FAU receiver, ex-‘Last Chance U’ star John Franklin III hoping to star at NFL combine

Florida Atlantic Owls wide receiver John Franklin III (12) celebrates prematurely as he drops the ball before crossing the goal line against the North Texas Mean Green at the 2017 Conference USA Football Championship at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida on December 2, 2017. North Texas recovered the ball in the end zone. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Referring to former Florida Atlantic wide receiver John Franklin III’s five years in college as a “journey” would be like saying Franklin’s head coach with the Owls, Lane Kiffin, enjoys using social media. It’s a major understatement.

A three-star recruit from South Plantation when he signed with Florida State in 2013, Franklin played two years with the Seminoles — winning a national championship in 2013 as Jameis Winston’s backup — before transferring to East Mississippi Community College, best known for the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” After a year in Scooba, Franklin transferred to Auburn and played quarterback for the Tigers in 2016 before returning home to play for Kiffin’s Owls last August.

“Living it was even more crazy than talking about it,” Franklin told The Post earlier this month. “I feel like everything happens for a reason and throughout all those stops and all those different journeys to those places, I learned a lot and I learned more about me in how I grew as a player, how I grew as a man. Each place taught me something different, and if I had to do it all over again, I would.”

Now, after going viral for allegedly posting a 4.19 40-yard dash time, Franklin is preparing for the National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and hoping his blazing speed can earn him job in the NFL.

“(I’m just hoping to show) the transition has been expanded upon, that it was working at FAU,” Franklin said. “Whatever I need to play in (the NFL), I can showcase my ability in front of all those top-level scouts.”

In his first year as a wide receiver after moving from quarterback while at Auburn, Franklin caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown while adding 229 rushing yards on 16 carries. After Dwyer alum/quarterback Daniel Parr’s demotion from the starting job in Week 4, Franklin essentially served as the Owls’ backup quarterback and often operated out of a Wildcat formation.

Franklin says he will continue to play wide receiver at the NFL level, so teams may be willing to look past the 23-year-old’s lack of experience at the position and give him a chance based on his speed. Franklin will have a chance at the combine on Wednesday to tie, or even potentially break, the 4.19 time he ran in a video posted last week.

There’s a history of college quarterbacks transitioning into successful NFL wide receivers, with New England Patriots star Julian Edelman having been a starting signal-caller at Kent State. Former Pittsburgh Steelers stars Hines Ward (Georgia) and Antwaan Randle El (Indiana) both played wide receiver in the NFL after spending time under center in college.

“I don’t try to compare — I pick up little things here and there,” Franklin said. “I’m just trying to perfect my best version of myself. … Even when I started playing quarterback, I figured that at the next level, I’d have to play receiver just because of my skill set and my speed, really. That’s appealing to put outside and use in multiple ways.”

Though Franklin was slowly phased out of the receiving game as true freshman Willie Wright emerged and Kalib Woods dominated after returning from suspension, the fifth-year senior remained a viable threat in the offense because of his legs.

Franklin also agreed with recent FAU signees that Kiffin and his staff give him a good chance of making it to the NFL.

“I feel like that’s a very appealing thing and from my experiences at FAU, that was the first time we practiced a similar schedule (to that of pro teams),” Franklin said. “Just the fact that we weren’t always out there practicing, but we were getting work in and I feel like that correlates to how the NFL is now. … This is a great environment, a great atmosphere and this is how (things would be) at the next level.”

“I don’t think my journey was supposed to be easy, clearly,” Franklin said, “but for some reason I’m still where I am today. There’s a reason behind it — and I don’t know it now — but I know it’s a blessing through the struggles and I think all that was preparing me for (now).”

New FAU defensive tackle Charles Cameron brings brute force, power

BOCA RATON — When defensive tackle Charles Cameron arrived in Florida from Mississippi last month, the three-star recruit immediately knew what topic was off-limits.

“I came from Copiah-Lincoln and we played East Mississippi one time,” Cameron said, referring to the junior college that currently fields two FAU players and tight ends coach Clint Trickett. “That was the time we beat them, but I ain’t gonna bring that up to them.”

Cameron, 21, was one of five players to sign during the inaugural early signing period on Dec. 20 and has already reported to FAU for workouts. Trickett, then the Lions’ quarterbacks coach in a loss to his future player, was instrumental in recruiting Cameron to Boca Raton.

The 13th-ranked defensive tackle in this year’s JUCO recruiting class by 247.com, Cameron (6-3, 305 pounds as officially listed by FAU) had ten sacks and 54 tackles over the past two seasons for the Wolfpack. With starting defensive tackle Jeremiah Taleni having exhausted all years of eligibility, Cameron could potentially work his way into first-team reps during spring practice.

“Hopefully, I can bring leadership and be a big impact on the defensive line,” Cameron said. “(Showing the) defense can hold up, that motivates me.”

Owls coach Lane Kiffin said on Signing Day that Cameron has already impressed in the team’s conditioning program.

“We were able to watch him work out and like a lot of kids (who come in), it’s a change from junior college,” Kiffin said. “It looks like he’s done a good job of staying in shape, fit right in there, and it’ll be exciting to get him in the mix.”

FAU has had strong results with two recent defensive line transfers. Taleni finished second on the Owls with five sacks after arriving in August following a transfer from the University of Pittsburgh, while Brandin Bryant — who spent a year at Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) in 2011 — tallied 9.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss from 2012-15, earning stints with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.

Copiah-Lincoln teammate Tre’Veon “Nero” Nelson, a three-star wide receiver and the No. 2 JUCO wideout in this year’s class, also signed with FAU in December and will arrive in the spring. Kiffin did something similar in his first recruiting class, signing EMCC teammates quarterback De’Andre Johnson and defensive end Tim Bonner.

Cameron said he enjoyed Kiffin’s infamous Twitter antics and was excited to play under the veteran head coach.

“He’s a really nice coach, real cool,” Cameron said. “(There were) no problems with the coaches.”

Cameron and FAU will begin practicing on March 20 in a spring camp which also features visits to Ft. Lauderdale (April 7) and Miami (April 14).

FAU baseball prepares for annual home showdown with Miami Hurricanes

Manager John McCormack speaking during the Owls’ media day event. (Jake Elman for The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic baseball players are happy to have won six of their first seven games to begin the 2018 season. But even with Conference USA play still weeks away, there’s one annual game that the Owls have had circled on their calendars.

FAU (6-1) will welcome the rival Miami Hurricanes (3-4) to Boca Raton for the first of three games the teams will play this season. Miami will later host the Owls on March 21 and April 4.

Despite never playing in the same conference, these two teams have plenty of experience against each other, with Miami dominating the overall series 62-14. FAU has at least made things closer against under current head coach John McCormack, going 6-18 since 2009 and even upsetting the then-No. 1 Hurricanes in April 2016. Miami swept all three games against FAU last season, outscoring the Owls 20-8.

“That will be a good experience, (against a) historic program,” FAU third baseman Joe Montes said. “(It will be my) first time playing them so we’ll see how it goes.”

McCormack said he will start sophomore Nick Prather against the Hurricanes and did not consider starting Owls ace and usual Friday night pitcher Jake Miednik (Stoneman-Douglas). Miednik ranks eighth in the country with 21 strikeouts following a 14-strikeout gem against Delaware on Friday night.

As FAU will play a rare four-game series in Oregon against the Ducks from Friday to Monday, McCormack wanted to keep his pitchers in a routine and has yet to decide who will start the final game out West.

“The way it falls is the way it falls,” McCormack said.

Owls shortstop Tyler Frank, having played Miami five times in two years, is approaching the rivalry like any other game. Frank had only two hits in 12 at-bats against the Hurricanes last season.

“We want to go in there, get a W and move forward into Oregon,” Frank said.

Frank finding his footing: After an unexpected rough start to his junior season, Frank seems to be settling in, raising his average from .055 Friday night to a more-acceptable .192 by the end of Sunday. McCormack originally considered giving Frank a day off to clear his mind, but instead moved his star shortstop from the No. 2 hole back to the leadoff spot, where Frank hit most of last season.

In his two games hitting leadoff this year, Frank has gone 4-for-8 with a walk. Frank remains homerless after hitting 11 last season, while the Owls only have three total.

“You always want to succeed and help your team any way you can,” Frank said after Sunday’s win. “Just trying to do less. Less is more sometimes and just being relaxed.”

McCormack said Frank will continue to hit leadoff for the time being. Montes, who began the year hitting leadoff, had two hits and three RBIs in the two hole on Saturday.

Miednik honoredFAU has its first C-USA honoree of the regular season, with left-hander Jake Miednik being named Pitcher of the Week by conference media members. Miednik, a preseason All-CUSA pitcher, recorded 14 strikeouts in Friday’s 6-2 win over the Blue Hens and is tied with teammate Kyle Marman for second in the conference with 21 strikeouts. Only Southern Mississippi junior Nick Sandlin has more, with 23 punchouts in 14 innings.

FAU linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair grateful for ‘last hurrah’ with veteran teammates

FAU linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (2) celebrates a defensive stop during the Florida Atlantic University Owls spring scrimmage football game in Boca Raton, Florida on April 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — The good news for Florida Atlantic star linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, as he traverses the school’s Boca Raton campus, is that the rising senior is finally being recognized by some of his classmates.

The bad news, if one wants to call it that? Every conversation with Al-Shaair and other students includes them asking him the same question: What is Owls coach Lane Kiffin like?

“That’s the No. 1 question you’re gonna get!” a laughing Al-Shaair told The Post on Thursday.

Al-Shaair, Kiffin, and the rest of the 2017 Owls were honored at halftime of what turned out to be the FAU men’s basketball team’s 79-76 overtime loss to Rice. Al-Shaair and All-American running back Devin “Motor” Singletary (American Heritage) briefly spoke to fans, while wide receiver Kalib Woods gleefully held up the team’s Shula Bowl trophy.

As teammates posed for pictures after the ceremony, Al-Shaair spoke about how happy he was for the team to be recognized after an 11-3 campaign and a Boca Raton Bowl win over Akron. FAU had won a combined nine games from 2014-16 before Kiffin was hired in Dec. 2016. Several outgoing Owls players joined the team for one final reunion on Thursday night.

“Since I’ve been here as a freshman, those guys have been here, so this is like the last hurrah,” Al-Shaair said. “For a final, final last time and they’re going to build their lives. … It was good to see them.”

Given where FAU was only a year ago — not to mention Al-Shaair, who missed all of last year’s spring camp with a labrum injury — the senior linebacker said it was a different feeling to be part of a school-wide celebration like this.

“I think it was more so weird during the season as we were winning (because) it was a new feeling,” said Al-Shaair, who elected to return to FAU for his senior season rather than take a chance by declaring for April’s NFL draft. “Now, it’s something that we want to build the tradition for and the foundation has already been laid down. So if this was a year ago and we were talking about this, I think it’d be pretty weird.”

Al-Shaair and the Owls will begin spring practice on March 20, a 14-practice training camp which will feature visits to Ft. Lauderdale (April 7) and Miami (April 14).

UCF or Alabama? FAU coach Lane Kiffin makes his national-champion choice

Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Lane Kiffin at the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Florida on December 19, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The often-controversial Lane Kiffin has lent his opinion to college football’s latest controversy: Who is the real national champion?

While Alabama, where Kiffin served under Nick Saban from 2014-16 as the team’s offensive coordinator, won its second College Football Playoff in three years last month, Central Florida has proclaimed itself the “true” national champion after going 13-o under Scott Frost. UCF was the only FBS team to finish the season undefeated, with win No. 13 coming against SEC powerhouse Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

So who does Kiffin, entering his second season at Florida Atlantic after posting an 11-3 record in his first year, believe to be the champion? He opted for the Crimson Tide, as Kiffin explained in a podcast appearance on “The Mitch Davis Show.

Still, Kiffin has loads of respect for what UCF did on the field.

“I don’t know that we would [claim the national title like UCF], but they see that they had a great season,” Kiffin told Davis in an episode released Wednesday. “Finishing up by beating Auburn and they think they can beat the two teams from the SEC (Georgia and Alabama) who went to the national championship. There’s something to it.”

Several times this past season, Kiffin praised UCF’s sudden turnaround from 0-12 in 2015 to undefeated two years later, including saying he wanted his own team to follow the Knights’ model.

Kiffin also spoke about FAU’s non-conference schedule, which includes a Sept. 1 matchup with CFP semifinalist Oklahoma and a showdown with none other than UCF on Sept. 21 in Orlando. UCF and the AAC announced last week that the FAU-UCF game, originally scheduled for Sept. 22, would be moved forward one day in advance to accommodate national television.

“(We have a) very competitive schedule, but you never know when you schedule things how good teams are going to be because teams stay up and down,” Kiffin said.

FAU will begin its spring camp on March 20 and will hold its annual spring game on April 21. Kiffin announced earlier this week that the Owls will hold road practices in Ft. Lauderdale’s Carter Park (April 7) and Miami’s Charles Hadley Park (April 14).

Florida Atlantic stars Devin Singletary, Azeez Al-Shaair honored by Touchdown Club of Columbus

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin has talked about wanting to turn the Owls into a “national program.” Two of Kiffin’s best players, at least for one night, helped the coach make some progress in his goal.

Star running back and reigning Conference USA MVP Devin Singletary (Delray-American Heritage) and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, both of whom were first-team All-CUSA players this past season, were honored by the 63rd Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards as players to watch in 2018. Singletary led Division I with 32 rushing touchdowns and finished 80 yards shy of 2,000 as a true sophomore, while Al-Shaair finished third in the nation and led C-USA with 146 tackles.

“I would like to thank the Touchdown Club for inviting me to Columbus,” Singletary said through a university spokesperson. “I also want to thank them for labeling me as a player to watch in 2018.”

Singletary, who became the first Owls player in program history to be named an All-American, inspired a Heisman campaign throughout the season with his record-setting numbers. As FAU fans jumped on the #Motor4Hei5man movement, Singletary ran for more touchdowns in a single season than previous program leader Alfred Morris did from 2008-11. Morris had 27 touchdowns before becoming a sixth-round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2012.

Al-Shaair, a former USA Today All-American Freshman in 2015, surpassed Frantz Joseph as the leading tackler in program history in the Boca Raton Bowl and announced immediately after the 50-3 win that he would return to FAU for his senior season.

Singletary joined Justice Hill (Oklahoma State), Benny Snell Jr. (Kentucky), Alexander Mattison (Boise State), David Montgomery (Iowa State) and Darrell Henderson (Memphis) as running backs who were honored. Al-Shaair was one of three defensive players honored alongside Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Hodge.

Five storylines to watch as Florida Atlantic baseball aims to rebound from 2017 season

FAU Stadium (Courtesy of FAUsports.com)

BOCA RATON — Led by junior shortstop Tyler Frank (Delray-American Heritage) and outfielder David Miranda, the Florida Atlantic Owls baseball team is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2017 season; disappointing, at least, by the program’s standard.

Despite being the No. 3 seed in the Conference USA tournament, FAU narrowly missed out on the NCAA Tournament and a chance to compete for the College World Series. FAU will begin its season Friday night (6:30 p.m., FAU Baseball Stadium) against George Washington University.

“I really like our team — the make-up of this team is really good,” Owls coach John McCormack said this week. “To have pieces of the puzzle in terms of pitchers and catchers and infielders, it’s extremely important to have talented guys, but the makeup of this team … they care about each other and care about representing Florida Atlantic.”

Here are five storylines to watch as the Owls try to return to the NCAA Tournament and re-establish themselves as C-USA heavyweights.

Miranda looks to build off powerful 2017: 

With most of the team’s offense suffering from inconsistency last season, Miranda stepped up to lead the Owls with 12 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .590 slugging percentage — and is only back for his senior year because he went undrafted in last June’s MLB Draft. Named to the All-Conference USA Preseason Team last month, a leaner, fitter Miranda will be expected to improve on last year’s numbers in an effort to show MLB teams he’s worth drafting.

“We see FAU baseball as legit, and we win every year,” Miranda said. “We don’t put any pressure on ourselves. We expect ourselves to do what we do every year. … In baseball, you can’t put pressure like that, just show up and be like, ‘I gotta hit. I hit 12 [home runs] last year so I gotta hit 20 this year.”

Can rotation newcomers step up? 

Though junior Kyle Marman made two starts last season in his 20 appearances, left-hander Jake Miednik (Parkland-Douglas) is the only full-time starting pitcher returning. After winning seven games and leading the Owls with 75 strikeouts last season, Miednik will step into the ace role vacated by current Houston Astros farmhand Alex House. Transfer Vince Coletti (Palm Beach State) will start Sunday’s game and sophomore Nick Prather, who pitched 11 games in relief last year, will fill out the rotation.

Nick Swan and Marc Stewart, who started a combined 12 games last season, will begin the season in the bullpen.

Will Rivera, Pages avoid sophomore slump? 

FAU is hoping it has a duo of the future in outfielder-turned-second baseman Eric Rivera and catcher Pedro Pages, but both will have to improve on solid freshman campaigns. A Conference USA All-Freshman outfielder, Rivera hit .256 with 13 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBIs and led the team with five outfield assists. He will spend the 2018 season at second base as Stephen Kerr’s replacement.

Pages hit .243 with four homers and 24 RBI, drawing 17 walks to just 22 strikeouts as a freshman. With fifth-year senior Kevin Abraham likely to play more of a DH role, Pages will be expected to catch the majority of the time.

Old-school baseball: 

FAU may try to play a game or two at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches again, but don’t expect the Owls to replicate the Houston Astros’ sabermetric-driven efforts. McCormack said that between the team not having any of the more advanced equipment and FAU playing far fewer games than the 162 a big-league team plays, the Owls will continue to rely more on traditional stats — though some advanced stats, such as where players hit the ball and how opposing pitchers work in certain situations, will be involved in game-planning.

“When you’re playing Central Florida and you’ve got 43 at-bats on the guy, I don’t know if the statistics show up the same [as opposed to a major-league veteran],” McCormack said. “I think it’s really difficult in college with a small sample size.”

How high is Tyler Frank’s ceiling? 

Given that Frank was named to the Golden Spikes Watchlist and could play his way into becoming a first-round pick in June’s MLB Draft, the junior shortstop is easily the most valuable player on this year’s team. Look for Frank to build off a brilliant sophomore season and, like another former Stallion in Owls running back Devin Singletary, perhaps be named Conference USA’s Player of the Year this spring.

Noteworthy: In wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, FAU will be adding advanced security elements to baseball games this season, including metal detectors and increased police presence.

Florida Atlantic athletic department announces security changes after Parkland shooting

Police gather outside the Palm Beach State College Humanities and Technology building on the Boca Raton campus, adjacent to Florida Atlantic University, Monday morning, May 1, 2017. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — In the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting at Parkland’s Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida Atlantic University is prepared to upgrade security at its baseball games, the school told The Post on Thursday.

“We will implement the same procedures at baseball that we do at football as well as men’s and women’s basketball,” interim athletic director Brian Battle said through an FAU spokesperson.

Those procedures, which have been used at football games for years and began at basketball games last month, include full metal-detector scans and increased police and security for all ticketed events. Officers from both the school’s police department and Boca Raton’s own department join staffers in making sure those attempting to enter the stadium do not have anything dangerous.

Fans who leave the ballpark/stadium may be forced to go through the metal detector again upon re-entering. The new security plan will begin Friday night when the Owls baseball team begins its season against George Washington University (6:30 p.m., FAU Baseball Stadium).

Baseball and men’s basketball are the only on-campus athletic events this weekend, though the women’s golf team will host a Winter Warm-Up, per a school release.

FAU has not confirmed how this will affect media availability and entry. Media could originally enter basketball games as early as two hours before tip-off without checking in, though this was initially changed to 60 minutes — when gates opened for fans — before being moved to 90 minutes prior to the game’s start.

FAU as a whole is increasing security on the Boca Raton campus, adding more police to the Student Union and Breezeway walkway as well as at the A.D. Henderson School.

Stoneman Douglas graduate Jake Miednik is scheduled to start on the mound Friday night for the Owls, though the team has not confirmed if he will still make the start. Miednik’s younger sister was in school during Wednesday’s shooting but escaped unharmed from the tragedy, which left 17 students and faculty dead before shooter Nikolas Cruz was arrested later that afternoon.

FAU pitcher, Stoneman Douglas alum Jake Miednik, family unhurt in school shooting

Jake Miednik from FAU’s media day. (Jake Elman / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic pitcher Jake Miednik, who graduated from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2014, confirmed that neither he nor his family were injured in Wednesday’s mass shooting.

Miednik’s younger sister was in the school, prompting obvious concern, but the senior ace took to Twitter to announce she had escaped the shooting — which as of Tuesday night had left 17 dead and others injured following a rampage by former student Nikolas Cruz. Cruz has since been arrested by Broward County police.

[Broward school shooting: 17 dead, suspect in custody as PBSO aids probe in Lantana]

[PHOTOS: Mass shooting at Broward County high school]

[Editorial: Thoughts and prayers won’t stop these mass shootings]

Miednik also tweeted prayers to his former high school.

Miednik won seven games and posted a 4.88 ERA in 86 2/3 innings last year for the Owls, striking out a team-best 75 batters. FAU has not yet announced if Miednik will still pitch as planned on Friday night against George Washington, nor has the school made any statements on possible security changes.

No home athletic events were scheduled to take place at FAU on Wednesday night, and the school will only host one sporting event, Friday’s baseball opener, until Saturday.

Miednik has pitched in the wake of devastating personal events before, pitching eight shutout innings last April against Old Dominion days after his grandfather’s death.

If Miednik does not pitch on Friday, junior Kyle Marman would likely start instead.

FAU’s athletic department tweeted out its condolences to those affected as well.

FAU senior Jake Miednik looking to become Owls’ ace pitcher

Jake Miednik from FAU’s media day. (Jake Elman / The Palm Beach Post)

BOCA RATON — For the first time in years, Jake Miednik is pitching for someone other than himself.

As harsh as that may sound, it’s a point that Florida Atlantic baseball coach John McCormack was clear in making about his senior lefty, who will start on opening night against George Washington on Friday (6:30, FAU Baseball Stadium).

“Jake, for the first three years of his collegiate experience, played because he wanted to get drafted,” McCormack said during FAU’s Media Day on Monday. “And he worried about who was in the stands and he worried about what was going to happen next, as opposed to being in the moment with his team.”

A preseason All-Conference USA pitcher, Miednik (Parkland-Stoneman Douglas) won seven games and posted a 4.88 ERA in 86 2/3 innings. Miednik’s 75 strikeouts were the most on the team and 12th-best in C-USA.

After barely beating out rising junior Kyle Marman for the No. 1 pitching spot, Miednik acknowledged that last year’s transition from Walters State CC (Tenn.) wasn’t easy, in large part because of the expectations he’d placed upon himself.

“I kind of played for myself trying to get drafted and everything,” Miednik said. “But being a senior now and, technically, this could be my last year, a lot of things are different. I want to enjoy it more.”

One of only two pitchers to start double-digit games (joining senior Alex House, who was drafted by the Houston Astros last June), Miednik’s final regular-season start was his best, with the then-junior tossing eight shutout innings against Old Dominion. Miednik described himself as “numb” that day, striking out six just days after returning to the team following his grandfather’s death.

McCormack praised Miednik’s ability to rise to the challenge and his “playing for the love of the game.” With House having graduated, Miednik is the only full-time starting pitcher returning to the rotation. Marman made two starts last season, putting up a 4.50 ERA in 20 games and striking out 31 batters in 28 innings.

“I hope that for his sake, the maturity results in a good year … and for our sake,” McCormack said.

Despite the attitude change, Miednik — who has acknowledged he pitches best when “angry” — said he will continue to feed into his emotions on the mound.

“That’s definitely always been the key for me, just trying to be as angry as possible so I can do what I do best,” Miednik said.