Catch my interview with Coach Muse of Mount Tabor, there are more to come!!

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Basketball Icons have footprints all over UM V OSU

Basketball icons have footprints all over UM VS OSU

take a look at my latest piece from yesterday! OSU moves on

More Than A Hoop State

More Than A Hoop State

 

North Carolina has developed a rich basketball history over the years and Winston-Salem is just one of the many talent hotbeds in the state.

Recently though Winston  has seen a surplus in talent on the gridiron, and this past NFL off season was a serious indicator. Three native sons agreed to contracts with NFL teams as signed draft picks as well as undrafted free agents. Josh Hawkins, Alex McCalister, and Doug Middleton are all currently in training camp for their respective squads.

The odds of most athletes suiting up for an NFL team are slim the odds of  three players from the same city all accomplishing that feat in the same year are slim to none. These three gentlemen have certainly defied the odds and inspired an entire community in the process.

All of them followed different paths from SEC, to FCS, and even the mid major ranks. McCalister came in boasting the most hype of the three. An athletic freak since his prep school days at West Forsyth high he was a force on the defensive line and caught the eye of some major programs around the nation.

After turning down a host of ACC schools the talented edge rusher settled on the Florida Gators and compiled a solid career in limited time. In McCalister’s last two season he recorded 12.5 sacks 17.5 tackles for a loss. These numbers were good enough to tie a team high his senior year and earn serious draft consideration after only playing in nine games.

The Philadelphia Eagles were thrilled to see the former Gator slip all the way to them in the seventh round and they snagged him with the 240th pick. At 6’6 and 240ibs  he is an intriguing prospect at the DE position although still fundamentally raw there is a lot to like about his natural athletic ability.

Hawkins and Middleton were signed as undrafted rookies by their respective teams after stellar collegiate careers in their own respect.

Reigning out of Robert B. Glenn High School Hawkins was a stud on both sides of the ball lining up at running back and defensive back for the Bobcats. He turned down some lower level offers and bet on himself as a walk-on at ECU. The Pirates program has been making some serious noise in recent years knocking off top competition in the state.

After earning a spot on the team Hawkins progressed every year until he transformed himself into the top DB on the team, week after week he was matched up against the opposing team’s best pass catcher. In his senior season with the Pirates Hawkins was named to the Jim Thorpe watch list along with some of the other top DB’s in all of college football. The man known as “Hawk” snagged seven interceptions in his last two seasons in Greenville.

Now once again he’s betting on himself and the rookie has already been catching eyes in his young Packers career, he is expected to earn a spot on the final 53 man roster.

“Josh Hawkins was the more interesting selection. Hawkins was given some benefit of the doubt as a sure tackler. Recent cornerback additions show a certain love for cornerbacks who can be tough and make sure tackles, and Hawkins’ good ball skills make him appealing as well.” said J.E. Barnett of SB nation.

Middleton picked the Appalachian State Mountaineers after wrapping up an impressive prep career at Parkland high school. While at App he was exposed to an array of talent as they made the transition to division I during his tenure. ASU was a powerhouse at the bowl subdivision level and have produced some serious talent in past years. After receiving a medical redshirt his sophomore year he battled back and produced big over the next three seasons at safety and kick return. The hard hitting safety finished his senior year with 48 total tackles and was also named to the Thorpe watch list for top DB’s.

The New York Jets were impressed with Middleton’s skillset and offered him a contract to sign with the team after the draft. So far he has begun to earn the respect and praise of fellow teammates

“I think he has a loose screw at times. But at the same time he’s one of those types of guys that when he sees the ball, he’s going to get it. He has a very high intensity level.” “Calvin Pryor on Doug Middleton, an undrafted safety from Appalachian State.” via Chris Iseman of The Record Journal news.

These three playmakers aren’t the first or the last to be drafted out of the Tre-4 and we’ll all be watching paying close attention to their journeys.

Redemption of the Money Man

There hasn’t been a fall from grace to demise like the one we’ve witnessed from Johnny Manziel in quite some time.

The former Prince of Texas officially reached rock bottom this past spring when the one thing he could always depend on was taken away from him, Johnny Football was no longer able to play football. The Cleveland Browns had reached their boiling point and cut the former Heisman winner like a coupon in the Sunday ads.

Who could blame them they saw what we saw, or so we thought a rich kid given a multitude of chances but believed he was above it all.

It’s easy to interpret it that way with images of the partying, the lax attitude, and the domestic abuse. But have you ever considered the slightest possibility that Manziel could be a victim of his own celebrity and outside influencers. Think back to 2012 the year the legend was born.

Arguably the most thrilling and celebrated college quarterback in the history of NCAA football resided in College Station, Texas. One 19 year old freshman revived a forgotten program in the heart of football country, and made them a power player in the sport’s toughest conference the cut throat SEC.

You can’t put a price on the impact Manziel had at Texas A&M. He came out every Saturday and laid it all on the line in front of thousands of fans and millions of home viewers. Question the man’s character sure but watching him perform on the field you can’t question his heart, unleashing his sauciness on vulnerable defenders in the open field and turning breakdowns into touchdowns on the reg.

And now four years later after the most successful run Gigem has seen in decades everyone has turned their back on the greatest Aggie ever. Rich boosters and drunken college kids pack the house “That Johnny Built” every Saturday, guzzling down fried foods and overpriced beer dreaming that number two was still leading their mediocre football team.

This isn’t the end of Johnny Football though the 23 year old gunslinger has barely scratched the surface of his football career. After washing out of the NFL his first go around the redemption story will be much greater than the fall.

Somewhere out there Johnny is prepping for a return to the gridiron to remind us why we all rocked with him in the first place.

I’m not sure about you but when the day comes I’ll be watching for the second coming of the Money Man.

There hasn’t been a fall from grace to demise like the one we’ve witnessed from Johnny Manziel in quite some time.

The former Prince of Texas officially reached rock bottom this past spring when the one thing he could always depend on was taken away from him, Johnny Football was no longer able to play football. The Cleveland Browns had reached their boiling point and cut the former Heisman winner like a coupon in the Sunday ads.

Who could blame them they saw what we saw, or so we thought a rich kid given a multitude of chances but believed he was above it all.

It’s easy to interpret it that way with images of the partying, the lax attitude, and the domestic abuse. But have you ever considered the slightest possibility that Manziel could be a victim of his own celebrity and outside influencers. Think back to 2012 the year the legend was born.

Arguably the most thrilling and celebrated college quarterback in the history of NCAA football resided in College Station, Texas. One 19 year old freshman revived a forgotten program in the heart of football country, and made them a power player in the sport’s toughest conference the cut throat SEC.

You can’t put a price on the impact Manziel had at Texas A&M. He came out every Saturday and laid it all on the line in front of thousands of fans and millions of home viewers. Question the man’s character sure but watching him perform on the field you can’t question his heart, unleashing his sauciness on vulnerable defenders in the open field and turning breakdowns into touchdowns on the reg.

And now four years later after the most successful run Gigem has seen in decades everyone has turned their back on the greatest Aggie ever. Rich boosters and drunken college kids pack the house “That Johnny Built” every Saturday, guzzling down fried foods and overpriced beer dreaming that number two was still leading their mediocre football team.

This isn’t the end of Johnny Football though the 23 year old gunslinger has barely scratched the surface of his football career. After washing out of the NFL his first go around the redemption story will be much greater than the fall.

Somewhere out there Johnny is prepping for a return to the gridiron to remind us why we all rocked with him in the first place.

I’m not sure about you but when the day comes I’ll be watching for the second coming of the Money Man.

There hasn’t been a fall from grace to demise like the one we’ve witnessed from Johnny Manziel in quite some time.

The former Prince of Texas officially reached rock bottom this past spring when the one thing he could always depend on was taken away from him, Johnny Football was no longer able to play football. The Cleveland Browns had reached their boiling point and cut the former Heisman winner like a coupon in the Sunday ads.

Who could blame them they saw what we saw, or so we thought a rich kid given a multitude of chances but believed he was above it all.

It’s easy to interpret it that way with images of the partying, the lax attitude, and the domestic abuse. But have you ever considered the slightest possibility that Manziel could be a victim of his own celebrity and outside influencers. Think back to 2012 the year the legend was born.

Arguably the most thrilling and celebrated college quarterback in the history of NCAA football resided in College Station, Texas. One 19 year old freshman revived a forgotten program in the heart of football country, and made them a power player in the sport’s toughest conference the cut throat SEC.

You can’t put a price on the impact Manziel had at Texas A&M. He came out every Saturday and laid it all on the line in front of thousands of fans and millions of home viewers. Question the man’s character sure but watching him perform on the field you can’t question his heart, unleashing his sauciness on vulnerable defenders in the open field and turning breakdowns into touchdowns on the reg.

And now four years later after the most successful run Gigem has seen in decades everyone has turned their back on the greatest Aggie ever. Rich boosters and drunken college kids pack the house “That Johnny Built” every Saturday, guzzling down fried foods and overpriced beer dreaming that number two was still leading their mediocre football team.

This isn’t the end of Johnny Football though the 23 year old gunslinger has barely scratched the surface of his football career. After washing out of the NFL his first go around the redemption story will be much greater than the fall.

Somewhere out there Johnny is prepping for a return to the gridiron to remind us why we all rocked with him in the first place.

I’m not sure about you but when the day comes I’ll be watching for the second coming of the Money Man.