John Madden, a legendary figure known to one generation as a Hall of Fame coach, another generation as the sport’s greatest announcer, and yet another generation for the video game that bears his name, has died at the age of 85.
A Kennesaw State University football player was killed after more than four dozen shots were fired at his car in the Florida Panhandle early Thursday morning.
Ladarius Clardy, 18, of Pensacola, was found by medics after being flagged down by a bicyclist who saw his car crash down an embankment along W. Fairfield Drive near Hollywood Avenue just after midnight Thursday, Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons said.
“This was an intentional act. Someone fired over 50 rounds into the car, most of them into the car door, the driver’s door. And the injuries that Ladarius Clardy suffered ultimately took his life,” said the sheriff said a 5 p.m. press conference on Thursday.
“Ladarius had just been in town for a couple of hours. He plays ball at Kennesaw State and he had just come to town a couple of hours before this and he was with a friend of his,” the sheriff said.
A 19-year-old passenger was also in the car at the time. His name has not been released.
“I do not yet know his condition. Last I heard, he was in surgery,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff said Clardy had a “bright athletic future.” He was well-known in Escambia County having led his team at Pine Forest High School to two winning seasons making it to the second round of the state playoffs both years. He held the school’s all-time passing record, earned back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards, and was a two-time All-Area recipient.
“This is a young man that had friends. This is a young man that already had an impact in our community and he was well on his way to having an impact in other communities as well,” the sheriff said.
“Today is a sad day for Pensacola. Many will call Ladarius Clardy, I knew him as ‘L.D.’ because he played in a program that I spent my life coaching. A wonderful honor student, a great athlete, but more importantly a young man, that has lost his life to violence,” said Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May.
Reaction from the KSU community was quick. The KSU Athletics released the following statement:
“Kennesaw State has been made aware of this tragic incident. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the loved ones of Ladarius Clardy.
“We are committed to providing support and resources for our student-athletes and staff during this difficult time.”
KSU Head Coach Brian Bohannon wrote:
“We are devastated and heartbroken over the death of Ladarius Clardy. Ladarius was an excellent teammate and left a mark on this program with his positive attitude. He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ladarius’ family at this difficult time.”
National Signing Day is supposed to be an overwhelmingly joyous occasion for the parents of recruits. It’s the summation of a process years in the making and a guarantee that their son will play football and go to college for free.
Someone forgot to tell Jacob Copeland’s mother that.
Copeland, a four-star wide receiver, committed to Florida over Tennessee and Alabama on Wednesday in one of the more bizarre manners you’ll see. He was sitting at a table with multiple people around him, some of whom were wearing Alabama sweatshirts. The man directly behind him was wearing a Tennessee windbreaker hat and his mother, who was one of the people wearing an Alabama sweatshirt, also had a Tennessee beanie on. Notably, no one was wearing Florida gear.
When Copeland put on the Florida hat, his mom got up and left without saying a word. The ESPN announcing crew then put Copeland on the spot by asking him who the person who left is. Credit to Copeland for answering the question straightforwardly; he told them that it’s his mother and that he didn’t know why she left, but that he felt good about his decision.
No. 40 overall prospect Jacob Copeland breaks down his decision to commit to the University of Florida and why his mom walked out after the announcement. Continue reading 5th-ranked WR #JacobCopeland commits to #Florida, upset mom storms off, but then something special happens!! [vid]→