What Chuba Hubbard Will Bring to Oklahoma State: His Take

first_imgPlay as a true freshmanHelp lead Oklahoma State to a Big 12 titleChase Justice Hill and the records he’s breaking.I admire Justice Hill a lot and I’m really excited to be able to learn from him and hopefully be mentored by him.KB: There’s a lot of football players who have done track as well at OSU. Are you still planning to do both in Stillwater? And how do you think track helps prepare you / give you an edge as a football player?Chuba: Yes I still am planning to do both! I actually have 2 friends on the track team that I’ve known for awhile! I think track gives me my “self drive” in a sense. In track it’s individual, it’s all about how much work you put in and I think that’s what gives me that edge. Not knowing how far I can go but knowing there is a chance, and obviously it plays apart with the speed and keeping me in shape. They both correspond to each other! The two best sports!Hubbard says he is making his official visit to Stillwater next weekend.For those interested, you can follow him on twitter here. Oklahoma State loses the veteran presence of Chris Carson, Rennie Childs, and Barry J. Sanders this offseason. Outside of freshman all-american Justice Hill making his return as the starter, there is plenty of playing time readily available in 2017.Enter Chuba Hubbard, the Canadian speedster and four-star prospect who has been committed to OSU since May. I caught up with him earlier this week to talk about some of his traits he brings to the table, when he’ll be on campus, and more.Check out the full transcript below.KB: What is Oklahoma State getting with Chuba Hubbard?Chuba: The player OSU is getting is one that isn’t just coming to make a difference in himself, but also a difference in Oklahoma State, their program, and people.But on the field wise: They’re getting a versatile player. A playmaker. You know everyone talks about my speed, but in my senior season, I worked more on key things to prepare for Oklahoma State, like switching the ball, running harder, hands, etc. Now I feel I can break those long runs but when you need me on the third-and-3, I’ll be able to get that. I’m planning to come in around 205 pounds and after this track year I’m hoping to come in faster than ever.I’m confident in my work effort and believe I can make a big impact for Oklahoma State.KB: When will you be on campus to officially start school? And what are your personal expectations as a freshman of yourself?Chuba: It really depends on what happens with track! Could be June or earlier (before he makes it to Stillwater), maybe even later than June.I have three main goals as a freshman: While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

OSU’s Ateman, McCain Living Large After Being Little-Known High School Teammates

first_imgFriday night Texas high school football is a story told on one of two sides of the same coin. There is the powerhouse — like Denton Ryan — whose players pull on their arm sleeves and wristbands in multi-million-dollar field houses. Their cleats aren’t worn out because they play on turf fields that are thrown out every couple of years. Their profiles on 24/7 Sports and other recruiting outlets are littered with offers from universities that perennially compete for national championships. And their reputations are glorified across town because they play for high school programs that boast state titles and current NFL standouts.Then there is the little engine. That’s Wylie East in this story. It wasn’t long ago that Garrett McCain and Marcell Ateman had “nothing” besides talent. A bunch of bonds had failed, which meant there was no incoming money to build up any kind repertoire for the program. They played on an old grass field, one of the only left in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex at that time. And they got ready for football practice and games in a P.E. girls locker room.“I can stretch my arms out, and I can touch each wall,” said Joe Lepsis, football coach at Wylie East.It fit about 20 girls comfortably, but that was if there wasn’t any equipment. When 35 varsity football players had to get in there with helmets, shoulder pads and a few more pounds on their bodies than the average P.E. girl, half of them had to change in the hall just outside the locker room.“It was ridiculous,” Ateman said with a laugh. “It was like a closet.”McCain, the quarterback turned Oklahoma State center fielder, and Ateman, the Cowboy receiver once high school hoops star, have tons of stories together. Their legacies — while still being written at OSU — are already in the books at Wylie East, a school that hasn’t had anyone play professionally in any sport anywhere.“Everything that they’re doing right now,” Lepsis said, “they’re trailblazing.”The First 2 NamesWedged between Lake Ray Hubbard and Lavon Lake, Wylie East is going on only its eighth year of existence. It was part of the big school, Wylie High, about 15 minutes down Brown Street, but after a population increase of more than a 170 percent from 2000 to ’09, a split was growing necessary.But there were problems with the new school. There wasn’t a budget, which meant no athletic facilities whatsoever. For Ateman and McCain’s entire high school career, they went without a weight room, locker room or coaches’ office. That was OK though because they had an opportunity.In Wylie East’s third season of football, Lepsis scheduled that powerhouse Denton Ryan. On the road. For Ryan’s homecoming game. It was meant to be used as a model, a prototype to show everyone around the program what Wylie East could be someday, maybe.Before the game, a Ryan cornerback was mouthing off to Ateman, who had already become a four-star receiver for the Raiders. Ateman held offers from 14 universities, including Michigan, Baylor and Tennessee. He was a stud, and that corner had to have known it. Lepsis watched and wondered how Ateman would respond. He wanted him to use his 6-foot-3 frame and show that (as Lepsis put it) he was the strongest kid at Wylie East, despite being a receiver. He wanted that, but he couldn’t know for sure. He knew there wasn’t a way to finesse Ryan. They were “a bully.” So he wanted Ateman to set the tone.Two of the first three plays, Ateman caught quick slants, leaving the mouthy corner yards behind. After every play, Ateman jawed back. He set that tone. The third play though, the play Lepsis said he will never forget, the corner tried to jam Ateman at the line of scrimmage. As even the corners at OSU have learned, that’s a horrible idea. Ateman “buried” him into the turf, broke inside, took a shot from the safety cracking down and plowed through for a few more yards. Lepsis still uses those first three plays to start every season as an example of strength and physicality.“Those three plays were what turned the corner for us,” Lepsis said. They beat Ryan that night 34-31.“We put it on ’em that game,” Ateman said.McCain had weapons all around him. Ateman was his No. 1 guy to the left side. Quan Jones, who plays at Baylor now, was to McCain’s right. Jesse Brubaker was the starting quarterback before he was moved to tight end so McCain could start. He is now playing on the defensive line at Tulsa. And their running back, Jabari Anderson, is at Tarleton State. McCain said Anderson might have been their best player.“It was easy to just throw the ball up to those guys and let them work,” McCain said. “I think we averaged 52 a game. It was insane. It was a video game.”McCain was on the freshman team only the year before. Brubaker was the only quarterback on varsity, and he got hurt early that season. The coaches told McCain they wanted him to come up with the big kids, but they needed his parents’ consent.McCain wasn’t needed to start that week or any other week that season, so Lepsis put him back in the secondary, and he returned punts for a time. That spring, Brubaker moved to tight end, and McCain was named QB1. As Lepsis found out, that was one of the best coaching decisions he ever made for reasons he learned a Christmas later.The Wylie East principal had allowed a dance room to be turned into a pseudo weight room. Finally, something. The football guys held an 2-hour open weight room session. As Lepsis walked into the school, he found McCain at the top of the steps. He was stunned to see him.McCain was scheduled to have knee surgery later that day. His mom was coming to get him in about 20 minutes.“Garrett, I thought you were having surgery today,” Lepsis said. “Why in the world are you here?”What his quarterback said next is why Lepsis told this story to every recruiter who came to see him and why he still tells it to his players today.“Well, it’s open, so I figured since some of my teammates are gonna be here, I needed to be here,” McCain said.Lepsis said that’s all you need to know about McCain. After his mom came to take him to the hospital, Lepsis thought to himself. It all started to hit him.“One of these days, that kid’s gonna graduate, and I may never coach another kid like that,” he said.It wasn’t because of his athletic ability. It was because of that “it factor.” Lepsis said he has had it since the day they met. McCain has always been “the guy.”“There’s not a kid, teacher or coach alive that doesn’t respect Garrett McCain,” he said. “He’s that kind of guy that you hope when you’re son grows up, he’s just like Garrett.”McCain and Ateman were stars at Wylie East. On and off the football field, baseball diamond and basketball court. While they were still there, Lepsis was talking to another player about staying out of trouble. He wanted to know who did and did not go to parties, drink or do drugs. He needed to know who he could rely on and who he should to keep watch over. He pulled out his roster and started at the top.“Tell me about Garrett McCain,” Lepsis said.“Garrett, he doesn’t get in trouble, coach,” the kid told him.“Why not?”“Because Garrett’s gonna do something with himself.”One name later, “Tell me about Marcell,” Lepsis said.“Marcell doesn’t do any of that stuff.”“OK, well tell me why Marcell doesn’t do that.”“Because Marcell’s gonna go do something with his life,” he said.Brothers For LifeAt first glance, they couldn’t be more different. McCain is almost scrawny for a baseball player, 6-0, 186 pounds. He is typically clean shaven, and he does everything with a sense of perfection. His stride, his speech, his attitude. Quick to talk to anyone. Ateman is a massive human, 6-4, 220. He often grows his beard out, and his right arm is covered in a sleeve of tattoos. He doesn’t get written about a great deal, and McCain said he thinks Ateman probably likes it that way.As soon as you start talking to them, they couldn’t be more similar. Both seem like your best friends after one conversation. They are heavy in their faith. McCain wears a large cross necklace for every baseball game, and Ateman has a cross tattoo right where the necklace charm would lay.Their passions have led them in similar yet not identical paths. Ateman committed to OSU his sophomore year, before he became a truly touted recruit. He played basketball before he got to Wylie East, but Lepsis convinced him to give football a try. McCain was always the multi-sporter, too. He just liked baseball more and was frankly better at it. He had offers from the academy schools and mid-major universities such as Houston to play both baseball and football, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to be in Stillwater.So here they are, two men from the same high school, who played on the same high school football team, who now go to the same university four hours from home, who wear the same jersey number, and who both are tearing it up in their respective sports.Ateman broke a bone in his foot before last season. The year before that, he had 677 yards receiving with five touchdowns. He handled the time away from football well, McCain said. He said he will bounce back strong.McCain is second on the Cowboy baseball team with a .353 batting average. He has started every game and leads OSU in at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples. He is one of the faces of Cowboy baseball.Still, their friendship remains. It’s not as strong as it once was. They don’t hang out after practices, go watch movies together or play video games. But when they see each other on campus, they still talk. When they see each other at the training table grabbing lunch, they always take time to sit together, catch up and trade scouting reports. One will text the other from time to time to see how he is doing. It’s hard though. Football is during the fall, and baseball is during the spring. With offseason workouts, practices and camps, it’s almost impossible to keep up.That doesn’t matter though. They have all the memories they need.“He was fun to play with, great teammate, great guy to be around in the locker room,” McCain said. “I really enjoyed getting to experience being on a team with Marcell.“It’s a great relationship Marcell and I have.”To this day, McCain still gets excited when he sees Ateman go up for a fade from OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph. He can sense when the ball is going his way before its is even snapped. He knows how his mind works, what he sees and what he thinks.“I feel like I’m out there going through the plays with him,” McCain said. “I get probably just as much adrenaline rush as he does when he catches the ball.”He knows his tendencies, and he thinks back to when he was the one putting the ball in his hands a lot.Ateman does, too.“High school football was some of the funnest times,” Ateman said. “Being able to play with people like Garrett, Quan, Jabari, we were all so close. We’ve known each other since we were little.“It’s all just a blessing. We never strayed away from each other.”Looking back at what he and McCain did in their time at Wylie East, Ateman said it’s just a honor to be one of the examples Lepsis uses for his younger players. They were a new generation, he said, a chance to establish what that football team would be like on the field and stand for off of it.When they go back to Wylie East now, they finds it like that old powerhouse Denton Ryan. There is a locker room now, a fully functional one, coaches’ offices and a field house. Turf is on the field now, not grass. They even have an indoor facility. None of that was feasible when they were there. But because of them, it evolved.There’s a high level of respect that flows between Ateman and McCain because of the things they achieved and the foundation they laid. A level of respect that never faded, even after their last game together.“If he needed anything, he knows I’m one call away,” Ateman said. “It’s a forever kind of relationship. He is like a brother.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Chalk Talk: Three Things to Take Away From the Spring Game

first_imgThe Oklahoma State spring game gave a glimpse of OSU fans what they could see in the upcoming 2017 season. Although the game plans of most spring scrimmages are fairly conservative, only using a handful of base plays, there were still some notable things that one might have noticed during the game. Here are three most noteworthy play observations in the Spring Game.Three Down/Four DownThe OSU defense has committed to using a more varied personnel in 2017. The Cowboys used some three-down fronts last season, and the recent hiring of Brian VanGorder has solidified their commitment to three-down sets. The Cowboys have clearly worked on three-down formations in the offseason. They used a nickel set on multiple occasions with the rush backer on the left side taking place of the end (most defenses will put their best pass rusher on the quarterback’s blind side).They also used a nickel set with two rush backers on each side and three lineman spaced between.This is a good sign for Cowboy fans. Last season, they used three-down sets conservatively, bringing it out in likely pass situations. There was little variety, but it makes sense considering they started using it mid-season. Now, they’ve added variety, and it’s not just for prevent situations anymore. Expect three-down sets to play a bigger role in the Cowboy defense next season.Y AlignmentA number of Cowboy fans thought that the OSU offense would minimize the cowboy back position in 2017 considering how many talented receivers they have. If the Spring Game was any indication, it’s not necessarily that the Cowboys aren’t using the cowboy back anymore.Rather, they’re adding more variation to the back’s alignment. The Orange team, for example, lined cowboy back Keenan Brown all over the field, often playing in the backfield, as a tight end and as a flexed receiver all in the same drive. The Black team did the same with Dawson Bassett on the first couple of drives.The Cowboys showed formations with the tight end flexed in the slot in both two-by-two and trips formations; in the latter, the cowboy back aligned on the line of scrimmage in both the inside slot, known as “trey” alignment, and in the outside slot, known as a “trio” alignment (terminology varies).When used correctly, flexed tight ends can be a headache to cover. If the strong-side linebacker plays the flexed end head up, then he leaves the box susceptible to the run. But if he stays in the box, then he has to leave the end uncovered before the snap which gives the offense an advantage in the passing game.If done correctly, this formational versatility should give opposing defenses headaches throughout the upcoming season, especially considering how quickly the Cowboys operate. Four-receiver sets are effective, but the use of a tight end in this fashion has its advantages as well.QB Run GameThe Cowboys’ run game looked slightly different than last season’s in the spring game. It almost appeared as if they reverted back to their 2015 ways. They put a big focus on the outside zone out of the shotgun, with no use of the pistol (which, as we’ve talked about before, allows backs to utilize their vision better in comparison to the shotgun).They used inside runs with a wing tight end, but there weren’t any available running lanes because of the extra linebacker in the box due to the tight end’s presence. Their only successful play was an inside zone read. Mason Rudolph converted a 4th-and-1 with it in the game’s first drive, and the play was used in the latter half of the game to open up holes up the middle for the running backs.This play is an example of something the Cowboys never do enough of, and that’s to run against a six-man box. Yes, cowboy backs can help in the run game, but they can also help spread a defense out as well. This play also signifies the possibility of using Mason Rudolph in the run game more in 2017. Could we see more plays like this? That’s currently unclear, but the Cowboys consistently used this play throughout all four quarters.The Spring Game in its entirety was fairly lackluster, as OSU fans should come to expect. Gundy isn’t one to show too much before the season starts, and rightfully so. Although the scrimmage itself wasn’t all that special, the game was telling of what we could see in the future. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Cy-Ridge Offensive Lineman Tyrese Williams Commits to Oklahoma State

first_img“First of all I would like to thank God for blessing me with the opportunities that I have and the talent I have been given to be able to play football at the next level,” Williams posted on Twitter. “I would like to thank my wonderful family for their tremendous support throughout my recruiting process, my coaches and my trainer for mentoring me and shaping me into the player I am today, and all the recruiters, coaches and universities for giving me opportunities to play football for their programs. After talking with my parents, coaches and family members, I am truly blessed to say that I will be committing to Oklahoma State University!”Williams is the fourth verbal commitment for OSU’s offensive line class, and likely the last. More importantly, he’s the fourth high school product to join the mix — one of the biggest focuses for OSU in this cycle after striking out under Greg Adkins with high school recruits.Houston, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, California, New Mexico and Tulsa were all involved in his recruitment. He held 13 Division I offers. It’s taken less than three months for Josh Henson to fill an entire offensive line recruiting class for Oklahoma State as the line coach.He’s landed two stud offensive tackles in Hunter Anthony and Hunter Woodard, he’s grabbed a commitment from a top-10 offensive guard in Oklahoma in Bryce Bray, and now he’s got a center. Tyrese Williams, a product of Cy Ridge in Houston, committed on Tuesday morning. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The 2017 Best Case and Worst Case Scenario for Each Big 12 Team

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Big 12 has gone through a shake up over this offseason. Bell cows Oklahoma and Texas both have new CEOs for the first time in 70 years. A couple of teams look to take a step forward and a couple more may sink to the bottom.So, let’s look at take a look at the realistic expectations for each program. We’re only taking regular season records into account (not the Big 12 title game) and looking at them in alphabetical order.BaylorBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12AdChoices广告Comments: Baylor may be the toughest team in the league to peg. It’s one of three teams with a new head coach in 2017, but unlike Texas and OU, the Bears are looking at a big rebuild. There is still some talent left on the roster, including ten returning starters from last year. But how quickly can Matt Rhule implement his new system, and how will that match up with some of the offenses he’ll face in the Big 12? Not to be underestimated, Baylor is undergoing a complete culture change, as well. This is a different team than the one Art Briles had, and I think expecting much better than 6-6 may be unreasonable.Iowa StateBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 3-9, bottom of the Big 12Comments: Can Iowa State take a step forward in Matt Campbell’s second year? There are some things to like about the Cyclones. They return plenty of skill players like Allen Lazard, David Montgomery and Mike Warren and Jacob Park has gone through his first spring as the No. 1 QB. The biggest question comes at the offensive line where they lose four starters from maybe their best position group last year. Former quarterback Joel Lanning has been moved to linebacker but they’ll need more help than that for a defense that finished ahead of only Texas Tech in points per drive allowed in 2016.KansasBest: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12, but improvingWorst: 0-12, last placeComments: Despite the obvious punchline, David Beaty has shown improvement over his 2-22 first two seasons. The Jayhawks were at least disruptive on defense last season and return several leaders on that side of the ball. The question is whether or not they have an offense that can at least give the defense a break. A 4-8 record is optimistic, but I see a couple other Big 12 teams falling off as well. Kansas’ non-conference is not a gimme with Central Michigan coming to town. No comment.Kansas StateBest: 10-2, Big 12 title, Sugar BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: I’m not sure what to think about this team. I can understand why some are picking K-State as a dark horse Big 12 pick and I could also see them finishing fourth to fifth in the league. They do welcome Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia to Manhattan, and they have an established, returning QB which normally makes for a tough Bill Snyder-coached team.OklahomaBest: 12-0, Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 8-4, middle of the Big 12, AutoZone Liberty BowlComments: Oklahoma probably should be the Big 12 favorite based on history and the talent on their roster. But the Sooners lost their winningest head coach and Baker Mayfield’s three best weapons — by far. An improved defense will go a long way in securing another conference title and possible College Football Playoff berth, as well as a Bear Bryant Award for Lincoln Riley in his first year.Oklahoma StateBest: 12-0. Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 9-3, 2nd place in the Big 12, Camping World BowlComments: The orange Kool-Aid is flowing like a mullet in September. We could see the best Gundy-led team since a trip up in Ames kept them from a National Championship game in 2011. How good is Oklahoma? What effect does the change in schedule — or the changing of the visor — make on Bedlam? How much better is this defense? A 9-3 record would be a disappointment. The ceiling is the roof.TCUBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom half of the Big 12Comments: TCU has a ton of questions heading into the fall. Can Kenny Hill salvage a career as a starting QB? How much does the offense miss Doug Meacham? Their defense has a chance to be good again, but it had that chance last year and got embarrassed a few times down the stretch.TexasBest: 9-3,  3rd in the Big 12, AdvoCare V100 Texas BowlWorst: 5-7, middle of the Big 12Comments: Is Texas back? No. It’s July. But new front man Tom Herman brings with him plenty of, uh charisma, and his coaching chops are well-documented. He inherits some decent talent from Charlie Strong. Is he the right fit? How long does a rebuild take? Does he have a quarterback? Time will tell.Texas TechBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 2-10, bottom of the Big 12Comments:  My 6-6 ceiling may be generous. The Red Raiders lose Pat Mahomes to the NFL Draft as well as receivers Jakeem Grant to graduation, Jonathan Giles and Tony Brown to transfer. We like to look at their offense as a plug-and-play system but it’s hard to not expect at least a step back in production without Mahomes. And their defense has an uphill battle — with no clear path — to mediocrity. Mahomes’ arm and legs kept them in games last season. Tech may be historically bad in 2017.West VirginiaBest: 10-2, 2nd place in the Big 12, Valero Alamo BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: West Virginia, like Baylor, is hard to peg. On one hand, they add what appears to be a talented passer in Florida transfer Will Grier. On the other, they lose key pieces on both sides of the ball, including seven offensive linemen. This could be a huge year for Dana Holgorsen. He’s off the hot seat after churning out his first 10-win season a year ago, but drop back down into the middle of the pack and the groaning will return. If he can pilot the Mountaineers to a 9- or 10-win season, he sets himself up nicely moving forward.last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 7 Ramon Richards

first_imgSeven days. That’s right, guys. We are about to enter #GameWeek. Let’s finish this thing out right starting with one of the most polarizing players — and characters — that’s been through Stillwater in some time.How he got to OSUVersatility has been an attribute of Ramon’s since well before he got to Stillwater. At Brackenridge High School (San Antonio, Texas), he played quarterback and safety, scoring 63 touchdowns his final two years (31 passing, 32 rushing) despite missing a chunk of his senior year due to a concussion. Richards was named to the Texas High School Football All-Elite Team for Class 4A Region IV as senior.And he excelled in the classroom even receiving offers from Harvard and Yale as well as Houston, Rice and Sam Houston State. A Renaissance man of sorts, but you can call him Ramon or Honcho.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterRichards played in every game as a true freshman and was thrust into a starting role after Ashton Lampkin when down with injury in Week 4. There were some growing pains in his first year but his athleticism and play-making ability showed. He grabbed three interceptions including a 38-yard pick-six against Kansas State.Since then Richards has grown into one of Oklahoma State’s leaders — and its best quotes. His 23 career starts is second only to fellow safety Tre Flowers (32) on defense.Role in 2017Prior to the start of spring practice, Mike Gundy surprised us, announcing that his only cornerback with any experience to start with — much less starts — would move to safety. The hows, whys and huh???s were quieted a bit with the addition of Adrian Baker but it’s apparent that Glenn Spencer isn’t worried. In fact, the move of Richards to safety was motivated by confidence in that young group of corners.Which meant Ramon had to show another form of leadership that didn’t include climbing atop lockers or frantically engaging the fanbase. He changed positions without regard for how he might be viewed. Because it’s what was best for the team.“Ramon’s all about what’s best for us,” Spencer told PFB “and to get the best 11 on the field, that’s the best move. If something was to happen at corner, Ramon and Darius can always go back to corner.”There also appear to be tangible motivating factors to get Richards into centerfield full-time.“That position in certain areas, in certain areas, where Ramon might have been deficient in some technique things at corner, might be to the advantage at safety,” Spencer said. “Just some things you have to do with your eyes, discipline issues.“He might have the ability of being in more of the middle of the formation to make more plays. We’ll see, but he had a good spring doing it.”I’ll go ahead and translate: Ramon is a crazy man and a crazier player, and we need to take him off the island and set him loose on opposing teams’ passing games like a Tasmanian Devil.Ramon does seem to have a nose for the ball. Without fact checking, I’m going to proclaim that 90 percent of Ramon’s INTs were because he was in the right place at the exact right time — which is a skill (one that Gundy loves) — and that when he is disciplined and within his coverage assignment the ball simply ricochets off of his mitts.Exhibit A:And Exhibit B:By my unofficial count, he got his hands on about 15 balls that looked like picks during that game. The good news is that Ramon gets to just be Ramon this year. And that’s all we could ever want for (and from) him. Also, he seems to be the guy OSU’s offensive players struggle against the most in scrimmages.Noteworthy stats and highlightsRamon was fourth on the team with 64 total tackles in 2016, which is impressive from the corner spot. He’s behind only Chad Whitener (71) in returning tackles from a year ago. He’s tallied eight interceptions during his three years in orange. With his new position which seems to fit his aggressive style, look for an uptick in both numbers. And most importantly, in “Ramon” plays. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Steve Price fires up the Mixed 20’s

first_imgProud Queenslander and Australian front rower, Steve Price has achieved the pinnacle in Rugby League. Price spoke to the Mixed 20’s team before their first clash with New Zealand. A school friend of Mixed 20’s coach Karley Banks, Price took time out to visit the Trusts Stadium in his adopted homeland, Auckland.The hosts are the kings of the Mixed game and the Karley Banks side is determined to knock them off their perch. A difficult task indeed.Price spoke of a similar situation of when the New Zealand Warriors where to face the Melbourne Storm in the 2008 Finals Series. Few people gave the Warriors any chance aginst the defending premiers on their home ground, a venue of which they had only lost a few games in three years. The first placed team had also never lost to the eighth placed team in finals history.The Warriors went on to win that game against all odds. They had self belief and confidence in the players to make a difference.Price challenged the players to do the same in this all-important clash. He urged them to have the time of their life, support each other, and do everything they possibly can to make a difference, to triumph against all adversity.Price said it is an honour to represent your country and those individuals in the room should be proud. They represent all Australians from across the globe as the best of the best.Price wished the players the best of luck and to come off the field with no regrets, with a feeling they have done all that they can.The presence of Price motivated the players immensely and we wish the best of luck to the players.last_img read more

3 days agoChelsea striker Abraham: Ajax clash massive, massive

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea striker Abraham: Ajax clash massive, massiveby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham has declared their Champions League clash with Ajax as “massive, massive”.Abraham insists they’re capable of winning in Amsterdam.He said, “We know it’s a massive game for us. “Massive, massive. Ajax are like us, they have a lot of young players who like to keep the ball and play good football. Off the ball as well they like to win it back quickly.”We know it’s not going to be easy, but I believe in myself and my team that we can hopefully get a result there.”We got ourselves back on track in Lille. It’s not an easy place to go to, we dug deep and got that win. Who says we can’t do the same at Ajax?” last_img read more

Video: Here Is Your First Look At Jonathan Williams In A Full Buffalo Bills Uniform

first_imgBills' Jonathan Williams poses in team uniform for first time.Jonathan Williams missed the 2015 season at Arkansas, but the former Razorback star did not go undrafted as a result. Williams went in the fifth round to the Buffalo Bills, and at today’s NFLPA Rookie Premiere, we got our first look at Williams in his full Bills uniform. Williams was an immensely popular Razorback. The Bills will definitely have a few more fans down in The Natural State, especially if Williams carves out a significant role with the team.last_img

Work Underway On Kintyre Bridge

first_img Like us on Facebook Preliminary work has started on the construction of a new bridge in the community of Kintyre, Eastern St. Andrew. It will replace the structure that was destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Sandy on October 24. State Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan, toured the area on Thursday, where work is underway on a detour road, in the vicinity of the old bridge, which will maintain access for motorists and pedestrians, during the construction phase. “We are going to remove this (destroyed) structure we have here now, so we have to put in a detour road…before we can start the actual (bridge) work here,” Mr. Azan said. The Kintyre bridge is the central route used by residents of Hope Flats, Cosmo Mews, Clarke Street, St. Joseph’s Road, Bedward Pastures and surrounding areas, to get in and out of their areas. A budget of $100 million has been set aside to carry out the work. Of the total, $65 million will be used for the installation of the new bridge, and the remaining $35 million will be spent for river training and associated roadway works. Mr. Azan said that the overall construction process is expected to be completed within six months.  Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Eastern, Andre Hylton, who was also on the tour, said he is “very pleased” that the work has started. He commended all the relevant stakeholders for listening to the cries of the residents and ensuring that they will have a satisfactory structure and access to their communities. “As you know, this bridge joins Kintyre with Tavern and people in Kintyre, when there is no way of getting their produce out, their children out, their sick out to the hospitals etcetera, it is very difficult, so this is a very essential bridge and we are very happy that work has in fact started,” he said.last_img read more

Manchester United Is Too Unlucky To Be Great

Tottenham1.782.13+0.35 West Brom1.141.18+0.04 Liverpool1.862.09+0.23 AVERAGE GOALS West Ham1.431.33-0.10 Watford1.101.16+0.06 Stoke City1.301.12-0.18 Hull City1.011.03+0.02 Crystal Palace1.401.38-0.02 Sunderland1.000.81-0.19 Leicester City1.331.28-0.05 That’s only 0.19 goals per game more than Man U has actually scored, which may not sound like much. And it isn’t! It amounts to a grand total of 7.8 goals over a full, 38-game season. But goals are a premium commodity in soccer — one extra goal can easily be the difference between a draw and a win, and thus a difference between one point and three in the standings.Teams as good as Manchester United don’t usually miss as many goals as Manchester United has. Since 2010-11 there have been 57 English Premier League teams that have scored more goals than they’ve allowed. Manchester United, as it currently stands, is the ninth-most unlucky team on the list. While that’s not record breaking, it’s enough to take a team from solid Champions League contender to long shot.Even more frustrating, for both the team and its fans, Manchester United is missing the best kinds of shots. They’re missing opportunities that soccer stats-keeper Opta labels as “big chances,” chances such as Rashford’s against Chelsea. (Which is why it was so impressive Rashford’s went in!) They’re the kinds of chances you remember a player missing, the sitters, the one-on-ones with the keepers, the striker arriving completely unmarked in the box at exactly the right time. Manchester United have had 59 shots labeled as clear-cut chances, fourth-most in the league and worth 25.62 expected goals. From them, they’ve scored a disappointing 21 goals, the 11th most in the Premier League. Wipe out that 4.62 expected goal deficit (the second-biggest “big chance deficit” in the league, behind only mediocre Stoke City) and United are only two off their expected goal pace.But wait there’s more. A full 50 percent of the big chances that Manchester United have put on target have been saved by the opposing keeper. That’s the kind of thing that rarely happens. No other team this season has had more than 42 percent of its on-target big chances saved. In fact, only six teams in the last seven seasons have had more than 50 percent of the big chances they put on net saved. If it seems as though goalkeepers have been standing on their heads to deny United all season, well, they have been.It’s cold comfort, but despite the lack of goals, this United team is better than in years past. Everything other than United’s finishing has improved. They’re taking 16.97 shots per game and getting six per game on target, the most in both categories since the 2011-12 season. The team���s expected goal total of 1.74 per game is up 0.48 goals from last season and is the highest mark since 2012-13. These are all steps in the right direction.All the stuff holding United back — the general lack of ability to put the ball in the back of the net, the seeming Achilles’ heel of big chances, opposing goalkeepers standing on their head on a weekly basis — is largely outside of Manchester United’s control. Finishing is a fickle thing. The expected goals a team creates is a much better guide to how they’ll do in the future than the actual goals they score. Players miss good chances sometimes. Sometimes they miss lots of good chances. Sometimes, they even do it for a whole season.It’s small consolation for United fans coping with the possibility of a fifth-place season, but United’s attack actually marks a decided step forward for the club. The things the team could control were good enough to get it a top-four EPL finish. What got in the way were the things it couldn’t.Check out our club soccer predictions. Burnley1.031.00-0.03 AFC Bournemouth1.351.36+0.01 Manchester City2.091.97-0.12 Middlesbrough0.940.72-0.22 Manchester United’s Ander Herrera intercepted a pass in a game this month against Chelsea (possibly with some extra-legal help from his arm), turned and slid an inch-perfect pass through Chelsea’s league-best defense. Young striker Marcus Rashford collected the pass and slotted the ball past Chelsea’s keeper to give United an early 1-0 lead. United went on to win 2-0, and the goal was emblematic of the style of soccer that United’s manager, Jose Mourinho, prefers to deploy against top opponents: Defend stoutly, transition fast and use an opponent’s momentum against them to create high-quality counterattacking opportunities. It worked like a charm against Chelsea.If only it always did. That goal kept Manchester United’s relatively slim hopes of a top-four finish alive (the chances of which have since climbed to 35 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer predictions). But the reason Man U’s chances aren’t good is because they’re one of the unluckiest teams in the Premier League. For large stretches of the season the team has played well, created the kinds of chances it wants to create and then … not actually scored goals.Manchester United currently sits in fifth place in the Premier League with 63 points after 32 games. On Thursday, they face Manchester City in the much-anticipated Manchester derby, with a chance to pass their rivals in the standings and stake a claim on fourth place. It’s a chance to salvage what has seemed to be a disappointing season with a momentous win and a real shot at the top four.While Manchester’s defense has been excellent, the attack has struggled to keep pace. The team only concedes 0.77 goals per game, the second-best mark in the league.1The data in this article is current through last Friday. Only Tottenham Hotspur has been stingier. The attack is averaging 1.55 goals per game, though, only seventh best in the Premier League this season. It’s a testament to United’s strong defense that they’re even as close to the top as they are. The funny thing is that there’s nothing wrong with United’s attack. If instead of looking at the team’s goals, we look at its expected goals, a metric that estimates how many goals a team should have scored on average given where they were taken, the team looks much better. United’s expected goal total is a more respectable 1.74 goals per game, the fourth highest in the Premier League. Manchester United isn’t scoring like we’d expect Chelsea1.572.03+0.46 Southampton1.421.19-0.23 Manchester United1.741.55-0.19 Swansea City1.161.12-0.04 TEAMEXPECTEDACTUALDIFFERENCE Everton1.511.82+0.31 Data for all English Premier League teams is current through April 21.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Arsenal1.742.03+0.29 read more

Mourinho applauds England players

first_imgManchester United boss Jose Mourinho has applauded Englands national team for their progress so far at the World Cup as he believes England have cause to be optimistic after their 2-1 knockout to Croatia at World Cup semi-final.Kieran Trippier scored the goal that gave England the lead in the fifth minutes but Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic shattered their hearts to the celebration for Croatia as they came to lead after extra time.Gareth Southgate’s team is the second youngest squad at the Mundial tournament, with an average age of 26 years old and key players such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling all under 25.England’s Under-20 and Under-17 teams was victorious in their respective World Cups in 2017, and Mourinho believes they have a bright future when for the Three Lions.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…Speaking as a pundit for RT quoted in FourFourTwo, Mourinho said:“England have reason to cry because they were so close, but they have also have reason to be optimistic.“The team improved a lot in relation to previous appearances. It’s a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.”England had thanked all supporters and fans for the love received so farlast_img read more

PSG president fuming over NeymarReal Madrid links

first_imgParis Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is fuming over the persistent speculation linking Neymar with a move to Real MadridThe Brazilian forward has been constantly linked with a switch to Los Blancos ever since completing his world-record €222million in 2017.This summer both Real and Neymar publicly denied that any move was to materialise.But the rumours have remained, much to Al-Khelaifi’s frustration.The Qatari businessman has even held talks with Real president Florentino Perez over the matter.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“We don’t like it at all and we have spoken to Real Madrid,” Al-Khelaifi told Marca.“It’s a bit frustrating, it’s not fair that other clubs talk about our players.“We have a good relationship and they respect PSG, and I hope that’s the truth. We respect Real Madrid, their president, Florentino Perez, but I think that it’s important for everyone not to work behind the scenes.“I don’t know if he understands me. If there is something, we speak, speak with Florentino Perez or whatever it is and we speak about what we like and what we don’t like.“It’s what we want with all clubs, not just Real Madrid. Fighting amongst each other is not the way PSG works and I hope other clubs don’t do that to us.”last_img read more

Milner is causing selection problems Gerrard

first_imgLiverpool legend Steven Gerrard is in awe of James Milner’s performances and believes it’s going to be tough for new signings Naby Keita and Fabinho to break into the team’s midfield this season.“Milner is causing them selection problems. He’s in the form of his life,” he said.“On current form, he is the first name on the teamsheet.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.And Gerrard added that goalkeeper Alisson, who joined from Roma this summer in a deal worth up to a reported £66.8m, and centre-back Virgil van Dijk, a £75m signing from Southampton in January, have “made a big difference”.“Liverpool have looked a different animal since Van Dijk came in and Alisson brings more composure and trust,” he said.“In time that’ll be the big difference – the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too – but it’s all been about trying to improve defensively and they’re very close.”last_img read more

Mauro Icardi fuels transfer talk after flying to England

first_imgInter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has fuelled transfer talks after he was reported to have flown to England after recent links to Chelsea and Real Madrid.The Argentine has been in an impressive run of form in Italy scoring nine times this term in the Italia Serie A.The 25-year-old was on target for Inter Milan last weekend after scoring the winner from a spot kick to gift the Nerazzurri three points and keep them third in Serie A table.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.A current release clause for the Italian is set at €110 million (£98 million) and that is affordable for most of Europe’s biggest clubs  and with the exit of Inter in the Champions League group stage, Icardi could be on his way to one of the teams hoping to lift the coveted Champions League trophy, according to the Mirror.The January transfer window could spring up surprises across Europe as a number of clubs look to strengthen their team.last_img read more

Report Today could be Fabregas last Chelsea match

first_imgAccording to Sky Sports, the match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup will be the last for the Spaniard before he moves to Monaco.Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas has played for the world’s top teams: Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea.The Arenys de Mar native played with the Gunners from 2003 to 2011, he then moved to Barcelona from 2011 to 2014.He has played with the Blues since 2014, but today’s match against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup Third Round seems to be his last game.At least according to Sky Sports, who have reported France Ligue 1 team Monaco is close to agreeing to a January transfer.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“In this position, we have only two players, Jorginho and Fabregas, so for me, it would be really a problem without Cesc,” Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sports recently.“I want him to stay, I don’t know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course.”“But for me, it’s very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it’s not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player,” Sarri explained.“And I think that in the market it’s very difficult to find a player with his characteristics.”last_img read more

Turnagain Arm Hikers Advised Caution Following Reports Of Unusual Black Bear Behavior

first_imgDave Battle biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: “Just coming straight at them with its head down, not phased by yelling, waving arms, or even the dogs barking at it. It just kept coming. Didn’t have any vocalizations or anything that would indicate defensive behavior. And that’s the kind of thing that concerns us with black bears.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers along the Turnagain Arm Trail to use caution, following multiple reports of a black bear displaying unusual behavior. The second report happened on Monday, closer to McHugh. Battle says in that case, hikers reported seeing a bear above them on a hill. It reportedly circled around and got close to their dog. One of the hikers fired a warning shot with a pistol, driving the bear off. If hikers do choose to use the trail, DF&G advises hikers to travel in groups. ADF&G has more information on bear safety on their website. The agency received the first report on May 23. A black bear approached two adults and two dogs about a mile south of the McHugh trailhead.last_img read more

Air Quality Advisory For Sterling Soldotna Kenai and Nikiski

first_imgAir Quality CategoryCautionary Statements Expect smoke from the wildfire to spread throughout of northwest area of the Kenai Peninsula, specifically impacting air quality in the communities of Sterling, Soldotna, Kenai, and Nikiski. Air Quality will vary between GOOD and UNHEALTHY depending on wind flow and proximity to the Swan Lake Fire. An air quality advisory has been issued until Monday, June 24 for southcentral Alaska for smoke conditions related to current fire operations. The Department of Environmental Conservation advises people with respiratory or heart disease problems to avoid smoke impacted areas. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享 Be aware that areas immediately downwind of any fire will experience HAZARDOUS levels of smoke. Generally, worse conditions occur overnight and during the early morning hours, as the atmosphere cools and brings smoke to the surface. During the day,surface heating will mix smoke and carry it upwards, temporarily improving air quality. 10+ miles6 – 9 miles3 – 5 miles1.5 – 2.5 miles0.9 – 1.4 miles0.8 miles or lessGoodModerateUnhealthy for sensitive groupsUnhealthyVery UnhealthyHazardous Air Quality CategoryCautionary Statements Be aware that areas immediately downwind of any fire will experience HAZARDOUS levels of smoke. Generally, worse conditions occur overnight and during the early morning hours, as the atmosphere cools and brings smoke to the surface. During the day,surface heating will mix smoke and carry it upwards, temporarily improving air quality. VisibilityAir Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive GroupsPeople with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.  ModerateUnusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. VisibilityAir Quality Very UnhealthyPeople with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion HazardousEveryone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors The following table contains the cautionary statements for the Air Quality for Particle Pollution. UnhealthyPeople with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertioncenter_img  GoodNone When air quality data is unavailable, the followingAir Quality Smoke Reference Guide may be used to estimate air quality levels and potential health impacts: The following table contains the cautionary statements for the Air Quality for Particle Pollution. Unhealthy for Sensitive GroupsPeople with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. SMOKE AND PUBLIC IMPACT: This is an area forecast, and as such is a general forecast for portions of Southwestern Interior Alaska.  Smoke intensity will vary depending on precise location and local wind flow patterns.  Smoke concentrations will be such that they could impact public health at times.  It is advised that travelers check local weather as smoke conditions may vary considerably from one locality to the next. The most recent weather observations may be found on National Weather Service’s homepage at http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/obs.php. 10+ miles6 – 9 miles3 – 5 miles1.5 – 2.5 miles0.9 – 1.4 miles0.8 miles or lessGoodModerateUnhealthy for sensitive groupsUnhealthyVery UnhealthyHazardous,Expect smoke from the wildfire to spread throughout of northwest area of the Kenai Peninsula, specifically impacting air quality in the communities of Sterling, Soldotna, Kenai, and Nikiski. Air Quality will vary between GOOD and UNHEALTHY depending on wind flow and proximity to the Swan Lake Fire.,See the table below for more guidance on the Air Quality Categories and Cautionary Statements. HazardousEveryone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors  GoodNone See the table below for more guidance on the Air Quality Categories and Cautionary Statements. SMOKE AND PUBLIC IMPACT: This is an area forecast, and as such is a general forecast for portions of Southwestern Interior Alaska.  Smoke intensity will vary depending on precise location and local wind flow patterns.  Smoke concentrations will be such that they could impact public health at times.  It is advised that travelers check local weather as smoke conditions may vary considerably from one locality to the next. The most recent weather observations may be found on National Weather Service’s homepage at http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/obs.php.  ModerateUnusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. When air quality data is unavailable, the followingAir Quality Smoke Reference Guide may be used to estimate air quality levels and potential health impacts: UnhealthyPeople with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion Very UnhealthyPeople with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertionlast_img read more

Ostriches run fast because of springy tendons

first_imgAustralian and U.S. researchers studying the movement of ostriches have discovered the giant flightless birds can store double the elastic energy per step in their tendons than humans can. This considerably reduces the effort needed by the muscles, and enables the ostrich (and perhaps also the emu) to run twice as fast as humans while requiring only half the energy. China hatches 150 African ostriches Human and ostrich hind-limb postures during mid-stance of running: (a,b) sagittal plane; (c,d) frontal plane. Image: [i]Journal of the Royal Society Interface[/i], doi:10.1098/​rsif.2010.0466 Citation: Ostriches run fast because of ‘springy’ tendons (2010, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-ostriches-fast-springy-tendons.html Leader of the study, Assistant Professor Jonas Rubenson of the School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health at the University of Western Australia, said the aim of the research was to find out what mechanical adaptations were made by species able to run fast and efficiently. He said that while lions and cheetahs can outrun the ostrich on short sprints, they use a great deal of energy, and other species such as ostriches, antelopes and horses, can run fast over long distances.Two hypotheses had been proposed to explain how some animals are able to run economically: the first was that they used a particularly efficient mechanical action in their limbs, and the second was the animals were able to store more elastic energy in their joints than sprinters.To test these hypotheses the researchers fitted reflective markers to the joints of five humans and five tame ostriches to enable them to carry out a detailed analysis of their gait and movements as they ran on a custom-built running track 50 meters long. They also measured the forces applied to the ground during running. They selected the ostrich rather than the lighter Australian emu because the ostrich and humans have a similar mass, and because the ostrich is the fastest bird on the land.The results demonstrated that both humans and ostriches need the almost exactly the same amount of mechanical work to swing their limbs during running, and the major difference was in the storage and release of energy by the tendons. They calculated the release of this elastic energy generated 83% more work in the ostrich than in the human, which meant the ostrich uses less metabolic energy and is less fatigued.The findings of the research, described in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, may enable engineers to design better prosthetic limbs by focusing on elastic propulsion. They could also help robot researchers to design more agile robots. The results could also provide some insight into the evolution of bipedalism. More information: Adaptations for economical bipedal running: the effect of limb structure on three-dimensional joint mechanics, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published online before print October 28, 2010, doi:10.1098/​rsif.2010.0466 © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Study investigates pressureinduced superconducting transition in electrides

first_img Citation: Study investigates pressure-induced superconducting transition in electrides (2019, March 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-pressure-induced-superconducting-transition-electrides.html Journal information: Physical Review Letters “Considering the wide potential applications of superconducting materials, the understanding of high-temperature superconductors is a key scientific challenge in condensed matter physics,” Aitor Bergara and Guochun Yang, two of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org, via email. Electrides are ionic compounds in which most electrons reside at interstitial regions of the crystal and behave like anions. Due to their structural peculiarity, these compounds have interesting physical properties. For instance, the magnitude and distribution of their interstitial electrons can be effectively modulated, either by adjusting their chemical composition or external conditions, such as pressure. Overall, electrides are very poor superconductors. For example, the experimentally observed superconducting transition temperature of a canonical electride [Ca24Al28O64]4+ (4e-)4 is ~0.4 K. On the other hand, it is now well-known that, under high pressure, alkali metals can easily lose their outer orbital electrons and form electrides. “Interestingly, pressure-induced lithium (Li) electride is metallic,” Bergara and Yang said. “Additionally, phosphorus (P) presents a moderate electronegativity, so that they can trap some electrons in Li-rich Li-P compounds, while the remaining electrons may remain at interstitial regions. Thus, as we are predicting is this work, it would be possible to adjust the morphology of interstitial electrons by changing the ratio of Li and P and, therefore, obtain compounds with novel electronic properties. For example, according to our calculations, Li 6 P electride is predicted to have a superconducting transition temperature of 39.3 K, breaking the existing record among the electrides.”Predicting the atomic structure of materials from first principles (based only on their composition), is an extremely challenging task. It typically requires classifying a huge number of energy minima on a multidimensional energy surface lattice. In recent years, researchers have introduced several computation methods that can speed up this process, one of which is called CALYPSO. “In our study we have used the Calypso program developed by Yanming Ma and his colleagues at Jilin University, which implements a particle swarm optimization algorithm to determine the preferred crystal structures, just fixing the Li:P ratios and pressure as the only starting inputs,” Bergara and Yang explained. “Once the most stable structures are identified we have characterized their physical properties. For example, we have explored their superconducting properties within the McMillan-Allen-Dynes approximation.” In their study, Bergara, Yang and their colleagues reported that a pressure-induced stable Li6P electride can become a superconductor with a predicted superconducting transition temperature of 39.3K; the highest predicted so far in known electrides. They found that the compound’s interstitial electrons, with dumbbell-like connected electride states, play a dominant role in this superconducting transition. “Our prediction not only breaks the superconducting transition temperature record in the electrides, but also allows a better understanding of these materials,” Bergara and Yang said. According to the researchers’ predictions, other Li-rich phosphides, such as Li5P, Li11P2, Li15P2, and Li8P, could also be superconducting electrides, yet their Tc is expected to be lower. This recent study by Bergara, Yang and their colleagues could pave the way for further research exploring high-temperature superconductivity in similar binary compounds. “We believe that research into superconducting electrides has just begun,” Bergara and Yang said. “There is still a lot to be explored, for example, the analysis of the superconducting mechanism in novel electride compounds, especially under high pressure. As we have shown in this article, an effective way to design such superconducting materials is to explore metallic electride compounds formed between weak electronegative and strong electropositive elements.” New method yields higher transition temperature in superconducting materials The image on the left shows the atomic structure of the Li6P compound, and on the right the electronic charge density is plotted, where the electronic localization at the interstitials can be seen in red. Credit: Zhao et al. More information: Ziyuan Zhao et al. Predicted Pressure-Induced Superconducting Transition in Electride Li6P, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.097002Yanchao Wang et al. Crystal structure prediction via particle-swarm optimization, Physical Review B (2010). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.094116center_img Explore further Researchers at Northeast Normal University, in China, and University of the Basque Country, in Spain, have recently carried out a study investigating the superconducting transition of electrides. The researchers observed that a pressure-induced stable Li6P, identified by first-principles swarm structure calculations, can become a superconductor with a considerably high superconducting transition temperature. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. 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