March Madness: Dayton Flyers fans head to Indianapolis

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

Michigan plays Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, March 17, 2017, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Michigan plays Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, March 17, 2017, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Fans of the Dayton Flyers descended on Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, or earlier in the week, to watch their team play Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

For the second straight year, I asked them to send me photos on Twitter to everyone can share in the excitement. Here are their photos.

Iowa football: Breaking down QB Zachary Wilson’s official visit

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:05 AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa hosted its big recruiting weekend last week, but that doesn’t mean the official visit season is over.

The Hawkeyes are set to host Utah 3-star quarterback Zachary Wilson this weekend. Blair Sanderson of Rivals broke the story.

Land of 10 breaks down the much-needed visit for the Hawkeyes at its biggest position of need.

QB Zachary Wilson

Who is this guy: Up until Wednesday, he was a Boise State commitment. He re-opened his recruiting as Iowa and BYU offered.

Wilson was a dual-threat option at Corner Canyon High School (Draper, Utah), throwing for 2,986 yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.  He threw for 341 yards on an injured ankle in a state semifinal loss in November.

He also rushed for 752 yards and 8 touchdowns.

But he projects as a pro-style quarterback in college. Both 247Sports and Rivals list him as such.

Why does he matter: The Hawkeyes are in desperate need of a quarterback in the 2018 class. Wilson is their latest attempt at securing depth at the position. Getting a visit is a good sign for Iowa as the 3-star prospect is going over his options after his recent offers.

Will he commit before he leaves: Iowa likely needs to wow Wilson to secure a commitment before he heads back to Utah. He is also considering BYU and Boise State. Wilson told Maddie Lee of the Salt Lake Tribune he is very familiar with the Broncos after taking several trips to the university.

The question is if Iowa can impress him more than Boise State and if he’ll need to visit BYU before making a final decision.

Alabama football: Damien Harris views Clemson as a rival, wants to erase last year’s loss

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:04 AM

Alabama football-crimson tide football-Damien Harris

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Avenging a loss against a new rival

Alabama and Clemson have been the two most successful programs of the last three years. Both teams have a national championship with wins over the other. This season, the two teams will meet again, this time in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Alabama lost in heartbreaking fashion last season 35-31, when quarterback Deshaun Watson found wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with 1 second left.

A rivalry has developed between Alabama and Clemson because of the success of the two programs. Running back Damien Harris said he views Clemson as a rivalry, and is ready to avenge last year’s loss.

In other headlines…

For Newtown

Thursday marked the five-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that took 26 lives. Alabama hockey senior Jon Lovorn, a Newtown native, honors the victims of the tragedy with a sticker of a different victim each game. He also changed his number from No. 21 to No. 26 to pay tribute to the number of victims who lost their lives in the shooting. Most of Lovorn’s tribute goes on behind the scenes. Our own Christopher Walsh believes that everyone can learn something from the way Lovorn is paying tribute to his hometown.

Stepping up his game

Last season, quarterback Jalen Hurts put Alabama up on Clemson 31-28 with a 30-yard touchdown run with 2:07 left in the game. Even though Alabama fell short, the play was a defining moment in Hurts’ young career. This season, Hurts has struggled in certain situations, but has made plays for Alabama throughout the year. When Alabama faces Clemson again, how much better will Hurts have to be for the Tide to win?

Miss a previous edition? Find every installment of SEC Country’s daily Alabama newsletter right here.

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Auburn football: Fancy uniform patches and academic awards

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:04 AM

Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Jeff Holland-Iron Bowl

Auburn football is the No. 1 topic in the War Eagle Wakeup every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Tigers’ sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Auburn football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Break out the fancy uniform patch

Auburn’s uniforms will look slightly different when the Tigers line up for the opening kickoff of the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1.

A special patch was added to the navy-colored uniforms Auburn will wear in the game against UCF. Student-athletes on both sides will sport the patch, but it will probably excite Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s players a little more.

Players such as running back Kerryon Johnson and linebacker Deshaun Davis frequent Chick-fil-A, which is sponsoring the bowl.

Tyler Stovall’s impressive honor

Holder Tyler Stovall has earned loads of respect in his time as an Auburn football player, and there was another reason for that on Thursday afternoon.

Stovall was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team. As a graduate student, Stovall earned his MBA (business and marketing) and finished with a 3.94 GPA — all while helping kicker Daniel Carlson become a Lou Groza Award finalist for the third straight year.

In other Auburn football news:

A big improvement 

Before center Austin Wiley arrived last December, Auburn basketball was struggling to keep up on the boards. The undersized post group received some help in the form of its freshman center, but Wiley couldn’t do everything.

This season, however, things are a little different, even though Wiley’s sidelined.

The next game for the Tigers will be on Saturday, when they take on Middle Tennessee State.

Tweet of the day 

Don’t miss your chance to see Auburn recruiting expert Ben Wolk on Facebook Live!

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup Auburn football post right here.

The post Auburn football: Fancy uniform patches and academic awards appeared first on SEC Country.

South Carolina recruiting: RJ Roderick, Bryce Thompson push Gamecocks’ Shrine Bowl count to 5

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:04 AM

South Carolina recruiting

Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.

Better late than never

RJ Roderick probably would have been among the initial players picked to play on the South Carolina squad in the 2017 Shrine Bowl had a back injury not sidelined him for much of his senior season.

The 3-star safety from Cane Bay High School (Summerville, S.C.) eventually returned to action before the end of the season, which also allowed him to step back into consideration to the annual all-star game between North Carolina and South Carolina.

Coaches from the Sandlappers squad summoned him to Spartanburg on Tuesday, to help with depth at safety.

“Learning everything,” Roderick told SEC Country on Thursday after the final practice of the week. “I’m getting all the reps with the first group. Caught on easily, so I’m just trying to ball.”

The game, which kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, will be played at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium.

“Just blessings on blessings for me,” Roderick said. “I’m forever thankful, forever grateful. I just play with the Lord on my side.”

According to the 247Sports composite, Roderick is ranked as the No. 94 safety in the Class of 2018. He’s 20th in the overall state ranking.

He’ll enroll at South Carolina next month.

“Just kind of prioritizing getting my classes right,” Roderick said when asked about his first item of business in Columbia.

“But also hit that weight room pretty hard. Everything slowed down for me, so I can learn the playbook, get in the weight room and get my education, too.”

South Carolina recruiting
Bryce Thompson is the most recent 2018 commitment for South Carolina. (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

Signing timeline

For the next few editions of SpursUp Surveillance, we’ll include the latest signing plans for South Carolina’s 2018 commitments.

Enrolling in January:

  • 4-star QB Dakereon Joyner
  • 3-star RB Lavonte Valentine
  • 3-star RB Deshaun Fenwick
  • 3-star WR Darius Rush (ATH)
  • 3-star OT Maxwell Iyama
  • 3-star C Hank Manos
  • 3-star OT Wyatt Campbell
  • 3-star DE Tyreek Johnson (signed in 2017)
  • 3-star DE Kingsley Enagbare
  • 3-star LB Ernest Jones IV
  • 3-star LB RJ Roderick
  • 3-star S Israel Mukuamu (CB)

Signing next week, enrolling in the summer:

  • 3-star DT Jabari Ellis
  • 3-star CB Jonathan Gipson (S)
  • 3-star OT Jesus Gibbs (DE)

Signing in February:

  • 3-star ATH Bryce Thompson (DB)
  • 3-star WR Ronnie Jamison

Unconfirmed signing plans:

  • 4-star CB Marlon Character Jr.
  • 4-star WR Josh Vann
  • 3-star WR Tyquan Johnson
  • 3-star OL LaMarius Benson

South Carolina recruiting updates

Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance? Get caught up here.

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