Day One of competition, held at Nike's corporate headquarters in Oregon, was focused around the SPARQ Rating National Championship, a series of combine-style events designed to measure speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness. Plano, Texas linebacker Mike Mitchell took home the title but Alabama committed running back Altee Tenpenny wowed scouts and fellow participants with a 4.42 forty-yard dash time and earned comparisons to Trent Richardson from ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill. Tenpenny missed all of his junior season with an ankle injury that required surgery but appeared to be operating at 100 percent on Friday.
Which commitment could UA lose? -- Orr agreed that the most discussed candidate is linebacker Reuben Foster. But Orr pointed to another commitment for different reasons. "To me, a guy to keep an eye on because of the distance from home and the pressure on him is Altee Tenpenny," Orr said. "He's in Arkansas, there's going to be a lot of pressure on him to stay home and it's coming and he knows it. Plus, Alabama already has other (running) backs committed."
Behind Mitchell, two familiar faces came close to capturing the SPARQ title for a second straight year in Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry and North Little Rock (Ark.) running back Altee Tenpenny. The pair were among the limited number of underclassmen at the inaugural 'The Opening' last year and returned once again, passing along a few tips and tidbits along the way to their fellow campers. "I'm out here pumping these guys up, they're all in my class and I appreciate everything they do," Henry, left, said. "I try and watch all these guys' highlights. This is very special, especially at running back. I can't wait to compete in 7-on-7 and the finals."
Texas Tech University president Guy Bailey will interview for the presidency of the University of Alabama on Wednesday. Bailey, an Alabama native with bachelor's and master's degrees in English from UA and a doctorate in English linguistics from Tennessee, has been president of Texas Tech since 2008. He is the top candidate and the only one being brought in to interview, UA System spokeswoman Kellee Reinhart said Friday.
Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.) threw a no hitter and Valerie Arioto hit two home runs in the USA Softball Women’s National team’s 7-0, five inning run rule of New Zealand on Friday the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. Traina picked up four strikeouts and only walked one batter in the game while Arioto added five RBI on the offensive side in Team USA’s fourth win in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship. “I honestly didn’t realize until the last inning that they didn’t have any hits,” said Traina. “It’s a really good feeling because it’s the first time I’ve had a no hitter for Team USA.”
Why are they excited?: It can't get any worse, right? The Owls had the nation's worst offense in 2011 and the defense wasn't much better. Replacing a running back like Morris will be difficult, but Jonathan Wallace appears to have emerged as the guy willing to try. The 198-pound junior ran for 108 yards on just eight carries in FAU's spring game. The Owls should get a boost at quarterback thanks to junior-college transfer Melvin German. He's yet to officially practice with FAU, but it's clear that the Pearl River Community College transfer will have every chance to win the job. All three of FAU's leading tacklers are back for 2012 and they all play at linebacker. They'll be back in their comfort zone, too, thanks to Pelini's reversing of a failed, one-year experiment with the 3-4.
“For me it’s another opportunity to show that I’m that guy that they did go up from four to three and one of the reasons that they did come to get me in the first round, one of the reasons they did take a rookie running back in the top ten. I want to be the guy that the decision makers are talking about the top running backs. “One of my goals is I want to be the best, one of the best running backs in the game when it comes to the end of the season. I always have big shoes to fill. I’ve always had big shoes to fill. I played behind Mark Ingram. He was the Heisman Trophy winner so I had to go out there and prove I could do as good as him and I’m not saying I did it all by myself but my work ethic and my teammates helped me with it.”
Most defenders had trouble bringing former Tide running back Trent Richardson down. But one painter has captured him on canvas in a work expected to hang with other UA stars at the Bryant Museum. FOX6 is among the first to see it. In case people don't know, this is the same artist who did the Heisman painting of Mark Ingram in 2010. It's in the Bryant Museum. This latest painting is of Heisman nominee Trent Richardson. Steve Skipper says there are collectors out there dying to see this painting. A private collector bought the original painting, so the current painting is a reproduction but it's the exact painting that is expected to hang in The Bryant Museum.
With offseason coaching, wide receiver Julio Jones is starting to show signs of being a more polished receiver. After 54 catches for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in basically 11 games (he left two games early), Jones is ready to put his rookie year behind him and appears primed for a massive breakout. “Just knowing where I supposed to be at, at the right time and right depth,” Jones said. “That’s very critical for me. The past is the past. I just want to have that confidence knowing that me and my quarterback are going to be on the same page this year.”
"All-around smart guy. All-around good player. Pass pro(tection), running the ball, catching the ball. He's a smart kid. And with his talent and his ability to pick up things very fast, he's going to go far in this league. Just like all of us, we have to try to stay healthy. And he's going get back on his feet, I have no doubt. But I see him as being one of the great running backs in this league as time goes on. He's a very smart kid. He picked up our offense very fast, very quick. And he's doing a great job. And I just see nothing but improvement in his future."