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No. 1 QB, RB recruits headline visitors for #Noles spring practice, junior day

With spring practice beginning this week, the Florida State Seminoles coaching staff had last weekend off. But this week they are back at it, and that means visits from elite recruits.
It kicked off Wednesday with a visit from 2020 athlete Arian Smith, of Mulberry (Fla.). Smith is a freakish athlete, and he and his family are connected with defensive tackle coach Odell Haggins, who recruits Poly County for the Seminoles. It is hard to feel great about a school signing a non-legacy 20 months before he’s set to sign, but I like FSU’s chances. Smith is one of the elite track (long jump) athletes in the state.
Also on Wednesday was QB Taisun Phommachanh, of Avon Farms (CT). Phommachanh is considered one of the top QBs in the country, but QB recruiting is tricky this year because the position is seen as the most down it has been in years.

Report: Titans to sign Bucs guard Kevin Pamphile to one year contract

The Titans are reportedly signing Bucs guard Kevin Pamphile to a one year contract per Jenna Laine from ESPN.

Source tells me that guard/tackle Kevin Pamphile will sign a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. They really like his versatility — he’s started 33 games and can play five positions, but guard is really his carved-out position. https://t.co/K487hFLC85— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) March 22, 2018

Tennessee GM Jon Robinson knows Pamphile well. Robinson was the Bucs Director of Player Personnel in 2014 when Tampa selected him in the 5th round out of Purdue. Pamphile was considered a raw prospect at the time, having only played one season of football in high school before earning a scholarship for the Boilermakers. Here is NFL.

Texas working on replacing Poona Ford and Malik Jefferson on defense

There’s a big hole in the middle of the Texas Longhorns defense following the departures of the Big 12’s Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year.
With nose tackle Poona Ford and linebacker Malik Jefferson off to the NFL, head coach Tom Herman said on Monday that other than quarterback, finding replacements at those positions are the biggest concerns that he has with spring practice now underway.
“I would be doing Poona and his contribution to this program an injustice if I didn’t say we were concerned about replacing him,” Herman said on Tuesday. “That guy, as I told you numerous times last year, probably the hardest practicing defensive lineman I’ve ever seen since Casey Hampton.”
Ford took a big leap from his junior to his senior season, finishing with 30 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 1.

CougsFirst! Spokane is set for April 19

Two weeks ago, more than 2,000 Cougs poured into the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for the CougsFirst! trade show and afterparty, but after six years of being a Seattle-only event, the east side of the state finally gets to try its hand: The inaugural CougsFirst! Spokane show will be held on April 19 at the Davenport Grand Hotel from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
CougCenter is a proud Gray Sponsor for the event.
The event conveniently leads up to the spring game at Joe Albi Stadium on April 21.
Here’s the full news release.

After six years of successful shows in Seattle, CougsFirst! – a business network for WSU alumni and friends is coming to Spokane. The inaugural CougsFirst! Spokane Show will be held Thursday, April 19th at the Davenport Grand Hotel from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

BECU is the Show sponsor.

Michael Crabtree has higher 2018 over/under receiving yards than Jordy Nelson

Last week the Raiders essentially swapped Michael Crabtree out for former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. They gave him essentially the same salary to fill the same starting receiver spot, making both moves almost simultaneously.
The following day, the Ravens signed Crabtree to a deal that was also about the same as he was to receive from the Raiders to start for them.
The reactions I’ve seen from Raiders fans have been mixed. Some were disappointed in the move to let go of the 30-year-old Crabtree for the soon-to-be 33-year-old Nelson. And of course, others simply agree with the move the Raiders made.
So, let’s look at what the Vegas oddsmakers think.
Today, along with new Super Bowl odds, Bovada.lv put out props for several newly signed free agents, including their over/under on receiving yards for Nelson and Crabtree.

Notre Dame Football Pro Day Results

Nine former Notre Dame Fighting Irish football players gathered inside the Loftus Sports Center to work out for NFL scouts during the annual Notre Dame Pro Day.
These nine worked out in front of 58 representatives from all 32 NFL teams.

Notre Dame Football

Perhaps the biggest winner today was Josh Adams. Adams showed the speed we all knew he had, but also the quickness that we were unsure he possessed. In the running back position group, Adams’ 40 time would’ve been 5th at the combine, his 3 cone drill time would have been the fastest at the combine, and his 60 yard yard shuttle time would’ve been 2nd at the combine.
Durham Smythe also performed well in front of the scouts, and helped his position – even after a combine performance.

Malia Martinez has been ‘fabulous’ as Arizona’s new third baseman

Entering the 2018 season, the Arizona Wildcats had to find a way to replace Pac-12 all-time home run leader Katiyana Mauga at third base.
That’s no easy task — Mauga launched 25 homers and drove in 50 runs a season ago.
But Malia Martinez is quickly proving to be a capable fill-in. The sophomore is batting .405 this season with three homers, five doubles, and 16 RBIs.
“Fabulous,” said head coach Mike Candrea, who awarded Martinez the gold jersey in practice this week. “She spent her time behind Kati, has gotten an opportunity, and has swung the bat well, played good defense. Couldn’t ask for something more.”
But early on, it looked like Martinez was overwhelmed by her new role as UA’s starting third baseman. She went 1-for-14 at the plate to start the season.
Since then, however, she has been lacing the ball all over the ballpark.

Thursday Night Open Thread

Tonight’s Sweet 16 games:
(11) Loyola-Chicago vs. (7) Nevada (6:07 PM CT, CBS)
(7) Texas A&M vs. (3) Michigan (6:37 PM CT, TBS)
(9) Kansas State vs. (5) Kentucky (8:37 PM CT, CBS)
(9) Florida State vs. (4) Gonzaga (9:07 PM CT, TBS)
Personally: go Blue, go Purple, go Zags. (Either Loyola or Nevada winning is fine with me.)
On a more serious note, the UTSA Roadrunners host the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the CIT quarterfinal at 7 PM CT, which you can watch here. Yes, the CIT is a real tournament. So, too, is the CBI, which has the San Francisco Dons hosting the Campbell Fightin’ Camels at 9 PM CT, and I mostly just wanted to point out that there are teams called the Dons and the Fightin’ Camels.
Oh, and the Preds host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7. Talk whatever you want, and have fun.

Jeff Zrebiec says Michael Campanaro is not expected to return

The Baltimore Ravens quest to completely retool the wide receiver unit continues at a fast pace. After signing John Brown and Michael Crabtree, the team has reportedly expressed interest in recently released wide receiver Allen Hurns. Previously of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Baltimore has even expressed interest in the restricted free agent market, which is something they rarely do. On Thursday, the Ravens brought in restricted free agent receivers Willie Snead and Cameron Meredith for a visit in their continued search for playmakers.
When general manager Ozzie Newsome talked about reconstructing the group, it didn’t bode well for players like Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, and Michael Campanaro. Maclin was released, and now Wallace has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

2018 Packers free agency: Jordan Matthews meets with Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers’ newfound interest in free agency continued into the second week of the new league year. In addition to reportedly bringing back veteran corner Tramon Williams, the team has met with wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Matthews spent this past year with the Buffalo Bills, catching 25 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown in his lone season with the team. The Bills acquired Matthews via trade last August after sending away former No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins. Though Matthews appeared primed for a high-volume workload, he soon after fell behind in the pecking order as Buffalo acquired Kelvin Benjamin. Matthews spent the previous three years with the Philadelphia Eagles, totaling more than 800 yards in each season.

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