I came across a fair amount of interesting stuff this week. I'll get right into it.
Garret Gilbert was last spotted playing quarterback for Texas in the National Title game after Colt McCoy left the game with one of the most poorly timed freak injuries in modern college football history.
Gilbert looked pretty good in the second half of that game but despite his efforts Little Nicky and the Elephants pulled away in the end. Bama built a statue, Tony Barnhart minions everywhere celebrated and apparently Gilbert went right back to work. The Texas heir apparent turned in a solid performance last Sunday afternoon in the Longhorn spring game. My neighbors over at Barking Carnival got fired up Cinco de Mayo style and cranked out a handful of quality posts about the contest with plenty on Gilbert. I would suggest you start here.
People are coming out of the woodwork to jump on the Boise State bandwagon. The stars are all lined up for the Broncos to represent the "little guy" everywhere and make a title run. Dr. Saturday has the long version. Has anyone told Frank Beamer and the Hokies about this? If VT gets beat by the Broncs in Landover this September the Deer Hunter may never recover.
Demetrius Jones has left the Cincinnati football program. Interesting career path. Demetrius started at QB for ND for the first half of the 2007 opener against Georgia Tech in an ill fated spread option attack. A few fumbles later he was on the sidelines and Charlie Weis had a man crush on Jon Tenuta. Jones subsequently transferred to Cincy where Brian Kelly moved him to OLB and Weis hired Tenuta. Fast forward two years later the Irish D faltered under Tenuta, Weis and Tenuta got fired, Kelly got hired and now Jones leaves Cincy. The circle will be complete if Jones now transfers to NC State and plays OLB for Tenuta.
Mike Leach turned up in Stillwater this week to kick it with Mike Gundy and T. Boone. The Pokelahoma crew has been looking for him all week. Leach has a couple of former Raiders on staff there so between Gundy, Pickens, Graham Harrell and Dana Holgorsen he has plenty of guys to go tear up Eskimo Joe’s with. I have to imagine that Leach is probably pretty entertaining with a few drinks in him. "Boone do you think Blackbeard could have made a Pirate ship run off of wind mills instead of sails?"
Someone said once that if you have two quarterbacks you have no quarterbacks. Dick Rod is throwing caution to the wind. He wants three.
Urban Meyer meanwhile is eying a return to the two QB system himself. In the wake of Sir Tebow moving on Meyer is looking for a guy to fill the "3rd and 3" role like Tebow did as a freshman. Whatever. In other Urban Meyer news he busted out some true mentorship gems post practice.
"No stealing! No drugs! No weapons!"
Interesting thought. You know the crew at HLS wouldn't let that ride.
Purdue running back Ralph Bolden is out indefinitely with an ACL. This could be a big blow to the Purdue offense but someone needs to infiltrate Ross-Ade regardless. The Boilers have Robert Marve taking over at QB and have been raiding Florida for leftover 2-3 star recruits the last couple of years. Danny Hope might be cooking up something that could make some noise in the Big Ten. As my favorite Kuwaiti air traffic controller used to say "Keep an eye."
Offensive Tackle prospect Jordan Prestwood Committed to Notre Dame this week. Chances are if you stop by here pseudo regularly you already know what we think about that.
Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick recanted (sort of) his comments from last month that made it sound like the Irish might seriously consider joining a conference.
Swarbrick says remarks he made in New York last month were incorrectly interpreted. Asked then about staying independent, he said a drastic shift in the college athletic landscape could prompt him and the university's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, to "evaluate the landscape."
That, Swarbrick insists now, was not a signal that Notre Dame is more open to finding a home for football in the Big Ten or any other league.
"The only things that could make it happen are the sorts of radical change in the industry that would cause upheaval and impact a lot more (schools) than Notre Dame," he says. "You wind up with only three conferences. You wind up with two tiers of conferences. Now, all of a sudden, it's not three divisions in college; it's four. It's the big change.
"I don't see that happening."
As the Brian Kelly transition continues to roll he continues to focus on getting the Irish back to playing playing tough and playing as a team.
"Most of the guys here were more interested in whether they were on Mel Kiper's Big Board," Kelly said. "I want guys who are more interested in what they can do for Notre Dame."
That quote pretty much sums up how he sees what it is he is trying to fix. This is really a large topic with many discussion points that I remain delinquent in addressing. The guys over at HLS took a crack at it this week and put together some great thoughts on the matter. I need to do the same very soon. The method he is using to go about trying to turn the Irish back into a team appears to be very similar to Marine Corps recruit training from a mental standpoint. Intersting considering his lack of a military background.
Jimmy Clausen had a big day today. After rehabbing from toe surgery Clausen finally had his pro day this afternoon. He also happened to hit the newsstands on the front and back cover of ESPN the magazine. No comment on the Avatar picture. From the sounds of it Clausen performed well and he likely remains perched behind Sam Bradford as the #2 quarterback in the upcoming draft.
Mike Mayock of NFL Network said that he saw what he expected to see.
"I liked his accuracy. I like the way he drove the ball on the deep routes, which is a little different than what you saw on tape because a lot of times he threw the jumpballs out there to Tate and (Michael) Floyd," Mayock said. "I thought the accuracy was outstanding. I thought the arm strength was really good, he doesn’t have an elite arm, but he’s got really good arm strength. I like the footwork, he’s obviously used to playing under center.
"I think you come away from this workout saying from a physical skill-set perspective, this kid is a top-level quarterback."
But Mayock still has Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford ranked as the top quarterback prospect. "They’re different kinds of players. Bradford is bigger, bigger frame, may be a little better accuracy. Arm strength very similar," he said. "Clausen’s more advanced with reading defenses and being under center because he’s done it and he did it under Charlie Weis. So he’s a little bit more advanced, a little more sophisticated. I think Bradford’s got a little bit more upside because of the size of his frame."
I'm off to fire up the grill. Enjoy the weekend.