Friday, April 20, 2018
Colleges

Miami's James revisits tragedy

CORAL GABLES — Miami running back Mike James is almost always smiling. When talking about facing Notre Dame this week, he was not.

"Notre Dame is a big game," James quietly said, "for a lot of reasons."

The Hurricanes and No. 9 Fighting Irish meet Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago to resume an overheated rivalry that helped decide at least five national titles in an eight-year span, 1983-90.

For James, it's also personal. Very personal.

The last time these teams met was the 2010 Sun Bowl, a day he'll never forget for reasons that have nothing to do with football.

That game started at the same moment as the funeral for James' mother Elgusta James, who died in a car crash 11 days earlier. Mike James wasn't at the funeral; he played in the bowl game after family members convinced him that's what his mother would have wanted.

And when it comes to the importance of this game, his thoughts are clear.

"The biggest game I've ever played," James said last week after Miami beat North Carolina State. "I would say so. I'm serious about this one. … Last time we played Notre Dame, they were burying my mom at the same time as the game. So anybody can do the math."

This season the senior has 278 yards rushing in five games — 3 more yards than he had in the whole 2011 season. He has four touchdowns, all in an overtime win Sept. 22 at Georgia Tech. He says he's healthier and happier than he can remember in some time.

The pain of that phone call on Dec. 20, 2010, however, lingers, he said. Every day.

"It was a devastating moment, a tragic moment for Mike," Miami defensive back Brandon McGee said. "When he first heard the news, I was right there with him."

Elgusta James was the passenger in a vehicle driven by her daughter that day, when another car hit the driver's side. Elgusta was ejected from the vehicle and police said she died at the scene. For months, Mike James said he cried every day, and not long after got two tattoos — one image of his mother holding him as a small child, the other an angel.

He said that he wished it was him who died in that crash, not his mother.

"Coming back off of that, Mike James is probably the strongest man I've ever met, physically and mentally," quarterback Stephen Morris said.

JURISPRUDENCE: An Alabama man pleaded guilty and faces a two-year prison sentence for rubbing his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS title game in January. Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., on the day he was to be tried on charges including sexual battery. Downing won't have to register as a sex offender. A video of the incident went viral on the Internet.

MICHIGAN STATE: Freshman receiver Aaron Burbridge will start at Indiana after not playing in Saturday's 17-16 loss to Ohio State.

Comments
Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18
New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

Steve Spurrier will make one of his first appearances in his new role with the Alliance of American Football tomorrow in Orlando.The league will welcome Spurrier as the coach of its Orlando team at an event at Ember (42 W Central Blvd.) at an event f...
Published: 04/16/18
Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State's spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — inclu...
Published: 04/14/18
Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

GAINESVILLE —It took some time, but the offense scored points in bunches, much to the delight of the 53,015 in attendance at Florida's spring game.And the Gators had fun doing it, pulling out all the stops with gadgets and celebrations that bro...
Published: 04/14/18
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois agreed to a pre-arrest diversion program after police found 17 grams of a cannabis/tobacco blend in his bedroom Thursday afternoon.The Tallahassee Police Department previously received a report of drug activ...
Published: 04/13/18