Barkley’s challenge: keep stock


Some random thoughts while wondering if we’ll hit 70 degrees again before June …

n The ink wasn’t dry from this year’s NFL draft before speculation immediately turned to the class of 2018 and, with it, where Penn State running back Saquon Barkley fits in. Based on all the projections, Barkley will be a high first-round pick, which has raised questions on whether he’ll even play in the postseason should the Nittany Lions land in something less than a marquee bowl. Barkley opened up to Sports Illustrated and was non-committal, leaving the door ajar on his options. This seems clear: It’s hard to believe Barkley’s stock will be much higher than it is right now, which is not an easy status to maintain.

n For those who want their kids and their schools promoting multi-sport athletes, it was nice to learn that of this year’s NFL draftees, 88 percent played more than one sport in high school.

n The Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association’s East West All-Star Game Sunday at Mansion Park (2 p.m. kickoff) is a mere 38 years removed from the 1979 game, also at Mansion Park, that featured Dan Marino and Jeff Hostetler.

n Despite high profile players setting a trend this year in skipping lesser bowl games, college football is a pillar of stability compared with the revolving door that currently exists in in the transfer-filled world that is hurting college basketball, especially at the mid-to-low major level.

n What does it say about the sports world when the most sought after national interview is LaVar Ball?

n Based on one round at the Sylvan Hills Golf Course this year, it’s clear the back patios in the new housing development off — or alongside — the No. 6 fairway will have to include helmets.

n The Steelers’ over-under for the upcoming season is 10.5, tied with Seattle and behind only the Patriots’ 11.

n With an assist from Galen Bickel, a basketball tournament will be held Saturday, May 20 at the Eldorado Kiwanis, near the Miracle League field. The day will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the renaming of the courts in memory of Dick Richards, a longtime local broadcaster and sports enthusiast. Nice touch.

n Enjoying/enduring a day with the grandsons at the Curve Classic a couple Sundays ago led me to inadvertently leave a $20 on my seat at the ballpark. Sure enough, Hollidaysburg’s Rich Robinson, who had the misfortune of sitting at the end of our row, found it and insisted on sending it in the mail. Talk about a kind gesture.

n OK, some of you (other than Larry McAleer and J.D. Cavrich) still ask me about my dad’s Kentucky Derby pick, even though it’s now been 14 years since he nailed Funny Cide. So here goes: I’m happy to report David Rudel didn’t even have to be asked before he offered up, “Always Dreaming,” which really shouldn’t count (by his own rules) since it’s at 4-1 or 5-1 and the co-favorite. Then again, since my dad is committed to three naps per day, he couldn’t resist this choice. Good luck.

Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or nrudel@altoonamirror.com.


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