Ohio State senior cornerback Damon Webb (7) is the lone returning starter in the secondary and will lead a young unit into the 2017 season. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorWalking off the field at University of Phoenix Stadium after a 31-0 loss in the Fiesta Bowl, then-junior Damon Webb was the only member of the starting secondary who would play another game in an Ohio State uniform.Less than two weeks later, cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker all declared pro and are projected first-round picks in the NFL draft at the end of April. Webb, the only returning member of a menacing secondary, has undergone a change entering his fourth and final season in Columbus.“I think that sometimes you have to be the man to be the man,” said Kerry Coombs, cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator. “And he is the man back there.”Webb was overshadowed the entire 2016 season by soon-to-be NFL draft pick Hooker, who had seven interceptions and three defensive touchdowns playing alongside Webb at safety. In his first full season as a starter, Webb was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after posting 52 tackles (fourth-best on the team), three pass breakups and one interception he returned for a score.He played in eight games his freshman season, but faced adversity during his sophomore campaign when he was suspended for nearly half the regular season for an undisclosed reason.Originally recruited as a cornerback, Webb switched to safety in the spring before the 2016 season. Now, Webb is the only sure thing at safety.“Right now, the guy who performed like a starter is Damon Webb,” OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “He had his best stretch of football that I’ve ever seen in him, and I haven’t seen that much, but from what I’ve seen, it was his best stretch of football. He has a look about him, a focus that I think this is going to be a huge summer for him. He’s going to come back and have a great senior year.”A refocused Webb might be the best thing that can happen to a defense whose only question marks are in the secondary. Junior Denzel Ward and redshirt sophomore Damon Arnette are two returning cornerbacks who will assume larger roles this fall with a room full of inexperienced players. Likewise, sophomore Jordan Fuller and freshman Isaiah Pryor are two young members of the safety unit who came to OSU with hype similar to Webb’s.Coombs said Webb has lost weight, gained quickness and even called him “probably the smartest player” on defense.In the offseason, Schiano said Webb was constantly in the film room, watching his mistakes and correcting them in spring practice. When Schiano met with Webb for his exit meeting following Saturday’s spring game, Schiano left with great confidence in the senior from Detroit who’s still trying to leave his mark on OSU football.“This is it. He’s got that one year left before he’s done with his college career,” Schiano said. “You can see an increased urgency in everything he’s doing … I think he’s an incredibly focused guy right now.”
Ohio State redshirt senior Billy Price warms up prior to the Buckeyes’ 38-7 win versus Army on Sept. 16 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorAs center Billy Price took the field for Ohio State’s first offensive drive of the game against Michigan State Saturday, he set the record for most consecutive starts by an Ohio State player with his 51st start, surpassing former Ohio State defensive lineman and later co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. Price has started every game since earning the starting right guard spot as a redshirt freshman in 2014. Last season at right guard, the then-first-time captain was named first-team All-American by American Football Coaches Association and first-team All-Big Ten. Moving to center in 2017, Price was named to the preseason Rimington Award watch list, given to the nation’s top center. Ohio State’s center in 2016, Pat Elflein, took home the honor last season.
Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu has claimed that the club do not want him to return and has hinted that he will be making his stay at Watford a more permanent one at the end of the seasonThe Spanish forward is a product of Barcelona’s youth academy but has struggled to establish himself in the senior side among the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.After two loan spells with both Everton and Sevilla, Deulofeu completed a permanent move to the Premier League side in 2015.However, the 24-year-old only found the back of the net four times in his 46 appearances for Everton and was re-signed by Barcelona in 2017 after a loan spell with AC Milan.Deulofeu has struggled with recurring injury troubles in his recent loan spell with Watford this time and has now claimed that he is not wanted back at the Nou Camp.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“It’s clear that I will not be returning to Barca,” Deulofeu explained on Cadena Ser (via Football-Espana).“I do not think the Coach would want me back at Barca and I have been told by Watford that I am wanted, so it could be that I stay at the club.“I cannot say what will happen and we must wait but now I’m back from my injury (a fractured metatarsal) and now I hope to finish the season strongly.“I need to remain calm and make the right decision but a Barca return is not likely.”
AS Roma president James Pallotta has hit out against the “embarrassing” decisions that the referee made in their defeat against Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Champions LeagueThe Giallorossi came narrowly close to repeating their shock comeback victory against Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico in the previous round by defeating Liverpool 4-2 in the return leg on Wednesday.Two late goals from Radja Nainggolan gave Roma hope that they could produce a miracle comeback, but they ultimately fell short with the visitors holding on for a 7-6 aggregate win.But things could have gone differently for the Serie A side had Edin Dzeko not been wrongly ruled offside earlier in the game and they were then later denied a clear penalty when Trent Alexander-Arnold handled Stephan El Shaarawy’s shot in the box.“It is very clear VAR is needed in the Champions League because you just can’t let stuff like this happen,” said Pallotta, as reported on Sky Sports.Report: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“You can all look at it yourself. Dzeko in the 49th minute wasn’t offside and he gets taken down by the goalie; the 63rd minute was a handball that was obvious to everyone probably in the world except people on the pitch; the 67th minute [Patrik] Schick gets taken down in the box.“I know it is difficult to referee but it is really embarrassing that we lose on aggregate like that.“By the way, it should have been a red card which would have been 10 men in the 63rd minute.“Liverpool is a great team, congratulations going forward, but if they don’t get VAR in the Champions League stuff like this is an absolute joke.”
There has been some interest for Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, especially from Chelsea, but manager Eddie Howe says he’s not for sale.The good performance Callum Wilson has had in Bournemouth this season in the English Premier League is attracting many clubs.And one of them is being said to be Chelsea, who want to buy the footballer.But Bournemouth’s coach Eddie Howe has said the player is not for sale.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I think it is a huge compliment to the player involved,” Howe was quoted by Sky Sports.“But with all the rumors, there is no point in me thinking about these different situations until we have something to answer.”“From our perspective, we don’t want to sell anybody this window that we don’t want to,” he added.“We want to continue to take the club forward and the team forward, and to do that, we’ve got to keep our best player.”
Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard is in awe of teammate David de Gea after his impressive saves helped them to a 1-0 hard-fought victory at Spurs.De Gea put in a stellar performance at Wembley on Sunday as he pulled off a series of brilliant saves to deny Spurs an equalizer after Marcus Rashford gave United the lead just before the break.The Spaniard denied Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Heung-min Son in spectacular fashion with both his feet and hands in the second half.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“He was excellent – but it was a normal day for him,” Lingard told the club’s website, praising De Gea.“When they looked like scoring, he saved us. We see that in training and it pays off when it comes to the big games.“With some of his saves, you’re like ‘oh my God’. ”He’s one of the best keepers in the world, if not the best. Having a keeper like that gives you extra confidence.”