World Cup ‘They have the quality’ – Deschamps backing France’s rising stars to shine at World Cup Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 23:23 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) World Cup France Kylian Mbappé Ousmane Dembélé France v Australia Australia Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe may have no tournament experience, but Deschamps has faith in his France youngsters. Didier Deschamps is happy to throw France’s rising stars in at the deep end as they prepare to begin their World Cup campaign on Saturday.Having fallen at the final hurdle at Euro 2016 on home soil, losing to a late extra-time goal from Portugal, Les Bleus will hope to go one better in Russia with a squad that includes a number of fresh faces.Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe did not feature two years ago, though the attacking duo’s lack of tournament experience did not stop them from being included in the 23-man party. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Both could feature in the Group C opener against Australia – and Deschamps has no concerns about his younger players coping under pressure.”It’s not a risk because those young players are there in the 23, you know that,” he told the media. “Many haven’t played in a World Cup or European Championships, but if I’ve selected them then I think they’re good for the team.”It’s not taking risks – they are here because they have the quality to be here.”Final tune-ups are underway in Kazan! #FiersdetreBleus #FRAAUS pic.twitter.com/K1kFawqARi — French Team (@FrenchTeam) June 15, 2018 Deschamps was a World Cup winner as a player, lifting the trophy as captain in Paris after a crushing 3-0 final win over Brazil in 1998.France are seen as leading contenders again this year, though their manager has downplayed expectations and is only focused on getting out of a group that also includes Denmark and Peru.”First, we have to win the first group game. We know in recent history we only went twice in to the last 16,” Deschamps said.”We know the difficulty despite what some say. We start with a lot of determination, a lot of enthusiasm, but also the necessary humility.”
They’re the ones we love to hate, the ones who cop our abuse, our dissent, our frustration and just occasionally, our gratitude. But, if the tables are turned, there’s the travel, the people, the fitness and the enjoyment, that make refereeing a great pastime and career. Rick Borg is Australia and the World’s number one touch football referee and he is a firm believer that refereeing is something for all touch lovers to consider becoming involved with. Rick admits he more or less fell into refereeing because the local competition he was playing in was suffering from a shortage of referees. Touch refereeing has been a dream for Rick, who has travelled the world as a referee and made many good friends throughout his career. “I have many great mates, which I have made purely through my involvement in touch. The places I have been I could only have dreamed of, but I can honestly say if it were not for my involvement in touch they would have remained just that- a dream. It’s been both an enjoyable and rewarding career for me,” he says. Rick’s hard work and dedication throughout his rise in touch refereeing was rewarded in 1995 when he rose to the position of World’s Number one Touch Referee, a position he has held firmly for the past 9 years. Throughout his career he has 70 test caps or his country, consisting of 46 World Cup appearances, 21 tests and 3 other internationals; not bad for someone who started refereeing a social competition in Mackay 20 years ago. “I guess the highlight of my career as a referee was just recently when I was inducted in to the Australian Touch Hall of Fame. I was astounded when it was announced and it still brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. It was just such a big honour for me,” says Rick. For junior touch players or students working their way through high school or university, refereeing can provide valuable part time work and the cash you so desperately need. “Certainly it can be a great part time job for teenagers. After all how often do you get paid for doing something you love? But having said that, you must also show a certain amount of commitment as well. I started at a local level and look where it has taken me – far beyond my wildest dreams,” says Rick. Like coaches, it is possible for referees to undertake training courses, working their way through accreditation levels, receiving the training to referee at higher levels and to travel for National and International events. While we encourage our children to take up playing sport for their fitness and health, to build their sense of teamwork, co-operation and sportsmanship and to boost their self-esteem, refereeing is another aspect of touch to consider. “Being a referee has certainly been a boost to my self esteem, I have a sense of confidence and achievement that I would not have experienced if were not for touch refereeing,” says Rick. “I also feel I have gained a lot of respect from fellow referees as well as players. But probably most importantly it has taught me how to be a team player. The skills I will walk away with at the end of my touch career far outweighs anything I would have thought possible,” he says. By Rachel Moyle
In other WA news, Karratha claimed their sixth straight North West Championship title in the Touch Football outpost of Broome on the June long weekend. The Hedland Touch Association sent four teams to Broome, with their top side well prepared for the challenge of stealing the North West crown from Karratha, and it showed in results on Saturday that these two were shaping as the teams to beat during the tournament.Both teams won round games convincingly on the Saturday, while Tom Price 1 had a shock draw against Hedland 2, and Broome 1 scored twice in the dying stages against Karratha 2 to win 6-5. Meanwhile, Karratha 1 and Hedland 1 powered into Sunday with more strong wins.Karratha started the final with a flurry of touchdowns, and quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Men’s tournament MVP Naps Levi, and captain-coach Lincoln Tavo helped Hedland settle into the match, but the international experience of Brian Fitzroy, along with former NTL rep Tobie Burnnand and WA 18’s player Carolyn Levien. But it was to be Karratha’s day – 6-4 sealing their sixth straight North West Championship. In news out of WA, the Western Australia Board of Management met on the weekend and granted affiliate status to a new Touch Football Club, United Touch. The club is set to run in Perth on Friday nights, which is the only night not occupied by a club in the metro area. Excellent news! In the NRL tipping competition Kiwi Mongrel is proving hard to catch, maintaining his number one ranking, as is ‘jjj’ in the AFL ladder. With plenty of matches to go however, anything can happen! The South East Queensland Touch League kicked off last Friday night, with over 600 players set to take part in this year’s Mens and Womens Open competition. For the full wrap of the first night of competition, see the TFA website this afternoon. Socceroo fever is taking over and to follow the name trend, TFA are looking for suggestions for a team name for the sides heading to the World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Some suggestions have already been the Bilbies, Emus, Numbats, Wallaroos…if you think you have a better suggestion, send it to email@example.com The online survey for the Fox TV package is closing on Friday 17 June. To take part in the survey you’ll need to subscribe to the front page of the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. TFA will be releasing the survey for the final time tomorrow, so make sure you subscribe today if you want to take part. TFA is calling for Youth Coaches for the Australian Junior Teams, check out all the info in the following story: TFA CALLS FOR YOUTH COACHESAround 40 teams gathered in Townsville over the weekend for the North Queensland Touch Championships. Teams traveled from as far north as Weipa and Thursday Island, west to Mt Isa and south to Mackay. A full wrap will be available on the TFA website this afternoon. Welcome to the mid-week edition of Sixty Seconds in Touch, I’m sorry for the delay in this week’s news update, I’ve enjoyed a couple of days break but I’m back with a mountain of news in Touch from around Australia… The ACT and Victorian Touch sides are set to battle it out this Sunday at the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders game at Olympic Park. So make sure you’re there to see Touch take centre stage between 1:25pm and 1:55pm on Sunday June 18 at Olympic Park, it’s a great opportunity to promote our sport. Queensland Touch and Sandstorm Beach Club co-launched the Queensland Touch State of Origin Campaign and the Sandstorm Beach Touch competition last Friday. Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Cook (Beach Volleyball) is also the director of Sandstorm and worked hard to promote the two events together with the Queensland Touch staff. For the full wrap of the day’s action and also the one on one interviews with Natalie Cook and Womens Open Captain Sharyn Williams, check out the TFA website this afternoon. Another new affiliate that recently kicked off in Victoria, Parkville Touch, are enjoying some good publicity on their first competition, To read the story printed in their local newspaper, click here: PARKVILLE TOUCH KICKS OFF ESUS Touch Shoes have started to sell with the National Training Squad set to be fitted at their upcoming camp. If you are interested in buying a pair of shoes you can call the TFA office on 1800 654 951 and you can visit the story on the ESUS shoes here: ESUS SHOES Wallsend Touch in NSW are holding a 25th Anniversary Ball for all past and present players, volunteers, referees and administrators. For all the details check out www.nswtouch.com.au To place an order for a copy of the NTL package shown on Fox Sports or the raw footage of the Mens, Womens or Mixed Open finals, just ring 1800 654 951 and speak to Rachel or email email@example.com. The Fox Package is just $20, while the raw footage is $30. For players, coaches and referees the raw footage is great training material as it includes the commentary from the referees during the games. TFA are updating the AusTouch website which will be ready soon for viewing. It will be full of new information and resources for anyone interested in the AusTouch program.
TFA would like to welcome two new members to our board, Peter Rooney and Paul Eggers.To read the profiles of our new and existing board members please click here.
New South Wales Combined High Schools are on track to make it a hat-trick of X-Blades National Youth Championship girls titles after the tournament favourites completely dominated their rivals on day one of the competition.The Brooke Playford-coached side won all three of their Pool A games, and have an impressive for and against record of 46.NSWCHS started their day with a 14-0 thumping of Touch New Zealand under 15s.They followed it up with an even bigger win against Victoria, 19-0, and defeated Brisbane City Cobras 13-2.But the two-time defending champions aren’t alone on top of the girls Pool A ladder.South West Queensland Swans have also collected maximum points from their opening three matches, albeit in much harder circumstances than NSWCHS.The Swans had an easy 11-2 victory first up against Victoria but followed with two very gutsy and determined wins in their next two matches.They were pushed all the way by their Queensland rivals, the Cobras 4-3 and Sunshine Coast Pineapples 3-2.NSW Combined Independent Schools sit in outright third on 10 points following nail-biting wins over Sunshine Coast and Western Tigers.Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline in their first match against NSWCHS, the New Zealand under 15s enjoyed two wins on the opening day – 7-6 over Western Tigers and 7-3 over Victoria.The New Zealand teams aren’t awarded points because they are an invitational team.Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges lead the way in Pool B after the two won all their games.QSST were too good for NSW Touch Association Development (10-2), Central Queensland Bulls ( 11-2) and South Australia Heat (10-0).NSWCCC won against Tasmania (14-1), NSWTA Development (5-3) and ACT Pirates (4-0).The Bulls are third and a host of teams are in equal fourth spot on six points.Tomorrow matches at 9.50am.For more information on the NYC, check out these websites:NYC – www.nyc.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auOr follow us on Twitter or on our Facebook page.Related LinksNSWCHS on track for hat-trick
Silva tweet provokes questions from FA to Man Cityby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe Football Association has written to Manchester City to ask the club for its response to a tweet sent by midfielder Bernardo Silva, reports BBC Sport.Silva compared City team-mate Benjamin Mendy to the character on the packet of Conguitos – a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal.The anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out had earlier called on the FA to act after the governing body confirmed it was investigating.Manchester City declined to comment.”We are extremely disappointed to see the tweet posted by Bernardo Silva,” said the anti-discrimination body.The post was published at 12:44 BST on Sunday but was deleted at 13:30.Bernardo then tweeted: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days.”France defender Mendy and Silva are close friends and played together at Monaco before both joined City in 2017. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say
Man boss Solskjaer delighted with new-look defenceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he’s happy with their defending.Solskjaer has come under growing pressure following United’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham and their Carabao Cup shootout win against Rochdale, but dismissed the criticism.“We’re focused on what we have to do and that’s to keep improving,” said Solskjaer.“I never said it was gonna be easy this season, there are gonna be ups and downs, highs and lows, and when we lose a game we have to trust ourselves and what we’re doing, keep the eyes on the prize and keep to the principles we believe in.“You can see how much we’ve improved defensively, that’s where we put the big money in with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.“We don’t concede many chances, concede too many goals, but the other way going forward is where we’ve struggled with injuries, to Paul, Anthony, Marcus.“We’ve had some bad luck in that respect and it doesn’t help when you lose players.“It’s a team improving, evolving, a young team, the culture is there see every single day in training.“There are no issues with attitudes, work rate and desire, now [it’s a case of] can we trust ourselves?“You can see against Astana and Rochdale they want to impress, do well, but maybe they rush their finish at times.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Neville raps giggling Everton goalkeeper Pickfordby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Gary Neville rapped Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for a reaction during defeat to Manchester City.Pickford appeared to giggle when almost gifting City a goal in defeat at Goodison Park.Neville, 44, expressed his feelings on Pickford’s puzzling reaction. “Why is Jordan Pickford laughing? I don’t know what’s funny. It’s not funny,” he said. “He should have saved the second goal and nearly cost his team a fourth.”Saturday’s defeat made it three losses on the bounce for Marco Silva’s men following their disappointing results against Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Lautaro Martinez says Inter Milan need to step up standards after Juventus defeatby Carlos Volcano18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez says they need to step up standards after defeat to Juventus.Martinez hit his second goal in as many games but it was a second consecutive loss for the Nerazzurri. The Argentine spoke to Inter TV following the match: “The truth is that we played how we prepared for the game in the first half,” he began by saying. “After they took the lead, we worked in the way that we had set. In the second half, something changed. We struggled and unfortunately, they found the goal at the end and we couldn’t get an equaliser.“When we’re all back together after international duty, we’ll talk about this match. If we want to play at the level of these times, we have a lot more work to do. Everyone who plays whether they start or come on must give their best. This is how to grow as a group.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Karembeu: Ribery Fiorentina success no surprise to meby Carlos Volcano15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Sampdoria star Christian Karembeu is happy seeing Franck Ribery at Fiorentina.Ribery has starred since his summer arrival from Bayern Munich.Karembeu told TMW: “What he’s doing at Fiorentina doesn’t surprise me. “We wanted him at Olympiacos (Karembeu is their sports director) but chose Fiorentina. “Franck is a champion and will still make the difference in Italy.”He added: “In the meantime, Serie A has become attractive again, almost like when I was playing.”
georgia tech rushes fieldIt’s party time in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Tech, after a field goal block returned for a touchdown as time expired, knocked off No. 9 Florida State at home Saturday 22-16 in front of a raucous crowd. Yellow Jackets fans rushed the field in celebration immediately following the crazy play. Check it out:Miracle on North Ave – Part 2. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/2JwgjXEQt3— Lauren Rupert (@lauren_rupert) October 25, 2015Here’s the scene from Georgia Tech pic.twitter.com/ZM4XV9UVoF— Brendan Sonnone (@osfsu) October 25, 2015First part of any game I see on our new 55 smart tv is fsu losing to Georgia tech! Great day to be a Gator! pic.twitter.com/DoonW1yDxE— Matthew Carlsen (@mrc8809) October 25, 2015THAT JUST HAPPENED!!! #FSUvsGT pic.twitter.com/5J2qmtO3mk— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 25, 2015Way to swarm, Yellow Jackets! pic.twitter.com/rntVIb7LjP— Georgia Tech (@GeorgiaTech) October 25, 2015Georgia Tech is now 3-5 on the season, but this one has to feel good for the team’s fans.
Rio Ferdinand singled out Chelsea midfielder Jorginho for savage criticism after the Blues went down to Arsenal’s in Saturday’s Champions League six-pointer. Maurizio Sarri’s men could have extended their lead over the Gunners to nine points with victory at the Emirates Stadium. Instead, the current occupants of the all-important fourth Champions League spot saw their advantage cut to three as they went down 2-0 in a disappointing performance . Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring early on, before Laurent Koscielny hit the second with a deflected finish towards the end of half-time. Chelsea’s attacking deficiencies, meanwhile, were again exposed as they mustered a solitary shot on target at Bernd Leno over the 90 minutes. Blues fans will be hoping the imminent arrival of Gonzalo Higuain bolsters the side on that front – but Ferdinand believes their woes start further down the pitch. “Jorginho is someone who sets the tempo of the game. You get the ball to him through the middle third of the pitch, he’s very good,” he fired to BT Sport. “How many assists has he got this season? Around 2000 passes, no assists.❌ No assists❌ Can’t run❌ Not a great defender @rioferdy5 doesn’t hold back when talking about Chelsea’s Jorginho… pic.twitter.com/VSNwMgAIAa — Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) 19 de enero de 2019 “He’s not a great defender. Once again, in a game like this against a big team, he gets overrun in midfield.“He can’t run.“So, he doesn’t give you anything defensively, and he doesn’t give you anything at the other end of the pitch.”Chelsea will have the chance to bounce back in two successive cup ties, as their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at home to Tottenham (where they will try to overturn a one-goal deficit) is followed by an FA Cup date against Sheffield Wednesday. The Blues are back in action in the Premier League on January 30 away to Bournemouth, where with both Arsenal and Manchester United both breathing down their neck only win will be sufficient to keep their Champions League hopes on track. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Football is back! College football Week 1 is right around the corner, with games running from Thursday all the way through Monday night.Each year, our staff competes for the best record in our game picks throughout the season.Every week, we will pick the winner of every game that involved a Power Five program or another ranked team, all the way through to bowl season.Things have been pretty tight the last few years, with the contest coming down to just a few games separating the top pickers.This week, we feature picks from Matt Lombardi, Andrew Holleran, Dan Lyons, Matt Hladik, Steve Driscoll, and Andrew McCarty.There are 57 different match-ups on deck for Week 1 of the season. Only four featured two ranked teams, so we’ll have to wait for more prominent match-ups.The first seven games on the list will be played on Thursday night, and the next six on Friday. LSU vs. Miami is on Sunday, and Virginia Tech at Florida State is Monday.It is a full long weekend of football, so get ready everyone.(*On mobile, our College Football Week 1 picks are best viewed in landscape mode.) GameLombardiHolleranLyonsHladikDriscollMcCarty21 UCF at UConnNew Mexico State at MinnesotaNorthwestern at PurdueWake Forest at TulaneMissouri State at Oklahoma StateWeber State at UtahNorthwestern State vs. Texas A&MSyracuse at Western MichiganUtah State at 11 Michigan StateArmy at DukeWestern Kentucky at 4 WisconsinSan Diego State at 13 StanfordColorado vs. Colorado StateOregon State at 5 Ohio StateFAU at 7 OklahomaSouthern at 16 TCU23 Texas at MarylandKent State at IllinoisTexas State at RutgersCoastal Carolina at South CarolinaOle Miss vs. Texas TechJames Madison at NC StateFurman at 2 ClemsonAlcorn State at Georgia TechUMass at Boston CollegeAustin Peay at 3 Georgia6 Washington vs. 9 AuburnAppalachian State at 10 Penn StateTennessee vs. 17 West VirginiaAlbany at PittsburghCentral Michigan at Kentucky Northern Illinois at IowaWashington State at WyomingUNLV at 15 USCNorth Carolina at CalUT Martin at MissouriEastern Illinois at Arkansas22 Boise State at TroyRichmond at Virginia Cincinnati at UCLAIndiana at FIUNicholls at KansasSouth Dakota at Kansas State14 Michigan at 12 Notre DameStephen F. Austin at 18 Mississippi StateCharleston Southern at FloridaMiddle Tennessee at VanderbiltLouisville vs. 1 AlabamaBowling Green at 24 OregonAkron at NebraskaAbilene Christian at BaylorSouth Dakota State at Iowa StateUTSA at Arizona StateBYU at Arizona8 Miami vs. 25 LSU20 Virginia Tech at 19 Florida StateSeason Record0-00-00-00-00-00-0
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 31: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a touchdown against the Washington Huskies during the 2016 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Jalen Hurts remains a major part of Alabama’s football program, but with Nick Saban naming Tua Tagovailoa the team’s starting quarterback, there are now questions about Hurts’ future in Tuscaloosa, Ala.“I think everybody knows that Tua’s going to start this game, and we’re going to use Jalen’s skill set in the future to help however we feel that he can benefit the team,” Saban said on Monday.“And I just want to be clear with everyone that I have done this in the past where we don’t say who the starter’s going to be for the first game, and we give both quarterbacks an opportunity to play in the game, which is exactly what we did in this game. Not a whole lot different than what we’ve done in the past, aight. So, now we know and you know.”Hurts has helped Alabama make multiple national title games and has won the Crimson Tide a ton of games, but this appears to be Tua’s team now.Where does this leave Hurts?Redshirting the 2018 season, graduating this winter and then transferring elsewhere to play immediately in 2019 is now an option.One college football analyst has named four schools potential options.“Possible destinations for Jalen Hurts: Texas – Texas native and would thrive in that offense Auburn – great scheme fit and the ultimate anti-bama move Miami – Might be a QB away from the playoff Oklahoma – Will be replacing Murray and loves transfers.”Possible destinations for Jalen Hurts:Texas – Texas native and would thrive in that offenseAuburn – great scheme fit and the ultimate anti-bama moveMiami – Might be a QB away from the playoffOklahoma – Will be replacing Murray and loves transfers— Mello (@melloesquire) September 8, 2018Tim Tebow speculated on Friday that Auburn could be an option for Hurts, too.(Finebaum just deleted the Tweet in which Tim Tebow speculates recklessly about Jalen Hurts transferring to Auburn. Hmm.)— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 7, 2018Alabama, meanwhile, is set to take on Arkansas State this afternoon. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. E.T. on ESPN2.
BLOOMINGTON, IN – OCTOBER 14: Indiana Hoosiers cheerleaders perform during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)It’s one of the best weekends for college football, as rivalries are renewed around the nation. While the majority of these games will feature fantastic crowds, it’s clear that fans of the Indiana Hoosiers didn’t have much interest in today’s matchup.With both Indiana and Purdue battling for bowl eligibility, it’d be logical to think that Memorial Stadium in Bloomington would be rocking. Unfortunately, it appears half the stadium will be empty for this showdown.Despite the opportunity to watch the Hoosiers win the Old Oaken Bucket from the Boilermakers, it’ll be a rather quiet game for Indiana.This photo of the embarrassing crowd is going viral on Twitter:Electric atmosphere at Memorial Stadium for the Old Oaken Bucket game. In 49 states it’s just a game… but this is Indiana. pic.twitter.com/FzBqpJDQVB— Mike DeFabo (@MikeDeFabo) November 24, 2018Perhaps the attendance will rise as the game continues, but this is still disappointing to see.With the college basketball season in full swing, maybe fans are putting an emphasis on that sport instead.Purdue and Indiana are currently scoreless in the first quarter. The game is on ESPN2.
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)The Iowa Hawkeyes have gained a reputation for producing top-quality tight ends. From NFL stars like Dallas Clark, George Kittle, Marv Cook, and Jonathan Hayes, to acting-US attorney general Matthew Whitaker, Iowa has been a factory for tight ends for decades. Now, it looks like another Iowa TE is making his way to the NFL ranks.On Friday morning, junior TE Noah Fant announced that he would be leaving Iowa to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. He thanked all of his coaches, teammates, and Hawkeye Nation for supporting him in his college career.Fant led the Hawkeyes in receiving touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He had seven TDs in 2018, and 11 TDs in 2017.According to the Omaha World-Herald, Fant will not be playing in Iowa’s upcoming bowl game.Thank you Hawkeye Nation!!!! It truly has been my pleasure!!!! #GoHawks pic.twitter.com/Ee1y1uuMZN— Noah Fant (@nrfant) November 30, 2018Fant was also second on the team in receiving yards in each of the last two years. He totaled over 1,000 yards on 69 receptions in that span.Earlier this year, Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller called Fant the No. 1 TE in the 2019 NFL Draft class.Fant’s odds of getting drafted are also supported by history. 13 Iowa TEs have been drafted since 1985.
BATON ROUGE, LA – NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers looks on as his team takes on the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Tiger Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)Ed Orgeron is reportedly set to receive a new contract as the head coach of LSU’s football program.The Tigers are reportedly set to give Coach O a contract extension following his 2018 season.LSU had a promising 2018 season, going 10-3 with a win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl to end the year.NOLA.com is reporting that LSU is set to give Orgeron a contract extension.LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron will receive a contract extension, a LSU senior official confirmed to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on Wednesday afternoon.The official said the details of the contract extension are being finalized.Orgeron’s current contract, which guarantees him $3.5 million annually, runs through 2021.Orgeron has been LSU’s head coach since midway through the 2016 season. He’s gone 25-9 as the Tigers’ head coach. LSU went 6-2 in his first season, 9-4 in 2017 and 10-3 this past season.The Tigers bring back several key players for the 2019 season, including quarterback Joe Burrow.ESPN has LSU ranked No. 10 in its way-too-early preseason top 25 poll for the 2019 season.LSU has several big games set for 2019, including a road non-conference trip to Texas and conference contests against Auburn and Alabama.
STARKVILLE MS -OCTOBER 10: General view of Davis Wade Stadium during the game between Troy and Mississippi State on October 10, 2015, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons was projected to be a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. However, Simmons suffered a torn left ACL during training this past weekend, putting that status in doubt.Simmons said he will undergo surgery next week. His injury occurred while he was participating in positional drills during a workout.Simmons is obviously out for the upcoming NFL combine, and his draft stock will drop. Still, he seems to be handling the situation well.He released a lengthy statement about his injury on Twitter this afternoon.“I just want everyone to know that no matter what, God makes no mistakes. He is preparing me for GREATER things ahead! He has shown me so much in my life these last couple of years and is the time for me to NOT give up! I will undergo surgery early next week and then begin the rehab process. I am going to come back stronger and more determined than ever. If it is in God’s will, no matter which team drafts me this April, I will work extremely hard to get healthy and become a leader in that organization.”pic.twitter.com/0NAzPv0bvY— Jeffery Simmons (@GrindSimmons94) February 12, 2019The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Simmons recorded 63 tackles (18 for loss) and two sacks this season.For his career, he racked up more than 160 tackles and seven sacks.Simmons had been ranked No. 13 on Mel Kiper’s latest Big Board for the 2019 draft.
Here’s what he had to say, via DawgNation:“We’ve got full expectations that everybody will be there in the summer to practice, to compete. All of those guys are finishing up, right now they’re in their finals depending on what state they’re in or where they are. I know they’re looking forward to getting into our place and start working.”“And that’s an accomplishment. As everybody in this room knows, academically at Georgia, it’s an unbelievable place. It’s unbelievably competitive. When you look at the average student coming in with a 32 ACT, a 1,300 SAT, a 4.1 GPA, you know when you walk into the classroom you’ve got to be at the top of your game. And that goes for our players, too.”It’s great news for Georgia fans who want to see a complete team take the field in 2019.After ending the 2018 season on a low note, Kirby Smart and company will be at full strength headed into the new campaign. AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks the field prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Georgia football coach Kirby Smart shared great news with a crowd of fans this week.According to Smart, all returning players have made their grades and will be eligible for the upcoming football season.There were specific concerns about 5-star wide receiver George Pickens.Although Smart didn’t individually address Pickens, he did say he expects every 2019 recruit who signed early to show up and be eligible when they arrive this summer.