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A look at Panthers' 2024 schedule
6 Days Ago

CHARLOTTE -- With last week's release of the 2024 NFL schedule, the Carolina Panthers got a glimpse of the competition they'll be up against in their inaugural season under new coach Dave Canales. Beginning with the season opener on Sept. 8, the team will aim to improve from last season's 2-15 record, reinvigorate 2023 No. 1 draft pick and second-year quarterback Bryce Young, and inject some hope into a franchise ailed by six consecutive losing seasons. Considering that Carolina is the current betting underdog in all 17 of its games, the NFL league office seemingly took note of the team's lowly state in terms of watchability -- the Panthers are the only squad in the league without a primetime game, not counting a Week 10 morning matchup with the N.Y. Giants in Germany. However, the results of the Panthers' schedule release could provide the team's fan base a spoonful of optimism with an equal dose of measured caution. Historically, primetime games haven't been Carolina's forte, and the slate of opponents lined up to challenge the Panthers could be far worse. "I do love playing on Sunday. You know what you're doing Friday at home, and you know what you're doing on Saturday," Canales said in a behind-the-scenes schedule release reaction video posted by the team. "All the games are on Sunday...normal weeks every week," added Brandt Tillis, Carolina's executive vice president of football operations. Based on 2023 winning percentage, Carolina has the fourth-easiest strength of schedule -- only higher than Chicago and NFC South rivals New Orleans and Atlanta. The Panthers are set to play 10 of the teams with the 14 worst records in the league last season. As a counterpoint, however, three of the team's weakest opponents on paper (Washington, Las Vegas and Denver) will each get to play the Panthers on their home field. Carolina's 2024 preseason consists of a road trip to New England, followed by a home game with the N.Y. Jets and a return back to the Northeast to face Buffalo. The regular season kicks off in New Orleans with a road game against a familiar divisional opponent in the Saints, before returning back to Bank of America Stadium for a home-opener against new head coach Jim Harbaugh and his San Diego Chargers. The Panthers will then head to Las Vegas to face the Raiders in Week 3 and round out the month of September with a home matchup versus Cincinnati. Five of Carolina's first eight games of the season take place on the road, coming to a head in October where it will be the visiting team in Chicago (Oct. 6), Washington (Oct. 20) and Denver (Oct. 27). Only a Week 6 home contest with NFC South favorite Atlanta provides the Panthers a chance to play in front of their home crowd that month. Reacting to the real-time announcement of Carolina's matchup against the Bears, Panthers defensive end Derrick Brown looked over at Young next to him and remarked: "Chicago on Week 5. That's the No. 1 pick versus the No. 1 pick; that's primetime." It is a game that will likely attract the eyes of neutral observers hoping to appraise the back-to-back top draft picks, as Young will face off in that game against rookie quarterback Caleb Williams. After another meeting with the Saints -- this time in Charlotte -- on Nov. 3, Carolina is faced with a pair of special contests separated by a Week 11 bye: a 9:30 a.m. kickoff in Munich against the Giants on Nov. 10 and a home meeting with defending NFL champion Kansas City on Nov. 24. That Week 12 game with the Chiefs is the first in a four-game series of consecutive matchups against 2023 playoff teams, starting with KC and leading into Tampa Bay at home (Dec. 1), Philadelphia on the road (Dec. 8), and Dallas at home (Dec. 15). This increase in difficulty provides a contrast to the first two months of the schedule where the Panthers won't see a team that made the playoffs in 2023 until after the bye. Moving ahead, Weeks 16-18 will give Carolina opportunities at home versus Arizona (Dec. 22) before finishing the regular season with divisional road trips to Tampa Bay (Dec. 29) and Atlanta (TBD)..

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NFL schedule release: Here's who the Panthers will play in 2024
12 Days Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The 2024 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday, giving football fans a view of what's to come in the upcoming season. The Carolina Panthers enter the 2024 regular season with something to prove after a dismal 2-15 campaign last year. New head coach Dave Canales and general manager Dan Morgan have their hands full when it comes to turning around a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs in over five years. Canales was hired with the goal of helping second-year quarterback Bryce Young play like you'd expect for a No. 1 overall draft pick, and Morgan traded into the first round of this year's draft to select play-making wide receiver Xavier Legette from South Carolina. The Panthers are featured in zero primetime games this season. The only game lined up to be nationally televised so far is Carolina's contest with the New York Giants in Munich, Germany on Nov. 10. Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. - at New Orleans Saints New Orleans finished last season 9-8 and just missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Quarterback Derek Carr returns and the team drafted offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga in the first round. The Saints struggled to protect Carr last year, ranking 28th in pass block win rate, according to ESPN. The Saints swept the Panthers in 2023 with a 20-17 win in Week 2 and a 28-6 win in Week 14. Carolina's last win over New Orleans came on the final day of the 2022 regular season when Eddy Piñeiro nailed a last-second field goal. Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. - vs Los Angeles Chargers New head coach Jim Harbaugh was brought in to maximize Justin Herbert's talent. The Chargers made big changes during the offseason, letting numerous veterans walk in free agency, including wide receiver Mike Williams. Veteran receiver Keenan Allen was traded to Chicago for a fourth-round pick, too. The Panthers have not faced the Chargers since 2020. Carolina won that contest 21-16. The Panthers have only lost to the Chargers once in the seven times the teams have played each other -- a 17-6 loss in 2004. Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4:05 p.m. - at Las Vegas Raiders Another team still trying to figure out the quarterback position. The Raiders hired Antonio Pierce as head coach after a somewhat successful stint as the interim. Las Vegas signed journeyman quarterback Gardner Minshew and he seems to be the guy at this point. Defensively, Maxx Crosby is a menace off the edge and could be the difference in their playoff chances. Similar to their AFC West counterpart, the Panthers and Raiders have not faced off since 2020, when Las Vegas won 34-30 on opening day. Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. - vs Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow missed a good portion of last season with a wrist injury. He'll be back, plus the Bengals still have receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, who have been at the center of trade rumors for what feels like an eternity. The Bengals used the franchise tag on Higgins for this season and he remains the only player who was tagged that didn't get a contract extension. These two cats last played in 2022 with the Bengals winning 42-21. Carolina's only tie in franchise history came against Cincinnati in 2014, a 37-37 deadlock. Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. - at Chicago Bears Talk about a referendum game. Carolina traded the farm for the rights to last year's No. 1 pick and Bryce Young. In exchange, the Bears took two first-round picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore. One of those picks became No. 1 pick Caleb Williams, plus they drafted Washington receiver Rome Odunze in the first round. Regardless of the outcome, Panthers fans can't help but look at Chicago's young roster and wonder what could've been. Carolina last faced Chicago on Thursday Night Football in 2023, with the Bears winning 16-13. The Bears have won the last three matchups with the Panthers. Sunday, Oct. 13 at 4:25 p.m. - vs Atlanta Falcons The dirty birds made a big splash in free agency, signing veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins. They also made a surprise move on draft night, taking Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the top 10. New head coach Raheem Morris was in the mix for Carolina's job until he accepted the Atlanta opening. One of the Panthers only two wins in 2023 came against the Falcons. Carolina converted a field goal as time expired to beat the Falcons 9-7 in Week 15. Sunday, Oct. 20 at 4:05 p.m. - at Washington Commanders New head coach Dan Quinn will bring his defensive acumen to a team that struggled to slow down anyone last season. The Commanders were dead last in total defense. Rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels has fans excited, with offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury praising the rookie after just a few days of minicamp. The Panthers have never played the Commanders. The last time Carolina faced the Washington franchise in 2021, the team was known as the Washington Football Team. Washington won that game 27-21. Sunday, Oct. 27 at 4:25 p.m. - at Denver Broncos Denver was so desperate to get rid of Russell Wilson they're willing to pay $85 million over the next two years so he isn't on their team. They drafted Oregon's Bo Nix in the first round, but it's unclear if he'll start or sit during his rookie campaign. They signed Lions receiver Josh Reynolds in free agency but didn't make too many major moves other than the Wilson decision. The 2015 Super Bowl matchup last played in 2022, with the Panthers winning that meeting 23-10. Carolina will travel to Munich to play the New York Giants on Nov. 10 as part of the league's international games. Carolina is one of eight franchises with home marketing rights in Germany, and this marks the team's first game in the country. Carolina's only played in Europe once, defeating Tampa Bay 37-26 in 2019. This game is technically a home game for the Panthers, meaning they'll have eight games at Bank of America Stadium this fall. The Giants and Panthers last played in 2022, with New York winning 19-16. Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. - vs Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are back. What else needs to be said? Oh, and maybe, just maybe, Taylor Swift will show up to watch. Kansas City has won the last three meetings between these teams, the most recent of which happened in 2020 when the Chiefs squeezed by 33-31. Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:05 p.m. - vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Baker Mayfield shocked the world by leading the Bucs to the playoffs last fall. The big question will be how they replace Canales, who is now Carolina's head coach. Veteran receiver Mike Evans signed a two-year contract extension after another strong season in 2023. Tampa Bay swept the Panthers in 2023, including a 9-0 shutout in Week 18. Carolina's last win over the Buccaneers came in 2022 when the Panthers upset Tom Brady. Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. - at Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles started strong last year before falling apart down the stretch. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been a fantasy machine and the tush push is unstoppable. However, the Eagles must replace retired center Jason Kelce. Philadelphia won the last contest between these two teams, 21-18 in 2021. Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. - vs Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys were quiet in free agency, avoiding any more splash signings. With Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb back, the Cowboys' offense will again be tough to stop. Dallas crushed the Panthers 33-10 last year, sacking Bryce Young seven times. Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. - vs Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray got a lot of help in the draft, with Arizona taking Ohio State star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Jonathan Gannon enters his second season as the team's head coach, but Arizona still has plenty of holes as it tries to rebuild the roster. Arizona won the last matchup between these two teams 26-16 in 2022..

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Panthers offseason winners and losers: Welcome reinforcements and jobs in jeopardy
20 Days Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Change has become something of a constant in the Carolina Panthers organization since 2020 -- in the front office, coaches offices and locker room. This year was no different. Dave Canales replaced Frank Reich as head coach, Dan Morgan succeeded Scott Fitterer as general manager and Brian Burns became the team's latest first-round draft pick to be traded away in his prime. But a few weeks after Burns was dealt to the New York Giants, the Panthers re-signed another first-rounder -- defensive lineman Derrick Brown -- in a move that perhaps signaled the start of a more stable period. Several of the team's draft picks also seemed to be made more with an eye on the future than filling an immediate need. "Me and Dave, we talk every day about the roster and which ways we can make it better," Morgan said after the draft. "I think we're headed in a good direction." With the majority of the Panthers' roster construction finished, The Athletic breaks down the Panthers' winners and losers this offseason. As much as Canales and Morgan have tried to take some of the pressure off Young with their it's-about-the-team narrative, many of the offseason moves directly benefited the second-year quarterback. Following the approach the New Orleans Saints used in building the interior offensive line to protect Drew Brees, the Panthers signed a pair of stout guards -- Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis -- to big free-agent contracts to flank center Austin Corbett. They traded for ex-Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson and drafted three playmakers in receiver Xavier Legette, running back Jonathon Brooks and tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders. No wonder Young's text messages to Canales during the draft were upbeat. "He's really excited about what we've done from the responses that I got from him," Canales said. "He's very fired up about what we put together." The former Minnesota Vikings receiver exceeded just about all expectations during his first year in Charlotte, earning Young's trust with his precise routes and sure hands. Thielen shouldered a heavy load in the passing game with 137 targets, and his 103 receptions were six more than the Panthers' next three wideouts combined. But with Thielen set to turn 34 in August, it would have been a lot to ask him to try to duplicate his 2023 production. With the arrival of Johnson, Legette and Sanders, he shouldn't have to. All three of the newcomers can stretch the field, which should open things up a bit for Thielen underneath. Brown had a couple of reasons to smile during the offseason. First, he watched the Panthers add a run-stuffing complement in free agency in the 6-foot-4, 330-pound person of A'Shawn Robinson, who has experience with Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero from their time with the Rams. Then Brown became the NFL's fourth highest-paid defensive tackle when he signed a four-year, $96 million extension, including $63.2 million guaranteed. After the Panthers' former regime failed to get a long-term deal done with Burns, locking up the 26-year-old Brown early was good business for Morgan and executive vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis. It also was a good football decision: Brown, the seventh overall pick in 2020, set an NFL record among defensive tackles with 103 tackles in 2023 and made his first Pro Bowl. When the former Bills cornerback signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract (plus incentives) with Carolina, he joined a team where he'll get a chance to compete for a starting role after playing mostly as a backup and special teams ace in Buffalo. The 27-year-old Jackson also reunites with Morgan, who famously pounded the table for the Bills to draft Jackson in the seventh round in 2020 when Morgan was with Brandon Beane in Buffalo. Jackson's size (5-11, 180) makes him susceptible to over-the-top throws, but he was known for his competitive spirit and tackling prowess in Buffalo. There's a good chance the Panthers will add another corner, whether it's Stephon Gilmore or someone else. But for now Jackson is at the top of the depth chart in Donte Jackson's former spot. After trading up in the second round to take Brooks (the first running back drafted), Canales and Morgan both said there's still room for Sanders in the running backs room. That was before the team agreed to terms with former Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny, who was with Canales in Seattle. Sanders was already marginalized in 2023 when he lost his starting job to Chuba Hubbard amid the worst season of Sanders' career. Given the devaluation of the position across the league, it's hard to envision a team taking on Sanders' contract via trade. But Morgan and Tilis showed this offseason they're willing to eat dead money to move on from underperforming players (see: Hayden Hurst, Vonn Bell and Bradley Bozeman). The third-round pick from 2021 started every game at left guard in 2022 before breaking his ankle in Week 17 at New Orleans. Christensen was back in the starting lineup at the start of 2023, only to suffer a season-ending biceps injury in Week 1. Following the additions of Hunt and Lewis, Christensen is moving into a utility-knife role, backing up the guard and tackle positions and even taking snaps at center during the recent voluntary minicamp. That versatility is good for the offensive line, but maybe not so great for a player set to hit free agency for the first time next offseason. The 27-year-old Thomas has agreed to pay cuts in each of the past two offseasons to stay with the Panthers as their principal blocking tight end. Thomas will make $1.3 million in 2024, plus a chance to earn back some money via incentives. Given how Thomas' involvement in the pass game has cratered, his role won't be impacted too much by the arrival of Ja'Tavion Sanders, the most prolific receiving tight end in the draft besides Brock Bowers. Still, Tommy Tremble and Sanders figure to receive the most snaps at the position. Like a couple of the other names on this list, Marshall was already on shaky ground heading into the offseason. There's a reason the former second-rounder requested to be moved before last year's deadline. But trading for Johnson and using the 32nd pick on Legette will likely have Marshall fighting to hang on to one of the roster spots among the receivers, especially if an undrafted free agent such as Holy Cross' Jalen Coker or Coastal Carolina's Sam Pinckney sticks. What do Jammie Robinson, Dicaprio Bootle and D'Shawn Jamison have in common? All are 26 or younger and started at least one game in 2023 in the Panthers secondary. There's also this: Each of the three defensive backs might have slipped a notch on the depth chart following the offseason moves already made or still to come. Robinson, a fifth-round pick last year, started two games at nickel as a rookie. Veteran Troy Hill also was a starter at nickel in 2023 and re-signed on a one-year deal. Robinson also plays safety, which the Panthers fortified by bringing in former Rams Jordan Fuller and Nick Scott. Besides adding Jackson and retaining Hill at corner (where Bootle and Jamison play), the Panthers drafted Chau Smith-Wade in the fifth round. We'll start with the good with Clowney: The veteran edge rusher signed a two-year, $20 million contract to play in the shadow of his Rock Hill, S.C., hometown after taking a one-year, prove-it deal with Baltimore in 2023. The bad? Barring a breakthrough season from D.J. Wonnum, DJ Johnson, K'Lavon Chaisson or someone else, the 31-year-old Clowney could be facing a lot of double-teams and chip blocks..

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Inside the Panthers: Is Stephon Gilmore still an option? Scouting staff shakeup
23 Days Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There aren't many lulls in the NFL calendar. And for the few that exist, Roger Goodell has been effective in filling them -- like with the annual schedule release, which falls after the NFL Draft and before OTAs crank up. Keep in mind: Teams have known their 2024 opponents since the 2023 season ended in early January. The schedule release -- expected to take place later this week -- is just a hyped-up way of letting everyone know when those games will be played. There is some intrigue in the unveiling of certain prime-time matchups, which didn't pan out so well last season where the New York Jets, Aaron Rodgers and the league's broadcast partners were concerned. The Carolina Panthers probably won't get many prime-time spots. But it will be cool to see who they'll be playing in Munich (more on that later). But back to lulls. The NFL isn't the only business that likes to fill voids with bright, shiny objects. Media outlets often do the same, which brings us to Stephon Gilmore. Since Jadeveon Clowney stumped for his former South Pointe High and South Carolina teammate in late March, there have been lots of words spoken and written -- including several on these pages -- about the veteran cornerback. This despite nothing actually happening between Gilmore and the Panthers over the past five-plus weeks. The Panthers' potential interest in Gilmore makes sense in some respects. Though general manager Dan Morgan made a few moves to address the corner position in free agency and the draft, there's still a feeling the Panthers need to do more after trading Donte Jackson to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the deal that brought wide receiver Diontae Johnson to Charlotte. Gilmore made the Pro Bowl as an alternate selection in 2021 after the Panthers traded for him in the wake of Jaycee Horn's foot injury. Gilmore then started 32 of 33 games over the next two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys, with a pair of interceptions at both stops. But he'll turn 34 in September and was scheduled to undergo offseason labrum surgery after tearing it in the Cowboys' regular-season finale against the Washington Commanders, according to The Dallas Morning News. Gilmore, who wore a shoulder harness in Dallas' playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, has logged more than 10,000 defensive snaps over his 12 seasons. It's fair to wonder whether the Panthers -- with about $9.1 million in salary-cap space before signing their draft picks, according to the NFL Players Association database -- might look for a younger, more cost-effective option to supplement their cornerbacks. Playing with Clowney in the shadow of their Rock Hill, S.C., hometown would have its benefits. But Gilmore likely has certain contractual goals in mind, as well as other factors he's considering. Bottom line: There's been no movement on this front despite the media interest. Maybe something will materialize with Gilmore closer to training camp, but nothing's happening now. After suggesting at the combine there could be changes after the draft, The Athletic reported Morgan followed through last week by parting ways with three members of the scouting staff: director of pro scouting Rob Hanrahan, assistant director of pro scouting Tyler Ramsey and area scout Michael Coe. The shakeup at the top of pro scouting is notable because the bulk of Morgan's experience came on the pro side with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. Hanrahan spent seven years with the Panthers after arriving from Buffalo, and Ramsey had worked in Seattle with Morgan and former Carolina GM Scott Fitterer. Coe came to Charlotte two years ago following a stint with the Senior Bowl. Additionally, senior personnel executive Jeff Morrow confirmed he is retiring after 26 years with the Panthers. The Panthers haven't announced any of the departures, and it's unclear if there will be additional movement in the front office. But Morgan, who is not expected to hire an assistant GM, mentioned a handful of colleagues when discussing the work leading up to and during the draft, including head coach Dave Canales, executive vice president of football operations Brandt Tilis, vice president of player personnel Adrian Wilson, director of player personnel Cole Spencer and director of college scouting Jared Kirksey. The Panthers reframed their front office using the San Francisco 49ers' model, hiring Tilis away from the Kansas City Chiefs to handle the salary cap and contract negotiations. The 39-year-old Tilis, who interviewed for the Panthers' GM job before Fitterer was hired in 2021, spent 14 seasons in Kansas City. He wore a replica jersey (No. 55) from Morgan's playing career with the Panthers on the first night of the draft. "He brings a lot to the table. He's brilliant. Really smart guy -- and not only with the cap," Morgan said following the draft. "He's just good being in the draft room, being able to bounce things off him, being able to bounce things off Dave. Just the group in general, I'm really happy with the group." The NFL traditionally announces the matchups for its international series games a day before the entire schedule is released. So the Panthers should learn their opponent for their first trip to Germany by mid-week. There was some thought early on it might be the Chiefs. But Kansas City played in Frankfurt last year, and it's doubtful the Panthers would want to give up a home game against one of the NFL's premier teams. Keep an eye on the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals as possible opponents for the game in Munich's Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich. Both teams are non-division foes that are not considered playoff contenders. As far as when the game will be played, the first three NFL games in Germany were in weeks 9 or 10. If history holds, that would fall after Munich's famed Oktoberfest, which this year rages from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6. But Panthers fans making the trip will find plenty of places to enjoy German beers, Bavarian pretzels and schnitzel. Morrow spent more than a quarter-century evaluating prospects for the Panthers while based in Louisville, where he coached receivers and kickers on Howard Schnellenberger's Cardinals staff before transitioning into scouting. Some of the evaluations were easier than others. Morrow remembers watching tape and taking notes on a New Mexico linebacker named Brian Urlacher in 2000. He got about halfway into the second tape and turned it off. "I put the pencil down," Morrow said Sunday, "and was like, 'What am I doing? Why am I writing? I just keep writing the good stuff all the time.'" Urlacher went ninth overall to the Chicago Bears, with whom he made eight Pro Bowls and was the NFL's defensive player of the year in 2005 before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Morrow worked for four Panthers general managers, including twice for Marty Hurney, whom Morrow believes is one of the league's most underrated executives. "He was instrumental in building two different Super Bowl teams (with) two different coaches that he hired," Morrow said. "So I was lucky to be on that train." Morrow, 66, started as an area scout for the Panthers and kept climbing the organizational ladder, eventually serving as the college scouting director and director of player personnel. Morrow, who attended the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, isn't sure what's next. And he's not in a big hurry to figure it out. "My wife said, 'You've gotta have something to do,'" Morrow said. "I said, 'No I don't.'".

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'We are deeply saddened': App State football player passes away
28 Days Ago

BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) - Appalachian State football player Jack Murphy passed away last week, the university confirmed. Murphy, an offensive tackle from Fairfax, Va., died Friday. App State did not provide the circumstances surrounding his death. The 2023 season was Murphy's first with the Mountaineers after he transferred from Marshall University. He started all 14 games in his only year at App State, earning All-Sun Belt honors for his performance. "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jack Murphy," App State head coach Shawn Clark said on social media. "He was a beloved Mountaineer. Please keep his loved ones and our App State family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time." The university said no foul play is suspected regarding Murphy's death and there was never a danger to anyone on campus. App State said it is continuing to provide support, counseling and guidance to members of its community. App State's Counseling and Psychological Services is fully operational for students who need support. Staff are also available 24/7 for students with urgent mental health concerns. Call 828-262-3180. More information is available at counseling.appstate.edu..

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Appalachian State football player Jack Murphy, a Virginia native, dies
29 Days Ago

BOONE -- Jack Murphy, an offensive lineman for Appalachian State, has died, the school announced in a statement late Monday. The statement from the school said Murphy died on April 26. No additional information was provided, including the cause of Murphy's death. "The hearts of the App State community are with Jack's loved ones during this very difficult time. We are respecting his family's wishes and requests and are providing support and assistance as requested," the statement said. "There is no foul play suspected, and at no time was there any danger to anyone on campus," according to the statement. The statement did say the school's Counseling and Psychological Services is in operation for students who need of support. Staff are also available 24/7 for students with urgent mental health concerns, the school said. More information about the service is available at counseling.appstate.edu. People are also reading... NASCAR: The Bluefield Boys have found a niche in NASCAR COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Ian Scammell (Grundy) gets time to shine in UVa-Wise Spring Game NFL DRAFT | Confident Cam: Former Graham, Purdue star Allen hopeful for NFL future Former UVA Wise College Board Member Gives $1 Million to school PREP FOOTBALL: Sullivan East's Laisure felt a higher calling led him to Colorado Emory & Henry sports complex on schedule to open Aug. 1 Go on an epic musical journey with a fiery performance featuring the songs of Johnny Cash PREP SOFTBALL: Blasts from Bowery, Barrett helps Battle best Abingdon PREP BASEBALL: Lebanon powers past Richlands in meeting of Southwest District leaders FRIDAY'S PREP ROUNDUP: Honaker baseball, softball, boys soccer teams prevail; Connor Smith (Chilhowie), Chase Wolfenbarger (Tennessee High), Dru Peters (J.I. Burton), Kaylee Rutherford (Union), Gamble Stevens (Virginia High), Blair Jackson (Fort Chiswell), Chloe Calton (Lee High), Ava Austin (Marion) among stars Charlottesville socialite pleads guilty to child sex crimes PREP BASEBALL: John Battle rallies past Union, wins 9-8 on error in 7th THURSDAY'S PREP ROUNDUP: Abingdon, Twin Springs, Lee High softball teams rally in seventh inning for wins; Grundy's softball team scores 37 runs; Ady Moore (Richlands), Carly Compton and Gage Graziano (Tennessee High), Kolby Hicks (Patrick Henry), Kiley Musick (Honaker) among standouts TUESDAY'S PREP ROUNDUP: Patrick Henry soccer, baseball, softball teams all won; Mary Katherine Wilson (Virginia High), Hailey Branscomb (Abingdon), Chloe Wells (Wise Central), Taylor Childress (John Battle), Caiti Hill (Ridgeview), Dawson Kern (Rye Cove), Nelson Arcia-Arce (Marion), Ben Kilbourne (Chilhowie), Justin Weaver (Grundy), Xavier Sawyer (Twin Springs), among many, many stars PREP BASEBALL: John Battle earns another win as Landon Odum continues to shine Murphy was a redshirt junior from Fairfax, Virginia. He was an All-Sun Belt Conference third team member. His biography on the school's football web page said Murphy started all 14 games at offensive tackle, including the opener at left tackle and starting the final 13 games at right tackle. During the regular season, Murphy was ranked No. 2 among Sun Belt starting offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus with a 71.5 overall grade. He allowed only two sacks in 455 pass-blocking snaps during the regular season. That was the fourth lowest total among full-time tackles in the Sun Belt. Prior to playing for Appalachian State, Murphy played at Marshall for three seasons. He used first year of eligibility in 2022 after redshirting in 2021 and being part of the Thundering Herd during a 2020 season that didn't count against his eligibility because of COVID-19. PHOTOS: NC offers colorful fall vistas [email protected] 336-373-7316 Tags Lee-national Sports American Football Be the first to know Get local news delivered to your inbox! Sign up! * I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy..

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Appalachian State football player Jack Murphy dies
29 Days Ago

BOONE -- Jack Murphy, an offensive lineman for Appalachian State, has died, the school announced in a statement late Monday. The statement from the school said Murphy died on April 26. No additional information was provided, including the cause of Murphy's death. "The hearts of the App State community are with Jack's loved ones during this very difficult time. We are respecting his family's wishes and requests and are providing support and assistance as requested," the statement said. "There is no foul play suspected, and at no time was there any danger to anyone on campus," according to the statement. The statement did say the school's Counseling and Psychological Services is in operation for students who need of support. Staff are also available 24/7 for students with urgent mental health concerns, the school said. More information about the service is available at counseling.appstate.edu. People are also reading... Victim, suspect in Monday shooting in Marion still hospitalized Old Fort receives $850,000 grant for streetscape project City of Marion announces new city clerk Celebration of former Eastfield Principal James Gorst set for May 24 Body of missing Asheville man found in Old Fort 4 officers serving warrant are killed, 4 wounded in shootout at North Carolina home, police say McDowell Sheriff: Man shot, female suspect found with self-inflicted gunshot wound Man sentenced in fatal McDowell County wreck that killed couple West Marion Inc. to restore and revitalize historic building System pressure advisory issued for Marion water customers Weekend closure coming to I-40 West in Asheville Caldwell, Lady Spartans clinch share of FAC Championship A Note From School: Principal appreciation Girl Power: West McDowell Lady Spartans track strong at FAC Championship McDowell softball wins low-scoring affair to pull into a first-place tie Murphy was a redshirt junior from Fairfax, Virginia. He was an All-Sun Belt Conference third team member. His biography on the school's football web page said Murphy started all 14 games at offensive tackle, including the opener at left tackle and starting the final 13 games at right tackle. During the regular season, Murphy was ranked No. 2 among Sun Belt starting offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus with a 71.5 overall grade. He allowed only two sacks in 455 pass-blocking snaps during the regular season. That was the fourth lowest total among full-time tackles in the Sun Belt. Prior to playing for Appalachian State, Murphy played at Marshall for three seasons. He used first year of eligibility in 2022 after redshirting in 2021 and being part of the Thundering Herd during a 2020 season that didn't count against his eligibility because of COVID-19. PHOTOS: NC offers colorful fall vistas [email protected] 336-373-7316 Tags Lee-national Sports American Football Be the first to know Get local news delivered to your inbox! Sign up! * I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy..

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Panthers put more offensive playmakers around young QB Bryce Young...
1 Month Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina Panthers new coach Dave Canales has emphasized to Bryce Young that he shouldn't feel as if he has to do it all by himself this upcoming season. Carolina backed up that talk in the NFL draft by continuing to put more players around Young to make the young QB's job easier. The Panthers used three of their first four picks on skill position players, selecting South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette in the first round and running back Jonathon Brooks and tight end Ja´Tavion Sanders from Texas in the second and fourth rounds in hopes of bolstering an offense that finished last in the league in scoring and yards. Along the way, new Panthers general manager Dan Morgan used a series of trades - four in the first two days - to restock the team´s draft capital. Carolina entered this year's draft with no first-round pick after former GM Scott Fitterer traded away four picks last year to get Young, including what ended up being the No. 1 overall selection. Morgan managed to get one of those picks back - a second-rounder in 2025 - in one of the deals. "I didn´t come in saying we´ve got to get that (second-round pick) back," he said. "When it presented itself, we thought it was a really good opportunity. Hey, we can get that two back. I would say we felt good about that. ... That kind of set us up for the future a little bit." Carolina Panthers first round draft pick Xavier Legette speaks during an NFL football press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) The Panthers also selected Kentucky linebacker Trevin Wallace in the third round, Washington State cornerback Chau Smith-Wade in the fifth, Mississippi State defensive tackle Jaden Crumedy in the sixth and Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett in the seventh. Legette didn't exceed 18 catches in a season during his first four years at South Carolina. However, the 6-foot-2, 221-pound wideout emerged from the shadows this past season with 71 receptions for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns, going from relative unknown to first-round draft pick. "A year ago, I wasn´t on anybody´s board, but I never let that get to me," Legette said. "I knew I had another year." Brooks was the first running back off the board at No. 46. It was the second-longest wait for a running back to be selected in the NFL draft behind Bishop Sankey, who was taken No. 54 in 2014. While running backs have been devalued across the league, the Panthers say they still place an emphasis on them. "Every team that I have been on, we used all of our running backs at different points because it´s just such a violent position," Canales said. "We look for those players who can handle that. But we are going to run the ball. It´s going to be a non-negotiable for us. This gives us a real chance to add another good runner to the mix." Brooks will battle with Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders for playing time. Morgan drew on his own background as a Panthers linebacker to select Wallace in the third round. "Athletic freak, a guy that can run sideline to sideline, strike ball carriers, and I think his ceiling is really high," Morgan said. "I think he´s a guy that´s going to develop, keep developing and turn into a good linebacker for us." Edge rusher was considered a need for Carolina entering the draft even after addressing that in free agency, but the team didn't draft one. "We identified some holes coming into the draft, coming into free agency," Morgan said. "Listen, you can´t fill every single hole all at once, whether free agency, the draft, you wish you could. But we´re still building this thing." The Panthers hadn't drafted a player from Texas since their initial draft in 1995 when they selected offensive tackle Blake Brockermeyer in the first round. This year, they took two Longhorns (Brooks and Sanders) in their first four picks. It flew mostly under the radar because of the NFL draft, but the Panthers quietly announced they picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Jaycee Horn's contract. The first-round pick in 2021 has been good when he's played, but has been limited to just 22 of a possible 51 games because of injuries. "He's had some tough stretches with injuries, but it´s not due to a lack of work or a lack of commitment from Jaycee," Morgan said. AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl Carolina Panthers first round draft pick Xavier Legette speaks during an NFL football press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Carolina Panthers first round draft pick Xavier Legette speaks during an NFL football press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Former players Muhsin Muhammed walks on state to announce a pick for the Carolina Panthers during the second round of the NFL football draft, Friday, April 26, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Former players Muhsin Muhammed announces a pick for the Carolina Panthers during the second round of the NFL football draft, Friday, April 26, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Carolina Panthers first round draft pick Xavier Legette beats the team drum before for an NFL football press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Carolina Panthers first round draft pick Xavier Legette poses before an NFL football press conference on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) FILE - Texas running back Jonathon Brooks runs free before scoring a touchdown against TCU during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. The Dallas Cowboys are resetting at running back eight years after drafting Ezekiel Elliott. Brooks, who is recovering from a major knee injury, is the highest-rated running back in the draft, according to nfl.com, and the only one among the top 30 prospects. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, FIle).

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Jaden Crumedy brings maturity and a promise from middle-school to the NFL, as the Panthers 200th overall pick | Fox Wilmington WSFX-TV
1 Month Ago

CHARLOTTE -- When Jaden Crumedy was in middle school, his mom was pulled over. When the cop saw Jaden in the backseat, he thought the fifth-grader was a high-schooler. So he made a deal with Jaden's mom. Sign up your large son with an organized football club, and I won't give you a ticket. Thus started Crumedy's football career, culminating on Saturday when he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the 200th overall pick. The Mississippi State defensive tackle spent the past six years in Starkville, the beneficiary of a redshirt year and a COVID year. Crumedy was a starter the last five years, but his 2022 campaign was delayed due to injury. In 2023, Crumedy started all 12 games, and accumulated 35 total tackles from his tackle position, with 3.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. He also added 2.5 pass break-ups. He'll be 24-years old by training camp, just two years younger than Derrick Brownwho is heading into his fifth year. The wisdom of age -- as well as playing under four different head coaches at Miss. St. -- is something Crumedy hopes will help him transition quickly to the NFL. "It just gives me a better way of observing everything," Crumedy explained Saturday afternoon. "I mean, I've been through a lot of different things, and I've seen a lot of different schemes and things like that. So, I'll be able to recognize more things than others, (that) haven't seen it yet. And it just gave me a lot of time and just like a lot of consideration of, you know, what I've seen and it just helps me along the way.".

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Charlotte native, Weddington alumnus Malik Mustapha drafted by 49ers
1 Month Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte native and Weddington High School alumnus Malik Mustapha was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers Saturday. The safety, who played college football for Wake Forest and Richmond, was the 124th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL draft. Mustapha was named a team captain for the Deamon Deacons in 2023 and started in every game. He finished last season with 67 tackles including 36 solo tackles with 5.0 tackles-for-loss, 0.5 sack, one interception, three pass breakups and one forced fumble. He played for head coach Andy Capone at Weddington High School and led his team to a perfect 16-0 record in 2019..

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