Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
- Aug 15, 2011
St. Patrick's Day takes place on the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who is thought to have died in 461. Contrary to what many may think, St. Patrick was not Irish—he was born in Roman Britain, in what is now England, Scotland, or Wales. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to be a slave. During his time in captivity, he turned to his Christian faith. He escaped six years later, began religious training, and later returned to Ireland as a missionary. Some credit him with bringing Christianity to the country, but it is believed a bishop known as Palladius had been doing mission work there since 431. It is likely Patrick ministered to those who were already Christians, while converting others.
Many legends surround St. Patrick. One says he explained the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by using the three leaves of the native Irish clover—the shamrock. Years later, during the seventeenth century, the shamrock became a symbol of Irish nationalism and pride against British rule. There is also a legend that says St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland. It is a snake-free island, but it had been before Patrick arrived. Some see the snake story as being an allegory for his banishment of pagan ideology.
Syracuse football sets start date for 2021 spring practice (247sports.com; Bailey)
Syracuse football has locked in a start date for its 2021 spring practice. Head coach Dino Babers will begin his sixth offseason at the helm of the program on March 30, SU athletic director John Wildhack said Tuesday.
The Orange players have been participating in winter workouts for the last five weeks and no one on the team has tested positive for Covid-19, Wildhack said. Babers and Wildhack agreed going into the spring semester that everyone in the program would continue to be tested three times per week, keeping up with the Atlantic Coast Conference's in-season requirements.
"We both agreed quickly that what we did in the fall worked really, really well," Wildhack said. "So why change it? ... I give a tremendous amount of credit to our team, our student-athletes."
In two weeks, Syracuse players and coaches will begin working together inside the Ensley Athletic Center -- an important stage of a crucial offseason. The Orange is now two seasons removed from its breakout 10-3 campaign. SU followed up a 5-7 2019 season with the program's second one-win campaign since 1948 -- a year that was notably affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
This spring practice is expected to give second-year coordinators Tony White and Sterlin Gilbert time to install, assess and instruct after being significantly limited last offseason. The Orange's 2020 spring ball was cut short after three sessions last March and the team didn't reconvene on the field until preseason camp.
Syracuse Pro Day, Spring Football Dates Set (SI; McAllister)
Syracuse will hold a pro day in the near future to show off the talent of its NFL prospects and spring football is right around the corner as well. Pro day will be held this Friday, March 19th.
This will give Syracuse's draft prospects Andre Cisco, Ifeatu Melifonwu and Trill Williams an opportunity to impress scouts and potentially move up draft boards. Currently, Cisco and Melifonwu are projected to go anywhere from rounds one to three while Williams is expected to go between rounds five and seven. Impressive performances during pro day could enhance those outlooks.
It is unclear how much, if at all, Cisco will participate due to his injury and subsequent recovery from this past season.
Another name to keep an eye on is punter Nolan Cooney. It is always difficult for punters to get drafted, despite Syracuse having two punters selected in the last few years, but Cooney should be on the list of priority undrafted free agents at worse. This is an opportunity for him to make an impression on teams especially with so many watching to see the Orange defensive backs.
Spring football is also right around the corner. Director of Athletics John Wildhack said on Tuesday that spring practice will begin on March 30th at the Ensley Athletic Center. Wildhack added that Syracuse will continue with the ACC's in season protocol of covid testing three times per week.
College football: Syracuse’s Melifonwu, Cooney part of Pro Day charity drive (nny360.com; St Croix)
Former Syracuse University football players and NFL Draft hopefuls — cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu and punter Nolan Cooney — are participating in the Reps for Rare Diseases campaign at their upcoming NFL Pro Day.
The duo will be among Orange players working out for NFL scouts Friday on the SU campus in hopes of improving their respective draft stocks.
Supporters can pledge to one or both players with donations per every inch of Melifonwu’s vertical jump, or for each punt with at least four seconds of hang time by Cooney, by visiting the SU chapter of Uplifting Athletes web page: Support Syracuse Chapter Reps For Rare Diseases - Reps For Rare Diseases 2021.
The proceeds will be donated to Uplifting Athletes, an organization dedicated to funding research for and awareness of rare diseases.
Defensive backs Andre Cisco and Trill Williams are also among former SU standouts projected as selections for the NFL Draft between April 29-May 1, but SU has not released a confirmed list of pro-day participants.
Beaver Falls' Hough named Mr. PA Football, CV's Dudley earns top QB honor (timesonline.com; Chiappazzi)
Add Mr. PA Football to the postseason honors for Beaver Falls running back Josh Hough.
The Syracuse signee was recognized at a virtual awards program over the weekend. Mr. PA Football is voted on by a combination of fans, coaches, and media members and has been handed out to the top football players in the state for over a decade.
"I just want to thank God and my teammates and coaches for helping me. And I especially want to thank my running backs coach, Dwight Collins, for helping me improve to be a better running back," Hough said during the virtual ceremony.
It's just the latest honor for the Beaver Falls senior, who has also been named the Times' 2020 Football Player of the Year, selected to the Class 2A all-state team, and named to the Pennsylvania Big 33 team for the annual all-star game in May.
Hough helped take Beaver Falls win the WPIAL Class 2A championship and reach the state semifinals. He set a new school record with 2,043 rushing yards and he scored 29 touchdowns. He signed with Syracuse in December and will enroll at the ACC school in the fall.
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY NEW STRENGTH TRAINING — Ashley McGraw | Syracuse Architects (ashleymcgraw.com)
NEW STRENGTH TRAINING FACILITY.
The athletic department recognized the need for a new football strength and conditioning training facility to free up the existing weight room for other athletic teams and to help with football recruiting efforts.
This weight room is a living showcase full of life and activity. Now part of a grand entry sequence to the Football Hall of Fame, this facility defines the exterior space and heightens one’s experience when approaching the football wing. From the main approach to the football wing, the weight room appears solid and monolithic with its precast walls. Once at the weight room, the north and south walls open up with full height window walls. This affords spectacular views into the facility, showcasing the latest weight and aerobic equipment. The neutral building palette of steel, aluminum, grey and white is an appropriate background for the orange, blue, and chrome weight equipment.
The technical nature of the weight equipment is expressed in the exposed structure of the building with high-end, specialized steel members and connections, exposed high-end acoustic deck and ductwork. As the weight equipment is celebrated, so is the structure.
What Does The Elimination Of The ACC Intraconference Transfer Rule Signal For The Future Of College Sports? (forbes.com; Dosh)
The Atlantic Coast Conference has eliminated its intraconference transfer rule, which would allow players to transfer around the league without sitting out a full season.
"The time has come for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to transfer and be permitted to compete immediately," said first-year ACC commissioner Jim Phillips. "This decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes as it allows greater flexibility during their collegiate career."
The NCAA Division I Council tabled a national one-time transfer proposal in January. The proposal would allow student athletes in baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey a one-time transfer during their athletic career without having to sit out a season. Currently, student athletes in all other sports can transfer without the sit-out requirement.
Ultimately, the vote on the one-time transfer rule was delayed following correspondence from the Justice Department’s antitrust division leader, Makan Delrahim, where he expressed concerns about both the proposed transfer rule and name, image and likeness legislation. However, the NCAA is expected to take the issue back up one it receives more feedback from the Justice Department.
The state of intraconference transfer rules in other conferencesEven if the NCAA passes its one-time transfer rule, most major conferences have an intraconference transfer rule to prevent student athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a season, even if they’ve gone through the NCAA transfer waiver process. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey commented on his conference’s transfer rule as recently as last week.
“I don’t, in the offseason, anticipate entertaining waivers,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told the Courier Journal. “In fact, we’ve communicated the intraconference rule still stands. Our membership has voted on that rule. It’s been in place for decades. It was waved in the one time because of unique circumstances. And our member institutions if they want to change the rule need to submit their vision for the future and how we manage transfer issues within the conference.”
Ekwonu compared to first-round pick, labeled 'most feared offensive lineman in the ACC’ (247sports.com; Smith)
Heading into the 2021 football season, NC State has a ton of talent that will likely be destined for the NFL in the very near future. But one player making early buzz is heading into his third year with the program already viewed as one of the best at his position -- offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu.
While most fans don't typically notice offensive linemen, it's hard not to pay attention to "Ickey" every time he lines up. Whether it's his blocks off the snap or the malicious pancakes he serves up downfield -- which has earned him a massive collection of syrup bottles -- Ekwonu has built a reputation of being a hard-nosed, nasty lineman who does it the right way on the field.
Wolfpack fans and media have taken notice over the past two years, with Ekwonu emerging as the best lineman on the team, regardless of playing tackle or guard. The media as a whole has overlooked him, though, with Ekwonu coming in at All-ACC Third Team last year, but his peers have certainly taken notice.
In a story from Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, one ACC coach recently told him that Ekwonu was the best lineman in the entire conference heading into this fall.
“To me, he’s the most feared offensive lineman in the ACC,” said an offensive line coach in the conference. “He’s similar to [Mekhi] Becton, but more of an interior guy. He’s got so much short-area power and explosiveness. He’s violent. You’d go watch him on film: ‘Oh, wow, he’s destroying people.’
"He’s got something in him that is not coached. There is some natural aggression and ferocity with the way he finishes and strikes. That is a gift.”
Ekwonu had multiple highlight blocks last year at both guard and tackle, but played more down the end of the season at the left tackle spot. Coming into spring camp as a 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman, Ekwonu likely fits the mold of a guard at the NFL level, and could be one of the best in the entire draft class in 2022 or 2023.
New Commissioner wants ACC to focus more on football (theclemsoninsider.com; Staff)
New Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips spoke with longtime ACC reporter David Teel on Monday.
In part of his interview with the Richmond Times reporter, Phillips explained his appreciation for basketball and the league’s rich history there, but he explains the conference’s investment and success in football is priority.
See more below.
"We have a rich history and tradition in basketball — it’s like no other conference in the country. [But] football, and the success of football and the investment in football is going to have to be part of this strategy as we move forward." https://t.co/NxOtvp6FR0
— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) March 15, 2021
2021 best places to live in New York state: 3 in CNY make top 50 (PS; $; Herbert)
Three spots in Central New York have been named among the 50 best places to live in New York state in 2021.
The new list from Niche.com named the Tompkins County village of Cayuga Heights, in the Finger Lakes region, the No. 5 best place to live in the Empire State. East Ithaca was 44th and the Syracuse suburb of Fayetteville ranked 49th overall. All three received an overall grade of A+, thanks to high scores for public schools, housing, job opportunities, safety, and “good for families.”
Niche, a Pittsburgh-based website that compiles data on schools across America to help students and families find the right school districts and colleges for them, evaluated more than 2,100 places to live in New York, ranking the top 635 cities, towns and neighborhoods. Besides Cayuga Heights, the top 10 largely consisted of New York City suburbs, as well as Brighton (near Rochester) and Williamsville (near Buffalo).
Places in CNY that made the top 500 best places to live include Clinton (114th overall), Liverpool (215th), Hamilton (230th), Westvale (231st), Washington Mills (304th), Minoa (325th), Fairmount (347th), Baldwinsville (364th), Whitesboro (377th), Chittenango (477th) and Galeville (492nd).