Daily Headlines: McClung Transfers, Arizona Lands Twin International Recruits

The biggest name on the NCAA basketball transfer market made his decision on Wednesday, as former Georgetown star Mac McClung announced his intent to transfer to Texas Tech, the 2019 NCAA runner-ups. It’s a huge pick-up for the Red Raiders, who have lost a few of their top options, including Davide Moretti, who left collegiate ball for pro ball in Italy. McClung became a viral star in high school, and he tore it up with the Hoyas for two seasons before declaring for the draft, while maintaining eligibility. However, McClung recently withdrew his name from draft consideration, and Texas Tech immediately became a favorite to land his services. The Red Raiders are known for their fierce defensive system, but McClung’s fireworks offensively will be a welcome sight in Lubbock, where Chris Beard hopes to compete with Kansas and Baylor for Big 12 supremacy.

Arizona lands twin brother recruits
Arizona basketball received some big-time upgrades via their international recruiting, as they landed twin brothers Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis out of Lithuania. Azuolas led Lithuania in scoring in the U16 and U18 European championships, and he is the top-rated international prospect. Tautvilas spent four seasons playing for the elite Vilnius Basketball School, while also competing at the FIBA U16 and U18 European championships. They both cited Arizona’s campus and fans as reason for their commitment. The Wildcats were strong contenders in a wide-open Pac-12 last season, but they lost seven of eight players who got major playing time. They’ll hope these victories on the recruiting front keep them in conference contention.

Johnny Juzang gets immediate eligibility

UCLA got some welcome news as well for their basketball team, as transfer Johnny Juzang got approved to play immediately for the Bruins, after transferring from Kentucky. Juzang was originally a Class of 2020 recruit, but he re-classified and played 28 games for Kentucky, starting two. His numbers (2.9 points per game) didn’t dazzle, but he also didn’t see much playing time until the back-end of the year, and he put up a few impressive performances, including 10 points in a comeback effort versus Florida, as well as thirteen points against Tennessee. The 6’6 shooting guard hails from Los Angeles, and he’s headed back to his home state to play for the Bruins, where he will be an intriguing option for a team that finished second place in the Pac-12 last season, finishing the year as one of the hottest teams in the country.

Houston’s Fabian White out for the season

Houston lost a key contributor for the upcoming season, as senior Fabian White suffered a torn ACL while working out on his own, forcing him to take a red-shirt for 2020-2021 season to preserve his eligibility. It’s really bad luck for White, who started all 31 games in his junior campaign, and for Houston, ranked nineteenth in the country in ESPN’s way-too-early Top 25, they’ll need to replace one of their best players if they want to be contenders for the NCAA Tournament.


Heisman Watchlist Feature: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

The Heisman Trophy has been won by a quarterback in four consecutive seasons, and in nine of the past ten. A quarterback or running back has taken home the hardware every year since 1997, when Charles Woodson, a cornerback and punt returner for Michigan brought the trophy to Ann Arbor. So although including a defensive player on our Heisman watchlist may seem like a long shot, if there’s a star on the other side of the ball to break the defensive drought, it might be LSU sophomore Derek Stingley. Stingley is probably the best athlete on LSU, and there’s even been talk about him being utilized as a two-way player in 2021. But as of now, Stingley resides as the most dangerous returner on LSU’s championship defense, and likely the Tigers’ best chance of keeping the Heisman Trophy in the Bayou. 

Having graduated Patrick Queen and Grant Delpit, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is well aware that Stingely is the best piece on his 2020 defense, and without all-world Joe Burrow under center, he will need the Baton Rouge product to step up while Myles Brennan adjusts to the brutal life of a SEC quarterback. Orgeron is prepared to utilize Stingley in multiple roles, mixing him into some blitz packages as well as his traditional man-coverage role in LSU’s secondary. The ability to be a jack-of-all-trades defender increases Stingley’s Heisman potential, as edge rushers and linebackers more visibly impact games on every play, and thus they get more Heisman votes. Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith were the only two defensive players to finish in the top ten of Heisman voting in the previous three seasons. Stingley’s versatile skill-set draws natural comparisons to Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o in 2012, who finished second in Heisman voting, second only to the legendary season of Johnny Manziel. The Irish star finished that year with 113 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 1.5 sacks. Stingley finished last year with six picks and 38 tackles. As the best playmaker for the Tigers in 2020, he should get a chance to boost those numbers significantly. 

Last season, Stingley faced 94 targets, the second most by a cornerback in the nation, but he allowed just a 38.3% catch rate, a top-5 mark in college football. He played his best football towards the end of the season, intercepting Jake Fromm twice in the SEC title game, and recording four tackles and a fumble recovery in the Playoff. Playing in the SEC, Stingley will have some natural chances for Heisman moments – and if he can be the driving force in leading the Tigers back to SEC supremacy, expect him to be up in the Heisman conversation. 

Top Heisman Moment Opportunity
November 21, at Auburn
Finding a Heisman moment is a difficult balance between finding a big game on the schedule and one that brings chances for the candidate to put up big numbers. I think this contest at Auburn is a great chance, as it matches LSU against possibly the best SEC quarterback in Bo Nix, and with Auburn’s balanced offense playing at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Stingley will have a chance to be at his versatile best and stop the Tigers in a critical late season SEC West contest.

Game most likely to trip him up
September 26, vs. Ole Miss
Last year, Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee led the Rebels to 37 points against LSU defense. It wasn’t enough to take down Joe Burrow, but it was an extremely impressive performance from the freshman. Ole Miss is not a good team, but Plumlee leads a productive offense for the Rebels, and they could pose some serious issues early in the season for LSU’s defense. It’s a high-risk, low-reward game for Stingley, as a strong performance against a below-average SEC team does little to boost his Heisman chances, but if he struggles against the dynamic Plumlee, it will destroy his limited chances of breaking the stranglehold quarterbacks have on the Heisman Trophy.

Daily Headlines: Jalen Kitna Commits to Florida

The Florida Gators may be leaning on Kyle Trask this season for their College Football Playoff hopes, but their quarterback room of the future got a big upgrade on Tuesday, as four-star Jalen Kitna expressed his verbal commitment to the Gators. The Texas product had seven major offers on the table, and BC, Arizona, and Georgia Tech were also heavy players in his recruitment. Although he checks in as a pro-style quarterback, several scouts have lauded his ability to make plays with his legs. Kitna currently clocks in with a 4.7 40-yard dash, and he threw for over 1500 yards last season – he’s an intriguing addition to the Florida quarterback room.

Pac-12 makes call on return of athletes, Clemson and Oklahoma also make decisions

In a big decision, the Pac-12 announced they would allow athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts. It’s unclear how this works with California’s plan to host online classes. But, at least the Pac-12 is open to the possibility of sports returning – so keep your fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, Clemson announced that they are authorizing their athletes to return to campus June 8, although Oklahoma is staying a little more cautious, announcing they will be waiting until July 1. However, these timelines still keep the college football schedule on pace for an on-time start, so hopefully July 1 is at late as it gets.

Coleman-Lands transfers to Iowa State

Jalen Coleman-Lands announced his intention to transfer to Iowa State, where he will complete his sixth and final collegiate season with his third team. Coleman-Lands spent two seasons with Illinois, sat out the 2017-2018 season due to transfer, then red-shirted a year due to injury in his first year with DePaul. Last season, Coleman-Lands put up 11.1 points per game in the Big East, and he’s headed back to the Big 12, where he will play for the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State struggled last season, putting up a 5-13 record in a top-heavy Big 12, but the addition of Coleman-Lands gives them a solid player who has lots of experience playing big games will give them a nice asset as they try to surge back to Big 12 relevancy.

Spotlight Feature: Bobby Seymour, 1B, Wake Forest

Jumping from high school into the best conference in college baseball is supposed to be a difficult transition, but if Bobby Seymour felt it, he didn’t show it on the field. A Wake Forest commit since his sophomore year of his high school, Seymour jumped right into it, starting 52 games in his true freshman season for the Demon Deacons, hitting .286 while ripping seven home runs and twelve doubles. 

“You’re nervous, as a freshman, jumping right into that pace of play”, Seymour said, “But once you realize you belong and you can play there, everything kind of falls into place”. 

Everything has fallen into place and more for the Wake Forest first baseman, as Seymour followed up his impressive freshman campaign with one of the best sophomore seasons in program history. Seymour drilled his way to an ACC-leading .377 average, nine home runs and a stunning 92 RBI – a total that is a league-high since a guy named Buster Posey had 93 in 2008. His batting average led the league by 16 points, and when the lights shone bright, Seymour’s bat was at its hottest, hitting .485 with runners in scoring position. Seymoure noted the mentality shift that comes with getting the chance to drive some runs in: “Always want to drive in as many runs as I can – that’s something that’s big for me. Guys on base, I want to get the job done”. 

Seymour’s firepower brought Wake back to ACC relevance after a tough 2018 season, as the Demon Deacons were a run away from the ACC semifinals as the tenth seed in the tournament. His numbers also shot him up the draft boards, and even with the draft being shortened to 5 rounds, the Indiana product looks like a potential pick this season. Even if the shortened season throws a wrench in Seymour’s draft plans, his stock figures to only rise further. And while offense may be what catches the scout’s attention, Seymour has made vast improvements at first base ase well, a jump which he credits to his coaches: “Joey Hammond, Bill Cilento [assistant coaches], they’d harp on me constantly”, Seymour commented, “Have me come in before and after practice. Those guys just made my work ethic better, like it is when I hit, so definitely credit to my coaches for sure”. 

Seymour battled appendicitis last season, but he battled through it en route to his record-breaking season. One notable series Seymour recalled was their three-game home set versus NC State, a series where he went 5-13 with six RBI. In the rubber game to conclude the series, Seymour blasted a two-run shot to help the Demon Deacons rally from a 7-1 deficit and win a critical ACC series. The appendicitis did shorten his summer season, but Seymour still impressed in a short stint in the Cape Cod League. “Playing in the Cape was awesome – great area and great competition. Obviously it was cut short, but everything happens for a reason, and it’ll be alright. It was definitely the experience of a lifetime”. 

Seymour took the adversity in stride and was off to a strong start to his junior season before its cancellation; he hit .284 in 18 games with a home run and eleven RBI. On MLB.com’s Top 200, Seymour is ranked 180, but scouts laud his plus offensive ability, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team take a jump for his upside in the upcoming draft. “That’s my goal at the end of the day – to get drafted and start professional baseball”. 

Athlete Q&A
Q: Favorite MLB Team?
A: “I’m a big White Sox fan – ‘05 was a good year, so just gotta try and live off that” 

Q: Favorite players growing up?
A: “Growing up, Derek Jeter was always my guy. Jeter and Ryan Braun. 

Q: Socks or Stirrups?
A: “I’m more of a low-pants guy, so regular socks

Q: Any superstitions?
A: I’m very superstitious. Nothing too much pre-game, but lots of little things in game. If I strike out, I’ll switch to the other side of the bat. Always have to have wrist tape on, stuff like that.”

Q: Favorite seeds?
A: I’m a huge seed guy, but if I have to pick, I’d probably go Ranch.

Q: Bat-flip or all-business after a home run?
A: Normally all-business, but if it’s against a team we don’t like, or I’m not a fan of the guy, I’m not going to shy away from bat flipping.

Q: Any particular game you remember unleashing a bat-flip for then?
A: Last year against Virginia Tech – lots of chirping, bit of a chippy game back and forth. I hit a home run for the lead. I’m usually pretty composed, but that one got to me a little bit” 

Thanks to Bobby Seymour for joining us with the interview, and best of luck with your career moving forward. 

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Daily Headlines: Michigan gets 2nd LB Commit in 2 days with entertaining commit video

Just yesterday, Michigan got the welcome news of linebacker Junior Colsen’s commitment, and they got a double dosage of good news on Memorial Day, with linebacker/athlete Jaydon Hood announcing his intentions to don the maize and blue. The Wolverines have been producing NFL-talent at linebacker, and that prowess is showing with these recent commitments. Hood, a four-star commit out of Florida, was seriously pursued by several teams, including Louisville, Virginia Tech, Miami, West Virginia, and others. However, he ultimately joins Colsen in Ann Arbor, and he released his decision in entertaining fashion – featuring some impressive (?) gymnastics from the Michigan coaching staff.

The video was entertaining, but Michigan fans will also certainly enjoy the highlights of Hood terrorizing opposing offensive lines, as he will look to do the same in the Big 10, with Michigan’s pursuit of conference supremacy an ongoing struggle.

Terrance Ferguson narrows list to 5

Recruiting was a little slow over Memorial Day Weekend, but on of the best tight ends in the 2021 class narrowed his official list to five schools, spread over three conferences. Auburn, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oregon, and USC remain in play for Terrance Ferguson’s services. The Colorado product did not leave any in-state schools on his list. Oregon and Wisconsin are considered slight favorites, but it’s been tough to get a read on Ferguson, who hasn’t taken an official visit to any of these schools. He took multiple visits to Colorado, and visited LSU, Georgia, and Arkansas, but he ultimately left all of those teams off his list. Ferguson is the seventh-ranked tight end in the 2021 class, and he has the athleticism to play wide receiver too – he’ll be a great pick-up for whoever can secure the Colorado talent.

MLB Draft Feature: Parker Chavers, OF, Coastal Carolina

As far as pure tools go, Parker Chavers is one of the top college prospects available in the 2020 MLB Draft, but as a projected third or fourth-round pick, somebody is going to be getting a lot of upside in the Coastal Carolina outfielder. Chavers has consistently put up solid numbers, both with the Chanticleers and in the Cape Cod League. As a freshman, he led the team with a .323 average, making sixty starts, and appearing in 62 games.
He was named a freshman All-American by various publications, blasting seven home runs, knocking in 42 runs, while putting up a .442 on-base percentage in conference play. He was the most decorated freshman in Coastal Carolina history. His numbers were largely better in his sophomore campaign, as he knocked his way to a .315 average, fifteen long balls, and 54 RBI. The speedy outfielder also legged out four triples and nine doubles, along with 19 stolen bases over two seasons. Prospect Live ranked Chavers as the third-best prospect in the Cape this past summer, as he hit .270 with 5 HR and 3 SB. 

Chavers projects as a high-upside outfield prospect with the tools to put up 20/20 seasons, although some scouts have expressed concern about his strikeouts (101 in 426 career at-bats). He does swing and miss a lot, but trading strikeouts for power is the name of the game in the modern MLB, and Chavers certainly has the speed and the power – if he can season his game a little bit, the Coastal Carolina star could find his spot in the pros. Defensively, Chavers has the arm to play anywhere in the outfield, but general reviews of his play suggest he needs to hone his outfield instincts if he is to remain in center field past the collegiate level. Regardless, as the 108th-ranked prospect on MLB.com’s Top 200, Chavers figures to slot into the third or fourth round, so the upside that he brings will make him well worth the pick. 

Prediction: Round 4, Pick 104, Miami Marlins
The Marlins aren’t going anywhere particularly soon, so for them, getting maximum value at with every pick of their draft is very important. Chavers provides them really solid value late in the draft here, and at early in the fourth round, there’s a decent chance he’s still available. Miami’s got no real franchise players they seem to be building around, so they’re still a few years away from competing, which could fit in nicely with Chavers’ timeline to become a contributor at the major league level.

College Kids Talking College Sports Way-Too-Early Power Rankings

Keep your fingers crossed, but we are now under 100 days until the scheduled start of the college football season, so 7 members of our team each cast a ballot for the top 10 teams heading into 2020. Here are the rankings, along with two honorable mentions that got multiple votes, but didn’t quite crack the official rankings. As always, feel free to contact us at collegetalking@gmail.com to present your take.

Honorable Mention (Received multiple top-10 votes)

  • Texas
  • Notre Dame

The Rankings

10. Oregon Ducks
The Ducks lost their four-year starter in Justin Herbert, who went sixth overall in the NFL Draft, but there are still very high expectations for the reigning Pac-12 champions this year. Expect them to transition to a more ground-based offense, a system they are very comfortable with. With Penei Sewell, the best tackle in the nation, leading the charge in the trenches, Oregon should be the team to beat in the Pac-12, although the Playoff may be a bit of a longshot. 

9. Florida Gators
The Gators are a trendy pick to make it out of the SEC East, and for good reason. With Kyle Trask returning under center and a very solid defense, Florida seems just as competitive as most other teams in the conference. If they can break through and beat Georgia, then it will be their division to lose. 

8. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State very quietly put up a very impressive 11-2 campaign. A badly timed upset loss to Minnesota took them out of the Playoff conversation, as many forgot about the Nittany Lions. But they were very impressive all season, putting up stiff resistance against Ohio State, and winning the Cotton Bowl. Led by darkhorse Heisman contender Sean Clifford, Penn State is clearly the second-best team in the Big 10 West, and if they pull a shocker against the Buckeyes, this team could find themselves knocking at the door of the College Football Playoff. 

7. LSU Tigers
They may have been the best team in college football history last year (we’ll discuss that debate another time), but LSU lost massive amounts of production. With the largely unproven Myles Brennan taking the snaps, their top receiver and running back gone, along with their two tight ends, and a defense that lost a few of its premier playmakers, LSU has serious question marks, and despite the coaching ingenuity of Ed Orgeron, LSU may not be the team to beat in the SEC West this season. 

6. Oklahoma Sooners

Is Spencer Rattler the next in a lengthening line of great Oklahoma quarterbacks? Lincoln Riley has produced Heisman finalists in four straight seasons, so expect the Oklahoma offense to be up there with the best of them again. Their defense will be good by Big 12 standards, but as has been the question the past few years, is a good Big 12 defense able to compete against the SEC or other major conferences. Oklahoma will be in the Playoff conversation again, as they are favorites to win a relatively weak Big 12.

5. Auburn Tigers

Auburn has arguably the best quarterback in the SEC with Bo Nix – although Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman may want to dispute that. Regardless, Nix is coming off an excellent true freshman season, and although there is reason to worry about his ability to perform away from home, Auburn also boasts a quickly-improving ground game, as well as a defense that held LSU to just 23 points last season. Only one other team held Burrow and Co. under 40 points, so the defense was legit, and with Nix gaining experience, Auburn is likely an Iron Bowl win away from competing in the SEC Championship. 

4. Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia is essentially the de facto favorite out of the SEC East, until somebody proves them otherwise. They’ve won three straight division titles, although their performance in the championship game has gotten worse each season. With Newman under center, Georgia hopes they can rebound from some devastating draft-day losses and compete for a Playoff spot again in 2020. Can Kirby Smart finally win the big one? 

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

There was a clear top-3 in our way-too-early preseason Top 25, and Alabama missed out on second by a hair. Out of seven voters, six had Alabama in the top 3, but one surprising sixth-place vote cost them a critical couple of points, relegating them to third in these rankings. Alabama no doubt lost a great college quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, but as heard in our latest episode, one can argue that Mac Jones will help lead the Tide back to their balanced/favor-run style that led to Alabama’s dynasty. With Najee Harris returning in the backfield, the Crimson Tide will be a force this season, and ready to return to the Playoff after their first-ever absence last season. 

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (1 first-place vote)
Justin Fields is a top-2 quarterback in college football for this upcoming season. He led an extremely explosive Ohio State offense last season, and much of that was due to his play under center. The loss of J.K. Dobbins hurts, but Ohio State always has plenty of talent in the backfield, so expect the Buckeyes to be there with the best of them once more. Road games against Oregon and Penn State loom large, but the Buckeyes are betting favorites for another unbeaten season and Big 10 championship.

1. Clemson Tigers (6 first-place votes)

Was it going to be anyone else? Returning Trevor Lawrence alone makes the Tigers dangerous, but when you throw in Travis Etienne, Justyn Ross, plus their usual great defense and outstanding coaching, Clemson is quite simply the clear team to beat this season. It took one of the most historic seasons of all-time by LSU for Trevor Lawrence to lose a college football game. Clemson’s toughest game is a road contest at Notre Dame, but they’re given an 87% chance to win that. The danger is that if they slip up, a one-loss ACC champion may not make it given the weak conference, but regardless, Clemson is an overwhelming favorite to be back in the Playoff this season.

Rivalry Classic: We Simulated A Series Between the Best Possible Army and Navy Rosters (1996-Present)

Last week, we kicked off our rivalry classic series with the Ohio State vs. Michigan series – this week we’re celebrating Memorial Day by checking out the Army-Navy match-up. “The only game where every player on the field would be willing to die for every person in the stands”. The Army-Navy game is one of the greatest sporting events of the year, and Navy snapped a three-game losing streak last season after dominating much of this century. Will Navy’s dominance over much of the last 20 years hold up, or can Army’s best players come together to pull the upset? 

Roster Comparison

2019 Malcolm Perry
2016 Will Worth
2015 Keenan Reynolds
1997 Chris McCoy
2018 Kelvin Hopkins Jr.
1996 Ronnie McAda
2017 Ahmad Bradshaw
Advantage: Navy. It’s not close – I’d probably take any of Navy’s four options here over Army’s best offering. Part of that is due to their system – Army’s approach utilizes their fullbacks and running backs more, while, especially recently, the quarterback has been the focal point of the Naval Academy offense, which is why you see three QBs from the past five seasons on this list. 

Wide Receivers
2017 Zach Abey
2019 C.J. Williams
2019 Keoni-Kordell Makekau
2010 Greg Jones
2015 Jamir Tillman
2001 Jeff Gaddy
1999 Omari Thompson
1998 Roderick Richardson
2009 Jameson Carter
2007 Jeremy Trimble
2003 Aaron Alexander
2019 Camden Harrison
Advantage: Navy. Abey’s inclusion is a bit of a weird one, as he was more of a quarterback with Navy, but he’s counted as a wide receiver in the simulator, and we’re not going to deny Navy a star talent. Even without Abey, their wide receivers are generally more involved than Army’s and they’re simply a deeper group. Not as much of a gaping hole between the two teams as under center, but still an edge to the Midshipmen. 

Running Back
2008 Shun White
2004 Kyle Eckel
2012 Gee Gee Greene
1996 Omar Nelson
2019 Jamale Carothers
2004 Carlton Jones
2000 Michael Wallace
2013 Terry Baggett
2011 Raymond Maples
1996 Joseph Hewitt
2012 Larry Dixon
Advantage: Army. Even without their extra running back (Navy had an extra QB), Army simply has brought in and developed more backfield talent than Navy. It’s a little bit due to the difference in systems once more, as Army delegates more of the offensive responsibility to their backs then Navy does. I think Army’s top-4 running backs here are the best four on the gridiron in this series, so this position is a big advantage for the Black Knights. 

Tight End
1997 Mark Mill
1999 Alton McCallum
2004 Jared Ulekowski
2001 Clinton Dodson
Full Disclosure, we had to bend the rules a little bit. Navy simply doesn’t use tight ends in their offense, and Mill is the only player in the last 25 years considered to primarily play the position for the Midshipmen. We had to fill out the position in order to complete the roster, we used two tight ends from different teams that had the minimum value and designated them to no playing time. So advantage to Army here, as they have McCallum, who can factor into the run game, and Ulekowski and Dodson, who both were solid contributors in the passing game during their time on campus. 


2019 Navy Defense
1996 Army Defense
Advantage: Navy

Special Teams (Kick and Punt Returns)
2007 Navy Special Teams
2006 Army Special Teams
Advantage: Army

Navy: 2001 David Hills
Army: 1996 Joseph Parker
Advantage: Navy
Navy: 2012 Pablo Beltran
Army: 2019 Zach Harding
Advantage: Army

This rivalry series, as it is many times, should be a clash of heavy run games with different play styles. Navy will likely lean on Malcolm Perry to do damage, as he did in the most recent edition of the Army-Navy game, when he accumulated over 300 rushing yards. Army will use a bevy of backs, largely from the late 90s and early 2000s to counter Perry. Navy is going with their defense from last season, while Army, like other pieces of their roster, heads back to 1996 and their 10-2 team to grab their defense, in hopes of defeating the Midshipmen in the ultimate rivalry clash. All three games, like the Army-Navy game, will be played on a neutral field, and both teams will employ a favor-run style, to try to emulate the ground-and-pound system of the military academies. Let’s get it. Credit to the WhatIf Sports Simulator for helping us run this series. 

Game 1
Navy 23 Army 6

Malcolm Perry didn’t run for 304 yards, but he was quietly efficient, rushing for 71 and passing for 90 on a 5-7 effort, while Zach Abey ran for 60 yards. Perry ran one touchdown from ten yards out with nine seconds to go in the first half to take command with a 13-3 lead at the break. C.J. Williams iced the game with a 21-yard touchdown run in the final five minutes. David Hills drilled three field goals in three attempts to account for the rest of the offense. For Army, Kelvin Hopkins ran for 68 yards, but he had to go to the air to engineer a comeback, and the Black Knights aren’t built for that. Hopkins was 8-15 for 106 yards and a pick, and as a whole, the Army rushing attack averaged just 2.7 yards per carry. Joseph Parker knocked a pair of field goals, but that was the only offense mustered by the Black Knights. Dominant effort by the Midshipmen to kick off the rivalry classic. 

Game 2
Army 20 Navy 13
We’ve got ourselves a series! Army engineered a stunning late-game comeback to force Game 3. For three quarters, it looked like Navy would simply finish off a series sweep with dominating defense, as they led 13-3 heading into the fourth quarter, on the strength of a pair of field goals from Hills and a 24-yard run by Perry, who totaled 249 all-purpose yards, 129 of which came with his legs. However, the fourth quarter belonged to Army. Hopkins flipped a short pass to Carlton Jones, who raced 86 yards for a 1st & Goal, and, despite needing all four plays, the Black Knights punched it in behind a 2-yard run from tight end Alton McCallum. Army would get the ball back with 4:50 to play. Feeling the need to pass the ball a little bit, Army brought in 1996 quarterback Ronnie McCada, who did his job by going 2-2 for 21 yards. With 1:40 to go, Jones ran it the final 33 yards for a 17-13 lead. Navy couldn’t gain a first down, and Army took a few knees, kicking a field goal in the final five seconds to solidify the result. 

Game 3
Army 16 Navy 13
4th quarter magic baby – it’s what the Black Knights were made of in this series. Once again, Army failed to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter, but their defense kept it close, and a final surge brought them to a Game 3 victory. Hopkins was solid all day, going 10-14 for 119 yards, while Perry finally looked rattled under center, going just 2-6 with a pick. The Navy rushing offense was solid, with Perry going for 72 yards, Abey churning out 41, and Kyle Eckel picking his way for 38, but it wasn’t enough for the Midshipmen. Army got 167 yards on the ground from Jones, and McCallum and Michael Wallace combined for 110 yards. Navy had a 13-6 lead at halftime, courtesy of Eckel’s 5-yard touchdown run, and a pair of field goals from Hills, including a 56-yarder as the first half clock expired.
McCallum’s 41-yard run on a reverse set the Black Knights up for a 33-yard field goal with a touch under eight minutes to go. Navy ticked two-and-a-half minutes off the clock, but Army needed 43 seconds to score, as Wallace broke off a 14-yard run, and Jones burst 62 yards for a 16-13 Army lead. Navy faced a 4th and 5, and they elected to trust their defense and punt. Army grinded out two first downs, including a third down conversion, to ice the game. 

Navy may have dominated the individual results over the past 20 years or so (sans Army’s recent 3-year winning streak), but Army gets the bragging rights in a thrilling three-game rivalry classic. Cue the Alma Mater  – Army sings second. 

The singing of the alma maters is a timeless tradition to end the Army-Navy game

Daily Headlines: Ohio State Boosts #1 Recruiting Class with 4-star Cornerback

Ohio State continues to build a monster 2021 recruiting class, picking up four-star cornerback Denzel Burke’s commitment on Sunday. Burke is ranked 262 in the ESPN top-300 prospects, making him a stunning 16th commit to the Buckeyes out of that group. That’s by far the most of any team so far in the 2021 class. Burke had cut his last down to Ohio State and four Pac-12 schools – Colorado was thought to be a potential destination for the Arizona product, but ultimately, Burke elects to head for the three-time defending Big 10 champions. The Buckeyes most recently saw stud cornerback Jeff Okudah drafted third overall, and Damon Arnette picked nineteenth, so they are a great destination for top-10 cornerbacks like Burke with NFL aspirations. Burke is the 19th overall commitment for Ohio State’s #1 ranked recruiting class. 

Michigan picks up big linebacker commit

Michigan also made waves on the recruiting trail on Sunday, bringing in Junior Colsen, one of the top linebackers in the 2021 class. ESPN has Colsen at 184 in their top-300 but Rivals.com is very high on the four-star Tennessee product, ranking him in their top 100 prospects. Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, and Oregon were also players in Colson’s recruitment. For the Vols, who made a late charge in an effort to secure Colsen’s services, it’s tough to see such an elite in-state talent elude their grasp, but they’ve been dominating the recruiting front recently, so they have plenty of other options. Meanwhile, Michigan lands one of their priority targets of the 2021 class, as Colsen becomes their third-best prospect according to ESPN’s rankings. The Wolverines have had a lot of success producing linebackers in recent years, with Josh Uche being a second-round draft pick and one of three Michigan LBs to head to the NFL, while Devin Bush Jr. was the tenth overall pick in 2019, so Colsen will hope to become next Michigan stud at linebacker.