Tom Sorensen

Short takes: Notre Dame in NCAA; Lamar Jackson in NFL; Malcolm Butler in Charlotte?

Notre Dame stumbled this season without injured star Bonzie Colson, right. Going into the ACC men’s basketball tournament, the Fighting Irish were 6-9 when he didn’t play, 12-4 when he did.
Notre Dame stumbled this season without injured star Bonzie Colson, right. Going into the ACC men’s basketball tournament, the Fighting Irish were 6-9 when he didn’t play, 12-4 when he did. AP

Be interesting to see what the NCAA selection committee does with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish stumbled this season without injured star Bonzie Colson. Going into the ACC men’s basketball tournament, they were 6-9 when he didn’t play, 12-4 when he did.

In a five-point loss to Virginia, Colson scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Some teams struggle to score 24 points against Virginia. This is a good team. ...

▪  So why is Lamar Jackson a receiver? Jackson proved at Louisville he’s a quarterback. He’s a fast quarterback, he’s an athletic quarterback, he is a scrambling quarterback who can do to defenders what Charlotte Hornets’ guard Kemba Walker does to them. You’ll see defenders commit to a tackle not where Jackson is but where he was.

Last season, we heard what Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson couldn’t do. Until he got hurt, he showed the NFL all that he could do.

Jackson is not as good as Watson, but he is a quarterback. He’s 6-3 and 200 pounds, and can throw deep. He will release the ball with a flick of his wrist, a seemingly effortless throw, and still hit his target.

Talk is insistent that the NFL will convert him to a wide receiver. But Jackson knows who he is. The league will find out, too. …

▪  Here’s what we know about New England Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler – he won’t play for New England next season. They benched him in the Super Bowl. It was as if he were grounded.

He’s 5-11 and 190 pounds, and at 28, the same age as Cam Newton, he’s in his prime. Butler is a shutdown cornerback who would look brilliant in Carolina Panther colors. …

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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