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What better time than July 4 to celebrate the long, rich and, yes, weird marriage between college football and food? From tailgating to meals at recruits houses, food is a part of the sports DNA. Authentic Custom Buccaneers Jersey . In honor of that tradition and the kickoff of summer picnics and BBQ season, were taking a look at just a few of the many food-related stories dotting the CFB landscape.The first thing people notice about DeVon Edwards is the smile. Thats what grabs them, what brings them into his orbit.Sure, hes usually sporting a Duke T-shirt, and the highlights of his first three seasons as a starter in the Blue Devils secondary have made his name synonymous with the programs revival, but theres still a better chance folks around campus will recognize the smile before they remember it belongs to a football star.He looks like a normal student, Duke defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said of the 5-foot-9 Edwards, but he smiles at everybody.After all, on the field, hes cloaked in a helmet, with a grass-stained jersey advertising his name and number but not his personality. And while Edwards hopes football becomes a career, he thinks its the smile thats his ticket to something beyond the game, so for his first four years on campus, he put it to use behind the counter at a fruit smoothie bar.Edwards was a true freshmen when he noticed the help wanted sign at Quenchers, a juice bar outside the main campus gym, and asked for a job. Four years later, he rarely goes out without someone recognizing him -- not from the field, but from the juice machine.Ill see 100 people a day, Edwards said. Theyll ask, Do you remember me from Quenchers? and, I dont remember a lot of them, but Ill act like I do.As a football player on a small campus, Edwards is used to a few stares. But his time at Quenchers was about more than getting recognized. Even amid the cliched landscape of amateur athletics, Edwards stands out for actually treating the college experience, well -- like college.We talk about relationships and how our program is so much about that, Knowles said. We dont get the five-star kids, so its all about how we work together and how we treat other people, and hes the No. 1 representative for that.Edwards first got the job after redshirting during the 2012 season. He needed some spare cash, and it seemed like a good way to meet some new people. The way he sees it, more than half his time outside of class is spent with teammates, and it was important to Edwards to expand his circle.Jack Chao, the owner of Quenchers, was willing to offer Edwards both a job and flexibility. If football or classroom demands were high, his schedule could be cut back. When the season kicked off, he could take some time away to focus on football. And when Edwards was on the clock, Chao loved talking football to pass the time, critiquing Edwards play and offering advice on how to get better. (For Edwards favorite smoothie recommendation, scroll to the bottom of this story.)Hes a funny character, Edwards said.Edwards typical schedule involved a few hours per night on Fridays and Saturdays. It often meant skipping out on social activities, but it put a few bucks in his pocket for a new pair of shoes or to help his family back in Covington, Georgia.Its about balance and knowing your priorities, Edwards said.Thats typical of Edwards, who had a reputation as a smart kid with a winning personality long before hed made much of an impact on the football field.At Alcovy High, Edwards excelled on both offense and defense and was a star on the track, but his small stature and minimal hype made him a complete afterthought on the recruiting trail. He didnt have a single offer from a major school, but Edwards teachers and coaches convinced the Blue Devils to take a chance on him.He was just walking the halls, smiling in high school, Knowles said of Edwards recruitment. We went in there just because people at the school spoke so highly of him. It was just that his character was so good. Just a really happy kid who doesnt come from much but just has a great smile and a great presence and an energy.Thats what rubbed off on the clientele at Quenchers, too. He had his signature smoothies - a bit of orange juice could take a drink to the next level, he said -- and he knew his regulars by name (and smoothie preference).After Edwards breakout game against NC State in 2013 in which he returned two interceptions for touchdowns, the regulars got to know him, too.Once the word kind of got out, everybody knew Id be there and what days Id be there, Edwards said. Theyd come and take a picture. But I never talked about football there unless somebody said something to me about it.Instead, Edwards goal was to learn about the people he was serving. That bright smile was an entryway into a conversation, and he has a knack for putting people at ease.All his customers left with a smoothie, but Edwards wanted them to take a bit more from their time together.Id try to make people smile, start a conversation, develop a relationship so they come back and always want to talk with me, he said. Just starting conversations with people sparks something. You can never go wrong by making someones day.And the way Edwards sees it, you never know who youll meet. Maybe he meets the son of a business executive or the daughter of a prominent investor. Relationships are important, Edwards said, and he wants people to remember their time with him in case he runs into them again down the road.This summer though, Edwards had a more immediate goal. He wanted to take a trip to the beach.It has been four years at Duke, a time filled with numerous awards and honors, eight touchdowns, five interceptions, 298 tackles and too many smoothies to count. But all that time spent engaging others has put a kink in his own plans, and with time dwindling at Duke, he wanted to enjoy one last summer as a college student. Thats meant an end to his career making smoothies and friends at Quenchers.Hes hitting the gym hard. Last season, he was forced to switch from safety to corner after an injury to starter Bryon Fields, and his body wasnt quite ready for the transition. Hes spending plenty of time with younger teammates, too. He has helped create a legacy at Duke, and he wants to make sure theyre ready to carry it on after hes gone. But really, he wants to be a normal guy for as long as he has left before football or a job takes over on a full-time basis.That has been the fun of this whole ride for Edwards. He has made so much progress on the field, met so many great people off it. Theres a lot to smile about.Edwards top smoothie pick at QuenchersThe Chocolate Elvis, DeVon stylebananaspeanutsOreosmilkvanilla protein Custom Buccaneers Jerseys . -- Linebacker Myles Jack ran for four touchdowns, defensive end Cassius Marsh caught a scoring pass, and No. Devin White Jersey Large . - Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds, J. http://www.custombuccaneersjersey.com/ . The Barrie Colts defenceman, who impressed many with his play for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship, is the top-ranked skater in the February rankings. He has 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points in 45 games with the Colts this season. ST. LOUIS -- Dexter Fowler?got a taste of what its like to play baseball in St. Louis during his 36 games as an opposing player at Busch Stadium.?Then in November, he got an unexpected sign of St. Louis fans dedication during the Chicago Cubs World Series parade, when he says he noticed a surprising amount of Cardinals red on the streets of the Windy City.And on Thursday, as he flew from his home in Las Vegas to St. Louis to have a physical -- the final hurdle before signing a?five-year, $82.5 million contract?with the Cardinals, which he completed on Friday -- he got another reminder of how engaged the teams supporters are.A flight attendant and a fan on the flight, after taking advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi, approached Fowler to find out whether the rumors were true. Fowler responded by trying to go back to sleep, but the next day he expounded on what, other than the finances, made playing in St. Louis so appealing.You get a taste of winning a World Series and you want to do that again, Fowler said at his introductory news conference. Youre excited and you want to get back and win the World Series. With the Cardinals, theyre always in the hunt. That was a big part of my decision.Fowler said Cubs president Theo Epstein called him shortly before Chicago acquired Jon Jay to inform Fowler the team would not be making him an offer to return.The Cardinals had to extend beyond their comfort zone to sign Fowler, offering him a blanket no-trade clause, according to a source, to go with a contract that some in the industry view as market-altering. The deal will pay Fowler $16.5 million per season through 2021.The reason the Cardinals felt compelled to go that high was their need for speed and defensive competence. They were a below-average fielding team and one of the worst baserunning groups in the majors last season. General manager John Mozeliak said Fowler was the teams No. 1 target all offseason.It was an honor just to be considered to be in the Cardinals organization, said Fowler, who will wear No. 25 in honor of his mentor, Barry Bonds. Fowlers?usual 24 is retired by the Cardinals; it was worn by former manager Whitey Herzog.Now, with the 30-year-old Fowler in center field alongside young outfielders Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals feel they have one of the better defensive outfields in the league.. Custom Devin White Jersey. ne of things we wanted to address was athleticism, someone who could hit at the top of the order, if possible, to allow us to have flexibility with [Matt] Carpenter, and we were looking to find someone who is extremely competent on the basepaths, Mozeliak said.I think we were able to accomplish that, but Mr. Fowler is more than that. Theres always the baseball element, but one of the things about Dexter that excited us is hes a student of the game.The Cardinals had discussions with the Chicago White Sox about Adam Eaton before he was shipped to the Washington Nationals for a trio of highly regarded pitching prospects. They also engaged other teams in trade discussions.The Cardinals are aware they lost a lot of power when Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss became free agents, but Mozeliak indicated the team isnt necessarily intent on signing one of the sluggers still available on the free-agent market and any further moves would likely be complementary acquisitions.It came as no surprise that Fowler turned down his mutual option with Chicago. He made $13 million in 2016, returning to the Cubs for one year only after exploring the free-agent market last winter and finding it unsatisfactory.Fowler was due a big payday after having a career-high .393 on-base percentage and hitting 13 home runs for the Cubs last season, including a blast in Game 7 of the World Series.He also was credited with playing better defense in 2016, after he and the team agreed he should play deeper. The result was a plus-1 in defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs. In 2015, Fowler was minus-12.Fowlers biggest contributions came at the top of the order, where Cubs manager Joe Maddon used to say to him, You go, we go. Fowlers first-inning on-base percentage in 2016 was .479. He was the ignition to the Cubs offense throughout his two years with the team.The move comes after the Cubs signed Jason Heyward and John Lackey away from the Cardinals last offseason.Fowler is the first free agent to sign with the Cardinals after ending the previous season with the Cubs since Mark Grudzielanek did it in the 2004-05 offseason. The Cardinals and Cubs open the 2017 season on April 2 in St. Louis (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). ' ' '
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