It was already a great week. Then I got to watch puppies play football Sunday afternoon, which I found infinitely more pleasing than watching Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl.
Puppy Bowl XIII put a smile on my face, but that wasn’t the only thing to do so over the past seven days.
This made me laugh
Did you hear the one about David Beaty out-recruiting Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh and Bob Stoops? There’s no punch line.
It’s really happening.
As of Sunday morning, Beaty’s Kansas Jayhawks had the ninth-best recruiting class for 2018 according to 247Sports. No, not ninth-best in the Big 12.
Ninth-best in the country.
On Saturday, the same day KU’s basketball team lost its first home game in three years, Beaty won over a trio of four-star recruits from Louisiana — wide receivers Devonta Jason and Ja’Marr Chase and cornerback Corione Harris.
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Still think Beaty’s crowning achievement as KU coach is beating Texas? I argue it’s hiring Tony Hull away from New Orleans’ Warren Easton High to coach running backs. And, apparently, poach talent from Louisiana.
I realize we’re five days into the new recruiting cycle. Kansas likely won’t be ranked anywhere near Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and OU on National Signing Day ’18. Heck, these kids could flip to LSU by next Sunday.
But when you consider the Big 12 lagged way behind the other Power 5 leagues on NSD ’17, and assuming you have fallen for Beaty’s earnest charm as I have, this becomes a bulletin worth sharing.
As Beaty tweeted late Saturday night after his Louisiana bonanza: “#NeatDeal.”
This made me think
It is becoming apparent that Lon Kruger needs Trae Young, the McDonald’s All-American guard from Norman North, about as badly as Jeff Capel needed Blake Griffin 10 years ago. Kruger doesn’t have an ace-in-the-hole older brother like Capel once had with Taylor Griffin.
But I believe Young commits to OU on Feb. 16, his decision day, just the same.
I observed him at the OU-OSU game in Norman Jan. 30. He circled around the Lloyd Noble Center floor to spend a few minutes with ESPN commentator Fran Fraschilla. He stopped for a bro hug with OU football assistant Cale Gundy.
He sort of looked like he owned the place, something you might expect from a kid who was a ball boy at Griffin’s home games.
Could you stick out in public like that if you were about to break the collective heart of an entire basketball program? Could you hang out long after another home game, as Young did earlier this season, and kick back outside the Sooners’ locker room with the fellas if you didn’t have designs on dressing in that locker room yourself?
Yeah, I know. I’m a sportswriter, not a behavioral psychologist. But still...
I’ll bet Trae Young stays home Feb. 16.
This made me cry
Norman High School senior Lainy Fredrickson did something beautiful at the end of the Lady Tigers’ basketball game against Norman North last Friday night. Thanks to social media, she has literally touched the nation. If she hasn’t touched you, get to Google immediately and watch her hit that shot. Watch her reaction and then pan around the gym for everyone else’s and just try to keep your lips from quivering.
My daughter, Gretchen, has known Lainy since the two were at Alcott Middle School together. Gretchen used to accompany Alcott students to the Special Olympics in Stillwater, and Lainy competed. She was a big fan of Lainy’s then and continued to be when the two of them were at Norman High together.
When I asked Gretchen about Lainy in light of her sudden fame, she said: “She’s not a stranger to anybody. Every single person who passes her in the hallway says, ‘Hey, Lainy!’ and they always get a ‘Hi!’ back. The way she was in that video wasn’t just because she was playing basketball. That’s how Lainy is all the time. She has so much positive energy.”
It’s reassuring when beautiful things happen. It’s reassuring to know there are beautiful people around to make them so.