In high school, Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein was a matchup nightmare on the football field: VIDEO

Before he was a problem for opposing offenses, clogging the lane at Kentucky and making players think twice about driving to the rim, Willie Cauley-Stein was the embodiment of a matchup nightmare on the football field. As a senior at Olathe Northwest High School in Kansas, Cauley-Stein towered over opponents on the gridiron, catching 64 passes for 1,265 yards and 15 touchdowns and drawing interest from the Jayhawks to play football at the Big 12 program (Bill Self might’ve wanted him inside Phog Allen Fieldhouse as well). RELATED: PRINT YOUR NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET HERE “You just can't imagine seeing a human being that size in pads,” the school’s athletic director, Jay Novacek — not that Jay Novacek — told Sporting News. “Even though Willie was relatively skinny in high school, with just how much more massive he looked in pads and a helmet, you go from a seven-foot person to 7-5. It looked like a wall.” But when the likely lottery pick came out for the football team during his senior year, he wanted to be the team’s quarterback. It took some convincing, but Novacek said the coaches eventually convinced him to line up at wideout. It looks like it worked out. ISOLA: CALIPARI BUILDING AN EMPIRE AT KENTUCKY According to the Sporting News, Kentucky coach John Calipari watched a few of Cauley-Stein’s football games while recruiting the 7-footer to Lexington. Novacek told the website that Cauley-Stein ran the 40-yard dash in about 4.6 seconds and it “looked like he did it in three steps.” And Cauley-Stein wasn’t just some big body catching passes in the end zone. Novacek said that he “would catch slants and put his shoulder down looking for contact. Hew was a very physical player.” Of course it isn’t unusual to see high-level athletes play multiple sports. But, it is cool when a player is known for one sport but Continue Reading

Man at Arena Football League game tries to show off muscles, gets out-flexed by woman behind him (VIDEO)

This beefcake football fan got completely owned by a strong-armed woman after he showed off his guns at a game. The man was watching the Philadelphia Soul play the Jacksonville Sharks in the Arena Football League on April 12 when the "Flex Cam" focused on him during a break. He pulled a sly, knowing grin before proudly pumping up his arm muscles. Two women behind him, however, burst out laughing as he pulled the pretentious pose. The cam then turned on several other fans, before returning to the man. Thinking he was the main attraction, he quickly stood up and threw out his best He-Man stance. But one of the women who'd previously laughed at him then jumped up, ripped off her denim jacket and showed off even an even bigger pair of biceps. She then jokingly antagonized the man with her rippling muscles. He slumped back into his chair, with his hand propping up his face, looking entirely defeated — but still smiling. The clip was uploaded to YouTube on April 14. It went viral this week and has now been seen more than 1.4 million times. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Head of Palestine Football Association pushing to have Israel removed from FIFA

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The head of the Palestine Football Association says he is pressing forth with his bid to oust Israel from FIFA despite efforts from its president to diffuse the crisis. Jibril Rajoub says Monday that he “will not withdraw the motion and will not accept any compromise and any side deals.” FIFA President Sepp Blatter was recently in the region on a self-described “mission of peace” to resolve tensions between the two sides. Palestinians say Israeli security restrictions are limiting the movement of Palestinian players, visiting teams and equipment and have put forward a proposal to suspend Israel from world soccer at the 209-nation FIFA meeting on May 29. Blatter opposes the suspension vote, saying Israel has not broken FIFA statutes in a political issue outside of soccer’s control. Continue Reading

Amtrak crash victim Justin Zemser mourned by Beach Channel High School football coach Victor Nazario

Victor Nazario had a major decision to make. It was just a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Rockaways in the fall of 2012 and the neighborhood's local high school football team - Beach Channel - had a playoff game scheduled for the next weekend, so Nazario, the Dolphins head coach, needed to decide whether they'd play or pack it in. Nazario decided to ask his team's senior captain, Justin Zemser, what the players wanted to do since the team's final two regular season games were cancelled. "When all that happened he was the one I reached out to," Nazario said Wednesday. "I asked, 'what do you want to do?' And he said, 'Let's play.'" RELATED: JUSTIN ZEMSER REMEMBERED AS 'WONDERFUL' Beach Channel lost the game at Port Richmond but Nazario's memory of how Zemser brought his teammates together under such adverse conditions took on new meaning for the coach just hours after he learned that Zemser was one of the eight people confirmed killed in Tuesday night's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia. Nazario was choked up and broke down several times while talking to the Daily News about Zemser, whom he called a "hard-working, disciplined, honorable young man." Zemser was a linebacker and running back during his senior season at Beach Channel. Nazario said their relationship far exceeded that of a traditional player/coach relationship, with the two of them bonding over their mutual love of lizards and turtles. Nazario said he often asked Zemser what to feed certain creatures. "We were friends," Nazario said. After Zemser enrolled in the Navy following graduation, they lost touch for a while, partly because Nazario had replaced his cell phone and lost his contacts. They spoke about a month ago but it is the conversations they had during Zemser's senior year that Nazario cherishes most. Zemser asked his coach everything he could about the military since Continue Reading

Shrimp research may pave way for stronger football helmets, body armor

"Shrimpy" has a whole new meaning. The heavy-hitting mantis shrimp can deliver and absorb incredible blows for a creature its size. So scientists have zeroed in on its physical make-up in the hopes of developing technology that will better protect humans who find themselves in harm's way. Thanks to a helicoidal structure, the shrimp's club-like appendage, aka "dactyl club," can survive regular strikes of speeds up to 321,739.84 feet per second, according to Researchers at University of California — Riverside report the discovery could lead to safer "automotive frames, body armor and athletic gear, including football helmets." The key is resistance to "shear waves" that travel at the speed of sound. Elastic shear waves travel in a perpendicular motion to the angle of impact, such as ripples in water and earthquakes in the earth's crust. The study discovered the chitin-heavy, spiral structure of the shrimp's club filters out such waves. "This is a novel concept. It implies that we can make composite materials able to filter certain stress waves that would otherwise damage the material," said David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering, according to The ongoing research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Tests "modeled the structure with the same mathematical equations used to study materials in solid-state physics and photonics, showing the structure possesses 'bandgaps' that filter out the damaging effects of shear waves … " For more information visit Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Ex-Florida Gator, Duquesne football player Chris Johnson, 22, dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound

Former Florida Gators football player Chris "Juice" Johnson died Friday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 22. The Ocala, Fla. native was found in a car in western Pennsylvania, where Johnson — who transfered from Florida after the 2012 season — attended and played for Duquesne University, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. "Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris," Duquesne head coach Jerry Schmitt said in a statement. "Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.” Johnson excelled during special teams plays during two seasons with the Gators, but he was ejected from the 2013 Sugar Bowl against Louisville after throwing a punch. It was the final game he played at Florida. After transferring to Duquesne, the defensive back had 104 tackles over two seasons, as well as two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Continue Reading

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel admits P Diddy helped son get football scholarship

The coach who recruited Justin Combs to UCLA all but admits to offering him a scholarship based on the star power of dad P Diddy, who was arrested Monday for allegedly attacking Bruins strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi with a kettlebell. Rick Neuheisel, in charge of UCLA football from 2008-11, acknowledged on his SiriusXM College Sports Nation radio show Wednesday that being the son of a millionaire music mogul made Combs a much more attractive recruit. "When you’re weighing the assets of what a youngster can do for your program, there’s no question (being Diddy’s son) had something to do with it for me. "Justin is a great kid. His problem was his size. He’s not big enough to be a dominant player. Could he be productive? Yes. The fact his father was an influential guy played into my decision to go ahead and offer him.” That probably also explains why Neuheisel personally showed both father and son around campus when they visited UCLA. “I took them on their campus tour," Neuheisel said. "A half-hour into it, [DIDDY]asked me who I was. He said, ‘Tell me what you do, Rick.’ I said, 'I’m the head football coach here.' He said, ‘You’re giving us the tour?’ I said, ‘Absolutely, this is my school. “ The elder Combs, 45, allegedly took a swing at Alosi with a kettlebell, reportedly in retaliation for Alosi making an example of his 21-year-old son during UCLA's training session on Monday. He was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon. A source close to P Diddy told the Daily News Tuesday that the rapper/producer acted in self defense. “Words were exchanged, but the coach is the one who escalated everything with physical contact,” the source said. “The case is going to be dropped.” Apparently P Diddy’s people aren’t the only ones who wanted the whole incident to go away, according to Continue Reading

Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly ‘shocked’ by DeflateGate punishment, says Tom Brady ‘doesn’t need to’ deflate footballs

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly just doesn’t see why someone as talented as Tom Brady had to play with deflated footballs. “Tom Brady is a good friend, but he doesn’t need to do that,” the former Bills quarterback said, via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “He’s one of the greatest to ever play the game. So it was sad to see.” MYERS: DEFLATEGATE PUTS FRICTION BETWEEN GOODELL, KRAFT Brady is at the center of the DeflateGate controversy, particularly after the Ted Wells Report indicated that he was probably “at least generally aware” of illegal deflation of footballs in the AFC Championship Game. Brady was slapped with a four-game suspension, which the NFLPA is appealing on his behalf. Robert Kraft announced Tuesday that the Patriots would not contest their own discipline: a $1 million and the loss of two draft picks. “When I saw the $1 million fine, the first and [fourth] round picks taken away, I was a little shocked,” Kelly said. He also thought the punishment against Brady was a bit much. “I thought it would be better just two games, but they gave him four,” Kelly said. Continue Reading

Third Alabama football player arrested in four days

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama running back Tyren Jones has been arrested on a marijuana charge, the third arrest of a Crimson Tide football player in four days. Tuscaloosa police said in a news release that Jones was charged Tuesday with possession of marijuana 2nd degree and released on $1,000 bond. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had suspended Jones indefinitely on Feb. 10 “for conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program.” Safety Geno Smith and since-dismissed defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor were arrested over the weekend. Police say Jones and 25-year-old Brandon Lee Hansberry were arrested after an officer stopped a white Dodge Challenger for speeding at 11:27 a.m. Monday. The police release says the officer smelled marijuana and found the drug and digital scales inside the vehicle, which belonged to Hansberry. Continue Reading

No one bids on Jay Cutler autographed football at charity auction

If anyone needed further proof that Jay Cutler isn't exactly the most popular guy in Chicago, not one person bid on a football autographed by the Bears quarterback during a pet adoption charity auction. The white football with Cutler's signature was one of a few items auctioned on behalf of the Anti-Cruelty Society on March 26, part of the Chosen Man's Best Friend and Factor Felines fashion show at a Bloomingdales in the Windy City. "When it came back, I was surprised it didn't go, but I didn't think it was because of who signed the football," Anti-Cruelty Society president Dr. Robyn Barbiers told The Chicago Tribune. The other items auctioned off weren't sports-related, and Barbiers added that it wasn't exactly "a football crowd." However, someone did call the Society on Thursday and offered to buy the football — but just for the $100 starting bid. Who in Chicago would actually want a Cutler autographed football? Well, he asked to remain anonymous. Continue Reading