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In long awaited debut, Urban lends a hand in "surreal" win


In long awaited debut, Urban lends a hand in "surreal" win

Brent Urban has been waiting more than a year and a half to make his NFL debut. But even if he had dreamed about it through months and months of rehab, it's hard to imagine he could have envisioned the scenario that played out in Cleveland on Monday night.

"It's surreal after being out for this long," Urban said. "It's crazy. I'm speechless. It's just a wonderful feeling."

That's because it was the 6-foot-7 Urban, a defensive end by trade, who got his big right hand up and blocked a Browns 51-yard, potential game-winning field goal attempt on the final play of the game. Will Hill returned the kick 64 yards the other way for the game-winning touchdown and a stunning 33-27 Ravens win.

Urban, a fourth-round draft pick out of Virginia in 2014, missed his entire rookie season after suffering a knee injury early in camp. He figured to challenge Chris Canty for a spot on the defensive line this fall, but then early in training camp he was sidelined again, this time by a torn biceps. Urban was placed on injured reserve with the designated-to-return tag.

RELATED: Will Hill recaps thrilling Kick Six return to beat Browns

On Monday night, he returned all right, just days after officially being added to the 53-man roster. 

"It's been a long two years, but for it to all culminate in that big play, it was a great feeling," a beaming Urban said. 

"I wanted to drive out low and stick my hand up, and thankfully the play happened."

Urban said it was his surgically-repaired arm that blocked the kick, and was still wearing a brace on it during a post-game interview. 

Urban, who said he had blocked a kick or two as a senior at Virginia, said, "I just stuck this arm in and felt it, and took off running."

It marked the fifth straight game the Ravens have blocked a kick, and once again, special teams was the star of the show, producing two touchdowns. Kaelin Clay had opened the scoring with an 82-yard punt return touchdown.

The Ravens have had their share of numbing losses this year. They have lost games in the closing minutes, they have lost in the closing seconds. They even lost a game that the officials later admitted they shouldn't have lost. And for the 11th time in 11 wacky games this season, the game was decided by eight points or less. 

"It's great for a bounce to go our way at the end of a game," Urban said. "Things happened our way finally. We're ecstatic."

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh: 'One of the greatest football games... you're ever gonna see'

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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.