Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell. I know who the Lakers can sign to replace DeMarcus Cousins. He is currently a high school coach at Carver High in the Los Angeles area. Used to play power forward for the Chicago Bulls until a knee injury ended his career. But he has been rehabbing and frequently plays one-on-one against member of his team and looks good. His name is Ken Reeves. You can find out more about him by clicking here.
You’'ve probably heard a lot lately about the NCAA transfer portal. Wat is it? It’s basically a database of every player, in every college sport, who has interest in transferring from their current school. Once a player’s name is in the portal, schools can begin to contact them, unless the player puts “do not contact” on the entry. Our Ryan Kartje takes a look at what impact the transfer portal has had on UCLA and USC.
“Tell the truth. As Norman Steele saw it, it was all his son, Chris, could do. Explain to the NCAA exactly what went down at Florida to necessitate his transfer to USC. Then, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
“You just don’t know what might happen,” Norman said. “You don’t know because it’s up to their judgment call. We felt we had a pretty strong case, but you just never know.”
“For athletes weathering the NCAA’s convoluted transfer and waiver processes, that crippling uncertainty is hardly uncommon.
“At USC, where freshman Bru McCoy remains in waiver limbo, and at UCLA, where transfer quarterback Colson Yankoff’s immediate eligibility has been blocked by his previous school, that process has been put under the microscope this offseason.
“The transfer portal, which went into effect last October, was intended to empower college athletes in revenue sports, replacing rules which required prospective transfers to receive permission before contacting other schools.
“But amid myriad changes necessitated by the portal and updated guidelines governing immediate eligibility waivers, the process remains frustratingly opaque and inconsistent for the college athletes at the center of it, while NCAA coaches move freely from job to job, wielding power over transfer decisions whenever it suits them.
“For Chris Steele, the highly touted cornerback prospect from Bellflower St. John Bosco High , his reasons for leaving Florida after one semester had nothing to do with football.
“Steele and his family were upset with the school’s handling of an issue with his roommate, quarterback Jalon Jones, who had been accused of sexual battery. Outside of that, his father says, the family had no problem with Florida.
“But that was a glaring situation,” Norman Steele said. So Steele entered the transfer portal, beginning a long and winding process that would bring him back to USC, where he’d first committed.”
The entire story is worth a read, which you can do by clicking here.
High School football
Times high school sports columnist Eric Sondheimer is counting down to the season by picking the top players at each position. Today, he moves on to tight end. Take it away, Eric.
Tight end Jake Overman, Servite
There’s a giant mirror in Jake Overman’s family living room. His father, mother and younger sister get to chuckle each time they see him engaging in an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like pose before dinner.
“My family laughs at me,” he said.
He comes down wearing sweats and no shirt.
“I’m a football player,” he said.
At 6 feet 4 and 235 pounds, the Anaheim Servite senior tight end has changed his body working countless hours in the weight room since coach Troy Thomas arrived when he was a sophomore.
“The first day coach Thomas came in, he said, ‘Trust the process.’ I’m really trusting him,” he said.
The signs of how much Overman has developed as a player are visible not only in the muscles being developed but in his movement while running routes.
“I’ve really changed my body type from someone with huge weight to more muscles,” he said. “I played rugby in the offseason and ran track. All these things are really helping me run after the catch and game speed.”
He caught 20 passes for 163 yards as a junior. He’s going to be a far better option this season with his increased strength and better agility. And he’s not shying away from blocking, either.
“If you check my film, the first play is a block putting somebody on their butt,” he said. “It’s something I take pride in.”
The tight end position remains one of the toughest to fill, because the player must have the versatility to take on big and small defensive players while contributing in many different ways. It’s even more challenging playing in the Trinity League, where many opponents are future college players.
“We’re going against the biggest dudes in the nation and also the best DBs in the nation,” Overman said. “You have to be versatile. You have to be physical at the point of the attack, making sure you’re driving your feet and playing with a little chip on your shoulder and making sure you’re nasty.”
Overman’s father, Gary, a Servite grad, watches his son participate in practices and marvels at his dedication.
“The best thing is his heart,” he said. “I wonder who his dad is.”
Overman began playing football at age 7 and was a left offensive tackle until becoming a tight end as a freshman. He continues to learn the position and understands that athleticism, physicality and toughness are key requirements.
He’s going to continue to monitor his progress in the mirror, chuckles or not.
“Now there’s a little bicep and pecs,” he said.
Top tight ends
Player, School | Ht. | Wt. | Yr. | Comment
Christian Moore, Huntington Beach |6-3 | 225 | Sr. | Kansas State commit is versatile receiver
Jake Muller, Capistrano Valley | 6-5 | 235 | Sr. | California commit had 14 receptions as a junior
Jake Overman, Servite | 6-4 | 235 | Sr. | Improved mobility makes him even better target
Brendan Pernecky, Loyola | 6-3 | 225 | Sr. | Ready to become a go-to receiver
Mark Redman, Corona del Mar | 6-6 | 230 | Sr. | Washington commit made 54 receptions
Mason West, La Habra | 6-4 | 240 | Sr. | Washington commit caught 22 passes
Aug. 14: Quarterback Bryce Young, Mater Dei
Today: Tight end Jake Overman, Servite
Sunday: Running back Anthony Spearman III, Notre Dame
Monday: Defensive lineman Jordan Berry, Narbonne
Tuesday: Linebacker Mister Williams, Oaks Christian
Wednesday: Defensive back Mason White, Birmingham
Thursday: Kicker Josh Bryan, Sierra Canyon
Odds and ends
Column: We’re all asking the wrong questions about the Jay-Z and NFL partnership.... Volleyball’s old dudes compete at the Manhattan Beach Open with an eye on the Olympics.... Dodgers’ A.J. Pollock continues to get kid-glove treatment because of sore groin.... Chargers safety Derwin James will miss several weeks because of foot injury.... Sparks fall to Sky for second consecutive loss.... Dodgers rally late with home runs to beat the Braves.... College football 2019: Which traditional power with a second-year coach will rise?.... Can Quip defy his ‘tweener’ status and win the Pacific Classic at Del Mar?... UCLA’s Otito Ogbonnia aspires to compete in the Olympics — and lead a fierce pass rush.... 9th Circuit upholds class-action lawsuit by minor league players against MLB.... Mike McGee, former USC athletic director, dies at 80.... Chauncey Billups joining Clippers broadcasts as television analyst.... Roger Federer suffers his quickest defeat since 2003.
Today’s local major sports schedule
All times Pacific
Dodgers at Atlanta, 4 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Chicago White Sox at Angels, 6 p.m., FSW, 830 AM
Seattle at Galaxy, 7 p.m., ESPN2
LAFC at Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. Youtube TV, KVMD, 710 AM, 980 AM
Born on this date
1941: Baseball player Boog Powell
1952: Tennis player Guillermo Vilas
1952: Race car driver Nelson Piquet
1957: Figure skater Robin Cousins
1963: Football coach Jon Gruden
1965: Golfer Dottie Pepper
1968: NFL player Ed McCaffrey
1969: NBA player Christian Laettner
1970: Tennis player Jim Courier
1971: Baseball player Jorge Posada
1977: Soccer player Thierry Henry
1983: Baseball player Dustin Pedroia
Died on this date
1920: Baseball player Ray Chapman, 29
1994: Boxer Jack Sharkey, 91
2007: Basketball player Eddie Griffin, 25
Christian Laettner hits “The Shot.” Watch it here.
That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me by clicking here. If you want to subscribe, click here.