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22/08/2019

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A Livestrong bracelet is a fixture on Jordan Leggetts wrist, but it takes a beating. Serge Gnabry Jersey . In the trenches at Clemson, it invariably stretches or tears, so a few times each season, a new one arrives in the mail as a replacement. As Leggetts playing time has increased since his freshman year and his tenacity as a blocker has blossomed, he has started wrapping tape around the bracelet to keep it intact, but it still snaps from time to time.Theyre getting broken more often, said Denise Lockwood, whos been supplying the senior tight end with the bracelets from his hometown of Navarre, Florida, since he arrived at Clemson. We just sent him 10 more.The bracelets are meant to be symbolic, to serve as reminders. But for Leggett, this routine is particularly fitting. He wears it for the teammate whod always pushed him to work harder, and now each time he needs a little extra, Ian Lockwoods family is still there with a little more motivation.Six years after Lockwood died of brain cancer, Leggetts career at Clemson is coming to a close. He arrived overmatched, blissfully unaware of how hard his path to success would be. He is leaving as a two-time finalist for the Mackey Award -- given annually to college footballs most outstanding tight end -- and as the school record holder for catches, yards and touchdowns for a tight end. Lockwood has been with him every step of the way.We both loved football, Leggett said, and with it being taken away from him, I just try to keep his legacy on my shoulders.Leggett was a high school sophomore when he was paired up to share a locker with Lockwood, a senior and team captain at Navarre High School. Leggett was all talent -- bigger and faster than nearly everyone else on the field. Success came easily. Lockwood was all effort -- one of those 110 percent all the time kids, his mother, Denise, said. Lockwood asked to be partnered with Leggett. He wanted to see how good Leggett could be if that talent was matched with Lockwoods drive.The two became fast friends, and Leggett soon felt he was part of the Lockwood family. When Ian got sick, Leggett became a fixture at the house. The two were virtually inseparable.Lockwood played six games his senior season in 2010 before the cancer forced him from the field. He delayed a third brain surgery until after Navarres season ended -- a one-point defeat in triple overtime that Denise described as devastating. The family became close with former Florida and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, staying at the Meyer house on trips to Gainesville for treatment. Lockwood addressed the Gators before their bowl game that December, barely able to get out of bed but determined to make an impact. Leggett had planned to visit Lockwood in the hospital on Jan. 28, 2011, but Denise said Ian wasnt feeling up to it. Ian died hours later.It was rough, Leggett said. A sad day.But it wasnt the end of Ian Lockwoods story. Leggett and the rest of his Navarre teammates have seen to that.Leggett was promised Lockwoods No. 10 at Clemson, but that didnt pan out. Instead, he wears No. 16 -- the sum of Lockwoods high school jersey and his own.When Leggett left Navarre for Clemson, Denise gave him a small vial with Ians ashes inside. Shed done it for all of Ians former teammates whod moved along. Most kept it close -- on a bedside table or hanging from a rearview mirror -- but Leggett had another idea. Before Clemsons spring game in 2013, he walked to one of the 10-yard lines at Memorial Stadium and spread his friends ashes there. Three years later, the Lockwoods watched from the stands as Leggett and Clemson knocked off Florida State. Afterward, they took a family photo at the 10-yard line.For Leggett, however, the mementos are everywhere.On his first bus ride around Clemson Memorial Stadium (aka Death Valley) before Clemson hosted Georgia in 2013, he texted Denise. He was thinking of Ian. He could feel Ian with him.I cried a lot, Denise said. Then we watched the bus stop and saw Jordan run down the hill, and it was really special.Theres a cross hanging in Leggetts bedroom that Denise gave him. Leggett looks at it every day and thinks of Ian.All my passwords for social media have something to do with him, Leggett said.What matters most, however, are those trips back home. Six years after Ians death, Leggett still thinks of the Lockwood house as a second home and still calls Denise Mama. Theyll make sushi together for dinner or go out on the Lockwoods boat to relax. In so many ways, its as if Ian is still there with them. The ashes and the cross and the bracelet are Leggetts reminders, but for the Lockwoods, simply having Leggett in their lives is a way to stay close to their son.It helps fill that little empty spot they have in their heart now, Leggett said.The Lockwood family has helped push Leggett, too, and thats something hes desperately needed during his career.The photo of Leggett scattering Ians ashes came up in Denises Facebook Timehop app recently, and she was astonished at how young he looked. He was thin and baby-faced, hardly the physically imposing presence he is today on Clemsons offense. Those early years were a struggle for Leggett, far from home with limited playing time and an uncertain future. Hed chosen Clemson because it felt like family, but he wondered if hed made the right decision. Denise was astonished.We told him to go back, to show them you want it, Denise said. And thats what he did.It wasnt that Leggett had been lazy, its just that hed been used to things coming easily. He was talented, and that was both an asset and a drawback.It wasnt uncommon when kids are more gifted talent-wise, they rely on those things, said Chad Lashley, Leggetts high school coach. There were times you had to challenge him and get onto him, but hed always respond.Ian had seen that early, and he pushed Leggett to make the most of his ability. Denise has done the same.Leggett returned to Clemson with renewed enthusiasm. He hit the weight room and bulked up. He worked on his blocking to become a more refined tight end. He engaged his teammates, pushing them to follow his lead. He tried to follow in Ians footsteps.It took a little while early on to get him to understand, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. Hes just become so much more of a complete player these last couple years and has impacted our team in a great way. Hes become a great leader, too. Hes become one of the most committed guys.Leggett finished his junior season with 40 catches for 525 yards and eight touchdowns, a school record for tight ends. He considered leaving for the NFL, but the draw of a final run for a championship was strong. He wanted to keep getting better, to finish what he started. Its another lesson learned from his friend, who was forced to leave so many dreams unfulfilled.Denise sees the impact its made. Leggett is stronger, more humble. Hes comfortable in his role but pushes to do more. She sees the impact her son made on Leggett, and for her, its a way to keep Ians memory alive.And so she sends the bracelets, and Leggett wears them as both a reminder and a motivator. Before each game, hell get a text from Denise, just saying shes thinking of him and wishing him luck, and he knows the family will be watching him.Everybody wants to make Ian proud, Denise said. They work hard knowing he didnt get that opportunity. Rafinha Jersey . "Trying to breathe," he said with a grin. Bernier stopped 42 of 43 shots on Monday night, including all 22 in a hectic middle frame, his heroic performance propelling the Leafs toward an undue point in their final game before the Christmas break. Sebastian Rode Bayern Munich Jersey . JOHNS, N. http://www.soccerfcbayernshop.com/kids-alphonso-davies-munich-jersey/ . Dukurs winning time was 1 minute, 45.76 seconds, a quarter-second better than Russias Alexander Tretiakov. Lativas Tomass Dukurs was third, 1.41 seconds off the pace. Jon Montgomery of Eckville, Alta. THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Rex Ryan regretted his flippant criticism of Aaron Donald from pretty much the moment after he made it two years ago.Donald is in position to make the Buffalo coach even more regretful this weekend.The Los Angeles Rams dominant defensive tackle is well aware Ryan took a verbal shot at him in late 2014 while coaching the New York Jets. When Donald made the Pro Bowl as a rookie over Jets lineman Sheldon Richardson, Ryan said Donald cant hold (Richardsons) jock as a player.Yeah, I remember that, Donald said Wednesday after practice. I remember when I heard about them. I didnt forget about what he said, but it is what it is. Aint no big deal to me. But I remember what he said.After a dominant college career at Pitt, Donald has been one of the NFLs best defensive linemen in the three seasons since the Rams made him a high first-round draft pick.In short, Donald isnt used to people doubting him -- so when they do, it stands out in his mind.When Donald was told Ryan regrets his words, the lineman smiled.He still said it, Donald replied. Its kind of disrespectful to say, but it is what it is.Ryan said he was simply trying to back his own player with colorful language when he praised Richardson at the expense of Donald. The loquacious coach, who was in his final days with the Jets at the time, has watched Donalds growth into a vicious force on the interior of the Rams line in St. Louis and Los Angeles.Ive made a lot of dumb comments in my days, Ryan said. Thats probably right up there at the top. But ... I was disappointed. We had a guy, Sheldon Richardson, had a great year, never made the Pro Bowl, and one of our coaches had said, `(Donald) cant hold his jock. So I go ahead and say it. I never even saw (Donald) play, but I knew he was a rookie, so rookies shouldnt go to the Pro Bowl. But anyway, after Ive seen this kid play, Im like, `Oh boy!Mark that down as one of the dumbest ones, and Ive had a couple of them. Maybe one or two dumb ones. That one right there is right at the top.Donald wont lack for motivation when the Ramss (3-1) attempt to build on their strong start to the season at the Coliseum on Sunday against the Bills (2-2). Pierre Hojbjerg Bayern Munich Jersey. After two standout seasons in St. Louis, Donald appears to be even better in the Rams first year back on the West Coast.He was named the NFCs defensive player of the week on Wednesday after his performance in the Rams 17-13 win at Arizona. Donald had 1 1/2 sacks and forced a fumble, but numbers dont capture the constant disruption caused by Donald in almost every game of his career.Donald has been the defensive player of the week three times since the start of last season, a remarkable achievement for an interior lineman. The two-time Pro Bowl selection seems likely to be a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year awards if the Rams defense keeps up its impressive start to the season.And Donald said he doesnt need the motivation of an opposing coachs flippant comment to get his motor going.Nah, I just stay in my lane, work my butt off and do what Ive got to do to try to help my team win, Donald said. I let my game speak for me.The Rams defense has succeeded against a succession of mobile quarterbacks this season, and Buffalos Tyrod Taylor presents similar challenges. Donald believes Los Angeles defense is suited to the pursuit.Anytime you play against a running quarterback, its going to be a headache, Donald said. Sometimes youve got to have a little more of a controlled rush at times, but weve got to get to him and do our job. Weve got a game plan. Weve just got to go and execute it.Game notes Rams DEs Robert Quinn (shoulder) and William Hayes (ankle) didnt practice Wednesday, and DT Michael Brockers (hip) was limited. Quinn is having a particularly strong start to the season on Los Angeles star-studded defensive line. ... WR Kenny Britt (thigh) also missed practice after catching four passes for 82 yards against Arizona.---AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '