2012 NFL Draft: defensive notes

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2012 NFL Draft: defensive notes

There's always one position that stands out in every NFL Draft, 2012's is considered to be on of the deepest at defensive tackle in recent history, according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock.

Currently, there are seven DT's that could hear their names called in the first round, the top four being: Michael Brockers, Jerel Worthy, Dontari Poe and Devon Still.

Mayock rates the defensive end position as the worst in this draft. There is some value at DE in the middle-rounds, but only two players are worthy of being selected in the first round.

North Carolina's Quinton Coples is currently rated as the top defensive end in the draft, but Mayock says he would be scared to death of drafting him because he didn't play good or hard during his senior season.

The player that may be the best DE in the draft is South Carolina's Melvin Ingram, who Mayock compares to Justin Tuck because of his ability to play different positions on the defensive line.

More defensive notes from Mayock:

- Three cornerbacks with first round grades: Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins.

- He's not a fan of Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict and thinks he will be drafted in the late second or early third round.

- If Boston College's Luke Kuechley runs a 4.7 or lower 40-yard dash, he will be a Top 15 pick.

- Likes Notre Dame OLB Darius Fleming and surprised he's not rated higher. Mayock says once teams watch tape on him they say, "Wow there's something here."

Who do you think is the best defensive player in the 2012 NFL Draft? Is there a 'sleeper' player that you have your eyes on in the middle rounds? Let us know in the comment below.

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

University of Illinois starting pitcher Cody Sedlock was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday.

The junior from Sherrard, Ill., led the conference in strikeouts (116) and innings pitched (101.1).

He is the fifth Illini pitcher to take home the award, following Tyler Jay who was given the honor last year — and later went on to be picked No. 6 overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2015 MLB draft. It's the second time in program history that an Illini pitcher has won the award in back-to-back seasons.

The right-hander Sedlock is projected by many to be a first-round selection in the upcoming MLB draft on June 9.

Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

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Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

Loyola women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes is under investigation for coaching practices at the university.

The investigation was sparked after 10 of the team's 12 players have transferred or have requested releases — nine having been recruited by Swoopes. Loyola began an "independent and comprehensive university investigation" on April 15.

According to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, five former players have stated that Swoopes' "unusual coaching style" was the reason behind their exits.

Swoopes has declined to comment on any allegations, according to Ryan. Loyola released the following statement on Thursday:

"Until the investigation is completed, the athletics department and women's basketball coaching staff are conducting business as usual as we prepare for the 2016-2017 season."

Swoopes is listed as one of the greatest WNBA players of all-time. She was hired to coach Loyola's women's basketball team in 2013.

Click here to read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.

NCAA final rematch: Loyola-Lewis in men's volleyball MIVA semis Wednesday on CSN+

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NCAA final rematch: Loyola-Lewis in men's volleyball MIVA semis Wednesday on CSN+

A rematch of the 2015 NCAA men's volleyball final between Loyola and Lewis will be aired on CSN+ on Wednesday at 7 p.m..

The two-time defending NCAA Champion Loyola men's volleyball team will take on Lewis, which the Ramblers defeated in five games in last year's final, in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association tournament semifinal.

The two Chicagoland schools are again among the best teams in the country with the Ramblers currently ranked No. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll and the Flyers coming in at No. 12. Loyola is the No. 2 seed in the tournament while the Flyers hold the No. 4 seed.

This is the fifth straight year the two teams have met in the MIVA tournament, including meeting in the tournament final each of the past three years.

Local products feature heavily on both teams. Jeff Jendryk, a graduate of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, leads the Ramblers with 266 kills, Cary-Grove grad Jake Selsky leads Loyola with 180 digs and Ricky Gevis (Benet Academy) has 174 kills. Key Chicagoland players for Lewis include kills-leader Mitch Perinar (Minooka), blocks-leader Bobby Walsh (Mt. Carmel), digs-leader Jake Walenga (Lincoln-Way North) and setter Scott Fifer (Sandburg).