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Playing For A Bigger Purpose




Playing For A Bigger Purpose

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Dorian Gonzalez Jr. was in shock.

 “The accident happened two blocks in front of my house. When we found out, no one said a word.” Gonzalez recalled. “We got in the car and started driving to their house. Before we went to their house, we stopped at the accident.”

“It put a hole in my heart.”

That fateful July evening his dear friend, Ari Arteaga, was killed in a single-car accident at 16 years old.

Gonzalez made it his mission to honor his lifelong friend.

Less than a week after Arteaga’s passing, Gonzalez verbally committed to be a Miami Hurricane.

“We started playing together on little league teams. Ever since then, we formed a special bond. We would always say we were brothers from another mother,” he said. “He would always stay at my house, I would stay at his house. We were really close. That accident sparked me to really want to come here because this is probably where he would’ve landed and played.”

Now, Gonzalez is a freshman on the Hurricanes baseball team, living out his and Ari’s dream.

From a young age, Gonzalez heard his father talk in hushed tones about the magic of Mark Light Field.

Dorian Gonzalez Sr., who was a left-handed pitcher, played at Miami from 1994-96, reaching the College World Series in all three seasons.

When Gonzalez Jr. was old enough, he was a regular at The Light. He came to nearly every game on the weekends and participated in the Jim Morris Baseball Camps.

“Getting an opportunity to be on the field with the players was awesome,” he said. “I really looked up to those guys and wanted to be them.”

Gonzalez worked on his craft, emulating the Hurricanes he met, becoming one of the top middle infielders in Florida.

The 5-foot-7, 184-pound infielder batted over .300 in all four seasons at Belen Jesuit, including a career-best .364 average as a senior. Gonzalez earned all-district recognition each year and helped lead Belen to the regional championship.

And when he finally walked into Mark Light Field once classes started, he couldn’t help but think about his road to becoming a Hurricane.

“Being around the guys and the program I saw growing up, it’s an awesome feeling. It’s incredible to play for your hometown team and that’s something I carry with pride,” he said. “The first few days I was on campus I couldn’t believe that I was here. I finally felt like I made it. I’m so proud of myself and my parents.”

In his first handful of months on campus, Gonzalez has quickly adjusted to collegiate competition.

Hurricanes head coach Gino DiMare, who was born and raised in Miami and dreamed of playing at The U, understands as much as anyone how special it must be for Gonzalez to don the orange and green.

“As a Miami kid, playing for the Hurricanes in baseball is like playing for the New York Yankees. It’s a big deal,” DiMare said. “Dorian has been very good. He’s a good athlete, a tough kid and has impressed me with how he plays the game. He has a chance to be a very good college player.”

Gonzalez has fine-tuned his approach at the plate and worked religiously on improving his defense up the middle this past fall.

His natural ability to play the game has caught hitting coach/recruiting coordinator Norberto Lopez’s attention.

“Dorian is a baseball player. He’s a guy that knows how to play the game, has great instincts and can really swing the bat,” Lopez said. “He’s a kid that can play the game and has a very good feel for his barrel.”

Growing up 10 minutes from campus, Gonzalez expects his parents to be fixtures in the stands, watching his lifelong dream come true.

But they won’t be the only people at The Light with a glimmer in their eyes.

“He’s like a son to me. I saw him born. I changed his diapers,” Miami pitching coach J.D. Arteaga, Ari’s father, said. “The recruiting process started and I got flagged for an illegal phone call to a young recruit. I had to show proof that there was a prior, existing relationship so I sent over a baby picture of Dorian.”

“It’s special. It’s like I have my son on the team.”

As the Hurricanes get closer to their season opener against Towson on Feb. 18, Gonzalez can’t help but think what it’ll be like to put on the jersey for the team he grew up idolizing.

But most importantly, he’ll know what it represents.

Gonzalez has thought deeply of how he’s going to honor the younger Arteaga.

He plans on writing “LLA” on his wrist tape, which stands for “Live like Ari,” and putting the younger Arteaga’s initials, “AA,” on his cleats and hats.

When he steps on the field for the first time as a Hurricane, his brother from another mother will be on his mind.

“It might be a little emotional, especially with the Ari side, but it will warm me up knowing that the dedication and work I put in to get on that field,” he said. “I’m going to think about more ways to honor him and his legacy. I want to form a close bond with the team and become brothers and make the team better because that’s what Ari would do.”

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Jimmy Butler confirms logo for his upcoming signature shoe with Li-Ning



  • Updated: January 20, 2022

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is one of the faces of the Chinese sports brand Li-Ning, and the logo that will appear on his signature shoe was recently confirmed.

Jimmy Butler logo

His signature shoe is set to debut this spring.

“The symbol, which is a symmetrical logo highlighting his ‘JB’ initials, incorporates angles inspired by a diamond, and elements tying back to Silver Wolves — a nickname from his personal trainer’s son to describe Butler’s close-knit group of friends,” Boardroom reported.

“Butler’s signature sneaker has been 18 months in the making. He first signed with Li-Ning in 2020, fresh off leading the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals in his first season with the franchise. At different points over the past year, Butler has teased the logo on accessories like coffee cups, and even incorporated it onto the tongue of player-exclusive colorways of Li-Ning team models.”

There’s no doubt that Butler is excited about the development. He spoke about recognizing the global appeal of the NBA when discussing the upcoming release.

“The NBA is truly a global game now and I am looking forward to connecting with my fans over in China,” he said. “Being able to expand my brand and build new relationships over in China is something I’m really excited about.”

Butler is having another All-Star caliber season this year, averaging 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He remains the clear leader for the Miami Heat and is a major reason why the team currently holds the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Fans in Miami and all over the world will surely be lining up to purchase a pair of Butler’s new signature shoes once they finally hit the shelves.

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Dolphins sign RB Gerrid Doaks and DB Quincy Wilson to reserve/futures contracts




The Miami Dolphins have signed running back Gerrid Doaks and defensive back Quincy Wilson to future contracts the team announced a short time ago.

Roster Moves | We have signed running back Gerrid Doaks and defensive back Quincy Wilson to reserve/futures contracts.

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) January 20, 2022

The Dolphins drafted Doaks in the seventh round (244th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. The former University of Cincinnati running back spent his entire rookie season on Miami’s practice squad—but could have a more significant role moving forward with the team.

Wilson, the Fort Lauderdale native, spent five seasons in the NFL, appearing in 32 games with the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. During his five years in the league, Wilson recorded 61 total tackles, two interceptions, eight pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

Today, the Miami Dolphins continue their head-coaching search with interviews scheduled with two Dallas Cowboys assistants—offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

What are your thoughts on the Miami Dolphins signing Gerrid Doaks and Quincy Wilson to reserve/future contracts? Do you think either player will have a significant role in 2022? Have you decided on who you want to be Miami’s next head coach? How are you doing on this beautiful Thursday afternoon? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Miami Dolphins 2023 quarterback draft prospects, if needed




Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) drops back before attempting a pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) drops back before attempting a pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This upcoming NFL draft doesn’t bode well for the quarterback position, rightfully so, that kinda favors the Miami Dolphins.  What does that mean, I don’t think the Dolphins will trade up in this upcoming draft, rather, I can see them trade down or even out of the first round to obtain more draft capital for an exciting 2023 draft class.

Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray, these were the top overall selections in the NFL draft for the past three years, what do they all have in common, their quarterbacks.  The 2022 draft class is solid for defensive and offensive linemen, which is exactly what the Dolphins need.  There isn’t a marquee or hyped quarterback that will go first overall, thereby breaking the trend that has occurred these past three years.

If we look into our crystal ball, and start playing the what if game:

  • What if Tua Tagovailoa continues to struggle
  •  What if Tua injury prone label continues to surface
  • What if the Dolphins needs to find another quarterback

Look no further than the 2023 draft class candidates.  There are some exciting players that all Miami Dolphins fans should be keeping an eye out for this upcoming collegiate season.  Add in the fact that the Dolphins once again have two first round selections, they do have the ammunition to climb up the draft board if needed.

OU’s Jadon Haselwood (11) and Spencer Rattler (7) celebrate after a touchdown during a 76-0 win against Western Carolina on Saturday night in Norman.

journal — ou vs western carolina

Spencer Rattler – QB – Oklahoma

  • Coming from a QB factory that has produced talents of getting both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray selected 1st overall, could we see another Sooner follow in their footprints? It depends on how much Spencer dedicates himself this offseason.  Spencer has the tools to be gifted and has the ability to take over a game, but he lacks concentration and discipline, which was evident in his benching this past season (I’m sure Miami Dolphin fans can relate). On the field it is his accuracy that creates attention.  Spencer can fit his throws into tight windows.  Although he hasn’t shown the ability to separate himself from Baker or Murray, this upcoming season could allow him to prove his doubters wrong.

    Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) during warm ups at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young – QB – Alabama

  • Not another QB from the tide right? But Young has more explosion at the line of scrimmage then Tua or Jones had.  Although Young doesn’t have the star studded group of wide receivers that both Tua and Jones had or even a breakout running back, Young is actually developing his game on his own.  In his first year, Young was able to lead the Tide to another championship game, they feel just short, but with another year under Nick Saban, Young game could be someone to pay close attention too.

    Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Jeff Sims (10) attempts a pass over Miami Hurricanes linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. (11) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Sims – QB – Georgia Tech

  • Sims is a prospect that I’m excited to watch this upcoming season.  He reminds me of Lamar Jackson.  Beautiful deep ball, ability to shift and make moves in the run game and has the build to get that first down.  Sims need to take care of the ball, as that is his biggest flaw.  The football is left being vulnerable and the in NFL where everyone is trying to punch it out, this could be a reason he slides.  But the potential…it’s there.

    Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) drops to throw during the first quarter of the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Stroud – QB – Ohio State

  • Stroud ticks off all the boxes you look for as a franchise quarterback, more so than another prospect on my list.  He isn’t fast, but he’s able to still play and develop the RPO system.  He’s tall at 6’4, which helps with his vision on seeing his progress and reading the field.  C.J still needs to develop his recognition and time management, but those are things that are 100% coachable.  His biggest flaw, like many other college quarterbacks, is holding on to the ball too long.  That might work in college, but in the NFL he has to have a timer in his head, which will be something to watch out for this upcoming season.

    Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) scrambles with the ball against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

 Tyler Van Dyke – QB – University of Miami

  • Out of all the players mentioned, Tyler is “potentially” on my man crush list for a breakout season.  The “U” just hired Mario Cristobal who not only developed Justin Herbert but mentored him to the player he is right now.  Tyler has all the tools that are similar to Herbert, but he needs coaching and refinement.  Tyler working with Cristobal for an entire season could be exactly what he needs, add in the fact that Tyler wouldn’t have to travel far to put on the Dolphins jersey, this has to be a story worth keeping on eye on.

It’s mad early, but that is what the offseason is for, when your team doesn’t make the playoffs.  I’m hoping Tua “balls out” this year, which could lead to continuing to develop the Dolphins roster, but if he struggles, 2023 draft does present an interesting opportunity for Chris Grier.

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