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The Skol Report - Week 3: 49ers vs. Vikings

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on October 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Vikings Blogger and Contributor


Let's be honest, who didn't think they were going to win?? Hell, I didn't even think they were going to win. But, it happened. With a near perfect offense, a defense that played like the team they were playing , and with a little luck on the side, the Minnesota Vikings were able to defeat the San Francisco 49ers who are widely being considered as a Super Bowl favorite in what was the biggest upset of the weekend by the convincing final score of 24-13.


With how he has played in the first three game it maybe safe to say that QB Christian Ponder has arrived in the NFL. Ponder would have what may have his most complete game of his so far short career. In the game, Ponder would throw 35 times complete 21 passes for 198 yards passing for 2 touchdown with a QB rating of 94.7. Ponder would also run the ball 7 times for 33 yards including a 23 yard run for a touchdown. Ponder's performance at QB so far this season has been very impressive. In three games his total QB rating is 104.9, his completion percentage is just north of 70 percent, and he has yet to throw an interception. If Ponder can continue this trend of great QB play, this season could have a better outlook than originally intended, I'm not saying let's start etching Christian's name on the MVP trophy but, he could possibly have himself a spot in Honolulu.


In this game, Adrian Peterson is continuing amaze without going overboard. AD would run the ball 25 time for a total of 86 yards, he would not score any touchdowns. So far, Peterson has run for a total of 230 yards this season which is right among the top of the pack. It definately looks that Adrian Peterson is back to his regular self and to continue this unexpected success that the Vikings are having, they will need him to start going full throttle.


Defense wins championships. But, in this case for the Vikings, defense wins you a huge ball game. The one time you want the Vikings defense to show and play some ball, what'ya know they do. The Minnesota Vikings defense came up big in this game looking more like the 49ers defense in this game. In this game Jared Allen would pick up his first sack of the season. Now, I didn't expect that Jared Allen would not repeat the uncrowned defensive player of the year season that he had last season but, I didn't think that he would not get his first sack until Week 3. Let's hope that with this game he can get his game going and be that great defensive monster that we all know that he can be. Antoine Winfield and.................. That has been the question since last season, who will step in the secondary with Antoine Winfield to shore up their problems. Well that guy might be rookie Josh Robinson. Late in the 4th Quarter, Robinson would come up with a clutch interception that help propel the Vikes to the victory. The interception would also be Robinson first in the NFL and the first for the Vikings defense in I believe since Week 9 last season. In time hopefully he can become that second defensive back that the Vikings need to be sucessful and the future top DB for the Vikes when Winfield retires. If I had to choose who has been the Vikings most sucessful player on defense so far this season, I think that everyone would be in agreement that so far it's LB Chad Greenway. Against the 49ers, Greenway would have himself a game to remember. Greenway would lead the defense with a total of 13 tackles and 2 sacks with one of those being a big hit on QB Alex Smith in the 1st quarter. In his sixth year Chad Greenway's position with the is right where I think we all wanted it to be, as he is now one of the leader's of this defense that the younger players on the team can model their play after.


One of the final things that I thought was a positive for the Vikings in this game. Last week against the Colts, the Vikings would commit 11 penalties for 105 yards. (Even though I might account some of those penalties as replacement ref incompentance.) In the game against the 49ers, the Vikings team as a whole would only commit one penalty for 10 yards. Those are the kind of games they'll need to have to get this team some wins in big ball game like this. Let's hope they can keep it up.


There weren't many things in the negative department but, there were a couple and they were kind of big. The first thing, was Toby Gerhart's fumbles. In the closing minutes of the game while Adrian Peterson was on the sidelines, Toby would cough up two fumbles that were recovered by the 49ers. Fortunately, for the Vikings the would get the ball back both times with no harm done. But, in those situations even after the first fumble if I was Leslie Frazier, I would have gotten Gerhart out of there and brought Adrian back in or subbed in Matt Asiata. But, in the end the Vikings were lucky that two big turnovers did not end costing them the game. I think I speak for all NFL fans when I say that "Thank God, the replacement refs are gone!!!!!!" The one big negative from the replacement refs was the fact that they gave 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh an extra challenge even though he was out of timeouts. What a joke!!! All I have to say is good riddance, you did the best that you can but, you replacement refs almost destroy my favorite sport.


STARZY'S ALL-STAR OF THE GAME


QB Christian Ponder

21-35, 198 yards, 2TD

7 Carries, 33 yards, TD


Next week, the Vikings will get the first and only division game in the first 9 weeks of the season as they the travel to the Motor City to take on the Lions. Let's hope the Purple can keep up this roll and continue to suprise everyone.


Until next week Skol Nation, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS.

Follow me on Twitter, @JStars_DSFM.


The Skol Report - Week 1: Vikings vs. Jaguars

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Vikings Blogger and Contributor


Do you feel that? Do you? FOOTBALL IS BACK!!! Welcome to Week 1, where everyone is undefeated and for the Minnesota Vikings after game 1 they are still undefeated. Yeah, it's only the first game but, as a Vikings fan it feels so good to have a winning record for the first time in 3 years. But with that.....YES, the Vikings are 1-0 to start the season after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-23 in overtime.


First things first. Man was was it awesome to see Adrian Peterson back out there for the Vikes!! In his first carry for the Vikings, Peterson would recieve a standing ovaition for the home crowd for his determination to get back with team for this game after getting what us Vikes fans considered the worst Christmas present ever last year when Peterson would tear both his ACL and MCL in his knee. Not bad for an injury that supposed to take a year if not more to come back from. In this game, Peterson was expected to get a limited role in the offense. Well, for the carries he got, he definately made his mark. In his return, Adrian Peterson would carry the 17 times for a total of 84 yards and would score the Vikings two touchdowns in the game. Adrian's performance in this game was nothing short of amazing. From what I can see, the knee may not be fully healed yet but, it's not stopping Peterson from continuing where he started off befor the injury and I am anticipating what AD will be able to do for this team in 2012.


Another factor for the Vikings to suceed this season would be the performance of my #1 Viking with something to prove in 2012, Quarterback Christian Ponder. In his first game of the season, Ponder would have himself a pretty fair game at QB. Ponder would throw 27 passes total, connecting on 20 of them for a total of 270 yards, with key target being Percy Harvin who caught 8 balls for 84 yards. To owner Zygi Wilf and Vikings GM Rick Spielman, GIVE PERCY WANT HE WANTS! Keep him happy and you'll be happy for seasons to come. Ponder would also hit TE Kyle Rudolph 5 times for 67 yards. Definately look for more connections from Ponder to Rudolph and Ponder to TE John Carlson as this season goes along. Devin Aromashodu would also make his presence felt catch 3 passes for 63 yards. With Jerome Simpson suspended two more games, this time could be vital to how important Aromashodu will be for this Vikings team. Ponder would not connect for any touch downs, even though there were alot of positives to take from his performance in this game. Number one even though he didn't throw any touchdowns, he also didn't throw an interceptions as well. The only negitive from Ponder's game was a lone fumble that was recovered by the Jaguars. When Ponder runs the ball and trust me he will do it alot this season, he'll need to get better at making sure to get that tightly tucked in to prevent fumbles like that. It's wasn't the greatest performance ever but, still a pretty solid performance from #7. Here's hoping that he will have a great 2012 season.


Now just like I did with Audie Cole, here is an excerpt from the post-draft edition of the Skol Report.


Round 6, Pick 175: Blair Walsh - K - Georgia

College Honors: 2010 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist, 2010 All-SEC First Team, 2011 East-West Shrine Game selection, Member of the UGA's Team of the Decade, NCAA record holder for most consecutive game with a FG (45)


I think it's safe to say after the release of veteran kicker Ryan Longwell, Blair Walsh will be the Vikings' kicker come this season and with the various awards and records that Walsh has collected over his college career I am very excited to see what this kid has to offer the Vikes this year.


Starzy's Draft Grade: B-

Well........one game into the season and Blair Walsh may officially be my hero. After being on the sidelines for the first half and third quarter, Walsh would give his official introduction to everyone in the NFL in the fourth quarter. Blair would go 4 for 4 on kicks of 20 and 47 yards, but his most important kick coming with four seconds left in the game as he would connect on a 55 yard field goal to tie the game at 23 and send the game into overtime. In overtime with the new overtime rules, he would then connect of a go ahead 38 yard kick that would eventually become the game winner. In 45 real time minutes, Blair Walsh went from little known rookie (except if you've read this blog) to key Viking's weapon (and also one of my top fantasy players this week. CALLED IT!!!) This kid could being be something to watch in the remaining 15 games this season. Only time will show this kids full potential, let's hope he's good when it counts.


Now even though the Vikings did win this game, it wasn't a perfect game. (When is it?) One dissapointment of this game was the defense not getting when it mattered the most. With the Vikings up 20-16 within two minutes to go, the defense was unable to keep the Jaguars from making what was at that point the play of the game for Jacksonville. Fortunately for Minnesota, the defense got it done big time by forcing the Jaguars offense to go 4 and out in overtime to help get the win for the Purple. Not it's greatest game, but they can and will be better, COUNT ON IT!


STARZY'S ALL-STARS OF THE GAME

K Blair Walsh

4-4 FG (20, 47, 55, 38)


RB Adrian Peterson

17 Carries, 84 yards, 2TD

With today's win the Minnesota Vikings have 33.4% of their total wins from last season, and yes I know it's only week 1 but, the Vikings are tied with the Bears and Lions atop the NFC North. (Vikings fanboy note: The Packers are in last place.) Next week the Vikings will look to go 2-0 as the Vikings will travel to Indy to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts. SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.........FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!


Until next time Skol Nation, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS.

Follow me on Twitter, @JStars_DSFM


The Skol Report: Pre-Season Edition - Week 3: Vikings vs. Chargers

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on August 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Vikings Blogger and Contributor


After an impressive victory over the Bills last week we would get our closest to a real game this week as the Minnesota Vikings would take on the San Diego Chargers in their third preseason game. Unfortunately the Vikings would fall to Chargers 12-10 after a last second field goal by K Nick Novak to give them the win. The Minnesota Vikings would go into this game taking on a very beat up Chargers team missing on offense their Center, Left Gaurd and Tackle and RB Ryan Matthews. Due to those missing players the Chargers also decided to bench QB Phillip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates so, those the Vikings would be taking on a good majority of San Diego's second team players. Let's take a look at the good and bad of this game.


To start the Minnesota Vikings' defense came out and was pretty flat on offense. The Vikings first two offensive series' would go three and out. Christian Ponder would not complete his first pass until 2:55 left in the first quarter. It's definitely safe that Ponder's success will be determined on how well he would be able to utilize his weapons (Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson, and Kyle Ruldolph.). It would be easy to put the blame on just Ponder, but that's not the case as the Offensive would have their hands in on the offense's underwhelming performance as Christian Ponder would be sacked a total five times. One of the more impressive performances of the game, came from the Vikings' first team offense. After a flat start in the first series, the Vikings defense would come out and turn it on the Chargers, limiting them to only 6 points in the first half. The defense would collect a total of six sacks in the game, with five being accounted for by the first team. One of the more impressive performance by the defense in this game, was the that of MLB Jasper Brikley. Brinkley, who has underperformed since being named starter would rack up a two of the six sacks in the game.


Probably the best thing that happened with the Vikings in this game didn't happen during the game but, rather the pre-game as Adrian Peterson would partcipate in the pre-game warm-ups and look like as if he didn't suffer a completely blown out knee last year. Even though it was only during the pre-game, Seeing him in uniform again is getting me very excited for Week 1 against the Jaguars.


STARZY'S ALL STAR OF THE GAME

MLB Jasper Brinkley

2 Tackles, 2 Sacks


STARZY'S TOP 10 VIKINGS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE IN 2012. (NOT WEARING 28, 69, OR 12.)

#2 - LT Matt Kalil

After releasing veteran Bryant McKinnie during the offseason last year and the dissapointing season from replacement Charlie Johnson, the Minnesota Vikings would use their first pick in the 2012 Draft to pick up Matt Kalil. It's safe to say that for Christian Ponder is to be successful this season, Kalil will need to be sucessful as Ponder's blindside protection. With his talent, Kalil should be a mainstay for the Vikings offensive line for years to come


AND NOW, HERE IS THE NUMBER ONE VIKING WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE IN 2012

#1 - QB Christian Ponder

Even if Adrian Peterson is able to rebound from his injury, the 2012 Vikings will be nothing to be impressed with if Christian Ponder does not have a good year at QB. Drafted at number 12 in the 2011 Draft, Ponder was considered a reach at that pick. Being considered not ready to be a starter, during the summer the Vikings would also pick up veteran QB Donovan McNabb to give Ponder time to develop. Fast forward to October, McNabb is benched and now, Ponder is starting. If Ponder can impress this season, the Vikings could look to impress in the NFL. I'm not saying playoff for the Vikings but, a definate improvment from 3-13 last year and definate division contenders in 2013.


With me working Thursday night (August 30th), there will be no Skol Report next week. So, this will be the final Skol Report of the preseason. With that we are a week and change from week 1 with the Jacksonville jaguars, and I still have doubt on how successful the Vikings will be. But, If they can bring everything together, it should be an optimistic season for the Purple and Gold.


Until next time Skol Nation...PURPLE PRIDE, and SHOW YOUR HORNS.

Follow me on Twitter. @JStars_DSFM


The Skol Report: Pre-Season Edition - Week 2: Vikings vs. Bills

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on August 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Vikings Blogger and Contributor


After a very underwhelming performance last week against the 49ers, the Minnesota Vikings would head home for the second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. This time around things would go a little different for Minnesota. A stellar performance by Christian Ponder and some standount rookie performances would help propel the Vikings to 36-14 victory over Buffalo.


The Vikings would begin the game on very impressive drive lead by none other than QB Christian Ponder. Ponder would start off the first drive with a 21 yard pass to Percy Harvin and a highlight 33 yard to Jerome Simpson which would featured an amazing hurdle over Bills S Jarius Byrd. The 80 yard drive would finish on a 1 yard touchdown from Ponder to FB Jerome Felton giving the Vikings their first touchdown of the preseason and giving them the early 7-0 lead. This was a great first drive for the Vikes. Ponder would go 3-3 on the drive for 55 yards also including a run of 3 yards, a giant step up from his average performance the week prior, hopefully he be able to keep it up. Ponder would finish the 10 of 13 for 130 yards and 1 touchdown. Now, Jerome Simpson. When you think of him, you think of one of the most spectactular plays of last season with the flip into the endzone last Christmas Eve. Well, he did the amazing again, not the flip but, an amazing hurdle over Jarius Byrd where he would completely hurdle Byrd and get past untouched. This guy will be one of the key assets for the Vikings on offense this season and it's sucks that they will not have him for the first three games of the season.


After the first two preseason games, what can you say about rookie kicker Blair Walsh? After scoring the Vikings only points last week against the 49ers in the way of 2 field goals. So, how would he followed that performance? Five. That's right, after kicking 2 the previous week, he would follow that up with kicking an amazing 5 field goals in the game and if not for a bad snap and hold it would of been six. All I have to is if you are apart of a fantasy football league that has not drafted yet, pick up Blair Walsh! After seeing Walsh boot a kickoff through the uprights, I would consider him a sleeper pick and could bring you alot of points in fantasy.


And now and excerpt from the Post-Draft editon of the Skol Report......


Round 7, Pick 210: Audie Cole - LB - North Carolina State

Another pick that Vikings have high hopes for. Look for Cole to compete with Jasper Brinkley for to starting spot at middle linebacker if the Vikings do not re-sign E.J. Henderson

Starzy's Draft Grade: C


Well, four months later I've realized I got his position wrong. He's an Outside Lineback not Middle Linebacker. But, the fact is the Vikings still have high hopes for Audie Cole and those hopes were only magnified with last week's game. Audie Cole would come in the during the fourth quarter. Against the 49ers last week, Cole would impress with his ability to pursue the ball which would lead him to pick up his very first NFL sack. This week he would pick up some more firsts and something that hasn't been done by a Viking since Darren Sharper's tenure with Minnesota. With just a little over 3 minutes left to go in the game, Audie Cole with get his first NFL interception and would take the ball back 20 yards for the his very first touchdown. Thirteen seconds later, Cole would do it again on a 30 yard interception return for a touchdown. This got everyone pumped up to the point that starters like Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Chad Greenway, and Chris Cook would run to the endzone to celebrate with Audie. After a stellar two game performance, I can safely say this if Audie Cole does not make this team it will be DAMN SHAME!!! Look for him to make the team as a special teams player and backup linebacker.


STARZY'S ALL STAR(S) OF THE GAME


Audie Cole - Linebacker

2 Interceptions for Touchdowns.


Blair Walsh - Kicker

5 for 6 Field Goals


STARZY'S TOP 10 VIKINGS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE IN 2012 (NOT WEARING 12, 28, OR 69).


#3 - LB Jasper Brinkley

With the Vikings declining to resign E.J. Henderson this past offseason, that leaves the Middle Linebacker position open for fourth year veteran Jasper Brinkley. At the Middle Linebacker spot you are the quote unquote Quarterback of the defense. and for the past 10 season that has been the alway reliable Henderson and so far two games into the preseason, Brinkley has underperformed at the position. If he is unable to turn it around for himself, just know that E.J. is only one call away.


With two games left to go until the Vikings week 1 meeting with Jacksonville Jaguars and a return to practice of Adrian Peterson, thing are starting look up for the Minnesota Vikings. This Friday we will get our longest look at the first teams on offense and defense as the Vikings take on the San Diego Chargers. Let's hope that the Vikes will build on top of this performance


Until next week, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS

Follow me on Twitter, @JStars_DSFM


 

The Skol Report: Preseason Edition - Week 1: Vikings @ 49ers

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on August 15, 2012 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Contributor and Vikings Blogger

Well, here we go. It's only preseason but the NFL is BACK, and with that so begins a new year for the Minnesota Vikings and they're are alot of new components for the Vikings so, let's get right into it and analyze the pros and cons of the Vikings first game against the San Francisco.


The first thing that I notice about this game is who was missing. (Besides Adrian Peterson.) The Vikings played this game without Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Antoine Winfield and Percy Harvin as they were all deactivated as just a precaution. Precaution?? CHILD, PLEASE!! (Damnit Matt and Derrick.) It's only the first preseason game, GET THOSE GUYS OUT THERE, THAT'S WHO WE AS FANS OF YOUR TEAM THAT PAY TO SEE! With that let's get into the shall we? One of the big questions coming into this pre-season was the performance of second-year quarterback Christian Ponder and during the first drive of the game his peformance was....pretty good. Ponder, who played the entire first quarter and the first drive of the second quarter on his first drive of the game went 1-3 with the only completed pass being a 52 yard bomb to Stephen Burton a 2011 7th round pick out of West Texas A&M before the drive stalled and the Vikings new kicker Blair Walsh would come in to kick a 39 yard field goal to give the Vikings an early 3-0 lead going into the 49ers first possession.


After that is when you can say the wheels fell off when the 49ers took the field. On their first drive the 49ers led by the running back trio of Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs , and Rock Cartwright who were all in for a deacitivated Frank Gore who take the ball down the field for a combined total of 9 carries for 69 yards before QB Alex Smith would throw a 4 yard touchdown to Brett Swain to take a 7-3 lead.


After what looked like another impressive drive by Vikings with Ponder and Toby Gerhart being the driving force behind it, the drive would stall out again with Blair Walsh coming again and scoring another three for the Vikes giving him his second field goal of the night. Unfortunately for the Vikings, that would be their last score of the game. The most impressive score of the game came on the next drive for 49ers when back-up QB Colin Kaepernick would come into the game and on the second play of the drive Kaepernick would score on a 78 yard touchdown run to make the game 14-6. San Francisco would score one more time on field goal just before the 2 minute warning to give the game it's final score.


In a quiet second half, probably the most excitement came for us Vikings fans during the 4th quarter when the #4 quarterback on the depth chart came into the game. After being highly touted throughout the game for his arm strengh, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson would get his chance to run the Vikings offense. Bethel-Thompson, an undrafted free agent who has spent time with the 49ers, Dolphins and the Sacramento Mountain Lions of UFL would end up having a flat effort only completing 3 of 7 for 49 yards while being sacked twice and threw an interception. Even though with that effort I see great potential with this guy and hopefully that in time to make this team he'll be able to work on his footwork, timing and accuraccy that will help him to develop into a potential top quarterback of the future.


STARZY'S ALL-STAR OF THE GAME

Blair Walsh - Kicker

2-2 FG

Got to give the first award of the year to only man who scored for the team.

STARZY'S TOP 10 VIKINGS WITH SOMETHING TO PROVE IN 2012 (NOT WEARING 12,28, OR 69)


#4 - C John Sullivan

Drafted in 2008 out of Notre Dame, John Sullivan was projected to become sucessor for at the time veteran and team leader Matt Birk. Come next season it was his time. Fast forward three years later and John is now one of the best centers in the NFL and is now the leader of the Offensive line and big time player gets big time money which was the case when Sullivan signed on with the Vikings this offseason for five more years and a bigger payday. Now it's time to start earning that money you'll be getting again.


Overall, this first preseason game was a bit of a dissapointment for the Vikings in showing what the team will be able offer this season but, with three more game left in the preseason there are plenty more opportunities to show why this team will be better than last year's.


Until next week, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS.

Follow me on Twitter. @JStars_DSFM


The Skol Report - Offseason Editon #3

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on July 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The Skol Report - Offseason Editon #3

By: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Contributor and Vikings Blogger


 

As of this blog we are officially 8 days away from the opening of the Vikings training camp and at this time thing between the Vikings and Percy Harvin have cooled off for the time being but, I feel that it is only a matter of time before that situation rears its head once more. Now let's dive into what has happen with team since our last blog and oh yes, things have happen.

 

WHAT?!?! AD got arrested???


Well if wondering if Adrian Peterson would be ready to go come season's start wasn't enough to worry about, this past July 7th Adrian was arrested in a Houston night club on suspicion of "assaulting" an off duty member of the Houston Police Department. Since then AD has lawyered up by hiring lawyer Rusty Hardin, whose big claim to fame during his career is being the lawyer that helped get former Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Astros pitcher Roger Clemens acquitted on his charges on lying to congress.


 

The most of the talk today seems to revolve around whether or not Adrian in deed committed this assault. My belief,......no I honestly believe that he was being harassed by someone or some people just because of who he is. It's actually funny when I first heard about this I jokingly said, "I wonder if the Vikings play the Texans this year". Yes they do. Now I'm not saying that this off-duty policeman harassed Peterson for sole factor of the chance that Adrian would not be able to play against Houston but, what I am saying is that I do believe that there is something off-track about this whole thing. In time I do believe that whether or not Adrian is found guilty or not of this crime he will not have to serve any kind of time in prison. As bad as this sounds because I love AD but in the end all he’ll have to do to is just throw some money on this problem and it’ll go away because it’s Texas who are they going to believe, a cop or a rich black man. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Now when it comes to any disciplinary coming down from the NFL, all I have to say is Roger Goodell has done some crazier things.


Starzy’s Top 10 Vikings with something to prove in 2012 (Who are not wearing 28, 12, or 69)


 

In my last blog I revealed kicker Blair Walsh and receivers Greg Childs and Jarius Wright at the number 10 and 9 Vikings with something to prove in 2012. Now here is numbers 8 through 5.


 

#8 WR Jerome Simpson


What was probably recognized as the Vikings biggest offseason acquisition, Jerome Simpson is coming in to a Vikings team where he can make a big impact. Last season, Simpson had the productive season in his four year career. Behind top 2011 draft picks receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton, Jerome was able to catch 50 passes for 725 yards and caught 4 touchdowns with the most memorable of those touchdowns being the amazing flip into the end zone against the Cardinals in what was arguably one of the most exciting play of the 2011 season. This year, he comes into a same situation similar to what befell the Bengals last year he comes into a team with solidified star wide receiver and a talented yet unproven quarterback. My opinion is that let’s not reserve him a spot with NFC Pro Bowl team but he can probably come in this season and be a reliable number 2 option for Christian Ponder come this season. Let’s also hope that he can have amazing plays like the Christmas gift he gave us last season.

 

#7 CB Josh Robinson


 

Cedric Griffin is gone, Antoine Winfield is falling apart with his age, Asher Allen has retired and with how poorly the rest of the secondary performed last season, it may be time to retool the secondary and Josh Robinson maybe a key in doing just that. With having to deal with the likes of Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, and Calvin Johnson this season, the speed of Central Florida product maybe just is what this team needs. Robinson clocked the fastest 40 at 4.29 seconds at the combine. Now, I’m not one to grasp onto the Al Davis method of drafting player but, I’m not saying that this guy is going to completely turn around the secondary on his own but, he will definitely be a start. Also, I can get a good feeling that the Vikings have pretty good luck with drafting players from Central Florida (Daunte Culpepper).

 

#6 WR Devin Aromashodu


 

Back in 2009 on cold Monday night in Chicago, after a fumble by Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings were introduced to a man who just a week prior was promoted from the practice squad and that man’s name is Devin Aromashodu. After AD’s fumble, Bears quarterback Jay Culter would bomb a pass down the field which would be caught by Aromashodu which would be the game winning touchdown pass for the Bears. Fast forward two years later and Aromashodu is now a Viking. “Oh yeah, we now got Devin Aromashodu and McNabb this offense is going to be awesome!!!” Now, fast forward one more year and 26 catches, 400+ yards and one touchdown later the hype is gone. Now we have a guy who was given a one-year contract over the offseason and if he doesn’t perform the way we want him to, I don’t see him with the team come season’s end.

 

#5 CB Antoine Winfield


 

Let’s be honest, Antoine Winfield is not the same anymore. Antoine Winfield is not the same guy who moved liked the fleetest foot back and could hit the opposition like the bulkiest linebacker. Antoine is not Antoine anymore. Now, can he change that? I believe that yes he can. He can turn back to same guy who could burn the other 21 guys on the field, I believe that he can turn back in to the same guy that could knock the crap out of Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler like Jared Allen can. Make this season your best it could be your last.


Next Friday is the day the Vikings training camp will get into full swing and the Vikings first preseason game is a little over three weeks and preseason or not, I’m excited for it. It’s almost time for us to get BACK to FOOTBALL


Until next time Skol Nation, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS

Like the Dakota Sports FM page on Facebook. Just search ‘Dakota Sports FM’ or visit www.dakotasportsfm.webs.com

Follow me on Twitter, @JStars_DSFM

And also follow Dakota Sports FM, @DakotaSportsFM

 

The Skol Report - Offseason Edition #2

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on June 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Contributor and Vikings Blogger


As I'm writing this we have officially hit the deadheat of summer and I mean deadheat (100 degrees at the beginning of typing this blog in Pierre, SD). So, now is better than never to talk about what's going on with Scandinavian Superstars (I should trademark that), the Minnesota Vikings and alot has happened since we've last been with you, so let's get going.


At 24 years old, Asher Allen retires.


In what was the original biggest news story for the Vikings this summer after 3 season of play with the Vikings, 24-year-old Cornerback Asher Allen would announce his retirement on May 29th after stating that he lost his passion for the game. After hearing about this news my first impressions and attitude toward this was upsetting and dissapointment, thinking to myself "You've lost your passion?? You have the oppertunity to get to play in the NFL! There are men all over this country myself included who would love the oppertunity to get to play football again." But, overtime I understood where he was coming from there have been times where I've lost passion to care or do some things in life and just like me and I'm sure others and like me and most people we've been able to find that passion again. So Asher, here's the best of luck on your future and I'm hoping that maybe someday that you can find that passion again and try giving football a shot again be it in the NFL, CFL, AFL, or any other football league. If I was Zygi there would always be a spot for you with the Minnesota Vikings.


Percy Harvin wants out........or does he.


After what we thought would be the Vikings' shock of the year in Allen's retirement we found out that we we're dead wrong. Last week, it was reported that Percy Harvin that was so upset to point of requesting that he be traded. Man, was that a pain in the butt day at work with my friend Jeremy who works in the store next to where I work giving me crap about Harvin which with what I replied with "You know what if the S-O-B wants out, give him the boot. Let's see how many teams want a player with Migraine problem." which after thinking about what I just said I wanted to slap myself. Yes, he's a Wideout most of them are divas. Yes, he has Migraines from time to time. But, with all that in consideration Percy Harvin is one HELL of a football player. In his 3 years with the Vikings, he is ranked third most all purpose yards in the NFL.


So, not only is viable recieving threat he can take the ball and run with it as well. So, going into what is a season of uncertainty and with a crop of young recievers the Vikings will need Harvin along with Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu to provide a strong veteran leadership for these young players. At this time, the reasoning for Harvin being upset has not been revealed to the public, but most people are speculating that it's a contract issue and if that's the case. Percy, suck it up, get out there, show them why you deserve a new deal, help this team get some W's and come season's end that contract you want will be there.


My Top 10 Vikings with something to prove in 2012 (Who are not wearing 28, 69, or 12)


Starting with this blog I will unvail a new feature, listing my top 10 Vikings who have something to prove in 2012.


Note: This list will not feature Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, or Percy Harvin. We know why Adrian has something to prove, we know what Harvin wants to prove, and Allen has nothing to prove just keep being his great self.


So with that, let's start the list with number 10 and 9.


Starzy's Top 10 Vikings with something in to prove 2012 (Who are not wearing 28, 69, or 12)

#10 - K Blair Walsh


After the release of veteran kicker and fan favorite Ryan Longwell, it's no secret that former Georgia Bulldog Blair Walsh has some pretty big shoes to fill this season. With his credentials and accolades during his college career (See previous blog for accolades.) and no other kickers currently on the roster, he should be going into this season as the Vikes' #1 Kicker and will need to be reliable option when it comes to Field Goals, if he is sucessful look for him to become a top kicker in NFL for seasons to come.


#9 - WR's Greg Childs & Jarius Wright


As I was saying earlier in this blog, this year's Vikings team will feature a new crop of young recievers. Two of them coming in University of Arkansas recieving products Greg Childs and Jarius Wright. Other than Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe, the Vikings did not have another viable option for Christian Ponder in 2011, with that speaking they should be able to have the chance to make an immediate impact for Minnesota coming into this season. If I had to choose which of the two will have the better start to their career I would have to choose Jarius Wright. Look for him to complete for the Slot Reciever as for Greg Childs, he will more than likely be fight for a special teams job but, will need to be ready if in the case a player is suffer an injury and standing at 6'3'' he could be viable option as a deep threat reciever.


At the end of this blog being typed we are within a month of the Vikings reporting to Mankato for training camp so look for the Vikings team and gameplan as we head on to the preseason and eventually the regular season.


Until next time Skol Nation. PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS.


 

The Skol Report - Post-Draft Edition

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on May 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM Contributor and Vikings Blogger

Well, as a Vikings fan, this month has indeed been pretty exciting. After having a great draft and picking up a good number of players who will have some kind of impact on the Vikes this season it's hard to believe their would be any bigger news for us Vikings fans. After the ownership of Red McCombs, the threats of moving the team to San Antonio, the sale of the team to a group headed up by a guy from "Jeerzey" who name I couldn't even spell if I tried (Zygi Wilf), a group of morons who couldn't organize my sock drawer let alone legislate over a state, and the "Los Angeles" Vikings. The Minnesota State Legislature finally passed the long overdue, let me repeat "LONG OVERDUE" stadium bill which will keep the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota until at least when people my age's children have children. As apart of the bill, construction of the stadium will begin until after the 2013 season which love it or hate it (Fan me is telling you to LOVE IT!!) during the construction the Vikings will call TCF Bank Stadium their home for what everyone hopes is only the 2014 season but, will more than likely be a 2 year stay for the team. As a fan of the Vikings, May 14th was one of the best days of the my life short of the day my niece was born.

With all the happiness of the Minnesota Vikings staying the Minnesota Vikings let's get to the topic of which this blog is being written about. It's time to hand out some grades on the new talent the Vikings aquired in the NFL Draft.

Round 1, Pick 4: Matt Kalil - LT - USC

College Honors: 2011 First Team All-American, All-Pac 12

Orignally being at #3, the Vikings got their first win of the draft by trading down by one pick with the Cleveland Browns. Included in that trade the Vikings also recieved an additional three picks from the Browns. Even with moving down the Vikings were still able to get their guy in USC's star Offensive Lineman Matt Kalil. After the release of the veteran Tackle Bryant McKinnie last summer after reporting to training camp overweight, the Vikings lacked the blindside protection to protect the quarterback and with the addition of Kalil, he will make and immediate impact for the Vikings this season and give the protection that second-year quarterback that he'll need. My prediction is that Kalil we'll be a key player on the offensive line for years to come and hopefully multiple time Pro Bowler. (That's if they don't do away with Pro Bowl.)

Starzy's Draft Grade: A-

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Round 1, Pick 29: Harrison Smith - S - Nortre Dame

College Honors: 2011 Notre Dame Team Captain

After calling what we thought was an early evening the Vikings would make some more first round noise as they would trade back in to the first round and would address another team need in drafting the Irish's Harrison Smith. After a very lackluster 2011 from the Vikings' Secondary last season and the fact the Vikes did trade back up into the first round to get him, I would expect that Smith will have a chance to compete for a starting spot at safety this year and will hopefully make an impact that will get Minnesota where they were 2 years ago. My prediction the safety tandem of Hussain Abdullah and Harrison Smith will make a great safety tandem.

Starzy's Draft Grade: B

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Round 3, Pick 66: Josh Robinson - CB - Central Florida

College Honors: 2009 Freshman All-American (College Football Network, Football Writers Assciation of American)

Addressing another need the Vikings would continue to pick up more secondary help in choosing UCF's Josh Robinson. After being reguarded as a one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft class, Robinson would get some more draft attention after becoming what I would like to call an "Al Davis Guy" after scoring the fastest 40 yard dash time clocking in a time of 4.29s. Once again after the poor secondary performace last season and the departure of Cedric Griffin and the fact that Antoine Winfield is getting older and is not the top notch player he once was, look for Josh to compete for a the a starting spot at corner or at the nickel and with his speed maybe put him back there with Percy Harvin on kickoff returns another great pick for the purple here.

Starzy's Draft Grade: C+

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Round 4, Pick 118: Jarius Wright - WR - Arkansas

College Honors: 2011 1st Team All-SEC, Arkansas' Single Season Reception Record Holder

If there's one thing that I love about the Vikings no matter how well they do season to season it seams ever rarely that they ever take someone they don't need and stick to their team needs (Yes we didn't need Adrian Peterson at the time Minnesota Vikings drafted him but hey it's not like we're regretting that decision.....Right??) and this pick is no exception picking up Tyler Wilson's favorite target last in Jarius Wright. With Percy Harvin, Michael Jenkins,and Greg Camrillio as the teams top veteran revcievers, look for Wright to be coming off the bench this year but, hopefully he will make an impact with the opportunities that he gets this year and will hopefully be a key player for the Vikings for seasons to come.

Starzy's Draft Grade: C+

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Round 4, Pick 128: Rhett Ellison - FB - USC

College Honors: 2010 All-Pac 10 Honorable Mention

One thing that I've learned about the Vikings in the past couple of years, the Vikings love their H-Backs. Rhett Ellison entered the draft as a fullback that can play tight end, with the retirement of Fan favorite and career long Viking Jim Kleinsasser he could have a spot on this team.

Starzy's Draft Grade: C-

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Round 4, Pick 134: Greg Childs - WR - Arkansas

College Honors: 2010 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

I'm starting to think that our team has a thing for Razorbacks as the Vikings would pick their second U of Arkansas player in 16 picks. Being considered by the experts as one the best wide reciever prospect in this years draft. I'm not going to lie, I'm very excited to see what this what this kid will be able to do this season, at 6'3'' he could become a deep threat passer for the Vikings which they sorely need after the departure of Sidney Rice last summer the Vikings suffered. The only setback is that he has torn his ACL and may not be where he once was.

Starzy's Draft Grade: C

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Round 5, Pick 139: Robert Blanton - S - Norte Dame

The Vikings pick up another saftey from Norte Dame with this. I honestly don't know anything about this guy which is bad for the job I'm trying to do but, at the position he is at look for him to compete for a spot in a very open position come training camp this July.

Starzy's Draft Grade: N/A

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Round 6, Pick 175: Blair Walsh - K - Georgia

College Honors: 2010 Lou Groza Award semi-finalist, 2010 All-SEC First Team, 2011 East-West Shrine Game selection, Member of the UGA's Team of the Decade, NCAA record holder for most consecutive game with a FG (45)

I think it's safe to say after the release of veteran kicker Ryan Longwell, Blair Walsh will be the Vikings' kicker come this season and with the various awards and records that Walsh has collected over his college career I am very excited to see what this kid has to offer the Vikes this year.

Starzy's Draft Grade: B-

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Round 7, Pick 210: Audie Cole - LB - North Carolina State

Another pick that Vikings have high hopes for. Look for Cole to compete with Jasper Brinkley for to starting spot at middle linebacker if the Vikings do not re-sign E.J. Henderson

Starzy's Draft Grade: C

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Round 7, Pick 219: Trevor Guyton - DE - California

College Honors: 2011 Second Team All-Pac 12

Guyton come to the Vikings as an under-the-radar player. Look for him to be a special teams player and come off the bench on defense

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I can predict all I want on how these guys will do this season especially with the later round guys the could make the team they could not. Only time will tell where these guys will stand come during Mini-Camp, Training Camp, and eventually the start of the the regular season.

Until next time, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS SKOL NATION.

Follow me on Twitter @JStars_DSFM.

 

 

 

The Skol Report - Pre-NFL Draft Editon

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on April 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sports FM - Vikings Blogger and Contributor


Well this has been a pretty interesting offseason for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have bid farewell to Steve Hutchinson, Anthony Herrera, Cedric Griffin and Visanthe Shiancoe return to the team in limbo with the offseason signing of John Carlson and Kyle Ruldolph seemingly taking over the #1 spot in the depth chart at TE. The Vikings continue getting closer to getting themselves a new stadium and wondering if Adrian Peterson will be back for the opening of next season. It's time to get ready for the offseason's premiere event the NFL Draft.


With the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins at 1 and 2, and it being pretty much a lock that they will pick Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III respectfully, it's safe to say that the Vikings are on the clock at #3. With 2 weeks to go before the Vikes are officially on the clock, Minnesota's decisions are not as easy as the Colts and Skins'. With talk of the Vikings looking to trade their #3 pick for more draft picks, It may be safe to say that nobody will for sure know what the Vikings will do until the first night of the draft.


If the Vikings stay at the #3 I would say that its about 80/20 that they will select USC Tackle Matt Kalil, which over time I have warmed up to the idea of selecting Kalil which with the releases of both Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera and with his size and quick feet and the fact that he is 300+ lbs and ran a 4.99 40 at the Combine I definatly think the choice of Kalil would be a great pick up for to Vikings as Matt would become Christian Ponder's main protector on his blind side. With that said, even though I have grown to like Matt Kalil I would rather see the Vikings use their first rounder on a skill postion where the Vikings have the most dire need as this moment. But rather if they trade out of the #3 or stay here is my list of players I would choose from. (Besides Matt Kalil.)


Justin Blackmon - WR - Oklahoma State


Now I've been on this guy's bandwagon after his sophmore season with the Cowboys and I still am. Now if the Vikings stay at #3 and don't choose Kalil it would be safe to say their choice would come down to either Blackmon or Morris Claiborne. Although not as great at his sophmore season, Blackmon was able to put up great numbers this past season. Blackmon caught for 1500+yards and caught 18 touchdowns. A great pick up for the Vikings, Blackmon would bring in a weapon for Christian Ponder and aside from Kyle Ruldolph and Percy Harvin, Blackmon would be a key reciever and a key to the Vikings offensive sucess for many season to come.


Morris Claiborne - CB - LSU


With Antoine Winfield getting older and the release of Cedric Griffin the selection of LSU's Morris Claiborne would be a smart pick for Minnesota. In his senior season, Claiborne was a unanimous All-American, First Team All-SEC (Which these days in college football seems better than being an All-American.), and the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award winner. Claiborne finished off his college career with 95 tackles, 6 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery. With this kids talent the one hit against him is his what he scored on his Wonderlic test during the Combine. Even with his score I believe no matter where he goes in the draft he will be a great pick up.


Dontari Poe - DT - Memphis


Now if the situation of the Vikings trading down happens depending on the position, it maybe worth something to take a look at Memphis' Dontari Poe. Poe became everybody's sweetheart during the NFL Combine. Going into the combine being projected as mid to late second rounder, Poe would shock NFL scouts with his pure athleticism. At 346 pounds, Poe would clock a shocking 4.98 40 yard dash and would put down 44 reps on his bench press. With that performance he would go from second round pick to mid first round. With the Vikings still trying fill the void left by Pat Williams 2 years ago, I would say that it wouldn't hurt to take this guy if they do find someone to trade down with.


Michael Floyd - WR - Notre Dame


Once if the Vikings do trade down in the first down, Michael Floyd would be someone they should take a look at. In his junior and senior year combined, Floyd would catch for 2,172 yards and catch 21 touchdowns to lead the Irish. With his talent, he does have some character issues after being arrested for drunken driving and being suspended from the team in 2011. Even with that I believe that this could be a great pick up for the Vikings in getting another passing threat for Christian Ponder.


We can make all these predictions on who will who but in the end we won't know what will happen until the NFL Draft on Thursday April 26th.


Until next time, PURPLE PRIDE and SHOW YOUR HORNS.


 

Starzy on Sports for Monday March 19, 2012

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on March 19, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

by: Joel Stars

Dakota Sport FM Vikings Blogger and Contributor

MANNING TO THE BRONCOS??

It was reported early today that Peyton Manning informed his agent to begin negotiations with the Denver Broncos. As this answers the questions of where Peyton is going, this only gives us more questions on why he made this decision to go to Denver. For some one who has played the majority of his career indoors (RCA Dome & Lucas Oil Stadium) you would think that the atmosphere of the mile high in the sky Denver where it can get cold and snow like crazy would be one of the last places he would go to but, in the same instance he's going to a team with a good upside making the playoffs last season with a mediocre quarterback. He'll be going to a team with group of young and talented players that can now complemented with the play of a QB like Peyton. Long story short the what seems to be eventual signing of Peyton Manning will benefit the Broncos and pretty much will make them the frontrunners to win the what always seem to be the lackluster AFC West and contenders as a top team in the AFC along with the Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, and Texans.


The other person affected by this, the man that's being replaced by Manning, Tim Tebow. Now, we all knew that it's was going to be a matter of time that they would drop him and look towards the future. It's just that nobody thought that when they started looking into that future that they would have quarterback that would be almost 15 years Tebow's senior. So, now that Peyton is in, all reports show that the Denver will try to trade the former Florida Gator, but with Tebow's track record as a QB that we've seen overt the last two years in all honesty who's going to want him? Nobody is going to want a fullback that can kind of throw the football with average to below average accuracy. I only see one way the Broncos will be able to get rid of him is to release which will make it easier for teams to sign him to their own deal and not have to take on his rookie contract so if things go south they won't have to pay the remainder of his contract he signed with Denver and in this situation I see only one team that would go for him. That team is the 49ers. With Alex Smith looking like he will be signing to take his talents to South Beach (I love using that when I get the chance) the Niners will look for an NFL expierenced QB to fill that spot and with a small list of QBs availible Tebow may be their only option.


VIKINGS SIGN A HOMETOWN BOY

Early last week it's was reported and then eventually confirmed that the Minnesota Vikings signed St. Cloud native and former Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson to a 5-year, $25 million dollar contract. While at first I thought that this is a pretty steep price to pay for a TE who will more than likely be their #2 TE behind Kyle Rudolph and for someone who is coming off a season long injury but, after looking at it if he is able to bounce back from this injury the Vikes should be getting a top notch TE that will hopefully give Christian Ponder what Tom Brady has for himself in New England with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Although with the positive of signing Carlson there more than likely the negitive of the end of the 4 year tenure of well liked TE Visanthe Shiancoe.


RUN OF THE MILL THURSDAY FOLLOWED BY, WHAT THE F#@K FRIDAY

If your one of the people who had a bracket like me, Friday totally screwed you over. On the 2nd day of the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament, 15 seed Norfolk State upset 2 seed Missouri marking the first 15 seed to defeat a 2 seed since 2001 when Hampton defeated Iowa State. What would've been the upset of the tournament would only last for about two and half hours when 15 seed Lehigh would go on to upset 2 seed Duke, marking the first time ever that 2 #2 seeds have fallen in the Round of 64 on the same day. Not to be out done, Friday would also feature 13 seed Ohio upset 4 seed Michigan. If this past weekend proved anything it's that you can have all the freshman sensation talent you want but if you don't have any kind of senior leadership you won't last long in the dance. So good luck to the Ohio Bobcats, North Carolina State Wolfpack and Xavier Musketeers thanks for screwing my bracket but, I'll be cheering for you to make it to New Oreleans.


TAR HEELS MOVE ON BUT, AT WHAT PRICE?

On Sunday, North Carolina would move on into the Sweet 16 with a matchup with upstart Ohio. But after their 3rd round matchup with Creighton things would not turn out not to be as sweet for the Tar Heels. Midway through the 2nd half on the game with Creighton, Heels point guard Kendall Marshall would hit the floor hard and after an on the bench exam by UNC trainers, Marshall would go back into finish the game. It wouldn't be discovered until after the game that Marshall broke his wrist in the fall. As of today, Marshall has had a surgery performed on his wrist but, it is uncertain if he will be a go for Friday's Sweet Sixteen matchup with Ohio. Most people are saying this could hurt North Carolina going on into the tournament which it could but, just because Marshall is gone doesn't mean their championship hopes are dashed they still have the very capable John Henson and Tyler Zeller. I believe that UNC will get by Ohio without Marshall, If I were Roy Williams I would sit Marshall on Friday and let him heal up for an Elite Eight matchup with Kansas or North Carolina State that is if he is even ready to go for that game as well.


STARZY ALL-STAR(S) OF THE WEEK

The Norfolk State Spartans and Lehigh Mountianhawks

The first 15 seed to defeat a 2 seed since 2001

and the first 15 seeds to defeat a 2 seed in the same tournament ever.