Monday, February 28, 2011
Wide receiver is one of the deepest positions available, and the 40 times this group of guys ran today prove it. Unlike most positions on the field, speed and 40 yard dash times are actually relevant. A good deep threat receiver needs to be able to create separation and get down field.
1) Edmond Gates Abliene Christian 4.37 sec
1) Ricardo Lockette Fort Valley St. 4.37 sec
2) Julio Jones Alabama 4.39 sec
3) Leonard Hankerson 4.43 sec
Continuing our look at this year's NFL Combine and the top performers, we are looking at the 40 yard dash times for the running backs. While this year's draft is not full of elite talent at the RB position, there are some speedsters available with the the times between the top five performers being less than a half a second.
1) Da'Rel Scott Maryland 4.34 sec
2) Mario Fannin Auburn 4.38 sec
3) Derrick Locke Kentucky 4.40 sec
3) Jordan Codman Connecticut 4.40 sec
4) Demarco Murray Oklahoma 4.41 sec
5) Roy Helu Nebraska 4.42
The NFL Combine is in full swing out in Indianapolis, and there have been some impressive, and surprising results from some of the participants. We'll take the time to break down the stats and the workouts latter. Right now, we're looking at the one drill everyone wants to quote the 40 yard dash. Right now we're looking at the quarterbacks, and personally I believe there are some surprises with these results, especially with Cam Newton's result.
1) Tyrod Taylor Va. Tech- 4.51 sec
2) Colin Kaepernick Nevada- 4.53 sec
3) Jake Locker Washington 4.59 sec
4) Cam Newton Auburn- 4.59 sec
5) Blaine Gabbert Missouri- 4.62 sec
Thursday, February 24, 2011
If your favorite NFL team struggled with their ground attack last season, help may not be on the way in this year's NFL Draft. As it currently stands, there's simply a lack of elite talent at the RB position available. However, that does not mean someone will not emerge from this weekend's NFL Combine. Also working in many teams favor is the fact that a top level running back can be found in the late rounds of the NFL draft, meaning there are plenty of diamonds in the rough.
1) Mark Ingram Alabama: The junior back is without a doubt the top of this year's thin class. Ingram won the Heisman as a sophomore at Alabama, but that has no affect on how he will perform in the NFL. What we do know know about Ingram is he is a powerful runner, who has enough speed to create space between himself and defenders in chase. Despite his frame, Ingram is a powerful runner, who is rarely brought down by the first tackler. Ingram proved he is NFL ready by displaying great patience when carrying the ball, and allowing the holes to open for him. There are not a lot of knocks on Mark Ingram's game. He is a powerful runner who has a proven track record. The only thing that could hurt his draft stock would be a slow 40 -yard dash time, or if a NFL team reads too deeply into his past injuries.
2) DeMarco Murray Oklahoma: Murray may be the most physically gifted running back in the draft. During his tenure with the Sooners, DeMarco was a one man highlight reel, ripping off impressive runs and finding the end zone on a regular basis. Murray posses a quick burst that allows him to explode to the outside, and he carries that momentum into the tackle and almost always falls forward. It would not be surprising if Murray is able to post one of the best times in this year's Combine. One thing Murray lacks is the ability to run the ball between the tackles. Despite his powerful frame, he is not an overly powerful runner. Due to his lack of power running the ball, DeMarco is also prone to trying to bounce his runs outside instead of waiting for the hole to develop.
3) Daniel Thomas Kansas St.: Chances are you have not heard of Mr. Thomas, but that's mainly due to K-State's lack of main stream exposure. What he brings to the table is ton of power, and a strong running style that makes you think he is a throwback to the running backs of old. This guy is a pile mover, who refuses to go down on the first hit, and he will simply run through an arm tackle. Being in a run first offense like Kansas State's is something a lot of backs do not have the luxury of in today's college football scene, and as a result a lot of backs entering the drafty lack some of the subtle skills it takes to play the position in the NFL. Daniel Thomas is not one of those guys. Thanks to his days in college he has proven he can be a workhorse back who can carry the load. He also shows great patience and good vision when finding the hole. If there is a knock against Thomas it is that he can be too patient when waiting for the hole to open. This becomes very evident when you realize he lacks top end speed to break away from defenders once he makes his initial cut.
The 2011 NFL Combine is set to get underway today in Indianapolis, and for a few days all the NFL Labor talk will be forgotten while NFL Scouts pick over prospective players. The players will take the field over the weekend and depending on their performance their draft stock could jump or plummet. However, before we grade out combine performances let's take a moment and rank our top prospects by position. Today we are looking at the top quarterbacks heading into the combine. With Andrew Luck remaining in college for an extra season the race for the top quarterback available in the draft is wide open.
1) Cam Newton Auburn: The Auburn quarterback is probably the most physically gifted quarterback available in draft, however that is not enough to give him the clear cut edge. However, Netwon does posses an amazing amount of skills that will make an impact at the next level. Cam has spent the weeks since the BCS Championship game refining his passing skills and taking every step possible to become a complete passer. Video of his progression has already emerged and from what we have seen, it looks good. Perhaps the biggest issue for Newton to overcome while in Indianapolis will be proving he is mentally stable and he is beyond payola scandal that nearly ended his college career prematurely. Judging from Newton's recent 'Icon'' comments it's very possible that Newton has a lot of maturing left to do.
2) Ryan Mallett Arkansas: After Newton there is an steep drop off in terms of talent, but that does not mean every other quarterback available is a fraud. Coming into the 2010 college football season scouts were falling in love with Ryan Mallett, despite the fact that he magically shrunk an inch (6'7 in 2010 and 6'6 in 2011), Mallett entered the season ready to show he had all the tools an NFL quarterback needs. Despite his large frame (read tall not big) Mallet can move around in the pocket and buy time to find his receivers, although he is nowhere near the the threat with his feet that many of the other QB's available. What separates Mallett from the other players available is his elite arm strength. There is no question he has the strongest arm available in this year's draft. Also aiding Mallett is his ability to play from under center. A lost art in college football, but still a stable in the NFL. This more than anything is what gave Ryan Mallett a slight edge of Missouri's Blaine Gabbert. The knock on Mallett is he makes costly mistakes in big games, often times trying to force the pass and thus committing turnovers. The Arkansas QB is also prone to breakdowns in his footwork mechanics which can lead to sloppy throws and costly turnovers as well. These are issues that can be worked on under the proper coaching staff, and if given the proper time to develop, they are problems that may never see the light of day on an NFL field.
3) Blaine Gabbert Missouri: The Missouri Tiger's quarterback has shot up plenty of draft boards in recent weeks, and there are plenty of good reasons for this accent. Gabbert has shown a great mind for the game, and while at Missouri he was excellent in making pre-snap reads and finding his hot receivers. He has a reliable quick release that allows him to remain extremely accurate when making short to intermediate throws. Another gift Blaine Gabbert has are his legs, and his mobility. Coming from a background in the spread offense, Gabbert is able to break containment to extend plays, and he has the ability to turn it up the field and move the chains to keep drives alive. The biggest knock against Gabbert is his lack of experience with taking snaps from under the center. While in Indianapolis he will need to prove he has the footwork to move from under center and still maintain his high levels of accuracy.
4) Andrew Dalton TCU: I'll admit, I love this kid, and truly believe he can make an impact in the NFL. Dalton was a four year starter at TCU, leading the Horned Frogs to consecutive BCS Games and a victory in the 2011 Rose Bowl. The All Conference quarterback is a vocal leader who earns the respect of the players around him with his play on the field. Dalton's best asset is his accuracy when throwing the ball, he was tops in the NCAA each of the last two seasons. There are two major concerns about Andrew Dalton heading into the NFL Combine. The first is he played in a user friendly system at TCU. TCU's version of the spread offense moved Dalton around, shifting the pocket, narrowing the field and creating short passing lanes. At the next level, Dalton will not be able to rely on making those simple reads. The other concern about Andrew Dalton is his size. At 6'3 and 220 lbs, he is on the small side, and he lacks elite speed. If there is one thing we know, it's NFL teams love a quarterback with size. Look no farther than the top two quarterbacks on this list both Cam Newton and Ryan Mallet stand over 6'6. However, one thing we have learned in recent years is size is not everything when it comes to playing quarterback. Drew Brees has made a comfortable living for himself in the NFL. Before you get all cray I'm not saying Andrew Dalton is the next Drew Brees, but the two are similar in stature.
5) Christian Ponder Florida State: The senior quarterback really helped himself with a solid performance at the Senior Bowl. Ponder experienced an up and down career while at Florida State, but he proved to be mentally tough, and more importantly he showed he has the physical skills to play in the NFL. Ponder may be the most NFL ready quarterback available in this year's draft. Thanks to the pro-style offense the Seminoles use, Ponder will not have to spend a lot of time relearning mechanics and going over basics. He is ready to run a West Coast offense as of right now. Add in an accurate arm and the ability to be an effective scrambler, and you have a dynamic threat. Before Christian Ponder can make a name for himself in the NFL he will need to work on a few things. First on the list of improvements is turnovers. In the past Ponder has shown problems making decisions when under pressure, and this had led to turnovers. Another issue he's had is locking into his receivers too soon and giving DB's the chance to jump routes. Obviously these are major concerns for scouts and Ponder will need to use this weekend in Indianapolis to prove he's moved beyond them.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
All weekend long we heard how the New Jersey Nets had a backup plan should they fail to get Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. Today, we learned the Nets not only had a backup plan, they had a damn good one.
According to multiple sources around the NBA the New Jersey Nets are close to finalizing a multi-team deal that has Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams at the center of it. The deal is rumored to be finalized Wednesday evening after it clears through the league front office, and will involve the Nets, Jazz, and Golden State Warriors.
It appears the deal will send Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets and in return the Jazz will receive Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and two first round draft picks. It is still unclear how exactly the Golden State Warriors will factor in on the deal.
Perhaps one of the most interesting factors in this trade is that Deron Williams was just at the center of a controversy in Utah that saw the retirement of veteran coach Jerry Sloan. It's tough to believe the Utah Jazz may now lose their Hall of Fame coach and their All Star point guard all in one month.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In certain European sporting communities a non alcoholic beer is emerging as the sports drink of choice for athletes and the trend is now spreading to the United States.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei is made by a Bavarian brewmeister who is touting the regenerative qualities of their frothy drink, and trying to get the rest of the sporting world to buy in. Gatorade has the market on sports drinks covered, but who's to say there isn't room for a little bit of sudsy competition?
The non alcoholic beer made a splash in the United States earlier this month when several top European athletes were seen seen sipping mugs of the drink on the podium of the World Cup biathlons held in Maine.
The brewing company is selling the near beer as a vitamin rich, non additive based product that contains regenerative properties that can help any athlete recover from a tough workout faster than a typical sports drink would. As strange as this may sound, it should come as no surprise to anyone. In it's purest form beer is nothing more than a carbohydrate laden substance that can break down quickly and be absorbed by the human body. In other words, it contains everything the body needs to recover.
"It's a very healthy product," said Glenn McDonald, U.S. manager for Erdinger. "Overseas, it's very popular. It's the No. 1 non-alcohol beer in Germany."
Of course there is no such thing as a completely non alcoholic beer. By the nature of the product all beer contains a trace amount of alcohol. Erdinger Alkoholfrei contains 0 .5 percent of alcohol. While it's pretty difficult for the average human to get drunk off of that trace amount of alcohol, it does make the drink illegal to consume for those under 21 in the United States.
Erdinger first began targeting European athletes in 2001 where it was marketed as a "sports and fitness drink." The original ad campaign featured a pair of triathletes touting the benefits of the drink. The ads caught on very quickly and soon Erdinger was being served up at the finish line at various sporting events across Europe.
The 125-year-old company, which makes Alkoholfrei in the same brewery outside Munich where it turns out conventional wheat beers, promotes itself at cycling and running events in the summer. In the winter, it's one of the main sponsors of the World Cup biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.
"It's not bad. It's not bad," said Max Cobb, president and CEO of the U.S. Biathlon Association, based in Maine, who has sampled Alkoholfrei. "It's an interesting thought to think of the carbohydrates and everything. They're definitely something athletes need at the end of an event."
Erdinger hopes to prove it has a great beer taste that is commonly associated with well crafted German beers. The higher quality and unique taste will be what sets Erdinger apart from his non alcoholic predecessors. For those who do not remember, near beer is not a new product in the United States, Anheuser-Busch made a big splash into this market in the 1990's when they introduced O'Douls and Miller quickly followed suit when they began brewing Sharp. However, sales for both of these products saw a sharp decline in recent years as people began to realize there's no reason to drink bad beer if you're not going to get drunk.
Erdinger hopes to avoid those pitfalls, and thus open up a new and previously untapped market.
Words that are music to our ears here at Walker Sports. The Carmelo Anthony drama has gone on far to long and had become every bit as annoying as LeBron James' 'Decision.' After months of speculation a deal has been reached between the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The deal involves 12 players and a lot of cash moving around.
Wilson Chandler,Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Mozgov will go to the Nuggets, along with the Knicks' 2014 first-round draft pick, 2012 and 2013 second-round picks originally acquired from Golden State, and $3 million, according to sources close to the deal.
In addition to Anthony, the Knicks also acquire Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.
The Timberwolves are also involved on this deal and they will receive Eddy Curry, and Anthony Randolph for Corey Brewer of the Knicks. This move was done to help with cap space.
While it was thought the New Jersey Nets would factor into this deal, in the end the Knicks proved capable of making an offer that was too sweet for the Nuggets to pass. The deal sends the majority of the Knicks current roster out west. Approximately 50% of New York's scoring will be shipped out of town to make room for Anthony. The move without a doubt is what the Knicks are hoping will be a long term fix.
Friday, February 18, 2011
After months of speculation it appears the New Jersey Nets and the Denver Nuggets have reached a tentative deal that will send Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets as part of a multiplayer deal.
Currently the deal is pending that Anthony agrees to sign a three year $65 million contract extension, is is according to The Record.
If the deal stands the Net will get Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Sheldon Williams, Melvin Ely, and Renaldo Balkman. In return the Nuggets will receive Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, Ben Uzoh and four first round draft picks.
The linchpin for this entire deal is Carmelo agreeing to sign the three year extension to stay with the Nets long term. Currently the two sides are scheduled to meet this weekend in LA during the All Star break and discuss the extension.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, general manager Billy King, CEO Brett Yormark and hip-hop star and part-owner Jay-Z are in Los Angeles and likely will meet with Anthony to try to sell him on the future of the franchise and the move to Brooklyn.
If Carmelo turns down the deal, the New York Knicks become the most likely team to step in as the front runner for Anthony. The Nets would be forced to either peruse a different player, or make a deal that could involve a third or even a fourth team.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
First let me begin by thanking Cameron Smith and Yahoo Sports for writing this article and bringing this to our attention. It's not often that I get worked up about women competing in a men's sport. If they can make it, then they can make it. However, sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and this has to be one of them. While Joel Northrup cited his faith as the reason for him forfeiting his match, I do understand where he is coming from. There is no way I'd strap it up and wrestle against a girl in match there's nothing one can earn from that.
On Thursday, a girl won a match at the most historic high school state wrestling tournament in the country, but she did so in an even more unusual and controversial way than most had imagined possible.
According to the Cedar Rapids Metro Sports Report, Des Moines Register and Associated Press, among other outlets, Cassy Herkelman, one of two girls who qualified for the Iowa state wrestling tournament, won the opening match in her Class 3-A, 112-pound classification by forfeit when her scheduled opponent, Joel Northrup, officially reported and withdrew from the bout, earning a loss but ensuring he could continue to participate in later matches at the tournament.
Northrup, a sophomore at Lin-Mar (Iowa) High, cited his personal faith as the motivating force for his forfeit. The withdrawal ensures he can finish no higher than third at the tournament, which follows his third place finish in the 103-pound classification as a freshman.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments," Northrup said in a statement given to the media following his official forfeit. "However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times.
"As a matter of conscience and faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."
While girls have been allowed to compete as part of boys wrestling teams in Iowa for more than two decades, the 2010-11 season marks the first time that any girls have qualified for the state tournament. In addition to Herkelman, who you can see wrestling in the video above, fellow 112-pound wrestler Megan Black is also competing at the historic state tournament.
When Northrup's forfeit was made official, Herkelman, a freshman at Cedar Falls (Iowa) High was summoned to the middle of the mat and her arm was raised aloft, as you can see in the picture above, signifying the first official victory for a girl at the Iowa wrestling championships.
Though there was plenty of reason for disappointment, Herkelman's father, Bill Herkelman, told the Des Moines Register that the family harbored no ill will toward the Northrup whatsoever.
"My understanding is that they've got strict convictions [as a family], and I respect them," Bill Herkelman told the Register. "I don't have any ill will toward them and I don't think it's any kind of boycott about [Cassy Herkelman] being a girl."
In a subplot that could prove to be as intriguing as the initial forfeit, it's possible that Northrup -- who entered as the No. 5 seed in the 112-pound classification -- will be faced with an identical scenario later in the tournament. With Northrup working through the loser's bracket following the forfeit, he will be forced to face off with the losers of other matches later in the event.
If Herkelman or Black, who wrestlers for Ottumwa (Iowa) High, lose in the early rounds of the event, they would enter the same bracket that now features Northrup, meaning that there is an outside possibility that the Lin-Mar sophomore would be paired against a girl again.
Another forfeit would all but end Northrup's tournament altogether, though it would hardly generate the attention or notoriety that his initial forfeit gained, given its history making role in the annals of Iowa high school sports.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This ball travels every bit of 90 feet, and it's thrown on a frozen rope for sure. With the way quarterback play has deteriorated in the NFL, I can think of a few teams that could use an arm like Wade's. Maybe the Doplphins finally have an answer for the noodle armed Chad Henne.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
It's mid February, and the snow is on the ground in most places in the country. Luckily there's one American tradition that can warm anyone up. Sports Illustrated is has continued their long standing tradition of delivering one of the best swimsuit issues you will ever see. Today SI revealed their newest cover model Irina Shayk. I can guarantee Ms. Shayk will do a great job of living up to the lofty standards set by past SI Cover Models.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Who is Johnny McEntee? Sure he's only made one start in his two season up at UConn, but thanks to this video he made with some of his teammates, McEntee proves he has one of the most accurate arms in the NCAA. At least when he's not under pressure or in a game.
Check out these amazing throws UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee makes.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
The Super Bowl is just a few days away, and I know we are planning for a big blowout here at Walker Sports. While the Super Bowl may be what brings us all together, the right food on the table can easily steal the show. Despite being a sports blog, we like to throw down in the kitchen as well. Here's a few of the things that will be on a part of the spread at our party. Tell us, what you're planning for your Super Bowl party, and share your favorite Super Bowl recipes.
Buffalo Chicken Dip:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cans (9.75 oz each) Chunk Chicken Breast, drained
½ cup hot sauce
½ cup blue cheese salad dressing
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Assorted fresh vegetables and/or crackers
- Stir cream cheese in 9” deep dish pie plate until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Bake at 350°F. for 20 min. until hot and bubbling. Stir. Serve with vegetables and crackers.
q1 1lb Ground Turkey
2 ½ pound Turkey Sausage
3 2 2 packets of your favorite taco seasoning
4 1 1 Container Salsa
5 1 1 lite sour cream
6 1 1 bag cheddar cheese 1 bag Monterey jack cheese
7 1 1 bag favorite tortilla chips
8 2 2 limes
1) Brown ground turkey and sausage in skillet follow cooking instructions on taco seasoning pack. Too add extra flavor throw in 1 chopped clove garlic and 1 diced onion. Also add ground chipotle and ground cayenne pepper.
2) While meat is cooking arrange tortillia chips on a cookie sheet. Cut limes into halves and squeeze juice over chips.
3) Once meat is cooked arrange on a cookie sheet. Chips then meat, layer of cheese, chips meat then more cheese. Then place cookie sheet into 200 degree pre-heated oven. Wait till cheese is melted. Remove from oven let stand then adorn with salsa and sour cream.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer no lite beer
- 8 beef and Cheddar brats
- 8 dark rye sesame rolls
- Stone-ground mustard
Set up grill for direct cooking over high heat. Oil grill grate when ready to start cooking.
Place a large skillet on a grill or side burner and add butter. When butter has melted, add onions. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add beer and cover; cook an additional 10 minutes.
Remove cover from skillet and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat on the grill down to medium. Place brats on oiled grill grates and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side
Serve brats hot on toasted rolls smothered with onions and topped with mustard.
Pulled Pork BBQ
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 3 tablespoons khosar salt
- 1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
Cider Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 cup yellow or brown mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 hamburger buns
- 1 recipe Spicy Slaw, recipe follows
- Pickle spears
Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.
To make the barbecue sauce: combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and "pull" the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.
Here at Walker-Sports we love a good party, no good party is complete without ice cold adult beverages.
Dr. Pepper & Soco
1 part Southern Comfort 1 part Dr. Pepper mix over ice and throw it back.
Firefly- Just add water. Trust us on this one.
Miller High Life
Yes you read that correctly, no Walker-Sports party is complete without at least a case of the Miller High Life, bottles only.
So those are a couple of our favorite recipes feel free to join in and share. The more the better, and stay tuned for more Super Bowl coverage from Walker-Sports.