Here we go...
Out of the blocks, Buster
Former Chattanooga Mocs defensive back Buster Skrine runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
UTC cornerback Buster Skrine was all the rage Tuesday afternoon at the NFL combine. Our UTC ace John Frierson wraps it up nicely here.
Buster clocked an unofficial time of 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard sprint. If that sounds fast, well, good, because it's flat-out, hauling-tuckus fast. Now, because of some clock controversy, the official time was pushed back into the 4.4s, but Skrine's showing in other drills showed he has elite wheels.
Plus, Deion Sanders was talking about how fast Buster Skrine was moving. Read that again, and know this: If Deion, the guy that ran a 4.25 many moons ago, the guy that friend of the show Cowboy Joe says ran a 4.5 BACKWARD, says you're fast, well, bank it — you are fast.
If Peyton says you can play quarterback, or Greg Maddux says you can pitch or your nanny says someone can cook, well you bank it because they know what they're talking about. Same with Deion and speed. This can't be debated.
Know this, too: In the last 12 years, there have been nine players to run sub-4.3 40 times and five of those guys went in the first round.
Know this, too (last one promise): The powers that be at UTC better get out the chips and cookies and get ready for company for this year's pro day. Something tells the 5-at-10 there are going to be at least a couple of dozen scouts converge on the scene this year.
Aside from Skrine, there were a lot of guys that made themselves a lot of coin by showing out in the drills at the NFL combine. Yes, the 5-at-10 loves the combine — you know this — but there is no drill that should get more weight than the game tape from the season. Seriously, don't let one guy from the University of Phoenix who can run a crazy 20-yard shuttle jump over A.J. Green. A.J. Green has displayed his skills every game for the last three years — and there's not a lot of chances to run a 20-yard shuttle on Sundays in the NFL. That said, here's a few guys that made themselves some money in the job interview that is the NFL combine and some guys who will need better showings at their upcoming pro days.
— Stephen Paea was able to bench press a total of 5 and a half tons in less than a minute (he bench pressed 225 pounds 49 times in less than 60 seconds). That's has to be good right?
— Julio Jones ran a sub-4.4 in the 40... with a broken foot. Let's move on.
— Patrick Peterson may have moved to the top of all draft boards. Dude is 6-foot-2, 219 pounds and ran a 40 in mid-4.3s — and was upset with the time. Wow.
— Marcel Dareus and Nick Fairley were among the stars of a deep and talented class of defensive linemen. These guys are studs folks.
— The obvious recent dominance of Alabama and Auburn. There's a real chance that the Iron Bowl rivals will have four players picked in the top 10 and five in the first 15.
— Cam Newton tarnished his lofty status with some errant throws. He'll still be a first-rounder, but his showing at Auburn's pro day will be huge.
— Justin Houston stumbled during the agility drills and was not as fast in the 40 as some had expected. That's not a good combo for a speed rusher.
— Tyrod Taylor ran a great 40 — his time in the low 4.5s was the best among quarterbacks — but his arm showed that a position change may be in order for the former Virginia Tech star to make it on Sundays.
How you like Lunardi's apples?
When it comes to the NCAA basketball tournament Joe Lunardi is Will Hunting — the brainiac dude Matt Damon played in, you guessed it, "Good Will Hunting."
Lunardi can put a number on anything. Case in point: Lunardi has his field of 68 — that's nothing overly special, of course — but he offers the percentages to make the Sweet 16. And the Final Four. And to win the whole thing. For every team. It's pretty amazing (The 5-at-10 would link it here, but it's ESPN Insider content).
Ohio State ranks as his favorite in each category (87.4 to reach 16; 46.8 to reach Final Four; 20.4 to win all).
The Vols are still in Lunardi's bracket, but he does not have a whole lot of faith in the Vols. In Lunardi's equations, UT gets to the Sweet 16 all of 4.7 percent of the time and to the Final Four 0.4 percent of the time. As for winning the whole thing, well, Lunardi gives the Vols the John Blutarsky: ZERO — POINT — ZERO.
As Dean Wormer would say, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son."
College hoops update, Volume 6, Chapter 3
Before we get into the rest of the college hoops world, let's pause and reflect that full range of references above — yes, Good Will Hunting to Animal House in all of five paragraphs. Thank you, thank you, and remember kids, don't try this at home.
— More Lunardi: He has College of Charleston in the field, meaning he likes the Fightin' Creminses in this weekend's Southern Conference tournament at McKenzie Arena.
— BYU dismissed Brandon Davies for the rest of the season for honor code violations. He was averaging 11.1 points per game and a team-best 6.2 rebounds for the Cougars. BYU coach Dave Rose is scheduled to discuss the issue after tonight's game against New Mexico. The BYU honor code ranges from being honest and participating in church activities to obeying the law. Two quick things: One, the Cougars have moved to the top of the 5-at-10's list of teams that deserve admiration; Two, we'll have to see what Davies did, but it reminds the 5-at-10 of our days playing church league hoops and one of the main rules was you had to be at services on Sunday to see the floor the following Saturday. The rule was known as the "No Pray, No Play" rule. Amen.
— Sitting one spot ahead of the No. 3-ranked Cougars, Kansas will welcome back Tyshawn Taylor tonight. Taylor will not start tonight against Texas A&M, but Taylor's return means the Jayhawks are going to be a tough out this month.
This and That
— Auburn confirmed earlier this week that it had dismissed Eric Smith from the football team. Apparently he was arrested last month for third degree domestic violence.
— The clock is about to run out on the NFL labor deal. The deadline is midnight Thursday. The 5-at-10 is sad about where this is and sadder about where it's heading. Let's just move on.
— Carson Palmer is firm that he will not play another snap for the Cincinnati Bengals. According to Tuesday's report, Palmer said "I have $80 million in the bank. I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life." If that's the case, the Titans needs to make the call now — start with an offer of Vince Young and a third-rounder and be willing to go to VY and a second-rounder. Teams trade headaches: Titans get an answer to their quarterback problems, and the Bengals get a pick that could be worth something.
— According to the AP, Kimberly Wohlers, wife of former Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Mark Wohlers, saved Mark and their three young children from a fire that ravaged their suburban Atlanta home. Kimberly woke Wohlers up and raised upstairs to get their kids, ages 3, 5 and 7. Since everyone is safe, feel free to insert your bullpen jokes here. (The 5-at-10 will go with, "At least someone in the Wohlers clan can put out a fire." Thank you, thank you, and remember to tip your waiters and waitresses.)
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...