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Inside Jalen Suggs’ football career: Gonzaga hero was star QB in high school, has ties to Terrell Suggs

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Inside Jalen Suggs’ football career: Gonzaga hero was star QB in high school, has ties to Terrell Suggs

Jalen Suggs: Final Four hero, impending NBA draft lottery pick and … former football star?

Yes indeed. The phenomenal Bulldogs freshman is not only a terrific basketball talent, but also a former standout on the gridiron — one who saw plenty of recruiting interest as he was coming out of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

That’s not his only connection to football, either: He’s part of a pretty accomplished pedigree as a distant relation to NFL defensive standout Terrell Suggs.

Here’s everything you need to know about Jalen Suggs’ football career, his high school stats and the attention he received as one of the most sought-after football recruits in the 2020 class:

MORE MARCH MADNESS: Live scores | Updated bracket | TV schedule

What sports did Jalen Suggs play in high school?

Suggs was a two-sport athlete in high school, excelling in both basketball and football. In the former, he led Minnehaha Academy to three consecutive Minnesota 2A state titles before his senior season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was a five-star recruit and the No. 11 overall player in the class of 2020 as a combo guard, per 247Sports’ Composite rankings. The site lists 22 scholarship offers he received to play basketball, including Gonzaga (obviously), Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia and more.

But he also received plenty of attention as a two-way football star. As a 6-4, 205-pound senior for SMB — a co-op of St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake — he led the team to the 4A Minnesota state runner-up. The year prior, he helped the team win the state championship. He was ranked the No. 384 player in the 2020 class, the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 2 player in the state of Minnesota per 247Sports’ Composite rankings.

For his athletic prowess, Suggs was named MaxPreps’ Male Athlete of the Year in May 2020. Moreover, the high school senior became the first athlete in Minnesota high school history to be named Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in the same season.

What were Jalen Suggs’ high school stats?

Football

Per the Baltimore Sun, the 6-5, 200-pound quarterback/defensive back passed for 2,213 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 978 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. He also added nine interceptions on defense, returning two for touchdowns.

As for his junior year, MaxPreps records Suggs throwing for 1,578 yards and 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also added 604 rushing yards on 99 carries (6.1 yards per carry) and eight scores. He caught two passes for 14 yards and a score as well. Defensively, he totaled 20 tackles — one for a loss — four interceptions and six passes defensed.

Basketball

According to the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), Suggs averaged 23.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game as a senior, finishing with 2,945 career points.

Is Jalen Suggs related to Terrell Suggs?

Yes. Per the Sun, Jalen Suggs’ father, Larry Suggs, is second cousin to Terrell Suggs, who lived in Minnesota until he moved to Arizona in the ninth grade. Terrell Suggs played linebacker/defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens (2003-18), Arizona Cardinals (2019) and Kansas City Chiefs (2019), earning Pro Bowl selections seven times and first-team All-Pro in 2011.

He also helped Jalen Suggs’ father start the Minnesota basketball program Grassroots Sizzle. The football standout seems pretty happy to watch the Gonzaga star show out in March Madness:

What teams recruited Jalen Suggs in football?

Per 247Sports, Suggs received scholarships from the following schools:

  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Iowa State
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio State

He also received some interest to play quarterback for one of the top all-time college football coaches: Alabama’s Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide coach on Friday discussed his evaluation of Suggs as a quarterback.

“Well I vaguely do recall him as a player and he was a really good player,” Saban said, via 247Sports. “He’s a really good basketball player, you know, too, so I can’t argue with anybody about the choice that he made in terms of, you know what he’s known (for the) future and how he’s trying to, you know, build a career in athletics. So he was a fine young man, he was a good leader.

“He was a very talented player, and you know I enjoy watching him play. He always liked playing guys you think you know a little bit, so I really enjoyed watching them play and those guys have a good team, no doubt.”

Here’s a sampling of Suggs’ quarterback highlights at SMB:

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Why are Jake Paul and Ben Askren fighting? A callout lured ex-MMA champion out of retirement

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Why are Jake Paul and Ben Askren fighting? A callout lured ex-MMA champion out of retirement

Jake Paul will look to improve his boxing record to 3-0 on April 17 when he steps into the ring with former MMA champion Ben Askren on Triller’s Fight Club.

Paul started his pro boxing career in January 2020 with a first-round knockout against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib. He followed that with a knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson in November on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones. This will be the first time that Paul steps into the ring with a former fighter.

Askren is a two-time Division I wrestling national champion who became a champion at Bellator and ONE Championship before finishing his mixed martial arts career in the UFC. He amassed a record of 19-2 before retiring from the sport in November 2018.

How did a fight between a YouTuber and a former MMA champion happen?

RELATED: Jake Paul accused of sexual assault by TikTok star

Why are Jake Paul and Jake Paul fighting?

Before and after his second-round knockout over former NBA player Nate Robinson last November, Jake Paul called out several MMA fighters to step into a boxing ring with him. Among them were Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Dillon Danis, Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren. Although some suggested they’d take the fight on social media, only the recently retired Askren made it clear that he’d be more than willing to meet the YouTube celebrity for a fight. 

“Boxing, that seems kind of easy,” Askren told Submission Radio about the possibility of stepping into the ring following hip surgery. “Like, I’m sure I could do that. Like, there’s no shots, there’s no slams, there’s not leg locks. I dunno, that seems relatively safe to me.”

Askren wasn’t impressed with Paul’s knockout of Robinson and stated that he’s sure he’d fare much better than Robinson and AnEsonGib, a YouTuber that Paul stopped in the first round last January.

“It’s hard to say when you’re going against someone who’s that bad,” Askren said. “I watched the highlights, Nate Robinson, good god. I mean, honestly, it looked like he’d never been boxing before. For someone who’s such an elite athlete – I mean, this guy’s a very elite athlete, he was a great basketball player – he couldn’t box worth a damn.

“Obviously I’m someone who is a high-level fighter, who has a large following, who was maybe not known for his stand-up. I think that’s probably what he’s thinking.”

After a bit of back and forth on social media, it was announced that Paul would return to the ring in April for a fight on Triller against Askren in an eight-round cruiserweight bout. 

Since the fight was announced, the two have ramped up their rivalry on social media with Paul dragging Askren’s wife into the feud. The feud heated up at a March press conference where words were exchanged and it nearly became physical during the staredown. 

Both have made promises to knock out the other but only one will come out victorious on April 17. 

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ESPN’s Holly Rowe speaks French and English in WNBA Draft interview; Twitter reacts

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ESPN's Holly Rowe speaks French and English in WNBA Draft interview; Twitter reacts

ESPN reporter Holly Rowe received many a “tres bien” from her confrères in media for conducting a bilingual interview with WNBA Draft pick Iliana Rupert, a France international, on Thursday night.

Rupert was chosen 12th overall by the Las Vegas Aces. With the draft being a virtual event for the second year in a row because of COVID-19, Rowe conducted the post-selection interview in an ESPN studio while Rupert was on camera remotely.

MORE: Why Paige Bueckers was ineligible for ’21 WNBA Draft

Rowe began the interview with “Bonsoir,” or “Good evening,” and asked Rupert in French whether she spoke English. Rupert responded in the affirmative and the interview proceeded in English.

“It’s always been one of my dreams and it’s amazing being recognized,” Rupert said. “I’m really happy to [represent] my country and I’m just excited to finally start this journey.”

After two more questions and responses in English, Rowe switched back to French for the interview’s conclusion, telling Rupert “Bienvenue,” or “Welcome,” to the WNBA. She also gave her regards to Rupert’s family.

Rowe’s media colleagues were quick with the compliments.

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‘It shows how exciting we can be!’ – Saka says Arsenal have real chance of winning Europa League after Slavia rout

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'It shows how exciting we can be!' - Saka says Arsenal have real chance of winning Europa League after Slavia rout

Bukayo Saka says Arsenal have a real chance of winning the Europa League after their rout of Slavia Prague, and claims their latest performance “shows everyone how exciting we can be”.

Arsenal bounced back from a disappointing 1-1 draw against Slavia in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at Emirates Stadium by picking up a comprehensive 4-0 victory in the Czech Republic on Thursday night.

Saka was among the scorers as the Gunners booked a last-four clash with Villarreal, and he is confident they can now go all the way in the competition after flexing their attacking muscles at the Sinobo Stadium.

What’s been said?

“It was fantastic from start to finish. We did it for all the fans, they all deserve it for all the support they give us. We are really happy to progress,” the Arsenal winger told BT Sport.

“We showed real character. The first one was disallowed, Emile deserved a goal, we kept going and got the first one again. We pretty much killed the game in the first half.

“In the first leg we played well but weren’t clinical, credit to the manager and coaching staff, the way we set up, pressed, they couldn’t get out.

“It shows everyone how exciting we can be, when we play like this it is so amazing to be involved in. We have a chance of going to the final and winning this competition, it is up to us. We look forward to the next opponent.”

Arsenal put Slavia to the sword

The Gunners went at their Czech opponents right from the first whistle in the second leg clash, and found themselves in front after just 18 minutes when Nicolas Pepe dinked the ball into the net after being teed up by Emile Smith Rowe.

Alexandre Lacazette then doubled the visitors’ account from the penalty spot after Saka was fouled in the box, and the teenager got his goal moments later when he cut in from the right-wing before firing the ball low past the goalkeeper at his near post.

Lacazette added extra gloss to the final scoreline with a trademark finish 13 minutes from time as Arsenal progressed to the semi-finals 5-1 on aggregate.

What’s next?

Arsenal will now turn their attention back to the Premier League, with a home fixture against Fulham scheduled to take place on Sunday.

Further reading

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