Prep football: Franklin standout Montgomery commits to Cincinnati

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 1:40 PM

Valley View’s Lane Murphy tries to tackle Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery as he carries the ball during their game Friday, Sept. 23 at Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. The Wildcats defeated the Spartans 41-8. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Valley View’s Lane Murphy tries to tackle Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery as he carries the ball during their game Friday, Sept. 23 at Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. The Wildcats defeated the Spartans 41-8. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Franklin High School senior Ryan Montgomery gave a verbal commitment Wednesday to continue his football career at the University of Cincinnati.

Montgomery, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back, ranks 41st in Ohio in the Class of 2018, according to 247sports.com.

He ran for 740 yards and 13 touchdowns during the Wildcats’ 6-1 start, but Montgomery’s prep career is over after he tore a knee ligament last Friday night in a 55-27 win at Waynesville.

“It’s still kind of hard on me right now,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “I finally let Cincinnati know. They knew I was gonna commit before I even got hurt.” 

He had no concerns about the Bearcats backing off upon learning about his injury.

“They’re good people,” he said of head coach Luke Fickell and his staff, including running backs coach Gino Guidugli. “They’re more worried about me as a person than if I was going to be healthy. I was never very worried about that. Some schools didn’t give me a very good message before I committed. They wanted to talk to doctors and all that, but Coach Fickell and Gino are pretty optimistic.” 

As a junior, Montgomery rushed for 1,935 yards and 34 touchdowns and was named the Journal-News Offensive Player of the Year. 

“UC is a great fit for Ryan,” Franklin coach Brad Childers said, “(because of Montgomery’s) ability to run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. Coach Fickell, Coach Gino, Coach (Marcus) Freeman, they have ... really changed the culture there.”

Montgomery becomes the 19th member of the 2018 recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the AAC. 

Fairfield’s Malik Vann also is a UC recruit along with three Cincinnatians: Josh Whyle of La Salle, Ja’von Hicks of Colerain and Blake Bacevich of St. Xavier. 

“It just kind of felt like home from the beginning,” Montgomery said. “I felt like I was a priority. They made me feel like that. We pretty much communicated as much as we were allowed.”

While the previous UC coaching staff had not been in touch, Montgomery said Freeman, a Wayne grad who played at Ohio State, opened a line of communication last spring. 

Montgomery also considered Michigan State, Iowa State and Northwestern before settling on the Bearcats, who are 2-3 in Fickell’s first season.  

“He’s really stressing he wants hometown guys,” Montgomery said. “He thinks the guys from this area are gonna be the ones to do it. This is his first recruiting class, so he wants it to be special. He’s saying he was at Ohio State so he knows special, and he wants to bring that to Cincinnati.”

He plans to graduate early and start school in January at UC, where he will be able to use the facilities for rehab. 

Knee surgery is scheduled for next week. 

As for college, Montgomery intends to major in criminal justice and law administration. 

“To me it’s just all the things going on in the criminal field,” he said when asked about that choice. “I just want to be able to make a change, you know. I think if I get behind the scenes I want to be a guy that could possible make a change.”  

49ers icon Dwight Clark, battling ALS, asks fans for ‘prayers and thoughts’

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:05 AM

San Francisco 49ers Dwight Clark (87) makes
San Francisco 49ers Dwight Clark (87) makes "The Catch" against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 10, 1982. The touchdown reception and ensuing extra point sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl.(Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark, whose iconic reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game will be forever known as “The Catch,” gave an emotional speech Sunday as his team honored him during halftime of Sunday’s game against Dallas.

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Clark, 60, is fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “Dwight Clark Day” at Levi’s Stadium gave the former NFL star a chance to say thanks and reunite with his former teammates, the Mercury News reported.

“I think you all know I’m going through a little thing right now,” Clark told the crowd. “And I need your prayers and thoughts. I appreciate those that you’ve been giving me.”

Clark spoke from a private suite at Levi’s Stadium during halftime of the 49ers’ a 40-10 loss to Dallas, the team he beat for “The Catch.”

Clark is in a wheelchair because of the terminal neuromuscular condition that affects his ability to move, speak, eat and breathe, the Mercury News reported. Clark revealed in March that he was battling the fatal disease. The 49ers asked him what they could do, and Clark asked for a reunion with his teammates, “So I could see them one more time.” 


Thirty-seven members of that 1981 Super Bowl champion squad returned to pay tribute, along with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the Mercury News reported.

Clark is best known for his 6-yard grab with 58 seconds left against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982. 

The 49ers would win five Super Bowls, but the catch and victory was the springboard for the team’s future successes.

“He’s very well known to all you 49ers fans and, oh, yeah, to you Cowboys fans, too,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who threw that game-winning pass. “Any time you turn on the NFL and you’re watching TV, you’ll see him flying high in the back of that end zone and making one of the most iconic catches in NFL history.”

College football rankings 2017: AP Poll, Coaches Poll Top 25 for Week 9

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

AP Poll and the Coaches Poll Top 25 college football rankings are released for Week 9. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in both the Top 25 Coaches Poll and the AP Poll. Notre Dame is new to the top 10 after routing USC.

Here’s the new AP Poll Top 25 and Coaches Poll Top 25 rankings for Week 9:

AP Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 9

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (61) 8-0 1,525 1
2 Penn State 7-0 1,444 2
3 Georgia 7-0 1,409 3
4 TCU 7-0 1,327 4
5 Wisconsin 7-0 1,241 5
6 Ohio State 6-1 1,165 6
7 Clemson 6-1 1,113 7
8 Miami 6-0 1,101 8
9 Notre Dame 6-1 1,066 13
10 Oklahoma 6-1 1,040 9
11 Oklahoma State 6-1 894 10
12 Washington 6-1 836 12
13 Virginia Tech 6-1 791 14
14 NC State 6-1 666 16
15 Washington State 7-1 648 15
16 Michigan State 6-1 615 18
16 South Florida 7-0 604 16
18 UCF 6-0 500 20
19 Auburn 6-2 397 21
20 Stanford 5-2 344 22
21 USC 6-2 319 11
22 West Virginia 5-2 196 23
23 LSU 6-2 182 24
24 Memphis 6-1 111 25
25 Iowa State 5-2 98 NR

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 74, Michigan 60, Mississippi State 43, San Diego State 7, Georgia Tech 5, South Carolina 2, Marshall 1, Toledo 1.

Coaches Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 9

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (64 No. 1 votes) 8-0 1,600 1
2 Penn State 7-0 1,520 2
3 Georgia 7-0 1,463 3
4 TCU 7-0 1,385 4
5 Wisconsin 7-0 1,343 5
6 Ohio State 6-1 1,244 6
7 Clemson 6-1 1,173 8
8 Miami 6-0 1,172 7
9 Oklahoma 6-1 1,084 9
10 Notre Dame 6-1 951 16
11 Washington 6-1 931 12
12 Oklahoma State 6-1 926 11
13 Virginia Tech 6-1 818 14
14 South Florida 7-0 730 13
15 NC State 6-1 683 17
16 Washington State 7-1 636 18
17 UCF 6-0 561 20
18 Michigan State 6-1 560 19
19 Auburn 6-2 455 21
20 Stanford 5-2 367 22
21 USC 6-2 321 10
22 West Virginia 5-2 211 23
23 LSU 6-2 178 25
24 Texas A&M 5-2 151 24
25 Michigan 5-2 121 15

Others receiving votes: Memphis 119, Iowa State 32, Mississippi State 19, South Carolina 9, Georgia Tech 8, Arizona 6, Colorado State 4, Kentucky 4, Marshall 3, Boise State 3, Navy 3, Arizona State 2, Appalachian State 1, Florida 1, Syracuse 1, Troy.

AP Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 8

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (61) 7-0 1,525 1
2 Penn State 6-0 1,432 3
3 Georgia 7-0 1,417 4
4 TCU 6-0 1,322 6
5 Wisconsin 6-0 1,241 7
6 Ohio State 6-1 1,184 9
7 Clemson 6-1 1,117 2
8 Miami 5-0 1,109 11
9 Oklahoma 5-1 1,066 12
10 Oklahoma State 5-1 900 14
11 USC 6-1 886 13
12 Washington 6-1 811 5
13 Notre Dame 5-1 798 16
14 Virginia Tech 5-1 727 15
15 Washington State 6-1 578 8
16 South Florida 6-0 573 18
16 NC State 6-1 573 20
18 Michigan State 5-1 563 21
19 Michigan 5-1 558 17
20 UCF 5-0 387 22
21 Auburn 5-2 303 10
22 Stanford 5-2 274 23
23 West Virginia 4-2 157 NR
24 LSU 5-2 108 NR
25 Memphis 5-1 62 NR

Others receiving votes: San Diego State 56, Texas A&M 46, Iowa State 16, Virginia 10, Kentucky 8, Utah 4, Mississippi State 3, South Carolina 2, Iowa 2, Navy 2, Texas Tech 2, Georgia Tech 1, Marshall 1, Florida State 1.

Coaches Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 8

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (63 No. 1 votes) 7-0 1,575 1
2 Penn State 6-0 1,483 3
3 Georgia 7-0 1,450 5
4 TCU 6-0 1,345 7
5 Wisconsin 6-0 1,338 6
6 Ohio State 6-1 1,243 8
7 Miami 5-0 1,144 10
8 Clemson 6-1 1,106 2
9 Oklahoma 5-1 1,079 12
10 USC 6-1 930 13
11 Oklahoma State 5-1 917 14
12 Washington 6-1 914 4
13 South Florida 6-0 716 15
14 Virginia Tech 5-1 701 17
15 Michigan 5-1 657 16
16 Notre Dame 5-1 614 19
17 NC State 6-1 573 20
18 Washington State 6-1 564 9
19 Michigan State 5-1 469 22
20 UCF 5-0 439 21
21 Auburn 5-2 354 11
22 Stanford 5-2 286 25
23 West Virginia 4-2 144 NR
24 Texas A&M 5-2 94 NR
25 LSU 5-2 80 NR

Others receiving votes: Kentucky 64, Memphis 50, Virginia 42, San Diego State 39, South Carolina 19, Utah 14, Navy 9, Mississippi State 8, Boise State 4, Colorado State 4, Marshall 3, Florida 2, Georgia Tech 2, Iowa State 2.

You can see the entire Coaches Poll here.

For reference here are last week’s rankings:

AP Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 7

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (43 No. 1 votes) 6-0 1,507 1
2 Clemson (18) 6-0 1,481 2
3 Penn State 6-0 1,370 4
4 Georgia 6-0 1,327 5
5 Washington 6-0 1,284 6
6 TCU 5-0 1,192 8
7 Wisconsin 5-0 1,127 9
8 Washington State 6-0 1,094 11
9 Ohio State 5-1 1,051 10
10 Auburn 5-1 914 12
11 Miami 4-0 908 13
12 Oklahoma 4-1 851 3
13 USC 5-1 795 14
14 Oklahoma State 4-1 712 15
15 Virginia Tech 5-1 617 16
16 Notre Dame 5-1 583 21
17 Michigan 4-1 524 7
18 South Florida 5-0 482 18
19 San Diego State 6-0 465 19
20 NC State 5-1 421 24
21 Michigan State 4-1 416 NR
22 UCF 4-0 274 25
23 Stanford 4-2 109 NR
24 Texas Tech 4-1 105 NR
25 Navy 5-0 74 NR

Others receiving votes: Georgia Tech 39, West Virginia 26, Louisville 25, Utah 17, LSU 9, Florida 9, Kentucky 6, Iowa State 5, Texas A&M 4, Memphis 2.

Coaches Poll Top 25 college football rankings for Week 7

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (57 No. 1 votes) 6-0 1,617 1
2 Clemson (8) 6-0 1,568 2
3 Penn State 6-0 1,454 4
4 Washington 6-0 1,404 5
5 Georgia 6-0 1,380 6
6 Wisconsin 5-0 1,243 8
7 TCU 5-0 1,229 10
8 Ohio State 5-1 1,146 9
9 Washington State 6-0 1,117 11
10 Miami 4-0 1,003 12
11 Auburn 5-1 941 13
12 Oklahoma 4-1 919 3
13 USC 5-1 818 15
14 Oklahoma State 4-1 788 14
15 South Florida 5-0 622 16
16 Michigan 4-1 612 7
17 Virginia Tech 5-1 599 19
18 San Diego State 6-0 516 21
19 Notre Dame 5-1 498 22
20 NC State 5-1 455 24
21 UCF 4-0 273 25
22 Michigan State 4-1 261 NR
23 Utah 4-1 122 18
24 Navy 5-0 110 NR
25 Stanford 4-2 107 NR

Others receiving votes: Louisville 85, Georgia Tech 47, Kentucky 41, Texas Tech 29, West Virginia 29, Florida 23, Texas A&M 14, Troy 10, Memphis 9, Virginia 5, Wake Forest 5, Iowa State 4, Iowa 3, Mississippi State 3, South Carolina 3, Texas 2, Colorado State 2.

AP Poll Top 25 college football rankings scores, results for Week 7

  • No. 1 Alabama 41, Arkansas 9
  • Syracuse 27, No. 2 Clemson 24
  • No. 4 Georgia 53, Missouri 28
  • Arizona State 13, No. 5 Washington 7
  • No. 6 TCU 26, Kansas State 6
  • No. 7 Wisconsin 17, Purdue 9
  • California 37, No. 8 Washington State 3
  • No. 9 Ohio State 56, Nebraska 14
  • LSU 27, No. 10 Auburn 23
  • No. 11 Miami 25, Georgia Tech 24
  • No. 12 Oklahoma 29, Texas 24
  • No. 13 USC 28, Utah 27
  • No. 14 Oklahoma State 59, Baylor 16
  • No. 17 Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT)
  • No. 18 South Florida 33, Cincinnati 3
  • Boise State 31, No. 19 San Diego State 14
  • No. 20 NC State 35, Pitt 17
  • No. 21 Michigan State 30, Minnesota 27
  • No. 22 UCF 63, East Carolina 21
  • No. 23 Stanford 49, Oregon 7
  • West Virginia 46, No. 24 Texas Tech 35
  • Memphis 30, No 25 Navy 27

Here are some older rankings from the 2017 college football season:

College football rankings: AP Poll Top 25 for Week 6

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (44 No. 1 votes) 5-0 1,506 1
2 Clemson (17) 5-0 1,475 2
3 Oklahoma 4-0 1,392 3
4 Penn State 5-0 1,325 4
5 Georgia 5-0 1,237 7
6 Washington 5-0 1,218 6
7 Michigan 4-0 1,115 8
8 TCU 4-0 1,079 9
9 Wisconsin 4-0 1,028 10
10 Ohio State 4-1 1,016 11
11 Washington State 5-0 980 16
12 Auburn 4-1 802 13
13 Miami 3-0 782 14
14 USC 4-1 713 5
15 Oklahoma State 4-1 664 15
16 Virginia Tech 4-1 549 12
17 Louisville 4-1 507 17
18 South Florida 5-0 440 18
19 San Diego State 5-0 373 19
20 Utah 4-0 358 20
21 Notre Dame 4-1 349 22
21 Florida 3-1 349 21
23 West Virginia 3-1 221 23
24 NC State 4-1 149 NR
25 UCF 3-0 120 NR

Others receiving votes: Oregon 19, Florida State 15, Texas Tech 10, Georgia Tech 10, Stanford 8, Navy 7, Kansas State 3, Texas A&M 2, Memphis 2, Troy 1, Maryland 1.

College football rankings: Coaches Poll Top 25 for Week 6

Rank Team Record Points Previous rank
1 Alabama (58 No. 1 votes) 5-0 1,593 1
2 Clemson (6) 5-0 1,537 2
3 Oklahoma 4-0 1,460 3
4 Penn State 5-0 1,379 4
5 Washington 5-0 1,330 6
6 Georgia 5-0 1,244 8
7 Michigan 4-0 1,203 7
8 Wisconsin 4-0 1,099 10
9 Ohio State 4-1 1,091 9
10 TCU 4-0 1,057 11
11 Washington State 5-0 936 16
12 Miami 3-0 850 13
13 Auburn 4-1 782 15
14 Oklahoma State 4-1 756 14
15 USC 4-1 745 5
16 South Florida 5-0 562 17
17 Louisville 4-1 550 18
18 Utah 4-0 503 19
19 Virginia Tech 4-1 455 12
20 Florida 3-1 382 20
21 San Diego State 5-0 371 21
22 Notre Dame 4-1 241 NR
23 West Virginia 3-1 239 23
24 NC State 4-1 127 NR
25 UCF 3-0 60 NR

Others receiving votes: Florida State 55, Kansas State 35, Georgia Tech 31, Navy 30, Texas A&M 27, Stanford 18, Oregon 17, Kentucky 14, Troy 9, Maryland 6, Michigan State 2, Mississippi State 1, Memphis 1, Colorado State 1, Arkansas 1.

Von Miller: Broncos LB second-fastest player to 80 sacks in NFL history

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 12:29 AM

Lost in the shuffle of the Denver Broncos’ embarrassing 21-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was another historic accomplishment from five-time All-Pro outside linebacker Von Miller.

When Miller recorded his second sack of the game with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the former Texas A&M star officially became the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 80.0 career sacks.

According to the Broncos media relations department, Miller, who accomplished the feat in only 94 games, trails only Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles legend Reggie White.

Miller edged out former Buffalo Bills star Bruce Smith and his former teammate DeMarcus Ware to stand alone in second place on the all-time list.

Fastest NFL Players to Reach 80 Career Sacks

  1. Reggie White – 70* games
  2. Von Miller – 94 games
  3. DeMarcus Ware – 96 games
  4. Bruce Smith – 96 games
  5. Leslie O’Neal – 99 games

*Including 1st two pro seasons in USFL, White took 81 games to to reach 80 career sacks

The Super Bowl 50 MVP is having the type of season that should warrant consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors at the end of the year. Miller has recorded 7.0 sacks through six games in 2017, despite facing constant double teams and chip blocks.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, Miller’s contributions haven’t been enough. They are 3-3 after six games, and are in danger of letting their once-promising season get away from them.

Land of 10 Power Poll: Penn State, Ohio State remain 1-2 with Week 9 showdown looming

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 8:05 PM

Penn State and Ohio State continue to lead the weekly Land of 10 Big Ten Power Poll after Week 8.

Which means there’s a huge showdown in Week 9: No. 1 vs. No. 2.

The Nittany Lions are again the unanimous No. 1 team in the Power Poll after their 42-13 rout of Michigan on Saturday. The Buckeyes didn’t play, but nonetheless they held off undefeated Wisconsin for the No. 2 spot.

Penn State travels to Columbus this weekend for a Saturday showdown with Ohio State, who will be looking to avenge its upset loss at the hands of the Nittany Lions last season.

As for the rest of the Power Poll, the top 5 remains unchanged from last week: Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan. Even with the Wolverines’ blowout loss to Penn State, Michigan holding at No. 5 shows clear separation from that group from the rest of the conference.

Northwestern made the biggest jump this week, going from No. 8 to No. 6 following its 17-10 victory against Iowa — a result which pushed the Hawkeyes down a spot to No. 7.

Purdue had the biggest fall of any team this week, falling from an impressive seventh to No. 13 following the Boilermakers’ 14-12 loss at Rutgers.

Past weeks: Week 1  Week 2  |  Week 3  |  Week 4  |  Week 5  |  Week 6  |  Week 7

Big Ten Power Rankings

Results are below:

RANK TEAM POINTS No. 1 VOTES PREVIOUS HIGH VOTE LOW VOTE
1 Penn State 169 13 1 1 1
2 Ohio State 154 0 2 2 3
3 Wisconsin 145 0 3 2 3
4 Michigan State 130 0 4 4 4
5 Michigan 114 0 5 5 7
6 Northwestern 100 0 8 5 8
7 Iowa 90 0 6 6 8
8 Indiana 72 0 9 6 13
9 Maryland 59 0 10 9 11
10 Minnesota 47 0 11 8 12
11 Nebraska 46 0 12 7 13
12 Rutgers 30 0 13 10 13
13 Purdue 25 0 7 9 14
14 Illinois 2 0 14 12 14

This week’s voters:

Austin Ward
Bobby La Gesse
Erin Sorensen
Jeremy Birmingham
Jesse Temple
Kevin Goheen
Luke Srodulski
Rachel Lenzi
Ryan Ginn
Scott Dochterman
Sean Keeler
Tyler Donohue
Wayne Staats

This week’s Big Ten scores:

  • Penn State 42, Michigan 13
  • Wisconsin 38, Maryland 13
  • Michigan State 17, Indiana 9
  • Northwestern 17, Iowa 10 (OT)
  • Rutgers 14, Purdue 12
  • Minnesota 24, Illinois 17