Eagles Defensive Prospect a Former NCAA Slam Dunk Champ

Eagles Defensive Prospect a Former NCAA Slam Dunk Champ

For the most part rookie OTAs are full of hyperbole and rampant speculation without news of any real substance. The few stories of note have been TE Cornelius Ingram banging up his oft-injured knee and keeping an eye on whether or not second-year corner Jack Ikegwuonu has a chance at making the team. But every now and then a story like a guy at camp being a former NCAA slam dunk champion gets unearthed -- with video!

Les Bowen tells the tale this morning of former Tulane point guard turned NFL wannabe Byron Parker. Parker was a basketball player long before he ever tried his hand on the gridiron but after winning the dunk contest at the 2003 Final Four, some football people with the Jaguars told him to give the sport a shot.

The chronology of what led the Jags to call is a little tangled.
Somewhere in there, around the time of the dunk contest, Parker decided
to work out at Tulane's football pro day for NFL draft prospects,
though he had never played the sport. And when then-Tulane football
coach Chris Scelfo hailed a lunchroom table of basketball players,
asking who wanted to play for him, Parker volunteered. Ultimately,
Parker said, the Jaguars told him if he played a year of college
football, using up his remaining athletic eligibility, they would take
a look when he was done.

Tom Heckert speaks highly of Parker, comparing his rawness to that of former Eagle Clinton Hart, and notes Byron's athleticism is legit with a 43-inch vertical and 4.49 40-yard dash time.

Parker's chances of making the Birds team this year seem slim, but his story is terribly fun, kind of like his dunks. Check out the video below.

>>Former slam-dunk champ Parker working to make it with Eagles [Inquirer]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.