Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday notes: Which is better, the Boston accent or Texas drawl?

A rundown of the Tuesday media luncheon:

  • Baylor true freshman quarterback Robert Griffin is a star in the making. He graduated from high school a semester early so he could participate in spring ball at Baylor. When spring ball was over, he ran track and finished third at the NCAA Division I Championships in the 400 hurdles with a 49.55. That's amazing, especially since he should have been a senior in high school at the time and had only been with the track team for about six weeks before the NCAA meet.

  • Randy Edsall compared Griffin to Pat White. He's the fastest player on the field, one of those guys who hopes a play breaks down because he can use his speed to turn it into 30 or 40 yards. But he can throw the ball, too. "We need to be disciplined with what we're doing," Edsall said. "The kids need to execute and play their assignments. They can't have their eyes in the wrong place or be putting their nose where it doesn't belong. We have to have kids running to the ball." Isiah Moore and Josh Massey (who ran in the vicinity of 10.6 in the 100 meters in high school) both simulated Griffin in practice this week. It's not the same, Edsall said. "We won't be adjusted to that speed until we see it Friday night. No one is as quick and fast with that kind of athleticism."

  • Andre Dixon is practicing, and cold be close to a return. Same with Lindsey Witten. Jordan Todman says he felt no pain or soreness in his shoulder at all following his debut against Virginia. Edsall said Todman will definitely be used because he's a different type of back than Donald Brown and Dixon.

  • Speaking of Brown, he's now fully entered the national spotlight. No surprise. Both Sports Illustrated and the New York Times were here today to write about Mr. Brown. Edsall downplayed the Heisman Trophy watch hype, but Brown will be mentioned more and more in the same breath as the Tebow's, White's and Daniels'. Edsall said the 25 touches (20 carries, five receptions) is right around where he'd like Brown to be each week.

  • Edsall says the reasoning behind scheduling Baylor is to help UConn make more recruiting inroads in Texas. The land of armadillos, relaxed open container laws and dudes named after cities is also the high school football capitol of the world. "If you look at the rosters of those (Division I-A) schools in Texas, they don't have very many from outside the state," Edsall said. "Football is important in high schools, and you usually get someone who understands the commitment and what it takes to play at a very high level."

  • Edsall called Darius Butler "perhaps the best athlete we've ever had since I've been here". We all know Butler if off-the-charts in terms of athletic ability, but this quote he gave today regarding fatherhood and his week-old daughter really tells everything you need to know about him as a person. "I think about her constantly. It's just a different feeling. You create somebody, you have to take care of them, go see them. It definitely did something to me."

  • Baylor has a strong tradition of sending players to the NFL, and rates 32nd among colleges with the most NFL draft picks ever with 208. Any guesses as to the top five? Actually it's not that hard. I'll tell you later. Ex-Baylor guys include, of course, Mike Singletary. But the program is more of an afterthought in Texas. It's been 13 years since the Bears have had a winning record and 16 since they last won a bowl game. All indications are this is a much better Baylor club, even though crushing I-AA Northwestern State and Washington State isn't exactly difficult. The Bears have several athletes. "It seems like they could all run track," Butler said.

  • Among the alumni Baylor claims as famous are Thomas Harris, author of "Silence of the Lambs", Jeff Ireland, GM of the Miami Dolphins, five-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, ESPN's Trey Wingo and the actress who plays Angela on "The Office".

  • I've talked with Jordan Todman briefly a couple of times before, but never noticed anything out of the ordinary. Today, Joe D of WTIC pointed out beforehand that Todman had a wicked kill-ah Boston accent when he did the post-game radio show Saturday. Talking to him today, I can't believe I missed him dropping his Rs (oops, I mean dropping his ah's). He and Anthony Sherman could have fit right in on the cast of "The Departed". At the very least, they could have helped the mottled pseudo-Boston accents of Jack Nicholson and Leo DiCaprio so they sounded a little more believable as Southie tough guys.

  • I'll take a Beantown accent over the Texas drawl any day. Baylor coach Art Briles may have been a good interview this afternoon. Then again, maybe not. I need to find a translator before I decide. Briles did, however, call Brown "a stud". That I understood. And please kick me in the rear end if I ever use the phrase 'stud' to describe someone.

  • The top five colleges with the most NFL picks are: 1. Notre Dame (461); 2. USC (450); 3. Ohio State (383); 4. Oklahoma (334); 5. Michigan (330). Rounding out the top 10 are Nebraska, Tennessee, Penn State, Texas and Miami. Florida International is a little farther down the line.

  • If you watch anything during the week, make sure it's Rob Lunn's "Lunn-sung" Hero of the Week on Channel 8's Huskies All-Access Show. The last two winners gave the honor high marks...Anthony Sherman put it up there with both his first communion and confirmation, Zach Hurd said it was better than sprouting his first chest hair. Desi Cullen is this week's honoree, and The Kentucky Hammer being interviewed by Lunn alone makes it must-see TV.

  • I purchased a Moylan's ginger ale from the UConn student center, and everyone stared in horror as I took a few swigs on the way over to Gampel. It comes in a clear green bottle, and it looks like I'm chugging a Rolling Rock. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea.


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