NCAA

Looking back at Yannick Ngakoue's commitment to Maryland

Looking back at Yannick Ngakoue's commitment to Maryland

With National Signing Day less than a week away, we're looking back at the high school careers of some of the region's top players in recent history.

Former Friendship Collegiate linebacker Yannick Ngakoue tore up the D.C. football scene during his high school years. The 6-3, 235-pound defensive end took home the Gatorade Football Player of the Year after logging a whopping 17 sacks his senior season. 

The four-star recruit (Rivals.com) ultimately made the last minute decision to stay home and commit to the University of Maryland. He joined teammates Derwin Gray, Cavon Walker, and Jermaine Carter in College Park. 

“My mother. . . I wanted her to see me play,” Ngakoue told the Washington Post. “And also I wanted to ball for my city, because Maryland has been the underdog for a long time, and I know if all my teammates stay, and the next class stayed, 2014, 2013 and so on, we would have a national championship team.”

Ngakoue popped off as a true freshman recording nine tackles, two sacks, and an interception while appearing in all 13 games. His junior season, though, opened the door. After setting a school record with 13.5 sacks, Ngakoue announced he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Ngakoue in the third round with the 69th overall pick. He's currently enjoying a four-year, $3.48 million contract that was signed in June 2016 and was named a Pro Bown alternate after the 2017 season. 

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Jairus Hamilton's career-high 23 points lifts BC over Virginia Tech

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Jairus Hamilton's career-high 23 points lifts BC over Virginia Tech

BOSTON -- Jairus Hamilton scored a career-high 23 points, Jay Heath added 15 points and Boston College snapped a four-game losing with a 61-56 victory over Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon.

Jared Hamilton had his only two baskets of the game in the final 3 minutes for the Eagles (10-10, 4-5 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Landers Nolley II led the Hokies (14-6, 5-4) with 15 points and Nahiem Alleyne added 10. Virginia Tech had won four of its last five games and its previous five against BC.

Virginia Tech had opened a six-point lead with 8 minutes to play, but the Eagles sliced it to 49-48 on Jairus Hamilton's 3 from the right wing with 5:05 left. Steffon Mitchell went to the line with a chance to put BC ahead on the next possession, but he missed both free throws.

But Jairus Hamilton did end BC's miserable day temporarily at the free-throw line at the end of the next possession, hitting both to give the Eagles a 50-49 edge. They had missed 10 of their initial 15 from the line.

Jared Hamilton the hit consecutive jumpers, making it 54-51, the second a one-handed runner from the right baseline.

Jairus Hamilton added a 3 from the top, pushing BC in front 57-53 with just over two minutes left.

BC had trailed by five at halftime, but tied it at 35 on Derryck Thornton's 3-pointer. The teams were also tied at 37 before Virginia Tech went on a 7-1 spree.

The Hokies had opened a 10-point lead in the first half en route to a 31-26 edge at intermission despite eight turnovers for a team that averages just over nine a game.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are one of the league's biggest surprises. Picked to finish near the bottom in the preseason poll, they're playing very well despite young players getting a lot of minutes. They have four players that are freshman and two red-shirt freshmen.

Boston College: The Eagles desperately needed a victory to end their slide before tough matchups against national powers Louisville and Duke sandwiched around a game against struggling North Carolina.

BELL MOMENT

BC retired the jersey of former two-time All-American guard Troy Bell at halftime,

He's still the school's all-time leading scorer (2,632 points). He played for the Eagles from 1999-2003 and won the Big East rookie of the year award.

"I never envisioned this moment," he said at a morning press conference, standing on the court. "I had great teammates and coaches. We were having a great time, doing something we would have done for free. To be here and being honored is amazing."

HARDLY FREE

The Eagles hit just 11 of their 27 free throws.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: At Miami on Tuesday.

Boston College: Hosts No. 6 Louisville Wednesday.

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VCU beats La Salle behind Santos-Silva's 16 points

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VCU beats La Salle behind Santos-Silva's 16 points

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Marcus Santos-Silva registered 16 points and nine rebounds as VCU topped La Salle 76-65 on Saturday.

Nah'Shon Hyland had 15 points for VCU (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10 Conference). Mike'L Simms added 13 points. Issac Vann had 10 points.

David Beatty had 16 points for the Explorers (10-9, 1-6), who have now lost five consecutive games. Scott Spencer added 16 points. Ed Croswell had 11 points.

VCU matches up against Richmond at home on Tuesday. La Salle plays Saint Louis at home on Wednesday.

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