Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to MLK Jr Day!
Martin Luther Luther King, Jr. Day honors the legacy and celebrates the birthday of the iconic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. A campaign to create the day started shortly after King's death in 1968. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA) introduced a bill to make King's birthday a national holiday, and it first came up for a vote in 1979 but fell short. The two main arguments against its creation were that having another paid federal holiday would be too expensive and that honoring a private citizen would go against tradition. Up until that time the only two other figures were honored with a national holiday, George Washington and Christopher Columbus.
Former Berks Catholic football star Cooper Lutz has breakthrough season at Syracuse (readingeagle.com; Scarcella)
Back in December, Isaac Lutz did what he often did after a Penn State football game; he reached for his phone and found Syracuse’s game on a live streaming service.
He was typically exhausted after he made two catches for 19 yards and played on special teams in the Nittany Lions’ 23-7 victory Dec. 5 at Rutgers. But as it always has been, it was paramount for him to check on his younger brother, Cooper, an Orange running back.
“I’m on the bus after our game,” Isaac Lutz said. “I’m watching the Syracuse-Notre Dame game and trying everything within me to stay awake. There were 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and I fell asleep.
“I woke up an hour later and the first thing I saw (from many text messages) was that Coop went 80 yards for a touchdown. I found the video and I almost broke down in tears on the bus. It was such an amazing thing to see him do that.”
It was the former Berks Catholic standout’s first touchdown in college and perhaps a harbinger for the rest of Cooper Lutz’s career. He finished with 114 yards on seven carries in the 45-21 loss at then-No. 2 Notre Dame, Syracuse’s finale in a 1-10 season.
A few weeks earlier, he ran 15 times for 81 yards and caught four passes for 25 yards against Wake Forest.
“The season made me more motivated than ever,” Cooper Lutz said. “I’ve always dreamed that I could play in the NFL or play football for as long as I can. Those games put it in my head to keep working. If you keep putting it on film and keep playing like you did in those games, you could play football for a while.”
Isaac Lutz recently decided not to return to Penn State for a sixth season, so he’ll be able to follow his brother’s career even more closely.
“I never got to watch any of his Syracuse games live with my family," Isaac said. "I’m excited to do that because he’s always supported me and come up to Penn State whenever he could.”
Terry Samuel reportedly hired as Syracuse football’s next receivers coach (DO; Smith)
UNLV assistant coach Terry Samuel is set to become Syracuse football’s receivers coach, according to Syracuse.com. He will take the position left vacant by Justin Lustig, who left SU for Vanderbilt in December.
Samuel spent one year with the Rebels as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. He previously spent nine years as an assistant at Michigan State, coaching receivers from 2011-18 and assisting with the defensive secondary in 2019. Samuel has also coached at Central Michigan, North Dakota State, Southeast Missouri State, Arizona and Nebraska-Omaha over his 22-year coaching career.
During his time in East Lansing, Samuel coached two Big Ten receivers of the year, as well as five Spartans who were drafted into the NFL. He helped coach the 2015 Michigan State team that won the Big Ten Championship and played in the College Football Playoff. That team was led by wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, who became the first Spartans’ player to lead the conference in receptions and receiving yards in the same season.
Terry Samuel will be Syracuse football's next wide receivers coach (247sports.com; Bailey)
Terry Samuel will be Syracuse football's next wide receivers coach, a source confirmed to 247Sports. Samuel held the same position at UNLV last year after a nine-season stretch as an assistant at Michigan State. Syracuse.com first reported the news.
Samuel is poised to reunite with Dino Babers in Central New York after 28 years apart. The Orange's head coach was Samuel's position coach at Purdue from 1991-93. Samuel was a four-year letter winner with the Boilermakers, catching 14 passes for 273 yards as a senior in 1994 after Babers left for San Diego State.
Samuel began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Omaha (1998-2000) before two years as a GA for Arizona. He then returned to Nebraska-Omaha to coach defensive backs from 2003-04 before taking on special teams coordinator and outside linebacker duties in 2005. After a year coaching receivers at Southeast Missouri State in 2006, he returned again to Nebraska-Omaha to serve as offensive coordinator and running backs coach in 2007. Then he moved on to North Dakota State, where he coached receivers from 2008-09, and finally Central Michigan in 2010 before settling down in East Lansing.
Get to know the Gronkowski family: How Rob Gronkowski, four brothers became pro athletes (sportingnews.com; Heyen)
Picture the giddy, child-like energy of Rob Gronkowski. Now imagine five human beings with that vibe living under the same roof.
Welcome to the Gronkowski household when Rob and his four brothers were growing up. It's the type of fraternal, competitive environment that molded the Gronkowskis into the human beings they are while also sending all five siblings on the way to professional sports careers.
“It was a crazy household, as you can imagine," the father, Gordy, told the Tampa Bay Times in July. "We had a good brawl every single day. I had to break somebody up. I mean, a very competitive household and that’s how I was growing up. I always had to win and they got that from me. You got to win, you know?”
Here's more of what you need to know about the entire Gronkowski family.
MORE: Tom Brady's Rob Gronkowski impression deserves an award
How many Gronkowski brothers are there?
There are five Gronkowski brothers: Rob, Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris and Glenn. The only one not to play in the NFL, Gordie Jr., played professional baseball. The other four reached the National Football League.
2021 NFL Mock Draft: First-round projections after national championship (saturdayblitz.com; Muldowney)
1 TREVOR LAWRENCE QB Clemson
Although Gardner Minshew has shown flashes and Jake Luton was just drafted last year, there’s a need for a franchise quarterback in Jacksonville.
Minshew might have a solid future in the NFL, especially after passing for 2,259 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes, the Jaguars just can’t pass up an opportunity to draft who many believe is the best quarterback prospect of the past decade.
Trevor Lawrence is undoubtedly the top NFL prospect in this year’s draft class and Jacksonville is pretty much guaranteed to take him No. 1.
How could they not? He had 10,098 passing yards, 90 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions in three years with Clemson. He also showcased his accuracy with a 66 percent completion rate, ending his career with a 69 percent completion rate in 2020.
Urban Meyer and Lawrence are a match made in heaven. This kid is going to start from day one.
2 PENEI SEWELL OT Oregon
This might be a surprise pick for the Jets, but I truly believe they’re going to put their faith in Sam Darnold for at least one more season. Since they won’t be able to select the clear franchise quarterback in this year’s class (Trevor Lawrence), expect the Jets to go with the next best overall prospect: Penei Sewell.
The Oregon offensive tackle is one of the best offensive lineman prospects in recent years and it’d be wise for the Jets to bolster that mediocre line.
In fact, New York allowed 43 sacks this season which was good for ninth-most in the NFL. They didn’t protect the quarterback effectively enough which was a major reason for the inconsistencies at that position. Find the starting tackle of the future and protect Darnold better and see how much he improves.
Sewell opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the draft and he had quite the list of accomplishments in just two seasons: Outland Trophy winner, AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, PFF Pac-12 Player of the Year, unanimous first-team All-American, Freshman All-American. Oh, and he only allowed one sack in nearly 1,400 career snaps.
Nolan Turner Will Return to Clemson in 2021 (SI; Priester)
Clemson is officially getting all eleven starters back on the defensive side of the ball in 2021.
In an Instagram post on Sunday evening, Nolan Turner confirmed that he will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility and return to Clemson for a sixth season in 2021.
In 564 snaps this season, Turner was second on the team with 66 tackles and led the team with 3 interceptions. He also added 6 TFL. He was named a second-team All-American by USA Today and also earned second-team All-ACC honors.
Entered 2020 credited with 124 tackles (5.5 for loss), 14 passes broken up, three interceptions (all in postseason play) returned 24 yards, a sack and a forced fumble in 973 snaps over 43 career games (four starts).
2020: Second-team All-American according to USA Today … second-team All-ACC honoree … also earned all-conference nods from the AP (second-team) and PFF (first-team) … recorded three tackles at Wake Forest … added a tackle vs. The Citadel … contributed eight tackles (seven solo) and an interception vs. Virginia, sharing team defensive player of the game honors … finished with three tackles (one for loss) vs. No. 7 Miami … contributed one tackle, splitting a tackle for loss, and recorded his second interception of the season at Georgia Tech … notched his single-season career-high third interception of the season vs. Syracuse, also adding four tackles (one for loss) and a pass breakup in the game to share team defensive player of the game honors … credited with six tackles (0.5 for loss) vs. Boston College … registered six tackles and a pass breakup at No. 4 Notre Dame … had a team-high seven tackles and a pass breakup vs. Pitt … earned team defensive player of the game for a 13-tackle effort with two tackles for loss at Virginia Tech … made nine tackles including one for loss in ACC Championship Game vs. No. 2 Notre Dame … contributed five tackles in the second half of the Sugar Bowl vs. No. 3 Ohio State.
Noles News: Is FSU poised to land a blue-chip QB? (tomahawknation.com; LNoK)
Football:It’s that time of the year where the players spend time with the most important coach on the roster; the strength and conditioning coach:
Make sure you turn notifications on as the triple option will be doing some impressive scouting for three of FSU’s newest additions:
Recruiting:Four-star 2022 QB Nicco Marchiol has FSU in his final four and is scheduled to be on campus this week; could he be on commit watch?
FSU is trying to get 3-star wide receiver Aalah Brown as a preferred walk-on.
There’s a reason Destyn ‘Fat’ Hill has been the top receiver on FSU’s board for the entirety of the 2021 cycle:
'The epitome of a comeback story': How Pitt's Rashad Weaver became an All-American (post-gazette.com; McGonigal)
Rashad Weaver wanted you to notice.
Before every game last season, Pitt’s pass-rusher wrapped his left wrist with medical tape before retrieving a Sharpie from his locker. If the tape was white, he grabbed a black marker. If the tape was black, silver was the choice. In bold letters, Weaver wrote on his wrist: “1st Round.”
“I wrote it where I could see it, where my teammates could see it, where the opponent could see it. You can see it in pictures. I hope they’ve seen it on TV. I hope everybody’s seen it,” Weaver told the Post-Gazette, his voice heightening with excitement. “If you have goals in silence, nobody knows you didn’t reach them, so it’s not as big of a deal. I made sure everyone knew.”
Weaver describes himself as someone who likes to speak things into existence. He always had it in him, but Pitt’s star defensive end — a consensus All-American and an NFL draft pick come April — only recently discovered that voice. It took a devastating knee injury and a year of rehabilitation for Weaver to zero in on what he wanted to accomplish and, more importantly, what it would take to get there.
In Weaver’s mind, he should be in the NFL by now. After leading Pitt in tackles for loss and sacks in 2018, he was dead set on declaring after the 2019 campaign. But Weaver didn’t expect to go down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in training camp two years ago. He didn’t expect to need surgery in August 2019.
Weekend Links - 1/17/21 (RX; HM)
In case you missed it, the ACC has this 3-part podcast: "The Spiller Effect":
2021 ACC Football Non-Conference Schedule (RX; HM)
|Clemson||v Georgia||SC State||Uconn||@U of SC|
|Florida St||ND (9/5)||Jacksonville St||UMass (10/23)||@Florida|
|Georgia Tech||NIU||Kennesaw St||@ND||Georgia|
|Louisville||v Ole Miss (9/6)||E Kentucky||UCF||Kentucky|
|Miami||v Alabama||App State||Michigan St||C Conn|
|NC State||USF (9/2)||@Miss St||Furman||LA Tech (10/2)|
|UNC||GA State||Wake Forest||@ND(10/30)||Wofford|
|Pitt||Umass||@Tenn||W Michigan||New Hampshire|
Predicting 2021's New Year's Six, College Football Playoff (247sports.com; Crawford)
Despite providing Ohio State with enough bulletin board material to fill an armory, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is sticking to his proverbial guns after a blowout loss to the Buckeyes in this season's College Football Playoff. He doesn't regret ranking the Big Ten champs at No. 11 in his final Coaches Poll.
"Ohio State fought as hard as anybody to play," Swinney told reporters after Alabama closed the 2020 college football season with a national championship. "(A reduced season) wasn't their fault."
Maybe next season Swinney's ballot won't have to be slanted based on a shortened schedule and college football's return to relative normalcy will level the playing field a bit ahead of the Playoff selection committee's final vote. Speaking of which, it's never too early to take a look at next season's potential New Year's Six and Playoff matchups.
Report: Indiana Hires Charlton Warren as Defensive Coordinator (SI; Wallace)
Indiana has reportedly found its new defensive coordinator. The Hoosiers are expected to hire Charlton Warren, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.
Warren has spent the previous two seasons as Georgia’s defensive backs coach, replacing Mel Tucker in that position, who is now the head coach at Michigan State.
Prior to his time at Georgia, Warren coached at a couple of schools in the ACC and SEC, including North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. At Georgia, Warren played a key role in developing JR Reed, Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell.
Warren is 43 years old and he played defensive back at Air Force from 1996-99 and spent 10 years in active service with the Air Force before he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 2005.
Warren will take over an Indiana defense that led the nation in interceptions this past season. He will be replacing Kane Wommack, who took a head coaching job at South Alabama.
https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bi...-mustard-shower-after-losing-playoff-bet.html (PS; $; Talbot)
Nick Wright, Bills hater and Syracuse grad, braces for ketchup and mustard shower after losing playoff bet - syracuse.com
It’s only fitting that one of the national media’s biggest hot dogs will get a ketchup and mustard bath later this week.
Wright, a Syracuse graduate, has been as anti-Buffalo Bills and anti-Josh Allen as any national media personality out there despite the team’s success in 2020. Simply put, Wright did not believe that Allen and the Bills had what it took to make a playoff run this season.
Just how confident was the First Things First host? In mid-December he went on The Colin Cowherd Show and proposed a bet with the host. If the Bills lost their first playoff game, Cowherd would get doused in ketchup and mustard. In Buffalo, that is known as the Pinto Ron treatment. Wright said he would take the ketchup and mustard bath if the Bills went on to win two or more playoff games.
Cowherd had been on record saying that Buffalo was the best team in football at that time so after some hemming and hawing, Cowherd agreed to the bet.
Schumer on I-81 teardown, local aid, taxes: With new clout, ‘I’ll use it for Central New York’ (PS; $; Weiner)
Schumer on I-81 teardown, local aid, taxes: With new clout, ‘I’ll use it for Central New York’ - syracuse.com
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says President-elect Joe Biden’s administration is interested in prioritizing a $2 billion project to transform Interstate 81 in Syracuse and the neighborhoods surrounding the highway.
Schumer, D-N.Y., the incoming Senate majority leader, said he discussed I-81 in a private meeting with Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation, and told him it’s one of his top priorities for New York state.
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., liked the idea of tearing down the elevated highway and replacing it with a street-level boulevard that could help uplift historic Black neighborhoods in Syracuse, Schumer said.
“He was very interested when I talked to him about I-81,” Schumer told syracuse.com in an interview Sunday.
Buttigieg has said he will support funding projects to tear down interstate highways that divided and harmed minority communities in cities across the country.
“In the Biden-Harris administration, we will make righting these wrongs an imperative,” Buttigieg wrote in a tweet in late December.
Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the White House and Congress.