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first_img Published on August 31, 2016 at 8:04 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus “He’s basically my little brother,” Sanu said. “I’ve always looked out for him. … To see him where he’s at today, I’m not surprised.”The pair first met when Strickland was about 7 or 8 years old and playing Pop Warner football. Sanu was a high school star who had just moved to the area, helping out with the practices and talking with the kids.Strickland was already hooked on football, but meeting Sanu was the “cherry on top.” Sanu noticed a talent in Strickland that stood out from the rest so he took him under his wing.,The next two years were spent with Strickland going to all of Sanu’s high school games, hearing Sanu’s name on the loudspeaker and imagining himself in the same spot.And as the duo got older, the closer they became.“Not the family everybody throws around, but truly family,” George said to describe their relationship. “And I mean took care of him.”Sanu would constantly pick Strickland up to workout and run routes. The NFL wide receiver still jokes with the college running back about switching positions.When Sanu was at Rutgers, he’d bring Strickland back to school with him to work out. Once Sanu reached the NFL, he hired a personal trainer. Then, he brought Jabbie and Strickland to the sessions with him. The trainer understood the situation. They were able to keep up.“I just always made sure I kept them around me so they weren’t around the wrong people,” Sanu said. “You have to have good influences around you so you don’t fall into the wrong crowd.,“I never wanted anything to happen to them as far as being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”Even when Sanu bought his first car after making it to the NFL — a Porsche Cayenne — he brought Strickland along.And when Strickland waited two or three days to go see Sanu the last time he was home, Sanu got upset, Strickland’s father, Bill, said.Before games, Sanu will tell Strickland: “Yo, Tae Beamer. Go hard.” Strickland called Sanu before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns to say, “Yo, Mo. Go ball out. Time to ball out.”Strickland often reaches out to Sanu for advice. Sanu usually preaches extra work, humbleness and other requirements he has realized to make it to the NFL.,“I’ve been through what he’s going through now,” Sanu said. “… I know what it’s like so I’ve just been trying to help him get accustomed to what should he expect.”Strickland has come a long way from the slacking high school sophomore in need of a lecture, and his guiding influence has always been Sanu. Whether it be about college life or football or personal issues, Sanu is his go-to for advice.“It’s amazing just to have him by your side,” Strickland said, “always asking questions (such as) if you need any help about football or life skills. Anything.”“Just an awesome feeling seeing them grow up,” Sanu said. “I was there to help them through it.” Comments When Dontae Strickland’s grades were slipping, putting his future scholarship offers and football career in jeopardy, his football coach at South Brunswick High School knew just one man who could break through.Joe George, the coach, called up then-Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to visit during his bye week for a surprise meeting in the coach’s office with Strickland and Sanu’s nephew, Mohamed Jabbie, who had grade problems as well.Sanu wasn’t just serving as a professional football player to command respect from an aspiring professional athlete, or even just a former South Brunswick (New Jersey) football star to give advice to someone whose shoes he had been in several years earlier.He was, and is, practically family to Strickland. So he didn’t hold anything back.What followed was “a lot of yelling, screaming,” Strickland said. George couldn’t help but think he probably shouldn’t be in the room as Sanu got “down and dirty with them.” The 45-minute to an hour-long speech left them all in tears, Sanu said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe message was clear: You only play football once in your life. Don’t throw it away. No one cares how good you are if you don’t have the grades to go to college.“It was probably one of the best speeches that anyone has ever given me,” Strickland said, “and motivated me, probably still to this day, to give it my all no matter how bad I’m feeling or what’s going on.”Throughout Strickland’s football career and life, Sanu has served as a role model, mentor and source of tough love. He gave Strickland the nickname Tae Beamer because Strickland moves like a BMW, a nickname that’s stuck to this day.Strickland is entering his sophomore year and, despite seeing limited action as a hybrid in 2015, rose to the No. 1 running back spot in the spring. He was hurt for the latter part of training camp but still held the top running back spot on the Week 1 depth chart released Monday. Strickland said Tuesday he is “100 percent.” This is placeholder text Advertisement Facebook Twitter Google+ Dontae Strickland has developed a brotherly bond with NFL WR Mohamed Sanu Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more

Gallery: Syracuse bulldozes Central Connecticut State, 50-7, in season-opening victory

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ UPDATED: Sept. 10, 2017 at 10:49 p.m.Syracuse (1-0) mauled Central Connecticut State (0-1), 50–7, in the Carrier Dome on Friday night in front of an announced 30,273, shifting into cruise control after its first three possessions.  Here are the best images from the game. Comments Published on September 1, 2017 at 11:50 pmlast_img

FIFA meet to set date for vote on Sepp Blatter’s replacement

first_imgThe leadership of crisis-hit world football governing body FIFA gathered at their Zurich headquarters on Monday to set a date for the vote to replace outgoing president Sepp Blatter.Blatter and other top officials from around the world began an extraordinary executive committee meeting to set the timetable for a congress to vote on their next leader. Also on the agenda are early plans for reforms in response to corruption scandals which have rocked FIFA.Blatter and his general secretary Jerome Valcke will address the media following the meeting – the first time the president has faced the press since announcing he would stand down.The organisation was left reeling before it’s May congress after a dawn raid at a five-star Zurich hotel where seven officials, including FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested. On Saturday in New York, Webb pleaded not guilty to a range of charges including racketeering, money-laundering and fraud and was released on a $10 million bail.FIFA is under investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as Swiss authorities, and also faces growing pressure from top sponsors, such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s who have urged major changes.The organisation insists it is taking the need to reform seriously and is co-operating with investigators, but for many critics those claims will be greeted with scepticism until the man who has ruled the body since 1998 is replaced. Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term at the congress but then announced on June 2 that he would lay down his mandate at the ‘extraordinary elective congress’ which will likely be held between December and February. The 79-year-old has repeatedly said that he will not stand again and while he has reneged on that promise before, saying his election in 2011 was his last before changing his mind, it would be a major surprise if he made another u-turn.With FIFA rules stating candidates need to announce their intention to run four months ahead of a vote, the focus will quickly turn to who intends to run for the most powerful job in world soccer.In May’s vote Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein was beaten by Blatter but he has yet to indicate if he will run again, while it remains unclear if UEFA’s French president Michel Platini will stand.Pressure groups such as Transparency International will be keen to learn about FIFA’s reform plans on Monday having urged them to allow an independent, third-party, commission to handle the process.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Miller: Dodgers’ Trayce Thompson, Rockies’ Nolan Arenado share brotherly bond that dates to youth baseball

first_img“He’s at the top of the top competitive-wise,” Thompson says. “He hates to lose. I’m madder when I beat him at something than when I lose because I know it’s going to affect the rest of the day between us. But it’s just all in fun.”Says Arenado: “It’s friends stuff, you know? It starts with some trash talk and then there’s some hitting and then we’re wrestling. Just messing around.”Wait, wrestling? And hitting?!“It’s more joking, just to let out some tension,” Thompson says. “But it happens, yeah. I’m telling you, we’re just like brothers.”That’s how close these two Orange County kids have grown up to be – the most famous brother on the Dodgers talks about his counterpart on the Rockies as if they’re the ones who are related. They play on opposing teams, teams competing to win the same division and, this week, teams going pitch-for-pitch in a frantic, flailing attempt to keep up with the Giants.So, sure, there’s a genuine intensity separating Trayce Thompson and Nolan Arenado, the sort of intensity typically found only between the worst of enemies.Or the best of friends.Intensity, you see, also can pull two people together. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img One of Trayce’s real brothers, of course, is Klay Thompson, who’s in the middle of trying to win a second consecutive NBA title with the Golden State Warriors.Yet, here at Dodger Stadium, the brotherly love between Thompson and Arenado is as obvious as it must have been the first time they had a sleepover.It all began half their young lives ago, on a travel team called the All-Star Dugout Bulldogs. They also played together on various scout teams and in multiple showcase events.After high school – Arenado attended El Toro and Thompson went to Santa Margarita – they both were taken in the second round of the 2009 draft, their budding bond exemplified by the fact they were selected so close together, 59th and 61st, respectively.From there, the two began planning their offseason workouts together and hanging out more and more, playing basketball or video games or pretty much anything else where, in the end, a winner could be identified, just in time to rub the loser’s nose in it.Today, they still hit and throw together in the winter at Baseball Performance Academy in San Juan Capistrano. They also exchange text messages daily – Thompson: “I do that with just my parents and Nolan.” – and check in after almost every game each one of them plays.Pretty cool, huh, two long-time pals realizing their big-league dreams together, Arenado now recognized as one of the game’s best players and Thompson further establishing himself with the Dodgers?“As we got into high school this became something we talked about,” Arenado says. “And it was always, ‘When we get to the major leagues …’ It was a belief, and we worked hard to make it happen.”Cool? Well, it gets better. When these two teams met in Denver in April, the moms – Julie Thompson and Millie Arenado – flew together from Orange County to be there in person, where they sat together at Coors Field, just like during the All-Star Dugout Bulldog days.Their two boys hadn’t played against one another in a real game since Class A ball.“It’s a blessing, no doubt,” Arenado says. “We’re very thankful for stuff like that. It was great to have our moms there. It reminded us of when we were little kids, the families hanging out together.”Arenado is as much a part of the Rockies as the color purple. Entering Tuesday, he led the National League in home runs and RBIs, did this 2015 All-Star third baseman who last season also won his third Gold Glove.Two months ago, on the occasion of his 25th birthday, Arenado was the subject of a Denver Post story suggesting he could eventually supplant Todd Helton as the franchise’s all-time best player.“It’s just like seeing all the success my brother has had,” Thompson says. “It’s literally the same thing.”Thompson’s spot on the Dodgers’ opening day roster might not have been a reality had Andre Ethier reminded healthy. This week, in part because of Thompson’s play, the Dodgers cut loose Carl Crawford, despite still owing Crawford nearly $35 million.Thompson is first or second on the team in homers, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, his swing looking as certain as Arenado assured Thompson it was during their winter batting practice sessions.“He never stopped working,” Arenado says. “I remember in the offseason telling him, ‘Your swing’s different. You look more confident. I think good things are going to happen.’ I couldn’t be happier for him.”Couldn’t be happier for him, that is, until these two buddies share the tee box somewhere in Orange County this fall, at which point both could be wound up snugger than a Titleist.Even more than baseball, the competitive spirit between Arenado and Thompson might burn hottest on the golf course, the two typically playing within a couple strokes of each other.This past offseason, however, Thompson wasn’t able to play much after he was traded to the Dodgers and his training schedule changed.“In years past, it was really close,” Arenado says. “This last year, I was better than him because he stopped playing. He gave up, and you can tell him I said that. He quit on me.”Says Thompson: “I’ll give him the crown this year. But I will say this, the last time we played, in spring training, I beat him.”And isn’t that just like best friends, talking trash and trading blows right up until the final word?last_img read more