Tag:Boise State
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Five Prospects I'll be Focusing on This Weekend

Each Friday I list my "Five prospects" that I'll be focusing on for the upcoming weekend. In reality, I'm focusing on dozens of prospects each week, but the players listed below are playing in high profile games and against the caliber of competition that I believe provides us with an opportunity to truly assess how a collegiate player might fare when asked to make the huge jump to the NFL.

Typically I focus on senior prospects in this space. However, with it becoming more and more obvious as to which underclassmen are considering the jump to the pros, I'll be incorporating a few more juniors and redshirt sophomores in the coming weeks.

Because I'm scouting them in real time these players make an early impression, often leading to consideration as my Prospect of the Week or Diamond in the Rough.

Even more often, however, it leads to the player being featured in Draft Slant , NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com's weekly NFL Draft preview. In each PDF issue of Draft Slant Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I break down six more players in Filmroom Notes, update our Top 32 prospects overall, Top 10 per position, Risers/Fallers for multiple games and offer extensive previews of the next week's action. I boast about our product for a simple reason: Having seen everything else out there - it is the most complete weekly NFL draft guide on the planet. 

Here is the link to this week's issue of Draft Slant. Or for the entire season click this link . Looking for a specific week? Download past issues from the past three years here.

Without any further adieu, here are the five prospects, as well as the cable provider and time you can expect to see them.

QB Cam Newton, Auburn : Newton has been dazzling this season and could lock up the Heisman Trophy with a strong performance against Alabama. More importantly to those of us eager to see how well he'll translate his game to the NFL is how well Newton is able to decipher the exotic blitz and coverage schemes Nick Saban and his staff have devised. In terms of Newton's pro stock, this is the most important regular season game of his life. This game begins at 2:30 pm EST Friday and will be televised by CBS.

CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado : The Buffs don't get a lot of national exposure considering their struggles recently, but this important Big 12 showdown against Nebraska will pit Smith, one of the top senior cornerbacks, against a receiver in Nebraska's Niles Paul every bit his match in terms of size and athleticism. The Cornhuskers, of course, rely mostly on their running game and should be able to do so again Friday to beat an overmatched Colorado team. How Smith is able to keep up with the multi-talented Paul, however, should give scouts a good idea as to how the 6-2, 205 pound Smith will be acclimate to the speed of the NFL. I've spoken to scouts who have compared Smith to former Pro Bowler Chris McAlister. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST Friday and will be televised by ABC/ESPN.

DE/OLB Dontay Moch, Nevada: The pre-game hype will focus on the offense, but it could be whatever defense shows up in the Boise State-Nevada showdown that gives their team the victory. Moch enters this game as the country's active career leader with 60.5 tackles for loss. The 6-1, 242 pound Moch lines up as a defensive end for the Wolfpack, but projects best as a standup pass rushing OLB in the NFL. Moch wowed scouts in the spring by clocking in at 4.25 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but there are concerns that Moch is overly reliant on his speed. While fast in a straight-line, scouts are more interested to see how well he changes directions. Moch won the WAC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior (61 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) and is on pace to exceed those totals this season (52 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks). This game begins at 10:15 pm EST Friday and will be televised by ESPN.

QB Jake Locker, Washington: The Huskies have struggled with teams that are more physical on the offensive and defensive lines than they are and that is precisely what awaits them Saturday against Cal. Washington and California are each fighting for their bowl lives and the Golden Bears have revenge on their side after the Huskies trounced them 42-10 last season in Seattle. Locker entered the year rated by most (including me) as the No. 1 prospect in the country based largely on how he played down the stretch last season. His best game was his last one -- againt California -- in which he completed 19 of 23 passes for 248 yards and three TDs (0 INTs) and ran for another 77 yards and two scores. A performance like that would almost surely result in a win for the Huskies and spot back in my first round projection. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST Saturday and will be televised regionally by Fox Sports.

WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State*: With the three top-rated teams in the country playing on Friday, there hasn't yet been a great deal of focus on this year's Bedlam rivalry outside of the state of Oklahoma, but it's coming -- after all, the Big 12 South division title is riding on this game. This game features two of the elite young receiver prospects in the country in Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles and Blackmon -- the favorite to win the Biletnikof Award as the nation's best at the position. Blackmon has been spectacular this season, catching an eye-popping 94 passes for 1,560 yards and 17 touchdowns. It is his consistency that has been perhaps most impressive. Blackmon has caught at least five passes for at least 125 yards and one touchdown in every game he's played this season (he missed the Kansas State game). A redshirt sophomore, Blackmon is eligible to leave OSU early for the NFL. He hasn't faced a secondary as talented as Oklahoma's yet this season, so this game provides scouts an excellent opportunity to see him matched up against quality athletes and a sound defensive scheme.  This game begins at 8:00 pm EST Saturday and will be televised by ABC/ESPN. 


Posted on: November 19, 2010 9:51 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2010 9:55 pm
 

The five prospects I'll be scouting this weekend

Each Friday I list my "Five prospects" that I'll be focusing on for the upcoming weekend. In reality, I'm focusing on dozens of prospects each week, but the players listed below are playing in high profile games and against the caliber of competition that I believe provides us with an opportunity to truly assess how a collegiate player might fare when asked to make the huge jump to the NFL.

Typically I focus on senior prospects in this space. However, with it becoming more and more obvious as to which underclassmen are considering the jump to the pros, I'll be incorporating a few more juniors and redshirt sophomores in the coming weeks.

Because I'm scouting them in real time these players make an early impression, often leading to consideration as my Prospect of the Week or Diamond in the Rough.

Even more often, however, it leads to the player being featured in Draft Slant , NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com's weekly NFL Draft preview. In each PDF issue of Draft Slant Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I break down six more players in Filmroom Notes, update our Top 32 prospects overall, Top 10 per position, Risers/Fallers for multiple games and offer extensive previews of the next week's action. I boast about our product for a simple reason: Having seen everything else out there - it is the most complete weekly NFL draft guide on the planet. 

Here is the link to this week's issue of Draft Slant. Or for the entire season click this link . Looking for a specific week? Download past issues from the past three years here.

Without any further adieu, here are the five prospects, as well as the cable provider and time you can expect to see them.

DE/OLB Chis Carter, Fresno State: Fresno State ranked second to last in entire country last season with only nine combined sacks. This season, they rank sixth with 27 sacks through nine games. A big part of that is the play of 6-2, 240 pound pass rusher Chris Carter, who has nine sacks, himself this season. Carter will be going up against Boise State junior left tackle Nate Potter, a legitimate NFL prospect. The winner of this individual battle could go a long way in determining whether Pat Hill's bunch is able to throw a scare into the No. 4 team in the country. This game begins at 9:30 pm EST tonight and will be televised by ESPN.

WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy: Draft enthusiasts certainly know Jernigan's name by now, but they'll get an opportunity to see NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 rated senior WR against an SEC defense Saturday morning when the Trojans travel to meet Steve Spurrier's No. 17 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. Jernigan is only 5-09, but he can fly. He'll see time as a receiver, returner and potentially even in some Wildcat formations. The Gamecocks feature a superstar receiver of their own in sophomore Alshon Jeffery, but don't be surprised if Jernigan is statistically up to the challenge. This game begins at 12:21 pm EST Saturday and will be televised by ESPN.

DT Jerrell Powe, Mississippi:
Entering the season Powe was viewed as a potential Top 10 prospect. Now, his disappointing season has him fighting to remain in the top two rounds. Powe reminded the media this week that he could return for another year. An academic non-qualifier previously, Powe is on pace to earn his Criminal Justice degree and thereby trigger an NCAA rule that would grant him another season if he wanted to put off an NFL career. It has been a disappointing season for Powe and for the 4-6 Rebels (1-5 in the SEC), in general, but a strong performance Saturday against LSU could be just the breakout each needs. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by CBS.

DT Christian Ballard, Iowa: Everyone knows that this game pitts two of the top senior defensive ends in the country in Ohio State's Cameron Heyward and Iowa's Adrian Clayborn. Ballard rarely gets the media attention, but I assure you, scouts know him well. In fact, I've had some tell me they believe Ballard could prove to be a first round pick based on his athletic upside. The 6-4, 298 pounder has experience inside and out, making him one of the more verastile defensive linemen in the draft and one potentially capable of playing effectively in the 3-4 and 4-3. Ballard has had his moments in previous games I've scouted, but hasn't dominated. His play could prove critical in this game. If Iowa is able to contain Terrelle Pryor with just their front four, they could pull off the upset at home. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by ABC.

QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas : Though I'm not nearly as high on Mallett as some, I certainly do recognize that he has a first round arm. His poise and feet will be tested Saturday night against a physical and aggressive Mississippi State team playing at home. I don't care what Mallett's statistics are at the end of the game. Bobby Petrino's offense leads to big numbers. Remember Brian Brohm and Stefan LeFors under Petrino at Louisville?  I want to see how Mallett's accuracy is affected if the Bulldogs are able get him moving throughout the pocket. This has been a concern of mine throughout Mallett's career and it was the reason why the SEC star collapsed late against Alabama. If Mallett has improved in this area, it could lead to a significant jump up draft boards -- especially with the continued struggles of the senior quarterbacks.  This game begins at 7:00 pm EST and will be televised by ESPN.

Those interested in scouting "alongside" me Friday night and throughout Saturday's action can follow me on Twitter @RobRang .



Posted on: November 2, 2010 2:12 pm
 

Blount, Suh winners in competitive Week for Rooks

Just as this past weekend proved to be a very difficult one in determing the senior Prospect of the Week, Sunday's slate of NFL games featured several noteworthy performances from rookies.

No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford played very well in leading the Rams to their fourth win of the season and sole possession of second place in the very winnable NFC West division. Bradford completed a career high 78.1% of his passes for 191 and two touchdowns (against zero interceptions) to beat Carolina.

Kansas City safety Eric Berry, my reigning Defensive Rookie of the Week, was even more impressive Sunday against the Bills than he was against the Jaguars on October 24. Berry posted a career-high 10 tackles and his 4th quarter interception ended a potentially game-winning drive by the Bills in the 4th quarter. The Chiefs, 5-2 and atop the AFC West, won in overtime.

Tampa wideout Mike Williams caught four passes for 105 yards, including an impressive 47-yard touchdown in an exciting 38-35 come from behind win over the Arizona Cardinals.

In the end, however, the continued dominance of Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and resurgence of former Oregon standout LaGarrette Blount stole the show.

Suh, who earned Prospect of the Week honors earlier in the year, may have enjoyed his greatest NFL game so far Sunday in Detroit's win over the Washington Redskins. Suh recorded five tackles, including two tackles for loss, two sacks and returned a fumble 17 yards for his first NFL touchdown. Suh now has 6.5 sacks through seven games. His mark ties him for 8th in the NFL and leads all defensive tackles. 

Blount rushed for 120 yards and two scores -- including the game-winner -- against the Cardinals. The bruising runner showcased the power and surprisingly nimble feet that had earned him high grades from NFL scouts prior to the infamous meltdown in which he punched a Boise State player and was suspended from the Oregon football team.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 1:57 pm
 

La Tech OT Rob McGill earns Diamond in the Rough

With two prospects drafted last year (DT D'Anthony Smith and TE Dennis Morris), Louisiana Tech sent as many players to the NFL in 2010 as they had in the previous five years combined.

Smith, the Jacksonville Jaguars 3rd round pick, who went 74th overall, was the highest a Bulldog lineman had been drafted since the New Orleans Saints found 11-time Pro Bowler Willie Roaf with the 8th overall pick in 1993.

In two-time all-WAC left tackle Rob McGill the Bulldogs boast one of the better offensive line prospects they've had since Roaf dominated in the early 90s.

McGill and the Bulldogs had their hands full last week in a nationally televised game at Boise State. The outcome was as expected, with the No. 3 rated Broncos winning easily 49-20.

Early on, however, the game was more competitive than many expected. The Bulldogs may have exposed a chink in the Boise State armor, in fact, by rushing for 172 yards and winning the time of possession battle.

McGill, a four year starter, was a large part of the Bulldogs' success.

The 6-6, 304 pounder generates good depth on his kick slide and has the long arms and good upper body strength to catch defenders as they attempt to cross his face when in pass protection. McGill has the legitimate foot quickness scouts are looking for. Even when beat initially, McGill, at times, was able to recover due to his agility. During running plays, McGill's quickness off the snap and good positioning, allowed him to seal off his opponent from the action and set the edge when needed.

McGill's reliance on his quick feet, however, got him in trouble on a few occasions. He was beaten for a sack in the mid 3rd quarter when he dropped back too far and allowed DE Shea McClellin to jab-step outside and rush back inside to get the sack.

As impressive as McGill's foot quickness is, he has some technical flaws that will worry scouts. A classic waist-bender, McGill too often allowed Boise's undersized pass rushers to get their hands into his chest and bull rush him deep in the pocket. By bending at the waist, rather than at the knees, McGill is naturally off-balance and thus was driven back by smaller, weaker defenders. This lack of preferred balance was also on display when McGill was asked to cut block. He simply doesn't have the flexibility or balance to handle this assignment, resulting in some ugly missed blocks when attempting cuts.

McGill is far from a Roaf clone (as some have suggested), but does have enough of the physical tools to warrant a late round selection. He could see time as a developmental left tackle or be moved back inside to left guard, as he played for the Bulldogs as a freshman.


 
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:08 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 1:06 pm
 

Five prospects I'll be scouting closely

Each week as part of my and fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter's preparation for our weekly Draft Slant feature I list five prospects that I'll be focusing on during Saturday's games.*

I list the players here, but those of you who would like to scout "alongside" me, you can follow me on Twitter @RobRang .

OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College:
There is a great deal of debate among scouts as to who is the top senior offensive tackle in the country. Castonzo has his share of supporters and it isn't difficult to understand why. Castonzo, 6-7 and 308 pounds, is light on his feet and has the strong BC reputation of producing quality NFL offensive linemen helping him. Castonzo is high cut, however, and struggles with the bull rush. He'll be facing an athletic and physical Virginia Tech defense Saturday. I'm very curious to see how he fares. Game begins at 12:00 pm EST and will be televised by ESPN.

DL Marcell Dareus, Alabama: Like most college football fans, this is the game I'm most looking forward to watching. Dareus didn't do much in his first game back from his two game suspension (one TFL against Duke) to start the season, but he and the rest of the Tide's ability to get Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett moving will be key in this game. Scouts want to see if Dareus is as dominant without Terrance Cody, Lorenzo Washington and Brandon Deaderick taking the pressure off of him. Dareus stars as a defensive end in Nick Saban's 3-4 scheme, but is being heavily scouted by 4-3 teams who like him as a defensive tackle, as well. Though Dareus is only a junior, scouts tell me he's a virtual guarantee to come out after this season. Game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by CBS.

RB Evan Royster, Penn State:
For all of his success, Royster has always struck me as a better college player than NFL prospect. He's shown enough courage, leg drive and burst to be successful in a one-cut offense (ala Arian Foster, Ryan Grant), but like these two NFL standouts, I don't see the straight-line speed or wiggle that typically earns anything higher than a mid round selection -- despite terrific production over his career. That production came in the past, however, as Royster has really struggled this season. In fact, he only eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the season last week in the Nittany Lions' third game of the year. Penn State hosts an underrated Temple squad Saturday. This will either be the game Royster gets back into the groove or truly begins to slip out of the minds of NFL scouts. Game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by Big Ten Network.

OG Andrew Jackson, Fresno State: "The President" has helped Fresno State be one of the best power rushing offenses over the past few seasons, earning All-WAC honors each of the past two seasons. (Of course, some guy named Ryan Matthews helped too). Jackson, however, has never had to face a defensive line with the strength and athleticism that Ole Miss boasts. Jackson is big (6-5, 295) and strong, but so too is NG Jerrell Powe. This game certainly isn't getting the hype of this weekend's monster games, but with the Rebels already getting upset at home once this year and Pat Hill's reputation for his team playing the big boys tough, I think this game could be a better scouting opportunity than most think. Game begins at 7:30 pm EST and will be televised by ESPN.

DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State: Boise State has defeated their share of top opponents over the years. Many across the country won't be impressed by a home victory over the Beavers. They should, however, as the Beavers feature two of the most dynamic all-purpose weapons in college football in the Rodgers Bros. and a legitimate first round caliber defensive tackle in Paea. It is Paea that might actually play the bigger role in the Beavers' upset bid Saturday night. In nearly all of Heisman contender Kellen Moore's toughest games, he's enjoyed stellar pass protection. Paea's ability to collapse the pocket from the inside could be especially troublesome for Moore, who at 6-0, 187 pounds simply doesn't have the height to throw over constant interior pressure. Paea's game has always been his ability to hold up to double-teams in the running game. There won't be a better time for him to prove to scouts that he can rush the passer than this game. Game begins at 8 pm EST and will be televised by ABC/ESPN.

* While I'm generally focus on the senior prospects, I have to admit that I'm also keeping a close eye on underclassmen quarterbacks Andrew Luck , Nick Foles and Mallett -- especially considering how poorly the top senior QBs have faired thus far this season.

Luck should continue his strong start to the season (10 TDs/O INTs) against Notre Dame. Luck could miss his underrated senior WR Ryan Whalen, but the reality is the Irish simply aren't gifted enough defensively to slow down this offense.

Foles will be facing a physical and talented Cal defense that was embarrassed last week by Nevada. This is a home game for the Wildcats, but don't be surprised if the Golden Bears give him a tougher test than he's had all year long.

I'm not as high on Mallett as others seem to be, but acknowledge that two of the primary concerns I've had for him in the past -- poise in the pocket and overall mobility -- he's shown significant improvement in thus far this season. Of course, he hasn't faced a defense like Alabama's yet. Mallett's performance against the Tide -- good or bad -- could prove every bit the story that Jake Locker's struggles against Nebraska were.

Posted on: September 6, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Who I'm scouting in Boise State/Virginia Tech

Tonight's "Monday Night Football" matchup between Boise State and Virginia Tech is a fascinating one for many reasons.

The most obvious is the national title implications. If the perenial BCS busting Broncos beat the Hokies on the east coast (game is playing played at Fed Ex in Landover, Md) they'll be in position to not only return to a BCS game (would be the third in five years under HC Chris Peterson), they would rank as one of the favorites in the race to the national title game. The stakes are just as high, of course, for the Hokies (No. 10) would leap up the polls with a win over Boise -- rated No. 3 in the country.  

Secondary is the Heisman race in which the Hokies' sophomore running back Ryan Williams and Broncos' junior quarterback Kellen Moore are legitimate players. Williams ran for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, breaking the ACC freshman records. Moore, 26-1 as a starter, threw for a video game-like 39 touchdowns to only three interceptions last year.

And of course, for scouting, the big game atmosphere only makes the game that much better of an opportunity to see how these young players will react to the pressure.

NFLDraftScout.com has a long-standing policy of not grading underclassmen, but obviously I'll be keeping an eye on Williams, Moore and the rest of the talented young players in this game. For now, however, I'm focused on the seniors.

For tonight's game, the senior prospects I'll be scouting are:

QB Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, 6-1/216/4.55
: Taylor's mobility and strong arm certainly make him an intriguing Wildcat option. If he is to improve his grade as a regular dropback passer, he'll need to show improved accuracy and recognition of the defense.

CB Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech, 5-10/182/4.38
: Seemingly every year the Hokies have a top-rated defensive back. Carmichael just missed the cut of my Top 10 ACC Seniors article. He certainly deserved the consideration. Blessed with great speed and agility, he led the Hokies with six interceptions last year.

DT John Graves, Virginia Tech, 6-3/285/4.90: Graves flashed last year despite battling through a nagging ankle injury. Healthy for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Tennessee, Graves beat up a talented Vol offensive line for three tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. He also forced and recovered a fumble. One of the ways of disrupting Boise QB Kellen Moore's timing is to attack the middle. Graves' ability to push the pocket could have a big impact on which team wins tonight.

WR Austin Pettis, Boise State, 6-3/201/4.61:
Pettis lacks elite speed, but he is a consistent route-runner and further, is able to use his size to generate separation. Most importantly to this offense, he has reliable of hands as any receiver I've scouted this summer. He caught 63 passes for 816 yards and 14 TDs in only 12 games last year.

WR Titus Young, Boise State, 6-0/170/4.48: The more dynamic athlete of Boise's senior receivers. Young earned First-Team All-WAC honors last year at wide receiver and kick returner. Scouts would like to see more route-running and hands-catching consistency out of Young.

DE Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State, 6-4/298/4.76: The Broncos have featured legitimate NFL talent at nearly every position at one time or another during Boise State's rise to national prominence. Rarely, however, have they boasted a defensive lineman worthy of sincere NFL scouting. (In fact, the last Bronco DL drafted was Kimo von Oelhoffen in 1994 .) They appear to have one in Winterswyk (pronounced winter-Swike). Winterswyk has earned First Team All-WAC honors after each of the past two years. Last year he posted 41 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks. The Hokies are blessed to have QB Taylor's mobility, as they lost standout left tackle Ed Wang to the NFL and have been hit with injuries at the position this summer. Like Graves, for all of the pregrame the skill position talent will earn for this game, Winterswyk could play a significant role tonight.  

SS Jeron Johnson, Boise State, 5-10/195/4.53: Johnson has led the Broncos in tackles each of the past two seasons. If he's going to convince NFL scouts that he can hold up inside at that size, he'll likely have to do it again. 
 
Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Luck, Kaepernick, others wow at Manning QB Camp

Each year the Mannings (Archie and sons Petyon, Eli and Cooper) hold their Manning Passing Academy for high school and collegiate "skill position" football players. Though running backs, wide receivers and tight ends are also invited to the camp, the quarterbacks always receive the most attention.

For the fifth consecutive year this year's camp was held on the Nicholls State University campus; the former home of the New Orleans Saints' training camp. This is the 14th year the Mannings have been holding their camp.

This year the collegiate quarterbacks invited read like a Who's Who of the game. Washington's Jake Locker was invited, but couldn't attend. Miami's Jacory Harris, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor were other high profile passers also unable to participate.

Among the more high profile players who did participate, however, included:

Jordan Jefferson - LSU
Jerrod Johnson - Texas A&M
Colin Kaepernick - Nevada
Case Keenum - Houston
Andrew Luck - Stanford
Greg McElroy - Alabama
Kellen Moore - Boise State
Christian Ponder - Florida State
Taylor Potts - Texas Tech
Matt Simms - Tennessee
Nathan Stanley - Mississippi
Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
Tyler Wolfe - Northwestern State (La.)
T.J. Yates - North Carolina

Much of the clinic is open to the public. According to sources in attendance, Stanford redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck is clearly the most gifted of the group. He showed a strong NFL-caliber arm and the accuracy to attack all levels of the field. Luck recently went on the record stating that he planned to graduate from Stanford before pursuing professional football.

Another young talent, Tennessee's Matt Simms (son of Phil, brother of Chris) also impressed, I'm told.

Kaepernick surprised some with his velocity. The 6-6, 220 pound Wolfpack quarterback is well known for his production (20 TDs/6 INTs, as well as 1,183 rushing yards, 16 TDs last year), but is viewed by many scouts as a product of coach Chris Ault's "pistol" offense.

FSU's Christian Ponder, who tied with Locker for the highest QB grade given by National scouts, was characterized as being good, but not spectacular. In Ponder's defense, he underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season and may have been still working out some of the kinks.


Posted on: November 9, 2009 3:06 pm
 

Second chance for Blount... Don't blow it, kid

Proving just how out of whack the NCAA can be in their priorities, Oregon running back LaGarrette Blount has been reinstated to the program and is expected to see his first game-action since his well-documented post-game meltdown againt Boise State 

(Meanwhile, former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, who dined with Deion Sanders, and then lied about it to the NCAA, had his final suspension appeal denied and has unofficially declared himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft.)

Following Oregon's loss to Boise State, Blount infamously took a cheap shot at the Broncos' defensive end Byron Hout and had to be restrained by teammates, coaches and security on his way off the field. At times, he appeared to go after his own teammates, coaches and fans.

Blount was suspended for the season by head coach Chip Kelly a day later. Kelly said at the time that, "the suspension would remain in effect through any bowl games the Ducks may play in.''

Less than a month after Blount's September 3rd meltdown, Chip Kelly outlined a way in which the talented, but troubled back could return to the field for the Ducks. If Blount were to maintain certain academic and behavioral standards, there was a "potential opportunity" for Blount to be reinstated.

Prior the season, I listed Blount as one of six senior prospects capable of moving from a relative unknown all the way to the first round. The 6-1, 240 pound back broke school records and led the Pac-10 with 17 rushing touchdowns despite operating behind starter Jeremiah Johnson. His size and bullish running style had earned comparisons to the Giants' Brandon Jacobs. Assuming he stays out of trouble (and opponents will surely test him), Blount has the physical talent to recoup some of his draft prospects.

Blount returns for Pac-10 leading Oregon this weekend against Arizona State, who is coming off of a loss at home to USC. Though the scoreboard said differently, the Sun Devils were more impressive Saturday night than the Trojans, especially on the defensive side of the ball.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com