Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

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Alabama defense ready for whatever Irish throw at them

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Notre Dame has watched the tape, and feel they have an advantage against Alabama's secondary.
Most of that tape, though, is of Johnny Manziel's wizardry in Texas A&M's upset win over the Tide in November. For all the strides he's made in the last two months, Everett Golson is not Johnny Manziel. Still, both are young, elusive quarterbacks who can run, so the comparisons have been drawn.
"Hes a great quarterback," Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner said of Golson. "He makes plays last longer by using his legs. Any time youve got a dual-threat quarterback that can run and pass the ball like he does, they can be a challenge at any time because he can make plays last longer with his legs."
Linebacker C.J. Mosley noted how Manziel's scrambles and dashes out of the pocket got Alabama's defense out of its zones, gaps and contains against Texas A&M. It's plays like those that led Irish running back Theo Riddick to say Friday he thinks the Irish have an advantage over Alabama's secondary.
Accurate claim or not, Alabama's certainly aware of its mistakes against Manziel and using those to prepare for Golson. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart pointed out a play against Boston College where Golson scrambled right and threw to a wide open John Goodman in the end zone as a challenge for his defense.
"They lost him. To (the secondary's) credit that creates a different angle of the offense that's hard to prepare for. It's hard to simulate that, simulate a play that extends that long. You can't do it, you really can't."
So the goal for Alabama will be to pressure Golson and to restrain him from dancing outside the pocket. Golson can probably expect an array of blitzes he hasn't seen on tape as part of Alabama's effort to make him uncomfortable.
Perhaps a tougher aspect for Alabama to achieve will be to mute Tyler Eifert's production. The senior tight end has come on strong as of late, finally forging a relationship with Golson to the point where he's the go-to safety net. Eifert figured Alabama hasn't seem a player like him this year, a claim which Mosley backed up with the agreement of his defensive coordinator.
"They do a great job with what they do of getting No. 80 the ball," Smart said. "It forces you to do things that you're not used to doing."
Milliner, by the way, compared Eifert to ex-South Carolina and current Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. That's probably more accurate than comparing Golson to Manziel, although if Notre Dame gets the same result Texas A&M had, that argument won't matter.

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

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AP

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

DePaul hoops received a huge boost this week as five-star recruit Tyger Campbell committed to the university.

The elite point guard recruit out of La Lumiere, will join the Class of 2018, choosing DePaul over schools like Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy.

"Mainly what I like about the school is I want to help bring it back. I love Chicago; it's a great city. I want to bring the city a college back to cheer for."

Campbell also said the Blue Demons' new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place Event Center, which is slated to open this fall, is a big draw for him.

The Blue Demons are a combined 18-45 the last two seasons and hasven't had a winning season since 2006-07 when they went 20-14 and made the NIT Quarterfinals.

The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04 during Leitao's first stint as the team's head coach.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.