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2017 NFL Draft: Who is Dan Skipper? 5 things to know about the Arkansas offensive lineman

Dan Skipper was a constant presence, and often an intimidating force, on the Arkansas offensive line over the past four years. Skipper became an All-SEC performer over his final two seasons at tackle for the Razorbacks. Now, he hopes to be selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Selections begin at 8 p.m. ET Thursday with the first round. Friday brings Rounds 2 and 3, with coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET. The draft s final four rounds at Saturday, beginning at noon ET.

RELATED: Live updates, rumors, schedule for 2017 NFL Draft[1]

Skipper is projected to be drafted on Saturday as a swing tackle prospect who will have to battle to win a roster spot, according to NFL.com[2]. Here are five things to know about former Arkansas Razorbacks offensive lineman Dan Skipper.

1. Dan Skipper is physically imposing

At 6-foot-10, Skipper is likely to be the tallest player in the NFL next season if he makes a roster. His build could go a long way toward Skipper getting opportunities in the NFL, though it s equally possible to be a detriment. Weighing 309 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, Skipper has been able to maintain a weight that allows him to remain athletic for his height. With long arms and good strength, he can present a tough matchup for defenders who aren t exceptionally quick. His size also made him useful on special teams.

However, Skipper s size can leave him looking clumsy against sack specialists while in pass protection. He lacks ideal foot quickness, which is not unusual for his size, making it difficult for Skipper to remain engaged in pass blocking.

2. Dan Skipper has experience at both tackle spots

Skipper played a ton of snaps in the SEC West over his four seasons with the Razorbacks. Quickly adapting to college football, he became a starter as a true freshman. He started the final 47 games of his career, the second-longest streak in Arkansas history. Skipper s starts came all over the offensive line 26 at left tackle, 13 at right tackle and eight at left guard. His experience at several line positions will be attractive to NFL teams. It s rare that a two-time first-team All-SEC performer has a familiarity with so many spots.

3. Dan Skipper is a special teams star

Thanks to his height and long arms, Skipper was a standout on special teams with the Razorbacks. He blocked seven field-goal attempts in his career, two shy of the FBS record. Arguably the most memorable play of his career, in fact, was a blocked kick. Skipper got his hand on a 28-yard attempt last September at TCU on what would have likely been a game-winning field goal for the Horned Frogs. Arkansas went on to win in double overtime.

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4. Dan Skipper is a bouncer

Skipper spent his offseasons at Arkansas working part time for a private security company as a bouncer at live music venues. He told SEC Country last fall[3] about one of his most interesting encounters on the job.

There was one old boy who I kicked out for breaking one of our rules. He decided to hop the back fence and come in again. Then he decided he wanted to fight me, so I handled that. Then he came back again and decided he really wanted to fight. That was actually that was a good one. But yeah, he was 86ed. He jumped the fence to pick a fight twice. I can t even fathom what would make someone want to do that. He was picked up with very easily.

5. Dan Skipper is a married man

Skipper married Mackenzie Moore last month in Fort Worth, Texas. He proposed on top of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium last August[4]. The couple met at Arkansas.

References

  1. ^ Live updates, rumors, schedule for 2017 NFL Draft (www.seccountry.com)
  2. ^ according to NFL.com (www.nfl.com)
  3. ^ told SEC Country last fall (www.seccountry.com)
  4. ^ on top of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium last August (twitter.com)

The Blue Bus – Anderson Valley

by William J. Hughes, April 26, 2017

“If you ever plan to lower West ” take Greyhound, not exactly the best.

From Charlottesville, Virginia across to Sacramento. Blame it on Trump. I flew east mto Dulles, DC and wanted to slow-celebrate Hillary’s victory back across those bus stops of America. Well, we know how that turned out. But I decided to do something that was less than just flying on back home after a large dose of American life in DC, Virginia and New York something less then more easy living in a time of luxury for us lucky enough to have more than enough. Get in there with those who may not count on a Democrat or a Republican in their daily lives. The Charlottesville Greyhound station is busted brick and shabby, worn out, right beside the grand statue of Thomas Jefferson’s Lewis and Clarke with Sacajawea clutching at Rogers Clark’s leg on her knees beside him degrading to the great woman as is the state of bus and rail travel in our now Trump world.

A near toothless, skinny woman with a West Virginia voice asks me for change of a dollar. Let the journey begin, predominately African and Mexican-American, sad and broken folks, the black bus driver more cop than coachman, orders given, destination Memphis, Tennessee. Sounds good to me. The bus is shabby, my overhead air vent and reading light are not there, replaced with a slice of cardboard, no seatmate for right now, out in the afternoon daylight for Roanoke, Virginia. Already trouble young black guy won’t turn down his cellphone player. I’d forgotten that everyone has one, hearing them ring and folks talking as the farm fields and forests and Blue Ridge Mountains float by.

It’s an American Saturday, November 19, tractors and hay bales, fast food and slow meandering horses, sunset over the Blue Ridge coming on all pinkish and purple, lesser mountain majesty. Coming into Wytheville, Virginia, one of the pony express stops for a bus, a layover of 45 minutes, always a fast food joint close by, all of us off in the way station, early darkness and an environment to match, bare necessities but on time and reboard line and please don’t sit beside me, a skinny meth head in camouflage gear is behind me on his cell phone talking about he and Bodine were innocent in a drug bust, just out after six months behind bars. I’d like to put up some bars. He sounds like the southerner cliche comedy but he is really real. Real tired in the darkness but sleep is nodding and dozing and almost going in, playing musical seat to find the perfect one, quiet and confined to me. The restroom on board is a portapotty at a concert, a total mess, but what else?

It’s onto Knoxville, Tennessee in the dark. I’m already counting off states, fast food neon the road signs of America, the bus basically quiet, the driver behind, inside his plastic bubble, Spanish being spoken all around. Knoxville is just streets in the dark, one hour layover, cigarette smokers like drug addicts outside the bare terminal, luggage and stacks of stuff, security guards, forlorn guard dogs all in black, most of the Greyhound staff are blacks, the usual crap as food, terminal full, holiday turkey I guess. The boarding line monitors are definitely in charge, yelling their commands, lost souls finding their gates, babies and teenagers, no proposed border fence high enough to prevent this.

Now it’s Nashville in the 3am, a seatmate all the way from Knoxville on his handheld device earplugs, silence, nodding off sideways with my sweatshirt as a window pillow. Wish I’d flown back, thinking lit up Nashville skyline by Bob Dylan because that’s all there is to see, wishing I’d brought some headphones. Laying over. Come on, come on, let’s get going like asking your jet to go faster. Memphis, Tennessee as the sun is coming up. Crossing the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee is worth the distance behind and up ahead. Elvis is not in this building, changing the bus, my bag at my feet, Dallas, Los Angeles and Sacramento tag, the only thing missing from the re-boarding and new riders are live chickens. The move to the new bus driver looking like Cedric the Entertainer and he does try some humor in his intercom instructions with the ever present warning that “you will be left in the middle of nowhere if “

People on, people off at the in betweens, all sort of the same as before, heading on for Arkansas, again glad of that, saying I’m crossing Arkansas, the Mexican woman sitting behind me on her cellphone, continuous Spanish, and I do mean continuous, for miles and miles, wondering how anyone could talk so much for so long. Long, flat, empty brown fields, everybody in this America is a farmer. Bill Clinton and the Arkansas River; been here before to check out the Clinton Library, not inside, just the architecture, rusty bridges across the river, subdued skyline in the light of day, river barge like Mark Twain.

Only 15 minutes in Little Rock, like a country song, the smell of big bus tires and exhaust fumes in the docking bays. On to Texarkana. Never thought I’d say that but across that is Texas, another state left behind. Left alone in my seat like the flat, empty countryside, about three hours to Texarkana, not much happening, cattle and junkyards, my fellow travelers almost silent, one big guy snoring like a cough with a tea kettle whistle.

Texarkana station like a large doublewide trailer and my first just-released prisoner, tall and head shaved like a pro wrestler. He sits behind me. He and his lady seatmate begin to discuss his and her son’s innocence, on his stolen merchandise and I don’t know what for her son, but he’s been in for over six years. Find me a seat up front with a normal guy almost too big for you see, rubbing on each other. Oh, brother. Coming into Dallas, Texas and the last of the daylight, too big for its britches, buildings with no Texas reminders, too modern and sterile, the bus station a big one, Dallas police outside, blue lights flashing, security guards like pit bulls, two hour layover, wandering over to a faded McDonald’s, what else, blackbirds screeching in the trees, thinking on my last visit to “the” Book Depository where Lee Harvey acted alone. Still a bone of my contention. An army of the night on the move, nowhere near one good-looking woman, really. Back in line to get on, back on board, next short stop Fort Worth in the dark, some big concert event stalling traffic. If you get the chance though, stop in Fort Worth one of my favorite cities from a time ago the best of Texas, art and stockyards.

Unstuck from traffic and off we go to Abilene, Texas thought Abilene was in Kansas, with a stop in Odessa before or after Abilene, I’m not so sure, wanting now to get off but after the Lone Star State only New Mexico and Arizona to Los Angeles. Left alone to sleep a bit. Had books to read but just can’t, including turning on the glaring reading light like a searchlight in the prison yard. The sleeping woman across from me has left her light on. Take a breath, reach across the aisle and turn it off. Night, in Abilene, Texas, the routine of the dark adventure, get off for half an hour, some orange juice from somewhere, zombieland.

Big Spring, Texas next, where it’s 15 minutes in the Texas vastness, two guys almost missing the bus, running across the gas station parking lot funny, sad. Oh man, Van Horn, Texas, where I’ve been, James Dean and Marva, Texas for his Giant nearby when I, once upon a time, rode with James Dean. We are way west of Eden, not much to recommend it, all fixed in place now, routine rooted in the American road. Now the sun is out and it’s El Paso, Texas, where they invented dusty dry and across the border fence to dustier-drier Juarez, Mexico, a main event on the border, lots of folks getting on, Spanish en todo, me the minority.

One and a half hours to absorb the bus station in El Paso. What a country, Monticello to El Paso. The British told their colonials not to go beyond the Appalachians. Not. Nada. Vamos New Mexico. Not quite yet, border patrol at the state border, getting on, checking ID, taking two young guys off. No se, neither do they, have a nice day and off we go to Fordsburg, New Mexico, desert and dry mountains, young bus driver who speaks Spanish, DC to Santa Fe, Fordsburg for 20 minutes, jumpers off for a smoke, the young Mexican kid beside me breathing sighs of relief from his manila folder of papers being in order at the border. Next stop, Tucson, Arizona. Now I’m all so what, numb, the humdrum steady beat, Arizona meaning California is next but not quite yet, three hours to Phoenix.

“By the Time I Get to Phoenix” I was three sheets/seats to the wind, Phoenix a big pile of stuff in the desert, Trump/Pence signs in yer face, people piling on the bus, one loudmouth young guy right nearby. Big-city traffic and this young guy isn’t going to shut up until Los Angeles with a stop in beautiful Blythe, California. Ah, California at last, like a pioneer or a Joad.

The young guy just won’t shut up or turn down his video game, ringing like an entire midway carnival but I’ve given up, big bright Palm Springs in the dark like a lunar colony, the loudmouth thinking its Los Angeles. No guardian angels to my rescue. Los Angeles take shape in the darkness, remembering the flight east that first flew to Los Angeles in the dark, an impossible firefly colony below, the giant jet plane landing like a giant bird on its concrete nest. The rest is ordered chaos in the Los Angeles terminal, all parts California ready for boarding, knowing now it’s boring I-5 all the way to seven hours away Sacramento, minor stops, hamburger villages, gas station towns, motel communities, daybreak old foggy and farm fields familiar now and then Stockton and only 20 minutes out.

Sacramento in the gray daylight, our Greyhound an architectural original, dragging myself out at 8am on Tuesday, November 22.

Not done yet. Two city buses to South and Jay.

“If you ever plan to motor west “

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US tests missile in Pacific as it escalates threats to North Korea

US tests missile in Pacific as it escalates threats to North Korea

By Mike Head
26 April 2017

While demanding that North Korea halt its nuclear and missile tests and threatening military attack if it does not the Trump administration will today test launch a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from California across the Pacific, in a menacing show of force. According to Air Force Global Strike Command, the operation will test the weapon s effectiveness, accuracy and readiness. In the context of the mounting US military pressure on North Korea and its neighbour China, it is an unmistakeable threat of American preparedness to use nuclear-armed ICBMs. Missile launches were essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities, Colonel Chris Moss, the Vandenberg Air Force Base 30th Space Wing commander said.

For all the political and media hysteria about the danger presented by North Korea s small and primitive nuclear and missile capacity, the provocatively-timed US test again underscores where the real risk of nuclear war resides in Washington and the Pentagon s unmatched arsenal of thousands of nuclear warheads. No target was specified for today s exercise, but an earlier US missile test, launched from a North Dakota base in February, travelled 6,760 kilometres to a test range at Kwajalein Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands in the northwestern Pacific. The Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands is just one of the scores of US military bases throughout the Pacific, Japan and South Korea, as well as fleets of warships and submarines, from which devastating attacks on North Korea could be mounted.

On the same day as the missile test, President Donald Trump will hold a rare and suddenly announced White House briefing on the North Korean situation with all 100 members of the US Senate. Adding to the ominous atmosphere, the briefing will be delivered by the top four US war-related officials: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford. (see: Trump summons the Senate to the White House[1] )

In another sign of war preparations, Trump had a publicised dinner on Monday night with two key foreign policy hawks Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. No information was released on what they discussed, but Graham tweeted the next day: Donald Trump is NOT going to let the nutjob in North Korea develop a missile with a nuclear weapon on top that can hit the US. The nutjob was an insulting reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. As these developments unfolded, Washington was encircling the Korean Peninsula with nuclear-capable warships conducting war games with Japanese and South Korean naval vessels. The USS Wayne E. Meyer, a destroyer, began exercises yesterday with a South Korean destroyer in the Yellow Sea, west of Korea. Another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald conducted drills with a Japanese destroyer in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, east of Korea.

The US Seventh Fleet said both exercises demonstrate the US Navy s inherent flexibility to combine with allied naval forces in response to a broad range of situations. In further chilling displays, the USS Michigan, a guided-missile submarine, docked in the South Korean port of Busan and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier task force, accompanied by Japanese ships, is due to arrive in the waters off the Korean Peninsula to stage a combined operation with the South Korean navy. Despite incessant claims by the political elites and corporate media that North Korea was poised to conduct its sixth nuclear test yesterday, the country s 85th anniversary of its army, Pyongyang reportedly only conducted live-fire artillery drills near Wonsan on the east coast.

On Monday Trump summoned ambassadors from the 15 UN Security Council members, including China and Russia, to demand they impose further crippling sanctions on North Korea, featuring an oil embargo, transport bans and punitive measures against Chinese banks allegedly doing business in North Korea. This was despite evidence, such as soaring oil prices in North Korea, that China is already severely constricting supplies. Trump delivered what amounted to an ultimatum, declaring that North Korea was a real threat to the world and a big world problem that we have to finally solve. Publicly, the Trump administration is holding out the prospect of applying enough pressure on China to compel North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear programs. But Beijing is sending increasingly alarmed signals that it has very limited influence over the Pyongyang regime.

An editorial yesterday in the state-controlled Global Times warned that convincing Pyongyang to cease its nuclear activities was not as easy as saying abracadabra. The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang could quickly get out of control with terrible consequences that no side will be able to stop. It described the situation as puzzle filled with bombs and declared: Pyongyang must not strike a match and detonate it. This was not the first time that Beijing has voiced dismay at the danger of a military conflagration that would have a severely damaging impact on China s geo-strategic interests. Two days earlier, a Global Times editorial openly criticised North Korea, and said Pyongyang was making a mistake if it thought that Beijing considered it a sentinel and on guard duty for China. The editorial declared that North Korea s nuclear program was jeopardising China s major national interests and preventing Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons was already Beijing s priority in Northeast Asia.

China s leaders obviously understand that their country, not just its erstwhile ally North Korea, is Washington s target. A US assault on the Korean Peninsula could not only lead to the destabilising collapse of North Korea, near one of China s major industrial regions, but install a US-backed regime on China s border, as the US sought to during the 1950-53 Korean War. The fact that China is in the firing line was highlighted yesterday by testimony at a US Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing on the Asia-Pacific region. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior fellow Ashley Tellis described North Korea as a near-term challenge, whereas the challenges emanating from China are long term, enduring and aimed fundamentally at decoupling the United States from its Asian partners. These comments again point to the underlying driving force behind the Korean crisis. Not just in North East Asia but around the world, the ruling US capitalist class is intent on using America s military might to offset its economic decline and block China, or any other potential rival, from challenging the global hegemony it established through victory over Germany and Japan in World War II.

US Tests Missile In Pacific As It Escalates Threats To North Korea

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References

  1. ^ Trump summons the Senate to the White House (www.wsws.org)
  2. ^ comments powered by Disqus. (disqus.com)
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