Thursday, July 15, 2010.
The Sporting News, more specifically draft expert Russ Lande, ranks Idaho’s Nathan Enderle as the seventh-best quarterback available in the 2011 NFL Draft. That’s one spot better than TCU’s Andy Dalton and two spots ahead of Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick. Lande has taken note of Enderle’s prototypical size, and says, “Enderle is a very good small-school prospect and has a chance to move up to the second or third round with a strong senior season. He is tall, with the thick build and strength to shake free from pass rushers and buy second chances. He has shown a big arm and the ability to make all the NFL throws, but he will have to prove he can make the big jump to the NFL.”
So if Enderle is seen as a second or third-rounder, how big is his first regular season appearance on ESPN2 in November? That will be his national stage for scouts, and he and the Vandals will be playing archrival Boise State, trying to break their 11-game losing streak in the series. The Kibbie Dome will be as loud as it has ever been—as, at the very least, it will be the Broncos’ last trip up there for a long time. And remember that Enderle didn’t get to play in this game last November in Bronco Stadium, as he was out with a shoulder injury. And there will be the inevitable comparisons to Kellen Moore. Incidentally, both Enderle and Moore have been named to the watch list for the Davey O’Brien, which goes to the nation’s best quarterback. Moore was a semifinalist for the O’Brien Award last year. Kaepernick is on the list as well.
Moore had his priorities straight yesterday. No. 1 was floating the Boise River. No. 2 was visiting Caves & Prater on Idaho SportsTalk. He talked about what he’s concentrating on during Boise State’s player-run practices this summer. And frankly, there’s not a lot to work on at this point. “It’s little fundamentals—things the normal fan would never notice,” Kellen said. “Small steps in your drop, shuffles in the pocket.” Moore is captaining the offense in Saturday night’s Bronco Offense Vs. Defense Charity Softball Game at Memorial Stadium, benefitting The First Tee of Idaho. Kellen will not be part of the home run derby, though. “I know my boundaries.”
Now that we’ve been through all that, who do you think are side-by-side on the college football homepage at SI.com? Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram…and Boise State’s Kellen Moore. The angle? “Match Made In Heaven.” In his College Football Mailbag, Stewart Mandel answers a question about what two programs he would most like to see play this season. “I'll go with Alabama vs. Boise State,” writes Mandel. “There's no greater litmus test right now than facing the SEC's champion, and if we believe the consensus projections that Alabama will once again be that team, and that the perennial outsider Broncos are about to field their most complete team to date, what better way to settle the question once and for all as to whether Boise belongs?”
Mandel continues: “For once, there would be no excuses if the Broncos pulled it off. No one could say their opponent wasn't motivated (Oklahoma in the '07 Fiesta Bowl), hadn't yet rounded into form (Oregon in last season's opener) or wasn't a BCS program (TCU in last year's Fiesta Bowl). We can already predict the requisite disclaimers that will follow should Boise beat Virginia Tech in this year's highly anticipated opener—the Hokies always lose their high-profile openers, they play in the ‘inferior’ ACC, etc. That's why it would take a BCS championship matchup against an actual SEC champion (because heaven knows a win over Ohio State would come with its own set of detractors) for Boise State to deliver its closing argument. And of course, if Alabama won by three touchdowns, we'd learn something, too.”
The Boise Hawks scored twice on four hits in the first inning last night at Salem-Keizer, and that was it. Volcanoes pitchers scattered seven Hawks hits the rest of the way and won, 4-2. It was hard luck in more ways than one for Boise pitcher John Mincone. The starter-turned-reliever allowed single runs in the sixth and seventh innings and was saddled with the loss, his third of the season without a victory. Mincone, who was the club’s Opening Night starter, also had to be helped off the field with what Hawks play-by-play man Mike Safford Jr. said looked like a knee or ankle injury. Meanwhile, Matt Szczur continues to be a bright spot for Boise. The Villanova football star went 2-for-4 and knocked in one of the Hawks’ runs. Szczur is now batting .375.
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance during the 2010 ESPYs last night. A thinner but relatively healthy-looking Karl was there to accept the award, and asked the government for more funds for cancer research. Karl has been battling neck and throat cancer since February. He’s going through the ordeal with the support of son Coby, the former Boise State and Idaho Stampede standout and now a member of the Nuggets. Coby, of course, is a cancer survivor himself.
Twilight Criterium week kicks off tonight, in effect, as Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong has the first eight miles of incline up Bogus Basin Road named after her. The “Kristin Armstrong Bikeway” is where all of her most critical training took place in advance of her title in the time trial in Beijing. The ceremony begins at 6:30PM at Highlands Elementary. Then Armstrong will lead a bike caravan to the Downtown YMCA, where she’ll be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame. The Twilight Criterium, a race Armstrong won last year, is Saturday night. But she won’t be racing. Kristin is retired—and pregnant.
This Day In Sports…July 15, 2005, five years ago today:
Considered the greatest golfer of the 20th century, Jack Nicklaus takes a final bow as he crosses the Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews. At the age of 65, Nicklaus wrapped up his final major with a birdie in the British Open, a tournament he won three times in his career. The Golden Bear won 18 majors overall.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)