Washington Warriors football
|8 - 3||6 - 0||2 - 3||.727||369||228|
|2013-09-05||vs||Bridge Creek||W||55 - 31|
|2013-09-13||vs||Purcell||W||15 - 13|
|2013-09-20||@||Bethany||L||27 - 48|
|2013-09-27||vs||Frederick||W||44 - 14|
|2013-10-04||@||Hobart||W||28 - 3|
|2013-10-11||vs||Hinton||W||57 - 14|
|2013-10-17||@||Comanche||W||44 - 0|
|2013-10-25||vs||Mangum||W||48 - 12|
|2013-11-08||@||Lindsay||L||3 - 31|
|2013-11-15||vs||Lexington||W||41 - 21|
|2013-11-23||@||Hennessey||L||7 - 41|
|Rush Yds||Rush Yds Game||Pass Yds||Pass Yds/Game||Yards Total||Yards/Game||Pts Total||Pts/Game|
|Rush Yds Allow||Allow Rush/Game||Pass Yds Allow||Allow Pass/Game||Yds Total Allow||Yds Allow/Game||Allow Pts||Allow Pts/Game|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Washington football News
NewsOK articles about Washington football, or articles mentioning current or former Washington football players.
Washington High School Varsity Boys Football
The opening week is loaded with powerful matchups of highly ranked teams and some traditional rivalries.
Oklahoma high school football: Top 10 games for Week 1 of the season
BY SCOTT WRIGHT | Aug 31, 2014The opening week is loaded with powerful matchups of highly ranked teams and some traditional rivalries. Here are the top 10 games of the season’s first week: No. 1 Class 6A-II No. 3 Tulsa Washington at No. 1 Midwest City No. 2 Class 2A No. 1 Davis vs. No. 2 Vian, 3 p.m. Saturday at Choctaw No. 3 Class 5A No. 2 Lawton MacArthur at Class 4A No. 3 Clinton No. 4 Class 6A-I No. 2 Tulsa Union at Southlake (Texas) Carroll at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas No. 5 Class 4A No. 5 Woodward at 3A No. 1 Kingfisher No. 6 Class 3A No. 6 Blanchard at 4A No. 6 Tuttle No. 7 Class 3A No. 7 Heritage Hall at Casady (1-0), Thursday No. 8 Class 2A No. 10 OCS at Class A No. 2 Ringling No. 9 Class 6A-I No. 6 Edmond Memorial at No. 9 Southmoore No. 10 Class 6A-I No. 10 Owasso at No. 5 Broken Arrow *-All games Friday unless noted
Aug 31, 2014
The Oklahoman staff combed through every schedule for the season and chose the most impactful games each week for fans to see. Here is that list.
Oklahoma high school football: A week-by-week look at the top games of the season
BY JACOB UNRUH, SCOTT WRIGHT AND TRENT SHADID | Aug 31, 2014After three weeks of practices and scrimmages, official high school football games are upon us. With an impressive schedule to start the season this week that includes several rivalry games Thursday and Friday along with some intriguing games on Saturday, the season should have a strong opening weekend. But the season’s top games don’t stop there. The Oklahoman staff combed through every schedule for the season and chose the most impactful games each week for fans to see. Here is that list. Week 1 Top game: No. 3 Tulsa Washington at No. 1 Midwest City The two teams will meet in Week 1, and could very well meet again in Week 14 with the first-ever Class 6A-II gold ball on the line. As for this week, Tulsa Washington’s athletically gifted offense will get a stout test against the Bombers lauded — and loaded — defense. Honorable mention: No. 1 Davis vs. No. 2 Vian at Choctaw (2A); No. 2 Lawton MacArthur (5A) at No. 3 Clinton (4A), No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I) vs. Southlake (Texas) Carroll at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Week 2 Top game: No. 1 Jenks vs. No. 2 Tulsa Union A rematch of last season’s final Class 6A championship game, this could be a preview of the Class 6A-I title game in December. Lots of crazy things happen — like Dylan Harding’s 77-yard TD reception with 25 seconds remaining last season to propel Jenks. This matchup will be intriguing with both teams replacing several star players. Honorable mention: No. 1 Midwest City (6A-II) at No. 5 Carl Albert (5A); No. 4 Millwood (2A) at No. 2 Douglass (3A); No. 2 Lawton MacArthur (5A) at No. 2 Lawton (6A-II). Week 3 Top game: No. 3 Norman North at No. 4 Westmoore The Timberwolves and Jaguars enter the season as the most likely OKC-area 6A-I title contenders. This matchup features a ton of offensive talent on the field highlighted by Oklahoma State quarterback commitment John Kolar for Norman North and Louisville receiver commitment Dahu Green for Westmoore. Honorable mention: No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I); No. 6 Del City (5A) at No. 1 Midwest City (6A-II); No. 7 Heritage Hall (3A) at No. 1 Davis (2A) Week 4 Top game: No. 10 OCS at No. 4 Millwood Though it’s the opening week of district play, the impact of this game could be felt the rest of the season. The winner gets an early leg up on the District 2A-2 race, with Christian Heritage still lurking, waiting for its shot. Honorable mention: No. 6 Edmond Memorial vs. No. 7 Edmond Santa Fe (6A-I); No. 12 Ardmore at No. 6 Del City (5A); No. 10 Owasso at No. 3 Norman North (6A-I) Week 5 Top game: No. 3 Clinton at No. 1 Anadarko The past two Class 4A champions collide with the district title likely in the mix — along with possibly Anadarko’s regular-season winning streak that stretches back to 2009. Last year, Clinton limped into this matchup, but if healthy this is a fight between two heavyweights built on power football. Honorable mention: No. 1 Laverne at No. 2 Pond Creek-Hunter (B); No. 3 Norman North at No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I); No. 1 Cherokee (C) at No. 3 Shattuck (C). Week 6 Top game: No. 1 Kingfisher at No. 4 Seminole These two teams have met in the 3A semifinals the past two years, both Kingfisher wins. In 2014, the Yellowjackets and Chieftains have scheduled an earlier meeting, and Seminole quarterback Doc Harvey could be the toughest test of the season for defensive end Jace Sternberger and the Kingfisher defense. Honorable mention: No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I) at No. 1 Jenks (6A-I); No. 9 Tulsa Kelley (5A) at No. 1 Shawnee (5A); No. 9 Beggs (3A) at No. 3 Victory Christian (3A) Week 7 Top game: No. 5 Woodward at No. 1 Anadarko Another huge game in perhaps the toughest district outside of 6A Division I. Woodward was the only team to play Anadarko closer than 20 points in an 18-15 battle last season. This year should be another thriller. Honorable mention: No. 6 Tuttle (4A) at No. 2 Ada (4A); No. 5 Choctaw (6A-II) at No. 6 Stillwater (6A-II); No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I). Week 8 Top game: No. 4 Bixby at No. 3 Tulsa Washington A district title is likely on the line here between two 6A-II teams loaded with talent that could translate into a deep playoff run. Both possess talented quarterbacks in Bixby’s Tanner Griffin and Tulsa Washington’s Cordale Grundy along with some veteran presence, making this a nearly even matchup. Honorable mention: No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I) at No. 6 Edmond Memorial (6A-I); No. 6 Apache (A) at No. 1 Hollis (A); No. 1 Jenks (6A-I) at No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I). Week 9 Top game: No. 2 Lawton at No. 1 Midwest City Week 9 is loaded with potentially huge games, none bigger than this matchup of 6A-II title contenders. Midwest City and Lawton would likely be competitive in 6A-I, but the change in class has created new hope for both. If they can meet expectations, this could serve as a championship game preview. Honorable mention: No. 1 Shawnee (5A) at No. 3 McAlester (5A); No. 5 Carl Albert (5A) at No. 4 Guthrie (5A); No. 5 Woodward (4A) at No. 3 Clinton (4A) Week 10 Top game: No. 4 Guthrie at No. 10 Deer Creek Depending how the season plays out, anything could be on the line in this game, from a district title to a No. 4 playoff seed. Guthrie’s talented veteran offense meets Deer Creek’s blossoming defense. Honorable mention: No. 3 Norman North (6A-I) at No. 9 Southmoore (6A-I); No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 6 Edmond Memorial (6A-I); No. 3 Hennessey (2A) at No. 13 Chisholm (2A).
DE Frank Alexander (Carolina): Suspended the first four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Alexander, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has been a backup in the Panthers’ defensive-line rotation. Alexander has compiled 33 tackles in 28 games, including 3 1/2 sacks. QB Sam Bradford (St. Louis): The former No. 1 overall pick’s career in the crosshairs after he suffered another torn...
Former Sooners in the NFL: A look at ex-OU players on NFL rosters and those who didn't make the cut
BY MIKE BALDWIN | Aug 30, 2014DE Frank Alexander (Carolina): Suspended the first four games after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Alexander, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has been a backup in the Panthers’ defensive-line rotation. Alexander has compiled 33 tackles in 28 games, including 3 1/2 sacks. QB Sam Bradford (St. Louis): The former No. 1 overall pick’s career in the crosshairs after he suffered another torn ACL injury in preseason. Bradford has notched stats (11,065 yards, 58.6 percent completion rate, 59-to-38 touchdown-to-interception ratio), that indicate he could still develop into an NFL franchise quarterback if the Putnam North product can stay healthy. WR Justin Brown (Pittsburgh): Darrius Heyward-Bey’s strong camp showing made it tough for Brown to make the 53-man roster, but he made it. On the Steelers’ practice squad last season, Brown at some point could get an opportunity to work his way onto the field. WR Ryan Broyles (Detroit): For the second straight year the NCAA’s all-time leading receptions leader was forced to overcome a major injury, this time a ruptured Achilles tendon. A second-round pick in 2012, Broyles has been limited to 16 games, but the Norman product led the Lions in receiving in preseason, further proof he can contribute when healthy. Last year, he played in only 10 games but had 22 catches. S Quinton Carter (Denver): Trying to rebound from two lost seasons because of a knee injury, Carter played well his rookie season but must prove he’s healthy to play a key role. Carter started 12 games his rookie season (2011) and compiled 49 tackles his first two seasons before the knee injury led to a lengthy rehabilitation. OG Chris Chester (Washington): Entering his ninth season, the former second-round pick has started 95 games, including all 48 games the past three seasons. Chester returns to his right guard slot, one of the Hogs assigned to protect QB Robert Griffin III. CB: Aaron Colvin (Jacksonville): Sidelined by a knee injury, the Owasso product was placed on the non-football injury list. Colvin is prohibited from practicing or playing the first six weeks and must be activated by Week 11 to play his rookie season. TE Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati): In four seasons, the Ardmore product has compiled 218 receptions for 2,262 yards and 19 touchdowns. Playing in a two-tight end package last season, Gresham hauled in 46 passes for 458 yards and four TDs. But the Bengals keep adding quality tight ends — Tyler Eifert last year, Ryan Hewitt this season. TE James Hanna (Dallas): A sixth-round pick two years ago, Hanna has solidified a roster spot as the Cowboys’ No. 3 tight end. In his first two seasons, Hanna has hauled in 20 catches and serves as an extra blocker in short-yardage situations. CB Demontre Hurst (Chicago): The Bears are loaded with talented cornerbacks, but Hurst played well enough to make the 53-man roster after spending a year on the practice squad. Hurst could eventually work his way into Chicago’s nickel package. S Tony Jefferson (Arizona): Proving he should have been drafted in the third or fourth round, Jefferson will be the Cardinals’ starting strong safety entering the season. As a rookie, Jefferson played in all 16 games, including two starts. He compiled 24 tackles. OT Lane Johnson (Philadelphia): The fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Johnson will miss the first four games for testing positive for a banned substance. Johnson started all 16 games his rookie season and was an All-Rookie selection, but he won’t be eligible to return until Oct. 5. QB Landry Jones (Pittsburgh): OU’s all-time leading passer, a fourth-round pick in 2013, Jones started the Steelers’ preseason finale but failed to lead Pittsburgh on a scoring drive. Jones, though, held onto his tenuous roster spot as the No. 3 quarterback after completing 57-of-110 passes for 572 yards with two TDs and four interceptions the past two years in preseason games. OG Davin Joseph (St. Louis): The Rams signed the veteran O-lineman, who appeared in 100 games, including 99 starts, the past seven years with Tampa Bay. The two-time Pro Bowler is embracing the fresh start in a team that’s trying to take the next step despite losing Sam Bradford. LB Travis Lewis (Detroit): A reserve, Lewis has appeared in 25 games his first two seasons. Lewis primarily has been relegated to special teams duties, compiling only nine tackles. OT Phil Loadholt (Minnesota): A second-round pick in 2009, the Vikings’ right tackle has started 78 games his first five seasons, missing only two games. Scouts graded him at a Pro-Bowl level last season but he wasn’t named to the squad. He still has three years left on a $25 million extension. LB Curtis Lofton (New Orleans): Ranked in the top 10 among all NFL players for tackles the past five seasons, Lofton begins his seventh season, his third with the Saints. The Kingfisher product compiled 125 tackles last season and has 740 in his career. DT Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay): The third overall pick in the 2010 draft, McCoy turned in a Pro Bowl season. Ranked as one of the top players in the NFL regardless of position, the Southeast High School product collected 50 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks, a breakthrough season that established McCoy an elite defensive tackle. DT Stacy McGee (Oakland): Coming off a solid rookie season, the Muskogee product compiled 15 tackles in 15 games last season that included five starts. McGee will back up veteran Antonio Smith, who signed with Oakland, but the 2013 sixth-round pick is entrenched on the depth chart. FB Trey Millard (San Francisco): A seventh-round draft pick, Millard was placed on the injured reserve list, still working his way back from a knee injury he suffered while in college. RB DeMarco Murray (Dallas): Injuries have always been the key variable. Murray played in 14 games last season to rush for a career high 1,121 yards and seven touchdowns. He also compiled 53 receptions to develop into a two-way threat. He’s missed eight games his first three seasons, but when healthy he’s rushed for 2,681 yards. LB Corey Nelson (Denver): A seventh-round pick, Nelson seized an opportunity when injuries mounted in camp and made the Broncos’ 53-man roster as a weakside linebacker who will also play a key role on special teams. RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota): After becoming the 28th running back in NFL history to reach 10,000 career yards rushing, Peterson this season can move into the top 15 all-time, leapfrogging names like John Riggins and O.J. Simpson. Entering his eighth season, Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards in 14 games last season. WR Jalen Saunders (NY Jets): The fourth-round pick is one of three receivers the Jets drafted, all fighting for roster spots in addition to several young receivers invited to camp. OT Donald Stephenson (Kansas City): After serving as a backup his first two seasons, Stephenson inherited the starting right tackle job but then was given a suspension for failing the NFL’s substance abuse policy. In his two seasons in his hometown, Stephenson has appeared in all 32 games with the Chiefs, including 14 starts. WR Kenny Stills (New Orleans): A fifth-round pick, Stills was a steal. A big-play threat, Stills hauled in 32 catches his rookie season. His 20.0 yards-per-catch average led the NFL. After a solid debut, Stills is in the starting lineup opposite veteran Marques Colston. No longer limited to third-down snaps, Stills could have a breakout season. P Tress Way (Washington): After being cut by the Bears, Way hooked up with Washington and won its punting job, for now. In the preseason, he had an impressive showing with four punts for a 45.3-yard average and a 43.3-yard net over the final two preseason games. RB Damien Williams (Miami): The rookie earned the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller, beating out veteran Daniel Thomas, the K-State product whose career is now in limbo. OT Trent Williams (Washington): The fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Williams is entrenched as the Redskins starting left tackle after developing into one of the best “blind side” blockers in the NFL. Selected to the Pro Bowl, Williams has started 55 games for the Redskins, including all 32 games the past two seasons. OU players who were cut WR Lacolton Bester (Houston): Among eight receivers battling for five roster spots, Bester recorded only one reception in preseason but a strong camp showing could land him a spot on the practice squad after he was one of the Texans final cuts. OT Cory Brandon (Arizona): In his fourth season, with his third team, Brandon was on the Bears’ practice squad two years ago and was briefly activated without appearing in a game. He signed with the Cardinals and hopes to be re-signed to the practice squad. RB Brennan Clay (Denver): The unrestricted free agent caused a stir in camp with his trash talking and all-out, physical style but was cut. It was a tough roster to crack with Monte Ball entrenched as the starter backed up by Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson. LB Keenan Clayton (Arizona): Originally a fourth-round pick by Philadelphia, Clayton compiled 48 career tackles in 36 games in three seasons with the Eagles and Raiders. He wasn’t on an active NFL roster last season but was trying to revive his career with the Cardinals. RB Roy Finch (New England): After an up-and-down career with the Sooners, Finch had a strong training camp. He didn’t make the final roster but has a good shot to be re-signed to the Patriots practice squad. CB Jamell Fleming (Jacksonville): In his second season with the Jaguars, after two seasons with the Cardinals, Fleming faced stiff competition for one of the final two backup cornerback vacancies and wasn’t beaten out for the final vacancy. CB Dominique Franks (Baltimore): He played in only 13 defensive snaps last season with the Falcons, but because of injuries he seized an opportunity in his first Ravens training camp. With cornerback Aaron Ross out for the season the Ravens’ depth has taken a hit. He was cut but the former fifth-round pick could resurface with the Ravens. C Gabe Ikard (Tennessee): An undrafted free agent, the McGuinness product was competing for a shot on the 53-man roster but was waived after suffering a knee injury. OT Bronson Irwin (Houston): The undrafted rookie signed late in the summer with the Texans and lasted until the final cut on Saturday which could be a sign the Mustang product will be re-signed to the Texans’ practice squad on Sunday. DE David King (Cincinnati): He spent part of last season on the Bengals’ practice squad, which puts him back in the competition for a roster spot but once again failed to make the 53-man roster. Another season on the practice squad would allow him to stay in the mix if he’s resigned by the Bengals on Sunday. WR Jaz Reynolds (Tennessee): An undrafted free agent, Reynolds is one of a dozen receivers in camp. He was a long shot to grab one of the five or six receiver spots but is still hoping to land a practice roster spot. DT Casey Walker (Carolina): An undrafted free agent, Walker spent most of last seasons on the Panthers’ practice squad. He was cut on Saturday but once again should land a spot on the practice squad, hoping to eventually join former OU teammate Frank Alexander in the Panthers’ D-line rotation.
Aug 29, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — If Illinois is stressing anything before Saturday's opener against Youngstown State, it is the need to start fast.Quarterback Wes Lunt said the Illini can't go in or out of the locker room without getting the message."There's videos (playing) right outside the locker room of a drag strip," he said.A fast start would suit Lunt. The redshirt sophomore will start his first...
Illini, Lunt look to get out of the gate fast
DAVID MERCER, Associated Press | Aug 29, 2014CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — If Illinois is stressing anything before Saturday's opener against Youngstown State, it is the need to start fast. Quarterback Wes Lunt said the Illini can't go in or out of the locker room without getting the message. "There's videos (playing) right outside the locker room of a drag strip," he said. A fast start would suit Lunt. The redshirt sophomore will start his first game at Illinois on Saturday, and it comes with great expectations. He's a better passer than Illinois has had in a while. The fast start is important for the Illini, who are coming off a 4-8 season. "We didn't do that last year, we did not start fast," coach Tim Beckman said. Things to watch as Youngstown State (8-4 in 2013) visits Illinois on Saturday: LUNT'S EDUCATION: For all his talent, Lunt is being asked to do more now as a quarterback than he ever has, Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said. And he hasn't played a game in more than a season. So fans should have some patience, Cubit suggested. "Really, Wes, if you ask him, at Oklahoma State he wasn't asked to do too much," Cubit said. "This offense, there's so much to go on. ... It's the run checks, its protections, there's matchups." Lunt, he said, is going to make mistakes. The upside? "He doesn't make the same mistake twice." HOMECOMING: Lunt grew up in Rochester, Ill., just outside Springfield, but hasn't played football in Illinois since 2011. He chose Oklahoma State out of high school and, as anxious Illini fans know all too well, earned the starting spot there as a true freshman before losing it to injury. His last game in Illinois? The 2011 state high school title game on campus at Memorial Stadium. He set an Illinois record with 590 passing yards and four touchdowns on the way to a win. The low-key Lunt hasn't counted heads yet, but he expects to see a fair number of familiar faces Saturday. "I know a lot of my family is going to be here," he said. "Yeah, pretty good crowd, I would assume." HOMECOMING II: Youngstown State coach Erick Wolford was the offensive line coach at Illinois in 2007-08. He sounded a little sad when he noted that, after Saturday, the Penguins won't be coming back to Illinois in the foreseeable future. "It's probably going to be the last opportunity we have to play a Big Ten team," he said. Big Ten teams won't schedule any more FCS schools under a plan announced this year to strengthen their schedules. Youngstown State has played Big Ten teams in three of its last five seasons, losing twice to Michigan State and once to Penn State. But the Penguins have upset one FBS team in that stretch, a 31-17 win at Pitt in 2012. RUNNING PENGUINS: With sophomore tailback Martin Ruiz back, new starting quarterback Dante Nania won't be asked to perform any miracles, Wolford said. "Just manage the game, take care of the football and do the things we ask you to do," Wolford said, That might be because Ruiz averaged 5.7 yards a carry as a freshman. He rushed for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns. It also might be because Illinois' run defense was the Big Ten's worst in 2013, giving up 5.6 yards a carry. "I anticipate them to try and pound the rock, run the ball," Illinois linebacker Mason Monheim said. HOT SEAT: Beckman enters the season under pressure to improve. All the talk of need to start fast in the opening game could apply to the season's first few weeks, too. After Youngstown, Western Kentucky, Washington and Texas State, the schedule gets much harder. The Illini start the season with the wagons circled, Lunt said. "I would say that mentality's pretty true," he said. "Going into this year, we just want to make a statement." ___ Follow David Mercer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmercerap
Aug 28, 2014
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor football is back on campus for the first time in nearly eight decades.When the 10th-ranked and Big 12 champion Bears open sparkling new McLane Stadium on Sunday night against SMU, they will play their first game on the Waco campus since Nov. 9, 1935."Going across the bridge and the river and seeing the stadium get a little bigger was awesome," receiver Levi Norwood...
Baylor football back on campus after 8 decades
STEPHEN HAWKINS, Associated Press | Aug 28, 2014WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor football is back on campus for the first time in nearly eight decades. When the 10th-ranked and Big 12 champion Bears open sparkling new McLane Stadium on Sunday night against SMU, they will play their first game on the Waco campus since Nov. 9, 1935. "Going across the bridge and the river and seeing the stadium get a little bigger was awesome," receiver Levi Norwood said, referring to the route most fans will take to get there. The Bears closed out 64 seasons at Floyd Casey Stadium, about four miles from campus, on a bitterly cold Saturday last December. They beat Texas for their school-record 11th win and took their first outright league title since the 1980 Southwest Conference. "(As recruits) we were being sold on hope and vision. Now there's reality. You can come in and see the Heisman, you can see the Big 12 championship trophy, you can see our bowl trophies, and now you're going to see that stadium," fifth-year senior offensive tackle Troy Baker said. "It's actually here and it's happening." Baker grew up in Waco, and remembers as a kid going to high school games at Floyd Casey that drew more fans than Baylor games. That certainly changed over the past few seasons, especially after Robert Griffin III was playing for the Bears and won the school's only Heisman Trophy three years ago. Only a handful of tickets remain for Baylor's regular-season finale against Kansas State in December. Every other game this year at the 45,140-seat stadium along Interstate 35 and the Brazos River is sold out, including a school-record 28,000 season tickets and an unprecedented demand by students for tickets. Some $30 general admission tickets on the berm for the opener were listed Thursday on Stubhub for $113.40, with several other seats for more than $500. Baylor players have been in the horseshoe-shaped $266 million stadium for two scrimmages, and inside their new locker room that is 50 yards long. They are ready to play there before a raucous crowd. "They're extremely anxious, without question," coach Art Briles said. "It's hard to talk about what's going to happen on Sunday because there's so many unknowns with how many boats are going to be in the water, how many people are going to be on the bridge, how many people are going to mingling outside of the stadium. The stadium, the atmosphere inside, they're all unknowns to everybody." Some fans will get to the game by walking across a 775-foot long pedestrian bridge over the Brazos River. Others will arrive by boat, with only a few having assigned slips in the marina. Officials anticipate plenty of extra fans without tickets to be around the stadium Sunday, and along the riverfront from downtown, to share the experience and atmosphere. A statue of Griffin will be dedicated on the stadium's South plaza more than three hours before kickoff, and the Washington Redskins quarterback is scheduled to attend. Soon after that ceremony, Bryce Petty and the current Bears will arrive by crossing a 100-foot pedestrian bridge over the basin. "To be able to trot out there as the quarterback of the 2014 Bears and open up a new stadium is huge for me," said Petty, the Big 12 offensive player of the year last season. "It's a privilege for all of us, but it's one that's humbling too. ... We want to protect that palace with everything that we've got." ___ A couple of other facts about Baylor's new stadium: — The stadium is named in honor of Drayton McLane Jr. and his family. The former Houston Astros owner is a 1958 Baylor graduate and former regents chairman. The McLane family gave Baylor its largest capital gift ever in March 2012, four months before Baylor regents voted to move forward with stadium construction. — The stadium is designed with the flexibility for expansion to 55,000 seats.
Aug 27, 2014
MEET THE COMMITTEE — A look at the 13 members of the College Football Playoff committee, their backgrounds and their qualifications.
College Football Playoff: The background and biases of the men and woman who will decide
BY BERRY TRAMEL | Aug 27, 2014BARRY ALVAREZ * Age: 67 * Current job: Wisconsin athletic director * Hometown: Langeloth, Pa. * Alma mater: Nebraska * Former jobs: Wisconsin head coach, Notre Dame assistant coach, Iowa assistant coach and high school coach in Iowa and Nebraska. * Qualifications: The father of a program. Alvarez turned Wisconsin into a nationally-relevant program. * Regional bias: An upper Midwest man all the way. MICHAEL GOULD * Age: 60 * Current job: Retired Lieutenant General. * Hometown: Kent, Ohio * Alma mater: Air Force Academy, Webster University * Former jobs: Air Force officer. * Qualifications: Fresh perspective, as an administrator of a regal institution but no ties to big-time college football. * Regional bias: Nothing discernible. Air Force is a national institution. PAT HADEN * Age: 61 * Current job: Southern Cal athletic director * Hometown: La Puente, Calif. * Alma mater: Southern Cal, Loyola (Calif.) Law School, Oxford University * Former jobs: Director of companies with Riordan, Lewis & Harden, a private equity firm; football analyst with NBC, CBS, Fox and TNT; Los Angeles Rams quarterback. * Qualifications: TV work allowed Haden to see college football all over the nation. * Regional bias: Hard to imagine anyone more tied to one area than Haden to California. TOM JERNSTEDT * Age: 68 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Carlton, Ore. * Alma mater: Oregon * Former jobs: NCAA director of events, NCAA executive vice president, Oregon administration. * Qualifications: As well as anyone on Earth, knows how championships are supposed to work. * Regional bias: Virtually none. Forty years in the NCAA will make a guy respectful of all, fan of none. JEFF LONG * Age: 53 * Current job: Arkansas athletic director * Hometown: Kettering, Ohio * Alma mater: Ohio Wesleyan, Miami-Ohio * Former jobs: Pitt AD, OU associate AD, Eastern Kentucky AD, Virginia Tech associate AD, Michigan administration, Rice assistant coach, Duke assistant coach, North Carolina State assistant coach. * Qualifications: Worked in football and athletics all over the country. * Regional bias: If Long isn’t beholding to the SEC, he better get that way quick. In case you haven’t noticed, provincialism is a requirement to work in the South. OLIVER LUCK * Age: 54 * Current job: West Virginia athletic director * Hometown: Cleveland * Alma mater: West Virginia, Texas * Former jobs: CEO of Houston Sports Authority, which oversees that city's major-league venues; commissioner of NFL Europe; general manager of World League of American football teams; practicing attorney in Germany. * Qualifications: A premier athlete, now an administrator and a really smart guy. Hard to ask for more. * Regional bias: A Big 12 man, you would think, but his son quarterbacked Stanford, so Luck is more diversified than most. ARCHIE MANNING * Age: 65 * Current job: Motivational speaker and public relations and consulting for a variety of companies in New Orleans and nationally. * Hometown: Drew, Miss. * Alma mater: Ole Miss * Former jobs: NFL quarterback with the Saints, Oilers and Vikings. * Qualifications: A football icon for going on 50 years and a man of unquestioned character. * Regional bias: The embodiment of the ideal Southern gentleman. No Yankee blood here. TOM OSBORNE * Age: 77 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Hastings, Neb. * Alma mater: Hastings College, Nebraska * Former jobs: Nebraska athletic director, U.S. congressman, Nebraska assistant and head coach, NFL receiver with the Redskins and 49ers. * Qualifications: As great a coach as God ever made, plus a U.S. Congressman, for what that’s worth. * Regional bias: Nobody’s ever been more Nebraskan, but the real bias is, Dr. Tom is not too partial to the University of Texas. DAN RADAKOVICH * Age: 56 * Current job: Clemson athletic director * Hometown: Monaca, Pa. * Alma mater: Indiana (Pa.), Miami (Fla.) * Former jobs: Georgia Tech AD, LSU associate AD, American University AD, South Carolina associate AD, Long Beach State associate AD, Miami administration. * Qualifications: Administrator at many schools, large and small. * Regional bias: An ACC man, of course, but a man who worked at South Carolina and eventually was hired by Clemson must have some scruples. CONDOLEEZZA RICE * Age: 59 * Current job: Stanford professor of political science * Hometown: Denver * Alma mater: University of Denver, Notre Dame * Former jobs: U.S. Secretary of State, Stanford provost, Soviet expert on the U.S. National Security Council, Stanford professor. * Qualifications: Deciding between UCLA and Ohio State would seem to be no big deal after you’ve helped bring down the Iron Curtain. MIKE TRANGHESE * Age: 69 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Springfield, Mass. * Alma mater: St. Michael's College * Former jobs: Big East commissioner, Big East administration, Providence administration, American International College administration. * Qualifications: For more than 30 years, on the inside of major decisions on the athletic landscape. * Regional bias: Absolutely an Eastern man, but since this is football, who cares? STEVE WIEBERG * Age: 59 * Current job: Writer, editor, Kansas City public library * Hometown: Martinsburg, Mo. * Alma mater: Missouri * Former jobs: USA Today sportswriter, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader sportswriter, Mexico (Mo.) Ledger sportswriter. * Qualifications: A national college football writer for USA Today, which means he’s been thinking about these kinds of decisions far longer than anyone else on the committee. * Regional bias: A Missourian and a Big 12 insider, which in this day and age spreads the loyalties. TYRONE WILLINGHAM * Age: 59 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Jacksonville, N.C. * Alma mater: Michigan State * Former jobs: Washington U. head coach, Notre Dame head coach, Stanford head coach, Minnesota Vikings assistant, Stanford assistant, Rice assistant, North Carolina State assistant, Michigan State assistant, Central Michigan assistant. * Qualifications: Coached under a huge microscope — Notre Dame’s first black coach. Should be able to handle the pressure of the committee. * Regional bias: Grew up on Tobacco Road, worked in the Midwest and the Pacific. Hard to see too much allegiance.
The high school football scrimmage schedule includes a matchup of the teams that have played for the Class 3A championship the last two years when Kingfisher visits Blanchard on Thursday night.
High schools: Big scrimmages highlight final weekend of preseason
By Scott Wright | Aug 27, 2014If you’re looking for an opportunity to see state championship-caliber teams in their final dress rehearsal of the preseason, you have plenty of options Thursday and Friday nights. The high school football scrimmage schedule includes a matchup of the teams that have played for the Class 3A championship the last two years when Kingfisher visits Blanchard on Thursday night. The Oklahoma City schools will be in action in the annual All-City Preview at Douglass and Star Spencer on Thursday and Friday. Mustang’s annual Pigskin Preview features top teams from Class 4A, 5A and 6A on Thursday, and Norman’s Top of the World Classic has another strong field Friday night. Here are some notable scrimmages involving metro-area teams Thursday and Friday: Thursday Davenport, Alex, Haileyville at Allen OKC Legion at Beggs Kingfisher at Blanchard Community Christian at Christian Heritage Academy Edmond Memorial at Del City OKCPS All-City Preview at Star Spencer and Douglass Westmoore at Edmond North Putnam North at Edmond Santa Fe Guthrie at El Reno Seminole at Henryetta Bethel at Hinton Bethany at Jones McLoud at Little Axe Meeker at Luther Bartlesville at Midwest City Lawton Eisenhower, Lawton MacArthur, Anadarko, Piedmont, Elk City, Norman North, McGuinness at Mustang Tecumseh, Mount St. Mary at Newcastle Moore at Putnam City Choctaw, Bixby at Southmoore Davis at Tuttle Pauls Valley at Washington Enid at Yukon Friday Burns Flat-Dill City, Morrison at Cashion OCS at Chandler Crossings Christian, Walters at Cordell Prague at Crooked Oak Wynnewood at Dibble OKCPS All-City Preview at Star Spencer and Douglass Heritage Hall, Cascia Hall, Locust Grove at Lincoln Christian Harrah, Durant at McAlester Carl Albert, Deer Creek, Noble, Shawnee, Stillwater at Norman Top of the World Classic Hennessey at Perkins-Tryon Minco at Sayre
ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas is ready to take plenty of hits as Georgia Tech's starting quarterback.It's all part of the job in coach Paul Johnson's spread option offense.Quarterbacks carry the ball as much as running backs. They are tackled lightly in practice, even during the season, to get ready for the hammering they take in games."No big deal," Thomas said Tuesday. "I'm just as big as...
Justin Thomas takes over at QB for Georgia Tech
GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press | Aug 26, 2014ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas is ready to take plenty of hits as Georgia Tech's starting quarterback. It's all part of the job in coach Paul Johnson's spread option offense. Quarterbacks carry the ball as much as running backs. They are tackled lightly in practice, even during the season, to get ready for the hammering they take in games. "No big deal," Thomas said Tuesday. "I'm just as big as anyone out there. I'm 190. It's all the same. I'm just going out there playing football, something I've been doing since I was a little kid. I'm ready." When the Yellow Jackets open the season Saturday at home against Wofford, Thomas will be Johnson's most recent full-time starting quarterback, following Josh Nesbitt, Tevin Washington and Vad Lee. All have stayed relatively healthy. Nesbitt's season-ending injury, a broken arm in November 2010, occurred as he tried to tackle a Virginia Tech player following an interception. "If you go back and look, we've been here six years, and it's the same party line every year — that guys are going to get knocked out and you need to have two or three of them with the licks they take," Johnson said. "To be the best of my knowledge, we haven't one knocked out yet." The 5-foot-11 Thomas, listed at 185 pounds by the school, easily beat out Tim Byerly for the job in spring and summer practices. Johnson says that Thomas has proven quick enough to compensate for an undersized frame. "Can Justin Thomas, at 185, do the same things that Josh Nesbitt, at 220, did on short yardage? Probably not," Johnson said. "But if you're good at reading (the defense) and you're good at doing other things, you don't have to. If we call a 'follow' play, J.T. ain't going to go, 'Oh, no.' He's going to run it." Thomas will run an offense that's finished among the nation's top six in rushing during each of its six years under Johnson, and the coach is again returning to his playbook roots. Lee, last year's starter, occasionally took snaps in a shotgun formation to take advantage of his passing arm, but that approach has been scrapped by Johnson to best use Thomas' skills as a perimeter runner and passer. Thomas' primary asset is speed. He won the 100 meters with a time of 10.79 seconds among Alabama's top three high school classifications. In 33 attempts last year for the Jackets, he averaged 7.1 yards per carry in 33 rushing attempts. "I think we're pretty good at what we do," Johnson said. "Contrary to popular opinion, you can't run the BYU passing offense one week and then transition to what we do and then the next week (use a) run zone read. You can do it, but you're not going to be any good at it. So it's like you want to get good at something." Georgia Tech, which went 7-6 last year, is one of only 11 FBS schools that don't have a current quarterback with a career start. Thomas played in 10 games last year, Byerly in four. "We totally support each other," Thomas said. "Tim's got my back and I've got his. We just want to win." Johnson says that Thomas has the skills and smarts needed to help the Jackets do what they do best — control time of possession and wear down the defense. "Depending on how they're playing and how you block it and how you change things, you've got to be good at the fundamentals or it doesn't matter," Johnson said. "If you can't read the thing and you can't keep the ball off the ground, it doesn't matter." ___ Follow George Henry at www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP
Four of the eight neutral-site games the first week of the college football season involve Big Ten teams.Though not all the sites are truly neutral, all the games will generate the exposure every coach craves for recruiting. Like bowl games, the openers also will produce lifelong memories for the players and varying financial rewards for the schools.No team will travel farther than Penn State,...
B10 teams represented in 4 of 8 neutral-site games
ERIC OLSON, Associated Press | Aug 26, 2014Four of the eight neutral-site games the first week of the college football season involve Big Ten teams. Though not all the sites are truly neutral, all the games will generate the exposure every coach craves for recruiting. Like bowl games, the openers also will produce lifelong memories for the players and varying financial rewards for the schools. No team will travel farther than Penn State, which plays UCF on Saturday in Dublin, Ireland, in James Franklin's first game as coach. Also on Saturday, No. 14 Wisconsin meets No. 13 LSU in Houston and No. 5 Ohio State takes on Navy in Baltimore. Rutgers plays its first game as a Big Ten member against Washington State in Seattle on Thursday. UCF won at Penn State and was supposed to host this year's game before agreeing to move it to Dublin. Franklin said he sees no disadvantage to going overseas because both teams must contend with the time-zone change and other challenges that go with traveling abroad. "We spent a lot of time preparing our guys on what to expect and what the trip is going to be like so we can get over there and stay focused on what we have to do, which is play good football," Franklin said Tuesday on the Big Ten coaches' conference call with reporters. "Whether that was played at State College High School or played in Dublin, Ireland, we're excited about the opportunity to play Central Florida." Penn State and UCF declined to disclose how much money the schools will receive. The game's organizer, the Gaelic Athletic Association, didn't respond to an email. Wisconsin will earn $2 million for playing LSU at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Badgers will get another $3 million in 2016 when they play LSU at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Next year Wisconsin will make $4 million for playing Alabama in Arlington, Texas. "It gets us on the national stage," Badgers coach Gary Andersen said of this week's game. "We're playing an SEC team and, quite frankly, we're playing, traditionally the last few years, one of the best teams in the country, so kids like that when they're recruited." The game is a measuring stick for a Wisconsin team that has questions at quarterback and receiver and must rebuild its defense. "Some may say that's not a great time to have the game," Andersen said. "But if you're going to play a game like this, in the environment of college football today, the first game of the year is the one to do it." Ohio State, which beat Navy in Columbus in 2009, will be closing out a two-game series with the Midshipmen. The Buckeyes will earn $850,000 for playing the game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, which is about a 45-minute drive from Navy's campus in Annapolis. Whether the game is in Annapolis or Baltimore, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer likes the recruiting implications. "It's a big recruiting area. A lot of great football players. A lot of history between Ohio State and those players," Meyer said. "Really in the last two years we've done well out there, so it's exciting, and hopefully we get a lot of exposure. We have to do well, though." Rutgers plays its first game as a Big Ten member against Washington State at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, which is less than five hours from the WSU campus in Pullman. "I think it's exciting for our players," Knights coach Kyle Flood said. "I think they enjoy the experience of playing in a pro stadium, and it doesn't hurt that it's the reigning Super Bowl champions." Rutgers, which hosts the Cougars in Piscataway, New Jersey, next year, will earn $300,000 for Thursday's game. Only 26,000 tickets have been sold. Flood said a good number of Rutgers fans plan to make the cross-country trip. "But don't think we're going to have enough travel to make it a (true) neutral-site game," he said.
Oklahoma State football: Candidates for eight freshmen Mike Gundy says will play against Florida StateAug 26, 2014
The Oklahoma State coach has said twice in the past week that at least eight true freshmen will play in the season opener on Saturday. But Gundy hasn't identified those players. Here's a closer look at eight new faces who have the potential to fill those roles.
Oklahoma State football: Candidates for eight freshmen Mike Gundy says will play against Florida State
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Aug 26, 2014STILLWATER — Among all the statistics that show Oklahoma State’s inexperience this season, none have quite the punch as a certain sound bite coach Mike Gundy gave during a radio interview on Monday. The Cowboys, he said, will play at least eight true freshmen on Saturday against Florida State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I mentioned to them as a team in a group setting, I said, ‘You guys have a great opportunity … you’re playing high school ball last year and now you get to play the returning national champions.’ I kind of looked at some of them and they looked at me,” Gundy recalled in an interview with SiriusXM College radio. “And I said, ‘Now, you guys do know you’ve got to go out there and play?’ I kind of joked with them a little bit.” If Gundy’s prediction becomes a reality, those freshman Cowboys will have quite the story to tell their grandkids someday — about their first college football game coming against the reigning Heisman winner in an NFL stadium on prime-time TV. It also shows why the Vegas odds are against the Cowboys. Those freshmen step in as 17 starters from last season are gone. But paired with the unknown is optimism. The final word out of fall camp was that the incoming class was focused and prepared to a level that surprised even the most veteran Cowboys. “A lot of these young guys are actually really mature for their age,” senior defensive tackle James Castleman said. “A lot of these young guys came in with the attitude; they want to kill, they want to play. Football comes first for a lot of them. They’re not expecting to be redshirted … they’re expecting to get out there and make plays.” Gundy hasn’t identified those eight freshmen he says will play. But if you examine that crop of young Cowboys in terms of OSU’s most glaring needs this season, a few stand out as legitimate candidates. Here’s a look at eight possible options for true freshmen who might play Week 1 and beyond this season. — — — LB Justin Phillips / 6-0, 215 / Pearland, Texas Phillips is one freshman who likely won’t be fazed by the setting on Saturday. He completed his high school football career eight months ago inside AT&T Stadium with a loss in the state title game. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer specifically mentioned Phillips as a standout in the Cowboys’ final fall camp scrimmage. High school credentials: Phillips finished his senior year at Pearland (Texas) High School with 86 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. He also returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown in the state championship game. Other offers included Baylor, Boise State and Iowa State. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Justin Phillips has really showed up. He can tackle.” — Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer — — — LB Gyasi Akem / 6-1, 210 / Broken Arrow, Okla. Akem certainly looks the part with his physique and athleticism. The Broken Arrow product was among the top-10 most highly touted outside linebacker recruits in the nation last season. If given the opportunity, he could provide needed depth at linebacker and on special teams in 2014. High school credentials: At Broken Arrow, he recorded 67 tackles, one sack and one interception last season to earn all-state honors from The Oklahoman. Akem received offers from more than dozen top programs, including Oklahoma, Clemson, Kansas State, Baylor and Tennessee. Rivals ranking: 4 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He could have the size to play multiple positions, like inside linebacker or outside linebacker.” — Spencer. — — — LB Kirk Tucker / 6-2, 190 / Tucker, Ga. Tucker is one of the potential replacements for Shaun Lewis at “star” linebacker, a hybrid position that requires length and speed. Those both seem to be strong attributes for Tucker, whose reported 40-yard dash time is 4.55 seconds. High school credentials: Tucker put up impressive numbers as a safety at Tucker (Ga.) High School his senior year: 55 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He held scholarship offers from Oregon, Ohio State, Stanford and others. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He’s a safety; outside linebacker and the first thing that jumps out at you on film is his blitz skills and he’s a very aggressive player.” — Spencer. — — — CB Juwan Offray / 5-11, 180 / New Orleans Offray’s signing is an example of the OSU recruiting staff’s range outside Texas and Oklahoma. His talents will likely land him in the defensive backfield rotation and on special teams. Offray is hyper-athletic as a former three-sport standout. High school credentials: Offray played at New Orleans’ Edna Karr High School, a powerhouse in southeast Louisiana, where he was an all-state selection. Offray also played offense and defense in an All-American game. He had offers from Nebraska and South Alabama. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He is going to play corner for us, but then will also provide, especially early in his career, big-time depth on special teams.” — Cornerbacks coach Van Malone. — — — CB Ramon Richards / 6-0, 180 / San Antonio Richards is a project player with a ton of upside. He starred mostly at quarterback in high school and played sparingly in the defensive backfield. But Richards’ athletic ability was off the charts. So coaches offered him a spot at cornerback, and because of depth issues, Richards could be utilized early in his career. High school credentials: Richards passed for 1,630 yards with 13 touchdowns and rushed for 642 yards with 13 additional scores for Brackenridge High School in San Antonio. That earned him first-team all-area honors. Richards had a choice of schools that included Harvard, Yale, Rice and Houston. Rivals ranking: 2 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “What he has is great ability with the ball in his hands, just like what we used to watch with Justin Gilbert, so that excites us.” — Malone. — — — WR James Washington / 6-0, 193 / Stamford, Texas Tyreek Hill was the most hyped Cowboy on offense throughout fall camp. Washington was a close second. His acrobatic skill set and early success in practice have given coaches the difficult choice to either redshirt or play the freshman in a deep group of wideouts. High school credentials: Washington won the Class 1A state championship his senior season at Stamford (Texas) High School. He played on both sides of the ball last year; exceeding 1,300 yards receiving while recording 42 tackles and seven interceptions. Washington had scholarship offers from Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and others. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Still raw, but he has a great, great athletic gene, I guess you’d call it, because he’s down the field fast. He has great leaping ability, very springy. Soft hands.” — Receivers coach Kasey Dunn. — — — WR Chris Lacy / 6-3, 191 / DeSoto, Texas Coaches are likely debating whether to redshirt Lacy, too. His size, length and speed could make him an immediate deep threat starting this season. He averaged more than 20 yards per catch last year. The Cowboys would love that kind of production in 2014. High school credentials: Lacy was the offensive MVP of a DeSoto (Texas) High School team that reached the state semifinals. He also hauled in 16 touchdowns. Lacy’s offer list included Arizona State, Missouri and Iowa. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “I think our system here fits Chris’ skill set very much, so I think it will be a great match and he’s going to have a promising future at Oklahoma State.” — Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. — — — QB Mason Rudolph / 6-4, 217 / Rock Hill, S.C. Here’s the wild card of the group. If both of the other Cowboy quarterbacks struggle early and often in the opener, Gundy might throw Rudolph out there to see how the true freshman responds. If coaches feel like Rudolph is the sure-fire quarterback of the future, there’s no better teacher than experience. High school credentials: Rudolph won a state title last season at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C., and passed for 4,377 yards and 64 touchdowns. He ran a spread offense similar to the Cowboys. Rudolph had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and others. Rivals ranking: 4 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Mason’s very familiar with that offense and feels real comfortable throwing the ball down the field and gets it out really well. He spins the ball tremendously.” — Yurcich
Aug 25, 2014
The Archivist: Oklahoma has more people under 50 than over. For those over 50, what they call memories are called history to those under 50.
The Archivist: What happened 50 years ago is history for some, memories for others in Oklahoma
By Mary Phillips, For The Oklahoman | Aug 25, 2014Anyone 50 years old or older in Oklahoma is now in the minority, according to the latest U.S. Census data. We are outnumbered by those 49 and younger. Events that were a part of our lives are now taught as history. Fifty years ago, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 1964, the front page and much of The Oklahoman was filled with news about the Democratic National Convention taking place in Atlantic City, N.J. The Democratic presidential candidate was settled. The question was who would be President Lyndon Johnson’s vice presidential running mate. News circulating among the delegates indicated Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota was the frontrunner. Oklahoma’s own Carl Albert was a key player, helping to define the Democratic platform. Allan Cromley, longtime Washington writer for The Oklahoman wrote: “The document reflects the even-tempered nature of the platform committee chairman Rep. Carl Albert, as well as President Johnson’s apparent desires that the party not rock the boat in what seems like a winning year.” Otis Sullivant, political writer, wrote about the Oklahoma delegation’s participation in the convention. Veteran writer Katherine Hatch interviewed Oklahoma’s own Perle Mesta, who was hosting nightly parties for invitees to gather and talk politics in a house not far from the convention center. Asked if she would like to be vice president, Mesta replied, “The country’s not ready for it yet.” Another staff writer wrote about Carol Channing entertaining more than a thousand Democratic women by singing “Hello Lyndon,” putting new words to her trademark song “Hello Dolly.” Page One also included stories about the weather (rain was expected) and news about the bribery investigation of state Supreme Court justices. Other news of importance: the Beach Boys were scheduled to play at Springlake on the weekend, the movie “Godzilla vs. The Thing” was opening on Wednesday, and advance tickets for the State Fair of Oklahoma were on sale at Humpty Dumpty Stores for 59 cents (regular price, $1). A full-page advertisement for TG&Y Family Centers’ Fall Fashion Event offered jackets for $3.97, capri sets for $3.86 and men and boys crew socks for 47 cents. In sports, the Oklahoma City 89ers baseball team lost to Indianapolis, and high school football players were reporting for drills in full uniform. Look magazine’s annual preview selected the University of Oklahoma as the No. 1 college football team. “The magazine forecasts an unbeaten season for the Sooners, climaxed with a victory over North Carolina in the Sugar Bowl.” History shows us Johnson and Humphrey won. The Sooners were not so lucky, losing three games, tying one and losing to Florida State in the Gator Bowl. Perle Mesta would return home to Oklahoma, where she died in 1975. Carol Channing premiered her show “Lorelei” at the Civic Center Music Hall in 1973 and had a street, Channing Drive, named for her. And, oh yes, it did rain in Oklahoma 50 years ago. If you would like to contact Mary Phillips about The Archivist, email her at email@example.com.
Aug 25, 2014
1. Davis (15-0): Star QB Blake Summers is back to lead the Wolves’ repeat quest. 2. Vian (13-1): Senior QB/LB Rylee Simon has led the Wolverines to a 38-3 record as a three-year starter. 3. Hennessey (11-2): The Eagles are looking for an eighth straight 10-win season with several key players returning. 4. Millwood (14-1): The Falcons are still expected to contend for a state title despite...
High school football: Class 2A preseason rankings
BY TRENT SHADID | Aug 25, 20141. Davis (15-0): Star QB Blake Summers is back to lead the Wolves’ repeat quest. 2. Vian (13-1): Senior QB/LB Rylee Simon has led the Wolverines to a 38-3 record as a three-year starter. 3. Hennessey (11-2): The Eagles are looking for an eighth straight 10-win season with several key players returning. 4. Millwood (14-1): The Falcons are still expected to contend for a state title despite replacing most of their standout players from 2013. 5. Adair (11-2): QB/DB B.J. Bradbury returns after throwing for over 3,300 total yards as a freshman last season. 6. Nowata (10-2): QB Wyatt Steigerwald leads a group of 17 seniors and nine returning offensive starters. 7. Christian Heritage (8-4): Expectations are high with all four defensive line starters and several skill position players returning. 8. Hartshorne (11-3): The Miners must replace their starting QB and RB from last season’s semifinal team. 9. Stroud (6-5): A strong offensive line will be relied on to make holes for RB Alex Boodt. 10. Oklahoma Christian (9-4): Senior RB/LB Luke Frankfurt has led the Saints in tackles the past three years. 11. Washington (8-3): WR Brady Kulbeth and RB Luke Ladlee lead the Warriors’ speedy offense after both accounted for over 1,000 yards last season. 12. Hobart (7-4): RB Aaron Hernandez and QB Kellan Smith are back after helping lead the Bearcats to the playoffs in 2013. 13. Chisholm (9-2): Senior QB Taggart Brown threw for 1,762 yards last season and returns top target Austin Swann. 14. Tonkawa (5-5): The Buccaneers haven’t finished better than 6-5 since winning the Class A title in 2009. 15. Commerce (11-1): Junior RB Trenton Barr will replace 2,000-yard rusher D.C. Chance in the backfield. 16. Okemah (9-3): Senior lineman Tanner Britt and Adam Hill lead a strong front on both sides of the ball. 17. Lindsay (8-3): Expectations are high for Lindsay with eight starters back on each side of the ball including star QB/S Jake Standridge. 18. Colcord (7-4): QB Caleb Shawver threw for over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns with just five interceptions last season. 19. Chandler (5-5): The Lions are back in Class 2A after never finishing better than 5-5 during the past four seasons in 3A. 20. Luther (4-6): Junior Maurice Wright accounted for 1,460 all-purpose yards and 17 touchdowns at RB and WR last season. 21. Alva (7-4): The Goldbugs must replace a four-year starter at QB in Ty Hooper. 22. Crooked Oak (6-5): WR Sanardo Ballard had 740 yards and 10 touchdowns in the Ruf Nex’ rushing offense last season. 23. Hugo (7-4): Reed Wallace leads the defense at linebacker with 12 career sacks. 24. Salina (9-3): The Wildcats will look for success behind their running game and defense. 25. Lexington (5-6): The Bulldogs will rely on an experienced offensive line led by 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior Tyler Brown. 26. Frederick (4-7): The Bombers finished below .500 last season for the first time since 2008. 27. Kansas (6-5): Jared Hogshooter takes the reigns at quarterback after throwing nine touchdowns in eight games last year. 28. Kingston (7-4): Danny Charlie looks to lead the team in tackles for a third straight season. 29. Panama (7-4): Senior linebacker Gabe Harp, a four-year starter, leads a veteran group. 30. Pawhuska (4-7): Senior TE/WR Marshall Tolson is one of five returning starters on offense. 31. Dibble (4-6): Senior DB Braeden James returns with 15 career interceptions. 32. Chouteau (4-6): The Wildcats are looking to improve on their 16 points per game mark in 2013. 33. Marietta (5-6): Entering this season, the Indians are looking for a third straight playoff appearance. 34. Haskell (5-6): The Haymakers look to return to the playoffs after a first-round exit last season. 35. Pocola (3-7): The Indians showed solid offensive production last season, averaging nearly 30 points per game. 36. Chelsea (3-8): The Dragons return seven starters on offense including junior running back Zack Eidschun. 37. Perry (4-6): The Maroons finished last season on a three-game winning streak. 38. Antlers (4-6): Two road losses to finish 2013 cost Antlers a trip to the playoffs. 39. Henryetta (2-8): The Knights move down to 2A after only managing two wins in Class 3A a year ago. 40. Wewoka (6-5): Junior Tre Roberts returns as a three-year starter while the Tigers transition up to 2A. 41. Wyandotte (5-5): Seniors Clayton Stone and Seth Shettlesworth return after combining for over 1,500 yards rushing last season. 42. Oklahoma Union (3-7): The Cougars look to shore up a defense that allowed 26 points per game last season. 43. Pawnee (2-8): Junior QB Nathan Brock leads a group of eight returning starters on offense. 44. Holdenville (2-8): The Wolverines will rely on their running attack to help improve from last season. 45. Tishomingo (2-8): The Indians scored at least 21 points in seven games last season, but faltered defensively. 46. Newkirk (3-7): Senior QB Jaycee Johnston returns for his third straight year as the starter. 47. Hulbert (1-9): The Riders only managed nine points per game last year and never won on the road. 48. Caney Valley (2-8): The Trojans’ two wins came in the final three weeks of the season in 2013. 49. Coalgate (1-9): The Wildcats started 1-1 last season before dropping eight straight. 50. Wellston (1-9): The Tigers managed only one win last year while averaging 167 yards per game on the ground. 51. Northeast (1-9): The Vikings’ only bright spot of 2013 was a 59-0 win over SeeWorth Academy. 52. Atoka (0-10): The Wampus Cats are looking for more success in 2A after going winless in 3A last season. 53. Walters (2-8): Sophomore RB Kyle Graham rushed for 13 touchdowns as a freshman. 54. Prague (0-10): Former Hennessey and Purcell coach Shannon Watford takes over the Red Devils program. 55. Liberty (1-9): The Tigers move up from Class A where they surrendered 38 points per game last season. 56. Wilburton (0-10): The Diggers allowed over 60 points per game in 2013. BY TRENT SHADID, scott wright and chris Brannick
Aug 23, 2014
ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than most, Kenny Britt can relate to the drama unfolding just a few miles from Rams Park in Ferguson.The St. Louis wide receiver and former 2009 first-round draft pick feels strongly that the trouble in Ferguson, scene of so much unrest following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, is not so much a race issue as it is one of...
Rams, Cardinals watching Ferguson with sadness
R.B. FALLSTROM, Associated Press | Aug 23, 2014ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than most, Kenny Britt can relate to the drama unfolding just a few miles from Rams Park in Ferguson. The St. Louis wide receiver and former 2009 first-round draft pick feels strongly that the trouble in Ferguson, scene of so much unrest following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer, is not so much a race issue as it is one of power. "I can identify 100 percent with what they're going through," Britt said of Ferguson residents. "Especially as a young kid growing up, I've seen it. When people have power they tend to use it. I have a 13-year-old brother and I'm in the NFL and he's calling me saying the cops are following him around the block." The bottom line: "It's sad to see the same thing is happening over and over." Britt has had numerous brushes with the law, making the news for the wrong reasons three straight years earlier in his career when he was with the Titans. In 2013, he was questioned by police when a close friend was involved in a stabbing, a year after being cited for resisting arrest and then suspended for the opener after a DUI arrest. In 2011, he was arrested in New Jersey following a car chase with police Britt, other members of the Rams and players for baseball's Cardinals are all playing or living within only a few miles of Ferguson. To a man, those willing to discuss the incident with The Associated Press were careful with their opinions about the rioting and looting since Michael Brown was shot to death Aug. 9. "I don't know if the cops were overly aggressive, or what happened with the protesters," Britt said. "It's kind of hard when people with a voice (are) not saying anything." Offensive tackle Joe Barksdale, who grew up in Detroit, wondered about the rationale for looting: "What's even more messed up is people destroying their own communities." Whether it's preparing for preseason games and trying to survive looming cut-down days or gearing up for the postseason chase, the Rams and Cardinals can't help following the day to day events. The Rams earlier this week invited football teams from disrupted high schools to practice at their indoor facility. They also provided 75 complimentary tickets to the schools. The Rams have drawn headlines this year for becoming the first NFL team to draft an openly gay player in Michael Sam. That was 77 years after the franchise, then in Los Angeles, was the first to sign a black player in the post-World War II era in Kenny Washington. Coach Jeff Fisher said the team had been "brainstorming" how to get involved and thought of kids who are being deprived. "It's just very, very sad and we hope that things get worked out as soon as they possibly can, but this is different," Fisher said. "This is football players. This will be something that I hope they'll always remember." Britt said that never happened when he was a kid. "To see kids here and be inspired by players like us," he said, was encouraging. After a recent 6-1 home stand, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he hoped his team's surge during the dog days of August would provide a welcome diversion. Maybe common ground, too. "I think baseball, not just in St. Louis but in the country, has served very well in that regard," Matheny said. "It seems like baseball is a great focal point." The case hit close to home for Padres reliever Blaine Boyer, who played for the Cardinals in 2009. "When you have people marching the streets and it's one group against another, it's scary," Boyer said. "Whenever you have someone who loses their life, we should all pay attention." At the least, the players hoped the games and training camp tidbits provide a welcome diversion in St. Louis. "I think a lot of us are aware of what's going on with that," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after Green Bay's preseason victory over the Rams in St. Louis. "Sports, at times, have been able to heal a country in terms of bringing people back together." ___ AP freelance writer Jason Young contributed to this report.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two more former University of Missouri students have gone public with assault allegations against ex-running back Derrick Washington, including a women's soccer player who said her coach suggested she could lose her scholarship if she pursued her complaint that Washington punched her in a 2010 bar fight.The second woman accuses Washington of raping her in a dorm room as a...
New assault complaints against ex-Mizzou RB emerge
ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, Associated Press | Aug 21, 2014ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two more former University of Missouri students have gone public with assault allegations against ex-running back Derrick Washington, including a women's soccer player who said her coach suggested she could lose her scholarship if she pursued her complaint that Washington punched her in a 2010 bar fight. The second woman accuses Washington of raping her in a dorm room as a sophomore in 2008. Local prosecutors in that case declined to file criminal charges, despite a request to do so by campus police. Washington instead agreed to not contact the woman and to complete a rape awareness class under a deferred prosecution agreement. The women made the statements to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" for a report published Thursday. The report did not name either woman. Police reports and university documents connected to the two incidents also don't identify the complainants. University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who came to the Columbia campus in February, said Thursday that the school "made mistakes in the past" by not investigating the alleged sex assault as required by the federal Title IX law. "Our internal processes broke down," said Loftin, a former chancellor at Texas A&M University. "Though there does not appear to be any intentional mishandling of any cases in the (ESPN) report at this time, I make no excuses, and offer my personal apologies and those of my staff to the victims." Washington, a former co-captain of the team, was convicted in 2011 of deviate sexual assault against a former Missouri athletics tutor while she slept. He served four months of a five-year prison sentence. Missouri's leading rusher as a sophomore and junior was kicked off the team days before the start of his senior season. He completed his college football career at Division II Tuskegee in Alabama. After his dismissal by Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel, Washington also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault against an ex-girlfriend but did not have to serve any additional time. He could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press on Thursday but told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the 2008 incident involved only consensual sex. Loftin said the former women's soccer player's assertion that Coach Bryan Blitz threatened to pull her scholarship was investigated and found to be "unsubstantiated" after nearly two dozen interviews with the woman's coaches and teammates. The chancellor said Blitz was instead expressing concern that the woman's arrest for getting into a fight with Washington's girlfriend could also lead to university discipline should she be found guilty. The woman told police she initially wanted to press charges against Washington after she was punched in the face, but changed her mind after speaking with her coach. Blitz, who has led the squad to five NCAA Tournaments, is beginning his 19th year as the school's only varsity women's soccer coach. He did not immediately respond to an interview request on Thursday as the team prepares to start it season on Friday with a pair of matches at the Penn State Invitational. "Sometimes two people talk to each other and leave the room with a different understanding of (the same) conversation," Loftin said. "The coach was trying to tell his player ... that her involvement with the law could involve the revocation of her scholarship." The new details emerge as Missouri and other colleges and universities across the country face significantly increased scrutiny of sexual misconduct on campus, both by activists, lawmakers and the federal government. The U.S. Education Department is investigating 76 schools for possible violations of Title IX requirements to investigate complaints of sexual violence — a mandate that is independent of any criminal inquiries by law enforcement. Missouri hired an outside law firm to review its policies after another ESPN investigation in January into the alleged off-campus rape of a former university swimmer by several football players in February 2010. Sasha Menu Courey later left school and committed suicide. The outside review faulted the university's response and determined that the school's Title IX coordinator and local police should have been alerted to Menu Courey's claims in November 2012 after a public records request by her parents produced documents alluded to a possible attack. Missouri has since hired a full-time Title IX coordinator as well as a full-time sex assault investigator. Overseeing the school's compliance with the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education had previously been handled on a part-time basis by an administrator with other duties. ___ Follow Alan Scher Zagier on Twitter at http://twitter.com/azagier
Aug 21, 2014
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema proudly posted a message on Twitter last spring that featured the Razorbacks' new helmets — a futuristic design by Riddell called the SpeedFlex that is supposed to be the latest in head protection.A vocal proponent of player safety, Bielema is happy to be a part of the cutting edge. But it's a bit of a leap of faith. He has no proof that the SpeedFlex — or any other...
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?
DAVID BRANDT, Associated Press | Aug 21, 2014Arkansas coach Bret Bielema proudly posted a message on Twitter last spring that featured the Razorbacks' new helmets — a futuristic design by Riddell called the SpeedFlex that is supposed to be the latest in head protection. A vocal proponent of player safety, Bielema is happy to be a part of the cutting edge. But it's a bit of a leap of faith. He has no proof that the SpeedFlex — or any other helmet — can reduce the risk of a devastating head injury. "It's just like everything else — everything advances and you get better at it," Bielema said at a recent Arkansas practice. "I think our kids really like the way (the helmets) feel. They feel snug. They feel fit. So I think that's a step in the right direction." With lawsuits and concern regarding concussions hanging over every level of football, the race to develop safer helmets and other equipment has never been more intense. Even so, experts say it remains to be seen if new technology has made a dent in reducing concussions on the football field. "It's very admirable that they're trying to get better," said Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston-based neurosurgeon who specializes in sports concussions. "But with regards to concussions, it's a very complex issue ... There really isn't any helmet that has clearly been shown on the football field to be superior to other helmets." The NCAA recently reached a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows and create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma while playing football and other contact sports. Concussions occur when the brain moves inside the skull from an impact or a whiplash effect, but it's still an injury that doctors are learning about. There's also debate about the best way to test for concussion factors or how to even identify when concussions occur. The SpeedFlex's new design features a five-sided indentation on the crown of the helmet and a faceguard that both have some flexibility, which is supposed to allow some force to be absorbed and dispersed instead of going directly to the head. There's also a revamped ratchet chinstrap system for faster adjustments and a quick release for the faceguard that could benefit medical staff seeking access to the face in the event of an emergency. Thad Ide, Riddell's senior vice president for research and product development, said his company isn't claiming that the SpeedFlex can help reduce concussions. But like Bielema, he believes progress is being made in regards to lessening head impacts. "We'll let the medical researchers weigh in on the medical data around concussions, because that's kind of a moving target right now because of all the things that are being learned," Ide said. "But what we can do is try to reduce the forces of impact to the player's head. I think reducing those forces is unequivocally a good thing." Cantu said current football helmet certification tests by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) measure only linear impacts, which are direct blows. But new standards proposed over the summer would also mandate tests for rotational forces — or non-direct blows that could better reflect what actually happens on a football field. NOCSAE's new standards are expected to go into effect sometime next year. Mike Oliver, the executive director of NOCSAE, said helmet technology is improving but there are no simple answers. "I think the helmet manufactures are doing everything they can do to address these issues," Oliver said. "But they labor under the same restrictions that we do, which is until we understand more about the specifics of what causes a particular concussion, it's a little difficult." Riddell spokeswoman Erin Griffin said more than half of NCAA Division I programs are using the SpeedFlex. She said some programs — like Arkansas — have taken an aggressive approach to using the helmets while others have more of a wait-and-see attitude. Mississippi State equipment manager Phil Silva, who is in his 31st year at the school, said he had the opportunity to order the SpeedFlex but declined. He said the technology looked fine, but he wanted to make sure there was demand among players. "Most of our players like to use the brand of helmet they used in high school," Silva said. "We want to make sure guys are going to use them before we order." Dr. Stefan Duma, the department head of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, has been a pioneer in releasing independent ratings for the safety football helmets provide. He says Riddell's newest modifications for the SpeedFlex are "promising," though he has not tested the helmet because it's not yet available to the public. His team tests helmets by purchasing three and then performing 40 tests on each helmet that measure front, top, side and back impacts. They then aggregate the scores from all impacts and assign each helmet a 1-5 star rating, with a 5-star label being the highest. "It's one of the first really new concepts in helmet technology — having the flexible outer shell," Duma said of the SpeedFlex. Riddell provides helmets to every level of football — all the way from the pros to Pop Warner. Designing a helmet that successfully tests as a 'safer' model would be a boon for the manufacturer. The company was previously the official helmet of the NFL, but that partnership ended after last season. A league spokesman said that in 2013, about 60 percent of the league's players used Riddell helmets. For now, experts say the best way to make football safer is through rule changes. Dr. Julian Bailes, who has advised the NFLPA and NCAA about concussions and is the medical director for Pop Warner, says rules that outlaw targeting the head and limits on how often teams can have full-contact practices are vital advancements. "Every level of play is addressing this issue," Bailes said. "Do you really need to be exposed to that many blows to the head?" _____ Online: www.Riddell.com/SpeedFlex _____ AP Sports Writers Kurt Voigt in Fayetteville, Ark., and Howard Fendrich in Washington, D.C., contributed to this story.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III on Thursday stood by his latest retort against naysayers and said he has no plans to shut down his social media presence, pointing out that "there are 1.1 million people on Twitter" interested in what he has to say.Griffin regularly rebuffs doubters on Twitter and Facebook, but the Washington Redskins quarterback's latest words were more defiant than...
Redskins' RG3 stands by latest social media post
JOSEPH WHITE, Associated Press | Aug 21, 2014ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III on Thursday stood by his latest retort against naysayers and said he has no plans to shut down his social media presence, pointing out that "there are 1.1 million people on Twitter" interested in what he has to say. Griffin regularly rebuffs doubters on Twitter and Facebook, but the Washington Redskins quarterback's latest words were more defiant than usual. "They doubted in High School ... They doubted a turnaround at Baylor ... They doubted a Heisman was possible ... Keep doubting. It's nothing New. Because at the end of the day, in the Griffin Household we read Philippians 4:12-13." Asked to explain the post, Griffin said: "As far as I'm concerned, I said what I needed to say. It is what I believe, and what our household deems necessary to go out every day and be successful." Griffin has always appeared sensitive to criticism. Speaking about the quarterback earlier this year, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said: "He doesn't like negative publicity. ... He wants everybody to love Robert." Asked if he has considered shutting down social media to avoid negative feedback, Griffin referenced his 1.17 million followers. "To each his own. There are 1.1 million people on Twitter that want to hear what the quarterbacks and guys have to say," he said. "And it's not that we tweet all the time, but anytime we tweet something it gets blown up, but it is what it is. "We spend a lot of our day focused on football, so when we get a chance to unwind, whether it's watching reality TV or being on Twitter for five minutes in a day, that's not subtracting what we're doing on the field or in the film room." ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
‘College GameDay’ to preview season at 10 a.m. Saturday
Media notes: Two 'College GameDay' analysts pick UCLA to win national title
By Mel Bracht | Aug 21, 2014Will there be a changing of the guard this season in college football? Two of ESPN’s “College GameDay” analysts have picked UCLA, a Pac 12 team, to win the first national championship under the new playoff system, according to an ESPN news release. Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard are previewing the season with a one-hour “College GameDay” special at 10 a.m. Saturday. Corso, Herbstreit and Howard selected only one SEC team to qualify for the semifinals. Short takes Jenks High School will be featured in new Weather Channel content series “Friday Night Lightning” on Sept. 12 in advance of its rivalry game against Tulsa Union. Producers plan to celebrate the best of high school football and will spotlight 12 towns in 12 weeks. Featured throughout the day will be game-time forecasts and human interest stories from football and weather-crazy towns. The series debuts Friday with Joplin, Mo. The recently launched SEC Network has added former Auburn coach Gene Chizik and former Georgia quarterback David Greene to its analyst roster. Chizik will be a studio analyst on Mondays and Tuesdays and Greene will host “Film Room” at 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. ESPN’s college football schedule kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with the new FCS Kickoff, pitting Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington. The ESPN High School Football Kickoff this weekend includes coverage of nine games, including No. 8 Miami Central (Fla.) vs. No. 7 Hoover (Ala.) at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN.
Aug 20, 2014
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans.The majority of public school students will attend charter schools established by a state-run school district created in the aftermath of the storm.Supporters hail it as a grand experiment and post-disaster deliverance of foundering schools. The charters, which still...
Hope, resentment in new charter school landscape
KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press | Aug 20, 2014NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The majority of public school students will attend charter schools established by a state-run school district created in the aftermath of the storm. Supporters hail it as a grand experiment and post-disaster deliverance of foundering schools. The charters, which still receive public money, can operate free from the politics and bureaucracy of the local school board and citywide union contracts. Principals have more authority to innovate. Schools that fail to improve — all public schools are held to the same standards — can lose their charter. "Before Katrina, you could see that schools were allowed to stay open even if they failed students for decades," said Patrick Dobard, superintendent of the Recovery School District, or RSD, the state entity that oversees most New Orleans schools. But critics, including some parents, say the new system has shut down neighborhood schools, while the best schools remain geographically distant for some low-income and minority families. "If you're white, you have a better chance to attend a neighborhood school which you can walk to," says parent Karan Harper Royal, an African-American parent. An overhaul on such a broad scale would have been unthinkable before Aug. 29, 2005, when levee breaches during Katrina led to catastrophic flooding. About 80 percent of the city was swamped. The Orleans Parish School System was unable to open its 120 schools, which served about 65,000 students. Amid the chaos, state officials saw an opportunity to seize control of schools from a school system widely viewed as corrupt and inept. Then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco and the Legislature passed laws effectively ramping up a 2003 program allowing the state to assume control of any school deemed failing under the state accountability system — most New Orleans public schools at the time. Now, in a sometimes confusing patchwork of school governance, the RSD oversees 57 schools, all charters; the Orleans Parish School Board oversees 20 schools, most charters as well. A handful of schools are overseen by other state entities. Charters have taken off around the country, with 1 in 20 students in America attending such a school, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Typically, they supplement an existing system and have been criticized at times for leaving the harder-to-educate students to the traditional schools. Education experts are closely watching the New Orleans experience because the city has taken charters to a whole new level. In New Orleans, overall enrollment is 44,700, down about 31 percent from pre-Katrina days, but a higher proportion of students are from families with low incomes. Progress is measurable but uneven, despite increases in per-pupil spending. According to ratings released in October, only nine schools in the city were failing, down from 78 pre-Katrina. Still, most charter schools overseen by the RSD rate no better than a "C'' grade in the state accountability system, while a half-dozen schools still run by the school board get an "A." More than half of the RSD's third-through-eighth-grade students have basic "fundamental" knowledge and skill in subjects like reading and math, up from 23 percent seven years ago, according to the state education department. Still, only 12 percent display "mastery" of subject matter. "Somebody said to me once: 'We went from a disastrous system where very few young people were graduating ready for college, to a mediocre system. And that's a miracle.' Because we had to get off the bottom," said John Ayers, executive director of the Cowen Institute, a Tulane University public education think tank. RSD schools are open to any child in the city. Some of the Orleans Parish schools are as well, although there may be testing requirements; at least one also reserves some spaces for neighborhood children. Parents fill out a single application listing their top three choices, regardless of school system. Some schools hold lotteries, when applicants outnumber available seats. "I'd rather have a neighborhood school," Rosa Hernandez said recently outside a Family Resource Center established to help parents through the selection process. A grandchild attends a school near her home and Hernandez was trying to get another enrolled in that same school. "We waited an hour and a half in there," she said. "They told us we didn't have space for this school year." A little more than half of New Orleans voters favor the choice system over neighborhood schools, according to a poll released in June by the Cowen Institute. Royal, a member of an organization that filed a civil rights complaint with the Justice Department, said her son rode the bus three to four hours a day to attend Lusher in largely affluent uptown New Orleans before she decided to drive him herself. One of the city's best schools, it is a charter overseen by the Orleans Parish School Board. The school system provided bus tokens — public schools are required to provide transportation — but she said her son needed the time to study and sleep. Some parents, facing high tuition for private schools and uncertainty over enrollment in a good public one, have turned to home schooling. "The fear, the dread, just a lot of stress involved with trying to get into the one you want," said home-schooling mother Dawn Howard, who moved with her family to New Orleans from Hammond, Louisiana, after Katrina. "And there's not an even playing field among the schools. They're all performing at different levels, and it seems like everyone's trying to get into the same ones." Some charter critics see signs of hope. Charters are beginning to give more voice to teachers, said Larry Carter, president of the New Orleans teacher union, which saw its collective bargaining agreement with all city public schools, in effect, washed away after the storm. The union recently won official recognition from the board running the Benjamin Franklin High School, a charter school overseen by the school board. In a recent interview, Dobard predicted it will take seven to 10 years to bring all schools up to par. He, too, professes a sense of loss regarding neighborhood schools but is adamant that the citywide choice system is better. Cherished traditions centering around high school bands and football rivalries too often overshadowed decades of academic failure, Dobard said. "I have no one who's told me, 'Man, we had the best, most robust chemistry teacher at this school where we had a bad band,'" he said. ___ Associated Press writers Stacey Plaisance in New Orleans and Kimberly Hefling in Washington contributed to this report.
Aug 20, 2014
END OF AN ERA — Some say it’s cyclical. Some say it’s just the way things are now. But are we seeing the end of the feature back era? Former Oklahoma standout Adrian Peterson is one of the last true feature backs. Both OU and OSU now feature the running back position by committee and many NFL teams are doing the same.
College football: Could Adrian Peterson be the end of the feature back era?
BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 20, 2014Ten years ago, Adrian Peterson set college football’s conventional wisdom up in flames by rushing for an NCAA freshman record 1,925 yards. Built in the Earl Campbell mold of a workhorse running back, he has gone on to a storied NFL career featuring six Pro Bowls and an MVP season. Thanks largely to his style, there’s little debate against “All Day” being the best running back in the league. But as career expectancies decline and the running-back-by-committee becomes more popular, could he be among the last of a dying breed? ‘WHY SHOULDN’T WE GIVE HIM THE BALL?’ Before Peterson ever took a handoff for the Oklahoma Sooners, he carried every expectation that comes with being the nation’s No. 1 player — a 6-foot-1, 217-pound running back with a 4.3-second 40-yard dash time. But Chuck Long, OU’s offensive coordinator from 2002-05, knew to keep his outlook realistic. “You always think, ‘Well, he was great in high school and he’s the No. 1 player in the country and all that, but this is a new level,’” Long said. “It was going to take some time.” OU quarterback Jason White, the defending Heisman Trophy winner heading into that 2004 season, found out quickly that didn’t apply to Peterson. “When he walks into the training facility as a freshman, we were all looking at this guy like, ‘He looks like he’s been here for five years,’” White said. “His build, the way he ran, things like that, it was like, ‘Holy cow, this guy is definitely not a freshman.’” Soon after, Long discovered for himself. “We knew by Day Two of practice, probably Day One of pads, he could play at this level right away,” Long said. “In all my years of playing and coaching, especially coaching, I’ve never seen a kid that I felt that way about right away. The only other guy I played with was Barry Sanders.” At 18 years old, Peterson was sculpted like a god, carried himself like a senior and was gifted with unmatched competitive drive. “At times in practice, we had to tell him to settle down, tell him, ‘You don’t have to do that, those are your teammates, we don’t want them hurt,’” Long said. Built in the Earl Campbell mold of a workhorse tailback, Peterson was quickly used like one. Despite having a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback, the Sooners started moving away from shotgun sets, putting White under center and letting Peterson go to work as a deep back. He carried 339 times that season. That’s three more carries per game than Billy Sims got out of a wishbone offense for OU in 1978. “I remember talking with the coaches and saying, ‘Hey, the guy can fly, he runs hard every time he touches the ball, he doesn’t turn it over. Why shouldn’t we give him the ball?’” White said. Peterson ended up second to USC’s Matt Leinart in the Heisman Trophy voting, and White — who finished third — said he still thinks Peterson should have won. Ten years later, Peterson is the Minnesota Vikings’ franchise player, and in 2012 — a year after tearing his ACL— he won the NFL MVP after running for 2,097 yards. He carried 348 times that season, a rarity in today’s NFL. But not all that long ago, bell-cow backs were synonymous with stardom. HOT COMMODITIES If anyone knows the value of the running back position, it’s Barry Switzer. The legendary OU coach had true feature backs with Marcus Dupree out of the I-formation at OU and Emmitt Smith with the Dallas Cowboys. However, Switzer is best known as the innovator of the multiple-back wishbone offense. In the late 1970s, Switzer had three first-round NFL picks (Sims, David Overstreet and Elvis Peacock) and a third-round pick (Kenny King) playing in the same backfield. With Switzer as the master, the halfback position caused some of the most heated recruiting wars in history. “I had to have one,” Switzer said. “I had four picks in my backfield at the same time because we recruited a bevy of them. We were a three-back offense. We ran the football.” At the same time, Switzer recognized how to use one elite runner in an option-based offense. “The wishbone isn’t a place to get the ball to a halfback 30 times a game, but I made sure when Billy Sims went in the ballgame, we had enough predetermined plays where Billy is going to touch it,” Switzer said. Up the road at Oklahoma State, Pat Jones helped architect Tailback U. Jones recruited and coached all-time greats in Thurman Thomas and Sanders, and though Jones said he doesn’t believe the running back position is dying, he does admit it was in greater demand in the days before spread offenses were the norm. “(Running backs) were hard to get, because there’s still not many elite guys,” Jones said. “Now when everybody, the high schools in this state, were running the wishbone, there were more guys who lined up at that position. How good they were is debatable, but there were more guys that lined up at running back.” Schematics or not, there’s no denying running backs dominated the game. A telling fact: A back won the Heisman Trophy every year from 1972-83. Only two (Reggie Bush and Mark Ingram) have won it since 2000 — and one of those was vacated. “In one era, you had Billy Sims, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Thurman Thomas, all about the same period of time,” Jones said. “There’s a bust in Canton of every one of them, but it all goes in cycles as far as elite guys.” TAILBACK DEPRESSION So why are so few of these thoroughbreds left? First, running back is likely the most physically demanding position in football. The average career expectancy for NFL running backs is 3.1 years, and the number continues to shrink. A recent Washington Post study predicts Peterson himself has less than three seasons left in the tank. “No. 1 is more punishment,” Long said. “Defensive players are getting faster, they’re stronger. So something’s got to give.” And of course, there’s the influx of pass-heavy offenses. In 1980, the NFL’s run-pass ratio was nearly 50-50. Since 2000, playoff teams had a combined ratio of 46 percent run and 54 percent pass. Defenses have changed, too. The advent of amoeba eight-man fronts with versatile linebackers and safeties makes it difficult to scheme for the running game. Those reasons alone have caused NFL contract values to gravitate away from running backs. This offseason, the top 10 free-agent running backs signed for an average value of $2.47 million per year. The top 10 receivers signed for an average of $4.8 million. There’s also a continuing shift toward running-back-by-committee approaches in college and the NFL. In the pros, backfield tandems such as Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller with the Buffalo Bills are commonplace. Last season, top-10 college teams had their lead back receive close to 40 percent of the team’s total carries. From a historic scope, that number is a decline, but not radically low. However, OU and OSU are both schools rich with tradition at running back, and both have used committee approaches in recent years. OSU sophomore Rennie Childs said he joined the Cowboys knowing he’d be used in some sort of committee, and sees the benefits of it. “I feel like it just brings different types of running styles to the game and throwing different things at the defense,” Childs said. “Then we can have fresh legs by switching out running backs.” But the old guard contends if elite backs were around, they would be used as such. “When you have Adrian Peterson or Billy Sims or somebody that you need to have touch the ball 30 times a game, they need to play where they can touch it 30 times because they’re difference makers,” Switzer said. “They separate themselves from the committee and they become chairman of the board.” And there’s little basis for the idea that players who once would have become Hall of Fame running backs are now playing other positions. “I ask if you’re going to put Earl Campbell at wideout,” Jones said. “Then I get a bunch of blank stares. Are you going to put Eric Dickerson or Billy Sims and play them at wideout? Hell no you’re not.” Teams at all levels are going away from the idea of using one feature back for a variety of reasons, but in the rare cases like when Peterson walked through the doors at OU, special talent prevails. Feature backs might be an endangered species, but there’s little reason to think they will be extinct anytime soon. “You’re going to have a Marcus Dupree, Emmitt Smith, Adrian Peterson coming down the road,” Long said. “Everybody was talking about Michael Jordan, who’s going to be the next Michael Jordan? Well, LeBron James is pretty good. I still think there’s going to be those guys, those special backs in the future. You could be in that cycle where there’s not right now, but there will be soon.”
Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field.
High school football: Norman North-Edmond Santa Fe highlight scrimmage action
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Aug 20, 2014A year ago this week, all eyes were on one high school scrimmage. Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North were set to meet as part of a four-team scrimmage with two of the top quarterbacks in the nation. A year later, Santa Fe's Justice Hansen is fighting for the backup job at Oklahoma and Norman North's David Cornwell is trying to climb the depth chart at Alabama. But the same scrimmage still has fans buzzing. Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field beginning at 3:50 p.m. Thursday. At 6, Westmoore will face Union in a game-like scrimmage, with Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North following at 7. Norman North once again has a Division I quarterback in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar, while Keaton Torre is behind center for Edmond Santa Fe. Only a junior, he already has an offer from Louisville and is expected to be one of the state's top players in the 2016 class. Westmoore, which made its rise toward the top of Class 6A last season, has perhaps the state's best group of wide receivers, led by Louisville commit Dahu Green. Here's a list of notable scrimmages involving Oklahoma City-area teams Thursday and Friday: Thursday Tuttle at Cache McGuinness at Lawton MacArthur Southeast, Bridge Creek at Little Axe Chandler, Western Heights at McLoud Edmond Santa Fe, Westmoore, Tulsa Union at Norman North Millwood, Purcell at Plainview Del City at Putnam City North Edmond North, Deer Creek at Putnam City West Friday Midwest City, Mustang at Muskogee Noble at Ardmore Harrah, Newcastle at Bethany Washington, Crooked Oak, Holdenville at Bethel Southmoore at Carl Albert Christian Heritage, U.S. Grant at Casady Shawnee, Tecumseh, Sand Springs at Choctaw Dibble at Community Christian Destiny Christian at Coyle Thomas at Crescent Rush Springs at Crossings Christian Moore at Edmond Memorial Clinton at El Reno Putnam City at Enid Cashion at Hennessey Holland Hall at Heritage Hall Luther, Summit Christian at Kiefer Douglass, Guthrie, Tulsa Kelley at Langston Jones, Cushing at Meeker Apache at Minco Marlow at Pauls Valley Perkins-Tryon at Perry Kingfisher at Piedmont Mount St. Mary at OCS Yukon, Tulsa Washington, Jenks at Sapulpa Lexington at Wayne
Aug 16, 2014
Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon will be arraigned on a single misdemeanor count of acts resulting in gross injury on Monday, when he is expected to turn himself in, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.
Oklahoma football notebook: Joe Mixon to be arraigned Monday
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER | Aug 16, 2014Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon will be arraigned on a single misdemeanor count of acts resulting in gross injury on Monday, when he is expected to turn himself in, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. Monday is an important day for Mixon, because that’s also when OU begins classes for the fall semester. OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said his department is conducting its own internal review and will decide Mixon’s future with the university soon. It’s unclear at this time if he will attend class Monday. The former five-star prospect from Oakley, Calif., hasn’t practiced with the team at all this fall after an early morning incident July 25 at Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe, where Mixon was alleged to have punched a 20-year-old female OU student in the face, causing severe injury. Mixon’s attorney, Kevin Finlay, says his client acted in self defense. “It is important to Joe and his family that he continues toward his goal of becoming a successful student-athlete both on and off the field at the University of Oklahoma,” Finlay said in a statement Friday. “Joe looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name and put this unfortunate situation behind him.” BACKUP QB BATTLE ONGOING The battle to be quarterback Trevor Knight’s backup is continuing beyond fall camp, which wrapped up Friday. Redshirt freshman Cody Thomas and true freshman Justice Hansen — a former Edmond Santa Fe standout — are competing to be the Sooners’ second-team quarterback. Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield, however, could make things interesting if he wins his appeal with the NCAA for immediate eligibility. Mayfield was the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2013 and played well in Oklahoma’s spring game four months ago. “They compete hard,” OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said last week of Thomas and Hansen. “They want to be better. They push for it every single day. The next week-and-a-half is gonna be critical for those guys to make the strides that we need them to to be ready to play.” EVANS, ALEXANDER HAVE SIMILARITIES Sophomore linebackers Jordan Evans and Dominique Alexander each came to Oklahoma as athletic guys who had played other positions in high school. “Me and Dom are both the same kinda players,” Evans said. “We’re athletes that are playing linebacker. We’ve made the transition to linebacker, but we’ve never lost our athleticism. It helps us out when we’re playing against fast receivers. Being big and strong definitely helps us out against big, running offenses.” Alexander, a Tulsa Washington product, started eight games last year after Corey Nelson’s season-ending injury and recorded 80 tackles. Evans, from Norman North, played behind Frank Shannon, and could be in line to start this season if Shannon is unavailable while appealing his one-year university suspension. “Great Oklahoma kids who play hard and work hard,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said of Alexander and Evans. “Those are two guys who really get after it, are good to coach. They understand the importance of what they do and what they represent. They've always carried themselves way beyond their years, and we're starting to see that physical and mental maturity develop on the football field.”
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Wins have been scarce in Jon Davis' first three seasons at Illinois, just 13 in all. Seven of those came his freshman year.But the tight end believes this could be the year the Illini turn the corner."Six or seven wins isn't a far-off goal," he said. "This team is good enough to be a bowl team."It may have to be for coach Tim Beckman. His boss, athletic director Mike...
Illini hope to turn the corner with new QB
DAVID MERCER, Associated Press | Aug 13, 2014CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Wins have been scarce in Jon Davis' first three seasons at Illinois, just 13 in all. Seven of those came his freshman year. But the tight end believes this could be the year the Illini turn the corner. "Six or seven wins isn't a far-off goal," he said. "This team is good enough to be a bowl team." It may have to be for coach Tim Beckman. His boss, athletic director Mike Thomas, has said the team needs be better than last season. Those Illini were 4-8 (1-7 Big Ten), a small step up from 2-12 in 2012. "Now, it's not the numbers that we all want, but we did get better," Beckman said. The third-year coach has at least one big weapon to work with this fall in transfer quarterback Wes Lunt. And the Illini have a bunch of returning players who should be better, as well as an influx of junior college talent. Five things to watch at Illinois this season: QB TALENT: The last time Lunt played at Illinois' Memorial Stadium, he was the quarterback for Rochester (Ill.) High School and threw for 590 yards and four touchdowns in winning a state title. He started as a freshman at Oklahoma State before losing the job to injury, then sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules. Now 6-5 and 225 pounds, he is the kind of pure passer who could put serious bite into coordinator Bill Cubit's offense. Illinois scored 29.7 points a game in 2013, sixth in the Big Ten, and was second in passing yards with 287.7 a game. But Lunt's a better passer than last year's starter, Nathan Scheelhaase. And Lunt just plain knows what he's doing, Cubit said. "You could just tell the kids trust him when he's out there and he's making calls," Cubit said. RECEIVING QUESTIONS: If Illinois lacks experience in any one spot, receiver is it. The most productive returning wide receiver, Martize Barr, caught 26 balls for 246 yards. But Illinois added junior college receiving talent in Tyrin Stone-Davis and Geronimo Allison. And two true freshmen, Mike Dudek and Malik Turner, have won early praise. SEEKING DEFENSE: As effective as the offense was last season, the defense was a problem. The Illini gave up 35.4 points a game, 104th in the country and 11th among the 12 Big Ten teams. The team had three interceptions and 15 sacks, both 11th in the conference. At defensive end, junior college transfer Jihad Ward's 6-6, 295-pound physique looks Big Ten-ready. And the secondary, Beckman says, is now experienced enough to let him move Earnest Thomas from safety to star, a hybrid secondary-linebacker position that will put Thomas closer to the line of scrimmage. He is the top returning tackler with 101 tackles. THE SCHEDULE: Illinois ducks Michigan State and Michigan. But after an opening stretch that packs home dates with Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State around a trip to Washington, the Illini will play five of eight against Big Ten teams that won at least eight games in 2013 (with trips to Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State). To get to six wins and a bowl, Illinois will probably need an upset or two. JOB SECURITY: The buzz around Illinois football has faded since the surprise 2008 trip to the Rose Bowl. Attendance has dropped from 61,707 a game the season after that game to 43,787 in 2013. Beckman can't be blamed for all of that, of course, but he's under pressure to turn it around. "That's the life of a football coach," he said. "If you're not going to have that life, then you shouldn't be in this profession." ___ Follow David Mercer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmercerap
Oklahoma City Thunder TV analyst candidates: A look at the contenders, longshots to replace Grant LongAug 10, 2014
Who will replace Grant Long as the Thunder TV analyst alongside play-by-play man Brian Davis? Here’s our list of contenders, longshots, and some outside of the box names for your entertainment: THE CONTENDERS Stacey King Background: Lawton native, All-American at OU and NBA first-round draft pick. Played a decade of NBA ball, winning three championship with the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s....
Oklahoma City Thunder TV analyst candidates: A look at the contenders, longshots to replace Grant Long
By Erik Horne | Aug 10, 2014Who will replace Grant Long as the Thunder TV analyst alongside play-by-play man Brian Davis? Here’s our list of contenders, longshots, and some outside of the box names for your entertainment: THE CONTENDERS Stacey King Background: Lawton native, All-American at OU and NBA first-round draft pick. Played a decade of NBA ball, winning three championship with the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s. Got into broadcasting in 2006, and has worked as the lead color commentator for the Bulls since 2008, earning popularity with a Gus Johnson-esque arsenal of catch phrases. Nancy Lieberman Background: Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer with broadcast experience on ESPN, ABC, FOX and NBC. Currently pre- and post-game TV analyst for Thunder LIVE on Fox Sports, as well as assistant general manager for D-League Texas Legends. Desmond Mason Background: Former Oklahoma State (1996-2000) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-2009) player. Mason has roots with the Thunder dating back to his days as a first-round pick of the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000. Spent two seasons in OKC with New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, who were displaced following Hurricane Katrina. Retired since 2009, has delved into art career. Gerry Vaillancourt Background: Served in variety of radio and television analyst roles for the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans for more than two decades before being let go in April. Voice of the Hornets during team’s temporary move to Oklahoma City in 2005. Played college basketball at Gardner-Webb University, and has collegiate and high school coaching experience. INTRIGUING LONGSHOTS Ryan Humphrey Background: Tulsa Washington alumnus spent part of college career at OU before earning All-American honors at Notre Dame. Pro career spans 11 years from NBA to overseas. Trying his hand in sports talk in Tulsa. Fits Thunder bill of former player as color commentator. Royal Ivey Background: Former University of Texas guard and 10-year NBA veteran. Knows Thunder well after multiple stints with the team (2010-12, 2013-14). Last played for Guangdong Southern Tigers of China in 2013-14 following 10-day contract with Thunder. Jim Ross Background: Unabashed Sooners supporter has decades of behind-the-mic experience from World Wrestling Entertainment. WWE Hall of Famer has gotten back into commentary with boxing work for Fox Sports 1. Kurt Thomas Background: Dallas native and TCU All-American played for nine teams in 18 NBA seasons. Appeared in 42 games for Seattle SuperSonics in 2007-08 before midseason trade to San Antonio Spurs. Deal that sent Thomas from Phoenix to Seattle in 2007 included a 2008 first-rounder, which turned into Serge Ibaka. OUTSIDE THE BOX/FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT Sherri Coale Background: Healdton native and Sooners women’s basketball coach has roots in Oklahoma and decades of basketball knowledge. Played collegiately at Oklahoma Christian. Guided OU to 15 NCAA Tournament and three Final Four appearances in 18 seasons. Polished in front of the camera and on the radio. Mick Cornett Background: Oklahoma City mayor has a long resume of TV experience and started his career in sports journalism. Played a key role in bringing the Thunder to Oklahoma City. 2014 Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Ashley and Courtney Paris Background: Former Sooner stars have long professed their desire to get into sports journalism and basketball commentary. Courtney currently suits up for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, and both sisters still reside in Oklahoma. Jim Traber Background: Oklahoma sports radio personality on The Sports Animal 98.1 deemed “The Ultimate.” Former Oklahoma State baseball and football player. Experience as color analyst with MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. By Erik Horne
Media notes: Tulsa Union, Broken Arrow to make four appearances each on Cox high school football schedule
Cox schedule includes telecasts during first four weeks of the playoffs
Media notes: Tulsa Union, Broken Arrow to make four appearances each on Cox high school football schedule
Aug 6, 2014Cox announces high school football schedule Tulsa Union and Broken Arrow will make four appearances each in the Cox Communications high school football telecast package. The schedule for the The Cox Channel (channels 3 and 703) includes the Tulsa Union-Jenks game, generally considered the state’s biggest rivalry game, on Sept. 12. Southmoore, Owasso, Bixby, Jenks and Norman North are scheduled to make two appearances each. Several dates will be filled later in the season. Cox has scheduled two games for both Oct. 16 and Oct. 24. On Oct. 16, Norman North at Edmond North will air in Oklahoma City and Owasso at Tulsa Union will air in Tulsa. The other game will air on delay. On Oct. 24, Cox will air either Bixby at Tulsa Washington or Jenks at Broken Arrow. The other game will air on delay. All the games also will be streamed live at www.coxhshub.com. The Cox schedule includes playoff games on Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 and state championship games the weekend of Dec. 5-6. Oklahoma City area announcers will be Steve Marshall, analyst Rod Thompson and sideline reporter Kaycee Boles. Tulsa area announcers will be Nathan Thompson, analyst Rod Thompson and sideline reporter Mike Ziegenhorn. The Cox HS Hub Game of the Week schedule also was released. Those games will be webcast at www.coxhshub.com. Steve Marshall and Josh Helmer will share play-by-play duties with analyst Mike Whaley. Cox Channel 3/703 schedule (All games start at 7 p.m.) Sept. 4, Edmond Memorial at Southmoore. Sept. 5, Owasso at Broken Arrow. Sept. 11, Bixby at East Central. Sept. 12, Tulsa Union at Jenks. Sept. 18, Norman at Moore. Sept. 19, Broken Arrow at Tulsa Union. Sept. 26, Owasso at Norman North. Oct. 3, Bishop McGuinness at Deer Creek. Oct. 9, Tulsa Union at Southmoore. Oct. 10, Open. Oct. 16, Norman North at Edmond North. Oct. 16, Owasso at Tulsa Union. Oct. 24, Bixby at Tulsa Washington. Oct. 24, Jenks at Broken Arrow. Oct. 30, Broken Arrow at Edmond Santa Fe. Oct. 31, Carl Albert at Guthrie. Nov. 7, Open. Cox HS Hub Game of the Week Sept. 5, Lindsey at Purcell. Sept. 12, Mooreland at Cashion. Sept. 19, Yukon at Deer Creek. Sept. 28, Newcastle at Cache. Oct. 3, Tuttle at Bristow. Oct. 10, Fredrick at Washington or TBA. Oct. 16, Nowata at Vian. Oct. 24, Kellyville at Lincoln Christian. Oct. 31, Altus at Duncan. Nov. 7, TBA. Short takes Westmoore High School football games and OU baseball and softball games and will air on the Tyler Media’s new The Franchise 2, KEBC-AM 1560 and FM 92.9. Program director Buddy Wiley said select OU baseball and softball games also will air on The Franchise 107.7. WWLS-FM 98.1, The Sports Animal, has received rights to air the Westwood One NFL and NCAA football broadcasts. WWLS will air NFL primetime games on Sunday, Thursday and Monday. WWLS also will also air Sunday doubleheader games and all playoff games. Program director Dax Davis said the station also will carry NCAA football games from Westwood One. Sideline reporter Erin Andrews is joining Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Fox’s No.1 NFL broadcast team. The trio’s first game will be San Francisco at Dallas at 3:25 p.m. Sept. 7. Other Fox teams include Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale; Thom Brennaman, David Diehl and Laura Okmin; and Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa. Dick Stockton and reporter Kristina Pink will work with analysts Donovan McNabb, Brady Quinn and Kirk Morrison, who will alternate. By Mel Bracht
Aug 3, 2014
His 33 years in the oil and gas industry have taken Mike Stice around the globe. Today, he heads Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream.
Change comes naturally to Access Midstream CEO
By Paula Burkes, Business Writer | Aug 3, 2014Mike Stice, chief executive of Access Midstream, worked worldwide before being wooed in 2008 to join a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. Access spun off Chesapeake in July 2012, with the help of private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners. And now there’s more change ahead. Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. has bought Global’s stake in Access for nearly $6 billion with plans to merge it with its own midstream subsidiary, Williams Partners LP. Change has been the norm for Stice’s career. Over nearly three decades with ConocoPhillips, he lived in more than 20 different houses across several continents. But one constant is that Stice has worked mostly in midstream — or laying pipeline so producers can bring their resources to market. Today, Access is active in the explosion of shale plays across the U.S. from Wyoming, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma. The company is worth $13 billion and employs 1,500, Stice said. From his office at 525 Central Park Drive, Stice, 55, sat down with The Oklahoman recently to talk about his life and career. This is an edited transcript: Q: Your office nameplate reads J. Mike Stice. What does the J stand for? A: John, which is also my dad’s first name. I went by John through fifth grade, but decided to change to Mike in sixth. There were about five other Johns in my class. Plus, I was tired of my dad and I both showing up every time my mom yelled “John.” Q: What did your dad do? A: He served 30 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, and retired as a full colonel. Then, he worked 10 years as director of the Texas Department of Corrections. He and my mom, 83 and 81, live in Huntsville, and my sister, who’s 60 and a retired school teacher, lives nearby. Originally from southwest Arkansas, my parents married as teenagers, and my dad — who was 6-foot-4, 250 pounds — played football (offensive tackle) for OU under Bud Wilkinson for one year. After he hurt his knee, he joined ROTC, and I grew up as a military brat. When I was in the second through fourth grades, we lived in Frankfurt, Germany, where I was a Boy Scout and learned to love Wiener schnitzel and other German foods. From the fifth through seventh grades, we lived in D.C., where I joined the Boys Club and played baseball and soccer. Q: What brought you to Oklahoma? A: From Washington, we moved to Lawton where my dad was battalion commander and I found American football. My junior year in high school, we moved to Norman, and my dad worked in downtown Oklahoma City as a military recruiter. Initially, I was mad at my dad for moving us; I left a girlfriend behind in Lawton. But at Norman High School, I met Joni, who’d become my wife and the love of my life. I also made the starting football team, and we made it to the playoffs that year. Q: And college? A: As one of the valedictorians in my class, I went to the University of Oklahoma and chose the toughest major possible: chemical engineering/pre-med. But, working as an EMT at Goddard Health Center, I discovered medicine wasn’t as romantic as I’d pictured. I pledged Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and Joni was a little sis. We married after my junior year, and starved for several years. She, for the first three to five years, made all the money working as a court reporter. Q: What was your first professional job after graduation? A: Procter & Gamble wanted to hire me, based on some chemical engineering research I’d done. But Joni couldn’t see moving that far way — Cincinnati. The irony is I took a job in Hennessey with Conoco, and then we, over the next 27 years, lived in 21 different houses — including in Oklahoma City, Houston, Louisiana, two years in Lisbon, two years in Singapore and six years in Qatar. I also worked up to six-month assignments in Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and elsewhere. I served most recently as president of ConocoPhillips Qatar. I also worked as vice president of Global Gas LNG, as president of Gas and Power and as president of Energy Solutions, in addition to other roles in ConocoPhillips’ upstream and midstream business units. Q: Aubrey McClendon recruited you to Chesapeake Energy Corp. in November 2008. How’d you know Aubrey? A: I had lots of dealings with him from 1989 to 1991, when he was an independent, struggling oilman and I was district manager over pipelines here for Conoco. But a search firm approached me about the Chesapeake job. I think Aubrey thought he was coming to save us from the Middle East. But in reality, we loved it there. I was president of the business unit and we were building what, at the time, was the largest plant for liquefied natural gas. Qatar is the capital, so the embassies were all there, and there was lots of social stuff to do. Joni and I had gone on a safari in east Africa, and she was doing volunteer stuff in Africa. We were meeting people from all over. But Aubrey’s pitch was that he needed me, and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. My parents, and Joni’s mother, also were getting older, so it made sense to come home. Q: You hold master’s and doctorate degrees. What was your motivation for extended study? A: When I was 21, I made a list of goals, including getting my MBA at age 35; I was a year late, and my doctorate by age 50; I was 52. When I was ready to pursue the former, Conoco didn’t think it was necessary. But rather than lose me, they sent me to Stanford, where I, as a Sloan Fellow, studied 18 months to earn a master’s in business. It was a great complement to my technical chemical engineering degree, and I fell in love with organizational behavior and leadership classes. I paid for my doctorate in education on my own, which wasn’t easy. Not long after I started it at George Washington University, I was transferred to the Middle East. So, once a month, I’d fly from Qatar to London and land in D.C. 30 minutes before my weekend classes started. It took me six years to finish. Today, I’m an adjunct teacher in the OCU Meinders School of Business and in January, will teach a leadership class in the executive MBA program at OU.
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame: Former Sooner J.C. Watts thankful to the coaches who talked him out of quitting years agoAug 2, 2014
J.C. Watts was a two-time Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player as Oklahoma’s quarterback and was eventually elected to the United States House of Representatives. The four-term congressman will be inducted Monday into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame: Former Sooner J.C. Watts thankful to the coaches who talked him out of quitting years ago
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer | Aug 2, 2014J.C. Watts packed his bags and loaded everything into his car at 1 o’clock in the morning, ready to say goodbye to the University of Oklahoma after less than a year on campus. The freshman quarterback — who had already quit the team once before during the season — woke up friend and teammate Darrol Ray for help carrying everything to the car that morning in February 1977. “Man, this is it for me,” Watts told Ray. “Watts, after getting me up, you’d better not come back,” Ray responded. Watts did come back, becoming a two-time Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player and eventually being elected to the United States House of Representatives. The four-term congressman will be inducted Monday into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. “Had I quit, it would’ve been one more nail in the coffin that would’ve made it easier for me to quit later in life,” Watts said during an interview with The Oklahoman. “When I faced adversity in other things, I might’ve thought, ‘Hey, I’ve quit two or three other times. It’s easy to do.’” Watts was raised in Eufaula, surrounded by good role models and mentors like the Selmon brothers, football coach Paul Bell and basketball coach Perry Anderson. “I grew up in an old-school system,” Watts said. “I had parents that affirmed the values that my coaches instilled in me: Never quit. Never give up.” Despite that, Watts struggled with urges to quit at various times throughout his young life. When Watts was in the eighth grade, he played on Eufaula’s freshman basketball team. The Ironheads were playing Checotah, and Watts shot a ball into the wrong bucket, resulting in two points for his team’s archrival. “After the game, our coach was just ranting and raving in the gymnasium,” Watts recalled. “He said, ‘Anybody that doesn’t know which goal to shoot at, you don’t need to be out there.’” The next day, the dejected youngster took his jersey to the coach and attempted to turn it in. “He wouldn’t take my jersey; he wouldn’t let me quit,” Watts said. “One of these days I’ll get to tell him, ‘Thanks for not allowing me to quit.’” Watts credits another — much better known — coach for the same reason several years later. He came to OU with grand expectations for immediate glory and when it didn’t happen, thoughts of taking the easy way out crept into his head again. He laughs about his immature brashness today — “Who was I gonna beat out? Thomas Lott or Dean Blevins?” — but his feelings were very real and very crushing at the time. After that early-morning conversation with Ray, Watts made the two-hour trek home down east State Highway 9, believing his Sooner football career to be finished. “J.C. was typical of all young athletes that come,” said former OU coach Barry Switzer. “I can name you one right after another that went through that same growth and maturation. “He was homesick. He was discouraged. He had competition in front of him. J.C. had been a starter since high school.” Switzer called Watts and asked him to return to Norman for a meeting, promising to accept whatever decision the freshman made after they talked. So Watts jumped back on Highway 9 and gave Switzer a chance. “I’m telling you, if you don’t wanna be talked out of something, don’t talk to Barry Switzer,” Watts said with a laugh. In that meeting, Switzer told Watts what he told every confused, impatient young player: If you stay, you’ll play. The pitch worked. Watts sat out the next year, played some in 1978 and started every game of his junior and senior seasons, which each ended with Orange Bowl victories over Florida State. “I always said, ‘Those who stay will play,’” Switzer said. “It always happened. Those that stayed would play. “You’ve just gotta stay. You can’t be in a hurry. You can’t leave.” Watts played six seasons in the Canadian Football League before retiring from football. He’s worked as a minister, a businessman and a politician. Today, he runs a political consulting firm in Washington. Monday, he’ll add another title to his resume: Hall of Famer. “Surely I’ve had my chances to quit and give up, but I’m grateful for what the people in Eufaula and Barry Switzer and his coaching staff did for me,” Watts said. “I’m grateful for what those people will help me accomplish in the future, but I’m most grateful for what those people put inside me: A never quit attitude.”
Aug 1, 2014
Barry Switzer called Friday morning. He had just heard some interesting news. Not big news, really, in the grand scheme of things. But interesting. Dear to Switzer’s heart. Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Friday named a city street after Jerry Anderson, its hometown hero. And Anderson was a hero in every sense of the word. Anderson, […]
Oklahoma football hero Jerry Anderson honored by hometown
Berry Tramel | Aug 1, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2014/08/Jerry-Anderson-Drive-Street-Sign1.jpg]3112077[/img] Barry Switzer called Friday morning. He had just heard some interesting news. Not big news, really, in the grand scheme of things. But interesting. Dear to Switzer’s heart. Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Friday named a city street after Jerry Anderson, its hometown hero. And Anderson was a hero in every sense of the word. Anderson, a big-hitting cornerback on Switzer’s 1975 national title team, drowned in 1989, trying to save two boys who had fallen into the rain-swollen Stones River. “He gave his life in that roaring flood,” Switzer said. [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2014/08/jerry-anderson-kansas.jpg]3112074[/img] The Murfreesboro City Council voted May 15 to rename a street in Anderson’s honor. The ceremony took place Friday afternoon, with Anderson’s family and friends. “Jerry Anderson was a hero on the field of football, but more importantly he was a hero in the bigger game of life,” said mayor Shane McFarland. “As citizens of Murfreesboro, we honor his heroism and should be proud that someone who demonstrated true courage in action called this city his hometown.” Anderson graduated from Murfreesboro Central High School. After his OU days, Anderson played in the NFL for the Buccaneers and the Bengals. On May 27, 1989, Anderson took two young boys finishing. Two other boys also fishing nearby fell into the water while attempting to cross a dam spanning the river. Anderson jumped into the river trying to save them; he helped the boys to shore but succumbed to the river himself. Councilman Ron Washington told the Daily News Journal that Anderson, three or four years his senior, became his mentor: “A lot of us didn’t have dads, so he was kind of like a brother, uncle and dad for us … taught us some resolve, how to be men, things your mother couldn’t teach you. Those are the kinds of role models we need in the community today. I was devastated when he died, inconsolable. And I wasn’t alone.” Washington said that when Anderson would return to Murfreesboro in the summers or after football season, “He came back and sought you out, made sure you were during what you were supposed to do and encouraged you to make something of yourself. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.” In 1990, the NAACP began to celebrate the Jerry Anderson Hero/Humanitarian Award. Mary Wade, who has served as part of the nomination committee for several years, told the Daily News Journal said she knew Anderson well: “He was an easy-going kid growing up and a great athlete. He’d promised those boys he’d take them fishing and he heard then hollering for help. He was a great swimmer, so he was comfortable around water. It wasn’t anything for him to jump in and try to help them.” The Daily News Journal said that just as Anderson rescued the two boys, he went underwater two or three times and never resurfaced. Rescue workers pulled him from the river and transported him to a hospital, where Anderson was pronounced dead. “Jerry was a hero,” Wade said. “We’ve always tried to give the awards to someone who’s gone above and beyond the call of duty. Maybe they didn’t physically save someone’s life, but they’ve done something to help make another person’s life better. That’s the type of person Jerry was.”
Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC...
Oklahomans in the NFL: Okies in NFL training camps
Jul 27, 2014Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC quarterback Matt Barkley for the No. 3 job. WR Demarius Johnson (Philadelphia): The NCAA’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and kickoff return yards. An undrafted free agent, Johnson has compiled only 21 receptions in two seasons with the Eagles. His nitch is he’s averaged 10.3 yards on punt returns, 25.9 yards on kickoffs. DE Tyrunn Walker (New Orleans): An undrafted free agent, Walker made the Saints roster two years ago but never appeared in a game. Last season, he made his NFL debut, playing primarily on special teams, accumulating 12 tackles in seven games. RB Trey Watts (St. Louis): The son of the famous OU quarterback-turned-politician, Watts was an undrafted free agent. There’s a buzz the third all-time leading rusher in TU history might surprise and make the roster with a solid training camp. OTHER COLLEGES DL Armonty Bryant, East Central (Cleveland): Appearing in a dozen games with the Browns, Bryant, a seventh-round pick, recorded 12 tackles and a dozen quarterback hurries last season. DS Bryce Davis, Central Oklahoma (Pittsburgh): After spending two years on the Bengals practice squad, Davis attempts to make the Steelers roster. WR Caleb Holley, East Central (Buffalo): An Alaska native who earned a training camp invite after a strong tryout last spring. Holley hopes to turn some heads during camp. OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS RB Felix Jones, Tulsa Washington (free agent): After playing four years in Dallas, Jones saw limited action (48 carries) last year with the Steelers. He has 2,912 career yards rushing but is looking for work. CB Bryan McCann, Putnam City (Arizona): Signing late in the season with the Cardinals, McCann recorded two special teams tackles in six games. In 35 NFL games, undrafted four years ago, McCann has totaled 29 tackles in 35 games with the Cowboys, Ravens and Raiders. WR Robert Meachem, Tulsa Washington (New Orleans): Age (29) isn’t an issue, but Meachem recorded only 16 catches last season. He’s been bypassed on the depth chart by Kenny Stills and other Saints wideouts. It’s a big camp for Meachem. WR Wes Welker, Heritage Hall (Denver): The Broncos put up video-game like numbers in Welker’s first season with Peyton Manning. The consummate slot receiver, Welker (83 catches, 778 yards, 10 TDs) has compiled 841 career receptions and is only 642 yards shy of becoming the 41st player to reach 10,000 career receiving yards. The primary focus is to get that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4:...
The Oklahoman's Super 30: Full list for the Class of 2015
Jul 26, 2014Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4: Marquise Overton, DT, Jenks No. 5: Dahu Green, WR, Westmoore No. 6: John Kolar, QB, Norman North No. 7: Darryel Patterson, DB, Lawton No. 8: Austin Cantrell, DE, Roland No. 9: McKinley Whitfield, ATH, Spiro No. 10: Josh Little, DE, Millwood No. 11: Warren Wand, RB, Edmond Memorial No. 12: Michael Anderson, DE, Owasso No. 13: Marquiz Simpkins, RB, Clinton No. 14: Davion Freeman, WR/DB, Del City No. 15: Tramayne Wauahdooah, LB, Anadarko No. 16: Riley Daniel, OL, Ringling No. 17: Akylen Mayfield, ATH, Tulsa Edison No. 18: Tristan Wyatt, OL, Shawnee No. 19: Kaden Jackson, OL, Kingfisher No. 20: Connor McGinnis, QB, Heritage Hall No. 21: John Jacobs, QB, Shawnee No. 22: Robert Charlton, DB, Edmond Memorial No. 23: Denver Johnson, WR, Casady No. 24: Dameko Doddles, DB, Douglass No. 25: Aaron McKinney, DB/LB, Midwest City No. 26: J.R. Hensley, OL, Edmond Santa Fe No. 27: Caileb Booze, LB, Edmond North No. 28: Kalin Sadler, WR, Lawton No. 29: Dejai Johnson, DT, Midwest City No. 30: T.J. Harris, DE, Tulsa Washington
Jul 17, 2014
The Oklahoman’s Super 30 selection picks Wildcats over nearly a dozen other programs.
High school football: Millwood defensive end Josh Little headed to Kansas State
By Scott Wright | Jul 17, 2014Millwood defensive end Josh Little learned just how fast news can travel in the days of social media and closely monitored football recruiting. “I guess people already knew I committed to Kansas State,” Little tweeted Wednesday at 9 p.m., the time he had previously said he would announce his commitment. But word had gotten out a few hours earlier and spread quickly via multiple websites that the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Little had picked the Wildcats over nearly a dozen other programs who had offered the fast-rising prospect. Little exploded onto the scene in the spring, with the likes of Purdue, Tulsa, Washington State, Iowa State, New Mexico and others jumping on the bandwagon. Kansas State and Arizona State were the latest to extend offers, both in the last two weeks. Now Little is set to follow the footsteps of several Oklahoma high school products who have found success in Manhattan, Kan., the most recent of which is Tulsa Washington’s Tyler Lockett. Little had 76 tackles and five sacks as a junior last season. His size, combined with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.9-second range, made him a popular prospect over the last three months. According to coaches, Little was not currently available to be interviewed. With Casady receiver Denver Johnson decommitting from Tulsa earlier this week, Little makes nine state players who are committed to Division I programs, and he’s the fifth to choose an out-of-state school.