Recruiting news: Bulldogs grab monster QB commitment

The Mississippi State Bulldogs added two commitments on Monday, the Starkville Daily News has reported.

Floridian quarterback Cord Sandberg – noted by the News as being “top quarterback prospect on the MSU recruiting board” told the Daily News: “”I wanted to play football in the SEC. That was important to me. I know what Coach Mullen has done with other quarterbacks and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Sandberg was given a four-star rating by Yahoo Rivals and was listed as having offers from SEC rivals LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt as well as interest from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

He added: “”I am coming up to visit on the 23rd and 24th of July. I am not going to visit anywhere else. I know this is where I want to be and I am done with recruiting. I am a Bulldog now.”

But Dan Mullen wasn’t finished – he also landed Chris Jones, a defensive end from Houston (Miss.), who was considered more under-the-radar.

 

 

Recruiting: Arkansas lands top Oklahoma recruit

Arkansas has added its seventh commitment of its 2013 class, ArkansasSports360 has reported.

Khari Harding, a three-star recruit from Oklahoma ranked 12th amongst players in his position in the state by Yahoo Rivals, was heavily recruited by Indiana before decided to play for the Razorbacks.

“I just like the physicality in the SEC,” Harding told the Oklahoman. “That’s part of me, being physical and coming down and hitting.”

He said that they were on the top of his list for a while. He added: “I’ve been really interested in them. I went there and I liked the coaches, the fans, the facilities and what they’re doing around there.”

Harding was in the Top 10 of the Oklahoman’s in-state recruits.

Auburn shootings: Police dispute accusations of wrong house raid

Police raiding a house in Montgomery, Alabama where they had been tipped off that alleged shooter Desmonte Leonard was hiding in attic raided the wrong house on Monday night, Reuters has reported.

The location “turned out not to be correct,” FBI spokesman Douglas Astralaga told the news agency.

However, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said that the report was not correct. “That is not true. They did not hit the wrong house…I seriously doubt the FBI said that.”

The police are searching for Leonard after three men were killed on Saturday at some apartments near Auburn university – two of them Auburn players Ladarious Phillips and Edward Christian.

After two smoke bombs, police entered the house, but police hadn’t left with anyone, Fox News reported. And the AP reported that police were tearing up the house looking for the killer.

“We still have no explanation for what happened in the attic last night. Nothing at all,” Dawson said.

There is no further information as to how the police raided the incorrect address, as per the Reuters report.

Dawson added that Leonard was still being sought after in Montgomery. “We have no reason to believe he’s anywhere else but Montgomery, Alabama,” he told reporters.

Meanshile, two men were charged by police for hindering the search for the alleged killer. One of them, Jeremy Thomas, is out of bond before he goes on trial for the murder of a 14-year old girl last year.

Dawson also said that it was important to keep a perspective about the ‘wrong house’.  “Why are we focused on that house? We have 3 young men dead,” he said. He added: “When you’re looking for a murderer of 3 young men, it’s not a song-and-dance.”

The report from CBS said: “Police added that they thought that Leonard left before the police could arrive. Officials said it could have been 15 to 20 minutes before officers arrived and they believe he was gone before they got there. They searched the home, but found nothing.”

Murphy said police are looking for a person who reportedly dropped Leonard off at the house.

A $15,000 bounty has been placed on Leonard’s head.

Auburn Shootings: Police surround house

Police and other forces surrounded a house in Montgomery, Alabama where they had been tipped off that a man described as Desmonte Leonard was hiding in the attic on Monday night.

The police are searching for Leonard after three men were killed on Saturday at some apartments near Auburn university – two of them Auburn players

After two smoke bombs, police entered the house, but police hadn’t left with anyone, Fox News reported. And the AP reported that police were tearing up the house looking for the killer

Meanshile, two men were charged by police for hindering the search for the alleged killer. One of them, Jeremy Thomas, is out of bond before he goes on trial for the murder of a 14-year old girl last year.

A $15,000 bounty has been placed on Leonard’s head.

Auburn Shootings: Reward offered, 2 men charged

Police looking for alleged Auburn shooter Desmonte Leonard have placed a $15,000 bounty on his head for information leading to his capture, the  AJC has reported.

Leonard – who is alleged to have shot and killed three people (including two Auburn football players) and hurt three others after an argument at a pool party on Saturday when violently out of control – was seen fleeing the scene and is the No.1 suspect in the shootings.

While a major manhunt for Leonard continues (the AJC says that they believe that Leonard is currently in Montgomery, Al.), two men have been charged with hindering the police’s search for him.

One of the men is Jeremy Thomas, who fled the scene with Leonard after the shooting, which saw Ladarious Phillips, Ed Christian and Demario Pitts die. Both Phillips and Christian were former players for the Auburn Tigers. Two of the three wounded have been thankfully released from hospital, although John Robertson still lies in hospital after a gunshot wound to the head.

The AJC notes that Thomas was free on bond awaiting a murder trial for the shooting of 14-year old Takira Sada Gaston

The other man is Gabriel Thomas, who  – according to the Chronicle – was charged “after allegedly having contact with Leonard after the shooting and providing false information to officers.”

Also, it emerged that there had been a shooting incident only last April at the apartments, although thankfully no-one was killed.

 

 

 

 

McCarron, Mathieu battle it out over Twitter

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and LSU’s Heisman-nominated cornerback Tyrann Mathieu have engaged each other in a Twitter war, according to ESPN.

So you don’t have to read the report, here are the barbs for you laid out by this blog (and more):

Mathieu (@TM7_Era): try throwing a corner route or a cross country on me this year!!! i’ll be waiting!!!

McCarron (@10AJMcCarron): U can talk ab stopping something.. But actions speak louder than words. Remember that. #neworleans #14

Mathieu (now deleted): “Everybody have a good game every now and then try having a great season back 2 back 2 BACK! DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP NOT YOU”

Mathieu (now deleted): “You have 1,THE school has 14! you play your part well thanks to great coaching! but anyways we’ll talk nov 3rd!”

McCarron then tweets Kenny Bell, his wide receiver: I guess we will have to match up the real 7 with theirs. I’m taking our number all day

McCarron: Bama fans don’t talk anymore ab it. Let’s just sit back quietly and wait our turn. Y’all know the date. It’s comin. #november3rd #bamanation

A fan adds in a tweet to Bell: ole honey badger @TM7_Era getting burnt on here just like you did him in the game #roasted #done

Mathieu: highly favored in DEATH VALLEY!

Mathieu: I’m no quitter, if i lose i be back……

THE BOTTOM LINE: 1) The whole feud was actually incredibly tasteless, bearing in mind the shootings that happened over the weekend. Both players (and to be fair McCarron already did it) should be asking their teammates and thousands of ‘Twitfans’ to pray for the victims of the Auburn shootings, rather than douching it out over Twitter. That’s right, I said ‘douching’…

2)We all know how big LSU and Alabama is going to be in Death Valley on November 3rd. It’s going to be the toughest ticket in football this year, and could be a rematch between the #1 and #2 team in the nation – like it was in Tuscaloosa when LSU won 9-6 in a game high on hysteria but low on finishing product (mostly from Alabama’s kickers, it has to be said). McCarron was much more of a factor than Mathieu in the BCS Championship Game in Alabama’s 21-0 victory, showing himself off as a leader with a great arm and great temperament. 23-34 against LSU’s defense wasn’t bad, was it? . On the other hand, Mathieu – it has to be said – did very little.  Next season, expect Mathieu to see less of the ball from a returning point of view (there will be more touchbacks, which will take away LSU’s kick-off return game), as well as interceptions. Expect balls to be thrown to Eric Reid a lot more than Mathieu, who can really damage defenses.

 

 

 

 

Auburn Shootings: Manhunt continues

Police are still searching for the alleged perpetrator of the bloodbath at Auburn that killed three and injured a number of others on Saturday night.

Multiple reports say that police are hunting for Desmonte Howard, the main suspect facing a triple capital murder rap after he allegedly shot up a party after an argument about a woman. Two former Auburn players – Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips – were killed in the shootings, and party attendee Demario Pitts also lost his life. Auburn offensive linesman Eric Mack was also hurt.

According to a report from Al.com, Leonard was charged with theft and carrying a weapon without a permit or license in 2008, as well as second-degree assault in 2009.  He also also sued on Friday for child support for a daughter that it was claimed he fathered in 2011.

Gene Chizik, the Auburn Tigers coach, said in a statement about the deaths: “This is a sad, sad day for everyone associated with the entire Auburn family. I am devastated by the passing of three young men, including two that I personally knew in Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips and my heart goes out to their families. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of the victims involved in this tragic incident.
Nobody should ever have to endure such unimaginable grief, and we will love and support the victims’ families during this terribly difficult time. We have a lot of people on our football team that are hurting right now and we’re going to do everything we can to help them get through this. We are relieved that Eric Mack, who was also a victim in this incident, is expected to make a full recovery. This is a very trying time for everyone involved, and I would just ask that you lift up the victims and their families in your prayers.”

Recruiting: Alabama lands Recruit No.17

Junior College offensive lineman Leon Brown has signed for Alabama, Al.com has reported.

The lineman is Nick Saban’s 17th of the 2013 season, and hails from Asa College in Brooklyn, New York.

He told BamaOnline: “I talked to [Alabama offensive line coach] Coach Stoutland and Coach Saban and they both said they were proud about my decision and couldn’t wait to get me down there. I play left tackle- they like the way I play and feel like I have a chance to come in and contribute.”

BOTTOM LINE: At 6ft 6, he’ll be fantastic for ‘Bama’s running game, which has been one of their constants over the years. And at 6 ft 6 and 310 pounds, he could be a shoo-in for the NFL if he’s a success in Tuscaloosa.

Recruiting: Georgia grabs one recruit, loses another to USC

Georgia has beaten Georgia Tech to the commitment for 4-star linebacker Naim Mustafaa, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.

He told the AJC: “I made my decision about a week ago; I just had to come down to Georgia and tell them face to face. It just came down to where I wanted to be, really. Georgia Tech and Georgia are both great schools. I had to choose one.”

Mustafaa is the son of seven-year NFL veteran Reggie Rutland, who played for Georgia Tech.

However, Saturday was not all good news for Bulldogs fans.

They had battled it out for in-state offensive linesman JP Vonashek with South Carolina, and ultimately lost the battle to their SEC rival.

Vonashek told the AJC: “It was either going to be South Carolina or Georgia, and I felt South Carolina was the best place for me. I went there for a visit and I really enjoyed it. It’s close to home and I think they are going to have a great program for the next couple of years.”

He added: “I’ve been to UGA a couple of times, and I went to South Carolina today … Nothing really [went wrong] with UGA. I won’t say anything bad about them. I just liked South Carolina better, to tell you the truth.”

BOTTOM LINE: Vonashek is a big win for South Carolina – as it gives the team more help for the running of Marcus Lattimore up front – especially as they are still improving at quarterback.

Shocking news: 2 former Auburn players killed, another wounded in shooting tragedy

Two former Auburn players have been killed and one current Tigers player has been shot in an horrific incident in an apartment complex at the school on Saturday night, the Associated Press has reported.

According to the Auburn Plainsman, former players Ladarious Phillips and Ed Christian were both killed, and offensive linesman Erick Mack has been hospitalized after a pool party turned tragic as a fight at a pool party escalated to gunfire.

Mack was later released, according to a tweet from Eric Christian, Photographer for Auburn Student Affairs.

According to Al.com, all three players were part of Auburn’s 2010 recruiting class, but Phillips and Christian both gave up the game.

The AP report said:

“Turquorius Vines, 23, said he was at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments with one of his friends. He said he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman.

Vines said he punched one of the men, while his friend hit both of the men over the head with a bottle. Either one or both of the two men then started shooting, he said. He said his friend was shot and killed, while two others also were hit by gunfire. Vines said he had never before seen the men who he had been arguing with.”

Another report has said that as many as seven people were shot in the shooting. No-one seems to have been arrested yet.

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