Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Q&A with Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell

Baltimore, MD - It's been an unusual recruiting cycle for Coppin State men's basketball coach Fang Mitchell.

Mitchell guided the Eagles to a 16-14 record last season, but his team lost four scholarships -- three this year and one next season -- because of Coppin's Academic Progress Rate. With 10 scholarship players coming back for another season, Mitchell had no scholarships to give for the 2011 class.

Mitchell also had to deal with questions about his future at Coppin thanks to his expiring contract. In May, after months of uncertainty, the university gave the 63-year-old coach a three-year extension.

While there were no new recruits to talk about this year, Mitchell spoke to Recruiting Report last week about his 2011-12 Eagles squad:


FAMU Football Anxious to Start Season

Tallahassee, Fla -- The Rattlers have waited nine months to get a chance to get after someone besides themselves, and Saturday the wait finally ends.

"I feel like a gladiator before a fight," says defensive tackle Padric Scott. "I'm ready for the cage to go up so I can run into the ring and show everything I've been training for."

"I'm kind of relieved," adds quarterback Austin Trainor. "All of this hard work that we've put in for the past six months, going to spring workouts, summer workouts, camps and everything, all the seven on sevens. Really we just get to go out and showcase it this week."

The Rattlers don't have to wait till week five for their home opener, in the first week of the season.


Prairie View A&M hopes to regain championship form

Prairie View, Texas - Henry Frazier III was the face of the Prairie View A&M program for the last seven years before resigning as coach in December to become head coach at North Carolina Central. That left the task of carrying on the program's success to former defensive coordinator Heishma Northern.

Frazier led the Panthers to winning seasons in each of his final four years, winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in 2009. Northern played a huge role in that success, orchestrating a defense that was second in the Football Championship Subdivision in scoring defense in 2007 and third in 2008. The pressure will be on Northern to build on Frazier's numbers. Anything less than a strong season in 2011 would constitute a setback for the program.

The Panthers return only 10 starters and plan to go with a two-quarterback system in the ...


XU Nuggets' Reuther is GCAC Player of the Week

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana freshman Taylor Reuther is the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week in women's volleyball for Aug. 22-28, the conference announced Monday.

Reuther — a 5-foot-7 outside hitter from Metairie, La., and a graduate of St. Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans — earned the award after recording 16 kills and 17 digs Friday in Xavier's 25-19, 25-17, 18-25, 24-26, 15-12 season-opening loss at
Belhaven. Reuther did something no Gold Nugget did in 2010 — reach 15 kills and 15 digs in the same match. Xavier had only three individual kill-dig double-doubles in 37 matches last season.

Xavier (1-1) will play city rival Loyola in its next match at 6 p.m. Sunday at Loyola's home facility, The Den. Xavier's next home opponent will be Judson (Ala.) on Sept. 8.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Grambling, Alcorn State favored to meet for SWAC title

About the SWAC

Player to watch
Casey Therriault, Jackson State

The quarterback took the SWAC by storm last season with 3,436 yards and 31 touchdowns - with just eight interceptions - and he'll likely be a sore spot for SWAC defensive coordinators again in 2011.

The SWAC saw an unusual amount of head-coaching turnover in its programs during the offseason. On top of that, SWAC member presidents voted to uphold the NCAA's postseason ban on Jackson State and Southern. Grambling State is the favorite in the Western Division and will be aiming for its first SWAC title since 2008. Jackson State is the favorite to win the East, but because the Tigers are ineligible to appear in the SWAC championship game, Alcorn State will be the next in line to represent that division.

Toughest schedule
Prairie View A&M


Rutgers Football vs. NCCU Eagles: Know Your Opponent

Piscataway, NJ - Welcome to the first installment of a new feature – Know Your Opponent (KYO). Each Tuesday we will conduct a question and answer session with a representative from the Scarlet Knights opponent during that week. This week we hooked up with Chris Hooks, the Assistant Sports Information Director for North Carolina Central University and Play-by-Play man for the NCCU Sports Network.

If you have a moment, make sure to check out the Durham based NCCU athletics website and twitter feed. I do have to admit I was very impressed with the Eagles media campaign, which includes You Tube interviews. The program appears to have a growing following and they are excited about having this opportunity to play at Rutgers. Enjoy:

As this is your first season being fully integrated into FCS football what are your expectations for the 2011 season?

This will be my fourth football season as the radio play-by-play voice at NCCU and I can say this and get no odd looks from the Eagle faithful. The anticipation for this year, the excitement of a new coaching staff who has already proven to be a winner in their previous stops has this fan base ready to explode. The last few years have been a real struggle for the fans and for this program only because the transition to Division I is not easy, but we’ve made it and that’s why expectations this year are such. Our fans are ready to have that hope for a championship like every other FCS school in the nation.


NSU: Boyce starting at WR, special teams a strength

Norfolk, VA - When Norfolk State wide receiver Xavier Boyce isn’t sure of his route, or his role, in a certain play he’ll look to his wide receivers coach or offensive coordinator, shrug his shoulders and hold out his hands.

Fortunately for the Spartans, that’s happening less and less often.

“I pretty much have most of it,” Boyce said. “There’s still little kinks that I have to work on. The more I practice, the more I work on it, the more it’s going to come.”

So infrequently, in fact, that NSU bumped Boyce into its most important wide receiver position, the starter at the “X” position, which traditionally leads a Joe Blackwell offense in catches.

“He and Reggie are out there right now,” Adrian said. “I think as it develops you’ll see ...


The Year of the Miles Golden Bears

Pough says S.C. State Bulldogs are ready to play

Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough
Orangeburg, SC - Buddy Pough watched his South Carolina State team run through practice Tuesday sans pads.

Those, it turns out, were already on the road to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for Thursday night's game against Central Michigan. Today, at noon, Pough and his team will follow. Kickoff Thursday is slated for 7:05 p.m. Between now and then, the Bulldogs won't step on the practice field again. That is fine with Pough.

"We are pretty much done," the Bulldog head coach said Tuesday evening. "By the time you get to this part of the year, we've had enough of this stuff. You need to go out and see if it's going to work or not. We will have our general, usual, pregame routine that we will do in Michigan, and we will go out Thursday night and let it happen."

Following his team's final practice of the preseason on Willie E. Jeffries Field ...


Southern Jaguars season opener nears

Baton Rouge, LA - It's easy to see Southern University coach Stump Mitchell wants his football program to win more games than it did in his first season on campus.

Mitchell knows, and rightfully so following a 2-9 season in 2010, the Jaguars have a lot of improving to do. Mitchell, who doesn't shy away from putting in long hours, knows it won't be easy turning around his slumping program.

So in an attempt to do so, Mitchell is keeping things simple, now only four days away from the beginning of his second season at SU.

"Our preseason preparation was like everyone else's as we were trying to get our offense and our defense going. But, to be honest, it was much better than it was last season because it was a continuation (of) what we did last season," Mitchell said Monday.


Morgan Bears set for season-operner against Towson Tigers

Baltimore, MD - MSU goes into this year's season-opener game ranked No. 5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll. The Bears return 65 letterman, including 9 starters on offense and 6 on defense, from last year's squad that posted a 4-7 overall mark and finished the season ranked No. 6 in the MEAC. In 9 years under Hill, the Bears have won 46 games and finished ranked as high as No. 2 in the MEAC (2002). MSU lost four of their last five games, including a tough 21-16 loss to Hampton to cap the 2010 season. Junior Donovan Dickerson was named the starter when the Bears take on the Tigers. The Michigan product last stepped foot onto the field for a game on Oct. 2, 2010, where he completed 8-of-25 passes for 74 yards in a loss against Bethune-Cookman. Since that time, Dickerson has spent time during the offseason earning his way back to the starting quarterback position.

Other offensive standouts for the Bears include WR Winfred Diggs (29 rec., 322 yards, TD in 2010), Chuka Okakpu (28 rec., 325 yards, 4 TDs) and RB David Brown (439 rushing yard, 2 TDs in 2010). Defensively, DT Zary Stewart (40 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 sacks), LB Allen Stephens (65 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss) and S Reshaude Miller (67 tackles, 4 INTs) headline a group that ranked No. 6 in the MEAC in scoring offense (18.8/g) and No. 7 in total defense (335.0/g). MSU's offense will be directed by William 'B.T.' Sherman and Joseph Wright, along and head coach Donald Hill-Eley. Donald Hill-Eley added Alonzo Lee as his defensive coordinator (Lee returns after a brief head coaching stint at A&T).

MSU Gamenotes
Saturday, September 3, 2011 • 7:00 p.m.
Johnny Unitas Stadium (Capacity 11,198) • Towson, Md.
RADIO: Morgan State Radio Network WEAA - 88.9 FM: Lamont Germany (play-by-play) & Kelvin Bridgers (color).
INTERNET COVERAGE: Click here  -- Listen Live
TICKETS: Individual tickets to the Morgan State football game at Towson (Sept. 3) are now on sale. Fans may purchase tickets at the Towson University box office. Or call 410-704-5192.


By MSU Media Relations

Game Notes: Central Michigan vs. South Carolina State

Gameday Central | Complete Game Notes in .pdf Format | Facebook | Twitter

Location: Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Game Date: Thursday, Sept. 1@ 7:00 PM ET
LIVE WEB BROADCAST: CLICK HERE ($9.95 for CMU 1 month subscription)

The Matchup: Central Michigan vs. South Carolina State
A CMU Win Over South Carolina State Would …
… be the Chippewas’ fifth straight win in a home opener.
… mark CMU’s third win in a season opener in the last four seasons.
… make the Chippewas’ 2-0 all-time against current members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Series
• Thursday’s game marks the first meeting between CMU and South Carolina State.
• The Chippewas have played just one other game in their history against a team from the state of South Carolina, a loss at Clemson in 2007.

The Friendly Confines of Kelly/Shorts Stadium
• Since Kelly/Shorts Stadium began hosting CMU football games in 1972, the Chippewas have posted a 144-58-4 record (.709 winning percentage) at home.
• The Chippewas are 18-7 at home since the start of the 2006 season.

Youth Movement
Of the 52 players listed on CMU’s offensive and defensive depth charts for the season opener, 27 are either freshmen or sophomores, including 17 who have yet to see the first game action of their collegiate careers. The Chippewas’ roster includes 69 players who are freshmen or sophomores.

Chippewas Partner with Army National Guard and Wounded Warrior Project
CMU will honor the 125th Infantry and 126th Calvary of the Michigan Army National Guard throughout the 2011 football season. The Chippewas will wear a special helmet sticker displaying the seals of the unit, and CMU will carry the unit’s flag onto the field prior to every home game this season. Members of the 125th and 126th, who are scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan later this fall, will be recognized on the field during Thursday’s game. CMU also has partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project and will honor Sgt. Thomas Pierce and retired Sgt. Douglas Szczepanski for their service during the game.

Student-Athlete Recognitions Planned for Thursday Night
The CMU athletics department will highlight the accomplishments of its student-athletes from the past academic year during the second quarter of Thursday’s game. Special recognitions are planned for first-year letterwinners who are receiving their CMU varsity jackets, student-athletes who were named to All-MAC or Academic All-MAC teams and the CMU teams that won conference championships during the 2010-11 school year.

Fritz Simons Selected Honorary Captain
The CMU football program is hosting former lettermen as honorary captains for each game this season. This week’s honorary captain is Fritz Simons, a two-year letterman as an offensive lineman in 1969 and 1970. Simons was a part of Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship teams as a freshman and sophomore, and he helped lead the Chippewas to a 7-3 record while playing an independent schedule in 1970.

Milestone Markers
• Ryan Radcliff needs 227 passing yards to move into eighth on CMU’s career passing yardage list.
• Ryan Radcliff needs 10 pass attempts to move into ninth on CMU’s career attempts list and 13 attempts to reach 500 career attempts.
• Ryan Radcliff needs 8 completions to reach 300 career completions and 28 completions to move into seventh on CMU’s career completions list.
• Cody Wilson needs 5 receptions to move into 10th on CMU’s career receptions list.
• Ryan Radcliff needs 3 touchdown passes to move into ninth on CMU’s career touchdown passes list.

CMU Head Coach Dan Enos
Enos Enters Second Season as CMU Head Coach
• Dan Enos is the 26th head coach in CMU history and the ninth since the start of the 1950 season. • The Chippewas’ 33-0 win over Hampton made Enos the first Chippewa head coach since Herb Deromedi to win his debut. Deromedi, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, defeated Kent State, 41-0, in his debut in 1978.
• Enos guided the Chippewas to wins over in-state rivals Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan in 2010, victories that left CMU in possession of both the Victory Cannon and the Michigan MAC Trophy.
• Enos is one of eight Mid-American Conference head coaches in either his first or second season at his current school. Eleven of the MAC’s 13 head coaches have been at their current school three seasons or fewer.
• In 2011, Enos is reunited with Morris Watts, who was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Michigan State during Enos’s playing career (1987-90). Watts is in his first season as the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach at CMU.

Central Michigan News and Notes
Four Chippewas Named Captains
Senior linebacker Mike Petrucci, senior nose guard John Williams, junior quarterback Ryan Radcliff and junior receiver Cody Wilson were named captains for the 2010 season by a vote of their teammates following preseason camp. Each of the four is serving as a captain for the first time in his career.

Experience Up Front
CMU’s projected starting five offensive linemen include a senior and four juniors who have combined for 69 career starts. Entering the 2011 season, the unit is tied for the 18th most combined starts of any offensive line in the country.

CMU Schedule Notables
CMU will play one of the most unique schedules in the history of its program in 2011:
• CMU opens Mid-American Conference play at Western Michigan on Sept. 17, the first time since 1996 the Chippewas have opened MAC play against the rival Broncos. It is the earliest calendar date for a CMU-WMU matchup since Sept. 8, 1979.
• CMU is the only team in the country with two three-game road trips on its 2011 schedule.
• CMU is one of just four teams (Colorado, Tulane, UAB) in the country scheduled to play its 12 regular-season games in 12 consecutive weeks.
• Six opponents on the 2011 schedule played in bowl games following the 2010 season, and a seventh—South Carolina State—competed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Coaching Staff Features Fresh Faces
CMU’s coaching staff includes three new members in 2011. Morris Watts joins the CMU staff as the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Vinson Reynolds is the Chippewas’ new defensive line coach and Taylor Stubblefield will coach CMU’s receivers.
• Watts was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Michigan State during CMU head coach Dan Enos’s playing career (1987-90). The 2011 season is his 48th overall in coaching (38 years at the college level, three at the professional level and six at the high school level). Penn State’s Joe Paterno and USC’s Monte Kiffin are the only active FBS coaches with more college and pro experience than Watts.
• Reynolds was a four-year letterman (2000-03) and All-MAC first team defensive end as a player at Northern Illinois.
• Stubblefield was a consensus All-American in 2004 at Purdue and finished his career with an NCAA-record 325 receptions.

Chippewas Hold Two Traveling Trophies
CMU opens the 2011 season in possession of a pair of traveling trophies: the Victory Cannon, awarded each year to the winner of the Central Michigan-Western Michigan rivalry game, and the Michigan MAC Trophy, presented annually to the winner of the round-robin competition between Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. CMU defeated Eastern Michigan, 52-14, and Western Michigan, 26-22, last season to claim the two trophies.

Wilson Named to Biletnikoff Watch List
Junior receiver Cody Wilson is a member of the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation’s top receiver. Wilson was named CMU’s Most Valuable Player in 2010 after catching 83 passes for 1,137 yards and five touchdowns. He ranked eighth nationally in receiving yards (94.8 ypg), 11th in receptions (6.9 rpg) and 13th in total receiving yards (1,137) and posted six 100-yard receiving games in 2010.

Radcliff Ranks Among Nation’s Leaders
Quarterback Ryan Radcliff ranked in the top-15 nationally in passing yards and completions in 2010, and he posted three of his best performances during the season’s final month. Over the season’s final three games, Radcliff completed 87-of-133 passes (65.4 percent) for 1,016 yards and five touchdowns. He threw for 295 or more yards in seven of the Chippewas’ 12 games in 2010, ranked 12th nationally in both passing yards (279.8 ypg) and completions (23.5 per game) and was 15th nationally in total passing yards (3,358).

Staten Receives Wilma Rudolph Award
Senior linebacker Armond Staten was one of six student-athletes nationwide to receive the Wilma Rudolph Award in 2011. Presented by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, the Wilma Rudolph Award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. Staten spent most of his childhood in foster care and group homes in Detroit and did not begin playing football until he was a sophomore at Inkster High School. Among the other award recipients was CMU track and field athlete Whitney Johnson; they are the first CMU student-athletes to receive the award, and CMU is just the third institution in the award’s 21-year history to have multiple winners in the same year.

Wilson Nominated for AFCA Good Works Team
Cody Wilson is one of 132 nominees nationwide from all divisions of college football nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes student-athletes who are actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing. Wilson is a marketing major with a 3.47 grade-point average who was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV first team and was an Academic All-MAC selection in 2010. He is a member of CMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group that serves as a liaison between student-athletes and the athletics department and coordinates community outreach programs throughout the academic year. Along with collaborating with his teammates on several community service initiatives, Wilson has spent the past two spring breaks volunteering at various locations through mission trips organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: CMU Chippewa Band vs. SCSU 101 Band

Hemsley Returns Home to Play for Bowie State

BSU Head Football Coach Damon Wilson
Bowie, MD - After three years of football at Division II California of Pennsylvania, Terrance Hemsley wanted to change positions on the defensive side of the ball. A product of the Upper Marlboro Boys and Girls Club, Hemsley played outside linebacker and inside linebacker for the school about one hour south of Pittsburgh.

"I talked to the coaches about changing positions," Hemsley said Monday. "They were not willing to do that."

So Hemsley, 22, changed schools and got to come home in the process. He is now a senior linebacker for Division II Bowie State University, which opens the season Saturday on the road at Assumption in Worcester, MA. Assumption was 6-5 last season.

The Bulldogs figure to use Hemsley, listed at 6-foot-3, 223 pounds, as a weakside linebacker this season.


Football Gameplan's Southwestern Athletic Conference Preview

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

EMU Football Opens 2011 Campaign Versus Howard Bison

YPSILANTI, Mich. ( -- The Eastern Michigan University football team embarks on its 120th season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Rynearson Stadium versus Football Championship Subdivision foe Howard University. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:06 p.m.

The Eagles and the Bison are meeting for the second time on the gridiron, with the Green and White holding down a 1-0 advantage in the all-time series. The last time the teams hooked up was Sept. 22, 2007, when EMU notched a convincing 38-15 victory at Rynearson Stadium.

TWO FCS OPPONENTS AWAIT: The 2011 schedule features a pair of home games against Football Championship Subdivision opponents in Howard University, Sept. 3, and Alabama State University, Sept. 10. It marks the first time since 2008 that EMU will have played a FCS school.

With the two-year absence from the schedule, the Eagles are one of only four teams – EMU, Bowling Green, Miami and Toledo – in the Mid-American Conference not to have played a Football Championship Subdivision team in either the 2009 or 2010 campaign.

OPENING UP: EMU is 53-58-8 (47.9%) all-time on opening day. This will be the fourth straight season, and the sixth occasion in the last 10 years, that the Eagles will open at home in Rynearson Stadium, where last year they debuted with a 31-27 setback to Army to start the 2010 campaign.

WINNING STREAK: The Eagles have posted a 6-3 record against Football Championship Subdivision opponents since the 2001 campaign. However, EMU is currently riding a two-game winning streak that includes a 38-15 decision over Howard, Sept. 22, 2007, and a 52-0 victory over Indiana State, Aug. 28, 2008.

During the nine-game span, the Green and White have averaged 30.1 points and 406.1 total yards of offense per game, while giving up an average of 23.4 points and 366.8 yards per contest.


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Complete GameDay Info.

Xavier Gold Nuggets rally late to defeat Mobile in five sets

Xavier Volleyball coach Christabell Hamilton
New Orleans - Taylor Reuther had 12 kills and 15 digs, and Moira Kirk had nine kills and seven blocks Monday in Xavier University of Louisiana's 25-18, 17-25, 31-29, 16-25, 15-13 women's volleyball victory against Mobile at The Barn.

Celeste Poe had a career-high 17 digs for Xavier (1-1), and Patrice Hightower had 30 assists and 10 digs.

It was the first victory for new XU coach Christabell Hamilton.

Xavier trailed 12-10 in the fifth set after leading 3-0 and 6-3, but Mobile (2-1) committed five errors thereafter, four on attacks. Kirk and Hightower blocked Lisa Alms' attack on the final play.

Xavier reached match point with the help of Joyy Joseph's diving dig, one of a team-leading four she produced in the fifth set.

"We definitely have some fighters on our team," Hamilton said. "We make a lot of young mistakes. We're working on trying to find team chemistry and at the same time find maturity in our decision-marking during the match."

Alms, Alison Kenney and Melody Tenney combined for 11 kills to pull the Lady Rams out of at tie at 8 and force a fifth set.

Xavier trailed 17-15 and 25-24 in the third set before closing with a Jeanay Butler ace and three Reuther kills.

The Nuggets survived despite a combined six kills in the first and final sets. Mobile committed a combined 23 errors during those two periods.

It was the second straight match that Xavier played five sets — the first time that's happened since 2003, the Nuggets' debut season — and the second straight match that Reuther, a freshman, recorded a kill-dig double-double.

Mobile, picked fourth out of 11 teams in the Southern States Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll, swept a pair of matches against Xavier last year.

Xavier became the first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference team to win this season — the GCAC was a collective 0-6 prior to Monday — and the first this season to beat a Southern States opponent. The SSAC began the day 21-0, including Belhaven's victory against Xavier on Friday.

"Our goal is to get better each day," Hamilton said, "and so far we're on the right track."

Xavier's next match will start at 6 p.m. Sunday against another Southern States team, city rival Loyola, at The Den. The Nuggets will play Judson (Ala.) in their next home match Sept. 8.

NOTES: Attendance for the home opener was 300 — 100 more than Xavier's largest crowd at The Barn last season . . . The Nuggets are 1-3 in home openers . . . Hamilton said the Nuggets' regular-season and GCAC finale against Dillard at The Barn was pushed back one hour to 2 p.m.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

New star emerges from hurdles debris at WC Athletics Daegu

DAEGU, South Korea — Thrilling and controversial, an incident-packed world 110m hurdles final lived up to its billing by producing a dramatic disqualification for the Olympic champion -- and a new star.

In Monday's first ever meeting in a global final between the three fastest sprint hurdlers of all time -- Dayron Robles, Liu Xiang and David Oliver (Howard University) -- it was Jason Richardson who emerged with the gold after the dust had settled.

A day after defending champion Usain Bolt saw his 100m dream shattered after sensationally false-starting, the worlds were again rocked as another of the biggest stars in athletics was stripped of his medal for obstruction.

Cuba's Robles had won a thriller in 13.14sec, edging out American Richardson by just 0.02sec but made contact with former Olympic and world champion Liu in the latter stages of the race in South Korea.

A protest by China on behalf of Liu, who appeared to be impeded when Robles strayed to the edge of his lane and the pair clashed arms at each of the last two hurdles, was upheld and Robles lost his gold.


110m Hurdles Men Final WC Athletics Daegu 2011
Jason Richardson USA 13.16
Xiang Liu CHN 13.27
Andrew Turner GBR 13.44
David Oliver USA 13.44
William Sharman GBR 13.67
Aries Merritt USA 13.67
Dayron Robles CUB DQ
Dwight Thomas JAM DNF

McCorory 4th at Worlds in 400 meters

DAEGU, KOREA -— Twenty-one hundredths of a second. About one very long stride.

They're all that separated Francena McCorory from a spot on the medals stand on Day Three of the 13th World Championships of Track and Field.

The former Bethel High and Hampton University flash settled for fourth place in the women's 400 of the Worlds at Daegu Stadium with a 50.45 performance, just that mini-margin back of Russian bronze medalist Anastasiya Kapachinskaya's 50.24.

All this in a drama-packed race that saw Amantle Montsho bring joy - and a first-ever gold medal - to her African homeland of Botswana by fighting off the desperation homestretch charge of America's Allyson Felix, 49.56 to 49.59.


400m Women Final WC Athletics Daegu 2011
Amantle Montsho BOT 49.56 (NR)
Allyson Felix USA 49.59 (PB)
Anastasiya Kapachinskaya RUS 50.24
Francena McCorory USA 50.45 
Antonina Krivoshapka RUS 50.66
Shericka Williams JAM 50.79
Sanya Richards-Ross USA 51.32 
Novlene Williams-Mills JAM 52.89

Joseph, SU Jaguars feel mood shifting

Baton Rouge, LA - Dray Joseph said he doesn’t know exactly when the mood of a football team begins to shift. But at some point, he said, everyone knows. At some point, the atmosphere changes. Everyone can sense it.

At Southern University, it changed sometime late last week, when the Jaguars turned away from the monotony of preseason. The anxiousness of game week took over.

In a few days, the Jaguars will pack for their trip to Nashville, Tenn., where they’ll break the seal on a new season. At 6 p.m. Saturday, they face Tennessee State, more than ready to prove they’re back on the path toward respectability.

Training camp shrinks in the rear-view mirror. LP Field, site of the opener, is coming into focus. It’s here. It’s time.


Alabama A&M: Seniors eager to live up to expectations

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Alabama A&M's 2008 recruiting class was supposed to be the group that would keep the Bulldogs among the Southwestern Athletic Conference's elite.

Under Anthony Jones, A&M won more games (49) than any team in the league from 2002-2007 and when the Bulldogs signed 32 players in 2008, including the likes of Rico Porch, Willie Fuller, Clarence Morris, Markeith Cliatt, Lewis Graham and Trent Johnson, they had what they believed was a banner recruiting class.

Three years later, the class that was slated to keep A&M among the league's elite hasn't had much to celebrate.

The Bulldogs won the Eastern Division title in 2009 and advanced to the SWAC championship game before losing to Prairie View.


N.C. Central Eagles just looking for consistency in volleyball

Durham, NC - The whole move to NCAA Division I volleyball is good and all, but there’s no pressure with that, N.C. Central volleyball coach Georgette Crawford-Crooks said. Any so-called pressure on the NCCU volleyball program comes from within, from the need for the team to play steady, the coach explained.

“Volleyball is a game of consistency,” Crawford-Crooks said.

NCCU returns to the court Friday to launch its volleyball season at the fifth annual Hilton/RTP NCCU Volleyball Tournament in McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium, the Eagles’ home floor. NCCU never has won the tournament, which runs through Saturday.

Along with the official move this year to Division I, this season will be NCCU’s first time competing in volleyball in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.


CIAA Football: Livingstone preview

SALISBURY, NC — Livingstone’s 2011 football season begins with an unavoidable question: Why is Elvin James smiling?

Is it because the second-year coach has four of his five starting offensive linemen from last season back on board? Or because a full complement of running backs returns intact, a year older and fiercer? Or because a handful of newcomers — including three highly touted assistants, four top-shelf local products and a bona fide, full-scholarship kicker — have injected the Blue Bears with a dose of inspiration?

All are poignant queries. But maybe, just maybe, the answers can be found in James’ old record collection.

“It was Sam Cooke who sang ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’” he said, channeling the man who invented soul. “And it’s coming to us. I see the progression here and, mark my words, change is coming.”


Howard's going back to the future

Washington, D.C. - Interspersed with dramatic footage from the film "Transformers" are Howard football highlights. The two-minute trailer on the school's athletic website, titled the "Road to Redemption," introduces a new era of high expectations for Howard football.

When the video was shown to the Bison at the start of preseason camp, the first image that popped on screen was 11-0.

If that goal sounds preposterous for a team coming off a 1-10 season, consider the man who authored it. If anyone knows the road map to 11-0 at Howard, it's new coach Gary "Flea" Harrell. As a player, the former New York Giants wide receiver helped Howard improve from 2-9 in 1991 to 11-1 in 1993, the last time the Bison went undefeated in the regular season and won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

"When I was here, [11-0] was our goal...


Miami-Dade’s high school marching bands make a joyful noise

Miami, Florida - Turns out John Phillip Sousa , the cowboy in the Village People and Lady Gaga have something in common.

All three figure prominently in South Florida high schools’ marching band’s repertoires. Sousa’s familiar march, The Washington Post, meets the disco wedding party staple, YMCA. But the combination isn’t a bad romance for the kids in the band — or the audience in the stands.

“Last year we did Lady Gaga; we did Bad Romance, and that was interesting,” says a laughing Andrea Villegas, lead drum major for the John A. Ferguson Senior High’s Mighty Falcon Band. The football team liked it, but it’s still weird listening to a marching band playing Lady Gaga.” Weird, perhaps, but don’t knock the sweet sounds of success.

Several South Florida high school marching bands are racking up honors in statewide competitions with their high-stepping blends of old and new. Some students use marching band as a platform to attend college. Many of the bands feature...


Battle For Atlanta: Clark Atlanta Panthers vs. Georgia State Panthers


SCSU Pough expects tough test from Chippewas

Bulldogs QB Derrick Wiley
Orangeburg, SC - A 3-9 team is not what South Carolina State head football coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough expects to see in Thursday's season-opener at Central Michigan.

In fact, he expects the Chippewas, which lost six of their last seven games last season, to be as formidable as the five previous Division I opponents the Bulldogs have faced since 2007.

"Offensively it's going to be tough," said Pough at Monday's press conference. "This defense in Central Michigan is a big, rugged, fundamental style defense and you can tell when a defense gets in some pretty classic looks and ...


Two Rivers Classic: Fayetteville State, UNC-Pembroke prepare for Saturday's rivalry game

Fayetteville, NC - Fayetteville State safety Andre Lyles has been trained well. It's easy to see that. For when asked Monday to describe his emotions heading into Saturday's Two Rivers Classic against UNC-Pembroke, Lyles shrugged and played the "just another game" card.

"This rivalry doesn't necessarily flip a switch for me," he said. "It's just another football game. We try to win and we treat every game the same. So the rivalry won't be a big issue."

Don't, however, take that sentiment at face value. Ed McLean, Fayetteville State's athletic director, certainly didn't. McLean knows full well that no matter how composed Lyles seemed at Monday's press conference, his adrenaline will inevitably spike Saturday when the Broncos storm onto the turf at Nick Jeralds Stadium to square off against UNCP for the third straight season.


Rutgers coach Greg Schiano eager to see how inexperienced players respond in season opener vs. NCCU

Piscataway, NJ - Beyond whatever the final score may be — or the statistics compiled — Rutgers coach Greg Schiano sees something much more significant to be gained from Thursday's season opener against North Carolina Central: Game experience for a team that is surprisingly low on it.

"We really want to play the best we can," Schiano said during his weekly press conference today. "I think we have some depth on our team but a lot of that depth has not been tested in games. So I think it's going to be a great experience opportunity for them — and I don't mean down the road.

"I mean, (we have) guys that just haven't played that are first or second team players. To be in a game ... no matter how much you try to simulate game situations, it's difficult. I'm anxious to see how they respond. Everyone responds differently when the lights come on."

A quick check of the two-deep underscores just how short Rutgers is on starting experience.



Conference newcomer SSU seeks respect

Savannah, GA - This is a special season for Savannah State University’s football program because it’s the Tigers’ first as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

“It’s a sense of belonging,” said SSU senior quarterback A.J. DeFilippis, a Benedictine graduate. “We have a home now. We have a group of teams that we can play every year and maybe establish some rivalries, and establish our power and maybe get some respect from these teams.

“Our past records, we’re not really thinking of it that way. We don’t want to look back. We want to look forward and know that we can establish our power in this conference.”

Homecoming 2011: Savannah State vs. Hampton University, 2 p.m.


Alabama A&M: Jones entering pivotal contract year

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The number of hours he spends in his office are too many to count, but it is inside those four walls at the George H. Hobson Field House where Alabama A&M football coach Anthony Jones finds solace.

It has been well documented that Jones doesn't get out as much as he should to sell his program and he needs to hire an offensive coordinator, but his formula has worked well the last nine years. During that span, he has fashioned a 64-41 record, won a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship and played for the title on three other occasions, most recently in 2009.

He has averaged more than seven wins per year, more than any coach in school history, including Louis Crews, A&M's all-time winningest coach. He has a pair of nine-win seasons to his credit, something nobody else has done at A&M, and he has three eight-win seasons. That had only been done seven times before Jones arrived.


FAMU's Baker just wants to contribute

Tallahassee, FL - Edmond Baker was a little emotional while trying explain how much he'd like to line up as a receiver in a football game this season for Florida A&M. He clasped his hands and tightly drew them to his chest, with his eyes closed. His feelings rang through every word.

"Every bit of me says I should be playing as a receiver," he said, "but it's up to the coaches how much I play as a receiver."

Baker knows that playing time will be unlikely given the Rattlers' depth at every wide receiver position. But getting an opportunity to be a contributor on special teams will suit him just fine.

"If the coaches feel I'll be better playing special teams than backing someone up as a receiver, then that's where I'll be," he said. "I'm more of a team player than anything else. If the team wins, I win.


Southern's coaches working on details for game day

Baton Rouge, LA - The Southern football team held its final preseason scrimmage Saturday inside A.W. Mumford Stadium, and as head coach Stump Mitchell said, it wasn’t your typical take-it-easy dress rehearsal.

Unlike last season, when starters barely participated with one week to go before the season opener, this year’s final rehearsal was more comprehensive, for two major reasons: 1) the team needed a little extra work, and 2) during the regular season, Southern must take Sunday and Monday off because of NCAA-mandated practice limitations.

As it turned out, Southern’s coaching staff also had a few things to work on during Saturday’s scrimmage, as well. Mitchell said he’ll have four assistant coaches in the LP Field press box at 6 p.m. Saturday, when the Jaguars face Tennessee State. They are...


Monday, August 29, 2011

This season to test Southern University fans, Mitchell

Baton Rouge, LA - Covered in sweat, physically spent and anxious to wrap up a long preseason, Southern football players gathered around Stump Mitchell near the 20-yard line on the south end of A.W. Mumford Stadium.

There, they took a knee. There, they listened as their 5-foot-8 coach delivered a fiery post-scrimmage speech — a speech intended to fire up the Jaguars for the week that lay ahead. This week, he told them, the season arrives. This week offers a chance for everyone to see how far they’ve come.

“These guys will be ready,” said Mitchell, whose team faces Tennessee State in Nashville, Tenn., at 6 p.m. Saturday, more than ready to forget about last year’s gruesome 2-9 record. “We’ve got some guys that are mature — more so than we had last year. And we’re just excited that (the season) is here.”

It is, without much doubt, a pivotal one for Mitchell, who enters the second year of a three-year contract.


Morgan's Bozeman: Show-cause 'had a great effect on my life'

Morgan State head coach Todd Bozeman had to wait 10 years before landing another head coaching opportunity after receiving an eight-year show-cause sanction from the NCAA for paying a recruit's family as head coach of the University of California.  Former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl received a three-year show-cause from the NCAA last week.
Baltimore, MD - In the spring of 2006, Todd Bozeman escaped the purgatory of the NCAA’s show-cause sanction. For 10 years, the prodigy-turned-castaway languished like a ghost ship. He was little more than a bar stool trivia question.

“Who was the coach of California when Jason Kidd led the team to a win over Duke in the ‘93 NCAA tournament?”

Bozeman was reborn five years ago when a little-known historically black college in northeast Baltimore tabbed him as its head coach. Morgan State University, a MEAC school with no discernible basketball history, took a flier on a washed-up cheater who sunk his own career before turning 35. That, at least, was the perception back then.

All these years later, Bozeman is still a trivia question, of sorts.

“Who is the only head coach in Division I basketball history to receive a show-cause penalty and ultimately land another head coaching gig?”

Hint: it’s not Clem Haskins or Kelvin Sampson or Dave Bliss. The answer is, indeed, Todd Bozeman.

Now, the entire state of Tennessee - and the college basketball world as a whole – wonder if ...


Hampton's McCorory ready for the race of her life at IAAF World Championships

DAEGU, KOREA - Francena McCorory has been on some big stages, but this is the biggest.

Back in 2006, Bethel senior McCorory blazed to a national indoor high school 400-meter record of 51.93.

In 2010, Hampton University senior McCorory lowered the American indoor 400 record to 50.54. Great going, sure, but nothing quite up to her current achievements.

The 22-year-old Hampton resident is poised to run for the gold - or a medal of any hue - in the women's 400-meter final Monday night.

Looking powerful and confident, McCorory blazed to a career-best clocking of 50.24 taking her semifinal. USA teammates Allyson Felix, a three-time winner of the World 200 title, and 2009 Worlds 400 champion Sandra Richards-Ross, join McCorory in the eight-runner final. Felix ran 50.36, Richards-Ross 50.66.

"No problems, felt great," said McCorory. But a real problem to all three Americans may be veteran Amantle Montsho of Botswana, the fastest of all heat winners at 50.13.

Meet Francena on Facebook


New coach Reginald Ruffin sets out to change attitude, expectations at Miles

FAIRFIELD, Alabama -- Casey Weston was sitting at home in Georgia on a hot summer night in July when he received an unexpected phone call. On the other end of the line was new Miles College football coach Reginald Ruffin.

Weston, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback with a rocket arm, had been mulling over where he wanted to continue his college career. After leading Prattville to the 2007 Class 6A state championship, Weston played two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College and set school records for career passing yards (4,943), completions (394) and attempts (695) while throwing 42 touchdown passes.

He then went to Northern Illinois University and redshirted in 2010, but when NIU changed coaches at the end of the season Weston decided to transfer.


Frazier hoping N.C. Central gets tested Thursday vs. Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — While he understands that his North Carolina Central squad will be a major underdog in its season opener against Rutgers on Thursday, first-year coach Henry Frazier insists the Eagles are playing for something tangible.

“Identity,” said Frazier, whose squad is making its Football Championship Subdivision debut, stepping up in class against FBS-member Rutgers. “I want to find out what type of ballclub I have. I want to see, when adversity hits, how we respond. Or when we do something good, how do we respond? It's going to tell me about the type of ballclub we have.

“We have 10 ballgames after this one. So we spend three or four weeks preparing for the first game and then we only have three or four games preparing for the second. You have to lay your foundation during training camp so a lot of times we lose perspective in terms of the first game. I won't do that. We'll keep everything in perspective and we will have an identity once this game is over.”


Prairie View's Ellis could be in on more plays

Prairie View, Texas - Prairie View A&M cornerback Moses Ellis might have to get used to spending more time on the field this season.

Ellis, a senior, is one of the prime candidates to handle punt return duties for the Panthers and has an outside chance of seeing action at wide receiver. He could get his first stab at the punt return job when Prairie View opens its 2011 campaign against Bethune-Cookman during Sunday's MEAC/SWAC Challenge at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

The 5-9, 175-pound Ellis excelled in his primary role last season, leading the Football Championship Subdivision in interceptions (eight) and passes defended (22) en route to being named an All-American. He also tied for the Southwestern Athletic Conference lead in passes broken up with 14.

Ellis, the preseason SWAC Defensive Player of the Year...


Expectations no problem at high-achieving Tuskegee

TUSKEGEE, Alabama -- A 9-2 season would be cause for celebration for many college football teams.
That's not the case at Tuskegee. Heavy favorites to win a fifth straight Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in 2010, the Golden Tigers finished in a three-way tie for second after losing games to conference rivals Albany State and Fort Valley State.

That setback hasn't lessened the expectations at Tuskegee, certainly not for a program that has won seven SIAC titles in the past 11 years and with a head coach in Willie Slater who has a stunning 51-7 record in his five seasons as head coach.

SIAC coaches have picked the Golden Tigers to win the SIAC West and play Albany State in the league's inaugural championship game. That game will be played Nov. 12 in Atlanta. Tuskegee coach Willie Slater said he doesn't worry about expectations for his football team.


Former Pine Bush track star earns full ride to Maryland-Eastern Shore

Zavior Brown
Delhi, NY - Former Pine Bush standout Zavior Brown is going to get a taste of home cooking at his next college destination.

Brown, a four-time junior college national champion at SUNY Delhi, has accepted a full scholarship to attend the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Hawks are coached by Ernest Barrett, who, like Brown, hails from Jamaica.

"I am excited,'' Barrett said. "He has a lot of talent. ... I feel he will have an immediate impact on our program. He's also a solid kid academically, too. He has the total package.'' Brown won the NJCAA Division III national title in the 3,200-meter relay and the 800-meter run in 2010 and 2011. He is a nine-time NJCAA All-American and competed on Delhi's 2009 and 2010 cross-country national title teams.

Brown set five school records at Delhi, three indoors (500, 600, 800) and two outdoors (3,200 relay, distance medley relay).


Student-athlete ideal? Black college football seems to fit Bill

Washington, D.C. - Bill Cosby -- yes, that Bill Cosby -- wants to take you back in time. Come along. It'll only take a minute.

It's the 1940s in Washington. The owner of the Redskins, George Preston Marshall, doesn't allow blacks on the team. So some instead choose to follow black college football, and every Thanksgiving Day focus on a historic rivalry: Howard University versus Lincoln University.

When the game was played, people came from around the block and around the country. In Washington, and in black college football, few games were bigger, few games meant more. When the game was played, Griffith Stadium was their stadium. The city was their city.

"The town belonged to the graduates from Howard and Lincoln," Cosby said in a telephone interview. "It was the game. It was a rivalry but there was no hatred. There was respect for the schools, the tradition, and each other."

Fast forward to now, specifically, Sept. 10, when Howard University will play Morehouse College in the inaugural AT&T Nation's Football Classic. Howard and Morehouse have been playing each other in football for 88 years. For people like Cosby and many others -- young and old, wealthy and blue collar -- this game has deep meaning, just as Howard and Lincoln once did.


SC State Announces Team and Game Captains

ORANGEBURG, SC - South Carolina State head football coach Buddy Pough, Saturday, announced the Bulldog captains for the season and also for Thursday's contest at Central Michigan.

Senior defensive back Dominique Ellis of Atlanta, and center Tristan Bellamy, a redshirt sophomore of Johnston, SC, will serve as defensive and offensive captains, respectively, for the 2011 campaign, according to Pough.

For Thursday's season opener at Central Michigan, senior defensive lineman Ronell Ferguson of Lincolnton, Ga., and wide receiver Thomas (Tray) Williams, a redshirt junior of Greer, SC, will serve as game captains.

Ellis, one of the defensive leaders on the Bulldog squad, is the starting free safety for SC State. He was fourth on the team in tackles last year with 52, including 39 unassisted. He was a second-team All-MEAC selection in 2010 and a 2011 preseason first-team choice.


Return of Edward Waters College Tiger Pride

Jacksonville, FL - The Edward Waters College Tigers scrimmaged Saturday at the Bob Hayes Sports Complex. The Tigers will open their season Saturday, September 3rd at 2 p.m. under new head coach Brad Bernard.

Bernard is taking over a team that finished 2-8 in 2010 and a program that has gone 14-48 since winning the Southeast Atlantic Conference Title in 2004. The Tigers are returning nine starters from last year's team.


Livingstone Football: Nelson works with Steelers

SALISBURY, N.C. — In 1987, the National Football League started the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship for college football coaches to expose them to summer NFL training camps.

All 32 NFL teams participate in the program. And this summer more than 1,000 coaches applied to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have more Super Bowl rings than any other team in NFL history.

The Steelers narrowed their choice down to two men, and Livingstone College assistant football coach Malcolm Nelson got the nod.

“Coach Nelson worked directly with our special teams unit under the supervision of special team coordinator Al Everest,” said Kirby Wilson, Steelers running backs coach. “Under this program Coach Nelson was exposed to the daily preparation and operational tactics of an elite NFL team led by head coach Mike Tomlin. Coach Nelson was involved in daily practice and game-plan meetings, as well as organizational personnel meetings. During his stay he was allowed to conduct drills, participate in practice structure and organization and assist on game day with teaching and instruction.”


Rocker adds to FAMU's RB depth

Head Coach Joe Taylor
Tallahassee, FL - On the walk back to the fieldhouse following Saturday's scrimmage, running back Eddie Rocker mingled for a few minutes with some curious fans. Most of them wanted an answer to the same question concerning the running they'd seen from a quartet out of the backfield.

Rocker, tabbed the starter at running back for Florida A&M, shared the spotlight with LaVante Page, James Owens and freshman Jordan Stanley. They combined to produce 260 yards rushing to account for just over half of the total offense by the Green team.

"Everybody was asking me how I like the new formations," Rocker said. "I think it will help us out individually because everybody brings different things to the game. It's a team effort really."


Stillman coach sees progress in preseason camp

TUSCALOOSA | The Stillman College football players were able to leave after Saturday’s practice session, but first-year coach Teddy Keaton and his staff had more work to do.

Keaton planned to draw up a depth chart based on the results of the final scrimmage of preseason camp. The Tigers open at home on Saturday, facing Shaw University from North Carolina. Shaw University is ranked second behind Albany State in the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) Division II HBCU poll.

Keaton said the scrimmage featured live hitting, “all except for takedowns.” Keaton brought in a crew of referees, who told him it was a crisp session with only seven penalties. Keaton said the Tigers committed 14 penalties during an earlier scrimmage.


Hampton's Wells ready to represent USA

Richmond, VA - Kellie Wells (Hampton University) has yet to wear a uniform with the USA crest across the chest, but she knows the day is coming and she can't wait.

"I look at the uniform everyday. I'm just excited to finally represent my country. I'm stepping into the place that my idols (Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Gail Devers) have been."

That will happen on Sept. 2 when Wells will don the red, white and blue and toe the starting line in the preliminary round of the women's 100-meter hurdles at the International Association of Athletics Federation 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. The championships begin Saturday.

Women's Press Conference at 2011 IAAF World Championships with Kellie Wells, Hyleas Fountain and Jillian Camarena-Williams.

For the 2002 James River High graduate, the world stage has come.

Wells ran 12.5 seconds in the 100 hurdles to capture the USA Track and Field title in Eugene, Ore., in June. The victory was special for two reasons. First, it earned her a spot on her first national team. Second, it came at the same place her career was set back three years ago.

Burt named Talladega College volleyball coach

TALLADEGA, AL — After a multiple-month coaching search, Talladega College has named Ron Burt head coach of the Lady Tornadoes volleyball team.

“I am happy to be here,” Burt said. “They had a pretty good year last year and the coach left and they were looking for a new one and I jumped at the chance. I like the program that they have; all the girls are coming back except a couple. We have a real good nucleus of girls and I am looking forward to some good things.”

Athletic Director Will Ramos believes Burt is a good fit for the Lady Tornadoes.

“I think coach Ron Burt is going to be a very good coach for this college,” Ramos said. “He is very experienced, he knows the game of volleyball very well. He is very good with the girls. The girls are very excited about him. I think the volleyball program will improve just because we have him here. At the same time we have to know the girls have been here for two years have been very successful so I think it will be a good match for both sides.”


Concordia gets an overhaul with only 5 starters returning

Selma, AL - Shepherd Skanes won't be wearing a hard hat this fall, but no one could blame the Concordia College head football if he did. Skanes has some major rebuilding to do after the Hornets lost 12 seniors from their 2010 team that finished 6-4.

"I had the biggest graduation class I've had in a while," Skanes said. "Eight of 12 got degrees. They had been with me since 2007. We have only five starters who showed back up for this season."

Senior inside linebacker Javonne Roman and senior outside linebacker Cruz Forbes are the only two returning starters on defense, while tailback Louis Manning, wide receiver Jeremy Morris and center Steven Welch are the only three back on offense for the Selma school.

"We had some young guys, freshmen and sophomores, who played last year...



Miles ultimate weapon: Jordan Lewis gives Golden Bears explosive running threat

FAIRFIELD, Alabama -- As far as anyone knows, scientists have not begun cloning humans. But if they started the practice today, Miles head football coach Reginald Ruffin knows he would love to clone senior running back Jordan Lewis.

"Jordan Lewis is a tough football player, mentally and physically," said Ruffin, entering his first season at Miles. "If I had more Jordan Lewises, we'd be a really good football team. Nothing gets to him. The guy's got heart. He's a grinder. That's what I love about him."

Lewis, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound junior from Fairfield High School, rushed for a modest 307 yards and four touchdowns for the Golden Bears in 2010. But this season he is expected to blossom into one of the team's explosive offensive weapons. He was named to the preseason All-SIAC second team offense.


Alabama A&M: Bulldogs at a glance

Coach Anthony Jones
2010 record: 3-8 overall, 2-7 SWAC
Number of starters returning: 14 (6 on offense, 5 on defense, 3 specialists)
Top returning players: QB Deaunte Mason, RB Kaderius Lacey, WR G'Alonzo Milton, OL Jamaal Johnson-Webb, ILB Willie Fuller, WLB Vernon Marshall, FS Rico Porch, P/K Chance Wilson.
Team will be a contender if the offensive line protects Mason and the defensive line is relentless in getting after the quarterback.
Team will struggle if Mason doesn't play well and the defense is forced to play a lot of snaps.
Head coach's Hot Seat meter reading
Anthony Jones, (6) ... Despite leading A&M to the 2009 SWAC championship game, the Bulldogs have posted two losing seasons in the last three years. Jones, entering his 10th season with the Bulldogs, is in the final year of his contract.