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DeMarcus Lawrence: Tank gives back in Big D

It’s been almost seven years now since DeMarcus Lawrence starred at Boise State. His life is changed in some very rewarding ways.

BOISE, Idaho — Monday, March 23, 2020.

“DeMarcus & The Hot Boyz” is not a reincarnation of a 20-year-old Lil Wayne band. It’s actually a charitable organization formed in 2018 by eight members of the Dallas Cowboys defense. Former Boise State star DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence is the ringleader, and he has the HotBoyz going full-tilt during the pandemic crisis in Dallas. On Sunday, the Hot Boyz set up a drive-through food truck pop-up to give away 500 meals to hospital workers and first responders. Lawrence was there to help. “My daughter Moriah led the way (with the idea),” said Lawrence. “This is bigger than football. This is us stepping out and trying to be leaders and do our part.” The Hot Boyz have a gift card initiative started as well, benefitting restaurants and small businesses in the area.

What the Hot Boyz and other athletes like them are doing is a welcome respite from the NFL news that dominates the headlines during the sports shutdown. Trumpeting new contracts of $10 million, $20 million and $30 million per year seems a little tone-deaf right now (even if Lawrence is already in that salary range). Good on Lawrence, and on fellow Boise State alum Tyrone Crawford, another member of the Hot Boyz.

RELATED: 4 Boise State Broncos accept invites to the NFL Combine

BRONCOS’ NFL DRAFT PECKING ORDER

When Ezra Cleveland was sitting out the win over Portland State last September with a foot injury while Curtis Weaver was tying a school record with four sacks, few thought there was any question that Weaver was Boise State’s top prospect for the NFL Draft. But Cleveland has been riding a wave of momentum since his stellar NFL Combine performance. Sports Illustrated’s new three-round mock draft from Kevin Hanson has Cleveland going in the second round, 52nd overall, and Weaver in the third, 84th overall, both to the L.A. Rams. Cleveland’s foot dogged him all last season, but the Portland State game was the only one he missed. His stock is soaring now that he’s 100 percent and able to show his stuff.

THE SHIPP IS SAILING

Braydon Shipp’s delayed arrival at Boise State has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It’s been a two-year journey. Shipp, who was originally part of the Broncos’ 2018 recruiting class, has finished an LDS mission and is ready to join the program (when it’s up and running again). “2 years really does change a guy!! It was a huge blessing I had to serve and to help the people of Lima Peru!! Now it’s time for the next mission!!” tweeted Shipp on Sunday. Shipp is an offensive lineman from American Ford, UT. When he committed to Boise State, he was 6-5, 313 pounds.

RELATED: Boise State football: Early start on a celebration

YET ANOTHER HOOPS TRANSFER

The weekend started with Boise State men’s basketball landing a commitment from Naje Smith, a 6-7 forward from Cochise College in Arizona. Smith, whose hometown is Spokane, was the Arizona Community College Association Player of the Year after averaging 12.4 points and 6.7 rebounds before the season was suspended. The Broncos are chock full of transfers for next season, but Smith is the only one from a JC. Emmanuel Akot, Mladen Argus, Devonaire Doutrive and Marcus Shaver are all newly-eligible transfers from four-year schools.

BACK TO THE SEEDING INJUSTICE

No choice but to reminisce some more. The Boise State women’s basketball team would have played in the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, if there was one. Well, it was one year ago today that, despite an absurdly low No. 13 seed in the women’s tournament that forced them to play on Oregon State’s home floor, the Broncos almost pulled off the shocker. Senior Marta Hermida, who led Boise State with 22 points, dropped in two free throws for a four-point lead with 17 seconds left in regulation. But a strange confluence of events allowed the Beavers to get it to OT, where former Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year Destiny Slocum hit a couple crucial lay-ins to get OSU over the top in an 80-75 win. Boise State, who finished 28-5, drew the low seed despite an RPI of 39.

RELATED: Boise State football: The painful pause button in sports

MR. AND MRS. ANTHONY DRMIC

Because we need this type of news today, a tip of the cap to Anthony Drmic, who married his fiancée, Jenna, on Sunday in a small ceremony in Australia (presumably a gathering of 10 people or less). Drmic just finished his fourth season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League in Australia, averaging a career-high 10.6 points per game. He’s Boise State’s second-leading all-time scorer with 1,942 points, ending his career two points behind Tanoka Beard in 2016.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…March 23, 2014:

Wichita State, the first team ever to start a college basketball season 35-0, sees its undefeated run come to an end in a 78-76 loss to Kentucky in the round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament. It was the Shockers’ first loss since a Cinderella run to the Final Four the year before. The Wildcats, who had beaten Boise State 70-55 three months earlier, did it with one of John Calipari’s one-and-done teams on the floor. Two UK players, Julius Randle and James Young, would be picked in the first round of the NBA Draft that June.

(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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