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SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT

4 players eligible for NFL's supplemental draft

NEW YORK (AP) - Four players will be available during the NFL's supplemental draft Thursday.

League spokesman Michael Signora said in an email that New Mexico receiver Chase Clayton, North Carolina linebacker Darius Lipford, Virginia-Lynchburg defensive tackle Lakendrick Ross and SMU running back Traylon Shead were eligible for the draft.

The supplemental draft allows qualified underclassmen who did not request early entry into the regular draft to have a chance at entering the NFL. Teams submit picks and are awarded players if their bid - for which round they would take that player - is highest. Teams then lose the corresponding pick in next year's draft.

Players that are not picked become free agents.

NORTH CAROLINA-MEEKS

UNC's Meeks down about 45 pounds from last summer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks is still slimming down.

The rising sophomore says he weighs around 270 pounds, down about 45 pounds since arriving on campus. In an interview with reporters Wednesday, Meeks said he feels more explosive and can play longer stretches without fatigue.

The 6-foot-9 forward weighed 317 pounds last summer, but slimmed down to around 285 for preseason practices. He averaged 7.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 34 games, though he often struggled to finish around the rim or over long-armed defenders inside.

Meeks says he has done better in the weight room and wants to weigh 265 pounds for next season. Meeks and rising junior Brice Johnson will have bigger roles up front for UNC after James Michael McAdoo left school early to pursue a pro career.

S CAROLINA-THOMPSON

South Carolina QB Thompson looks to prove himself

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Dylan Thompson doesn't believe he's done much to show he's South Carolina's starting quarterback, even if he's given the Gamecocks several special moments during his time as backup.

Thompson said Wednesday that last season he spent most of his time on the bench, throwing four touchdowns and three interceptions behind starter Connor Shaw. So with Shaw off to the NFL, Thompson says he's ready to prove he belongs in charge of the Gamecocks offense.

There are many fans who believe the senior long ago proved his worth. It was Thompson who spelled an injured Shaw in 2012 and led the Gamecocks to a 27-17 victory at rival Clemson.

Thompson was the super-sub again a month later with his last-second TD pass to beat Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

NASCAR-ALMIROLA

Almirola: No apologies for rain-shortened victory

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Aric Almirola says he's making no apologies for gaining his first career Sprint Cup Series victory in a rain-shortened race.

Almirola put the famed No. 43 car of Richard Petty Motorsports in Victory Lane last Sunday in the delayed, and then rain-shortened race at Daytona International Speedway. It was the first victory in 544 races for the car Petty made famous. John Andretti won at Martinsville in 1999.

Almirola has spent two days doing a tire test at Richmond International Raceway.

He says he would feel bad if he'd been running in the back of the pack and stole the win. But he says he was already in front of the field when the rain came and could have won with or without the last thunderstorm.

CLEMSON-COACH

Clemson brings in new rowing coach

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson has hired an NCAA Division II championship coach to take over its rowing program.

The school announced Stephen Frazier-Wong's hiring Tuesday. Frazier-Wong had spent the past two years at Nova Southeastern, winning the NCAA crown in 2013 and finishing runner-up last season.

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said Frazier-Wong is one of the top young coaches in the country. He replaces Robbie Tenenbaum, who was let go in May after four seasons.

Frazier-Wong has experience at an Atlantic Coast Conference school, spending seven years at North Carolina as an assistant and associate head coach.

Frazier-Wong said the Tigers have a commitment to be a top-level rowing program and he's excited on building a national power with the Tigers.

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