tarik black

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers helps Kansas senior Tarik Black generate NFL interest

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Kansas senior Tarik Black was a solid frontcourt role player for the Jayhawks last season, as the 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds on 69 percent shooting from the field in 13.5 minutes per game.

Now that he’s exhausted his college eligibility, Black will likely look over his professional basketball options but could the forward be better suited for a potential career in the NFL?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks that Black should give it a shot.

In an entertaining story from Yahoo‘s Eric Adelson, Rodgers met Black last January after the former NFL MVP attended a Jayhawks game after meeting Kansas head coach Bill Self in an airport.

It just so happens that Black’s favorite NFL team is the Green Bay Packers.

“Green Bay is my favorite team. (Black) told him, ‘Hey, I understand you’re hurt; we need you healthy. We need a championship.’ Then (Rodgers) says, ‘You should help me win it. Come play some tight end.’ So I say, ‘Give me a contract and make it happen.’ ”

Black thought the whole interchange was a joke.

Apparently Rodgers did not.

The Packers passer went to Self and said, “I want to throw balls at him and see what he can do.”

From there, Rodgers threw to Black and came away impressed with his football ability. The two exchanged phone numbers and Black texted Rodgers a month later to see if Aaron was serious about his interest in the forward’s potential football pursuits.

“Just wanted to see if you were serious,” Black wrote.

“I’m definitely interested,” Rodgers wrote back. “If there’s something I can do, let me know.”

Rodgers put Black in touch with a Green Bay Packers scout and the two spoke over the phone. Adelson also notes that three NFL teams have shown interest in Black through his agent Chad Wiestling, including one NBA team that called on behalf of an NFL team from the same city to get Black’s phone number.

Since former college basketball players like Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have successfully transitioned to NFL tight ends, it’s no surprise that Rodgers is looking for any kind of big red-zone target that he can find.

Could Black potentially play in the NFL? That’s hard to say. Black certainly has the size and strength to give it a shot, but at least he got to catch passes from his favorite team’s quarterback.

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.