Double-T Nation News:
I worked quite a bit over the weekend, trying to get ahead so that I can post with a little more frequency. I've finished the UMass preview, so look for it later this morning. Tomorrow, I will post an interview with UMass Football Blog so we can all get to know the Minutemen a little bit better. I've also got a couple of other things in the works, as well as the return of community projections.
Texas Tech Football:
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky writes about the possibility of a number of juniors testing the NFL draft in April of 2009 because of a lack of a rookie pay scale and surprise, surprise, Mike Leach had a thought or two about players leaving early:
"I don't think that would happen, because if they leave early, they're idiots because the scale would go up [the next year]," he said. "They need to remember that the success rate of players who leave early is dismal. Historically, guys lose money if they come out early, and a lot of these agents are nothing but loan sharks. And all these players who would be so worried about how much money they're going to make just need to be worried about making the team."
Tell 'em how you really feel Mike. Never one to mince words, I would imagine that Mike has a certain motivation to ensure that one of his better players doesn't come out early, that one player being Mr. Crabtree. Although historically it may be detrimental for juniors, and in Mr. Crabtree's situation, a draft eligible sophomore, to declare for the draft, I cannot imagine Mr. Crabtree staying for his junior year.
I do find it interesting that they would seek out a quote from Mike Leach and I would imagine he's right about most juniors losing money (I tend to only remember on the highly drafted juniors).
The Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter continues his series in ranking the Big 12 units, and you can probably expect a more in depth blog post from Matter later today, but on Sunday Matter ranked the top linemen in the Big 12 and the Sooners dominate the top 3 spots and Rylan Reed and Louis Vasquez checking in at #9 and #11 respectably:
9. Rylan Reed, offensive tackle, Texas Tech: One of the Big 12’s best stories. This former Chicago White Sox minor league pitcher once retired Barry Bonds in spring training. The 26-year-old left tackle also survived cancer, made the Texas Tech roster as a walk-on tight end, broke the school’s bench press record and protected the back side of an offense that gave up just 18 sacks on 763 pass attempts. In the Gator Bowl, Reed neutralized Virginia defensive end Chris Long, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, and held him without a sack.
11. Louis Vasquez, offensive guard, Texas Tech: Next to Reed stands this 6-6, 335-pound left guard - and another reason Texas Tech has the country’s largest offensive line.
I'm not surprised by the ranking, especially when this list is taking into account both offensive and defensive linemen. I am a little curious as to why Colby Whitlock didn't make the "Others worth mentioning" list, especially as a freshman All-American last year. Defensive end Brandon Williams did make this list and I'm interested to see how much he improves, especially if there are better pieces around him.
ProFootballWeekly.com's Josh Wolff goes very in-depth on Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. I thought the quote from Harrell's dad, Sam, was pretty interesting:
"I think you could have put Graham in Michigan’s offense, Georgia’s offense or Florida’s offense and he would have succeeded," said Harrell’s father, Sam. "I don’t believe he’s a system quarterback and time will only tell … but one day, he’ll show that he can take a snap under center, drop back and do all the things the NFL people want him to do."
I also tend to think that Harrell will make a pretty good pro-style quarterback, whatever that means, former Red Raider Kliff Kingsbury tends to think that it may be more about opportunity and the organization:
"Things have to fall into place because everyone in the NFL can throw and make plays," Kingsbury said. "The organization has to believe in you, but at the same time, you have to make your own breaks, and I think Graham will be able to do that."
NewsOK's John Helsley ranks the Big 12 receiving corps and feature article on the Red Raiders and their overall depth at the receiver position. This is the blurb from the ranking article:
1. Texas Tech. Michael Crabtree is the premier pass catcher in the country and there's budding talent all around for Tech's four- and five-wide sets. Mike Leach has a full array of weapons for his best offense yet.
And make sure and read the comments section here, there's Michael from OKC who thinks that OU has the best receiving corp in the Big 12. I don't think OU has a bad set of receivers coming back, but right now, I think that it's either Missouri or Texas Tech. Everyone loves their team. I love it.
Texas Tech Track:
Texas Tech Baseball:
Pretty in-depth and interesting article on former Red Raider Owen Brolsma, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in this past year's MLB draft.