Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alex Magleby Returns to the Olympic Training Center, and Other Rugby News

Interesting news coming out of Boulder Colorado this week, when USA Rugby announced that former US Men's 7s team coach and Dartmouth head coach Alex Magleby will be joining USA Rugby's high performance staff.

Magleby's new role is officially titled. National Development Director for the Men's Eagles Sevens.  The role entails providing support to Matt Hawkins and the men's team, mainly by finding and identifying new and up and coming talent throughout the United States. Magleby will also work to better define the national development pathway, and create tangible deliverable that suit the players and coaches.

Alex Magleby is arguably the most successful sevens coach in US history.  He's racked up two CRC Championships as head coach of Dartmouth.  He then parlayed that into a stint as the Eagles Men's head coach, where the Eagles completed their most successful season in recent memory during the 2012/13 season, and secured core status on the IRB Sevens circuit for the team.

While serving as head coach of the Eagles Magleby was a big force behind the creation of the OTC's (NYC, North East, Tiger, to name a few) that are already paying dividends for the Eagles.  Mags has been a driving force behind player development in the United States, and he understands that it's simply too much for the US Eagles coach to run their program in Chula Vista and be on the road consistently scouting talent.

It is also believed that Magleby will be responsible for some fundraising efforts in his new role as well.  Part of the development path Mags wanted to create while he was coaching the Eagles was having more developmental teams traveling and playing in elite level tournaments. Current Eagles coach Matt Hawkins also agrees with this format and we saw the Falcons travel to several international tournaments during the fall.  However, paying for these tournaments cost money.  Often times they simply are not accounted for in the operating budget for the men's team (Should the be? That's a discussion for another time), and outside sources need to be acquired.

Another announcement coming out of Boulder is Billy Millard is signing on in a similar development role for the men's 15's team.  Currently Millard is the 15's attack coach, as well as head coach for the Junior All-Americans.  Much like Magleby, Millard will work with the exisiting academies, and all-star teams to identify up and coming 15's players from around the country.  He will also be responsible for developing and expanding on the player development chart USA Rugby laid out last year.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NFL Scouts Want to Meet Blake Bortles Girlfriend

Blake Bortles just wrapped up his workout at the NFL Combine, and while he did find with the on the field work, but it was the interview process that became interesting for Bortles. Right or wrong it's becoming normal for NFL scouts to ask about players girlfriends and private lives, and they wasted no time grilling Bortles about his girlfriend.

Bortles is dating Lindsey Duke, and she's become a bit of an internet sensation over the past few months thanks to some modeling shots she's taken. 

Where NFL scouts potentially crossed the line when questioning Bortles is when they asked if Lindsey Duke would join them for dinner if they came to Florida to meet with the quarterback.  This is according to an interview the UCF quarterback conducted with the Dan Patrick Radio Show.

Well can you blame a scout for wanting her to be present at dinner?



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Speed Training with Sonny Bill Williams and the All Blacks

Continuing with our health and fitness trend, we're happy to bring you this awesome video of the New Zealand All Blacks, and start Sonny Bill Williams working on their sprint training and conditioning. 

This video comes curtsey of our friends over at UR7s.com.  It's great stuff for rugby fans, and fans of good athletes.

Speed is an inessential part to a any athletes game, and as the old adage goes speed kills. 

Continue Reading.
Speed is one the most important physical attributes that is required on the rugby 7s field whether in defence or attack. Speed can kill. - See more at: http://ur7s.com/academy/rugby-7s-fitness/video-sprint-training-with-sonny-bill-williams-and-the-all-blacks#sthash.EydcqQzt.dpuf
 
Speed is one the most important physical attributes that is required on the rugby 7s field whether in defence or attack. Speed can kill. - See more at: http://ur7s.com/academy/rugby-7s-fitness/video-sprint-training-with-sonny-bill-williams-and-the-all-blacks#sthash.EydcqQzt.dp
Speed is one the most important physical attributes that is required on the rugby 7s field whether in defence or attack. Speed can kill. - See more at: http://ur7s.com/academy/rugby-7s-fitness/video-sprint-training-with-sonny-bill-williams-and-the-all-blacks#sthash.EydcqQzt.dpuf

Tackling Technique: How to (Safely) Pummel Your Opponent

Thanks to our good friends over at Strength & Performance Training Inc. (SAPT) we have an awesome blog providing nutritional and sport specific help to all you aspiring athletes out there.  Because here at Walker Sports, we don't limit ourselves to just talking about sports.  We all play and participate.

So head on over to SAPT, and give them a read, this month they're talking football. 

oday’s special guest post comes to you from Dumont Walker a coach for the Washington Rugby Club. He’s also an athlete training here and graciously offered his expertise on tackling. He’s a big dude and knows how to hit people. Hit it Dumont!
WRFC Brandywine 3 

Continue Reading

Klay Thompson Ends Kyle Singlers Career

Here are Walker Sports we love professional wrestling. Most of us here grew up watching WCW, and WWF programing on Saturday mornings, and we continue to watch to this day.

 Well thanks to our friends over at Cageside Seats, we stumbled across this gym of a call from the Detroit Piston's game last night.  Of course much like a match at Wrestlemania, if you want to take it from a run of the mill main event to something special, you just need to add Good Ol' J.R. to the mix.

Enjoy.


Welcome to the Duck Dynasty Bowl

Are there too many bowl games in college football?  Combine that with the economic conditions of the times, and you have bowl sponsors changing all the time.  However, the latest bowl sponsorship shakeup actually makes sense.

Two months ago the Independence Bowl lost their title sponsor AdvoCare as their deal came to an end. After a few months of searching the Independence Bowl found a new sponsor thanks to a little bit of hometown help. 

The Shreveport Times reported and Yahoo is confirming  that the Independence Bowl's new sponsor will be non other than  Monroe's own Duck Commander.  That's right the same company and family that is the star of A&E's Duck Dynasty is back in the football business.

An official announcement is expected to take place on Wednesday where the two sides will announce a 6-year deal, that is reported to be in the $800,000 range. 

Duck Commander is based out of Monroe Louisiana, which is a few hours down the road from Sherevport where the Independence Bowl is held.  In addition, Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson was oncea two-year starting quarterback for Louisiana  Tech between 1966 and 1967. Phil left the team in 1968 to focus on duck hunting, and paved the way for teammate and future NFL Hall of Fame member Terry Bradshaw to take over.  After leaving school Robertson founded Duck Commander in 1972.

Watch closely and you can tell the Robertson's know a thing or two about football.  Phil shows off a talented arm in this clip. (at the 50 sec mark).




If anything comes out of this, I just hope that Uncle Si is either the half time entertainment, or at least a special presenter during the pre-game coverage. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney Lites up Combine with 40 time

Jadeveon Clowney ran his first 40 on Monday morning at the NFL Combine, and he recorded one of the fastest time in the entire combine. We all knew Clowney could fly but a 4.47 40 yard dash time is blistering speed for a defensive end.

Looks like Clowney's numbers appear to be accurate. On his second 40 yard dash of the day Jadeveon Clowney clocked in at a 4.48 40 on hand time.  

Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fastest 40 Times for Running Backs at the 2014 NFL Combine

Speed was on full display when the running backs took the field at the 2014 NFL Combine.  Chris Johnson holds the record with a 4.24 in 2008, and that time was under attack thanks to Kent State's Dri Archer who ran a 4.26.

  1. Dri Archer, Kent State 4.24
  2. Jerick Mckinnon, Georgia Southern 4.41
  3. Henry Josey, Missouri, 4.43
  4. Damien Williams, Oklahoma 4.45
  5. Ladarius Perkins, Mississippi St. 4.46

2014 Fastest 40 Times For Wide Receivers at the NFL Combine

Continuing our updates from the NFL Combine we have official times for the 40 for the this year's group of wide receivers who ran.  On the whole it was a talented class who made showed some great speed.

  1. Bradon Cooks, Oregon State 4.33
  2. John Brown, Pittsburgh St. 4.34
  3. Donte Moncrief, Missouri 4.40
  4. Paul Richardson, Colorado 4.42
  5. Martiavis Bryant, Clemson 4.42

2014 NFL Combine Fastest 40 yard Dash Times for Quarterbacks


On the field in Indianapolis today we have the quarterbacks showing off their physical skills at the NFL Combine.  Of course all eyes were on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, and the young stud did not disappoint delivering the fastest time on the day.

  1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech 4.61
  2. Stephan Morris, Miami. 4.63
  3. Connor Shaw, South Carolina 4.66
  4. Johnny Manziel, Texas Tech 4.68
  5. Derek Carr, Fresno St. 4.69

2014 NFL Combine Fastest 40 yard Dash Times Tight Ends

The 2014 NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis, over 80 athletes are running, jumping, and being poked and prodded, in hopes of impressing future employers.

While much of what takes place at the Combine doesn't matter, or is mostly for show we still watch and obsess over it because the NFL is king.  One of the most pointless events is the 40 yard dash, but despite the fact that we understand it's pretty worthless we still obsess over "what people ran."

So here we go piling on.  Here's the fastest 40's for tight ends who ran on Saturday.

  1. A.C. Leonard, Tennessee St. 4.50
  2. Eric Ebron, UNC 4.60
  3. Colt Lyerla, Oregon 4.61
  4. Trey Burton, Florida 4.62
  5. Jace Amaaro, Texas Tech 4.74

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fred Davis Arrested on DWI Charges

Finally we find someone who may be having a worse week than Ray Rice.  Redskins tightend Fred Davis was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated on Thursday afternoon according to police reports.

The arrest took place  at 3:45 pm on Thursday where Fairfax County police took the football player in at an intersection close to Tyson Corner Mall. 

More details are not known at this time, but it is likely a court date will be announced at some point on Friday.

It has not been a good week for Fred Davis.  Actually it was not a good day for Mr. Davis.  His DWI arrest came less than 24 hours after the NFL suspended him indefinitely for violating the leagues substance abuse policy.

In 2011 Davis was suspended, along with teammate Trent Williams, for the final four games of the season after both men failed multiple drug test for marijuana.

In regards to the suspension laid out this week, the tight end insist he has not had a positive test since the 2011 incident, and the reason for the most reason failed test was he ingested an band substance that was part of another supplement he was taking.  This could take some time to prove, but is not completely unheard of.

Once a high draft pick and a potential future star for the Washington Redskins, Davis has fallen on hard times in recent years.  At one point he replaced fan favorite Chris Cooley and appeared to be the next great Washington tight end, but he appeared in only 10 games in 2013 (3 starts).  Rookie Jordan Reed became the favorite within the program.  In total Davis complied  7 catches for 70 yards last season.

Davis will be a free agent at the end of this year, and the Skins were not planning on bringing him back.  One can imagine that with all the extra baggage he is now taking, this is one situation that the new coaching regime in Washington will be happy to wash their hands of.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Video of Ray Rice Dragging Unconcious Fiancee

Most of you have heard by now that Ray Rice and his fiancee Janay Palmer were arrested over the weekend in Atlantic City.  The charges came from a domestic disturbance where it appears the two were involved in a physical altercation with each other.

 Now TMZ has obtained video that appears to show Rice dragging what looks like an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator  in the Revel Casino where the arrest took place.  Rice was then approached by what looks like a security guard.  It was a little later in the night when both Rice and Palmer were arrested.

While Rice's attorneys  insist the video is not conclusive, it still does not look good for the Baltimore Ravens running back.  These are the type of images that stick out in peoples mind and are tough to erase no matter what the true story may be.


Mike Tolkin Announces Squad for Domestic Eagles Camp


Mike Tolkin has announced the group of 27 men who will travel to Atlanta as part of the USA Men's Eagles Domestic camp, slated to take place February 20th-23rd.  The camp will serve as a warm up as the Eagles prepare for their Rugby World Cup Qualifier matches latter this spring.

The domestic camp serves as an opportunity for Eagle candidates, who are not playing overseas, to get together and acclimate themselves to Tolkin's system. The group of 27 includes club players from many of the top programs in the United States.  It also includes a few players from the US Sevens player pool.  Tolkin had some interesting comments about the emergence and the of these players as well. 

A few of the players called to camp are unavailable due to injuries or work commitments.  Niua for example recently signed a contract with the Glasgow Warriors and is unavailable.  While Brett Thompson is unavailable due to injury. 

Men's Eagles | February Domestic Camp
Forwards
Derek Asbun - New York Athletic Club
Danny Barrett - Men's Eagles Sevens
Tom Coolican - New York Athletic Club
John Cullen - Seattle-OPSB
T.C. Elliott - Seattle-OPSB
Zach Fenoglio - Glendale Raptors
Graham Harriman - James Bay RFC
Olive Kilifi - Seattle-OPSB
Brodie Orth - Kansas City Blues
Louis Stanfill - Seattle-OPSB
Kyle Sumsion - Brigham Young University
Phil Thiel - Life
Matt Trouville - Seattle-OPSB
Nick Wallace - James Bay RFC
Aaron Young - Milwaukee Barbarians

Backs
Chris Chapman - New York Athletic Club
Joe Cowley - Life University
Miles Craigwell - Seattle-OPSB
Shaun Davies - Life
Dean Gericke - Houston Athletic Rugby Club
Troy Hall - New York Athletic Club
Kelly Kolberg - Dallas RFC
Chad London - Glendale Raptors
Tim Maupin - Olympic Club
Mike Petri - New York Athletic Club
Adam Siddall - Unattached
Shalom Suniula - Men's Eagles Sevens

Not considered for selection due to injury
Brian Doyle
James Paterson
Shawn Pittman

Selected but not available
Peter Dahl
Seamus Kelly

Selected but not available due to injury
Brett Thompson

Recently moved overseas
Toby L'Estrange
Folau Niua
Tai Tuisamoa
Men's Eagles | Coaching Staff
Mike Tolkin - Head Coach
Billy Millard - Assistant Coach
Justin Fitzpatrick - Assistant Coach
Phil Bailey - Assistant Coach
David Williams - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Chris O'Brien - Assistant Coach
Paul Goulding - Analyst
James Walton - Analyst
Richard Quincy - Physio
Zach Vyhnanek - Physio
Sarah Sall - Massage Therapist
Tristan Lewis - Manager

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Matt Hawkins Brings New Players to the Olympic Training Center


With Folau Niua gone moving on to the Glasgow Warriors and Carlin Isles apparently following suit, there are a few opening available for in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.  USA Eagles Head Coach Matt Hawkins has wasted no time in filling those openings with qualified veteran rugby players.

Will Holder has been accepted into the Army's World Class Athlete Program and is now able to make the move to Chula Vista.  The 22 year old West Point alumni  and former All American has been long rumored to join the program and it appears the paper work has finally come through, making him eligible to serve his country while playing for the Eagles.  Holder will be the sixth WCAP player to join the Eagles.

Thretton Palamo is the other young man making the move to the Olympic Training center.  Many will remember Palamo as the youngest player to participate in a Rugby World Cup, or for his breakout performance for the University of Utah at the inaugural CRC in Columbus Ohio.  Since then Palamo has focused on football where he was a running back and a defensive and outside linebacker for the University of Utah.  He's now entering his final semester where he'll graduate in May with a degree in Sports Management.

Speaking with the 25 year old while out at the Las Vegas Sevens, he admitted he was not sure what the future could hold for him.  Several NFL teams expressed interest in the young talent.  We've seen rugby players successfully make the conversion to the NFL in recent years.  Ohio State product Nate Ebner being the best example as he continues to log productive minutes for the New England Patriots.

Thretton would love to follow in those footsteps.  However, he understands the reality of it all.  In addition he comes from a family with a strong rugby tradition, with both his brothers holding USA Caps as well.

Palamo told RugbyMag ; “I grew up with rugby and rugby’s just always been fun for me,
.”

He will spend the spring at the Olympic Training Center re-acclimating to  rugby and waiting to see what the NFL Draft holds for him.

For the Eagles these are two solid pick ups.  While neither has the speed of Carlin Isles (who does?) or the flair of Folau Niua, both are big elusive athletes with a strong rugby background.  Holder has the ability to make an immediate impact, and it will not take long for Palamo to get back into rugby mode.  Both are solid pickups by Matt Hawkins, as he looks to increase the depth and the talent pool at the Olympic Training Center.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Carlin Isles Signs to Play for Glasgow

The story of Carlin Isles is taking another unexpected turn as it's been confirmed the American speedster is heading to Europe to continue his rugby career.  Earlier this week Isles signed a deal with the Glasgow Warriors of the RaboDirect Pro 12 league, and is slated to head to Europe next week.

It was only a few weeks ago in Las Vegas we thought we saw the last of Isles on a rugby field, as he gave a farewell speech to the crowd.  Isles signed a futures contract with the Detroit Lions that would make him eligible to make the 2014 NFL roster. Many thought this would be his future due the the financial benefits of signing an NFL contract.

Today's news of a signing with Glasgow means Isles will be able to remain playing rugby.  To this point Isles has played limited minutes in the 15's game.  He's suited up for the San Diego Old Aztecs, but that's been the extent of his 15's experience.  By moving to Glasgow the speedster will have the opportunity to expand his game in an environment conducive to developing players.

The Glasgow Warriors have been on an American buying frenzy as of late.  Last week the Warriors signed Folau Niua from the US Eagles sevens side. 

The move to Europe means Carlin Isles will get the pay increase he desires.  More importantly he will be able to continue playing rugby, and learning the game.  Thus allowing him to remained focused on his goal of competing in the Olympics.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

SI Unveils Cover for Their 2014 Swimsuit Edition


A tradition 50 years in the making, and to show how big the occasion is, one was simply not enough.  Sports Illustrated unveiled the cover to their annual swimsuit issue earlier tonight, and no doubt it brought a smile to millions of fans faces.

2014 marks the 50th edition of the SI Swimsuit issue, and to mark the monumental occasion the magazine ditched their traditional format and showcased three beauties on the cover. Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and Chrissy Teigen were granted the honor.  The threesome posed together in the Pacific Ocean during a photo shoot in the gorgeous Cook Islands wearing only their bikini bottoms, although their backs are facing the camera. 

The new cover also ends Kate Upton's two year reign as swimsuit cover girl.  But do not worry fans, Upton is featured throughout the issue so you will get your fix.

Despite Upton not being on the cover, I assure you the woman who did make the cute are more than qualified.  Agdal, 21, was named the magazine's Rookie of the Year in 2012.

The 28-year-old Teigen, who's married to singer John Legend, was named SI's Rookie of the Year in 2010.  She's also become a regular on the Dan Patrick show, as well as making a name for herself thanks to her entertaining Twitter account.

Aldridge, also 28, is married to Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill and shares a daughter, Dixie Pearl, with him. Aldridge pulls double duty as she is also a Victoria's Secret model, this marks her first SI Swimsuit edition. 

USA Eagles Announce Locations For Two Summer Test Matches

Thanks to our friends over at This is American Rugby we can announce two new locations have been named for the US Eagles summer test matches.

The Eagles begin the summer with a game against Scotland held at BBVA Stadium in Houston Texas on June 7th.  From there according to yesterday's announcement they will fly to Hawaii where they will take on Japan at the Aloha Stadium, on June 14th.  Finally the Eagles will return to the United States where they will face Canada likely at Hornet Stadium on June 21st. 

Jump over to TIAR for more details on the Eagles summer fixtures.

So there you have it.  The Eagles will have a busy schedule this summer, especially if you remember the home-and-away World Cup Qualifier series being held this spring. This is all good for rugby fans, and for the Eagles program.  They need to get as many quality test matches as possible heading into the World Cup cycle. 

The only losers in all of this, are rugby fans on the East Coast.  Once again they are left without getting a home game.  Hopefully the match with New Zealand comes through for the fall.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Best Goal Celebration Ever





Now that's how you celebrate a goal.  It's also surprising considering how Italian soccer is known for the flop, but this guy proves he's hardcore.  Also think the red card is a bit much, I mean seriously the guy put his head through a wall.