JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: April 28, 2013

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Perry Phenix. …

  • What do Pacman Jones, Cam Newton and Titans first round draft pick Chance Warmack have in common?

    They all went to high school at Westlake High in Atlanta.

    And if you are wondering how grounded Warmack is, he got his first drivers license last year. Can you imagine a kid today going to college almost four years without driving a car?

    “My focus was on football 24-7. Then I lived on campus, so there really wasn't a need to get one. I could just walk through the campus, so I was good. I knew I had to get one eventually,'' Warmack said.

    It was Titans secretary Alesia Schultz who first notified Warmack he had been drafted by the Titans.

    “Then all the other coaches called me, but I recognized who she was from my visit and it was funny,'' Warmack said. “She was just like, ‘Hey, Chance,' and after that I already knew who it was and I was kind of choked up at the moment and then I said, ‘Yes, Ma'am,' but she doesn't like to be called ma'am.''

    His father, Dylan Warmack, is a retired attorney while his mother, Courtney, is a middle school administrator. He has a 16-year-old brother.

  • The Titans second-round pick was Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, whose upside is enormous.

    He has already played at LP Field in the Franklin American Music City Bowl with the Vols.

    “It was nice. That was the first time I have been in an NFL stadium in my whole life. I think it was pretty cool. I love the stadium,'' Hunter said after he was drafted.

    “The one thing I really noticed was that they had heated seats, so when it gets cold out there, I won't have a problem.''

    Nothing better than a warm seat in winter.

  • The Manti Ta'o jokes are endless. When the Notre Dame linebacker finally went to the Chargers in the second round Friday, someone tweeted that San Diego was the perfect place for him play.

    They have a lot of fake girls there, intoned one tweeter. I would imagine the late night comedians will have their own takes on Ta'o, who made headlines when he was apparently duped into thinking he was having a telephone romance with an imaginary girlfriend, which turned out to be a cruel hoax.

  • In only two drafts, Titans GM Ruston Webster is making a name for himself.

    A year ago, six of his seven draft picks made the roster. And it looked as if he struck it rich with his first two picks this draft in first-rounder Chance Warmack and wide receiver Justin Hunter.

    It will be in the middle rounds where GM's usually gain a reputation. New England quarterback Tom Brady was taken in the sixth round.

    Titans offensive tackle David Stewart was the Titans second fourth round pick in the 2005 draft and cornerback Cortland Finnegan was a seventh round pick in 2006. Both of them are still starters, Stewart with the Titans and Finnegan with the Rams.

    The best one was arguably Derrick Mason, taken in the fourth round by the Titans in the 1997 draft. D-Mase retired last year after a great career with the Titans and Ravens.

  • The 49ers took Auburn outside linebacker Corey Lemonier in the third round and needless to say, Lemonier was still a little rattled when he jumped on a conference call with reporters.

    “I am thrilled to be taken and get a phone call from John Harbaugh,'' Lemonier said. Informed that John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens, that it is Jim Harbaugh with the 49ers, Lemonier had to backtrack.

    “Oh, my goodness. I'm so sorry. I can't even think right now. I'm so sorry,'' he said apologetically.

  • Cal's Brian Schwenke was the first center taken in the draft when the Titans took him in the fourth round. He was pick No. 107. Memphis native Barrett Jones went later in the fourth round when former Titans coach Jeff Fisher took the Alabama center.

    Schwenke never played center until last season, but the 6-3, 314-pounder made the switch from guard with great results. He was named first team All Pac 12 center.

    “I've never snapped a football. Now I feel more comfortable at center than I ever did at guard,'' Schwenke told reporters.

    He caught the eye of ESPN analyst Todd McShay.

    “Tennessee just got the nastiest, toughest offensive lineman that I watched on tape all year long,'' McShay said.

    Gotta like nasty, no?

  • With their fifth round pick the Titans took LSU defensive end Lavar Edwards. At that point Edwards became the eighth LSU defensive player to be drafted.

    LSU Coach Les Miles was a studio analyst on NFL Network. Obviously, he coached the 6-4, 277-pound Edwards.

    “He is an every day player who can pass rush and can stop the run,'' Miles said. “He came in and developed. He came from a small (high school) program where he played almost every position on the field.''

    ESPN's Mel Kiper also liked Edwards, calling Edwards his favorite LSU player.

    “He's a playmaker who has extra long arms,'' Kiper said.

  • I think every football fan is pulling for former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore to play in the NFL. After tearing ACL's in back-to-back seasons, Lattiimore's stock went from a top five pick to the fourth round.

    He is still rehabbing and will not likely be ready to start the regular season, but by being drafted by San Francisco in the fourth round, they are a team that can wait for Lattimore to return to full speed.

    Lattimore left South Carolina with a school record 38 running touchdowns and 41 overall. He was the 131st player to be drafted, but he is driven to play again.

    He was with most of his family at an Atlanta restaurant when he got the telephone call Saturday.

    “My phone rang and I didn't recognize the area code,'' he said on NFL Network. He found out it was the NFC champion 49ers calling.

    “They were starting to bring the food and everyone went crazy. The whole restaurant went crazy, really,'' Lattimore said.

    I'm not sure Lattimore knows it, but his coach at South Carolina, Steve Spurrier, played for the 49ers. Most of his time was spent as the team's punter, as Spurrier was also the backup quarterback for John Brodie.

  • Lipscomb's search for a new basketball coach continues. Athletics Director Philip Hutcheson has an assortment of candidates to consider.

    Some say Ensworth AD/football/basketball coach Ricky Bowers is one of the leading candidates, even though he doesn't have any college coaching experience. Why would he want to leave Ensworth? Perhaps he knows he has done everything he can do there, both in football and basketball, and wants a new challenge.

    Current LSU assistant Tom Kelsey is another candidate. He played on a 1985-86 Lipscomb team that went 35-4 and won the NAIA national championship under Coach Don Meyer. Kelsey was an assistant at Murray State and Alabama under Mark Gottfried, was head coach at Atlanta Greater Christian high school, also at Faulkner University and more recently at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., where he made the NAIA national tournament twice. Faulkner and Belhaven are NAIA programs.

    There is a Virginia assistant who is in the mix, also an assistant at Texas. I'm sure there are others, so Hutcheson will earn his pay while making this decision.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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