Without WR Duke Williams, Auburn must trust new faces

first_imgAuburn wide receiver D'haquille Williams looks to a coach for drill instructions during an NCAA college football practice, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)Auburn wide receiver D’haquille Williams looks to a coach for drill instructions during an NCAA college football practice, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)AUBURN – In May it was a one-word answer as to who Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson would be looking to first in a critical third-down situation.Duke.In the second week of August, the absence of D’haquille “Duke” Williams has turned that trivia question into a quandary steeped in mystery.Since Williams’ absence from the practice field Friday, Auburn has been continuing to revive a passing game without its leading receiver. Williams was again not on the field during Auburn’s first scrimmage Monday.Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn confirmed Saturday the basics of why the preseason All-Southeastern Conference wide receiver was noticeably absent from practice but refused to elaborate further when asked about the details of Williams’ infraction.“He had a discipline issue that we’re taking care of and when he takes care of that, he’ll be back on the field,” Malzahn said. “I’ll make that decision. I will let you know when he’ll be back. Bottom line, nobody is bigger than the team around here and that’s between me and him.”Until Malzahn signals for Williams’ return, the search to replace his production starts with an unproven set of receivers eager to make an impact.The next returning receiver with the second highest amount of catches is senior Ricardo Louis with 21 and junior Marcus Davis with 13. Neither of Louis and Davis have more than five starts in a season.Louis, who at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, does resemble Williams in height and weight, is trying to establish himself as more than a possession threat in Malzahn’s tempo offense.“I’m a senior, I’m a leader and when things like that happen, somebody has to step up and that’s my responsibility,” Louis said after the scrimmage Monday. “Nobody has to tell me that Ricardo you have to step up.”Louis leads a group of senior receivers that includes Melvin Ray and converted quarterback Jonathan Wallace to have a larger role.“We talked about (Louis) raising his level and taking that next step and becoming a leader (and) he’s done that,” Malzahn said. “The good thing is we got a lot of receivers that we feel very good about.”Davis is another possible option for Johnson as the 5-foot-9 junior speedster has the ability to get yards after the catch in the middle of the field. Davis has only 36 career catches but the former high school quarterback is considered by the Tigers coaches for his ability to read coverages before he starts his routes.“He’s a guy that has done everything we’ve asked and really starting to be an impact player for us,” Malzahn said. “He wasn’t completely 100 percent last year. He’s a guy that plays banged up, he’s a tough guy and he’s closer to 100 percent now. We’re excited about him.”The reason for optimism might just be the increased in confidence with the passing game thanks to the skill set of starting quarterback Johnson. Logic suggests if Johnson, a U.S. Army All-American selection out of high school in Montgomery, is as accurate as the preseason hype suggests he is, the definition of an open receiver changes from previous seasons of Auburn offenses.“I’ve seen him make some throws that I’ve never seen any quarterback make, right on the money every time,” Louis said. “He’s consistent (and) that’s what makes him better than most of the quarterbacks I’ve seen.”Johnson, who was seen paired with Williams in stretching over the first two days of preseason practices, attempted to downplay the loss of his leading returning receiver Monday. Johnson said he wasn’t paying attention to Williams’ “discipline issue” and isn’t aware of what it involves specifically.“That’s not my responsibility,” Johnson said. “I’m just leaving that to him and coach, but I feel really good about all the other receivers.”Regardless of when or if Williams returns to the field, the issue that will not be solved until Auburn takes the field in the Georgia Dome on Sept. 5 is whether this has become a distraction to the Tigers national championship hopes.“This hasn’t been a distraction at all, not even a little bit,” Johnson said. “Like I said, we feel really good about the rest of the receivers we got. We got four tremendous guys that are going to help us.”last_img read more

Ragland stepping up as vocal leader for resurgent Tide

first_imgAlabama linebacker Reggie Ragland dives on a fumble early in the first quarter against Auburn in the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa last year.Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland dives on a fumble early in the first quarter against Auburn in the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa last year.TUSCALOOSA – Reggie Ragland came to Tuscaloosa like many other high-profile recruits and scoffed a bit at “The Process.”Known for his no-nonsense approach to coaching and developing players at Alabama, head coach Nick Saban has preached his philosophy — otherwise known as “the Process” — as a way to get his team playing at its peak potential.Some players can’t handle Saban’s way and are “processed” out of Alabama.But there are many others, such as Ragland, who ultimately embrace “The Process” and utilize it as a way of improving themselves to the point that they eventually earn their shot at playing for the Tide.That was the case for Ragland, a hot-shot phenom from South Huntsville who signed with Alabama as, according to 247Sports.com, the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2012 class.But much like some of his fellow elite prospects, the former Bob Jones star had to wait his turn, biding his time behind eventual first-round NFL draft pick C.J. Mosley his first two seasons before sliding into the starting role last season.Now, it’s Ragland who is preaching the validity of Saban’s “Process” to the next generation of Tide talent.“I tell (the younger players) all the time, just endure the process,” Ragland said. “Any time you hear coach (Saban) talking about ‘The Process,’ the process works — I’m a testament to it myself.“It took me a couple of years to really understand what coach was talking about and … I started to see everything clearer and better.”That improvement has been especially evident to his coaches, who’ve taken notice of a player who simply does what it takes.“Each year he’s gotten better and better,” Saban said. “And now, he’s one of the most effective players or ranks up there with the most effective players we’ve ever had here.”High praise from a coach and a program that’s produced nationally elite linebackers such as Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower and Mosley, and at a program that’s featured legends such as Derrick Thomas, Cornelius Bennett, and Lee Roy Jordan.A Butkus Award semifinalist last season after finishing second on the team with 93 tackles and third with 101/2 for loss, the 6-foot-2, 252-pound Ragland has quickly emerged as a leader both between the lines and in the locker room.“Reggie’s a guy that’s gotten more and more confident each year. He came in very talented, (but) he came in not knowledgeable, not as instinctive as an inside ‘backer,” longtime Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart said. “He’s gotten better every season. He practices hard, he plays hard, (because) it’s important to Reggie.”But it’s his place as the defensive captain and overall team leader that has his coaches believing the 2015 defense will be much better prepared to handle the challenges that have derailed Alabama the last two seasons.“He’s certainly taking a responsibility to be more assertive and be more of a leader, which I think is really, really important to the team’s success,” Saban said. “We’re pleased with the progress that he’s making. I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with where anybody is right now in terms of the improvement that we can make.”It’s that sort of approach that Ragland thinks will be the difference in the Tide not just making it to the College Football Playoff — as it did last season before coming up short with a 42-35 semifinal loss to eventual champion Ohio State — and winning it all.“Any time you lose a heartbreaker, and you don’t finish the way you’re suppose to, I think that’d motivate anybody,” Ragland said. “And I think for us, especially, because every year we’re picked to win the national championship and there’s always pressure on us. But if we just do the necessary things we’ve got to do and make sure everybody’s together … that’s all we preach about. … Everybody’s talking more and being more together. You can just sense it in the locker room.”And it’s Ragland who has taken it upon himself to lead that charge.“Reggie wants to please you as a coach. He wants to lead the group as a unit. So he’s gotten more confident this year,” Smart said. “Maybe he’s really a natural leader, but now he has the experience and confidence and accolades to be that guy we need him to be — that bell-cow guy.”And with a vocal assertiveness that comes from living through “The Process” and emerging better for it on the other side, Ragland believes Alabama can return to its rightful place atop the pinnacle of college football following back-to-back disappointing finishes in 2013 and 2014.“You had a lot of guys that talked the talk but also didn’t walk the walk,” he said of prior teams’ leadership. “And when that’s a problem, your teammates don’t really look up to you. … I feel like the leadership this year is doing the things they have to do to walk the walk and talk the talk.”last_img read more

High school wrestling: Airline finishes third in Arlington Martin meet

first_imgAirline finished third in the Arlington Martin Warriors Invitational wrestling meet Saturday in Arlington, Texas.The Vikings scored 155 points. Martin won with 211.Two-time state champion Christian Walden won the 160-pound class. He won all four of his matches by fall expect for an 8-7 decision in the second round. Walden defeated Nate Moore of Weatherford in 1:16 in the title match.Dakota Brace finished runner-up the 106-pound division. He won three matches before losing to Luke Garcia of Martin 16-0 in the finals.Darrell Evans (182 pounds) and Matt Salinas (195) both finished third.After losing in the first round, Evans won sixth matches in a row, defeating Michael Metrey of Bishop Lynch 23-16 in the third-place match.Salinas lost to eventual champ Aidan Connor of Highland Park 1-0 in the semifinals then came back to defeat Jake Johnson of Southlake Carroll by fall in 2:51.Josh Partin lost in the first round of the 132-pound division then won five matches to take fifth.Tucker Almond (132 pounds) and Alex Davila (220) both posted sixth-place finishes.— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.comTop Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat Insurance|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCelebsland.com9 Celebrity Before-And-After Plastic Surgery DisastersCelebsland.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

Airline accepting applications for head boys basketball coach

first_imgAnyone interested must be a certified teacher or in the iTeach program and must apply via the job applicant portal found on the BPSB website, Airline Athletic Director Ronnie Coker said in an e-mail. Due to the circumstances, applications will be accepted until April 9.    Contact Principal justin.james@bossierschools.org, and Athletic Coordinator ronnie.coker@bossierschools.org.    Airline is currently accepting applications for the position of head boys basketball coach. Chris White, who was head coach for 13 seasons, is retiring at the end of the school year. His career as a coach and educator spanned 33 years.Perfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAspireAbove.comRemember Abby from NCIS? Take A Deep Breath Before You See How She Looks NowAspireAbove.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoHealthyWomenMagTop 30 Most Beautiful Women in the WorldHealthyWomenMag|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

Pogba primed to shine for France in Brazil

first_imgThat’s not as big an “if” as it sounds. The 21-year-old’s potential is so eyeball-bustingly obvious that it is only an issue of when — not whether — Pogba will take over from the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Yaya Toure or Steven Gerrard as one of contemporary football’s most destructive attack-minded midfielders.“He is the only young player about whom I’m not afraid to say that he’s already a great, because I know he’s not going to get a big head, and he proves it with each match,” says Pogba’s veteran France teammate Patrice Evra, who has seen other next-big-things fall short of expectations in eight years at Manchester United and 57 games for Les Bleus.Watching Pogba break up opponents’ forays, shoulder first, tentacular legs stealing the ball, and then flipping defense into attack, gobbling up the pitch on a Toure-like goal-ward charge, fools one into thinking that he’s been boss of the France midfield for years. But check his stats: not yet a dozen appearances for his country and still less than 100 club games, nearly all in two breakout league-winning seasons at Juventus.He didn’t make many mistakes, but one of Alex Ferguson’s biggest in 26 years managing Manchester United was letting Pogba slip through his fingers. Pogba says he left United because he believed he deserved to play more frequently in a solitary season of just seven appearances, all as a substitute. That would have seemed mighty arrogant of the teenager had Pogba not subsequently proved himself so quickly at Juventus, where coach Antonio Conte calls him an ideal modern player: strong, rapid and resistant.Evra says he tried in vain to talk Pogba out of leaving United, telling him: “Here, you’ll become a legend. Be patient.” Pogba says the last straw was a Dec. 31, 2011, Premier League match against Blackburn. Missing first-choice midfielders, Ferguson plugged the gap with a full-back, Brazilian Rafael da Silva, rather than call Pogba off the bench.“I was disgusted,” Pogba said in an interview for French broadcaster Canal Plus.United lost 3-2 and Pogba said he lost “the relationship I had with the manager. I was really disappointed.”Perhaps not as disappointed as United’s accountants when a football think-tank in Switzerland this week estimated Pogba’s market value now at northward of 60 million euros ($80 million), ranking him as football’s sixth most valuable player and most valuable midfielder.Pogba is now one of the first names on the team-sheet. Not once in 10 games for France has coach Didier Deschamps put Pogba on the bench. Pogba is still a work in progress: his passing can be wayward and self-assuredness looks like over-confidence when Pogba lingers too long on the ball. In only his second game in French blue, a 1-0 loss to world champion Spain in World Cup qualifiers last year, Pogba collected two yellow cards in two minutes, ramming a knee into Xabi Alonso and raking his studs on Xavi’s right foot.Pogba called the sending off “a very good lesson.” He seems a quick study: He didn’t pick up a card of any color through the next seven games.Another asset for a team looking to prove it has started afresh is that Pogba has no connection to the disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign, where Les Bleus made themselves a laughing stock by going on strike. Drawing a line under one of the most shameful episodes in post-World War II French sporting history, and to ride the buzz of the Brazil World Cup, a former team sponsor last month destroyed a replica of France’s bus from South Africa.With his polite good humor and twinkly eyes, Pogba comes across as the anti-thesis of the bores of 2010.The Stade de France chanted his name after Pogba scored the first of four French goals without reply against Norway, in the first of three World Cup tune-up matches. In a 1-1 draw with Paraguay on Sunday, Pogba also distinguished himself while charging downfield by flatfooting defender Ramon Coronel with an abrupt hip-shimmying change of direction that any Brazilian would be proud of.Mathieu Valbuena, whose cross set up Pogba’s header against Norway, said his teammates are telling him to “let himself go” and push forward from midfield “because he’s capable of scoring goals.”Asked about Pogba, midfielder Rio Mavuba could only marvel.“He’s an old youngster,” Mavuba said with a chuckle. “A very relaxed player.”But one primed to go bang! in Brazil.___John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester@ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicesterlast_img read more

CORA meat drive is postponed

first_imgLAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The CORA meat distribution scheduled for this Saturday, April 4 has been postponed to comply with Gov. Lee’s Executive Order 23 that requires Tennesseans to ‘Stay at Home.’CORA will reschedule and hold the meat distribution when this order is expired.For more information, please contact Bill Stanley at 865-414-5550 cwstanley@gmail.com.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/03/2020-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img

Guilbeau: LSU, No. 3 Ole Miss on a collision course

first_imgPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUND Session ID: 2020-09-17:7df2618bad888ed596f2eed1 Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-265580-3848326521001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.BATON ROUGE – Bring on Ole Miss. But not Katy Perry. We don’t want a corn dog riot.The third-ranked Rebels, 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference after dismissing Tennessee, 34-3, Saturday night, will enter Tiger Stadium undefeated for the first time since 1963 when they were also No. 3 in the nation and 4-0-1 on the season.LSU, 6-2 and 2-2 after embarrassing Kentucky 41-3 Saturday night, no longer is smelling or playing like corn dogs – a long held belief by Ole Miss fans carried on by Perry during ESPN’s GameDay before Ole Miss’ monumental, 23-17 win over No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 4.LSU is not better than Ole Miss and will be underdogs, but it will be able to play with the Rebels and have a chance to win.The Tigers played their most complete game Saturday – or closest thing to that – and will likely be ranked after being out of the polls since Oct. 5 following a 41-7 loss to Auburn on Oct. 4. LSU looked well coached and well drilled throughout a game on offense, defense and special teams for the first time this season. The sideline even managed to work the clock successfully again for a field goal with seven seconds to go in the first half.“They were more prepared. They were better coached,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said.“I think what’s happening is this football team’s coming together,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “The time is kind of right for that. That was the best overall game we’ve had thus far from start to finish.”LSU is running the ball and playing defense with precision again. The Tigers piled up 303 yards on the ground on 51 carries against Kentucky and held the Wildcats to just 217 yards – less than half of the 448 they had been averaging. Kentucky could muster just 71 rushing yards on 27 carries, or 2.8 yards a carry.After disastrous defensive performances against Mississippi State and Auburn, the competition has decreased exponentially against the likes of Florida last week and Kentucky this week. Still, the defense is playing better. Defensive coordinator John Chavis has made adjustments and mixed things up – in a good way. He has made his unit better.Kendell Beckwith is entrenched at middle linebacker for the Tigers now. He made nine tackles. True freshman Jamal Adams is playing more and more at safety and quickly making a name for himself as junior Jalen Mills has moved to nickel in passing situations. Adams had eight tackles and the key block that freed Tre’Davious White on his 67-yard punt return in the first quarter for a 17-0 lead. Then he made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff. You will see more of him.Chavis played more people in various roles. True freshmen Deondre Clark and Sione Teuhema played situationally at defensive end and defensive tackle. Speed was all over the field.Finally, LSU looked scary again with obvious height, girth and speed advantages. LSU looked like LSU again as it dominated a clearly outclassed opponent.Now, if the stadium can just return. LSU fans might have chanted, “We want Ole Miss,” as the Kentucky game ended, but there were not enough people close enough together remaining in the place.Tiger Stadium, fastly becoming known as Dodger Stadium with about equal traffic issues outside, may actually be full until the end of an event next week against Ole Miss for the first time since George Strait crooned “Amarilo By Morning” last May during the Bayou Country Super Fest.“I expect that this place will be rocking,” Miles said. From beginning to end?It will be worth it to stay next week, and maybe everyone can sing, “Oxford by morning,” by night’s end.last_img read more

Tottenham with the first summer transfer

first_imgTottenham have drawn midfielder Pierre-Emile Heuberg from Southampton. Londoners have officially announced their first summer transfer. The Spurs will pay £ 20 million for the player who signed a 5-year contract.The Dane will wear the number 5 team to his new club. The transfer was finalized after the footballer underwent medical examinations today and signed the contract. “What was important to me was playing in a club where I see myself for many years to come. It was Tottenham. I am very proud, very happy and excited. I think the club has a fantastic future and I wanted to be a part of it so much. from him, “said Heuberg after moving to Tottenham.Tottenham turned to an Arsenal playerThe Spurs want Ainsley Maitland-Nileslast_img read more

He talks a lot of nonsense, he will get what he…

first_imgKubrat Pulev threatened another big name in the heavyweight category. After WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua came under verbal fire, whom the Cobra described as “cowardly and arrogant”, Dillian White is now at the forefront.“This man is talking an awful lot of nonsense! I want Alexander Povetkin to beat him because he’s a good man, not a slut, he’s acting. White just talks and I don’t like him at all,” Cobra attacked.Winbet – one click away! (18+)“I want to fight White after knocking out Joshua. He will get what he deserves, I have prepared a special knockout for him. I promise I will teach him respect,” the Bulgarian erupted.The 39-year-old Pulev is currently training on his native Black Sea coast. His battle with Joshua is expected to develop next week. It will most likely take place on December 5 at the O2 Arena in London.Dillian White:last_img read more

West Ham ahead of Crystal Palace after ‘contacting’ midfielder’s agent –…

first_imgOn Tuesday, for example, Corriere dello Sport claimed that Cagliari’s Nahitan Nández’s attorney was trying to open talks with Chelsea and Arsenal for his client, but that West Ham could also come back after making attempts in January.Well, that’s been backed up by Gazzetta dello Sport, who confirm the Hammers’ interest in the midfielder, and also add Crystal Palace have joined them in their efforts.Roy Hodgson’s side were comfortably safe from relegation from the restart, so their transfer plans could very well be more advanced that West Ham’s, who only officially secured their top flight spot after their 1-1 draw against Manchester United.Embed from Getty ImagesEither way, it’s stated that both Crystal Palace and the Hammers ‘have contacted’ the player’s agent ‘in the past few days’, but they will have to pay full price for him.The Uruguayan midfielder has a €36m release clause in his contract, and the club’s president, Tommaso Giulini, ‘will not make discounts’.However, they also explain that the Hammers ‘start as leaders’ due to their previous attempts and courting in January.It’s certainly not as exciting as Chelsea and Arsenal for Nández, but West Ham and Crystal Palace would certainly give him the Premier League foothold he appears to be looking for.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameDon’t Play This Game, it’s Addictive.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoHero WarsGetting this Treasure is impossible! Prove us wrong!Hero WarsUndoCNN with DBS BankThe New Role Banks Are PlayingCNN with DBS BankUndoDating.comThe Most Handsome Men In Hong Kong On This Dating SiteDating.comUndoLoans | Search AdsLooking for loan in Hong Kong? Find options hereLoans | Search AdsUndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystReducing the Global Trade Finance Gap Could Lower Poverty in Emerging Markets. Here’s How.StanChart by CNBC CatalystUndoTemenos by CNBC CatalystIs a Digital Revolution Crucial for Banks to Stay Ahead in a Post-Pandemic World?Temenos by CNBC CatalystUndo As the leagues start to come to an end and the opening of the Premier League transfer window looms, more and more clubs are going to be linked with new names.last_img read more