Monthly Archives: April 2008

Josh Freeman

I’ve been reading all of these 2009 “first-glance” NFL mock drafts, and they’re all ridiculous, especially when you hear gentlemen like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock remind viewers during the past weekend that quarterbacks like Kentucky’s Andre Woodson and Hawaii’s Colt Brennan began the 2007 season as likely second-round picks.

No sight anywhere of Josh Freeman.

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J-Mac in the Lou?

That’s the word according to my sources. I’ve heard Kansas State defensive back Justin McKinney has agreed to terms on a rookie free agent deal with the St. Louis Rams. Pretty good sources, but until something is signed, nothing is official. And these things are always dicey with rookie free agents because teams can enter the picture late and offer more money. So stay tuned.

Still trying to figure out where Tim Reyer might be headed. And maybe James Johnson.

I do know that safety Marcus Watts will be in Cleveland this weekend for the Browns’ three-day mini-camp. He hasn’t signed a deal, his father said Monday, but it seems like a good situation for Watts, who is looking to catch on through his special teams play and then see what happens.

Recruiting, 04/24

It can be said with certainty.

Kansas State is concerned about its perimeter game.

The coaching staff is seeking shooters, anything to avoid a repeat of the 0-for-13 embarrassment K-State tossed up from long range in its second-round loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament.

But Wednesday’s commitment from Hutch center Abdul Herrera – the first pledge in the Class of 2008 – only adds depth to the frontcourt.

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Montrell McDonald…

Has not made up his mind.

In fact, the Cowley County C.C. guard is getting frustrated with the whole process.

He admitted Thursday that Texas Tech is the leader for his services, but he added Kansas State isn’t out of the picture. The problem is, he said, after he feels good about one situation, he hears from other schools. Those coaches then tout their schools, and how McDonald would be a better fit there, and it’s all become confusing.

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Latavious Williams

Don’t underestimate the effect of Michael Beasley on Kansas State recruiting.

You’ve likely read about how Starkville, Miss., forward Latavious Williams is interested in K-State because of Beasley, his favorite college basketball player during the past season.

Largely because of Beasley, the Wildcats were deemed must-see television – at least they were in Starkville.

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Fatima says…

This isn’t a “Mama Sayz” because she hasn’t written for a while. She’s a slacker. And if you see her, tell her as much.

For real, I just finished talking to Ms. Smith, a.k.a. Michael Beasley’s mother, and she told me some interesting things, some things that might have slipped through the cracks. Or, OK, some things I may have ignored in my KU-induced stupor:

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First round for Jordy?

Caution: agent-speak ahead.

Vann McElroy represents Kansas State wide receiver Jordy Nelson. It’s in McElroy’s best interests to talk up his client, but you also can’t get carried away and mislead your client. Which is why I’m convinced McElroy truly believes what he told me this morning, which is that he thinks Nelson might be nabbed in Round 1 of Saturday’s NFL Draft.

“This kid could slip into the bottom of the first – he’s risen that much,” McElroy said.

The reasoning, McElroy explained, is that Nelson compares athletically with the rest of the wide receivers available, not to mention his production. And there’s the issue of character, which isn’t an issue at all with Nelson.

“He’s No. 1 on the board in terms of character,” he said. “It’s a big deal… The commissioner went to league meetings this past spring and looked at the owners and said, ‘I can’t do this by myself… Make a statement and don’t sign these guys (with bad character). It helps him move ahead.”

Right now, McElroy is confident Nelson is a solid second-round selection. He has spoken with two teams that currently have him in their top five at wide receiver.

“I think Washington would take him at 51,” McElroy said.

Money matters

Frank Martin is being paid $760,000 per year, which puts him in the lower tier of Big 12 coaches. Not sure of Doc Sadler’s new deal at Nebraska or Scott Drew’s at Baylor, but based on 2007-08 compensation, Martin probably ranked fifth or sixth in pay.

Do you think he was a bargain? And based on Year 1 and what else has happened around the conference to successful coaches in Year 2 (OU’s Jeff Capel is in the million-dollar club and Sadler was extended), should K-State sweeten his deal?

Montrell McDonald

It’s down to Kansas State and Texas Tech for Montrell McDonald’s services. For now.

The Cowley Community College wing enjoyed his visit a couple of weekends ago to Manhattan, saying K-State “was pretty cool.” He hung out with David Hoskins and Michael Beasley, and he seems to have had a good time.

But…

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On Mike

How much of a decision is there to make when millions are on the line? More than you think.

Of course, Mike is going to take the money. Who wouldn’t? But he knows the money will be there whenever he decides he’s ready. And he’s not sure that time is now.

I’ve had extensive conversations with his mother – I think you guys know her by now – and the best way to describe Mike’s mind-state was, in Ms. Smith’s words, “one foot in, one foot out.” I don’t think this was a foregone conclusion like many suggest it was.

Again, with millions on the line – yeah, it’s a pretty easy decision for you or me. But barring a catastrophic injury – but even then, as Dalonte Hill told me weeks ago, Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the Conference USA tournament but was still the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NBA Draft just months later – the money will always be there.

And those crucifying Frank Martin for saying he expects Mike to leave are ridiculous. We all expect him to leave – why should Frank be any different? And if something – God Forbid – were to happen to Mike, it would be on Martin’s watch. Something tells me Frank doesn’t want to take that chance.

It’s hokey, sure, but Mike loves K-State. You’re tired of reading it, I’m tired of writing it, but it’s true. And when was the last time he remained in one place – with his family – for more than one year? There are a lot of compelling reasons why he might return, but in reality, there are millions why he won’t.