September 5, 2019 /Sports News – Local BYU Baseball Recruiting Class Ranked Top 25 by Baseball America FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPROVO – Baseball America named BYU baseball’s 2019 recruiting class No. 25 in the nation, the Cougars’ highest ever ranking.The Cougars were the only program from a non-Power 5 conference to make the list. BYU signed 11 players last fall to add to a team that won the West Coast Conference title and was ranked in the national Top 25 last season.See below for what Baseball America had to say about the Cougars:Overview: Headlined by three exciting prep pitchers, BYU landed its first-ever Top 25 class and what might be the best recruiting class in program history. While the top end is eye-catching, there’s solid depth to the class, which the Cougars hope can propel them to the next level as a program.Hitters: Outfielder Hayden Leatham put up big numbers the last two years at the JC of Southern Idaho and brings a powerful bat to Provo. He played center field in junior college but fits better at right field for BYU. Brock Watkins has a powerful bat and good hands on the infield. Hunter Swapp is a physical, toolsy outfielder, comparable to former Cougar Brennon Lund. He’s not as advanced as some of his classmates but will provide an impact bat in time. Shortstop Peyton Cole, the younger brother of Angels righthander Taylor Cole, is a long, lean lefthanded hitter who has exciting potential. Outfielder McKay Barney is a well above-average runner and was a finalist for Arizona player of the year after an impressive senior year. His speed plays well on the bases and in the outfield. Shortstop Andrew PIntar is a solid defender with a strong arm, which he shows off on the mound as well. He can run his fastball up to 94 mph, giving him two-way potential.Pitchers: BYU loaded up on pitching in this class, grabbing three arms who have big upside and should be able to quickly contribute. Heaton may have the most upside of the group. He has advanced pitchability and already throws his fastball in the low 90s with a chance for more velocity as he physically matures. Lefthander Cy Nielson ran his fastball into the mid-90s late in the spring and mixes in a promising breaking ball. He is reminiscent of Giants prospect Seth Corry, a former BYU signee. Lefthander Cutter Clawson has a strong build and a promising three-pitch mix who came on strong over the last year. His fastball gets into the low 90s now, and he shows some feel for both his breaking ball and changeup. Righthander Carter Smith throws his fastball in the low 90s and still has some projection to his frame. Righthander Bryce Robison is undersized for a righthander but throws a lot of strikes and has a strong track record, giving him a chance to quickly earn a role on the staff. Righthander Mikade Johnson has a projectable 6-foot-6 frame and can run his fastball into the mid-90s. He was banged up this spring but, if he can bounce back, gives the class another high-upside arm. Written by Tags: BYU Cougars Baseball Robert Lovell
For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Chennai: Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna on Friday said he plans to team up with Divij Sharan and represent the country at the men’s doubles event in next year’s Olympics but for that to happen, they need to keep their rankings high. Bopanna started the year playing alongside the left-handed Sharan and won the Pune Open title. “I started in Pune with Divij. Obviously, me and Divij wanted to try to play the whole year together but unfortunately our rankings were not high enough,” Bopanna, who has subsequently partnered Canadian Denis Shapovalov, said in an e-mail interaction. “And we had to forcefully change partners in March because we were not getting into any of the 500s or Masters Series events and with Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome all coming up, it was for us to find different partners or just miss the entire season and not play at all. Unfortunately at that point we had no option but to change partners wherever we can play together we are still playing together,” he added.As for playing the Tokyo Olympics with Sharan, he said, “Absolutely for the Olympics, we need to make sure our rankings are high enough to play together. “Wherever we can play together, we are still trying to. That is the key. The good part is that the ranking deadline for the Olympics is the 2020 French Open. So we have a lot of tournaments to really work on and try to get the rankings high enough. And if our rankings are high enough we will definitely be playing together,” he added. Also Read | Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s dream run at Indian Wells ATP Tour ends with loss to Ivo KarlovicBopanna on Friday received support from athletic footwear and accessories manufacturer, ASICS in his pursuit for a medal at the Olympics. ASICS also tied up with Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy in Bengaluru to nurture young aspirants to impart training at the state-of-the-art facility. The big-serving Bopanna, who has had a rather moderate season, winning only one title and reaching the final at Stuttgart, said he would be playing the upcoming tournaments with Shapovalov and was looking forward to finishing the year on a strong point. Also Read | Prajnesh Gunneswaran beats world number 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili in Indian Wells ATP Masters event”It’s not the first year I’ve had a season like this. The main thing to look forward to is the hard-court season and it was a lot better compared to my clay court season for sure. I’m playing more tournaments with a single partner and it has made an immense difference,” he said. “I’ve been playing with Dennis Shapovalov now for a few tournaments. I’m also playing the next two 500s and Masters in Tokyo, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris with Shapovalov. I’m really looking forward to finishing the year pretty strong.” The Coorg-born player rated his doubles partner Shapovalov very highly. “I think he is very flamboyant and unique. He is also equally talented as a tennis player. He is super quick so it makes it easy to work with him. He is young and being a left-handed player, he has got an extremely tough service to return,” Bopanna said. “That gives me a huge advantage at the net to constantly help him out in doubles. As a player he is just getting better.” Bopanna also praised young Sumit Nagal, who qualified for the US Open main draw and took a set from the legendary Roger Federer in the first round. “I think Sumit is definitely growing as a player and getting a lot more confident. Before coming to the US Open where he took a set from Federer, he had a great clay court season, doing really well in the Challengers. He qualified for the Hamburg 500 event too. Unfortunately, he got hurt there,” he said. “I was watching the qualifying matches in the US Open and he was playing extremely good tennis. I think he is definitely moving in the right direction. Apart from Sumit, even Prajnesh (Gunneswaran) has had a good year. He has sustained his ranking in the top 100.”
In this Oct. 8, 2006, file photo, New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan reacts after sacking Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell during second quarter NFL football at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Strahan was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)NEW YORK (AP) — The hang time is over for Ray Guy. The longtime punter for the Oakland Raiders is all by himself once again.After waiting 23 years, Guy is the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.“Good things are worth waiting for,” Guy said Saturday night after being elected along with six other players. “It’s just a matter of time when it will show up. And I knew it would, sooner or later. It had to, whether it was me or somebody down the road. But sooner or later, it had to show up, because that is a part of a football game.”Defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive end Claude Humphrey also were part of the class of 2014. Two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones, were selected.The announcement was made at the NFL Honors award show, less than 24 hours before the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks in the first Super Bowl.Among the finalists who didn’t get in were former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy.Each incoming Hall of Famer walked to the stage and was announced individually. Strahan, who helped the Giants make two Super Bowls, got a huge cheer from the home crowd.Induction will be on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.Clockwise from top left, defensive back Aeneas Williams, wide receiver Andre Reed, offensive tackle Walter Jones, linebacker Derrick Brooks , defensive lineman Claude Humphrey and punter Ray Guy pose for a photo at the NFL Honors show Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for NFL/AP Images)Guy turned the punting job into a defensive weapon after he became the first player at his position to be selected in the first round of the draft in 1973. He made “hang time” part of the football vernacular while playing all of his 207 games in 14 seasons with the Raiders.The Southern Mississippi product averaged 42.4 yards for his career. Only three of his 1,049 punts were blocked, and he had 209 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.“It’s gratifying to now see a punter go into the Hall of Fame,” Guy said, who joins Jan Stenerud as the only kickers enshrined . “Whether it was me or somebody else, they needed representation in that position.”Brooks was the cornerstone of a Bucs defense that led the league in 2002 and ’05, and the NFC five times. He was The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year when Tampa Bay won its only Super Bowl after the 2002 season.The linebacker never missed a game in his 14 seasons and averaged a remarkable 146 tackles. Six of his 25 interceptions were returned for touchdowns, including a league-record three in ’02.Seattle certainly got a winner when it moved up to the No. 6 spot in the 1997 draft to take Jones. He immediately provided blindside protection for Warren Moon and quickly became the first Seahawks lineman to earn a Pro Bowl spot. He was one of the chief road graders who helped Shaun Alexander rush for 266 yards in a 2001 game — the fourth-highest total in NFL history — and then rush for a team-record 1,880 yards and 28 TDs in his MVP season in 2005.“Coming into the league all I wanted to do was get here, and … say I could play this game,” Jones said. “For me to be here now, and for my team that I started with and finished with, to be here in the Super Bowl is just like the icing on the cake.”Strahan set the NFL record for sacks in a single season, getting 22½ in 2001. The one most people remember is the record-setter in the final game of the regular season, when Green Bay’s Brett Favre seemed to lay down on a play late in the game.While there is controversy about that play, the gap-toothed Strahan was one of the top two-way defensive ends. Younger teammates said he taught them how to work to become NFL players, and he walked away from the NFL after winning the Super Bowl in February 2008.“It’s hard to find guys with everything, but this guy had everything . size, speed, power, toughness, endurance, motor, smarts, leadership, heart, love for the game, but what I admired most about Michael was his pride,” Giants general Jerry Reese said. “No matter what the circumstances were, when he walked out on that field on Sunday, he was going to give it ALL to you. There aren’t many guys who can say that.”Reed came out of little Kutztown (Pa.) University and played his first 15 seasons with Buffalo, getting to four Super Bowls, but never winning one. His final season was with Washington. His 951 career receptions are third in league history, highlighted by nine consecutive seasons of 50-plus catches.Long before people spoke about yards after the catch, Reed was doing it. He finished with 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns.“Having to wait this long for him is a sin, but the bottom line is he’s in and that’s what counts,” former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly said of Reed’s nine-year wait to get into the Hall.A walk-on at Southern University, Williams was a shutdown cornerback in his 14 NFL seasons, the first 10 with the Cardinals and the last four with the Rams. He had 55 career interceptions, getting at least one in every season except his last. He had five or more in picks in six seasons, with nine being his best in 1994.Williams spent his last four seasons with St. Louis. He started at cornerback for the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl and played safety in his final two seasons.The Hall of Fame doors finally opened for Humphrey on his 28th year of eligibility and his fifth as a finalist. The durable six-time Pro Bowl pick had 122 career sacks in 14 seasons with the Falcons and Eagles, who acquired him after a brief retirement in the 1978 season.“I never really gave up hope,” said Humphrey, whose only regret was his wife died in July and didn’t get to see his election. “I always figured there was a place for me here.”___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org___AP Sports Writers Tim Booth and Dennis Waszak Jr., and Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this story.