Nobody who has ever worn a Boise State football uniform has earned an annual stash of cash like DeMarcus Lawrence is about to. It could have been more—and a year from now, it could be a ton more. The Dallas Cowboys put the “franchise tag” on Lawrence in March, guaranteeing him $17.1 million this year but nothing beyond that. But by not being able to work out a long-term extension for Lawrence by the franchise tag contract deadline on Monday, the Cowboys aren’t guaranteed having Tank on the defensive line beyond this season, either. Lawrence would like to have landed a long-term deal. On the other hand, he figures if he can come close to replicating his Pro Bowl 2017 season that produced 14.5 sacks, he’ll see the bank vault open wide as a free agent.
Did I mention it’s watch list season? Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien is on another one, this time for the Davey O’Brien Award that goes to the nation’s top quarterback. Rypien is the only Mountain West representative on the list. Let’s take a different tack on his career numbers today. Rypien, as discussed yesterday, can become the Mountain West career passing yards leader this year, but the Bronco record is pretty much out of reach. He’s 4,791 yards away from Kellen Moore’s mark of 14,667 (Moore, as you recall, played only one of his four seasons in the Mountain West). This one is truly impossible: Rypien woud have to throw 82 touchdown passes this year to match Kellen’s career record.
Boise State fans get to see their favorite players on the field tonight without their helmets on, as the annual Bronco Football Summer Classic Softball Game unfolds at Memorial Stadium. The extravaganza was originally former Bronco quarterback Bush Hamdan’s creation, and over a period of six years it grew into a summer staple. It returned in 2016 after a two-year hiatus. Hamdan founded the event as a community service project for Boise State going into his senior year in 2008. Obviously Hamdan has other fish to fry right now, working with Chris Petersen as offensive coordinator at Washington. For the second straight year, media guys will serve as umpires for tonight’s game: John Patrick (KTIK), B.J. Rains (Idaho Press), Dave Southorn (Idaho Statesman) and Jay Tust (KTVB). Motley crew.
Just when San Diego State thinks it has the city all to itself, Notre Dame and Navy come along. Aztecs football attracts 50,000 fans once in a great while (they drew 52,000 for their first game versus Boise State in 2011). Well, more than 50,000 tickets already have been sold for the Fighting Irish and Midshipmen at the stadium formerly known as Qualcomm on October 27. The facility will have a capacity of 66,000 for this game. “The fact that Notre Dame has never played here before, the fact that this is a Navy town and this rivalry has been going on for more than 80 years (explains the demand),” said Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Game Association. “It’s a big-time event and San Diego is, obviously, taking notice of it.”
With the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League in the books for Chandler Hutchison, here’s one assessment that counts, from Bulls general manager Gar Forman. “Chandler has been up-and-down,” said Forman. “But just watching him playmake, handle (the ball) in the open floor, push it out, has been encouraging. He’s been a little hesitant with his shot. But that will come. We need to get more guys who can playmake off the bounce. And as he matures, I think he’ll be able to do that.”
Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg thinks the former Boise State star will grow in his new surroundings. Hutchison certainly has a harder edge than he did four years ago. “I was talking to his coach, Leon Rice,” Hoiberg said. “They had a player by the name of Anthony Drmic who was from Australia—we played against Boise in Hawaii when I was still coaching in college (at Iowa State)—and he was a tough kid. He beat the hell out of Chandler every day his freshman year. He showed him what it was like to really work and made him a more physical player.” Hoiberg knows all about Hutchison’s upward trajectory during his time as a Bronco. “He just continued to get better every year,” said Hoiberg. “Listen, he’s a four-year player and he’s 22 years old. That’s still pretty young to me.”
Elsewhere in the Vegas league, Boise State product James Webb III finished with averages of 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in five games for Brooklyn. That’s a positive for Webb going into training camp this fall. Former Idaho Vandal Brayon Blake appeared in all six of Cleveland’s games, averaging 2.5 points and 2.5 boards. It was great prep for Blake, who already has plans overseas. He’s set to join Löwen Braunschweig in the German Basketball Bundesliga. And former Idaho star Victor Sanders got into two games for Denver, averaging 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Hillsboro trailed the Boise Hawks 3-0 last night with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The the Hops proceeded to score three runs to tie the game—and three more in the 10th to steal a stunning 6-5 victory. The Hawks’ hopes of a first-half title in the Northwest League South Division are consequently on the ropes. And catching up on this one: James Norwood became the 132nd former Hawk to make the majors a week ago when he got a call-up with the Chicago Cubs. Norwood has made three appearances for the Cubs, posting a serviceable 3.38 ERA. The only earned run he allowed cost him a loss last Wednesday in San Francisco. Norwood was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA for Boise in 2014. Just goes to show…you never know.
This Day In Sports…July 18, 1993, 25 years ago today:
Greg Norman wins only the second major of his career, and it would be the final one, as he captures the British Open championship at Royal St. George. Ironically, it was on this day in 1986 that Norman won his other major, taking the British Open at Turnberry. Despite his penchant for fading in the final rounds of majors during his career, including some classic meltdowns, Norman finished as the world’s No. 1 player in seven different seasons.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)