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NCAA Football

Family Has Been The Back Bone For Blake Veargis Through It All

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Blake Veargis receives so much support from his family at his games playing for Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Florida. His mother, late brother and Uncle Van Waiters who played in the NFL for five seasons (1988-92) and was a 2010 Indiana University Hall of Fame inductee, all have played pivotal parts in his life as he is now a junior at Monsignor Pace.

“I started playing football when I was four. When I started playing football, I hated it because I was scared to get hit. I wanted to quit and my mom said no so I went back out there the next day and started to get a feel for the game and I loved it. If it wasn’t for my mom, none of this would be possible.”

Blake Veargis lost his brother, Victor Emmanuel Waiters Jr. to a dirt bike accident in 2014. He was 26. Blake said that his death was the hardest thing that he had to overcome because his family has always been behind him in support. He remembered his brother by talking about a major piece of advice that his brother gave him and a piece of advice that Blake tries to live by.

“…My brother always used to tell me ‘don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to talk about.’ That’s just what I base my life off of. He motivates me and I do everything for him,” Veargis said.

Veargis also being a Miami, Florida native, said there are two types of guys in that city. A bad or good guy. He doesn’t want to be the former which is why he wants out of Miami.

“In Miami, you’re either a good guy or you’re a bad guy. If you’re a good guy, you’re going to make it somewhere. If you’re a bad guy, you’re going to be like the rest of these people out here, selling drugs and doing all that other crazy stuff. I’m barely [ever] home,” he said. “I’m usually at my uncle Van’s house or [somewhere else]. That’s why, when I get offers, I just want to move away from here. I already told my mom, I don’t want to stay down here, I want to go far away.”

The five-foot-nine, 178 pound, junior wide receiver is not ranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Scout, Rivals) and has no scholarship offers yet. He has high interest in Ohio State but he is open to going anywhere to put his family in a better environment.

“My life goal is to go to Ohio State because my brother liked Ohio State, my uncle likes Ohio State, and half of my family is in love with [the school]. It’s far away from here and that’s just the environment I would like to be in. Anywhere is my best choice to move my family out of where we are right now.”

Looking at film on Blake Veargis, he is fast. He catches the ball and gets up the field with ease which is very impressive. In 2015, he had 17 receptions, 207 yards and three touchdowns for the Monsignor Pace Spartans. He relates his game to former Baylor Bear and current Cleveland Brown wide receiver Corey Coleman.

“Corey Coleman. I look at Corey Coleman as reflection of me because we’re the same height, he has speed, and I have speed. I [compare] myself to people that I can relate too. That’s what my uncle always told me, ‘look up to someone you can relate too.’ I always look up to Corey Coleman.”

Monsignor Pace Spartans head football coach Joseph Zacceo has only spent a year coaching Blake Veargis but feels like his biggest improvement has come in terms of maturity. He and a lot of other guys on the team had some growing up to do in terms of taking the game of football and life more seriously.

“Last year has been spent mostly making these young men understand that this isn’t a social event, it’s a sporting event. [Blake is] starting to grasp that. As far as his junior year, I’m hoping that that maturity translates into his physical and technical aspects of the game getting better. Rather than approaching it as a little boy, [he will] approach it as a young man,” Zacceo said.

Veargis said that he loves exposing somebody on the field and wide receiver is the position for him. He also said that the best part of his game is his heart.

“I think the best part of my game is that I have heart. No matter what your size is, you’re going to have to show me that you’re better than me. I don’t really care about the rankings, the offers and all that because you never know how a person plays.”

As an upperclassman, coach Zacceo is clear about what he wants to see from Blake Veargis. He wants to see maturity and leadership shine through and he wants to see Veargis get the younger guys on the team to understand that they need to take football seriously if they want to use it as a means for a free college education.

“I tell him all the time, if this was easy, we have 850 kids in the school, if this was easy I’d have 800 out for football. So understand what it takes to be successful. That’s the hardest thing to make these guys understand,” Zacceo said. “They watch Saturday football or Sunday football and they go ‘oh that’s me, that’s me,’ No that’s not you son. You’re seeing the product of countless hours of dedication and work. Not just with coaches but on their own. So the biggest things I’m looking for are leadership and maturity.”

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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