Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Rewind to two years ago, when Kellen Moore began his senior season in the Heisman Trophy conversation. He had just finished fourth in Heisman voting the previous December, making it to New York City without a concentrated campaign, and there wasn’t going to be one in 2011 for the Boise State star. It wasn’t the Broncos’ style, nor was it Kellen’s. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is going into his senior year now, and although he isn’t really in the Heisman mix, the Bulldogs want him to be. Fresno State is not going to resort to gimmicks but plan on a “measured campaign” to boost Carr’s national profile. Carr prefers to say it’s all about the school and his brother, David, who was fifth in Heisman voting in 2001.
Carr stresses the value to the Fresno State program. "Even if you don't win it, you can always say we had someone up for the Heisman, that we had two brothers up for the Heisman out of our program,” said Carr. “Now that we can say that, it's great for recruiting.” The Fresno State athletic department will begin by sending national media a highlight video as well as a feature story produced in-house. According to the Fresno Bee, “There are plans to ramp up the campaign if the Bulldogs and their quarterback can make an impact in early season high-profile games, including the August 29 opener against Rutgers and September 20 against Boise State. ‘We are prepared,’ said Ryan Reggiani, the assistant athletic director/external relations at Fresno State. ‘We're continuing to build documents and portfolios and build videos.’”
And wouldn’t you know it, Boise State’s landmark win over Fresno State in 2001 comes to the fore in the Derek Carr discussion. Fresno State had reached No. 8 in the AP Poll at the time, and the Broncos’ 35-30 upset rocked the world for both schools. “I want it to get to the point to where not only do we have a good year now and then, it's consistent,” said Carr. "You could easily do it in Fresno. When you're in Fresno, you're the team. There is no pro team, so I think it could easily turn into a Boise State or a place like that. It started with David in 2001 and that team and then Boise came on. People forget that. Hopefully we can regain that and keep that going.” Presumably that Bronco flag is still hanging in Derek’s room at David’s insistence—until the younger Carr beats Boise State. He has one more chance in late September.
Idaho will be without a key piece of last year’s passing game this fall, as wide receiver Jahrie Level has transferred to Stony Brook in New York. Level can play right away, as Stony Brook is an FCS school. He spent one season as a Vandal, recording 46 receptions for 538 yards and two touchdowns. That leaves Najee Lovett and Roman Runner as the only wideouts returning with any measure of experience as new coach Paul Petrino tries to rebuild the Idaho offense.
Capital High senior-to-be Hayden Ritter is the boys leader going into today’s final round of the 46th annual John Dropping Junior Championship at BanBury. Ritter is up by one shot over Kyle Miley of Twin Falls, who posted the best round of the day yesterday, a three-under 68 on the second 18 holes. Fifteen-year-old Hunter Ostrom of Eagle is two strokes off the pace. On the girls side, Bishop Kelly senior-to-be Haley Nist has a two-shot lead in the prestigious tournament, thanks to an even-par 71 in the second round yesterday. Defending champion Gabby Barker of Vallivue High and Dana Clary of Cedar Park, TX, are tied for second.
If you’re wondering whatever happened to Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge, he played his first tournament on the Canadian tour over the weekend and finished second, two shots off the pace at the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in Victoria, BC. We haven’t heard much from Aldridge since he sandwiched a season on the PGA Tour in 2009 in between Nationwide (now Web.com) Tour stints in 2008 and 2010.
The Boise Hawks fly into town tonight, and we now know who is expected to be on the plane. There’ll be a lot of changes to the Hawks roster over the next three weeks, but out of the gate the club will feature the sons of two familiar pro athletes. Infielder Trevor Gretzky, son of the NHL’s Great One, Wayne Gretzky, rises above Rookie League for the first time. And outfielder Shawn Dunston Jr., son of the former Cubs shortstop, returns after batting just .185 in 19 games for Boise last summer. Infielder Danny Lockhart also has a dad who played in the majors, Keith Lockhart. The Hawks open the season Friday night at Eugene.
There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding third baseman Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs’ first-round (and second overall) pick in the Major League Draft last Thursday. But it’s likely the buzz will bypass Boise. The first-day guy more likely to play for the Hawks this season is second-round pick Robert Zastryzny, a pitcher out of Missouri. Zastryzny, a southpaw, had an interesting season for the Tigers. He posted a 3.38 ERA and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 82-24 in 90 2/3 innings. But his record was just 2-9. Zastryzny isn’t Boise-bound just yet (he has to sign with the Cubs first), but watch for him.
The new College of Idaho football program has added seven more players to what the Coyotes call their “zero-year class.” Two of them are former Treasure Valley high school standouts, Hunter Kenyon out of Borah and Nate Moore out of Vallivue. Kenyon led the 5A Southern Idaho Conference in rushing last year, recording 1,168 yards and 12 touchdowns. Moore, a defensive back, is transferring from fellow Frontier Conference member Carroll College, where he redshirted last fall. The C of I now has 49 recruits signed as it prepares to return to the gridiron in 2014.
This Day In Sports…June 11, 1913:
The birthday of Vince Lombardi. He set the standard for NFL coaches when he led the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, capped by victories in each of the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi had already won three NFL championships before the advent of the Super Bowl. The NFL’s championship hardware is named the Lombardi Trophy for a reason. He spent one season as coach of the Washington Redskins in 1969 but was diagnosed with terminal cancer the following summer and died at the age of 57. Vince Lombardi would have been 100 years old today.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)