Friday PM Blitz: 5 National Team alums will take part in rookie minicamps this weekend; Mike Singletary takes another coaching job

By Brent Glasgow | Posted 5/11/2018

U.S. National Team alum Isaiah Wynn and Georgia teammate Sony Michel with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft, following last month's NFL Draft. (Photo via Boston Herald)

NFL.com reports 22 NFL teams will host rookie minicamps this weekend, including the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

It'll be the first professional on-field work for U.S. National Team alums Isaiah Wynn (Patriots), Harrison Phillips (Bills), Wyatt Teller (Bills) and Justin Jackson (Chargers). Shaquem Griffin, who the Seattle Seahawks selected in the fifth round, took part in his team's minicamp last weekend.

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Eight other teams also held rookie minicamps last weekend. The Los Angeles Rams are the only team that doesn't hold a traditional minicamp. The rookie camps don't feature live contact, but allow offense vs. defense drills, with up to 10 hours of team activities per day. 

Singletary to coach new pro football team in Memphis

The new Alliance of American Football announced Thursday that Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary will be head coach of the eight-team league's club in Memphis.

The spring football league is scheduled to start following Feburary's Super Bowl. The Sporting News says Singletary joins Steve Spurrier (Orlando) and Brad Childress (Atlanta) as high-profile AAF coaching hires. Marvez also says Mike Martz (Southern California), Jim Mora (Salt Lake City) and Rick Neuheisel (Phoenix) could join in the coming weeks, but a league spokesman told The Sporting News, "those names/cities aren’t confirmed so at this point would just be speculation."

Singletary, who delivered a memorable speech at January's USA Football National Conference in Orlando, Florida, took the head coaching job at Trinity Christian-Addison in Texas in March, and is still expected to coach there in the fall.

 

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Idaho, Montana high schools to join forces

St. Regis High School football

St. Regis players will don Mullan uniforms next season. (Photo via Spokesman-Review)

Two schools in different states, 40 miles apart and with fewer than 40 students enrolled in each, will form an interstate co-op next fall to keep football alive at their respective schools. St. Regis High School (Montana) and Mullan High School (Idaho) will partner to play in Idaho's smallest class, after years of difficulty just having enough kids to play six- and eight-man football, respectively.

"I’ve never had more than 12 players on my team since I’ve been here," eight-year Mullan coach and athletic director Stetson Spooner The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington). "It will be nice to have depth and actually be able to bench players if they’re late or skip practice."

The one-hour time difference will let St. Regis leave school at around 3 p.m. Mountain Time and be at Mullan at around 3 p.m. Pacific Time to practice.

"I thought ‘How would this even work? Getting players over the the state line, no way," Spooner said. "Then the more we talked about it, it became more and more feasible."

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San Francisco Bay area high school series to honor military vets

Serra High School state championship bowl game

Serra players run onto the field before the 2017 CIF Division 2-AA bowl game versus Cajon at Sacramento State University. (Photo via Mercury News)

Darren Sabedra of the Mercury News says five California high school football games over two days in August at St. Francis High School in Mountain View will honor U.S. military veterans.

Reigning state champions Serra and St. Francis will be there, along with defending North Coast Section Division I champ Liberty. Archbishop Mitty, Oak Grove and Gilroy are scheduled to play as well. 

"(We) bring together students, coaches and communities to help fundraise for military veterans," organizer MarkSoto said. "We’re a nonprofit. None of us are paid on staff. None of us on the board are paid. We all have other jobs. A hundred percent of the money that we raise goes back to continue the cause and do things for military veterans."

Soto didn't serve in the military, but his two sons have, inspired by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I’ll never forget it, 9/11 had just happened and my boys coming home literally being in tears," Soto said. "They were a freshman and sophomore at the time. They said, ‘Dad, we’re going to join the military.’ I thought, ‘You’re a freshman and sophomore. That’s going to change.’"

It didn't.

"There is truth in the saying that when a military kid joins, the family joins, too. Iraq happened. Afghanistan happened. It bonded us," Soto said. "We saw a lot of friends come home changed, and a lot of friends lose their lives. That’s why I say I am not a promoter. I am a football coach and dad that had an idea that has led to this."

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