JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: February 10, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Tony Delk…

  • College football recruiting may have reached an all-time high as it pertains to weirdness.

    Take the case of Plantation, Fla., star Alex Cross, who chose Arkansas over Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and Florida State. Cross is the No. 7 rated running back in the country according to ESPN's top 150.

    On signing day, Cross's mother, Andrea McDonald, had other plans. She came to the high school, took the paperwork before Alex could sign it. She has since hired the Cochran law firm in case of litigation. Cochran, as in the late Johnny Cochran.

    Later that day, Alex called his father, Johnny Collins and Johnny agreed to sign the papers. His mother did not go to the signing at his school. She wanted him to go to Miami, closer to home.

    Sounds like Alex might have wanted to get away from home.

  • This one is even more convoluted. Reuben Foster is the No. 2-ranked linebacker by He verbally committed to Auburn, where he lives in the Alabama town and goes to school at Auburn High School.

    He even got an AU tattoo on his forearm. He then flipped to Alabama, and had the name of a cousin, Ladarius Phillips, tattooed above the AU because Phillips was a former Auburn football player who was killed in a shooting last June.

    This week, Phillips' father, 41-year-old Danny Foster, was apprehended last week in Miami. He has been a fugitive for the past 16 years, having escaped jail after allegedly shooting his wife, who was holding 18-month-old Reuben at the time.

    His mother, Inita Berry Paige, suffered a collapsed lung and a bullet grazed Reuben's back.

    Safe to say, playing college football won't begin to match the drama Reuben Foster has experienced and he's still a teenager.

  • Clarksville native Shawn Marion may be on the trading block, as the Dallas Mavericks have thrown Marion's name around as the veteran is due $9.3 million next season, the final year of his current contract.

    “If I'm going to get traded, they're going to tell me what's going on and where I'm going,'' the 34-year-old Marion told ESPN/Dallas. “Because if I'm going to a (bad) situation, I'm not going. It's that simple. I'm at a point where I want to be playing for something right now.''

    The Mavs are highly unlikely to make the playoffs this season and owner Mark Cuban appears ready to unload big salaries on a team that is growing old.

  • Nashville PGA Tour golfer Brandt Snedeker is off to the best start in his career. He finished second to Tiger Woods three weeks ago at Torrey Pines. He then finished second to Phil Mickelson last week at the Phoenix Open.

    The former Vanderbilt All-American shares the lead with South Korean James Hahn going into the final round today at the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

    Snedeker made it look easy, sinking three straight birdie putts on 7 through 9 to make the turn in 32 Saturday and finished 12-under par for the tournament. All three putts were less than 10 feet as he was killing his approach shots. He cooled off on the back nine, however, bogeying No. 10 and sinking a birdie on No. 11. He had pars the rest of the round, preventing him from holding a sizeable lead.

    “I made one bad mistake on the No. 5, a par-3. Besides that I played really good golf,'' Snedeker said. “To win here (Sunday) I'm going to have to make some more putts.''

  • It was an all-Vanderbilt foursome in the pro-am at Pebble Beach. Not only did it include Snedeker, he was joined by his former college teammate Luke List, now competing on the PGA Tour. List had an 81, missed the cut as only one player shot higher than List through three rounds.

    Snedeker's amateur partner was Toby Wilt, a Nashville businessman and Vanderbilt graduate who endowed a golf scholarship at his alma mater. It was Snedeker who became the first golfer to get the Toby Wilt scholarship. Wilt is a member at Augusta National and The Golf Club of Tennessee, among others. He carries a 7-handicap.

    Vanderbilt grad Heidi Ueberroth joined Wilt as the second amateur and was paired with List. Caddying for his daughter was former Major League Baseball Commissioner and guiding force behind the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, Peter Ueberroth. Heidi is a 14-handicap.

    They got plenty of coverage on Saturday's NBC telecast, as Snedeker was leading the tournament. He and Wilt finished tied-second and trailed by a shot in the pro-am part of the tournament going into today's final round.

  • One of the area's well-known amateur golfers passed away earlier this month.

    James “Booty'' Frey Sr., was 81. He was a member of Brentwood CC and played in numerous charity tournaments through the years.

  • It didn't take long for former Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to land on his feet after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated him after a season of sitting out for his role in Bountygate.

    Williams was the alleged ringleader on a program that paid money to Saints defensive players to take opponents out of games. It is suspected there have always been similar locker-room rules that are not talked about away from the team complex.

    Williams is back on familiar turf, joining the Titans where he is  with friends with coaches Mike Munchak, Jerry Gray and Bruce Matthews.

    Williams has said all the right things, seems contrite and accountable for his mistakes. Williams is about as intense a competitor as anyone you will find in the NFL and that intensity can do nothing but infuse some life as he joins a defense that gave up the most points in franchise history.

    It was a natural for owner Bud Adams and Munchak to reach out to Williams. Although Gray and Williams worked together in Tennessee, Buffalo and Washington, it will be interesting to see how it works out the second time around for Williams, as Gray remains defensive coordinator with Williams as a senior assistant.

    Williams has done the time for what the NFL considered a crime, so fans should look forward to seeing an upgrade on the defensive side of the ball.

    Williams is not a cure-all. They are short on talent on that side of the ball and some of that can be improved through free agency.

    Pro Football Focus website zeroes in on three free agents it thinks the Titans should pursue with vigor, and a lot of money.

    They claim the Titans need help at middle linebacker, offensive line and especially at safety where Jordan Babineaux and Michael Griffin were just short of embarrassing last season.

    Griffin was ranked by the website as the third worst safety out of 88 candidates. He missed 22 tackles, most of any safety to play a minimum of 25 percent of the snaps. He gave up seven touchdowns.

    They highly recommend free agent Kenny Phillips, who played this season for the Giants.

    At middle linebacker, they would replace Colin McCarthy with free agent Kaluka Malava of the Browns. They graded McCarthy as one of the worst linebackers in pass coverage.

    The third free agent recommended by Pro Football Focus is offensive guard Brandon Moore. The Jets guard was graded the fifth best run blocking guard in the league.

  • Murray guard Isaiah Canaan is hard to handle. See Belmont, who gave up 26 points and six assists to Canaan. And for Canaan, free throw shooting is not a lost art. He was 15 for 17 from the stripe against Belmont as the Bruins lost its first OVC road game, 79-74, when a late rally fell short.

    Cannan will be a player to watch when the OVC tournament is played at Municpal Auditorium next month.

  • There may be a major discovery that will help determine how much damage has been done to a football player when suffering a concussion.

    A mouth-guard developed by i1 Biometrics detects linear and rotational acceleration of a player's head upon contact. The information can be transferred to a computer or a smart phone on the sidelines.

    The cost is projected to be $150 each.

Got a sports story tip? Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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