Friday, April 30, 2010

Tampa Jefferson QB Quentin Williams has big arm, wins games, yet has just 4 offers

Quentin Williams, an upcoming senior, was the 3A Florida state high school player of the year in 2009, recording 35 touchdown passes and 3,495 passing yards, completed 64 percent of his passes and had just 10 interceptions in 304 pass attempts in an 11-2 season. Williams says he WANTS TO ATTEND an HBCU. "I'm 6-foot even. It is what it is," said Williams, who is not at all interested in playing anything other than QB at the next level."

He has scholarship offers for Towson State, Central Florida, Florida International and Purdue.

At the Orlando EA Sports Elite 11 QB Camp earlier this spring, Tampa Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams was zipping balls all over the field, drilling them into the hands of would-be receivers, most of whom dropped the ball out of sheer shock at the velocity. He was drawing oohs and aahs and players and coaches were asking, "Who's that?" Indeed.

Fast forward to the April Steve Clarkson Dreammakers QB Challenge at the Citrus Bowl, and yet again he opened some eyes. During one drill, a receiver complained that the QBs weren't throwing the ball hard enough. Somebody hollered over at Williams, "Hey Q, did you hear that? They said you guys aren't throwing hard enough." Williams just grinned.

On his next rep, he effortlessly fired a 20-yard out at a receiver's chest. It was almost as if the receiver's hands were there for protection, not for catching. The ball sent the receiver back a few steps and more people were asking, "Who was that?" THAT is the 3A Florida state high school player of the year from last year. THAT is a player everyone should know by now, but it seems no one does. Williams put up gaudy stats and led the Dragons to the state semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Pensacola in 2009.



Tampa Jefferson High School 6-0/185 star quarterback Quentin Williams states, "I'm open right now and I would actually like to experience a black college," Williams said, but when asked if he was thinking MEAC or a similar level of university, he said, "Right now I really don't care what it is. I just want to go to school and get a good education."

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Harrisburg's Sabre Proctor picks North Carolina A&T Lady Aggies

Pennsylvania's Harrisburg High School 6-0, Class AAAA Associated Press All-State forward Sabre Proctor (#15) has signed with the North Carolina A&T State University Lady Aggies and the Division I, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Proctor selected the Aggies over Rutgers and Delaware State.

COLLEGE RECRUITING WATCH

ATHLETE: Sabre Proctor

SPORT: Basketball

HIGH SCHOOL: Harrisburg (Pennsylvania)

COLLEGE: North Carolina A&T

THE DETAILS: At the Field House at Harrisburg High School Thursday, the Cougars’ all-state forward announced her intentions to join head coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs and the Division I Aggies. Over the past four seasons, the Aggies won 91 games and three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles with one NCAA Tournament appearance. Cage-Bibbs & Co. went 23-11 this season and, following a MEAC championship loss to South Carolina State, chalked up two WNIT victories at Wake Forest and Charlotte.

THE DECISION: "It was just the best fit for me. I loved the coaches, the players and the distance from home. Actually, they have one of the top business schools and that’s what I want to study," said Proctor, projected as a 3. "Coach [Cage-Bibbs] is very family-oriented and I connected with her. You can talk to her about anything.

THE ATHLETE: Among the Mid-Penn’s most aggressive players, Proctor worked hard to expand her skill set and became both a four-time conference all-star and three-time selection to The Patriot-News Big 15. Always a physical force underneath, the 6-0 recruit added a deft touch from the perimeter and shoved the Cougars into the PIAA Class AAAA Tournament with an 18.1 average. She finished her scholastic career with more than 1,600 points and over 1,000 caroms. "I always had a nice little mid-range jumper but I would never take it," Proctor said. "I had to be able to convert and do other things, create my own shot." A terrific senior campaign helped Proctor land a third-team spot on the Associated Press Class AAAA all-state team. The Cougars’ ace also gave serious consideration to Rutgers and Delaware State, among others.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

The NFL "After Draft:" Free Agent Signings

South Carolina State University Wide Receiver (#3) Oliver Tre' Young signs free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers.

Cardinals sign SU's Stewart

Passed over during the NFL draft, Southern wide receiver Juamorris Stewart doesn’t have to wonder if he’d have a shot at the pros. Saturday night, Stewart said he has agreed to sign a free-agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Even as the seventh and final round plodded along Saturday, several teams started calling Stewart to offer free-agent deals. “I talked to a bunch of teams, but they have a young group and (the Cardinals) like throwing the ball,” Stewart said. “I’m just hoping I can come in and show what I can do. I’m happy and very excited.” Stewart said he and his agent, Tyron Collins, haven’t yet worked out the details with Arizona, but Stewart said he believes he’ll get a two- or three-year deal. The Cardinals’ rookie minicamp begins Thursday, he said, so he needs to be in Phoenix before then.

FAMU's Vann, Okeafor set to join NFL teams



Florida A&M record-setting return specialist LeRoy Vann got a lot of telephone calls during the past three days. Most of them were from folks wishing him well in the NFL Draft. Some even told him his height — 5-foot-8 — would be the thing that kept him out of the draft Saturday evening. The San Francisco 49ers decided to look past what Vann might lack in height and signed him to a free-agent contract.

The post-draft news also was good for offensive lineman Robert Okeafor, who was invited Saturday afternoon to attend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' minicamp next week. The two former Rattlers become the first FAMU players to be in the NFL conversation since quarterback Quinn Gray 10 years ago. Vann said he will also report to the 49ers' minicamp Thursday.

Ex-Burke star Tre'Young signs with Panthers ...

South Carolina State receiver Oliver 'Tre' Young and safety Rafael Bush did not have long to dwell on the disappointment of not hearing their names called during the NFL draft. Just over an hour following the selection of the final draft pick, the two were in the process of finalizing free agent contracts with opposing NFC South teams. The Charleston native Young inked a deal with the Carolina Panthers, while Bush will compete for a roster spot with the Atlanta Falcons.

"My agent felt that the Panthers were the best place to go, somewhere where I could possibly make the ball club," Young said. Earlier in the day, the only S.C. State player to get drafted was defensive back Phillip Adams, who was taken by the San Francisco 49'ers in the seventh round.

Alcorn State University Braves QB Timothy Buckley (#7) inked a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. He will play at WR for the Falcons.

2010 Free Agent Signings

Rafael Bush, DB, South Carolina State, Atlanta Falcons
Will Croner, DE, Howard University, Buffalo Bills
Chris Bell, WR, Norfolk State, New Orleans Saints
Marcell Young, CB, Jackson State, New Orleans Saints
Juamorris Steward, WR, Southern U., Arizona Cardinals
Terrell Whitehead, S, Norfolk State, Jacksonville Jaguars
Leroy Vann, KR, FAMU, San Francisco 49'ers
E.J. Morton-Green, WR, Morgan State (Tryout), Green Bay Packers
Philip Kirkland, WR, Bethune-Cookman (Tryout), New York Jets
Oliver Tre' Young, WR, South Carolina State, Carolina Panthers
Robert Okeafor, OL, FAMU - Tampa Bay Bucs
Tim Buckley, QB/WR, Alcorn State, Atlanta Falcons
Damon McDaniel, WR, Hampton U. (Tryout), N.Y. Jets
Eric Perri, Kicker, Jackson State, New Orleans Saints
Bloi-Dei Dorzon, RB, Jackson State, Tennessee Titans
Bobby Reid, QB, Texas Southern, Tampa Bay Bucs
Gabriel Manns, OL, North Carolina Central, Cincinnati Bengals.
Will Scott, WR, North Carolina Central, Green Bay Packers

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Life threw him a curve, but it couldn't keep him down

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NORFOLK, VA - Mark Young II was coming off what he thought was a breakthrough baseball season in 2006. A Norfolk State junior, Young established himself as one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's top pitchers after compiling a 3.21 ERA - second-best in the league - and tossing a two-hit shutout against defending league champion North Carolina A&T. "I felt great about myself," he said recently. "I couldn't wait until the next season."

It never came.

These days, Young is the varsity coach at Booker T. Washington High - a few blocks from where he flourished on the mound for Norfolk State, but a long way from his playing days and his dream of pro baseball. At Granby High, Young was a hard-throwing right-hander whose fastball was consistently clocked near 90 mph. Young, a first-team All-Eastern District pick as a senior, then spent a season at Louisburg (N.C.) College. Young transferred to Norfolk State and in the spring of 2006, helped the Spartans finish 11-7 in the MEAC, the program's best regular-season finish.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

South Carolina State Cornerback Phillip Adams Fits S.F. 49er's Tough Identity

Defensive Back Phillip Adams (7th Round, 224th overall) fills a need for the 49ers, who were hoping to come out of the draft with a cornerback. An All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection in 2009 at South Carolina State, Adams figures to challenge for a backup role as a rookie.

There's a common theme to the eight prospects selected by the San Francisco 49ers in this year's draft. "These players are guys who will hit you," coach Mike Singletary said Saturday. "When you look at the identity of the 49ers, I think every one of these guys that we pick fit the identity." Singletary is building a tough, physical squad in San Francisco, and the four players selected by the team Saturday to complete the draft definitely fit the mold.

They also fill needs as the 49ers selected power running back Anthony Dixon, blocking tight end Nate Byham and wide receiver/punt returner Kyle Williams in the sixth round, then added physical cornerback Phillip Adams with their final pick in round 7. Each comes to San Francisco with the type of attitude the 49ers have come to expect from their players. "I like to bloody noses," said Byham, a two-time All-Big East selection at the University of Pittsburgh who was considered one of the nation's best blocking tight ends last season. "I don't shy away from contact. I'm going into the hole and I'm trying to hit somebody. I'm trying to inflict pain when I'm in there as a tight end."

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Pro Bowler Returns Home to Jackson State for Redemption

Jimmy Smith is rich - and proud of it. Jimmy Smith is arrogant - and proud of it. Jimmy Smith is on probation - and not proud of it. But he's not ashamed of it, either. The former Callaway High School and Jackson State receiver, who earned the nickname J-Smooth during a 12-year NFL career that included five trips to the Pro Bowl, has come home to Jackson with redemption on his mind.

"I've learned how to be happy," Smith said. "I learned to manage my life. Earlier, I couldn't. That's what got me into trouble, got me arrested. Fortunately, I had the right people in my life, my mom, my dad, a lot of influential people ... who knew that wasn't who Jimmy Smith was. "Now I'm able to live and tell about it."

Smith, 41, was arrested on April 22, 2009 in Jacksonville, Fla., and charged with possession of cocaine. Already on probation for a 2008 DUI, Smith pleaded guilty in November to the cocaine charge but escaped jail. Instead, he was fined and sentenced to 18 additional months of probation, and six months of house arrest.

"It's a chapter of my life I'm anxious to close," Smith said. "It definitely was a good learning experience for me. I don't look at it as something bad. I look as it as a component that I can now share with others that may be in that situation. "I've turned all my focus into developing youths, mentoring and raising my own kids."

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Golf successes continue at Jackson State

Now in this 26th season guiding the Jackson State University Golf programs, Eddie Payton is, without question, one of the nation's most successful collegiate golf coach. Payton also coaches his daughter Erica, a JSU junior golfer.

Jackson State golf coach Eddie Payton won his 22nd men's SWAC championship and 14th women's title last week. The women will play in the NCAA regionals May 6-8. The location has not been announced. The men will play in the national minority tournament before heading to the NCAA regionals. The date and location of the minority tournament have not been set. "That means we've done a real good job of recruiting great student-athletes and trying to get them to understand the tradition we're trying to establish," Payton said. "There's certain traits that you look for in people who want to be competitive golfers.

"You have to have a desire to be the best that you can be, then you have to be self-motivated to work on your weaknesses." Payton said his ultimate goal is to play in the NCAA national championship and be the first historically black university to do so. "That's what keeps me at Jackson State," Payton said. "That was my dream and it still is. ... That drives me every year."

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Southern WR Stewart waits for call

Southern University's star receiver Juamorris Steward shakes off tackle by Florida A&M's Jason Beach.

Think Brandon LaFell had a long wait? Think about this. LSU’s star receiver didn’t go in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night, like he hoped. But he got a call the very next night, when the Carolina Panthers let him know they’d take him with their third-round pick. Meanwhile, Southern wideout Juamorris Stewart waits. And he waits. Realistically, he didn’t expect a team to take him during Thursday’s first round. That was a pipe dream. Friday’s second and third rounds weren’t likely, either. But today, he waits.

He’s gunning to be the first Southern player taken in the draft since 2004, when cornerback Lenny Williams went to the Buccaneers in the seventh round. If the forecasters are right, he might be a fifth-round pick. Or sixth. Or seventh. Or not at all. But if he’s worried about his NFL fate, the laid-back, joke-a-minute Stewart has done a fine job of hiding it. “I don’t get too much sleep, but that’s not because I’m nervous. That’s just how I am,” he said. “But I’ve been talking with a lot of teams, and I’m just looking for an opportunity.”

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Armstrong two-run HR caps Southern U. rally over FAMU

James Armstrong freely acknowledged he’d been in a slump, and he needed to hit his way out of it. Thursday afternoon, in the bottom of the ninth inning, he did it in a big way. Pinch-hitting for fellow senior Greg Whitfield, Armstrong smashed a game-winning two-run homer over the right-field wall, capping a six-run inning that gave Southern an 11-10 victory over Florida A&M at Lee-Hines Field, completing a two-game sweep.

It was also the third pinch-hit homer in the last two years for Armstrong. “He seems like he does that better than anything else,” SU coach Roger Cador said. “I’d been saving him all game for the right situation. Finally, we get it.” It was the first homer of the year for Armstrong, who lost his starting job in left field to Kyle Smith, thanks his recent struggles at the plate and in the field.

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Interim Bobby Washington named head basketball coach at Grambling State‎

Almost seven months after taking over as interim, Bobby Washington has been named the 10th head men’s basketball coach at Grambling State. “I am very excited for this opportunity to serve as the head coach at Grambling," Washington said. "My goal is to build a good team by laying a strong foundation. We are looking for good recruits. Our early returns are looking good, but the late returns must be good, also. I am very humbled by this experience, but now it’s time to get to work.”

In his inaugural campaign Washington returned Grambling to the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in two years where the Tigers pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament defeating regular season-champion and tournament favorite Jackson State in the opening round

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Sharpe highlights SSU HOF induction class

Shannon Sharpe

Savannah State University will induct 10 new members into the SSU Athletics Hall of Fame on May 28 at 7 p.m. at Tiger Arena. The 2010 inductees will be the third induction class in SSU's history. SSU inducted 17 members in 1973 and 12 members in 1974. The Class of 2010 includes:

Lee Blitch, baseball and football player (1974-78): All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference catcher in baseball (1975, '76, '77,'78); SSU Baseball MVP in 1977; All-SIAC defensive back in football in 1975 and 1976; Played in the Atlanta Braves minor league system for three years; Native of Claxton. Lives in Union City.

Shannon Sharpe, football player (1986-89): All-SIAC First Team as a flanker in 1987, '88, '89: Co-SIAC Player of the year in 1989; Kodak Small College All-America First Team in 1989; Named College Player of the Year in Georgia in 1989; First Savannah State football player to play in Blue-Gray Classic in 1990 and East-West Shrine Game in 1990; owns SSU single-season receiving records for yardage, touchdowns and yards per catch; Played in NFL for 14 seasons; Glennville native. Lives in Atlanta.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SSU sweeps Edward Waters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Savannah State swept Edward Waters, an NAIA team, in a doubleheader at the Baseball Grounds (SSU 4-8, EDWARD WATERS 3-4). SSU (22-17) was led in the first game by starter Joseph Jackson, who earned the win. He struck out one, walked three and allowed three earned runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Jonathan Ross was 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs RBIs. Darien Campbell was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Kevin Herlihy (two doubles) and Emory Barkley each were 2-for-3.

In the second game, SSU was led by starter Mark Sherrod, who earned the win. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings. Campbell was 4-for-4 with an RBI. Joseph McCrary was 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Brandon Webster was 2-for-3. Blake Lee, Dexter Kelley, Herlihy, Bubba Green and Dondregius Jackson each drove in runs. Edward Waters fell to 22-23.

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FAMU's Joyner Jr. will coach WSSU women

Winston Salem State University Lady Rams head coach Steven Joyner, Jr.

Steven Joyner Jr., an assistant women's coach at Florida A&M, has been named the new women's coach at Winston-Salem State University. Joyner, 30, is a former point guard at Johnson C. Smith and a son of Steve Joyner Sr., a hall-of-fame coach at Johnson C. Smith. A search committee helped Bill Hayes, the athletics director at WSSU, through an extensive search to replace Dee Stokes. According to several sources, Joyner and Keith Bell, a Winston-Salem native and the director of basketball operations for the Elon women's team, were both interviewed last week. Joyner, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has extensive ties to WSSU and Winston-Salem. Joyner's father is a Winston-Salem native and Joyner's mother, Narell, is a graduate of WSSU.

Joyner is a 2001 graduate of Johnson C. Smith and was a four-year point guard for his father. He wound up with a 399 career assists (4.5 a game) and during his senior season helped the Bulls win the CIAA Tournament title. For the last two seasons he has been an assistant for the Florida A&M women's team, where he worked for Hayes for one season. Hayes is a former athletics director at Florida A&M and came to WSSU in January. Before coming to Florida A&M, Joyner was an assistant at UNC Asheville for a brief time, and he spent four seasons as an assistant at N.C. Central.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'D' rules at B-CU Spring Game

DELAND, FL -- Bethune-Cookman did not show much of its hand in Saturday evening's Maroon and Gold spring football game at Spec Martin Stadium. But new coach Brian Jenkins was pleased with everything he saw. "It was pleasing. I saw some good things on offense and defense," Jenkins said. "I was happy to see us move the ball on the ground, and I was happy to see us play aggressively on defense." He was also happy to see a sizeable crowd turn out. B-CU athletics director Lynn Thompson said nearly 3,000 tickets were sold.

"I felt like we came a long way this spring," linebacker Ryan Lewis said. "The offense definitely came a long way, starting totally new, and they played great." In the first half, the teams were divided up into maroon and gold squads, with the Maroon team scoring the only touchdown on safety Stephen Berthelot's 65-yard interception return. In the second half the format changed to offense vs. defense with the offense -- wearing the white jerseys -- starting each possession at the defense's 35-yard line. The offense scored on two of five possessions in the half with the defense stopping their counterparts on two goal-line stands.

Spring ball has fall feel at B-CU - Sports

Bethune-Cookman football fans will get a chance to preview the new-look Wildcats in the Maroon and Gold game at 6 p.m. today at DeLand's Spec Martin Stadium. The intrasquad game concludes new coach Brian Jenkins' first spring training camp. In the past month Jenkins and his staff installed a new multiple offense, featuring I-, split-back and spread formations. Rising senior Matt Johnson, sophomore Ben De La Cruz (Pine Ridge) and freshman Jackie Wilson have been sharing time at quarterback. Jenkins discussed today's spring game and more:

B-CU's Jackson finds solace on football field


Just five months ago, freshman Isidore Jackson was pretty sure he was leaving Bethune-Cookman. Now he can't bear being separated for long from the teammates and coaches who make up his support mechanism. But a lot has happened in five months. Days after B-CU's football season ended last November, longtime head coach Alvin Wyatt was relieved of his duties. A month later, the Wildcats hired Brian Jenkins, an assistant coach at Rutgers, to become their new head coach.

Jackson, a running back, saw Jenkins' hiring as a new start for his career. "I wasn't going to get the chance to play here, I don't think," Jackson said. "I was going to transfer if we didn't get a new coach. They had me at wide receiver, and I never played wide receiver in my life. I was uncomfortable."

B-CU holds off Norfolk St.


B-CU 6, Norfolk St. 4: Matt Wright went 2-for-3 with one home run, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead Bethune-Cookman (23-14, 9-0 MEAC) past Norfolk State (11-16, 4-8 MEAC). Peter O'Brien also homered for the Wildcats and went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Jordan Dailey picked up the win for B-CU. He gave up two hits and struck out one while pitching one inning in relief. Juan Perez picked up his seventh save of the season.

B-CU softball complete sweep


Celsey Tafoya went 2-for-4 with one RBI to lead Bethune-Cookman (22-20) to 5-2 win and a three-game series seep against Winston-Salem (6-20). Allison Garcia (16-12) picked up the complete-game win for B-CU. Garcia gave up two runs on eight hits and struck out six.

Former 'Dog newest 'Cat


It's funny what people worry about when they are thrust into a new situation. Bethune-Cookman football coach Brian Jenkins was pleased former Georgia wide receiver Tony Wilson did not bring huge expectations with him when he joined the Wildcats this spring. Wilson was thrilled he was welcomed unconditionally by his new teammates. "They're great guys, and they accepted me as a brother," the former Mainland High star said. "Coming from a big school, they could have been, 'Well, he thinks he's you know what. He thinks he's better than us.' But they didn't see me as that."

And for good reason. Wilson is as humble and down to earth as they come. He decided to utilize his final year of football eligibility because B-CU offered him a full scholarship to earn a master's degree. He still has the desire to play and he thought he could help the team one way or another -- whether it's making plays on the field or just being a steady voice of experience on the sidelines. "I've been pleased with him and he's adjusted well," Jenkins said. "Normally when you get guys like him, they come in asking for the world: 'I want this. I want that.' But Tony's fallen right in. I know right now he has the attitude where he'll help us in any capacity."

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Monday, April 19, 2010

TSU's Preston Brown refocuses on football

Running Back Preston Brown is a transfer from Arkansas State, who originally signed with Oklahoma State out of Antioch High School. The 5'10/200 play maker was a Rivals three-star recruit that ranked No. 11 among all players in the 2006 class in the state of Tennessee and 18th in the nation among all running backs.

Preston Brown got his act together at Tennessee State just in time to salvage his senior season. The former Antioch running back was on the brink of being kicked off the team, but used spring practice to prove he could follow rules as well as he follows lead blocks and break old habits as well as he breaks tackles. Spring practice ends today with the Blue and White game at 2 p.m. in Hale Stadium. Admission is free.

Brown, TSU's second-leading rusher last season (474 yards, four touchdowns), didn't realize it in December when Rod Reed replaced James Webster as head coach, but he was dangerously close to not getting to participate in spring practice, the spring game or his senior season. "If he continued the way he was going he wasn't going to be a part of this program,'' Reed said. "He's a super kid, but there are certain things you can't allow to destroy the team. He wasn't belligerent and there wasn't any one thing that would cause you to immediately say he was off the team. It was just a build-up of a lot little things."

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Former Rattlers' Coleman honored for service to Johnson High School

Coach Roosevelt Coleman played for the Florida A&M University Rattlers from 1959-62 as offensive and defensive tackle. "I went to FAMU 6-2, 195 and I left 6-2, 235.” In 2005, Coleman was named as a member of the Florida A&M Centennial Team for his outstanding play on the gridiron. He is also a member of the FAMU Hall of Fame.

In his 31 years as a coach and teacher at Johnson High School, Roosevelt Coleman wanted to give his students and athletes something they'd remember and, hopefully, appreciate. Judging by the more than 200 friends, colleagues and former students who filled Savannah State's King-Frazier Ballroom for a retirement banquet commemorating his contributions, he did just that. "I tried to make their experience with me a memorable one that they would remember," Coleman said. "I'd say, 'I want you to remember something that we did in this classroom or on the football field or on the track, and remember it for the rest of your life.'"

When the school year ends in June, Coleman's years of service will come to a close. Coleman said he and his wife, Vernelle, plan to spend time with family, volunteer within the community, and make more frequent use of their football season tickets at Florida A&M University, his alma mater. "There a lot of things in mind that I'd like to do," Coleman said. "...Now I don't have anything to hold me back." The banquet's Master of Ceremonies, Gerald "Lil' G" Arrington, opened the evening with an anecdote many of today's students under Coleman can relate to.

"Coach Coleman does not know me by name," Arrington said. "He knows me as Young Man. 'How are you today, Young Man?' 'I'm good coach.'"

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

MSU's Reggie Holmes Shines at NBA Prospect Camp

MSU 6'4 All-American senior guard Reggie Holmes was the only HBCU player invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Pro Basketball Exposure Camp, one of three camps considered a “stepping stone” towards the NBA draft.

The Morgan State Bears basketball squad ended its season weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped its best player from dominating the court. MSU senior star Reggie Holmes—one of 64 players selected to compete in the Portsmouth Invitational pro basketball exposure camp held last week—was named as one of 10 members selected to the All-Tournament Team.

According to a MSU media relations representative, Holmes pleasantly surprised several scouts during the camp in Portsmouth, Va., which invited the top collegiate players in the nation to show off their skills to be potentially drafted or signed by NBA teams or other professional basketball clubs.

Holmes, the only player invited from a historically Black college/university (HBCU), recorded double-figures in each of the three tournament games he competed in, scoring a game-high 24 points with six rebounds in game-one, 22 points with seven rebounds in game-two and 15 points and six rebounds in game-three. “I’m very excited to have been the only Black college player represented in the tournament,” Holmes said. “I’m even more excited to have been recognized as one of the top 13 players in the whole tournament.”

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Spring over, but work just starting for Mississippi Valley‎

It was a hectic spring football season for new Mississippi Valley State coach Karl Morgan and his staff. Morgan was hired just three weeks prior to National Signing Day and had just finished assembling his coaching staff when spring training started a few weeks ago. The Delta Devils put a wrap on spring drills Saturday with a scrimmage at Rice-Totten Stadium. It was Morgan's final chance to evaluate his players before a 3 1/2-month layoff until fall practice. "I am pleased to see that we've made some strides, but we still have miles to go," Morgan said after watching his offense get a late score to tie the scrimmage at 17.

But just because Valley is putting up its pads for a while doesn't mean Morgan will get a break. He will likely work even harder as he tackles three main goals for the offseason: develop a quality strength and conditioning program, recruit more players and raise money to help offset his program's meager budget. All three are vital to turning around a losing program, and none of the three will be easy. But you've got to like Morgan's spirit as he tries. "I knew exactly what I was getting into before I came here, and I wouldn't have come if I didn't think I could get the job done," he said.

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The Delta Devils Fans and Alumni need to step it up in assisting Coach Karl Morgan and his staff in building this football program. A weight room with new equipment would be a great improvement for the team and funding for more that 39 scholarships will help immediately in the win column. The NCAA allows 63 for Division I, Football Championship Programs--so can't you Delta Devils alumni and fans fund 24 scholarships annually?

Yes, I think we can...The Delta Devils student-athletes deserve the best opportunity for success on the field and in the classroom. Write a check today--$5, $10, $20, $30, $50, $100 or more...send what you can afford to your MVSU Delta Devil Athletic Fund. Every donation helps your program.

-beepbeep

Fundraiser sought as Jackson State Tigers' next Athletic Director

Jackson State joins a growing list-- Florida A&M University, Mississippi Valley State University and Savannah State University-- seeking an experienced athletic director with fundraising, contract negotiations and creative marketing skills to elevate their athletic programs from financial distress.

Jackson State athletic director Bob Braddy will retire from his post on July 1 and one objective will be the primary task of his successor - fundraising. The athletic programs have had tremendous success on the field during the four years with Braddy at the helm, winning 12 SWAC championships and four Commissioner's Cup awards given to the league's top program across all sports. However, Braddy admits increasing revenue has fallen short of his expectations.

Jackson State worked under a $6.5 million budget in 2009-10 and there have been concerns in the last 12 months that some of the 18 individual programs could be cut if the department's financial situation does not improve. The next athletic director must have a skill set in one specific area. "A businessman or someone who understands the business of athletics, would be good," JSU president Ronald Mason said. "The next athletic director will have to be able to bridge the gap between traditional JSU (supporters) and potential JSU (supporters) and try to draw as much as we can from both."

Braddy was working on a $100,000 salary, and Mason hopes to increase that number. "The salary won't be extravagant, but we hope competitive enough," Mason said. "I think we can pay a little more, but not much more. ... We hope we can get some wiggle room there and we'll rely on Tiger Fund to help support that effort if necessary."

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University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff basketball signs four‎

Golden Lions slams Winthrop University for first NCAA Tournament victory in school history.

The 2010 Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament Champions, UAPB Golden Lions and second year Coach George Ivory, HSRN's Division I National Coach of the Year, have signed four solid players to the Golden Lions Den. The Golden Lions ended last season at 18-16, dropping a second round NCAA Tournament game to eventual National Champion Duke Blue Devils. However, the Golden Lions brought pride to the SWAC with a 61-44 thrashing of Winthrop University for their first victory in their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The win broke a 17 game conference losing streak for the SWAC in the tournament.

The Golden Lions lost five seniors, including four starters from their championship team. UAPB last won the SWAC basketball championship 42 years ago. But, Ivory is capitalizing on the Golden Lions rags to riches story after losing the first 11 games of a brutal schedule that took the program from Oregon to Michigan, and Georgia to Ohio in "Money Games" that UAPB had little chance of winning.

Coach Ivory is quickly proving he is more than a strong defensive coach, but also a top judge of basketball talent and an excellent recruiter. On Wednesday, the first day of the Spring open signing period, Ivory and his staff received official commitments from Daniel Broughton (Watson Chapel), Keith Ross (Watson Chapel), Lavoris Weathers (Paris Junior College) and Shamus Ferguson (Mineral Area College). "We're elated to be able to bring in players of the caliber of these four young men that we signed today," said UAPB's Ivory. "Our coaching staff is really excited about next season and the level of talent we'll have the ability to put on the floor at all five positions."

UAPB signees Keith Ross (L) and Daniel Broughton (R) have been playing on the same teams since sixth grade.

Keith Ross, 6'4 205, Guard, Watson Chapel, Arkansas, High School: Watson Chapel High School...Ross brings depth to the Golden Lions basketball program with his pure athletic talent and versatility. While in high school he was a key contributor for a high school team which made three consecutive semi-final appearances in the state playoffs. Ross averaged 12 points per game and led his team in 3 pointers made...High School Honors/Awards: He had an impressive high school career where he provided the Wildcats with a scoring threat and strong defender. A 2009 and 2010 All-State Class 6A Selection, Ross should be able to contribute immediately for the Golden Lions next season. Both Ross and UAPB signee, Daniel Broughton compiled a 65-23 record over the last three seasons, including a 47-8 mark over the last two and won a pair of conference titles.

Daniel Broughton, 6'8 255, Forward, Watson Chapel, Arkansas, High School: Watson Chapel High School...Broughton brings a physical, tough inside presence to the Golden Lions front court rotation and should be able to make an immediate impact next season. He has good fundamental skills and great size for low post position at the collegiate level. Broughton averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds per game at Watson Chapel...High School Honors/Awards: As a prepster he was dominating force leading his high school team to three consecutive semi-final appearances in the state playoffs. Broughton is a 2009 and 2010 Class 6A All-State selection, and currently ranks as one the top high school basketball players in the State of Arkansas and in the South Region. He selected the UAPB program over Central Arkansas (Coached by former NBA and University of Arkansas star Corliss Williamson, who was named head coach at UCA last month), Arkansas State, Murry State, Southeast Missouri State and others...Keith Ross and Broughton have been playing together since sixth grade on local AAU teams, and their familiarity with each other helped to bring success to Watson Chapel Junior and Senior high schools.

Lavoris Weathers, 6' 7 240, Forward, Paris Junior College, Texas (Greenwood, MS, High School)l...Weathers is a strong, athletic talent who can overpower opponents with his size and agility. He was a participant in the 2006 Mississippi High School all-star game. He signed with Division I, Ohio Valley Conference member Jacksonville State University for the 2007-08 season. He left JSU to attended Paris Junior College, Texas where an injury made him unavailable to compete for the 2008 season...High School Honors/Awards: Weathers had a standout career in high school. A 2 star rated performer according to Rivals.com, he had a dominating senior campaign averaging 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks per contest for the Bulldogs with numbers that led him to being named an All-State performer. He first started as a freshman while in prep school. As a sophomore, he averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots per game. During his junior season, he averaged 21 ppg, 12 rpg and 4 bpg. Chosen Honorable Mention All-State by The Clarion-Ledger newspaper as a junior.

Shamus Ferguson, 6'10 255, Center, Toronto, Canada, High School: Francis Libermann Catholic High School...Ferguson is an athletic big man that can run the floor and finish well in transition, block shots, and has a strong ability to score in the paint. He also attended Mineral Area College...High School Honors/Awards: MVP Senior Year, MIP Junior Year, Ferguson was an impact player for Francis Liebermann during his senior season averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks a game. He helped lead his team to the Metro Semi-Finals in Toronto in 2008 with his dazzling interior play. Shamus earned team "MVP" honors and was tabbed as the "Most Improved Player" by his coaching staff.

ASU's offense finds big plays in Black and Gold Game

ASU Hornets quarterback Anthoy Spleite (5th year senior) had a fumble in the red zone and interception for touchdown in the Black and Gold game. The Hornets 2010 season opener is on Sept. 4 against Mississippi Valley State at the Cramton Bowl.

Alabama State didn't show a lot of offensive firepower last season, forcing Hornet coach Reggie Barlow to bring in Melvin Spears to run the offense this season. The Hornets, determined to stretch the field with its passing attack, used big plays on Saturday in its annual Black and Gold Game at Hornet Stadium in a spring game pitting the offense against the defense.

The format meant there was no official score kept, but the offense scored on six of its 13 possessions, including a pair of Andrew Lyons' field goals and four touchdown receptions, three by Nick Andrews and another by Kyrea Rozier. The defense stopped two possessions after three plays and five more with turnovers, using interceptions by Kejuan Riley, Jacques Rickerson and Donovan Masline and fumble recoveries by Masline and Corey Schofield. Barlow split the offense's work between two quarterbacks, with redshirt freshman Rashard Burkette directing six possessions and fifth-year senior Anthony Speight at the helm of seven possesions.

Delaware State Hornets upbeat at Spring Camp‎

DOVER, DE -- The atmosphere at Delaware State University's Alumni Stadium for Saturday's Red-White football scrimmage was light years away from the doom-and-gloom that seemed to constantly envelop the Hornets last year. Quarterback Anthony Glaud was consistently finding his receivers in stride and the team's young defense showed promise at the linebacker positions. The feelings were of promise and great expectations for when the Hornets return to the field in August for summer football camp. "It was good in processing this entire spring," Glaud said, preparing for his senior season. "This is actually the best we've looked and it's a good thing to be the best that you are at the end of spring [camp], so now we have something to carry into the summer and then into the fall camp."

Coach Lavan sees signs of improvement in young DSU squad. Delaware State will open its 11-game 2010 season on Sunday, Sept. 5, against Southern University (La.) in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Al Lavan, preparing for his seventh season as DSU's head coach, wasn't looking for greatness. He just wanted to see signs of improvement. "I think overall we accomplished in the last 15 days what we needed to accomplish which was to see an improvement of our football team," said Lavan, who is 38-28 overall with the Hornets. "It's such a young team in the offensive line and a lot of different areas, but I thought we made improvement, which was the main thing.

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TSU will practice indoors this year

Tennessee State University athletic director Teresa Phillips adds to the Tigers growing list of capital assets for improving the student-athletes quality of life in Division I, Ohio Valley Conference Sports -- a new Indoor Football Practice Facility with field turf. The Tigers home games are played at Nashville's LP Field, home to the NFL's Tennessee Titans and Tennessee State University football.

Tennessee State is ready to break ground for a new indoor football practice facility that Coach Rod Reed hopes will break new ground in recruiting. A groundbreaking ceremony is set to take place later this month for the $3.2 million facility that is to be completed this year, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips said. The date has not yet been set. The building will house an artificial surface practice field, meeting and film rooms, along with coaches offices.

It will be located at the west end of the Gentry Center parking lot and one of the first features Reed points out to prospects. "It's going to be a nice new structure and pleasing to the eye and definitely something you want recruits to see the minute they hit campus,'' Reed said. "Kids don't like practicing in cold or really hot weather. It absolutely is a recruiting tool because I don't know of any other OVC school that has an indoor practice facility." A construction notice-to-proceed was issued April 7 to Lee Adcock Construction Company, contractor for the facility.

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QB DeFilippis hot, cold in SSU scrimmage‎

SSU Tigers QB A.J. DeFilippis

Savannah, GA (4/12) - There was a lot to like and a little to worry about for Savannah State's starting - and only academically eligible - quarterback, A.J. DeFilippis, during the Tigers' intrasquad spring game Sunday at T.A. Wright Stadium. During three untimed periods, the sophomore completed 14 of 27 passes for 114 yards with a 12-yard touchdown pass and an interception that was returned 50 yards for a touchdown by junior linebacker Vince Cochran. In 11 possessions, the Tigers ran 65 plays and scored a touchdown and four field goals, and at one time DeFilippis completed six straight passes.

Sophomore receiver Alakan Thomas caught DeFilipis' toss for a touchdown to end a 50-yard drive, during which DeFilippis completed all three of his pass attempts for 32 yards and scrambled for six yards. The Tigers' other offensive highlight was sophomore kicker Derek Williams, who connected on field goals of 34, 42, 37 and 36 yards. He missed his only point-after attempt. The Tigers only dressed 47 players for the scrimmage, and 31 of those players were either freshman or sophmores. DeFilippis, who appeared in seven games as a freshman in relief of starter Kurvin Curry and threw three touchdown passes against five interceptions, is the only SSU quarterback academically eligible for spring practice.

Curry was not in uniform for the spring game. SSU sports information director Opio Mashariki said Curry is expected to play for the Tigers in the fall. Despite the tumult of the current offseason and the challenges facing the program, DeFilippis has embraced being the Tigers' only option at quarterback. He said he did not consider transferring to another school.



View more photos from SSU's spring game here

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