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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

The annual NFL Scouting Combine is underway at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. WNST.net will be live in Indy this weekend to provide coverage of the Combine.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest from the place our friend Merton likes to call “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.” There will also be nearly day long coverage of the events in Indy throughout the weekend on NFL Network.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 4 & 5-A preview of players who will participate in this weekend’s Combine

The Baltimore Ravens made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vY06HXzEb0[/youtube]

When looking at Smith’s senior season in Boulder, it might seem odd that he didn’t record a single interception. But Smith was only thrown on about 20 times in man coverage during his senior campaign, so his opportunities were limited.

More impressive for Smith was that over his junior and senior seasons with the Buffaloes combined, he allowed just 11 receptions-only one of which was a first down. (He gave up one touchdown in his senior season.)

That lead Smith to gaining very deserved All-Big 12 honors.

The most appealing part of Smith’s candidacy as a first round pick is that he’s 6’2″, 205 pounds. That’s an ideal size for a potential shutdown corner in the National Football League.

The other appealing part about Smith is that he’s not afraid to tackle. He finished his Buffs career with 160 of them. Deion Sanders he’s not-at least through the first 22 years of his life.

Smith is likely going to be available when the Ravens pick at 26th. With Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington all expected to become unrestricted free agents, Smith could be a very intriguing possibility.

QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vHJTeM4S3I[/youtube]

Tyrod Taylor is not Michael Vick.

That being said, if I represented Tyrod Taylor I’d do my best to make sure the name Michael Vick was mentioned as much as possible during Draft season.

Taylor was certainly explosive at times during his career in Blacksburg. He was responsible for 67 career touchdowns (44 passing, 23 rushing) and thew for over 5,000 yards between his junior and senior seasons combined.

Hokies fans were frustrated by his decision making at times, and he certainly took advantage of lesser competition (572 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2010 came in back to back games against Duke and Wake Forest).

He’s 6’1″, 216 pounds and VERY quick (expected to clock in near 4.5 when he runs the 40). He has plenty of upside. He had a solid week at the Citrus Bowl during Shrine Game week. He plans on staying at quarterback, unlike fellow former Va Tech QB Marcus Vick-who was willing to try Wide Receiver during the Draft process.

He’s not likely to find his way into the fray any earlier than mid-Saturday. The Ravens aren’t likely to address the QB position before that point, as they will simply be looking for depth behind Joe Flacco in case free agent backup Marc Bulger departs.

It could be a fit. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be.

RB Jordan Todman (UConn)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucXw_CW2ov0[/youtube]

Todman might be too similar in size to current Ravens RB Ray Rice (he’s 5’9″, 193 pounds; Rice is 5’8″, 212 pounds) to be a true complement in the Charm City backfield, but that doesn’t mean he might not be an option.

The Ravens will still have the option of retaining FB Le’Ron McClain and using him as more of a compliment to Rice, which could enable them to find depth later on with a player like Todman.

Todman didn’t really play a Ray Rice-type role in the Huskies offense, either. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in both his junior and senior seasons, combining for 2,883 rushing yards and 28 TD’s between the two seasons. He caught just 40 passes in the same span.

Will his size allow for him to be a consistent runner at the next level? We’ll have to see. He’s smaller than Willis McGahee (who the Ravens are expected to let go), but he would bring fresher legs-and pottentially a fresher attitude.

Todman replaced a very good back in Donald Brown and more than lived up to the the standard. But despite winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors last season, he’s probably a late Friday night or early Saturday selection.

That might be around the time when General Manager Ozzie Newsome considers a RB.

S Ahmad Black (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MswzKgJ8DBc[/youtube]

What has made Ed Reed a future Hall of Fame safety in Baltimore has been the fact that he’s had a nose for the football.

It’s not the same level, but there’s no question Black had a nose for the football during his four seasons in Gainesville.

Black finished his Gators career with 13 interceptions (3 of which he returned for touchdowns) and two forced fumbles. He also collected 227 tackles and two sacks. I think it’s fair to use the word “playmaker” to describe him.

At 5’9″, 190 pounds; Black isn’t as big as Reed. With that in mind, he’s not really expected to be a free safety at the NFL level and play centerfield the way Reed does.

But with Dawan Landry a possibility to depart when free agency finally begins, the Ravens could use general depth at the position all around.

Black will go early. Perhaps too early for a team that still counts Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski as options at the position.

WR Jon Baldwin (Pitt)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlnEnYxRnFA[/youtube]

His numbers over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh were very good but a bit short of earth shattering.

Between his junior and senior seasons, Baldwin caught 110 passes for 1,933 yards and 13 TD’s.

But there’s another number for Baldwin that is much more significant and makes him a likely first round pick after just three seasons at Heinz Field.

6’5″.

Baldwin’s unreal combination of size and speed (he’s believed to be able to post a sub 4.5 at the home of the Colts this weekend) makes him a potentially VERY dangerous downfield threat at the next level.

Interestingly enough, the Ravens need EXACTLY that type of receiver to complement Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

The question is now whether or not Baldwin sticks around to 26, or would it be worth it for John Harbaugh and company to try to move up to make sure they come away with him?

Not every tall, fast receiver selected early in the Draft has panned out and become a legitimate offensive superstar in the NFL. If the Ravens don’t walk away with Baldwin in the Draft, they’d still have free agency (should free agency ever actually happen) to consider addressing the need with a potential free agent like Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice.

If he’s there at 26, I’d have to imagine it would be hard to pass up on him.

FB Owen Marecic (Stanford)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSyHCjMnDtI[/youtube]

Two things to start. One-Marecic is NOT going to play both sides of the ball in the NFL the way he did with the Cardinal. Two-I know he’s white and he played for Jim Harbaugh in Palo Alto, but Marecic is NOT Toby Gerhart. The comparisons would be unfair.

With all of that said, Marecic is a VERY interesting prospect. He won the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 as the most versatile player in college football. In one game against Notre Dame, he ran for a TD and returned an INT for a TD within the span of 13 seconds.

Even without playing defense at the next level, the Ravens could certainly find ways to use his versatility. He’d be an immediate candidate to help Jerry Rosburg in Special Teams and would be truly valuable should Le’Ron McClain depart or be moved into more of a true halfback role.

Marecic certainly handled short yardage situations for Stanford, scoring 10 combined touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons on just 48 total touches.

John Harbaugh should know a thing or two about Marecic both from his brother and since his father (Jack Harbaugh) coached Marecic for a month in 2009 leading up to the Sun Bowl. He appears to be the exact type of football player would love, and should stay on the board until at least midway through the day Saturday.

LB Nate Irving (NC State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKArcBAlXZY[/youtube]

After the Ravens selected Paul Kruger in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, there was more discussion about Kruger overcoming a stabbing than there was about his actual football ability.

Should the Ravens select Irving this year, be prepared for a similar amount of discussion about things not related to football.

Irving missed the entire 2009 after a car accident that caused a number of serious injuries. Irving suffered a collapsed lung, broken rib, separated shoulder and a compound fracture in his leg and told reporters that summer he felt “blessed” to be alive.

Coach Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack felt “blessed” to have him return to the football field in 2010, as he tallied 89 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He finished his NCSU career with 211 tackles, nine sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions.

There has been some question as to whether or not Irving (6’1″, 235 pounds) can play Inside Linebacker at the NFL level. There are also of course questions as to whether any of the Ravens’ trio of Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain can REALLY play ILB at the NFL level either.

And we all know Ray Lewis isn’t getting younger.

Irving is probably a Saturday selection, and teams will clearly be paying very close attention to the medical portion of his Combine participation this weekend. The Ravens have taken chances on players with red flags before, but after selecting Sergio Kindle last year, they might be a bit more guarded in their decision making.

DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QT2-mRCgX0[/youtube]

There’s no secret that new Defensive Coordinator DESPERATELY needs a true rush end, as the Ravens failed to find a complement for Terrell Suggs along the Defensive Line last year.

It’s also no secret that Watt is one of the top D-End prospects in the country, having collected 11 sacks and 36.5 TFL’s during his two seasons in Madison after transferring from Central Michigan.

Watt is a 6’6″, 292 pound monster who wrecked havoc on Big Ten passers during his two seasons with the Badgers. His 21 Tackles for Loss in 2009 resulted in 91 lost yards for opponents.

Does that sound like something the Ravens could use?

The good news for the Ravens is that there are a number of First Round DE prospects in this year’s Draft, including Ryan Kerrigan and Allen Bailey who we have already profiled. Given the number of DE prospects, there’s a chance a player like Watt could stay on the board until 26th, but it is no guarantee.

If Watt’s available, it would be very difficult for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to pass up on such a talented player at such a position of need.

C Kris O’Dowd (USC)

odowd

Southern Cal became a bit of an “Offensive Lineman U” during the Pete Carroll era, producing the likes of Ryan Kalil (Carolina Panthers), Sam Baker (Atlanta Falcons), Deuce Lutui (Arizona Cardinals), Winston Justice (Philadelphia Eagles) and more.

O’Dowd is the next in the line of Trojans lineman who is expected to make the transition to the NFL level.

He’s 6’4″, 303 pounds and was part of an O-Line that blocked for the 3rd leading rushing attack in the Pac 10 last season, behind just Oregon and Stanford. He made an immediate impact upon arriving in Malibu, becoming the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for USC since 1996.

Teams will be taking a particularly important look at O’Dowd medically in Indianapolis, as he battled knee and shoulder injuries during his college career. With Matt Birk expected to be playing in his final season in 2011, the Ravens could do well to spend a Saturday selection on a player like O’Dowd.

And if you’re at all concerned about O’Dowd off this field, this ESPN piece about his relationship with a young man named Jake Olson should probably ease those concerns…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhY4RnQLaOc[/youtube]

WR Greg Salas (Hawaii)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH94OG2Fcko[/youtube]

Salas’ numbers in 2010 were almost unreal.

The young man from Chino, California caught 119 balls for a ridiculous 1,889 yards and 14 TD’s for the Warriors as a senior. It wrapped up an amazing career in Honolulu that saw him catch 285 passes for 4,345 yards and 26 TD’s-the overwhelming majority of which came in his final three seasons.

Those numbers are amazing.

The problem with Salas is that there’s nothing about him in particular that would make him stand out in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He’s not terribly big (6’2″, 210 pounds) and isn’t lightning fast either (expected to post a 40 time in the mid 4.5′s in Indy).

With will-be free agents TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth significant question marks to return, there’s no easy place to see Salas fitting in at the top with Boldin and Mason in Cam Cameron’s offense.

But the Ravens do need to find more receivers should Stallworth and Houshmandzadeh (and Marcus Smith who is also a free agent) depart. There is no doubt that Salas can catch the football. Should he stick around late into Saturday, he would have to be a player Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company would want to consider.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

We’re just hours away from the start of the annual NFL Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. WNST.net will be live in Indy this weekend to provide coverage of the Combine.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest from the place our friend Merton likes to call “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.”

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 4 & 5-A preview of players who will participate in this weekend’s Combine

The Baltimore Ravens made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vY06HXzEb0[/youtube]

When looking at Smith’s senior season in Boulder, it might seem odd that he didn’t record a single interception. But Smith was only thrown on about 20 times in man coverage during his senior campaign, so his opportunities were limited.

More impressive for Smith was that over his junior and senior seasons with the Buffaloes combined, he allowed just 11 receptions-only one of which was a first down. (He gave up one touchdown in his senior season.)

That lead Smith to gaining very deserved All-Big 12 honors.

The most appealing part of Smith’s candidacy as a first round pick is that he’s 6’2″, 205 pounds. That’s an ideal size for a potential shutdown corner in the National Football League.

The other appealing part about Smith is that he’s not afraid to tackle. He finished his Buffs career with 160 of them. Deion Sanders he’s not-at least through the first 22 years of his life.

Smith is likely going to be available when the Ravens pick at 26th. With Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington all expected to become unrestricted free agents, Smith could be a very intriguing possibility.

QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vHJTeM4S3I[/youtube]

Tyrod Taylor is not Michael Vick.

That being said, if I represented Tyrod Taylor I’d do my best to make sure the name Michael Vick was mentioned as much as possible during Draft season.

Taylor was certainly explosive at times during his career in Blacksburg. He was responsible for 67 career touchdowns (44 passing, 23 rushing) and thew for over 5,000 yards between his junior and senior seasons combined.

Hokies fans were frustrated by his decision making at times, and he certainly took advantage of lesser competition (572 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2010 came in back to back games against Duke and Wake Forest).

He’s 6’1″, 216 pounds and VERY quick (expected to clock in near 4.5 when he runs the 40). He has plenty of upside. He had a solid week at the Citrus Bowl during Shrine Game week. He plans on staying at quarterback, unlike fellow former Va Tech QB Marcus Vick-who was willing to try Wide Receiver during the Draft process.

He’s not likely to find his way into the fray any earlier than mid-Saturday. The Ravens aren’t likely to address the QB position before that point, as they will simply be looking for depth behind Joe Flacco in case free agent backup Marc Bulger departs.

It could be a fit. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be.

RB Jordan Todman (UConn)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucXw_CW2ov0[/youtube]

Todman might be too similar in size to current Ravens RB Ray Rice (he’s 5’9″, 193 pounds; Rice is 5’8″, 212 pounds) to be a true complement in the Charm City backfield, but that doesn’t mean he might not be an option.

The Ravens will still have the option of retaining FB Le’Ron McClain and using him as more of a compliment to Rice, which could enable them to find depth later on with a player like Todman.

Todman didn’t really play a Ray Rice-type role in the Huskies offense, either. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in both his junior and senior seasons, combining for 2,883 rushing yards and 28 TD’s between the two seasons. He caught just 40 passes in the same span.

Will his size allow for him to be a consistent runner at the next level? We’ll have to see. He’s smaller than Willis McGahee (who the Ravens are expected to let go), but he would bring fresher legs-and pottentially a fresher attitude.

Todman replaced a very good back in Donald Brown and more than lived up to the the standard. But despite winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors last season, he’s probably a late Friday night or early Saturday selection.

That might be around the time when General Manager Ozzie Newsome considers a RB.

S Ahmad Black (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MswzKgJ8DBc[/youtube]

What has made Ed Reed a future Hall of Fame safety in Baltimore has been the fact that he’s had a nose for the football.

It’s not the same level, but there’s no question Black had a nose for the football during his four seasons in Gainesville.

Black finished his Gators career with 13 interceptions (3 of which he returned for touchdowns) and two forced fumbles. He also collected 227 tackles and two sacks. I think it’s fair to use the word “playmaker” to describe him.

At 5’9″, 190 pounds; Black isn’t as big as Reed. With that in mind, he’s not really expected to be a free safety at the NFL level and play centerfield the way Reed does.

But with Dawan Landry a possibility to depart when free agency finally begins, the Ravens could use general depth at the position all around.

Black will go early. Perhaps too early for a team that still counts Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski as options at the position.

WR Jon Baldwin (Pitt)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlnEnYxRnFA[/youtube]

His numbers over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh were very good but a bit short of earth shattering.

Between his junior and senior seasons, Baldwin caught 110 passes for 1,933 yards and 13 TD’s.

But there’s another number for Baldwin that is much more significant and makes him a likely first round pick after just three seasons at Heinz Field.

6’5″.

Baldwin’s unreal combination of size and speed (he’s believed to be able to post a sub 4.5 at the home of the Colts this weekend) makes him a potentially VERY dangerous downfield threat at the next level.

Interestingly enough, the Ravens need EXACTLY that type of receiver to complement Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

The question is now whether or not Baldwin sticks around to 26, or would it be worth it for John Harbaugh and company to try to move up to make sure they come away with him?

Not every tall, fast receiver selected early in the Draft has panned out and become a legitimate offensive superstar in the NFL. If the Ravens don’t walk away with Baldwin in the Draft, they’d still have free agency (should free agency ever actually happen) to consider addressing the need with a potential free agent like Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice.

If he’s there at 26, I’d have to imagine it would be hard to pass up on him.

FB Owen Marecic (Stanford)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSyHCjMnDtI[/youtube]

Two things to start. One-Marecic is NOT going to play both sides of the ball in the NFL the way he did with the Cardinal. Two-I know he’s white and he played for Jim Harbaugh in Palo Alto, but Marecic is NOT Toby Gerhart. The comparisons would be unfair.

With all of that said, Marecic is a VERY interesting prospect. He won the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 as the most versatile player in college football. In one game against Notre Dame, he ran for a TD and returned an INT for a TD within the span of 13 seconds.

Even without playing defense at the next level, the Ravens could certainly find ways to use his versatility. He’d be an immediate candidate to help Jerry Rosburg in Special Teams and would be truly valuable should Le’Ron McClain depart or be moved into more of a true halfback role.

Marecic certainly handled short yardage situations for Stanford, scoring 10 combined touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons on just 48 total touches.

John Harbaugh should know a thing or two about Marecic both from his brother and since his father (Jack Harbaugh) coached Marecic for a month in 2009 leading up to the Sun Bowl. He appears to be the exact type of football player would love, and should stay on the board until at least midway through the day Saturday.

LB Nate Irving (NC State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKArcBAlXZY[/youtube]

After the Ravens selected Paul Kruger in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, there was more discussion about Kruger overcoming a stabbing than there was about his actual football ability.

Should the Ravens select Irving this year, be prepared for a similar amount of discussion about things not related to football.

Irving missed the entire 2009 after a car accident that caused a number of serious injuries. Irving suffered a collapsed lung, broken rib, separated shoulder and a compound fracture in his leg and told reporters that summer he felt “blessed” to be alive.

Coach Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack felt “blessed” to have him return to the football field in 2010, as he tallied 89 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He finished his NCSU career with 211 tackles, nine sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions.

There has been some question as to whether or not Irving (6’1″, 235 pounds) can play Inside Linebacker at the NFL level. There are also of course questions as to whether any of the Ravens’ trio of Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain can REALLY play ILB at the NFL level either.

And we all know Ray Lewis isn’t getting younger.

Irving is probably a Saturday selection, and teams will clearly be paying very close attention to the medical portion of his Combine participation this weekend. The Ravens have taken chances on players with red flags before, but after selecting Sergio Kindle last year, they might be a bit more guarded in their decision making.

DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QT2-mRCgX0[/youtube]

There’s no secret that new Defensive Coordinator DESPERATELY needs a true rush end, as the Ravens failed to find a complement for Terrell Suggs along the Defensive Line last year.

It’s also no secret that Watt is one of the top D-End prospects in the country, having collected 11 sacks and 36.5 TFL’s during his two seasons in Madison after transferring from Central Michigan.

Watt is a 6’6″, 292 pound monster who wrecked havoc on Big Ten passers during his two seasons with the Badgers. His 21 Tackles for Loss in 2009 resulted in 91 lost yards for opponents.

Does that sound like something the Ravens could use?

The good news for the Ravens is that there are a number of First Round DE prospects in this year’s Draft, including Ryan Kerrigan and Allen Bailey who we have already profiled. Given the number of DE prospects, there’s a chance a player like Watt could stay on the board until 26th, but it is no guarantee.

If Watt’s available, it would be very difficult for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to pass up on such a talented player at such a position of need.

C Kris O’Dowd (USC)

odowd

Southern Cal became a bit of an “Offensive Lineman U” during the Pete Carroll era, producing the likes of Ryan Kalil (Carolina Panthers), Sam Baker (Atlanta Falcons), Deuce Lutui (Arizona Cardinals), Winston Justice (Philadelphia Eagles) and more.

O’Dowd is the next in the line of Trojans lineman who is expected to make the transition to the NFL level.

He’s 6’4″, 303 pounds and was part of an O-Line that blocked for the 3rd leading rushing attack in the Pac 10 last season, behind just Oregon and Stanford. He made an immediate impact upon arriving in Malibu, becoming the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for USC since 1996.

Teams will be taking a particularly important look at O’Dowd medically in Indianapolis, as he battled knee and shoulder injuries during his college career. With Matt Birk expected to be playing in his final season in 2011, the Ravens could do well to spend a Saturday selection on a player like O’Dowd.

And if you’re at all concerned about O’Dowd off this field, this ESPN piece about his relationship with a young man named Jake Olson should probably ease those concerns…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhY4RnQLaOc[/youtube]

WR Greg Salas (Hawaii)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH94OG2Fcko[/youtube]

Salas’ numbers in 2010 were almost unreal.

The young man from Chino, California caught 119 balls for a ridiculous 1,889 yards and 14 TD’s for the Warriors as a senior. It wrapped up an amazing career in Honolulu that saw him catch 285 passes for 4,345 yards and 26 TD’s-the overwhelming majority of which came in his final three seasons.

Those numbers are amazing.

The problem with Salas is that there’s nothing about him in particular that would make him stand out in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He’s not terribly big (6’2″, 210 pounds) and isn’t lightning fast either (expected to post a 40 time in the mid 4.5′s in Indy).

With will-be free agents TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth significant question marks to return, there’s no easy place to see Salas fitting in at the top with Boldin and Mason in Cam Cameron’s offense.

But the Ravens do need to find more receivers should Stallworth and Houshmandzadeh (and Marcus Smith who is also a free agent) depart. There is no doubt that Salas can catch the football. Should he stick around late into Saturday, he would have to be a player Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company would want to consider.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

After falling to Virginia Tech, Maryland must look to backcourt future

Posted on 16 February 2011 by Luke Jones

It was an entertaining and highly competitive game in Blacksburg, but it produced the tired final act we’ve seen too many times this season.

Despite plenty of opportunities, Maryland fell short against Virginia Tech, 91-83, on Tuesday night, downgrading the Terps’ faint NCAA tournament hopes from life support to a virtual flatline with five games remaining in the regular season.

Dropping to 5-6 in the conference and being swept by a third ACC team — the Hokies joining Duke and Boston College as schools with two wins over Maryland — simply won’t garner any deserved consideration for the tournament in a down year for the ACC.

Barring a miraculous finish unseen since the Terps’ ACC tournament championship in 2004, Maryland will find itself playing in the NIT for the first time since 2008 when current seniors Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory were finishing their freshman year.

As deflating as that reality is in the middle of February, a tiny beacon of hope shined at Cassell Coliseum with the impressive performance of freshman Terrell Stoglin. The shifty guard scored a career-high 25 points — 15 coming before intermission after the Terps had fallen behind by 10 points early in the half — and handed out six assists, a few being highlight-reel material.

Stoglin can be both exhilarating and frustrating depending on the possession, but there’s no denying his talent or fortitude, even if it amounts to ill-advised drives or forced shots as we saw a few times in the second half.

With the emergence of Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard (making his fourth consecutive start), it’s time for Gary Williams to go with his best options in the backcourt, both in the present and future. The two kids should be on the floor together whenever possible. We’ve seen it more frequently over the last two weeks, but there’s no point in holding back with only a handful of games remaining.

Williams has always been loyal to his upperclassmen throughout his coaching career, but we know the book on Bowie and Tucker.

Decent role players who can help your team in spurts, but not the type of players you can count on consistently. Both are accustomed to coming off the bench and will still see plenty of minutes in reserve roles — as Tucker has already done most of the year — but not at the expense of the two freshmen.

If Tuesday night was any indication, we can expect to see more of the freshmen playing together as the Terps wind down the regular season and await their humbling postseason fate. Howard and Stoglin combined for 58 minutes while Bowie played just 11 despite starting the game. Though Tucker played 27 minutes, he failed to score in the final 20 minutes after scoring 10 points before halftime.

No one knows how good Howard and Stoglin can be — especially playing together — but they give Maryland just as much chance to win as Bowie and Tucker. The Terps haven’t been good enough against the better teams on their schedule all season, so why not allow the two kids to grow together over this final stretch of the regular season and into the ACC tournament and NIT?

It should give Williams a clearer picture entering next season when Howard and Stoglin are joined in the backcourt picture by two more freshmen in Sterling Gibbs and City’s Nick Faust.

At best, the Terps gain momentum with a new lineup heading into the postseason and wind up surprising a few teams.

At worst, Maryland continues to lose games to the superior teams on its schedule.

As the curtain continues to fall on Maryland’s NCAA tournament aspirations, it’s time to promote both young understudies to the lead roles in the backcourt.

And then hope for the best.

It’s all the Terps can really do at this point.

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Maryland-Virginia Tech: Turtle Power live chat at 8:00

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Luke Jones

The reeling Terps are desperate for a win to preserve their faint NCAA tournament hopes as they take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg at 8:00. Tonight’s game will be televised on the ACC Network (WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore) with Tim Brando and Dan Bonner calling the action from Cassell Coliseum.

As always, watch the action with us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 8:00 and remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and analysis!

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Northern Trust Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Pacific Palisades, CA), Champions Tour ACE Group Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Naples, FL live on Golf Channel), Honda LPGA Thailand (Friday 12:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Chonburi, Thailand live on Golf Channel); High School Basketball: Parkville @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Fernando Guerrero vs. Saul Roman (Friday 7pm from Wicomico Civic Center live on ESPN2), Fernando Montiel vs. Nonito Donaire (Friday 9:45pm from Las Vegas live on HBO); Tennis: ATP Tour Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (Saturday 11am, Sunday 3pm from Memphis live on Tennis Channel)

10. Salt-N-Pepa/Naughty By Nature/MC Lyte/Kool Moe Dee/Kurtis Blow (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Plain White T’s/Parachute (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Taproot (Saturday 6:30pm Bourbon Street); Vusi Mahlasela (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Slightly Stoopid (Wednesday & Thursday 6:30pm 9:30 Club), Drive-By Truckers (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Los Lobos (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); John Mellencamp (Tuesday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Avett Brothers (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Herb Alpert (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Bacon Brothers (Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Big Head Todd & The Monsters (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Buddy Jewell (Thursday 7pm Severna Park High School)

You’re not going to catch me saying a negative word about Salt, Pepa or Spindarella. They’re strong.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZg_Jehko7c[/youtube]

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a video of Dave Matthews Band and Vusi Mahlasela playing “Everyday” in my Hotmail Inbox. I had never heard of Vusi Mahlasela. I immediately wanted to hear more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4JhCTbmBQ4[/youtube]

John Mellencamp rules. Not much else I can say about that…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsEwK69LXjQ[/youtube]

I haven’t had a chance to listen much to the Avett Brothers. That’s my mistake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1XMHGVOXZ8[/youtube]

9. Soccer: MISL-Omaha Vipers @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena), Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Sunday 5:05pm 1st Mariner Arena)

It’s been a long time since I’ve included soccer on the list. So I had to reference Yahoo! Sports’ Dirty Tackle blog to find out what I had missed.

Apparently Wesley Sneijder scored a nifty goal for the Netherlands in a friendly against Austria…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wyfxk54v3w[/youtube]

And some dude had his pants fall down while trying to take a picture with Lionel Messi…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs2uLsN6Pno[/youtube]

8. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Challengers (Friday 11pm from Cedar Park, TX live on Showtime)

I got to see Strikeforce live for the first time this past Saturday night in New Jersey. With any luck, the smell will come out by  St. Patrick’s Day.

The bad news for Strikeforce is that Fedor Emelianenko-the only fighter Strikeforce had that non-MMA hardcores gave a rip about-was eliminated from their World Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament.

The good news for Strikeforce is that on Saturday night they also officially announced the return of Gina Carano. I’d like to tell you that I think she’s a good fighter. The reality is that no one knows and even fewer care…

gina

For the record, I tried posting the “Gina Carano is back” video Strikeforce showed on Showtime Saturday night; but it wasn’t up on YouTube yet. It’s a lovely video. Trust me.

7. NHL: Washington Capitals @ Anaheim Ducks (Wednesday 10pm from Anaheim live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ San Jose Sharks (Thursday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (Sunday 12:30pm from Buffalo live on NBC), Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Monday 7:30pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS)

I know that without Monday Night Football there might be a few more folks interested in checking out the Caps face the Pens in a Winter Classic rematch. I won’t be one of them. I hate the Redskins, I hate the Steelers. So I just don’t care for the hockey teams in those cities either.

BUT…if Penguins goalie Brent Johnson gets in another fight like the one he got into against the New York Islanders the other night…I’d be ALL IN…at least to watch the highlights on SportsCenter or something.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4FrNDkAYVY[/youtube]

6. Women’s College Basketball: Duke @ Maryland (Thursday 7:30pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ Florida State (Sunday 3pm from Tallahassee, FL live on ESPN2)

Can SOMEONE please manage to figure out a way to beat Duke?!? PLEASE?!?!?

I’ll be in College Park Thursday night to check out the Terrapins women as they do the Lord’s work against the Blue Devils.

Hopefully the spirit of Kristi Toliver will be alive as the Terps battle the Devils…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iTj7K6tew[/youtube]

5. Pro Wrestling: WWE Elimination Chamber (Sunday 8pm from Oakland live on Pay-Per-View)

Yep, the Elimination Chamber is crazy. But I could show you a video of that or I could show you a picture of WWE Diva Kelly Kelly. I mean, what are we really doing here anyway???

kellykelly

4. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Loyola (Saturday 2pm from Ridley Athletic Complex live on AM1570 WNST); Johns Hopkins @ Towson (Saturday 12pm from Unitas Stadium live on ABC2 & ESPN3.com); Detroit @ Maryland (Saturday 1pm Byrd Stadium)

And with this, Lacrosse is now REALLY back in Charm City. Sadly, it will only kill a handful of Saturdays during MLB season for me, and there won’t be NEARLY enough weeknight games to avoid baseball altogether-but at least there’s an entertaining outdoor sport to watch.

This is also very awkward because I try to support all of the local teams, but they face off more in lacrosse than they do in any other sport.

So for this week I say “Let’s Go BlueTigerTerpHoundsmen!!!”

3. College Basketball: Maryland @ Virginia Tech (Tuesday 8pm from Blacksburg, VA live on ACC Network-WNUV 54 in Charm City), North Carolina State @ Maryland (Sunday 5:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet); James Madison @ Towson (Tuesday 7pm Towson Center); UMES @ Morgan State (Monday 9pm from Hill Field House live on ESPNU); Rider @ Loyola (Wednesday 7pm Reitz Arena); Hartford @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); UMES @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Delaware State @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); ESPNU Bracketbusters: VMI @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House), Loyola @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Towson Center)

Things I feel better about than Maryland’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament:

-The American economy
-The Orioles getting Prince Fielder in the offseason
-Katy Perry finally saying “yes” to one of my date requests
-Seeing a new Chris Farley movie one of these days
-Steve Melewski buying me a beer when Drew Forrester and I do our show in Sarasota
-Duke football getting bowl eligible

I think you know where I’m going here.

But if they figure out a way to beat the Hokies Tuesday night…

2. NBA: All-Star Game (Sunday 8pm from Los Angeles live on TNT), All-Star Saturday Night (Saturday 8pm from Los Angeles live on TNT), T-Mobile Rookie Challenge (Friday 9pm from Los Angeles live on TNT); Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic (Wednesday 7pm from Orlando live on Comcast SportsNet)

Nine out of ten NBA games are awful as it is, yet somehow the ASG finds a way to be even more awful than that.

I guess the dunk contest has occasionally been watchable…and is certainly the only reason any of us are familiar with names like Harold Miner or Gerald Green. And by “any of us” I mean “I went to Wikipedia and looked up to see who all won dunk contests in the past.”

Seriously, why the hell don’t they just put down trampolines and do the whole contest Slamball-style?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOKzUWguWik[/youtube]

1. Auto Racing: NASCAR-Gatorade Duels (Thursday 2pm from Daytona, FL live on SPEED), Daytona 500 (Sunday 1pm from Daytona, FL live on FOX)

I wish I cared about NASCAR this week. I know this is a big deal to a handful of folks…I just don’t care. At all.

I’ve tried watching races. I’ve tried going to races. I’ve tried hosting a NASCAR radio show with Donnie Neuenberger (seriously). I’ve tried starting at pictures of Danica Patrick.

None of it worked. I just don’t care. It’s cars racing.

It doesn’t mean any of these aren’t funny…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnO_CMY41k[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

(Week of Tuesday, February 15-Monday February 21)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Northern Trust Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Pacific Palisades, CA), Champions Tour ACE Group Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Naples, FL live on Golf Channel), Honda LPGA Thailand (Friday 12:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Chonburi, Thailand live on Golf Channel); High School Basketball: Parkville @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Fernando Guerrero vs. Saul Roman (Friday 7pm from Wicomico Civic Center live on ESPN2), Fernando Montiel vs. Nonito Donaire (Friday 9:45pm from Las Vegas live on HBO)

10. Salt-N-Pepa/Naughty By Nature/MC Lyte/Kool Moe Dee/Kurtis Blow (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Plain White T’s/Parachute (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Taproot (Saturday 6:30pm Bourbon Street); Vusi Mahlasela (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Slightly Stoopid (Wednesday & Thursday 6:30pm 9:30 Club), Drive-By Truckers (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Los Lobos (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); John Mellencamp (Tuesday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Avett Brothers (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Herb Alpert (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Bacon Brothers (Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Big Head Todd & The Monsters (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Buddy Jewell (Thursday 7pm Severna Park High School)

You’re not going to catch me saying a negative word about Salt, Pepa or Spindarella. They’re strong.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZg_Jehko7c[/youtube]

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a video of Dave Matthews Band and Vusi Mahlasela playing “Everyday” in my Hotmail Inbox. I had never heard of Vusi Mahlasela. I immediately wanted to hear more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4JhCTbmBQ4[/youtube]

John Mellencamp rules. Not much else I can say about that…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsEwK69LXjQ[/youtube]

I haven’t had a chance to listen much to the Avett Brothers. That’s my mistake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1XMHGVOXZ8[/youtube]

9. Soccer: MISL-Omaha Vipers @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena), Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Sunday 5:05pm 1st Mariner Arena)

It’s been a long time since I’ve included soccer on the list. So I had to reference Yahoo! Sports’ Dirty Tackle blog to find out what I had missed.

Apparently Wesley Sneijder scored a nifty goal for the Netherlands in a friendly against Austria…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wyfxk54v3w[/youtube]

And some dude had his pants fall down while trying to take a picture with Lionel Messi…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs2uLsN6Pno[/youtube]

8. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Challengers (Friday 11pm from Cedar Park, TX live on Showtime)

I got to see Strikeforce live for the first time this past Saturday night in New Jersey. With any luck, the smell will come out by  St. Patrick’s Day.

The bad news for Strikeforce is that Fedor Emelianenko-the only fighter Strikeforce had that non-MMA hardcores gave a rip about-was eliminated from their World Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament.

The good news for Strikeforce is that on Saturday night they also officially announced the return of Gina Carano. I’d like to tell you that I think she’s a good fighter. The reality is that no one knows and even fewer care…

gina

For the record, I tried posting the “Gina Carano is back” video Strikeforce showed on Showtime Saturday night; but it wasn’t up on YouTube yet. It’s a lovely video. Trust me.

7. NHL: Washington Capitals @ Anaheim Ducks (Wednesday 10pm from Anaheim live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ San Jose Sharks (Thursday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (Sunday 12:30pm from Buffalo live on NBC), Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Monday 7:30pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS)

I know that without Monday Night Football there might be a few more folks interested in checking out the Caps face the Pens in a Winter Classic rematch. I won’t be one of them. I hate the Redskins, I hate the Steelers. So I just don’t care for the hockey teams in those cities either.

BUT…if Penguins goalie Brent Johnson gets in another fight like the one he got into against the New York Islanders the other night…I’d be ALL IN…at least to watch the highlights on SportsCenter or something.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4FrNDkAYVY[/youtube]

6. Women’s College Basketball: Duke @ Maryland (Thursday 7:30pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ Florida State (Sunday 3pm from Tallahassee, FL live on ESPN2)

Can SOMEONE please manage to figure out a way to beat Duke?!? PLEASE?!?!?

I’ll be in College Park Thursday night to check out the Terrapins women as they do the Lord’s work against the Blue Devils.

Hopefully the spirit of Kristi Toliver will be alive as the Terps battle the Devils…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iTj7K6tew[/youtube]

5. Pro Wrestling: WWE Elimination Chamber (Sunday 8pm from Oakland live on Pay-Per-View)

Yep, the Elimination Chamber is crazy. But I could show you a video of that or I could show you a picture of WWE Diva Kelly Kelly. I mean, what are we really doing here anyway???

kellykelly

4. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Loyola (Saturday 2pm from Ridley Athletic Complex live on AM1570 WNST); Johns Hopkins @ Towson (Saturday 12pm from Unitas Stadium live on ABC2 & ESPN3.com); Detroit @ Maryland (Saturday 1pm Byrd Stadium)

And with this, Lacrosse is now REALLY back in Charm City. Sadly, it will only kill a handful of Saturdays during MLB season for me, and there won’t be NEARLY enough weeknight games to avoid baseball altogether-but at least there’s an entertaining outdoor sport to watch.

This is also very awkward because I try to support all of the local teams, but they face off more in lacrosse than they do in any other sport.

So for this week I say “Let’s Go BlueTigerTerpHoundsmen!!!”

3. College Basketball: Maryland @ Virginia Tech (Tuesday 8pm from Blacksburg, VA live on ACC Network-WNUV 54 in Charm City), North Carolina State @ Maryland (Sunday 5:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet); James Madison @ Towson (Tuesday 7pm Towson Center); UMES @ Morgan State (Monday 9pm from Hill Field House live on ESPNU); Rider @ Loyola (Wednesday 7pm Reitz Arena); Hartford @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); UMES @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Delaware State @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); ESPNU Bracketbusters: VMI @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House), Loyola @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Towson Center)

Things I feel better about than Maryland’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament:

-The American economy
-The Orioles getting Prince Fielder in the offseason
-Katy Perry finally saying “yes” to one of my date requests
-Seeing a new Chris Farley movie one of these days
-Steve Melewski buying me a beer when Drew Forrester and I do our show in Sarasota
-Duke football getting bowl eligible

I think you know where I’m going here.

But if they figure out a way to beat the Hokies Tuesday night…

2. NBA: All-Star Game (Sunday 8pm from Los Angeles live on TNT), All-Star Saturday Night (Saturday 8pm from Los Angeles live on TNT), T-Mobile Rookie Challenge (Friday 9pm from Los Angeles live on TNT); Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic (Wednesday 7pm from Orlando live on Comcast SportsNet)

Nine out of ten NBA games are awful as it is, yet somehow the ASG finds a way to be even more awful than that.

I guess the dunk contest has occasionally been watchable…and is certainly the only reason any of us are familiar with names like Harold Miner or Gerald Green. And by “any of us” I mean “I went to Wikipedia and looked up to see who all won dunk contests in the past.”

Seriously, why the hell don’t they just put down trampolines and do the whole contest Slamball-style?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOKzUWguWik[/youtube]

1. Auto Racing: NASCAR-Gatorade Duels (Thursday 2pm from Daytona, FL live on SPEED), Daytona 500 (Sunday 1pm from Daytona, FL live on FOX)

I wish I cared about NASCAR this week. I know this is a big deal to a handful of folks…I just don’t care. At all.

I’ve tried watching races. I’ve tried going to races. I’ve tried hosting a NASCAR radio show with Donnie Neuenberger (seriously). I’ve tried starting at pictures of Danica Patrick.

None of it worked. I just don’t care. It’s cars racing.

It doesn’t mean any of these aren’t funny…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnO_CMY41k[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

(Week of Tuesday, February 15-Monday February 21)

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Maryland embarrassed by Virginia Tech, 74-57

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland embarrassed by Virginia Tech, 74-57

Posted on 21 January 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After a devastating second-half collapse against Villanova last Saturday, the Terps desperately needed to make a statement to build their confidence, their ACC stature, and their push for the NCAA tournament.

If an embarrassing 74-57 defeat to Virginia Tech is their best proclamation, the Terps need to take a long look at themselves after their largest margin of defeat in the nine-year history of the Comcast Center.

The Hokies (12-5, 3-2 ACC) sprinted out to a 12-0 lead as the Terps (11-7, 1-3 ACC) failed to score before the first media timeout, throwing up wild shots and making poor decisions as they didn’t know what hit them.

It didn’t get any better after that.

Virginia Tech guards Erick Green (24) and Malcolm Delaney (19) combined for 43 points to overwhelm the Terps’ backcourt. The Hokies shredded the Terps with 42 of their 74 points coming in the paint.

The Hokies’ zone defense collapsed the lane — holding Jordan Williams to just two points in the first half and 11 for the game — as Maryland’s guards failed to knock down perimeter shots.

Maryland’s starters combined for just eight points in the first half.

And aside from a two-minute, 11-point run by Cliff Tucker in the second half that got the Terps as close as eight points down with 7:15 to play, the score was never really an indication of how lopsided of an affair it truly was.

It was an absolute shellacking.

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“After a game like that, you wonder where that [effort] comes from compared to the efforts of last week,” coach Gary Williams said. “Playing three games in six days and the effort we made tonight was another thing.”

A common theme surrounding Maryland this season has been the need to play 40 minutes of good basketball after a number of close losses to good teams. Urgency had every reason to be present for the Terps, who were returning to their home floor after a three-game road trip with an opportunity to even their conference record against the Hokies and put last week’s competitive, but disappointing, losses to Duke and Villanova in the rear-view mirror.

Instead, Maryland turned in its most disappointing performance of the season.

Williams shuffled his starting backcourt again Thursday night, this time sending Tucker and freshman Pe’Shon Howard to the floor against the longer Hokies (Terrell Stoglin was benched for arriving late to a team meeting, according to the Maryland coach).

But just like every other backcourt combination sent to the floor this season, the situation continues to be lukewarm on even the best nights, with more teams figuring out Jordan Williams is the only Maryland player who can consistently hurt you. Williams is facing more and more zones collapsing the lane and denying him the basketball.

The sophomore forward had to fight to earn his 12th straight double-double (11 points and 11 rebounds) in the losing effort, matching Len Elmore’s school record set in 1973-74. However, as Gary Williams pointed out in his post-game comments, his pedestrian numbers begged for a teammate or two to emerge offensively, but the Terps received no such contribution short of Tucker’s brief second-half outburst and a modest 10-point performance by Bowie, who kept the team somewhat afloat in the first half.

“They played a packed-in zone, and they gave our guards a tough game,” said Williams, who recorded his 16th double-double of the season against the Hokies. “I found myself forcing some shots because I didn’t get that many touches, so when I did get the ball, I tried to be effective with it and I took some dumb shots.”

Luckily for the Terps, they won’t have long to think about this one as they turn around quickly to host the Clemson Tigers on Saturday afternoon, another beatable opponent on paper — just like the Hokies were supposed to be.

“I think it can be a good thing,” Tucker said. “We don’t have time to sit and mope around. We have to come in [to Friday's practice] and forget about this and focus on Clemson. We have to have a sense of urgency about us.”

Urgency, indeed. The same urgency they should have had against the Hokies.

The Terps keep digging a hole for their postseason hopes deeper and deeper.

In a mediocre ACC, there’s still time to turn things around, but that climb grows more difficult with each game.

After Thursday night’s clunker against the Hokies, you have to wonder whether Maryland is really equipped to do it.

As close as many of us thought the Terps were to figuring it out in a gutsy performance 11 days ago at Cameron Indoor Stadium, they took several steps backward Thursday night.

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland-Virginia Tech pre-game notes

Posted on 20 January 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat at 9:00 for tonight’s contest between Maryland and Virginia Tech.***

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As Baltimore continues to lick its wounds from the Ravens’ disappointing exit from the postseason last weekend, the Terps take center stage after suffering their own Saturday collapse against Villanova in Philadelphia, surrendering a 12-point, second-half lead on their way to a 74-66 loss.

Needing a win to boost their spirits after a disappointing 1-2 road trip, the Terps (11-6, 1-2 ACC) return to College Park to host the Virginia Tech Hokies (11-5, 2-2) tonight at 9:00 in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2. Maryland’s six losses have come by a combined 35 points, but after coming up empty in the non-conference schedule in terms of impressive wins — and no, a meeting with Longwood on February 9 won’t help — the Terps need to begin stacking wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Hokies enter tonight’s game at 2-2 in the ACC with a 29-point win over lowly Wake Forest last Saturday. Virginia Tech is led by senior guard (and Baltimore native) Malcolm Delaney, who averages just under 19 points a game and had some not-so-flattering remarks about the Maryland students earlier in the week.

Despite Saturday’s collapse in Philadelphia, sophomore Jordan Williams earned his 11th straight double-double, scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. The big man trails only Len Elmore (calling tonight’s action along with Mike Patrick on ESPN2), who has the school record of 12 consecutive set in the 1973-74 season.

Join us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 9:00 as Glenn Clark and I offer thoughts and analysis from Comcast Center. And if you’re not doing so already, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates from College Park.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Maryland State Cheer & Dance Championship (Saturday 1st Mariner Arena); Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Virginia (Friday 8:30pm from Charlottesville live on Comcast SportsNet), North Carolina @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2); NBA: Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks (Wednesday 8pm from Milwaukee live on Comcast SportsNet), Phoenix Suns @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Boston Celtics @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ New York Knicks (Monday 7:30pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet); Golf: PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic (Wednesday-Friday 3pm, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel), Champions Tour Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (Friday 6:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Kaupulehu-Kona, HI live on Golf Channel); High School Basketball: Kenwood @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Basketball Academy-including Perry Hall vs. Archbishop Spalding & Perry Hall vs. Havre de Grace plus Poly, Woodlawn, Western, Milford Mill, Parkville, Patterson, City, Douglass, Aberdeen, Owings Mills, Lake Clifton (Thursday-Saturday Coppin State Physical Education Complex)

10. Avenged Sevenfold/Stone Sour (Sunday 6:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Chrisette Michelle (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (Wednesday & Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); B-52′s (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Lyle Lovett (Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere)

I’m not really that much of an A7X fan, but I will admit that I REALLY dig Corey Taylor and Stone Sour…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIzDsGyxsQM[/youtube]

Make fun of me all you want. I dig Gary Puckett…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98QH7LdPeO0[/youtube]

When I was a kid, I had no idea if the B-52′s were actually any good or if they were just sorta weird. As an adult, I’ve realized it’s both…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDZy6-fMCw4[/youtube]

There isn’t much I would enjoy about a Lyle Lovett show. But “If I Had A Boat” would be something…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-_W18CWypE[/youtube]

9. Baltimore Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Charm City), Baltimore County Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Monday throughout Baltimore County)

Another fat guy holiday?

Who knew Thanksgiving would come twice for us this year?!?!?

My favorite spot on the list might be a little joint in Little Italy Robert McClintock immortalized (and apparently Lee Smith’s favorite joint in Charm City)…

sabatinos

8. Boxing: Evander Holyfield vs. Sherman Williams (Saturday 9pm from White Sulphur Springs, WV live on Pay-Per-View); Mixed Martial Arts-UFC Fight Night: Fight For The Troops 2 (Saturday 9pm from Fort Hood, TX live on SpikeTV)

Holy hell Evander Holyfield is still fighting?!?!? Jamie Moyer thinks Evander Holyfield is old!

If Evander Holyfield managers to beat “Ask” Sherman Williams, I think I know who he should fight next (Language NSFW)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIiPTTwEJJQ[/youtube]

7. NHL: Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers (Tuesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders (Thursday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday 7pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS and NHL Network), New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Monday 7:30pm from Verizon Center live on VERSUS)

I don’t care about Caps hockey, but I like funny videos. Here’s a funny video of a Pittsburgh Penguins fan from the Winter Classic this year…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNXddsqLjq0[/youtube]

Yep. That was funny.

6. College Football: East West Shrine Game (Saturday 4pm from Orlando live on NFL Network)

Amongst the players in the East West Shrine Game is former Terrapins RB Da’Rel Scott. Or as he likes to call himself, a man whose spot was once blown up by Glenn Clark…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7mJNNAvNuw[/youtube]

I thought I needed to carry two phones at one point. Life can be pretty tough when Camille Rowe is always trying to blow up your spot…

crowe
(Thanks Busted Coverage!)

5. Soccer: Chile @ Team USA (Saturday 10pm from Carson, CA live on ESPN3.com); MISL: Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena)

I’m not sure about this. I’m as patriotic as they come, so I’d always pull for the Red, White & Blue.

BUT…Chile happens to share a name with the restaurant that gave us Chicken Crispers…

crispers

4. US Lacrosse National Convention (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center)

Or as local marijuana dealers are calling it, Christmas Season Part 2.

Seriously, how much visine is necessary at a lacrosse convention?!?!? And has there ever been a bigger gathering of folks who listen to Dave Matthews Band and Phish???

Wait a second…I love Dave Matthews Band and Phish…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMiyN3Gxwts[/youtube]

Okay, someone get me a ticket…

3. NFL Playoffs: NFC Championship Game-Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (Sunday 3pm from Chicago live on FOX), AFC Championship Game-New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday 6:30pm from Pittsburgh live on CBS)

Well clearly this was GOING to be Number 1…right up until the 3rd quarter of the Ravens’ game at Heinz Field Saturday night. Then everything went to hell.

Like I need to remind you.

Now, I’d be open to other ideas for Saturday if you’ve got something better for me to do than watch football. Seriously. There’s no reason why I have to watch these games, especially if it involves having to watch those a-holes in the Steel City earn another Super Bowl berth.

My girlfriend wants me to go to the Horse World Expo with her at the Timonium Fairgrounds. I’ve never had even HALF an ounce of interest in it, but I think I’m going to go.

Or maybe I’ll just sit around at home in my underwear and play Wheel of Fortune on Facebook.

I just don’t want to think about it. It’s too painful.

2. Tennis: Australian Open (Tuesday 12am & 9pm, Wednesday & Thursday 11pm, Friday & Saturday 9pm, Sunday 7pm, Monday 9pm live on ESPN2; Tuesday-Friday 8am, Saturday 1pm, Sunday & Monday 8am live on Tennis Channel. All action from Melbourne, AUS)

In breaking news from Down Under, Maria Sharapova has a new line of tennis wear that she wants you to see…

sharapova
(Thanks again Busted Coverage. Solid week for you.)

Look, I’m personally just as interested in what’s going on with Mardy Fish and  Juan Martin Del Potro’s comeback attempt as I am in Maria Sharapova.

But…ummm….look at that again. What the hell else could possibly matter in the world?

1. College Basketball: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Thursday 9pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2), Clemson @ Maryland (Saturday 2:30pm from Comcast Center live on Raycom Sports-WNUV 54 in Charm City); Morgan State @ UMES (Monday 7:30pm Hytche Athletic Center); Coppin State @ UMES (Saturday 4pm Hytche Athletic Center); William & Mary @ Towson (Wednesday 7pm Towson Center), Virginia Commonwealth @ Towson (Monday 7pm Towson Center); Manhattan @ Loyola (Thursday 8pm Reitz Arena)

Here are two schools for which my level of dislike is TOTALLY underrated.

For as much as I like Malcolm Delaney, I can’t freaking STAND the Hokies. So why is it that I like everything about this picture?!?!?!?!

turkeyleg

And my dislike towards Clemson dates at LEAST as far back as my 12th grade journalism teacher Ms. Matasofsky…who LOVED the Tigers. It was a constant source of contention between us. I couldn’t ever understand why she didn’t like the Hangman t-shirt I wore at least once a week…

clemson

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Had it simply been based on accolades, Greivis Vasquez would have won WNST’s 2010 Local Sports Person of the Year award going away.

In 2010, the former Maryland Terrapins guard was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award winner — given to the nation’s top point guard. He also helped the Terps clinch a share of the ACC regular season title. When the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 28th pick of the NBA Draft in June, Vasquez became the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Chris Wilcox and Juan Dixon were picked in 2002.

In terms of on-field (on in this case on-court) accomplishments, no athlete in the state of Maryland reached the heights that the “Vivacious Venezuelan” did in 2010. As Jason Jubb (WNST.net contributor and former “Sunday Morning Blitz” co-host) said, Vasquez “took over this year.”

However, Vasquez’s selection was about more than just on-court ability. There was something about watching Vasquez play in 2010 that made fans in Baltimore and throughout the state heap adoration at a level not seen since Dixon’s graduation.

Sometimes a picture explains just about everything.

vasquez

It was the passion displayed by Vasquez when he stepped foot on a basketball court that made fans fall in love.

WNST’s Ryan Chell said Vasquez in 2010 was “hated by every other ACC fan and adored by the Terps nation. He put the team on his shoulders.”

Never was it more evident than in the game pictured above.

On March 3, Maryland defeated then No. 4 Duke, 79-72. It was Senior Night at Comcast Center, and Vasquez’s final game was one of the more passionate displays in recent college basketball history.

Vasquez led the way for Maryland with 20 points and 5 assists in the victory, but it was one particular shot that was a total display of “huevos” (a term first labeled by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt) in the final seconds.

With Maryland clinging to a 71-69 advantage over the Blue Devils in the final minute, there was no question Vasquez would take the shot. And despite the shot being an off-balanced, running 12-footer that looked more like a heave than an actual basketball shot, there was really no question whether or not the shot would go in…even if it had to find every piece of the rim before it would fall.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA_qoFMFITA[/youtube]

It wasn’t only the Duke game that stood out in 2010 for the young man from Caracas. In fact, Vasquez’s shining moment may well have occurred just one game earlier.

The Terrapins traveled to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech February 27. The game was delayed more than three hours due to a water main break outside Cassell Coliseum. Maybe the anticipation built during the delay made the nature of the performance even greater.

Vasquez posted 41 points, seven rebounds, and six assists en route to 104-100 win over the Hokies in two overtimes.

The two wins would ultimately be the difference for the Terps in sharing the ACC crown.

Watching Vasquez play in 2010 was special.

It’s unlikely that Vasquez could have won a 1-on-1 contest with some of the great all-around players in recent Maryland history. Vasquez’s game wasn’t nearly as polished as someone like Dixon, Steve Francis or even John Gilchrist.

Yet in terms of fortitude, only Dixon could match Vasquez. Vasquez cared deeply about representing the students, the University and the entire state.

“Every time I put on the jersey I did my best and cared about them,” said Vasquez after learning he had won the award. “Those four years at Maryland were a big part in my life, and I eventually want to raise my family around Maryland because it meant very much to me.”

It was the type of passion that rubbed off on everyone around him, including his teammates.

“He was a great teammate,” Maryland guard Adrian Bowie told WNST. “His passion was evident on and off the court. He loved us and we loved him.”

Perhaps that passion was no more evident than in his final act as a Terrapin, a devastating 85-83 defeat to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Trailing by 16 late in the second half and seemingly limping out on a disappointing note, Vasquez took his team on his back a final time, scoring nine of Maryland’s 11 points in the final two minutes. His final basket with six seconds left to give the Terps a one-point lead looked to be another brilliant moment before the Spartans’ Korie Lucious broke the hearts of Terrapin Nation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ending Vasquez’s collegiate career and leaving fans wishing for one more chance to watch him.

“It’s a memory all Maryland fans want to forget, but his final game left you wanting more and epitomized what he meant to this program,” said WNST’s Luke Jones. “We throw around words like courage and heart all the time in the sports world, but his passion, his determination was authentic. In those final minutes when he nearly willed the Terps to victory when it seemed all but impossible, it summed him up perfectly. As disappointing as it was for the team, knowing Vasquez would never wear that uniform again was sobering. You didn’t want it to end.”

Vasquez truly was loved by fans both on campus in College Park and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His talent as a basketball player was appreciated, but his incredible passion made watching him play a joyous experience for Terps fans.

For as much joy as Maryland fans (and WNST contributors) took from watching Vasquez on the court, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams told WNST he took equally as much joy from coaching him.

“If you pay a lot of money for a ticket, I think you want that guy that you paid the money to see to really work as hard as (in your mind) you would if you were a player,” said Williams after learning Vasquez had won the honor. “And that’s what Greivis gave all those people that bought the tickets. He gave them that player that played they way they would play if they got the chance.”

“I’ve always felt a big part of college basketball is the passion in the game,” added Williams. “I talk to pro players that have played here, played other places, and they really miss that passion that you get at college basketball in big games. Greivis was a part of that. He was nationally known as one of those guys.”

In a fitting twist, the brilliant performance of Vasquez in 2010 came after what would have to be considered the last “low” moment in what had previously been a roller-coaster career.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Vasquez pulled up but missed an important three point shot in transition in the second half of Maryland’s 83-77 loss to William & Mary at Comcast Center. Trailing by seven points, the miss turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Tribe as they would go on to upset the Terps.

The tone for Vasquez in 2010 was set that night. Not by the miss, but by the support shown by Williams despite the crucial miss (and poor decision). When asked about the shot after the game, Williams responded:

“Greivis has won a lot of games for us pulling up for threes. He didn’t make that one. Sure, he missed it, so I wish he would have driven the ball. But if he would have driven the ball and gotten his shot blocked, I’d wished he would have taken the three. It’s the way it works. I want Greivis to keep playing like he’s playing. He’s working hard, he’s trying to help us win. As long as he does that-I’ve had a lot of great players here that take shots once in a while that take shots that you might not like as a coach but that’s part of what makes them great. They have that aggressiveness, they have that no fear of being out there playing which you try to put into a lot of players, but not everybody has that.”

With that support, Vasquez never looked back in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about coach,” Vasquez told WNST. “I think he made a big impact not only in my game but in my life. He mean so much to me not only as my coach, but as a father and a friend, everything I needed. He’s more than a good friend, he’s a mentor. That’s why he’s successful and wins championships and went to the Final Four. I can’t say enough about coach Williams and he will be a special person to me for the rest of my life.”

Vasquez’s personality wasn’t left on the floor. He was as engaging on the campus in College Park and in the community as well.

“Greivis always had time for people,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d have to get on him because he was trying to do too many things to please too many people. The time he read books in elementary school to kids in Spanish-in a lot of Spanish areas around here-nobody even knew about that stuff. He was just always willing to show up. If they had a shoot-a-thon to raise money for charity on campus, Greivis would come in and try to make one from half court. That’s just the way he was. He was just always willing to be like the other students, which they really appreciated.”

“Greivis had a passion for both basketball and for life that was infectious,” Maryland associate Athletic Director Doug Dull told WNST as well. “He had a confidence and a personality that was magical and unforgettable.”

Watching Greivis Vasquez play basketball in 2010 was a special feeling for Terrapins fans and even those who support other schools but live in the area and found themselves glued to Maryland games.

There were two voting qualifications for the Local Sports Person of the Year honor.

The first was that the person had to play for a professional, college or high school team in the state of Maryland OR represent the state of Maryland in an individual sport.

The second was that the honor was year-specific. The honoree had to be someone for whom 2010 stood out not only in comparison to other sports figures, but also to things they had accomplished themselves in other years.

D1scourse.com writer (and regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST in 2010) Patrick Stevens offered a very well thought out explanation as to why Vasquez best met both qualifications.

“Vasquez came to Maryland with maybe his biggest obstacle being the language barrier. That’s almost a bigger impediment for someone who sort of knows a second language and tries to fit in while learning on the fly than someone who just relies on a translator and stays in his comfort zone. The thing was, Vasquez was always supremely at ease on the court, where it was immensely easier for him to express himself than through his many, many words.”

Stevens added, “For as much as people latched onto Vasquez’s rhetoric throughout his college career, he was always better measured through his deeds. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor (a 41-point night at Virginia Tech or helping topple Duke in his last home game) or off (posing for picture after picture well after games ended or simple gestures like handing a pair of shoes to a security guard at the ACC Tournament). Vasquez was the most impactful University of Maryland athlete since Juan Dixon, and never more so than in 2010.”

Vasquez’s often hard-nosed head coach was emotional in summing up his feelings about his former star player.

“The person that he is…is really tremendous. I really miss him. Obviously, you miss his playing ability, but you miss him being around.”

He’s not the only one.

-G

(Vasquez joined Rex Snider, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday to accept the honor. That interview is available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

Final Voting For WNST Local Sports Person of the Year-

1-Greivis Vasquez (20 points)
2-Buck Showalter (19 points)
3-Ray Lewis (10 points)
4-Joe Flacco (7 points)
4-Danny O’Brien (7 points)
6-Anquan Boldin (5 points)
7-John Rallo (4 points)
8-Gary Williams (3 points)
8-Jay Davidson (3 points)
8-John Harbaugh (3 points)
8-Forest Boyce (3 points)
8-Caitlyn McFadden (3 points)
8-Pam Shriver (3 points)
8-Cal Ripken (3 points)
15-Bill Ripken (2 points)
15-Ben’s Cat (horse) (2 points)
17-Pete Caringi (1 point)
17-Kevin Plank (1 point)
17-Reggie Holmes (1 point)

Panel of AM1570 & WNST.net contributors eligible to vote included: Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Ashley Bishoff, Pete Kerzel (CSNBaltimore.com writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jon Schmidt (WNST Sales), Paul Kopelke (WNST General Manager), Christine Cortezi (WNST sales), Jason Jubb, Mark Suchy, Patrick Stevens (D1scourse.com/regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction”), Sam Angell (WNST.net contributor), Allen McCallum (regular contributor to “The Afternoon Drive), Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Derek Arnold (BMoreBirdsNest.com/WNST.net contributor), BJ Appel (WNST.net contributor), Chris Pika, Lawson Lambert (WNST.net contributor), John Rallo (“Shogun Fights”/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jay Trucker (Examiner.com writer/WNST.net contributor), Todd Helmick (NationalChamps.net writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) and Brian Billick (WNST part-owner). Not all contributors eligible submitted ballots.

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