Wednesday, 23 February 2011 15:41

Louisiana Sports: Jimmy Graham, Patrick Peterson, Marcus Dupree, LSU

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Ed Staton-Louisiana SportsNew Orleans Saints, Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Graham

Jeremy Shockey's departure leaves the Saints with only two tight ends from the final 53-man roster under contract through March 3-- Jimmy Graham and Tory Humphrey. That suggests tight end is a  position that could be bolstered through free agency or the  upcoming draft or with the re-signing of Shockey...Any way we can speed this up?...

Saints tight end Graham is rated as one of the best college basketball players in the NFL. Graham was never much of a scorer, but he was a keen rebounder and one of the top shot blockers during his career at the University of Miami.  In fact, Graham, ranks eighth in school history in shot blocks (108). You need to give love to those role-playing guys like Graham. You can bet he would take most of all the current NFL stars one on one


LSU Patrick Peterson

SOME hither, others yon: Former LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who will be a top 10 pick in the draft, said he watched more film than before this past season. "I was more patient," said Peterson. "I was more confident, not that I wasn't confident before. I went to another level this season. It's a blessing to be where I am now."  Here's Peterson's scouting report on himself: "I'm physical. I would say I'm smart, fast and quick. I've got pretty good hips. My technique is pretty sound. I try to keep working on the little things every day and that helped me be that much of better corner on Saturdays, now on Sundays."...


When Patrick Peterson and the other defensive backs run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, it's an impressive display of straight-line speed.  But how meaningful is it to determining whether these guys can play football? According to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, it’'s actually quite meaningful. -- at least with this year's class, where several of the top defensive backs have questions to answer about their speed. "My top-ranked corner, Peterson from LSU, this kid's going to weigh in at 215-220 and probably run a sub 4-4," said Mayock. Peterson said he plans on running a 4.2. "After him, Prince Amukamaras from Nebraska, another kid who I think is a top 10 pick. The question about him are top-end speed." Peterson and Amukamara are 1-2 at cornerback on just about every draft board we've seen. After them, Mayock says, come another couple of corners who have a lot to show with the 40-yard dash.  “Two are physical corners, Aaron Williams from Texas and Jimmy Smith from Colorado," says Mayock. "How fast they run will be huge in where they end up with their draft status."...

The LSU-Oregon game on Sept. 3 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,Tex., is the best game of opening week. It's the Mad Hatter vs. Chip Kelly, a great offense against a great defense. LSU returns to Cowboys Stadium where it defeated Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl in January. This will be a top five matchup and will also be the debut for the Tigers newcomer Zach Mettenberger, considered by many the nation's top JUCO quarterback last season. He is expected to compete for the starter's job with Jordan Jefferson. Last year, Mettenberger threw for 2,678 yards and 32 touchdowns and helped lead Butler (Kan.) Community College to an 11-1 record and a spot in the JUCO Championship... rates LSU as one of the 25 teams that should get their uniforms upgraded this offseason. Writes the site: "We see the random shoulder stripes once again, but it does nothing to take attention away from the awfulness of the uniform itself. Barney purple and glow-in-the-dark urine yellow are simply not a good look. To make matters worse, they went with the same color yellow on the  helmets, making the uniforms hard to look at. Sure, the uniform reminds us of Mardi Gras, but LSU went way too far in an attempt to represent their school colors. And, I thought LSU had some of the best uniforms in college football.

Marcus Dupree

Marcus Dupree, tabbed "The Best Player Never Was" by ESPN, has resurfaced in his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss., (also hometown of Olivia Manning) as a professional wrestler.

He is wrestling alongside characters like The Albino Rhino. Dupree, 47, wrestled on Saturday night as part of Mid-South Wrestling, a company his is backing and promoting.

"It's just a show," said Dupree on a Fanhouse profile. "It's something I enjoy, seeing smiles on kids' faces. My competitiveness is getting people in the door and making sure kids and everyone has a great time."

He finished his high school career at Philadelphia High with 7,355 rushing yards with an 8.3-yards per carry average. He scored 87 touchdowns total during his playing time in high school, breaking the record set by Herschel Walker by one.

Duprees's final high school game was played on the Choctaw Indian Reservation's tribal high school's Warriors Stadium. Author Willie Morris, the writer in residence at Ole Miss, described the audience at Dupree's final game as :the most distinctive crowd I  have ever seen....four thousand or so people seemed almost an equal mix of whites, blacks and Indians...After Marcus scored his touchdown, Sid Salter saw Cecil Price Sr. (who was linked with the murders of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia) who was ..."jumping up and down and cheering as hard as anyone...ain't that a kick in the pants?'

Dupree was heavily recruited by the major college football programs, and during the final month of the recruiting period, his high school coach, Joe Wood, answered more than 100 phone calls from colleges. Oklahoma recruited him the heaviest and he announced he would attend Oklahoma in favor of the other finalists, Texas, UCLA and Southern Miss.

When he arrived at Oklahoma in 1892, head coach Barry Switzer said, "He was the best player on the field. Earl Campbell was the only other guy I ever saw who was like that."

He was named Football News Freshman of the Year, second team All-American and Big Eight Conference Newcomer of the Year before  leaving in the middle of his sophomore year because he could not get along with Switzer, who criticized his training habits.

He briefly attended Southern Miss without playing a single game there. He joined the United States Football League the following season and signed with the New Orleans Breakers on 1984. He played for the Breakers (which moved to Portland, Ore., before his second season) for two seasons, before a knee injury forced him to leave the game.

He returned to professional football five years later in 1990, joining the LA Rams, where he played 15 games over two seasons, before he was waived prior to the 1992 season.

The college recruiting of Dupree was the subject of a book by Morris titled "The Courting of Marcus Dupree and his career is the subject of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “The Best That Never Was."

Hey, he may not have fulfilled his dreams, but it's nice to see him making the best of the situation.

He wrestles decked out in Oklahoma red. Now all he needs is a catchy wrestling name. How about "Boomer Sooner"?

Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie spent $100,000 in a single night at a Los Angeles club during NBA All-Star Weekend. TMZ reports that McKinnie racked up the tab at a party hosted by rapper Rick Ross. He ordered 15 bottles of champagne that were so big "the entire club stopped to watch the wait stuff bring them to Bryant's area."  I hope they were large. Even at $5,000 each, that would only get McKinnie to $75,000. Either he's a big tipper or his entourage ate a lot of mozzarella sticks and wings...The Colts claimed defensive tackle DeMario Pressley off waivers from the Texans. The Saints drafted Pressley in the fifth round in the 2008 draft...

Chris Paul took a crack at singing in a recording studio the other day, and the producers told him to keep his day job...

...An expert farmer is outstanding in his field.

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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