Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Front Five

Matt Cahal


The pay-site Scout.com says Brophy College Prep safety Matt Cahal has committed to Columbia and will forego an official visit to Brown next week.

Cahal is 6-0, 190 pounds and excels on special teams as well.

And check out his  highlight video below. It includes a somewhat unsettling opening that makes Cahal look like a robot... okay, I admit it's super cool!

Brophy Prep has become a real pipeline to Ivy football in recent years. Current Lion senior Seyi Adebayo is a graduate, as were Brandon "Moose" Veldman ‘10, and  Drew Hopkins ‘08.
Before Hopkins, you have to go all the way back to  Tony Tutrone ‘86 to find the previous, (and first-ever), Brophy product to come to CU.

So here is our list of 13 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. Kevin McCarthy, S 6-1 200 lbs. Hingham, HS Hingham. MA
9. Cameron Molina, RB/LB 5-10, 185 lbs. Tuscarora HS, Leesburg, VA
10.. Daren Napier DT 6-4 275 lbs. St. John's HS Houston, TX
11. Logan Scott QB 6-2 180 lbs. Chaminade HS West Hills, CA
12. Austin Stock, C 6-3 270 lbs. Solon HS Solon, OH

13. Mike Zunica, FB 6-1 215 lbs. St. Rita HS, Chicago, IL

Gerst to Pursue Redshirt

I can now report that oft-injured senior Nick Gerst will pursue the league's permission to take a 5th year for medical reasons.

But I'm not yet sure if that means Gerst will sit out THIS season entirely recovering from his hamstring surgery, or attempt to play two more full seasons.

On Second Thought...

Former Columbia assistant Chip Kelly apparently changed his mind about leaving Oregon and he is NOT taking the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That's too bad, because I was kind of hoping for every story about Kelly beginning with a line like:

"20 years ago, Chip Kelly was sharing an Upper Manhattan apartment while working as an assistant
coach with the Columbia University football team..."

Harvard Holes

With Tony Reno and some of the colleagues he poached going with him to Harvard, the Crimson already have a want ad out to fill the holes:

"Harvard: Harvard University Football, a Division 1 FCS school, is seeking two positions, an offensive line coach and a defensive line coach. These will be full-time 12 month positions. Responsibilities will include coaching and on the road recruiting. Applicants with experience in these areas is preferred. Interested applicants should email a letter of interest, resume, and references to: Head Coach, Tim Murphy at tmurphy@fas.harvard.edu. Information can also be faxed to 617-496-9343."

Will any former Columbia assistants apply? Perhaps Chris Nugai will since he worked under Tim Murphy at Harvard about 10 years ago.

Offensive Line

The one unit on the Columbia team I have yet to assess since the season ended is the offensive line... and yes, the reason is the O-line is always so hard to assess.

There are also some serious wildcards in effect. New Head Coach Pete Mangurian is a particular expert at the position after coaching it for most of his NFL career.

The other big wildcard is the huge degree of uncertainty that slams the unit now that two of the best offensive linemen in Columbia history, Jeff Adams and Bob Hauschildt, are graduating.

But there are still some very experienced players coming back for 2012, and last year's spate of injuries at this position has produced a few players who will be more prepared for this coming season than they otherwise would have been.

And there will be some good continuity here as O-line coach Ed Argast remains with the team.

The returnees with starting experience are seniors Scott Ward, Xander Frantz, and Eric Walker.

Fellow senior Alec Kosminskas also has a good amount of playing time and has patiently waited behind guys like Hauschildt for a better chance to shine.

Junior Jimmy Yukevich has started some games and fellow junior Joe Ghergurovich has impressed.

By the end of last season, lots of then-freshmen cracked the two-deep including Cary Parker, Ryan Thomas, and Chris Proctor, (but Proctor has now left the team).

I'd say the three players most likely to start this fall will be Ward, Yukevich and Kosminskas, with Frantz and Parker close behind.

And don't overlook Tom Callahan, a player some considered to be the top recruit of last year's freshmen class.

Speaking of top prospects, incoming freshman Austin Stock seems like he could be the pick of the class of 2016 so far. But there's no way of knowing now whether he'll be good enough to become that extremely rare freshman offensive lineman to actually get playing time with the varsity.

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Anonymous said...

Chip never accepted the offer and has no intention of leaving Oregon according to ESPN and others.

Anonymous said...

Jake,Aren't we still short 2 position coaches, special teams and linebackers? Any word on who will be coaching these positions?

Old Lion said...

Why did Proctor leave the team?

RedTiger61 said...

Matt Cahill is 190 lbs OT 170 lbs

lionrock said...


Another standout high school football player has committed to the Lions, namely Bowling Green, Kentucky quarterback,Scooter Hollins.

here's the link:


Congratulations to Scooter Hollins and his family on his becoming a Columbia Lion!

RedTiger61 said...

ESPN reports that Trevor McDonagh, a QB from St. Louis University City HS, has committed to Columbia .... he is 6'2"/ 195 lb pocket passer ... he was rated as a 2 Star player .... as a junior, he threw for over 2400 yds and 28 TD's ....

His junior highlights are at: