Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decker-Ikegwuonu: A revisionist perspective

Before getting into the BCS mess that may or may not be resolved later today, I want to touch on a comment left on the blog last night from "Tom."

Decker "appeared" to punch him in the groin. He did not actually do it. Ike lost his jock trying to cover Decker and had to leave the game to go find it.

To refresh your turkey-soaked memory, in Wisconsin's win over Minnesota two weeks ago Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker punched Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu in the groin area. The story I referenced did use the word "appeared," and while I can't find any clip of it happening on YouTube, did it actually happen?

As fate would have it, Jim Polzin talked with Ike and Travis Beckum this week for a story about exploring their NFL draft options, and Ike had this to say about the incident:

Ikegwuonu admitted he lost his focus after being punched in the groin by Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker during the second quarter of UW's regular-season finale two weeks ago at the Metrodome.

"That's my fault,'' said Ikegwuonu, who used the words "cheap shot'' and "bush league'' to describe Decker's actions. "I didn't see it coming. It kind of took me out of my game. I was more thinking about getting him back than playing my technique and doing things like that, and obviously it showed. I've just got to let those things go by and just forget about them."

Ikegwuonu, who left the field for one play after the punch, said he didn't know what precipitated Decker's actions.

"Maybe his coach told him to do it, I don't know,'' Ikegwuonu said. "When I look at the way the game went, that's the only thing I can think of because it was really early in the game. I probably had covered him maybe a handful of plays before that. I don't even think I touched him before that. That was really surprising."

Maybe his coach told him to do it? Now, it's no secret I'm not Tim Brewster's biggest fan, but I have a hard time alleging a head coach of instructing one of his players to punch another player in the scrotum. We all know how much that hurts, right?

But as for Tom's "appeared" defense (must be a lawyer): after seeing him lie on the ground in agony, and reading his words, can you still deny it happened?

For another look at it, read the Journal Sentinel's Badger Blog.

-If you didn't click on the first link above, you should, it's a quick read but touches on the juniors' thoughts going into a crucial decision making time. What do other people think about about these guys' draft prospects?

For Beckum, I think he's a wonderful athlete and player. However, at present, he's probably too small to be a tight end and a little bit too slow to play wide receiver in the NFL, although I don't have the stopwatch figures to back that up. If you can get open, you can get open, though, and he'll be a hell of an H-back when he gets to the league. However, do H-backs ever get drafted before the third round?

For Ike, it's been well-documented that he has the size/speed combination to succeed as an NFL corner, but had an inconsistent season. There's also his run-in with the law in DeKalb, we'll see what happens there. Never spoken with him, but he seems like a thoughtful, articulate young man. My guess is that if you average the league's opinion of him, he's a third round pick right now, but that a couple teams might consider him first round material, and it only takes one to make it happen.

As said before, if they both come back we are stacked next year.