When you see a notes column, consider the possibility it’s because the writer didn’t have a single lucid thought that day.
Alrighty then. Here are some notes:
• Sometimes you can trust your eyes.
Last week, I had a column here about former Iowa Hawkeye football players in the NFL who were drafted too low. Anyone who saw Desmond King play his three years at Iowa knew what they were seeing. Namely, a premier defensive back.
Today, let us sing the praises of Allen Lazard. He had a fourth quarter that got America’s attention Monday night when he caught four passes for 65 yards, including a spectacular touchdown grab in the Packers’ 23-22 win over the Detroit Lions.
@AllenLazard with a 35-yard TD to make it a one-score game! #GoPackGo
: #DETvsGB on ESPN #MNF
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/kc6zw37CNI pic.twitter.com/qC9dr3nEgS
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2019
Lazard went undrafted in 2018 a few months after he completed his 241-catch 3,360-yard receiving career at Iowa State. Lacks explosiveness, his NFL.com draft profile said that year. Change of direction is labored and sluggish. Talented press corners will be a challenge to shake.
There were 10 such comments, the last being “Very little threat with the ball in his hands.”
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Tell that to the Lions. Tell it to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who praised Lazard to the hilt after Monday’s game.
Tell it to the Memphis Tigers, who saw Lazard catch 10 passes for 142 yards and a TD against them in the Liberty Bowl.
He made play after play for the Cyclones, including one of college football’s catches of the year in 2017 when he deflected a pass to himself in the air while covered tightly by an Oklahoma State defender in the end zone, made a one-hand catch, and gingerly kept both feet inbounds while falling backward.
Allen Lazard with unreal concentration. pic.twitter.com/IO2iunTv9L
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 11, 2017
• Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer is a redshirt freshman who will start at Iowa Saturday.
Last Saturday, Plummer became the third Boilermakers QB to pass for 400 yards in a game for coach Jeff Brohm, which is interesting since Brohm is in his third year there.
Plummer and prolific Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy both were 2018 high school graduates in Gilbert, Ariz., which struck me as one of those “Wow, crazy!” type of stories. Then I found out Gilbert, 27 miles southeast of Phoenix, has 250,000 people. I need to get out more.
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• Iowa is fifth nationally in total defense. It is fourth in the Big Ten in total defense. One could connect those dots and suggest the conference has really good defense. Minnesota and Northwestern have some excellent defenders. Indiana is 13th nationally in total defense. Indiana!
Pro Football Focus named its midseason All-America team Tuesday, and six players from the Big Ten were first-teamers on defense, including four defensive backs.
Associated Press put out its midseason All-America team Tuesday as well, and — I know, when and why did midseason All-America teams become a thing?
By the way, no Iowa or Iowa State players made either squad.
• The NBA is rarefied air for basketball players
Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy were on the media’s first-team All-Big Ten squad last March. Murphy got waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday. Happ is playing in Greece. He was first-team All-Big Ten three straight years.
James Palmer Jr., of Nebraska left school a year early to turn pro. The Big Ten coaches voted him first-team All-Big Ten in 2018. He got cut last week by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Nick Ward, who was so good at Michigan State, didn’t get a sniff by NBA teams after leaving MSU as an early entry. He joined a pro team in Israel last month and asked for his release a few weeks later.
• Try to make me care about the World Series.
The Washington Nationals? Who names their team after their league or conference? It’s not the Toronto Americans in baseball. Or the University of Colorado Pacifics. Or the Rutgers Big Tens.
That’s right. Rutgers is in the Big Ten.