- Future flames schedule for football
- Recents success for Flames recruiting
Santiago Leon 0:16
Sports cast July 16 2020 if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to all our channels, Periscope, iTunes. And if you’re an iTunes please leave a rating and review. It will help us out tremendously. And of course, visit us on the sports cast dotnet the sports cast dotnet for the latest and greatest when it comes to sports news. This episode is brought to you by is the Bible app you could download the Insta Bible app on the iOS App Store. Today we have a special episode of liberty football but but before we head into Lynchburg, Virginia sports. Well we’ll get Ryan Krista and talk to us a little bit about Derrick Henry Ryan Welcome back to the sports guest
Ryan Christa 0:58
Santiago’s good To be here to talk a little bit of our alum era, alumni Liberty University football, but first, you know, we got some pro football to catch up on.
Santiago Leon 1:09
Yes, Derrick Henry, highest paid running back. One of the highest paid running backs got four year deal. 50 million for for a couple million dollars $50 million. And of course the 25.5 million guaranteed. Ryan, you were surprised a little bit. Tell us your thoughts after more than 12 hours.
Ryan Christa 1:33
Wow. I don’t think it’s really changed. You know, I think going into yesterday, it seemed like the sides are pretty far apart. But, you know, Henry was willing to play for the the, you know, the one year attender but you know, something must have changed during the day, you know, and the Titans you know, they believe in him and they think he was one of obviously the one of the reasons why there’s such success slash and I want to keep him as the building block of their team. I just have a hard time in this president NFL, you know, put put so much money into running back because, you know, they’re just one hit away, you know, from this, you know, season being over a career being over and they just running backs deteriorate quickly. So, but, you know, this is a run first team, you know, they’re gonna at least they sizing for next couple years you know, I mean, he’s gonna be the main cog in this team but I just I just have a hard time, you know, with teams who, you know, build upon the run, especially in the present day NFL, it’s, you know, you look at the chiefs, yeah, they can run the ball, but it’s not their main option, you know, they put their money into Patrick mahomes you know, it’s easy to keep a quarterback healthy, you know, and then they build upon that, but that’s the way the Titans are built. You know, that’s my gray bow, defensive minded run the ball. So that’s their DNA.
Santiago Leon 2:55
You think miles Garrett got paid too much for the Browns?
Ryan Christa 2:58
Oh, absolutely. But that’s just that’s the brown Another dumpster fire in itself
Santiago Leon 3:02
you’re not surprised that happened there?
Ryan Christa 3:04
No nothing surprised me coming out of Lake area in Ohio but
Santiago Leon 3:11
that’s too much money this way too much money.
Ryan Christa 3:13
I mean Is he a talent? Absolutely is he at oh can you take over a game? Sure no most important positions on defense right now obviously with the way the NFL is going you’ve got to have pass rushers you know, but this is a guy who literally in one moment, you know, took himself out of the rest of the season by being a knucklehead so you’re gonna put all that money into that guy you know? I don’t see that that’s the boundary and I think you know, they the Browns I mean, they might have as talented rosters anybody really I mean, especially offensively. Baker Mrs. Baker Mayfield You know, this is his his year he’s got to do it.
Santiago Leon 3:54
Hundred Million Dollar guarantee for miles Garrett and really quick Dak Prescott did not come up with a contract with the car. Boys, we think about that.
Ryan Christa 4:03
I think it’s not bad for him because he makes $31 million this year and they franchise tag him again next year $30 million. But that’s not good news for the Cowboys who are probably looking to lower that number and no more of a long term deal. Dak doesn’t want a long term deal because he wants to get that big payday especially when you see Patrick mahomes make that money. So you’ll look at I don’t think you’ll see quarterbacks you know, sign or you know, these a short term deals anymore. You know, the Sean Watson’s got his eyes on that Patrick mahomes contract also coming up.
Santiago Leon 4:36
Well, Ryan, that is our NFL sports news for today. Now to our special part of the show, Ryan do the honors of introducing our special guests for today.
Ryan Christa 4:46
Sure. Today we have john Manson, who is the founder of a CR red sports site which chronicles the Liberty University athletics. great insight, you know, especially into basketball and football, you know keeps all the subscribers in tuned to what’s happening up on the mountain so we’re bringing them here you know this is a definitely a unique time in college sports is football season approaches you know that the season is very fluid right now is we’re one week away one week from the big 10 saying they’re only going to play conference only games in the PAC 12 quickly followed. So in three more power five conferences we’re waiting to hear from hopefully you know, by the end of the month, but you know, this is a do or die right now for college football. We’ve been saying this for a while Santiago, but it doesn’t look good right now.
Santiago Leon 5:42
Anyways, john Manson, welcome to the sports cast.
Jon Manson 5:46
Hey, guys, thanks for having me on.
Santiago Leon 5:48
JOHN Kay, tell us a little bit about yourself and the website a sea of red JOHN,
john, you there.
Ryan’s there. I’m here.
Jon Manson 6:09
Man growing up.
you know, kind of became a big Liberty fan once I was a student. And in 2012, I started a blog at the time and it’s kind of morphed into what a CEO read is now which, you know, we’re on all the social media channels and a cigarette comm covering Liberty University, athletics, football, men’s basketball, primarily, also get into recruiting pretty heavily as well. So it’s been a lot of fun doing that last, you know, seven, eight years.
Santiago Leon 6:41
JOHN, when did you graduate from Liberty?
Jon Manson 6:45
Yeah, I graduated in 2006. And my undergrad
Santiago Leon 6:49
Yes, um, before I actually I do remember this a sea of Ray was a form site before it became a sea of red right.
Jon Manson 6:59
Yeah, the way Everything kind of morphed it. Um, back in the day when I was in college it was blame fans calm, which was just a message board only. And I was uh, you know, contributed there a lot and posted a lot on the message board and, and kind of where my passion grew out of that message board for the Liberty athletics and I started a blog, I was Liberty flames nation calm Yes,
Santiago Leon 7:25
that was the word
Jon Manson 7:27
you had originally. And that was actually separate from the message board flame fans calm. And then the guy who was kind of the administrator over at flame fans reached out to me back in the early days 2013 or so, about kind of merging the two sites together. And that’s, that’s kind of where that came from. And now we’re all under the heading of a cigarette con, which, you know, also, as mentioned, flame fans calm is no longer its own entity. It’s now our forums on a series red.com So,
Santiago Leon 8:02
john obviously a heavy time in college football with Liberty flames. Can you give us a quick a quick update of what’s going on with the recruiting for liberty plains football?
Jon Manson 8:14
Yeah, with Hugh Freeze there, you know, the former Ole Miss guy, head coach. He’s really ramped up Liberty’s recruiting the last couple seasons, each of the past two classes, which he was involved in were the best classes in school history. And he’s off to another good start this year, just this week, the flames picked up for commitments you know, all guys that that have FBS offers, or, you know, right at three stars on the various recruiting sites. You know, guys that that, you know, liberty will look to come in and play immediately. It’ll be interesting, though, to see in the climate we’re in now, how many of these guys you know get to play a high school football for their senior seasons? How many will Go ahead and enroll early in college. But right now Libras got nine commitments. They’re looking to get to the max of 2524 25 that the NCAA allows in one given class. We’re still a ways to go but but it’s early thing a lot of kids are holding off on making commencement commitments and rightfully so until they can get a chance to visit some of these campuses because most of these kids haven’t been able to visit Liberty’s campus. I mean, I’ve talked to all the guys that have committed so far and I think one of them actually came on maybe two came on a recruiting trip to Lynchburg to others I’ve talked to have said that they came just on their own with their family to kind of see what campus was all about. But um, you know, the other half of them or so haven’t even visited Lynchburg or Liberty’s campus in person. So definitely unique time in recruiting across college football in the country.
Ryan Christa 9:58
Hey, john, so I As you graduate, right around the same time as me and Santiago graduating, oh seven, do you ever walk into you know, especially the football stadium and just saying, wow, you know, remember what the football stadium was when we were students, you know, the stands carved out to the side of a mountain, you know? And, and obviously, as times go down, you know, with the higher Danny rock, so things started to change for you. What do you think now going into recruiting? What do you think is the biggest factor and why Liberty’s recruiting is such a higher level than before? Is it facilities is a phrase combination of both.
Jon Manson 10:37
You know, it’s funny, you mentioned that, and I think about it frequently.
I don’t know if you guys saw
University’s official Twitter account earlier this week I saw they posted. Just pictures like from like a drone or a plane, where there’s pictures taken from each decade of the football statements.
Santiago Leon 11:00
JOHN, we’re losing you a bit. I don’t know if you can fix your internet connection on your end.
Ryan you’re still there?
Jon Manson 11:13
Santiago Leon 11:14
Yeah, I think john is, uh, probably in a low spot area in Lynchburg somewhere. Yeah.
Ryan Christa 11:23
Okay, here. Go ahead, john.
Santiago Leon 11:24
Yeah, john, if you could fix your internet connection or maybe stay near a window. I’m not sure what’s what like what environment you’re in. But we’ll ask them again.
Ryan Christa 11:38
Yeah, San Diego it is unique. And I know last time you’ve been on to the campus, but since 2007,
Santiago Leon 11:43
to be honest,
Ryan Christa 11:44
really, why are you here? I’d be very careful. And you got in San Diego. The traffic pattern has changed. You would be aware.
Jon Manson 11:53
Hey, can you guys hear me?
Santiago Leon 11:55
Yeah, john, how
are you now?
Jon Manson 11:57
Okay, sorry about that. Not sure what was going on. Hopefully it
Santiago Leon 12:00
Okay, here’s your last thought.
Jon Manson 12:02
Yeah, I’m not sure how much you heard, but there was a, you know, just a image I’d seen on social media this week where it kind of was, you know, showing Liberty’s football stadium, Liam stadium just in the evolution over the last 20 or 30 years and it’s pretty amazing to see. You know, just just how much that stadium has grown and I heard you say you haven’t been there since 2007. It’s night and day. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures but pictures don’t do it justice. And to answer your question, Ryan, you know, as far as recruiting what’s leading to the increase recruits, it’s a number of things I know.
Santiago Leon 12:39
Last john, again. Ryan, we were gonna have to talk about a tie within ourselves cornerbacks Clark or take one lane and see what happened to them.
Ryan Christa 12:56
But yeah, yeah, you know, I’m not quite sure where john is. But yeah, this DMV, I mean, San Diego hope you get down there soon but it’s just crazy, you know,
Yeah, I wonder, you know, beginning of this this last season for the first game in Syracuse, but you know, even you know, five or six years ago whatever wasn’t it but that first that guy you know on one side it’s just crazy you know, you can see it from the highway. The atmosphere is totally different. I remember when we used to go to a game San Diego you know, you leave you do go did go to the game, you know, I went to every game but not everybody did. But you know, you would leave you know, maybe right before kickoff and you just walk down it wasn’t a big deal. But you know, now, little by little, it’s just it’s the atmosphere has changed, you know, the game day, you know, seen you know, people come hours early, like you do have major college football games and they tell a gay You know, there’s entertainment, you know, on campus. You know, they’re doing more and more to, you know, to add excitement to the game day experience for football.
Santiago Leon 14:00
Speaking about Syracuse, like they were protesting or like students from Syracuse were protesting that they shouldn’t play with liberty.
Ryan Christa 14:07
Yeah, you know, it’s funny I, I saw that article there’s article by a local thank yous writer that I think kind of inspired everybody to start a rally against by I said for this upcoming season, you know, it’s a two year agreement that say he’s to be playing up in Syracuse. So obviously this year, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think we can make a prediction. Now, I think all power five schools are just be playing conference on the games. But when they start another year left on this contract, you know, so we’ll see what happens with that.
Santiago Leon 14:41
JOHN, if you’re hearing us definitely try to cut in if you can, if you improve your connection.
Jon Manson 14:48
Yeah, hope you guys can hear me I’m a moved for the second time. I don’t know what’s going on. I’ll
Santiago Leon 14:55
continue what you’re saying last time.
Jon Manson 14:57
Yeah, just think that the main main thing that we’re seeing With recruiting for liberty is uh, you know with facilities that’s obviously been a huge plus it’s all kind of working together facilities. Coach Freeze, a lot of people tell me that Coach Freeze is a you know, power five coach at Liberty a low g five program right now. And so you got to power five coach facilities that can rival some power five facilities. I know they’re not quite the size of those facilities with the quality of them or and and then also, um, you know, just being FBS, I mean, you go from being an FCS school to him two years ago, two, three years ago, to now you’re an FBS member so you can actually get in and play with some of these higher level level prospects.
Santiago Leon 15:46
How’s the environment changed a lot? I mean, have you heard anything about that the locker room or like the front office has a sec style or like a sec feel to it? Yeah, that
Jon Manson 15:58
was one of the big things I noticed. When freeze and his staff took over a year ago, you know they’re entering year two now but under Turner Gil, no offense to him, but you know, he did good with what he had but it seems like it’s much more FPS ready FPS level of administration FPS level of coaches coaching staff. There’s a lot more support staff
Santiago Leon 16:28
and we lost on again, Ryan. Rice be that guy, you know, can you guys reception right down? Which now you know how I feel. Okay. Yes,
Ryan Christa 16:41
yes. And yeah. Yeah, you know, it’s definitely I think true what john is saying, you know, that the culture that frees his brain to Liberty, you know, like you said, turn and go do the best he could with the resources he had, but I think you know, Teresa’s got more resources and he’s using all you know, the higher level staff You know, recruit at a different level and get to players he literally has never been able to access and it shows stars
Santiago Leon 17:08
now liberty is able to get I know they’ve been recruiting some four stars but we’ve been able to get five stars like what was
Ryan Christa 17:16
like those are you will never get a five star and very rarely this group of five teams ever got five stars and even four stars are hard to come by
Santiago Leon 17:25
four star. We’re still very much on our ceiling. So
Jon Manson 17:30
john was Luke, he’s got one four star commit so far last year’s class, and but primarily,
Santiago Leon 17:38
ah gentleman’s was doing was going so well, Ryan.
Ryan Christa 17:41
Yeah. Yeah. Just to kind of piggyback what john was saying. Yeah, very, you know, we had Travon land last year who is no longer the program was rated by four star by, you know, recruiting services. Yes. You know,
Santiago Leon 17:54
which he just left a couple months ago.
Ryan Christa 17:56
I actually ended up at a Norfolk State. So it you know, I don’t that
Santiago Leon 18:01
was a downgrade, isn’t it? Yeah.
Ryan Christa 18:04
Is what it is. But,
you know, we’re, you know, we got to keep on, you know, libery FCS level was, you know, maybe get a couple of three stars here and there but they were living on the two stars you know, now we’re living in the three stars we maybe have to fill up with a couple of two stars so you just kind of flip it around a little bit of what you get at the FBS level you know, because you look even at the best group of five level teams you know, they may have a couple of four stars here and there you know what I’m talking the best I’m talking to Appalachian State Boise State. UCF
Santiago Leon 18:36
for Juco recruiting like been a huge uplift for us.
Ryan Christa 18:41
Yeah, giucose are any level you know, those players you’re gonna fill out your roster and the fill the short term needs, you know, you you you can even win quickly with Juco players but you’re not consistent in a program with Juco players you’re going to need to fulfill your team with a lot of you know, for years Players you know, but that’s the giucose are good because those players are coming in they’re older and they can contribute right away you know if you got freshmen you know you This can take a year or two for them to develop their body most of the time, especially coming from high school FBS. It’s quite a difference.
Jon Manson 19:14
Yeah, that’s one of the things Liberty’s done the last you know, couple classes as they’ve made the move from FCS to fps is using some Juco recruits, but as you mentioned, Ryan, it’s going to, you know, that’s not something you can do each and every year.
Santiago Leon 19:29
What’s gone, john, we’ll go with with Ty Vaughn land when he left was that a huge loss for us? Or Or like, what are your thoughts about that?
Jon Manson 19:43
Um, it was a loss. But to be honest, the bigger loss on on the from the football field on field standpoint was Trey Clark control Clark who transferred he just announced he’s going to Louisville. He’s a guy that wasn’t rated quite as highly as tavian on land, but he’s a guy that came in and became a starter as a true freshman and, and, you know, was pretty much going to go into being a lockdown corners final three years at Liberty and we’ll see what he does at Louisville. I think that, you know, somebody asked me the spring
Santiago Leon 20:21
we lost them again. But, you know, to continue this this talk, I mean, was freeze aggressive to keep these guys it was just out of their hands, we think, right.
Ryan Christa 20:32
I, you know, that’s all you know, the current political environment, you know, world environment, you know, is different than it’s ever changing, you know, and liberty is a different place. Santiago, we know that. And I think there’s some challenges that, you know, challenges to bring people in and challenges and keep them there. You know, you know, leadership always doesn’t always help us. I don’t think the same You know, I don’t want to be too aggressive with what I’m saying. But you know, you know, sometimes, you know, tweets from leadership can paint a broad picture of maybe not how the school, you know, feels about certain things. So, I think it’s a, it’s tough sometimes, you know, and I think that’s, it’s gonna be tough.
Santiago Leon 21:23
But so far, like only two players have left. I mean, as of right now, I mean, there’s no other foreseeable future in the next couple of weeks for anyone to know.
Ryan Christa 21:30
I mean, it’s a tough time to change San Diego, there’s all you know, I think that’s what’s helped, you know, I mean, yeah,
Santiago Leon 21:35
yeah, because rosters are set up. Most schools have like the rosters all set up already.
Jon Manson 21:42
Yeah, the bigger issue that Liberty could run into, is in recruiting because you got guys that you know, it’s a lot harder for a guy that’s already on campus to want to transfer. But you know, when you’re trying to convince a kid to come onto campus, that’s never been done before. That might be a little bit off. challenge
Ryan Christa 22:02
for sure. All right, let’s go. Let’s move on to, you know, a current year, you know, so obviously we just talked about, you know, Pac 12, big 12 Big 10 of our he said that canceling non conference games, you know, and I’m assuming we’re I guess we’re all I know I’m an assumption I’m not quite sure you know, all the power five schools or government conferences are going to go to that and liberty right now it’s got three ends of the ACC What do you think the schedule, you know, a month from now, assuming we do play football? What do you think the schedule is gonna look like?
Jon Manson 22:39
I think most likely is Liberty’s going to basically go to a quasi conference schedule with fps independence. So you could even see home in homes with the other independence. You know, army BYU, New Mexico stay
Santiago Leon 22:57
was a pretty big schools.
Ryan Christa 23:00
Yeah, I mean I mean nice to do a home and home you know, especially BYU and you know army you know, New Mexico State we’ve done that in the past but so yeah it says ever changing you know, you look a football schedule if you knew plan years in advance, you know, and we’re month and a half on kickoff, and we don’t even know how we’re gonna play you know what I mean? That’s just the world we’re living in right now. JOHN, but
Santiago Leon 23:24
just to remind the audience Ryan of liberty is independent right they’re not in a conference like
Ryan Christa 23:30
yeah, so independent right now and there’s other independence our BYU army New Mexico State Notre Dame UConn Notre Dame but Notre Dame’s kind of a unique you know, because there it is. Yeah, well, it’s not that they’re kind of you know, I would you know, the rest of the independence I would say a group of five level teams where Notre Dame is a power five level team Yeah, so there I
Santiago Leon 23:57
think what you play Notre Dame
Ryan Christa 23:59
I’m not saying We’ve kind of but I doubt I think Notre Dame will be taken care of, like you said probably won’t
Jon Manson 24:04
happen this year because it looks like Notre Dame’s going to be lumped in with ACC teams
Ryan Christa 24:10
schedule. But yeah, I mean, john, I don’t know what you heard me. I think what also helps everybody is having a season ad like Ian McGraw, who’s, you know, who’s got great connections, you know, and kind of, I’m sure, obviously, he is well prepared for this, you know, whenever anything started, you know, have you had a chance to talk to him what his ideas, you know, for, you know, trying to put a football schedule together in such a rapidly quick time.
Jon Manson 24:38
Yeah, I think he’s definitely going to try to get something done. One thing I mentioned to somebody was, if any division one football team is going to be playing football, it will be Liberty so they just need somebody else to play with them. So if they can find one other school where they can play 12 times they’ll do it.
Ryan Christa 24:57
All right. I guess Have you you expect You know, I said, you know, power fired you expect, you know, we got games with, you know, Southern mess. Who is out of the Conference USA? Bowling Green out of the Mac? Have you heard anything from those? Will you or do you think from those conferences that they’ll just be conference only? Or do you think though we’ll be able to play them this year?
Jon Manson 25:21
I think it’s moving towards a conference only format for all division one conferences. I just think it’s just a matter of time before we get there.
Ryan Christa 25:30
And you know, with your toxic Ian McLeod youth, is there what policy you think there’ll be for attendance at home games?
Jon Manson 25:40
Um, it’s hard to say I do know that they’re modeling different scenarios like a 50% scenario 25% capacity scenario. But at this point in time, I’d be first of all, you know, we’re moving towards, you know, will there even be football much less? Yeah,
I don’t think they’re there. I think There’s zero chance there’ll be 100% capacity. I think 50% capacity is probably the most will have. You’re probably looking more I think I saw the Jacksonville Jaguars said 10% capacity. That’s probably more real
Santiago Leon 26:13
more realistic. Yeah. Yeah. For doing like the soccer just, you know, no fans at all.
Jon Manson 26:18
Yeah, you could see that too. But you know, the big thing about college football, you know, that’s a lot of you lose that gate revenue, those concessions revenue, that’s a lot of money that the schools are losing. And I
Ryan Christa 26:31
gotta close up this subject. Yeah. When we talk about power five teams, Power BI leagues, cutting out non conference games. I mean, that that’s big for the big picture. Because, you know, Liberty level teen group of five level teams depend on those games that fell out their athletic budgets, you know, like we said, we had three games against ACC teams, but that’s just kind of the norm you know, sunbelt, you know, conference, USA, all those teams, they they they depend on these games against power five teams to fill up their athletic budget not just for football but for to fill out all those Olympic sports but so by not having these non conference games, you’re going to see a lot of sports cut from a lot of different schools across America.
Santiago Leon 27:19
vault will last again but yeah. Which is what Ryan was saying. Like, like these budgets are pretty pretty tough for these small schools, but like a school like Alabama, they can hold off for another year. Can they with no football?
Ryan Christa 27:33
I mean, no, I think they’ll be fine. I guess that power five teams will be okay. Because they’re still getting
Santiago Leon 27:43
canceled and why the harbor canceled completely.
Ryan Christa 27:47
Because it’s not a big deal.
Santiago Leon 27:48
Yeah. I believe in general.
Ryan Christa 27:51
Yeah, I mean,
Jon Manson 27:53
once budgets aren’t as big of a deal for Ivy League’s but if you look at somebody like like a Mac team, I mean, that’s a lot bigger. budget that they’ve got. And you know, if you’re losing millions of dollars in revenue, then that hurts more. Whereas the Ivy League, I mean, I don’t know if they’re losing multi million dollars in lost games, you know, that’s something more that FBS teams are having to deal with.
Santiago Leon 28:18
something to definitely look at, of course, Liberty University announced that they’ll start in person classes on August 24. And I’m not sure if it likely will be hybrid or everyone will be going to class but what have you heard about that? I mean, going to school having students on campus, is that a good indicator for football?
Jon Manson 28:39
They are playing at Liberty is planning on having, you know, classes as normal, kind of, as you alluded to. But yeah, I mean, if you don’t have students on campus, I think it’s a heart. You have a hard time drawing that connection to letting a student athletes making student athletes be on campus to play football.
Ryan Christa 28:59
All right. So we talked about, you know, recruiting we talked about this year, what do you think the future of liberty? football is first and we’ll talk about athletics in general. What do you think? You know, the short term future, the trend for liberty football.
Santiago Leon 29:23
Think john went back again, with john is gonna do is I told john to call in through zoom instead of going through the Wi Fi app. So hopefully that will correct the issue. But yeah, I’m just like we were saying before, like with budgets and everything else, I think sports we’ll see what happens with football, Ryan because like you were saying, you know, if you don’t have a good football program, the other programs died down like Cincinnati. Their soccer team is totally off. It’s no longer living. What other colleges have you seen out there, Ryan that are probably in trouble if they don’t have a football season?
Ryan Christa 30:02
I think we’re seeing Bowling Green baseball, then eliminated. Buffalo University baseball. I mean, Stanford cut 11 sports? Yes, I think. But you know, I think this is drawing attention to how much money is invested in college athletics and how much money is paid to coaches. So I think you’re, you know, as you see universities struggling to make it as a whole. Let’s just take let’s just take Nick Saban, for example. Dabo Swinney, they’re making $9 million, probably more than any, probably more than most of the teachers are Alabama and Clemson combined. You know, it sheds a huge light on, you know, how much money do you make, you know, and is it really worth it? So I think, you know, and you’ve seen coaches across the country, I have to taking pay cuts, Mike Novell, who just got hired at Florida State has to take a 25% pay cut across the board. I mean, that’s huge. Yes. And yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think You’re still making good money. Yes. But you’re telling me he’s losing $2 million right off the bat. So
Santiago Leon 31:07
yeah, I mean of course all these coaches are taking pay cuts like hardball for Michigan taking the pickup, but you’d be alright.
Ryan Christa 31:14
They’ll be all right. I mean, it’s definitely showing you know, I, how much money is invested in how important college football is for the rest of the universities, arrested a college and university you know, we even saw let’s even go we’re going to talk power five at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville pretty much cut out. You know, the University athletic department and made it part of the university, which meaning you know, pretty much a lot of universities, the athletic department kind of runs on a self self sustainable and, you know, the end of the day today, they have a plan where, you know, they have to share money and some resources. But this is as a show of how, you know, frugal vandeman can be when it comes to athletics, you know, and how, you know, how money is, you know, going to be tight for this next year when it comes to universities and just, you know, their bottom line,
Santiago Leon 32:11
which, yeah, was something that we have to. And we got john coming in. He’s joining us, john, can you hear us? Yeah. Can you hear me? Yes, we have a clear connection. Good.
Jon Manson 32:26
All right. Yes. Oh, my phone now.
Ryan Christa 32:31
Oh, no. Bye, john. Thanks for coming back. You know, I think as your labor just Can you give us your projections on liberty. Let’s start with football. What you think the the near future will bring not just this year, because this year is a weird year but just going forward, you know, how long you see freeze there and the war he can take the program to? Great question.
Jon Manson 32:53
Yeah, I think the biggest goal for liberty right now from a football perspective is you know, there newbie to fps they’re trying to you know kind of make their mark they’re making it to a bowl game last year help winning that game helped as well. So just continue to have winning seasons continue to make it to bowl games, you know, maybe breaking breaking through every year or two and beating a power five team. You know that that type of thing. One of the things that Ian McCall and Hugh Freeze both have kind of talked about is kind of building Liberty into being a one of the best group of five teams in the country. So getting to be on the level of like a Memphis and Appalachian State, Boise State, you know, something like that. So that’s kind of, you know, what liberty is aiming for and striving for over the next 357 years as far as freeze every year that he’s at Liberty, you have to look at as a bonus, because anytime he could leave now this Coronavirus whole pandemic might have actually helped Liberty You know, how many coaches are going to be getting fired after the 2020 season when they, you know, have a shortened season or no season at all? You know, such as something to think about there.
Santiago Leon 34:12
JOHN, what do you think they’re kind of aiming at? I mean, if any ACC some bell What do you think could have been realistically the next five years?
Jon Manson 34:25
Um, yeah, I think, um, you know, Liberty they flirted with a sunbelt for several several years when they are in the FCS and we’re trying to get to the to that level in the FPS but now that liberty is FPS, I don’t think that Liberty would want the Sun Belt. I think Liberty looks at you know, we have just as much stability in the a sun and as a you know, non conference member as an independent than we do in the Sunbelt. I think the AC we just lost UConn and they’re down to 11 members right now. That’s one that Liberty would definitely be Have a static to get into Conference USA is another one with you know, get some local flyer to that that conference with od EU and, and Marshall and Charlotte and teams like that that are close you know so i think you know ultimately Liberty would love to be in the ACC I’m not sure that’s realistic right now they just have to keep winning, you know, the men’s basketball program has to keep improving, keep winning, keep making noise in March. And the same thing with the football team, like I mentioned earlier, just keep winning making bowl games, you know, make continue to build as a national brand and what we’ve seen over the last decade or so and conference realignment is it kind of takes care it’s it takes care of itself. I mean, look at Butler who went from an afterthought to being in the Big East after having a few good seasons under Brad Stevens. You know, same thing with George Mason VCU and, and and other schools like that, so just keep improving. Keep Winning, keep building your brand and the rely that will take care of itself.
Santiago Leon 36:04
Ryan will touch with basketball so any more football questions one more before like we head into hoops.
Ryan Christa 36:12
Um yeah I just kind of just kind of piggyback what john said you know I think financially independence is good because it gives you a freedom musket. The hardest part is finding the games at times but if your schedule fills up with you know enough games that you can make money but remember also Liberty I don’t know exactly how much money they make, but they they have a TV deal with ESPN, you know, where right now the games are shown on the linear network, you know, ESPN app plus,
Jon Manson 36:40
so you know,
Santiago Leon 36:40
US bucks a month by the way, guys,
Ryan Christa 36:44
but you know, that’s money generated that you know, they want and the ability to telecast those games, you know, their own people and stuff like that. It gives you flexibility. You know, if you’re in the Sunbelt, or, you know, Conference USA, you know, you want to get all that flexibility and scale. And, you know, making money off your own TV networks. That’s something I think that Liberty likes. You know, I like the fact that winning will improve, you know, eventually you start winning maybe like BYU, maybe you’ll get on ESPN you more frequently, you know, and you’ll, you can make your brand you know, a little bit stronger.
Jon Manson 37:20
Yeah, you’re exactly right. Just win and I’ll take care of everything. Right. Yeah.
Santiago Leon 37:25
Yeah. So we’re ballgames and just keep winning. Yes, that’s the formula right there.
Ryan Christa 37:33
And, you know, moving on, you know, just what we do really great at Liberty and that’s men’s basketball. Right? You know, what were your obviously we didn’t get to enjoy the NCAA tournament in general but also not being able to see you know, Liberty again in it, but was awesome is that we got to see our conference championship and we’re able to, you know, see at home and Alas, Vine center. What was your review of the season and where do you The program is going
Jon Manson 38:03
yeah, how great was it that you know Liberty did get to go ahead and win the a son conference championships how many conferences got theirs canceled? You know, that would have really I mean even losing the NCAA Tournament certainly hurt and leaves a sour taste in your mouth but you know being able to win that conference championship and kind of stamp your your claim of back to back can be huge. You know, especially with those four seniors I just graduated you know, Caleb Holmes Lee Scotty James mile Baxter Bell towards you protec Ortiz. You know, great careers, those guys had to be able to complete it with two straight conference championships regular season and postseason. And what would have been two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is huge. You know, when you look at coach Mackay, he’s done a great job. I mean, what he’s done in the past five years at Liberty is just You know, pay that man whatever he wants, right? I mean, he’s taken it from being a laughingstock of a program, one of the worst in the country to being, you know, basically a top 50 program in the country. You know, it’ll be interesting to see how this coming season if we have one, of course, will be because you know, a lot of new faces a lot of guys to replace, but he’s definitely got got everything headed in the right direction.
Santiago Leon 39:25
Yeah, the basketball team is definitely up there with the football team. How are the recruiting aspect of liberty basketball.
Jon Manson 39:35
Similarly, the football you know, each year coach Mackay improves the recruiting class and the quality of recruits that are coming in. You know, there’s four freshmen coming in this year, Isaiah Warfield, the highest rated recruit in school history. Three star prospects shooting guard out of Pennsylvania. You know, he he gets a lot of comparisons to Lavelle cavil the guy just graduated a couple years ago with a lockdown defender with some upside on the on the offensive side of the ball. Also Drake jobs a point guard from one of the better Minnesota basketball programs in the state of Minnesota a couple other guys mkhaya B. And Jonathan Jackson, the younger brother Justin Jackson will join join as well. I hear a lot of good things out of out of Jackson so far and I got it we’ll be able to make an impact as a true freshman. They’re looking forward to the following class 2021 class who are rising high school seniors Liberty’s already got two commitments to fill that class and, and I hear raving reviews. Everybody associated with Liberty basketball about these guys, Brody Peebles, a point guard at Alabama and Joseph Ben Zahn, a wing player out of Texas. Both of them have been recently named to one of the recruiting services top 250 players in the country which for liberty that’s huge. I don’t think he’s ever had two guys on one class right at that high in both of them have have potential in my opinion and from talking to people that have scouted them to be instant impact type players and guys that you know, could have power five potential. So coach McKay’s obviously hopeful that he can get those guys signed here in November.
Ryan Christa 41:36
Yeah, I think you know, definitely if we’ve had a great couple of years of the core thing, you know, the future definitely looks bright for the basketball team. You know, john, can you tell you the vine center closing Can you tell us your favorite memory from the vine center?
Santiago Leon 41:52
Jon Manson 41:54
man. It’s hard to you know, when you think about the the The last game we just played there a second championship game. We literally beat scripts to win the second straight face on turn the title on the home floor in front of a PAC. Pac crowd. Great environment on ESPN is really hard to top that. But I’ll give you another one. And it’s very similar type circumstance when I was student I think
Ryan Christa 42:23
we’re 2000 yeah 2003
Jon Manson 42:29
Yeah. championship game against High Point Liberty just completely dominated High Point 83 to 44. I remember it like like it was yesterday and that was very similar environment to the to the game we saw back in March. But you know, Liberty was just running away with it. In the second half. Behind true freshmen lottery player, we got carted off the field carried off the field. On fan’s shoulders as the late Dr. Jerry Falwell senior cut down the nets there. The bonds and so those those two are definitely at the top moments.
Ryan Christa 43:04
Absolutely I would have I don’t think there could be I mean my favorite Liberty sports moment in general I think that you know, especially being as a student you know, I think I think I woke up at 5am that Saturday and one right to divine center got spot you know, and at first people in there and just a whole day as a memorable day I still keep you know, it’s the only VHS I think I own still is a video game so
Jon Manson 43:31
five to 10 years I’ve had a lot of positive memories from Liberty athletics. You know, I went to Baylor the football game when when Liberty one down there I went to the cure bowl here back in December when Liberty one Mac game you know, the NCAA Tournament win last year I was at the Lipscomb game a year ago and liberty won the a son tournament for the first time and then obviously the one this past year. But out you know, if you I was also at New Football back in 2014 at Coastal Carolina the last game of season one liberty and liberty one beat Coastal Carolina was number one in the country at the time and liberty won that to get into the playoffs. They only
Ryan Christa 44:15
made quarterback to right back
Jon Manson 44:16
a quarter with a Stefan Masha backup. Yeah, exactly right. But despite all those games I’ve been to and all those great memories that 2004 championship game is still at the top, you know, with anything else I’ve ever been to. So it was it was a great moment. And probably because it was the first moment right one of the first great moments I’ve ever had as a as a Liberty fan.
Ryan Christa 44:37
I think a lot of that has to do to Sorry, just saying is because those couple of years, there wasn’t very many good moments, you know, I mean, the football games were, you know, not not the center of attention. You know, I could think of actually that year that year, I think they’re playing VMI homecoming, and they’re down 23 I think in the third quarter and it came Back when. But other than that I until Rocco came, I had very few positive memories. And I went to
Santiago Leon 45:05
Ryan Christa 45:06
I was wondering. But yes, I think that memory of that basketball game stands out because there wasn’t, you know, all those memories and athletics in general during those couple of years. But now, I think, you know, that added to Netflix has totally changed, you know, the money’s being spent. Yeah. I, it is that, you know, Liberty is becoming more of a household name, I think athletically, I think, is really neat to see.
Jon Manson 45:38
Yeah, it’s funny that you mentioned that because, you know, I’m thinking about it. You know, some of those moments, it was like once a decade type of type of moments, but, you know, the last five years, I mean, you could rattle off one every year for just about every sport, you know, and that goes to show the money that Larry’s putting into, it’s finally starting to pay off and it all starts with cash. Coaches at the college level. I know you guys know that but you know, you got coach Frese and coach McKay there, those are two guys that are well respected and and, you know, proven winners and as long as they’re at Liberty, their respective programs are going to be, you know, do it have a good product on and off the field.
Santiago Leon 46:20
JOHN, you had a recent article about ranking the top 50. Ryan, Chris, the question to you, you have any objections, or any compliments over the article that was released a couple of weeks ago, where Rashad Jennings was like, the greatest of all time, Ryan.
Ryan Christa 46:38
I, I we always could debate you know, I mean, who I mean, especially in our time, you know, a lot of those players they know I mean, I don’t know how much john had to go off of just word of mouth, you know, those prior years, you know, of air green working at Eric Green, you know, I think you know, I mean we had Twain cars well James from NATO’s a former liberal haddix Yeah. But you know I think mostly players are you know because like we said the the product the players in general liberties producing football is a lot better in the last 10 years and it has been prior so you know, I really no objections I think it’s an impossible list to do is just fun to kind of look at and see all Yeah, you know, maybe I’ll put this player that player different spots.
Santiago Leon 47:28
Yeah. What was the process with that article?
Jon Manson 47:31
It was a lot of fun. I basically scoured through I came up with a list First of all, just by my own hand by my own memory of what I remembered of who I think should be included and that goes back to 2002 which is how long I’ve been watching and following Liberty football. And then in addition to that, I kind of scoured the Liberty record books. I paid a lot of attention to honors, you know, people that were named all conference All American those sorts of things because it’s a lot easier you know you know if you got a guy from 1975 that leads the still has a school record and career tackles which is true. How good was he really? Or was it just the fact he was on the field every single play and no depth back then. So I play it paid a lot into that also talked to a lot of people about it as well and got their opinions people that you know, players, coaches, current coaches, former players, former coaches, and got their input. And then from there just, you know, kind of put put them all together and it was it was a fun list to put together. I also paid paid a lot attention to the top 10 because that gets, you know, more heated debates there. And, to be honest, the number one overall player I went back and forth several times as I was putting this all together, between Eric Green and Rashad Jennings, I, you know, I could have gone with air there. As a moment a couple times I had Eric Green number one and I went to Rashad and back and forth ended up settling on Rashad. And I think the biggest reason why I went through shot number one is they both had great Liberty careers they both had have had great professional careers. Obviously Eric Green was number one draft pick of Pittsburgh Steelers back in, I think 90 or 91. But anyways, Rashad transfer delivery from Pittsburgh, and he had three really good seasons, all three of his seasons were all American level seasons, whereas Eric Green On the flip side, his senior season was probably the one of the best, certainly the top five best single seasons any Liberty football players ever had. But his first three years at Liberty weren’t quite at that level. And a lot of that had to do with Sam particularly Otto came in the former Cleveland Browns head coach and took over for his senior season and, and told Eric Green at the beginning of the season. Hey, I’m going to feature you that This season so be ready. We’re gonna throw you the ball and, and so that’s kind of what happened. And it’ll be interesting with number three on the list was ag Antonio ganda golden, who was just drafted? He He’s a guy that you know, should he be higher on this list? I mean, that might be somebody that we look back on in five or 10 years after you had some time to really appreciate what he was able to do but man the career he put up the numbers he put up and you know, not only doing it, doing it with those type of numbers, but doing it against the best competition in the country at the FBS level, which nobody else at least compete for that top spot. You know, ever did. Yeah, well,
Ryan Christa 50:40
let me ask you a question. JOHN. Sorry, Sandy. I No,
Santiago Leon 50:44
no, no, man, this is this is all you
Ryan Christa 50:46
a player that i think i think was one was undervalued players can be played on some really bad teams back when we were on escala Johnson and that is a player named Zack trel. What thoughts Did you have about putting him on blast
Jon Manson 51:01
yeah he he did not make the list but I remember Zack he was probably the best player on the team certainly as a freshman when I when I was there, you know, probably because Rashad Rashad transferred in and Zack kind of became more of a backup scat back type thing you got to play in the slot as opposed to being a featured every down back. But Zack was very talented he I think he was Virginia State Player of the Year as a freshman you know as you know, Freshman of the Year I think it was what it was out of all colleges in Virginia. That just shows you how good he was within Rashad came in and he was kind of relegated to a backup role. But yeah, dac was a really good player. Liberty had a lot of good running backs if you look through the list a lot of good guys that showed up on there and and got it Yeah, sim con god. Oh, but I got a lot of grief of putting God on that list. He really didn’t have a good career and liberty be honest with you he he was third string a lot of his career you know, but Zack Toros definitely good players, a lot of guys that could have ended up on this list. And you know, is a list right? I don’t know. But it was
Ryan Christa 52:18
Hey, no hospital less
Santiago Leon 52:20
but I mean what else has done it? You’re doing it and we’re and we’re very early on it I’m not sure if you remember sir Ty Turner he played Liberty between oh three and oh wait and he kind of disagreed with with with the list a little bit with with with Rashad Jennings But hey, it’s it’s all opinion
Ryan Christa 52:46
it’s a list I think it’s fun to you know, to go through you know, I was you know, because I
Santiago Leon 52:53
collaborate with john the future.
Ryan Christa 52:56
Yeah, I think there’s a great last ci as cool cuz like I said your most these players come from the last 10 years. So that’s the richest part of you know, Liberty’s history. And it’s fun to see, you know, because you know, when we talk about Zack travel Yeah, he was great. And you put up awesome numbers on really bad football games. Dre was an awesome player. Fun as heck to watch him in Eugene Goodman who dominate the game but you know, at the end of the day, we’re still losing, you know, by law, but they’re fun as heck to watch but I think now you look at the quality of the teams as heads and I mean, you came in the team from this year would play you know, team when we’re around john would be you know, the same scores, you know, when we lose by humongous amount of you know, but it just, it’s just fun to see, you know, the quality of players we have now compared to you know, 1516 years ago.
Jon Manson 53:53
guy on that list that was one of my favorite players to watch play at Liberty, Mike Brown. I got them at number four. That was a guy that, I mean, he could have been you could call him Liberty’s best quarterback of all time Liberty’s best wide receiver all times. You could probably even call them Liberty’s best running back of all time, he would have stuck to one position but he, he started as a returner, and then he was wide receiver in the last two years. He was quarterback but man what a dynamic athlete Mike Brown was and he came on kind of the heels of Rashad Jennings and kind of, you know, got liberty to that next level not quite to the playoffs, but he was kind of right on the precipice of it and, and he was a fun Player to watch anytime he had the ball in his hands. He could take it the distance. Another really good player there too. Mike Brown. Well, yeah,
Ryan Christa 54:42
I mean, it says yeah, it was just fun you know, I think you did a really good job john, I think I don’t know how many people helped you and his great list because obviously a list like this impossible. You could you’re not gonna
Santiago Leon 54:54
be sports cars on players.
Ryan Christa 54:59
But yeah, definitely think, you know, in general, you know, we like to talk to me in San Diego about Liberty athletics, because that is at the forefront, you know, compared to where it was, you know, when we were students were you know, we’re F’s, bad FCS team, you know, maybe we make a dance a temper and once in a great while in basketball, but now, you know, we’re just we’re at the forefront, you know, and they’re spending a lot of money. You know, the future is definitely bright in sight, like the car ride is definitely unifying, you know, liberty, sports nation, you know, to get behind the team and it’s a great forum for you know, fans like me to go and get current information, you know, being from New York. I can’t, you know, get up to date information. I think that’s what john and he does great about keeping us up to date, you know, relevant liberty, information, you know, also the forums, you know, that people also talk, you know, and give their everybody’s opinion on what’s going on.
Jon Manson 55:58
And everybody’s opinion Right opinion, right? Yeah, you know?
Santiago Leon 56:05
Can you tell us like, like, how many contributors Do you have to your side? Or, or Yeah, how many contributors or is it just you?
Jon Manson 56:18
Yeah, there’s I’m the main one. I do most of the articles and writing and everything on a day to day basis. But we do have other contributors. I got a social media manager, Zack McLaren, he’s a student at Liberty. He does a lot of the graphics and, and things you see on on our social media channels. Also a lot of our tweeting he does. He’s all he also contributes to writing songs. He helps with some of the heat I went back and forth a lot with him on this list of Top 50 players. He was obviously more prejudice to current players just that’s always in play. But you know, he helped me he does some writing as well to also Brett Jones is another contributor we have, he just graduated from Liberty this past year he’s doing we’re doing well. We started it several months ago or weeks ago, maybe two months ago now. And I season early season preview of the 2020 schedule of each opponent, which maybe that work is going to be off or not, but he’s making his way through that. Leslie’s got two more games, two more teams left on that schedule. And maybe we’ll have to do it all over again here in a few weeks, but we got him. We’re also adding an intern. student intern will be added to the roster here in the fall. Also do canario. He helped start the site with me, Phil, a contributor, as well as Chad Hasson. He’s our host of our podcasts which is get going in the during football season. We don’t do as much during the offseason with that. But yeah, those those are our contributors there. Wow. That’s a good sign. JOHN, we’re almost out of time.
Santiago Leon 58:04
Ryan Chris has to go john has to go. I have to go. JOHN, what is the best way to reach you online?
Jon Manson 58:11
Yeah, always at a cigarette calm also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, a senior read search board and give us follow
Santiago Leon 58:19
Ryan crystal, what is the best way to reach you talk to you about the Buffalo Bills stadium being changed.
Ryan Christa 58:24
name change, that’s another that’s a headache in itself send a mad dog report on Twitter. And closing john, you know, I really do appreciate you coming on. And I do appreciate the car read and I read all the information. First thing I do almost every morning and I get that, that your tweet about the links you know, I’ve clicked on those, you know, I seem to By the way, yeah. It’s a great, great connection you know, as a as a Liberty grad who love to get to follow the sports but you know, again, like I said, I don’t get You know without going on you know the website just a quick information I appreciate all you do and all the forums and appreciate your coming on you know as as we get more clarity on the season we’d love to have you back as we get hopefully closer to watching football.
Jon Manson 59:15
Yeah, thanks so much guys appreciate having me on,
Santiago Leon 59:18
guys. Thank you very much. Of course you can visit us on the sports cast dotnet on twitter at the sports cast one we’ll be updating throughout the day. Some talk about NFL and things like that. Anyways,
Ryan Christa 59:29
that’s all I had. Yeah, Ryan got one more week till baseball stars week.
Santiago Leon 59:35
We’ll see how many other players will drop out right john?
Jon Manson 59:40
Yeah, we’ll see. I don’t follow baseball as much but that’s fine.
Santiago Leon 59:44
All right, guys. Have a great day. God bless. Go Liberty
Ryan Christa 59:49
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.