Thursday, Aug 12 at 12:36 PM
Wednesday, August 11, 2010.
If the Boise State staff is moving a first-team All-WAC left tackle to left guard, it must feel pretty good about left tackle. The intriguing personality there—and I do mean personality—is sophomore Faraji Wright. At the Broncos’ Offense vs. Defense Charity Softball Game a month ago, Wright was my “assistant PA announcer.” A fan came up to the window, mouth agape, and exclaimed, “How’s it going? How are things in Denver?” Wright good-naturedly explained he is not Ryan Clady. And he is not. Wright is an extrovert. (He then took a wireless mike down to the field and got on a roll.) But otherwise, there are similarities that go beyond facial appearance.
Wright is 6-3, 295 pounds (the roster at BroncoSports.com hasn’t been updated yet). From that standpoint, Wright has the advantage over his primary competitor at the spot, Charles Leno, who is now listed at 6-3, 278. Wright has displayed Clady’s best trait—quick feet. But Leno, the redshirt freshman from San Leandro, CA, is one of those new-breed O-lineman, blessed with raw athleticism. When he signed with Boise State, scouting reports said Leno runs more like a tight end than a tackle.
On the “watch list watch” again: Boise State’s All-WAC duo, Austin Pettis and Titus Young, are on the scroll for the Biletnikoff Award that goes to the nation’s top receiver. They are not alone—there are 51 players on the Biletnikoff list, including Greg Salas of Hawaii and Brandon Wimberly of Nevada. But it does give us an excuse to dust off this stat: Pettis and Young combined for 142 receptions for 1,896 yards and 24 touchdowns last year. Also, the Broncos’ Kellen Moore, Idaho’s Nathan Enderle and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick are all on the watch list for the Manning Award.
Idaho’s first scrimmage of fall camp is set for today. Most eyes will be on the reconstructed offensive line and the running game, but the wide receivers merit a look as well. The Vandals lost Max Komar, who had a breakout senior season with 63 catches for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns. They return three wideouts who each totaled more than 30 receptions last year: Daniel Hardy (39), Preston Davis (33), and Maurice Shaw (32), but Davis will miss at least the first month of the season with a knee injury he suffered in spring football. Idaho needs another option there—next in line might be junior college transfer Armauni Johnson, who was impressive in the spring and made seven catches for 103 yards in April’s Silver & Gold Game.
If you’re wondering whether reigning WAC Defensive Player of the Year Dontay Moch of Nevada is legit as the preseason pick to repeat as winner of that award, here are some scary numbers. Ones I hadn’t seen until this week. At the Wolf Pack’s junior pro day a couple months ago, Moch was clocked three times in the 40-yard dash by NFL scouts. The first time he ran it in 4.18 seconds. Crazy. The scouts had him run again. This time it was 4.08. That’s nuts. Moch ran one more time, and clocked in at 4.2. Did you remember that he’s a 6-1, 245-pound defensive end? Holy moly.
Is there wishful thinking on the Islands? Colt Brennan is still regarded as a hero in Hawaii for leading the Warriors to the 2007 WAC championship and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. They want so badly for Brennan to succeed in the NFL. That didn’t happen with the Washington Redskins, but he was signed by Oakland last Sunday. And the Honolulu Star-Advertiser speculates he’ll get playing time with the second team tomorrow night when the Raiders open the preseason at Dallas. Brennan’s up against a lot of experience behind presumed starter Jason Campbell, his former teammate with the ‘Skins. Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller and Charlie Frye all have at least five years of NFL experience.
On July 22, the Boise Hawks were five games over .500 and in first place in the Northwest League East Division. They’ve lost 15 of 18 games since. We’ll see what yesterday’s rare day off does for them, as they return to Memorial Stadium tonight to face the Tri-City Dust Devils. The Hawks will still be without manager Jody Davis, who will be serving the third game of his six-game suspension for pulling the team off the soggy field last Saturday in Everett. Even the league’s leading hitter has felt the effects of the tailspin, as Alvaro Ramirez’s average has slipped from .393 to .384. On second thought, that’s still pretty darn good.
The Hawks have a 79th alumnus in the major leagues as catcher Welington Castillo has been called up by the Cubs. Castillo only played three games for the Hawks in 2006. But hey, he counts. Also, 2002 Boise regular Micah Hoffpauir is with the big club for the first time this season. Hoffpauir got considerable time with Chicago in 2008 and 2009 but was sent down to Iowa at the end of spring training. The 30-year-old first baseman has had a solid season in Triple-A, with 20 home runs and 87 RBIs. Hoffpauir started the Cubs’ 8-6 win over the Giants last night—and got the big collar, going 0-for-5.
BAM Jam Boise got a great review on the website of SLAM Magazine, the popular hoops publication. Staffer Ryne Nelson covered the third annual event last weekend and wrote, “Nothing’s perfect, but this is as close as it can get.” Nelson raved about Boise’s downtown and its people, and called BAM Jam “one of northwest America’s top 3-on-3 basketball tournaments.” Over 220 teams and 1,000 players participated, with the STADIA Legends winning the men’s elite division. That’s the team that won the inaugural BAM Jam in 2008, including former collegians Chris Allen (Lewis Clark State), Dan McFaul (College of Idaho) and Ryan McCarthy and Wade Joseph (NNU).
This Day In Sports…August 11, 1986:
In a 13-4 loss to San Francisco, the Cincinnati Reds’ 45-year-old player-manager Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, gets a double and four singles to break the National League record with his 10th five-hit game. Rose had been tied with Hall of Famers Max Carey and Fred Clarke, who each had nine five-hit games. Three nights later, Rose would collect his final major league hit, ending with 4,256.
(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.)