Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo tipped his cap to Maryland during his comments Thursday at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago when asked to assess the state of his conference.
“Maryland is definitely the cream of the crop if you look at what they’ve got coming back,” he said. “But I think I see Indiana taking a major jump and then everybody else is going to be fighting for those next spots at least early on.”
Maryland and Michigan State battled in three games last season, with the Terrapins winning two but the Spartans winning the most important -- in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
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Without an inherent or, really, geographic rival when it entered the Big Ten, Maryland-Michigan State is quickly becoming a marquee matchup in conference play. They will only play once during the regular season this year -- Jan. 23 in College Park.
“I think what we’ve done as a conference, you know, we’ve put money into our sport, we’ve got great coaches in our league, and the profile of this league has gotten better and better,” Izzo went on to say.
“We’re not a three yards and a cloud of dust basketball league anymore and I think that’s helped recruiting. So I think the league is as good as it’s been.”
Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.
Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.
As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.
There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.
Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.
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Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.
At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.
Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.
While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.
"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."
This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.
The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch Captain America and company save the day one last time.
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