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NCAA Football

Omari Harris Works Twice As Hard And His Extra Effort Is Paying Off




Omari Harris had a mindset that he wasn’t as good a football player as others thought. He made it his mission to always work two times as hard to get to be the player he wants to be.

“…The moment I really realized I was good at football was last year when I actually made an impact on my team as a sophomore,” he said.

In his sophomore year (2015), he recorded 22 carries, 203 yards (9.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns as a running back and 33 tackles (16 solo), three sacks, one pass breakup, and one forced fumble. See his sophomore highlight film.

Harris’s junior season has seen a big spike in production defensively as he, through 11 games, has recorded 82 tackles (39 solos), an interception, two pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He has run for a total of 69 yards and two touchdowns and is currently third on the team in tackles.

Omari Harris and the Antioch High School Panthers / Antioch, California, are now 8-4 (3-2 League) heading into their NCS/Les Schwab Tires Division I championship game Saturday, Dec 3 against the Monte Vista Broncos 11-1 (8-0 League) out of Danville, California.

The Panthers by the numbers are better than the Mustangs in three categories according to rushing yards per game (Antioch 294.8 – Monte Vista – 166.6), total yards per game (Antioch 473.2 – Monte Vista – 427.3) and have the slight edge in points per game (Antioch 40.3 – Monte Vista – 39.9).

The Panthers are led offensively by Alabama commit and running back Najee Harris, no relation to Omari. Najee Harris in 12 games has carried the ball 269 times for 2,596 yards (9.7 yards per carry) and 33 touchdowns with 11 100+ yard games in 2016; he also has recorded 13 receptions for 240 yards and two touchdowns with the season not quite over.

The Panthers defense will need big performances from linebackers Omari Harris, Vinny Ballardo and Cameron Nathan. These three players combine for 266 tackles (123 solo), eight sacks, five forced fumbles and three tackles for loss. A lot of production for a linebacker corps.

Omari Harris said that controlling his emotions on the field has been something he has had to overcome but he recognized it and has worked on keeping them in check.

“…Growing up, I was emotional playing football and when everything starts to get tough, everything starts to rile up, my emotions start to come in and play a part in the game and everything. I’ve learned to kind of calm down because I see as a leader for my team that when my emotions get riled up, everyone else gets riled up.”

Harris is from Oakland, California and has lived in Antioch for the past few years. He likes the area, it has its ups and its downs but he knows as long as he stays close to his group of friends and stays out trouble that he’ll be alright. He also recognizes where he came from and what motivates him is his want to make his family proud.

“I’m a privileged kid but not as privileged [coming from] where I came from. I never want to have to go back to that. So, I mean, it’s more so my family that drives me to play the game now. I want to go to college and make my family proud. I want them to be able to say yeah I went to college. I did that and I graduated.”

In the classroom, Harris said he always liked the sciences, bio-engineering in particular. He takes a biotech class at Antioch High School and wants to pursue that further along with his football dream.

“On the field, I’ve always been known as the kid to have that leadership mentality. Everyone sees that I have that captain part in me. I feel like I can bring good leadership to the team. Off the field, I feel like can bring the academics part and everything and show everyone that they can do their thing. [Also], that person everyone can look up to, academics is all in the free part of football so I feel like that could be one thing I could bring to a university.”

Omari Harris is a three-star 2018 recruit, the 30th best outside linebacker and 41st best player in California according to the 247Sports Composite. He has four scholarship offers from Nebraska, California, Utah, and Eastern Washington.

“I do have high interest in California, Nebraska, and Utah. Schools that haven’t offered yet that I have a high interest in are USC, UCLA, I actually like Michigan, LSU, schools like that.”

Looking at Harris’ film, the six-foot, 202-pound linebacker is a great tackler in open space. His Coverage skills are an area where he needs work, he said.

“I feel like it’s pretty balanced. I’ve always been known as that hybrid player because, well, I’m not going to say I’m not big enough to play linebacker and I’m not small enough to play safety. I’ve always been known to be pretty versatile with everything that I do. They’ve put me where I best fit at,” he said about where he’s most effective on the field.

He believes he can be a great leader for a defense at the college level. He looks up to two-time Super Bowl champion and former Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis.

“All around, I’ve always wanted to be like him. Have that high motor, never stop, keep going, push two times as hard just to make that one extra play and give everything you have every play,” Harris said.

Being a leader, especially on the defensive side, involves having to be able to be one step ahead of the opponent in order to make a play. That is what Harris enjoys most about playing football.

“…I can read a play and know what’s going to happen before the play starts. Going over film and being able to know the techniques and everything that certain teams do or a certain player, it has always been a big part of my game because I’ve always wanted to be one step ahead of a player and one step of what their coaches are thinking.”

Harris and the Antioch Panthers will face their toughest test yet in the Monte Vista Broncos but Harris and the Panthers defense will be ready for what will be in front of them on Saturday, Dec 3.

UPDATE: 12/3/2016

2018 Antioch High School (Antioch, CA) linebacker Omari Harris committed to California earlier this week and has decided to stay in-state. Harris is now California’s second commit in the 2018 recruiting class.

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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