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Terrelle Pryor Commits to Duke

Posted by Mike on February 9, 2008

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In one of the most shocking twists the college football recruiting world has ever seen, Terrelle Pryor announced, completely out of left field, that he was going to enroll as a two-sport athlete at Duke University.

According to Pryor, this shouldn’t come as a shock at all.

“I chose Duke for many, many reasons”, said the prospect to a stunned audience at his press conference in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. “I have openly said to the media that I would prefer to become a professional basketball player than a professional football player. Duke gives me the opportunity to do that which the other schools I considered simply cannot provide.”

When asked why he did not choose Ohio State (who has enjoyed recent basketball success), Pryor said “First of all, it’s cold up here. I was thinking of going to a big Ten school to be in a major conference and be close to my family. But then I thought, “Can I really stand another winter like this? F–k that s–t.”

“Second, have you met Thad Matta? You think I can put up with 3 years of looking at that guy? I mean, you could land small spacecraft on that beak.”

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His reasoning did not end there.

“The Duke football program has a lot of enticing aspects for me”, Pryor said. “One is the hiring of David Cutcliffe. He oversaw the development of both Manning brothers in their college careers, and look at what they’ve accomplished.

“Playing for the Blue Devils also takes the pressure off. If I start right off the bat at QB at Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State, and they have three 8-4 or 9-3 seasons, I’m considered a huge disappointment. If I have one such year at Duke, I will be a God. I will be known as the man who did the impossible, who did what no one else could in the last 20 years of Duke football. Winning a Big Ten title at Ohio State or Michigan happens every other year. But to lead the Blue Devils to a bowl game…now that says something to Heisman voters and pro scouts.”

The explanation for his choice was a bit outlandish, yet well-reasoned so far. However, his final and most important reason dumbfounded everyone.

“Most of all,” said Pryor, “there was one very important reason why I made this decision. And that was to absolutely piss off every college fan in America.”

“You see, as the unanimous #1 prospect in America, I hold all the cards in the collective emotion of college football fans. Both Michigan and Ohio State have been pulling out all the stops to prevent the other from signing me. Simply signing for a different team would have maddened millions of fans around the midwest. But was I satisfied with that? Oh, no. If I was, I would have inked my LOI with Penn State. No, to anger them further, and begin to cause unrest for all who keep track of recruiting, I had to delay my decision past signing day.”

“And then there’s my basketball considerations. If I choose a basketball school, my decision must enrage people who have never kept track of recruiting before. I had to accomplish two things to send an entire nation to the door of their athletic directors, pitchforks and torches in tow. First, I had to choose a football program that was so lowly that every fan, no matter what school, would jump out of their chairs and say “dammit. If Duke had a chance with this guy, my coach damn sure should have had him on speed dial!” Second, my basketball choice had to be a team that everyone loves to hate.”

“Weighing in all of those factors, there was only one choice that would succeed in enraging every collegiate fan in America. I had to go to Duke.”

No one had any explanation for Pryor’s behavior. Some had begun to suspect the influence of his summer as a part-time clerk at the Jeannette, Pa. branch of Popcopy. When why he wanted to anger so many sports fans, he responded “Why? ‘Cause f–k ‘em, that’s why!”

Terrelle than left the press conference, got into his Corvette, and floored it for New Jersey’s southern enclave.

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Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, College Football, Duke, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, nutshots, Recruiting, Tar Heel posts, Terrelle Pryor, this isn't real | 14 Comments »

Mom, You Can Call Off The Bots Now

Posted by Mike on November 1, 2007

Digital Headbutt began to delve into the sports blog universe one year ago this week. Its beginnings were humble, and I was not even fully aware of the vast sports blogosphere around me until this space had been around for three months. 207 posts and 110,000+ hits later, I may very well have created a monster. The kind of monster who ventures into the realm of the unknown, for varying lengths of time, and brings back stuff like this.


Of all the posts on Digital Headbutt, these three were statistically your favorites:

Benny Feilhaber’s Gold Cup Winning Goal

The Survive-Off

(Which reminds me: Day 3 of the Survive-Off is coming…)

The Lou Holtz Pep Talk Drinking Game

I would like to thank all of the sports blogosphere, and all of the great people, too many to mention in this space, whom I would not have collaborated with, spoken to, or met without Digital Headbutt and Tar Heel Mania. You have made this worthwhile. Because dammit, they won’t let me put AdSense on this thing!

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Am I going to hell for this?, Cruelty to mascots, Cult of Personality, Digital Headbutt, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Great Moments in Stupidity, HUEVONAZO!, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, Mud Butt, Secret Identities, Shameless Self Promotion, Skit Ocksa!, Stuff That Involves Things, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, what is this hyperbole of which you speak?, Wojo, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell?, Your hubris is burning from the nosebleed section | Leave a Comment »

Games To Watch: College Football Week 6

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2007

#5 Wisconsin at Illinois (12:00 ET, ESPN): Despite being the #5 team in the land, the Badgers haven’t looked very impressive this year, and they’re the Vegas underdogs against Zook and the Illini. Can Wisconsin prove their skeptics wrong?

Kansas at #24 Kansas State (12:00 ET, FSN): It’s the Battle for the Governor’s Cup (aka the Sunflower Showdown), and for the first time in recent memory, both teams are good heading into this matchup. It’s “GET IN MY BELLY!”…

…versus the Power Towels. Who ya got?

Miami at North Carolina (12:00 ET, ESPN2): UNC comes home after a road trip against two ranked opponents, and the next two home game’s aren’t any easier. But the Hurricanes didn’t look too impressive against Duke, and UNC pulled the miracle upset against a top 5 Miami team the last time they came to Chapel Hill. A  s always, the live blog is at Tar Heel Mania.

#10 Oklahoma vs. #19 Texas (3:30 ET, ABC): One week ago this might have been the week’s premier game, between two top 10, undefeated conference opponents in one of the nation’s biggest rivalry. Unfortunately for them, Kansas State and Colorado spoiled that party. Well, at least there’s always the artery-clogging experience that is the Texas State Fair. Seriously, they found a way to fry soft drinks!

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#12 Georgia at Tennessee (3:30 ET, CBS): Without a successful season, Phil Fulmer could be in serious trouble in Knoxville. In the way of a win today is the Bulldogs, who are a staggering 23-3 on the road in SEC play under Mark Richt.

#15 Virginia Tech at #22 Clemson (6:00 ET, ESPN): Past history says that this is the kind of game that Clemson will lose. Can Tommy Bowden’s team change the status quo against the Hokies’ tough defense?

#4 Ohio State at #23 Purdue (8:00 ET, ABC): Both teams are undefeated, but neither have really been challenged this season. Now is the time for them to prove whether or not they are true contender.

#20 Cincinatti at #21 Rutgers (8:00 ET, ESPN2): Of all the BCS teams in the top 25, the Bearcats probably have to be the biggest surprise. At 5-0, they face a Rutgers team reeling from a loss to Maryland last week, and looking for revenge after Cincy dashed their conference title hopes last year.

#8 Florida at #1 LSU (8:00 ET, CBS): The big matchup of the week, possibly the entire year. Even though Florida lost to Auburn last week, they’re right back in the title hunt with a win in Death Valley. But can anyone beat the Tigers right now?

Needless to say, today will be a great day in college football.

Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Big 12, Big East, College Football, Florida Gators, Get Pumped!, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, NCAA, Ohio State, Patriotism at its finest, Rutgers, SEC, Tar Heels, Texas, UNC, Virginia Tech, what is this hyperbole of which you speak?, YAW YAW YAW CAWLEDGE FOOBAW! | 2 Comments »

Cologne Tar Heels (er, Centurions) Report: NFL Europa Week 9

Posted by Mike on June 14, 2007

(There are only two players from the University of North Carolina currently in NFL Europa: Bobby Blizzard and Cedrick Holt. They both play for the Cologne Centurions. Being the unabashed Tar Heel that I am, the Centurions thus demand my attention.)

The Cologne Tar Heels Centurions were dominant once again in their Week 9 rematch against the Amsterdam Admirals, winning 31-13.

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Cologne was very efficient on offense against Amsterdam. Unlike the first game, however, the Centurions dominated through the air. Where in week 7 they accrued 232 rushing yards, in this game quarterback Erik Meyer completed 21 of his 29 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Cologne still managed to get good days out of running backs Derrick Ross and AJ Harris, and the Centurions managed 425 total yards of offense compared to 225 for Amsterdam. Former Tar Heel Bobby Blizzard was instrumental once again at tight end, catching four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Once again the Admirals offense was forced to rely heavily on the arm of quarterback Drew Olson, and once again they were shut down. The Centurions defense allowed only 9 first downs, and without a running game they faced many 3rd and long situations, converting only 18% of third downs. While they gained an early 10-0 lead when Japanese wide receiver Noriaki Kinoshita returned a punt 86 yards for their only touchdown, Cologne outscored the Admirals 31-3 from that point on. Cornerback and UNC alum Cedrick Holt did not play in this game.

With the win Cologne improves to a 6-3 record which, along with Hamburg’s victory over the first-place Frankfurt Galaxy, creates a three-way tie at the top. For the first time in NFLE history, no one has clinched a berth in the world Bowl heading into the final week. Cologne heads to Frankfurt to face the Galaxy this weekend, where the winner will clinch a spot in World Bowl XV. Both teams could clinch with a tie if the Hamburg Sea Devils lose to the Rhein Fire.

As for the Admirals, their future now comes into question. Despite being one of the most successful on-field teams in NFLE, their attendance has consistently been among the lowest in the league. A bad record this year may have been all that is necessary to move the team to a more welcoming city (both Hanover and Leipzig have expressed interest in teams). This would put every team in Germany, but making the league Germano-centric may not be a bad thing in the short term.

Of course, this is all assuming Roger Goodell doesn’t pull the plug on the NFLE after this season.

Posted in Carolina, Colonge Centurions, football, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, NFL Europa, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, USA! USA!, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | Leave a Comment »

Cologne Tar Heels (er, Centurions) Report: NFL Europa Week 7

Posted by Mike on May 26, 2007

centurio.jpgThe Cologne Tar Heels Centurions were triumphant once again this week, dominating their Friday night game against the Amsterdam Admirals by a score of 30-7. Clologne got it done with the powerful running game, two of the backs (Derrick Ross and A.J. Harris) rushed for over 100 yards, and the team had a total of 232 yards on the ground. When the Centurions needed to go to the air, quarterback Erik Meyer was frighteningly efficient, completing 13 of his 15 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. UNC alum Bobby Blizzard led all players with 65 yards receiving.

The Cologne defense, led by French linebacker Phillipe Gardent, was equally dominant. Amsterdam depends on their passing game, and the Centurions shut it down. Drew Olson only completed 16 of his 38 passes, and the Admirals only got one first down and 47 total yards in the first three quarters. In total Cologne allowed 193 yards, 144 of which were in the fourth quarter, when Cologne already had a 30-0 lead. It took a 35 yard pass from Olson to Harry Williams as time expired to prevent the shutout.

Perhaps the most telling sign of the Centurions’ absolute domination was time of possession. They had the ball for twice as long (39:44) as the Admirals (20:16). Former Tar Heel cornerback Cedrick Holt contributed with one tackle and two pass deflections.

With the win, Cologne improves to 5-2, while Amsterdam now sites at 3-4. With their consistently low attendance, NFL Europa may move the Admirals to a German city (Hannover and Leipzig both want franchises) if they finish with a losing record. Defending champion Frankfurt must beat the Rhein Fire to keep up. Cologne has two more home games, next week against Hamburg and another matchup with Amsterdam, before the regular season finale at Frankfurt, a possible World Bowl XV preview. That will be an exciting game to watch. Too bad I don’t get the NFL Network.

Posted in #1, Carolina, Colonge Centurions, Digital Headbutt, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, NFL Europa, Tar Heels | 2 Comments »

2007 NFL All-Undrafted Team: Defense

Posted by Mike on May 3, 2007

This is Part 2 of Digital Headbutt’s 2007 NFL All-Undrafted Team. In Part 1 the Offense was put together, and now it’s the defense’s turn.

We often forget the players who go undrafted, Hell, we forget most of the players who get drafted after the 1st round. But just because a player was passed on 255 times doesn’t mean he is not worthy of being in the NFL.

Many offensive players have gone undrafted and become stars. In addition to the players I mentioned in Part 1, Antonio Gates went undrafted, and is now a Pro Bowl tight end. Rod Smith went undrafted and has become one of the most consistent performers ever at the WR position. Defenders may be even more difficult to predict, as not as many statistics are compiled on defensive players. Still, there are a lot of undrafted defenders who could find themselves on an NFL roster or even eventually become a key player for their team. Somewhere out there, an NFL coach or GM might have developed such an ego that he thinks to himself “You know what? I’m so good at this, I’ll bet I can take an entire team of undrafted players and make a winning team!” I’m looking at you, Bill.

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So if the coach were to pick 11 undrafted players for his starting lineup (based on a 4-3 scheme), who would he select? I seek to find the answer. This is the 2007 NFL Defensive All-Undrafted Team:

Defensive Ends- Mkristo Bruce, Washington State and Justin Hickman, UCLA.

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  • Why they weren’t drafted: Neither of these guys is a prototype NFL defensive end. Hickman in particular is small for the position, and the fact that he spent his first two years in community college raises questions about his past, which may have scared suitors in the Roger Goodell era. Bruce posted a bad 40 time (5.03), and most of his stats apparently came against inferior competition.
  • Why they could play in the NFL: Both of these players were members of the 2006 All-Pac-10 defensive team, combining for 162 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, and 30.5 sacks in their senior campaigns. A lot of NFL teams could use that kind of help. In a draft without combines, they both may have gone of the board on day 1. Bruce could still be able to gain 20-30 pounds and be able to stand up to most any NFL offensive tackle.
  • Other worthy candidates: Victor Degrate, Oklahoma State; Bryan Andrews, Wake Forest.

Defensive Tackles: Ray McDonald, Florida David Patterson, Ohio State and Joe Anoai, Georgia Tech.

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  • Why they weren’t drafted: It was really difficult to guage a defensive tackle with statistics, because they have the fewest of any defensive players. Both of these players had to battle injuries while in college, and McDonald was considered too small for a tackle. It also didn’t help that teammates Marcus Thomas, Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey stole the spotlight on the Gators D-line.
  • Why they could play in the NFL: Anoai has been excellent in penetrating opposing offensive lines, as nearly 25% of his tackles in 2006 were for loss. For his efforts Anoai made 1st team All ACC honors. McDonald is unusually agile for his position, and could play either tackle or end in the NFL. If he were to put on 20-30 pounds without losing speed, he can become a big mismatch. Patterson, along with Quinn Pitcock, helped anchor an otherwise very inexperienced Ohio State defense; they ultimately ranked higher in in total defense overall versus 2005, despite the fact that Patterson and Pitcock were the only returning starters.
  • Other worthy candidates: David Patterson, Ohio State; Ramel Meekins, Rutgers.

UPDATE: McDonald DID get drafted-on the first day, no less! So I put Patterson on the D-line instead. He’s still a great player on this team.

Linebackers- Rufus Alexander (OLB), Oklahoma Desmond Sims (OLB), Arkansas, Quinton Culberson (MLB), Mississippi State and Tony Taylor (OLB), Georgia.

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  • Why they weren’t drafted: All of these players were passed on for different reasons. Alexander Sims is smaller than most linebackers (6′ 228 pounds) and is not great in coverage. Taylor has had to face serious injuries throughout his college career. Culberson played for an SEC doormat, has been in trouble with the law as a teenager, and was overshadowed in his own state by one of the top linebackers in the nation, Patrick Willis.
  • Why they could play in the NFL: They have all been top performers in college against top competition. Alexander led the Sooners with 118 tackles en route to becoming the 2006 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Sims is a freak athlete; he weighs 288 pounds but runs a 4.62 40. He can play linebacker or defensive end. Culberson was 1st team All SEC at linebacker with 102 tackles and 9 tackles for loss. Taylor, a second team All SEC winner, may have had the most impressive senior season of all, with 96 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2 fumble recoveries, 7 interceptions (5th in the NCAA at any position), and two defensive touchdowns. All could fare well in a Cover 2 scheme.
  • Other worthy candidates: Jon Abbate, Wake Forest; Marcus Bacon, Missouri.

UPDATE: I knew I shouldn’t have rushed with compiling the defense. Rufus Alexander was also taken, so Desmond Sims takes his place. Deadspin is like HDTV: all of your flaws are exposed.
Cornerbacks- Kenny Scott, Georgia Tech and Anthony Arline, Baylor.

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  • Why they weren’t drafted: The case of Kenny Scott hits home for me. I was convinced that he was the caliber of an athlete that would get drafted on the first day. However, scouts were scared off because his play was inconsistent, he was thin for his height at the position (6’1″, 179), and he was declared academically ineligible for the 2007 Gator Bowl, which I did not know before the draft. As if playing at the perennial cupcake that is Baylor didn’t make Arline obscure enough, he had to stand in the shadow of his teammate, C.J. Wilson.
  • Why they could play in the NFL: Most of the top receivers in the NFL have an unbelievable combination of size and speed, so having one, let alone two, tall and fast corners is going to be a huge asset. Scott and Arline are 6’1″ and 6’2″ and run a 4.39 and 4.43 40 time, respectively. In addition to his stats (50 tackles in 2006) and ACC play, he has shown his abililty to come through on important plays as evidence by the video below. But beyond everything else, remember this: Kenny Scott has had to spend every day in practice for the last three years defending Calvin Johnson. He is ready to take NFL receivers’ best shots right now.

  • Other worthy candidates: DeAndre Jackson, Iowa State; Travarous Bain, Hampton.

Safeties- Eric Wicks, West Virginia Jesse Daniels, LSU and Melvin Bullitt, Texas A&M.

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  • Why they weren’t drafted: With the proliferation of the Cover 2 and offenses continuing to spread the field, having a good safety in the NFL is more important now than ever. This was reflected in the teams’ draft strategies, as nearly as many safeties (8) were drafted as cornerbacks (9) or linebackers (11). Yet neither of these two players were drafted. Bullitt (who has a great name for a safety) was a solid starter but did not have good hands, intercepting only 4 passes in his career. Scouts also thought he wasn’t aggressive enough. Daniels, despite his solid career, was playing sidekick to fellow Tiger safety and first round pick Laron Landry. Scouts believe he was too short (5’10”) and too injured to be a defensive back in the NFL.
  • Why they could play in the NFL: Both of these players had stellar senior season, winning all-conference awards for their efforts. Daniels had 47 tackles and was helped the Tigers a lot in run support. Bullitt ran a 4.49 40, so he has the speed to keep deep pass plays in front of him. A typical NFL scheme would put Bullit at free safety and Daniels at strong safety.
  • Other worthy candidates: Tra Battle, Georgia; C.J. Wallace, Washington.

UPDATE: The eligibility of Eric Wicks on this list has been very, very confusing. This source listed him as a senior in 2006, and this source listed him as draft eligible for 2007, which led me to placing Wicks on this list. Wikipedia says Wicks is returning in 2007, yet lists him as a sophomore in 2004 and a junior in 2005. Only at the Mountaineers website is he clearly listed as a eligible for the 2007 season. Even if he was eligible for the draft, there are enough doubts to take him off this list.
BONUS! Punter- Sean Douglas, Washington.

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  • Why he didn’t get drafted: It’s a miracle to be drafted as a punter to begin with, but Douglas was not always consistent.
  • Why he could play in the NFL: He has a cannon for a leg, and when consistent he is very accurate. He also has had to punt for four Seattle autumns, so he should be able to adapt to bad conditions.
  • Other worthy candidates: Kody Bliss, Auburn.

So there you have it: the 2007 NFL All-Undrafted team. Think that any of these players are undeserving of this list or know any blatant snubs? Let me know in the comments. Next, I’ll introduce you a place where all of these players can play, even if they don’t make the NFL-and it isn’t the CFL or “NFL Deustchland.”

Posted in ACC, AFC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Digital Headbutt, football, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, Mid Majors, NCAA, NFC, NFL, NFL Draft, Pac 10, SEC, Tar Heel posts, Undrafted, Your hubris is burning from the nosebleed section | 8 Comments »

 
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