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Carolina Panthers' RB Christian McCaffrey helps save life of elderly hiker 

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 7:29 AM

Carolina Panrhers running back  Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old hiker in Colorado.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Carolina Panrhers running back Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old hiker in Colorado.(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey helped rescue a 72-year-old man who fell 20 feet onto a rock while hiking along a Colorado trail Saturday.

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“We were going to go to lunch,” McCaffrey said on the Panthers’ website. “And then just randomly we were like, ‘Let’s go hike the rock.’”

McCaffrey, two of his brothers and two friends were at Castle Rock hiking when they saw Dan Smoker Sr. fall. Smoker's 13-year-old grandson, Eli, also was on the hike and witnessed the ordeal.

“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” McCaffrey said. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”

They called 911 for help. Smoker was seriously injured and his breathing stopped. They started performing chest compressions on the man.

Paramedics arrived in about 11 minutes.

Smoker was taken to the hospital with a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck.

He was in critical but stable condition Tuesday.

A day after the accident, McCaffrey, along with his brothers and mother, visited Smoker in the hospital.

“They introduced themselves and I still hadn’t pieced it together,” said Smoker's son, Dan. “I can’t say I’d recognize Christian without his football gear on. Around here, Valor Christian is a popular high school, and I knew that Ed McCaffrey had just taken over as head coach there. We were talking and they had mentioned that they went to Valor, and we were looking there because our son loves football as well."

“One of the things that amazed me the most was just the humility,” Dan Smoker said. “It was not about, ‘Look at who I am.’ They just wanted to make sure we were OK. That was it. They wanted to see how my son was doing.”

McCaffrey continues to text back and forth with Smoker’s son following the incident.

"It’s such a -- I don’t know what you’d call it. Truly a blessing that we turned the corner at that exact moment and we could be there for him. I don’t know what would have happened. We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”

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Dayton strength coach: Bittersweet leaving program after one year

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 PM

Interview with new Dayton men's basketball strength coach Casey Cathrall

Casey Cathrall left the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program after one season as the strength and conditioning coach for a dream job at the University of Miami. He has the same position with the Hurricanes men’s basketball team, and his first day was Monday.

» WATCH: Drone video of UD Arena renovations

Cathrall couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to Florida — he was a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes in 2013 when they won the ACC championship and earned his master’s degree in exercise physiology there in 2014 — in part because his wife Grace is from Vero Beach, Fla., two hours north of Miami, and her family still lives there.

“It’s just something we always dreamed about,” Cathrall said Monday night. “If they ever came calling, we couldn’t say no.”

» LOOKING BACK: Cathrall on his strength and conditioning philosophy

Dayton hired Cathrall in May 2017. He said it was bittersweet leaving the job.

“Dayton was awesome,” Cathrall said. “Obviously, the year didn’t go the way we would have hoped, but that really had no impact (on his decision). Grace had so many close friends (in Dayton). I really enjoyed working with the staff there. Coach (Anthony) Grant is a phenomenal guy. Everyone there was straight first class. Nothing but good things to say. It’s just bittersweet. I really feel we made some strides there in terms of trying to establish a culture and where the kids we’re at. I’m really excited for that program and where it’s headed.”

» GRANT WINS GOLD: Dayton coach helps lead USA U-18 team to title

Dayton posted Cathrall’s job last week and is also looking to hire a new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team after James Kane left for Iowa State.

In his final weeks on the job, Cathrall got to work with two of the newest Flyers: Michigan transfer Ibi Watson and Chattanooga transfer Rodney Chatman.

“Ibi got there the first week of summer school, somewhere around May 12 or 13th,” Cathrall said. “Rod was the week after or two weeks after. I spent a couple weeks with Ibi and at least two weeks with Rod. The takeaway from those two guys if the fans at Dayton are interested is they’re unbelievable people.”

Of Watson, Cathrall said, “Ibi, from day one, wants to win. He wants to be the best. Incredible competitiveness in him. He wants to do the extra miles, showing up early, staying after. Just very, very mature. What he brings to the program is more of what we need and more of where it’s going in terms of the culture and in terms of an unbelievable amount of discipline and habits and what it takes to be successful. He’s got a personality that he was able to mesh with the guys right away. I think the chemistry will show when he’s finally able to get out there on the floor.

Speaking of Chatman, Cathrall said, “Rod’s a softer-spoken guy. You can tell he’s a guy that’s played college basketball before. I think he’s adjusting to the physicality we have at Dayton, but in terms of his skill set, his basketball IQ, his unselfishness and his demeanor and habits, I just think he’s another home-run addition of what coach Grant and the staff are building.”

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Urban Meyer offers perspective on Ohio State QBs, new NCAA rules

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke about quarterback and a couple of changes to NCAA rules Friday night in Columbus. 

The Buckeyes mentor confirmed in the clearest language yet Dwayne Haskins will be his starting quarterback when preseason camp commences in late summer. 

“Dwayne is the starter and Tate (Martell) is in full competition mode,” Meyer told reporters at the annual Ohio State football job fair. “Matt Baldwin is our three and he’s doing very well now.” 

Haskins, a sophomore from Maryland, became the assumed starter when Joe Burrow transferred to LSU last month

Meyer told the Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon crowd in Canton in mid-May Haskins would get “the first opportunity to be the starter,” and his latest comments further confirmed that intention. 

RELATED: Urban Meyer talks about Ohio State QBs past, present and (potentially) future

In Columbus, Meyer also said he has maintained contact with Burrow, who graduated in May and is eligible for the Tigers right away. 

“Joe did a lot for us, and we did a lot for Joe, so it was a very amicable relationship,” Meyer said. 

The appearance was also the first for Meyer since the NCAA announced a pair of changes to player eligibility last week. 

Beginning this fall, players will be able to play up to four games without losing the ability to take a redshirt season

“It’s a good rule, and I’m glad they did that,” Meyer said. “It’s good for most importantly the student-athlete.” 

Previously participating in one play meant a year of eligibility was used — unless that player later became injured and certain other specifications were met. 

That is no longer the case. 

“I think it’s just going to be easier (for coaches). Usually you play a guy early and then if they get hurt, you redshirt them,” Meyer said. “Now there is going to be, do you hold onto them until the stretch run when it gets really hard and you need them? Because usually when you get into the end of the season you’re dealing with injuries.” 

Meyer also said the new rule preventing coaches from blocking transfers is good — as long as players still have to sit out a year before being eligible. 

“I’m not a big fan of all the transfers,” Meyer said. “I think that’s an easy way out, but I get it. I’m a big fan graduate transfers. When they fulfill their obligation, go, but I also understand the other part.” 

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All-Star voting update: Gennett still third among NL second basemen

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Contributing Writer
The Reds Scooter Gennett drives in a run with a double against the Pirates on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff(Contributing Writer)

Scooter Gennett, of the Cincinnati Reds, remains ranked third among second basemen in voting for the National League All-Star team.

Gennett has received 743,979 votes, the league announced Monday in its second release of the voting results. He trails the Braves’ Ozzie Albies (915,736) and the Cubs’ Javier Baez (767,417). All three have a wide lead over the fourth-ranked second baseman: the Giants’ Joe Panik (194,634).

»RELATED: Gennett, Suarez, Votto among all-star candidates

Joey Votto also remains fifth in voting among first basemen (189,364), well behind the league’s overall leader in votes, the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (1,433,140).

Eugenio Suarez, who ranked fourth last week, remains fourth this week among third basemen with 228,806 votes. He leads NL third basemen in RBIs (52) and ranks second in the league among all players. The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (1,124,563) has a wide lead among third basemen.

Voting began June 1 and continues until 11:59 p.m. July 5. The All-Star Game will be played July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer? What the stats say through 1,500 games

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:19 AM

Who is Joey Votto: Ten facts about Reds first baseman

Joey Votto played in his 1,500th career game for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in an 8-6 victory at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before the game, the Reds shared the numbers on how Votto compares to Hall of Fame first basemen from the last 50 years, including Jim Thome, who will be inducted this summer.

» DRAGONS: Dayton ends first half with loss

Here’s how Votto, at age 34, in his 12th season, stacks up against 12 of the greats through the first 1,500 games of their careers. In short, he compares well — especially in on-base percentage and walks, as you might expect.

Batting average: Rod Carew (.335); Frank Thomas (.321); Johnny Mize (.320); Joey Votto (.313); Jeff Bagwell (.305); Orlando Cepeda (.305); Eddie Murray (.299); George Kelly (.297); Jim Thome (.285); Tony Perez (.284); Ernie Banks (.283); Willie McCovey (.282); Harmon Killebrew (.262);

On-base percentage: Thomas (.441); Votto (.428); Bagwell (.418); Thome (.411); Mize (.406); Carew (.392); McCovey (.385); Killebrew (.375); Murray (.375); Cepeda (.355); Perez (.347); Banks (.344); Kelly (.343); 

Slugging percentage: Mize (.580); Thomas (.580); Thome (.566); McCovey (.555); Bagwell (.553); Banks (.536); Votto (.536); Killebrew (.532); Cepeda (.517); Murray (.505); Perez (.484); Kelly (.455); Carew (.450);

Home runs: Killebrew (392); Thome (368); Ernie Banks (353); McCovey (347); Thomas (339); Bagwell (316); Mize (315); Cepeda (279); Murray (275); Votto (263); Perez (246); Kelly (137); Rod Carew (71).

Hits: Rod Carew (1,924); Mize (1,776); Thomas (1,721); Cepeda (1,714); Murray (1,680); Votto (1,662); Bagwell (1,657); Kelly (1,650); Banks (1,618); Perez (1,550); Thome (1,451); McCovey (1,375); Killebrew (1,354); 

Walks: Thomas (1,172); Bagwell (1,012); Votto (1,046); Killebrew (919); McCovey (788); Mize (757); Murray (709); Carew (542); Perez (532); Banks (521); Cepeda (388); Kelly (358); Thome (108).

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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