If Mel Kiper’s early prediction for the 2016 NFL Draft is accurate, Jalen Ramsey could become one of the highest players ever selected from the Midstate.
Kiper listed the former Brentwood Academy star, who is now a junior safety at Florida State, No. 3 on his first Big Board.
Ramsey is listed behind No. 1 Joey Bosa, a defensive end from Ohio State, and No. 2 Laremy Tunsil, an offensive tackle from Ole Miss.
“A does-it-all secondary talent who has already started 28 college games heading into his junior season,” Kiper wrote. “Ramsey would have been the top safety taken in the 2015 draft had he been allowed to enter. He has length, range and exceptional instincts to make plays all over the field.”
It’s been 34 years since a player from the Midstate was among the top five taken in the draft.
Maplewood star E.J. Junior, who went on to play linebacker at Alabama, was the No. 5 player selected in 1981 by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Before that, Montgomery Bell Academy quarterback Bill Wade, who played at Vanderbilt, was the No. 1 pick in the 1952 draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
Some others who weren’t from the Midstate but played at local colleges include: Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, selected No. 1 overall in 1998 by the Colts; Tennessee State’s Ed “Too Tall” Jones, taken No. 1 in 1974 by the Cowboys; TSU’s Claude Humphrey, taken No. 3 in 1968 by the Falcons; and Tennessee’s Reggie White, selected No. 4 in 1984 by the Eagles.
Trevecca runner nominated for entrepreneur award
Trevecca junior track and cross country athlete Josh Durham from Franklin has been nominated for Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Nashville NEXT Awards.
Durham, who is also student body vice president and a business management major, qualified because of his most recent business endeavor, a company called Weighting Comforts.
The company sells weighted products, which help people improve their sleep patterns and reduce anxiety.
Durham’s mother, Donna, is a therapist and his business partner.
“We got started when my mom was running a camp called Camp Nurture at Trevecca,” Durham said. “She saw how beneficial weighted blankets were (in helping) children to calm down.”
Durham was intrigued and teamed up with his mother to create and sell weighted blankets.
As a first step for their business, they posted about the blanket and sold them on Facebook.
The business grew and later received favorable reviews in The Tennessean and Forbes.com.
Winners of the Nashville NEXT Awards will be announced Nov. 19 at the Renaissance Hotel.
For more information about Weighting Comforts, visit weightingcomforts.com.
School for the Blind sprinter off to world championships
Tennessee School for the Blind senior Tim Tanner is ranked second nationally in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash and is preparing for the 2015 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, which are Oct. 21-31 in Doha, Qatar.
Tanner’s first event will be the 100-meter dash on Oct. 22. If he qualifies, he will compete in the semifinals later that day.
Motlow basketball players commit to four-year schools
A couple of Motlow State men’s basketball players committed to four-year schools this past week.
Jaylen Barford, a guard from Jackson, Tenn., is headed to Arkansas, and Stephaun Adams, a guard from the Virgin Islands, to Tennessee Tech.
Barford, a junior-college All-American last season who averaged 20.6 points and 7.2 rebounds, had multiple scholarship offers.
Adams will be a freshman at Motlow this season.
Gentry Center gets new basketball floor
A new court recently was installed at TSU’s Gentry Center.
The wood is much lighter than the floor that was there previously.
“We really like the way it looks,” athletics director Teresa Phillips said. “It turned out great.”
UT-Florida earned highest local TV ratings in six years
The Sept. 26 Tennessee-Florida football game on CBS earned a 20.7 local television rating, according to WTVF-5 programming and research director Mark Binda.
The game, which Florida came back to win 28-27, was the highest-rated Saturday afternoon regular-season college game to air on broadcast television in Nashville since 2009.
Ex-Hunters Lane player ends up at Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Former Hunters Lane safety Scottie Peace is now at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Peace was a sophomore at UAB when the football program was shut down at the end of the 2014 season.
He was allowed to transfer and play immediately without losing a year of eligibility.
Coaches vs. Cancer lunch at Lipscomb Oct. 29
Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings, Belmont’s Rick Byrd, Middle Tennessee State’s Kermit Davis, Tennessee State’s Dana Ford and Austin Peay’s Dave Loos will join Lipscomb’s Casey Alexander for the Coaches vs. Cancer Luncheon on Oct. 29 at Allen Arena.
The keynote speaker will be former Vanderbilt standout and current Christ Presbyterian Academy coach Drew Maddux.
Registration and a silent auction begins at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $45 per person; table sponsorships are available.
Belmont golf team sets single-round record
The Belmont men’s golf team set a program record Monday with a team single-round score of 15-under 269 at the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Dolenc Invitational.
Senior Ashton Van Horne, who qualified for the 2015 NCAA Championship and the 2015 U.S. Amateur, shot a 5-under par 66. Daniel Booker added a 67, while Noah Trenkler, from Hendersonville, and Scott Barnhart, son of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart, each shot 68.
Van Horne, who finished second in the tournament, was named OVC golfer of the week for the second time this season.
Majors, Dye coming to town for legends event
Former Tennessee football coach John Majors and former Auburn coach Pat Dye will be in town to share their many stories and tales at “An Evening with Legends of the SEC” on Oct. 21 at Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse.
The event, which begins with dinner at 6 p.m., is open to the public.
George Plaster and Willy Daunic of 102.5-FM’s “Sports Night” will serve as hosts.
Tickets are $200. Call 615-983-6805 or visit starsnashville.org for tickets or more information.
Proceeds go to Stars Student Assistance Program.
Lipscomb luncheon coming up
I’ll be the special guest at Lipscomb’s Jim Wood Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall of Fame Room at Allen Arena.
I’ll answer questions from longtime Voice of the Bisons Jonathan Seamon, who served as Lipscomb’s athletics director from 1991-2000.
Lunch is $10. For reservations or more information, contact Paul Nance at 615-966-5967 or [email protected]
Sewanee golf course earns another award
For the second time in three years, the Course at Sewanee has been recognized by Golf Magazine.
The nine-hole course was named to the magazine’s top three Golfers’ Choice Awards.
After the course was renovated in 2013, the magazine gave the nine-hole course its renovation of the year award.
Golf.com asked its readers to make a case for a “hidden gem” of a course they have discovered while traveling.
The other two courses were Furry Creek in British Columbia and Presidio in San Francisco.
Renovations on the longtime on-campus course began in 2011 by world-renowned golf course architect Gil Hanse, who earned Golf Magazine’s architect of the year award in 2009.
John Stanford Fish Fry coming up at MTSU
The 33rd annual John Stanford Grand Slam Fish Fry at Middle Tennessee State is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Livestock Center on campus.
Stanford was a longtime baseball coach and athletics director at MTSU who died in 2013.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Blue Raiders baseball program.
For tickets or more information, call 615-898-2450.
New youth golf tournament for all skill levels
The inaugural Nashville Jr. Open Golf Tournament is set for Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Kings Creek Club in Spring Hill.
The tournament, which is part of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, is for boys and girls ages 11-18 and designed for all skill levels.
“Since we are an open tour, we encourage any level of player to participate, from high 70s to 100,” HJGT spokesman Trevor Lucking said.
The five divisions are: boys 15-18, 13-14 and 11-12 along with girls 15-18 and 11-14.
To register or for more information, visit hjgt.org.
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 and on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
SPORTS ON NASHVILLE TV
The top five ratings for local sporting events on television for Sept. 21-27.
1. NFL: Titans-Colts, 25.8 rating
2. College football: Tennessee-Florida, 20.7 rating
3. NFL: Broncos-Lions, 16.2 rating
4. NFL: Bears-Seahawks, 15.0 rating
5. NFL: Redskins-Giants, 10.8 rating
Each rating point is equal to 9,902 Nashville homes. Local ratings for the SEC Network are not available.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 programming & research director