Brother of Tarik Cohen found dead in North Carolina

Tyrell Cohen, the twin brother of Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen, was found dead in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday. It is believed that Cohen was electrocuted while climbing the fence of an electrical substation. Wake County Deputies were called to a Duke Energy substation on Sunday morning when an employee discovered the body inside the gated perimeter.

Tarik Cohen, the former North Carolina A&T star, tweeted early on Sunday morning that his brother was missing, and urged people to be on the lookout. Tyrell had been formally reported as missing on Saturday night after failing to return home.

UPDATE🚨: The man has been identified as Tyrell Antar Cohen. The 25-year-old is the twin brother to NFL Chicago Bears running back @TarikCohen from Bunn, NC. #ABC11

— Tim Pulliam (@TimABC11) May 9, 2021

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker told ABC 11 News in Raleigh that the North Carolina State Highway Patrol tried to initiate a traffic stop on Saturday night with a man believed to be Tyrell. The man fled the scene while evading law enforcement officials. Authorities believe that Tyrell climbed the fence of the substation while fleeing and was electrocuted. Foul play is not suspected in this tragic case.

Tyrell Cohen (pictured left) photographed in 2016.

The twin brothers spoke fondly of their childhood together during a 2016 interview with HBCU Gameday. The brothers talked about bumps and bruises from rough housing together and competing against another set of twins.

Tarik is a five year NFL veteran, spending his entire career so far with the Bears.

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Deion Sanders, JSU add former ACC lineman

Deion Sanders and Jackson State have had a lot of players leaving Lynch Street via the transfer portal. Sunday afternoon the portal brought on in as a former ACC lineman is coming to JSU. 

Former Georgia Tech lineman Antwan Owens has committed to Jackson State. He made his announcement via Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

“New book, same chapter,” Owens wrote in his tweet. “Don’t talk about the movement, BE the movement.”

Owens made his announcement after his recent graduation from GT. He will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer for JSU. The 6’4, 275-pound defensive end hails from Tallahassee, FL where he played at Godby High School. He was listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN, 247 Sports and Rivals coming out of Godby in the 2017 signing class.

Owens was one of only nine freshmen Ga. Tech’s 2017 class to seee playing time that fall. He got, even more, the next season as he played in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2018. He started seven games at defensive end for the Yellow Jackets in 2019 before suffering a season-ending injury. Before his season ended, he left his mark on special teams as well as on the defensive line, blocking a Miami field goal attempt to force overtime in a game his team eventually won. He had 21 tackles that season, matching his output the year before.

He played in just five games during the 2020 season, recording five tackles. He was reportedly drawing interest from FBS programs (Power Five as well as Group of Five) after entering the portal in January but ultimately decided to join Deion Sanders and Co. at Jackson State.

The announcement wrapped up a big weekend for Owens, who also received his degree recently.  His first game as a member of Jackson State will be against his hometown HBCU — FAMU — in the Orange Blossom Classic.

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Separation Saturday: A&T track separates from MEAC

EAST GREENSBORO, NC — North Carolina A&T track hosted the 2021 MEAC outdoor championships, and it may as well have been practice. That’s no disrespect to the rest of the field, it’s just a measure of how dominant the track program has become in the last half-decade.

The Aggie women put up a MEAC-record 290 points, doubling their next closest competitor. The Aggie men also breezed by the competition winning by 100-plus points. The Aggie women went 1-2-3 in the 800m, while the Aggie men secured the top-five finishes in the 200m.

Morris Kimble celebrates his win in the MEAC 5k race. (Steven J. Gaither)

One telling aspect of that expectation of dominance was the post-race celebrations — or lack thereof. While athletes from other MEAC schools celebrated a (rare) break into the top three, jubilant celebrations were few and far between from the Aggies. Freshman Javonte Harding’s fist pump with his gold chain in his mouth after sweeping the 100 and 200m was about as jubilant as it got on this brisk spring day in the Gate City.

Delicia McDuffie celebrates after a win in the 400m. (Steven J. Gaither)Sprinters Trevor Stewart, Javonte Harding and Daniel Stokes pose after sweeping the 200m (Steven J. Gaither)

The same went for the medal platform. The Aggies smiled when the cameras demanded, but outside of that there was also a level of cool that bordered on nonchalance for many of them compared to their counterparts. While others basked in the glow of third and second-place finishes, they didn’t take any more photos than necessary. Clearly, they know that there is more to come.

A&T track and field head coach Duane Ross echoed the fact that this was far from the cherry on the top for the program.

“We trained through this competition. There’s some importance to running the MEAC championships, but we’re not gonna risk the NCAAs for it,” Ross said. “Our kids were a little heavy coming in here. So just to see them get up for this competition despite being able to train hard for the last three weeks — I mean that gives us a lot to look forward to in the next month.”

Freshman Javonte Harding had a big day on Saturday. (Steven J. Gaither) MEAC parting is sweet sorrow for A&T track program

This was A&T’s swan song in the MEAC. The athletic program is moving to the Big South in July. Ross said the conference change will be felt.

“Our culture here, man, it was special,” Ross said. “Those guys will be missed. This environment will be missed. But there comes a time when we have to keep moving on. That’s life.”

A&T has been a member of the MEAC since the conference was founded in 1970. The roots are deep, and so are the ties between coaches.

“It’s bittersweet. We take home these trophies, but at the end of the night I’m going to be saying goodbye to some of these guys because I won’t seem them any more.”

When Ross arrived in 2012, he inherited a men’s program that had just three outdoor conference titles in 40 years of the conference and a women’s program with none. Under his tutelage, the men have won four straight outdoor titles and the women have three of the last four, including the last two.

Kimble helps up a Delaware State runner. (Steven J. Gaither)

North Carolina A&T Track is now a national powerhouse and a legit candidate to win the NCAAs, thanks to its improvement in distance and field events. That’s something we’ve seen happen regularly on the Division II level (Hampton and Norfolk State in their CIAA days, along with St. Aug for decades under George Williams) but not on this level since NCAA divisions became a reality in the 1970s.

For A&T’s track archetict, a conference change matters, but only to a point.

“I think this move is going to be a good one for us. We’re looking forward for the step up. We’re looking forward to more competition,” Ross said.  “But the one thing that doesn’t change is NCAAs. It doesn’t matter what conference you’re in, in order to win national championships. 

A&T’s time as a MEAC program is over, and it leaves behind a trail of records and trophies. In truth, its only competition has been itself for a while now. And that didn’t just happen on Saturday. 

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