Could Nick Senzel reach Cincinnati as a shortstop?

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 1:38 PM

Former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin works with right fielder Jay Bruce at the team’s spring training complex on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Goodyear, Ariz. Staff photo/Mike Hartsock
Former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin works with right fielder Jay Bruce at the team’s spring training complex on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Goodyear, Ariz. Staff photo/Mike Hartsock

Two questions continue to follow Nick Senzel this offseason. 

One is obvious: When will the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect make his major-league debut? 

The second might need to be answered first: Where? 

Senzel, who recently was named the winner of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the team’s minor league player of the year, has played all but two of his 182 professional games at third base. 

RELATED: Former Dragons among Reds organizational award winners

That remains an possibility for the big-league club, but the Reds are looking at all options with Eugenio Suarez coming off a strong season at the hot corner. 

Second base or a corner outfield spot have been discussed, but what about shortstop? 

With Zack Cozart a free agent, that would seem to be the biggest need at the top of the organization, and manager Bryan Price told MLB.com that Senzel has an impressive endorsement. 

“(Barry Larkin) said if need be, he could play shortstop at the big league level,” Price said, recalling a conversation from last spring. 

Larkin is not just a Reds special assistant but also a Hall of Fame shortstop. 

If the 22-year-old Senzel could make it there, it would leave the Reds with boppers in right field (Scott Schebler) and left field (Adam Duvall) as well as third base and second (Scooter Gennett) with speedy Jose Peraza an option as a utility man if he can’t win a regular spot somewhere. 

Oh, and about that first question: All indications are Senzel will get a chance to impress Price and the rest of the big-league staff next spring. 

If he knocks the cover off the ball, he might make the team, but a better bet is that he will not be in Cincinnati until June or so to save a year of service time and push back when he become eligible for arbitration. 

 

Oklahoma’s first 2018 opponent loses key player in offseason

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:14 AM

Lane Kiffin-FAU-Tennessee

When the Oklahoma Sooners host Lane Kiffin and the FAU Owls, they’ll have the benefit of not playing against the offensive MVP of the Boca Raton bowl and the architect of the Owls’ 11-3 season.

Jason Driskel has announced that he is moving on from football after his graduation, and will not utilize the rest of his eligibility.

Driskel’s retirement opens the door for former Oklahoma quarterback Chris Robison to start for the Owls in 2018. In 2017, Robison was dismissed from the Oklahoma team by Lincoln Riley for a violation of team rules.

He’s got himself into a few social media spats with current Sooners over the 2018 opener as well.

Robison was enrolled early in January of 2017, but didn’t make it to the regular season. He was a highly sought after four-star recruit out of Mesquite, Texas.

Driskel threw for 2,247 yards and completed 61.1 percent of his passes in 2017. He also threw 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions on the season. He did not record a snap in FAU’s first two games, losses to Navy and Wisconsin. Driskel only lost a single game as the starting quarterback in 2017.

Robison sat out a year due to NCAA transfer rules and has yet to record a single official snap in college.

The post Oklahoma’s first 2018 opponent loses key player in offseason appeared first on Diehards.

Kansas State teases throwback threads for Big 12 showdown with TCU

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:12 AM

Kansas State-Kansas State Wildcats-TCU-throwback uniforms

Kansas State will soon be laced in lavender.

On Saturday as part of a purple-on-purple showdown in which Kansas State will host No. 24 TCU, the Wildcats will provide the modern era with a blast from the past.

That has nothing to do with the actual game, either, but rather, the throwback threads the Wildcats will don when the Horned Frogs arrive at Bramlage Coliseum.

Simply put, these are amazing.

Fresh off of an 87-69 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma on Tuesday, Kansas State is up to 13-5 on the season and seeking back-to-back ranked wins. On Saturday, the Wildcats can accomplish that feat, and do so in style with some of the cleanest uniform combinations in college basketball.

Kansas State and TCU is set for tip-off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 20. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The post Kansas State teases throwback threads for Big 12 showdown with TCU appeared first on Diehards.

Amazon releases list of possibilities for new headquarters, and Twitter busts out recruiting jokes

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:02 AM

Amazon-Amazon headquarters finalists-Amazon cities-college football recruiting

Now we know what happens when business news collides with college recruiting.

On Thursday, Seattle-based Amazon released an updated list of 20 metro areas that are possibilities to become the home of the company’s second headquarters. You can see the full list of 20 here, but something funny happened after the news broke: many Twitter users responded with recruiting jokes.

You can understand why. Releasing a top 10 or top 20 list on Twitter is nothing new to prospects who are part of modern-day recruiting. There’s little that separates a college coach attempting to woo a blue-chip prospect and what leaders within various metro areas are doing to try to lure Amazon. (Yes, gaining the second Amazon headquarters would be a game-changer for the fortunate city that is chosen.)

We’ve decided to collect a few creative recruiting-related tweets that surfaced Thursday morning. (For fun, here’s a list of the college programs that are local to the 20 finalists, courtesy of The Spun.)

The post Amazon releases list of possibilities for new headquarters, and Twitter busts out recruiting jokes appeared first on SEC Country.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. includes 7 SEC players in first mock for 2018 NFL Draft

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:01 AM

The SEC is accustomed to dominating the first round of the NFL Draft, and 2018 may be no different with a variety of talented options for the top end of the annual NFL selection process.

On Thursday, ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft for the new draft season. He surprised some by featuring Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen as the No. 1 overall selection, ahead of consensus top quarterback prospects Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Sam Darnold (USC).

The top SEC projection was Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who Kiper has going at No. 6 overall to the New York Jets.

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Fitzpatrick was one of four Alabama players projected by Kiper to go in the first round. In total, he projected seven SEC players to be selected on the first day of the draft, which will take place on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Here’s a look at where he projected each SEC player to land:

6. New York Jets: Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive back, Alabama

8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Alabama

10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, linebacker, Georgia

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, defensive tackle, Alabama

23. Los Angeles Rams: Carlton Davis, defensive back, Auburn

26. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Kirk, wide receiver, Texas A&M

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashaan Evans, linebacker, Alabama

While each of these has merit, Kirk’s projection to the Falcons seems of particular interest of fans who are offensive-minded. Can you imagine the former Aggies star lining up in the slot aside all-world wideout Julio Jones to catch passes from Matt Ryan? That’s quite a vision.

Given that we’re still more than three months away from the NFL Draft, expect Kiper and other NFL Draft experts to change their minds a couple dozens times as things like the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and Pro Days impact their opinions on prospects.