College Baseball Central's Matthew Gray recently had the opportunity to interview Georgia Tech freshman slugger Kel Johnson, the current team leader in multiple offensive categories. Johnson, who elected to enroll at Tech rather than take a shot in the MLB, is a previously home-schooled first baseman/outfielder who also happens to have perhaps the most powerful swing in recent Georgia Tech history. He is currently batting .361 for the Jackets, including team highs in homeruns with 4, RBIs with 13, and slugging at .806. To put that into perspective, we are just nine games into the season and Johnson has already hit as many homeruns as any one Tech player did all of last season in 64 games. That is ridiculous, raw power and exactly what the Jackets need to take this team to the next level.
Bill Connelly published an article yesterday exploring the proposed concept of relegation in college football. For those like myself who don't watch soccer and are therefore unfamiliar with the relegation system, it is basically a way of maintaining competitive balance by promoting and demoting (or "relegating") teams based on how well they perform in any given season. For example, a team such as Wake Forest would move down a tier and play with competition which is closer to their current level of play while a team such as Boise State may ascend to a new, more powerful conference. I can't say that I'm for or against it at this point (it is just an idea and nothing imminent), but I really can't see it happening right now or any time in the near future.
Anyone who watches the NFL with any regularity can see that the players with the most versatility have the most success time and time again. It's the reason why former wide receiver Richard Sherman is currently one of the best corners in the league and also why former Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt got a shot at safety in the NFL -- the more positions you can play, the better. In fact, you could argue that versatility has become just as important as any other physical factor because of the way NFL front offices like to play to the strengths of their players. It's an interesting phenomenon and one worth reading about.
Former Baylor running back Silas Nacita was declared ineligible and removed from the football team after reports surfaced that he had taken "impermissible benefits" when he agreed to stay at an apartment provided by a family friend. Nacita, who walked on at Baylor just last season, spent the entire year prior to his enrollment at Baylor homeless, bouncing from house to house and sleeping on floors wherever he could. When the family friend offered him a place to stay -- and in doing so an opportunity to have some level of security -- it was a no-brainer for Nacita, who at the time was not even aware that it was an NCAA code violation. I'm going to hold off judgment on this until more details come out (since the NCAA and Baylor's coaching staff are both abdicating themselves of any blame), but this is the latest in a long series of examples which point to the brokenness of the NCAA's rules. Having student athletes who are homeless in the first place is a serious problem itself, but punishing them for attempting to improve their situation and standard of living is nothing short of deplorable. If his eligibility is not restored, a huge disservice to both Nacita and the landscape of college athletics will have been committed. You can see Nacita's comments in the tweet below.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>All I wanted to do was go to school and play the game I loved. <a href="http://t.co/zYQ0HTaz05">pic.twitter.com/zYQ0HTaz05</a></p>— Silas Nacita (@Salsa_Nacho) <a href="https://twitter.com/Salsa_Nacho/status/570621510685036545">February 25, 2015</a></blockquote>
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What do you think of the situation surrounding Silas Nacita? What should happen?
Have a great Thursday!