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Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 9:45 AM
— The Cleveland Browns fell just short in a 31-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday.
The loss dropped them to 0-3, but Cleveland showed some life offensively. Free-agent signing Kenny Britt was among the positives.
Britt caught a touchdown from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer with a cornerback draped all over him.
Kizer ➡️ Britt pic.twitter.com/8G363ztxgf— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 24, 2017
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:08 AM
Texas is taking steps forward this season and Mohamed Bamba is a big reason why.
Such a sentiment is meant quite literally. The 6-foot-11 Harlem (N.Y.) native boasts a 7-foot-9 wingspan, and that’s most evident when Bamba patrols the paint.
Now 16 games into what’s widely expected to be his only season among the collegiate ranks, Bamba continues to climb the Big 12’s blocked shots leaderboard.
On Wednesday night as part of a 5-block effort in the Longhorns 67-58 win over No. 8 Texas Tech, Bamba surpassed former Kansas Jayhawks and current Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid for fourth all-time on the Big 12 freshman blocked shots list with 76.
To this point, Bamba is averaging 4.5 blocked shots per game, which headlines the Big 12 and ranks No. 2 nationally, behind only Marshall’s Adjin Penava (4.8).
Now trailing only former Longhorns Tristan Thompson (86), Myles Turner (89) and Chris Mihm (90), Bamba is well on his way to shattering the Big 12 freshman blocked shots record and making it his own. Furthermore, at his current pace, he’ll do so by the end of the month against Texas Tech on Jan. 31. If that proves true, Bamba would have a fill nine regular season games remaining to pad the cushion between himself and the league’s next great freshman rim protector; not to mention the Big 12 Tournament and potentially the NCAA Tournament.
A likely lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Bamba’s first season at Texas is almost certain to be his last, but with the way things are shaping up, he’ll depart for the NBA as the best freshman shot blocker the Big 12 has ever seen.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:06 AM
Baker Mayfield remains parked behind three other quarterback prospects in the latest draft board from ESPN’s Mel Kiper.
The Oklahoma quarterback stayed steady at No. 13 overall, behind Wyoming’s Josh Allen (No. 4), UCLA’s Josh Rosen (No. 5) and USC’s Sam Darnold (No. 6).
Mayfield’s production in college speaks for itself. The biggest concern about the Heisman winner is still his height, according to Kiper:
As I wrote in December, Mayfield is one of the most difficult evaluations in this class. I love him on the field — he’s not afraid to take shots downfield, and he has an underrated arm — but his size is going to be a question until he gets in front of scouts at the Senior Bowl. He is listed at 6-1, but I think he’s closer to 6-0. Either way, we’ll find out soon.
Mayfield will demonstrate his talents for NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl next week. He is currently expected to be considered by most of the teams in the top half of the first round.
While Mayfield’s ranking is the same as it was on Kiper’s last board, Allen actually moved up seven spots from No. 11 to become his top-ranked quarterback in the draft.
Ironically, while Mayfield is being held back despite his on-field production because of his physical traits, Allen’s measurables have pushed him up in Kiper’s rankings despite spotty play on the field.
Allen (6-5, 233) is super raw, but he can really sling it. His numbers weren’t great last season (28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes), and his numbers aren’t great this season (16 touchdown passes, six interceptions while completing 56.3 percent of his passes), but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. The Wyoming offense lost 47 touchdowns from last season’s team, along with its center. I think Allen’s numbers will be much better in an NFL offense with NFL players.
What Kiper fails to note is that with the departures of Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, Oklahoma lost 45 touchdowns from its 2016 squad. Yet Mayfield and the Sooners actually got better on offense this season.
Draft stocks inevitably fluctuate as players go through showcases, the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days, so this could all change soon. Regardless, where Mayfield projects compared to his quarterback peers will continue to be one of the most interesting storylines leading up to the draft.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Get insight and reaction to Ohio State football and basketball on the Inside the Shoe podcast, brought to you by Land of 10. In the latest edition, Kyle Lamb recaps the latest Buckeyes’ basketball victory, a 71-65 win at Northwestern on Wednesday night, and declares it time to begin treating Ohio State like a national contender this season. The Buckeyes improved to 16-4 and 7-0 in the Big Ten with the victory on Wednesday. Ohio State is now rated No. 12 in the Pomeroy ratings, and both its offensive and defensive efficiency rates among the top 25 nationally.
Also discussed on the show: a possible momentum swing with a key 2019 basketball recruit.
Every episode of Inside the Shoe can be found here.
Topics discussed on Inside the Shoe Thursday include:
On the Friday edition, Kyle will preview the weekend basketball action with Minnesota at Madison Square Garden, and Ryan Donnelly will join the show to talk football recruiting, including a possible commitment coming from Tyler Friday on … Friday.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.
Jamarcus Chatman wasn’t shy about his love for Miami once the Hurricanes got back in touch with him last week.
“Miami has the lead, and it’s a big lead,” the 3-star defensive tackle told Matt Shodell of Rivals.com on Friday. “Miami’s always been at the top of my list for everything, and I know about the guys leaving, so I have a chance to play right away.”
January recruiting can be a fickle beast.
Just five days later, Chatman said the Hurricanes’ lead hads evaporated. An official visit to North Carolina last weekend bumped the Tar Heels to the top of the 6-foot-3, 258-pound defensive lineman’s list. Chatman, who primarily played defensive end for Rome (Ga.) High School, told Rivals’ Andrew Jones and Deana King that North Carolina now sits atop his list.
RELATED: 2018 Miami recruiting big board
Although Chatman said Miami’s lead had vanished, the Hurricanes are probably in better shape to land the senior than they were just a few days ago. When Chatman first said Miami led, there was no guarantee he’d even get to Coral Gables, Fla., before National Signing Day. Now, he has an official visit lined up. Chatman will be on campus the weekend of Feb. 2.
“Right before signing day,” Chatman told DieHards on Wednesday.
The Hurricanes have pushed for about a half dozen new prospects along the defensive line since the start of the new year. Miami offered 3-star junior college strongside defensive end Dorian Gerald, 3-star defensive tackle Moro Ojomo and 3-star strongside defensive end Malik Langham during January, and reinitiated contact with 4-star Texas defensive tackle commit Keondre Coburn. This is in addition to continuing to pursue longstanding targets such as 4-star defensive tackles Dennis Briggs and Michael Thompson, 4-star weakside defensive end Andrew Chatfield and 3-star strongside defensive end Daniel Carson. Miami can turn in plenty of different directions for a strong finish.
Right now, the most likely haul still seems to be Chatfield, Briggs and Chatman. Chatfield and Briggs both officially visited last weekend, and Briggs even named the Hurricanes his leader. For Chatman, the Hurricanes will get the chance to make the last pitch before he commits.
Don’t be surprised if Chatman’s recruitment has a few more twists, though. The defensive lineman has de-committed from both LSU and Tennessee, and still has visits to Virginia Tech and Florida lined up the next two weekends. Georgia Tech is still in the picture, and Chatman could take an unofficial visit.
Chatfield could get VIP treatment in February. He’s currently the only recruit scheduled to take an official visit immediately before National Signing Day. Most of the remaining targets will be on campus the weekend of Jan. 26.
This weekend will be a quieter one, though, aside from one major target. Coburn told DieHards on Wednesday he’ll be making his way to South Florida for an official visit this weekend.
The only other confirmed official visits are unranked interior lineman Devin Golden and unranked running back Steven Billings-Larson Jr. Both are being recruited as preferred walk-ons, and Billings-Larson committed to the Hurricanes on Dec. 20.
Thank You. pic.twitter.com/OE5TCUATFn
— #StevenLarsonJr (@smbljr) December 20, 2017
Billings-Larson, who also plays outside linebacker, is intriguing for a couple reasons. The 5-7, 182-pound prospect was a standout for Apopka (Fla.) High School, where he ran behind 4-star offensive tackle William Barnes and 3-star offensive guard Ed Montilus.
In other walk-on news, Miami sent out another preferred walk-on offer Wednesday. Ramsey Baty is the latest prospect to claim an offer from the Hurricanes. The unranked tight end from Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fla., is the second prospect from the Miami metropolitan area to pick up a walk-on offer, joining Golden, who attends Miami’s Gulliver Schools.
— Ramsey Baty (@ramseybuckbaty) January 17, 2018
Baty has offers from FCS programs Cornell and Valparaiso. Michigan also offered a preferred walk-on spot to the 6-3, 220-pound senior, who also plays outside linebacker.
The last time Manny Diaz dropped by Miami Norland Senior High School in Miami Gardens, Fla., one of the players he wanted to meet with was out. Darius Williams, an unranked outside linebacker in the Class of 2019, put together an impressive junior season that led to offers from Syracuse and Georgia. Diaz had to return.
On Wednesday, the defensive coordinator was back at Miami Norland Senior to talk to Williams. The fast-rising linebacker went home with an offer from his hometown school.
— James Williams (@Begreat_20) January 17, 2018
The next step, Williams told DieHards, will be getting to campus. Diaz, who is also the Hurricanes’ linebackers coach, wants to bring the 6-1, 210-pound junior in for an unofficial visit during the spring.
“I’m a Miami kid, so I always watched Miami play,” Williams said, “but this is going to be my first time on campus.”
Williams, who also has an offer from Arkansas, would be yet another versatile option for the Hurricanes at linebacker. The edge rusher also played middle linebacker and defensive tackle for Miami Norland.
And linebackers will be a priority in 2019. The Hurricanes already hold commitments from 3-star outside linebackers Jesiah Pierre and Diamante Howard. Miami may need to replace just about its whole group. Star linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney will both be draft eligible, and several of the Hurricanes’ reserves will be seniors this fall. The class should only grow.
“I love Pinckney and Quarterman. Love them,” Williams said. “They’re about to be juniors so they might go to the NFL and [Diaz] was saying their backups is actually seniors, so he was saying 2019 is going to be a big recruiting class for their linebackers.”
Williams wasn’t the only future prospect to receive an offer from the hometown team Wednesday. Unranked freshman safety James Williams received a Miami offer, too.
— James Williams (@Begreat_20) January 17, 2018
It’s obviously early, but Williams has a chance to be one of the best prospects in the Class of 2021. The 6-4, 202-pound athlete from Miami Gardens’ Monsignor Edward Pace High School was a standout during the Florida Fire 7-on-7 tryouts Sunday and already is an excellent high school player. The strong safety also plays wide receiver and tight end for Monsignor Edward Pace.
Kingsley Eguakun committed to Miami on Friday and only had to pick the Hurricanes over one other Power 5 team. Although the 6-4, 290-pound interior lineman from Atlantic Coast High School in Jacksonville is still unranked in all the major recruiting rankings, no one expects Eguakun to stay unknown for long.
“A lot of schools are going to offer Kingsley in the future,” Atlantic Coast coach Jimmy Hill told DieHards on Tuesday.
The Power 5 offers still haven’t arrived, but another of Florida’s premier programs has taken note of the junior. Central Florida became only the fourth school to offer the offensive lineman Wednesday.
— (@Keguakun) January 17, 2018
Miami offered Eguakun first in April and Louisville quickly followed suit. The guard’s older brother, Morris Eguakun, played at Tennessee, but the Hurricanes’ early involvement will make them tough to beat.
“I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity before anybody else,” Eguakun told DieHards after he committed, “so I just want to give them the opportunity.”
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of DieHards’ daily Miami recruiting notebook right here.
The post Miami recruiting: New DT targets line up Hurricanes official visits appeared first on Diehards.