Here we go, and unless you live under a rock in Dayton, you know it's national signing day (NSD) for high school football players to sign letters of intent. Today's 5-at-10 will be brief, but follow the 5-at-10 gang all day on our NSD Ticker. The 5-at-10 is running early this morning because there's a lot to do. Here we go...
Orange colored glasses
Since Monday night at 11 p.m., safety Byron Moore, tight end Cam Clear and linebacker Curt Maggitt each committed to UT. Each is a four-star player in a position of want/need for the Vols. Going into today's big day, UT is arguably the hottest team in the country.
What does that mean as the witching hour approaches? Absolutely nothing.
Nothing means nothing in recruiting until the papers are signed and submitted.
All the posturing and positioning and the talk that circulates before the NSD is mind-boggling.
Buckle up folks, and follow along at our NSD Ticker, where the 5-at-10 will be throughout the day to offer commentary and answer questions.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison returns an interception for a 100-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. At right is Arizona Cardinals guard Reggie Wells. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The quotes and playful interaction at the annual Super Bowl media event was surprisingly refreshing Tuesday.
Did you catch James Harrison, the NFL King of Fines, saying he wanted to "tackle people softly," and wanted to "get a pillow" on the field and ending his speech, "Mr. Goddell," as a shout-out to NFL commissioner Roger Goddell?
Well done, sir. (And let's be honest, even if the 5-at-10 had a problem with Harrison's spiel, we're not saying a word. Dude is a bad, Bad, BAD man. Seriously.) Have you thought about possibly doing any acting Mr. Harrison, you certainly are talented enough. Sir.
The Big Game is a big game for...
Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson has the chance to join a rare group. If Woodson has a big game and is named the Super Bowl MVP, he would be just the fifth player to win a Heisman Trophy and be named Super Bowl MVP.
Do you know the other four? The answer is below.
For those UT fans that do not acknowledge that Woodson won the Heisman over Peyton Manning in 1997, well, just skip along to the next item.
Ankle pain in Knoxville
Tennessee's Tobias Harris (12) grabs a rebound over Charlotte's Chris Braswell (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Scottie Hopson, UT's leading scorer, injured his ankle and left practice in a walking boot. You know this because you read the TFP this morning.
Freshman stud Tobias Harris did not practice Tuesday after hurting his ankle in Saturday's win at Ole Miss. You know this, too.
Well, Harris did shoot after practice and he seems more likely to return for Thursday's game at Auburn.
Here's the 5-at-10's thoughts:
— If Harris plays, the Vols (RPI — 16) should have more than enough firepower to handle Auburn (RPI — 283), even if Hopson is in a walking body cast.
— If Hopson misses a couple of games and it allows Harris to be comfortable as the lead-dog (a role that Harris will have to assume at some point for these Vols to be as good as they can be), then it's a win-win for everyone. Everyone save Hopson's ankle of course.
NCAA tournament briefing — Vol. 2, Chapter 3
Couple of quick thoughts as the conference-season craziness picks up speed:
— There are still some tough road trips in the SEC, regardless of the image of the league. Ask Kentucky, which stumbled at Ole Miss last night. Side note: UK's loss at Oxford makes the Vols' double-digit win there last Saturday look better, huh?
—If the 5-at-10 had to turn in its bracket this morning, Kansas would be the final answer. And the Sweet 16 likely would generate a bunch of "Who is that?" and "Are you sure?"
— It may be NSD, but there are a few games to watch tonight. No. 5 Duke is at Maryland (9 p.m., ESPN) after No. 17 Syracuse plays at No. 7 UConn (7 p.m., ESPN). Tomorrow, we'll see if we can discover what's ailing the Orange, who have lost four in a row after starting 18-0.
Trivia answer: Jim Plunket, Roger Staubach, Marcus Allen and Desmond Howard.
Until tomorrow — or until later today at the NSD Ticker...
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...