A.J. Ouellette’s rise from walk-on to one of the MAC’s top threats Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm Contact Matthew: firstname.lastname@example.org | @MatthewGut21 A.J. Ouellette was Ohio’s fifth-string running back on the bus to Kent State. The freshman walk-on was there to only play special teams in the team’s 2014 season opener.But three Ohio running backs fumbled a combined four times in the second half, blowing a seven-point halftime lead. Each was taken out. Then the fourth-string back got injured. Ouellette was the only option left.With the game tied at 14, Ohio had the ball in its own territory with a few minutes on the clock. Ouellette, in his first career drive, rushed six times, helping Ohio set up a game-winning field goal as time expired.Just four weeks earlier, the 5-foot-10, 203-pound Ouellette wasn’t even if sure if he’d be on the team. It took him all of 16 days into training camp to make the roster and earn a scholarship. The junior hasn’t stopped since, emerging as one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the Mid-American Conference. Once irrelevant, overlooked and battered by Division I schools, Ouellette is now the go-to option for the run-heavy Bobcats offense poised for its eighth-straight year of bowl eligibility.“Once he took the reins, he never let go,” said Dak Notestine, Ohio’s director of strength and conditioning. “We live and die by his sword.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOuellette has been holding footballs since he was six months old. In the family’s backyard in Covington, Ohio, about 80 miles north of Cincinnati, Ouellette and his father would set up mock defenders made out of whatever they could find to jump or knock over, said his mother, Jody.That helped lay the framework for a brute running back. One who rushed for 785 yards as a freshman, the second-highest total for a rookie in Bobcats program history. One who once scored a touchdown in high school with a broken collarbone. One who led Covington (Ohio) High School to four straight league championships.Still, he didn’t draw a single D-I football offer.,The recruiting interest came and then vanished. Purdue, Akron, Marshall, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio) each showed interest, but backed off. Ouellette submitted over 100 letters, filled out dozens of online recruiting questionnaires and sent game tape to D-I programs across the country. Save for a few Division II and Division III roster spots, he attracted no real interest. Too small, he heard.Ouellette jotted down the name of each school that overlooked him, using it as fuel. A coach at Akron quipped, “We have a lot of A.J.’s,” to Dave Miller, Ouellette’s high school coach.Ouellette added the Zips to the list.In a game against Akron midway through his freshman year of college, he ran for 74 yards, leading the Bobcats to a 23-20 win.“You just have to smile, keep moving on,” he said.Miller let schools know that Ouellette was the best player he’s coached in over 20 years. Tramain Hall, a former New Orleans Saint and Tennessee Titan who works with Ouellette at a fitness facility in Ohio, said Ouellette is capable of playing in the NFL. Hall, who’s trained Division I and NFL athletes including Houston Texans wide receiver Braxton Miller, describes Ouellette as “hungry.”“He’s from a small town, but this guy makes big time plays,” Hall said.“Everybody kept saying, ‘I can’t believe how good he is,’ but nobody offered him,” Jody Ouellette said.,In December of Ouellette’s senior year, Ohio’s offensive coordinator Tim Albin saw film of Ouellette and knew he could play Division I. But Ohio had already promised commitments to other running backs in the class, so all Albin could do was keep Ouellette on his radar. When National Signing Day passed and Albin found that Ouellette still hadn’t committed, Albin offered him preferred walk-on status.“A.J.’s going to come in and he’s going to play on special teams,” Albin told Ohio head coach Frank Solich. “I didn’t know he’d play (running back) the first game of the season,” Albin later said.Nobody did.Known as a student of the game and quiet leader, Ouellette was unanimously named a captain this year. In a mid-season contest at Buffalo last year, Ohio needed somebody to fill in at middle linebacker. Within a week, Ouellette had learned the intricacies of the defense. For two weeks, he played both ways. He recorded tackles, made catches and ran the ball at Buffalo.“If he didn’t step up, we would have been in a world of hurt,” Notestine said.The past few summers, Hall opened his facility early because Ouellette wanted to work out for 90 minutes at 8 a.m. It’s the same at Ohio.“My phone would be blowing up on weekends for extra work he wanted to do,” Notestine said. “The kid just doesn’t rest.”,This offseason, Ouellette dropped two-tenths of a second off of his 40-yard dash time (4.56). He upped his squat from 480 pounds to 510, took his bench press to 415 from 360, improved his shuttle time and added a couple inches to his vertical jump. He wants to average 5 yards per carry this year and lead his team to a MAC championship.From no Division I offers to preferred walk-on. From preferred walk-on to clear-cut starter. From starter to integral force in Ohio’s offensive attack.“I try to let the pads talk,” he said.The pads are talking.Banner photo courtesy of Ohio Athletics Comments This is placeholder text Advertisement
Yes, in the concluding chapter to a massive saga about good vs. evil, the value of teamwork and friendship, and the complexities and ethics of being a hero, the thing that stuck out most to me was that MLB had downsized. This is one side effect of viewing so much of life through a baseball lens. RIVERA: 20 things to watch in the 2020 MLB seasonObviously, this conclusion probably wasn’t the intention of the Russo brothers when they made their 3-hour adventure, which, by the way, is the highest-grossing move of all time. But, in full disclosure, I’m not a huge Marvel guy, which is why I saw “Endgame” on New Year’s Day instead of last spring when it came out. Don’t get me wrong: The movies are fine. I’ve seen most of them, but I tend to view them as individual experiences, rather than pieces in a bigger story. I know enough to follow along, but I’ve never made a point to study all the intricate details and every inter-connecting plot point.So, if you’re a huge Marvel fan who loves to discuss fan theories and expanded universes, you’ll have to forgive that my contribution to the conversation is so very minor and silly.Anyway, here are three reasons why I think the Mets were contracted in the “Endgame” universe:Citi Field is still there: In an early flyover shot of New York, we clearly see the Mets’ home appearing to still be in excellent shape. In other words, it wasn’t destroyed in any battles or in the chaos that resulted from the blip when Thanos snapped and wiped out half the Earth’s population. Perhaps the city keeps the stadium in good shape in hopes of landing another team, or perhaps it still hosts other events or other sports. But from the few seconds we see, it doesn’t appear the stadium has been converted into a shelter or anything else. Maybe Yankee Stadium was destroyed and that’s where the Bronx Bombers play now. In any case, it’s curious. Sports still exist: It would be easy to suggest that the tragedy of the blip caused all sports to cease, as it’s a safe assumption that people just wouldn’t care about such frivolous things anymore. We can assume that thousands of pro athletes across all sports would’ve fallen victim to Thanos’ snap, gutting rosters and farm systems everywhere. The whole sports ecosystem would’ve crashed. But that’s apparently not what happened. How do we know? Because when Banner/Hulk goes to Fat Thor’s house to recruit him on his time-travel mission, Thor mentions that sports are “fuzzy” on his TV. So, at least some sports are still happening. Perhaps they’re shells of what they used to be, but they still exist. But does that mean baseball is still a thing? Well, that brings me to my next point.The guy in the therapy scene says he misses the Mets (not baseball in general). This seems like a big clue. The guy, played by co-director Joe Russo, talks about being on a date and mentions how he and his date “miss the Mets.” Notice that he didn’t say “miss baseball.” Even if someone is a huge fan of a particular team, it seems more likely that they’d say they miss baseball itself if the sport had ceased to exist. I guess it’s possible that someone doesn’t really like baseball as a whole and only enjoys watching one team, but that seems weird to me. We’re still a long way from pitchers and catchers reporting, and actual baseball news has slowed significantly since the Winter Meetings, so in lieu of timely baseball commentary, I’ll offer some mindless, months-late baseball-related theorizing. Here it is: I finally watched “Avengers: Endgame” and had one major takeaway: The Mets were contracted. That’s it. That’s the evidence. What do you think?I guess it’s possible that the Thanos blip would result in all two-team cities or states losing one of their teams. After all, it would be hard, if not impossible, to support two MLB teams in one geographic area if half the population vanished. So maybe MLB shrunk by several teams.Or maybe something else happened. Maybe the entire Mets team got blipped. Statistically, that seems unlikely. But also, it would be so Mets.
[asset|aid=675|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=5f52897b0bd0605827e4a2b5d303a12f-Passarell-Trailer-3_1_Pub.mp3] That was confirmed by the Ministry’s district manager Renee Mounteney. [asset|aid=676|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=5f52897b0bd0605827e4a2b5d303a12f-Mounteney-1_1_Pub.mp3] She also confirmed there was some delay in trying to find a truck in which to put the cargo.Passarell says the department of transportation is always involved when a highway has to be closed, and in this case, ministry staff did assist in rerouting traffic. [asset|aid=674|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=5f52897b0bd0605827e4a2b5d303a12f-Passarell-Trailer-2_1_Pub.mp3] She adds the RCMP did have to co-ordinate various agencies involved in the clean up (i.e. CBSA, M of Transport, the Trucking Company, etc), but as most of the rerouting was officiated by the Ministry of Transportation, RCMP members weren’t taken away from other duties all day long.Advertisement A little more information has come to light on the trailor crash, that caused the Alaska Highway at the Baldonnel underpass to be closed for almost a full day.If you recall, the closure began on Monday evening at around 10 o’clock, when the trailer went off the road, overcorrected, and ended up on its side.The road was reopened yesterday at about 7:20 pm, although there had been several detour options available to motorists passing through.- Advertisement -We are now finding out the trailer was an American Transporter heading from the lower 48 to Alaska. As the truck had no stops scheduled within Canada, it had a seal placed on it by the Canadian Border Services Agency.RCMP Constable Jackelynn Passarell explains. [asset|aid=673|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=5f52897b0bd0605827e4a2b5d303a12f-Passarell-Trailer-1_1_Pub.mp3] Advertisement
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University athletic department announced and honored its 2015-16 departmental award winners during the annual ‘Welcome Back Picnic’ on Sunday, Aug. 28 at the Knapp Center.The awards recognized some of the top performers and student-athletes from last season as the Bulldogs embark on the 2016-17 season. The awards and those honored include,Bulldog Way Director’s Cup Award – Men’s SoccerHowlett Award Male Student-Athlete of the Year – John Hugunin, footballHowlett Award Female Stduent-Athlete of the Year – Emma Huston, cross country/track and fieldDixie Byers Comeback Player of the Year – Zach Zlabis, footballFemale Newcomer of the Year – Sara Rhine, women’s basketballMale Newcomer of the Year – Nic Jaimes , men’s soccerThe highlight of the presentation was the announcement of the Howlett Award winners. The award is given to the top male and female student-athletes of the year. Football’s John Hugunin (Oswego, Ill.) and Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) were named the recipients of the honor after completing their careers as some of the most decorated student-athletes in Drake history. Hugunin, an All-American and a fifth-year senior in 2015-16, claimed the fourth All-PFL accolade of his career and his second first team honor in December. He was also named a finalist for the STAT Defensive Player of the Year award after setting a PFL record nine forced fumbles and leading the Bulldogs with 116 tackles – ranking 20th in the nation – to go with 15 tackles for loss. Hugunin finished his stellar career as the program’s all-time leading tackler with 417 stops.Huston recently completed her senior season by setting four school records en route to winning the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference title in the 5,000 meters during the outdoor season. She graduated as the school record holder in the indoor 5,000 meters and the outdoor 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. During the cross country season, she finished fourth at the 2015 MVC Championship to earn all-conference honors. Additionally, she was named the MVC Elite 18 award winner for the second time in her career. She was also named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the week nine times on the season and earned United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team as a senior.Men’s soccer was honored as the Bulldog Way Director’s Cup winner after recording one of the most successful seasons in program history. Under first-year head coach Gareth Smith, the Bulldogs captured the MVC Tournament title for just the second time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Drake defeated Kentucky, 2-1, in the opening round of the tournament to advance to the second round before falling to Creighton.Football’s Zach Zlabis (Wheaton, Ill.) earned the Dixie Byers Comeback Player of the Year honor after battling back from repeated injuries to earn a starting role during the 2015 season. He finished the season third in receiving with a pair of touchdowns. The award is named after longtime Drake supporter Dixie Byers who has battled cancer numerous times to continue faithfully supporting the Bulldogs.Women’s basketball’s Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) had a breakout first season as a Bulldog. Coming off the bench, she appeared in all 33 games and was named the MVC Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year along with being named All-MVC Honorable Mention. Rhine finished third in the nation in field goal percentage at 62.9 percent. Nic Jaimes (Olathe, Kan.) of men’s soccer played in 20 matches with 19 starts in his first season as a Bulldog. Jaimes was tied for second on the team in goals scored with four and also handed out two assists. He was recogonized for his outstanding first season by being named to the MVC All-Freshman team.Print Friendly Version