T.Y. Hilton calls 2019 Colts ‘best team I’ve ever been a part of’

first_img Patriots’ Tom Brady on facing Steelers in Week 1: ‘We’ve got to be at the top of our game’ Hilton, a third-round selection of the Colts in 2012 after Luck was taken first overall, has been a major contribution to that success over his first seven seasons in Indianapolis, but it’s worth noting that much of it came with help from his quarterback.In 2017, Hilton posted his fewest receptions (57) and receiving yards (966) since his rookie campaign as Luck missed 15 games with a nagging shoulder injury. But they both bounced back in 2018, with Hilton logging 76 catches for 1,270 yards and six touchdowns as Luck earned Comeback Player of the Year honors after throwing for 4,593 yards. “This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of,” Hilton told reporters Wednesday, via The Athletic.Asked if Luck’s decision to call it a career early affected that logic, Hilton added: “We take nothing away from him. But this team is good.” Related News On the other hand, the Colts have a number of offensive weapons in Quenton Nelson, Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell to help Brissett’s transition go smoothly.”I’ve been on good teams, I’ve been on not so good teams,” Hilton added. “But this team, especially, we have pretty much everything you need to have on the field.”The Colts kick off Week 1 action visiting the Chargers at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday.center_img Despite Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement, T.Y. Hilton has high hopes for the Colts in 2019.The team enforced their belief in Jacoby Brissett by signing the backup to a contract extension, and the veteran receiver echoed that faith as he assured the loss of Indy’s franchise quarterback did not shake his confidence in the squad as a whole. Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott reacts to new contract: ‘I believe I’m the best’last_img read more

Fantasy Football Show Podcast Week 2: Waiver pickups, sleepers, start ’em/sit ’em advice

first_imgWEEK 2 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerIf you’re still on the fence about listening, you’ll definitely want to hear one of the SN Fantasy experts unironically uses this defense: “That was more of a case of incompetence instead of being stupid.” WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWeek 2 Fantasy Football PodcastTimestamps:WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF? Things we were wrong about last week:  (2:39)The over/under on Justice Hill’s touchesHating on Sammy Watkins (with bonus Tyreek Hill/Mecole Hardman talk)Recommending the 49ers offense (with bonus Raheem Mostert/Matt Breida talk)GOOGLE ‘EM BING ‘EM QWANT ‘EM: Most searched players of the week (9:17)Antonio Brown (plus Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett)Joe Mixon (plus Giovani Bernard)Todd Gurley (plus Malcolm Brown)Hollywood Brown and Terry McLaurin (plus DK Metcalf)Derrius Guice (plus Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson)SLEEPERS, RISKY PLAYS, START ‘EM/SIT ‘EM: Players we’re excited/worried about for Week 2 (24:05)QBs: Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield (24:39)RBs: Patriots RBs, Eagles RBs, Giovani Bernard, Dion Lewis, Devin Singletary, James Conner, Bears RBs, Broncos RBs, Texans RBs (33:53)WRs: John Ross, Ravens WRs, Jaguars WRs, Calvin Ridley, Larry Fitzgerald, Jarvis Landry, Courtland Sutton, Vikings WRs, Bucs WRs, Redskins WRs (45:34)TEs: Panthers TEs, Vernon Davis, Ryan Griffin, C.J. Uzomah, Delanie Walker, Jared Cook (56:40) We don’t talk about every NFL player in our Week 2 Fantasy Football Show podcast (available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and YouTube)…it just feels that way: I mean, when start by discussing Justice Hill’s Week 1 touches and end by coming up with team names involving Sam Ficken, you know it’s an in-depth show. “Yeah, but do you talk about anyone actually relevant?” you might be asking yourself. Yeah, smartass, we do. See the players discussed below. If you don’t have at least one of those guys on your fantasy team, we’ll refund your money and replace this podcast with a new one. D/STs: Giants, Jets, Colts, Panthers, Jaguars, Rams, Vikings, Packers (1:03:47)RANDOM S#*% (1:06:18)Sam Ficken Fantasy Team NamesBooger McFarland breaking down Taysom Hill’s versatility and Deshaun Watson’s aginglast_img read more

Georgia vs. Notre Dame odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘College GameDay’ game of the week

first_imgNo. 7 Notre Dame travels to No. 3 Georgia on Saturday in a matchup of top-10 teams that will help shape the College Football Playoff puzzle.The Bulldogs are off to a 3-0 start behind a punishing rushing attack that ranks eighth in the FBS at 286.7 yards per game. Quarterback Jake Fromm will try to beat the Irish for the second time in three years. Stat that mattersWith two reliable rushing attacks and experienced quarterbacks, turnovers will be that much more important to the outcome. Notre Dame has a plus-six turnover ratio through two games with the help of seven turnovers forced. They’ll need to win that battle to have a chance on the road. Georgia is plus-one, so if they take care of the football here, then they should be fine.Georgia-Notre Dame PredictionNotre Dame didn’t trail Georgia until the 4:34 mark in the third quarter in the teams’ 2017 meeting. The Irish will strike first after an impressive first quarter, but the Bulldogs will hit a few big touchdown runs before halftime. Book keeps the Irish in the game into the fourth quarter, and Notre Dame will lead at that point. Fromm, however, plays hero again with a touchdown drive that gives Georgia the big nonconference win it might need later.Final scoreGeorgia 28, Notre Dame 24 Notre Dame, meanwhile, is 2-0 and will look to win its second road game in three games. Quarterback Ian Book will be the key for Notre Dame in its first visit to Sanford Stadium.With that in mind, here is everything you need for Saturday’s matchup between the Irish and Bulldogs:MORE: Get the latest college football odds at Sportsbook ReviewBetting odds on Georgia-Notre DameGeorgia is a 12-point favorite according to odds at Sportsbook Review, and 59 percent of wagering has come in favor of the Bulldogs. Will this bump up to 13 or 14 points by kickoff?All-time seriesGeorgia and Notre Dame have met twice in their respective histories. The Bulldogs clinched their last national championship with a 17-10 victory against the Irish in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, then won the 2017 meeting 20-19 at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017 en route to the College Football Playoff.WEEK 4 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadThree trends to know— Georgia has won 15 straight home games by an average margin of 29.3 points under Kirby Smart. That streak, however, includes just one game against a ranked team.— Notre Dame is 2-4 against top-10 teams on the road under Brian Kelly, and both victories came in 2012 against No. 10 Michigan State and No. 8 Oklahoma.— Notre Dame is 2-3 ATS as an underdog and 0-2 ATS as a road underdog since 2016. Georgia is 12-5 ATS against ranked opponents since 2016 but 8-11 ATS as a home favorite in the same stretch.Three things to watchNotre Dame’s rush defenseThe Irish have allowed 230.5 rushing yards on nearly 5 yards per carry. If that happens in this game, then it’s going to be a long night. Georgia has five different running backs with more than 100 yards rushing, and those backs have combined for 10 rushing touchdowns. It’s more than just D’Andre Swift: this is the deepest backfield in the country. The Irish have been better at pass defense; limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 38.6 completion percentage.Ian Book’s efficiencyQuarterbacks are hitting 60 percent of their passes against Georgia, however, and that should be good news for veteran quarterback Ian Book. The Irish quarterback struggled in spots in the road opener at Louisville, and that can’t happen in this game. Book has a 62.6 percent completion percentage on the road for his career. He’ll have to be better than that.Spread the wealthFromm and Book will engage in a duel, and both quarterbacks can spread the ball out. Notre Dame has six different receivers with touchdowns this season, but Chase Claypool (9 catches, 190 yards, touchdown) must make an impact. Georgia has five different receivers who have scored, and Dominick Blaylock (7 catches, 160 yards, two touchdowns) can have the same impact.MORE: Big questions from Week 4’s biggest gameslast_img read more

Molinari seizes Masters lead with Woods, Finau two back

first_imgItaly’s Molinari, the reigning British Open champion, stayed patient through five opening pars as birdies broke out everywhere on rain-softened Augusta.After birdies at six and eight, he erupted with four straight birdies starting at the par-three 12th — where his tee shot left him inches from the pin.He methodically rolled in putts of six, eight and nine feet to birdie the next three — and maintained his two-shot edge by getting up and down for par from a bunker at 18.Molinari, one of five major winners to share the overnight lead, had a 13-under total of 203.“I played the back nine probably as good as I’ve ever played over here,” Molinari said. “So nice to keep another clean scorecard.”Woods, who won the last of his four Masters titles back in 2005 and hasn’t added to his tally of 14 majors since his 2008 US Open victory, carded a five-under par 67 for an 11-under total of 205.He was joined by Finau, who fired a 64 — one shot off the tournament record and matched by two other eight-under rounds from Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay.Woods was also slow to join the birdie bandwagon, opening with four straight pars before a bogey at the fifth.Two back: US superstar Tiger Woods smiles as he walks on the 18th hole in the third round of the Masters at Augusta National. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Kevin C. CoxHe responded with three birdies in a row starting a the sixth. At the seventh he stuck his approach a foot from the pin and he rolled in an 11-footer at eight.“I got on a little roll there,” said Woods, who kept the momentum going with a par save from the trees right of the fairway at nine and sank a seven-footer for birdie at 13.He got up and down for birdie at 15, where his chip on left him two feet, and he reached 11-under with a seven-foot birdie at the par-three 16th.“I just did everything,” Woods said. “I drove it well and hit my irons well. I made some putts. I just let the round just kind of build.”Finau, aiming to become the fifth straight player to make the Masters his first major title, opened with three straight birdies.Another birdie at the sixth was followed by an eagle at eight, where his second shot left him a tap-in.“I had a pretty good number,” he said of his second shot. “I hit a really good shot, but I didn’t think it was going to be, you know, a foot from the hole.”The 27-year-old missed a 10-foot putt at the ninth that would have broken the front-nine record of six-under 30, although he wasn’t aware of the mark at the time.– Finau’s ‘dream’ pairing –Final group: American Tony Finau on the way to an eight-under par 64 in the third round of the Masters at Augusta National. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Andrew RedingtonTwo more birdies coming in put him in a “dream” final group with Woods and Molinari — after Augusta National officials announced the final round would be played in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees, starting early in a bid to beat severe weather predicted for the afternoon.“As a kid I always wanted to compete against him,” said 29-year-old Finau of Woods. “I’ve dreamed of playing in a final group with him in a major championship.”Molinari played with Woods in the final round at Carnoustie last year, when he lifted the Claret Jug.The Italian wouldn’t go so far as to say he considered it a lucky pairing, and he warned that Woods and Finau wouldn’t be the only players he had to worry about.“There’s a lot of guys playing great,” Molinari said. “I wish I had only to worry about him but I think there’s a lot more guys with a chance.“My plan is to go out and do the same, but I think there’s going to be a few guys trying to mess up with my plan.”Brooks Koepka, who won a second straight US Open title last year then held off Woods to win the PGA Championship, was alone in fourth on 206 after a three-under 69.Former US Open champion Webb Simpson had an eagle and seven birdies in his 64 for 207, level with England’s Ian Poulter, who signed for a 68.Major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Dustin Johnson were in a group on 208 that also included South African Justin Harding and Americans Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele.last_img read more

Saquon Barkley injury update: Giants star (ankle) officially ruled out for Patriots

first_imgBarkley reportedly said he could beat his initial four- to eight-week timetable for recovery, but the Giants staff is taking a cautious approach in easing him back into action. The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year injured his ankle in the second quarter of the Giants’ Week 3 win over the Buccaneers.Despite missing the past two games entirely and most of the game in which he was injured, Barkley still leads the Giants in rushing with 237 yards. Gallman is next with 107. Jones will enter Thursday’s game as the team’s active rushing leader with 78 yards, 25 more than projected starting running back Jon Hilliman.The Giants (2-3) will visit the undefeated Patriots at 8:20 p.m. ET Thursday. Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been officially ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the Patriots as he continues to rehab his high ankle sprain, the team announced Wednesday.Barkley was able to return to practice last week but apparently was unable to get medical clearance to play this week. Ellen explains how she ended up next to George W. Bush at Cowboys gamecenter_img Rob Gronkowski joins Fox as NFL analyst The Giants also will be without receiver Sterling Shepard, who is in the league’s concussion protocol for the second time this season, tight end Evan Engram, the team’s leading receiver (373 yards) who is dealing with a sprained MCL, and running back, Wayne Gallman, Barkley’s top backup who also is in the concussion protocol.The injuries leave New York short-handed against the league’s top-ranked defense, an undesirable scenario for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ first meeting with New England. Related Newslast_img read more

NASCAR at Talladega: Brendan Gaughan cracks jokes after flipping in wild crash

first_imgKyle Busch got sideways and he turned directly into Gaughan, whose No. 62 Beard Oil Motorsports Chevrolet then spun in front of the entire field. Then, like a crazy stunt in a movie, Gaughan’s car went airborne, did exactly one revolution, slammed back down on the track and kept rolling.”THE NO. 62 UPSIDE DOWN!”Brendan Gaughan flips in this MASSIVE CRASH at @TalladegaSuperS! pic.twitter.com/HXNYWD7ksx— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 14, 2019The 44-year-old Gaughan was not injured in the incident. The wild crash certainly didn’t hurt his sense of humor. He cracked jokes during an NBCSN interview just minutes later, as he watched a replay of the incident for the first time.”I stuck the landing. The Russian judge docked me a little bit, I didn’t keep it straight,” Gaughan joked.Here’s another angle of the crash.”Mother, it’s OK. It’s just a flip. It didn’t hurt. I promise!” 😂After a scary-looking flip, @Brendan62 is OK and has a smile on his face. pic.twitter.com/iileYq1kux— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 14, 2019After watching the replay once more, Gaughan admitted, “Let’s see, legs together, ahhh, didn’t really stick it (the landing) well.”This is one incident Gaughan will never forget, not only for his wild flight, but because he was agonizingly close to his first NASCAR Cup victory. He finished 27th. Brendan Gaughan has never won a NASCAR Cup race in dozens of starts dating to 2001, but there he was Monday, fighting for the lead with seven laps to go at Talladega Superspeedway.And then his world turned upside down. Literally. “The Beard Oil Chevy, we ran a great strategy … it was awesome,” Gaughan said. “We were in front for a split second.”Finally, Gaughan had some words of reassurance for his mom.”Mother, it’s OK. It’s just a flip. It didn’t hurt. I promise,” Gaughan said.last_img read more

Will Dissly injury update: Seahawks tight end will miss rest of season, Pete Carroll says

first_img Jalen Ramsey injury update: Jaguars star (back) out vs. Saints It is the second season-ending injury for Dissly in as many years. He suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee in Week 4 of his rookie season.Carroll initially addressed the severity of Dissly’s injury after the 32-28 win and called it both “serious’’ and “devastating.”“It’s just unfortunate that he’s going to have to miss this deal here if the tests come through like we think they will,’’ Carroll said. “It’s a big loss. He’s been playing great football. You saw him, he was running in the open field and it just happened like Achilles do. They come out of nowhere.”So really a devastating injury for him for this season. But Will has done everything he can. He has been an unbelievable Seahawk.”Dissly suffered the injury on a non-contact play Sunday. He was cutting in the end zone when he fell to the ground, grabbing his leg.“I knew it wasn’t good,” he said after the game, via The Seattle Times. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson preps for return, could it be with a new team? He was ruled out for the remainder of the game and coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday he will miss the remainder of the season “unless something miraculous happens.”NFL Media reported Wednesday that Dissly is scheduled to have surgery Thursday. Related News Falcons not quick to move on from Dan Quinn, will give coach until Week 9, report says Will Dissly got dealt another devastating blow Sunday.The Seahawks’ breakout tight end suffered an Achilles injury during Seattle’s Week 6 matchup in Cleveland, the team announced. He had to be helped off the field and after getting evaluated by medical staff on the sideline, he left on a cart.TE Will Dissly appears to raise hand as he leaves field on a cart. Achilles injury, non-contact cutting on Cleveland’s grass field chasing a pass. Obviously out for rest of today and likely beyond. Two fantastic partial seasons, two injuries for ex #UWHuskies DL. #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/rv4zLOS0pF— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) October 13, 2019Dissly has been one of quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite, and most reliable targets.He led the Seahawks in touchdown receptions (4) and is among the top receivers with 23 catches for 262 yards.last_img read more

New York Islanders’ Nick Leddy first defenseman in franchise history to score penalty shot goal

first_imgLeddy was brought down from behind by Senators defender Nikita Zaitsev during a breakaway late in the first period, inciting the penalty shot call. It was the Minnesota native’s first career penalty shot attempt, but he played it well; Leddy ripped a wrist shot from the hash marks in the slot and past Anders Nilsson’s glove for the goal. Fun fact: Nick Leddy is officially the first defenseman in franchise history to score on a penalty shot. 💡 pic.twitter.com/GlljsBD1I3— NHL (@NHL) October 26, 2019According to Hockey Reference, the Islanders have been awarded 66 penalty shots since the team entered the NHL in 1972. Prior to Leddy’s score Friday, only 16 players have converted on those attempts — none of them patrolled the team’s back end.The historic goal was Leddy’s second tally of the night. He had scored on an end-to-end rush just minutes earlier in the first period.LOOK AT LEDDY GO!!(This is his first goal) pic.twitter.com/z1PDEEwRLv— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 26, 2019The game’s next tally originally credited Leddy with a natural hat trick, but upon further evaluation, teammate Cal Clutterbuck deflected a slap shot and was ultimately credited with the score instead. New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy played a game to remember Friday against the Ottawa Senators.The 28-year-old became the first blueliner in franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the midst of a three-point effort during his team’s 4-1 win in Ottawa. last_img read more

Clemson should thank Playoff committee for so-called snub in initial rankings

first_imgMORE: OSU, Bama, LSU all have reason to be happy with Playoff rankingsDabo Swinney, for his part, seemed unperturbed about the rankings.”It doesn’t matter,” the Clemson coach said Wednesday. “If we lose to N.C. State, are we going to celebrate, ‘Woo! We were third in the poll?’ I don’t think so.”Swinney may say that, but he is privately thanking the Playoff committee for placing his team fifth in their initial rankings. This is precisely where he gets the most from his players.The 12th-year Tigers coach is a master motivator who can now play up the disrespect angle for “little ol’ Clemson” the rest of the season. Imagine that: a champion-pedigree team playing with a chip on its shoulder. You think the Tigers will be anything less than furious when they take the field against N.C. State, Wake Forest and South Carolina? They’ll maul their remaining competition, including whatever ho-hum team the Coastal division spits into the conference championship game, to the point you’ll hardly remember those early-season shortcomings.Part of that will come from the Playoff committee’s so-called disrespect. Part of that will come from the fact Clemson can’t afford a loss — and Swinney knows it.The weakness of Clemson’s strength of schedule is so prevalent that, even if the Tigers won the conference as a one-loss champion, it might knock them from Playoff contention. So far, Clemson’s wins have come against teams with a combined for a 38-40 record. It includes five sub-.500 teams, a Group of 5 team and an FCS opponent. The perceived weakness of the ACC contributes to that, as well. So despite the team’s ridiculous win streak and national champion pedigree, Swinney will have his team playing as if it must win out to sneak in.That’s not necessarily false.But no one should waste his or her time wondering whether Clemson’s early-season struggles will resurface between now and the time the final rankings are unveiled. The Tigers are so clearly the best team in the ACC it’s not even worth real consideration. Besides, Clemson has experienced the struggles in each of the last three seasons, and it hasn’t once cost them a shot at the Playoff.That was the case in 2018, when they had to hold off an upset bid from Texas A&M and came from behind to beat Syracuse sans Trevor Lawrence. That was the case in 2017, when the Orange beat the Tigers in the Carrier Dome. And that was the case in 2016, when Pitt won on a game-winning field goal in the final seconds. Clemson won championships in two of those three seasons.Swinney knows his teams are good enough that he can allow his younger players to see more action early — part of the reason they’ve struggled in some areas. That’s also why his teams always finish the season strong, and why Clemson is winner of four straight outright ACC championships: His teams peak at the perfect time of the season, from the starters down to the third-stringers.MORE: Week 11 College Football Playoff rankingsNo, Swinney is perfectly fine with Clemson in the No. 5 position. Not that the Tigers will be there for long. They should move up to the No. 4 spot in next week’s rankings, by virtue of the game between the Playoff’s Nos. 2 and 3 teams in LSU and Alabama, respectively. Two weeks after that, the Nos. 1 and 4 teams (Ohio State and Penn State) will clear up another space. If there was one storyline that trumped all others from Tuesday night’s first set of College Football Playoff rankings for 2019, it was this: Defending national champion Clemson, winner of an FBS-leading 24 straight games, wouldn’t compete for the national championship if the Playoff took place today.Pundits and fans alike wondered if Clemson might fall as low as No. 4 in the initial rankings after the Tigers had to overcome early offensive struggles and nearly lost to North Carolina. But seeing them ranked at No. 5, behind third-ranked Alabama and fourth-ranked Penn State, didn’t sit well with Clemson fans who felt their team was being disrespected. If the committee’s logic behind Tuesday’s rankings hold — Clemson is ranked where it is due to a weak strength of schedule — then the Tigers could finish the season as the No. 3 team in the Playoff rankings. Clemson can claim the underdog role again while all of the storylines focus on the winners of the LSU-Alabama and Ohio State-Penn State matchups. Swinney can only hope the loser of one of those games sneaks in as the No. 4 team to take even more attention off his Tigers.Clemson is in complete control of its destiny and will make the Playoff so long as it wins out. In truth, Tuesday’s rankings don’t matter.Well, that’s not entirely true: The rankings will serve as an excellent motivator for Swinney and his Tigers; a dangerous weapon they’ll use for the rest of the regular season, the ACC championship game and, yes, the Playoff.last_img read more

Mike Sorensen: Cougar Classic quite a contrast from Masters

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com While the rest of you were watching the Jazz or the Bees or the Blaze or the Grizzlies or Real or BYU football last week, I avoided the crowds and watched a college golf tournament. It was quite a contrast from the thousands last week at the Masters, with just a few assorted friends and family watching the action . . .Congrats to Weber State’s Barry Schenk, Utah’s Dustin Pimm and BYU’s Jake Ellison, who were the top three finishers at the Cougar Classic golf tournament. All three are native Utahns, who bested the field of 95 with Schenk tying the 44-year tournament record . . .Let’s give the Jazz credit for their late-season surge that almost resulted in a playoff berth. But now they’re likely to find themselves in no man’s land, what could be argued is the worst place to finish in the NBA — the team just out of the playoffs. The Jazz won’t get to participate in the playoffs (and get any of that added revenue) and will end up with the worst chance of the 14 lottery teams . . .You also have to give Carlos Boozer some praise for how well he’s played the past month. Whether he’s doing it for the Jazz or to improve his trade-ability, he’s proven how effective he can be in the low post while making the Jazz a better team. Now the question is whether his recent talk about the great Jazz chemistry is sincere or if he really wants to get traced . . .If he does want to leave, how about sending him to Minnesota for disgruntled forward Kevin Garnett? Since Garnett makes a lot more money, the Jazz can tell the T-Wolves they’ll even throw Greg Ostertag in as part of the deal . . .Now that spring is nearly here, spring football is coming to a close with BYU and Utah State finishing up over the weekend and Utah and Weber State concluding this Saturday . . .The folks at BYU were more excited about all the recruits that came to Saturday’s spring game than the game itself. BYU coaches, like coaches everywhere, are realizing that they have to win recruits long before their senior seasons of high school.The only problem I see with that is that it assumes the guys who are best at age 16 will be the best at age 22 or 23. Some players get better every year, while others level off. Hopefully each school that pinpoints players extra early will leave a few scholarships open for those players who develop during their senior years . . .Utah’s problem of three talented quarterbacks is a very good one to have. Unlike some years when the Utes had no real quarterback, they have three good ones to choose from. The way Brett Ratliff and Tommy Grady are playing, it makes sense to redshirt Brian Johnson whether he’s healthy or not next season. After all, he’s still a teenager and that would push his senior season into 2008 when he’ll only be 22 . . .Phil Mickelson’s victory last week at the Masters was great for golf because it gives Tiger Woods a true rival. Besides the fact that Mickelson can compete with Woods, the two don’t especially like each other, which adds to the rivalry. Mickelson has proven he can win the majors with three wins in the last nine, but he still has to prove he can beat Tiger head-to-head in a major . . .Finally, who’d have ever believed that the hottest player in major league baseball right now would be a kid who grew up in Salt Lake and played for Cottonwood High, Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah? Chris Shelton is off to a red-hot start and besides hitting .479, he smacked his major-league-leading eighth home run in a 1-0 Detroit victory Sunday. At this rate, he’ll easily top Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth and eliminate the need for asterisks in the record books. Of course, that’s unlikely to happen, but it’s fun to see a local kid making good on the national stage. last_img read more