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Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:31 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:28 AM
It took a little longer than expected, but the Dayton Flyers (1-4, 0-2) are hoping that Alex Jeske will be worth the wait when he takes the field Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa against Drake (3-2, 2-0).
The fifth-year senior quarterback was cleared to play by team doctors earlier this week and it didn’t take Rick Chamberlin long to move Jeske back in to the starting lineup.
»ARCHDEACON: UD family helps Yingers cope with tragedy
“I think that Alex will be mentally prepared to get back in there,” Chamberlin said this week. “I’m sure that it won’t be perfect because he hasn’t scrimmaged or done anything like that, but Alex is a seasoned veteran and he’s been there before.”
Jeske broke a bone in his foot during a workout a week before summer camp started. Doctors removed his foot from a protective boot three weeks ago, but the Dayton medical staff has been cautious with the comeback.
The Flyers are 1-4 with Kyle Kaparos as the fill-in quarterback. The redshirt sophomore from Columbus has improved since he took over, but the coach says Jeske has some intangibles that can’t be denied.
“Alex has a lot of confidence in what he’s able to do, plus physically his arm is stronger than Kyle’s, and with three years experience he can read defenses faster,” Chamberlin said.
The Flyers will need every advantage they can get on Saturday. While Dayton has a 25-8 record in the all-time series, most of those wins have come at Welcome Stadium.
“We haven’t done real well out there since 2009,” Chamberlin said. “Just like any (Pioneer Football League) opponent, it’s tough to win on the road.”
For the second week in a row the Dayton defense will face one of the best quarterbacks in the league
Grant Kraemer has thrown 11 touchdown passes in the first five games, averaging nearly 300 yards a game through the air.
Dayton is riding a three-game losing streak. The Flyers haven’t lost four in a row since 2006.
“I know that everyone wants to get that next win,” Flyer defensive back Andrew Lutgens said. “I don’t think there is panic or urgency.
Dayton at Drake, 2 p.m., AM 1290, News 95.7 WHIO
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:15 PM
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
— ⚡️Kyi Wright‼️ (@Kyi_Dorian3) February 21, 2018
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.
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.
— Graham Mertz (@GrahamMertz5) February 21, 2018
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).
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.
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
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.
Friday, February 23
Click here for a live bracket
Playoff qualification (winners to quarterfinals)
Note: All times ET
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Saturday, February 10
Saturday, February 11
Monday, February 12
Tuesday, February 13
Wednesday, February 14
Thursday, February 15
Friday, February 16
Saturday, February 17
Sunday, February 18
Monday, February 19
Tuesday, February 20
Wednesday, February 21
Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:00 PM
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 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.”
Auburn sent out two 2019 offers in the last 48 hours worth mentioning.
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.