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Reds put Arroyo, Cozart on disabled list

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 2:22 PM

            Bronson Arroyo pitches on Sunday. David Jablonski/Staff
Bronson Arroyo pitches on Sunday. David Jablonski/Staff

The Cincinnati Reds placed starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder Monday. The move could mean the end of the 40-year-old veteran’s 16-year career.

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Arroyo allowed five earned runs in three innings Sunday in an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the game, he admitted he may not pitch again.

“That could have been my last time on the field,” Arroyo said. “That’s just the way it is.”

The Reds also put shortstop Zack Cozart, who leads National League shortstops in voting for the All-Star Game, on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right quad muscle retroactive to Sunday.

NOTES: Price impressed by Dayton Dragons

The Reds recalled two players from Louisville: outfielder Jesse Winker, who made his big-league debut in April and appeared in two games; and pitcher Ariel Hernandez, who also debuted in April and appeared in one game.

Ryan Shazier celebrates with Steelers teammates via FaceTime after win over Ravens

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 9:20 AM

ryan shazier-pittsburgh steelers-baltimore ravens

Despite undergoing spinal surgery Thursday, linebacker Ryan Shazier still got to celebrate with his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates after their come-from-behind win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

Down, 38-29, with under 7 minutes to play, the Steelers marched down the field for a touchdown and then took the lead on a 42-yard field goal from kicker Chris Boswell with 42 seconds remaining. Afterwards, they made sure the former Ohio State star could join in on the postgame celebration.

Just a week ago, Shazier had to be carted off the field after making a hit against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was immediately taken to a hospital for further evaluation on his back.

The doctors came to the conclusion Shazier was dealing with a spinal injury, so they performed spinal stabilization surgery Thursday. Reports have since come out that Shazier is making ‘gradual improvement.’

There haven’t been many more details released since then, but Shazier was in high spirits after the Steelers stole a victory away from their AFC North rivals to stay atop the conference at 11-2.

The post Ryan Shazier celebrates with Steelers teammates via FaceTime after win over Ravens appeared first on Land of 10.

Will Pooka Williams sign with Kansas on Dec. 20? If not, then what’s next?

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting , with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss Louisiana’s most prolific athlete, Pooka Williams, who is still undecided about whether he’ll sign his letter of intent with Kansas on Dec. 20. If not, it should open the door for other programs such as LSU.

Will Pooka Williams sign early with Kansas?

NEW ORLEANS — When you average 300-plus yards in the playoffs, apparently word spreads quickly.

Such is the case with elite Louisiana athlete Pooka Williams, a Kansas commitment who has seen his recruitment take off into uncharted territory in recent weeks as his on-field performances reached legendary status. Williams turned in at least 200 yards each week of the postseason (including three 300-yard games), culminating his season with 210 yards in Hahnville (La.) High School’s Class 5A state championship loss on Saturday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

RELATED: 2018 LSU recruiting big board

As Williams put himself into rarified air, even more schools have zeroed in on the 3-star athlete. LSU and Miami have both offered, while Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama and Auburn have shown increased interest in the 5-foot-9, 175-pound all-purpose back.

Williams has always planned on signing his letter of intent on Dec. 20, the first day of the newly-implemented early signing period. Those plans are now up in the air and will be discussed at length on Monday when Williams sits down with his parents, Hahnville coaches and mentor to determine the best course of action.

More likely than not, Williams  will not sign with Kansas on Dec. 20. When the early signing period expires, it should open the door up for those aforementioned schools to make a push for Louisiana’s most buzzworthy recruit.

Anthony “Pooka” Williams finished his senior season with 3,144 rushing yards with 38 touchdowns. That production has drawn the attention of the LSU coaching staff and other colleges across the country. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

“After Monday, I’ll discuss it with my parents and they’ll let me know if if I’ll do it or not,” Williams told SEC Country on Saturday night after rushing for 210 yards, which upped his five-game playoff totals to 1,403 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“If they tell me to sign early, I will. If not, then I’m not,” he said, adding that he’s leaning toward not signing on Dec. 20. “I’m going to discuss it, but I don’t know what they want.”

If it were up to Williams, the plan would be head to Kansas this weekend for his first official visit. He wants to take all five of his allotted officials, which would include stops to LSU, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The new schools showing interest have caught Williams’ attention, and more offers could be forthcoming if he elects not to sign with the Jayhawks in nine days.

“A lot of schools have come here,” he said. “When you do big things, big schools come in. Nebraska, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Miami. … I can keep naming schools.”

Williams has remained loyal to his pledge to Kansas, but is open to the new schools paying him attention.

If he had to decide today, Kansas  would be the choice. If his recruitment lingers into January or February, then it may be on those coaching staffs to quickly build a rapport with Williams ahead of a Feb. 7 signing date.

“It’s still Kansas because I’m committed to them and I gave them my word. It would be hard for me to flip my word on them,” Williams explained. “It’s about loyalty and it’s like a family, so if I go somewhere, I have to feel comfortable and it’s where I can play. We’ll see who I can build a family [relationship] with me and we’ll take it from there.”

Kansas assistant Tony Hull and LSU area recruiter Mickey Joseph have each gone in-home with Williams the first two weeks of the contact period. Hull is pushing Williams to sign with Kansas on Dec. 20 while Joseph has encouraged him to extend his recruitment into January.

LSU is one of three schools currently making the hardest push for Williams. It should be noted that of those schools, including Oklahoma and Auburn, the Bayou Tigers are the only school to have already extended a scholarship offer back in September.

“Mickey was just telling me that they could really use me all over the field,” he said. “LSU, Oklahoma and Auburn really, they are reaching out to me now. They’re telling me this and talking to me more and it’s increased. Now, they’re building a family [feel]. That’s all I’ve asked for and now everybody has a chance. I’m not cutting anyone out or shutting any doors.”

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

New Oregon coach Mario Cristobal says he earned his ‘PhD in football’ under Nick Saban at Alabama

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Mario Cristobal is the latest Nick Saban assistant to land a major head coaching job after time on the Alabama coach’s staff.

Cristobal, who recently was hired as Willie Taggart’s replacement at Oregon, spent 2013-16 as the Crimson Tide’s offensive line coach. During his time in Tuscaloosa, the former Florida International head coach said he was able to garner the knowledge necessary from to make a run at another major head coaching opportunity.

“[Saban] is the consummate professional,” Cristobal told the ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM crew on Sunday night. “He’s organized, detailed and just a wealth of knowledge. Whether it be in-season, off-season, regiment, structures, practice scheduling, recruiting or setting up a staff, there’s so many things that you learn during your time there. You get the chance to get your PhD in football. That’s what it is.”

Cristobal left the Crimson Tide after four seasons to take a co-offensive coordinator position with the Ducks, only to see himself promoted to the head coaching role after Taggart bolted for Florida State following his first season with the team.

This will not be Cristobal’s first run as a FBS head coach. The 47 year old had a six-year run as the head man at FIU, compiling a 27-47 record from 2007-12 as he inherited a winless team and tried to move the program forward as a new FBS entrant in the Sun Belt conference. The school, which now has Butch Davis as its head coach, has progressed to Conference USA due, in part, to the foundation he helped lay there.

Cristobal may have earned his “PhD” during his four seasons at Alabama, but he was quick to make sure that Saban didn’t get all of the credit for him being where he’s at now. Instead, he credited some guys he connected with prior to his run in Tuscaloosa.

“I’m honest when I say this, to me, the guy I model myself most after is my high school coach,” Cristobal revealed. “That guy is the reason that myself and the guys that I know got into coaching. But along the way, there’s no doubt, take a little bit of [Saban] and take a little bit of Jimmy Johnson. Let’s not forget about ol’ boy down in Miami back in the day and the things that we were able to accomplish down there.”

Cristobal played his college ball at Miami, where he was an offensive tackle from 1989-92.

You can listen to the ESPNU on SiriusXM clip from Cristobal here:

Concern growing for 2 of Alabama’s top targets in 2018 class

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 9:06 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 some of Alabama’s top targets in the 2018 and 2019 classes. 

Academic concerns for 2 Alabama targets 

Two of Alabama’s top targets in the 2018 class, 5-star Jack linebacker Eyabi Anoma and 4-star defensive tackle Christian Barmore, took official visits to Tuscaloosa this past weekend. The trips went very well. One source, who was in Tuscaloosa during the weekend, thinks both of them will end up committing to Alabama.

But there is some concern that they may not end up in crimson next season because both players have work to do in the classroom before they can enroll at whichever school they choose.

Anoma should be able to get his grades and test scores in check before he signs. As for Barmore, one source said that he has a lot of work to do before he can enroll in school and his eligibility is in serious doubt.

Alabama is still going to recruit both players and encourage them to complete their work. There’s usually at least one major commit or target who has serious grade issues. I remember when I was covering Raekwon Davis’ recruitment and it looked like there was almost no chance of him academically qualifying. He even signed with a junior college on Signing Day just in case he wasn’t able to qualify. Davis worked his butt off and eventually became eligible to enroll at Alabama.

Barmore has turned into one of the team’s top overall targets after dominating this fall. With this being a down year talent-wise at defensive tackle, it would certainly be a blow to the Tide if he can’t academically qualify.

2 expected official visitors don’t make the trip 

Andres Fox, a 3-star defensive end from Mobile (Ala.) Christian High School, and 4-star cornerback Anthony Lytton from Upper Marlboro, Md., didn’t make it to Tuscaloosa this past weekend. Fox told SEC Country that he is rescheduling the trip to a later date. It’s not known whether Lytton will reschedule.

RELATED2018 Alabama recruiting big board

Fox has been one of the team’s top defensive line targets in this class, but he was strongly connected to Jeremy Pruitt. With Pruitt now the coach at Tennessee, Fox’s committable offer may be off the table. Malik Langham, a 3-star defensive line prospect from Huntsville, Ala., added an offer from Alabama earlier this month. He looks like the more likely option for the Tide at this time.

Lytton hasn’t been a major cornerback target for Alabama. The Tide have three corners committed in Jalyn Armour-Davis, Nadab Joseph and Saivion Smith. Alabama remains in good shape to flip Miami corner commit Josh Jobe and remain in contention for 5-star prospects Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Tyson Campbell.

Is Alabama truly out of it for elite LB King Mwikuta

King Mwikuta, one of the top linebackers in the 2019 class, tweeted on Sunday that he will commit to either Florida State, Georgia or Miami this Friday during a ceremony at 10 a.m. ET at his school.

Mwikuta, a 4-star prospect from Troup County High School (LaGrange, Ga.), has had Alabama as his leader for months until seemingly out of nowhere when he released his final 3 schools.

So, that begs the question, what exactly happened here? Well, according to a source close to Mwikuta’s recruitment, nothing.

This seems like a case of a recruit wanting to “surprise” people during his commitment ceremony because most in the recruiting industry have believed he’s an Alabama lean.

I still think Mwikuta is going to choose Alabama on Friday. Things can obviously change in a few days, but I’m still sticking with my pick of him choosing the Tide. If he commits to Alabama, Mwikuta is definitely going to be a leader of the 2019 class because he has one of the most exuberant personalities out of all the recruits I’ve interviewed.

RB target now visiting next weekend

Jerome Ford, Alabama’s top running back target in the 2018 class, was supposed to take an official visit to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 19, but he told SEC Country on Sunday night that he will now visit this coming weekend.

Ford said he’s still thinking about signing early. If he does, there’s no doubt in my mind that Ford will be part of the Crimson Tide’s class. What I think will happen is the Alabama staff gets Ford to commit this weekend and convinces him to sign during the early signing period. The staff wants the majority of its targets and commits to sign early.

Alabama is currently Ford’s leader.

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