Tuesday, May 4, 2010.
It’s not easy for a suspended player to work his way back into the good graces at Boise State these days. We’ll see how the process goes now for Jason Robinson, as he has agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor battery for punching a man in the jaw at a downtown bar in February. Robinson has been suspended since the first day of spring football. His plea won’t be entered until three weeks from now, so he’s still separated from the team at least until then. This isn’t the launching pad Robinson envisioned for his senior year, especially coming off a defining season as a Bronco.
Robinson would seem to be a candidate for a second chance. Let’s do a rewind on his career. He started at strong safety as a redshirt freshman to open the 2007 season before Jeron Johnson took the job away. Robinson was a reserve as a sophomore but came into his own last year as a key backup at nickelbacker and a, shall we say, influential special teams player. He was the receiver on the original Riddler at Hawaii, hauling in a 28-yard pass from punter Kyle Brotzman. Then, after TCU had earlier sniffed out Riddler during the Fiesta Bowl, he suggested he go in motion on the play to draw the Horned Frog defense out of the middle and open up the field for Kyle Efaw. It’s that version of Robinson you’d think the Broncos would want to get back in the fold.
Leave it to the New York Times to pursue every angle on the Jets’ and Giants’ top picks in the NFL Draft. The Times found that the top three players taken by the Jets and Giants all have roots in the Caribbean. Did you know that about former Boise State star Kyle Wilson? His dad, Gerry, emigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago to go to college. Kyle said in the article he’s never been to Trinidad and Tobago, but he told the Times’ John Branch he wants to go there. Who wouldn’t? And Kyle has the money now. This would make Wilson the second Boise State starter I’m aware of ever to come from the Carribbean. The first? Placekicker Kenrick Camerud from the 1980 Division I-AA national championship team. Camerud, who hailed from the island of Saint Kitts, doubled as a sprinter on the Bronco track team.
Let’s call this a spring game extravaganza, as three Boise State opponents wrapped up spring ball over the weekend. Even though Hawaii is lacking continuity at quarterback, the Warriors put emphasis on progress in the run game this spring. And they were able to run the ball in the “Warrior Bowl” last Friday night on campus. Hawaii is calling Alex Green and Chizzy Dimude “peanut butter and jelly.” Dimude had 52 yards on just four carries in the game. But the cloud that hangs over the Warriors is their uncertainty at QB. Bryant Moniz will rejoin the team from his “personal leave” this summer. This offense needs help after dipping to less than 23 points a game last season. Just two years before, UH averaged more than 43 per game.
Fresno State’s project this spring was replacing Ryan Mathews, and Robbie Rouse has emerged as the heir-apparent to LaDainian Tomlinson’s heir-apparent. Rouse busted off runs of 48 and 24 yards in the Bulldogs’ spring game, the latter going for a touchdown. Nothing’s changed at quarterback for Fresno State. Ryan Colburn remains No.1 after starting every game last season, with Derek Carr the backup. We won’t know if the Bulldogs’ rush defense has made the strides it needs to make until the bell rings in September.
Oregon State had to spend the spring trying to replace several players who had left the program. One was starting defensive end Matt LaGrone, a former Nevada basketball player who returned to Reno to be with his wife and child. Well, Taylor Henry appears to be the ticket after recording four sacks in the Beavers’ spring game Saturday. Henry is a 6-1, 240-pound sophomore. Interesting sidebar: Jack Lomax, son of Neil Lomax and brother of one-time Boise State quarterback Nick Lomax, got into the game late and was 13-of-20 for 279 yards and three touchdowns.
When you’ve been as dominant as the Idaho Steelheads have been so far in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, you’re going to have some eye-popping plus-minus numbers. The Steelheads’ Guillaume Monast leads the ECHL in the postseason at plus-12, and that’s in just four games. Indeed, the Steelies have five of the top six players in plus-minus during the playoffs, with all of them at plus-7 or higher. The Steelheads will try to fatten those numbers when they go to Stockton for Game 3 of the ECHL National Conference Finals tomorrow night.
The Statesman’s Nick Jezierny reports that Boise State has yet another men’s basketball scholarship available, with new coach Leon Rice and Tyler Young agreeing to part ways. Young is a 6-8 forward from Leesburg, VA, who played only 24 minutes for the Broncos last season. Jezierny says Young is considering transferring to NNU or the College of Idaho. Rice has two scholarships to fill with two weeks left in the late-signing period.
The College of Idaho baseball team has charted its postseason course, as the NAIA West Postseason Tournament will be held in Vancouver, B.C. The University of British, from whom the Coyotes took three of four games in Caldwell over the weekend, is the host. The Yotes are the second seed in the tournament and will open play against third-seeded Oregon Tech Thursday afternoon.
This Day In Sports…May 4, 2001:
Misfortune strikes Game 4 of the WCHL’s Taylor Cup Finals in Boise between the Idaho Steelheads and San Diego. Trailing two games to one, the Gulls watch their popular captain, B.J. McPherson, fall to the ice with a dislocated neck. McPherson was transported to the hospital in critical condition, and his teammates rallied furiously for a 4-3 win. Boise fans would come to McPherson’s aid, raising over $4,000 for him in the next 24 hours. But it was indeed a turning point for the inspired Gulls, who won the series in seven games.
(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.)