Source: Hurricanes out of running for Bryce Brown; plus Wade Band-Aid sweeps nation, Dolphin No. 1 pick revealed & more
Blog exclusive: UM no longer a player in Bryce Brown soap opera: The Kansas running back who is the nation's No. 1 prep football recruit has eliminated the University of Miami from contention barring a dramatic change of mind, a source familiar with the decision process told us this (Thursday) morning. The source, who is close to the family, said Oregon and now hometown Kansas State look like the finalists, although Brown (pictured) will visit LSU in a few days prior to announcing his decision. A UM source confirmed what I'd heard, saying, "We're out of it." Miami had grown tired of waiting on Brown's decision but had not, contrary to reports, rescinded its offer. Brown is a sizable loss to what looks otherwise like an excellent recruiting class, although the loss is mitigated by UM having recruited three highly recruited backs earlier this month. [Note: Am aware the Brown family is denying this report. I stand by it].
"Wade Band-Aid" sweeps nation: It started out simply as a stylish way for Dwyane Wade to cover a few stitches under his left eye. But now the wound has healed and the Heat star continues to wear the "Band-Wade" as more of a fashion accoutrement. Now the decoration seems to be catching on and spreading to all walks of life.
Dolphins' No.1 draft pick revealed!: Latest AOL.com mock draft has wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (pictured) as the No. 25 overall pick by Miami, by way of Butch Davis' North Carolina. It's as good a guess as any for a late February, pending whatever Miami might do in free agency such as sign Laveranues Coles or maybe make a bigger play for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Nicks caught 68 balls for 1,222 yards (18-yard average) and 12 TDs as a junior last season. Click here for a YouTube video of some Nicks acrobatics. Less-than-ideal height (6-1) makes his fall to Miami's drafting neighborhood possible. Other than top-10-lock Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech and probably Missouri's Jeremy Maclin, Miami figures to have its choice of 1R-mentioned wideouts, including not only Nicks but Gator Percy Harvin, Ohio State's Brian Robiskie and Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Dolphins re-sign LB Channing Crowder: It's important, and somewhat surprising. Not as important as when they re-signed OT Vernon Carey. And not as important as when they re-sign S Yeremiah Bell (if they do*). But important. Carey/Crowder re-upping is an early indication that guys like the direction, and like the leadership of Parcells/Sparano. *-Re-signing Bell became less likely today when the club signed free agent Gibril Wilson. Good signing. Can play both safety positions, is in his prime, and has been pretty productive.
Tiger returns to save golf: Caught some of Tiger Woods' match-play return and didn't detect much rust from the eight-month layoff. To the rest of y'all on the PGA Tour: Vacation's over, boys!
'Office Linebacker' body-slams Sarah Palin: This is funny on its own, and even funnier if you remember the Terry Tate/Office Linebacker TV commercials. Click here.
Daddy Pudge: Saw free-agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez watching his son play ball for Chaminade-Madonna Tuesday. Pudge would love to sign with the Marlins, who could use him, but the money isn't right yet. Chaminade, by the way, lost to South Plantation, 1-0, on Kevin Troonin's 2-hit gem and Cody Phelps' homer. (I announce South's home baseball games; thus the plug).
Drunkest states: Montana is the worst state for drunk driving based on DUI fatalities per capita, according to Forbes, followed by South Carolina and Mississippi. Surprised Florida was not in the top 10, despite Jim Leyritz.
Let's play Jeopardy!: Answer: Fabolous, whose tour bus was impounded after it was found to contain 500 pounds of marijuana. Question: Who is Michael Phelps' favorite rapper?
Harris most-admired poll: The latest Harris Poll on America's most-admired people is topped in order by Barack Obama, Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, followed immediately by Miami Herald sports columnist Greg Cote.
Puerto Rico belatedly joins war on terror: Click here for the shocking headline.
[Still can't get enough Tagliabue-to-Dolphins speculation and Fredi Gonzalez poll? Check the post right below this one].