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NCAA Football

Family And Doubt Fuel Nyrobi Akai In His Pursuit To Play College Football



Nyrobi Akai has a big support system behind him in his pursuit for a college education and college football career. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s not just doing it all for himself, he’s doing it for his family.

“…I don’t really let things get to my head, just stay humble. I have huge family support: aunties, grandparents, cousins, everyone around me supports me a lot so family plays a big part for me because I’m doing it for me but I’m also doing it for them. The investment that they made to stand by me through everything that I’ve gone through. Family plays a huge part.”

Akai is working as hard as he is to repay his mother for all of her hard work and sacrifice. To him, she is the most important person in his life.

Nyrobi Akai promised his mom that he would stay on the right path and he’s working toward getting everything that a college education could provide, for her.

“I promised her that I would do [that]. A promise to her that I would [go] in the right direction and the right direction starts with a college education so that’s what I’m working hard for.”

Along the way, however, doubt set in for Akai as he said personal things clouded his play on the field.

“Probably doubt. There was a time where I wouldn’t say I was a horrible loser but a lot of personal things [happened] where if you didn’t know me, you would be like ‘oh there’s no way this kid is going to do this, do that,’ I had a lot of doubt on my side,” he said.

He said there were a lot of people who doubted him but once he had conversations with people who were in his corner and they told him ‘you have to stay focused and do what you love, not what people [want] you to do,’ then, he overcame that adversity.

He lives in Santa Fe Springs, California but calls Carson, California home. He played for the Carson High School Colts in 2014 and 2015. He made it to the championship game with the 2014 team but lost 33-20 to Narbonne High School. See his junior year highlights here.

“Actually I grew up in Carson, California. I’ve been in Carson my whole life. It wasn’t until my mom got a new job that we had to come out here but I’d preferably be in Carson still. Carson means a lot to me. I have a lot of friends in Carson who have been in the NFL, went to USC and all over the place, Carson means a lot to me. There’s a lot of family in the Carson Colts and a lot of us went through Carson to go do great things so it’s [a] big brotherhood [in] Carson.”

Akai said Carson was a place where one kid could go to one elementary schools, another kid would go to another school and they all would meet up to play football together. That’s how the brotherhood and family atmosphere comes into play.

“It wasn’t really until I hit eighth grade. I knew I was good but I never knew my talent. With me being a big kid, I was also agile, quick, have the speed. A hybrid type guy. It wasn’t until eighth grade when I started playing defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, it wasn’t until [then] that I realized the talent that I had.”

As a senior at Santa Fe High School, he wants to win a state title as a chief. He had some struggles with grades his sophomore and junior years but is optimistic about his senior on that front.

The recruiting process for Nyrobi Akai, who is ranked a two-star defensive tackle by, has picked up since last year. Despite only having one scholarship offer from New Mexico Highlands, he’s been actively talking to coaches and putting in work on the field.

He won the MVP honor at USC’s defensive linemen camp in June.

“College football, I always loved football but I never really saw myself going to college for it until probably 10th grade going into 11th-grade year. Once I found out colleges were looking at me, I was like man I have to pick it up. Since 11th grade, my grades have been good but I had to make up for ninth and 10th grade. Other than that, finishing up this class and a lot of colleges said some offers should be coming in.”

USC is his dream school. He’s been on USC’s campus plenty of times. He’s gone to games, he has friends there and he feels comfortable. You add also that he’s a local recruit, which bodes well for him and his family.

“…It’s local, it’s close to home, and I don’t have to worry about being such and such miles away from my family if something happened to me. It’s around the corner so it’s just that home feeling [I like] and they know I’m close.”

He said that if they were to offer him he would end his recruitment with the caveat that he and his family have to be 100 percent on board with that decision. He has to do his own research as the recruit.

Here’s what Akai believes he can bring to a university not only on the field but off of it as well.

“Leadership. I’m not saying I’m going to walk in as a freshman and try and take over the team. I’m not saying that. I mean…example wise, leading by example. Constantly working, constantly working hard. Another thing I’ll bring is a winning attitude. I hate losing,” he said. “You’ll get a great athlete, a guy who can play multiple positions on the field. You’ll get a hard-working student because looking back at my ninth and 10th-grade years and seeing how I’m still trying to make up classes, I don’t have any room to mess around.”

He added he can only give 110 percent in his senior year at Santa Fe. He said that they are by far the best program he has been a part of because of the player-coach dynamics. When they want to joke around and have fun, they do that. When it’s time to play football and handle business, they handle it.

“Going forward, I’m in college so I really can’t mess around. You’re not going to get someone who’s going to come in and loaf, someone who’s going to [take] plays off because I don’t have time. You’ll get someone who’s guaranteed to give you a winning attitude, guaranteed to give you everything you ask.”

NCAA Football

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



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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Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games



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:


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


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



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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