Good morning, everyone.
- Hope you get a chance to read this fantastic story on Shaq Thompson and how his failures in the Boston Red Sox rookie league motivated him. A passage from Emily Kaplan:
Because of his football commitment, his baseball season would end early. In his final game, he struck out in his first at-bat. A funny thing happened in his second plate appearance. He worked deep into the count. With two strikes, he fought off two pitches to stay alive. As the at-bat wore on, many of his teammates crept to the top step of the dugout. Then, boom, he ripped a line drive to right field. The moment of jubilation was cut short when the rightfielder made a shoestring catch. When he returned to the dugout, everyone high-fived Thompson anyway. That was his last at-bat before heading to Seattle.
It wasn’t mentioned in that story, but Thompson got a reported $45,000 to sign with the Red Sox. Despite the grief he took, I’d say it was a worthwhile experiment.
- More from Shaq in his first USA Today draft diary. He wants everyone to know that he’s a linebacker — a linebacker who hopes to run a 4.4 at the NFL Combine next week. (Shaq also mentions his affinity for special teams in his diary piece, and one of my favorite things last fall was watching him on kickoff coverage. He would strum an air guitar, dance and whoop it up just before kick, then always seemed to find an effortless way through traffic toward the kick returner. That aspect of his game will translate immediately to the NFL. Just ask Thomas Tyner.)
- I know many of you have moved on from the Vernon Adams story, but this was a really good column from Bud Withers on the reaction to Adams’ transfer in and around Eastern Washington.
- Utah State’s dynamic dual-threat QB, Chuckie Keeton, has been granted an additional year of eligibility. (The Huskies host Utah State on Sept. 19.) Some are wondering if he would consider a reunion with his former coach, Gary Andersen, at Oregon State.
- It looks like Boise State, already needing to break in a new QB for 2015, will lose its offensive coordinator to Notre Dame. UW opens the season at Boise State on either Sept. 3 or Sept. 4 (exact date/time to be announced this summer, likely).