Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Night Bits & Pieces

-Whatever confidence in LA that is left about Vontaze Burfict keeping his soft verbal commitment to Southern Cal has pretty much completely waned. Most of it, as expected, is related to the fact that Burfict's academics will prevent him from even being granted admission to USC, regardless of whether or not he's a five-star recruit. In his blog today, Scott Wolf says...

"I'd say it's about 70-30 in favor of ASU right now...he's worried about admission to USC...but there is a special admit I'm not sure he's thinking clearly and might just be listening to his Centennial buddies at ASU."

Of course, the "Centennial buddies" he refers to are RB Ryan Bass, LB Shelley Lyons and LB Brandon Magee, who all also went to Centennial High School in Corona, CA. (Fun fact: OL Zach Schlink also went to Centennial...the one in Peoria, AZ though)

-Speaking of Los Angeles, the Trojans are the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to players getting invited to the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine. They're sending 12 of their players to Indianapolis for America's most glorified physical. The Sun Devils are sending four seniors to the combine: QB Rudy Carpenter, SS Troy Nolan, LB Morris Wooten and OG Paul Fanaika.

In my humble and usually accurate opinion, I think Fanaika and Nolan have the most pro upside and probably will be the only Sun Devils drafted this year. Fanaika's footwork and size make him appealing to scouts while Nolan's (usually) sure hands and good field awareness could make him a player at the pro level.

I'm slightly surprised that Mike Jones didn't get invited.

Here's a list of Pac-10 players making the trip with the players in italic being my pick as the team's best chances to make an impact in the NFL:

Arizona (2): WR Mike Thomas, OT Eben Britton
Arizona State (4): QB Rudy Carpenter, OG Paul Fanaika, LB Morris Wooten, SS Troy Nolan
California (6): TE Cameron Morrah, C Alex Mack, ILB Anthony Felder, ILB Worrell Williams, OLB Zach Follett, DE Rulon Davis
Oregon (7): WR Jaison Williams, RB Jeremiah Johnson, OT Fenuki Tupou, C Max Unger, DT Sonny Harris, CB Jarius Byrd, SS Patrick Chung
Oregon State (5): WR Sammie Stroughter, OT Andy Levitre, DE Victor Strong-Butler, CB Brandon Hughes, CB Keenan Lewis
Stanford (4): RB Anthony Kimble, C Alex Fletcher, DE Pannel Egboh, CB Wopamo Osaisai
UCLA (1): RB Kahlil Bell
USC (12): QB Mark Sanchez, WR Patrick Turner, DE Kyle Moore, DT Fili Moala, ILB Rey Maualuga, OLB Clay Matthews, OLB Brian Cushing, OLB Kaluka Maiava, CB Kevin Ellison, CB Josh Pinkard, CB Cary Harris, KOS David Buehler
Washington (1): C Juan Garcia
Washington State (1): WR Brandon Gibson

Just for the record, USC is sending as many outside linebackers as ASU is sending players. Ouch.

-ASU track and field coaching legend Senon "Baldy" Castillo passed away Saturday at the age of 89. Castillo coached the men's team to the 1977 NCAA title and has a yearly meet, the Baldy Castillo Invitational, named after him. 

-Dennis Erickson and the Sun Devils will hold their annual National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday at 4:30.

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