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Boise State football: Upward trajectory for Mattison?

Alexander Mattison fit in last year as a third-round draft pick with Minnesota. Now there’s a door opening in the Vikings offense for the former Boise State star.
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison scores on a 10-yard touchdown run during an NFL game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 34-14.

BOISE, Idaho — Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

Alexander Mattison fans—and there are lots of them in these parts—are connecting the dots with word that Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is probably headed for a holdout. The former Boise State star is suddenly in the spotlight. According to ESPN’s Adam Scheffter, Cook will skip all Vikings team-related activities until his contract is revised. Cook is prepared to continue the holdout through training camp and beyond, according to Schefter. He feels he has leverage after rushing for 1,135 yards last season and making the Pro Bowl. But while salaries for quarterbacks has spiraled upward in recent years, money for running backs has been relatively stagnant.

The shelf life of an NFL running back is short. Just ask Jay Ajayi and—to a lesser extent—Doug Martin. A long absence by Cook, however, will get Mattison off the shelf. Mattison stepped up when asked in his rookie year, rushing for 462 yards and averaging 4.6 yards per carry with one touchdown. He also caught 10 passes for 82 yards. The theory is that the Vikings aren’t set up to make major changes in their offensive scheme, so the carries that went to Cook last season could go to Mattison this year until Cook decides to come back.

COMMITS COME CASCADING IN AT CSU

A headine in The Coloradoan newspaper in Fort Collins reads, “Colorado State football's recruiting rankings are eye-catching. What do they mean?” That’s a really good question. Get this: the Rams already have a whopping 19 commitments for their 2021 recruiting class. That gives CSU the No. 1 class in the Mountain West and the 47th-ranked class in the country—for now—according to 247 Sports. Boise State has one commit so far, linebacker Jai Jones. That’s where the Broncos were one year ago, and things worked out just fine by December. But what’s going on at Colorado State with new coach Steve Addazio? This will be interesting to watch. How many recruits will be pilfered by other schools? How good as these guys really? No question, though, the Rams have created some buzz.

LAWRENCE & CRAWFORD AT WORK

So what is former Boise State star DeMarcus Lawrence up to in Dallas in the midst of all this seismic crazinessin the world? Lawrence is still dedicated to HotBoyz, the group he formed with fellow members of the Dallas defense, including fellow ex-Bronco Tyrone Crawford. “HotBoyZ and all of our supporters were at it again last week! Blessed to have been able to support Medical City Denton with 200 meals & 150 masks for nurses, doctors, and other front lines workers there! We couldn’t have done it without your support!” HotBoyz is also still helping feed kids in the Dallas Metroplex impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. Crawford’s currently involved in a push to raise $50,000 for GENYOUth, an organization that focuses on school wellness.

KAEPERNICK’S ROLE IN RENO

One of the byproducts of the “Black Lives Matter” movement is a new focus on Colin Kaepernick. That’s certainly the case among current Nevada players. Two have started an online petition asking the school to "bring Colin Kaepernick’s image back to the University of Nevada." It received more than 3,600 signatures in its first 22 hours. “It is time to give praise to a man with so many admirable traits who gave so much to the school in his time there, and who has given his entire public image in hopes to spark meaningful change in our country," said one of the players, offensive lineman Blake Baughman. But, Nevada Sports Net’s Chris Murray writes, “Kaepernick's image remains present in Wolf Pack athletic facilities, arguably more present than any other former student-athlete.”

ALSTON WITH PLENTY TO THINK ABOUT

KTVB’s Jay Tust interviewed Boise State star Derrick Alston over the weekend. There’s now a new deadline to withdraw from early entry into the 2020 NBA Draft: August 3. 

“I've been able to interview with about over half the league now,” Alston told Tust. “I want to continue to get all the information that I can and then, hopefully, just make the right decision for me.” Alston is also trying to use the platform he has to support the “Black Lives Matter” movement and encourage his peers to vote this fall. “In my age group from 18 to 24, the percentages from both those election years were drastically different. I think that you know, people might need to take voting a lot more seriously and if we do want to see change,” said Alston. “I think that's the first place that we got to go.”

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…June 10, 1984:

During the height of the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rivalry, the Boston Celtics wrap up the NBA championship with a 111-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the Finals. Bird was the MVP of the series, but it was the Celtics’ Cedric Maxwell who came up big in the seventh game, scoring 24 points. Magic and the Lakers would win the NBA Finals over the Celts the following year.

Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.

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