Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.
∫ Former Wheeling Park all-state quarterback Cross Wilkinson has received a nice honor with the University of Toledo football team.,∫ Former Linsly School hoop standout Dylan Harrison is enjoying a solid sophomore season at Ohio Valley University.,∫ Wheeling Park hoop standout Keondre King is a nominee for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American basketball game.,∫ Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. is enjoying a banner men’s basketball season under the guidance of former Wheeling Park hoopster D.P. Harris.,∫ Kudos go out to former Wheeling Park all-state point guard Kylie McKennen.
A combined five athletes currently rank in the top-10 of the all-around standings as Maggie Nichols (first), Brenna Dowell (sixth) and Anastasia Webb (seventh) represent OU, and Trinity Thomas (fourth) and Alicia Boren (10th) represent the Gators.,In 2015, OU set the school record with a 198.500, scoring better than a 49.500 on every event (49.525 on vault, 49.500 on bars, 49.750 on beam, 49.725 on floor).,CONFERENCE HONORS
Junior Maggie Nichols (Event Specialist of the Week) and sophomore Anastasia Webb (Gymnast of the Week) were each honored by the Big 12 this week for their performances at the Metroplex Challenge.,Seniors Brenna Dowell (AA), Nicole Lehrmann (VT, UB, BB) and Alex Marks (UB), juniors Jade Degouveia (VT, FX), Maggie Nichols (AA) and Bre Showers (AA), sophomores Jordan Draper (FX), Karrie Thomas (UB), Carly Woodard (BB) and Anastasia Webb (AA) and freshmen Emma LaPinta (FX), Allie Stern (VT, FX) and Olivia Trautman (VT, BB, FX) have all competed.,A GLANCE AT OKLAHOMA
For all the debate stirred by a blatant penalty that wasn't called in the closing minutes of the NFC championship game, the Rams thoroughly earned their 26-23 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.,And, finally, they came up with a huge interception in overtime to set up Greg Zuerlein's 57-yard field goal — the longest kick ever to win a playoff game.,It was the first home playoff loss for the Saints with Brees and coach Sean Payton, who had been 6-0 at the Superdome since their pairing began in 2006.,If the pass interference penalty had been called, the Saints could've run most of the time off the clock to set up a winning field goal from chip-shot range.,It was another bitter end for the Saints, who lost the previous season in the divisional round on the "Minnesota Miracle" — the Vikings' long touchdown pass on the final play of the game.
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley is undergoing a mental evaluation following an incident at a Los Angeles hotel earlier in the week.,According to TMZ Sports, police were called to the hotel by McKinley's friend, who was concerned for his wellbeing.,McKinley, 23, was apparently cooperative when police arrived on Tuesday afternoon and he was detained without criminal charges being filed.,"We were recently made aware of the situation involving Takk in Los Angeles earlier today," said Quinn.,Over the course of his first few NFL seasons, McKinley has provided Atlanta's defensive line with respectable contributions.
Sam Ficken has appeared in five games with the Rams over the last two seasons.,He has appeared in four regular-season games over the past two seasons — with the Rams as an injury replacement for Greg Zuerlein, and in Los Angeles’ playoff loss last season to Atlanta.,Ficken was cut by the Rams on Oct. 3 — a few days before Los Angeles played at Seattle, a game in which Cairo Santos kicked for the Rams — making him an immediate free agent and available to be signed now.,Ficken was cut after missing a 28-yard field goal late in the Rams’ eventual 38-31 win, after which coach Sean McVay said, according to the Los Angeles Times, “When we get a chance to go up 13 in a game that’s been back and forth, those are plays that we have to be able to make, and make them consistently.”,Seattle is likely to bring in another kicker for competition as it did last season when Seattle signed Jason Myers in January and then signed Janikowski in April.
Two years to the day after McVay became the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, he will attempt to earn his first playoff victory Saturday night when the Rams (13-3) host the Dallas Cowboys (11-6) for a trip to the NFC championship game.,LaFleur was on McVay's staff with the Rams last year, while Kingsbury is a good friend and like-minded offensive innovator.,Two of McVay's current assistant coaches — Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor and passing game coordinator Shane Waldron — also landed recent interviews for head coaching jobs.,LaFleur was a longtime quarterbacks coach until McVay hired him as his offensive coordinator in 2017.,Kingsbury is coming off three consecutive losing seasons as the head coach at Texas Tech, but he improbably landed right next to McVay in the NFC West as the Arizona Cardinals' head coach.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and No. 2 Clemson rolled No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.,NEW YORK (AP) — Texas quarterback Vince Young and Notre Dame speedster Raghib Ismail have been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 11 other players and two coaches.,The rest of the players to be enshrined in December include Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Oklahoma defensive back Rickey Dixon, John Carroll linebacker London Fletcher, Texas AM defensive lineman Jacob Green, North Carolina State receiver Torry Holt, Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer, USC defensive back Troy Polamalu, Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Florida State defensive back Terrell Buckley, Michigan State running back Lorenzo White and Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis.,NFL
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Vance Joseph was fired as coach of the Denver Broncos on Monday after back-to-back double-digit losing seasons.,Joseph met with general manager John Elway after completing a 6-10 season and was dismissed with two years and about $6 million left on his contract.,Although we decided to make this change, I believe Vance is a good football coach who has a bright future in this league,” Elway said in a statement ahead of his news conference scheduled for later Monday.,Joseph never was fully empowered to run the football team as Elway dictated many of the assistants that were hired.,Joseph acknowledged after the Broncos’ 23-9 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in which there were more than 12,000 no-shows at Mile High Stadium that an 11-21 record wasn't good enough by Broncos standards.