25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be televised LIVE on CSN Thursday, Jan. 24

25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be televised LIVE on CSN Thursday, Jan. 24

25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to be Televised Live
on Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, January 24th at 7:30 PM CT (Pre-Show Special airs at 7 PM)

(Chicago December 17, 2012) -- Many of Chicago's most popular past and present professional athletes will take center stage to receive honors at the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards to benefit the March of Dimes. The silver anniversary reception, dinner & ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 from 5:00-9:00 PM CT at the Hilton Chicago & Towers, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. Over the past 24 years, the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards has raised close to 9 million for the March of Dimes.

The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago's professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams, as well as the Chicago community. Special to the 25th anniversary of this event: both a current player and a legend from each professional Chicago sports team will be honored. This year's Player of the Year and Team Legend honorees include RICHARD RIP HAMILTON (Bull of the Year), BOB LOVE (Bulls Legend) -- EDDIE OLCZYK (Blackhawks Legend) -- DARWIN BARNEY (Cub of the Year), ERNIE BANKS (Cubs Legend) -- CHRIS SALE (White Sox of the Year), FRANK THOMAS (White Sox Legend) -- PATRICK NYARKO (Fire of the Year), FRANK KLOPAS (Fire Legend). Honorees from the Chicago Bears will be announced shortly. For the pinnacle moment of the evening, this years March of Dimes Inspirational Athlete award winner is 13-year-old CONNOR McHUGH from St. Michael Parish School in Wheaton, IL. Connor has persevered as both a standout athlete, coach and student, despite being born with a birth defect.

The 1000 expected attendees for the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards will also be able to participate in a silent auction featuring Chicago sports packages and Dream Day tickets, vacation packages including airfare, autographed jerseys of star athletes, tickets for Chicago sports events, golf outings, spa packages, dinner packages, hotel stays and much more. For more information, fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.comsportsawards25.

William T. Barry, Senior Vice President of Draper & Kramer is the events Chairman and James J. Corno is the President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The Honorary Chairmen are Cary D. McMillan, CEO, True Partners Consulting, LLC and Ron Boire, President, Sears and Kmart Formats, Sears Holdings Corporation.

Event sponsors include Comcast SportsNet, True Partners, Quaker, Draper & Kramer, Equity Residential, KPMG, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and PricewaterHouse Coopers.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:30 PM. The awards ceremony, which will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet in HD, starts at 7:30 PM with a special half-hour preview show set to air at 7:00 PM. Tickets are 400 per person and sponsorships are available. To purchase tickets or to make a donation to the 25th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please contact Shannon McCahill at 312-596-4716 (smccahill@marchofdimes.com) or visit CSNChicago.comsportsawards25.

Breaking down Notre Dame's Week 1 depth chart

Breaking down Notre Dame's Week 1 depth chart

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — We’ve finally reached game week after a long offseason, and with that, Notre Dame released its first unofficial two-deep depth chart of 2016 on Tuesday. A few notes and observations from it:

— Sixth-year graduate student Avery Sebastian is listed as Notre Dame’s starting free safety over freshman Devin Studstill. “Sebastian's had a good camp,” coach Brian Kelly said. “He's been really rock solid.” Kelly sees Sebastian as someone who won’t be prone to mistakes, and he’ll replace dismissed senior Max Redfield even though the more natural in-the-box safety will be playing out of position. 

— Junior Andrew Trumbetti jumped ahead of redshirt sophomore Jay Hayes after Hayes missed a few days of practice due to a high ankle sprain. Hayes had taken most of Notre Dame’s first team reps at weakside defensive end since the end of spring practice, but Kelly said “being out five or six days in a very competitive situation gave Andrew just enough opportunity to take more reps and put himself in a really good position.”

— Three of the four players who were arrested earlier this month but not suspended (RB Dexter Williams, WR Kevin Stepherson, LB Te’von Coney) appeared on the depth chart. Williams will split No. 1 kick return duties with receiver C.J. Sanders, while Stepherson is Torii Hunter’s backup and Coney will be behind Nyles Morgan at Mike linebacker (Kelly said Coney, a natural Will linebacker, has been cross-training at Mike). Ashton White didn’t earn a No. 2 cornerback nod, with those going to sophomore Nick Coleman and freshman Julian Love. All four players are expected to play this Sunday against Texas. 

— There weren’t any surprises on the offensive two-deep. As expected, the No. 1 QB is listed as DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire, while top running back duties will be split between Tarean Folston and Josh Adams. 

— There are five true freshmen on the defensive two deep: weakside defensive end Daelin Hayes, Sam (outside) linebacker Jamir Jones, cornerback Julian Love, strong safety Jalen Elliott and free safety Devin Studstill. Expect more than just those five freshmen to see snaps this year, too (for example, Kelly said freshman defensive end Julian Okwara will travel with the team to Texas) which underscores how young a lot of Notre Dame’s defensive depth will be this fall. 

Notre Dame’s full depth chart is below (players with "OR" are listed in alphabetical order)

Quarterback
1. DeShone Kizer (RS sophomore) OR Malik Zaire (RS junior)

Running back
1. Josh Adams (sophomore) OR Tarean Folston (RS junior)

W (Boundary) receiver
1. Equanimeous St. Brown (sophomore)
2. Miles Boykin (RS freshman) 

Z (Slot) receiver
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore)
2. Corey Holmes (RS sophomore)

X (Field) receiver
1. Torii Hunter Jr. (RS junior)
2. Kevin Stepherson (freshman)

Left tackle
1. Mike McGlinchey (RS junior)
2. Hunter Bivin (RS junior)

Left guard
1. Quenton Nelson (RS sophomore)
2. Trevor Ruhland (RS freshman)

Center
1. Sam Mustipher (RS sophomore)
2. Mark Harrell (Graduate student)

Right guard 
1. Colin McGovern (RS junior)
2. Tristen Hoge (RS freshman)

Right tackle
1. Alex Bars (RS sophomore)
2. Tommy Kraemer (freshman)

Weakside defensive end
1. Andrew Trumbetti (junior)
2. Jay Hayes (RS junior) OR Daelin Hayes (freshman)

Strongside defensive end
1. Isaac Rochell (senior)
2. Jonathan Bonner (RS sophomore)

Nose guard
1. Daniel Cage (junior) OR Jarron Jones (Graduate student)

Defensive tackle
1. Jerry Tillery (sophomore)
2. Elijah Taylor (RS freshman)

Sam (outside) linebacker
1. James Onwualu (senior)
2. Jamir Jones (freshman)

Will (inside) linebacker
1. Greer Martini (junior)
2. Asmar Bilal (RS freshman)

Mike (middle) linebacker
1. Nyles Morgan (junior)
2. Te’von Coney (sophomore)

Cornerback 
1. Shaun Crawford (RS freshman)
2. Nick Coleman (sophomore)

1. Cole Luke (senior)
2. Julian Love (freshman)

Strong safety
1. Drue Tranquill (junior)
2. Jalen Elliott (freshman)

Free safety
1. Avery Sebastian (6th-year graduate student)
2. Devin Studstill (freshman)

Kick returner
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore) OR Dexter Williams (sophomore)

Punt returner 
1. C.J. Sanders (sophomore)
2. Chris Finke (RS freshman)

Holder
1. Montgomery VanGorder (RS sophomore)
2. DeShone Kizer (RS sophomore)

Placekicker
1. Justin Yoon (sophomore)
2. Tyler Newsome (RS sophomore)

Punter
1. Tyler Newsmen (RS sophomore)
2. Jeff Riney (RS freshman)

Long snapper
1. Scott Daly (graduate student)
2. John Shannon (freshman)

Kickoffs
1. Tyler Newsome (RS sophomore)
2. Justin Yoon (sophomore)

Recruiting news and notes: Jeff Thomas in no rush

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Recruiting news and notes: Jeff Thomas in no rush

East St. Louis senior four-star ranked wide receiver Jeff Thomas (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) put on a show in the Flyers' 34-3 win over Providence Catholic in New Lenox.

Thomas, who hauled in 5 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns while also playing defensive back, is still uncommitted and doesn't seem to be in any hurry to make a college choice.

"Everything is the same," Thomas said. "It's all about my team and the season for right now."

Earlier this summer, Thomas listed his top schools as Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Missouri. Missouri just added a recent verbal commitment from East St Louis QB Rey Estes and the Tigers many feel could have an advantage in landing Thomas. Missouri has four former East St. Louis Flyers on its current roster.

Deerfield senior three-star ranked defensive end Joshua Maize (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) recently released his list of favorites schools which includes Toledo, UConn, Indiana, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio and Ball State. Maize however has also been drawing heavy recruiting looks from several other BCS level schools including Purdue, Syracuse, Rutgers, Illinois and Penn State and those schools plan to re-evaluate Maize early this fall. Maize plans to make official visits before making a final college choice and recently said, "my recruiting process is still very open at this time."

[RELATED - Edgy Tim's Top 25 power rankings: Week 2]

One position that is having rough recruiting ride in the Class of 2017? Quarterback. So far just three in-state Class of 2017 signal callers have given BCS level schools a verbal commitments including Jacob's Chris Katernick (Bowling Green), Marian Catholic's Cameron Thomas (Illinois) and Estes (Missouri). So far, the only FCS level in-state known verbal pledge comes from Hinsdale Central's Josh Bean (Columbia). 

This Thursday (Sept. 1st) is a big day in football recruiting circles for the Class of 2018. Thursday is the first day that prospects are allowed per the NCAA to receive recruiting materials (mail) along with unlimited electronic transmissions (text/instant/direct messages) from college coaches. 

"I've stayed in touch with a handful of college coaches and they all said that I would be hearing from them on Thursday," Lake Zurich junior inside linebacker Jack Sanborn said. "It's exciting to hear from those coaches along with hopefully some new schools as well."

Need proof that the recruiting process calendar is getting pushed up earlier and earlier? From my recently-released State of Illinois Class of 2017 Top 60 recruit rankings, 49 out of the 60 recruits have already given schools a verbal commitment. Out of the 11 uncommitted players, I would say nearly half of those players are being held up from giving a verbal commitment because of various academic questions/issues.

Injuries figure into Bears most recent roster cuts

Injuries figure into Bears most recent roster cuts

Health issues ran through the Bears’ most recent roster cuts that brought the player total to its required 75 by Tuesday.

Center Hroniss Grasu (knee) and quarterback Connor Shaw (leg) were played on injured reserve. Linebacker Roy Robertson-Harris, ill for much of training camp and forced to leave practice early Monday with sickness, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list; and linebacker Lamin Barrow was waived/injured.

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Notre Dame linebacker Jarrett Grace also was waived.

The Bears must cut down to 53 players by Sunday night.