Friday, January 27, 2012

Exclusive: Keefe Commits!

Brotherly Love

There will noe be TWO sets of brothers playing together on the Columbia football team this fall, because I can exclusively report that Max Keefe, brother of rising sophomore John Keefe, committed to the Lions Thursday. (The Gerst brothers will be the other set).

Max is a 6-2, 195 pound safety from Choctawatchee HS in Florida.

He chose CU over Princeton, and the fact that he's joining his brother in the program is a nice sign for the new coaching staff.

You can see a bunch of Max's senior season highlights here.

So here is our list of 17 publicly known incoming freshmen for the class of 2016:

1. Oluwatoba "Toba" Akinleye DE 6-1, 215 lbs. Fort Hamilton HS, Brooklyn. NY
2. Jacob Ardron LB 6-1, 230 lbs. Diamond Ranch HS, Pomona, CA
3. Matt Cahal DB 6-0, 190 lbs. Brophy College Prep, Phoenix, AZ
4.Chris Cicilioni G/DE 6-2, 225 lbs. Valley View HS, Scranton, PA
5. Mark Cieslak LB 5-11, 235 lbs. St. Joseph's HS, Montvale, NJ
6. Andrew Dobitsch WR 5-11 180 lbs. Northern Valley HS Tappan, NJ
7. Michael Gerst RB 5-10 190 lbs. Bergen Catholic Bergen County, NJ

8. Scooter Hollis QB 6-1 175 lbs. Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green, KY
9. Max Keefe S 6-2 195 lbs. Choctawatchee HS, Fort Walton, FL

10 Kevin McCarthy, S 6-1 200 lbs. Hingham, HS Hingham. MA
11. Trevor McDonagh, QB 6-3 200 lbs. St. Louis University HS, St. Louis, MO

12. Cameron Molina, RB/LB 5-10, 185 lbs. Tuscarora HS, Leesburg, VA
13.. Daren Napier DT 6-4 275 lbs. St. John's HS Houston, TX
14. Logan Scott QB 6-2 180 lbs. Chaminade HS West Hills, CA
15. Austin Stock, C 6-3 270 lbs. Solon HS Solon, OH

16. Hank Trumbull QB 6-4 210 lbs. Chadwick School Palos Verdes, CA
17. Mike Zunica, FB 6-1 215 lbs. St. Rita HS, Chicago, IL

Another Shocker at Yale

If you thought the Rhodes Scholar issues at Yale were over, think again.

It turns out the whole drama over whether Patrick Witt would play in the Harvard game or attend his Rhodes interview in NYC was all a LIE. His candidacy was already suspended well before gametime!

That's because he had been accused of sexual assault by another Yale student.

This is just the kind of incident that threatens Ivy football on all eight campuses, so I'm certainly not delighting in this story. But it confirms what I and many other long-time followers of Ivy football felt when Witt first entered the league. He just didn't seem right. The editorials trashing his felloe students in the Yale Daily News, the stories that he fell asleep in team meetings, the aggressive attitude he had off the field. It was all weird and out of character.

Of course, he's still innocent until proven guilty... but whoa!

Running on Empty
The good news is that Princeton's Chuck Dibilio is out of the hospital and back home after his stunning stroke last week.

It still feels a little crass to ask whether there's any possibility Dibilio will play again, at least this fall. But as a parent, I can't believe he'll be back on the field this fall especially when they're just not sure what caused the stroke in the first place.

And that means yet another Ivy 1,000-yard rusher is off the grid.

And that's just another sign of the times for the Ivies.

Welcome back to the Ivy League Coach Pete Mangurian... it's changed a bit since you left in 2000!

First off, tuition room and board is almost twice what it cost back then... but there is also expanded financial aid at schools like Harvard and Princeton that you need to be able to compete with in the recruiting arena.

On the field, you might have noticed that just about every Ivy team has opted to go with a starting QB who also runs the ball quite a few times per game.

That's because they HAVE to.

Ivy running games have suffered from a dearth of top quality running backs for years now.

Mangurian's last season in the Ivies saw three Ivy RB's reach the 1,000 yard mark, last year there were two... but one was Dibilio and the other was the graduating Nick Schwieger from Dartmouth.

So it looks like the top returning rusher for 2012 in the Ivies will be Treavor Scales who had 816 yards for the 2011 season.

You might think that the lack of go-to/25 carries per game runners would lead to a lot more passing... but since every football team needs some kind of running attack, most Ivy teams are opting to go
with running QB's to keep defenses honest. The one team that's bucking that trend is Cornell, who simply let QB Jeff Mathews throw and throw and throw all day and it actually worked to set up a strong finish to 2011 season.

If Mangurian wants to run an NFL-style offense with a mix of running and passing, without an option game and without much of a running QB, he may find it tough to do with the personnel he and most of his peers
are working with.

Catching UP

With all the hype over the latest commits to Columbia football, it's time to give some of the other incoming freshmen a little more recognition.

Probably the most overlooked incoming frosh on my part has been Michael Gerst, who deserves attention especially since he'll be coming out of his older brother Nick Gerst's shadow at Columbia.

So, check out the speed on Michael Gerst in his senior year highlight video below:

Schiano Leaving College Game

Reports say that Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano is going to take the top job in Tampa Bay that former Columbia assistant coach Chip Kelly turned down.

I'm disappointed to hear this because I thought Schiano not only revived Rutgers football, but helped to revive college football throughout the Northeast.

Now the question is whether some of the top Ivy coaches may get offers to replace Schiano at Rutgers.

We'll keep our eyes open, because I still have this strong feeling that all the coaching shakeups in the Ivies are not completely over for this year.

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Old Lion said...

All too often uninformed bystanders give much too much credit to the pull of HYP in the recruiting wars. One thing among many that I like about Pete Mangurian is that he couldn't care less about what those schools want. He is looking for players who want to be at Columbia. From my vantage point he is doing a great job with this class. It is time that we recognize the superb job that was done by the people involved in hiring him.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the Old Lion. Pete Mangurian is doing a great job with this class. However, before I get too excited, I want to see what Pete does with the remaining 13-14 slots, but so far, the class is outstanding. Congratulations to all the recruits and their families on becoming Columbia Lions!

Anonymous said...

What a mess at Yale! Sounds like Yale swept everything under the cover from day one including Witt's antics at the University of Nebraska. Heads seem certain to roll right up to the President. If President Levin was not informed by his subordinates of what was happening, then maybe he can survive, but the subordinates will be terminated. Also, there is probably much more to the story including additional allegations and legal claims against Yale.

lionrock said...

Max Keefe looks to me like a very good defensive back with excellent size and speed. Great ballhawking instincts also, as evidenced by his pic on film. Our three incoming defensive backs all look solid.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. We need a few road graders on the OL, inter alia.

Old Lion said...

Watch that Michael Gerst video! Apparently he is 5'11" and 195, and runs a 4.39 40.

Anonymous said...

Particularly in a small school environment where everybody knows a little too much about everybody else things like the Witt situation at Yale can come about. We obviously do not know the details of the situation but there are a lot of things that could lead to something minor or even non-existent getting blown way out of proportion. However all I can really say is we should be thankful for the integrity and character of our boys in blue.