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NFL set to go again as rookies open camps first




Back to work!

NFL clubs will begin their on-field preparations for Kickoff 2017 this week, starting Wednesday, July 19 as rookies for the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints are scheduled to report.

The Arizona Cardinals, who will take on the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game (Thursday, August 3; NBC, 8:00 PM ET), will be the first team with a full squad in camp when their rookies and veterans report on Friday, July 21. By Saturday, July 29, every NFL team will be in camp.

This year, more than half the league (21 of 32, 66 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

“Our entire organization is excited to be returning to hold training camp at our facility in Metairie in 2017,” says Saints owner TOM BENSON. “This will be a great opportunity for our passionate fans from throughout the Gulf South to be able to experience the fun, excitement and interaction of Saints training camp as our team prepares for what we expect to be a very exciting season.”

The numbers may prove that training at home is a popular league-wide trend, but there are still teams employing the “old-time” philosophy of holding camp away from their facilities.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that “come together” away from home, holding camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for the 52nd consecutive year.

“There’s some intrinsic value to being here, some things that you can’t measure,” says Steelers head coach MIKE TOMLIN on holding training camp at St. Vincent College. “Those are things that I think about when I think about training camp and those are the things that make me really excited about bringing a team to an environment like this.”

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return for their 60th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp since 2000:





2000 10 of 31 (32%)   2009 17 of 32 (53%)
2001 9 of 31 (29%)   2010 17 of 32 (53%)
2002 10 of 32 (31%)   2011 19 of 32 (59%)
2003 14 of 32 (44%)   2012 19 of 32 (59%)
2004 15 of 32 (47%)   2013 20 of 32 (63%)
2005 17 of 32 (53%)   2014 20 of 32 (63%)
2006 15 of 32 (47%)   2015 21 of 32 (66%)
2007 16 of 32 (50%)   2016 20 of 32 (63%)
2008 15 of 32 (47%)   2017 21 of 32 (66%)
*Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters

The longest active NFL training camp tenures:

Green Bay Packers Saint Norbert College De Pere, WI 60
Minnesota Vikings Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 52
Pittsburgh Steelers Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 52

Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates:


Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 7/19 7/26
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY 7/26 7/26
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH 7/25 7/27
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Training Complex Berea, OH 7/23 7/26
Denver UCHealth Training Center Englewood, CO 7/23 7/26
Houston The Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, WV 7/25 7/25
Indianapolis Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center Indianapolis, IN 7/24 7/29
Jacksonville Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields Jacksonville, FL 7/19 7/26
Kansas City Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 7/24 7/27
LA Chargers Jack Hammett Sports Complex Costa Mesa, CA 7/29 7/29
Miami Baptist Health Training Facility Davie, FL 7/20 7/26
New England Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA 7/24 7/26
NY Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, NJ 7/28 7/28
Oakland Napa Valley Marriott Napa, CA 7/24 7/28
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 7/27 7/27
Tennessee Saint Thomas Sports Park Nashville, TN 7/28 7/28


Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, AZ 7/21 7/21
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 7/26 7/26
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 7/25 7/25
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 7/19 7/26
Dallas Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard, CA 7/19 7/22
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 7/24 7/29
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 7/26 7/26
LA Rams University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 7/26 7/28
Minnesota Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 7/23 7/26
New Orleans New Orleans Saints Training Facility Metairie, LA 7/19 7/26
NY Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center East Rutherford, NJ 7/27 7/27
Philadelphia NovaCare Training Complex Philadelphia, PA 7/23 7/26
San Francisco SAP Performance Facility Santa Clara, CA 7/27 7/27
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 7/29 7/29
Tampa Bay One Buccaneer Place Tampa, FL 7/25 7/27
Washington Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Richmond, VA 7/26 7/26

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.


(All times Eastern)

Thursday, August 3 Hall of Fame Game, Canton, OH:  Arizona vs. Dallas NBC (8:00 PM)
Preseason Week 2 (August 17-21)
Thursday, August 17 Tampa Bay at Jacksonville ESPN (8:00 PM)
Monday, August 21 New York Giants at Cleveland ESPN (8:00 PM)







Tigers’ J.D. Martinez named American League Player of the Week


J.D. Martinez during pre-game By Terry Foote 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

Press Release | July 17th, 2017

Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 16th.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, J.D. Martinez will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Martinez batted .455 (5-for-11) with two runs scored, a double, two home runs, seven RBI, two walks and a stolen base to earn his fourth career AL Player of the Week Award, and second of the season. Among AL leaders, J.D. finished the period first in RBI; tied for first in home runs; second in slugging percentage (1.091); tied for second in extra-base hits (3) and total bases (12); third in batting average; and tied for third in on-base percentage (.500). This is Detroit’s second Player of the Week Award, following J.D.’s most recent honor earlier this season on May 22nd. Martinez joins outfielder Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox as the only American Leaguers this season to garner multiple weekly honors this season.

On Saturday night against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park, the 2015 AL All-Star went 3-for-5 with a double, home run and five RBI in Detroit’s 11-1 victory over Toronto. The RBI output marked his second game of the season (also May 16th vs. Baltimore) with at least five RBI, and third of his career (also June 21, 2015 at New York). Detroit’s slugging outfielder followed up his prolific performance with his 16th round-tripper of the season in the Tigers’ 6-5 victory on Sunday afternoon. Martinez, who became the first player in franchise history to record 10 homers in his first 22 games of a season, reached the 16-homer mark in just 198 at-bats. J.D. posted a career-best 38 home runs during his Silver Slugger Award-winning 2015 season. Since the calendar flipped to July, the Miami, Florida native has posted a slash line of .356/.412/.644 with eight runs scored, 16 hits, four doubles, three homers and 10 RBI. Having recorded a hit in 11-of-12 contests, the seven-year veteran enters play today in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak dating back to July 5th.

Third baseman Matt Chapman (.556, 5 R, 5 XBH, .600 OBP) of the Oakland Athletics also posted an impressive week. The 24-year-old rookie delivered the first multi-home run game of his career on Saturday, while also logging his first three-hit game. Led by Chapman, Oakland logged at least five runs in each game of its series against the Cleveland Indians, beginning the second half of 2017 with a 3-0 record. Other noteworthy performances last week included closer Edwin Díaz (3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 7 SO) of the Seattle Mariners; starting pitchers David Price (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.0 IP, 8 SO) and Chris Sale (0.00 ERA, 7.2 IP, 13 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; and second baseman Brian Dozier (.385, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI) of the Minnesota Twins.





Crew SC nips Eintracht Frankfurt with 1-0 win in International Friendly Match



Ola Kamara

Game-winning goal by Ola Kamara helps Crew SC maintain undefeated record against Bundesliga clubs with 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in international friendly;
Cristian Martinez makes first appearance of 2017, records first career assist for the Black & Gold;
Columbus-born Abuchi Obinwa makes club debut for Crew SC

For Immediate Release: July 17, 2017

Columbus Crew SC 1 – Eintracht Frankfurt 0 (International Friendly)
MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Monday, July 17, 2017

CLB – Ola Kamara (Cristian Martinez) 26’ [HIGHLIGHT:]

NEXT MATCH FOR CREW SC (9-10-1, 28 points):
Columbus Crew SC vs. Philadelphia Union (MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus, OH)

Saturday, July 22 (7:30 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream available on









MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Referee: Guido Gonzalez Jr.
Assistants: Cory Richardson, Art Arustamyan
Fourth Official: Brandon Artis
Attendance: 11,301
Weather: 83 degrees and clear



CLB – Ola Kamara (Cristian Martinez) 26’


CLB – Mohammed Abu (caution) 18’
CLB – Cristian Martinez (caution) 39’
SGE – Gelson Fernandes (caution) 65’
SGE – Luka Jovic (caution) 74’


Columbus Crew SC: Brad Stuver; Jonathan Mensah (Josh Williams © 46’), Alex Crognale, Lalas Abubakar (Nico Naess 46’); Hector Jimenez (Connor Maloney 46’), Mohammed Abu (Abuchi Obinwa 67’), Wil Trapp © (Artur 46’), Jukka Raitala (Waylon Francis 46’); Cristian Martinez, Kekuta Manneh (Ethan Finlay 46’); Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 46’)

Substitutes not used: Logan Ketterer, Zack Steffen

Eintracht Frankfurt: Lukas Hradecky; David Abraham ©, Timothy Chandler (Noel Knothe 75’), Danny Da Costa, Taleb Tawatha; Jonathan De Guzman (Marco Russ 75’), Gelson Fernandes, Slobodan Mejodevic (Max Besuchkow 75’), Daichi Kamada (Branimir Hergota 67’); Danny Blum (Luka Jovic 67’), Sebastien Haller

Substitutes not used:
Leon Batge; Anderson Ordonez, Nelson Mandela Mbouhom, Renat Dadashov


Midfielder Cristian Martinez made his first appearance and first start of 2017 for the Black & Gold. Martinez played the entire 90 minutes and recorded an assist on Ola Kamara’s 26th-minute goal. This was Martinez’s first career assist for Crew SC and his first appearance for the club since making a start for the club in a regular-season road contest against New York City FC last year (October 23). The Panamanian midfielder originally arrived to Crew SC on loan from Chorillo FC last year (May 17) and was acquired on a permanent transfer ahead of the 2017 MLS season (January 25).

Forward Ola Kamara recorded the game-winning goal in tonight’s match with a strike in the 26th minute. This season, Kamara has made 20 regular-season appearances (19 starts), registering nine regular-season goals and three assists. Since joining Crew SC ahead of the 2016 MLS season, Kamara has made 45 regular-season appearances (39 starts), scoring 25 goals and notching five assists.

Goalkeeper Brad Stuver registered his first shutout of 2017 in tonight’s 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Stuver played the entire 90 minutes and registered four saves. Stuver’s last clean sheet came in a 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies (June 15) in which he registered four saves en route to a 4-0 victory.

Midfielder Abuchi Obinwa made his debut for the Black & Gold in tonight’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt. The midfielder came into the match as a substitute for Mohammed Abu in the 67th minute, playing 23 minutes. Born in Columbus, Obinwa joined Crew SC in January of this year, ahead of the 2017 MLS season.

Tonight’s match was the Black & Gold’s 21st international friendly dating back to 1997 and marked the seventh consecutive summer that an international opponent visited MAPFRE Stadium. Crew SC is 12-6-3 all-time in international exhibitions.

Tonight’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt marked the fourth time that Crew SC faced a German club. The Black & Gold is now undefeated in as many matches, with a record of 4-0-0. Previously, the Black & Gold faced Hamburger SV (2000), Bayer Leverkusen (2001) and 1. FC Nurnberg (2002) defeating all three opponents by an aggregate score of 15-6.

Next up, Crew SC hosts the Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, July 22 (7:30 p.m. ET / (7:30 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on



South Florida Bulls 2017 favorite to win American Athletic Conference Football title in preseason media poll

July 18, 2017 

For Immediate Release



USF, Memphis tabbed as divisional favorites



American Championship
Team Points
USF 26
Houston 2
Memphis 1
Navy 1
East Division
Team Points
1. USF (30) 180
2. UCF 126
3. Temple 119
4. Cincinnati 100
5. East Carolina 63
6. UConn 42
West Division
Team Points
1. Memphis (22) 169
2. Houston (6) 137
3. Navy (1) 128
4. Tulsa (1) 102
5. SMU 64
6. Tulane 30
first-place votes in parentheses

NEWPORT, R.I. – The USF Bulls have been selected as the favorite to win the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championship and were the unanimous choice to win The American’s East Division title in the conference’s preseason media poll.


The Bulls received 26 of a possible 30 votes to win the league title, while the Bulls were listed first on all 30 ballots in the East Division.


Memphis was the media’s choice in the West Division as the Tigers received 22 first-place votes and 169 points. Houston was projected as the conference champion on two ballots, while Memphis and Navy received one vote each as the projected conference champion.


USF, which finished the 2016 season ranked No. 19 nationally, returns 18 starters, including six all-conference players, from a team that went 11-2 and defeated South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl last season. Head coach Charlie Strong, who served as Louisville’s head coach during the first season of American Athletic Conference football in 2013, returns to the conference as the Bulls’ fourth coach in school history. USF will be led by quarterback Quinton Flowers, the 2016 American Offensive Player of the Year who set a school record with 4,342 yards of total offense and accounted for 42 touchdowns last year.


UCF was picked second in the East Division after the Knights improved by six wins in Scott Frost’s first year as head coach. The Knights return 14 starters from last year, including linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who was the 2016 American Defensive Player of the Year. Griffin had a breakout year with a league-leading 11.5 sacks to go with 20 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, an interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


Temple was third in the East Division in the preseason poll with 119 points. The Owls have turned in back-to-back 10-win seasons and won the American Athletic Conference championship last season, but first-year head coach Geoff Collins, the former defensive coordinator at Florida and Mississippi State, will have to replace veteran starters at quarterback and running back on offense as well as a first-round draft pick from a defense that ranked third nationally in yards allowed last season.


Cincinnati was picked fourth in the East Division with 100 points. The Bearcats welcome new head coach Luke Fickell, the longtime Ohio State defensive coordinator and former Buckeye head coach, who has 11 returning starters from 2016, including quarterback Hayden Moore and two of the top three receivers from last year.


East Carolina was tabbed for fifth in the East Division as second-year coach Scottie Montgomery looks to get the Pirates back to bowl eligibility. The Pirates will have to replace wide receiver Zay Jones, who set the NCAA single-season and career receptions records in 2016, but East Carolina has its next four leading receivers from last season returning.


UConn was sixth in the preseason poll in the East Division. Head coach Randy Edsall returns to UConn, where he manned the sidelines for 12 years, won two conference titles, and led the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl in the 2010 season.


Memphis was named as the favorite in the West Division as the Tigers claimed 22 of the 30 first-place votes for 169 points. The Tigers have 17 returning starters from last year, including quarterback Riley Ferguson, who led The American and set a school record with 32 touchdown passes in 2016. The Tigers also have a proven deep threat as wide receiver Anthony Miller finished 2016 with 95 catches for 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns.


Houston received six first-place votes and was picked for second in the West Division with 137 points. Major Applewhite enters his first full season as the Cougars’ head coach after spending the last two seasons as Houston’s offensive coordinator, helping the team to 22 wins in the last two years. Houston returns All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who set a conference record with 23.0 tackles for loss as a freshman and has been tabbed as the nation’s top defensive player by several national outlets in the preseason.


Navy was picked third in the West Division with 128 points, including one first-place vote. The Midshipmen have won or shared the West Division title in each of their first two seasons in The American and have gone 14-2 in conference regular-season games since 2015. Ken Niumatalolo’s team returns nine starters from last year, including linebacker D.J. Palmore, who had 107 tackles and 6.0 sacks last season.


Tulsa received one first-place vote and was tabbed for fourth in the West Division with 102 points. The Golden Hurricane reached double digits in wins for the fifth time in 10 seasons after last year’s 10-3 showing under third-year head coach Philip Montgomery. Tulsa returns three all-conference offensive linemen, which bodes well for 1,400-yard rusher D’Angelo Brewer.


SMU was fifth in the West Division projection with 64 points. The Mustangs improved by three wins from 2015 to 2016 as Chad Morris’ squad finished one win shy of bowl eligibility. SMU returns 16 starters from last year, including dynamic wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who had 1,246 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on his way to first-team all-conference honors.


Tulane was projected sixth in the West, though hopes in New Orleans are considerably higher as the Green Wave returns 17 starters from last year. Head coach Willie Fritz, who enters his second year at Tulane, has seen his teams improve by an average of 2.3 wins from his first year to his second at each of his three previous head coaching stops.


The third American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 2, at the home site of the division champion with the best conference record.




Preseason Poll Notes

The favorite in the American Athletic Conference preseason media poll has ended up winning the conference title once in the league’s first four seasons;

Year Favorite Conference Finish Champion
2013 Louisville 2nd UCF
2014 Cincinnati t-1st UCF, Cincinnati, Memphis
2015 Cincinnati t-3rd East Houston
2016 Houston t-3rd West Temple



All-Time Preseason Media Polls


American Championship

Team                                 Points

Houston                                27

USF                                          2

Temple                                   1


East Division

Team                                 Points

1.       USF (15)                               164

2.       Temple (9)                          144

3.       Cincinnati (6)                     130

4.       UConn                                   89

5.       East Carolina                      55

6.       UCF                                        48


West Division

Team                                 Points

1.       Houston (30)                     180

2.       Navy                                     128

3.       Memphis                             124

4.       Tulsa                                     92

5.       SMU                                       65

6.       Tulane                                   41



American Championship

Team                                 Points

Cincinnati                            22

Memphis                               5

Houston                                 2

UCF                                         1


East Division

Team                                Points

1.         Cincinnati (29)                 179

2.        UCF (1)                                135

3.        Temple                               116

4.        East Carolina                    105

5.        USF                                       53

6.        UConn                                  42


West Division

Team                                Points

1.         Memphis (13)                   153

2.        Houston (10)                     149

3.        Navy (7)                              148

4.        Tulane                                  74

5.        SMU                                     59

6.        Tulsa                                    47



Team                                 Points

1.       Cincinnati (17)                    311

2.       UCF (7)                                 296

3.       Houston (6)                        268

4.       East Carolina                     262

5.       SMU                                      158

6.       USF                                        157

7.       Memphis                            133

8.       Temple                                105

9.       UConn                                   98

Tulane                                  98

11.     Tulsa                                     94

Team                                 Points

1.       Louisville (28)                    298

2.       Cincinnati (2)                     257

3.       Rutgers                               240

4.       UCF                                       210

5.       USF                                       155

6.       Houston                              134

7.       UConn                                  131

8.       SMU                                      118

9.       Temple                                 60

10.     Memphis                              47








Buckeyes DT Tracy Sprinkle added to Wuerffel Watch List


July 18, 2017




The award is presented to the best student-athlete with exemplary community service


COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle is on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.


Sprinkle, who graduated in May with his degree in family resource management, is one of the leaders of a talented and deep defensive line. He worked hard to become a starter for the Buckeyes last year, but he injured his knee in his first career start and missed the remainder of the season.

Tracy Sprinkle


The Elyria, Ohio, native’s community service efforts are plentiful and include: working at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital telethon; spending an afternoon with kids at the Martin Luther King Arts Complex; packing boxes of food at the LifeCare Alliance and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank on multiple occasions; visiting numerous schools to read to second graders as part of the 2nd and 7 Foundation; visiting patients at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; and completing outreach efforts at Linden McKinley and with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


The Wuerffel Trophy announced its watch list today with a record 108 players from college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision. The award is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida and is named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel.


2017 Ohio State Football Preseason Honors

Wuerffel Award


§  DT Tracy Sprinkle


Butkus Award

Watch List

§  LB Jerome Baker

§  LB Chris Worley

Paul Hornung Award

Watch List

§  H-B Parris Campbell

Jim Thorpe Award

Watch List

§  CB Denzel Ward

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Watch List

§  LB Jerome Baker

§  DE Nick Bosa

§  DE Sam Hubbard

§  DE Tyquan Lewis

Outland Trophy

Watch List

§  OT Jamarco Jones

§  C Billy Price

Rimington Trophy

Watch List

§  C Billy Price

John Mackey Award

Watch List

§  TE Marcus Baugh

Maxwell Award

Watch List

§  QB J.T. Barrett

§  RB Mike Weber

Bednarik Award

Watch List

§  LB Jerome Baker

§  DE Nick Bosa

§  DE Tyquan Lewis

§  CB Denzel Ward


Allstate AFCA Good Works Team


§  QB J.T. Barrett







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