Random thoughts while wondering how good Mario Manningham would look in a Cleveland Browns uniform:
LOOKING AHEAD: Manningham and the New York Giants have another game to play this season, but not long after that comes decision time. The former Warren G. Harding High School star and University of Michigan standout's four-year contract runs out after this season.
Manningham will be an unrestricted free agent and is sure to draw plenty of interest on the open market, despite not having the kind of regular season he would have liked. Manningham, who dealt with a concussion and knee injury, caught just 39 passes for 523 yards and four touchdowns in 12 regular-season games.
Those numbers were down from a career-best 60 receptions for 944 yards and nine touchdowns in 2010.
But any concerns about Manningham's health and effectiveness should have been answered in the playoffs. He caught a touchdown pass in each of the Giants three playoff games.
Manningham is a talent. What could he do in an offense with more opportunities? The Giants spread the ball around to Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Manningham and tight end Jake Ballard. In Cleveland, for example, Manningham would instantly become the No. 1 option in the passing game.
He'd look good in an orange helmet. With Manningham, Greg Little and perhaps Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon in the draft, the Browns' receivers could go from lame to impressive very quickly.
NORTH-SOUTH: Four area high school football players are on the North roster for the annual Ohio North-South Classic, set for 4 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at Ohio Stadium.
Fitch running back Will Mahone, Ursuline linebacker and running back Jesse Curry, Western Reserve quarterback Jeff Clegg and Boardman running back Devin Campbell will suit up for the North, which will be coached by Liberty Center's Rex Lingruen. Western Reserve coach Andy Hake will assist Lingruen.
RIVALS COME TOGETHER: John F. Kennedy and Howland no longer meet on the football field, but the schools' boys basketball teams will play Saturday night on the Tigers' home court.
Howland coach Bill Bogan said the game will be part of a Hoops for Healing event, with proceeds from a 50-50 raffle and any donations collected going to cancer charity organizations.
PLAY4KAY: When the Mineral Ridge girls basketball team hosts East Palestine on Thursday, the Rams also will be participating in the program's third annual Play4Kay event, which benefits the Women's Basketball Coaches Association-Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Yow, the former North Carolina State women's coach, died of breast cancer in 2009. Play4Kay events raise money for women's cancer research. Mineral Ridge has raised more than $6,000 in its first two events, according to Mary Riffee, who serves as the chairperson of the school's Play4Kay committee.