From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- For Ray Lewis III, going to Miami has been a safe assumption since the day he was born.His father -- the newly retired Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis -- played for the Hurricanes. His mother went to Miami as well. So when it came time for their son to pick a school, the decision was easy.Lewis III was one of 11 players to send letters of intent back to Miami on Wednesday, joining a group of five more early enrollees in a class that the Hurricanes think can make an immediate impact. Other big additions for Miami included wide receiver Stacy Coley, linebacker Jermaine Grace, safety Jamal Carter, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and quarterback Kevin Olsen, the brother of another former Hurricane, NFL tight end Greg Olsen.Lewis III sent his letter of intent in very early Wednesday, then with his father at his side, went through a ceremonial signing later in the day at his school, Lake Mary Prep near Orlando, Fla."I made a stand my junior year in college, the year he was born, that it was time for me to go to the league," said Ray Lewis, who helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl on Sunday in his last game. "Now the year that he's walking into college I've made another stand that it's time for me to leave the league. Him being born has been a factor in entering the league and leaving the league."Miami landed several of its top targets, even with the incredibly long NCAA investigation into the school's athletic compliance practices still unresolved.The NCAA was poised to send the Hurricanes their notice of allegations a couple weeks ago -- then, in a bizarre twist, ordered an external inquiry into how its own investigators collected information. At the center of that external probe is the NCAA's relationship with attorney Maria Elena Perez, who represented convicted Ponzi scheme architect and whistle-blowing former booster Nevin Shapiro.Perez has not divulged the nature of her contractual relationship with the NCAA, and NCAA President Mark Emmert wants to know why one existed. Shapiro is serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a 930 million Ponzi scheme, and the claims he made in an article published by Yahoo Sports have hung precariously over the program for more than two years."We're not just fighting the opposition," Miami coach Al Golden said in a televised interview Wednesday. "We're fighting the term sanctions' all the time. So it's sanctions and the opposition versus us."Once Miami receives its notice of allegations, then the sanction process would begin. That could take several more months unless the NCAA and the Hurricanes settle beforehand, something that would appear to be possible given the college governing body's own acknowledgement that it botched parts of the Miami probe."The sanctions and some of those things, it didn't change my decision whether I wanted to go there or not but it was something I thought about," said Lewis III, who likely will be a defensive back in college. "It is unfortunate, but sometimes it's got to get worse before it gets better."The way Miami sees things, things got better Wednesday.While the Hurricanes missed out on some blue-chip targets like a pair of Miami Booker T. Washington High teammates in linebacker Matthew Thomas (Florida State) and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland (Arkansas), they did make some late splashes, including Coley, a top-ranked player from talent-rich Broward County.Many expected Coley to sign with Florida State. Instead, he pulled out a cap with the word "Swag" and done in Miami colors to announce his decision.Coley's goal at Miami: "Win a national championship."Running back Augustus Edwards of Tottenville High in Staten Island, N.Y. was the day's first commitment, his letter arriving by fax right around 7:01 a.m., one minute after the allowed start time. Edwards likely will be a short-yardage and blocking back at Miami, a key need in the class.Another big need was defensive linemen, and Miami added junior-college player Ufomba Kamalu of Fayetteville, Ga., at that spot. Two of Miami-Dade's top prospects also signed with Miami, as expected -- defensive back Artie Burns of famed Miami Northwestern High, and Carter, who played at Miami Southridge.Grace had people guessing until late in the day, when he announced his intention at Miramar High, the same school that produced 2012 Miami signee Tracy Howard. Grace also said he wanted to play alongside Miami safety Deon Bush, another South Florida product."My auntie, she's in love with coach Golden," Grace said. "That's a big reason why I came, too. He's just a great guy. He's got a great spirit. He's down to earth. That's why I like him."Ray Lewis, the now-former NFL star, has never hidden his affinity for Miami, and said he was doubly proud -- both as a father and a former star Cane -- to watch his son finally put his name on that coveted letter of intent on Wednesday."It's almost overwhelming to try to understand what I'm feeling as a father," Lewis said. "You have to keep your emotions in because it's the unreal part about it, that I walked two days from retiring and winning a Super Bowl to walking in and seeing my son following me to my alma mater. Who writes a storybook ending like that?"
NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.
Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.
Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.
"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."
The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.
The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.
"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."
Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.
BOSTON, Mass. – There’s a long way to go toward a complete resurrection from last season’s misdeeds, but Jimmy Hayes made a nice little statement that he’s learned some lessons in Boston’s preseason debut. The Bruins lost the game, 3-2, in the shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Hayes scored one of the two goals for the Black and Gold as one of the few veterans in a very youthful lineup for Boston.
The Hayes goal was a nice give-and-go with Jake DeBrusk at the end of a nice transition play in the second period, and was the highlight of a night playing on the right wing with DeBrusk and center Austin Czarnik. The score and a team-high four shots on net for Hayes represent a good start for what he hopes is a gigantic rebound season after last year’s disappointment.
Clearly Hayes heard some of the unflattering chatter about him on sports talk radio and otherwise last season, and may even understand how his difficult season in his home city of Boston -- whether he actively expressed it to him or not -- might have been a factor in his buddy Jimmy Vesey ultimately choosing New York over Boston.
It appears the former Boston College standout is looking to change the conversation in Boston.
“Yeah, sure am. I’ve got a lot to come out here and…[there were] a lot of comments about myself, but I know I’m a good player. I got to this level for a reason,” said Hayes, who dropped from 19 goals and 35 points with the Panthers to 13 goals, 29 points and a career-worst minus-12 for the Bruins last season.
“To be able to play at the NHL level and continue to play at that level on a consistent basis is what I expect out of myself. I do it for myself and our teammates, and to help our team win. I’ll continue moving forward.
“It’s funny being the old guy on the line. It’s nice to see those young guys and see how excited they are, and how excited I am to get back out there. That’s what I said to the guys, they still have the jitters and they still have them for the first preseason game. It shows that these guys want it and it’s been a lot of fun skating with those guys. They’ve got a lot of speed and to keep pushing the pace. Trying to keep up with them has been a lot of fun.”
There is still a long way to go for the 26-year-old winger, and his willingness to stick around the danger areas on Monday night was a welcomed one for a Bruins team that needs his 6-foot-6 body in front of the net. Hayes paid the price with stitches and a fat lip after taking a Dalton Prout high-stick to the mouth in front of the Columbus net that went uncalled on a Bruins PP at the end of the second period.
That’s all part of the big man’s game on the ice, however. It’s also the kind of battle and determined fight that Hayes will need to show much more consistently in his second season with the hometown Bruins if he’s truly looking to bounce-back from last year’s mediocre performance.