recognized his potential. “He was just a monster,” Berg said. “He was big, fast and just a great kid. Good work ethic. “He had everything together — except experience.” Bond didn't play the sport until he was a high school senior, so when he suits up...
OU football recruiting: Sooners' 'monster' recruit Devante Bond just in his fourth season of organized football
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Feb 4, 2014When Devante Bond showed up for 2010 preseason drills at Foothill High School, it didn't take long before football coach Allen Berg recognized his potential. “He was just a monster,” Berg said. “He was big, fast and just a great kid. Good work ethic. “He had everything together — except experience.” Bond didn't play the sport until he was a high school senior, so when he suits up for Oklahoma this fall, it will be only be the linebacker's fourth real season of organized football. Because of his late development and grade issues, Bond never became a hot recruit out of high school. After two seasons at Sierra Community College, he signed with Miami (Fla.), but problems with transferring credits meant he couldn't enroll there. “He fell in love with Miami,” Berg said. “He loved the coaching staff, loved the area, made some friends there. Then the whole grade thing went down, and I think it crushed him. But once he re-started the recruiting process, he was more excited about Oklahoma.” Bond spent last fall competing course work and enrolled at OU for the spring semester, meaning he'll be able to go through Oklahoma's spring practices in March and April. “He's really only now played three years of ball,” Berg said. “He's nowhere even close to reaching his ceiling. Hopefully Oklahoma can get him to his peak performance level. Even the last time I saw him, he's big, but you can see that he still has room to grow, which is just crazy.”
SUPER BOWL — Wes Welker was an Oklahoma legend before playing a down at Texas Tech. Now he's got former presidents rooting for him to finally win a Super Bowl.
Wes Welker: The Oklahoma City everyman with the big helmet is still something Super
BY BERRY TRAMEL | Feb 2, 2014EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When Wes Welker made his Denver Broncos debut last Sept. 5, he caught nine passes from Peyton Manning and scored two touchdowns. When long-time Denver tackle Ryan Clady suffered a season-ending injury on Sept. 15, the Broncos needed a new offensive captain. It voted for Welker, who had played all of two games with the franchise. When former President Bill Clinton was interviewed Friday night in Brooklyn at the Thunder-Nets NBA game and asked for a Super Bowl pick, he mentioned two players. Peyton Manning and Wes Welker. As Super Bowl XLVIII arrives Sunday night, with the Broncos playing the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium for world supremacy, Welker is 32 years old and bigger in status than ever before. Not stature; he's still the same 5-foot-9 Everyman who leaves you wondering how he's carved an all-star career in a behemoth sport. But the little guy who long ago became an Oklahoma City folk hero still is going strong. Still an NFL lightning rod, be it his beard or his Old Spice commercials or his oversized helmet or his one-sided feud (not Welker's side) with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “Very fortunate, very blessed to have this opportunity again,” Welker said of his third Super Bowl, “and that's all you really ask for.” Well, a victory would be nice, too. A Super Bowl championship and maybe the Pro Football Hall of Fame, that's all that's missing from Welker's career. He's got 841 NFL receptions, 24th-best in league history. But two Super Bowl disappointments with the Patriots have kept Welker from the ultimate prize. You never know the future. This could be Welker's final chance. “Whatever happens, happens,” Welker said. “You can't sit there and think in your mind, this or that or whatever. Whatever happens, happens and you just go out there and try to play the best you can. It's a lot of hard work, and you have to have some luck along the way to get to this point ... You don't take these moments for granted that's for sure.” Welker suffered two concussions this season and has missed three games. That led to the new helmet that caused him much grief but has kept his head relatively secure. Welker caused a stir at Super Bowl Media Day after he was asked if he would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion: “What do you think? I mean, you want to be out there. The Super Bowl, this is what you dream about. You're going to be there, I don't care what it takes, you're going to be out there in this game.” That's the same kind of ornery spirit Oklahomans have seen since Welker was a high school star at Heritage Hall in the 1990s. Despite his size, Welker was a do-everything player. In 2000, historian Ray Soldan, a half-century follower of high school football for the Oklahoman declared Welker the best Oklahoma prep player ever. At the time, Welker had yet to catch a pass even for Texas Tech. Welker's story has been oft-told. He got the last scholarship at Tech and became a star. He went undrafted by the NFL, then was cut by the San Diego Chargers. He hooked on with the Miami Dolphins, played three seasons, then was traded to the Patriots when Miami worried about paying Welker too much. “A lot of times, just coming into the league, especially on draft day, you just want a job,” Welker said. “Then as you get a job, you want to accomplish things, you want to go to the playoffs, you want to go to the Super Bowl and then you want to win a Super Bowl. So, coming from humble beginnings to get to this point is definitely a blessing.” All along, Welker has maintained his Oklahoma City roots. His family still lives in OKC. Last summer, Wes Welker Sports Bar & Grill opened in the Quail Springs area of north OKC. Welker's foundation for several years as provided grants to schools and youth programs in financial need. Welker can (and did, during Super Bowl) talk Thunder basketball; he's shown up at a variety of NBA arenas with Thunder apparel. He gave a shout-out to LifeChurch during Super Bowl Media Day. His favorite band is Oklahoma's Kings of Leon. “That's home for me,” Welker said. “That's where I grew up. I definitely have a big respect for my hometown and being from there. I just love it there.” But he doesn't plan on returning anytime soon. Too much football still to be played. Some players like to cap their careers on top. Welker was asked if a Super Bowl title might make him consider retirement. “Of course, it would be a good way to end it, but I am still having fun,” Welker said. “I am still enjoying the game. I feel good, and as long as I am out there having fun, I will continue to play.” And it's not like the Broncos don't want him. That captaincy thing was no small deal. “I don't care who you are, coming to a new team, new teammates, that doesn't happen very easily,” Denver coach John Fox said. “It says a lot to the kind of guy he is, both on and off the field. I think he is an unbelievable competitor and very gritty, and that became obvious to his teammates very early on — how he goes about his business on and off the field and preparation. He has been a tremendous addition, and we are sure glad to have him.” Oklahoma City feels the same way. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Feb 2, 2014
California has become one of OU's favorite places to recruit as well as some of the SEC states.
OU football: Sooners recruiting game plan goes beyond Texas
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, email@example.comYOUR NAME | Feb 2, 2014NORMAN — When it comes to recruiting, Oklahoma is depending much less on Texas these days. Of the Sooners' 22 current commitments in their recruiting class of 2014, only seven are Texans. And of OU's remaining targets, two are from Oklahoma and one is from Utah. In fact, the Sooners have nearly as many commitments from California (5) as they do from Texas. Oklahoma became less and less dependent on Lone Star State recruiting as it became apparent that most of the top-flight talent in the state that the Sooners wanted was choosing Texas, said Josh McCuistion, who covers OU recruiting for the Rivals network site SoonerScoop.com. “It does surprise you when you think about it from a tradition standpoint and the footprint of Oklahoma football and how much connection there is to Texas, but when you look at the results they were getting,” McCuisition said. “They weren't landing those guys. Texas was landing the elite guys that Oklahoma offered and clearly wanted.” So coach Bob Stoops and his staff began looking elsewhere, and lately, California has become one of their favorite places to hunt for talent. “That 2010 class was the first time you really saw it,” McCuistion said. “Brennan Clay really liked Oklahoma early, and it just kinda fell into their lap that he was so big on them.” Clay persuaded his close friends, Tony Jefferson and Kenny Stills, to join him Norman. All three became important contributors during their OU careers, and have helped recruit more California prospects to Oklahoma. “I think a lot of things,” Stoops said earlier this year when asked what California high school players find attractive about OU. “Success, you know, the championships we've been in and won, and not won. “And I think they pay attention and see a lot of the success California kids have had coming out here. I think it all goes together. And the fact that we're on TV every week.” But the Sooners' non-Texas recruiting goes beyond California. Some of the best players on Oklahoma's 2013 team were from outside the area. Defensive end Charles Tapper is from Baltimore, and linebacker Eric Striker is from Florida. Four-star 2014 offensive line commit Alex Dalton is from Troy, Ohio, and the Sooners have even crept into SEC country this year, with two New Orleans commitments, defensive back Tito Windham (Gulfport, Miss.) and defensive end Dwayne Orso (Homewood, Ala.). Last February on National Signing Day, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was asked about the Sooners' national recruiting strategy. He had helped OU land defensive backs Hatari Byrd and L.J. Moore, both from Fresno, Calif., and Ahmad Thomas, from Miami. “To me, my responsibilities with my players and our team here, and then to travel was very difficult,” he said. “We were able to get in on kids that were committed to Oklahoma from the get-go and didn't waver one bit. … It's hard. The travel is hard. It isn't ideal. But you have to get the best players.”
Jan 29, 2014
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — So much for all the hand-wringing about a snowed-in Super Bowl.How would freezing spectators deal with the cold at MetLife Stadium?What sort of havoc would a big storm wreak on transportation and other game-day logistics?What if the NFL decided to postpone its championship game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for 24 hours?If the National Weather...
Even if no snow, players prep for cold Super Bowl
HOWARD FENDRICH, Associated Press | Jan 29, 2014JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — So much for all the hand-wringing about a snowed-in Super Bowl. How would freezing spectators deal with the cold at MetLife Stadium? What sort of havoc would a big storm wreak on transportation and other game-day logistics? What if the NFL decided to postpone its championship game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for 24 hours? If the National Weather Service's forecast is correct, the buzz about a blizzard at the first cold-weather, outdoor Super Bowl — the official host committee logo features a snowflake — will turn out to be just talk. As of Wednesday, no snow, or even rain, was being predicted for Sunday. "It would have been cool in the snow," Seattle linebacker Heath Farwell said. "That's, I guess, how football's supposed to be played." Players on both teams have experienced chilly conditions during games, of course, although they don't regularly brace for the sort of brrrr that's anticipated for this Super Bowl, even if there isn't any snow. Sunday's high temperature is expected to be 38 degrees, which would make it the coldest of the 48 Super Bowls so far. With the opening kickoff scheduled for about 6:30 p.m., the mercury could drop into the 20s by the time the game ends. The only time the temperature dropped below 40 degrees for a Super Bowl came when it was 39 in New Orleans in January 1972. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in that game, and Miami's scoring output remains the lowest for one team in a Super Bowl. "I was expecting unbearable cold," Broncos safety Duke Ihenacho said, looking ahead to Sunday. "It'll be cold, but it's nothing we haven't seen in Denver." Similar to the setup for cold-site games during the regular season, there will be 70 feet worth of heated benches on each sideline, half for the offense, half for the defense, according to the NFL. (Attention, kickers: The league did not mention special teams.) The benches can reach a temperature that is 90 degrees warmer than the air; each club gets to decide how hot it wants to make them, the league said. The seats generate heat in the area surrounding the benches, so even standing nearby can help fight the freeze. There also will be "heated torpedo fans" on each sideline. Football uniforms have short sleeves, and only one of the 15 players interviewed for this story, Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril, said he would even consider wearing long sleeves underneath to provide some protection Sunday. "I'm a 315-pound man. The weather doesn't bother me," Broncos defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said, by way of explaining why he'd never go for the long-sleeved look. Instead, players did offer up various other options for finding warmth. The remedies range from commonsense solutions for when the temperature plunges, such as wearing extra-thick jackets or gloves on the sideline, to more far-flung options such as spraying anti-perspirant on feet to keep them dry and prevent sweat from freezing. Even more far-flung: Seattle's Harwell said he's heard of players putting cayenne pepper and baby powder on their feet. Many players said they will use some combination of Vaseline and a product called Warm Skin, described on the company's website as "a unique barrier cream that soothes and protects your skin," to seal up pores and act as insulation. "At first, I didn't think it would work, but I was surprised that it really protected me from the elements, especially from the wind and everything. I felt good. I felt warm," said Denver defensive tackle Sione Fua, who sported a thick gray hoodie under his orange jersey at his team's interview session Wednesday, when the high was 25. "It rubs in pretty good, so it's not like your skin's slick. The referees check for that, anyway, so if you're too slick, they tell you to wipe down." Broncos safety David Bruton said he started using creams on his arms before playing in the cold during high school in Miamisburg, Ohio. "My Dad suggested it. He was a truck driver, and sometimes he'd have to hook the trailer up when it was blistering cold, like when he would go to New York in the winter," Bruton recalled. "He would have thick gloves and Vaseline on." No matter how they try to weather Sunday's weather, players doubt the conditions — whatever they turn out to be — will influence the game's outcome. "Both teams are going to be prepared, and they won't really care about it," Bruton said. "Hey, it's the Super Bowl. Who's going to care about the weather? And no one is ever going to say, 'Such-and-such won, and it was negative-2 degrees at the end of the game.'" Maybe so. But at least one player is holding out hope for a few flakes. "I really got excited about the Super Bowl," Broncos kick returner Trindon Holliday said, "thinking it was going to have some snow." ___ Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org ___ AP Sports Writer Tom Canavan in New York contributed to this report.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Projected starters and key players for the Super Bowl:SEATTLE SEAHAWKSOFFENSERussell Wilson, QB (3), 5-11, 206, 2nd season, WisconsinHolds NFL record for wins at start of career with 24 ... Third-round draftee who immediately seized starting job and led Seattle to 2012 playoffs ... Dynamic runner who excels throwing on the run ... Poised in the pocket, very...
SUPER BOWL: Profiles of key players
BARRY WILNER, Associated Press | Jan 29, 2014EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Projected starters and key players for the Super Bowl: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS OFFENSE Russell Wilson, QB (3), 5-11, 206, 2nd season, Wisconsin Holds NFL record for wins at start of career with 24 ... Third-round draftee who immediately seized starting job and led Seattle to 2012 playoffs ... Dynamic runner who excels throwing on the run ... Poised in the pocket, very dangerous outside of it ... Played at North Carolina State, then one year at Wisconsin as grad student. Marshawn Lynch, RB, (24) 5-11, 215, 7th season, California "Beast Mode" with a penchant for Skittles ... Powerful back with a burst, broke 40-yard TD run in NFC title game ... Rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 TDs this season ... Also a threat as receiver out of backfield. Michael Robinson, FB (26), 6-1, 240, 8th season, Penn State Former college QB who made transition to RB and now fullback ... Cut in preseason after three years with Seahawks, then re-signed in October ... Also has excelled on special teams. Doug Baldwin, WR (89), 5-10, 189, 3rd season, Stanford Undrafted out of college, plays with an attitude about it ... Can get deep but is not a speed demon ... Versatile, made a 69-yard kickoff return in NFC title game ... Wilson looks for him in key situations. Golden Tate, WR (81), 5-10, 202, 4th season, Notre Dame Makes some spectacular catches and is a deep threat ... Second-round pick in 2010 who also plays doesn't back down ... Led team with 64 catches, 898 yards and had five TDs this season ... Made infamous TD catch vs. Green Bay in 2013 that was last call by replacement officials. Jermaine Kearse, WR (15), 6-1, 209, 2nd season, Washington Caught winning TD pass in NFC title game for 35 yards on fourth down in final quarter ... Undrafted in 2012, played in seven games as rookie with only three receptions. Took over third receiving spot with injuries to Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, had 15.7-yard average on 22 catches four TDs. Zach Miller, TE (86), 6-5, 255, 7th season, Arizona State Signed away from Oakland as free agent in 2011, has not been as productive with Seahawks ... Had 33 receptions for 387 yards and five TDs in 2013 ... Good target in red zone and over the middle. Russell Okung, LT (76), 6-5, 310, 4th season, Oklahoma State First-round pick 2010 (sixth overall) who has developed into Pro Bowl-level blocker ... Injuries have set him back at times, but a road-grader when healthy ... Missed half of this season with toe injury, was placed on IR designated to return and came back on Nov. 17. James Carpenter, LG (67), 6-5, 321, 3rd season, Alabama A surprise first-round selection in 2011 who has been inconsistent ... Has been in and out of lineup in throughout career, was inactive for Saints playoff game, then started in NFC championship. Max Unger, C (60), 6-5, 205, 5th season, Oregon Among the best centers in the game ... Intelligent, strong, really gets off the ball after he snaps it ... A 2012 All-Pro who missed three games this season with arm injury ... His matchups with NT Terrance Knighton will be a key component in Super Bowl. J.R. Sweezy, RG (64), 6-5, 298, 2nd season, North Carolina State A backup as a rookie who blossomed in his second year and started 15 times ... Missed Seahawks' only home loss of season, to Arizona, with concussion, and Wilson was often overwhelmed by pass rush. Breno Giacomini, RT (68), 6-7, 318, 6th season, Louisville Yet another O-lineman who missed time in 2013 ... Knee problems cost him four games in midseason ... Highly competitive, huge and more maneuverable than might be expected ... Lynch often runs behind him. DEFENSE Red Bryant, DE (79), 6-4, 323, 6th season, Texas A&M Versatile player who can go inside, has the bulk and the movement to be an end or a tackle ... Leader of the defensive line ... Not a big sacks guy, but takes up blockers to free up teammates. Tony McDaniel, DT (99), 6-7, 305, 8th season, Tennessee One of many members of rotation in the trenches, also has played for Jacksonville and Miami ... Joined Seattle this season as free agent, had 52 tackles and two sacks. Brandon Mebane, DT (92), 6-1, 311, 7th season, California Strongest player up front for Seahawks, clogs running lanes effectively ... Was in on 45 tackles this season, high for the role he plays ... Has started every game he appeared in since 2008. Chris Clemons, DE (91), 6-3, 254, 10th season, Georgia Accomplished pass rusher with 58 career sacks ... Had huge 2012 season, then tore knee ligament in playoff win over Washington, missing loss to Atlanta ... Acquired in trade with Eagles in 2010, also played for Redskins ... Sacked Ben Roethlisberger in Clemons' first career start in 2004. Cliff Avril, DE (56), 6-3, 260, 6th season, Purdue Signed as free agent away from Detroit, added burst off the edge in pass rush ... Had sack of Colin Kaepernick and forced fumble in fourth quarter last week ... Had eight sacks among his 34 tackles as rotation player ... Has 47 1-2 career sacks. Michael Bennett, DE (72), 6-4, 274, 5th season, Texas A&M Signed away from Tampa Bay as free agent and has been major contributor on league's top defense ... Recovered fumble in NFC championship game ... Led team with 8 1-2 sacks among his 31 tackles. Bruce Irvin, OLB (51), 6-3, 248, 2nd season, West Virginia First-round pick who had decent rookie year, then was suspended for first four games of 2013 for using banned substance ... Still raw, but can rush the passer ... At some point needs to show he can handle pass coverages, too, and this would be good time to do so. Bobby Wagner, MLB (54), 6-0, 241, 2nd season, Utah State One of the league's most unnoticed stars ... A do-everything LB who stays on the field ... Had 119 tackles this season and 140 as a rookie ... Also had five sacks in 2013 ... Coach Pete Carroll never misses chance to praise Wagner's toughness and versatility. Malcolm Smith, OLB (53), 6-0, 226, 3rd season, Southern California Caught Richard Sherman's deflection for interception to clinch NFC championship and trip to Super Bowl ... Was recruited by Carroll to USC ... Seventh-rounder who has improved each season ... Became more of a regular on defense in second half of 2013 schedule. Also plays special teams. Richard Sherman, CB (25), 6-3, 195, 3rd season, Stanford Forget the post-game diatribe against Michael Crabtree after NFC title game, this is best cornerback in football ... Will play press coverage or lay back and is equally adept ... Hits hard, too ... Led NFL in interceptions with eight, even though man he is covering isn't target as much as other receivers. Byron Maxwell, CB (41), 6-1, 207, 3rd season, Clemson Stepped in when Brandon Browner was suspended and has been just as good ... Finds the football and has good hands ... A sixth-round pick who has flourished ... Mostly played special teams before this season. Earl Thomas, S (29), 5-10, 202, 4th season, Texas Despite lack of size, Thomas is one of league's most rugged safeties ... Versatile, active and smart, gets to the right place nearly all the time ... Sherman calls him leader of the league's top defense ... Two-time All-Pro who was first-round pick in 2010. Kam Chancellor, S (31), 6-3, 232, 4th season, Virginia Tech Monster hits mark his game ... Tall and rangy ... Has 278 tackles in past three seasons, and seven interceptions ... Could face off with Julius Thomas in one of the juicier Super Bowl matchups ... Yet another low draft choice (fifth-round in 2010). SPECIAL TEAMS Steven Hauschka, PK (4), 6-4, 210, 6th season, North Carolina State Also has kicked for Baltimore and, yes, Denver ... Caught on with Seattle in 2011 and has been very strong ... Has made 82 of 92 field goal tries for Seahawks and is particularly solid from distance ... Made six FGs against Jacksonville and five vs. Minnesota this season. Jon Ryan, P (9), 6-0, 217, 8th season, Regina (Canada) A rare exploit from Canadian college ball, Ryan has been a defensive weapon for the Seahawks ... Began career with Green Bay, has been with Seahawks since 2008 ... Put 28 punts inside the 20 and excels at getting them inside the 10, too. Golden Tate, PR (81), 5-10, 202, 4th season, Notre Dame Will gamble a bit too much on punt runbacks, but also has skills to break them ... Averaged 11.5 yards a return, ninth in league. Percy Harvin, KR (11), 5-11, 184, 5th season, Florida Has been injured for most of the season after being signed as free agent away from Vikings ... Comes off concussion sustained in playoff game vs. Saints, when he had three receptions ... Had 58-yard kick return against former team in only regular-season game in 2013. ___ DENVER BRONCOS OFFENSE Peyton Manning, QB (18), 6-5, 230, 16th season, Tennessee One of the all-time greats, will play in third Super Bowl ... Won 2006 NFL title with Indianapolis, lost in 2009 season ... Ironman streak of starting every game (227) from 1998-2010 ended in '11 after neck surgeries sidelined him for year ... Joined Broncos as free agent and has gone 28-7 with them ... Shattered NFL marks with 55 TD passes and 5,477 yards ... First overall draft choice in 1998. Knowshon Moreno, RB (27), 5-11, 220, 5th season, Georgia First-rounder in 2009 whose career seemed to be waning until Manning arrived ... Rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 TDs this season ... Can gain yardage inside or out, and picks up blitzers well ... Also caught 60 balls and scored three times ... Has become a producer in the clutch. Montee Ball, RB (28), 5-10, 215, 1st season, Wisconsin Second-round choice after record-setting NCAA career ... If he protects the ball, he can be dynamic ... Had 559 yards rushing, 20 receptions, scored four times ... Broncos like to avoid overworking Moreno and Ball is the ace reliever. Demaryius Thomas, WR (88), 6-3, 229, 4th season, Georgia Tech Big target with smooth running style who can make some spectacular catches ... Manning's main guy among many receivers, Thomas has 92 catches, 1,430 yards and 14 TDs ... Will be interesting confrontation for him with Seahawks DBs who believe they can handle anyone in man coverage. Eric Decker, WR (87), 6-3, 214, 4th season, Minnesota Another versatile, smart route-runner who has meshed well with Manning ... Made 87 catches for 1,288 yards and 11 scores ... Deceptively quick, though won't win foot races with DBs ... Decker combined with Demaryius Thomas for the most prolific receiving tandem (2,718 yards) in the league. Wes Welker, WR (83), 5-9, 185, 10th season, Texas Tech Was just slightly less productive with Manning as he was in New England with Tom Brady ... Signed before season as free agent, worked mostly out of slot to gain 778 yards on 73 catches and score 10 times ... Undrafted out of college, played for San Diego and Miami before joining Patriots. Julius Thomas, TE (80), 6-5, 250, 3rd season, Portland State A breakout player, thanks greatly to Manning ... Went from obscure to star with 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 TDs ... Excellent target in red zone, also can break tackles for long gains ... Former college basketball player. Chris Clark, LT (75), 6-5, 305, 5th season, Southern Mississippi First season as full-time starter ... Not drafted, spend time on several practice squads ... Replaced star tackle Ryan Clady (foot), made 14 starts. Zane Beadles, LG (68), 6-4, 305, 4th season, Utah Second-rounder in 2010 who has started all but two of 64 games ... Very solid, Moreno gains lots of yards behind his blocks. Manny Ramirez, C (66), 6-3, 320, 7th season, Texas Tech Stepped in when injuries depleted position, first time snapping for full season since high school ... Helped Broncos yield league-low 17 sacks ... Manning calls him "awesome." Louis Vasquez, RG (65), 6-5, 335, 5th season, Texas Tech All-Pro this season after joining Broncos as free agent ... Equally skilled at run blocking and pass protection ... Best blocker on a terrific line. Orlando Franklin, RT (74), 6-7, 320, 3rd season, Miami, Fla. Massive second-round pick in 2011 who has held down job since being drafted ... Tough to see around, let alone get around into backfield ... Allowed only 3 1-2 sacks in 2012, fewest for position. DEFENSE Malik Jackson, DE (97), 6-5, 293, 2nd season, Tennessee Fifth-rounder in 2012, had 42 tackles in five starts and impressive six sacks ... Has nice burst off the snap, but is not consistent yet ... Also played at Southern Cal before going to Tennessee. Sylvester Williams, DT (92), 6-2, 313, 1st season, North Carolina First-round choice last April who earned more playing time late in regular season ... Benefits from Terrance Knighton being so active next to him ... Must show he can penetrate Seattle's solid inside blockers. Terrance Knighton, DT (94), 6-3, 335, 5th season, Temple An under-the-radar force who has had a terrific postseason ... A rare NFL regular from Temple, Knighton was signed away from Jacksonville as free agent ... Has 31 tackles and three sacks. Shaun Phillips, DE (90), 6-3, 255, 10th season, Purdue Signed away from division rival San Diego as free agent ... Uses moves and smarts to get into backfield, made 10 sacks this season ... Has 79 1-2 sacks for career ... Should be Seattle's primary concern in protection. Robert Ayers, DE (91), 6-3, 274, 5th season, Tennessee Spotty player who has come on recently ... First-round pick in 2009 who never has lived up to billing ... Had 5 1-2 sacks, but only one in final 11 regular-season games. Nate Irving, OLB (56), 6-1, 245, 3rd season, North Carolina State Third-rounder in 2011 has been in and out of lineup ... With star LB Von Miller suspended or hurt, Irving got more playing time ... Seattle will go after him. Wesley Woodyard, MLB (52), 6-0, 233, 6th season, Kentucky Truly broke out in 2012 with 117 tackles, 5 1-2 sacks ... Had another solid season in 2013, but missed two games (neck) ... Made his mark with excellent special teams work. Danny Trevathan, OLB (59), 6-1, 240, 2nd season, Kentucky By far the best defender in Denver this season ... Active, aggressive, versatile ... Sixth-rounder who went from no starts to 16, made 129 tackles, had three picks, and was inspiration to teammates. Champ Bailey, CB (24), 6-0, 192, 15th season, Georgia Getting Bailey to Super Bowl for first time was a rallying cry for defense ... Not nearly the All-Pro defender he once was, but has had solid playoffs ... Has 52 career interceptions, tops among active players. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB (45), 6-2, 193, 6th season, Tennessee State Signed away from Philadelphia as free agent ... Wound up as team's top cornerback after injuries or so-so play by others ... Broke up team-high 15 passes this season ... Also played for Arizona. Tony Carter, CB (32), 5-9, 175, 5th season, Florida State Journeyman who had minor role this season, but has played important minutes in playoffs ... Has only started three games in career ... Seattle will try to get him matched up with Baldwin or Tate. Duke Ihenacho, S (33), 6-1, 207, 2nd season, San Jose State Undrafted free agent who has made his mark after being on practice squad for part of 2012 ... Hits hard, not so great in coverage, but not a real liability ... Had 73 tackles in 2013. Mike Adams, S (20), 5-11, 200, 10th season, Delaware Another journeyman who has plugged a hole in secondary ... Also has played for San Francisco and Cleveland ... Has nine career fumble recoveries. SPECIAL TEAMS Matt Prater, PK (5), 5-10, 195, 7th season, Central Florida Set NFL record with 64-yard field goal this season ... Won't be bothered by playing outdoors in Super Bowl in cold weather ... Very strong leg, had 81 touchbacks on 114 kickoffs ... Missed only one FG, from 52 yards. Britton Colquitt, P (4), 6-3, 205, 5th season, Tennessee With Denver's offense clicking, Colquitt has punted just once in playoffs ... Member of kicking family, brother Dustin is with Chiefs, father Craig Colquitt and uncle Jimmy also were NFL punters. Trindon Holliday, PR-KR (11), 5-5, 170, 4th season, LSU Had all kinds of breakaway potential, and also can drop the ball ... Had 81-yard punt return and 105-yard kickoff runback for TDs this season ... NFL's shortest player. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Jan 29, 2014
OSU has a presence in Louisiana and working on another in Georgia.
OSU football: Cowboys are building a recruiting path in SEC country
BY GINA MIZELL | Jan 29, 2014STILLWATER — Sione Palelei watched the reaction from LSU fans unfold via social media when he announced he had decommited from the school and pledged to Oklahoma State. Tiger Nation was, in a word, displeased. “Bad, negative things,” Palelei recently recalled. “It kind of calmed down after a while, but the first few weeks, it was hard.” It was a flip-flop from SEC country to the Big 12 for the three-star all-purpose back from Gonzales East Ascension High located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. But Palelei is part of a larger, subtle-but-intriguing recruiting development for the Cowboys — a sudden, newfound presence in Louisiana. OSU had zero players from its 2013 roster from the state. But the Cowboys currently have three high school commits from Louisiana in Palelei and New Orleans Edna Karr teammates Juwan Offray, a three-star cornerback, and Joyan Williams, a three-star defensive lineman. Junior college transfer D'Nerius Antoine, an unrated linebacker, played his high school ball at New Iberia Westgate near Lafayette. Additionally, the Cowboys' top remaining target, four-star linebacker Kenny Young, is from River Ridge John Curtis. OSU is also making a late push on two-star offensive lineman Joseph Paul, an Oklahoma commit from New Orleans St. Augustine. “Our kids are traditionally SEC kids,” Edna Karr coach Nathaniel Jones said. “But I think what happens is guys understand if (college coaches) come in and they do a good job recruiting our guys, (they'll consider all their options). Just like anything else, you've got to believe in yourself and sell your program. “And I think Oklahoma State has a lot to offer … I think it's an easy sell once you get the guys on campus.” OSU has had pull in another Southeast state, Georgia, for several years because of defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer's roots and relationships there. And several connections helped lure these 2014 Louisiana prospects to Stillwater. Cowboy graduate assistant Eric Henderson, who primarily works with the defensive line, is an Edna Karr alumnus. So his place on staff helped OSU identify and snag two best friends in Offray, a confident, aggressive 1-on-1 defender with good hips and feet, and Williams, a versatile lineman with the speed to play end in 3-4 looks and the size to play tackle in 4-3 alignments. Williams' offer list was littered with schools in his home region, including Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Miami, Mississippi State, Tulane, Arkansas State and Southern Miss. Offray had an offer from South Alabama. Yet they both pledged to the Cowboys in June. “I know that Coach Henderson will show me love when I come up there,” Offray said. “He makes me feel like family. He makes me feel like home.” The OSU link for Palelei, an undersized-but-versatile back coming off season-ending knee surgery, actually did not come from Louisiana, but from his early childhood days in Utah. His father is a longtime friend of Cowboy player development specialist Beni Tonga, who moved to Utah in high school and played and coached at Snow College near Salt Lake City before coming to Stillwater this past season. Whether OSU can land Young or Paul as Signing Day approaches remains to be seen. Either way, the Cowboys are sure to have some more Cajun flavor on the roster in 2014. And Jones invites OSU to come back to Louisiana soon, because he estimates he's got three or four Division I prospects returning to his Edna Karr squad. “I'm more than sure Oklahoma State will be dropping back in and giving a few offers,” he said. “And maybe we can just keep that pipeline going.”