Odds and ends
A few story lines to watch this season:
Great story by Avery Holton of the Austin American-Statesman on 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior quarterback Nyk McKissic out of Round Rock (Texas) Stony Point and how he's dealt with the tragic and sudden loss of his father on Christmas Day in 2006.
I had the opportunity to meet Nyk and his mother Ramona at the Nike Camp and EA SPORTS Elite 11 QB regional in Eugene, Ore., this past June, and you won't find many nicer or more respectful kids than him. Mrs. McKissic said recruiting is coming along slowly for Nyk; he has caught the eye of Ivy League coaches (Nyk carries a 4.4 GPA!) as well as those at Ohio University. Whichever school lands this well-rounded young man will clearly be getting a talent both on and off the field, a leader and someone who can deal with adversity. And Mrs. McKissic should be a nominee for Mother of the Year with the job she's done helping Nyk not only deal with the loss of his father, but continue to excel in the classroom and on the field.
• The spring will be an exciting time on ESPNRISE.com, as we bring you coverage of our elite events, including the Nike Camps, Nike Combines and Elite 11 QB camp. Leading up to those events in the spring, we'll look back at some notable past participants who continue to make headlines in college and pro football.
"Quizz," a then-rising junior running back, was already known in Texas high school football circles after a sophomore season in 2005 that included 2,325 yards on the ground and 37 total touchdowns. That day he measured in at 5-6, 180 and ran a 4.60 40-yard dash and a solid 4.25 in the shuttle run, showcasing the same jets and quickness that frustrated USC's defense all night Thursday.
So far, the brothers have been stars in Happy Valley. On Thursday, the pair accounted for all four Beavers touchdowns. Quizz has assumed the starting running back role as a true freshman, rumbling for 449 yards and six scores through the first four games, while James was a breakout player last fall as a true freshman, accounting for 794 total yards and four scores, and he has already caught three TD passes this fall. Not too shabby for a pair of 5-6 brothers from Houston who first emerged a few springs back in College Station and are now doing it big in Corvallis, Oregon.