Saturday, April 30, 2011

With the 76th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars select...

(Photo Credit: The Morning Call)

OL Will Rackley is now a Jacksonville Jaguar.

At about 9:30 PM eastern time, the Jaguars traded up for the second time in this NFL draft to get a player they wanted. On Thursday, it was Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert, who was still on the board with the 10th overall pick, as they made a swap with the Redkins to get the speedy spread QB from the Tigers.

On Friday, they saw another player of great value still on the board early in the third round - a certain bookend tackle who played at a Patriot League school for four years. So general manger Gene Smith got on the phone with the San Francisco 49ers and got the deal done to get the interior lineman he wanted.

“Obviously, when I’m moving up for a player this early, we feel like he’s an eventual starter,” Smith told the Associated Press. “We like his position versatility. We did a lot of work on him. ... We felt very good about this.”(more)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Will Rackley to the NFL, Part Two: The NFL Draft

(Photo Credit: Bruce Winter/The Express-Times)

"If you believe sites like NFL Draft Scout, OL Will Rackley - Lehigh's massive tackle out of Riverdale, Georgia - could be picked in QB John Skelton territory in the NFL draft," I crowed back in August.

Nine months and a 2010 football season later, the future has changed for the best offensive lineman in Patriot League history.

It's changed, um, a whole lot.

From the junior blind side tackle who played hurt most of the season to the dominant senior lineman who earned the respect of everyone he faced - including Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler - Rackley is going to be heading to Radio City Music Hall on the first round of draft day.(more)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Will Rackley to the NFL, Part One: From Riverdale to Lehigh

(Photo Credit: Andrew Meier/The Brown & White)

"OL Will Rackley didn’t have any shoe boxes full of letters from Georgia or Georgia Tech," an article from Will's hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said. "There was one scholarship offer and another major opportunity," referring to a general offer from Tulane and a walk-on opportunity at Georgia Tech.

Ask his mother, Wanda Rackley, though, and you'll get a different viewpoint as to which schools were important or not.

"I went with him on two official visits," she told me. "The first visit was to Lafayette. He didn't have a good feeling there and he thought the football field was too small.

"The next visit was to the school was Lehigh. He loved it right off, and I loved it too."(more)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New York Times, Relying On Deception, Undermines FCS Football

No, that wasn't the actual headline from the New York Times on their series on Title IX.

The spashy article from Katie Thomas the Times, with the real title "College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity", has this as a teaser: "To produce an appearance of gender equity, colleges have given roster spots to unqualified players, counted male practice players as women and trimmed men’s rosters."

And as a corrolary article, the Times also included a piece by Marjorie Connelly, with another splashy headline: "Few Americans Familiar With Title IX, Though Most Approve of It".

As seems to happen way too often, their one-sided series of articles on the gender-equity law seems to - yes - rely on deception, and key omissions, to make its "case".(more)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brown 39, White 25, Final

The past two seasons, the Brown & White Scrimmage was notable in the fact that it was at least in part trying to answer some gigantic questions.

Questions like: who's the starting quarterback?  Will the offense change with the presence of Dave Cecchini as offensive coordinator?  And perhaps the biggest question of all: Does Lehigh have the tools to compete for a Patriot League championship?

This year's spring game, Cecchini's second as offensive coordinator and the first where a senior, senior QB Chris Lum, was the unquestioned field general, had none of that same drama.  Matter of fact, rainy weather and a depleted "O" line meant that the already-basic spring playbook was probably closed even further.

All of that made the Spring Scrimmage a showcase for the Brown team defense. (more)
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