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Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence: I played at 50 percent last season


Here’s a scary thought for every Clemson opponent: That defensive line you have to face, the one already regarded as the best in college football, is going to be even better than you anticipated.

That’s because defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence revealed Tuesday he competed the entire 2017 season at “probably 45-50 percent.”

Lawrence said a nerve block robbed him of full use of his lower body, essentially playing the entire 2017 season without the use of his toes.

“I had got a nerve block during surgery, and it had irritated some of my nerves in my leg and my foot. It took a while to come back,” Lawrence told The State. “I never dealt with nothing that serious. I always had, like, rolled up ankle or hands, but nothing ever that serious. I just had all the guys, every guy on the team was on my side, pushing me through it, making me go to rehab, keeping me accountable, things like that.”

Despite that, Lawrence was still a First Team All-ACC performer as a sophomore, collecting 39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three TFLs, five pressures, one pass breakup and one forced fumble over 12 games.

Lawrence said he started feeling 100 percent in July and is now competing with an extra pep in his step — literally.

“The thing is letting him know how good he is. He’s still good enough to dominate the guys,” fellow defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said. “He just seemed like he was down mentally; physically, obviously, is one thing, but if you’re not over the mental hump — that’s the hardest part to get over. So really just being there for him. He always feels like I’m a guy he can lean on and talk to about anything, so just being there for him, talking him through some stuff — being a big brother for him.”

Clemson memorably occupied the entire defensive line on the preseason All-ACC First Team, and now we know the combination of Lawrence and Wilkins on the inside with Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell on the outside should be even more fearsome than we thought it would be.

Report: USC starting QB JT Daniels expected to play vs. Arizona State

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Could it be much ado about nothing?

With starter JT Daniels in concussion protocol and his backup, Matt Fink, nursing three broken ribs, it was appearing somewhat likely that USC would be forced to turn the offense over to No. 3 quarterback Jack Sears. According to one report, however, the redshirt freshman may not be needed this weekend after all — at least to start with.

Obviously, the Trojans’ quarterback situation/predicament will be fluid throughout the rest of the week leading up to the Week 9 matchup with Arizona State this Saturday and possibly not decided until we get closer to kickoff.

Daniels, the true freshman who has started every game this season, suffered his head injury in the loss to Utah this past Saturday. Fink injured his ribs in the same game.

Sears, meanwhile, has not attempted a pass in his collegiate career.

Warde Manuel essentially claims ‘SCOREBOARD!’ in latest Michigan-Michigan State salvo

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The most recent public pissing match between a pair of in-state rivals shows no sign of abating anytime soon.  At all.

To recap:

In response to that statement, U-M athletic director Warde Manuel released his own statement Monday night.  In it, Manuel began by writing about a pregame conversation with his MSU counterpart, Bill Beekman, that he preferred to keep private.  To end it, Manual not-so-discreetly declared “SCOREBOARD!” on his rivals.

“It is a great rivalry between two Michigan Universities, and the focus should remain on the game, the way it’s played and,” wait for it… “the final result.”

Well played, Mr. Manuel.  Well played.

I had a conversation on the field with Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman prior to the game regarding the situation that occurred during pregame warmups. My preference is to keep that conversation and any further discussions between us. I will work with our staff and the conference to see how this situation can be prevented from happening in the future. It is a great rivalry between two Michigan Universities, and the focus should remain on the game, the way it’s played, and the final result.

Report: TCU WR/KR KaVontae Turpin also also arrested in March

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TCU wide receiver/kickoff returner KaVontae Turpin was suspended Monday after he was arrested for allegedly dragging his girlfriend across a parking lot and slamming to the ground at an apartment complex in Fort Worth on Saturday night.

“Texas Christian University is aware that one of its students was recently arrested for a reported domestic situation,” the university said in a statement. “The university takes these types of reports very seriously and is continuing to gather information to determine next steps. TCU expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law.”

But it appears that isn’t all.

According to 

Turpin failed to appear at a July 16 pre-trial hearing and is now subject to a bench warrant by the Las Cruces Magistrate Court.

If convicted, Turpin would face up to six months in prison for battery of a household member. He entered not guilty please to battery of a household member and criminal damage to the property of a household member under $1,000.

Michigan State releases statement on field altercation vs. Michigan

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Now more than two days after it happened, the (don’t call it a -gate, don’t call it a -gate) field altercation before the Michigan-Michigan State game on Saturday continues to live.

Jim Harbaugh addressed the controversy on Monday, this time taking a personal shot across the bow at Mark Dantonio. “I’ll go one step further and use Coach Dantonio’s words from a few years back,” Harbaugh said. “‘It’s not a product of the team, but their program.’ Again, that’s using his words. That could’ve been an unfortunate deal. I’m proud of our guys for keeping their cool.”

To recap: During the Spartans’ traditional arm-in-arm walk across the field before the game, Michigan players came away accusing Michigan State of clotheslining defensive lineman Lawrence Marshall and ripping the headphones out of defensive back Lavert Hill‘s ears.

Which led to linebacker Devin Bush tearing up the Spartans’ midfield logo.

On Monday, Michigan State released a statement that basically amounts to: Yeah, but you shouldn’t have been standing there.

According to the Spartans, Michigan State released a pre-game schedule of events, which both teams agreed upon ahead of Saturday and which is part of the norm for every Spartans home game. According to said schedule, Michigan State opens up the field more than two hours before the game, with the understanding the field will be cleared before Michigan State conducts its Spartan Walk.

And that’s where Michigan State’s explanation of events pretty much ends.

So, yeah. There’s no disputing of Michigan’s account, just that they shouldn’t have been standing there.

Michigan won the game, 21-7.