Monday, August 31, 2015

Weighty Weight Data




Sorry for the delay, but here are all the new weights of the players and their corresponding gain or loss in parentheses. Some of the most interesting changes I have put in bold and I have some highlights in the comments below:


Brandon Blackshear 177 (-6)

Trevor Bell  178 (+3)

Cameron Dunn 209 (+10)

Chad Washington 259 (+7)

Alan Watson  176 (-2)

Cameron Nizialek  206 (+13)

Trevor McDonagh  207 (+3)

Toba Akinleye 254 (+24)


Toure Douglas 204 (+1)

Dylan Weldon 164 (-4)

Denzel Hill  196 (+4)

Anders Hill 214 (+6)

Nicholas Annabi  193 (+3)

Kyle Castner  203 (-12)

Ryan Suitt  164 (-16)

Jacob Young  185 (+5)

Colinn Early  174  (+7)

Daniel Hong  215 (+5)

Ben Kaplan  191 (-1)

Hank Trumbull  236 (+35)   

Scooter Hollis  175 (+3)

Matthew Cahal  198 (+9)

Jared Katz  200 (-2)

Brock Kenyon  199 (+4)

Cameron Roane  193 (+3)

Leander Cutler  215  (+13)

Kevin McCarthy  207 (+7)

Willie Peoples  199 (+9)

Lucas Faria  223 (+33)   

Tre Gabriel  151 (-6)

H.T. Minor  173 (-5)

Landon Baty  183  (+3)

Ryan Gilbert  176 (-4)

Cameron Molina  200 (+7)

Chris Schroer  209 (-6)

Tyler Holmes  174 (+4)

Gianmarco Rea  232 (+15)


Parker Tobia  225 (+10)

Christian Conway  205 (-10)

Joshua Foster  178 (+3)

Turner DeMuth  205 (+13)

John Hunton  243 (+12)

Travis Reim  193 (+1)

Ian Tyler  231 (+28)

Logan Waters  213 (+3)

Hagen Patterson  223 (+1)

Max Keefe  230 (+14)

Tyler Kwiatkowski 223 (+12)

Jackson Conway  235 (no change)

Sean White  228 (+3)

Nick Durham  254 (+17)

Mark Cieslak  237 (+14)

Clay Caruso  226 (+6)

Keith Brady  230 (+17)

Greg Washington  232 (+17)

Cal Falkenhayn  223 (-7)

Jason Vravick  227 (-3)

Charles Melka  251 (+21)

Justin Aimonetti  272 (+21)

Mike Hinton  224 (-3)

Tyler Schonewolf  260 (no change)

Markham Paukune  303 (+13)

Nathan Gibbs  288 (+8)

Reid Stables  282 (+13)

Patrick Eby  230 (-10)

Cole McDonough  307 (+17)  

Bewley Wales  300 (+12)

Michael McGrath  318 (+16)

David Donovan  237 (+19)

Patrick Denny  275 (+14)

Benjamin Robbins  298 (+10)

Liam Talty  245 (+5)

Connor Halm  280 (no change)

Billy Lawrence  296 (+21)

Marshall Markham  282 (+12)

JD Hurt  285 (+27)

Kendall Pace  297 (+24)

Peter Szymanski  268 (-12)

Brock Anglin  240 (-5)

Charlie Flores  293 (+10)

Isaiah Gross  183 (no change)

Marcus Briscoe  211 (+6)

Brandon Krcilek  172 (-13)

Chris Alleyne  185 (no change)

Matt Munsil  191 (-4)

Adam Armesto  223 (-17)

Luke Melsop  219 (-1)

Andrew Dobitsch  175 (-1)

Bailey Popeck  234 (+5)

Zach Dansby  240 (+20)  

Dominic Perkovic  259 (+23)

Matthew Panton  215 (-5)

Alexander Holme  265 (+50)

Connor Heeb  262 (+12)

Niko Padilla  294 (+6)

William Carson  276 (+6)

Lord Hyeamang  277 (+25)

Hunter Little  255 (+1)

Collin Breckenridge  271 (-15)

Parker Thome  200 (+8)

Noah Zgrablich  190 (no change)


Overview 

It's important to remember that not all weight gains and losses are by coaches' design, (orders), and not all the gains and losses mean the players were working hard over the summer.

But for the most part, these changes are indeed by design and I think generally positive after the previous coaching regime made a deliberate total mess of the players' weights for three years.

Offensive Line 

Every year, Columbia fans fret mostly over the weights of our often undersized offensive line. This year, the average weight of the 11 returning O-linemen is 293 pounds, up 14 pounds per player. Every veteran O-lineman gained weight. This is very good news.

Projected starters like Billy Lawrence and Kendall Pace each added more than 20 pounds each. Charlie Flores and Marshall Markham both added 10 or more each.

Defensive Line

Before you even talk about the weights for what most believe is the most talented unit on the team, you have to marvel at the potential depth. The D-line has 16 returning veterans and three freshman for a remarkable 19 players.

15 of those 16 returning D-linemen gained weight. The one exception was Collin Breckenridge who lost 15 pounds and I think there may be more to that story. The average weight gain for the veterans was 16 pounds per player. (Strip out the outlier Breckenridge's weight and the average gain is 18 pounds per veteran). The biggest gain or loss on the entire team was Alexander Holme's 50-pound gain as he made the move from linebacker to the D-line.

Really notable though was the big 25 pound gain by Lord Hyeamang, who you might have caught on one of the Instagram or Twitter videos the football program has been posting during training camp. You might have also noticed that Hyeamang doesn't have a bit of belly fat on him and huge arms. For a player who made a good impact as a frosh last year, you have to be excited by his bigger size and better weight lifting stats as well. I stand behind my prediction that Hyeamang has a great chance to be a breakout player this year.

And don't sleep on the guys we expect to have big years anyway: Niko Padilla and Toba Akinleye. Akinleye's 24 pound gain seems like a big warning bell for the rest of the Ivies. Padilla's added six pounds are all muscle or my name is Orson Welles.

I also think the coaches have decided that the strength of the D-line should be boosted as opposed to maybe reassigning some of the better athletes up front to other areas of the team where they might fill a talent gap. This was Head Coach Al Bagnoli's M.O. at Penn, where he often overstacked already strong units of the Quakers and tried to make them as dominant as possible as opposed to diluting the strength.

Linebackers

Don't overlook the big changes for the 10 returning linebackers. Each of them gained weight over the summer and the biggest gains seem to be coming from the most likely starters. On average, the weight gain for the returning vets was 12 pounds per player led by Ian Tyler at 28 pounds. Key players who I think are going to really start or contribute, like Gianmarco Rea, Max Keefe, Mark Cieslak, and Keith Brady all gained at least 14 pounds each.

This was a unit we all knew needed to get bigger and stronger and it appears it has.

Secondary

The average weight of the 11 returning defensive backs only increased by three pounds. But the average weight of the veteran secondary is 188 pounds with a lot of projected starters either at or knocking on that 200 pound level. If the d-backs can keep up with receivers at that weight, we could be in for a season of some heavier hitting from the secondary.

The Freshmen

A few of the freshmen at both ends of the weight scale should be noted.

Tre Gabriel was fast at 157 pounds, maybe he'll be a blur at his current weight of 151. Don't let his weight fool you though, he's all muscle.

If DT Cole McDonough's 17 pound weight gain is all about gaining strength and power, then he has a chance to be a very special player in this league.

The weight losses for QB Ryan Suitt and DE Mike Hinton lead me to believe some kind of position change may be in store for them. Both of them are super fast and could make more of an impact elsewhere. Suitt mike make a great WR and Hinton could excel more at LB. This is just my speculation.

I have to think Lucas Faria's weight gain is all about gaining some bulk for the college game.







Friday, August 28, 2015

#Fullpadsfriday




Some of the football staff is using the hashtag #fullpadsfriday to title today's practice which is indeed the first day in full pads for Columbia's 2015 training camp.

Of course the first hope is that none of the players gets injured now that the hitting is getting real. But we also hope whatever the coaches need to learn about the players gets learned right now so the best game planning can begin as soon as possible.

More Predictions

Lynchburg, VA-based journalist Chris Lang has just published a short Ivy League preview where he picks Harvard to win the title and correctly lists Al Bagnoli's move to Columbia as one of the most compelling stories of the year.

He also makes a good case that Harvard has the easiest schedule of any team in the Ivies. This is something that's happened a lot recently with the decline of some of the Crimson's traditional non-conference opponents and the scheduling of new opponents who are just plain weaker.

With a road game against the powerful Fordham Rams and another game against a very strong Wagner team loaded with FBS transfers, you could argue Columbia's overall schedule is much tougher than the defending two-time Ivy champion.

Illini Coach Canned

The University of Illinois just fired Head Coach Tim Beckman at least in part over allegations that he shamed injured players into playing anyway.

Hmm... where have I heard that before?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rocky Addresses the Lions




Since the team has been getting so many inspirational speeches lately, I thought I'd add one here that also serves as a nod to all the Philly and South Jersey natives on the new coaching staff. 

No more excuses and blaming others. This team has to prove it can come back from two brutal years of getting hit hard, get up, and start moving forward!

Craig Picks the Crimson



The man who has been covering the Ivy League for the general news media the longest, Craig Haley, is picking Harvard to win the Ivies followed by Dartmouth and Yale.

Haley is putting a wise amount of confidence in Harvard's O-line which appears to be the best in the league.

Unlike a number of pundits who think Columbia will climb out of the cellar, Haley puts the Lions back in last.

Respect has to be earned.


Herschel's Visit

Herschel Walker did more than just make an appearance at Lions training camp yesterday. He talked about fighting for respect, sometimes quite literally.

Obviously, training camp isn't about celebrity appearances but we seem to be enjoying an upgrade in that department from the days when the only visitors to our camp were Governor George Pataki.

A longer long at Walker's visit can be seen on the Columbia channel on the Ivy League Digital Network.


Fordham Update

There are 23 days before the Lions season opener at Fordham, but the Rams are just eight days from starting their season at Army.

We've learned a few new things about Fordham in the last few weeks, and not all of them are bad from a Columbia perspective:

-The Rams broke training camp Tuesday with an intrasquad scrimmage that did NOT feature their best player, RB Chase Edmonds. There was no explanation as to why he didn't play very much. But if Edmonds is hurt in any significant way the Rams are in serious trouble, so being cautious and keeping him healthy was probably the reason.

-The #1 starting QB is Kevin Anderson, a transfer from Marshall who was on the team last year and only saw very limited duty despite Fordham's need for a decent backup when Michael Nebrich was often hurt. When the Rams announced they were picking up another transfer this summer, Luke Medlock from Florida International, I thought there was a chance he was being brought in to start.

This all means that other than Edmonds, most of Fordham's offense remains a big mystery. But it's hard to believe it will be as good as the Rams O was in 2013 and 2014.

You can click on the highlight video to see the Fordham scrimmage summary.


Joey Falcone Update

Falcone wasn't being used very much for the Gulf Coast Yankees ever since he joined the team in late June. He was hit by a pitch in one of his first games and I can only guess he was injured. But that changed last week when he was re-inserted into the lineup as a regular starter on August 21st.

He immediately starting tearing the cover off the ball after that. In five games, he went 9-for-15 with an incredible 11 RBI including a homer. He was promoted to the Charleston Riverdogs last night and he went 1-4 with a single and an RBI in his debut.

Including tonight's game, the Riverdogs have 12 more games to play in their 2015 season.


You can follow Joey's daily progress here.