Thursday, August 09, 2007

BGS Bits | by Pat

As we head into the season, the amount of ND related news obviously skyrockets. As a result, we'll try to make BGS Bits more of a regular feature and include those noteworthy stories that we're either too busy to get to when they happen, or aren't quite worth an entire post. But I'm still not sold on the name "BGS Bits". Provide a better one and you'll get the credit when we debut the new name.

Hand in Trouble

A noteworthy story that we haven't really mentioned yet is the suspension of backup defensive end/nose tackle Derrell Hand for solicitation of prostitution. The arrest happened just days before the start of fall camp, and Hand's future at Notre Dame is certainly in doubt. When asked about what it's like to deal with off-the-field legal issues such as this one, Weis had the following to say.

"I try not to be overemotional when I get a phone call about anything," he said. "The first thing I try to do is make sure I have all the facts. The story might be exact or far from the truth. I try not to make a rash or emotional decision. I try to pull myself back and say if Charlie (Jr.) was in this situation, what would I do?"

"I can't even deal with anything until he takes care of business, both with the legal system and the school," Weis said. "And when that happens, we'll revisit it.

"I spent a lot of time with him and his mom, and we're all on the same page. There aren't any hidden secrets. I think he and his mom were very appreciative of that. I said, 'Let's wait and see how this all turns out.'

"I think with kids sometimes (when there's off-field trouble), it's more important you clear up the circumstances than you play football. In other cases, the circumstances aren't exactly as they appear and continuing to play football is the way to go."
Dealing with the law and Res Life won't be fun for Hand, and I think it's safe to say that at the very minimum he's going to miss the 2007 season. hether or not he ever suits up again for the Irish.

Get the scoop

Ben Ford, the ND beat writer for the Elkhart Truth, has been updating his own ND-centric blog. Both Ford's blog and Fort Wayne reporter Michael Rothstein's Irish Insights blog offer additional (and free) observations on practice from a couple of guys who get to be there every day (for the first 20 minutes, anyway). Make sure to check them out.

Hometown Hero

In a time of the year when puff pieces on college football players is the norm, some stand out more than others. A News & Observer article on incoming freshman Kerry Neal certainly qualifies. Make sure to read the whole thing, especially where Neal talks about his drive to succeed.
Neal, whose father died when he was 12, said no workout compares to how his mother and grandmother worked at their jobs. He wants to return the favor.

"That's my drive," he said. "My motivation, to get them out of that house. If I don't make it in the league, I got this scholarship. I'll get a job. All this hard work is going to pay off."
The Check is in the Mail

The waiting is over; Brady Quinn's holdout with the Cleveland Browns is a thing of the past.
The Cleveland Browns reached agreement with quarterback Brady Quinn on a five-year, $20.2 million deal that has a maximum value of $30 million and includes $7.75 million worth of guaranteed money.
Now we'll just have to wait and see how long it is until Quinn gets the dubious honor of starting behind the Browns shaky OL.

Elsewhere in the League

The latest in the Mo Stovall training camp battle has the former Irish star listed as a starting wide receiver ahead of former first rounder Michael Clayton. It's still a long way until the first game, but Stovall is really taking advantage of the opportunity and that's great to see.

Mike Richardson picked off another pass during training camp much to the delight of his teammates. It will be tough to make the final team cuts, but he's playing well.

Nedu is also having a strong fall camp. Tonight, he'll play against the Lions in the first pre-season game for the Bengals and get to have a rematch with this guy.

Survey Says

Sports Illustrated surveyed one starter from all D-IA 116 college football teams. The topics ranged from their pick for Heisman, to their thoughts on message boards and blogs, to which active coach they'd like to play for. Nothing ground-breaking, but it's a fun quick read.

Charlie picked up two votes out of 116 for "coach I'd like to play for" which tied him with Jim Tressel. Not surprisingly, Pete Carroll got 34 votes to lead all coaches while Lloyd Carr only got one vote, which tied him with Bo Schembechler.

How long until September 1st?

Finally, of all of the player interview videos, my favorite just might be from sophomore and likely starting middle linebacker Toryan Smith. For those looking for a tough defense, he's saying all the right things. Consider:
"Every time I go out there, I want to be feared."

"Basically any time I can go out there and hit somebody I feel like I'm doing a service."

"I don't want to use the word finesse at all. I want to be physical. I like to knock heads...that's my game."