April 27, 2015

Death ruled a homicide in ex-Husker Phillips’ prison cell

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

The death of a man sharing a prison cell with former Nebraska I-back Lawrence Phillips was ruled a homicide by strangulation, according to a coroner’s report released Thursday.

37 year old Damion Soward was found dead early Saturday in a California prison cell that he shared with the 39 year old Phillips, who is an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison serving a sentence of 31 years and four months.

Phillips was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year drove his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. Soward was sentenced from San Bernardino County to serve 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction.

Lawrence Phillips suspected of killing cellmate in California prison

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips, the one time St. Louis Rams running back, who was given a chance to turn his troubled life around by then head coach Dick Vermeil, is suspected of murdering Damion Soward, a 37-year-old who was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder.

Phillips is serving 31 years in prison in California for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens.  The alleged killing took place on Saturday morning.

At the University of Nebraska, Phillips was suspended for allegedly dragging his ex-girlfriend by her hair down a flight of stairs. He was, reinstated by the team before the end of the season. Nebraska went on to win a national championship.

The Rams drafted him sixth overall in 1996, less than a year after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

In 2005, Phillips twice choked his girlfriend and then drove his car at teens after a pickup football game.

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football, following large turnout for Spring Game

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football.  The Mike Riley era opened with an exciting Spring Game debut in front of 76,881 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  The Red held off the White, 24-15, thanks to a 17-0 lead in a game that featured four, 20-minute quarters.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter (Red 10-0)
RED – 14:04 – Adam Taylor 8 run (Drew Brown kick) – 9 plays, 75 yards, 5:56, RED 7-0
RED – 8:00 – Drew Brown 36 FG – 5 plays, 14 yards, 2:57 – RED 14-0

Second Quarter (Red 17-2)
RED – 8:11 – Jamal Turner 29 pass from Zach Darlington (Brown kick) – 5 plays, 79 yards, 3:43, RED 21-0
WHITE – 0:00 – TEAM Safety

Third Quarter (Red 24-2)
RED – 4:36 – DeMornay Pierson-El 32 pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Brown kick) – 2 plays, 56 yards, 0:52, RED 24-2

Fourth Quarter (Red 24-15)
WHITE – 16:09 – Jordan Nelson 52 pass from Ryker Fyfe (Spencer Lindsay kick) – 6 plays, 75 yards, 3:51
WHITE – 9:19 – Jariah Tolbert 25 pass from Tyson Broekemeier (2PAT pass failed) – 4 plays, 47 yards, 1:53

NEB Spring Game 2015

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Randy Gregory fails NFL pot test at Combine

Randy Gregory (photo: NU Athletics)

Randy Gregory (photo: NU Athletics)

NFL.com is reporting that former Nebraska star and potential top-ten draft pick, Randy Gregory, tested positive for marijuana in February at the scouting combine.

Gregory admitted to the website that he’s been smoking pot for a long time and almost got kicked off the Husker football team. He said he smoking after graduating high school and tested positive in January 2014 and April 2014 at Nebraska.  Gregory was threatened that he would be kicked off the team if he failed a third test.

“I blame myself,” Gregory told NFL.com in revealing the positive test. “And I know it sounds cliché, but there’s really no one else I can blame.”

Gregory, 6’5, 243-pounds, had 17.5 sacks in his two years at Nebraska.

 

Riley hires former Maryland DC as defensive backs coach

Brian Stewart

Brian Stewart

University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Mike Riley announced Tuesday the hiring of Brian Stewart as the Huskers’ defensive backs coach. Stewart brings defensive coordinator experience at both the college and professional levels to the Husker staff. Stewart comes to Nebraska after spending the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of Maryland.  His stop at Maryland continued an impressive coaching resume that includes seven years as a defensive coordinator—five years in college football and two in the National Football League. Stewart also has 15 years of tutoring defensive backs on his coaching resume.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Nebraska football program,” Stewart said. “The opportunity to coach at Nebraska is awesome. My first impression is ‘wow’. From the weight room to walking down the hallway and seeing the national championship trophies, Nebraska is what you think it is…a football powerhouse. The most important thing for me in my coaching career is my family. Coach Riley and his staff have been together so long, and you can just see the loyalty and trust. I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Riley said adding another experienced coach to his staff will provide excellent leadership to a veteran group of Nebraska defensive backs.

“Brian Stewart brings a record of success in both the collegiate and professional ranks and will be a great fit at the University of Nebraska,” Riley said. “He has experience coaching and recruiting in all parts of the country, most recently with experience in the Big Ten Conference. We look forward to Brian getting started with our defensive staff and our secondary.”

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