Alijah Vera-Tucker Selected by New York Jets in First Round of 2021 NFL Draft

Alijah Vera-Tucker is officially headed to the National Football League

The 21-year-old part-Latino offensive lineman is the No. 14 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Alijah Vera-Tucker

Vera-Tucker was selected by the New York Jets in the First Round, the first Latino football player picked this year.

Vera-Tucker played tackle and guard at the University of Southern California (USC) for two seasons and was one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

He won the Morris Trophy in 2020 for being the nation’s best offensive lineman. Tucker was also a First-Team All-Pac 12 selection in 2020 and Second-Team All-Pac 12 in 2019.

Tucker secures the left side of the Jets’ offensive line, with Mekhi Becton anchoring down the left tackle position. This pick gives Zach Wilson, the Jets’ top pick, some much-needed protection.


Ferrera’s Drama Project “Damascus” Gets Pilot Commitment at CBS

America Ferrera may soon be back on the small screen…

Three years after the series finale of ABC’s hit dramedy Ugly Betty, the 29-year-old Honduran American could return to television full-time as the star of another hour-long project.

America Ferrera

Entitled Damascus, the drama project, which sparked a heated bidding war, has landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment.

In addition to starring, Ferrera will also executive produce, with CBS Television Studios coming on board as studio.

Written by Nick Osborne, Damascus is the story of a crusading nun (portrayed by Ferrera) who practices law on behalf of the least fortunate, and has her beliefs tested when her life collides with an elitist corporate lawyer. As the two set out to help those in need of justice, they come up against a secretive and powerful organization that’s determined to destroy them.

The project expands Ferrera’s relationship with CBS and CBS Television Studios as her only major post-Ugly Betty television role has been an arc on their drama The Good Wife.

Ferrera had been highly sought after for pilots in the past three seasons but had been focused on feature film roles and finishing college as her USC studies were interrupted by her casting in Ugly Betty, a role that earned her an Emmy award.

She recently wrapped work on Chavez and XY.

Mendez Wins Scripter Award

Tony Mendez has picked up his first-ever Hollywood award…

The 72-year-old former CIA technical operations officer, who Ben Affleck portrays in his Oscar-nominated film Argo, won the 25th Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for best literary film adaptation this weekend at a gala held at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library. Mendez shared the award with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio and journalist Joshuah Bearman, who wrote an article entitled “The Great Escape” for Wired.

Tony Mendez II

The Scripter Award goes to both the screenwriters and the author of the material on which the script is based. Although there are normally 5 finalists, this year featured six because of a tie in balloting.

The Scripter Award is only given for adaptations, not for original screenplays, but it still has a prime slot during the final Academy balloting period. Argo beat out the other Scripter Award nominees: Beasts of the Southern WildDramatist Lucy Alibar, who wrote the play Juicy and Delicious, and screenwriter Benh Zeitlin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alibar; Life Of PiNovelist Yann Martel and screenwriter David Magee; Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and screenwriter Tony Kushner; Perks Of Being A Wallflower Stephen Chbosky, author of the novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as the screenplay based upon the book; Silver Linings PlaybookAuthor Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell.

There were a total of 82 screenplays in the field of candidates for the USC Libraries Scripter Award, which was established in 1988 by the Friends of the USC Libraries as a way to celebrate writers and writing, honoring the year’s best adaptation of printed words into film.

Sanchez’s Strong Performance Leads the New York Jets to Victory

It’s a return to form for Mark Sanchez

The 26-year-old New York Jets quarterback emerged from his recent two-game slump and led his team to a decisive 27-13 win over the St. Louis Rams in NFL action over the weekend.

Mark Sanchez
Sanchez, the former University of Southern California star, completed 15 of 20 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown in leading the Jets to improve their record to 4-6.

In completing 75-percent of his passes, this marked Sanchez’s best percentage in nearly three years.

“It was a great performance by him,” said Sanchez’s teammate Rex Ryan. “It’s what we needed.”

Mark Sanchez
Before Sunday, the Jets had been outscored 58-16 in their two previous games. But the team managed to put some points on the board against the Rams, in their first season under head coach Jeff Fisher.

Running back Bilal Powell scored the first two touchdowns of his career and kicker Nick Folk hit two 51-yard field goals for the Jets.

The Rams (3-6) were led by quarterback Sam Bradford, who completed 23 of 44 passes for 170 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Jets next face the New England Patriots, currently in first place in the AFC East division, on Thanksgiving Day.

Lopez & Moonshark Partner on DancePad App

Jennifer Lopez wants you to “Dance Again”… Even if it’s just with your fingers!

The 42-year-old singer/actress, who will be releasing her first greatest hits album this summer, has teamed up with mobile entertainment startup Moonshark to introduce a mobile finger-dancing game for the iPad.

Jennifer Lopez

Called DancePad, the app features 100 levels (the first 20 are free; the entire game is $2.99) and a soundtrack that includes the music of Mayer Hawthorne, Vintage Trouble and the Bangerz.

Lopez is serving in a producer capacity on the project; and she’ll be involved in helping promote and grow the game.


“We felt there would be great overlap between her fans and this game, given that it is about music and dance,” says Moonshark CEO Matt Kozlov. “We are working with her on exciting ways to integrate the game into her tour. She also has a really well-established role in the music community. So as we add new music and new dances she is going to be instrumental in helping us bring in new content.”

The game arose from a prototype developed by some game design students at the University of Southern California.


“They had an idea for a game inspired by finger break dancing videos, which is a really charming, funny meme on YouTube where people do really cool dance moves with their hands,” says Kozlov. “It was basically finger breakdancing on your iPad. I thought it was really clever, really cute and had the potential of creating a movement in the same way that Dance Dance Revolution created this movement in arcades when it came out.”

So Moonshark purchased the rights to the game from the students and let a new independent developer Triangle Studios whip it into shape.