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2019-2020 High School Bounce

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Posts Tagged ‘Kent State University.’

Browns lose play-maker Josh Cribbs to Raiders

Josh Cribbs (photo by Gordon Vasquez via wikipedia commons)

The Cleveland Browns have lost a fan favorite.

Free-agent kick returner/wide receiver Josh Cribbs has signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Cribbs, who will turn 30 in June, had been a member of the Browns since being an undrafted free agent out of nearby Kent State University in 2005.

His eight kickoff returns for touchdowns are tied for the most in NFL history with Leon Washington.

The 6’1, 215-pound Cribbs is a 3-time Pro Bowler and 2-time All-Pro. He was the 2009 NFL Special Teams Player of the Year.

His career totals stack up this way:

107 receptions, 1,161 receiving yards, 12,169 return yards and 20 total touchdowns.



SPORTS SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Austin Traylor, Columbus Walnut Ridge Fighting Scots DE/OLB/TE


This article contains an audio interview with Austin Traylor

Austin Traylor at 6’4, 220-pounds hovers over his teammates on the Walnut Ridge High School football team from Columbus, Ohio.

He is very humble and says very few words. But the multi-talented star is regarded by college recruiters across the country as a four-star prospect with vast potential.

Austin Traylor Walnut Ridge football star (

He has the size, skill, speed and versatility to play any position on the football field. Scots head coach Byron Mattox and defensive coordinator Charles Stewart try not to limit him into one position because he can play everywhere the team needs him to make plays and cause havoc for the opposing team.

Traylor emerged as one of Ohio’s top prospect’s after a breakout junior season.

On defense, he can play end, tackle and outside linebacker.

On offense, he can play wide receiver or tight end. He has on occasion lined up as a running back and sent into motion to make the defense concentrate solely on him, which left other players open down the field. Traylor started the first four games of 2009 at quarterback before Fred Hardgrove took over.

Traylor began playing football at age 7 and says that San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is his most admired player. Gates is a converted basketball player who was a star at Kent State University.

Byron Mattox, one of several head coaches around the city who were assistants under former Beechcroft football coach Tom Dunlap, said that Traylor reminds him of former Beechcroft defensive end Julian Miller, who currently is a starter at West Virginia.

Austin Traylor gets open for a pass (

Traylor is a 16-year-old senior who will not turn 17 until sometime in September.

In 2009, Austin Traylor averaged 20 yards per catch with six touchdowns. He made first-team All-Central District at tight end when Walnut Ridge, who had an 8-3 record, 6-1 in the Columbus City League South Division won the title and made the Division II playoffs. He also recorded 72 tackles and 13 sacks.

A cousin of former Michigan and NBA star Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Austin is being recruited by several colleges who want his services as a defensive end, outside linebacker and tight end. He is also weighing a basketball scholarship offer from the Wright State University Raiders of the Horizon League. He will  end up in a major football conference if he passes on the basketball scholarship offer.

The Walnut Ridge defense is very young after losing nine starters, but they are very athletic, agile and versatile. Traylor is a leader on defense along with fellow senior Jordan Spotts.

The Scots had a nice number of 70 players out during pre-season camp and the start of two-a-days.

Austin Traylor lines up at wide receiver (

As for the Walnut Ridge football team, they are 2-0 going into week 3 against Columbus Linden McKinley, which will be the Fighting Scots home opener. Then they play Columbus South before the big showdown with Columbus Marion-Franklin in week 5. All three of these games are at home.

In week 1, Walnut Ridge traveled to Cleveland Heights and won, 28-21. Fred Hardgrove rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and threw for 120 yards and another score.

Devon Bingham returned a fumble recovery 77 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter which keyed the win.

Week 2 had the Scots in back in Columbus playing City North Division opponent, the East High Tigers. It was no contest as the Scots rolled to an easy 51-0 win. Walnut Ridge forced eight turnovers. Fred Hardgrove completed 8 of 12 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. RB Shawn Toney led the ground attack with 122 yards on 11 carries and scored a 3-yard touchdown.

ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH AUSTIN TRAYLOR (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

45 389 Austin Traylor Walnut Ridge football (part 1) (

45 390 Austin Traylor Walnut Ridge football (Part 2) (

45 391 Austin Traylor Walnut Ridge football (part 3) (

Special thanks goes out to Walnut Ridge head coach Byron Mattox and staff for allowing us to come out to practice to talk to Austin Traylor and to take pictures. We greatly appreciate your help!

Quite fitting that Nick Saban receives the first Bobby Bowden award

compiled from staff and wire reports

Alabama head coach Nick Saban was presented Sunday night with the inaugural Bobby Bowden national collegiate coach of the year award.

Saban was presented the honor by the Over the Mountain Touchdown Club of  Birmingham, Alabama.

Also in attendance was Bobby Bowden, a Birmingham native who recently retired after the 2009 season, his 34th in college coaching at Florida State. Bowden won 389 games and two national championships at Florida State.

Nick Saban (UA)

Coach Saban led Alabama to a national championship, setting a school record with 14 victories in 2009. Also last season, running back Mark Ingram became the program’s first Heisman Trophy winner.

Saban is a native of West Virginia, and said the award was especially meaningful to him and his family because of a kind gesture made by Bobby Bowden when Nick Saban was a young assistant coach at Kent State University. Bowden, at the time was head football coach at West Virginia at the time and knew Saban’s father.

Says Saban, “After my father passed away, my mother was having several problems, and coach Bowden called and said he would create a graduate assistant position if I needed to come home. I have never forgotten that gesture and nor has my family.”