Some leftovers from today's meet-and-greet with the Mean Green in Denton:
_ Three area players, linebacker Steve Warren (Burleson), defensive tackle Draylen Ross (Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis) and Sam Owusu-Heming (Arlington Seguin) might give the S-T more to write about this season. All three played for former coach Darrell Dickey in 2006 and then took redshirt seasons under Todd Dodge in 2007. Warren and Ross both outgrew their old positions (safety and tight end, respectively) and had to learn new ones. Owusu-Heming and Ross also both regained academic eligibility. All three are running second-team at their spots and expect to contribute heavily. Welcome back.
_ At 6-foot-4 and nearly 200 pounds, transfer Jeremy Knott is the biggest kicker I've ever seen. Said he ran middle-distance track and played soccer in high school. He kicked in football but never played another position after eighth grade. Hard to believe.
_ Defensive tackle Isaac Thomas (Mansfield Summit) has considerable scars on one leg from that scary brush in Feburary with a blood clot. His lower leg swelled up to the size of his thigh (that's somethin' when you weight 324), as the muscle compartments filled up with blood and wouldn't empty. Thomas said he was hospitalized twice, once to drain the blood and again when thinned blood seeped through his stitches. It's funny to hear Thomas, now 299 pounds and fully recovered, talk about how new 378-pound OL Nate Jenkins makes him look small. By the way, Thomas wore a bathrobe to media day to keep it real...and funny.
_ Walk-on free safety Greg Garden, who transferred in the spring of 2007 from Navy, has quit and won't return. Garden had fallen behind newcomer Kylee Hill at their position.
_ UNT freshman defensive back Jeremy Phillips is the brother of TCU senior linebacker Jason Phillips, an NFL draft hopeful in 2009. Four Phillips brothers (no relation to me) were all coached by their father, Jim, at Waller High School. Jim has sinced moved to Greenville, where he'll be closer to Jeremy and Jason this college season. At least this year, Jeremy and Jason will have a cool shared experience.
_ Todd Dodge didn't promise X number of victories, but he implored Denton residents, UNT alums outside the area and students to just give his team a try this season. New students, he pointed out, have a chance to "grow up" with his team, full of young players who expect to be around in three years. UNT was 2-10 last year, but the assembled talent in two recruiting classes should at least make locals curious.
_ UNT junior Jonathan Stewart (Arlington Seguin) has moved from defensive tackle to end, where he'll add sorely-needed depth. Marquis Sykes and Ryan Davenport are running first-team at DE.
_ Center Kelvin Drake must have something. Drake hobbled through last year's last five games with a shredded ankle, had surgery and was recently cleared for physical activity. Three days into fall camp, it looks as if he never lost a step. Despite the setback, Sun Belt coaches knew enough to put Drake on the preseason all-conference first team. New last year to a no-huddle offense, Drake is calling protections like he's always been there, Todd Dodge said.
All for now, more later.