May 08, 2009
Programming note for Oregon readers: The Doc is scheduled to be on ESPN's Eugene affiliate, KSCRM 1320-AM, at 8:20 a.m. PT, during the morning "Writer's Block."
• Where have all the passers gone? The Rivals100 compendium of the top senior recruits in the country has always served as an introduction to star quarterbacks: The class of 2002 listed three quarterbacks among the top-10 incoming players, including Vince Young; there were two top-10 QBs in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and at least one truly elite signal-caller every other year covered by Rivals' online archives. But with Kansas quarterback Blake Bell, an Oklahoma commit, tumbling from No. 25 in the initial Rivals100 for 2010 to No. 88 on this week's revised list after a bad combine performance, there are no quarterbacks among next year's top-50 recruits.
Only six passers make the top-100 at all, where Rivals' Jeremy Crabtree points out that there are usually that many in the top 50 or 60; six is the smallest number since 2005, which had only four in the top-100, but Mark Sanchez was a top-five prospect that year. For now, this year's highest-rated QB after Bell's tumble is Virginia's Phillip Sims (right), a surprise Alabama commit, who comes in at No. 58.
• No Vol shall pass. Speaking of recruiting, you may remember Lane Kiffin's unwise dissing of Pahokee High after nabbing receiver Nu'Keese Richardson from the Florida hotbed in February. That hasn't kept Tennessee from recruiting there -- the Vols apparently have the interest of Pahokee lineman Antonio Ford -- despite their being effectively banned from the premises:
The whole nation knows about Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin’s regrettable remarks towards the Pahokee community shortly after landing Richardson. It appears those comments still ring in the ears of some at Pahokee High, as coaches from Tennessee attempted to visit Pahokee earlier in the week.
"The principal kicked them out because he’s still mad at the coach or something like that," said Ford.
Staying in Tennessee, obscure receiver Tyler Maples is transferring from Knoxville, making him the second Vol this week and the 11th since Kiffin was hired to leave the team by one means or another.
• We're looking at you, Dawsey. Florida State wide receivers have found themselves in so much trouble over the last six months -- highlighted by the wild cafeteria brawl that got five of them suspended from the Boston College game in November, followed by Preston Parker's second DUI in less than a year in February, another DUI by Rod Owens last month and an arrest warrant for Cameron Wade's failure to appear on a misdemeanor battery charge last week -- that FSU president T.K. Wetherell went right past the athletic director, bypassed the head coach, disregarded the offensive coordinator, and set his sights firmly on the wide receivers coach, ex-Nole star Lawrence Dawsey, in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat:
"We need Dawsey to step up," Wetherell told the Democrat. "He’s been a great coach on the field, great recruiter. But he’s going to have to get a little bit of a [men’s basketball coach] Leonard Hamilton school of coaching."
When the president of the university reaches all the way down the chain to specifically call you out in the local paper, well, you'd better step up. Does anybody know how to run a rack?
• Joe knows not guilty. Not surprisingly, Joe Paterno was right about the case being blown out of proportion: The State College weed bust that made headlines earlier this week has come to nothing where Penn State is concerned, as police closed the case Thursday without bringing charges against any Lion football players. One non-student was charged for possession in an apartment rented by four PSU players after the spring Blue and White game on April 25, but Paterno said none of the players was home at the time.
Quickly ... The lawyer for indicted ex-Toledo running back Scooter McDougle is pushing for a separate trial for McDougle in the Toledo point-shaving scandal, saying the only thing his client might be guilty of is being too friendly. ... Utah attorney Mark Shurtleff's anti-BCS crusade is ramping up as expected. ... Commissioner Mike Tranghese wants the Gator Bowl to get back to taking the Big East's second-place team, no matter what. ... Rivals100 linebacker Chris Martin, a Notre Dame commit from Oakland, is transferring cross-country to a New Jersey prep school to enroll early at ND next spring. ... Top Florida State recruit Willie Downs, like so many Noles before him, is heading to a Mississippi junior college. ... Sounds like a few Georgia players may be in some pending trouble, but Mark Richt will let you know what you need to know when you need to know it. Alright? ... Tony Barnhart on balance vs. tradition in SEC scheduling. ... USC safety Taylor Mays continues to look more and more like a linebacker, while his coach is very disappointed in Manny. (OK, I'll bite, finally: Who is Manny?) ... If you think you're friends with Colt McCoy on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, think again. ... And Michigan players have been sending e-mails to Terrelle Pryor? I wonder who might have done that.