Bengals sign two of top four draft picks

Published: Sunday, May 07, 2017 @ 1:45 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 07, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

Bengals WR responds to the challenge from Reds CF Billy Hamilton to a race and talks about his long lost baseball career.

The Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday signed first-round pick John Ross and fourth-round pick Carl Lawson.

Ross, a wide receiver from Washington whom the Bengals selected with the ninth overall pick, and Lawson, a linebacker out of Auburn, both signed four-year contracts. Ross’ contract includes a team option for a fifth year.

»RELATED: Bengals rookie says he was born to rush passer

Ross (5-foot-11, 188) clocked a NFL Scouting Combine record 4.22-second 40-yard dash. At Washington, he caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“It’s great for John that this part of it is out of the way,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “This gives him the opportunity to focus on finishing school and then football, and I think that’s important.”

»RELATED: Former Buckeye hoping to impress Bengals

Lawson (6-2, 261) played in 33 games with 20 starts at Auburn. He totaled 14 career sacks and 24 tackles for loss. Lawson had nine sacks last season.

»RELATED: Young linebackers getting noticed at rookie camp

The Bengals draft choices still unsigned are running back Joe Mixon (second round; Oklahoma), defensive end Jordan Willis (third round; Kansas State), wide receiver Josh Malone (fourth round; Tennessee), defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow (fourth round; Michigan), kicker Jake Elliott (fifth round; Memphis), offensive lineman J.J. Dielman (fifth round; Utah), linebacker Jordan Evans (sixth round; Oklahoma), safety Brandon Wilson (sixth round, Houston) and tight end Mason Schreck (seven round; Buffalo).

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Year 1 done: Auburn RB Devan Barrett ‘appreciates’ coaching, Kerryon Johnson’s impact

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Auburn Tigers football-running back Devan Barrett-Kerryon Johnson

Devan Barrett’s takeaways from his freshman season had little to do with his own on-field experiences.

The Tampa, Fla., native totaled 79 yards on 14 carries, but he also took note of everything happening around him as Auburn climbed to the top of the SEC. It was a memorable year to say the least.

He seems really, really happy,” said Tampa Catholic High School coach Mike Gregory. “Which, that’s always Step 1 for those guys is making sure they’re happy with the setting and environment they are in.” 

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Barrett was less concerned with minutes and attempts during his first season at Auburn and was more focused on listening to everyone around him, whether that meant a coach or an upperclassmen. The newcomer understood long before he stepped on campus that it would be the best way to achieve his goals.

“You can definitely tell he appreciates the coaching he’s getting from Coach [Tim] Horton and some of the other offensive guys on that staff,” Gregory said. “He seems really excited about coaching. He’s excited about the opportunity to compete. He knows he’s gotta put some weight on, get a little bit bigger to be an every down back in the SEC, but he’s confident in his abilities.”

With Horton commanding the running backs’ meeting room Barrett got a good grip on the offense and was never intimidated or overwhelmed. His relationships with his coaches developed naturally after he arrived on campus.

MORE: Auburn’s Malik Willis learned important of being QB ‘all the time’

“Obviously it’s different being in college,” former Auburn receiver and Tampa Catholic wide receiver coach Jeris McIntyre said. “But I think Horton has brought him along step-by-step and has taught him to be patient and work hard every day.”

Barrett also paid close attention to everything Kerryon Johnson did. That’s how he figured out the importance of patience, every day improvement and taking care of his body — little things that will go a long way.

Devan Barrett is a likely candidate to replace Kerryon Johnson (21) during the next couple of seasons, since both offer versatility and posses the skill set of a wide receiver. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

“I think that’s huge. Any time he can learn from a guy who’s been through it and been in the same situations,” Gregory said. “He took advice and latched onto the older guys. Those are the guys that, first of all are honest with you. And they are the guys who’ve been through it, who’ve done it.”

At the end of 2017, Johnson was leading the conference in rushing yards (1,391) and opted to pursue a NFL career. What was perhaps even more important than the way Johnson found holes or battled through injuries, however, was the way the Huntsville, Ala., native, approached things off of the field. Barrett took special notice of that, too.

“Kerryon is a great guy, a model citizen. Everyone likes him and he carries himself well in the meeting rooms and off the field,” McIntyre said. “That’s something that Devan is learning, just how to be a pro’s pro — take care of your body, things like that. It helped him a lot having someone like Kerryon around.”

The post Year 1 done: Auburn RB Devan Barrett ‘appreciates’ coaching, Kerryon Johnson’s impact appeared first on SEC Country.

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Staying alive? What we learned from Oregon’s 77-68 win over Arizona State

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:55 PM

A Final Four team last season, Oregon isn’t likely to make the NCAA tournament barring a major run here in the final games before Selection Sunday. Such a late push needed a start, and the Ducks got that Thursday in beating Arizona State 77-68 at home.

A strong first half was followed by a sluggish final 20 minutes, though the Ducks (18-10, 8-7 Pac-12) did what they needed to in order to come out on top. There’s still much work to do before Oregon can really think about the NCAA tourney, starting with Saturday’s visit from conference leader Arizona, but for now here’s what we learned about this barely-on-the-bubble squad:

Prowess in the paint

Oregon doesn’t start a player over 6-foot-8, with 6-foot-9 Kenny Wooten its tallest regular contributor. So how did the Ducks outrebound Arizona State 40-32 and dominate points in the paint by a 36-14 edge? By fighting hard close to the basket, both offensively and defensively.

Though only 22 of 47 on two-pointers, Oregon pulled down 12 offensive rebounds that led to 16 second-chance points. ASU only had 5 offensive boards and 9 points on putbacks.

Ball care breeds results

Oregon turned it over just 7 times, a season low, with no player giving it away more than twice. In getting swept by the Los Angeles schools last week the Ducks had 36 total turnovers.

And only three of those turnovers were on bad passes or similar plays, the other four coming because of offensive fouls.

Sophomore guard Payton Pritchard had been particularly careful with the ball of late, his assist-to-turnover ratio up to 3.5-to-1 in Pac-12 play.

Better body control

Those four charges notwithstanding, the 20 fouls Oregon was charged with didn’t result in the kind of distinct free throw disadvantage it has seen many times this season. Arizona State was 16 of 18 from the foul line but only attempted 9 free throws in the second half as the Ducks committed just 9 fouls after halftime.

The Ducks were 18 of 23 from the line, only the 11 th time in 28 games they were out-attempted. They are 11-0 when taking more foul shots than their opponents.

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Canadian women's hockey player apologizes for taking off silver medal

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 1:48 AM

The Meaning Behind The Olympic Rings

Canadian women’s hockey player Jocelyn Larocque apologized after taking off her silver medal during Thursday’s ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Olympics, saying she meant no disrespect and was caught up in the emotion of a bitter loss.

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The United States edged Canada 3-2 Thursday in a shootout victory in the gold medal game. During the postgame medal ceremony, Larocque took off her silver medal almost immediately after it was put around her neck. Her action sparked criticism from media and fans in Canada.

Later Friday, Larocque issued an apology through Team Canada, the National Post reported. Larocque expressed regrets to the International Olympic Committee, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada, her teammates and fans.

>> Photos: 2018 Winter Olympics: US women’s hockey team wins gold

“I take seriously being a role model to young girls and representing our country,” Larocque wrote. “My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family and for that I am truly sorry.

“In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me.”

Larocque said the action was something she wished she “could take back,” the National Post reported.

“I meant no disrespect — it has been an honor to represent my country and win a medal for Canada,” she wrote. “I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games.

“Being on the podium at the world’s biggest sporting event is a great achievement and one that I’m thankful I was able to experience with my teammates.”

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Report: USC running back Stephen Carr out of spring practice with injury

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

A report from Adam Maya of Rivals indicates that USC running back Stephen Carr will miss all of spring practice due to a herniated disc.

Chris Trevino of 247sports added context:

The Fontana native was the favorite to take over the Trojan backfield as the No. 1 RB with junior Ronald Jones declaring early for the NFL Draft.

But a foot injury knocked him out for four games and slowed him during the final stretch when he eventually returned. His other struggle as a freshman was fumbles (one in the Pac-12 title game), the only RB on the team to cough up the ball.

Carr rushed for 363 yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries last season.

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