Some quick newsy links to start the day...
-- You've probably heard by now, but Tray Blackmon made his Canadian Football League debut for Calgary last night, recording a team-leading seven tackles in the Stampeders' 40-27 loss to the Montreal Alouettes in a rematch of last year's Grey Cup. Blackmon even has his own blog on the Stampeders' site, where he wrote the following after the game:
As for getting some tackles and making some plays, I’m just trying to run to the ball. You can’t coach effort — and Coach Jones preaches that all the time. After you’ve run through your assignment and checked your man, then it’s just instincts — see ball, run to the ball, hit ball. I want to make plays. I feel like that’s one of my strong points.There's much more about Blackmon (including the above French translation of his Auburn nickname) over at Plainsman Parking Lot, but PPL also takes a general look around the CFL at the multiple ex-Tigers playing their trade in the Great White North, including "superstar" Damon Duval, who just happened to be Montreal's biggest weapon in the Alouettes' win last night. More stats on Tre Smith and Prechae Rodriguez available here.
There’s been a lot of positive comments and feedback from the people at Auburn and in my hometown of LaGrange and I just want to say that I love my fans. I had great fans in my high school, I had great fans at Auburn — and there are great fans here, too. They’re big for me.
-- Long Q&A with Jeff Lebo at the official site here. Much of it you've probably read before--Lebo bemoaning George Washington and Missouri State's slide, griping about the 2007-2008 injury plague, talking about how much guys like Dewayne Reed and Tay Waller have improved or could improve, being excited about the incoming class. It's worth noting, however, how highly Lebo thinks of Johnnie Lett, who he clearly thinks could be a force inside if he can stay healthy. We also find out that Tony Nesmith is likely going to be the new Tez Robertson (i.e. the designated perimeter defender/non-scorer) and that Vot Barber is in L.A. hoping for an NBA summer league invite.
-- Also hoops-related: did you know Lebo is the lowest-paid head coach in the SEC? It's not exactly an outrage since Lebo's never had the kind of season that demanded a raise and since the bottom four (USC's Horn, Ole Miss' Kennedy, Pelphrey at Arkansas, and Lebo) are all pretty equally compensated ... but still, it's a bit of a surprise and maybe isn't the best piece of evidence if you're trying to argue that Auburn really does care about it's men's hoops program.
-- Jay G. Tate works up his official Gus Malzahn profile for the Advertiser. Not sure if there's anything here (aside from maybe the "personality profile" section comparing Malzahn to Borges, Mazzone, and Franklin) that wasn't in the blog post a few weeks back, but it's an interesting read if you missed it the first go-round.
-- 63 Auburn athletes made the SEC's spring Academic Honor Roll, a good chunk of them from the equestrian, track and field, and baseball programs. Big ups to the smart kids. (A special JCCW shout-out to softball player and Honor Roll member Holly Ragsdale, too, who shares a high school alma mater with yours truly. DHS reprezent, and all that.)
-- This story is quite the surprise, first since you really don't expect Vandy signees to be the ones getting hit with felony burglary charges, and second because the kid's name really is, apparently, "Justin Cabbagestalk." No, it's not the name of a mouse character from the Beatrix Potter stories, I checked.