Monday, May 14, 2012.
It was enough cash to put some hairpins in Chicken Dinner Road. On Friday, Shea McClellin inked a four-year, $8.2 million contract, with a $4.4 million signing bonus with the Chicago Bears. Then the former Boise State star and Marsing High grad, taking nothing for granted, promptly jumped into the Bears rookie minicamp and turned heads with his intensity and advanced pass rush skills. Bears star linebacker Lance Briggs, who’s yet to meet the team’s first round draft pick, doesn’t think the big bucks will affect McClellin at all. "Boise State is an overachieving powerhouse,’’ Briggs told the Chicago Tribune. "It seemed like it happened overnight. Boise State players, I think they come with a chip on their shoulders, with something to prove to the country. And now he’s going to come with something to prove in the NFL."
Kellen Moore is the definition of the “chip on the shoulder” player. The challenges of making the Detroit Lions roster—and all the questions about his height and weight and arm strength—are like water off a duck’s back. The Lions held their rookie minicamp over the weekend, and Moore had to make his mark from the get-go. He’s well-aware it’s not carved in stone that Detroit will carry a third quarterback this season to go with Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill. "Nothing is planned," coach Jim Schwartz said Friday. "We will see how it shakes out. We will keep our best 53 players.”
John Kreger of CBS Sports.com reported last night, “Moore’s passing improved Sunday, but his performance over the three-day orientation left a lot to be desired. Moore wasn’t consistent in drills, and his effort gave credence to questions surrounding his arm strength that saw him go undrafted.” But the Lions know these initial sessions aren’t going to give them the whole picture. Kellen needs to operate an offense. "This guy's a very, very talented, very cerebral quarterback," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said in a radio interview last week
Former Boise State tight end Kyle Efaw got a free agent tryout with the Raiders over the weekend, and it has materialized in an invitation to training camp and a three-year contract contingent on making the team. Oakland does need some depth at Efaw’s spot, if tight end is Efaw’s spot. Former Boise State tight end Chris O’Neill was in training camp with the Raiders in 2009 and was converted to inside linebacker (he made it through the first exhibition game). Maybe Efaw could revert to his other high school position, defensive back. Heck, he had 10 career interceptions for Capital. Does Oakland need a rangy 6-4, 242-pound free safety?
One name we didn’t hear much from during Boise State spring football was defensive end Nick Alexander. Scout.com reports that Alexander is transferring to Portland State, where he’ll be eligible right away without sitting out a year. Alexander was injured last season and did not play. He got into two games as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and did not record a tackle. One other Bronco roster note: the Idaho State Journal reports that tight end Brennyn Dunn of Preston High has passed up a number of scholarship offers to accept a preferred walk-on spot with Boise State. Dunn, built kind of like Preston icon Napoleon Dynamite (but far stronger and more athletic), is 6-4, 210 pounds. “I’m excited to get over there and get beefed up,” Dunn told the Journal. “As soon as I visited I knew that was the place for me,” Dunn said. “I can’t wait.”
We’ll know soon enough what this means, but here’s the gist of a news release distributed last night: “The College of Idaho will have a press conference Monday morning at 11 a.m. to discuss the Board of Trustees decision/vote on intercollegiate football. C of I president, Dr. Marv Henberg, and athletic director Marty Holly will make initial comments and be available for 1-on-1 interviews. The C of I had a football program beginning in 1905 (intercollegiate beginning in 1917) through the 1977 season and had four alumni earn NFL contracts.” Proponents of Coyote football may have reason to be optimistic.
Tragedy strikes the Idaho football program, as wide receiver Ken McRoyal was shot to death early Sunday morning in Los Angeles. McRoyal, by all accounts a hard worker and solid teammate, was a walk-on junior college transfer from El Camino College last year and had earned a scholarship for his senior season. His family had moved to California after Hurricane Katrina. McRoyal played in eight Vandal games last season and started one, making six catches for 35 yards.
Graham DeLaet did make the cut at The Players Championship Friday, but his game blew up on him over the weekend, and he finished second-to-last. The Boise State product carded a pair of four-over 76’s in the final two rounds at TPC Sawgrass and earned $18,905. DeLaet is now halfway through his medical exemption—he has $504,769 in winnings and needs $163,397 over the next 13 events to retain his PGA Tour card.
“It was a classic that could have been penned by Edgar Alan Poe for the horrifying twists and turns,” said Boise State men’s tennis coach Greg Patton. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday in Athens, GA, Patton’s Broncos stormed to a 3-0 lead only to see Florida State rally for a 4-3 victory. Boise State won the doubles point and the first two singles matches, but the Seminoles, “courageous” as Patton called them, battled back to the final set of the day to end the Broncos’ season. It was a sudden death weekend for Boise State women’s softball as well. Needing perhaps a sweep of Texas A&M to get the attention of the committee for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, the Broncos were swept by the Aggies in the final three BSU games to be played at Mountain Cove Field.
Elsewhere, the Boise State men’s track and field team finished second in its first try at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships, with Kurt Felix stealing the show. Felix swept the men's awards, earning the MW Men's High Point Performer and Men's Outstanding Performance Award trophies. He won conferences titles in the decathlon and javelin. And the College of Idaho baseball team is in a winner-take-all situation today, facing Azusa Pacific on the Cougars’ home field for a spot in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston. The Coyotes had a chance to wrap it up Saturday but fell to APU 5-2 in the double elimination tournament that serves as the NAIA Championships opening round.
This Day In Sports…May 14, 1981:
The Boston Celtics top the Houston Rockets, 102-91, to claim Game 6 of the Finals and win the NBA Championship. The Celts’ Larry Bird, in his second NBA season, went 7-of-10 in the second half—finishing with 27 points and 13 rebounds. The MVP of the Finals, though, was Boston’s Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell. Although it was the Celtics’ 14th NBA title, it was the first for any member of that Boston team.
(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.)