Spent some time out at spring practice again on Thursday. I've been wanting to talk to Anthony McClung for a while because we haven't had the opportunity until now. Freshman and newcomers were ineligible to talk to last season (Mick Cronin utilizes the same strategy on the basketball side).
Between trouble he had with NCAA eligibility to his unanticipated pertinent snaps relatively early in the season to the amount he's being counted on entering next season, I thought talking to him would be interesting. I was right (Mark it down, 10:32 a.m., April 8).
McClung was a great kid to talk to and sports some great tattoos -- almost certain to make an Ink of the Week appearance in the Fall. He has the name of his stepfather and mother running down each of his biceps and a memorial to his biological father near his roatator cuff. He said his biological father passed away two days before he turned two years old. The kid loves football like you wouldn't believe. He actually lost eight pounds because he couldn't eat when his NCAA status was in jeopardy in his senior year of high school.
I'll have more on him coming soon, but wanted to relay some of those tidbits that likely won't make it into the story. He's got at least one more fan after yesterday.
--- Not the best day for the defense yesterday as the offense had their way during a goal line drill. That's about the first time this spring the offense has dominated the defense. The black shirts that signify who won the scrimmage the day before hadn't moved from the defense to this point.
Probably as good of news that the offense is beginning to click rather than the defense "taking a step back," as Butch Jones said.
--- Plenty of love for RBs coach Jahmile Addae over at the Butch Jones Blog recently. He was mic'd up recently and it produced this video.
--- Dyjuan Lewis was working voluntarily on his own at Nippert as I left the stadium. The kid is a physical freak. Right now he can't work out with the team until summer. Then, he can't be under coach supervision, but can be a part of the team programs.
Considering the depth situation at receiver, he will be counted on to make a contribution in the Fall despite not playing a down yet in college football. A big game for him will be the Austin Peay game. If UC can jump out to a big lead and get Lewis a load of live reps, he would be much more comfortable contributing against Tennessee.
And if Lewis is comfortable, look out. He is physically ready to play at a high level in the Big East right now.
--- Here's an INCREDIBLE interview with Kerry Coombs after Thursday's practice. He attempts to displace Tommy G and makes me want to be 25 percent more productive today.
--- I had a Q and A with the always quotable Connor Barwin a few months back talking about his return to class, injury rehab and some ridiculous topics.
He's since been to Nigeria and the folks at the Enquirer caught up with him recently.
--- Luke Winn is as respected a national hoops writer as exists. In his Top 32 for 2011-12, he places UC 12th with some kind words.
--- On to some randomness...
--- I bet I know this woman's favorite movie. Let me guess, a lovable young blond boy and two muckracking burglers get your goat?
--- How do we not know who killed Notorious BIG yet?
--- Top athlete taunts. Nothing beats the Dikembe wag of the finger.
--- Jeff Pearlman talking with Tommy Shaw. Great read.
On that note, how about this to get your Friday pumping....