Sports Outside the Beltway

Former NFL DT Norman Hand dead at 37

He played for the Miami Dolphins for two years but unfortunately I don’t remember Hand. RIPNew Norman Hand.

Former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Norman Hand has died after collapsing at his home in South Carolina.

Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said the 37-year-old Hand collapsed at his home in Walterboro about 11 a.m. Friday and died about 90 minutes later at a local hospital.

The cause of death has not been determined. The coroner said an autopsy is planned Saturday. He said Hand’s family was with him when he died.

Hand’s 10-year NFL career included playing stints with the Dolphins, Saints, Chargers, Seahawks and Giants. Hand, who had 22 1/2 career sacks, was drafted in the fifth round by the Dolphins in 1995 after playing at Mississippi.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 3 #9- Miami- OT John Jerry

I’m surprised by this pick. Johns is versatile but offensive line help rated lower to me than picking a safety or Tight End. Especially when one of the later, Jimmy Graham of the Miami Hurricanes, was still out there waiting to be picked. writes- The Dolphins opt for a developmental offensive tackle to bolster their depth along the line. Jerry has good size and strength, while possessing the ideal skill set to move inside to guard. With his versatility and talent, Jerry could develop into a solid contributor in time.


Jerry is a massive lineman that moved to tackle for his senior year at “Ole Miss” but will need to move back inside to guard for the next level. He can engulf and overpower opponents once he gets his hands on them but can also struggle against speed when playing on the edge. He is not a natural knee bender and tends to let his pad level get too high on a lot of blocks. He is more of a mauler and brawler than an explosive blocker and knocks opponents off the ball. He could stand to lose some weight if he wants to become a full-time player at the next level.


NFL Draft 2010 – Round 2 #36- Kansas City- RB McCluster

The Chiefs look to be sticking with Matt Cassell. writes- Undersized for the running back position and may end up being a wide receiver or return specialist at the next level. McCluster got a lot of all purpose yardage as a combination running back/receiver in Mississippi’s offense. He has had ball security issues over the years and needs to prove he can avoid turnovers if he wants to prove a player his size can contribute. He has the speed to turn a short dump off pass into a long touchdown with just a single missed tackle. While he is a bit of a luxury item, some team is apt to take a chance that he can contribute in situations.


2010 NFL Draft to include record tying 53 non-seniors

The 2008 NFL Draft also saw the same amount of under classmen. In 2009 the total was 46. From AP-

The expected heavy influx of non-seniors applying for this year’s NFL draft did not happen despite looming labor unrest in the league.

Although a record-tying 53 players declared for early entry, that number released Tuesday by the NFL was short of most projections.

“I think that the colleges have really done a good job of telling these young men how it is to their advantage to stay in school,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who helped build the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. “I thought there would be more and I was surprised.”

Six All-Americans did apply for the draft: defensive backs Eric Berry of Tennessee and Joe Haden of Florida; defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech; tight end Aaron Hernandez of Florida; linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama; and wide receiver Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, also declared for April’s draft, along with Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead; Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen; Southern California running back Joe McKnight; Cal running back Jahvid Best; Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap; and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Fresno State tailback Ryan Mathews, the nation’s leading rusher, applied. So did tackles Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Anthony Davis of Rutgers, who are projected to go high in the draft.

I remember when Herschel Walker came out of school(U of Georgia) early and all the controversy it caused. A Herschel Walker today wouldn’t risk a potential big payday in the NFL either.

What I don’t get is how some experts expected the total of non-seniors to be around 100 or a 100% increase from last year. Maybe I’ll find an article that list the college players who stuck it out. A free college education should be valued. One day your sports playing days will end and what will you do for money then? Look at Bernie Kosar who left the University of Miami early for the NFL. Right now he is bankruptcy court.

The entire list of college underclassman declaring for this year’s NFL draft is below the fold.


Texas Tech hire Tommy Tuberville to be next football coach

He will replace the fired Mike Leach. From

Former Mississippi and Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has been hired as the next head football coach at Texas Tech, the university announced Saturday.Tommy Tuberville

A news conference to introduce Tuberville will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the United Spirit Arena. It is closed to the public, Tech officials said. Tuberville was getting ready to fly to Lubbock Saturday afternoon and said university officials had instructed him not to discuss his hiring until Sunday.

Tuberville will have a five-year contract, a source told the A-J.


Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum said he thinks Tuberville is an ideal choice for a program that has won 29 games in the last three years.

“I think that’s a good fit,” said Slocum, who once had Tuberville on his staff. “He’s not one of those guys that feels like he has to come in and tear everything down and put his stamp on it. I don’t see him being that kind of ego guy.

“He’s smart enough to know … They’ve been pretty dang impressive to me, and I think he’d have the same opinion. He can probably lend a little help to the defensive side and shore that up and then kind of keep the scheme offensively, so I think it’s a really good fit.”


Slocum hired Tuberville to be Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator in 1994 after Bob Davie left to become defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. At the time, Slocum said he wanted someone to just keep the defense then known as the “Wrecking Crew” pointed in the same direction.

Tuberville lost his Auburn job(Here’s some dispute over whether he resigned voluntarily or was forced to resign) after one bad season. Based on Tuberville’s track, I think he has a good chance of building on Texas Tech’s recent success.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Iraq veteran and Ole Miss LB Tony Fein dead at age 27

He played 2009 NFL preaseason football with the Baltimore Ravens. RIP.

Tony Fein, an Iraq War veteran who was a member of the Ravens during the preseason, died Tuesday morning in Port Orchard, Wash., according to his agent.

There were no immediate details about his death, said the agent, Milton D. Hobbs.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Hobbs told The Baltimore Sun late Tuesday night. “I am still trying to figure out what happened.”

Fein, 27, was an undrafted rookie free-agent linebacker who was released by the Ravens in their final major cutdown Sept. 5.

Although old for a rookie, Fein, at 6 feet 2, 245 pounds, caught the eyes of scouts at the University of Mississippi’s Pro Day, where the school’s football players audition for scouts before the NFL draft.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #24- Atlanta Falcons- DT Peria Jerry

Second Ole Miss player taken in the first round and in back to back fashion. I join ESPN in asking when was the last time that happened.(Back to back or Ole Miss separately)

ESPN writes- Jerry wouldn’t fit well in a two-gap scheme because he has problems holding his ground and working against double teams. He also needs to add some lower-body strength. On the flip side, we expect him to develop into a one-gap, upfield player who can disrupt running plays in the backfield and get to the quarterback. We especially like the way he uses his hands when he rushes the passer.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #23- Baltimore from New England Patriots- OT Michael Oher

Maybe the best human interest story of the draft.

ESPN writes- Oher has yet to realize his potential and he likely will line up at right tackle to start his career, but if the light ever comes on for him he will emerge as an excellent left tackle. He has very good foot speed for his size and is fluid changing directions. He also has the size power to develop into an effective drive-blocker. The one concern with him is his ability to pick up the offense, so it may take him a little longer to crack the starting lineup than a lot of other prospects with his talent.


Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy sues accuser, witness for defamation

This suit comes two days after Kennedy was charged with assault. From ESPN-

Mississippi Rebels coach Andy Kennedy has filed a defamation of character lawsuit against the man who accused him of assault and a witness to the alleged incident, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The suit, filed Friday, seeks more than $25,000 from cab driver Mohamed Moctar Ould Jiddou and Michael Strother, a valet who told police he witnessed the incident.

The criminal complaint, filed Thursday in Municipal Court after Kennedy and Mississippi basketball operations coordinator Bill Armstrong were arrested, alleged that Kennedy assaulted Jiddou and “punched victim with a closed fist while shouting racial slurs.”

Kennedy pleaded not guilty to the charges and vehemently denied the accusations. He was charged with misdemeanor assault; Armstrong was charged with disorderly conduct.

Weirder and weirder. If the racial slurs were made up, I think in these days of the internet where news spreads so fast, that the the price of the damage to Kennedy would be more than just $25,000.


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