A-State’s Gordon named to Doak Walker watch list
JONESBORO — Arkansas State junior running back Michael Gordon has been named to the 2014 Doak Walker Award Watch List, announced Thursday by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum.
Gordon is one of 53 players across the nation to find a place on this year’s watch list for the nation’s top college running back. He is the fourth A-State player to ever receive the preseason recognition, joining David Oku (2013), Reggie Arnold (2007, 2008, 2009) and Jonathan Adams (2000 and 2001).
The Camden, Mississippi, native ranked fifth in the conference in rushing as a sophomore with 62.8 yards per game, but second in conference games only with an 86.6 yard average. Gordon recorded 606 of his 754 yards rushing and nine of his 10 rushing scores in league play, while his 6.7 yards per attempt was the second highest in the Sun Belt.
Gordon completed his 2013 campaign with 985 all-purpose yards, the 10th most in the conference. He tallied a career-high three rushing touchdowns in two different games and eclipsed 100 yards rushing a team-high four times, including a career-best 184-yard effort at home against Texas State that stands as the seventh highest total by an A-State player in Centennial Bank Stadium history.
The recipient of the 2014 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 11, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in February 2015.
Rangers activate Soto, promote Arencibia
ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers will have catcher Geovany Soto on the active roster for the first time this season when the team returns from the All-Star break Friday in Toronto.
Soto, sidelined since spring training due to a torn meniscus in his right knee, was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, with the Rangers also designating first baseman Carlos Pena for assignment.
The Rangers re-signed Soto in November to serve as the club’s primary catcher, but were forced to deviate from that plan after he underwent a pair of surgeries in the spring. In addition to having his knee repaired in March, the 31-year-old had a procedure to remove a bone from his left ankle one month earlier.
Soto hit .245 with nine home runs and 22 RBI in just 163 at-bats for Texas a year ago.
In a related move, the Rangers selected the contract from J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Round Rock and are expected to give the converted catcher a chance to fill the team’s hole at first base.
Arencibia was sent to the minors in May after going 8-for-60 (.133) at the plate, but belted 14 homers in 48 games at Round Rock while hitting .279 with 41 RBI.
49ers sign Staley to two-year extension
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have signed Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley to a two-year contract extension through the 2019 season.
Staley has been a key part of San Francisco’s offensive line since the team drafted him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The Central Michigan product has started all 98 regular season games in which he has played, as well as eight postseason contests.
“In today’s NFL, it is rare for a player to play his entire career with one team,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “With this extension, Joe will likely be a 49er for life. He is a three-time All-Pro and core member of our football team. His commitment and professionalism have been great assets to our team and our community. This extension reflects our philosophy of investing in our core players.”
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Staley made the Pro Bowl each of the past three seasons and earned All-Pro honors.
Brewers’ Segura rejoins team
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers starting shortstop Jean Segura will be back with the team when it returns from the All-Star break, manager Ron Roenicke announced on Thursday.
Segura, who is expected to play in Washington on Friday, returned home to the Dominican Republic and missed the club’s final two games before the All-Star break after learning about his nine-month-old son’s tragic death last Friday.
Milwaukee placed its starting shortstop on the bereavement list on Saturday.
The 24-year-old earned a spot on the 2013 National League All-Star team last season and finished the year with 12 home runs, 49 RBI, 44 stolen bases and a .294 batting average. Segura was hitting just .232 in 2014, though his 15 steals ranked second on the team.
Sabres sign Ennis to multi-year deal
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres have signed forward Tyler Ennis to a multi-year contract.
Terms for the restricted free agent were not disclosed, but the Buffalo News and NHL Network have reported the deal to be worth $23 million over five years.
Ennis led the Sabres last season with a career-high 21 goals and was the second-leading scorer with 43 points in 80 games. He has ranked among the team’s top five in scoring each of the past four seasons.
The Edmonton native, who will turn 25 when the season starts in October, has 69 goals and 97 assists for 166 points in 267 NHL games. He was chosen by Buffalo with the 26th overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft and made his Sabres debut during the 2009-10 season.
Kristoff wins Stage 12, Nibali in yellow heading to Alps
SAINT-ETIENNE, France — Alexander Kristoff of Norway won Stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday and Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali remains the overall leader of cycling’s most prestigious event with two days in the Alps on the immediate horizon.
Kristoff completed the 185.5 kilometers from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne in a time of 4 hours, 32 minutes and 11 seconds, beating Slovakia’s Peter Sagan in a sprint to the finish line for his first Tour de France stage victory.
Nibali was given the same time as the stage winner and was placed 24th on Thursday. He still owns the coveted yellow jersey as the overall leader with an advantage of 2 minutes and 23 seconds over Australia’s Richie Porte, who was 20th on Thursday.
American Andrew Talansky called it quits before the start of Stage 12, as injuries from a pair of crashes last week finally took their toll. He nearly abandoned the race on Wednesday, but managed to keep going before finishing last for the stage.
Friday’s first day in the Alps for Stage 13 will feature a 197.5-kilometer ride from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse. It includes a trio of climbs, including a Category 1 ascent and a finish at the highest category.