Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the drama is dead; long live the drama

With Tristan Spurlock and Jontel Evans back in the fold pretty much officially, the last shred of drama from the '08-'09 season is finally at a close. That's now officially last season, and the lack of a schedule does not deter me from calling the '09-'10 campaign "this season."

Or is it the end? DeShawn Painter, as you might have read, is no longer bound to Florida and is looking elsewhere. According to ESPN, we're the front-runner for his services. Yay? I dunno. First off where does that even come from? I really don't think that's based on any, like, actual insider knowledge. I think that's just a guy having to fill in the blanks in an editor-directed article and figuring one school's as good as any other. That's #1. #2, where does the scholarship come from? There were 14 players on the roster last year, and only one was paying his own way. The scholarship limit is, of course, 13 - Diane and Soroye depart, replaced by Spurlock and Evans, and there you are at 13 again. Where the scholarship for Painter would come from, I have no idea. So I think it's safe to say, Painter isn't going to be an option, and any future drama is '09-'10 drama, not '08-'09 drama.

OK, what else on this very, very offseasonish Wednesday? The Tewaaraton Trophy nominations are out - 21 in all, four of which are 'Hoos. The obvious two are Danny Glading and Garrett Billings; Shamel Bratton also picks up a nomination, and the fourth is for Mike Timms. When the five finalists are selected, Bratton and Timms are very unlikely to be on the list is my guess. Bratton because there's no way he beats out Glading and Billings, and Timms because long-stick guys don't win the Tewaaraton same way defensive players don't win the Heisman. Not to disparage what Timms has done, though, which is basically to make a mess of opposing offenses.

Also, the local newspapers tag-team on some QB fluff. Jeff White brings you Vic Hall and Jay Jenkins has Jameel Sewell. Both are pretty similar themes of "likable guy finally getting a shot at running the show." Much of the quarterback publicity coming out of spring camp has focused on these two gentlemen, and it really would seem that Marc Verica is the odd man out for now.

Finally, the official website has been doing some running Q&A's with various players - today, Nate Collins is on the hook. Most of it's the usual fluff, but Collins gives some pretty strong hints at what the linebacker depth chart looks like. Based on that, plus yesterday's with Denzel Burrell as well as the rest of the precious rare morsels of info that sneak out of camp, here's a guess at the way that's shaping up: Outside, the first-teamers are Cam Johnson and Burrell, with Billy Schautz and Aaron Clark backing up. Schautz has been getting good reviews out of practice, but outside is where all the established players with experience are. Inside, Darren Childs and Steve Greer are the ones with the first group according to Collins, and Aaron Taliaferro and Darnell Carter are with the second team.

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