BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

WEDNESDAY’ S GAMES
Evansville North69Princeton61 
Heritage67Fremont51 
Indianapolis Manual64Indiana Deaf53 
Indianapolis Tindley76Indianapolis Metropolitan71 
New Haven60Fort Wayne Wayne45 
North Daviess49Perry Central46OT
Shenandoah71Blue River38 
Tri-West78Western Boone45 
Winchester69South Adams56 

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

WEDNESDAY’ S GAMES
Andrean72Hanover Central35 
Calumet49River Forest46 
East Chicago Central35Bowman Academy27 
Evansville Reitz57Evansville Central40 
Fountain Central52Frontier39 
Griffith65Hammond Clark27 
Highland48Hammond Morton46 
Huntington North48Fort Wayne Dwenger39 
Indianapolis Chatard87Beech Grove21 
Lebanon73Indianapolis Shortridge32 
North Central (Farmersburg)70Washington Catholic30 
Oregon-Davis81Illiana Christian16 
Owen Valley59West Vigo39 
Richmond40Muncie Central39 
South Central (Union Mills)67Wheeler31 
Triton35Jimtown16 
Warren Central81Indianapolis Attucks22 
Wes-Del42Union (Modoc)36 
Yorktown68Mississinewa37 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#7 Villanova 85 Butler 66

#11 Texas 79 Sam Houston 63

Purdue 67 #20 Ohio State 60

#21 Duke 75 Notre Dame 65

Massachusetts 85 LaSalle 66

Central Connecticut State 78 St. Francis NY 59

Richmond 78 Vanderbilt 67

Elon 66 Campbell 56

Syracuse 62 Northeastern 56

Bryant 74 Wagoner 62

Long Island 75 Sacred Heart 55

Colorado 91 Omaha 49

Oregon State 73 Texas San Antonio 61

San Diego 70 Cal Poly 61

Toledo 96 Marshall 87 OT

Georgia State 88 Mercer 81

Pittsburgh 70 Miami Florida 55

William and Mary 75 Hampton 58

South Florida 74 Cincinnati 71

Liberty 91 Carver College 38

Mississippi State 81 Central Arkansas 65

Grambling 78 Louisiana Monroe 61

TCU 77 Oklahoma State 76

South Alabama 103 Flagler 81

Chattanooga 69 North Carolina Asheville 66

Troy 79 Samford 71

Florida International 85 Florida Gulf Coast 69

Alabama Birmingham 88 Southern 46

Belmont 64 Kennesaw State 53

Ole Miss 70 Middle Tennessee 51

Oklahoma 79 Oral Roberts 65

SMU 70 E. Carolina 55

Pepperdine 91 Concord CA 68

Missouri State 73 William Jewell 64

UTEP 76 Arizona State 63

Jacksonville State 74 Tennessee Tech 50

Memphis 80 Tulane 74

Montana 66 Washington 58

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#7 Baylor 86 southern 52

#24 DePaul 86 #9 Kentucky 82

#23 S. Florida 65 Memphis 58

Valparaiso 88 Xavier 83

Evansville 84 Oakland City 52

Purdue Outlasts No. 20-Ranked Ohio State 67-60

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –  Trevion Williams scored 16 points and came close to a triple-double, leading Purdue past No. 20 Ohio State 67-60 on Wednesday night.

Williams had nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists in his second game coming off the bench. Eric Hunter Jr. added a season-best 15 points as Matt Painter beat a ranked team for the 50th time in 16 seasons as Boilermakers coach.

Purdue (5-2, 1-0 Big Ten) has won two straight and four of its last five.

Justice Sueing led the Buckeyes (5-1, 0-1) with 14 points and Duane Washington Jr. had 13.

Behind Williams and Hunter, the Boilermakers were just good enough in the second half when they methodically extended the lead to 59-45 courtesy of Hunter’s 3-pointer with 8:36 to play. Ohio State closed to 65-59 when Washington made a 3 with 2:50 left.

The Buckeyes couldn’t get any closer.

BIG PICTURE

Ohio State: Three of its first five wins were by margins of 10 or fewer points and at Purdue, the Buckeyes’ luck finally ran out. They shot 38% from the field and 25% from 3-point range while getting outrebounded 36-30 — never a winning formula.

Purdue: Bringing Williams off the bench has jump-started the all-conference forward. He had an impressive follow-up to his 30-point, 11-rebound game against Indiana State. If Williams continues playing this way, it could bode well for a young team still trying to find its footing.

Purdue 67, #20 Ohio State 60 (Postgame Notes)

  • Purdue improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten Conference with a 67-60 win over No. 20-ranked Ohio State.
  • Purdue is now 11-5 under Matt Painter in Big Ten openers, having won 10 of its last 12 Big Ten openers.
  • The victory was Matt Painter‘s 50th win over a ranked team while at Purdue, now owning a 50-83 record against nationally-ranked teams. However, since the start of the 2016-17 season, Purdue is 20-19 against nationally-ranked teams.
  • After starting his career just 5-15 against Ohio State, Matt Painter is now 6-3 against Ohio State in his last nine meetings, dating to the 2014-15 season.
  • Matt Painter won his 168th career Big Ten game, sitting now just four wins behind Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan (172) for ninth place on the Big Ten’s all-time wins list in league games.
  • Purdue is now a Big Ten-best 49-9 at home against Big Ten opposition since the start of the 2014-15 season (Michigan State is second at 46-10).
  • Purdue improved to 32-7 (.821) in the month of December since the 2015-16 season.
  • With 16 turnovers, Purdue has now had at least 16 turnovers in four of seven games this season.
  • Purdue has held five straight opponents to 0.94 points / possession or less.
  • Trevion Williams flirted with a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He becomes the fifth player (first high-major player) to reach those marks in a game this season and the first Purdue player since at least 2010-11 to reach those marks.
  • Sasha Stefanovic scored 10 points tonight, all in the first half, while making a 3-pointer in his 8th straight game. When he reaches double-figures, Purdue is 13-4 during his career.
  • Eric Hunter Jr., scored a season-high 15 points.
  • Brandon Newman had 10 points and pulled down a career-high seven rebounds.

Butler Falls to No. 7 Villanova on Wednesday Night in Philadelphia

(BUTLER RELEASE)

No. 7 Villanova pulled away late from Butler, posting an 85-66 win in Philadelphia. The Wildcats improve to 6-1 with the win, while Butler falls to 1-1. For the Bulldogs, it was their first game in 21 days due to a COVID-19 pause following their season opener.
Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl led four Wildcats in double figures with 18 points apiece. The margin was 10 (70-60) when Aaron Thompson went down with a knee injury following his made basket with 4:36 to play. Villanova pulled away at that point. An update on Thompson’s condition will be determined after an evaluation once the team returns to Indianapolis.
Butler trimmed the lead to just two with 16:15 to play in the second half on Jair Bolden’s fourth three-pointer of the game. But the lead soon grew to 11.
Bolden led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while Thompson added 14. Bryce Nze had nine points and eight rebounds. Freshman Chuck Harris had a career-high 12.
Bolden provided the early scoring bunch for the Bulldogs, connecting on 13 of Butler’s first 17 points as the team scored on its first eight possessions to take a 17-10 lead with 14:55 remaining in the first half. Bolden had 15 points over the first half.
Butler started 9-of-11 from the field, but then cooled as Villanova was able to use a 17-5 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 34-26 advantage with 4:58 remaining in the half. The lead would grow to 11 before Thompson’s lay-up at the horn cut Villanova’s lead to 41-34 at the half.
Butler fought foul trouble throughout the first 20 minutes. Thompson picked up his second foul with 10:02 remaining in the half and Villanova leading by a single point. Four Bulldogs had at least two fouls in the first half. Butler dressed only nine players, and at one point midway through the second half had four freshmen in the contest.
Villanova had a slight edge in the field, posting 50-percent shooting to Butler’s 48-percent. Villanova added 10 three-pointers in the contest, with four Wildcats hitting two a-piece.  
The Bulldogs return to action Saturday, squaring off with Indiana as part of the annual Crossroads Classic in downtown Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The tip is set for 11:30 a.m. and will air on FS1.

Major League Baseball officially elevates Negro Leagues to ‘Major League’ status

To culminate MLB’s centennial celebration of the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball “is correcting a longtime oversight in the game’s history” and is recognizing them as a “Major League.”

“All of us who love baseball have long known that the Negro Leagues produced many of our game’s best players, innovations and triumphs against a backdrop of injustice,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement on Wednesday. “We are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.”

MLB will integrate statistics and records from seven professional Negro Leagues that operated from 1920-1948 and include approximately 3,400 players as part of its history.

Those seven leagues were excluded in 1969 when the Special Committee on Baseball Records identified six official “major leagues” dating to 1876.

“It is MLB’s view that the Committee’s 1969 omission of the Negro Leagues from consideration was clearly an error that demands today’s designation,” the league said in a statement.

Negro League stars such as Josh Gibson – who never played a single MLB game and is considered one of the best hitters baseball – Oscar Charleston and Cool Papa Bell are now officially Major Leaguers.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is thrilled to see this well-deserved recognition of the Negro Leagues,” Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a statement. “In the minds of baseball fans worldwide, this serves as historical validation for those who had been shunned from the Major Leagues and had the foresight and courage to create their own league that helped change the game and our country too. This acknowledgement is a meritorious nod to the courageous owners and players who helped build this exceptional enterprise and shines a welcomed spotlight on the immense talent that called the Negro Leagues home.”

NCAA allows blanket waivers for all transfers immediately

The NCAA’s Division I Council has granted blanket waivers for all athletes to play immediately.

The NCAA’s announcement Wednesday includes all Division I sports, but is contingent on certain criteria.

Transfers previously were required to sit out a season unless granted a waiver by the NCAA. The NCAA had decided on waivers on a case-by-case basis, but had been more lenient as the coronavirus pandemic depleted rosters.

“The Council continued its trend of voting in favor of maximum flexibility for student-athletes during the pandemic,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletic director at Pennsylvania. “Allowing transfer student-athletes to compete immediately will provide additional opportunities to student-athletes during this continued difficult time, and perhaps allow games to be played that otherwise might not have been.”

The decision should have an immediate impact on basketball programs, with some transfers becoming eligible for games on Wednesday. Among the players who should give their programs a big boost include Creighton’s Alex O’Connell, Memphis’ DeAndre Williams, Miami’s Elijah Olaniyi, Xavier’s Ben Stanley and Notre Dame’s Trey Wertz.

“I tip my cap to (at)NCAA for their forward thinking by passing today’s transfer waiver,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey tweeted. “It will help multiple sports, student-athletes & programs stay healthy & competitive as we try to remain on course through this pandemic.”

The waiver only applies to transfers from other Division I schools. The regular transfer waiver process will be used for non-Division I transfers.

Transfers must already be enrolled fulltime at the current school for the 2020 fall term and it must be their first transfer from a four-year school. Transfers must have left their previous school in good standing academically and are not facing disciplinary suspension.

The NCAA’s Division Council is expected consider permanent transfer rules at a meeting next month that would allow all athletes to transfer once without having to sit out a year.

Saints designate Brees to return from injured reserve

Saints record-setting quarterback Drew Brees has been designated to return from the club’s injured reserve list.

Brees’ change in status means he could be placed on the active roster and eligible to play as soon Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Sean Payton has not indicated when he intends to play Brees, who was diagnosed with fractured ribs and a punctured lung after a sack on Nov. 15 this week.

“He’s someone we’re not going to just hurry back and just put him in the game,” Payton said.

Brees may practice with the Saints up to 21 days before the club has to activate him. He has missed four games, with Taysom Hill starting in his place. New Orleans has gone 3-1 with Hill under center, the first loss coming last Sunday at Philadelphia.

The 41-year-old Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader in yards passing and was playing efficiently before his injury, completing 73.5% of his passes for 2,196 yards and 18 touchdowns with just three interceptions. The Saints were 7-2 with Brees as starter.

Because Brees has not yet been added to the active roster, his name did not appear on the Saints’ official injury report on Wednesday, and media were not permitted to observe practice because it was held indoors under heightened COVID-19 protocols.

Omar Vizquel denies wife’s allegations of domestic abuse

Longtime major league shortstop Omar Vizquel denied accusations of domestic abuse made by his wife after she described two alleged acts of physical violence by the 11-time Gold Glove winner in a story published Wednesday by The Athletic.

Blanca Vizquel, 36, said her 53-year-old husband first assaulted her in 2011, three years before they married, and again in 2016. She described another heated dispute with him last August, which she said prompted her to leave him and file for divorce. She also spoke of the allegations in a video on her Instagram posted Oct. 7, saying in Spanish that “no one deserves to have violence against them.”

Omar Vizquel said in a statement on Twitter that he cheated on Blanca and apologized for the “pain my indiscretions may have caused,” but he denied ever abusing her.

“Let me be clear and unequivocal,” he said. “I have never hit or been violent towards my wife, Blanca. Any accusation to the contrary is false.”

Vizquel was taken into police custody in Sammamish, Washington, in 2016 after an incident at the couple’s home, The Athletic said. Blanca Vizquel told police her husband pushed her over, injuring her shin and breaking several finger nails. She later asked prosecutors to drop charges against her husband, but she told The Athletic she did so only after Omar Vizquel threatened her with financial repercussions.

Blanca Vizquel also described a 2011 incident when Omar Vizquel allegedly strangled her.

Major League Baseball is investigating the 2016 arrest and has spoken to Blanca. The league is also looking into a 2019 clubhouse incident while Vizquel was managing the Double-A Birmingham Barons in the Chicago White Sox system.

Vizquel was set to manage the Toros de Tijuana in the Mexican League in 2020 before the league canceled its season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vizquel, from Caracas, Venezuela, has been gaining support on the Hall of Fame ballot, getting 52.6% of the required 75% needed for enshrinement in the last round of voting. The three-time All-Star was considered the top defender at his position through much of his 24-year career, which ended in 2012 after time with Seattle, Cleveland, San Francisco, Texas, the Chicago White Sox and Toronto.

NFL owners delay decision on 17-game regular season

NFL owners have delayed a decision on implementing a 17-game regular season for 2021.

During a teleconference call Wednesday that replaced the usual December gathering of owners in Dallas, they opted to push back any move on the expanded season until early in 2021. The NFL and the players’ union agreed during collective bargaining talks earlier this year to adding one regular-season game to the schedule, but not before next season.

“We had a lengthy discussion on this, obviously it’s an important decision for us,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We did not take any votes with respect to committing to do it. In the collective bargaining agreement, we have that right to do it.”

A scheduling formula for a 17th game was approved unanimously: an interconference matchup, based on divisional standings from the preceding season, and on a rotating divisional basis. The idea is to maintain facilitating competitive fairness; creating additional value through quality matchups; and preserving the objectivity of the scheduling process, the league said.

“It obviously comes into play with respect with our future media arrangements that we obviously are contemplating,” he added. “We expect a decision will be made on that in the next several weeks.”

The length of the preseason would be reduced, as well, if a 17th match is added.

Goodell said the league plans to invite vaccinated health care workers to the Super Bowl as guests. No set number of invitees has been determined for the Feb. 7 game in Tampa.

In a letter to Rob Higgins, president of the host committee for Super Bowl 55, that was obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell wrote that he wanted to “honor and thank health care workers for their extraordinary service during pandemic” as well as promote the importance of vaccinations and the wearing of masks in public.

Goodell added in the letter: “We all know that over the past year, these frontline workers have put their own lives at risk to the benefit of society and we owe them our ongoing gratitude. We also know that they will remain essential for months to come to treat those who are ill and administer vaccines. We hope that in some small way, this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes as we look forward to a better and healthier year.”

The NFL plans for fans to attend the game.

“We have not landed on a specific capacity yet, and we will work on that with the medical community in the weeks ahead,” said Peter O’Reilly, who oversees major event planning for the league. “Public health officials will drive every decision we make around this subject.”

Goodell attended the Buccaneers’ victory over Minnesota on Sunday and “was incredibly impressed by the stadium and improvements they made. We are looking forward to one of the most memorable and meaningful games in our history.”

The commissioner acknowledged that playing through the pandemic has provided plenty of lessons, and the NFL will confer with the NFL Players Association after the Super Bowl to discuss 2020 measures that might make sense to keep in a post-COVID-19 landscape.

Changes worthy of further consideration include aspects of the virtual NFL draft; the training camp acclamation period; expanded practice squads; and unlimited callbacks from injured reserve.

“This has been a period of learning. I think it’s forced us to think differently and innovate and we’ll look at that and see how we implement it going forward,” Goodell said.

The owners also approved the Tennessee Titans realigning ownership, with Amy Adams Strunk remaining the primary owner. Goodell said the matter should be completed by the end of December.

“I think it strengthens our ownership in a way that is very positive,” Goodell said.

U.S. SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR CASE ON NCAA ATHLETE COMPENSATION

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by the same plaintiff, Shawne Alston, regarding the amount of education-related financial compensation the NCAA can provide for athletes. The Court will rule whether the NCAA violated antitrust laws when it hears the two cases in 2021, which will be jointly argued with one hour allotted for oral arguments.

The cases reached the court when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a lower court which had decided that the NCAA cannot cap education-related benefits awarded to student-athletes.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court has been hearing cases by phone and will continue to do so at least through January. The Court has not announced when in-person hearings will resume.

Compensation of NCAA athletes has been a hot-button issue over the past several years, and in April 2020 the NCAA agreed to allow student-athletes to profit from their image and likeness, provided the university the represent does not pay them directly, and has made steps forwards towards allowing student-athletes to accept third-party sponsorship; however, the two cases that the Supreme Court will hear next year are completely separate as they pertain to education-related aid only.

The two cases were first brought to the American courtroom by former West Virginia University running back Shawne Alston in 2014 when Alston and his attorneys filed a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging that NCAA rules that place any limit on compensation that schools could offer to athletes are in violation of antitrust law. The two cases which will be brought before the Supreme Court are named American Athletic Conference v. Alston and National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston. Alston, a former Big 12 student-athlete, initially filed suits against the NCAA, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten in 2014.

The Supreme Court is expected to reach its decision before the end of June 2021.

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case is good news for the NCAA according to Donald RemyNCAA Chief Legal Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

The NCAA issued its own statement penned by Remy regarding the Alston’s lawsuits and the decision of the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling, stating the ruling thus far “blurs the line between student-athletes and professionals, conflicts with prior appellate court decisions, appoints a single court to micromanage collegiate sports, and encourages never-ending litigation following every rule change” and that the NCAA and its conferences “will continue to defend the line between professional sports and college sports.”

The NCAA contested the lower court’s ruling, saying it “effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both ‘unlimited’ amounts for participating in ‘internships’” plus another $5,600 or more each year student-athletes remain eligible to play their sport. The stipend ruling came in 2015 when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and 19 others took the NCAA to court in order to receive compensation for antitrust violations for not allowing student-athletes to get a share of revenue generated by video games that made use of athletes’ name and likeness.

ALL-BIG 10 DEFENSIVE AWARD WINNERS

Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year: Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Named for Minnesota’s Bronko Nagurski and Michigan’s Charles Woodson Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year: Brandon Joseph, Northwestern Named for Minnesota’s Darrell Thompson and Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El

Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year: Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Named for Michigan State’s Bubba Smith and Penn State’s Courtney Brown Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year: Paddy Fisher, Northwestern Named for Illinois’ Dick Butkus and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year: Shaun Wade, Ohio State Named for Ohio State’s Jack Tatum and Purdue’s Rod Woodson.

2020 All-Big Ten Football Team As selected by Big Ten coaches*

FIRST,SECOND AND THIRD TEAM

Line Chauncey Golston, Iowa Owen Carney, Illinois Garrett Haskell, Ohio State

Line Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Jerome Johnson, Indiana Jonathon Cooper, Ohio State

Line Jayson Oweh, Penn State Zach VanValkenburg, Iowa

Line Shaka Toney, Penn State Zach Harrison, Ohio State

Line Tommy Togiai, Ohio State

Line George Karlaftis, Purdue

Linebacker Micah McFadden, Indiana Blake Gallagher, Northwestern Jake Hansen, Illinois

Linebacker Paddy Fisher, Northwestern Derrick Barnes, Purdue Nick Niemann, Iowa

Linebacker Pete Werner, Ohio State Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State

Linebacker Baron Browning, Ohio State

Defensive Back Shakur Brown, Michigan State Jamar Johnson, Indiana Devon Matthews, Indiana

Defensive Back Brandon Joseph, Northwestern Tiawan Mullen, Indiana Jack Koerner, Iowa

Defensive Back Greg Newsome II, Northwestern Jaylin Williams, Indiana Jaquan Brisker, Penn State

Defensive Back Shaun Wade, Ohio State Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska Tre Avery, Rutgers

Defensive Back Caesar Williams, Wisconsin

DEFENSE HONORABLE MENTION ILLINOIS: Roderick Perry; INDIANA: Cam Jones; IOWA: Dane Belton, Riley Moss; MARYLAND: Mo Kite, Chance Campbell, Nick Cross, Tarheeb Still; MICHIGAN: Kwity Paye, Carlo Kemp, Daxton Hill; MICHIGAN STATE: Drew Beesley; MINNESOTA: Boye Mafe, Coney Durr; NEBRASKA: Will Honas, Ben Stille, JoJo Domann, Deontai Williams, Marquel Dismuke; NORTHWESTERN: Eku Leota, Earnest Brown IV, Chris Bergin; OHIO STATE: Tyreke Smith, Tuf Borland, Sevyn Banks, Marcus Hooker, Josh Proctor, Marcus Williamson; PENN STATE: PJ Mustipher, Antonio Shelton, Brandon Smith, Tariq Castro-Fields, Joey Porter, Lamont Wade; PURDUE: Lorenzo Neal, Jaylan Alexander, Cam Allen; RUTGERS: Julius Turner, Michael Dwumfour, Mike Tverdov, Brendon White, Christian Izien; WISCONSIN: Isaiahh Loudermilk, Leo Chenal, Jack Sanborn, Eric Burrell, Faion Hicks.

2020 All-Big Ten Football Team As selected by conference media

FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD TEAM

Line Jerome Johnson, Indiana Owen Carney, Illinois Eku Leota, Northwestern Line Chauncey Golston, Iowa Zach VanValkenburg, Iowa Jonathon Cooper, Ohio State Line Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Kwity Paye, Michigan Isaiahh Loudermilk, Wisconsin Line Shaka Toney, Penn State Tommy Togiai, Ohio State Line Jayson Oweh, Penn State Linebacker Micah McFadden, Indiana Jake Hansen, Illinois Pete Werner, Ohio State Linebacker Paddy Fisher, Northwestern Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State Derrick Barnes, Purdue Linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers Blake Gallagher, Northwestern Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin Defensive Back Jamar Johnson, Indiana Jaylin Williams, Indiana Devon Matthews, Indiana Defensive Back Tiawan Mullen, Indiana Jack Koerner, Iowa Joey Porter, Penn State Defensive Back Brandon Joseph, Northwestern Shakur Brown, Michigan State Lamont Wade, Penn State Defensive Back Greg Newsome II, Northwestern Tre Avery, Rutgers Defensive Back Shaun Wade, Ohio State DEFENSE HONORABLE MENTION ILLINOIS: Roderick Perry; INDIANA: Cam Jones; IOWA: Nick Niemann, Seth Benson, Riley Moss, Matt Hankins, Dane Belton; MARYLAND: Mo Kite, Chance Campbell, Tarheeb Still, Nick Cross; MICHIGAN: Michael Barrett, Daxton Hill, Brad Hawkins; MICHIGAN STATE: Drew Beesley; MINNESOTA: Boye Mafe, Coney Durr; NEBRASKA: Ben Stille, JoJo Domann, Will Honas, Cam Taylor-Britt, Dicaprio Bootle, Deontai Williams, Marquel Dismuke; NORTHWESTERN: Earnest Brown IV, Chris Bergin, JR Pace; OHIO STATE: Garrett Haskell, Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Sevyn Banks, Marcus Hooker; PENN STATE: PJ Mustipher, Antonio Shelton, Brandon Smith, Jaquan Brisker, Tariq Castro-Fields; PURDUE: George Karlaftis, Lorenzo Neal, Cam Allen, Brennan Thieneman; RUTGERS: Julius Turner, Michael Dwumfour, Mike Tverdov, Tyshon Fogg, Avery Young, Christian Izien; WISCONSIN: Leo Chenal, Faion Hicks, Caesar Williams, Eric Burrell.

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 15 Indiana makes its return to the court on Thursday afternoon in a matchup with the Tennessee Lady Vols. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network Plus.

#15/15 INDIANA (2-1) VS. TENNESSEE (3-1)

Thursday, December 17, 2020 • 4 p.m. ET
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

ABOUT THE LADY VOLS

Picked to finish sixth in the SEC preseason polls, the Lady Vols are 3-1 on the year with its most recent game on Dec. 13 at No. 23 Texas cancelled due to contact tracing within the Longhorn program. They last played on Dec. 10 in a win at home over Furman. They are led by guard/forward junior Rae Burrell who averages 20.5 points per game and senior guard/forward and SEC preseason honoree Reenia who is averaging 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

SERIES HISTORY

Tennessee leads 1-0

LAST MEETING

11/27/87 – L, 59-91 (Cincinnati, Ohio)

NOTES

  • Indiana will be coming off an unexpected 11-day break following the cancellation of the Butler game last week due to COVID-19 protocols within the Bulldog program. The Hoosiers have not played a game since it played at Kentucky on December 6.
  • The Hoosiers will look to rebound the 72-68 loss at then No. 11 Kentucky. Junior guard Grace Berger led the way with 21 points while sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes posted a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
  • Holmes and Berger lead the way in scoring for IU through three games. Holmes is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game and shooting 72.2 percent from the floor, which ranks second in the Big Ten. Berger follows closely behind with 17.0 points per game and senior guard Ali Patberg is the third Hoosier averaging double figures with 12.0 points per game.
  • IU stayed put at No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday, earning its 23rd-straight week in the media poll.
  • Thursday’s game will be a reunion for IU’s director of player development Briana Schomaeker. Schomaeker (previously Bass) played for the Lady Vols from 2008-12 under legendary coach Pat Summit. During her four-year career, Bass helped the Lady Vols to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and   three SEC Tournament titles. She played in 118 games in her four seasons and is currently in her eighth season with the Hoosiers.
  • The Hoosiers are one of the nation’s leaders in blocks early on in the 2020-21 season. They lead the Big Ten with 6.0 blocks per game and Holmes is 9th in the nation with 3.3 blocks per game.
  • Senior guard Jaelynn Penn is one of the nation’s leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Her ratio of 10.0 is 4th in the country as she has committed just one turnover in three games played. The Louisville, Ky. native has handed out 10 assists to help lead the team in that category.

OHIO STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Women’s Basketball Game vs. Iowa Postponed 

The teams will work together on rescheduling a possible alternate date for the game

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The women’s basketball game Saturday between Ohio State University and the University of Iowa at Value City Arena has been postponed after Ohio State paused all team-related activities due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests within the program.

The decision to pause and postpone was made jointly by the Ohio State Department of Athletics and its sports medicine staff in consultation with the Big Ten Conference. The University of Iowa has been kept up to date on the latest developments.

Both institutions will work with the Conference office to identify potential rescheduling options later this season. The status of Ohio State’s road game against Maryland on Wednesday, Dec. 23 is still to be determined.  

The health, safety and well-being of the student-athletes and the program’s coaching and support staff is the guiding concern of the Department of Athletics. Decisions on their welfare will continue to be made by Ohio State’s sports medicine staff.  

The program will resume its team activities when its medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on protocols established by the Big Ten Conference.

Washington QB uncertainty: Haskins practices, not Alex Smith

Alex Smith’s right calf injury kept him out of practice for Washington on Wednesday and coach Ron Rivera said he’d be OK with waiting until just before the team’s next game before deciding who to start at quarterback.

The team said Dwayne Haskins, the 15th overall choice in the 2019 draft, took snaps with the first-team offense during a practice held indoors and closed to the media.

Washington has won four games in a row to improve to 6-7 and lead the NFC East. Rivera’s club hosts the Seattle Seahawks (9-4) on Sunday.

Haskins began the season as Washington’s starting QB, but he was benched after four games and three consecutive losses.

He initially was replaced by Kyle Allen, who then got injured, allowing Smith to take over and start for the first time in two years. Smith gruesomely broke his right leg in two places during a game in November 2018, then needed 17 operations.

Smith said the calf problem that affected him during Sunday’s 23-15 victory against the San Francisco 49ers is not related at all to that previous leg injury. Smith left that game just before halftime and Haskins took over.

Bengals news: Team to release eight-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins

A season that started out with the team being competitive, Cincinnati Bengals news has included rookie quarterback Joe Burrow being lost to a torn ACL and longtime defensive end Carlos Dunlap forcing a trade.

To say things are not going swimmingly for the 2-10-1 Bengals would be an understatement. Second-year head coach Zac Taylor is in a questionable position after starting his career 4-24-1 record. We now have more Bengals news with the 2020 season coming to a conclusion. It’s not great.

This can’t be seen as a surprise. Dealing with a shoulder injury, the 32-year-old Atkins was placed on injured reserve. A member of the Bengals since all the way back in 2010, this eight-time Pro Bowler has recorded merely a single tackle thus far this season. He apparently isn’t a fit in defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s system.

Even then, we’re talking about one of the greatest players in franchise history set to move on from the rebuilding Bengals. It’s definitely a bitter pill for fans in Cincinnati to swallow.

A product of Georgia, Atkins has morphed into a borderline Hall of Fame performer after being selected in the fourth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He’s recorded nine sacks or more five times and is third on the Bengals’ all-time sack list behind Eddie Edwards and the above-mentioned Dunlap.

Atkins will draw a lot of interest on the open market once he’s eventually released. Said move will also save the Bengals $9.6 million against the 2021 NFL salary cap.

Trevor Lawrence hints at possible NFL Draft decision as Jets loom

Trevor Lawrence does not sound like someone who is plotting a way to avoid coming to the Jets.

The Clemson quarterback and projected No. 1 pick appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday and Patrick asked him directly about the Jets. At 0-13, the Jets are in position to land the No. 1 pick and a shot at Lawrence. The Jets look like they will finish 0-16, which would guarantee the top draft spot.

There has been speculation that Lawrence might return to Clemson for his senior season or say he is not going to come to the Jets and try to force a trade, like Eli Manning did in 2004.

Patrick asked Lawrence whether he feels like he is prepared to join a team like the Jets.

“I think I’m ready,” Lawrence said. “I think just being here at Clemson, my journey has taught me a lot. I’ve grown up a lot the past few years. I’m really just ready to take on whatever challenge it is and just have that opportunity.”

Patrick then asked if Lawrence has watched the Jets.

“I haven’t really, honestly. I’ve seen some highlights and stuff,” he said.

After Patrick jokingly told him he shouldn’t watch the Jets, Lawrence explained that he embraces a challenge.

“Honestly, I know some of the stuff I say sounds cliché but just to have the opportunity to go somewhere, help someone rebuild if that’s what it is or whatever and just win,” Lawrence said. “That’s something I love doing. I think that’s what I’m best at is winning, regardless of stats, whatever it is. That’s what I love. Just to have that chance, obviously some places it will be more of a challenge than others, but I think I’m up for it. That will get here when it’s here. I’m trying to focus now on being great where I’m at.”

Report: Lions’ Ragnow played through fractured throat vs. Packers

Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow played every offensive snap of Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers despite suffering a fractured throat in the first quarter, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport later characterized the injury as a laryngeal fracture, and the Lions are consulting specialists, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Ragnow’s breathing is fine but he isn’t supposed to talk, Birkett adds.

The 24-year-old reached out to quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Chase Daniel after suffering the injury during the game versus the Packers, letting them know he could not talk.

“He didn’t complain about it one bit. He just did his job. Pretty impressive,” Daniel said Wednesday, per Birkett.

Ragnow has yet to miss an offensive snap this season but was absent from Wednesday’s practice. The 2018 first-round pick hasn’t allowed a sack through 13 starts in 2020.

Detroit is scheduled to face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Report: ESPN analyst Riddick has GM interviews with Texans, Lions

It appears Louis Riddick is a hot commodity.

The ESPN analyst and former NFL executive is interviewing for the Houston Texans’ general manager job on Wednesday and will meet with the Detroit Lions on Friday for the same opening, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Riddick is currently in his first season in the commentary booth for Monday Night Football. He has plenty of experience in front-office roles, serving as director of pro personnel for both the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team.

The former pro scout has interviewed for other GM openings in the past and is reportedly among the candidates for the Atlanta Falcons’ vacancy.

Houston fired Bill O’Brien from his head coach and general manager role after an 0-4 start this season, and Jack Easterby is temporarily filling in for the latter position. However, the Texans aren’t planning on turning Easterby’s interim role into a permanent job.

The Lions relieved head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn of their duties on Nov. 28.

Riddick spent seven seasons in the NFL as a defensive back.

Raiders rule out 4 defenders for TNF vs. Chargers

The Las Vegas Raiders will be without four defensive contributors for Thursday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Head coach Jon Gruden has ruled out safety Johnathan Abram, cornerback Damon Arnette, linebacker Nicholas Morrow, and defensive Clelin Ferrell, according to The Athletics Tashan Reed.

Arnette, Abram, and Morrow are all dealing with concussions. Arnette missed last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts due to his ailment, while Abram and Morrow both suffered theirs during that game. Ferrell injured his shoulder against Indianapolis and was unable to return.

Abram, 24, also missed Week 13 while battling a knee injury.

Vegas already ruled out rookie receiver Henry Ruggs on Tuesday, placing him on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The 7-6 Raiders currently sit outside a playoff spot and likely need to win at least two of their final three games to qualify in a competitive AFC.

INDIANA FOOTBALL

Indiana Welcomes Fourteen During Early Signing Period

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced on Wednesday afternoon the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2021. Today opened college football’s early signing period, which will run through Friday, Dec. 18.

IU is also adding wide receiver/return specialist D.J. Matthews, who spent the 2017-19 seasons at Florida State University. Matthews ranks 10th at FSU with 582 career punt return yards and 56 returns, and he holds two of the Top-4 single-game marks. In 35 games (16 starts), Matthews owns 84 receptions for 809 yards and five touchdowns to go along with one punt return TD. 

“We are really excited about this signing class,” Indiana head coach Tom Allen said. “Even though it is not a large group in numbers, we are bringing in high quality football players, high quality individuals and high quality student-athletes that really fit with the culture that we have created here at IU. We have a broad representation across multiple positions, especially on offense, which is very important to have at each position. Five of these young men will arrive in January and we look forward to getting all of them here in Bloomington.

D.J. Matthews is a very talented football player. He has already done great things on the field in the ACC, and it’s big for us to add him to a very dynamic receiving corps and what we think will be an explosive offense in 2021.”

The class features four four-star prospects: quarterback Donaven McCulley (Rivals, 247Sports), wide receiver Jaquez Smith (ESPN, 247Sports), defensive backLarry Smith III (Rivals) and wide receiver Jordyn Williams (ESPN).

IU welcomes nine offensive players, four defensive players and one punter. Indiana adds three wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two running backs, one quarterback and one tight end on offense, and three defensive backs and one defensive lineman on defense.

Players signed from New Zealand and six different states, including five from Indiana, three from Georgia, two from Florida, and one each from Illinois, Michigan and Virginia. 

Five of the Top 11 prospects in the state of Indiana will play in Bloomington in 2021.

“It is tremendous to see so many of the top kids in the state of Indiana choose to help us continue our upward trajectory,” Allen said. “To see the top kids in our state band together as a group and decide to come represent this great university is truly special.”

Punter James Evans, offensive lineman Vinny Fiacable, Matthews, offensive linemanJoshua Sales Jr.and Williams will enroll in spring semester classes.

James Evans
P • 6-1, 210
Auckland, New Zealand/Sacred Heart College Auckland
IU: 
Evans will enroll in 2021 spring classes.

Prep/Personal: Evans has never played football or visited the United States … he was scheduled to make a trip to the U.S. in July and visit IU in December but did not due to COVID-19 … trained under Nathan Chapman and John Smith at Prokick Australia, a training ground for punters and kickers in Melbourne … moved to Australia to work at Prokick in Jan. 2020 … second-straight Indiana punter to arrive in Bloomington via Prokick (Haydon Whitehead) … played rugby and squash in high school … parents are Peter Evans and Clair Donnelly … born on May 17, 2001.

Vinny Fiacable
OL • 6-4, 300
Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger H.S.
IU: 
Fiacable will enroll in 2021 spring classes.

Prep/Personal: Left tackle and guard for head coach Jason Garrett at Bishop Dwenger High School … also played defensive tackle … 2020 Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 all-state selection … team captain … first-team all-conference selection … ranked the No. 10 prospect in Indiana and the No. 38 offensive guard nationally by ESPN … teammate of IU true freshman offensive lineman Luke Wiginton … parents are Cathy and Steve Fiacable … Steve was an IU offensive lineman (1988-91) … brother, Steve, was an IU offensive lineman (2009-10) … brother, Mike, was an IU quarterback (2015-18) … intends to study finance … born on Sept. 5, 2002.  

Maurice Freeman
DB • 6-0, 195
Norfolk, Va./Oscar Smith H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Defensive back for head coach Chris Scott at Oscar Smith High School … Oscar Smith did not play in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19, but Oscar Smith and Freeman will play in the spring of 2021 … all-region selection as a junior … carded 55 tackles, five sacks, 14 for loss, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, one interception and four pass breakups … program advanced to the state finals in both of his seasons … ranked the No. 33 prospect in Virginia by 247Sports … two-year letterwinner … mother is Yaketta Mcinnis … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on Jan.  8, 2002.  

Jordan Grier
DB • 6-0, 193

Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Defensive back for head coach Miguel Patrick at Cedar Grove High School … also returned kicks … 2020 season shortened due to COVID-19 … all-state and all-region honoree … led Cedar Grove to three state championships … recorded four pick-6s and made 56 tackles as a junior … also lettered in baseball and track and field … honor roll student … mother is LaDeidra Wallace … intends to study mechanical engineering … born on July 16, 2003.

David Holloman
RB • 6-0, 200
Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Running back for head coach Corey Bell at Avondale High School … he only played in two games in 2020 due to COVID-19 … 2019 all-conference selection and Sports Illustrated All-American candidate … as a junior, he rushed for 1,236 yards and 14 touchdowns … added a kick return and punt return TD … ran a 4.29 40-yard dash in the World Bowl Hall of Fame National Combine in Orlando … ranked the No. 26 prospect in Michigan by ESPN … three-year football letterwinner … four-year basketball and track and field letterwinner … all-state basketball selection … regional finalist for the 100m dash (twice) and 200m dash (once) … three-year basketball letterwinner … honor roll student … parents are Brenda and Willie Holloman … intends to study criminal justice … born on July 17, 2003. 

Trent Howland
RB • 6-2, 220
Joliet, Ill./Joliet West H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Running back for head coach William Lech at Joliet West High School … Joliet West did not play in 2020 due to COVID-19 … named the Southwest Prairie Conference Most Valuable Player as a junior … led the program to its first conference championship in 50 years … rushed for 1,401 on 178 carries (7.9 average) with 14 touchdowns … gained 301 yards and scored five times against Plainfield Central … ranked the No. 16 prospect in Illinois by ESPN … rated the No. 54 athlete nationally by 247Sports … also lettered in basketball … parents are Terry Howland and Valerie Brook … intends to study human biology … born on Aug. 11, 2003. 

Cooper Jones
DL • 6-5, 260
Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Defensive lineman for head coach Bill Marshall at Valparaiso High School … Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 all-state selection as a junior and senior … 2019 and 2020 IFCA Mr. Football position award winner … team most valuable player made 190 tackles, 28 for loss, 17.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, three blocked kicks and two defensive touchdowns in his career … posted 80 stops, 12.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt as a senior … team finished state runner-up in 2019 and reached the state semifinals in 2020 … ranked the No. 5 prospect in Indiana by ESPN … rated the No. 21 strong-side defensive end nationally by Rivals … four-year football and basketball letterwinner … three-year academic letterwinner and 4.0 student … parents are Kassey and Eric Jones … Kassey was a pitcher for the IU softball team (1993-96) … intends to study business … born on Sept. 26, 2002. 

D.J. Matthews
WR/RS • 5-10, 160
Jacksonville, Fla./Florida State University

Matthews spent the 2017-19 seasons at Florida State University. He ranks 10th at FSU with 582 career punt return yards and 56 returns, and he holds two of the Top-4 single-game marks. In 35 games (16 starts), Matthews owns 84 receptions for 809 yards and five touchdowns to go along with one punt return TD.

IU: Matthews will enroll in 2021 spring classes.

2020: Did not play in 2020.

2019 (Junior): Caught 36 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns … returned 19 punts for 125 yards (6.6 average) … his average ranked sixth in the ACC … rushed four times for 18 yards and completed his only pass attempt for 25 yards … appeared in 12 games (9 starts) … hauled in a season-high seven balls for 47 yards and one TD in the Louisiana-Monroe win … made three receptions for a season-best 80 yards with a 60-yard score in the victory at Boston College … made the ACC Honor Roll. 

2018 (Sophomore): Totaled 42 receptions for 382 yards and one touchdown … returned 19 punts for 257 yards with one TD … 13.5 average per return ranked sixth nationally … played in all 12 games with six starts … posted a career-high 145 punt return yards and his first career score, a career-long 74-yarder, at No. 17 Miami … yardage was the third-highest in program history and the most by any player in 2018 vs. an FBS opponent … earned ACC Specialist of the Week honors following his performance … reached 100 receiving yards for the first time with a career-best 133 and one TD on a career-high 10 catches at North Carolina State.

2017 (Freshman): Returned 18 punts for 200 yards (11.1 average) with a long of 47 … collected 138 yards on a career-high five punts (27.6) in the Delaware State win … the 138 yards were the most nationally in 2017 and the third-most in program history … caught his first collegiate pass for 12 yards in the victory at Duke … added his first career receiving touchdown, a 14-yarder, in the Louisiana-Monroe win … recorded season-highs with three receptions and 37 yards in the victory over Southern Mississippi in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl.

Prep/Personal: Wide receiver and quarterback at Trinity Christian Academy … consensus four-star prospect … recorded a 76-yard touchdown reception in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … guided Trinity Christian to its fourth-straight state championship as a senior … posted 1,487 yards rushing, receiving and passing in addition to 19 total touchdowns … entered his final campaign with 136 receptions for 2,253 yards and 26 TDs before seeing significant time at quarterback in 2016 … a Jacksonville Times-Union Super 11 selection … ranked the No. 5 wide receiver nationally and the No. 36 prospect nationally by Rivals … rated the No. 7 prospect in Florida by 247Sports … parents are Nasha Robinson and Dakari Matthews Sr. … born on Dec. 2, 1997.

Donaven McCulley
QB • 6-5, 200
Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Quarterback for head coach Patrick Mallory at Lawrence North High School … Rivals and 247Sports four-star prospect … 2020 Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 all-state selection … IFCA Mr. Football position award winner … one of three Mr. Football finalists … named to the Indiana All-USA Super Team … Marion County Player of the Year … closed his career with 6,211 passing yards, 1,274 rushing yards, 47 touchdowns and a 128.1 quarterback rating … led Lawrence North to a 7-4 record in 2020, the program’s first winning season since 2005 … threw for 2,576 yards with 22 TDs and completed 70.0 percent of his passes … added 506 rushing yards and a pair of scores … ranked the No. 2 prospect in Indiana by Rivals and 247Sports … rated the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 100 prospect nationally by Rivals … three-year letterwinner … two-year basketball letterwinner … parents are Melissa and Derick McCulley … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on Jan. 15, 2003. 

Joshua Sales Jr.
OL • 6-6, 305

Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg H.S.
IU: 
Sales Jr. will enroll in 2021 spring classes.

Prep/Personal: Offensive lineman for head coach John Hart at Brownsburg High School … 2020 all-state and all-conference honoree … named to the 2020 Indiana All-USA Super Team … did not allow a sack as a senior … registered 72 knockdowns in eight games … three-year letterwinner … lettered his first year at Riley High School in South Bend, Ind. … ranked the No. 11 prospect in Indiana by Rivals … rated the No. 58 offensive tackle nationally by 247Sports … also lettered in basketball, wrestling and track and field … raised by his parents Joshua Sales Sr. and Ashley Reynolds, and his grandmother Barbara Lewis … intends to study entrepreneurship and corporate innovation … born on Nov. 5, 2002. 

Jaquez Smith
WR • 6-1, 195

Fairburn, Ga./Westlake H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Wide receiver for head coach Bobby May at Westlake High School … ESPN and 247Sports four-star prospect … three-time Atlanta Journal Constitution Preseason All-American … named the top receiver by the TD Club of Atlanta three times … ranked the No. 18 prospect in Georgia and the No. 26 wide receiver nationally by ESPN … rated the No. 172 prospect nationally by 247Sports … four-year letterwinner … National Honor Society member … volunteered at the Cam Newton Foundation Food Drive … parents are Brittany and Marquis Smith, and Sherita Walton … Marquis served in the United States Navy as an aviation mechanic/engineer … Jaquez is the oldest of seven siblings … intends to study sport marketing and management … born on July 15, 2002.

Larry Smith III
DB • 5-10, 175
Jacksonville, Fla./Oakleaf H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Defensive back for head coach Frank Garis at Oakleaf High School … Rivals four-star prospect … All-Florida defensive team honoree … Florida Super 11 selection … concluded his career with 103 tackles, 59 solo, eight interceptions, six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries … made 45 stops, three for loss, with three INTs as a senior … transferred to Oakleaf from Robert E. Lee High School (Jacksonville, Fla.) for the 2020 season … Robert E. Lee won district championships in 2017 and 2019 … ranked the No. 29 cornerback nationally and the No. 47 prospect in Florida by Rivals … parents are Nadjus Turner and Larry Smith Jr. … intends to study business management … born on April 10, 2002. 

Aaron Steinfeldt
TE • 6-5, 235
Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington North H.S.
Prep/Personal: 
Tight end for head coach Scott Bless at Bloomington North High School … two-time all-state, all-area and first-team all-conference selection … Indiana Football Coaches Association Mr. Football position award winner … closed his career with 94 receptions (2nd in school history), 1,444 yards and 12 touchdowns … hauled in 31 passes for 603 yards and five scores his senior campaign … Bloomington North won its first conference championship in 2019 and its first sectional game in seven years in 2020 … ranked the No. 10 prospect in Indiana and the No. 34 tight end nationally by Rivals … four-year football and baseball letterwinner … three-year basketball letterwinner … became the first Bloomington North student-athlete in 20 years to earn all-conference laurels in three sports … graduated with academic honors … honorable-mention all-state in basketball … parents are Erica and Jesse Steinfeldt … born on Jan. 27, 2003. 

Jordyn Williams  
WR • 6-1, 185
Albany, Ga./Trinity Christian School
IU: 
Williams will enroll in 2021 spring classes.

Prep/Personal: Wide receiver for head coach Andre Hart at Trinity Christian School … ESPN four-star prospect … played his first three years at Westover High School in Albany, Ga., before moving to Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill, Texas, to play for Deion Sanders, who served as offensive coordinator … caught 50 passes for 1,466 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior … recorded 10 grabs for 202 yards and one TD in a nationally-televised game on ESPN against Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic … racked up 1,278 yards on 84 catches (15.2 average) with 12 scores his junior campaign … ranked the No. 63 wide receiver nationally and the No. 65 prospect in Texas by ESPN … four-year football letterwinner … also lettered in basketball and track and field … honor roll student … Boys & Girls Club volunteer … parents are Anitra and Richard Williams … intends to study nursing … born on April 14, 2003. 

PURDUE FOOTBALL EARLY SIGNINGS

OT Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter

High School/Hometown: Mooresville (Mooresville, Ind.)

Height/Weight: 6-7/260

Ranking: 3 stars; No. 937 in nation, No. 17 in state, No. 83 at position.

Note: Alstott-VanDeVanter didn’t play competitive football until his freshman year but leaves Mooresville as an IndyStar Super Team high honorable mention selection. “Jaelin was more of a late bloomer,” said Mooresville coach Mike Gillin. “But once he got in here and we saw the height he’s got and the wingspan he’s got, it would make any NFL coach drool with his potential.” He is a second cousin of former Purdue star running back and NFL All-Pro Mike Alstott, “I want to go to engineering school,” Alstott-VanDeVanter said, “so it was the perfect school for me.” He had offers from Cincinnati, Indiana and Purdue before picking the Boilermakers “He is a very tall offensive lineman, but has great power,” teammate and fellow Boilermakers commit Zach Richards said of Alstott-VanDeVanter. “That’s a great mix.

WR/TE Drew Biber

\High School/Hometown: Cedarburg (Cedarburg, Wisc.)

Height/Weight: 6-5/215

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 10 in state, No. 196 at position.

Note: A two-time all-state pick, Biber earned first-team AP all-state honors this season. A former Northern Illinois commit, Biber chose the Boilermakers as much for the university as the football program. “I love engineering. My dad is an engineer at Harley Davidson,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Civil engineering is something I’m definitely going to do at Purdue. … They also have landscape architecture, which is something I’m going to dip my toes in as well.” Through his first seasons, he has amassed 151 career receptions for 2,198 yards and 20 touchdowns. A receiver at the high school level, Biber will play tight end in college. “They want to use me more as a pass-catching (tight end) than blocking for sure,” Biber said. “In high school I’m more of a receiver, but I’m a big receiver, so they’re going to use me as a T tight end, which is basically an athletic tight end.” He’s also an all-state basketball player and received a Division I offer to play hoops at IUPUI.

WR Deion Burks

High School/Hometown: Belleville (Belleville, Mich.)

Height/Weight: 5-11/175

Ranking: 3 stars; No. 875 in nation, No. 22 in state, No. 128 at position.

Note: Burks picked Purdue over Kentucky, Iowa State, Indiana, Boston College and Cincinnati. As a junior, he caught 35 passes for 871 yards and 12 touchdowns, while scoring an additional touchdown on a kickoff return, earning him Michigan Division 1-2 all-state honors. “Deion took a major jump in terms of his maturity and leadership on and off the field,” Belleville coach Jermain Crowell told the Detroit News, pointing out Burks was a track star as well. “He embraced the physicality of football, is a playmaker… Purdue is a good fit for him. I tell the kid to go to the school that loves you and they seem to really prioritize Deion, so I think they will make use of his talents. They’re doing a good job of recruiting around here.”

CB Brandon Calloway

High School/Hometown: Griffin (Griffin, Ga.)

Height/Weight: 6-2/175

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 148 in state, No. 144 at position.

Note: Moved over from wide receiver to defensive back, Calloway has found a home in the secondary. “He’s a really good physical corner with the length that everybody is looking for,” Griffin coach Kareem Reid said. “He’s so physical he’ll stick his face in the run game and he’s still athletic enough to cover guys one-on-one and get into his drops from that position. I think he can grow into a nickel type box safety because of his physicality. He could outgrow his corner position but who knows.” Since Calloway moved positions and last year was his first season playing on the varsity, there wasn’t a lot of film on him playing defensive back. Reid said Purdue studied his film and showed interest early in the recruiting process.“Purdue got in the game early and that’s why they got a commitment,” Reid said. “They thought he was an early offer kid for them. They were the first ones and then Illinois got involved. His stock shot through the roof.”

ILB Tristan Cox

High School/Hometown: Pulaski County (Somerset, Ky.)

Height/Weight: 6-3/235

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 11 in state, No. 62 at position

Note: Cox brings a physical presence and strength, but he’s also athletic enough to make plays from several positions. He played linebacker, edge rusher running back, tight end, H-back and quarterback for Pulaski Count.y Among Cox’s scholarship offers were West Virginia, Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati. Purdue was in early on Cox and the presence of coach Jeff Brohm and his staff paid off with a commitment. “They recruited him really hard early on,” said Pulaski County coach Johnny Hines. “Almost their entire staff, at one point or another, has been down here to see him and watch him work out, watch him in practice. They were serious about getting him.” While his strength is on the defensive side, Cox produces solid numbers on offense. As a junior, he rushed for over 500 yards, had 15 total touchdowns and was named first-team All-State. “I’m thrilled to see him go to Purdue,” Hines said. “Everybody down here is a UK fan and I think a lot of folks were trying to push him toward Kentucky. For him to choose Purdue tells me he’s really thought about it and picked the place right for him.”

S Jah’von Grigsby

High School/Hometown: Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.)

Height/Weight: 5-10/185

Ranking: 3 stars; No. 710 in nation, No. 20 in state, No. 54 at position.

Note: Grigsby committed to Michigan State in September, but decommitted in November before picking Purdue. In 2019, he finished with 66 tackles, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, and one pick-six. “He’s a type of kid is one day is going to go work for a fortune 500 organization, make, you know, three, four or five times the money I’m making right now being a high school football coach,” Scotlandville coach Lester Ricard told WBRZ-2.

OT Marcus Mbow

High School/Hometown: Wauwatosa East (Milwaukee, Wisc.)

Height/Weight: 6-6/305

Ranking: 3 stars; No. 827 in nation, No. 7 in state, No. 75 at position.

Note: Once an Arizona State commit, the Sun Devils later told him they didn’t have room for him in their class. Mbow wasn’t always sold on football initially. “After about a week of summer practice, it was very obvious to me that God had given him a gift,” said Wauwatosa East coach Dave Pfeiffer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I sat him down and had a talk and I just told him, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to play college football at a very, very high level.’ “This is the one thing I’ve told a lot of people, including almost every coach that came by: He’s a piece of coal that, under the right pressure, will turn into a wonderful diamond,” Pfeiffer said. 

OT Mahamane Moussa

High School/Hometown: Pike (Indianapolis)

Height/Weight: 6-4/275

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 20 in state, No. 108 at position.

Note: Selected to the IFCA Top-50 all-state team and a member of IndyStar’s Super Team, Moussa picked Purdue over offers from Louisville, Memphis and San Diego State, but knew where he wanted to go when offered by the Boilermakers. “It has been a dream school of mine actually. I’ve wanted to do mechanical engineering and they are the top engineering school in the country. It fits perfect… (Coach Jeff Brohm) said they see me as a versatile guy who can play tackle or guard, really.” Moussa, also a track standout in the shot put and discus, helped a much-improved Pike team to a 3-7 record as a senior. The Red Devils lost two games in overtime and another by two points. “In January I was talking to (Pike coach Pat Echeverria) about where he thought I could play. I was getting interest from MAC schools and FCS schools. I was asking coach Ech if he thought I could play in the Big Ten. He said if I worked hard enough it would come.”

OG Zach Richards

High School/Hometown: Mooresville (Mooresville, Ind.)

Height/Weight: 6-3/296

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 19 in state, No, 54 at position.

Note: Selected to the IFCA Top-50 all-state team and an IndyStar Super Team selection, Richards was a big part of Mooresville’s turnaround from a 3-9 season his freshman season to a 33-7 record over the past three seasons, including three sectional titles and a Class 4A regional crown as a senior. Richards also had 30 tackles as a senior. He picked Purdue over offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana and Louisville, among others. “It’s not just about size. It’s more about athletic ability and the measurements that go with a big kid,” said Mooresville coach Mike Gillin. “Zach Richards is a big kid. He could have started as a freshman and played a lot as a freshman. He’s been a mainstay of our offense for four years.”

OLB Rickey Smith

High School/Hometown: Jones (Orlando, Fla.)

Height/Weight: 6-1/195

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 200 in state, No. 102 at position.

Note: Smith will likely play safety in college but offers plenty of versatility. He missed most of his junior season with a rotator cuff injury and picked Purdue over offers from Miami, Ole Miss, Missouri, West Virginia and others. “I chose Purdue because it felt like home,” Smith told the Orlando Sentinel. “The coaches there, I have a good relationship with them and they showed a lot of interest and the school, just looking at it academic-wise and athletic-wise, and how Purdue gets you to the next level,” Smith said. “They send players to the NFL, that’s why I chose Purdue.”

E Khordae Sydnor

High School/Hometown: Iona Prepatory (New Rochelle, N.Y.)

Height/Weight: 6-4/230

Ranking: 3 stars; N/A in nation, No. 5 in state, No. 87 at position.

Note: Sydnor picked IU over offers from Boston College, Arizona State, Army, Rice and others. “I feel like I’m making a great path and I think I picked the right school to get me there,” Sydnor said. “Purdue breeds DE’s. I’m going to keep working hard and be a sponge when I get there and soak up all the information I can get to be a better player.” Iona coach Joe Spagnolo describes Sydnor as extremely long, athletic with an 80-inch wingspan. He’s 6-foot-5, 250 pounds “before the quarantine,” Spagnolo joked about New York’s stay-at-home order. “Great young man, great story,” Spagnolo said. “I think they’re getting a good one.” Ivy League schools offered but the pull of engineering helped push Sydnor to Purdue. “Purdue was with him before he blew up,” Spagnolo said. “He’s interested in engineering. Iona is a student-athlete factory but we’re an academic first institution and he takes a lot of pride in that and thinks Purdue matches similar to what he’s had at Iona. He’s an extremely focused young man. Being a kid that’s played a lot of football and played a lot of positions has helped his overall outlook on the game.”

WR Preston Terrell

High School/Hometown: Brownsburg (Brownsburg, Ind.)

Height/Weight: 6-3/180

Ranking: 3 stars; No. 814 in nation, No. 14 in state, No. 117 at position.

Note: The first member of Purdue’s 2021 class, Terrell committed back in Sept. 2019. “When you want to go somewhere and you know where you want to go, that light bulb pops open in your head and that’s what I was feeling at that moment.” A member of IndyStar’s Super Team, Terrell caught 54 passes for 834 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, helping Brownsburg to an 8-2 season. His biggest game was an 11-reception, 203-yard, five-touchdown performance in a win over Zionsville. Terrell caught 52 passes for 814 yards and 10 TDs as a junior. “Purdue’s been a great place,” he said. “Me and (receivers) coach (JaMarcus) Shephard and all the coaches have had a great relationship. The players, the fans, the way they’ve come up to me and my family and treated us with respect has made us feel at home.” Terrell believes making plays down the field is one of his strengths and is confident he can deliver once he joins the program. “Any deep ball, I can go up and grab it,” he said. “Ten out of ten times I’m going to go get that ball and nothing is going to stop me. I think being a big receiver, I have great footwork, too and great route running as well. I can do a little bit of both playing in the slot or playing on the outside in running those quick slants or deep posts and fades.”

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL EARLY SIGNINGS

  • Joe Alt, OL, North Oaks, Minn.
  • Devin Aupiu, DL, Oxnard, Calif.
  • Ryan Barnes, CB, Gaithersburg, Md.
  • Cane Berrong, TE, Hartwell, Ga.
  • Josh Bryan, K, Valencia, Calif.
  • Tyler Buchner, QB, San Diego
  • Deion Colzie, WR, McDonough, Ga.
  • Pat Coogan, OL, Marist
  • Mitchell Evans, TE, Wadsworth, Ohio
  • Blake Fisher, OL, Avon, Ind.
  • Caleb Johnson, OL, Ocala, Fla.
  • JoJo Johnson, CB, Merrillville, Ind.
  • Kahanu Kia, LB, Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Prince Kollie, LB, Jonesborough, Tenn.
  • Jason Onye, DL, North Providence, R.I.
  • Ron Powlus III, QB, Granger, Ind.
  • Philip Riley, CB, Riverview, Fla.
  • Gabe Rubio, DL, St. Louis
  • Will Schweitzer, DL, Los Gatos, Calif.
  • Rocco Spindler, OL, Clarkston, Mich.
  • Lorenzo Styles Jr., WR, Pickerington, Ohio
  • Jayden Thomas, WR, Dallas, Ga.
  • Chance Tucker, CB, Encino, Calif.
  • Justin Walters, S, Bolingbrook

BALL STATE FOOTBALL

Ball State Football Inks 18 on National Signing Day

Cardinals reach into eight different states in class of 2021 

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State football program announced today the signing of 18 student-athletes who will join the Cardinals next academic year or in the spring.
“We are thrilled about this class and the impact it can have on our program,” head coach Mike Neu said. “It is a talented and versatile class filled with multi-dimensional guys at each position. These players come from tradition-rich, highly successful programs with tremendous coaches. They are already tight-knit as a group, communicating regularly with one another and eager to get started in Muncie.”
The class comes from across the Midwest and beyond with five from Illinois, three from Indiana and Ohio, two from Michigan and Missouri, and one each from Florida, Maryland and Virginia. The Cardinals filled positions all over the field, signing three running backs, three tight ends, three linebackers, three defensive backs, two quarterbacks, two offensive linemen, one receiver and one defensive lineman.
“It is a credit to our coaching staff that we were able to secure a class of this caliber given the recruiting restraints of this past year in the pandemic,” Neu said. “Through virtual visits, video calls and regular communication, we succeeded in securing an outstanding group.”
The incoming crop will join a Ball State program riding high. The Cardinals are champions of the MAC West Division for the first time since 2008 after finishing 5-1 in the regular season, all against league competition. 
Ball State is preparing to play in Friday’s Rocket Mortgage MAC Championship Game against No. 23 Buffalo at Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and the Ball State Radio Network at 104.1 WLBC.  Ball State Championship Week is presented by Northwest Bank and Community Hospital of Anderson.

2021 Ball State University Football Signees (bios below)
Thailand Baldwin*, CB, 6-0, 170, Fr., Hampton, Va. (Life Christian Academy)
Rico Barfield, RB, 6-1, 210, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit HS)
Drayton Charlton-Perrin, TE, 6-4, 235, Fr., Northbrook, Ill. (Glenbrook North HS)
Jaret Frantz, TE, 6-3, 210, Fr., Elyria, Ohio (Elyria Catholic HS)
Phyllip Gunn, OL, 6-3 , 315, Fr., Hammond, Ind. (Merrillville HS)
Drew Hughes, DL, 6-2, 260, Fr., Willow Springs, Ill. (Nazareth Academy)
Brady Hunt, QB, 6-6, 215, Fr., Muncie, Ind. (Delta HS)
Jalen Johnson, OL, 6-3, 330, Fr., River Rouge, Mich. (River Rouge HS)
Kiael Kelly, QB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Tampa, Fla. (Gaither HS)
Tanner Koziol, TE, 6-6, 215, Fr., Bloomingdale, Ind. (Mt. Vernon HS)
Rae’Quin Lee, RB, 5-10, 180, Fr., Southfield, Mich. (Southfield A&T)
Jordan Marshall, SAF, 6-1, 205, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)
Justin Morris, LB, 6-4, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)
Vaughn Pemberton, RB, 5-11, 210, Fr., Lake Forest, Ill. (Loyola Academy)
Nick Presley, WR, 6-0, 180, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio (Walnut Hills HS)
Jordan Riley-Scott*, CB, 6-1, 195, Fr., Clinton, Md. (National Christian Academy)
Joey Stemler, LB, 6-2, 230, Fr., Cleves, Ohio (Elder HS)
Jackson Wiegold, LB, 6-2, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)
Asterisk (*) denotes joining team in 2021 spring semester

Student-Athlete Profiles

Thailand Baldwin, CB, 6-0, 170, Fr., Hampton, Va. (Life Christian Academy)

HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters at Life Christian Academy … played for head coach Charles Scott … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … three-time all-state selection … two-time all-region and all-area … helped Life Christian reach the state championship game as sophomore … clocked a time of 4.3 in the 40-yard dash … participated on track team and a won state championship as a sophomore as part of 4×200 relay … PERSONAL: Son of Kimberly Baldwin and Wilken Michel … born March 20, 2002 … full name is Thailand Baldwin.

Rico Barfield, RB, 6-1, 210, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters at DeSmet Jesuit as a running back and wildcat quarterback … played for head coach Robert Steeple … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … team captain as a senior … second-team all-state as a junior … twice first-team all-conference … racked up 2,817 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns in high school career … ran for more than 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior … had 683 yards and eight touchdowns in only six games as a senior … helped DeSmet go 29-4 over his final three seasons, including a 14-0 record and a state championship as a junior … also competes in basketball … member of the honor roll … PERSONAL: Son of Larria Miller … five siblings … brother Ricky played football at Eastern New Mexico … born Sept. 27, 2002 … full name is Rico Devontae Barfield.

Drayton Charlton-Perrin, TE, 6-4, 235, Fr., Northbrook, Ill. (Glenbrook North HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters at Glenbrook North as a tight end and linebacker … played for head coach Matt Purdy … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … all-conference and all-area as a junior … team captain as a senior … senior season moved to the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic … helped the Spartans win a conference title and reach the state playoffs as a sophomore … also lettered in basketball … PERSONAL: Son of Justin Charlton-Perrin and Stacia McGurn … two older brothers … brother Jackson is a football player at Bluefield College … born Sept. 4, 2002 … full name is Drayton Nash Charlton-Perrin.

Jaret Frantz, TE, 6-3, 210, Fr., Elyria, Ohio (Elyria Catholic HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters at Elyria Catholic … played for head coach Brian Fox … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … second-team all-state as a junior … Great Lakes Conference offensive player of the year as a senior … three times all-conference, including first-team honors as a junior and senior … twice first-team all-district and all-county … had 86 career receptions for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns  … caught 10 touchdowns as a junior … had 430 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in six games as a senior … timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash … also a two-year letterwinner in basketball … member of the honor roll … PERSONAL: Son of Bob and Jean Frantz … dad played collegiately at Heidelberg … has one sister … born July 14, 2003 … full name is Jaret Michael Frantz.

Phyllip Gunn, OL, 6-3, 315, Fr., Hammond, Ind. (Merrillville HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Played his senior season at Merrillville for Ball State alumnus Brad Seiss … helped the Pirates to a 10-2 record and a conference championship … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … previously played at Morton High School in Hammond, helping the team to a 9-2 mark his junior year … played both offensive and defensive line in his high school career … first-team all-conference as a junior … also an all-area selection … PERSONAL: Son of Earnestine Carey … born Dec. 19, 2002 … full name is Phyllip Anthony Gunn.

Drew Hughes, DL, 6-2, 260, Fr., Willow Springs, Ill. (Nazareth Academy)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Nazareth Academy … played for head coach Tim Racki … played both offensive and defensive line plus tight end in high school … team captain as a senior … senior season moved to the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic … helped Nazareth to three state championship appearances … member of the honor roll … PERSONAL: Son of Rick and Lynn Hughes … one younger sister… born Nov. 9, 2002 … full name is Andrew Douglas Hughes.

Brady Hunt, QB, 6-6, 215, Fr., Muncie, Ind. (Delta HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Delta … played for head coach Chris Overholt … three-time team captain … first-team all-conference as a junior and senior … team MVP as a junior and senior … finished his career with 3,774 yards and 47 touchdowns through the air plus 958 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground … 27 wins in his career … four-time academic all-conference and academic all-state as a senior … National Honor Society member … also a four-year letterwinner in basketball … a three-time all-conference selection, three-time sectional champion and all-state honorable mention choice as junior on the hardwood …  PERSONAL: Son of Jeremy and Linda Hunt … one brother and one sister … born Aug. 30, 2002 … full name is Braden Jeremiah Hunt.

Jalen Johnson, OL, 6-3, 330, Fr., River Rouge, Mich. (River Rouge HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at River Rouge … played for head coach Corey Parker … two-time captain … all-state as a junior and senior … also an all-conference selection … earned team MVP honors … helped River Rouge to its first-ever state championship in as a junior in 2019 … the program had a record of 38-7 during his career … member of National Honor Society … PERSONAL: Son of Danielle and Alexzander Carter and Christopher Johnson … four siblings … uncle Curtis Johnson played football at Central Michigan and stepfather Alexzander Carter played football at Hampton … born June 18, 2003 … full name is Jalen Christopher Larry Johnson.

Kiael Kelly, QB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Tampa, Fla. (Gaither HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Gaither … played for head coach Kirk Karson … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … totaled more than 5,000 passing yards to go with 60 passing touchdowns and 21 rushing touchdowns in his career … an all-state and all-conference selection … led his team to an 11-0 start as a senior … led his team to the state semifinals twice … team captain as a junior … also plays basketball and baseball … member of the high honor roll … PERSONAL: Son of Jaclyn and Kenny Kelly … two brothers and two sisters … father played quarterback at Miami (Fla.) and played professional baseball in the major leagues … born Feb. 2, 2003 … full name is Kiael Kelly.

Tanner Koziol, TE, 6-6, 215, Fr., Bloomingdale, Ind. (Mt. Vernon HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner at Mt. Vernon … played for head coach Mike Kirschner … played tight end and defensive end … team captain as a senior … compiled 1,110 career receiving yards and 22 touchdowns … had 35 receptions for 450 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior … helped Mt. Vernon to the state finals as a junior and to conference and sectional championships as a junior … honor roll member … PERSONAL: Son of Sandee Koziol … one brother … cousin Logan Justus was a kicker at Indiana … born Jan. 28, 2003 … full name is Tanner John Koziol.

Rae’Quin Lee, RB, 5-10, 180, Fr., Southfield, Mich. (Southfield A&T HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year letterwinner at Southfield A&T … played for head coach Reggie Wynns … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … team captain … limited by injury to three games as a senior but managed 300 rushing yards and four touchdowns … registered 1,129 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior … PERSONAL: Son of Clayton Lee Jr. and Rashell Washington … four siblings … father played football at Ferris State … born April 11, 2002 … full name is Rae’Quin Lamar Lee.

Jordan Marshall, SAF, 6-1, 205, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at Christian Brothers College HS … played for head coach Scott Pingel … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … first-team all-state and first-team all-district as a senior … two-time first-team all-conference … team captain as a senior … finished his high school career with 94 tackles, six interceptions and three fumble recoveries … had 26 tackles and three interceptions in a shortened senior season … won back-to-back state championships as a freshman and sophomore … PERSONAL: Son of Hermena Murphy … one older brother … brother Theo played football at Missouri State … born Oct. 17, 2002 … full name is Jordan Warren Marshall.

Justin Morris, LB, 6-4, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner at Vernon Hills … played for head coach Bill Bellecomo … 3-star recruit via 247Sports …all-conference and all-area as a junior … senior season moved to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic … also played one year on offense, catching 41 passes for 470 yards and eight touchdowns … also competed in basketball … member of the honor roll … high school teammate of fellow BSU linebacker signee Jackson Wiegold … PERSONAL: Son of James and Kelly Morris … two brothers … born Oct. 3, 2002 … full name is Justin Thomas Morris.

Vaughn Pemberton, RB, 5-11, 210, Fr., Lake Forest, Ill. (Loyola Academy)

HIGH SCHOOL: Two-year letterwinner at Loyola Academy … played for head coach John Holecek … second-team all-conference selection as a junior … offensive team MVP as a junior when he helped his team to an 11-3 record … has rushed for more than 1,000 yards with 22 touchdowns in his career … senior season has been moved to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic … PERSONAL: Son of Steve and Tonya Pemberton … born May 7, 2002 … full name is Vaughn Ellis Pemberton.

Nick Presley, WR, 6-0, 180, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio (Walnut Hills HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year varsity letterwinner at Walnut Hills … played for head coach Gerry Beauchamp … played wide receiver and cornerback … two-time team captain … first-team all-conference, second-team All-Southwest Ohio and honorable mention all-district as a junior … piled up nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns as a junior … caught 11 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in a limited senior season … also a three-year starter in baseball … PERSONAL: Son of Erin England … two siblings … born April 22, 2003 … full name is Nicholas Latrell Presley.

Jordan Riley-Scott, CB, 6-1, 195, Fr., Clinton, Md. (National Christian Academy)

HIGH SCHOOL: Four-year letterwinner at National Christian Academy … played for head coach Andre Kates … played defensive back and wide receiver … first-team all-conference selection … helped his team to an 8-3 record as a senior … had five career interceptions and returned one for a touchdown … also competes in wrestling and track and field. PERSONAL: Son of Danielle and George Riley … five siblings … uncle Mike Scott played at Bowie State … born March 2, 2002 … full name is Jordan Tyree Riley Scott.

Joey Stemler, LB, 6-2, 230, Fr., Cleves, Ohio (Elder HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner at Elder … played for head coach Doug Ramsey … team captain as a senior … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … rated among the top 75 inside linebackers nationally in his class by ESPN … had 80 tackles and four sacks for his career, including 35 tackles and two sacks as a senior … team won a regional championship as a sophomore, finished state runner-up as a junior and won a sectional title as a senior … also lettered in baseball … member of the National Honor Society … PERSONAL: Son of William and Dona Stemler … three older brothers … father played football and baseball at Butler … born July 12, 2003 … full name is Joseph William Stemler.

Jackson Wiegold, LB, 6-2, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner at Vernon Hills … played for head coach Bill Bellecomo … 3-star recruit via 247Sports …first-team all-conference as a junior … team captain … has 106 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles in his career … racked up 76 tackles and 14 tackles for loss as a junior … senior season moved to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic … also competed in baseball and basketball … an academic all-state selection … high school teammate of fellow BSU linebacker signee Justin Morris… PERSONAL: Son of David and Joan Wiegold … two siblings … born April 26, 2003 … full name is Jackson Charles Wiegold.

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL

Day, Ohio State Signs 21-Member Recruiting Class

Buckeyes sign the nation’s top-ranked running back, wide receiver and offensive guard

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day unveiled a 21-person recruiting class today that will rank among the nation’s best. The newest group of Buckeyes comprise the nation’s No. 2-ranked class according to 247Sports and Rivals and features 18 players who earned either four or five-star rankings. 

This year’s class features plenty of talent at the skill positions. At running back, the Buckeyes were able to sign two players – five-star prospect TreVeyon Henderson of Hopewell, Va. and four-star Even Pryor from Cornelius, N.C. – who are both top-100 prospects. Ohio State also signed a five-star player at quarterback (Kyle McCord of Philadelphia, Pa., the nation’s No. 4-ranked QB by 247Sports) and wide receiver (Emeka Egbuka, the No. 1 player at his position and the No. 8 overall player, from Steilacoom, Wa.). 

While the Buckeyes’ class includes players from 13 different states, Ohio State stayed home and signed the top four players from the state of Ohio: DE Jack Sawyer (Pickerington), DT Michael Hall Jr. (Streetsboro), WR Jayden Ballard (Massillon) and LB Reid Caricco (Ironton). All four of those players are ranked in the top 100 nationally; Sawyer is No. 5 (No. 3 defensive end), Hall Jr. is No. 49 (No. 4 defensive tackle), Ballard is No. 66 (No. 8 wide receiver) and Caricco is No. 84 (No. 5 linebacker). 

On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio State signed 10 players and replenished its talent in the secondary with three cornerbacks and three safeties. Along the defensive line, the Buckeyes added two defensive tackles and one defensive end while also signing one linebacker. 

In all, a total of 10 position groups are represented in the class, led by three each at wide receiver, cornerback, safety and defensive line. There are 10 players on offense, 10 on defense and one on special teams. Eleven players are ranked in the top-five at their respective positions, led by the No. 1-ranked wide receiver (Egbuka), offensive guard (Donovan Jackson) and running back (Henderson).

Ohio State Signing Day Roster – December, 2020
Name                                          Pos.      Ht.       Wt.       Hometown / High School

Jayden Ballard                            WR       6-2        175       Massillon, Ohio / Washington

Denzel Burke                              CB        6-0        189       Scottsdale, Ariz. / Saguaro

Reid Carrico                               LB        6-3        225       Ironton, Ohio / Ironton

Ben Christman                            OL        6-6        299       Richfield, Ohio / Revere

Jantzen Dunn                              SAF      6-2        178       Bowling Green, Ky. / South Warren

Emeka Egbuka                            WR       6-1        180       Steilacoom, Wash. / Steilacoom

Michael Hall Jr.                          DT        6-3        290       Streetsboro, Ohio / Streetsboro

Jordan Hancock                          CB        6-1        170       Suwanee, Ga. / North Gwinnett

Marvin Harrison Jr.                    WR       6-3        190       Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep

Sam Hart                                     TE        6-5        225       Aurora, Colo. / Cherokee Trail

TreVeyon Henderson                  RB        5-11      195       Hopewell, Va. / Hopewell

Donovan Jackson                        OL        6-4        308       Bellaire, Texas / Episcopal

Jakailin Johnson                         CB        6-1        175       St. Louis, Mo. / DeSmet

Jaylen Johnson                            SAF      6-1        200       Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle

Kyle McCord                              QB        6-3        215       Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep

Zen Michalski                            OL        6-6        285       Floyds Knobs, Ind. / Floyd Central

Jesse Mirco                                 P           6-3        200       Perth, Australia / Christian Brothers College (HS)

Evan Pryor                                  RB        5-10      190       Cornelius, N.C. / William Amos Hough

Jack Sawyer                                DE        6-5        248       Pickerington, Ohio / Pickerington North

Andre Turrentine                        SAF      6-0        175       Nashville, Tenn. / Ensworth

Tyleik Williams                          DT        6-3        330       Manassas, Va. / Unity Reed

Jayden Ballard // WR // 6-2, 175 // Massillon, Ohio / Massillon Washington

A top-100 prospect who is rated as the nation’s No. 8 receiver and the No. 3 overall player in the state of Ohio … invited to play in the Army All-American Bowl … helped his team with 10 straight games during the 2020 season and advance to the Division II state championship game … a member of the Ohio MaxPreps All-State team … caught 25 touchdown passes over his final two years for head coach Nate Moore at Massillon Washington … caught seven passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns in a regional final win over Perry … finished his senior year with 36 catches for 573 yards and seven touchdowns … as a junior, caught 68 passes for 1,202 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 80.1 yards per game … had career totals of 141 receptions, 2,636 yards and 37 touchdowns … became Massillon’s all-time leader in career receiving yards and touchdown receptions in 2020 … led the Tigers to three consecutive Division II state title games … is the son of Christina March and Jamaal Ballard.

Denzel Burke // CB // 6-0, 189 // Scottsdale, Ariz. / Saguaro

A four-star prospect who is the nation’s No. 8-rated athlete by 247Sports.com … played both defensive back and wide receiver in high school … projects as a defensive back with the Buckeyes … attended Brophy Prep in Phoenix before transferring to Saguaro … The Arizona Republic’s No. 1-ranked game-changing cornerback and athlete … played in one game his senior season before it was cut short due to injury … played seven games as a junior in 2019 and averaged 44.7 receiving yards per game with four touchdowns … added 337 rushing yards on 24 carries and two interceptions … at Brophy Prep, helped the Broncos improve from 1-9 as a freshman to 7-4 as a sophomore when he racked up 50 receptions for 719 yards and averaged 84.2 all-purpose yards per game … is the son of Deya and Zafiro Burke.

Reid Carrico // LB // 6-3, 225 // Ironton, Ohio / Ironton

The No. 4-rated player in Ohio and a consensus four-star prospect … ranked No. 84 nationally regardless of position by 247Sports.com … the nation’s fifth-ranked linebacker prospect … was a two-way player at Ironton who also was his team’s starting running back … the first player ever to be named the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Southeast District Player of the Year on offense and defense in the same season … had 56 tackles and 17 tackles for loss and four sacks in 12 games as a senior in 2020 … rushed for 1,544 yards and 25 touchdowns in helping Ironton reach the Division V state championship game … had 187 yards on 29 carries in a 22-19 win over Roger Bacon in the state semifinals … rushed for over 3,000 yards with 48 career touchdowns … first-team all-conference and all-district … named Ohio’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters … is the son of Shelley and Gary Carrico.

Ben Christman // OL // 6-6, 299 // Richfield, Ohio / Revere

Is the top-rated offensive linemen in the state of Ohio … a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … a four-year starter … named to Cleveland.com’s All-Decade team … the 2020 Suburban League American Conference co-Offensive Player of the Year … was his team’s offensive line MVP and a first-team all-Suburban League selection … first-team all-district … named a Touchdown Club All-Star and Cleveland.com All-Star … a member of Cleveland.com’s 2020 All-Area squad and the 2020 Ohio MaxPreps All-State team … a three-sport athlete at Revere where he also played basketball and participated in track and field … is the son of Karen and Brian Christman.

Jantzen Dunn // SAF // 6-2, 178 // Bowling Green, Ky. / South Warren

The No. 2-ranked player in the state of Kentucky who earned four stars from 247Sports … versatile athlete who played multiple positions in the secondary and also as a wide receiver on offense … ran track at South Warren where he won the Class 3A Regional 2 long jump and high jump … six of his 19 receptions in 2019 went for touchdowns … added 37 tackles and an interceptions on defense … as a sophomore, played in all 15 games for South Warren as it went 15-0 and win the Class 5A state championship … recorded 30 tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, one of which went for a touchdown … is the son of Sonja Breeze and Mitchell Dunn … stepdad is Calvin Breeze and stepmom is Chasity Rodgers.

Emeka Egbuka // WR // 6-1, 180 // Steilacoom, Wash. / Steilacoom

A consensus five-star prospect who is the nation’s top-ranked wide receiver and the No. 8 overall player according to 247Sports … the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year is the state of Washington … caught 83 passes for 1,607 yards and 25 touchdowns in 14 games … also returned three punts for scores and rushed for four TDs … 2,240 all-purpose yards … recorded 28 tackles and eight interceptions from his defensive back position … returned two for touchdowns … helped Steilacoom reach the 2A state championship game where he set a title-game record with 18 receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns to go along with eight tackles and an interceptions … caught 199 passes for nearly 4,000 yards and 61 TDs in his career … Washington moved its high school football season to the spring and thus he has not played a senior season … also a standout baseball player … parents are Rhonda and Eric Ogilvie; Henry Egbuka.

Michael Hall Jr. // DT // 6-3, 290 // Streetsboro, Ohio / Streetsboro

The nation’s No. 54 overall player and No. 4-rated defensive tackle … is the ninth-ranked overall player in Ohio … primarily played defensive tackle for Streetsboro but also doubled as an offensive lineman … regarded as an explosive player who gets off the ball quickly and has good speed for his position … as a junior, led Streetsboro to their first-ever playoff win as the Rockets finished 11-1 … had 72 tackles, 17 TFLs and five sacks … had his senior season cut short due to a broken hand after just three games … still managed to finish with 24 tackles and nine tackles for loss … is one of three northeast Ohio signees in the class along with Ben Christman (Richford / Revere) and Jayden Ballard (Massillon / Massillon Washington) … is the son of Lynda Hall.

Jordan Hancock // CB // 6-1, 170 // Suwanee, Ga. / North Gwinnett

One of the nation’s top-ranked cornerbacks … the No. 67 overall player and No. 4 cornerback in the country according to 247Sports … was a first-team all-region and all-Gwinnett County player in 2019 as a junior … originally opted not to play his senior season due to family health concerns but returned to his team in mid-October … helped North Gwinnett win one state championship and three regional titles in his career … recorded two interceptions and 12 passes defended as a junior in 2019 … also played basketball and ran track during his time at North Gwinnett … is the son of Benita and Kenneth Hancock.

Marvin Harrison Jr. // WR // 6-3, 190 // Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep

A four-star prospect and the No. 91 player in the nation by 247Sports.com … is the top-ranked wide receiver in the state of Pennsylvania … finished his career with 2,625 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns, both of which were Philadelphia Catholic League records … caught 144 career passes … teamed with fellow signee Kyle McCord to help St. Joseph’s win three-straight Pennsylvania 6A state championships … had eight receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns in this year’s state title game win over Central York … is the son of Keara and Marvin Harrison Sr. … Marvin Harrison Sr. was an eight-time NFL All-Pro who spent his entire 13-year career with the Indianapolis Colts.

Sam Hart // TE // 6-5, 225 // Aurora, Colo. / Cherokee Trail

The No. 3-ranked player in the state of Colorado … second-team all-state in 2019 as a junior … had 233 yards receiving in his senior season … two-way player who also lined up at defensive end … an outstanding wrestler who was the 200 lb. Colorado state champion last winter with a 38-0 record … made the state finals as a sophomore in 2019 … is the son of Nancy and Pat Hart.

TreVeyon Henderson // RB // 5-11, 195 // Hopewell, Va. / Hopewell

A five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back according to 247Sports … will enroll at Ohio State in January … did not play a senior season of high school football due to Virginia moving its fall sports season to the spring as a result of COVID-19 … for his career, he compiled over 4,000 yards rushing with 50 touchdowns and helped Hopewell win its second consecutive state championship … scored four touchdowns in the state title game … played wide receiver and defensive back as a freshman and sophomore before becoming the team’s full-time running back as a junior and responded with a stat line of 2,424 yards and 45 touchdowns … had 3,200 all-purpose yards … named the 2019 Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year … USA Today All-USA second team offense … is the son of Lakeesha Hayes and Trenton Henderson.

Donovan Jackson // OL // 6-4, 308 // Bellaire, Texas / Episcopal

The highest-rated offensive linemen in Ohio State’s class … a five-star prospect according to 247Sports and the nation’s No. 1-rank guard … the No. 1 player in the state of Texas and the No. 17 overall player regardless of position  … ranked No. 31 in Sports Illustrated’s list of the 100 best players in this year’s class  … selected for the Army All-American Bowl … named the 2020 All-USA high school preseason team by USA Today … a SI.com All-American … started as a freshman at left tackle for Houston Christian High School before transferring to Episcopal … took home offensive line MVP honors at The Opening in July of 2019 … helped Episcopal win the Southwest Preparatory Conference 4A title as a junior … is the son of Melanie and Todd Jackson.

Jakailin Johnson // CB // 6-1, 175 // St. Louis, Mo. / De Smet

A four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … at 6-1 and 175 lbs., has the ideal size and range for the cornerback position … the No. 1 player in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Super 30 preseason countdown and the consensus top-ranked player in the state of Missouri … a top 50-ranked overall player nationally … continues the pipeline from the St. Louis area to Columbus that includes WR Kamryn Babb (Christian Brothers), CB Cameron Brown (Christian Brothers), WR Jameson Williams (Cardinal Ritter) and WR Mookie Cooper (Trinity) … in an abbreviated 2020 season, De Smet went 6-1 and played in the Class 6 championship game … had a breakout junior season in which he had 42 tackles and seven interceptions, including two in the Class 6 title game against Joplin … totaled 27 tackles and two INTs as a sophomore .. also ran track at De Smet, competing in the 200 meters, 4×100 relay and 4×200 relay … mother is Zena Mabins, step mother/father are Ashleigh and JD Johnson and guardian is Kenny Moore.

Jaylen Johnson // SAF // 6-1, 200 // Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle

Named to the 2020 Ohio MaxPreps all-state football team … the GCL co-Defensive Back of the Year and a first-team Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division II All-Southwest District selection … had 55 tackles for the Lancers and head coach Pat McLaughlin … as a junior in 2019, was a Division II second-team all-state selection and helped La Salle win a state championship, its fourth in the last six years … had 61 tackles (32 solo) and a forced fumble … La Salle’s defense posted three shutouts and allowed an average of just 10.6 points per game … is the son of Jarvis Johnson II.

Kyle McCord // QB // 6-3, 215 // Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep

Is the nation’s No. 25-ranked player regardless of position and the No. 3 quarterback … a five-star prospect according to 247Sports … helped St. Joseph’s Prep win its third consecutive state championship last fall … named the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division Most Valuable Player and is the first player in league history to win the award three times … threw six touchdowns in the 6A semifinal and then followed that up with a 21-for-28, 336-yard performance with four TDs in the title game vs. Central York … set city and league records for career passing yards (6,887) and touchdown passes (88) … member of the 2020 Pennsylvania MaxPreps All-State team …  passed for 2,399 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior before an injury sidelined him for the final four games of the season … won the starting job at St. Joseph’s as a sophomore and had 2,883 yards with 38 touchdowns while completing 66.5 percent of his passes … is the son of Stacy and Derek McCord … his father played quarterback at Rutgers from 1988-92.

Zen Michalski // OL // 6-6, 288 // Floyds Knobs, Ind. / Floyd Central

The No. 4-ranked player in the state of Indiana by 247Sports … as a senior, helped Floyd Central to a 7-3 overall record for head coach James Bragg … paved the way for an offense that averaged 37.2 points per game … named one of the 50 best players in the state of Indiana by the Indiana Football Coaches Association following the 2020 season … first team All-Hoosier Hills Conference … grew nearly seven inches and gained close to 100 pounds during his high school career … parents are Tamara and Matthew Ware; Lennon Michalski.

Jesse Mirco // P // 6-3, 200 // Fremantle, Australia / ProKick Australia

Signed his letter of intent with Ohio State is September because he’s already 23 years old … comes from ProKick Australia, the same program that developed former Buckeye Cameron Johnston, a Ray Guy Award finalist who is currently in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles … rated as the No. 4 punter in the Class of 2021 … committed to the Buckeyes in May of 2020 … is a former Australian-rules football player who learned the art of American punting in just fourth months from ProKick coaches Nathan Chapman and John Smith … is the son of Leanne and Luca Mirco.

Evan Pryor // RB // 5-10, 190 // Cornelius, N.C. / William Amos Hough

Is the nation’s No. 2-ranked all-purpose back … a top-100 player who checks in at No. 84 in 247Sports composite rankings … is the No. 4-ranked player in the state of North Carolina … did not play his senior year at William Amos Hough High School as the state of North Carolina postponed high school football to the spring due to COVID-19 … as a junior in 2019, Pryor had 1,130 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns while adding 646 receiving yards and eight more TDs in 13 games … finished his high school career with 4,233 all-purpose yards and 42 total touchdowns … also ran track and field where he had a personal best time of 10.84 in the 100 meters … is the son of Inid and Erik Pryor.

Jack Sawyer // DE // 6-5, 248 // Pickerington, Ohio / Pickerington North

Is the highest-rated prospect in Ohio State’s class according to 247Sports … a five-star player who is the No. 1 overall player in Ohio, the No. 4 player nationally and the nation’s No. 3-ranked defensive end … did not play his senior season at Pickerington Central … as a junior, was the OCC-Ohio Division Defensive Player of the Year for head coach Nate Hillerich … had 37 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 13.5 quarterback sacks … an exceptional athlete, Sawyer also played quarterback for Pickerington North and led then to the Division I, Region 3 playoffs … completed 79 of 135 passes for 1,056 yards and nine touchdowns before an injury cut his season short … also played basketball at Pickerington North where he made the varsity team as a freshman … his father, Lyle, played football at Findlay College and his mother, Michelle, was a star basketball player at Pickerington … his grandfather played in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.

Andre Turrentine // SAF // 6-0, 175 // Nashville, Tenn. / Ensworth

The No. 6-rated player in the state of Tennessee … consensus four-star prospect … had 73 total tackles in 2019 as a junior while leading Ensworth to the Division II-AAA state semifinals for head coach Roc Batten … a two-way player, he added 248 receiving yards and two touchdowns, averaging nearly 25 yards per catch … is versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary: cornerback, nickel back or safety … is the son of Jajuan and Antonio Turrentine.

Tyleik Williams // DT // 6-3, 330 // Manassas, Va. / Unity Reed

A four-star prospect, Williams is the No. 4-ranked senior in B=Virginia and the No. 10 defensive tackle by 247Sports … has elite speed, athleticism and explosiveness … selected to play in the Army All-America Bowl … as a junior, led then-Stonewall Jackson to an 8- record and a Virginia Class 6 playoff appearance … was a first-team All-State pick while totaling 47 tackles and 3.5 sacks … is the son of Gloria Williams.

MIAMI REDHAWKS FOOTBALL

EARLY SIGNING

Evan Azzara, OL, 6-6, 300, Plum, Pa. (Plum Borough)
High School: 
Currently attends Plum Borough School District … coached by Matt Morgan … team captain … earned second-team all-state and first-team all-conference as a senior. Personal: Son of Pamela and Vincent Azzara … born June 30, 2003.

Eli Blakey, DB, 6-2, 200, Louisvile, Ky. (DuPont Manual)
High School: 
Currently attends DuPont Manual High School … coached by Scott Carmony … team captain … had 23 catches for 432 yards and six touchdowns as a junior … added 55 tackles and three interceptions that same season … earned first-team all-state as a junior … named his team’s Most Versatile and Defensive MVP as a junior. Personal: Son of Claudette and Melvin Blakey … born Aug. 20, 2003.    

Kolby Borders, OL, 6-6, 300, Lafayette, Ind. (McCutcheon)
High School: 
Currently attends McCutcheon High School … coached by Ken Frauhiger … team captain … earned all-state as a junior … named IFCA all-state as a senior … also earned academic all-state his senior year. Personal: Son of Amber Schaumburg-Borders and Cody Borders … born Oct. 28, 2002.

Angelo Butts, WR, 6-0, 180, St. Louis Mo. (O’Fallon Christian)
High School: 
Currently attends O’Fallon Christian High … coached by Dakota Conway … team captain. Personal: Son of Cathryn Phillips and Derric Myers … born Nov. 6, 2002.

Brett Coleman, DB, 6-3, 200, Belfry, Ky. (Belfry)
High School: 
Currently attends Belfry High School … coached by Phillip Haywood … team captain … team won a state championship his junior year … that same year he earned all-district and all-region honors … earned all-state as a senior, leading his team in tackles. Personal: Son of Pam and Eric Coleman … born May 25, 2002.

Marlon Dawson Jr., DL, 6-5, 230, Detroit, Mich. (Oak Park)
High School: 
Currently attends Oak Park High School … coached by Greg Carter … team captain. Personal: Son of Yasmaine Powers and Marlon Dawson Sr. … born Dec. 25, 2002. 

Terran Hearn, DL, 6-3, 235, Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)
High School: 
Currently attends Ballard High School … coached by Adrian Morton … team captain … four-year starter … recorded 58 tackles and five sacks as a junior … a year later he posted 20 tackles and four sacks in just four games, earning all-district and KSR all-state honors. Personal: Son of D’Andra and Terrance Hearn … born July 24, 2003.

Henry Hesson, QB, 6-2, 200, Plainfield, Ind. (Avon)
High School: 
Currently attends Avon High School … coached by Mark Bless … team captain … threw for 2,572 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior … named IFCA Top-50, earning all-state and academic all-state … as a junior he added 1,965 passing yards with 22 scores … named team MVP as a senior while also earning first team all-conference. Personal: Son of Ashley and Brett Hesson … born April 8, 2003.

Corban Hondru, LB, 6-1, 225, McMurray, Pa. (Peters Township)
High School: 
Currently attends Peters Township High School … coached by T.J. Plack … team captain … earned all-state honors as a junior, recording 53 tackles, eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … added 19 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns on offense … named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Fab-22 Team … was named the Observer Reporter Player of the Year and the TRIB-25 All-Stars as a senior … was also named to the All-Pennsylvania Defensive Team. Personal: Son of Kathleen and Scott Hondru … born Feb. 11, 2003 … mother was a swimmer at John Carroll, father played football at Delaware and sister plays softball at Delaware.

Will Jados, OL, 6-8, 300, Westerville, Ohio (Westerville Central)
High School: 
Currently attends Westerville Central … coached by Brent Morrison … team captain … earned first team all-district as a senior. Personal: Son of Tracy and Andy Jados … born Nov. 13, 2002.

Daylan Long, LB, 6-0, 195, Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods)
High School:
 Currently attends Winton Woods High School … coached by Andre Parker … team captain … earned first team all-state as a junior, recording 70 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. Personal: Son of Tondalaya Hill and David Long Sr. … born Feb. 14, 2003.

Jaymar Mundy, DB, 6-1, 185, Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)
High School: 
Currently attends La Salle High School … coached by Pat McLaughlin … team captain … earned second-team all-state as a senior … was named his conference’s Defensive Back of the Year that same season after recording 45 tackles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions … earned third-team all-state as a junior with 50 tackles, 17 pass breakups and six interceptions. Personal: Son of Gladys and Jeffery Mundy … born Sept. 12, 2002.

Ryan O’Hair, OL, 6-8, 300, Bridgeville, Pa. (South Fayette)
High School:
 Currently attends South Fayette High School … coached by Joe Rossi … team captain … earned first-team all-conference … was also a Bill Fralic Award Nominee, given annually to the top senior interior lineman in the WPIAL. Personal: Son of Jill and Scott O’Hair.
    
Dee Pierce, DB, 6-1, 210, Chicago, Illinois  (Phillips Academy)
High School: 
Currently attends Phillips Academy … coached by Troy McAllister … team captain … team won a state championship his freshman year … earned all city honors as a junior, leading the team in tackles and interceptions. Personal: Son of Theresa and Michael Pierce … born June 25, 2003.

Matthew Reardon, WR, 6-1, 185, Youngstown, Ohio (Ursuline)
High School: 
Currently attends Ursuline High School … coached by Dan Reardon … team captain … earned all-state as a junior … named first-team all-state as a senior by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association … named team MVP … owns school record with 351 passing yards in a single game. Personal: Son of Amanda and Dan Reardon … born March 21, 2002.

Jackson Schott, LB, 6-3, 200, Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)
High School: 
Currently attends Center Grove High School … coached by Eric Moore … team captain … earned all-state as a senior, recording 50 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions … earned all-conference as a junior, recording 40 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions. Personal: Son of Jennifer and Eric Schott … born Aug. 3, 2002.

Kamell Smith, QB, 6-4, 210, Burlington, NC (Eastern Guilford)
High School: 
Currently attends Eastern Guilford … coached by Antonio Aguilar … team captain … earned first-team all-region as a junior, throwing for 2,007 yards and 22 touchdowns, adding 639 yards and eight scores on the ground … three-time all-conference player … named Eastern Guilford Offensive Player of the Year and Eastern Guilford Athlete of the Year in 2019 … two-time Holt Offensive Player of the Year. Personal: Son of Catherine and Roy Smith … born Oct. 14, 2002.

Darez Snider, RB, 5-8, 185, St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit)
High School: 
Currently attends DeSmet Jesuit High School … coached by Robert Steeples … team captain … had 460 yards rushing and five touchdowns as a senior … team won a state championship his junior year as he rushed for 970 yards and 20 touchdowns. Personal: Son of Danielle Gillespie … born July 23, 2003.

Caleb Tubbs, DB, 6-1, 185, Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods)
High School: 
Currently attends Winton Woods High School … coached by Andre Parker … team captain … had 35 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass breakups and three blocked field goals his senior year … earned second-team all-district as a junior. Personal: Son of Krishee and Andre Parker … born Oct. 10, 2002.    

Nasir Washington, DL, 6-4, 250, Des Moines, Iowa (Valley)
High School: 
Currently attends Valley High School … coached by Gary Swenson … team captain … earned first-team all-state as a senior, recording 26 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and three sacks … team advanced to the state title game as a junior. Personal: Son of Amina and Phil Washington … born Oct. 18, 2002.

Jace Williams, WR, 6-4, 195, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Catholic Central)
High School: 
Currently attends Catholic Central High School … coached by Todd Kolster … team won a state championship as a junior … recorded 38 receptions for 614 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games … earned all-state as a junior, recording 61 receptions for 970 yards and 13 touchdowns … named to the Detroit News Dream Team that same year … earned all-conference and all-region as a senior … owns school record for catches and touchdowns. Personal: Son of Julie and Terrence Williams … born July 13, 2003.

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL

Book Named Finalist for Unitas Golden Arm Award

NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Graduate student quarterback Ian Book has been selected as a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, honoring the nation’s top upperclassman quarterback. Book is one of five finalists for the distinction. 

Book has led the Irish to a perfect 10-0 record in 2020, becoming the all-time winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history. He boasts a 30-3 (.909) record as a starter, and Book is one of just two FBS quarterbacks with a win rate above .900, even as Book ranks 11th overall in total QB career starts (33). His 30 wins are third among all FBS quarterbacks. He has completed 181 passes for 2,382 yards and 15 touchdowns, with just two interceptions in 2020, and has rushed for 465 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. He ranks third among all Power 5 quarterbacks in season rushing touchdowns.

Book, a rare two-time team captain, is the only Power 5 quarterback with more than 240 pass attempts and only two interceptions (or fewer). Book owns 286 attempts with just two picks, and capped the longest streak of passing attempts without an interception in program history at 266 (beginning mid-Game One vs. Duke and ending mid-Game 10 vs. Syracuse), which was the longest-active streak in the FBS. 

The graduate student has garnered a number of national accolades this season. He has been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award, and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and Pop Warner National College Football Award. Book was named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week vs. Syracuse, and has been named to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 list four times. Book also earned ACC Quarterback of the Week following the Pitt game and Manning Award Star of the Week following the Boston College game. 

NFL PREVIEW: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15

PLAYOFF PUSHEntering Week 15, two teams have clinched division titles – the GREEN BAY PACKERS (NFC North) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (AFC West) – and two teams have clinched playoff berths – the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS and PITTSBURGH STEELERS

New Orleans (NFC South), Pittsburgh (AFC North) and the BUFFALO BILLS (AFC East) can clinch their respective division titles this week. Buffalo is aiming for its first division title since 1995, while the Steelers are looking to win the AFC North after missing the postseason in 2019. In each of the past 42 seasons (1977-2019, excluding 1982, when divisional play did not occur), at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs.

MAHOMES MANIA: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the NFL with 4,208 passing yards and ranks third with 33 touchdown passes. This marks his third-consecutive season with at least 4,000 passing yards and he became the third player in NFL history to reach the mark in three of his first four seasons, joining PEYTON MANNING and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO.​

Last week, Mahomes passed for 393 yards, his sixth-consecutive game with at least 315 passing yards. With 315 passing yards on Sunday at New Orleans (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes will surpass DREW BREES (six games from 2012-13) and RICH GANNON (six games in 2002) for the most consecutive games with at least 315 passing yards in NFL history.

Through his first 44 career starts, Mahomes has 26 games with at least 300 passing yards. With at least 300 passing yards on Sunday, he will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (26 games) for the most such games by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first four seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City26*
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams26
Dan MarinoHOFMiami22
*In fourth season ​

Mahomes has also recorded a passer rating of 100-or-higher in 29 games throughout his four-year career. With a passer rating of 100-or-higher on Sunday, Mahomes would join DAK PRESCOTT (32 games) and RUSSELL WILSON (32) as the only quarterbacks with at least 30 games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher in their first four seasons in NFL history.

KELCE’S KINGDOM: Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE leads the league with 1,250 receiving yards and is the first tight end with at least 1,200 receiving yards in three seasons in NFL history.

Kelce, who has recorded at least 125 receiving yards in four of his past five games, needs 128 receiving yards on Sunday at New Orleans (4:25 PM ET, CBS) to surpass GEORGE KITTLE (1,377 receiving yards in 2018) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONREC. YARDS
George KittleSan Francisco20181,377
Travis KelceKansas City20181,336
Rob GronkowskiNew England20111,327
Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans20111,310
    
Travis KelceKansas City20201,250*
*Entering Week 15

RODGERS’ RECKONING: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS leads the league with 39 touchdown passes and ranks tied for third with 3,685 passing yards.

With a touchdown pass on Saturday night against Carolina (8:15 PM ET, NFLN), Rodgers will become the first player in NFL history with three seasons of at least 40 touchdown passes. He also reached the mark in 2016 (40 touchdown passes) and his MVP-winning 2011 season (45).

Last week, Rodgers passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 133.6 rating, his third-consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions. If he records at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Saturday, he will tie for the second-longest such streak within a single season in NFL history. Rodgers also had a four-game streak during his MVP-winning 2014 season. ​

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions within a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Russell WilsonSeattle20155
Drew BreesNew Orleans20194
Tom Brady#New England20074
Aaron Rodgers#Green Bay20144
    
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay20203*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player 

Overall, Rodgers has recorded at least three touchdown passes in 10 games this season. With three touchdown passes on Saturday, he will tie DREW BREES (11 games in 2012) and PEYTON MANNING (11 games in 2013) for the second-most games with at least three touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history. Only TOM BRADY (12 games in 2007) had more such games. Both Brady and Manning were named Associated Press Most Valuable Player those seasons.

The players with the most games with at least three touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES 
Tom Brady#New England200712 
Drew BreesNew Orleans201211 
Peyton Manning#Denver201311 
     
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay202010* 
*Entering Week 15 
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

DOMINANT DAVANTE: Last week, Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS recorded seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, his eighth-consecutive game with a touchdown reception.​

With a touchdown reception on Saturday night against Carolina (8:15 PM ET, NFLN), Adams will tie A.J. GREEN (nine games in 2012) for the second-longest streak of games with a touchdown reception within a single season in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (12 games in 1987) has a longer streak.

The players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception within a single season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco198712
A.J. GreenCincinnati20129
    
Davante AdamsGreen Bay20208*
*Active streak

Adams enters Week 15 with 91 receptions for 1,144 yards and ties for the league lead with 14 touchdown receptions. On Saturday, he can become the sixth player with at least 100 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions in a single season in NFL history.

The players with at least 100 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEPTIONSREC. YARDSREC. TDs
Antonio BrownPittsburgh20181041,29715
Randy MossHOFMinnesota20031111,63217
Marvin HarrisonHOFIndianapolis20011091,52415
Cris CarterHOFMinnesota19951221,37117
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco19951221,84815
      
Davante AdamsGreen Bay202091*1,144*14*
*Entering Week 15

ANOTHER 50 FOR LARRY: Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD ranks second in NFL history with 1,423 receptions and 17,429 receiving yards, behind only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE in both categories.

This season, Fitzgerald has 45 receptions for 346 yards. With five receptions on Sunday against Philadelphia (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Fitzgerald will have recorded his 17th season with at least 50 receptions, tied with Rice (17 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 50 receptions in league history.

The players with the most seasons with at least 50 receptions in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAM(S)SEASONS
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco, Oakland Raiders17
Larry FitzgeraldArizona16*
Tony GonzalezHOFKansas City, Atlanta16
*Has 45 receptions in 2020

ALL HAIL KING HENRY: Last week, Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history with four career games with at least 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

This season, Henry leads the league with 1,532 rushing yards and ties for the lead with 14 rushing touchdowns. With a rushing touchdown on Sunday against Detroit (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Henry – who led the NFL with 1,550 rushing yards and had 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019 – can become the fourth player in league history with at least 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons, joining SHAUN ALEXANDER (2004-05), Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS (1997-98) and LARRY JOHNSON (2005-06).

The players with at least 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONS 
Shaun AlexanderSeattle2004-05 
Terrell DavisHOFDenver1997-98 
Larry JohnsonKansas City2005-06 
    
Derrick HenryTennessee2019-20* 
*Has 1,532 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2020

X MARKS THE SPOT: Miami cornerback XAVIEN HOWARD leads the league with a career-high nine interceptions and has recorded an interception in five consecutive games.

With an interception on Sunday against New England (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Howard will tie for the longest streak with an interception within a single season since 1970.

The players with the most consecutive games with an interception within a single season since 1970:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Mel BlountHOFPittsburgh19756
Doug EvansCarolina20016
Eric HarrisKansas City19806
Lester HayesOakland Raiders19806
Brian RussellMinnesota20036
Barry WilburnWashington19876
    
Xavien HowardMiami20205*
*Active streak

NFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

RAVENS QB LAMAR JACKSON, COLTS CB KENNY MOORE &
BRONCOS PR DIONTAE SPENCER NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 14

Quarterback LAMAR JACKSON of the Baltimore Ravens, cornerback KENNY MOORE of the Indianapolis Colts and punt returner DIONTAE SPENCER of the Denver Broncos are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 14 (December 10, 13-14).

OFFENSE: QB LAMAR JACKSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS

DEFENSE: CB KENNY MOORE, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

SPECIAL TEAMS: PR DIONTAE SPENCER, DENVER BRONCOS

2020 AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OffenseDefenseSpecial Teams
Wk 1QB Lamar Jackson, BaltimoreCB Casey Hayward, L.A. ChargersK Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas
Wk 2QB Josh Allen, BuffaloLB T.J. Watt, PittsburghK Harrison Butker, Kansas City
Wk 3QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas CityCB Xavier Rhodes, IndianapolisK Stephen Gostkowski, Tennessee
Wk 4RB Joe Mixon, CincinnatiDE Myles Garrett, ClevelandK Brandon McManus, Denver
Wk 5WR Chase Claypool, PittsburghLB Patrick Queen, BaltimoreK Jason Sanders, Miami
Wk 6RB Derrick Henry, TennesseeDE Calais Campbell, BaltimoreK Brandon McManus, Denver
Wk 7QB Baker Mayfield, ClevelandDE Jerry Hughes, BuffaloKR Byron Pringle, Kansas City
Wk 8QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas CityDE Stephon Tuitt, PittsburghPR/KR Jakeem Grant, Miami
Wk 9QB Josh Allen, BuffaloDL Jeffery Simmons, TennesseeK Nick Folk, New England
Wk 10QB Ben Roethlisberger, PittsburghS Jeff Heath, Las VegasLB E.J. Speed, Indianapolis
Wk 11QB Deshaun Watson, HoustonDE Olivier Vernon, ClevelandK Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis
Wk 12WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas CityLB A.J. Klein, BuffaloK Nick Folk, New England
Wk 13QB Josh Allen, BuffaloLB Kyle Van Noy, MiamiPR/WR Gunner Olszewski, New England
Wk 14QB Lamar Jackson, BaltimoreCB Kenny Moore, IndianapolisPR Diontae Spencer, Denver

RAMS RB CAM AKERS, CARDINALS LB HAASON REDDICK &
WASHINGTON P TRESS WAY NAMED NFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 14

Running back CAM AKERS of the Los Angeles Rams, linebacker HAASON REDDICK of the Arizona Cardinals and punter TRESS WAY of the Washington Football Team are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 14 (December 10, 13-14).

OFFENSE: RB CAM AKERS, LOS ANGELES RAMS

DEFENSE: LB HAASON REDDICK, ARIZONA CARDINALS

SPECIAL TEAMS: P TRESS WAY, WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

2020 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OffenseDefenseSpecial Teams
Wk 1QB Russell Wilson, SeattleDE Ryan Kerrigan, WashingtonP Thomas Morstead, New Orleans
Wk 2QB Dak Prescott, DallasLB Micah Kiser, L.A. RamsP Michael Dickson, Seattle
Wk 3QB Russell Wilson, SeattleLB Shaquil Barrett, Tampa BayK Matt Prater, Detroit
Wk 4QB Tom Brady, Tampa BayLB Za’Darius Smith, Green BayRB Mike Boone, Minnesota
Wk 5QB Kyler Murray, ArizonaDL Aaron Donald, L.A. RamsK Wil Lutz, New Orleans
Wk 6QB Matt Ryan, AtlantaS Budda Baker, ArizonaK Cairo Santos, Chicago
Wk 7QB Kyler Murray, ArizonaLB Devin White, Tampa BayP Johnny Hekker, L.A. Rams
Wk 8RB Dalvin Cook, MinnesotaLB Bobby Wagner, SeattleK Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay
Wk 9RB Dalvin Cook, MinnesotaLB Foyesade Oluokun, AtlantaK Graham Gano, N.Y. Giants
Wk 10WR DeAndre Hopkins, ArizonaLB Leonard Floyd, L.A. RamsK Matt Prater, Detroit
Wk 11WR Robert Woods, L.A. RamsDE Brian Burns, CarolinaP Tress Way, Washington
Wk 12QB Kirk Cousins, MinnesotaDE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, AtlantaK Robbie Gould, San Francisco
Wk 13QB Aaron Rodgers, Green BayDL Leonard Williams, N.Y. GiantsK Dustin Hopkins, Washington
Wk 14RB Cam Akers, L.A. RamsLB Haason Reddick, ArizonaP Tress Way, Washington

BIG 10 HOCKEY THIS WEEK

• Three schools take the ice in the final week of play before the holiday break. Both games in the No. 16/- Notre Dame-Michigan State series can be found on linear channels, while the series between No. 18/- Ohio State and Arizona State will be available on Big Ten Network+.

• Five Big Ten teams appear in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week. Minnesota is No. 1 in the nation in both polls for the first time since 2014. Michigan follows at No. 6/6 and Wisconsin checks in at No. 14/13. Notre Dame (16th) and Ohio State (No. 18) are also ranked in the USCHO poll and both are receiving votes the USA Hockey Magazine poll.

• Minnesota sits atop the national polls this week after starting their season 8-0-0 for the first time since 1987-88. The Golden Gophers are the first Big Ten team to be named No. 1 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls since conference teams claimed that spot for three weeks in a row from Oct. 8 to Oct. 22, 2018. Ohio State earned the No. 1 ranking for two weeks (Oct. 8 and 15), immediately followed by Notre Dame on Oct. 22.

• Every televised game on BTN can be streamed on the FOX Sports app. All games broadcast by FOX Sports Regional Networks can also be streamed on the FOX Sports GO app for authenticated subscribers to the broadcasting regional network, or on Big Ten Network+. All games televised on an ESPN network will be streamed on the ESPN App.

• Three Big Ten goalies find themselves among the top 10 nationally in save percentage (among those netminders who have played at least three games). Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine leads the conference and ranks third nationally with a .965 save percentage, followed by Michigan State’s Drew DeRidder (7th, .931) and Ohio State’s Tommy Nappier (10th, .923).

• Four Big Ten teams currently rank with in the top 15 nationally in scoring (among programs that have played at least five games). Wisconsin leads the conference and ranks eighth nationally with 3.40 goals per game, followed by Minnesota and Penn State (tied for ninth – 3.38 goals per game), with Michigan ranking 15th (3.00 goals per contest).

• A pair of Big Ten standouts claimed national honors for the month of November from the Hockey Commissioners’ Association, as Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine was named the Goaltender of the Month and Wisconsin’s Linus Weissbach earned Player of the Month honors. Additionally, Michigan’s Thomas Bordeleau was recognized as the Rookie of the Month Runner-Up. 

• Nine Big Ten students earned spots on their respective national World Junior Team’s 25-player rosters. Michigan’s Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson and Cam York; Minnesota’s Brock Faber, Jackson LaCombe and Ryan Johnson; Notre Dame’s Landon Slaggert and Wisconsin’s Cole Caufield 2021 were named to the U.S. National Junior Team. The Badgers’ Dylan Holloway will represent Team Canada. The International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is scheduled for Dec. 25, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021, at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. Michigan assistant coach Kris Mayotte and Ohio State associate head coach Steve Miller will serve as assistant coaches for the U.S. squad.

• On Nov. 5, the Big Ten announced the first half of the schedule for the 2020-21 hockey season. The full schedule will feature 24 conference games for each team, plus an additional four contests per school against Arizona State University hosted at Big Ten venues. The 2020-21 schedule will conclude March 18-20, 2021, with the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. Individual team schedules that have been announced to date can be found on pages 4-5 of this release. 

• This season, teams will be awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation. If the game is tied following regulation, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.

Thursday, December 17:
 Arizona State atOhio State  NC 5:30 pm ET Big Ten Network+ 
 
 Friday, December 18:
 Arizona State atOhio State  NC 5:30 pm ET Big Ten Network+
 
 Saturday, December 19:
 Michigan State atNotre Dame  B1G 5:00 pm ET NBCSN
 
 Sunday, December 13:
 Michigan State atNotre Dame  B1G 5:00 pm ET NBC Sports Chicago

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Buffalo Bills1030.7690.03593216-1-04-2-07-2-04-0-03 W
Miami Dolphins850.6152.03302454-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 L
New England Patriots670.4624.02772794-2-02-5-05-4-02-1-01 L
New York Jets0130.00010.01833930-7-00-6-00-10-00-5-013 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Kansas City Chiefs1210.9230.04032815-1-07-0-010-1-04-1-08 W
Las Vegas Raiders760.5385.03503912-4-05-2-05-4-03-1-01 L
Denver Broncos580.3857.02573472-4-03-4-04-5-01-3-01 W
Los Angeles Chargers490.3088.02973623-4-01-5-03-6-00-3-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-Pittsburgh Steelers1120.8460.03492376-1-05-1-08-1-04-0-02 L
Cleveland Browns940.6922.03483685-2-04-2-06-4-02-3-01 L
Baltimore Ravens850.6153.03632733-3-05-2-05-5-03-2-02 W
Cincinnati Bengals2101.1928.52443382-4-00-6-12-7-00-4-05 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans940.6920.03903364-3-05-1-07-4-04-1-01 W
Indianapolis Colts940.6920.03723004-2-05-2-05-4-02-2-02 W
Houston Texans490.3085.02953592-4-02-5-03-6-02-2-02 L
Jacksonville Jaguars1120.0778.02613831-6-00-6-01-9-01-4-012 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Washington Football Team670.4620.02872753-3-03-4-04-5-03-2-04 W
New York Giants580.3851.02382912-4-03-4-04-7-03-2-01 L
Philadelphia Eagles481.3461.52773283-3-11-5-04-5-02-2-01 W
Dallas Cowboys490.3082.02984002-4-02-5-03-6-01-3-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Los Angeles Rams940.6920.03252465-1-04-3-08-2-02-2-02 W
Seattle Seahawks940.6920.03933246-1-03-3-06-3-02-2-01 W
Arizona Cardinals760.5382.03583033-3-04-3-05-4-02-2-01 W
San Francisco 49ers580.3854.03003111-6-04-2-03-6-02-2-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Green Bay Packers1030.7690.04103235-1-05-2-08-2-04-1-03 W
Minnesota Vikings670.4624.03333553-4-03-3-04-5-03-1-01 L
Chicago Bears670.4624.02822913-4-03-3-05-5-01-3-01 W
Detroit Lions580.3855.03103891-5-04-3-04-6-01-4-01 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-New Orleans Saints1030.7690.03682655-1-05-2-08-2-05-0-01 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers850.6152.03702944-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 W
Atlanta Falcons490.3086.03283222-5-02-4-02-8-01-3-02 L
Carolina Panthers490.3086.03073322-5-02-4-03-6-01-4-02 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage