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Monday, July 17, 2017: Lindenhurst standout Ruckert picks Ohio State

   Leading off today: Lindenhurst's Jeremy Ruckert, rated the top-rated high school tight end in the country in the Class of 2018 by some services, said Monday he will play college football at Ohio State.

   Ruckert, who doesn't turn 17 until next month, had 117 receptions for 1,624 yards and 13 touchdowns over the past two years.

   Ruckert's final four also included Notre Dame, Michigan and Wisconsin. He becomes the sixth member of New York's rising senior class to pick a Big 10 suitor and the 16th overall to commit to an FBS program. (Full list here.)

   He was a priority recruit for Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.

   "Coach Meyer wants me to play early and have an impact there," Ruckert said. "He didn't sign a tight end in the last two recruiting classes. He wanted me and that meant a lot."

   Ohio State most recently signed receiver Curtis Samuel (2014) and safety Jahsen Wint (2016) out of Erasmus Hall and Canisius kicker Blake Haubeil last February.

    • Jack Pope, a first-team all-state defensive lineman for Class B Livonia back in 2013, has surfaced in Division I football in a big way. After tearing up the junior-college ranks the past two seasons at Erie Community College, he's a preferred walk-on at Miami (Fla.), which is looking at him as a fullback.

   "My defense is what got me noticed from other schools," he told The Daily News in Batavia. "I could've played on a scholarship at a smaller Division I school, but I decided I wanted to walk on here (Miami) instead."

   Speaking of commitments: Recent Bishop Timon-St. Jude graduate Kiernan Higgins has had a substantial change of plans. Originally intent on enrolling at Niagara County Community College to play baseball, the 6-foot-4 pitcher has instead opted to head to 2016 NCAA Division I champion Coastal Carolina.

   Higgins, who went unbeaten this spring, was seen recently by Chanticleers coach Gary Gilmore, who was able to cobble together a combination of academic scholarships and financial aid. Higgins has begun attending summer classes at the South Carolina school.

   Personnel moves: Jason Friesen began work this week as the new athletic director at Mohonasen.

   Friesen, 47, replaces Matt Stein, who spent just under three years in the role before accepting a similar position with North Colonie schools. He arrives from Rye, where he coached and taught physical education for 14 years.

    • St. Peter's has named Bobby Glennerster Jr., 32, its varsity baseball coach. He replaces John Eberlein, who coached the Eagles for 12 seasons. Glennerster has been an assistant at the college level for nine of the past 10 years.

    • It's not often that NFL transactions make it into this blog. Then again, it's not often that a National Football League team fires a top executive little more than a week before the start of training camp.

   Dave Gettleman was fired as general manager of the Carolina Panthers on Monday.

   Gettleman coached varsity football at Spackenkill from 1973-78 and again from 1980-81. he was also Kingston's head coach in 1984.

   The New York Giants twice won Super Bowls during his stint as director of pro personnel from 1999 to 2012.

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   Leaving Central New York: Symir Torrence is at least the fourth significant Section 3 boys basketball player to decide to leave New York in favor of prep school.

   Symir Torrence, who would have been a junior at Syracuse Academy of Science this fall, told he will instead attend Vermont Academy, which is also the announced destination of Cooperstown guard Tyler Bertram.

   The 6-foot-3 Torrence was fourth-team all-state in Class A last season, averaging 21.6 points a game while leading his team to the Section 3 Class A championship game.

   Bishop Ludden's Mika Adams-Woods and Jamesville-DeWitt's Buddy Boeheim also recently announced they had decided to leave for prep schools.

   Coming up: We'll unveil results from the ninth annual Kerr Cup All-Sport Championship on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

   Extra points: New Jersey hurdler Sydney McLaughlin, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, won the Gatorade National Athlete Of The Year award for the second year in a row last week. She is the first person to twice win the honor, which has previously been presented to the likes of Lebron James and Allyson Felix.

   The male national award winner was MacKenzie Gore, a left-handed pitcher from North Carolina who was drafted by the San Diego Padres third overall last month and recently signed a $6.7 million deal.

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