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First Coast Connect

Cole Pepper: Jags Training Camp, EverBank Field's New Scoreboards, New JU Atheltic Director

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars report to training camp this week as the world's largest scoreboards are set to be unveiled at EverBank Field. Cole Pepper has the latest in his First Coast Connect weekly sports wrap.

Jags begin training camp

Players report to camp on Thursday, with the first practice to take place Friday morning. The major things to consider heading into training are the changes made to their defensive front, the departure of Maurice Jones-Drew, and quarterbacks Chad Henne and Blake Bortles.

In total 13 training camp practices are open to the public:

  • Friday, July 25                                    Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 26                              Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Sunday, July 27                                 Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Monday, July 28                               Practice at 6:00 p.m. (Bartram Trail High School)
  • Tuesday, July 29                               Players day off – no practice
  • Wednesday, July 30                        Practice at 9:55 a.m.  (first day of full pads)
  • Thursday, July 31                              Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Friday, August 1                                Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 2                          Scrimmage in stadium at 6:45 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 3                             Players day off – no practice
  • Monday, August 4                           Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 5                           Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 6                    Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 7                         Practice at 11:00 a.m. (not open to public)
  • Friday, August 8                                Jaguars vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 9                          Practice at 3:00 p.m. (not open to public)
  • Sunday, August 10                           Players day off – no practice
  • Monday, August 11                         Practice at 9:55 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 12                         Practice at 9:55 a.m.

EverBank Field prepares to unveil new scoreboards

  There are three reasons to visit EverBank Field this Saturday. First, Shad Khan's English football team Fulham will play MLS team DC United in a friendly soccer match. Second, Carrie Underwood will be in concert. Third, that's also the night that the world's largest scoreboards will be unveiled. 

If you have driven past the stadium in the past week or two, you may have seen the scoreboards being tested. They also got some attention in the New York Times this week. I think we're all anxious to see how they look.

New athletics director at Jacksonville University

Dr. Donnie Horner, who graduated from West Point and has graduate degrees from MIT and Stanford, officially has the title of Chief Athletics Officer at JU.

He says he plans to focus on making the school's basketball program relevant again, drawing from their strong past with the sport.

McElroy wins British Open

Rory McElroy took the British Open at Royal Liverpool on Sunday. He's the third youngest to have won three of the four modern grand slams (only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods were younger).

Rory had the lead at the Masters two years ago as he stood on the tee at #10 on Sunday, but collapsed. Otherwise, he would have already won all of the grand slam events before his 26th birthday.

It also made his father both proud and very happy. Back in 2004, his dad placed a £200 bet that Rory would win the Open within 10 years. He got 500-to-1 odds. His bet wound up earning him £100,000, which is worth $171,000. McElroy's dad's friends also made similar bets that will pay off to the tune of $136,000.

Jacksonville on Travel Channel's "American Grilled"

Jacksonville will be in the national spotlight Wednesday night when an episode of the new Travel Channel cooking competition show "American Grilled" airs at 9:00 p.m. The episode features four local grill masters competing for a $10,000 first prize

The show recruits a local judge or two at every stop, and I, Cole Pepper, was among the three judges. The host, David Guas, owns a bakery in Washington DC. The other judge was Claire Robinson, who was born in Jacksonville and her mother lives in St. Augustine. Robinson has been featured on Food Network shows in the past.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Cole Pepper@ColePepper.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.