Carolina Panthers' RB Christian McCaffrey helps save life of elderly hiker 

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 7:29 AM

Carolina Panrhers running back  Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old hiker in Colorado.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Carolina Panrhers running back Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old hiker in Colorado.(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old man who fell 20 feet onto a rock while hiking along a Colorado trail Saturday.

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“We were going to go to lunch,” McCaffrey said on the Panthers’ website. “And then just randomly we were like, ‘Let’s go hike the rock.’”

McCaffrey, two of his brothers and two friends were at Castle Rock hiking when they saw Dan Smoker Sr. fall. Smoker's 13-year-old grandson, Eli, also was on the hike and witnessed the ordeal.

“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” McCaffrey said. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”

They called 911 for help. Smoker was seriously injured and his breathing stopped. They started performing chest compressions on the man.

Paramedics arrived in about 11 minutes.

Smoker was taken to the hospital with a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck.

He was in critical but stable condition Tuesday.

A day after the accident, McCaffrey, along with his brothers and mother, visited Smoker in the hospital.

“They introduced themselves and I still hadn’t pieced it together,” said Smoker's son, Dan. “I can’t say I’d recognize Christian without his football gear on. Around here, Valor Christian is a popular high school, and I knew that Ed McCaffrey had just taken over as head coach there. We were talking and they had mentioned that they went to Valor, and we were looking there because our son loves football as well."

“One of the things that amazed me the most was just the humility,” Dan Smoker said. “It was not about, ‘Look at who I am.’ They just wanted to make sure we were OK. That was it. They wanted to see how my son was doing.”

McCaffrey continues to text back and forth with Smoker’s son following the incident.

"It’s such a -- I don’t know what you’d call it. Truly a blessing that we turned the corner at that exact moment and we could be there for him. I don’t know what would have happened. We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”

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Twitter Reacts: Dayton fans comment on loss of five players

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

Dayton sophomores Ryan Mikesell, Xeyrius Williams, John Crosby and Sam Miller pose for a photo after a victory against Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton sophomores Ryan Mikesell, Xeyrius Williams, John Crosby and Sam Miller pose for a photo after a victory against Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(columnist)

Dayton Flyers fans reacted with surprise, disappointment, confusion, glee and every other range of emotion on Thursday when Dayton announced three more players were leaving the program, meaning the team has lost five players since the end of the season.

» RELATED: Archdeacon on Dayton’s roster news | Antetokounmpo says thanks as he departs | What the roster looks like now

Xeyrius Williams, Matej Svoboda, Kostas Antetokounmpo, John Crosby and Jordan Pierce will continue their careers elsewhere. Here’s what the fans and others had to say on Twitter.

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Former Buckeyes try to enjoy themselves during pressures of Pro Day

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:56 PM

Ohio State Pro Day: J.T. Barrett interview

The stars came out Thursday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center — the stars that wore scarlet and gray last fall and the ones who stalk NFL sidelines on Sundays.

Five NFL head coaches plus four defensive coordinators and two general managers — and 140 NFL representatives in all — attended Ohio State's annual Pro Day. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watched 17 players work out, as did Mike Tomlin, of the Steelers, Matt Patricia, of the Lions, and Mike Zimmer, of the Vikings.

» RELATED: Ohio State still evaluating quarterbacks in spring practices

The players seemed to enjoy the attention despite the stress that came with it. All hope to hear their names called during the NFL Draft April 26-28. Some are locks. Some have to prove themselves in these workouts.

"It's been amazing," said linebacker Jerome Baker, who left Ohio State with one year of eligibility remaining. "I live by the motto, 'I'm living my best life.' That's exactly what I'm doing. Everyone makes it seem like this process is so stressful and so non-fun. You're about to go to the next level. You might as well as have fun. You got to this point because you're good at what you do."

» RELATED: Changes coming to NFL Draft broadcast predicts Baker will be picked in the second or third round. His former teammate, quarterback J.T. Barrett, may not hear his name called until the seventh round if he gets drafted at all, but he showed his arm in front of scouts at Pro Day.

"I was just trying to enjoy it," Barrett said. "That's the main thing. It comes and goes pretty fast. You don't want to get too wrapped up in and not enjoy it. It was a good day. Solid. I wish I had a couple of throws back, but that's part of it, even in a game."

Ohio State Pro Day: Billy Price interview(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

One Ohio State prospect with a strong chance of being selected in the first or second round didn't work out. Center Billy Price remains sidelined by a incomplete pectoral tear, which he suffered at the NFL Combine on March 1. Price watched his teammates run sprints and perform drills Thursday and said his injury isn't a serious concern.

"It's not going to be an issue," Price said. "I should be good by June. I'll be bench pressing and be at full strength again."

» HARTMAN: Ohio State offense could be explosive in 2018

Another Buckeye expected to go in the early rounds is defensive end Sam Hubbard, who had 2½ sacks in his final college game in December, the Cotton Bowl victory against Southern California. He said he wanted to reinforce what the coaches have seen of him on tape in his workout.

"I was happy to go out there and do that," Hubbard said. "It's a lot of motivation to go as hard as you possibly can, especially when you've got guys like Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick coaching you up. It was an incredible experience."

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Antetokounmpo thanks Dayton after deciding to ‘start a new chapter’

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:10 PM

Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo dunks against George Washington's Yuta Watanabe on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at UD Arena.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo dunks against George Washington's Yuta Watanabe on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at UD Arena.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Kostas Antetokounmpo announced his departure from the University of Dayton on Twitter on Thursday night, hours after an official press release by the university.

Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman forward, plans to explore his options in the NBA, Dayton coach Anthony Grant said Thursday. He left school with six weeks left in the semester.

Antetokounmpo spent two years at UD. He committed to Dayton in June 2016 three days after visiting the campus. He ranked 89th in the class of 2016, according to

In October 2016, the NCAA ruled Antetokounmpo a partial qualifier, and he wasn’t able to play in his freshman season. He started practicing with the team in January 2017. He missed most of the summer workouts and preseason practices because of an injury he suffered in Greece but was healthy by the start of the season and appeared in 29 games, averaging 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

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Photo gallery: Marion Local D-IV boys state semifinal win

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

Marion Local senior Tyler Mescher addresses a 56-54 defeat of Pandora-Gilboa in a boys high school basketball D-IV state semifinal at OSU on Thursday, March 22, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Marion Local defeated Pandora-Gilboa 56-54 in a boys high school basketball Division IV state semifinal at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center on Thursday, March 22.

»RELATED: Trotwood coach, “not a whole lot of secrets”

»RELATED: Springfield standouts on All-Ohio teams

»RELATED: Wayne, Trotwood players picked for All-Ohio

»RELATED: Rams’ opposing coach, ‘They’re crazy athletic’

Marion Local (24-4) will play Willoughby Cornerstone Christian (21-7) in the D-IV state championship at 10:45 a.m. Saturday also at the Schott.

Marion Local players celebrate. Marion Local defeated Pandora-Gilboa 56-54 in a D-IV boys high school basketball state semifinal at OSU’s Schottenstein Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

»RELATED: Ahrens, Barhorst earn top D-IV boys honors

»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four

»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings

»RELATED: Girls state final four results

The following is a photo gallery of the Flyers.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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