WATCH: Rashan Gary’s emotional reaction to being selected by Green Bay

It was truly a dream come true for the former consensus No. 1 recruit in the land on Thursday, as former Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary was selected No. 12 overall by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Of course, it’s a huge moment for any college football player, but Gary — who’s a player known for showing heart and emotion — let loose once he got the call at his draft party, held at Revel and Roll in Ann Arbor.

Watch his reaction below:

Football: Nick Bosa selected as No. 2 overall pick in 2019 NFL Draft by San Francisco 49ers

Ohio State junior defensive end Nick Bosa (97) runs to tackle another member of Rutgers’ offensive team during the first half of the game on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo Editor

Former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

Bosa had been considered a lock for a top spot in the draft after shutting down his junior season for the Buckeyes following a groin injury against TCU on Sept. 15.

In three games this past season, the Florida native racked up four sacks and six tackles for loss, which was enough to be awarded All-Big Ten honorable mention despite the limited playing time.

The Buckeyes held a combined overall record of 36-5 during Bosa’s three-year tenure, and in 29 games he recorded 17.5 sacks with 29 tackles for loss and 77 total tackles.

His 2017 campaign saw Bosa named All-American along with winning the Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year award as his 8.5 sacks were second-most in the conference.

Bosa joins brother Joey and father John as fellow first-round NFL Draft selections at the defensive end position. Joey, who won the 2015 National Championship with the Buckeyes, was the No. 3 overall selection to the San Diego Chargers in 2016, and John was the No. 16 pick out of Boston College in 1987.

College football community reacts to TE Luke Ford being denied waiver

Former Georgia football tight end Luke Ford was denied an eligibility waiver by the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon and likely will not be able to play this season unless his appeal is approved.

With Ford transferring to Illinois to be closer to home with his ailing grandfather and the rest of his family, one would think his waiver would have gotten approved.

However, the NCAA had other intentions, shocking the college football community and prompting a number of fans, players and media members to tweet out their support for Ford.



MPA membership approves 8-man football for this fall

ROCKPORT — Eight-man football will be introduced in Maine this fall after winning approval Thursday morning at the Maine Principals’ Association’s general membership meeting at the Samoset Resort. Traip Academy and Old Orchard Beach are two of the Maine high schools that will make the switch to eight-man football this fall. Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald Thursday’s vote on high school football also reduces Class A, featuring the state’s largest schools, from 14 to eight teams. Six teams that previously played in Class A will move to Class B, which will expand from 17 to 22 teams. While some athletic directors, including Thornton Academy’s Gary Stevens and Sanford’s Gordie Salls, spoke against the proposal to shrink Class A, reclassification for football passed easily by a hand vote. Eight-man football was played in 18 states in 2017, but it has never been sponsored by the MPA until now. The idea gained traction in Maine last fall with many schools struggling to maintain rosters large enough to play the traditional 11-man version of the sport. The vast majority of Maine high school teams will continue to play 11-man football, but 10 schools are opting for the eight-man version. Mt. Ararat, Gray-New Gloucester, Yarmouth, Ellsworth and Maranacook will be grouped into a large-school division, and Sacopee Valley, Traip Academy, Old Orchard Beach, Telstar and Boothbay will play in the other division. The winners of each division will play for a state championship. Eight-man football is played with two fewer linemen and one less receiver or running back on offense. Already, athletic directors have been meeting to iron out details for what the sport will look like in Maine. While some states play eight-man football on a shorter field, in Maine it will be played on the traditional 100-yard field so teams can kick at the goalpost at both ends, according to Yarmouth AD Susan Robbins. The field width has yet to be determined. “We’re circulating the eight-man rules to coaches,” Robbins said. “There’s an overall excitement to it all.” There was no discussion about eight-man football before Thursday’s vote. Instead, the debate on football classification focused on changes at the top. Class A has been dominated by three programs in recent years, with Thornton Academy, Bonny Eagle and Scarborough combining to win the last seven state titles. Thornton’s Stevens argued that concerns about competitive balance should be addressed by having more schools in Class A, not fewer. Earlier proposals this winter by the MPA’s Football Committee had Class A expanding from 14 to either 16 or 18 teams. “A larger Class A will give teams more competitive games,” Stevens said. Instead, Class A will include only eight schools that have more than 950 students. When the MPA changed how Casco Bay High is included in factoring enrollments at Deering and Portland highs, both of those schools dropped below the 950 cutoff and now will play in Class B for football. Other longtime Class A football teams shifting to Class B are South Portland, Windham, Massabesic and Cheverus. Three of the teams dropping to Class B – Cheverus, Windham and Portland – combined to win the last six Class A North titles. In speaking against the football proposal, Sanford’s Salls said the teams moving from Class A to B are facing internal problems in building their programs, not external forces. “We shouldn’t ask the MPA to fix that,” Salls said. “Are we (Sanford) going to beat the top three teams in Class A? Probably not, but we will be competitive.” Cony football coach B.L. Lippert said the changes will make an already competitive Class B even more challenging. “We’ll play the schedule they give us. It’s odd to have eight teams in one class and 22 in another,” Lippert said in a phone interview Thursday. “Any time you draw a line, somebody is going to be upset. That just makes it a tougher path. The road gets a little harder for those of us who have traditionally been in B.” Tim Spear, athletic director at Gorham High, said his football program is slowly rebuilding. After bouncing between Class A and B, Gorham has found a good home in Class B, Spear said, adding he hopes in the future the MPA uses factors other than just enrollment in determining class, such as the percentage of underclassmen on given teams. “Football is different than any other sport. We have to understand that. There’s a safety issue,” Spear said. The MPA membership also voted to set the enrollment cutoff for Class D basketball at 129 and fewer students. While the MPA’s Classification Committee supported the 129 cutoff, the Management Committee recommended increasing the cutoff to 139 to address the concerns of a handful of schools – Richmond, Woodland, Fort Fairfield, Central Aroostook and Hodgdon – on the lower end of Class C. MPA Executive Director Dick Durost said this was the first time in 33 years the membership was asked to consider separate recommendations from two committees. Richmond Athletic Director Jonathan Spear noted that there were only nine teams in Class D South boys’ basketball last winter, as opposed to 17 in Class C South. “If we are looking for balance, this is not balance. Look at Class C. It’s huge,” Spear said. Speaking for the smallest schools, Forest Hills athletic director and boys’ basketball coach Anthony Amero said the schools with fewer than 100 students are already at a disadvantage. “Basketball is the one thing we can be competitive in,” said Amero, whose team won the Class D state title this winter with a school enrollment of 37. “Going to 139 is a step backward from the hard work we’ve put in over the last few years.” With the 129-student cutoff approved, Class C basketball will have 41 schools in the upcoming two-year cycle and Class D will have 27. Citing increased costs, the MPA membership also voted to raise the ticket price for tournament games to $10 from $8 for adults. The ticket price for students and seniors will remain $5. This is the MPA’s first ticket price increase since 2012, Durost said. Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242 Twitter: TLazarczykMTM

Football’s Recent Performances Show it Deserves College GameDay

Two weeks ago, I was pretty sure that Boston College football was going to lose to Miami. The Hurricanes were entering the Friday night contest with one of the best defenses in college football, and, even in front of a packed Alumni Stadium, I just didn’t see the Eagles doing enough offensively to be able to win what I thought would be a defensive struggle. It didn’t help that, coming into the weekend, BC was just 5-24 all-time against Miami, and hadn’t beaten the Hurricanes at home since 2007. Well, after a 27-14 win in which the Eagles held Miami to 124 second-half yards, make that 6-24 all-time against Miami, and one lesson learned.

Clearly I didn’t learn the lesson very well. On Wednesday, before BC’s game against Virginia Tech—amid of all the whispers about how all the Eagles had to do for a realistic shot at being featured on College GameDay was defeat the Hokies—I was certain about what would happen. I am on record as saying: “I am 10,000 percent sure that VTech will win. Nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. BC is going to lose.” My expectations were wrong yet again.

It’s time to start dropping all of your preconceived notions about the Eagles: BC is an ACC title contender and more than deserving of College GameDay. In the past two games—against teams that have historically controlled the Coastal division—BC looked nothing like the team that got embarrassed in its home stadium on national television against VTech a season ago. In fact, no one could have reasonably watched the Eagles hold Miami scoreless in the second half and then go into Blacksburg and come away with a huge road win and say that this year’s BC team isn’t different.

But people around the country haven’t noticed. Check the replies to the tweet that the College GameDay account sent out announcing that the show would be coming to Chestnut Hill. The first reply: “That can’t possibly be the best game next week…” Scroll down a little further, and you’ll see replies of “That’s the best y’all could do?” and “Wow that’s a joke right?” Even after the past games, people still aren’t sold on BC.

Here’s a selling point: This team has gobs of talent. On the offensive side of the ball, A.J. Dillon—when healthy—is one of the best running backs in the country, Chris Lindstrom has a legitimate shot to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft, and the rest of the Eagles’ offensive line has been imposing its will on teams all season long. On defense, Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray are both draft prospects, and Lukas Denis, Will Harris, and Hamp Cheevers all have NFL potential as well—that talent was on full display against the Hokies and the Hurricanes.

Now, it’s only fair to point out that these are not the best iterations of Virginia Tech and Miami. After all, the Hokies are just 4-4, and Miami dropped to 5-4 after a loss to Duke Saturday. Regardless, these are two teams that, historically, have had the Eagles’ number, and started the season in the preseason AP Top 25. The Hokies were down just a point at halftime to Notre Dame earlier in the season, and Lane Stadium is one of the most intimidating venues in college football. Meanwhile, Miami is just one season removed from starting 10-0 and ascending to No. 2 in the country.

But still, these were the games that BC had to win at the beginning of the season to live up to the program’s preseason hype and be considered players in the Atlantic Division. The Eagles did just that, and looked markedly better than both Miami and VTech in the process. That’s been something of a rarity for this program.

BC’s history against the Hokies has been painful to say the least. Aside from the famous Matt Ryan comeback in Lane Stadium in 2007, the Eagles haven’t had much success against VTech. Entering Saturday, BC was just 8-18 all-time against the Hokies, a figure which included two painful ACC Championship losses in 2007 and 2008.

The past two seasons probably marked the pinnacle of the Hokies’ dominance over the Eagles. First, it was a 49-0 drubbing in Blacksburg in 2016, the program’s worst loss since 1950. In that game, the Eagles gave up seven touchdowns, and recorded just six first downs. And last year, in front of a national audience, BC lost, 23-10, to VTech, in a Saturday night affair that was anything but close. Josh Jackson shredded the Eagles’ secondary, throwing for 322 yards. On the other hand, BC’s only touchdown came on a trick play in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of hand. If not for a heroic performance from Harold Landry and Zach Allen, who combined for 21 tackles and four sacks, the 13-point loss could have been worse.

So when BC went down, 14-7, against the Hokies at halftime, and a fateful stat about Virginia Tech being 20-0 under head coach Justin Fuente was brought up on the television broadcast, I pegged the Eagles to a loss in Blacksburg. Yes, head coach Steve Addazio’s team was only down a touchdown, but—with a terrible history against the Hokies and an offense that netted just 20 yards in the second quarter—it was difficult for BC fans to be optimistic.

Yet here we are, a day later, and I still can’t really believe what happened yesterday. In the second half, the Eagles established a new rhythm, carving up defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s defense for 256 yards and 24 points in the second half, limiting VTech to just a lone touchdown. Perhaps most impressive were the adjustments that the Eagles made after the break.

After getting torn apart by running back and wide receiver screens in the first half, BC flew to the ball on screens in the second half, shutting them down effectively. Offensively, knowing that VTech was keying on A.J. Dillon, the Eagles turned a little more to RPOs, play-action, and the read-option to generate yardage and exploit the Hokies’ aggressiveness. One mark of a good team is the ability to make effective adjustments at halftime, and BC showcased the ability to do that throughout the entirety of the second half.

Tack on the program’s sixth-ever win over Miami, and first in seven years, and you’re looking at a special BC team. This is just the second time in 16 years that the Eagles have beaten both Miami and VTech in the same season. The other time? Ryan’s senior year in 2007.

It’s also remarkable that we’re talking about BC as ACC contenders given where the program was just a short while ago. We’re only 13 months removed from that infamous Steve Addazio “It’s going to be beautiful” press conference after the loss to VTech, and three years removed from a season in which the Eagles were winless in the conference and inept on offense.

Yet now, sparked by an offense that has finally diversified its playbook, an offensive line that has paved the way for a dominant running attack, and a defense full of playmakers that is tied for the conference lead in turnovers created, the Eagles have a chance to take down the class of the ACC in Clemson, and seize control of the Atlantic division. It’s a classic David vs. Goliath story.

It’s almost perfect that as soon as BC ascends to its highest ranking in 11 years, it gets its biggest test of the season. Clemson, the team that unseated Alabama to win the national championship two years ago, just hung 77 points on Louisville, and has both the best scoring offense and defense in the ACC, presents the ultimate opportunity for the Eagles. BC has grabbed national attention with the way it has played this season, and now gets the chance to show that, at least during this year’s campaign, Addazio’s vision has coalesced into a team capable of competing with the best in the country.

That’s not to say that if the Eagles lose to Clemson their accomplishments have been diminished. Very few teams in the country can reasonably expect to beat the Tigers, and BC, despite how well it has played, is not one of them. Barring a blowout of embarrassing proportions, the Eagles have certainly showed that they are capable of being a force in the ACC, and a loss to the No. 2 team in the country doesn’t modify that.

But the game hasn’t happened yet, so for now, Eagles fans should have the chance to get excited for the biggest regular season game in Chestnut Hill in the past 10 years and continue dreaming. The team’s turnaround has been nothing short of swift and remarkable, but watching them play this season has proved that it’s no fluke. And now, it appears the entire country is taking note. At least for the next week, BC can bask in the national spotlight, knowing that it’s performances the past couple weeks have earned all the attention that College GameDay brings to a program.

Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / For The Heights