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NCAA Football

Xavier Laing Likes Winning and Working Hard Is Not An Issue For Him

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Xavier Laing didn’t start playing football until he was 10 years old. He didn’t know anything about the sport. He just wanted to play because all of his friends played it.

“…I just came to [the states] and I just wanted to play, I didn’t like being in the house all day. I came here, I made friends and all my friends played football so then I started going to practices and stuff and that’s how it all started. That’s how I started playing football,” Laing said.

Laing is a Miramar, Florida native who is originally from Portmore, Jamaica. Coming to the states and living here full time wasn’t a huge transition for him because he would spend summers and other holidays in Miramar.

“It was a good adjustment because I used to always come on holidays and in the summer because my mom was living here. My mom, my brother and most of my family was living over here. I used to come in the summer and Christmas time,” he said. “Living here, all I had to adjust to was going to school, meeting new people, it’s like how people say when you go to college and you’re starting a whole new life. I just came here, adjusted to it, met new people and it wasn’t that hard for me at all.”

He got his want to always work hard from his father and grandmother and he believes that if you don’t work hard it’s going to show on the field.

“…If they didn’t work hard I wouldn’t be in a position to live well or get [myself] anything to eat. So they showed me that working hard is the way you’re going to make things easier. So, I feel like, if I can work hard for the first 30 years of my life, for the next 70 years of my life, I’m just chilling so why not do it,” Laing said.

Xavier Laing is not rated by any of the major recruiting services as an outside linebacker but he has received five scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Central Connecticut State, UNC Charlotte, Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois. He is hoping more come his way. He had eight sacks in 2015 for the Miramar Patriots.

“Right now I think I need to work on being a better teammate. I’m trying to get better, I’m trying to get faster, I’m trying to get stronger and have a better motor because I’m trying to be all over the field. I’m trying to be all over the field this year. I’m trying to make my senior year the year [that says] I left everything out on the field and everybody knows that Xavier was always there on that play every time the offense did this and that.”

He has high interest in Appalachian State who has shown a lot of interest in him. Louisville is his dream school because he likes watching their football games and seeing how exciting they can be.

Xavier Laing feels more comfortable stopping the run and rushing the passer.

“…That’s what I like to do. I just like playing in the tranches, I don’t know why. Not everybody likes to play in the trenches, they don’t like to be touched and all that. I like going to get the quarterback, I like stopping the run, all of my guys, all of us on the front seven, I make sure we all are on the same page and we’re not giving up any long yardage runs and stuff like that.”

Now, as more of an outside linebacker this year, he’s working on being better in coverage. Playing both defensive end and linebacker, he believes he’s a very versatile player and he’s blessed to be in the position he is in.

“…When you play different teams and offenses, they have to know that I’m on the field. They have to check you because they have to know where you’re at on the field because you can play more than one position. They have to know where you’re coming from.”

Another thing he wants to be better at is being a better teammate. He tells them what they do wrong and how to fix it and they do the same for him. Even if his coach calls a play that may not work for what he’s seeing out there on the field, he can adjust the play call based on what he has seen watching film during the week.

“When the offense comes out, I know the formation they’re going to come out in and what plays they run in that formation. If they like to run plays to the short side of the field, to the wide side, if they like to run plays towards this tackle or this guard. I think the best part is just my understanding. I think the best thing ever in football is film,” he said. “Film makes the game way easier because once you’re on the field and you see formations they come out in, you know ‘oh I’ve seen this on film, I know what they’re going to run.’ You know what the different plays they could run out of there so it’s not really hard for you.”

Xavier Laing is ready to lead the defense as a senior this year. He’s not a fiery, loud, kind of guy. He leads by example. If he’s making plays, his teammates will follow suit.

NCAA Football

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

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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

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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

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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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