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DeCosta impressed with state talent


DeCosta impressed with state talent

The Ravens have at least two Baltimore natives on their draft radar -- Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones (Gilman) and Oklahoma defensive end Charles Tapper (City College). Two years ago, they traded back into the draft to nab receiver Michael Campanaro, who played high school ball at River Hill in Howard County.

And of course, since this is the NFL draft, there's a Fuller involved; Kendall Fuller, a Baltimore native who went to high school at Good Counsel and then followed his brothers to Virginia Tech, will become the fourth Fuller brother to be drafted.

There are a slew of other draft prospects coming from the state, and it's a trend that Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta has noticed.

"I think honestly I have to say there's more talented kids from this area this year than I can remember in a lot of years," DeCosta said last week after the team's pre-draft news conference.  "High school football in the state has really gotten better"

The Ravens held their local pro day two weeks ago, and DeCosta liked what he saw.

"We probably had our best local pro day we've ever had from the standpoint of numbers but also talent," DeCosta said. "And I think that speaks very well of the local football talent in the state. ...  Coaches are doing a good job and I think Maryland football's really getting good."

Many local players grow up as Ravens fans. Very few, such as LaQuan Williams (Poly) and Terrance West (Northwest) ultimately end up putting on a Ravens uniform. Soon, we'll know whether any others will join that list this year.

RELATED: Prediction: Three things Ravens won't do in draft

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.


“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.