I reported a couple months ago that Toney Clemons was weighing an offer from Akron.
Well, this kid must be special. Scout.com recently upgraded Clemons to four-star status and ranked him as the nation's 10th best receiver.
Clemons is 6-foot-3 and comes from New Kensington, Pa. Problem is, Clemons also has scholarship offers from Michigan, Mississippi and Pittsburgh. The competition is so steep that Rivals.com does not even list Akron as a possibility.
- I like the ABJ's Gary Estwick. He has always proven to be a good sports writer. But he made a fatal error in his story today about Kent State's football program. He mentioned Phil Steele -- the brain surgeon football analyst who picked Kent State to win the MAC East. Memo to Steele: If Kent fares better than .500 in the MAC, I will mow your lawn for a month.
- A few more comments about the story. Kent State's slogan is "On the Hunt." I feel bad for the marketing minds at Kent who had to work on this one. ... "OK, folks. Excite people about a football team that lost every Division I-A game last year and brought in a lousy recruiting class."
- A last comment about the story: You need to allow real tailgating if you want to draw fans. Real tailgating is fans tossing footballs, drinking beers and grilling their own juicy meats. Tailgating cannot be forced by the university making a carnival out of it. As someone who has seen several different atmospheres at pro and college games, I know how much students love real tailgating. Tailgating dies when the open-container laws are in effect. Work with the police and city to make it happen.
- On an unfortunate note, former Zips receiver Domenik Hixon is still having foot problems. Hixon is probably my favorite professional athlete, and not just because I have his cell phone number. Hixon is the most genuinely nice guy you will ever meet. He is a hard worker and an exceptional athlete. In my humble opinion, this guy will be a starter before his career is over.
I caught up with coach Dennis Mitchell via e-mail yesterday.
He is still constantly on the go. He just finished a major recruiting trip and now is preparing for fall.
Senior-to-be Natalie Sako is also busy. She is competing in the under-23 NACAC Championships in the Dominican Republic. Mitchell said this is the first Zips athlete to wear the Team USA uniform since national champion Christi Smith in 2000.
Jeremy Sallee is a hard worker and bright guy.
That's why he has a chance to succeed at Akron, a story on the Pulse-Journal from Liberty Township says. Sallee transferred to Akron after a successful year at Case Western Reserve University.