NCAA Talk

2012 NFL Draft Capsule: DE Whitney Mercilus

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2012 NFL Draft Capsule: DE Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus (DE), Illinois
6-4 265 lbs.

2011 Stats:
57 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 16 sacks, 9 FF

Projection:
Mid-to-late first round

Strengths:
Mercilus possesses a strong frame with good length and uses his hands to keep himself clean on contact. He displays an impressive wingspan and can overwhelm on contact using natural power on his leg to drive through contact. Showcases a solid spin move once he gets to the edge and can work his way back inside if the tackle is over playing toward the edge. (National Football Post)

Weaknesses:
One major concern for Mercilus is that he has only had one year of solid production, with only two total sacks going into his junior season. He struggles with pad level through contact and struggles to disengage. He too often allows ball carriers to run right by him on the edge when unblocked and is easily pushed past the pocket. (National Football Post)

Fit for the Bears:
The Bears are known to have interest in Mercilus. Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli traveled to Champaign to put him through a workout last month. After losing out on Mario Williams in free agency, Chicago has made it a priority to improve their pass-rush in the draft. The standout defensive end from Illinois is a natural pass rusher and learning from a future Hall of Famer like Julius Peppers could help ease his transition into the NFL. Mercilus has drawn comparisons to Giants' sack machine Jason Pierre-Paul. If he were to reach that level, it would be a home run pick for Phil Emery and the Bears.

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

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USA TODAY

Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.

But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.

“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.

"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”

Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.

Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.

Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?

Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.

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Porter Moser announces he's staying at Loyola

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USA TODAY

Porter Moser announces he's staying at Loyola

Porter Morter isn't going anywhere.

After reports circulated that St. John's offered him a long-term contract worth north of $2 million per year, the 50-year-old head coach has decided instead to stay at Loyola. He's led the Ramblers to three 20-win seasons in the past five years, and guided the program in 2018 to their first Final Four appearance since 1963 — a span of 55 years.

Moser released this statement on his Twitter account on Tuesday:


Dear Rambler Nation,

I know there have been a lot of things swirling out there the past few days. Because I have coached and coached with some amazing young men, and because I have had the support of the University, friends, family, and the loyal Loyola fans; opportunities have arisen. I know that is part of the business, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm humbled, grateful, and grounded with what comes my way.

People in business say I'm crazy for passing up opportunities and the money. But what they don't know is the amazing young men I coach and the culture we have built. What they don't know are the amazing young men who are committed to come to Loyola and wear the Maroon and Gold. What they don't know are the people and friends that make up the Loyola community. And what they don't know is what makes me tick.

So what I do say to Rambler nation is ... let's keep building this culture and making a difference. Let's keep chasing championships. Let's do things better than we have ever done before.

With that said ... I'M ALL IN!