Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was born on February 12, 1809. Over the years, he has become known as one of the greatest American presidents of all time. At the time of his death, in 1865, many saw him as a martyr, and it wasn't too long afterward that his birthday began being observed informally. In the mid-1870s, Julius Francis of Buffalo, New York, began honoring Lincoln on his birthday and petitioned Congress to make the day a legal holiday.
But, as of 2019, Lincoln's Birthday is not, nor has it ever been, its own federal holiday. On the state level, a handful of states celebrate Lincoln's birthday on its actual date. In recent years, it has been celebrated as a state holiday in Ohio, Missouri, New York, Illinois, and Connecticut. It is celebrated as such in California as well, but since 2009, it has no longer been a paid holiday there. Some states, Indiana being one example, have officially celebrated Lincoln's birthday, but not on the actual date of his birth. In prior years, more states officially celebrated his birthday; twenty-four states celebrated it in 1940, and ten celebrated it in 1990.
Syracuse football recruiting: 10 offensive targets to watch in 2022 (247sports.com; Bailey)
Syracuse football has signed the majority of its Class of 2021 after a successful National Signing Day last week. The Orange has inked 21 players in total, most recently junior college offensive tackle Jakob Bradford and South Carolina defensive end Chase Simmons on Wednesday.
SU beat out Virginia Tech for the signature of Bradford, who will enroll this summer as a sophomore. The Iowa Central Community College product is rated three stars and the No. 9 JUCO offensive tackle this cycle by 247Sports. Head coach Dino Babers stepped in to sway Bradford after his primary recruiter, offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, left for a position at Arizona State.
Syracuse defensive coordinator Tony White led the effort to flip Simmons from Coastal Carolina. A 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior from North Myrtle Beach High School in Little River, S.C., Simmons announced his decision during a ceremony on National Signing Day.
With Mississippi State transfer quarterback Garrett Shrader also in the fold, the Orange has three scholarships left to give out over the remainder of the cycle. Offensive line remains a position of priority as Babers and Co. continue to mine the transfer portal while defensive back is another spot the staff has consistently explored since the end of the 2020 season.
But the SU staff is now shifting more of its focus to the Class of 2022. Syracuse has already extended scholarship offers to more than 150 high school juniors and that number will likely double by this time next year.
Mekhi Mason Discusses Virtual Visit with Syracuse (SI; McAllister)
Class of 2022 Opa Locka (FL) Monsignor Pace linebacker Mekhi Mason is one of Syracuse's top targets in his recruiting cycle. The 6-2, 220 pound backer was offered by Syracuse in June of last year. It was his first offer. Since then, he has stayed in regular communication with the Orange and had a virtual visit to Syracuse on Wednesday.
"Got a view of the campus and asked a Mikel Jones, who plays on the football team from South Florida, a few questions," Mason said. "They showed me the whole campus, north and south. The building that stood out to me was the business management building because that’s what I want to major in. It has been the nicest campus that I virtually visited so far."
Jones and Mason use the same trainer, and therefore had met previously. That familiarity gives Mason a resource inside the program to get first hand insight into what it is like to play football at Syracuse.
"I was asking him how is life up here coming from South Florida," Mason said. "He said, 'it’s not that bad. They always have you warm in Syracuse gear.' And how they practice indoors with the new field."
Mason's primary recruiter is Nick Monroe. Mason says the two have a close relationship, and Monroe provided more insight into the program.
Packers: 3 players Green Bay can replace Kevin King with at cornerback (fansided.com; Buhler)
2 IFEATU MELIFONWU CB Syracuse Orange
Let’s hope he does better with his first NFL team than his older brotherIf the last name sounds familiar to you, well, it should. Obi Melifonwu was an early draft pick by the then-Oakland Raiders in 2017. While it did not pan out for him with the Silver and Black, he has been able to stick in the league up to this point. However, his younger brother Ifeatu Melifonwu has a great opportunity to go in the first round in 2021. He just starred at Syracuse.
While Syracuse was arguably the worst team in the ACC a season ago, Melifonwu has ample playing experience in the Big Ten. Keep in mind his older brother played for UConn when the Huskies used to be part of The American out of the Group of 5. Syracuse played stiffer competition more regularly as a part of the ACC. Melifonwu was also coached up by Dino Babers in college.
With Horn possibly coming off the board a few picks before him, Melifonwu could fall to the Packers at No. 29. Again, the Packers would be getting a player with NFL pedigree in the latter part of the first round with the hopes he would be able to contribute right away for a Super Bowl-contending team. Melifonwu would be going to a better situation than his brother did in 2017.
Ultimately, Green Bay must assess a primary need at No. 29 and try to land a player who can help them right away, whether that is on offense or defense. The Packers will need to consult with Barry over what types of players he wants on his defense before taking a guy at No. 29. In a worst-case scenario, they should go get an offensive player for Rodgers and Matt LaFleuer to work with.
Syracuse Football: 3 Reasons To Be Excited for the 2020 Orange - Stadium (watchstadium.com; video)
Check out some of the top reasons why Orange fans are excited about the 2020 season.
ACCN: Trevor Lawrence Pro Day Special (RX; HM)
ESPN press release of February 10, 2021...
All ACC: Trevor Lawrence Pro Day Special to Air Friday on ACC Network and Simulcast on ESPN2
ACC Network will televise All ACC: Trevor Lawrence Pro Day Special live on Friday, Feb. 12, from Clemson’s Poe Indoor Facility at 10 a.m. ET as the 2020 Heisman Trophy Finalist participates in passing drills in front of NFL scouts and executives. Lawrence, the three-year starting Clemson quarterback, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rece Davis will host the hour-long special, which will also be simulcast on ESPN2, from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios. Davis will be joined by NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay, who will be on site at Clemson. NFL and ACCN college football analyst Tim Hasselbeck, ESPN college football analyst David Pollack and EJ Manuel of ACCN’s The Huddle will also contribute to Friday’s coverage.
Additional Pro Day coverage plans, including details surrounding Clemson’s on Thursday, March 11, will be announced in the coming weeks.
My Comments:I think it's good that the ACC Network is covering more of these off-season football events, I just hope they cover more than just one team.
Forgotten Trophy Games - 2021 Feb 12th (RX; HM)
From "7 forgotten college football rivalry trophies up for grabs on future schedules" by Amy Daughters of FBSchedules, here are the games involving ACC teams, with a tip to Notre Dame. To read about those two Irish rivalries, as well as the non-ACC games, click on the link...
The Black Diamond Trophy – WEST VIRGINIA vs. VIRGINIA TECH – 2021/22
West Virginia and Virginia Tech shared membership in the Southern Conference (1950-64) and the Big East (1991-2003) making 23 of their 52 meetings in-conference games. Though the series dates to 1912, the Black Diamond Trophy wasn’t introduced until 1997, seven seasons before the Hokies left the Big East for the ACC. The schools are located 250 miles apart in coal country, hence the prize’s name. They played consecutively from 1973-2005 but have only met once since, in 2017. West Virginia leads the all-time series 28-23-1 but Virginia Tech has won three straight and has captured the Black Diamond seven times vs. the Mountaineers’ three.
The Florida Cup – FLORIDA/FLORIDA STATE/MIAMI (FL) – 2024/25
Awarded to the winner of the three-way battle between Florida/Florida State and Miami Fla., the Florida Cup (also known as the “state championship of Florida”) was established in 2002 by the Florida Sports Foundation. Though the Cup is 19-years old, it’s only been presented six times – from 2002-04 and in 2008, 2013 and 2019. While Florida State meets Florida (a non-conference fixture) and Miami (as permanent ACC cross-division rivals) annually, the three-way rivalry has been hampered by the limited number of times the Gators have squared off with the Hurricanes. Miami won the first three Cups (2002-04) while Florida (2008 and 2019) and Florida State (2013) have captured the three most recent. (see also "Bizarre Love Triangle: Miami-Florida-FSU")
The Megaphone Trophy – NOTRE DAME vs. MICHIGAN STATE – 2026/27
The Paddlewheel Trophy – CINCINNATI vs. PITT – 2023/24
The prize awarded to the winner of the “River City Rivalry,” Cincinnati and Pitt first battled for the Paddlewheel in 2005. Both the trophy and game pay homage to the shared connection as major cities on the Ohio river. Though the two met four times from 1921-81, the trophy didn’t enter the picture until Cincinnati signed on with the Big East. The duo clashed eight consecutive times as conference foes, each squad taking home the Paddlewheel four times. The active rivalry ended in 2013 when the Panthers joined the ACC and the Bearcats migrated to the American. The trophy itself – a functional ship’s telegraph that lights up with the annual winner’s logo – is a whopper, standing four feet tall and weighing in at almost 100 pounds. Pitt leads the all-time series 8-4 but Cincinnati has won two-straight and four of the last five. The two haven’t met since 2012. (see also "Old Rivalries Dying")
The Shillelagh Trophy – NOTRE DAME vs. PURDUE – 2021, 2024-28
My Comments:It's certainly good to see some of these old rivalry games played again. The "Black Diamond" and the "Florida Cup" are big deals, as is the "Megaphone Trophy" game. Honestly, I think the "Paddlewheel" is a bit one-sided (i.e. I don't think Pitt fans care that much), and likewise the "Shillelagh" (i.e. Notre Dame fans probably don't care that much).
Ranking Rosters and Talent Wasted, 2017-21 (RX; HM)
Ranking the ACC's College Football's Rosters in 2021, here are all 14 ACC teams ranked by average team recruiting ranking over the last five years, along with average win percentage during that period:
Virginia Tech football: Hokies pick up 2022 quarterback (gobblercountry.com; Manning)
The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up their first commitment from the class of 2022 on Thursday when quarterback Devin Farrell chose the Hokies.
Farrell is a 6-foot-0, 192-pound dual-threat quarterback from Milton High School in Alpharetta, Georgia, and received his offer from Virginia Tech on Feb. 4.
At first glance, you may see Farrell’s size and assume he’s going to be a defensive back or wide receiver at the next level. However, from all indications, the Hokies offered Farrell to play quarterback.
Milton High School competes against some of the top programs in the talent-rich state of Georgia. And Farrell is the quarterback who makes it go. Farrell is also an accomplished guard on the basketball team.
So, what are the Hokies getting in Farrell?
From watching some of his highlights, Farrell is extremely fast. He has twitchy athleticism and a strong arm. It’s hard to determine a player’s accuracy just based on highlight reels. But it does appear Farrell can make all the requisite throws at the next level. His athleticism will be an asset for Virginia Tech’s offense due to his ability to extend plays.
Sapakoff: 6 ideas for fixing sad lack of Black college football head coaches (P&C; $; Sapakoff)
Welcome to Black History Month, where not much has changed in SEC football management since Martin Luther King last spoke 53 football seasons ago.
No Black head coaches back in 1968.
Clemson’s 2021 Schedule Looks Like a Cakewalk (Once Again) (fanbuzz.com; Pinak)
Clemson may have come up short in Trevor Lawrence‘s final season at the College Football Playoff semifinals, but make no mistake: Dabo Swinney isn’t letting his foot off the gas. Oddly enough, the Tigers may be in even better shape heading into 2021.
D.J. Uiagalelei took over in Lawrence’s absence (thanks, coronavirus pandemic) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and showed he’s capable of leading the perennial powerhouse going forward. Despite the loss, he threw for more than 400 yards, scored three touchdowns and threw zero interceptions. Not many other schools can say their backup is capable of that.
Salt City Market: Our reviews of every vendor at Syracuse’s new food hall (PS; $; Miller)
The Salt City Market opened in downtown Syracuse two weeks ago today, and it’s been packed ever since, with lines of hungry Central New Yorkers waiting to get in stretching down Salina Street. Imagine what it’ll be like when the coronavirus is no longer limiting how many people can go inside this 24,000-square-foot food court.
The market features food from Thailand, Jamaica, Burma, Iraq, Vietnam and the American South. It also has a coffee bar, a juice bar and a cake bar.
We sent three syracuse.com writers — Charlie Miller, Don Cazentre and Jacob Pucci — to the new hot spot to try a few items at each of the 11 stands.
Here’s their take. You can see each vendor’s full menu by clicking on their name below.