SPEAKING OF SPORTS: From high school star to ???

 

The NFL Draft can make or break the dreams of college kids who have been working for years in hopes of playing professional football. Given his high expectations 4 years ago, I doubt few people were more disappointed at this year’s draft than former Folsom High phenom Jake Browning.

Browning is certainly a familiar name to fans of the Nevada Union Miners, but not in a good way. Browning terrorized the Miners the four times he played them from 2011-14, turning every game into a rout.

But the Miners weren’t alone. Browning set new state records for completed passes, passing yards, and touchdowns during his time at Folsom. He was considered a 4-star recruit out of high school and the third-best pro style quarterback in the class of ’15.

Browning landed at the University of Washington, where he was the school’s first freshman starter at QB since 1997 and was the Pac-12 offensive player of the year in 2016. Then his career flat lined.

While the Huskies were successful in ’17 and ’18, Browning became more of a game manager and less of an offensive force, putting up respectable numbers while relying on the skills of his receivers to make the big pass plays. Browning had shoulder surgery after his sophomore season and was considered a weak-armed thrower by the time he finished his career in the Rose Bowl in January.

Browning went undrafted and subsequently signed a free agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings, a team that is committed to Kirk Cousins and his $84 million (guaranteed) deal. The Vikings signed free agent Sean Mannon as Cousins’ backup and have another young prospect in Kyle Sloter.

If the Vikings decide to carry three QBs on their roster (unlikely), Browning’s best shot will be the taxi squad. He was an “A” student in high school and studied business at Washington. I hope he got his degree because it looks like he’ll need it.

***

Kevin Durant is the most dominant offensive player in the NBA today, capable of taking over a game and ruining the day for the opposition. But the Golden State Warriors shouldn’t break up their team to resign him when he becomes a free agent in July.

Durant is an iso player on a team that emphasizes movement and passing by players who are willing to do what’s best for the team. While Durant has been a good teammate during his time in Oakland, he really doesn’t fit into the Warriors’ style of play.

Golden State’s core players–Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green–are still relatively young and masters of coach Steve Kerr’s style of play. Given the team’s salary cap constraints, Green, Thompson or both would have to be jettisoned to resign Durant. He’s not worth it.

***

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney was rewarded recently for winning two of the last three national championships with a 10-year contract extension that will pay him a minimum of $92 million.

That makes Swinney the highest paid college coach (and maybe the highest paid coach, period) in the nation, ahead of Alabama’s Nick Saban (8 years, $74 million) and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher (10 years, $75 million).

Keep those numbers in mind the next time the NCAA and its member schools explain why paying players is a bad thing.

***

Long-time football coach Dick Tomey died recently at the age of 80 from cancer. While he was a head coach at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State, Tomey was best know for running his “Desert Swarm” defense for 14 years at Arizona.

Tomey was one of those coaches who didn’t feel comfortable running an offense; he would much rather play defense all the time and take his chances. As a result, Tomey’s Arizona teams were known for playing tough defense but not scoring much, which presented opportunities for people who bet on college football games.

Specifically, it became a winning bet to take Tomey’s team when it was an double-digit underdog and bet against them when they were double-digit favorites. A lot of bettors were sad when Tomey got fired.

***

Lamar Odom, a former Kardashian spouse whose NBA career was ruined when he became addicted to cocaine, is out with a book claiming he’s bedded 2,000 women in his life.

The book is probably Odom’s last shot at making some decent money, so you should probably make allowances for exaggeration. And he admits he paid at least some of them for their services–should they be deducted from the total?

In any event, Odom’s an amateur compared to NBA great Wilt Chamberlain, who claimed he bedded 20,000 women–not 2,000. Since Chamberlain was never sued for paternity, he was either very lucky, infertile, or lying. Wilt’s dead so we’ll never know the truth.

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This entry was posted in College athletics, Golden State Warriors, NCAA, Sports, Sports betting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to SPEAKING OF SPORTS: From high school star to ???

  1. fish says:

    “The book is probably Odom’s last shot at making some decent money, so you should probably make allowances for exaggeration. And he admits he paid at least some of them for their services–should they be deducted from the total”?

    Nahh…..women are like golf courses……you can’t always play for free.

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