6 Former UNR Players Headed to the NFL, 4 Drafted Breaks School Record

The NFL Draft, as we expected, went Andrew Luck #1 to the Colts and RG3 #2 to the Washington Redskins. If there wasn’t enough news surrounding theses players before the draft wait for the season to start.

These two quarterbacks will have to forever live in the shadow of each other. Luck seems to be the better prepared QB  to make the transition to the NFL however, you can’t deny the pure talent and raw ability of RG3 who could be the quarterback of the future, but enough about these two guys.

I am here today to acknowledge the continued success of the University of Nevada, Reno athletic program and their ability to continually recruit and shape players in NFL pros.

The University of Nevada, Reno broke a school record over the weekend having four players selected in this year’s NFL Draft, while having another two sign as free agents. Nevada continues to build the quality of their football program with Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault leading the way. Ault is 1 of 2 active coaches who are in the hall of fame and Ault is credited as the creator of the “Pistol Offense” that has spread throughout college football in recent years.

Nevada has produced NFL talent such as WR Nate Burleson (Detroit Lions), TE Virgil Green (Denver Broncos), and QB Colin Kaepernick. The San Francisco 49ers traded up in last year’s draft to land the former Nevada QB. He is also expected to have the opportunity to take over the face of the franchise in upcoming years. That’s a pretty BIG deal!

This was another great year for Nevada in the NFL draft. Although Nevada didn’t have a player come off the board until James-Michael Johnson LB in the fourth round,  Nevada still broke a school record by having four players taken in this year’s draft and had another two sign with teams through free agency. You never know what hidden gems you might find in the later rounds. Tom Brady was drafted in sixth round with the 199th overall pick and look how that turned out.

Here is the complete list of all the former Nevada players picked up this year by the NFL:

  • James-Michael Johnson LB – Round 4 – Cleveland Browns

  • Brandon Marshall LB – Round 5 Pick 142 – Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Isaiah Frey CB – Round 6 Pick 184 – Chicago Bears

  • Rishard Mathews WR- Round 7 Pick 227 – Miami Dolphins

Free Agent Signings:

  • Brett Roy DT- New York Jets

  • Kaelin Burnett – Oakland Raiders

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Reno Aces Opening Day, Great Fun for Everyone

The Reno Aces celebrate their 2011 Pacific North Division title as they kick off opening day tonight at6:35 pmagainst the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The Aces look to continue to build on the success they experienced last season. The Ace’s games are typically a lot of fun for anyone who can attend. They have a couple great places near by to grab food and drinks with friends or family. Like any typical sporting event, drinks are going to cost you, but I did experience vendors that had drinks for around $4 at last year’s games. The fairly new stadium provides for a great atmosphere with a lot of entertainment during the seventh inning stretch for the kids.

One of the major battles tonight will be off the field and involve the natural elements. Locals know what a roller coaster ride the weather inRenocan be and tonight should be no different. Almost two weeks into spring we are still seeing snowflakes falling from the sky, however, the main concern will be the frigid temperatures which should be in the 30’s. Temperature should be warming up later in the week.

General Admission tickets start between $7-9 tickets with the most expensive tickets being behind home plate only costing $30-32. Tickets are fairly cheap and you really can’t get a bad seat at the stadium making the entire experience enjoyable, if you are able to withstand the cold. You can reach the box office at (775) 334-7000.

The Aces start the season on an 8 game home stance, so if you can’t get out to the game tonight there will be plenty of opportunities in the upcoming week. Go out and support your local ball club.

 

Fans Back the Pack, But Not the Bighorns? How To Drive in Fans.

On March 17, 2012 I attended my first Reno Bighorns Developmental League game which I was excited for. This was my first professional basketball and that’s one thing I don’t think people realize. These are professional athletes waiting for their shot to make it, like former Bighorn standout Jeremy Lin. The Bighorns are on the same playing level as the Reno Aces and it seems as though much more of the community attends those games than the Bighorns.

I went on St. Patricks day and the team was giving out 1500 limited edition Jeremy Lin jerseys, which was the main reason why I went to the game. I know you can’t do this all the time but thought the idea was great!

Maybe fans don’t go because they think they are bad, but the Bighorns have had success making it to the post season in each of the last two seasons and advancing to the second round last season. They also have former Nevada Wolf Pack player Mo Charlo and two NBA-D All Stars in Blake Ahearn and Andre Emmett. Emmett had 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the All-Star game. So, the excitement and talent is there and they even have a nice stadium, but where are the fans? As I watched the game I tried to notice things that could make the game that much more entertaining.

Here are a few things I liked and others I thought could be improved:

  • Can I get some advertising! People want attend these events but if you don’t know when they are it is kind of hard to go. Facebook isn’t enough.
  • Amp up the dance team no offense, but they routine was lack luster at best. A good dance team is always great effective entertainment for fans.
  • I did think the mascot  was very funny and got all the kids involved.
  • I notice a lot, and I mean a lot of empty courtside seats in which a set were given to a winner of some raffle. I think there should be more of this. If no one is sitting in them why not fill them. It will only get fans coming back.
  • I would also think about something like a “Terrible Towel” concept to get fans feeling like they are part of the organization.

I enjoyed my first Reno Bighorns game and plan to attend many more in the future. I hope fans realize how fun it is to have something like this in their town. What are your ideas about the Reno Bighorns?