The Heisman Pundit (former USC assistant SID Chris Huston) noted Wednesday that his PersaStrong weights arrived at his doorstep.
Much to my surprise, his web site (heismanpundit.com) lists 2011 Heisman Trophy candidates other than Persa. Hmmm. Thought Northwestern’s QB was a shoo-in. Guess I need to get out more.
Judging by the Pundit’s list posted on Feb. 22, Persa has a LONG way to go to make a legitimate dent in the national consciousness. He listed 22 Heisman candidates several months ago --- none of them named Persa.
Here’s his list broken down in easy-to-consume conference-shaped bites:
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
Michigan QB Denard Robinson
Wisconsin RB James White
USC QB Matt Barkley
Oregon RB LaMichael James
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Oregon QB Darron Thomas
Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon
Baylor QB Robert Griffin III
Oklahoma QB Landry Jones
Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
Arkansas RB Knile Davis
Auburn RB Michael Dyer
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
Georgia QB Aaron Murray
Alabama RB Trent Richardson
West Virginia QB Geno Smith
Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist
San Diego State RB Ronnie Hillman
Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz
Boise State QB Kellen Moore
It’s interesting to see these things from a West Coast perspective, seeing as how we’re so accustomed to ESPN setting the national agenda for our sporting appetites. Only one candidate from the Big East? None from the ACC? You don’t hear much around here about guys like Ronnie Hillman, but he rushed for 1,532 yards and 17 TDs last year.
The Illini powered through their first double sessions on Wednesday, which means there’s one practice this afternoon. The big news is the hiring of Cincinnati AD Mike Thomas, who promises to make a bigger impact on the Chicago market.
Here was Ron Zook’s take on his new boss, though admittedly they hadn’t spoken at the time Zook said these things:
“We’re going to do our job. We’re going to do the things we’ve been doing. I don’t foresee any big changes. I’m for the University of Illinois athletic department. I love it when all the sports do well. Bruce Weber loves it when all the sports do well.
“We’re the one program that has to get up to snuff. I feel pretty good about it…I’m excited that it’s over with and we know who it is. I’m looking forward and I think it’s a great day for the University of Illinois and it’s go, man, go.”
In other important news, the News-Gazette is doing its annual questionnaires with the guys. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Michael Heitz is in a battle for playing time with fellow redshirt freshman Simon Cvijanovic, but Heitz deserves a little bonus for saying Betty White is his dream date. Go here to read more:
The Wildcats have Media Day festivities at lunchtime before plowing into Practice No. 4 at 4 p.m. Pat Fitzgerald revealed after Wednesday’s practice that Fremd freshman Jack Konopka has moved from the offensive line to superback. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Konopka isn’t a newbie when it comes to catching the ball. He had 14 receptions and 3 TDs for the Vikings.
We’ll have more on the Wildcats this afternoon.
On Tuesday, NIU head coach Dave Doeren mentioned that redshirt freshman Tyler Loos had moved into the No. 1 backup spot behind fourth-year starting left tackle Trevor Olson. On Wednesday, Loos injured his knee and likely will miss the season.
While that’s a bummer for Loos, a talented player who received serious recruiting attention from Michigan State, it will give somebody else a chance to gain experience in blowouts. That person could be redshirt freshman Ryan Brown from St. Charles North.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Krempel, who’s locked in a battle at right tackle with returning starter Keith Otis, also might be called on at left tackle.