Friday, August 29, 2008

Pat Hill, Red Wave, get your THUMBS UP!

In honor of the United States and our great performance in the 2008 Summer Olympics, we’ve decided to have a little fun — albeit with real opinions — with the Fresno State football team. Anybody can write a preview about keys to the game, position match-ups and game previews (including us, so check back again today to read that too), but not many football gurus have the kind of outside the box (hardly), attention demanding (read if you feel like it) material that goes for the Gold, a la Michael Phelps. So without further ado, here are our medal winners (Gold, Silver and Bronze) for random but intriguing and unheralded attributes regarding Fresno State football’s best.

Oh, and for your listening and viewing pleasure as you read, here is the Fresno State fight song. Click play and then read; that’s our recommendation.

Hardest hitter
Gold: Moses Harris
Has shown growth each year, improved his speed and learned how to use his body for big impact hits.
Silver: Nico Herron
6-3, 240-pound animal likely deserving of the gold, but we’ll keep him here until he proves it on game day.
Bronze: Lorne Bell
Head down, heat-seeking missile; when he’s locked in you’re done.

Surest tackler
Gold: Jon Monga
Take a second to think about all the tackles Monga’s missed; you can stop thinking, it hasn’t happened.
Silver: Ben Jacobs
He’ll take a shot at you if he has a chance to, but he knows not to gamble if a guy could get by him.
Bronze: Eric Brown
A Kyle Goodman-like presence on special teams, he thrives at being the first guy downfield on kickoffs.

Fastest WRs
Gold: Marlon Moore
No explanation needed.
Silver: Devon Wylie
Devon Wylie doesn’t run like the wind, the wind runs like Devon Wylie.
Bronze: Chastin West
Others in the mix, but haven’t necessarily had the chance to prove it yet like West has.

Fastest RBs
Gold: Lonyae Miller
Similar 40 time to Mathews, but with longer strides and still hasn’t been caught from behind.
Silver: Ryan Mathews
Gone before you know it, but still has something left to prove with breakaway speed.
Bronze: Anthony Harding
Harris and Ellis haven’t proved it yet, and Harding ran so fast he knocked a Georgia Tech guy out.

Fastest LBs
Gold: Mario Moore
175-pound walk-on is just flat out faster than the rest.
Silver: Quaadir Brown
Especially now that he dropped all that weight.
Bronze: Chris Carter
Somebody has to win bronze; Carter gets the nod for experience.

Fastest DBs
Gold: A.J. Jefferson
Just ask those who have chased him what his dust tastes like.
Silver: Isaiah Green
It’s not easy be(at)ing Green.
Bronze: Sharrod Davis
I’m going to make fun Oregon ‘cause they don’t have him anymore. Edges out Phillip Thomas.

Fastest Overall
Gold: A.J. Jefferson
If he and Moore ran side by side they’d tie, but somebody had to get first.
Silver: Marlon Moore
If he and Jefferson ran side by side they’d tie, but somebody had to get second.
Bronze: Devon Wylie
Caught from behind at Texas A&M, but more stamina, speed and strength this year.

Stickiest hands
Gold: Bear Pascoe
Winnie the Pooh was recently overheard saying, “This honey’s as sticky as Bear Pascoe’s hands.”
Silver: Vince “Cub” Pascoe
If Cub played baseball, he’d be catcher.
Bronze: Chastin West
He made the tough, acrobatic catches all camp long.

Best cover guy
Gold: Damion Owens
A true coverage corner who doesn’t allow WRs much space.
Silver: A.J. Jefferson
Jefferson is faster than Owens and can cover best deep.
Bronze: Sharrod Davis
If you catch a ball in front of Davis, you’re getting’ hit.

Special teams guy
Gold: A.J. Jefferson
No. 1 in the country in kick returns and a preseason All-American.
Silver: Bear Pascoe
He’s the reason for the push in the middle that leads to so many blocked kicks.
Bronze: Bobby Shepard
Redshirt freshman is in there every play and expected to be a four-year mainstay.

Most Outgoing on-field personality
Gold: Joe Bernardi
“Joey, Joey, Joey.” If he’s within a mile, you’ll know it.
Silver: Bobby Lepori
A chatterbox on and off the field who is everyone’s friend.
Bronze: Jason Crawley
He’s been seen at practice with a feather in his helmet and a Fresh Prince headband.

Coolest facemask
Gold: Ryan Mathews
The DNA helmet was a fresh look.
Silver: Richard Pacheco
A true old-school O-line mask.
Bronze: Tapa Taumoepeau
We mostly just wanted you to try and say his name.

Prediction for most bones
Gold: Tom Brandstater
His growth coupled with the most opportunity gives him the gold.
Silver: Bear Pascoe
Bones for blocking, catching and blocking kicks.
Bronze: Ryan Mathews
If he goes for 1,000 yards and similar TD numbers he’s in the mix.

Most intense coach
Gold: Pat Hill
Every time I see/hear him I want to run through a brick wall.
Silver: Dan Brown
When he’s fired up, the D better be ready for a lecture.
Bronze: Derek Frazier
Brings the hands-on intensity when he doesn’t like what he sees.

Best tactical coach
Gold: Randy Stewart
He teaches and teaches and teaches, ‘til his shirt is soaked with sweat.
Silver: John Baxter
Special teams results speak for themselves.
Bronze: Derek Frazier
Do it right or he’ll show you how to do it right.

Route runner
Gold: Devon Wylie
No one can keep up with his quick cuts and change of direction.
Silver: Jason Crawley
His most refined trait; a true possession receiver who gets the tough first downs.
Bronze: Darren Newborne
Hard-working former walk-on has mastered the little things.

Jump ball catch
Gold: Chastin West
He’s proven his acrobatic ability in games.
Silver: Bear Pascoe
Hands, size and toughness to pull it down in traffic; he’d get Texas A&M’s vote.
Bronze: Seyi Ajirotutu
Height, hands and jumping ability.

Best at changing direction
Gold: Ryan Mathews
He can stay at full speed while contorting his body to either side.
Silver: Devon Wylie
Low to the ground and accelerates fast; uncoverable in the first 10 yards.
Bronze: A.J. Jefferson
Makes his cuts while still moving up the field.

Best practice player
Gold: Ryan Colburn
He’s gone from looking like a mess as a freshman to looking like a big-time QB because of the time he put in.
Silver: Kenny Wiggins
Just waiting for an opening to become the next O-line star.
Bronze: Richard Pacheco
It’s no coincidence why he earned the starting nod at center.

Best NFL prospect
Gold: Bear Pascoe
His skills are most likely to guarantee him a roster spot on an NFL team.
Silver: Tom Brandstater
Might have the highest ceiling, especially as a late bloomer.
Bronze: A.J. Jefferson
As long as he proves last year wasn’t a fluke, he can make it on return abilities alone.

Best motor
Gold: Jon Monga
He’ll grunt, growl, hit and run until the whistle blows.
Silver: Ikenna Ike
Former walk-on had to put out non-stop effort to get to where he is.
Bronze: Offensive Line
They’re a bunch of Energizer bunnies.

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