This ‘n’ that.
Joe Hills was a little disappointed about not being selected in the NFL Draft, but he remains optimistic he will land a free agent contract that will serve him better because he can pick his team.
The receiver out of Palmetto High and Tennessee State received calls from the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants during the draft. Between the four of them, they only two drafted two receivers, and one was a seventh-round pick (Minnesota).
“They all said they were interested in me,” Hills said. “Tennessee has shown the most interest, but they all said they were considering me and a few other guys for that position in the late rounds. They were all at my Pro Day and liked what I did.
“I know one thing: Whatever team I sign with I am going to make it. I am going to land somewhere and stick. I am sure of it.”
Blue hits jackpot
Desmond Blue made the right decision to sign with Fort Scott Community College if he hopes to play at Nebraska or any other big-time program down the road.
The school has been a spawning ground for big-time college players and NFL draft picks.
Fort Scott has almost been like a farm club for the Huskers, and head coach Bo Pelini has turned it into a personal pipeline with four players on his roster from Fort Scott, including Brandon Kinnine, who led the Cornhusker wideouts in touchdown receptions, and linebacker Lavonte David, an All-American and All-Big 12 first team selection and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2010.
The school has also has a nice relationship with South Florida, which is a huge plus for Blue. Fort Scott sent two of its former standouts, Jason Pierre-Paul and Jacquain Williams, to the Bulls, and both were drafted by the Giants. Pierre-Paul went in the first round at 15th, the highest pick in USF history.
USF eyeing Heaven
USF defensive coordinator Mark Snyder likes what he sees in Manatee High’s Clinton Heaven and an offer should be coming, particularly with Big East Rival Rutgers beating him to the punch with the safety.
Heaven was initially offered by South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier more than a year ago, and then Clemson followed. Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, a former Miami assistant, loves to recruit Florida and has gone after more than a few people who live in USF’s backyard.
Lots of draft picks combined with a disappointing season is often interpreted as poor coaching. It could explain why Randy Shannon got fired from Miami and Pittsburgh’s Dave Wannstedt is out of work.
With eight players drafted, the Hurricanes ranked second in the country, but were 7-6. Pittsburgh had the only first- and second-round choices in the Big East and led the league with five selections. But the Panthers finished a disappointing 7-5 under Wannstedt.
Big East saved face
You hear arguments that the Big East should lose its BCS status, and the conference didn’t help itself when it ranked last among the BCS schools with 22 draft picks.
But the Mountain West had 10 picks and the Western Athletic Conference 16. The Big East also had 2.63 picks per school, which was better than the Big 12 (2.50).
It’s no surprise that the SEC had the most drafted players (38), but surprising that the ACC was second with 35. The SEC also led with 10 first-round picks, including five of the first six. The Big 12 had eight first-round picks (three in top 10) followed by the Big Ten.
Oregon, which made it to the national title game, had only one player drafted.
The Music City Bowl (Tennessee vs. North Carolina) had the most draft picks of all the bowls with 11.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 745-2112.