Bengals player calls President Trump ‘a clown’

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 6:34 PM
Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 6:36 PM

Bengals' Iloka on President Trump: He's 'a clown'

The Cincinnati Bengals made a unified, silent statement Sunday at Green Bay in response to President Donald Trump when players and coaches stood with their arms locked during the national anthem.

Monday afternoon, safety George Iloka broke that silence when asked if he took President Trump’s words personally.

»RELATED: Marvin Lewis says Bengals weren’t going to let divisive words divide team

“It’s Donald. Take it with a grain of salt. Dude’s a clown,” Iloka said. “You have to take him serious because he’s the leader, if you want to call him that, of the free world. I put ‘free’ in quotations. But you’ve got to take what he says with a grain of salt. One day it’s this, the next day it’s that. He says a lot just for outrage and clicks and things like that. It worked for his election.

“He’s offended a lot of people,” Iloka continued. “So I’ll join the line of people who’ve been offended by Donald Trump.”

»RELATED: Winless Bengals and winless Browns face off in futility bowl

Iloka was responding to comments Trump made at a political rally in Alabama on Friday, when he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.’”

Iloka said it wasn’t the specific language Trump used that bothered him, but the overall message.

Iloka on Trump: Dude's a clown

»RELATED: Grading the Bengals loss to the Packers

“Regular people, civilians, employers, your boss, my boss, whatever it may be, it’s different when they say those things,” Iloka said. “But when a politician, a government official is telling the public to essentially punish other citizens for exercising their right, that kind of throws off the purpose.

“I know those soldiers went overseas and fought for my rights,” he continued. “But it’s contradicted if the same rights that they fought for and died for, the President is trying to punish me for it. Why fight for it if you’re going to punish us for exercising it?”

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

The Bengals are one of the few teams that have yet to have a player take a knee during the anthem since Colin Kaepernick began the practice last season.

Asked if there was directive for the coaching staff or front office that they not do it, Iloka took a long pause before answering.

“There’s been discussions,” he said. “What we ended up doing yesterday was a team effort and something that we all came together and decided to do.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Wisconsin recruiting: OL Bryce Benhart could make next big commitment; QB Graham Mertz accepts Under Armour All-America Game invite

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:15 PM

Wisconsin-Wisconsin Recruiting-Bryce Benhart-class of 2019-Under Armour
            All-America Game

Recruiting never stops in Badgers country, and we’re here to help put it all in perspective. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday night for a recap of Wisconsin recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes and a glimpse at what’s coming next.

T Bryce Benhart’s recruitment heating up

The recruitment of Wisconsin’s 2019 football class is off to a rousing start, with eight committed players, including four 4-star prospects. That early success has Badgers fans salivating about which big-name player might commit next. One of the names on the short list that consistently surfaces is Bryce Benhart, a 6-foot-9, 285-pound tackle from Lakeville, Minn.

Benhart is a 4-star prospect who is rated as the No. 2 player in Minnesota and the No. 28 tackle in the country, per the 247Sports composite. Wisconsin was among the first schools to offer Benhart a scholarship on June 12, and he took two unofficial visits in September during the season to watch the Badgers play Utah State and Northwestern.

But given Benhart’s talent and size, Wisconsin has plenty of competition for his services. He now holds 12 scholarship offers. Since January, he has picked up offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The Tennessee offer came on Wednesday.

Lakeville North football coach Brian Vossen said  three or four programs will visit Benhart each day at the high schoot during the open recruiting window when coaches can visit prospects. But Badgers offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph has stood out.

“Joe Rudolph has been awesome,” Vossen told Land of 10. “He’s done a great job of forming a relationship with Bryce. I know Bryce feels really comfortable around him. We had the opportunity to have Paul Chryst come visit the school. He watched Bryce in wrestling practice.

“I had never met him before. Just a really Midwestern, good laid-back guy. I know Bryce, he has Wisconsin very high on his list of schools he’s interested in, but he doesn’t give me a lot. … He’s already made it clear that that’s a place he’s highly interested in and quite frankly, any lineman in the country, if you get an offer from Wisconsin, that’s a pretty big deal.”

Vossen said the schools that have consistently maintained a relationship with Benhart from the start of his recruitment are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State and Northwestern. Benhart has taken at least six unofficial visits to Minnesota’s campus, which is about 30 minutes north of Lakeville.

But several more schools continue to take notice. Vossen said he spoke to new Tennessee running backs coach Chris Weinke on Tuesday. One day later, Benhart received an offer from the Volunteers. Vossen added that Ohio State coaches had been in contact with Benhart as well.

“I don’t know what the young man totally wants to do,” Vossen said. “Personally, I’d be very surprised if he traveled too far away. He just strikes me as a guy who’s got a close family, and the Midwestern thing seems to fit him, kind of a Big Ten-type guy.

“I think the same guys that he connected with, I feel like I’ve connected with. Joe Rudolph is a heck of a guy. He’s really done an awesome job. He’d be fun to play for.”

Bryce Benhart’s junior-season highlights

Vossen described Benhart as a quiet individual who carries a lead-by-example mentality. He’ll be a three-year starter for Lakeville North and already has been voted as a team captain for the 2018 season. Vossen said he sees a prospect who still has room to grow into his body and could be a 340- or 350-pound college lineman.

“He’s a gigantic man,” said Vossen, who has been on the Lakeville North staff for 15 years, including the last eight as varsity coach. “It’s just different. I’ve never coached a kid or seen a kid look quite like him.”

Benhart is a standout wrestler and actually had to drop 15 pounds this winter so he could compete in the 285-pound heavyweight division. He played his football season at 300 pounds. Vossen noted wrestling has helped Benhart as a lineman to gain better leverage and win his 1-on-1 battles in the trenches.

“He’s got exceptional balance and flexibility for a guy his size,” Vossen said. “And obviously the coaches that have watched him on film and come in and seen him have recognized that right away ― that he’s rare.”

Wisconsin already has two tackles committed in the 2019 class with 4-star prospects Logan Brown (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Joe Tippmann (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Brown is the No. 7 tackle in his class and would be the second-highest-rated tackle to sign with Wisconsin in the history of the online recruiting ranking era. Benhart’s addition could help Wisconsin put together its best-ever offensive line class.

Some Badgers fans have wondered if those two commitments at the same position might be a deterrent to Benhart picking Wisconsin.

“I haven’t asked him,” Vossen said. “But I think it’s obvious that every year if you go play college football, especially at a good program, there’s going to be a bunch of linemen that come in every year that you have to compete with. At that level, and especially as big as Wisconsin linemen are and the style of football they play, who knows? Tackles become guards. Guards become centers. People end up moving all over the place. At the end of the day, it’s, ‘Where do you need me to play so I can get on the field?’

“At 6-9, I can’t picture him playing guard just because it would look so odd. But his balance and footwork is good enough that he can do it. He does it some for us.”

LB Kyi Wright gains Wisconsin offer

Kyi Wright, a 6-2, 230-pound outside linebacker from Farrell, Pa., gained a Wisconsin scholarship offer on Tuesday. Wright is a 3-star prospect who ranks No. 7 in Pennsylvania and No. 28 nationally among outside linebackers for the 2019 class.

Wright’s other offers include Maryland, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Temple and UCLA. He visited Penn State for its junior day on Feb. 3 but has yet to receive an offer from the Nittany Lions. According to MaxPreps, Wright recorded an astounding 137 tackles as a freshman in 2015 and followed up that mark with 110 tackles as a sophomore. He also has played quarterback and tight end in high school.

QB commit Graham Mertz accepts Under Armour All-America Game invite

Wisconsin quarterback commit Graham Mertz continues to be recognized nationally. The latest honor came Tuesday, when he accepted an invitation to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game.

The game, which started in 2008, is played every January in Florida and spotlights some of the top high school seniors in the country. Wisconsin has had four players represented in the game over the years: Tyler Westphal (2008), Konrad Zagzebski (2010), Kyle Pennison (2015) and Adam Bay (2017).

Mertz already has had a busy offseason since he committed to Wisconsin. He led Blue Valley North to the Kansas Class 6A state championship and finished the season completing 269 of 434 passes (62 percent) for 3,684 yards with 45 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He has picked up 12 more scholarship offers, including from Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, LSU, Georgia, Iowa, Alabama and Tennessee. Mertz earned the Alabama offer Monday and the Tennessee offer Thursday.

In January, Mertz participated in the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. The combine featured 650 underclassmen from 2019, 2020 and 2021 who took part in testing, camp drills and 1-on-1 competitions. Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports named Mertz to his honorable mention team as the second-best quarterback at the combine.

Mertz is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the country for 2019. His overall 247Sports composite rating is .8914, although that very well could rise given the attention he has received in recent months. Since 2000, only two quarterbacks to sign with Wisconsin have had a higher composite rating: Bart Houston (.9229) and D.J. Gillins (.8922).

The post Wisconsin recruiting: OL Bryce Benhart could make next big commitment; QB Graham Mertz accepts Under Armour All-America Game invite appeared first on Land of 10.

Trending - Most Read Stories

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players, NFL draft order (02/22/2018)

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:30 AM

NFL mock drafts for 2018 are here. Check out predictions, key players and the first-round draft order below.

Much of the narrative around the 2018 NFL Draft is focused at the quarterback position. Mock drafts from ESPN and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks filling up the top 10 this year.

Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts, including Land of 10’s own projection.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players

Land of 10 predictions

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DL, N.C. State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  5. Denver Broncos — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Derwin James, DB, Florida State
  8. Chicago Bears — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  11. Miami Dolphins — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  13. Washington Redskins — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  14. Green Bay Packers — Joshua Jackson, DB, Iowa
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Mike McGlinchey, G, Notre Dame
  18. Seattle Seahawks — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
  20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  21. Buffalo Bills –Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  22. Buffalo Bills — Arden Key, DL, LSU
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  24. Carolina Panthers — Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
  25. Tennessee Titans — Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Vita Vea, DL, Washington
  27. New Orleans Saints — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Harold Landry, LB, Boston College
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
  31. New England Patriots — Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
  32. Philadelphia Eagles — Ogbonnia Okoronwko, LB, Oklahoma

NFL mock draft 2018: ESPN projections by Mel Kiper

  1. Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  2. New York Giants — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  5. Denver Broncos — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  6. New York Jets — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Quenton Nelton, G, Notre Dame
  8. Chicago Bears — Tremaine Edmunds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  11. Miami Dolphins — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Kolton Miller, T, UCLA
  13. Washington Redskins — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  14. Green Bay Packers — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  21. Buffalo Bills — Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
  22. Buffalo Bills — James Daniels, G/C, Iowa
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  24. Carolina Panthers — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma
  25. Tennessee Titans — Ronald Jones, RB, USC
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
  27. New Orleans Saints — Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Geron Christian, T, Louisville
  31. New England Patriots — Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
  32. Philadelphia Eagles — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

NFL mock draft 2018: Top players, projection for first round

CBS Sports projection

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  5. Buffalo Bills (mock trade) — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  8. Chicago Bears — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  11. Miami Dolphins — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Connor Williams, T, Texas
  13. Washington Redskins — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  14. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  20. Detroit Lions — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  21. Denver Broncos (mock trade) — Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame
  22. Buffalo Bills — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
  24. Carolina Panthers — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  25. Tennessee Titans — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  27. New Orleans Saints — Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Will Hernandez, OL, UTEP
  31. Philadelphia Eagles — Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma
  32. New England Patriots — Ronald Jones, RB, USC

2018 NFL Draft: First-round order

The draft order was finalized after the Super Bowl.

1. Cleveland Browns

2. New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Denver Broncos

6. New York Jets

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Chicago Bears

9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)

11. Miami Dolphins

12. Cincinnati Bengals

13. Washington Redskins

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Arizona Cardinals

16. Baltimore Ravens

17. Los Angeles Chargers

18. Seattle Seahawks

19. Dallas Cowboys

20. Detroit Lions

21. Buffalo Bills

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)

23. Los Angeles Rams

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Tennessee Titans

26. Atlanta Falcons

27. New Orleans Saints

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. Minnesota Vikings

31. New England Patriots

32. Philadelphia Eagles

Trending - Most Read Stories

Olympics Hockey 2018: Scores, schedule, bracket, results for Thursday (02/22/2018)

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 1:45 AM

Olympics Hockey 2018 continues Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. The men’s tournament is into the semifinals.

In the women’s tournament, USA beat Canada to win the gold medal.

Olympics Hockey 2018: Schedule, scores

Friday, February 23


  • Czech Republic vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia, 2:40 a.m. ET Friday, Feb. 23
  • Canada vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23

Olympics Hockey 2018: Bracket

Men’s Hockey

Click here for a live bracket

Playoff qualification (winners to quarterfinals)

Note: All times ET

  • Germany 2, Switzerland 1
  • Finland 5, South Korea 2
  • USA 5, Slovakia 1
  • Norway 2, Slovenia 1 (OT)


  • Germany 4, Sweden 3 (OT)
  • Canada 1, Finland 0
  • Czech Republic 3, USA 2 (shootout)
  • Olympic Athletes from Russia 6, Norway 1


  • Czech Republic vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia, 2:40 a.m. ET Friday, Feb. 23
  • Canada vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23

Bronze Medal

  • 7:10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 24

Gold Medal

  • 10:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 24

Olympic Men’s Hockey 2018: Standings


Group A

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Czech Republic 2 1 0 0 9 4 +5 8
2 Canada 2 0 1 0 11 4 +7 7
3 Switzerland 1 0 0 2 10 9 +1 3
4 South Korea 0 0 0 3 1 14 -13 0

Group B

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Olympic Athletes from Russia 2 0 0 1 14 5 +9 6
2 Slovenia 0 2 0 1 8 12 -4 4
3 USA 1 0 1 1 4 8 -4 4
4 Slovakia 1 0 1 1 6 7 -1 4

Group C

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Sweden 3 0 0 0 8 1 +7 9
2 Finland 2 0 0 1 11 6 +5 6
3 Germany 0 1 0 2 4 7 -3 2
4 Norway 0 0 1 2 2 11 -9 1

Olympic Women’s Hockey 2018: Standings


Group A

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Canada 3 0 0 0 11 2 +9 9
2 USA 2 0 0 1 9 3 +6 6
3 Finland 1 0 0 2 7 8 -1 3
4 Olympic Athletes from Russia 0 0 0 3 1 15 -14 0

Group B

Pos. Team W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Switzerland 3 0 0 0 13 2 +11 9
2 Sweden 2 0 0 1 11 3 +8 6
3 Japan 1 0 0 2 6 6 0 3
4 Korea 0 0 0 3 1 20 -19 0

Olympics Hockey: Scores, results

Saturday, February 10

  • Women’s hockey: Sweden 2, Japan 1
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 8, Korea 0

Saturday, February 11

  • Women’s hockey: USA 3, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey: Canada 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0

Monday, February 12

  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 3, Japan 1
  • Women’s hockey: Sweden 8, Korea 0

Tuesday, February 13

  • Women’s hockey: Canada 4, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey: USA 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 2, Sweden 1

Wednesday, February 14

  • Women’s hockey: Japan 4, Korea 1
  • Men’s hockey: Slovakia 3, Olympic Athletes from Russia 2
  • Men’s hockey: Slovenia 3, USA 2 (OT)
  • Men’s hockey: Finland 5, Germany 2
  • Women’s hockey: Canada 2, USA 1

Thursday, February 15

  • Men’s hockey: Sweden 4, Norway 0
  • Women’s hockey: Finland 5, Olympics Athletes from Russia 1
  • Men’s hockey: Czech Republic 2, South Korea 1
  • Men’s hockey: Canada 5, Switzerland 1
  • Men’s hockey: USA 2, Slovakia 1

Friday, February 16

  • Men’s hockey: Olympic Athletes from Russia 8, Slovenia 2
  • Men’s hockey: Finland 5, Norway 1
  • Men’s hockey: Sweden 1, Germany 0
  • Men’s hockey: Czech Republic 3, Canada 2 (shootout)
  • Women’s hockey quarterfinal: Olympic Athletes from Russia 6, Switzerland 2

Saturday, February 17

  • Men’s hockey: Switzerland 8, South Korea 0
  • Women’s hockey quarterfinal: Finland 7, Sweden 2
  • Men’s hockey: Olympic Athletes from Russia 4, USA 0
  • Men’s hockey: Slovenia 3, Slovakia 2 (shootout)
  • Men’s hockey: Germany 2, Norway 1 (shootout)
  • Women’s hockey: Switzerland 2, Korea 0

Sunday, February 18

  • Men’s hockey (Group A): Czech Republic 4, Switzerland 1
  • Women’s hockey (Classification for Nos. 5-8): Japan 2, Sweden 1 (OT)
  • Men’s hockey (Group A): Canada 4, South Korea 0
  • Men’s hockey (Group C): Sweden 3, Finland 1
  • Women’s hockey (Semifinals): USA 5, Finland 0

Monday, February 19

  • Women’s hockey (Semifinals): Canada 5, Olympic Athletes from Russia 0
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): USA 5, Slovakia 1
  • Women’s hockey (Finals for No. 7-8): Sweden 6, Korea 1

Tuesday, February 20

  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Norway 2, Slovenia 1 (OT)
  • Women’s hockey (Finals for No. 5-6): Switzerland 1, Japan 0
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Finland 5, South Korea 2
  • Men’s hockey (Playoff qualification): Germany 2, Switzerland 1
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Czech Republic 3, USA 2 (shootout)

Wednesday, February 21

  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Olympic Athletes from Russia 6, Norway 1
  • Women’s hockey (Bronze Medal): Finland 3, Olympic Athletes from Russia 2
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Canada 1, Finland 0
  • Men’s hockey (Quarterfinal): Germany 4, Sweden 3 (OT)
  • Women’s hockey (Gold Medal): USA 2, Canada 1

Friday, February 23

  • Czech Republic vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia, 2:40 a.m. ET Friday, Feb. 23
  • Canada vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23

Saturday, February 24

  • Men’s hockey: Bronze medal, 7:10 a.m.
  • Men’s hockey: Gold medal, 11:10 p.m.

Trending - Most Read Stories

In-state defensive tackle DJ Dale draws Derrick Brown comparison from Auburn coaches

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

Auburn recruiting-defensive tackle DJ Dale

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. These notebooks will now publish in the evening Sunday through Thursday. It’s Thursday, and SEC Country catches up with an Auburn defensive tackle target who received high praise from coaches.

In-state DT draws Derrick Brown comparison

In most Iron Bowl recruiting battles, the prospect generally has some form of allegiance to either Alabama or Auburn. Both sides have learned that those allegiances — typically based on childhood fandom — don’t dictate the college decisions those prospects make. Those choices are about business, it’s often said.

As for DJ Dale, well, he brings a different perspective to the recruiting rivalry, which he’ll become a centerpiece of in the coming months.

“When I was younger, I actually grew up a Texas fan because of Vince Young,” Dale said, laughing. “That isn’t going to be a factor in my decision.

Alabama and Auburn will both be factors in Dale’s college decision.

The Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) defensive tackle holds offers from the Crimson Tide and Tigers. Both programs offered him in mid-January. Dale also picked up spring offers from Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Louisville. So this isn’t exclusively an Auburn-Alabama battle. But, as is the case most of the time (unless you’re Justyn Ross), one of the in-state schools tends to win that battle when they actively pursue a prospect.

Auburn tried to get ahead of the curve with Dale by hosting him on a visit in February.

Dale is listed at 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds on his Hudl page, as well as some recruiting service profiles. That shows the progress Dale made physically over the course of his junior season and in the last few months. Dale told SEC Country he weighed in at 320 pounds at Auburn junior day.

That drew a specific complimentary comparison from Auburn coaches.

“Coach Garner said I reminded him of Derrick Brown,” Dale said. “He really likes my film and stuff. He said I remind him of players he has now. He thinks I have a chance to play early.”

That’s high praise, but the strength is there.

Those interactions with Garner and other members of the coaching staff helped Dale recognize all the positives the Tigers bring. He doesn’t have any top schools yet. That’ll come via a top-5 list in March, he said.

The Tigers are likely to crack that group.

“I like how much coaches like to get involved off the field, make you become a better man, things like that,” Dale said. “It meant a lot. It’s a great university. … Right now, they’re in the conversation.”

Taking a look at recent Auburn offers

Auburn sent out two 2019 offers in the last 48 hours worth mentioning.

  • 4-star RB Deondrick Glass, Katy, Texas
  • 4-star DE Brandon Smith, Mineral, Va.

Glass wasn’t included in my 2019 running back primer Tuesday because he hadn’t been offered yet. Now that he has, he’ll come to the forefront of the running back conversation for this class. Auburn dipped into Texas to find its feature running back. Glass is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 16 running back in the class. He’s the No. 196 overall prospect. Glass also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and others.

Smith is the newest defensive line offer for the Tigers. With offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Florida and others already in hand, Smith picked up his most recent offer from Auburn courtesy of linebackers coach Travis Williams. Smith will be one of the highest-rated recruits Auburn goes after in 2019. He’s the No. 4 weakside defensive end in the nation and the 36th-ranked overall prospect nationally.

Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting right here.

The post In-state defensive tackle DJ Dale draws Derrick Brown comparison from Auburn coaches appeared first on SEC Country.

Trending - Most Read Stories