Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 25 April 2014 by WNST Staff
TIGER BOWL IV SET FOR APRIL 26 IN UNITAS STADIUM
Tiger Bowl To Conclude Tigers’ Spring Season
TOWSON, Md. – Coming off a historic 2013 season, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team will conclude their spring season when the Tigers host Tiger Bowl IV on Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m.
Last year, the Tiger Bowl attracted more than 1,500 fans to Unitas Stadium. Admission to the Tiger Bowl is free and it is open to the public.
Although there is no admission charge to Tiger Bowl IV, all fans attending the game are asked to donate food items to Maryland Food Bank on their way into the stadium. The Maryland Food Bank will have barrels placed outside the stadium to collect donations.
Schedule cards and posters will also be available to everyone attending Tiger Bowl IV.
Current season ticket holders are encouraged to renew their season tickets at Tiger Bowl IV. New season tickets can also be purchased at the event. The Towson Athletics ticket office will be open 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Veteran Tiger football fans may need a game program to identify the Tiger players who are participating in Tiger Bowl IV. The Tigers graduated 19 seniors from the 2013 squad that reached the NCAA FCS championship game. In addition, All-American Terrance West decided to forgo his senior season and made himself eligible for the NFL Draft.
The Tigers lost two consensus first team All-Americans (Eric Pike and West) and four other players who earned All-American notice (Randall Harris, Jordan Love, Monte Gaddis and Telvion Clark). A total of eight of those players were named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association teams.
However, the Tigers still have cause for optimism. Fullback Emmanuel Holder, a first team All-CAA selection last season, and wide receiver Spencer Wilkins, a third team All-CAA pick in 2013, provide the offense with two talented players with experience.
The defense has six starters returning from last year’s squad. Defensive ends Ryan Dellaire and Drew Cheripkojoin Jon Desir as veterans returning on the defensive line. Dellaire earned first team All-CAA honors last season and ranked among the national leaders with 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for lost yardage. In the secondary, cornerback Tye Smith returns along with safeties Donnell Lewis and Christian Carpenter.
Smith earned All-America notice after making 103 tackles with two interceptions and 12 pass breakups. A first team All-CAA selection as a sophomore, Carpenter made 98 tackles and intercepted four passes last season. Honored as the CAA Defensive Player of the Week twice, Lewis made 93 tackles, intercepted four passes and had 13 pass breakups.
The Tiger defense is bolstered by the return of linebacker Bryton Barr, who missed last season with an injury. Two years ago, Barr made 77 tackles as a first-year freshman at outside linebacker.
In addition to all the newcomers on the roster, the Tigers’ spring season has been hampered by the absence of a significant number of players who have been recovering from off-season surgeries.
“Last year was a great one but it was also a long season,” says Ambrose. “We basically played an NFL schedule (16 games). We opened our season five days before the Baltimore Ravens did and we were still playing when their season ended. That is a lot of football. Players get hurt and they need time to recover. We have great doctors and a great rehab team. But it still takes time.
“We are very, very young,” adds Ambrose, who has led Towson to a 32-29 record in five years as the Tigers’ head coach. “However, we are also very talented. All these guys need is some experience.”
Posted on 27 March 2014 by WNST Staff
TOWSON, Md. - Less than three months after facing North Dakota State in the FCS championship game, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Tigers opened their spring season on Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m.
“When I woke up at 4:00 a.m., it was 23 degrees and I just groaned,” recalled the Tigers’ sixth-year coach. “I don’t think it was this cold last January when we were preparing for North Dakota State.”
Although the Tigers lost a lot of players to graduation, Ambrose was pleased with what he saw on Thursday morning.
“What struck me the most was the recruiting job we have done the last few years,” he said. “We have a lot of talent on this team. But, we are really, really young, especially on offense.”
Ambrose added, “In a way, this reminds me of spring of 2011. We have a lot of young guys who are hungry. But they need the experience. It should be an interesting spring.”
The Tigers return to spring practice on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.
Posted on 05 February 2014 by WNST Staff
TIGERS SIGN TALENTED 17-MAN RECRUITING CLASS
TOWSON, Md. – A large and talented group of 17 football players has signed National Letters of Intent to attend Towson University and play football, it has been announced by Coach Rob Ambrose.
“I am so grateful to all of those team members who have worked so tirelessly for the betterment of the future of Towson University,” said Ambrose. “The hours of behind-the-scenes work done by our coaches, support staff, professors, administrators and community teammates have culminated into an incredibly talented and diverse recruiting class whose presence will be felt for years to come.
“Congratulations to the young men and their families who have seen first hand this year the magic created by hard work, faith, sacrifice, commitment and love coupled with a team first attitude,” he added. “Their desire to join this effort, to continue to help us build and write the next chapter in our storied history makes today a very special day and once again, a great day to be a Tiger.”
2014 Towson University Football Recruits
Dontea Ayres RB 5-8 205 Middletown (Del.) H.S. Salisbury, Md. Rutgers
Jesus Barrio OL 6-5 276 McKinney Boyd H.S. McKinney, Texas
Reece Burnett DT 6-2 350 Lake Braddock H.S. Springfield, Va.
Niquekko “Nico” Cook DE 6-5 225 Meade H.S.
Monty Fenner CB 6-0 171 Oscar F. Smith H.S. Chesapeake, Va.
Sam Gallahan WR 6-1 190 Sts. Stephen’s and St. Agnes H.S. Springfield, Va.
James Hall OT 6-5 317 Cape Coral H.S.
Will Hayes LS 6-1 219 North Forsyth H.S. Winston-Salem, N.C.
Zach Heron TE 6-5 220 Manchester Valley H.S. Hampstead, Md.
Matt Kauffman OT 6-5 291 York Suburban H.S. York, Pa.
Ellis Knudson QB 6-2 240 Hayfields (Va.) H.S. Alexandria, Va.
Tyron McDade CB 5-10 170 Friendship Collegiate Academy Bowie, Md.
Eddie Releford DE 6-4 225 Lakes H.S.
James Scott LB 6-1 215 Gloucester H.S.
Danny Sutton PK-P 6-0 165 New Hope Solebury H.S. New Hope, Pa.
Marquise Watts TE 6-4 232 North Point H.S.
Greg White RB 5-9 190 West Catholic H.S. Philadelphia, Pa.
DONTEA AYRES, Running Back
5-8, 205-lbs., Middletown (Del.) H.S., Salisbury Md.
Transfer from Rutgers University … mid-year enrollee who will practice in the spring … began his high school career at Wicomico High School … totaled 3,370 yards and averaged 9.4 yards per carry in three seasons of high school football … rushed for 1,471 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior … averaged 11.9 yards per carry his junior season … versatile back who also caught 13 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns his junior year … rated the No. 26 prospect and No. 2 running back by SuperPrep in its Mid-Atlantic preseason preview … three-star recruit according to Scout.com and the nation’s No. 82 running back … three-star recruit and the No. 3 player in Delaware by Rivals.com … listed as the No. 48 running back nationally and a three-star recruit by ESPN.com … rushed for 1,196 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore for the Indians … averaged 8.7 yards per carry and 119.6 yards per game … finished freshman season with 703 rushing yards and eight touchdowns … PERSONAL: .Lists foster mother, Heidi Sawyer, as the person he admires the most … born on Nov. 1, 1993 in Hampton, Va.
JESUS BARRIO, Offensive Lineman
6-5, 276-lbs., McKinney Boyd H.S., McKinney, Texas
All-District selection as offensive lineman for the Broncos … led team to a 7-4 record in a berth in the Texas state playoffs … three-year starter for Coach Don Drake … helped the Broncos make back-to-back appearances in the state playoffs … also played high school basketball …PERSONAL: Has one younger sister … very active in community service work with P.A.L.S. … devoted fan of the Dallas Cowboys … favorite NFL player is Peyton Manning … lists lasagna as his favorite meal … parents are both graduates of the Texas-El Paso … father works as a business manager … mother is paralegal … son of Jesus and Olga Barrio … born on May 3, 1996 in El Paso, Texas.
REECE BURNETT, Defensive Tackle
6-2, 350-lbs., Lake Braddock H.S., Springfield, Va.
Three-time selection as first team All-District … two-way performer who was honored as offensive and defensive lineman … earned first team All-State honors as a senior for Coach James Poythress … led the Bruins to a 13-1 record and a berth in the Virginia state quarter-finals in 2013 … member of conference championship team as a senior … member of back-to-back district championship teams as a sophomore and junior … all-district performer in the shot put for the Bruins’ track and field team … also threw discus …PERSONAL: Has one older brother … lists father as the person he admires the most … avid fan of the Carolina Panthers … favorite NFL player is Ndamukong Suh of the Lions … lists “Forrest Gump” as his favorite book … favorite movie is The Avengers … lists Morgan Freeman as his favorite actor … has done community service work with the boy scouts … son of Rolanda Burnett … born on Nov. 3, 1995 in Wilmington, N.C.
NIQUEKKO “NICO” COOK, Defensive End
6-5, 225-lbs., Meade H.S., Odenton, Md.
All-State first team selection who led Meade to back-to-back regional championships … two-time All-Arundel County selection who made 78 tackles as a senior … also had 10.5 sacks and blocked three field goals … helped the Mustangs post an 11-3 record … selected to play in NUC All-America game in South Carolina … named first team All-Metro … had 68 tackles as a junior for Coach Rich Holzer … made 9.5 sacks as a junior … played for state championship team as a sophomore … also played basketball for the Mustangs … PERSONAL: Has one sister … lists godfather, Frank Voive, as the person he admires the most … roots for the New England Patriots … favorite NFL player is Cameron Wake … enjoys music by J. Cole … favorite meal is spaghetti … lists “The Goonies” as his favorite movie … son of Shara Williams … born on May 22, 1996 in Dayton, Ohio.
MONTY FENNER, Cornerback
6-0, 171-lbs., Oscar F. Smith H.S., Chesapeake, Va.
Two-way standout at Oscar Smith H.S. who led the Tigers to a 14-1 record and a berth in the state championship game … All-State selection as a senior … caught 42 passes for 735 yards and 14 touchdowns as a wide receiver … broke up 12 passes and intercepted four passes as a cornerback … also recovered two fumbles … earned all-region and all-conference honors for Coach Richard Morgan … honor roll student who also competes for indoor track team … intercepted five passes as a junior … caught 20 passes for 430 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012 … PERSONAL: Cousin of Chandler Fenner, cornerback for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks … favorite NFL team is the Tennessee Titans … lists Richard Sherman as his favorite NFL player … lists “Friday Night Lights” as his favorite movie … favorite actor is his cousin, Nate Parker … has done volunteer work at a local recreation center … son of Janet M. Fenner … born on Aug. 31, 1995 in Virginia Beach, Va.
SAM GALLAHAN, Wide Receiver
6-1, 190-lbs., Sts. Stephen’s and St. Agnes H.S., Springfield, Va.
All-State selection for Coach Bernard Joseph … named All-Metro and all-conference … played wide receiver and defensive back for the Saints … caught 63 passes for 946 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last two seasons … also played basketball and ran track for the Saints … PERSONAL: Has one younger brother and one younger sister … lists parents and grandfather as the people he admires the most … had summer job as a lifeguard … avid fan of the Washington Redskins … lists Eric Decker as his favorite NFL player … lists Jerry Rice as his favorite all-time player … enjoys reading books from the Harry Potter series … favorite actress is Megan Fox … enjoys eating Mexican food …. favorite movie is “Wolf on Wall Street” … most memorable experience was catching game-winning touchdown pass in Homecoming game of junior year … father is an East Carolina graduate who played football for the Pirates … mother graduated from Maryland … great grandfather is a member of the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame … son of Chris and Cathy Gallahan … born on Jan. 17, 1996 in Alexandria, Va.
JAMES HALL, Offensive Tackle
6-5, 317-lbs., Cape Coral H.S., Cape Coral, Fla.
Honorable mention all-conference offensive tackle … team captain for Coach Larry Gary’s team … can bench-press 380 pounds … named as the Seahawks’ Most Improved Player … two-way lineman who helped the Seahawks post an 8-3 record in senior season … also a member of the Seahawks’ wrestling team and track and field squad … PERSONAL: Favorite NFL team is the Houston Texans … lists J.J. Watt as his favorite NFL player … favorite movie is “Iron Man” … favorite actor is Adam Sandler … favorite book is “Of Mice and Men” … enjoys music by Eminem … son of James and Patricia Hall … born on Nov. 8, 1995 in Middlesburg Heights, Ohio.
WILL HAYES, Long Snapper
6-1, 219-lbs., North Forsyth H.S., Winston-Salem, N.C.
Four-year starter who earned all-conference honors as a junior and senior … three-year captain for Coach Peter Gilchrist … played offensive line and defensive end … led the Vikings to an 8-6 record and the conference championship … helped team reach the third round of the state playoffs … ranked as the number one long snapper in the state … also threw shot put and discus for the Vikings’ track and field team … honor roll student … member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes … along belongs to the National Honor Society … PERSONAL: Has one younger brother … career goal is to become a physical therapist … lists mother as the person he admires the most … has done community service work with the Special Olympics … devoted fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers … lists Chris Long as his favorite NFL player … lists “Remember the Titans” as his favorite movie … favorite athlete is Tiger Woods … father played basketball at Richard Bland College … father is a respiratory therapist who graduated from Richard Bland … mother is a nurse … son of Kevin and Charleen Hayes … born on August 6, 1995 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
ZACH HERON, Tight End
6-5, 220-lbs., Manchester Valley H.S., Manchester, Md.
All-State selection who led the Mavericks to a 6-5 record as a senior … two-time All-Monocacy Valley League selection who caught 30 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns … member of first Manchester Valley team to earn a state playoff win … played tight end and defensive end for Coach Anthony Shermeyer … made 55 tackles and recorded 12 sacks as a senior … caught 17 passes for 188 yards and five touchdowns as a junior … made 52 tackles with three sacks in junior year … caught game-winning touchdown pass against Reginald Lewis as a junior … also played baseball and basketball … record-setting performer for track and field team … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has one younger sister … favorite actor is Tom Hanks … avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens … favorite NFL player is Jacoby Jones … enjoys music by Coldplay … favorite book is “Animal Farm” … father is a police officer … mother is a registered nurse … son of Peter Heron and Kim Carrick … born on November 23, 1996 in Baltimore, Md.
MATT KAUFFMAN, Offensive Tackle
6-5, 291-lbs., York Suburban H.S., York, Pa.
Two-time All-York County selection as a two-way lineman … team captain as a senior for Coach Jeremy Jones … made 20 tackles with four sacks and one pass deflection for the Trojans … helped the Trojans post a 5-5 record … made 10 tackles with two sacks as a junior … earned All-East Coast honors … three-year starter … PERSONAL: Lists parents as the people he admires the most … has done community service work for Habitat for Humanity … avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers … favorite athlete is Michael Jordan … lists “Friday Night Lights” as his favorite movie … favorite actor is Gene Hackman … favorite author is Mike Lupica … father is a heavy equipment operator … mother works as a buyer … son of Brian and Nora Kauffman … born on April 10. 1996 in York, Pa.
ELLIS KNUDSON, Quarterback
6-2, 240-lbs., Hayfields H.S., Alexandria, Va.
All-district quarterback for the Hawks … two-year co-captain for Coach Roy Hill … led the Hawks to the state playoffs three times … threw for 1,504 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior … also played lacrosse for the Hawks … member of track and field team … PERSONAL: Has two older brothers … ldevoted fan of the San Diego Chargers … favorite NFL player is Tom Brady … favorite actress is Megan Fox … enjoys music by Jay-Z … favorite movie is “Savages” … lists LeBron James as his favorite athlete … enjoys eating pizza … father is a Shippensburg graduate who works as a management consultant … mother is a hair stylist … son of Scott and Heather Knudson … born on July 11 1996 in Fairfax, Va.
TYRON MCDADE, Cornerback
5-10, 170-lbs., Friendship Collegiate Academy, Bowie, Md.
All-State selection at cornerback in Virginia … played defensive back and wide receiver for Coach Azaar Abdul Rahim … intercepted one pass and returned it for a touchdown as a senior … scored seven touchdowns as a junior … track and field standout who was the state champion in the high jump … finished second in the high jump at the New Balance National Championships … very good student who ranked seventh in his class … honor roll student … attended Fork Union for one year … PERSONAL: Has two brothers and one sister … devoted fan of the Washington Redskins … ,favorite NFL player is Joe Haden … lists Leonardo DiCaprio as his favorite actor … enjoys eating steak … mother is a hair dresser … son of Byron Mcdade and Tracey Williams … born on ay 9, 1996 in Washington, D.C.
EDDIE RELEFORD, Defensive End
6-1, 225-lbs., Lake H.S., Tacoma, Wash.
Transfer from Pima Community College in Arizona … ranked second on team with 54 tackles in 2013 … also had 4.5 sacks and earned all-conference honors … earned first team All-State honors at Lakes High School in Washington … led the Lancers to the state semi-finals three times … helped Coach Dave Miller’s team post an 11-2 record as a senior … two-way lineman for the Lancers … named as Regional Defensive Player of the Year … earned All-Region and All-District honors as a wrestler in higjh school …PERSONAL: Has two brothers and three sisters … career goal is to work in law enforcement … avid fan of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks … favorite NFL player is Bruce Irvin … favorite actor is Will Smith … lists “The Wood” as his favorite movie … enjoys eating fried chicken with macaroni and cheese … favorite athlete is Ray Allen … father is a pastor … mother works as a receptionist at a hospital … son of Eddie Releford and Jeannett Alonzo … born on August 12, 1993 in Lakewood, Washington.
JAMES SCOTT, Linebacker
6-1, 215-lbs., Gloucester H.S., Gloucester, Va.
Two-way performer at linebacker at running back for the Dukes … also saw action at quarterback for Coach Brandon Kelly … ran for 1,300 yards as a senior with 13 touchdowns … earned all-district honors … named second team all-region … named as the Conference 10 Player of the Year … ran for 1,157 yards as a junior … standout performer for track and field squad … set school record in the long jump … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has two brothers and one sister … lists father as the person he admires the most … had a summer job work for the Washington Capitals … favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles … favorite NFL player is Calvin Johnson … lists Morgan Freeman as his favorite actor … favorite meal is chili … enjoys music by Drake … father is a logistics coordinator … mother is a director of catering … son of Calvin and Terri Scott … born on March 31, 1996 in Newport News, Va.
DANNY SUTTON, Place Kicker-Punter
6-0, 165-lbs., New Hope Solebury H.S., New Hope, Pa.
Talented punter and place kicker who helped the Lions win their first Centennial Conference championship … earned all-conference honors three times … kicked game-winning 48-yard field goal on the final play of the game in the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day victory … four-year performer at kicker who helped the Lions post an 8-3 record as a senior for Coach Jim Ditulio … made 11 of 13 field goal attempts in career … booted 70 percent of kickoffs into end zone for touchbacks … made 67 of 72 conversion attempts in career … also played lacrosse and basketball … four-year starter for the Lions’ lacrosse team …PERSONAL: Has one brother and one sister … older brother Tommy, plays lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania … lists parents as the people he admires the most … avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles … lists Brian Westbrook as his favorite NFL player … parents are Bucknell graduates … father works for Johnson & Johnson … mother is a teacher … son of Craig and Sue Sutton … born on January 25, 1996 in Easton, Pa.
MARQUISE WATTS, Tight End
6-4, 232-lbs., North Point H.S., LaPlata, Md.
All-conference selection at tight end who led the Eagles to a 6-4 record as a senior … record-settting receiver who caught 34 passes for 534 yards as a junior … also caught five touchdown passes … set single game records with nine receptions for 134 yards … caught 44 passes 814 yards in last two seasons … averaged 28.0 yards per catch as a senior … had 10 receptions for 280 yards and two touchdowns … also played basketball for the Eagles … member of state championship team as a freshman …PERSONAL: Lists his mother, Regina Thompson, as the person he admires the most … hobbies include video games … favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins … lists Calvin Johnson as his favorite NFL player … favorite book is “Gifted Hands” … favorite movie is “Dark Knight” … lists LeBron James as his favorite athlete … favorite actor is Will Smith … enjoys eating spaghetti … enjoys music by Eminem … mother works as a meat-cutter … father is a barber … son of William Watts and Regina Thompson … born on January 22, 1996 in LaPlata, Md.
GREG WHITE, Running Back
5-9, 190-lbs., West Catholic H.S., Philadelphia, Pa.
All-State selection at running back … also named All-City and All-Catholic League … two-time team Most Valuable Player … led Coach Brian Fluck’s team to a 9-3 record and the league championship … rushed for 1,338 yards on 169 carries as a senior … scored 19 touchdowns … also caught 17 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown … ran for 1,469 yards on 197 carries as a junior … scored 28 touchdowns in 2012 … ran for 2,807 yards and scored 48 touchdowns in two seasons for the Burrs … scored five touchdowns and had three two-point conversions in a win over Carroll … also played basketball and ran tracl at West Catholic … PERSONAL: Has two younger sisters … lists mother as the person he admires the most … favorite NFL team is the Carolina Panthers … lists LeSean McCoy as his favorite NFL player … favorite athlete is LeBron James … favorite actor is Mark Wahlberg … enjoys eating cheesesteaks … son of Lamar and Vive Williams … born on February 18, 1996 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Posted on 08 January 2014 by WNST Staff
ROB AMBROSE SIGNED TO CONTRACT EXTENSION
Tiger Football Coach To Lead Program Through 2020 Season
TOWSON, Md. – Coach Rob Ambrose, who led the Towson University football team to the NCAA FCS championship game, has agreed in principle to new contract terms that will extend his tenure as the Tigers’ coach through the 2020 season, it has been announced by Director of Athletics Tim Leonard.
“What a great day for Towson University and the future of the football program,” said Leonard. “Rob will be a Towson Tiger for a long time. We are fortunate the new terms make it a competitive contract within the Colonial Athletic Association and nationally in the FCS.”
A 1993 graduate of Towson, Ambrose was named as the Tigers’ fourth head coach prior to the 2009 season. Over the last three seasons, he has guided the Tigers to a 29-10 record that includes a 19-5 CAA record, two CAA championships and two NCAA FCS appearances.
In 2013, Ambrose guided the Tigers to a berth in the NCAA FCS championship game with wins over No. 9 Fordham, No. 2 Eastern Illinois and No. 3 Eastern Washington. Towson was an NCAA FCS Top Ten team all season and earned its first win over an FBS team with a 33-18 victory over Connecticut in the season opener.
Towson was also named as the unanimous winner of the Lambert Meadowlands Award presented to the top FCS team in the East.
“It is an honor to serve as the head football coach at Towson University and to be a part of our great community,” says Ambrose. “In the past five years, we have worked hard to be strong representatives of Towson University, the town of Towson, and the city of Baltimore.”
He added, “I would like to thank Athletic Director Tim Leonard and President Maravene Loeschke for providing me, my staff and my family the opportunity to continue what we have started. This is my home and I am grateful to be able to continue to call myself the head football coach at Towson University. I am proud to be a Tiger.”
In 2011, Ambrose was honored as the winner of the Eddie Robinson Award, presented to the top football coach in NCAA FCS. He was also honored as the CAA Coach of the Year and the American Football Coaches Association District Coach of the Year.
Posted on 07 January 2014 by Luke Jones
In honor of the first Tuesday Top 7 of 2014, Drew Forrester and Luke Jones of The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction selected their top seven local sports figures to watch in 2014.
Some of the names are predictable while others may just be establishing themselves on the local sports scene, but each is worth following closely in 2014 for different reasons.
Luke Jones’ Top 7 Local Sports Figures to Watch in 2014 …
7. Towson running back and NFL Draft prospect Terrance West
Skinny: Not only will the FCS record-breaking back be drafted, but it will be fun to watch his progress and to see how his skills translate to the next level.
6. Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs
Skinny: Questions will linger about the Terps’ ability to compete in the Big Ten, but a breakout 2014 campaign would likely have the offensive playmaker thinking carefully about the NFL.
5. Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman
Skinny: Assuming the Orioles’ offseason continues at its current pace, the 23-year-old right-hander’s development will be critical in determining whether the club remains in contention.
4. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs
Skinny: The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year may have already played his final game in Baltimore if he’s not willing to adjust his $12.4 million salary cap number for the 2014 season.
3. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado
Skinny: Coming off knee surgery and entering just his second full season in the majors, the 21-year-old will be counted on to not only be healthy but to take his already-impressive game to the next level.
2. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco
Skinny: The spotlight on the Super Bowl XLVII Most Valuable Player will be brighter than ever after a disappointing 2013 season and considering his cap number balloons to $14.8 million in 2014.
1. Orioles manager Buck Showalter
Skinny: After two poor offseasons in a row, does the Baltimore skipper reach his breaking point with an organization lacking the commitment to build on its recent success?
Posted on 07 January 2014 by WNST Staff
NCAA FCS RUNNER-UP TIGERS WIN LAMBERT MEADOWLANDS AWARD
Towson Named As Unanimous Winner Of Award Presented To Top Team In East
CENTERVILLE, Mass. – After finishing the season as the NCAA FCS runner-up to North Dakota State University, Coach Rob Ambrose and the Towson University football team have been named as the unanimous winners of the Lambert Meadowlands Award presented to the top FCS team in the East.
The Tigers, who were a Top Ten team all season, finished the season as the NCAA FCS runners-up with a 13-3 record. Towson set a school record with its 13 victories and is one of only 10 schools in NCAA college football to win 13 or more games.
Seeded seventh in the NCAA FCS playoffs, the Tigers enjoyed a very impressive run to their first appearance in the NCAA FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas. After finishing the regular season with a 9-2 record, the Tigers earned a berth in the championship game with a 48-28 win over No. 9 Fordham, a 49-39 victory over No. 2 Eastern Illinois and a 35-31 win over No. 3 Eastern Washington.
En route to their 13-3 record, the Tigers posted a remarkable 9-0 record on the road.
The Tigers’ Lambert Meadowlands Award comes only three years after Towson posted a 1-10 record. In 2011, Towson was the most improved FCS team in the nation with a 9-3 record and the Colonial Athletic Association championship. Last season, the Tigers shared the CAA title and had a 7-4 mark.
“It is a tremendous honor to be the recipients of this year’s Lambert Meadowlands FCS award,” said Ambrose, the Tigers’ fifth-year coach. “The hard work and dedication of so many Tiger football family members has once again garnered our program and the institution of Towson University great respect.”
Towson finished first in the Lambert Meadowlands FCS Award standings, ahead of Fordham (12-2), New Hampshire (10-5), Maine (10-3), Harvard (9-1), Princeton (8-2), Villanova (6-5), William & Mary (7-5), Lehigh (8-3) and Sacred Heart (10-3).
Although this is Towson’s first Lambert Meadowlands FCS award, the Tigers won three Lambert Meadowlands Awards as a Division II program in the 1980’s. The Tigers were honored in 1983 (10-2), 1984 (9-4-1) and 1986 (8-3-1).
In the other divisions, Penn State University (7-5) won the Football Bowl Subdivision Lambert Meadowlands Award while West Chester University (13-2) earned the Division II honor. St. John Fisher College (10-3) won the Division III Lambert Meadowlands Award.
Established in 1936 as the Lambert Trophy to recognize supremacy in Eastern college football, the award has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In 1957, the Lambert Cup was created to recognize non-Division I-A teams, and in 1966 a Division III award was added. In 1983, the Lambert family decided the Meadowlands Sports Complex would be the best organization with a sincere and involved interest in college athletics to sponsor and manage the award, and since that time, the awards have been known as the Lambert Meadowlands Awards.
To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play at least half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if at least half of their schedule features eligible teams.
Teams in Eastern-based football conferences, regardless of location, qualify if at least half their schedule is against Lambert eligible teams.
Final Division I FCS Lambert Poll
1. Towson 13-3
2. Fordham 12-2
3. New Hampshire 10-5
4. Maine 10-3
5. Harvard 9-1
6. Princeton 8-2
7. Villanova 6-5
8. William & Mary 7-5
9. Lehigh 8-3
10. Sacred Heart 10-3
Posted on 05 January 2014 by WNST Staff
Following Towson University’s 35-7 loss to North Dakota State, junior RB Terrance West was asked about his potential NFL future.
West (Northwestern) became the first player in FCS history to rush for 0ver 2,500 yards in the loss, pushing his career numbers to nearly 5,000 yards in three seasons since joining Rob Ambrose’s program. West finished the season with a single season record 42 total touchdowns as well.
“I’m not sure yet”, West said after the title game according to the Baltimore Sun. “Ask me that question in a couple more days.”
West had told WNST’s Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Friday of his potential NFL future “let me just bring the trophy home and then we’ll worry about that.”
Many analysts believe West will bypass his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks recently said of the Walter Payton Award finalist “my eyes tell me West has the goods to be a solid pro down the road”. West (5’11″, 223 pounds) doesn’t possess particularly great speed (4.59 second 40 yard dash) but could still end up being a mid to late round pick should he choose to declare for the Draft.
According to PressBox, Ambrose says he plans to chat with West about his future in the coming days.
Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff
TIGERS TO FACE No. 1 NORTH DAKOTA STATE FOR NATIONAL TITLE
Tigers Seek To End Bison’s 23-Game Winning Streak
FRISCO, Tex. – Seeking their first national championship, Coach Rob Ambrose and the No. 5 Towson University football team will try to complete their magical playoff run when the Tigers face two-time defending national champion North Dakota State in the NCAA FCS championship game at Toyota Field on Saturday, January 4 at 2:00 p.m. (EST).
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Kelly Stouffer calling the action.
The Tigers, who are 13-2 on the season, will be trying to end the Bison’s 23-game winning streak. The Tigers, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, earned a berth in the championship game with NCAA FCS playoff wins over No. 9 Fordham, No. 2 Eastern Illinois and No. 3 Eastern Washington.
Although this is not technically a road game, the Tigers have been an outstanding road team. Towson has a 9-0 record on the road this season, the best mark in college football. Northern Illinois has the second-best record with a 7-0 road mark.
In fact, Towson has won 12 consecutive road games dating back to last season.
The Tigers’ road to the NCAA FCS championship game has included victories at Eastern Illinois and Eastern Washington, two of the top three teams in the nation. The Tigers have won their last five games in a row. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won 16 of 18 games.
North Dakota State, now 14-0 on the year, has the top defense in FCS football and presents the toughest opponent that Towson has played since the Tigers visited Louisiana State in September, 2012.
“North Dakota State is perfect,” says Coach Ambrose. “It’s not just their record. Their program is perfect. Looking for holes on their offense or defense or special teams, they don’t have them. The 11 players they put on the field are as good, if not better at their positions, than anybody else in the country.
“There’s a reason that they’re undefeated and have not lost a game in no-one-knows-how-long. They have resources, they have a following, and they are consistent. They are the Ivan Drago of I-AA football. They are perfect.”
Ambrose’s reference to Ivan Drago refers to a boxer in the movie “Rocky IV.” Played by actor Dolph Lundgren,“Drago” was the behemoth from the Soviet Union who compiled a 100-1-0 record as an amateur, boasted a punching power that was three times as devastating as the average boxer’s, and was trained as the top physical specimen in his sport.
The Tigers are led by All-American running back Terrance West (Northeast H.S./Baltimore, Md.), who has set NCAA FCS single season records with 2,410 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. In the Tigers’ 49-39 quarter-final win over Eastern Illinois, West scored five touchdowns and ran for an NCAA FCS playoff record with 354 rushing yards.
West runs behind an impressive offensive line that is led by senior tackle Eric Pike (DuVal H.S./Lanham, Md.). A four-year starter at left tackle, the 6-5, 298-pound Pike will be starting his 50th career game when the Tigers face North Dakota State. Senior tackle Randall Harris (DuVal H.S./Landover, Md.), senior guard Anthony Davis(Clover Hill H.S./Richmond, Va.) and senior center Doug Shaw (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Woodbine, Md.) lead a rushing offense that averages just under 250 yards per game and has scored 54 rushing touchdowns.
The Tigers’ running game will be tested by a North Dakota State defense that leads the nation by allowing only 11.6 points per game and 90.2 rushing yards per contest. The Bison are ranked second in NCAA FCS, allowing 247.5 yards of total offense per game.
Senior quarterback Peter Athens (Huntingtown H.S./Huntingtown, Md.) has played very well in the post-season. In three NCAA FCS playoff games, he has completed 29 of 37 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He has an amazing passer rating of 250.11 in the post-season. Athens, who left the Eastern Washington game with an injury, has completed 228 of 353 passes for 3,198 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.
Senior linebacker Telvion Clark (Granby H.S./Norfolk, Va.) leads the Tigers with 139 tackles, a mark that places him fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. Clark has forced five fumbles and has three fumble recoveries.
During their post-season run, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a 132-98 margin while North Dakota State has a 138-35 advantage in its three playoff games.
TIGER TALES: This is the second time that Towson and North Dakota State have met in an NCAA post-season game … In 1983, the Tigers dropped a 24-17 decision to the Bison in the quarter-finals of the NCAA Division II playoffs … The Bison went on to win the national championship.
Towson is the sixth different CAA team to reach the NCAA FCS championship game … Delaware has reached the finals four times and has a 1-3 record … Former CAA member Massachusetts reached the championship game three times and won the 1998 title … James Madison (2004), Richmond (2008) and Villanova (2009) won the national championship in their only appearance in the finals.
Both Towson and NDSU opened their seasons with wins over NCAA FBS teams … The Tigers beat Connecticut while the Bison beat Kansas State.
Towson has already shattered the school record for wins in a single season … Until Towson won 13 games this year, no Towson team had ever won more than 10 games.
In his fifth season as the Tigers’ coach, Ambrose has a winning record as the Towson coach … He enters the NCAA FCS championship game with a 32-28 record as the Tigers’ coach … However, he was 3-19 after two seasons … Over the last three years, he is 29-9.
Posted on 20 December 2013 by WNST Staff
CHENEY, Wash. – With a berth in the NCAA FCS championship game on the line, Coach Rob Ambrose and the fifth-ranked Towson University football team will visit No. 3 Eastern Washington in a semi-final match-up on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. (EST).
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU as Mark Neely and Jay Walker call the action.
The Tigers, who have won a school record 12 games, come into the game with a four-game winning streak and own an 11-game winning streak on the road. The Eagles, who are also 12-2, have a 7-0 record at home and a 10-game winning streak.
For the third consecutive game, the Tigers will be facing high-powered offense led by an outstanding quarterback. In the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs, the Tigers faced Fordham University and quarterback Michael Nebrich. The Rams came into the contest averaging 38.2 points per game but Towson prevailed, 48-28. Last week, the Tigers faced the top-ranked quarterback in FCS, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Eastern Illinois, the top scoring team in NCAA FCS with a 48.3 average. However, the Tigers came from behind to beat the Panthers, 49-39.
Eastern Washington is averaging 40.1 points per game and is ranked sixth nationally. The Eagles also rank fourth in NCAA FCS with 530.1 yards of total offense per game.
“It’s like the Pro Bowl times three,” says Ambrose of having to face a top-flight quarterback for the third straight week. “From Fordham, to Eastern Illinois to Eastern Washington, we’ll have faced the top three quarterbacks in the country by every stat you can imagine. The offense is great, the defense is good and each week the margin for error is smaller.”
In its two NCAA post-season games, the Tiger offense has been very efficient. While averaging 48.5 points per game, the Tigers are averaging 538.5 yards of total offense per contest. The Tigers are also averaging 8.5 yards per play.
All-American running back Terrance West is the focal point of the Tiger offense. West is coming off a record-setting effort against Eastern Illinois, a game in which he broke the NCAA FCS playoff record by running for 354 yards on 39 carries with five touchdowns. West leads all of college football with 2,295 rushing yards and earned first team All-America honors for the second time in his career.
The 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year, West was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week four times. A three-time All-CAA first team selection, West has scored 39 touchdowns this season, tying the FCS record for touchdowns in a season. He leads all of college football in touchdowns scored.
For Eastern Washington, this is the Eagles’ third appearance in the FCS semi-finals in the last four years. The Eagles won the NCAA FCS championship in 2010.
The winner of the Towson-Eastern Washington game will advance to the NCAA FCS championship game on Jan. 4 in Plano, Texas.