11. March 2011 01:28
I have sat back and watched the happenings in the football world over the last number of weeks. There has been a lot with Superbowl, Signing Day, NFL combine, and of course the ongoing NFL contract issues. But one thing intrigued me. Actually it was a couple of things under the same umbrella. The hype bestowed upon players such as Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney.
Here's the deal. A number of these players come out of high school and college and we never hear much about them after a year or two. Basically, they were stellar standouts where they were. They have tons of praise, attention and promise attached to them. In some cases, they were considered to be the guy who “made” the team what it was. Some players were All-American, won M.V.P. Honours, won Heisman's, even National Championships.
I'm just not sure I understand why the media puts so much attention on what these players say or maybe do. The fact that it appears Jadeveon Clowney is already making a 'name' for himself with his comments in regards to hypothesizing about South Carolina football over the next few years with him on the field. The spectacle that was waiting for him to make his announcement on signing at S.C., lends people the right to roll their eyes and say “here we go again with another one”. Frankly, Jadeveon, you have chosen to go to the University of South Carolina with the offensively focused head coach of Steve Spurrier. You have played high school football and, yes you were given a 5 star recruitment rating, but I fail to see the reason why so much hype is further made about your signing announcement. But from the publicity platform you and your 'handlers' did a great job in furthering your career from a marketing perspective and all the endorsement deals you now have lining up. Wait, you're a college player so technically you are not eligible for endorsements. Well I guess your draft status certainly increased. Wait, you have not played a down of even a spring college game yet. Perhaps your teammates will enjoy the rewards of the financial benefits your signing with S.C. will bring upon them. Wait, never mind.
Of course Jadeveon has had competition for the spotlight. Cam Newton et al have done a great job as well of boasting and promoting. That statue of Cam that has been commissioned to be put up outside of the stadium I'm sure will be amazing. Wait, what NFL stadium will that be in front of again? I wonder if the same company that was commissioned to build and erect the Ryan Leaf, Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell statues, to name a few, is building this one?
24. January 2011 23:11
||February 2nd 2011. For most of us its 12 days closer to Valentines, but this year its the 2nd biggest day of the year behind the BCS National Title game.
For those of you who are not aware February 2nd is National Letter of Intent Day, when all High School seniors declare their intentions for the University they will be attending to play football this coming fall. In other words, the best high school players today are the ones that will make or break their college teams in a few years. You want to know if your favourite team will have a chance in the BCS in 4 years? Then I suggest you watch and listen come February 2nd.
There have already been some interesting happenings. After the retirement (again) of Urban Meyer, the University of Florida lost out on 3 individuals who had gave verbal commitments. In the process of that taking place Notre Dame appears to be lining up to have its best recruiting season in recent years. There has to be something more than irony that Charlie Weis has just signed up with Florida after leaving Notre Dame.
Notre Dame needs to have a good class. The fact that the 'Independent's' NBC contract now runs through 2015 and up to now has not provided NBC with a championship team to sell to advertisers has to be somewhere in the minds of Notre Dame personnel. What would it mean to NBC and its advertisers to have an unbeaten team to air come November in any year?
While on the topic of recruiting and independent's, BYU is going 'Independent' starting this year leaving the Mountain West. This is not brand new news, however more exposure throughout the country appears to be a large reason as numerous changes to the Division 1 football landscape is taking place. Certainly helps recruiting if you can play anywhere you want and against stronger schools. But what I am pondering now is how large the potential is for Texas to soon turn Independent?
Here's one more bit about recruiting, TV deals and perhaps a soon to be 'Independent' all in one. Texas just signed an amazing deal with ESPN that will provide the University of Texas with its own television network. Imagine. The University of Texas can provide its athletic department with exposure on its own network that can go national, not that every football game is going to be on this channel, but the university itself is exposed everywhere. There will apparently be high school games broadcast on this channel as well. I wonder if the recruiting process for Texas will become just a bit easier with this helpful association. Some high school senior can sit back and watch himself and his team play the day after the game, and also watch numerous infomercials about the University of Texas.
National Letter of Intent Day appears to be setting up to be an even more important and widely watched and speculated day in the coming years than it ever has. I can see the day where it rivals NFL draft day in prominence.
22. January 2011 21:55
|JAKE LOCKER, QB WASHINGTON
6-3 230 lbs FERNDALE, WA
Jake Locker had a bit of a tough year in 2010, with a few disappointing games. Despite leading his team to victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl, Locker failed to complete a pass until the third quarter. He finished the Holiday Bowl going 5 of 16 for 56 yards. In the previous meeting against the Huskers, Locker had a similiar performance finishing 4-20 for 71 yards and 2 interceptions.
There were good performances as well, Locker threw for 5 touchdowns in an October win over Oregon State, and 4 TDs against Syracuse in September.
Some argue that Locker was the victim of playing with a less talented team around him. Regardless, he did not have the senior season everyone was expecting, and it may show in his draft status. Most experts had Jake Locker picked first overall last year if he had declared.
Strengths: Great athlete, good runner with the ability to create something when the play breaks down. Appears to be a better passer on the move. Accurate on short routes which could work in a West Coast system. Decent pocket presence.
Weaknesses: Questionable accuracy and decision making on intermediate/long passing plays. Needs to improve on his reads and progressions. Needs to work on his footwork in the pocket. Lacks great arm strength.
Locker will be one of the prospects that should thrill NFL scouts at the scouting combine. He has all the intangibles that should help put on a great display. However, with the lack of accuracy and questionable decision making skills, Locker could be a boom or bust pick.
POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS: Arizona Cardinals at #5, San Francisco 49ers at #7, Tennessee Titans at #8, Washington Redskins at #10, Seattle Seahawks at #25