Ravens HC John Harbaugh explains how happy he is for OL Patrick Mekari on extension

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh explained how happy he is for offensive lineman Patrick Mekari, who signed a three-year extension

The Baltimore Ravens have done a great job at retaining their own free agents on deals that make sense for both the player and the team. They’ve recently signed players such as fullback Patrick Ricard, tight end Nick Boyle, safety Chuck Clark and others to extensions that have been well-received.

On Thursday, Baltimore signed versatile offensive lineman Patrick Mekari to a three-year extension worth around $15.4 million. When Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked about the extension, he relayed just how happy was for Mekari, saying it was well-deserved.

“It’s just tremendous. You said it so well, that’s exactly what it is right there. He’s the best. He’s one of the best guys you’ll ever come across. He does all the things that if you’re a young player and you want to look at how to be successful in the National Football League, what priorities [to have], how to organize yourself, how to work [and] how to make the most of yourself as a football player, he’s the guy to look at, because he does it perfectly, day-in and day-out. I just have great admiration for him, great respect for him. [I’m] very happy for him; it’s well-deserved.”

Mekari has proven that he can play all five positions on the offensive line, something that is extremely valuable. He has spent time at center, guard and tackle over the course of his NFL career, but has broken out while playing at right tackle over the course of the 2021 season. He will be a depth piece on the Baltimore offensive line for years to come, and is also someone who can play high-quality snaps over a long period of time.

Standout in-state DB ‘getting closer’ with Clemson

A standout local defensive back is staying in touch with Clemson and eyeing another recruiting trip to Tiger Town. Clemson is among the schools that Travon West, a class of 2023 prospect from nearby Wren High School (Piedmont, S.C.), hopes to make …

A standout local defensive back is staying in touch with Clemson and eyeing another recruiting trip to Tiger Town.

Clemson is among the schools that Travon West, a class of 2023 prospect from nearby Wren High School (Piedmont, S.C.), hopes to make it to this offseason.

“I don’t have any (visits) planned so far,” he told The Clemson Insider recently, “but I’m looking to get to schools like West Virginia, VT, Clemson, South Carolina and some others.”

West made a pair of unofficial visits to Clemson this season for the Georgia Tech and Wake Forest games. He also made his way to campus last summer to compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp.

The 6-foot, 170-pound junior played in all three phases of the game for Wren as a junior this season – lining up at cornerback, safety and running back, in addition to seeing action on special teams as a return man – and posted 86 tackles, six interceptions and 709 all-purpose yards.

Though West doesn’t currently have an offer from Clemson, the Tigers are showing interest. He continues to communicate and build a bond with Clemson cornerbacks coach Mike Reed, who has served as West’s primary recruiter for the Tigers.

“Just wanting me to get on campus and keep getting better,” West said of what he’s been hearing from Reed.

Virginia Tech gave West his most recent offer in October, joining Virginia, Kansas State, Charlotte, Marshall, Troy and Eastern Kentucky on his offer list.

Right now, West says his recruitment is “still pretty open.” As for when he will render a commitment decision, he said, “I’m thinking early summer as of right now.”

Where do things stand with West and his relationship with Clemson at this point in his recruiting process?

“Getting closer is all I can really say,” he said.

Along with Clemson, West took in game-day visits this season at schools such as Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and Marshall.

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Ravens release final injury report for Week 17 matchup vs. Rams

The Ravens released their final injury report ahead of their Week 17 matchup with the Rams

The Baltimore Ravens are set to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17 of the 2021 season. Baltimore currently stands at 8-7 and in the No. 8 seed in the AFC, while Los Angeles has put together an 11-4 record and are right in the thick of the playoff race.

On Friday, the Ravens released their final injury report of the week ahead of their matchup with Los Angeles. There were a few key names on it, with the headliner once again being quarterback Lamar Jackson, who missed his second-straight day of practice after returning to the field in a limited capacity on Wednesday.

Guard Ben Powers (foot) and cornerback Anthony Averett (ribs/chest) were ruled out for the game after not practicing all week. Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh (foot) also didn’t step foot on the practice field all week long and is listed as doubtful for the contest.

Wide receive Marquise Brown is a new addition to the injury report with an illness and is listed as questionable, while Jackson, fullback Patrick Ricard (knee), wide receiver Devin Duvernay (ankle), outside linebacker Daelin Hayes (knee), and inside linebacker Malik Harrison (illness) also share the questionable tag.

Running back Latavius Murray, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. were all given rest days on Friday and were not listed on the injury report.

Hopalong Cassady’s grandson, Captain Kyle Cassady, remembers his grandfather, discusses Rose Bowl flyover

We talked to @Whiteman_AFB very own Howard Cassady’s grandson, Captain Kyle Cassady, on the flyover he’s going to be doing for the Rose Bowl, and also reminisced about the time with his grandfather. #B2 #AFflyover #AF75

We are less than 24 hours away from Ohio State taking on Utah in the 108th Rose Bowl. And while the action on the field is what everybody will be in the stadium to see, there’s something that’ll be going on above the stadium in the pregame that is pretty cool too.

That’s because Howard “Hopalong” Cassady’s grandson, Captain Kyle Cassady, will be one of the pilots performing the flyover in a B-2 stealth bomber. We caught up with Captain Cassady just to reminisce about the Buckeye and college football legend his grandfather was, touch on what it’ll be like to fly over the stadium, and more. We even touched on some of the memories (some funny, some cherished) from Captain Cassady’s time with his grandfather growing up.

Here is our complete conversation with Cassady, and before we go any further, we want to thank him for his service first and foremost. We’re all watching a college football game on Saturday, but what he’s doing is much more important and deserves more recognition than we can ever give.

That being said let’s dive into some interesting stories and the memories Cassady was so gracious to share with us.

OKC Thunder player grades: Thunder finish 2021 with win over short-handed Knicks

The Thunder were able to close out 2021 with a win against the depleted Knicks.

As discussed in the preview post for this game, I thought the difference will be whether or not Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would play. Well, it looks like that was the case in this win as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the shorthanded New York Knicks, 95-80.

The Thunder were able to win this game behind its hot three-point shooting as the team went 18-of-43 (41.9%). Heading into this game, the Thunder were dead last in the entire NBA in team three-point percentage at 31%. This marked the 17th time in Thunder history that the team made at least 18 threes in a single game, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Schlecht.

Despite the fact that the Knicks were missing Kemba Walker and Julius Randle, the Thunder’s defense should also receive a ton of credit for this win as it held the Knicks to 31 second-half points. The Knicks only had one quarter scoring more than 20 points — the second quarter with points — and nobody outside of RJ Barrett was really able to score the ball.


Overall, just a nice win for the team as they welcomed back Gilgeous-Alexander after missing the Phoenix Suns game last minute due to ankle soreness.

Let’s take a look at player grades:

Jonathan Taylor has more rushing yards on the season than these NFL teams

The Badger legend has had a remarkable 2021

Jonathan Taylor has taken over as not only the best running back in the NFL, but arguably the MVP of the league in 2021. The Badger legend has a legitimate chance at reaching 2,000 rushing yards on the season, and currently sits at 1,626 yards on the ground on 297 carries.

The New Jersey native has averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and has a chance to carry the Indianapolis Colts into the playoffs.

It turns out that Taylor by himself has been better than a handful of NFL teams on the ground. According to Pro Football Focus, the former Badger has more rushing yards than 13 NFL teams:

One of those teams is the Las Vegas Raiders, who Taylor’s Colts will see on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Former Jaguars OT Tony Boselli named a finalist for Hall-of-Fame for sixth consecutive year

Tony Boselli is a step closer to football immortality.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli is once again one step away from being placed in the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Jags legend was among the finalists for the 2022 class, marking his sixth consecutive year of doing so. Boselli was able to do so after being named a semifinalist for the seventh consecutive time, and he survived a round where officials had to trim the candidates from 26 former players to 15.

Boselli was the Jags’ first-ever draft selection in 1995 and was taken by former coach Tom Coughlin and Co. with the No. 2 overall pick out of Southern California. He remained with the team to 2001 and had a brief stint with the Houston Texans in 2002, though he spent the full season on injured reserve. Eventually, he retired due to shoulder injuries but was inducted into the Pride of the Jags in 2006.

Boselli ended his career as a five-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro from 1997-99. He was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team, too.

Unfortunately, Jags running back Fred Taylor wasn’t able to advance to the finalist round with Boselli and his potential induction will have to wait at least another season. While with the Jags from 1998-2008, he totaled 11,271 rushing yards and 62 touchdowns, and his career total of 11,695 rushing yards, which is good for the No. 17 spot on the all-time rushing list.

Why one bettor could be sick to their stomach after winning $162 thousand

Detailing how one bettor could have earned $3.1 billion but back out instead.

How would you feel if you won $162k? Probably great, I’m assuming. One lucky ticketholder likely isn’t feeling so hot about his come-up, being that his $162k could have been $3.1 million. Let me explain.

On December 26th, one bettor dropped just north of $1100 on a 20-leg parlay that ranged across four different leagues and would net $3.1 million. Thirteen games in, he pulled the plug on the ticket and accepted his hefty $162k cashout.

Admirable, right? Collecting his thousands in earnings after recognizing the low chance of seeing all 20 legs hit. Well, sometimes you’ve got to trust your gut, ladies and gentlemen. The next six legs hit, making the ticket a perfect 19 for 19 with just one leg remaining. That one remaining leg would be Georgia defeating Michigan in the Orange Bowl.

You’re here reading this, so you more likely than not know what unfolded. Georgia jumped out to a 17-0 lead over the Wolverines just minutes into the second quarter and cruised the rest of the way to a 34-11 victory.

I wonder what the bettor was thinking as their ticket neared completion. Did they watch the game? Are they sick to their stomach? Or happy to still have $162k?

What a way to end the year.

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Georgia gets back on track, beats Michigan to advance to national title game

USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken puts into perspective Georgia’s win over Michigan and what it means for the program and Kirby Smart.

USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken puts into perspective Georgia’s win over Michigan and what it means for the program and Kirby Smart.

3 things we learned after the Michigan loss to Georgia

This one hurts, but it was still an incredible season for Michigan!

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That didn’t go as planned — at all.

The Wolverines traveled to Miami, Florida to play in the College Football Playoff semifinals against the Georgia Bulldogs and it wasn’t much of a game to say the very least. The SEC proved to be the better conference in the CFP once again.

The only time this game was close was when it was tied 0-0 before the kick. The Bulldogs steamrolled the Wolverines right from the whistle en route to a 34-11 win.

Georgia came out as the more physical team, and it showed in the trenches. The Bulldogs’ defensive line massacred the Wolverines’ offense line — who just won the Joe Moore Award for being the nation’s best offensive line — and it led to multiple sacks on Cade McNamara and very little running room for the Michigan backs.

On the opposite side of things, the Georgia offensive line handled business against the Michigan defensive line — Michigan didn’t record a sack. The UGA coaches had a fast game plan to not allow Aidan Hutchinson or David Ojabo to get much pressure on Stetson Bennett — there were plenty of screens and quick passes to the flats to negate pressure.

One of our keys to the game was stopping Brock Bowers in the middle of the field, but that didn’t come to fruition. Bowers played a big factor in the game on the very first drive, and the Michigan linebackers had a very bad game in pass coverage.

Michigan’s fantastic season has now come to an end in Miami, and here are three things we learned after the loss.

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