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Video: A day in the life of an assistant during fall camp

Ball State running backs coach Justin Lustig is one of the good guys in the profession. Lustig has worked his way up through the ranks having spent time at Christopher Newport, Villanova, Eastern Illinois, Louisiana Lafayette and now has been on Pete Lembo's staff since Lembo came to Ball State following the 2010 season and he's one of the guys Lembo raves about when talking about his staff. 

This video gives you a great look at what a typical "fall camp" day looks like for Lustig; but also for countless others out there in the profession. One of the key takeaways I got from watching the video was the camaraderie within the staff. It's hard to succeed as a staff without it.

The other thing that I really enjoyed was Lustig's "vocab word" section. A lot of coaches do this and it's a great way to engage your players, and get to understand what they really know...and to improve who they are as people.

Oh, and one last thing. Props to coach Lustig's wife. A lot of ladies out there don't have the patience or temperament to thrive as a coach's wife. Clearly coach Lustig's wife shares the passion that her husband has for the profession. "Family on three!" Enjoy.

Nothing screams Memphis football like Bret Michaels, right?

Memphis football should be better this season. Justin Fuente is a well-respected coach, and appears to have the Tigers' arrow finally pointed upward. And, by God, those fans deserve it after suffering through a 12-48 record in the past five seasons following the glory days of five bowl appearances in six seasons from 2003-08.

And what says reward more than Bret Michaels?

The Tigers announced Tuesday plans for the Tailgate Concert Series, presented by Horseshoe Casino Tunica. 

Let's let athletics director Tom Bowen tell us all about it. 

"The Tailgate Concert Series is another example of our commitment to provide one of the best game day environments in college football for our fans," Director of Athletics Tom Bowen said in a statement. "Our marketing team is constantly working on opportunities to enhance the fan experience and we believe this is going to be a big hit with Tiger Nation."

Local favorites Kevin and Bethany Paige will kick off the season before the Austin Peay game on Aug. 30, followed by Pat Green for the Middle Tennessee game on Sept. 20, Thompson Square for the Houston game on Oct. 11, and then the grand finale of Bret Michaels leading into the Tulsa game on Halloween night. 

In case you've waited your entire life to see your hair metal hero's career summarized in a college football press release, here you go:

Finally, Bret Michaels will rock the Homecoming crowd when he rolls into Memphis for the Tigers' nationally-televised, Friday night game against Tulsa on Oct. 31. Michaels, who gained stardom as the lead vocalist of the band Poison in the 1980s and 90s, has enjoyed a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter, actor, director, screenwriter, producer and reality television personality.

Allow me to introduce you to the "next Wes Welker"

When I think of Wes Welker, I think: undersized, hard worker, unique, catches everything, scrappy, takes kicks to the house, etc...

Well, earlier today I watched a video that Doug posted of North Carolina receiver / kick returner Ryan Switzer in which Switzer reviews the film of each of his 5 punt returns for touchdowns last season...and as I was watching it, all I could think of was this is the next Wes Welker. 

A couple of notes from his bio on UNC's website:

  • Nickname is "Switz"
  • Favorite TV show is "Hannah Montana"
  • Wears No. 3 because it symbolizes the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Favorite off-day activity is watching Christmas movies
  • Would like to appear on an episode of "Jersey Shore"

Now, a look at his high school career:

  • First-team Parade All-America selection
  • Two-time winner of the Kennedy Award, given to the West Virginia state player of the year
  • Only the sixth two-time winner in the award's 66 years
  • Twice named the West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Scored 103 touchdowns in his prep career and finished in the top five in West Virginia history in touchdowns and points
  • 2012 Under Armour National Combine champion

North Carolina lists Switz at 5'10" 180.

I haven't spoken with anyone at North Carolina about him; but after watching this video, you simply have to like this young man. The entire video session is good; but I particularly enjoyed the 6:25 mark where he discusses an interaction with Larry Fedora at halftime of the Pitt game shortly after he had just taken a punt back for six to close the first half and put UNC up 24-7. Listen to what he says and remember that Pitt comes back in the 2nd half to tie it at 24-24...before Switz takes another punt to the the house at the ned of the game to win it for North Carolina. 

I'm rooting for this guy this season. 

The story of USC defensive back Josh Shaw has taken a wild turn

Less than 24 hours ago, USC announced that defensive back and team captain Josh Shaw had injured himself while jumping off of a second-story balcony to save his nephew from drowning.

Here is USC's version of events:

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 1.12.14 PM

Shaw was called a hero, not only by the media or Trojans fans, but by his own head coach. "That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside. But that's the kind of person he is," Steve Sarkisian said in a press release. "It is unfortunate that he'll be sidelined for a while and we will miss his leadership and play, but I know he'll be working hard to get back on the field as soon as possible."

Hold your horses there, USC.

"Within the last few hours or so we've gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night, so we're going to continue to vet it. And we're looking at it," Sarkisian said. "But beyond that, I only know what I know, and Josh is adamant that that occurred, and we'll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk and across our phones and see where we can go from there."

Sarkisian was then asked who called USC denying Shaw's version of events, and he declined to answer and asked the media to give USC time to vet the story "so we can give you a really solid answer instead of hearsay or more of what might have occurred or what might didn't occur."

When you trot out a player's so-called heroic actions as "the kind of person he is" - and then the story turns out to be embellished, misrepresented or flat out false - you then beg the question of "Well, what type of person is he really?" Credit to USC for being out in front of this story but, then again, if they hadn't rushed to call Shaw a hero in the first place, they wouldn't be dealing with this p.r. crisis, and the tweets you see below, in the first place.

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