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NCAA Football

Hunter Grills is Looking To Take The Next Step As A Junior

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Hunter Grills will now have an opportunity to lead the Lutheran Cougars of St. Peter’s, Missouri, under center in 2017.

“I never really thought I was the best. I try to be humble as possible and not back down from a challenge and go out there and compete,” he said.

He led the Cougars to an 8-3 (0-1 Division) record. The Cougars were an undefeated 5-0 at home, solidifying their home field advantage at Cougars Stadium.

As a sophomore quarterback, Grills threw for 964 yards, 14 touchdowns, and seven interceptions and ran the ball 79 times for 744 yards (9.4 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns.

He also earned Second Team All-District and All-Conference honors in 2016 and is setting his sights on First Team All-State, All-Conference, All-District and academic honors for next year.

“I’m more effective, I think, on my feet than in the air but my team was really limited [in terms of] my receivers this year so I didn’t have as many options as some other quarterbacks would but all in all I think I have improved in my passing game from years before especially standing strong in the pocket when I want to run. I think I have grown in that matter. If you had looked at my previous films, you would probably agree,” Grills said.

Looking at his sophomore highlight film, I was impressed with his speed when scrambling outside of the pocket in addition to his pocket presence. He said that moving forward, he needs to work on his passing and releasing the ball quicker when facing blitzing defenders.

“My teammates motivate me a lot in the offseason and my family puts me through many camps [throughout] the offseason which pushes me to get better because of the competition is top-notch across the country.”

His head coach, Arlen Harris, knew he was a special player in Hunter Grills’ very first play his freshman year.

“I’ll tell you what, it was my first year as head coach last year coming into our jamboree. Typically the school hasn’t been participating and right away in his first play he scored. I don’t know if his helmet came off, he got twisted up, something and I could tell he wasn’t nervous but anxious.  Again, things fell apart around him, he took it and he scored,” Harris said.

Harris believes that Grills still has more room to grow but his maturity that he has shown in just two seasons has been tremendous. The Cougars offense was tailored to his skill set and according to Harris, everything that the Cougars coaching staff threw at him, he was able to handle every time. 

What Harris wants to see out of Grills in his junior campaign next year is more consistency. He wants him to be great at both passing and running with the ball. Harris believes that Grills is good at both right now. 

Hunter Grills is not ranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Scout, Rivals) but he has been told by schools that they are waiting to see what his junior year produces before offers possibly come his way.

He did say, however, that he has high interest in local schools like the University of Missouri and Missouri State and will commit when he finds a school where he fits best and can make an impact.

“I’d say my family because they push me a lot and make sure I have done the things that I need to do to succeed in football and my head coach that helps me train in the offseason,” he said about who has had the biggest impact on him growing up.

Hunter Grills grew up in Lincoln County, Missouri and attended middle school in Elsberry before following Harris to Lutheran High School. Here is what he had to say about the toughest thing he has had to overcome.

“Being in a bad game, a close game and losing it as the quarterback because everything is on you. Coming in as a freshman and not starting at quarterback as I always had in my past but started and played where needed eventually playing around 30 percent as a varsity quarterback.”

Even though Hunter Grills plays quarterback, he likes to think of himself as an athlete and has a mentality to just go out on the field and win, lead his team to victory and improve with each and every play.

He wants to be remembered at Lutheran High School as someone who wouldn’t give up, never backed down from a challenge and as someone who helped bring a state championship to Lutheran in addition to helping the football program grow.

“He’s very, very competitive. Some kids that say ‘oh, I got it.’ He has a great work ethic and he’ll do something great and say ‘aww coach, I should’ve done this, I could’ve gotten better,’ and I’m like ‘dude, you just threw a touchdown pass.’ I think his willingness to get better and make the people around him better, sometimes that passes. I’ve played at the highest level and sometimes that passes the kid that can run the fastest or might be the biggest,” Harris said about what elements of Grills’ game will go with him to the next level.

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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