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Transferring Alabama DB Kyriq McDonald commits to AAC school

ByCharlie Potter Apr 1, 12:10 AM

A now-former Alabama player has found a new home in the American Athletic Conference.

Defensive back Kyriq McDonald has committed to transfer to Cincinnati, according to Chad Brendel of Bearcat Journal. McDonald entered the NCAA transfer portal in early February along with long snapper Scott Meyer and received offers from Florida State, Mississippi State, Louisville, Purdue and Memphis. However, Meyer is still on the Crimson Tide roster and practicing. 

McDonald visited Cincinnati on Thursday.

McDonald filled a role in the Alabama secondary and on special teams this past season after redshirting his first year in Tuscaloosa. He totaled seven tackles and a quarterback pressure through 11 games of action in his redshirt freshman campaign and was named one of the Alabama coaches’ special teams players of the week for his play against Mississippi State and Auburn.

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EJ Williams is hearing good things from the Tide

Eddie “EJ” Williams is one of the top wide receivers in the 2020 class and the hunt for his commitment consist of some heavy hitters as the Crimson Tide are still punching in the fight for his signature.

Williams is a 4-star wide receiver. He is a product of Central High School  in Phenix City, Alabama,. The Crimson Tide has recruited him constantly since they offered him and Saban’s message about the Process still rings true.

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Antonio Doyle gets offer from Nick Saban

Nick Saban told Antonio Doyle personally about his offer from Alabama on Thursday.

Doyle is a 2020 4-Star outside linebacker and is a product of Lutheran High School in  Hazelwood, Missouri,. With Alabama’s offer, he now has 29 Division 1 offers. The success Doyle has enjoyed on the recruiting trail has him feeling like all of his dreams are right in front of him.

“I am blessed by God,” Doyle said. “Everything I ever wanted is in front of me, now I have to go get it.”

Saban spent some time talking to Doyle about his offer and what he could accomplish at Alabama. Doyle echoed the voices of so many other recruits when talking about how their conversation went.

“Our conversation was straight forward and about business.” Doyle said. “We talked about furthering my life.”

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Kimber enjoys first trip to Tuscaloosa

Alabama hosted four-star cornerback Jalen Kimber on Saturday for this first time to Tuscaloosa. He breaks down the trip and a decision timeline with BamaOnLine.

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Alabama in top five for in-state ATH

ByHank South Mar 31, 12:16 PM

It’s down to just five for Lanett (Ala.) product Kristian Story.

The four-star athlete took to Twitter on Sunday morning to reveal a final list of Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

The one-time Vols commit is a highly sought after prospect following a season that saw him amass 2,434 yards and 40 touchdowns passing, 1,207 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing, and 33 tackles and nine interceptions in the secondary.

Since backing off his commitment to Tennessee prior to his junior season, the 247Sports Crystal Ball has been trending towards Alabama. UA was aided in pursuit of Story after hiring new assistant Charles Kelly from the Vols. The family goes way back with the new UA assistant, as Kelly coached Story’s father during his time at Jacksonville State and recruited the 2020 prospect during his stint in Knoxville.

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Five-star QB intrigued by Alabama

Alabama is after one of the top quarterbacks in the country in USC commit Bryce Young. He breaks down what UA is telling him and where things stand with his Trojans pledge.

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Notebook: Nick Saban talks front seven depth, kicking game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Following Alabama’s first of three spring scrimmages, head coach Nick Saban was asked about several position groups -- how they performed thus far on the practice field and what he saw from them during the roughly 158-play scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

But even before that, the 13th-year head coach expressed concerns over depth.

“I think we have some really good players, we have some guys that can play winning football,” Saban said during a press conference. “To me, we don't have enough. We don’t have enough depth on our team. We don’t have enough guys that execute with confidence, play fast. So, the way we need to go about that is keep working these guys and keep practicing them.”

Getting into specifics, it started with the defensive line.

Raekwon Davis, Phidarian Mathis and LaBryan Ray currently make up the Crimson Tide’s first unit. Davis was a starter last season while Mathis and Ray were the first two players off the bench for Alabama a year ago. That group has played well up to this point in the spring. But the can’t be said for the players behind the first-team trio, Saban said following the scrimmage.

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Raymond Hawkins becomes first commit of Oats era

2019 center Raymond Hawkins verbally committed to Alabama on Sunday becoming the first pledge of the Nate Oats era.

“I’m going to the University of Alabama,” Hawkins told 247Sports. “A few weeks ago my mom, my brother and my step brother all visited coach [Nate] Oats and coach [Bryan] Hodgson at Buffalo. The culture between the players and coaches was unbelievable. The relationship just made me comfortable. I felt like I can trust them.”

Hawkins, a standout at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, visited Buffalo the weekend of March 8 and scheduled a decision date for March 30. Once Oats made the move to Alabama earlier this week, instead of pushing back his decision he opted to follow him.

“When I found out they were going to Alabama, he called me and said I was the first person he called and let me know that he wanted to bring me with him,” Hawkins said. "I told him I talked to my family and he called them as well.”

“It showed how much he actually wanted me and how much interest he has and how much he believes in me.” He added. “I believe in myself, but you play better when your coach believes in you and gives you that type of confidence.”

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Situational Work Helps Make Alabama Scrimmage Like Game

A football scrimmage is not the same as a football game, at least to those who have seen both, who have noticed there is no scoreboard in a scrimmage and no historical record of a winner. But to Alabama Coach Nick Saban, who is process-oriented, the scoreboard is immaterial. It’s not about the scoreboard to Saban. It’s about performance. That may be the reason his team almost always comes out on the right side of the scoreboard.

There was a reason for Saban to discuss the subject Saturday afternoon after his Crimson Tide football team went to Bryant-Denny Stadium and completed its eighth practice of the spring with its first scrimmage.

There may have been a few thousand fans – boosters, sponsors, football lettermen – scattered among the 100,000-plus seats, but that certainly did not make it like a game. That made part of Saban’s point: “Other than the fans, the noise, football is football,” he said.

And he enumerated:

“I think we try to create as many situations as we can in practice,” he said. “We practice good against good (first team offense vs. first team defense) a lot, so that’s a lot like playing in a game.

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BOL Nuggets: Notes from Alabama's first spring scrimmage

Alabama took part in its first of three spring scrimmages Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Women to close out WrestleMania for 1st time

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For the first time in the 35-year history of WrestleMania, WWE's biggest annual pay-per-view, a women's match will close out the show as the main event.

Everything you need to know about WrestleMania 35 -- the match card, results, news, features, history and more from ESPN.com.

Less than four weeks out from WrestleMania 35, the Kofimania movement is in full swing, with a meteoric ascent pushing him all the way to No. 1 in the latest ESPN WWE Power Rankings.

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The Raw women's championship match between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will close out the show, which is April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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Kidd covets coaching return, cites renewed focus

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Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, fired last season by the Milwaukee Bucks, said Monday he would like to get back to coaching "at any level." Kidd's name has come up as a potential replacement for Wyking Jones at his alma mater, California.

And league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday that Kidd will be among the candidates for the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching job if Luke Walton is dismissed.

"I think Cal is a great institution. We'll see what happens," Kidd said Monday on The Jump. "Right now, it's nice to be wanted. And it just tells me I'm doing the right thing. And I think the year off helps clean up some things, too, just to refocus and have that energy."

Kidd said he would be patient in the process and said he thought Walton had done an "incredible job" considering the Lakers' injuries and other distractions.

"We'll wait until the season's over to see what opportunities come about," he said, "and, hopefully, there's one that fits." Kidd described the Lakers franchise as one of the best in the world.

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Ranking the Sweet 16 teams by tradition

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For a selection of those who have reached this round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, the Sweet 16 represents a significant goal achieved. For others, it's merely a way station.

All of the 16 want to move on, of course, but which programs and fan bases have come to expect it? We ranked them on the basis of their winning tradition in college basketball, using both recent and historical track records as our rough guide.

16. Virginia Tech Hokies

Dell Curry was a star at Virginia Tech from 1982-83 to 1985-86 before his long NBA career. courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics

NCAA tournament appearances: 11
National championships: 0
Final Fours: 0
All-time program icon (player): Dell Curry
All-time program icon (coach): Charles Moir
NBA players (all time, active rosters): 14

Buzz Williams, who has led Virginia Tech to three straight NCAA appearances for the first time in school history, also has the Hokies in the Sweet 16 for just the second time ever (1967). Excitement over this run might be tempered just a bit for Virginia Tech fans given the rumors swirling around Williams and Texas A&M -- if he leaves, can a true basketball tradition be sustained in Blacksburg?

15. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Darvin Ham was known for his ferocious dunking while a player at Texas Tech (1993-94 to 1995-96) and later in the NBA. Getty Images

NCAA tournament appearances: 17
National championships: 0
Final Fours: 0
All-time program icon (player): Darvin Ham
All-time program icon (coach): Gerald Myers
NBA players (all time, active rosters): 10

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Ronaldo leaves Euro qualifier with leg injury

Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted off with a right leg injury in Portugal's Euro 2020 qualifying match against Serbia on Monday.

Ronaldo pulled up after sprinting down the touchline in the 31st minute at Estadio da Luz and immediately signaled for a replacement. The 34-year-old sat by the sideline and removed the captain's armband before doctors arrived and treated what appeared to be his right hamstring.

Ronaldo, who walked off on his own and remained on the team bench, had been playing with a bloody gauze in his nose.

"I am not worried, I know my body. It happens, it's football ... I am fine because I know I will come back in one or two weeks," Ronaldo said of the injury after Monday's 1-1 draw.

It was only Ronaldo's second appearance for the national team since the World Cup last summer in Russia. The former Real Madrid talisman and five-time Champions League winner later made a high-profile switch to Italian giants Juventus.

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Fantasy baseball mock draft recap: 10-team roto league

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Bears-Pack will start season; Pats open on SNF

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The NFL's 100th season will open with the 199th meeting between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

The league announced Monday that it would forgo the traditional opening-night matchup in which the Super Bowl winner hosts the first game of the season on the Thursday of Week 1.

Instead, one of the NFL's classic rivalries will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 5, from Chicago's Soldier Field in prime time (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC). The league also announced that the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will open their season on Sunday Night Football at home against an opponent to be determined.

"As an organization, we are thrilled to be kicking off the 100th season of football in the NFL," Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. "As a charter franchise, we cannot think of a better way to begin our centennial season than by hosting our longtime rival in prime time at Soldier Field."

The announcement was made at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix.

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Feds: Avenatti tried to extort $20M from Nike

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Federal prosecutors in New York and California have charged celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti with extortion and bank and wire fraud.

In the New York case, Avenatti was charged with attempting to extort more than $20 million in payments from Nike by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met.

Avenatti, 48, had previously represented adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Avenatti appeared in court Monday evening and was released on $300,000 bond. He is barred from having any contact with the co-conspirator in the case. He also must report any financial transactions of more than $5,000.

His next court appearance is scheduled for April 1 in a federal court in Los Angeles.

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Two Georgia players arrested after bar fight

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Two Georgia Bulldogs football players are facing misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges after they were arrested following an incident at a downtown Athens bar early Sunday morning.

Athens-Clarke County Police public information officer Geoffrey Gilland told ESPN that officers arrested senior receiver Tyler Simmons and freshman cornerback Tyrique Stevenson after they were identified as subjects allegedly fighting with bar employees at the Cloud Bar.

Stevenson, an early enrollee from Miami, was arrested at 2:42 a.m. ET and released on $1,000 bail.

Simmons, from Powder Springs, Georgia, was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and cited.

Bulldogs wide receiver Tyler Simmons caught nine passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

"Both were charged with disorderly conduct," Gilland said. "Both were transported to the jail. When they arrived at the jail, Simmons complained about an injury. The jail will not process someone if they are injured. Our officer transported Simmons to a local hospital. After he was treated, he received a citation for disorderly conduct."

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Who should fight for the UFC's vacant bantamweight title?

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TJ Dillashaw relinquished the UFC bantamweight belt last week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the New York State Athletic Commission informed him of an "adverse analytical finding" in a drug test dating back to his most recent fight, which took place in January in Brooklyn. He was given a one-year suspension and fined for his actions. The news sent MMA fighters, fans and media into a frenzy as the top of the division was now up for grabs.

The UFC is now on ESPN and ESPN+. Subscribe to ESPN+ to get: Exclusive live UFC events, weigh-ins and more; Ariel and the Bad Guy; Dana White's Contender Series; and more exclusive MMA content.

UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo has long stated he wants to move up a weight class to become a double champion. But what would that mean for the 125-pound division? Bantamweights Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz, among others, all have legitimate claims to a title fight.

Who should fight for that vacant championship? ESPN's MMA contributors -- Brett Okamoto, Ariel Helwani, Jeff Wagenheim, Eric Jackman, Eric Tamiso, Andrew Davis and Chamatkar Sandhu -- give their answers.

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Betting favorites made history in round of 32

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The betting favorites in the NCAA tournament went on a historic run over the weekend, leaving a Sweet 16 bracket full of blue-blood chalk.

For the first time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, all 16 betting favorites won in the round of 32, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Three times, in 2009, 1995 and 1991, the favored team had won 15 of 16 games in the round of 32, but this was the first year in which the chalk went undefeated.

Action was heavy during the first weekend of March Madness at U.S. sportsbooks. Here's a look at some of the notable bets, from a bet that netted a $1 profit to a 14-cent wager that landed almost $1,500.

It's NCAA tournament time, but is it the best time to bet? One professional bettor shares his thoughts on the difficulty of picking games in March.

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