You know, of course, that at least five of our stalwarts are country boys from the parts of California nobody knows about. Logan admits to having rodeoed. After nearly a month of visiting far-flung rural corners of the gorgeous Golden State, i've just returned from an evening at the week-long state finals of the California High Schools Rodeo Association, in Bishop. Top three in each event advance to nationals, in Wyoming. Lassoing, felling, and then tying up calves seems analogous to playing either side of the line. Bareback bronc busting ... and bulldogging (galloping after a steer, jumping off your galloping horse, and wrestling the beast to the ground) ... are also indicators of being able to play football. The (interim) total points leader up to tonight was a burly young man who, from the bleachers, has the size and build of Mankins. (But i wasn't paying attention to his name.) One of the competitors, Justin McCloud, was the only freshman on his varsity football team. Another was the MVP of his football team, Shasta Lake High. Redoubtable Eric Gilman was wrestling his steer on even terms ... until he caught a horn in his ear. EMTs, silent grandstand, stretcher board, ambulance of course. Hope it's not as bad as that sounds. But Eric was wearing a cowboy hat ... and even Rodney, Eugene, or Asante testing your helmet is quite as unpleasant as a steer's horn up alongside the head. Watch for one of these fellows on draft weekend about 2010. I'll bet i wasn't the only Patriots scout in the stands.