Former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight is on a mission to make an NFL roster, and he's hoping the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football will help him get there.,Other league venues will be Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) for the Legends, Legion Field for the Iron, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for the Express, Spectrum Stadium (University of Central Florida) for the Apollos, Rice-Eccles Stadium (University of Utah) for the Stallions, the Alamodome (University Texas-San Antonio) for the Commanders and SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium) for the Fleet.,The AAF features several well-known coaches, including Steve Spurrier (Orlando), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Mike Riley (San Antonio) and Mike Martz (San Diego), in addition to Neuheisel.,Despite an impressive showing at the NFL Combine two years ago � where he finished first among quarterbacks in the vertical jump (35.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches) and the 40-yard dash (4.54 seconds) � Knight was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.,In addition to local stations, TNT will broadcast two games per season (one regular season and a playoff game) and the NFL Network will air two weekly games.
The traditional signing day Wednesday merely padded Oregon's already stellar recruiting class, the best in school history.,GETTING DEFENSIVE: Washington capped its recruiting class by landing two of the top defensive players on the West Coast.,Washington had seemed to be the favorite for Heimuli for most of the recruiting period, but his Menlo-Atherton team advancing to the state title game in California impacted his ability to make a decision in time for the December signing period.,The abrupt departure of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after 34 days shook up the Trojans' recruiting class and led to the departure of receiver commit Bru McCoy, who spurned USC for Texas.,The day had an international flavor with the Utes bringing in 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni, a native of London who played last year for Garden City Community College in Kansas, and fellow 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Luke Felix-Fualalo, a former rugby player in Australia who played last year for prep powerhouse Mater Dei in California.
R.C. Slocum spent nearly three decades coaching football at Texas AM, and if the rules changed, recruiting didn't.,But money, social media and the pursuit of national glory changed recruiting in the Lone Star State, at least at Texas and AM.,For the first time in 20 years, Texas, AM and Oklahoma will finish in the top five of the 247Sports' composite recruiting rankings.,Now that recruiting budgets at Texas and AM have climbed into seven figures, it's easier for coaches to go national as well as fly recruits in for visits.,Besides 10 Texas recruits this year, he signed players from Georgia, California, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Washington D.C.
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
The Rams have broken hearts and left behind bitter fans in two different cities — in St. Louis, where the team spent 21 years, won a Super Bowl and then split town in a nasty divorce, and in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city and team’s home from 1946 to 1995, where the Rams built and lost a fan base before returning three seasons ago.,A win over the Saints on Sunday and the prospect of a football championship for Los Angeles could bring Rams fever to a boil and carve out a place for the team in the city’s crowded sports scene.,The Rams didn’t have to work quite as hard to build loyalty in St. Louis, where football-starved fans snatched up tickets early in 1995 and were rewarded four seasons later when an unknown backup quarterback named Kurt Warner and tailback Marshall Faulk turned their offense into the so-called “Greatest Show on Turf” and won a dramatic Super Bowl championship in 1999.,A couple of weeks ago, Saints coach Sean Payton hauled in the Lombardi trophy and a big stack of greenbacks to show his team what was at stake…
Tony Hernandez, a third-generation Rams fan from east of Los Angeles, said half of his uncles and many of his friends gave up on the Rams after they moved away.,Hernandez said he briefly quit watching the team during the 1995 season in protest of the move, but soon was back to watching every game and even flying to St. Louis to cheer in person.
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.
• Freshman guard Taylor Robertson continues to lead the country with 4.32 3-pointers per game and ranks fourth nationally with 56 made 3-pointers this season.,Freshman guard Taylor Robertson ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring with 17.9 points per game this season and leads the conference with 56 made 3-pointers.,Robertson and freshman Madi Williams (13.3) rank inside the top 15 in the Big 12 in points per game.,• Llanusa averaged 12.6 points per game as a freshman last season, earning Big 12 All-Freshman Team and All-Big 12 Honorable mention honors.,• Despite fouling out midway through the fourth quarter against Texas Tech, Williams finished with a double-double for the third straight game by recording 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The OU women’s gymnastics team posted the best opening weekend score in NCAA history to earn the nation’s No. 1 ranking this week.,Nine Sooners earned 24 individual national rankings this weekend, with an OU gymnast holding at least a share of the No. 1 spot on every event.,Junior Maggie Nichols holds the No. 1 spot on vault (10.0), beam (9.975) and the all-around (39.750).,Joining Nichols in the vault rankings are junior Jade Degouveia, who tied for No. 4 with a career-high 9.95 and Dowell and senior Nicole Lehrmann, who are tied for No. 7 with a 9.9.,Along with Nichols, Webb (No. 4 – 9.925) Trautman (No. 7 – 9.9), Lehrmann (No. 7 – 9.9), Dowell (No. 15 – 9.875) and sophomore Carly Woodard (No. 15 – 9.875) are all ranked on beam.
What if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had stepped off the plane in Los Angeles, instead of continuing east to Tuscaloosa, when he left high school in Hawaii?,At the end of the regular season, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart accepted the head coaching job at Georgia, which prompted blue-chip recruit Jake Fromm to flip from the Crimson Tide to the Bulldogs.,But Tagovailoa later told a Hawaiian television crew that he might have left if not for the 2018 championship game, when Alabama coach Nick Saban pulled him off the bench and he ended up leading the team to victory over Georgia with a long touchdown pass in overtime.,The way Tagovailoa quickly changed things at Alabama, taking command of an offense that had played second-fiddle to the defense, transforming it into a juggernaut that averages more than 527 yards and 47 points.,In his first season as a starter — albeit surrounded by a better team — Tagovailoa just missed winning the Heisman Trophy, passing for 3,671 yards and 41 touchdowns while limiting his interceptions to four.
Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.