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  • NFL Draft: Top Prospects Available After Day 1

    April 28, 2017 • Front Page, Lists, NFL DraftComments (0)

    There’s still a lot of talent left on the big board after last night’s first round. Here’s a list of the top 10 guys still on the board heading into the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft:

    10. CB Sidney Jones — Washington

    I have put Jones here even with the injury concern, because he is a talented cornerback and may be able to suit up by week 7.  Jones would have easily been a top 15 pick if not for the injury he suffered.

    9. DL Malik McDowell — Michigan State

    McDowell is a physical player who can line up in a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 End, His character flaws caused him to slide a bit, but a team is going to get a force on their defensive line with McDowell. (fits the Raiders perfectly)

    8. G/T Cam Robinson — Alabama

    Robinson is a player who may fit as a RT or Guard in the NFL, he doesn’t possess the feet to play on the left side against speed rushers.  I expect him to go early in the Second Round especially if you see a run on offensive lineman.

    7. QB DeShone Kizer — Notre Dame

    Many pundits mocked Kizer in the first round after the college season, but after reviewing of tape and workouts found him needing a bit more coaching to reach his potential.  Kizer has all the tools with his Size, Arm Strength, and Mobility as a starting signal caller in the NFL.

    6. RB Joe Mixon — Oklahoma

    Character is the real reason Mixon is here, the talked about video of him is what hurt his stock, but if you look at his tape and watch him, he is a first round talent.  A team will take a chance on him and hope he realizes the privilege he has and it can be taken away.

    5. WR Zay Jones — East Carolina

    Jones does nothing but produces at the collegiate level and excelled at the Senior Bowl, Jones may be best suited in the slot and can produce because of his size and work ethic are exceptional.

    4. RB Alvin Kamara — Tennessee

    Kamara brings a dual combination of catching and running the ball.  Kamara is a back who blossomed after Jalen Hurd decided to transfer and showed scouts he can be a feature back in an offense.

    3. RB Dalvin Cook — Florida State

    Cook has some red flags but you cannot deny the talent he has, a three down back who can run routes and run between the tackles.  He showed up in big games, especially the bowl game versus a stout Michigan defense.  I classify him as a steal in the second round.

    2. G Forrest Lamp — Western Kentucky

    Lamp is a blue collar player who will work his tail off.  I could see him playing RT but may be best suited to play the guard position in the NFL, he may be the first OL drafted on Day2.

    1. CB Chidobe Awuzie — Colorado

    Physical is the best word to describe Awuzie, will stick his nose into the running game.  The control he has for coverage and ability to stick receivers makes him a possible starter year one.

    Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images

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  • AFL: Philadelphia Soul Shuts Down Valor, 49-31

    April 22, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Game Recap, Philadelphia SoulComments (0)

    Strong Soul Defense Holds Valor to Scoreless Second Half 

    WASHINGTON— The Philadelphia Soul (2-0) defeated the Washington Valor (1-1), with the final score 49-31 in front of 12,122 fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night.

    “Tonight was not one of our strongest performances,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.  “We held the Valor to a scoreless second half but there is still some more work to do.”

    Soul WR Shaun Kauleinamoku led the receivers with 12 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.  WR Darius Reynolds added six receptions for 76 yards and three touchdowns and WR Ryan McDaniel tallied five receptions for 46 yards.  Washington WR Mike Washington led the Valor receivers with nine receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

    Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh completed 23-of-36 passes for 247 yards and five touchdowns.  Washington QB Erik Meyer completed 21-of-34 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. 

    The Soul won the coin toss and elected to kick off to the Valor.  The Valor got their first touchdown of the night on a 2-yard run by QB Bernard Morris and they jumped out to a 7-0 lead.  The Soul tried to get on the board but Raudabaugh’s pass was intercepted by Tracy Belton for another Valor touchdown.  Steven’s kick was good and the Soul trailed 14-0.  The Soul fired back with a 34-yard touchdown from Raudabaugh to Reynolds.  Trevino’s kick was good and with 8:27 to go in the first quarter, the Soul closed the gap 14-7.  Meyer responded with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Washington and at the end of the first quarter, the Soul trailed 21-7. 

    The Soul opened the second quarter with a quick 5-yard touchdown pass by Reynolds.  Trevino’s kick was good and the Soul remained behind 21-14.  The Valor opted for a 23-yard field goal and were successful, increasing their lead 24-14.  Soul FB Mykel Benson contributed his first touchdown of the night with a 4-yard touchdown.  Kick was good and with 7:31 to play in the half, the Soul were behind 24-21.  An unsuccessful field goal attempt by the Valor was returned for a touchdown by James Romain and with 56 seconds left in the half, the Soul took the lead 28-24.  Unfortunately the lead did not last long as Meyer found Washington for a 12-yard Valor touchdown and at the end of the first half, the Soul trailed 31-28.

    The Soul capitalized on a slow third quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to Kauleinamoku.  Trevino’s kick was good and the Soul finished out the quarter with a 35-31 lead over the Valor.

    To kick off the final quarter, Raudabaugh connected with Reynolds for his third touchdown of the night.  The Soul stretched their lead, 42-31 with 9:51 remaining in the game.  The Soul ran down the clock and in the final minute, Raudabaugh found Kauleinamoku for his second touchdown of the night and at the end of the game, the Soul defeated the Valor 49-31.

    Next week, the Soul will host the Baltimore Brigade in their home opener, presented by Independence Blue Cross on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m.  The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.

    Offensive Player of the Game: Washington WR Mike Washington
    Defensive Player of the Game: Philadelphia DB James Romain
    MVP of the Game: Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh

    Photo: Philadelphia Soul’s official Instagram page

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  • Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds Earns AFL Weekly Award

    April 19, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Philadelphia Soul, Press ReleaseComments (0)

    PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League today announced that Soul WR Darius Reynolds (6’2, 205, Iowa State) has been awarded Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Storm.  The Soul’s top receiver last year earns his first award for the 2017 season.

    “This is a great start to the season for Darius,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “If he continues to perform the way he did in these upcoming weeks, he can help bring this team to another ArenaBowl Championship.”

    Reynolds led the Soul receivers with five catches for 78 yards and three touchdowns against the Storm.  He also tallied his first kickoff return for an 11-yard touchdown helping the Soul to defeat Tampa Bay in a 56-52 victory.

    The Soul will head to Washington, D.C. to face-off against the Washington Valor on Saturday, April 22 at the Verizon Center. The game will be broadcast by TCN and 97.5 The Fanatic. Kick-off set for 7 p.m.

    Photo: philadelphiasoul.com

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  • Voice of Blue Hens Named 2016 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year

    April 18, 2017 • Front Page, NCAA, Press Release, University of DelawareComments (0)

    Press release from bluehens.com

    NEWARK, Del. — iHeartMedia-Delaware and the University of Delaware proudly announce that “Voice of the Blue Hens,” Scott Klatzkin, has been named the 2016 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.

    It marks the third time he has won the honor, joining the elite company of Bob Kelley, Bill Pheiffer, and Mike Corey as the only other radio broadcasters to win the award three or more times since it was first handed out in 1959. Each served as play-by-play voice of the Delaware Blue Hens.

    “I am so proud of Scott for receiving this award for the third time,” said iHeartMedia Area President, Chris Walus. “His dedication to iHeartMedia-Delaware and our partnership with University of Delaware sports is unparalleled.”

    In 2016, Klatzkin completed his fifth season as play-by-play broadcaster for Delaware football and began his fifth season in the same role with Delaware men’s basketball. All broadcasts air on 94.7 WDSD-FM, the flagship station of University of Delaware sports. He also worked as host of the Blue Hens Football Coach’s Show for the fifth consecutive season this past fall and debuted the Blue Hens Basketball Coaches Show in November.

    “Congratulations to Scott on this well-deserved award,” said Delaware men’s basketball head coach Martin Ingelsby. “It’s been great to work with Scott during my first season at Delaware this year. He is a true professional who knows his stuff and delivers that to our fans. We are fortunate to have him on our Blue Hens team.”

    Beyond his play-by-play broadcasts for the University of Delaware, he also served as host of Blue Hens All-Access football show, “Under The Lights,” and basketball show, “Beyond the Arc.” Klatzkin served as emcee and host of the 2016 University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet featuring Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens.

    The University of Delaware alumnus added freelance assignments with the Colonial Athletic Association as host of CAA Football Media Day airing on ESPN’s online/mobile platform, ESPN3. Klatzkin also worked as broadcaster for multiple NBA Developmental League broadcasts for the Delaware 87ers and had the call for Elena Delle Donne’s return to the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark as the WNBA’s Chicago Sky played an exhibition game against the New York Liberty.

    Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., the National Sports Media Association membership consists of approximately 800 leading sportscasters and sportswriters from throughout the country. More than 80 sports media legends have been inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame, which began in 1962 with the induction of Grantland Rice.

    The NSMA hosts an awards weekend each spring that honors a Sportscaster of the Year and Sportswriter of the Year from each state, as well as a National Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year. A Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place at this time as well.

    The News Journal’s Kevin Tresolini claimed Delaware Sportswriter of the Year honors from the organization for the 10th time in his outstanding career. Sportscasters Linda Cohn of ESPN and the late Frank Gifford of ABC’s Monday Night Football were elected to the NSMA’s Hall of Fame along with sportswriters Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News and the late Sam Lacy of Baltimore’s Afro-American.

    National Sportscaster of the Year Vin Scully, legendary Voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and National Sportswriter of the Year Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, along with Cohn, Gifford, Lupica, Lacy, Klatzkin and all of the other state victors, will be honored at the 58th Annual NSMA Awards Banquet on June 26, 2017 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    Klatzkin’s award-winning work will continue this fall when Delaware football opens the 2017 campaign against Delaware State on August 31. Every Blue Hens game airs on 94.7 WDSD-FM and online at wdsd.com or by using the iHeartRadio mobile app. Coverage begins 60 minutes before kickoff with the Blue Hens Gameday pre-game show.

    Photo: courtesy of Mark Campbell

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  • Mike Washington Named AFL Offensive Player Of The Week

    April 11, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Press Release, Washington ValorComments (0)

    Press release from washingtonvalor.com:

    The Arena Football League announced today that  Mike Washington has been named Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1. Washington hauled in nine receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns in the teams 51-38 season-opening win over the Baltimore Brigade, which was both team’s inaugural game.

    “Mike [Washington] is a special player,” Valor head coach Dean Cokinos said after the win. “Trying to match up one-on-one with him is really hard. We just took advantage of that.”

    All three of Washington’s touchdown receptions came within in the first 20 minutes of the game, leading the Valor to an early 27-0 lead. The first of Washington’s trio of scores, a 34-yard catch-and-run, came just 2:49 into the game and marked the first touchdown in franchise history. Washington gathered his second touchdown on an eight-yard reception as time expired in the first quarter and his third on an 18-yard strike from QB Erik Meyer with 10:39 remaining in the second quarter.

    “It’s a great start,” said Washington. “It’s one of many firsts for the Washington Valor and the DMV area – much like the first game, first touchdown and more. It’s a great start for what we think will be a great season.”

    Playing in his eighth AFL season, Washington has amassed career totals of 569 receptions, 7,020 receiving yards and 144 touchdowns in stints with the Pittsburgh Power, Spokane Shock, Tampa Bay Storm, Arizona Rattlers and Washington Valor.

    Photo: Washington Valor

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  • Delaware Seniors Continue to Pursue NFL Dreams at Pro Day

    March 9, 2017 • Front Page, NFL Draft, University of DelawareComments (0)

    University of Delaware Press Release
    NEWARK, Del. — When Connor Bozick walked off the field at Delaware Stadium this past November at the conclusion of the annual Battle of the Blue Hen matchup with rival Villanova, he capped an outstanding career as one of the top offensive linemen in University of Delaware football history.
    Just over three months later, Bozick continues to work hard to make sure that his playing days are far from over.
    That’s why he was sweating and hustling again Wednesday morning in front of approximately 12 National Football League scouts as Delaware hosted its annual Pro Day at the Delaware Field House.
     
    Bozick, a 6-5, 320 lb. tackle from Severn, Md., was among three former Blue Hen standouts and several other area players who took part in measuring, testing, and on-field drills as part of the annual event that happens on hundreds of campuses this time of the year. He was joined by a pair of 2016 UD teammates in safety Simba Gwashavanhu (below right) and punter Will Stephenson (below left).
     
    The day began with height and weight measurements and testing in the bench press, vertical leap, and broad jump in the Chuck Hall Weight Room inside the Bob Carpenter Center.
     
    The group then headed to the inside turf at Delaware Field House where they went through various speed and agility drills and skills work pertaining to their individual positions. Scouts huddled around with clipboards in hand and stop watches around their necks watching and reporting every move. About 100 family, friends, and teammates were among those watching from the sidelines and in the stands high above the field.
     
    “I expected to come in here and perform well today,” said Bozick, a hotel, restaurant, and institutional management major who was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association performer, played in 46 career games, and participated in two post-season all-star games after the 2016 season. “I didn’t expect this many teams (to have scouts there), so that was pretty cool. I have been training for the last couple of months up in Boston and had a plan to come in here and be ready for any scenario. It was almost like preparing for a game and I think I did really well. I hit some consistent numbers in the broad (jump), bench, and vertical (leap) and felt good running and in the position work.”
     
    Gwashavanhu, who recorded 93 tackles in 31 career games for the Hens, also went through drills for the scouts inside DFH and Stephenson, who averaged 41.3 yards per kick in his lone season with UD this past fall, later took his game outside and went through punting exercises in front of the scouts on the Delaware turf practice field.
     
    All three are hoping to hook on with a professional team and earn a tryout later this spring. Each would love to join a group of seven former Blue Hens currently playing in the NFL, tied for the most of any NCAA FCS program.
     
    “I just want to get in the best shape of my life and hopefully a team will give me an opportunity,” said Bozick when asked about what the coming months will bring leading up to the NFL Draft in April and the subsequent free agent signing period. “It’s all up in the air right now. If a call comes, I just have to be ready to go.”

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  • AP Sweepstakes: Raiders, Seahawks front-runners?

    March 8, 2017 • AFC West, Free Agency, Front Page, Minnesota Vikings, NFC, NFC North, NFC West, Oakland Raiders, Seattle SeahawksComments (0)

    With future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson hitting the open market this spring, it’s been made pretty clear that his 11th NFL season will be spent somewhere outside of Minnesota.

    Although he’s mentioned that he’d consider giving the defending champion Patriots a discount, it appears as though the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks are the two teams at the top of the 31-year old’s FA wish-list.

    With quarterback Derek Carr coming back from injury and Seattle still just on the brink of returning to the Super Bowl, the seven-time Pro Bowler could easily turn one of these two teams into immediate Super Bowl favorites.

    Oakland’s star running back Latavius Murray is also hitting the FA market, so if the three-year pro finds a new home I’m sure the Oakland front office would love to have AP fill the void left behind.

    As for Seattle, Pete Carroll’s offense ranked 25th in rushing yards last season and has still been looking for a true No. 1 power back to replace the void Marshawn Lynch left behind at the end of 2015.

    Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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  • Free Agency 2017: Top 40 Offensive Players Hitting the Market

    March 7, 2017 • Free Agency, Front Page, ListsComments (0)

    With the legal tampering period kicking off at noon today, we’re rapidly approaching free agency period. Here’s a list of some of the top offensive free agents hitting the open market this week.

    Top 40 Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agents (ordered by position):

    QB

    Mike Glennon

    Colin Kaepernick

    Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Brian Hoyer

    RB

    Adrian Peterson

    Jamaal Charles

    Eddie Lacy

    Latavius Murray

    DeAngelo Williams

    LeGarrette Blount

    Rex Burkhead

    WR

    Alshon Jeffery

    Brandon Marshall

    DeSean Jackson

    Kenny Britt

    Pierre Garcon

    Terrelle Pryor

    Michael Floyd

    Cordarrelle Patterson

    Torrey Smith

    Kenny Stills

    Robert Woods

    TE

    Martellus Bennett

    Jared Cook

    Vernon Davis

    Jack Doyle

    OL

    Kevin Zeitler

    T.J. Lang

    Andrew Whitworth

    Nick Mangold

    Riley Reiff

    Rickey Wagner

    Larry Warford

    D.J. Fluker

    Russell Okung

    Ronald Leary

    Chance Warmack

    Kelvin Beachum

    Ryan Clady

    Matt Kalil

    Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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  • Patriots Want Two First-Round Picks for Jimmy Garoppolo?

    March 7, 2017 • AFC East, AFC North, Cleveland Browns, Features, Front Page, New England Patriots, Off-Season, OpinionComments (0)

    As an NFL General Manager, would you give up two of your first-round picks (one this year, one next year) for a back-up quarterback with just two career NFL starts under his belt?

    Well that’s apparently the defending champion New England Patriots’ new asking price for 25-year old Jimmy Garoppolo.

    Garoppolo, the former first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, has appeared in 17 games over his three-year professional football career in New England. His only two career starts came at the beginning of this season during Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.

    Jimmy G tossed for 502 yards, 4 touchdowns with no picks on 43-of-63 passing in 2016, putting up a 113.3 QB rating in place of Brady. But that’s about the most playing experience he’s had at the pro level. And they expect to receive TWO first-round picks for him?

    I guess the only potential interest this offer will garner is from the Cleveland Browns. With the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks in this year’s draft, the Browns are actually considering giving up the No. 12 pick — and next year’s first-rounder — in order to land Jimmy while also keeping the top pick in the draft for this season.

    It sounds like the most Browns move ever, doesn’t it?

    Photo: Eric Espada/Getty Images

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  • Chris Long, Nate Boyer Set to Conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro

    March 7, 2017 • Foundations/Charity Work, Front Page, Press ReleaseComments (0)

    Press release: Former NFL players and military combat veterans are teaming up with the Waterboys Initiative for its second-annual climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise awareness and funds for water scarcity; The 2016-17 “Conquering Kili” Class begins the climb on Tuesday, March 7 

    Waterboys is set to kick off its second-annual climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro alongside military combat veterans and alumni of the National Football League today, The Chris Long Foundation announced.

    The summit, which is known as “Conquering Kili,” is an extension of the Waterboys Initiative created by Patriots Defensive End CHRIS LONG and NATE BOYER, a Green Beret and former Seattle Seahawk, with the goal of amplifying awareness of water scarcity and empowering former NFL players and military combat veterans to continue their commitment to service.

    “We’ve got an incredible class of climbers who humbly accepted our challenge to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro,” Long said. “This summit is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but our 2016-17 ‘Conquering Kili’ class will climb with the added weight of helping impoverished communities gain access to clean water. The entire group has been dedicated and faithful throughout the fundraising and training process, but now we’re ready start the climb.”

    For the second consecutive season, Long and Boyer challenged veterans and former NFL alumni to join them on their mission to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro. The 2016-17 Class includes:

    ·       Chris Long, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; NFL Defensive End (New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams)

    ·       Nate Boyer, “Conquering Kili” Co-Captain; Former Green Beret and NFL Long Snapper (Seattle Seahawks)

    ·       Chad Brown, Former NFL Linebacker (Pittsburgh, Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots)

    ·       Luis Castillo, Former NFL Defensive End (San Diego Chargers)

    ·       Major Ivan Castro, Retired, United States Army

    ·       Sgt. Kirstie Ennis, Retired, United States Marine Corps

    ·       Nick Hardwick, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (San Diego Chargers)

    ·       Jim Mora, Head Coach of UCLA Football

    ·       Lisa Keys, Wife of the Late U.S. Army Sgt. Bradley Keys

    ·       Mark Pattison, Former NFL Wide Receiver (LA Raiders, LA Rams, New Orleans Saints)

    ·       Cory Procter, Former NFL Offensive Lineman (Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins)

    ·       Pete Quintanilla, Retired, United States Army

    This year’s class of climbers was tasked with raising $150,000 to support the climb and to construct clean water wells. Last year, “Conquering Kili” raised $110,000 and built two wells to benefit the Longido Secondary School and the Mwanga School for the Deaf. Over 5,500 Africans are served on a daily basis through these two wells alone.

    The 2016-17 “Conquering Kili” group will spend 10 days in East Africa. The trip will include visits to East African water projects and a six-day Kilimanjaro hike. In honor of the program’s supporters, the team will carry a flag up the summit with the names of donors who contributed $25 or more to the cause. To date, the Waterboys Initiative and its sub-program, “Conquering Kili,” has delivered clean water to over 56,000 people and funded 17 sustainable wells.

    For more information please contact Nicole Woodie at nicole@fruitiongiving.com.

    Photo: Associated Press

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