Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s top NFL Draft guru, thinks Eddie George lacks both durability or longevity. “It’s time Tennessee admitted that Eddie George is slowing,” Kiper stated last week. His solution? The Titans should use their 28th overall selection in the draft this Saturday to snag Penn State running back Larry Johnson. Last year, Johnson (6-feet-1-inches, 228 pounds) became only the ninth player in NCAA history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He also tallied four 200-yard games and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. And Johnson’s senior year was his first as a regular starter, so it’s not like Joe Paterno ragged out his best back chasing a national title. “He runs low to the ground, like Barry Sanders,” Kipper says. “He’s a great special teams performer and has super hands when catching the ball out of the backfield.” Whether you believe Kiper’s assessment of Eddie George or not, Johnson would be an offensive steal at No. 28. ♦ The last time the Tennessee Titans held the 28th overall selection they got plenty of productivity from their pick. Syracuse’s Keith Bulluck was drafted by the Titans four years ago, and has since evolved into a regular starter, and a Pro Bowler who racked up 106 tackles last year. ♦ The performance of the week belongs to Davis Love III, who pitched in from 66 feet on the final hole Sunday to force a playoff with Woody Austin. On the fourth playoff hole, playing No. 18 for the third time that day, Love hit the flagstick on one hop and sank a three foot birdie putt for his fifth MCI Heritage Classic title. Love’s comeback marked his third PGA Tour victory of the year and the 17th of his career. Rounds of 66, 69, 69 and 67 earned Love $810,000. After winning the tour’s unofficial fifth major (TPC at Sawgrass) a month ago, DLIII is second on the tour in par-4 birdies (66), fifth in scoring average (69.1), second in consecutive cuts made (24) and first in total earnings ($3,685,645). ♦ Around the town fact: The Vanderbilt men’s tennis team defeated the No. 1-seeded Florida Gators to earn their first SEC title school history. Junior Bobby Reynolds, the No. 2 ranked player in the country, leads an eighth-ranked Commodore ship now considered a favorite for the NCAA Tennis Championship beginning May 9. Last season, Vanderbilt’s record was a lowly 1-10 in conference play. Currently, the Commodores are 22-3. ♦ Stats of the week: Through Sunday, the Nashville Sounds’ starting pitching staff had yet to loose a game. Nelson Figueroa (0.53) and Ariel Prieto (0.61) hold the Pacific Coast League’s second- and third-best ERAs, and pitcher Brian Meadows ranks fifth with a slim 1.00 mark. The five-man rotation is also throwing heat. Ryan Vogelsong has logged 27 strikeouts and John Wasdin, who captured the Sounds’ first perfect game in history in his first start this year, has fanned 28. As a whole, the bullpen, paced by closer Mark Corey (he leads the PCL with five saves and has allowed just one hit in seven appearances), has managed a daunting 0.70 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched. The Sounds currently enjoy the best winning percentage at any level of professional baseball. ♦ S.T.E.P.S., Inc., Nashville’s premiere personal training center, is bulking up to fund St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. Each trainer has been on a seven-week regimen that equates more pounds lifted to more dollars donateda Trainer Lifting Competition, if you will. This “TLC” for St. Jude’s will climax this Saturday when the final testing of improved strength will be tallied and clients will fork over financial awards based on the cash-per-pound increase of their personal trainerswith all monies sent to St. Jude’s the following Monday. Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Male, Best Female, Most Improved Male, Most Improved Female, Best Legs, Best Chest and Best Back.