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Morning links: Van Noy a breakout star candidate; Remember when the Big 12 was going to expand?; Must-see baseball throw

New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.
New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.
Winslow Townson, Associated Press

Kevin Duffy of Mass Live ranked the breakout star candidates for the New England Patriots heading into the 2017 season, and former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy made the list at No. 3.

Speaking of Van Noy, Mark Humphrey wrote, "In terms of athleticism and versatility, Van Noy is the best fit next to Hightower. He isn't Jamie Collins, but he can do similar things. He'll surely be a part of the team's third-down packages in 2017, and could find early down work against some opponents (this also depends on how much the Patriots want to play Dont'a Hightower and David Harris together)."

Former Utah defensive back Eric Rowe also made the list at No. 7.

Porter Gustin ranked on the most freakish athletes

Chase Goodbread of College Football 24/7 and NFL.com looked at the 17 most freakish athletes in college football in 2017, and former Salem Hills High star, Porter Gustin made the list at No. 8.

Speaking of what makes Gustin a "freakish athlete," Goodbread wrote, "Gustin is a massive presence in the USC linebacking corps at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, and can push plenty of iron in the weight room. He can squat 575 pounds, bench press 475, and rip off 35 bench-press reps at 225 pounds. USC has clocked him at a 4.5 40-yard dash with a 35-inch vertical jump, and he brings the worth ethic necessary to improve even more. Gustin is known to get into the Trojans athletic facility as early as 5 a.m., and puts in extra weight room time on his own."

Other links

And finally...Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is off to a monster start to the 2017 campaign. He is hitting .294 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs. He showed this week that his game isn't all about offense as he flashed the leather and a ridiculous arm with this amazing stop and throw from the seat of his pants to get the out at first.