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Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook throws during the first half of the Big Ten championship game.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook throws during the first half of the Big Ten championship game. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook was named the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the top fourth- or fifth-year quarterback in the nation. He is tied for first in the Big Ten in touchdown passes (24), second in passing efficiency (142.2 rating), and third in passing yards (243.4) and total yards (250.1) per game. Cook will receive the award at a ceremony Friday night at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor. Former Colts wide receiver Raymond Berry, an NFL Hall of Famer, will speak at the ceremony.

College lacrosse

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Local teams make Inside Lacrosse's early rankings

Maryland, Johns Hopkins, Loyola Maryland and Towson are among the top 20 men's teams in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook preseason rankings. Notre Dame, defending national champion Denver and Duke are the top three teams, followed by the No. 4 Terps, who lost to the Pioneers in the title game. The Blue Jays are No. 6, while the Greyhounds and Tigers are Nos. 12 and 19, respectively. Two-time defending national champion Maryland leads the top 25 women's teams in the Face-Off Yearbook preseason rankings. North Carolina and Syracuse, which lost to the Terps during Championship Weekend, round out the top three. No. 12 Loyola Maryland and No. 18 Johns Hopkins are the other local teams.

Men: Towson announced its 13-player recruiting class set to arrive for the 2016-17 season, including five locals: Winters Mill defenseman George "Gray" Bodden, Calvert Hall midfielder-attacker Michael Fanshaw, Hereford defenseman Joe Patti, Loyola Blakefield defenseman Eric Stout and Severn midfielder Hunter Tyler.

Et cetera

Nats manager causes stir with defense of Chapman

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker caused controversy with his defense of Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who is accused of domestic violence after allegedly choking his girlfriend in October. Baker managed Chapman from the day he came up with the Reds in 2010 until 2013, and when asked about Chapman as a person at baseball's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., he said: "Oh, he's a heck of a guy. I mean, a heck of a guy. I'll go on record and say I wouldn't mind having Chapman." Baker said he didn't read the reports about Chapman, and just heard about the trouble from his son. Based on what little he knew about the situation, he said, he would reserve judgment. "I mean, who's to say the allegations are true," Baker said. "And who's to say what you would have done or what caused the problem." Baker later clarified those thoughts to MLB Network Radio, saying: "There's no way I would ever condone domestic violence. No way. … We've got to stop it, big time. I'm hoping that [the Chapman I knew] is innocent."

Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Women's college volleyball: Towson freshman Jocelyn Kuilan earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-East Region honorable mention. Kuilan is the first freshman in program history to be honored by AVCA. … Maryland senior Adreene Elliott earned AVCA All-North Region honorable mention.

Men's college swimming: Loyola Maryland sophomore Ben Cono was named Team Unify/CollegeSwimming.com Swimmer of the Week for the Patriot League.

Men's college track and field: Navy was unanimously picked to win its fourth straight Patriot League indoor championship in the league's preseason poll.

Women's college track and field: Navy was voted to finish fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll.

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