Monday, June 28, 2010.
The No. 1 question on Boise State’s defense in 2010, of course, is who will take over Kyle Wilson’s old job at cornerback? During spring football, when it was assumed to be between Jerrell Gavins and Jamar Taylor, everybody was noticing Ebo Makinde. Boise State strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha runs a “mock pro day” every May after spring football. It gives the Broncos a taste of what the NFL is looking for—but more importantly, it serves as a final exam of sorts after spring football.
The results published in the Statesman show that everybody noticed Makinde for good reason. The redshirt freshman was first in the 40-yard dash (a sparkling 4.34 seconds), the three-cone drill, the pro agility drill, and vertical jump. Even the returning starter at the other corner, Brandyn Thompson, has to be aware of that performance. Then again, all other things close to equal, the winner of the derby to decide Wilson’s heir will be the guy who tops the list in football smarts.
One of the other top marks could be Nevada’s worst nightmare. Makinde actually tied for first in the vertical jump with three other players, one of which was Dan Paul. That’s Dan Paul, the fullback, at 37 inches? You’ll recall that Paul, who took over the starting spot when Richie Brockel’s season was ended by a foot injury against Idaho, caught three touchdown passes against the Wolf Pack on Thanksgiving weekend last year. All three were on sneaky routes out of the backfield. Now, with Paul’s evident leaping ability, might Kellen Moore try him on a fade route?
Boise State has its sixth verbal commitment for the 2010 recruiting class, and you may want to remember his name. Linebacker Emil Smith of Moreno Valley, CA, is one of those finds that the Broncos always seem to uncover. Scout.com doesn’t even have Smith rated, but Rivals.com gives him three stars. Not that it matters to the Boise State staff. Smith proved at the Bronco Football Camp two weeks ago that, on top of his talent, he’s a good fit. And that was that.
A couple interesting things out of Hawaii over the weekend. One is big picture. Boise State’s departure from the WAC isn’t enough to cause Hawaii to seek secession from the conference union. But Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser intimates that if there’s another round of Mountain West expansion, the Rainbow Warriors could consider going independent. “Faced with, say, departures by Fresno State and Nevada and no other conference to land in, independence could become an option,” writes Lewis. Hawaii has been in the WAC for 32 years—before that it was independent. The WAC certainly ain’t what it was, but scheduling as an independent would be an absolute nightmare.
The Hawaii football team is trying to reinvigorate its fading offense by bringing back the inventor of June Jones’ old run-and-shoot. Mouse Davis returns to the Warrior staff as receivers coach, but in actuality he’ll be a mentor to new offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich. Davis, who’s now 77 years old, created the run-and-shoot at Portland State in 1975 when Jones was his quarterback. Davis coached under Jones from 2004-06 and tutored record-setting QB Colt Brennan. In 2006, Hawaii averaged 559 yards a game, and Brennan broke the FBS record for single-season pass efficiency.
One thing about the Boise Hawks so far, they keep their chins up. I mean, the Hawks have been on the short end of routs in all but one of their losses this season, outscored a staggering 41-4 in their five defeats. But the Hawks got back up to .500 yesterday with a 5-1 win at Eugene. Pitching was the key, as Marcos Perez threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief and worked out of a couple bases-loaded jams. Boise tossed some more power into the mix, too, as Arismendy Alcantara hit his first home run of the season. The Hawks and Emeralds play the third of their five-game series tonight at the University of Oregon’s New PK Park.
One of Boise State’s representatives on the PGA Tour went home with some money over the weekend, as Graham DeLaet made the cut at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT. DeLaet earned $12,060—and it would have been a lot more were it not for a five-over-75 on Saturday. Fellow former Bronco Troy Merritt missed the cut Friday. The Travelers winner was Bubba Watson, one of the most popular players to come through the Albertsons Boise Open. It was Watson’s first PGA Tour victory.
Bishop Kelly grad Nick Symmonds stuck to his usual strategy at the U.S. Track & Field Championships yesterday. He started out dead last in the 800-meter finals, biding his time on the first lap. Then when the final lap bell rung, so did Symmonds. He turned it on and routed the field, running a 1:45.98 to win his third straight national championship. Symmonds runs for Oregon Track Club Elite out of Eugene.
This Day In Sports…June 28, 1997:
One of the most bizarre title fights in boxing history, as Mike Tyson bites off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their heavyweight championship bout in Las Vegas. Tyson’s transgression happened in the third round after Holyfield had dominated the early action. Referee Mills Lane deducted two points from Tyson but allowed the bout to continue. Later in the round, Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear, and Lane disqualified Tyson after the bell sounded.
(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.)