Ezekiel Elliott reportedly part of incident at Dallas bar 

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 9:19 AM

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs the ball during an NFL football practice at the team's training facility, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/AP
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs the ball during an NFL football practice at the team's training facility, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)(Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Ezekiel Elliott had a huge rookie season for the Dallas Cowboys, but bad news has tailed him off the field much of the time since he was drafted in the first round out of Ohio State over a year ago. 

A Dallas radio station reports Elliott was “involved in a late-night altercation” at a Dallas bar. 

Although the report does not indicate if Elliott is actually accused of a crime, it comes after reports the Missouri native could soon face a short suspension from the NFL, which has reportedly been investigating an alleged domestic violence incident involving Elliott and a woman in Columbus last year. 

Police declined to press charges in that case “due to conflicting and inconsistent information,” but Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas reports this morning the league is still considering punishing Elliott for an accumulation of incidents. 

4-star WR Kenan Jones updates state of his LSU pledge

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:17 AM

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting , with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss LSU’s top-ranked wide receiver commit, 4-star Kenan Jones, who has become well-adjusted to the drive from Berwick to Baton Rouge this fall.

Kenan Jones talks LSU commitment

BERWICK, La. — Quietly, LSU has held on tightly to one of the best wide receivers in the state.

That, of course, is 4-star Kenan Jones, who re-committed to the Tigers in May after briefly flirting with some rival programs. Jones has returned to Baton Rouge for nearly every home game this fall, including the 33-10 defeat of Arkansas earlier this month.

Before kickoff, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jones was escorted across the field by wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph and coach Ed Orgeron as they began blueprinting for the future.

“That was a good experience,” Jones told SEC Country. “I’ve been there all the time, but it’s good to go see and to watch. I went to see how the coaches were and to catch up with everybody. Oh man, it’s always good to catch up with all of them — Coach O, Coach Mickey and Coach [Matt] Canada. We just had to re-connect because I hadn’t been there in like two weeks or something, since the last time they played. I had to see what they were all about.”

4-star WR Kenan Jones visited LSU for the Arkansas game, where Ed Orgeron and his staff began game-planning for how Jones will fit into the offensive plans. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

Among the topics discussed was how Jones would fit into LSU’s plans on offense.

After this season, the team will lose seniors D.J. Chark and Russell Gage, who rank as the Nos. 1 and 4 leading receivers, respectively. Chark, who hauled in 4 receptions for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win over the Razorbacks, plays the Z position, which is where the LSU coaches currently envision Jones sliding in.

“To be honest, we’ve been game-planning to get me ready,” Jones began. “I want to be playing where D.J. is leaving from, so that’ll be the Z position and playing just like D.J. I love that spot right there. It’s got to be the best position on the field for a receiver, getting handoffs and taking deep balls all day.”

Following the Tigers’ victory, Jones entered the locker room for the postgame meetings and spent time chatting up Canada, the team’s offensive coordinator.

Jones watched Orgeron and the players celebrate their fourth conference win and got a taste of what his future in Baton Rouge will be like.

“It’s always hype after the game,” Jones smiled. “It’s always hype. We catch up, talk about the game, then after the game we go back into the meeting room and just chill and talk. It’s just — you’ve got to be there to experience it. It’s unbelievable.”

Jones, who will graduate from Berwick (La.) High School in May, won’t enroll at LSU until June. Because he isn’t an early graduate, he won’t sign his letter of intent until National Signing Day in February.

Not signing on the dotted line in December should not be a cause for concern. The 4-star wide receiver has one official visit on the schedule, which should justify where he stands in his commitment to the Tigers.

“I’ll go to LSU in January and that’s about it,” Jones said. “Nobody else wants to really touch me because I’m an LSU commit. I went before and went around going to all these schools. Now, I’m going to LSU so there’s no reason to take another visit anywhere else or anything like that.

“It’s 100,” he added, of his commitment to LSU. “I’m 100. It’s all the coaches, I like the game plan and where the program is heading. I love the switch-up of the offense, having more than two receivers on the field at the same time. They’re spreading it out, throwing the ball now and I think we’ll be good. All the sweeps, I love the jet-sweeps, and I’m trying to house one next year.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here .

Ohio State-Michigan is The Game Urban Meyer was born to coach – and win

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This isn’t the week for cracking jokes with Urban Meyer.

The patience is going to run a little thinner with the Ohio State coach. There isn’t any extra time for small talk, and his already legendary intensity gets ramped up as high as it goes when the countdown clock for The Game finally ticks under seven days until kickoff.

Meyer has lived for the rivalry battles in his career no matter where he’s been, and few coaches can match his success in winning them. But this is the one he lives for, breathes for and was probably born for as well.

So, when Michigan Week rolls around and “It’s Time for War” starts blaring throughout the speakers at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, if you can’t match his intensity on a Monday morning, it’s probably best not to come around him at all.

“I’m just extremely focused, and I can’t imagine many more having more respect for this rivalry than I do myself,” Meyer said. “And our staff [counts for that], too. And you talk about laser focus, now: This is everything you’ve got going. Not that it doesn’t in other games, but laser focus.

“This rivalry is not a one-week deal. It’s not, ‘Hey, let’s get this thing going.’ I learned that from Woody Hayes, from Earle Bruce, from Jim Tressel. I just think it’s in your blood. It’s in your DNA.”

Not everybody, though, was born with the same scarlet-and-gray blood pumping through them or raised despising what’s called “That Team Up North.” And that’s a big part of the reason why the rivalry isn’t just mentioned for the first time to freshmen after a win over Illinois when it’s officially time to gear up for the Wolverines.

Ohio State preaches the importance of the Michigan rivalry all year. (Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)

Meyer, the assistants and his strength staff spend all year helping educate any newcomers who weren’t indoctrinated in the rich history of the rivalry before arriving on campus, making sure the appreciation and understanding for what’s about to happen this Saturday (noon ET, FOX) exists before they walk into the Big House. That means meetings in the summer, practice periods with an eye on Michigan throughout the season and constant reminders about the tradition during offseason conditioning drills.

That still doesn’t ensure that anybody can fully grasp the importance until they actually play in The Game for the first time — or experience their first week with Meyer operating at the peak of his intensity.

“I mean, we have meetings throughout the whole year, throughout the summer about ‘Beat the Team Up North,’” senior linebacker Chris Worley said. “That’s the No. 1 thing. We’re honestly not even thinking about the Big Ten championship. The only thing we’re talking about is the Team Up North.

“To beat the Team Up North, that’s something that had just better happen. That’s like a law, and you don’t break that law. You better beat the Team Up North.”

The Buckeyes haven’t experienced the alternative yet under Meyer, which is obviously one reason his approval rating with the program remains so high in his sixth season.

Urban Meyer is looking to improve to 3-0 in The Game against Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

A national championship certainly doesn’t hurt, of course. And since he hasn’t finished a season with more than two losses at Ohio State yet, a program with such great expectations hasn’t had to deal with many defeats at all — regardless of the opponent.

But one of them always carries more weight than the others. And nobody has ever had to explain that to Meyer, which is one reason why that last week of the regular season is always going to get his best effort.

“This is just very personal,” Meyer said. “This is one I didn’t have to get educated. When I first went to Bowling Green, people had to educate me on that rivalry. We absorbed it and dove into it and [Toledo was] The Team Up North. And then went out to Utah and I always heard of the rivalry [with BYU] but I had to be educated on that. That was a Team Down South. And then went down to Florida and you had three of them, but we made the School Out West the rival and that was Florida State.

“There was no education on this one necessary.”

Meyer will provide one for anybody who needs it.

But make no mistake, whether it’s the week of The Game or not, it’s never going to be a laughing matter for him.

How former Auburn players fared in NFL week 11: Jonathan Jones steps up for New England secondary

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:12 AM

New England defensive back Jonathan Jones delivered when his number was called on Sunday. The Patriots’ third cornerback for most of the season, Jones filled in for starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore when the latter left the game with dehydration problems in Mexico City. Jones filled in, and made an impact on the game, racking up 5 tackles and a pass deflection in the 33-8 victory against the Oakland Raiders. He played 64 for snaps in the win.

After his play, fellow defensive back Devin McCourty praised Jones for his play.

Here is how other former Auburn players performed in NFL week 11:

  • Los Angeles Rams defensive back Blake Countess had 3 tackles in a 24-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby had 9 tackles in a 31-21 loss to the Houston Texans.
  • Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis had 1 catch for 15 yards in a 19-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fellow wide receiver Sammie Coates left the game with an injury, while offensive tackle Shon Coleman returned to the lineup after recovering from a concussion.
  • Miami Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey made field goals of 26 and 31 yards as the Dolphins lost, 30-20, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For Tampa Bay, running back Peyton Barber had 11 yards on 2 catches.
  • Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Carl Lawson hit the quarterback once in a 20-17 win against the Denver Broncos.
  • Green Bay Packers safety Jermaine Whitehead had 1 tackle in a 23-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

What I’ve heard on Alabama’s official visitors to game against Mercer

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:12 AM

Welcome to  SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings , a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we talk the latest with Alabama’s official visitors from this past weekend. 

Matt Corral was the star recruit on campus this past weekend 

Alabama still doesn’t have a quarterback in its 2018 class, but don’t expect Florida quarterback commit Matt Corral to be that guy.

Yes, Corral’s visit went well, but a source close to Alabama told SEC Country that the Gators’ QB commit appears to be locked in with his pledge to Florida and likely won’t flip to the Crimson Tide, even if he was presented the chance to do so.

Right now, Corral remains a backup option for Alabama as the team waits to see what 4-star Ohio State quarterback commitment Emory Jones does.

The Tide still feel like they have a strong chance to flip him from the Buckeyes, but Jones doesn’t plan on making any decision on his recruitment until after his high school football season is over. Jones led Heard County to a win this past Friday with his 6-touchdown performance. You can watch the highlights from SEC Country here. Jones is expected to visit Auburn this weekend for the Iron Bowl. It will be another opportunity for him to see the Crimson Tide in person, which shouldn’t hurt Alabama’s chances at flipping him.

As far as Jones’ backup option is concerned, Corral’s father, Peter, told SEC Country prior to his son’s visit to Tuscaloosa that the trip had no significance.

“We’re just visiting. That’s all it is. It doesn’t mean anything,” Corral’s father said.

The Corral family will visit Gainesville this weekend for Florida’s game against Florida State.

Another Florida commit also was in Tuscaloosa this past weekend for an official visit. Divaad Wilson, a 3-star cornerback from Northwestern High School (Miami), took his first trip to Tuscaloosa this fall and left with a verbal offer.

Despite the Tide offering Wilson, he remains a backup option for the team. Alabama still feels good about where it stands with 5-star prospect Tyson Campbell and 4-star prospects Josh Jobe, Saivion Smith and Nadab Joseph, who we’ll talk more about in a second. Alabama also has a commitment from 4-star prospect Jalyn Armour-Davis.

The Tide also hosted 3-star offensive tackle Daniel Faalele, who stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs 400 pounds (not a typo). Like the other two official visitors, Faalele also doesn’t have a committable offer. Alabama has two offensive linemen committed in 4-star tackle Tommy Brown and 4-star center Emil Ekiyor. The Tide are strongly recruiting 4-star tackles Penei Sewell and Nicholas Petit-Frere. Do not expect the Tide to pursue Faalele even if the team misses on Sewell and Petit-Frere.

So, about Nadab Joseph’s delayed announcement 

Joseph was supposed to announce his commitment on Monday. He didn’t.

Joseph was almost assuredly going to choose the Crimson Tide if he went through with his commitment on Monday. The cornerback target is down to three schools: Alabama, Georgia and LSU. He visited Georgia this past weekend for the Bulldogs’ game against Kentucky.

This is now the second time in five days that Joseph has decided to delay his commitment. He was going to announce this past Thursday in a video with SEC Country but decided not to because he wanted to visit Athens.

The Alabama staff was not happy with Joseph’s decision to visit Georgia. It’s very likely that the nation’s No. 21 cornerback has given a strong indication to the Tide that he wants to play for them, which explains why the staff wouldn’t have been happy with him delaying his decision because he wanted to take another visit.

And, he may not be done with visits just yet. Joseph told SEC Country that he will likely visit LSU this weekend for the Tigers’ game against Texas A&M.

I asked a source if it would come to a point where Alabama would move on from Joseph and give his spot to someone else, if he continues to delay his decision. That’s not the case. Joseph has a spot whenever he wants to commit, but there’s definitely some growing frustration with him.

I still expect Joseph to choose Alabama whenever he decides to commit.

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings recruiting notebook  right here .