Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday Conversation with....Trevar Deed

All Trevar Deed can do is sit and wait.
After the former Delta State record-setting running back went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, he has waited patiently for the NFL Lockout to end to hopefully sign a free agent contract. The Phoenix, Ariz. native, who became the only player in Gulf South Conference history to rush and receiver for over 2,000 yards, recently caught up with Sports Editor Kenneth Mister.

What have you been doing since leaving DSU?
I've just been working out everyday, Monday through Friday and sometime on Sunday — back home in Arizona.

Do you still hope to sign a free agent deal? 
Yeah, I think I have a chance. The teams I’ve talked told me they want to wake till the lockout is over (to discuss anything).

Is it frustrating?
Super frustrating. Because I have my life on hold to to see what's going to happen.

If not, what about CFL or Arena League?
Naw, I'm staying with my dream to play in the NFL. That's my dream and I'm sticking with it. If I fail, i have to open my door to other options.

What’s your prediction for the Statesmen this season without you, ‘Scooter’ Williams and L.J. Castile?
I think they'll still do good, because coach (Ron) Roberts is a good head coach and he's going to find the players to fill our shoes. That's no doubt. My first year at Delta State in 2007, they had the best defense in the nation and they lost them all, but they bounced right back. He recruited his butt off like a good coach does. So, I think he’s going to find some key players to fill those positions. They have a lot of kids that were younger than us so I think they’ll be more hungrier this year.

What have you been doing to prepare yourself when the Lockout is over? 
I’ve been working on my cardio a whole lot. I trimmed up nice. I’m weighing about 210 right now. I think I look pretty good. Been doing a lot of aerobic workouts (and) getting my resistance right. Because I don’t know what I’m going to go in there and play. I’ve heard from a couple teams that don’t know what they’re going to put me as — a slot receiver or as a running back.

What are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
I’ll just finish off my degree in physical education and business and just see where it takes me. I think I’ve got a couple more years in me, for instance, if I don’t get picked up this year. If it doesn’t go like I hoped it would go, I’d just finish off my degree and relax.

Any plans on coming back?
I got to come back to visit coach Roberts, a couple players, a couple friends. I’m coming back in December to watch my boy, Rafael Mitchell, graduate. That’s my best friend and I’m the Godfather of his daughter. So I’m going to come back and watch him graduate, walk the stage.

If you could do it over would you still attend DSU?
I really would. No matter what. It’s a little town and I’m from a big city, but I had a lot of fun being out there, like learning how to hunt. Just the country-ness, I like it.

Where do you rank amongst the best to come out of DSU?
I can’t really say where I’m ranked, but I’m up there with those guys, because it’s been some good athletes to come through there. Michael Eubanks, that’s one that comes to mind. I think I’m up there with them, but it’s been some good boys to come through there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Morgan gives updates on Valley projects at local club meeting

GREENVILLE — Karl Morgan wants to get the word out.
“I want to make a difference here at the Valley,” the second-year Mississippi Valley State head football coach said Tuesday at a Kiwanis Club meeting.
Morgan’s stop in town was his latest of the offseason, which has included trips to Clarksdale, Vicksburg and Grenada, to rally supporters around the program.
He spoke for nearly 30 minutes — mostly about his professional football experience in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the NFL in the 1980s. The 50-year-old former UCLA standout, who was cut several times by the Tampa Buccaneers in his three-year stint with the team from 1984-86, recollected on what it felt like to lose a job in the NFL — drawing a load of laughter from the crowd.
“When you get cut, you get a big garbage bag,” he said. “You take everything out your locker and stuff it in there. You look like Santa Claus walking across the parking lot.”
Morgan’s speaking engagement is one of several ways MVSU officials have promoted their program for the upcoming season. Morgan keeps fans involved with his newly created Twitter account along with frequent updates on Facebook.
MVSU also hosted its first-ever 7-on-7 tournament last Saturday, which gave coaches a chance to evaluate possible recruits. All of the changes under Morgan’s watch, hopefully will result in a turnaround for a program that finished 0-10 last season, he said.
“If it crashes and burns,” said Morgan, “it won’t be because of lack of effort.”
Morgan also gave updates on recent projects at Valley, including a new football-only weight room. Previously, the players were only allowed to use the school’s fitness center — which was open to the entire student body — for eight hours per week.
The school, however, raised $60,000 to build a new weight room, which was recently completed.
“We had donations from $5 to $5,000,” said Morgan, who added that the renovations at Rice-Totten Stadium is still on schedule.
Next up for the Delta Devils is a new locker room, said Morgan.
“The building we operate in was built in 1980 (and) it’s very, very dilapidated, but we’re trying to fix it up,” he said.
But “the No. 1 project is players,” Morgan continued.
“We’ve got to get better guys,” he said. “And I think we’ve done that with (junior college players) and plus recruiting in February.”
Recently, MVSU announced three new signees: linebackers Keven Woods (Grossmont Community College) and Jamarius Smith (College of the Sequoias) and Karl David Birkenfield, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback from Yuba Community College.
“As far as how we’ll be this year — we’ll be better,” Morgan predicted. “I’m not big on records and guarantees, (but) we’ll be better.”

UNO joins GSC; DSU's Roberts thinks Statesmen will stick with hard-hit conference

GREENVILLE — The Gulf South Conference may not have stopped the bleeding, but they slowed it down some after Tuesday’s announcement.
The conference, which recently witnessed the loss of seven schools including powerhouse North Alabama, officially welcomed the University of New Orleans to the fold.
The Board of GSC Presidents unanimously approved the Privateers’ membership request Tuesday during the conference’s annual summer meetings in Birmingham, Ala.
“This is something we’ve worked on for a long time....,” GSC Commissioner Nate Salant said in a released statement. “UNO brings outstanding facilities, a commitment to growth that includes football by 2015 and a great city for future events.”
While UNO will not be official members of the GSC until 2012-13, the Privateers will be added to the league schedule for 2011-12 in volleyball, baseball and men’s and women’s tennis — but will not be eligible for post-season play. UNO will also compete in the 2011 GSC men’s and women’s cross country championship and the 2012 GSC men’s and women’s golf tournaments.
UNO’s marks the GSC’s first footprint in Louisiana since 1979 when Southeastern Louisiana moved to Division I.
North Alabama’s recent departure for Division I leaves the conference with just four football-playing schools (DSU, Valdosta State, West Alabama and West Georgia) in its immediate future.
“The next couple years are going to be a little change of face...,” said DSU football coach Ron Roberts, whose team advanced to the Division II championship game last season. “There’s obviously going to be a little bit of difficulty in scheduling and stuff, but ....I think (we’ll get through it).”
DSU Athletic Director Jeremy McClain recently told WABG that a jump to Division I is not in the school’s immediate plans.
But with the loss of the six Arkansas schools and UNA’s departure, the GSC has taken a hard blow. But, so far, the conference is still standing, said Roberts.
“I think the general feeling,” he said, “is the GSC is going to remain.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mullen says student-athletes need spending money

Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen wants his players to get a piece of the pie.
He said it recently during the SEC spring meetings, and stood by his stance today while participating in the 30th annual Jesse Brent-Merrick Jones Memorial Golf Tournament in Greenville.
".... I think they should get some spending money in their pocket," said Mullen, who was one of seven SEC coaches to sign South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier's proposal to pay 70 players $300 each per game.
"And I know there's all other kinds of complications that come along with it. But our guys are so committed and put in so much time year around in the game of football.
"It'd be great to give them some spending money. They don't need major money; they just need enough to go out with the other college kids and get themselves a pizza on a Friday night."
Spurrier's proposal is far-fetched, but it does starts the conversation: should universities -- who bring in millions of dollars -- pay student-athletes? Although Mullen thinks players deserve more than just a scholarship, he doesn't see things changing anytime soon.
"I think it's a lot trickier than just football players getting paid," he said. "So (if players do get paid), it'll be a long time from now."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday Conversation with....Quentin Groves

Former Greenville-Weston standout Quentin Groves has made a name for himself since leaving the Delta. The former Auburn linebacker now plays for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders after spending his first two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While waiting on the NFL lockout to end, the 26-year-old took time out to chat with Sports Editor Kenneth Mister.

What are you doing with all your free time?
Groves: Working out (with old Jaguars teammates), staying in shape and watching old games.

How optimistic are you that we'll have a full 16-game season?
I think we’ll have one. You gotta look at the revenue. It’s too much revenue to take any games out.....They may shorten up training camp, but not the preaseason....This whole big fight is over revenue.

Will you still hold your Quest 4 Greatness Football Camp in Greenville? 
No, because we didn’t know what (will happen with the lockout). Didn’t want to plan it and have to be at a OCA or training camp.

How often do you come home? 
About once a year to come see mom.

What’s one of your best memoris from GWHS?
Just playing with the guys...Kevin Sanders, Michael Watson, Micheal Henry....We still keep in contact till this day.

Who’s the hardest guy to bring down in the NFL?
Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings). He just runs so tough.
What’s your take on college players. Should they get paid or is a scholarship enough? 

I think they should get paid. For the simple fact, (schools) would be nothing without the students. It’s true they get an education. But let’s be real. A lot of people don’t just come to big-time colleges for the education. They’re coming for the (sports). If you take away those (sports), I bet the attendance drops 30-40 percent.

How was your college experience. Did you feel like you were being cheated?
I’ll say this: you could go in the bookstore and see my jersey on sale for $30 to $40 and I see kids with my jersey on in the stands — and I’m not getting nothing? Then they get mad when a kid takes $300 to $400 from a booster.....
I look in the stands and everyone has on a (No. 54) jersey and I go back to my dorm room and I’m like ‘damn.’

Why don’t college athletes just stand up and revolt? 
The day you get (to college), they say (the media) is going to ask these questions. Don’t answer it. (Tell the media) I’d rather not speak on it. You’re pretty much programmed.

You have a son and a daughter on the way. How’s life as a father? 
My son is 14 months. And my daughter will be here Oct. 22....My little boy is a little me. That’s the biggest thing. Everything you used to do, he tries to get away with it.

Where do you think you rank amongst other greats to come out the Delta?
I don’t like to speak on it. But I don’t know. Wherever the people will put me.