Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two more Mavericks get pro tryout

Add Kelvin Rodgers and Adrian Battles to the growing list of Minnesota State football players who will get tryouts with professional teams.
Rodgers and Battles will attend the Minnesota Vikings' rookie camp, which runs Friday through Sunday at Winter Park.
Rodgers, a cornerback, is more known for his return skills, having scored on seven punt or kickoff returns in his Mavericks' career. His speed and explosiveness could catch the eye of a professional team.
Battles, a tackle, started 43 of 46 career games at Minnesota State. The 310-pounder was consistent throughout his days at Minnesota State, which could be something that interests an NFL team.
Saty tuned for a story in the print edition later this week or weekend.
Defensive tackle Junior Aumavae, who played just one season at Minnesota State after transferring from Western Washington, was signed as a priority free agent by the Dallas Cowboys shortly after the conclusion of Saturday's NFL Draft and will report to rookie camp Wednesday. A priority free agent means he's more likely to get invited to training camp later this summer.
There's been no news on defensive end Randy Earl, who also could get invited to an NFL rookie camp.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Former Mavericks DT signed by Cowboys

Former Minnesota State defensive tackle Junior Aumavae has signed a free-agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
Watching the NFL Draft with his family at their Alaska home, Aumavae said he took a call from Cowboys, who were considering using their seventh-round draft choice on him, but they took another defensive tackle, which discouraged the former Mavericks player.
Aumavae played in 11 games last season and started nine, making 11 tackles with 14 assists with a half-sack and forced fumble.
Former Minnesota State cornerback Kelvin Rodgers and defensive end Randy Earl had also been told they might be drafted but weren't. Both could sign free-agent deals this week.
For more, see Sunday's print edition.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Teachout ready to take the field at MSU

Talked with Minnesota State freshman quarterback Ray Teachout today, and the former Mankato West standout is getting excited for the upcoming football season.
Last fall, Teachout was redshirted, trying to get stronger while learning the playbook and opposing defenses. It appears he's going to end the spring-practice period as the primary backup to senior Steve Pachan, though there will be plays put in the offense to take advantage of Teachout's athleticism.
You might see Teachout lining up at receiver or on defense or as a punt returner. Coach Todd Hoffner said that Teachout's skills are special and need to be utilized.
You can get a look at Teachout when the Mavericks host their annual spring game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Blakeslee Stadium. The event is free and open to the public.
For more on Teachout, grab Sunday's print edition.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Closing in on NFL draft day

The expanded, three-day NFL draft begins Thursday, and about three hours or more after St. Louis makes its first choice, the Vikings will be on the clock.
It seems to make the most sense that the Vikings will use that No. 30 pick to select a defensive back, perhaps cornerback Kyle Wilson of Boise State or safety Taylor Mays of USC.
But the prediction here is that Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty will be the choice.
The closer we get to draft day, the more speculation you hear about the Vikings taking a quarterback. Sam Bradford of Oklahoma will be gone, possibly No. 1, and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame is also likely to be chosen in the top 29 picks.
That leaves Florida's Tim Tebow and Texas' Colt McCoy as the next two quarterbacks to go, and neither should be taken in the first round.
The Vikings are a team that needs to win now and prepare for the future in other ways. You don't take projects in the first round, and Tebow and McCoy both need work on their throwing motions.
Say what you want about Tarvaris Jackson, but he's more prepared to play in the NFL next season than any of the rookies.
An offensive or defensive lineman would be an easy sell to the fan base, but you know some NFL organization is going to try to prove that he is smarter than everyone else by choosing Tebow or McCoy in the first round.
That would be a classic Denny Green move.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Recruiting tidbits from the area

Minnesota State took in a couple of transfers Friday, one each for the men's and women's basketball teams.
The men added A.J. Wilson, a 6-foot-6 transfer from Murray State. Wilson played his high-school ball at St. Bernard's and Concordia Academy in the Twin Cities, then spent two seasons at Northeastern (Colo.) Junior College, where he put up pretty good numbers.
Last season, Wilson played sparingly at Murray State, though he didn't get in during either of the Racers' two NCAA tournament games. He'll have only one season at Minnesota State, where coach Matt Margenthaler expects Wilson to add rebounding and post offense.
Women's coach Pam Gohl is bringing in point guard Kathleen Reynolds, who played last season at Northern State. Reynolds will have to sit out next season because of transfer rules.
Reynolds was a backup at Northern State, playing in only 16 games and averaging 3.1 points last season.
Mankato West senior Preston Brunz announced that he will go to Kirkwood Community College at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's the same school that his older brother Bryce attended from 2007-09; Bryce eventually earned a scholarship to Central Missouri, a top-flight Division II program.
Preston said that his familiarity with the program was a big factor in his decision, and he hopes to copy hos brother's success.
For more on these stories, see Saturday's print edition. There's bound to be more recruiting news in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Basketball signing day is Wednesday

Wednesday is the first day of the spring signing period for men's and women's basketball, but don't expect much excitement around Taylor Center.
The men's team will add shooting guard Anthony Brant of Vermilion Community College. He verbally commited to the Mavericks in February.
Brant could fill the role of shooter, which the team lacked in the postseason. He made 113 of 264 3-pointers (42.8 percent) after making a school-record 123 3-pointers as a freshman. He averaged 20.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.3 steals last season, earning the praise of Vermilion coach Paul McDonald.
In the fall, the Mavericks signed guard Alex Hanks of St. Cloud Tech.
There were reports of prospective players on campus last weekend, with more in the next couple of weeks, so you can only imagine that those are a combination of high-school and transfer kids. The biggest hole on next year's roster is center, and if you want a good one of those, you almost always have to get them with transfers.
The women's team signed four players in the fall so there aren't many positions left on the roster.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Former Scarlets return for softball

Former Mankato West softball players Ashley Goettl and Alyssa Black will be back in Mankato on Sunday, playing with Wisconsin-River Falls against Bethany Lutheran in a nonconference doubleheader at the Bethany field, beginning at 1 p.m..
Goettl is off to a good start, batting .464 as the Falcons' primary designated hitter. Black, who also played on the Wisconsin-River Falls women's hockey team, has struggled with the transition, batting only .077 while rotating games at third base.
Goettl and Black were members of some pretty good teams at West so it's no surprise that they're getting playing time as freshmen. For more on the two former Scarlets, pick up Monday's print edition.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Margenthaler mentioned for UW-Green Bay job

Last week, Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Rob Demovsky blogged that Minnesota State coach Matt Margenthaler might be a candidate for the men's basketball job at Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Margenthaler said that he was surprised when Demovsky called to see if he was interested, and he was told that coaches in that area had brought up his name. It doesn't hurt that Margenthaler's dad, Jack, was a well-known coach in the Midwest.
Margenthaler, who was at the Final Four last weekend with his family, said that he was never a candidate for that job, and Demovsky is reporting this week that Wisconsin-Green Bay has narrowed its search to seven candidates, five of which are Division I coaches or assistants and two are from the area.
Margenthaler said he's spending his time working on next season's roster, not looking for other jobs.