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NCAA Football

Ricky Person Jr. Has Proven He Can Play Against North Carolina’s Best

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Ricky Person Jr. wanted to play against the best to prepare himself for the college level. He had to make a move and a decision that was best for him and his family.

This involved having to transfer from Franklinton High School in Franklinton, North Carolina to Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina shortly before his junior year began.

“The toughest thing I had to overcome was leaving my friends and the people I grew up playing football with. When I was back at Franklinton, I grew up with the boys ever since recreational league. Ever since [then], we grew up playing football together all the way up to high school. So it was real hard just leaving them like that and me just going off to do better things for myself. I had to get used to the boys at Heritage and everything else so it was hard for me,” Person Jr. said.

Ricky Person Jr. is a Louisburg, North Carolina native who enjoys hunting and working out in his spare time. He said if playing football doesn’t work out or he can’t do something related to football in his future, he wants to get his master’s degree in either broadcast journalism or architecture because he wants to be a sportscaster or own his own construction business one day.

He started to realize his talent as a football player in the seventh grade. That was when he received interest from Jeremy Buck, varsity coach at Franklinton in 2012. Person Jr. said that he started working out with the Franklinton varsity football team for a while and got his first football scholarship from UNC Charlotte in that same period.

Ricky Person Jr., at six-foot-two, 205 pounds, is a four star 2018 running back. He is ranked the 150th best player nationally, the seventh best athlete and sixth best player in North Carolina according to the 247Sports Composite.

He has received eight offers from: UNC Charlotte, Duke, East Carolina, Louisville, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

He has high interest in NC State, Duke and South Carolina because those are the only schools that have shown high interest in him. He has also received interest from Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida State and Tennessee as they have been in contact with him he said.

“Like my mom and dad always say, if nobody’s talking to you, that’s when you should worry but I’ve been getting a whole lot of attention so everything’s been going well,” Person Jr. said of his recruiting process.

He plans to make his commitment decision sometime during the summer or during his senior season.

“What I’ll be looking for is, is that school the right fit for me?, how the facility is, the academics for that school, the graduation rate of the football team, what’s the team GPA and the last thing is the relationship with the coaches. Most people have that come first but that comes last for me. I just want to get a feel of the school first because everything else will fall into place. If that’s really your school, you will know right when you step on the campus and you’ll know the relationship with the coaches will be really good. That’s what matters to me anyway.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63GR_c1Q4Fw]

His Running Backs Coach, Willie Parker who played collegiate football at North Carolina and spent five NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, said that Ricky’s senior year will be a big year for him. He said in addition, that Person Jr., did a great job of adjusting and getting accustomed to the big jump and pressure that comes along with going up from Class 2A to Class 4A football.

“He’s definitely a great athlete and he’s going to make some more plays but I think he’s getting more comfortable with that transition now. This year is going to be a big year for him and the game is going to come to him. I feel he’s going to be an asset like he was last year,” Parker said.

On and off the field, Ricky Person Jr. likes to help others. This includes showing leadership by keeping his teammates focused in the classroom and on the field in addition to helping his cousin who is a head coach for the recreational league association. Person Jr. helps with the running backs on the field but off the field his contribution is a lot more meaningful.

“I’m also a part of the NFL Prep Academy and the first year I was there, we went up to Philadelphia and we helped pack toys because it was around Christmas time. We were helping packing the toys, cleaning the toys and helping to get them ready [to be] shipped off for the kids. I do a lot, I give back to my community a whole lot.”

With his teammates, he’s not a guy who is very vocal but he speaks when it’s needed.

“I’m not the type of guy to let you fail because I want to see everybody succeed.”

The Heritage Huskies have a coaching staff with college and NFL playing experience. Their Head Coach, Dewayne Washington, played collegiate football at NC State and played corner back for 11 NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs.

NFL Hall of Fame Semifinalist and Heritage Huskies Wide Receivers Coach Torry Holt played collegiate football at NC State and played 10 years in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams and one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1999-2009.

Person Jr. said that he battled injuries (broken hand and high ankle sprain) in his first season with the Huskies. He played hurt because he wanted to show people he loved the game.

In 12 games las season, Person Jr. ran 774 yards (5.3 yards per carry) on 145 carries and 11 touchdowns. He had three 100 yard games. He has 1,096 all-purpose yards in his career so far. The Heritage Huskies went 11-3 (5-2 Division) in 2016.

“His final season─ I’m looking at, the kid should have probably 2,000 all-purpose yards. I know he has lofty goals for himself. We have lofty goals for him too. In the amount of times he will touch the ball, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be at that 2,000 yard number or whether it’s pass catching or running the ball,” Washington said.

He also believes that Ricky Person Jr. will be a double digit sack player for Heritage at defensive end and outside linebacker but his health is going to be a factor in all of that.

Person Jr. said that he loves having the ball in his hands but as long as he is on the field he doesn’t care what position he plays.

“The best part of my game is I can be a dual-threat because you know, most running backs can’t go out into the backfield and catch the ball, that’s [a weakness] for most running backs. I can lineup in the slot with my height and my hands, I can lineup as a wide receiver or as a slot wide receiver and spread the defense out. We have a mobile quarterback so that’s just a plus for us and just helps us out a whole lot.”

He has to work on everything he said in order to be a complete football player and when he goes to college camps, he works on running lower, blocking and his footwork.

“What I like most about playing at Heritage is the coaching staff first of all. They played in the NFL and they know what it takes. They know what you have to do to go to the NFL because it’s just not given to you. You can be the best player out ever, that’s not going to get you to the NFL. They’re working us like they would be worked [out] in the NFL or college so that’s what I like most about Heritage,” Person Jr. said.

Ricky Person Jr. wants to be remembered as the guy who excelled in practice and bought it into the game. He believes practice is where a player’s A game starts to develop.

“You practice hard, you play hard.”

NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

Anthony DiMoro

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

Anthony DiMoro

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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NCAA Football

Braylon Edwards Apologizes for University of Miami Tweets, Stand by his Stance

Anthony DiMoro

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Former NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who currently works for the Big Ten Network, has been suspended by the Big Ten Network for tweets he made on Saturday night after the Wolverines lost 24-17 to Notre Dame.3

Edwards, a former All-America wide receiver at the University of Michigan, heavily criticized Wolverines’ offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, calling him “weak,” and called Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson “scared.”

Edwards played wide receiver for Michigan from 2001 to 2004, and then was drafted to the NFL.

Edwards then went on to target the Michigan team as a whole, tweeting  “f—ing Michigan offense so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash.”

Edwards was criticized by Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday for his tweets and then was officially suspended indefinitely by the Big Ten Network.

“Effective as of Sunday, Sept. 2, Braylon Edwards has been suspended indefinitely from his role at the Big Ten Network due to a violation of the network’s social media guidelines”, the Big Ten Network wrote in a since deleted tweet, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

“No. 1, first of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” Harbaugh said of the comments. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On the other level, I was disappointed a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That’s disappointing.

“We’ll handle things within the program,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all we control.”

“And, I would say, if somebody wants to attack the character of anybody on the ballclub, then come after me. I don’t think it’s right. It’s not true. And nobody in the program thinks that about any player on our team. Just so you know that’s not coming from anybody inside the program.”

While Edwards admits that his tweets were “excessive”, he stands by his criticism of the Wolverines, and says that he plans to reach out to Ruiz and Patterson through his brother, Berkley Edwards, who is a running back for Michigan.

Edwards added that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr “called me out in the media” and he realizes now he shouldn’t have done the same to Ruiz and Patterson.

“I admit I was excessive and emotional and inebriated. Mix those together. But the focus of my tweets remains intact. I stand by that. I was over-excessive Saturday night at 10:29, but I don’t back down on my overall stance as an alum and a fan. I’ve always defended Michigan. Even this year, I was high on Michigan,” Edwards said according to the Detroit News.

“I’m a man. We make mistakes. I’m sorry. I should not have gone that way. I still agree with the overall message — what do we do now (as a program)? But I apologize — shouldn’t name individual players. They’re still kids. That’s what I apologize for,” Edwards told the media outlet.

Now that there is Legal sports betting in the USA it will be interesting to see what happens when Edwards returns. Some sportsbooks have started taking wagers on whether or not he will keep his job in the end and for how long.

For now, Edwards has a lot of time to sit at home and reflect before his return to the Big Ten Network.

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