Friday, January 6, 2012

Got Him!

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                                              Nice Grab!

Fab Fifth Commit

We have snaggedone of those very elusive  defensive tackle recruits that are so hard to grab in the Ivy League.

6-4, 275 pound defensive tackle Daren Napier has committed to Columbia.

Napier comes from St. John's High school in Houston and appears to be the first ever documented Lion commit from that school.

Here's Napier's 2010 highlight video below:

That brings the list of known commits to five:

1. Andrew Dobitsch, WR 5-11 180 Northern Valley, NJ
2. Michael Gerst, RB 5-10 190 Bergen Catholic, NJ
3. Daren Napier DT 6-4 275 lbs. St. John's HS Houston, TX
4. Logan Scott QB 6-2 180 Chaminade West Hills, CA
5. Austin Stock, C 6-3 270 Solon, OH

This list will start to grow very fast in the coming weeks...

Family Connection

One of the high school seniors offered a spot in the recruiting class is Florida's Max Keefe, a 6-2 safety from Choctawhatchee High School. Max has also been offered by Princeton.

Hopefully that name and that school sound familiar to you because Max is the younger brother of current Lion WR John Keefe, who will be a sophomore this fall.

I consider Max Keefe's recruitment to be a very important litmus test for the new Mangurian regime. Obviously, it was the Norries Wilson staff that recruited John and made the first overtures to Max. Max's
decision now will tell us if the coaching change is helping us win.

Until we learn the answer, please enjoy the video below of Max delivering a stunning hit!

Yale's Real Search

Frankly, I think Yale's athletic department is filled with a lot of knuckleheads. And the stories about Yale President Richard Levin being hostile to at least football are true.

One of them goes like this:

Several years ago, the plans were in place to install a large "jumbotron" video board at the Yale Bowl, but they were nixed at the last minute by Levin who said: "I will not have my athletes portrayed as a Colosus above the other students."

(That quote sounds a lot like the words of Cassius in Julius Caesar. Maybe someone should have told Levin how Cassius ends up in that play).

Anyway... they're not the sharpest sticks in the Ivy athletic drawer up in New Haven. BUT, the Yale search for a new coach seems to be a lot more genuine than the one we just finished conducting on
Morningside Heights.

Once again, the stacked nature of our coaching search is definitely no fault of Pete Mangurian's. And I still say he is an excellent choice as head coach.

BUT, there never really was a "national search" for a new head coach at Columbia and what Yale is doing... even under a tighter time limit... is a more honest process.

Bitter Loss

Speaking of Yale, Jim Fuller's Portal 31 Blog says the Elis have just lost prized recruit linebacker Sabastian Little to the hated Harvard Crimson of all teams, possibly because of the coaching mess in New Haven.

Occupying a Clue: Occuppy Wall Street Class Canceled!

It looks like Columbia undergrads won't have the option after all to take a class that basically requires them to join the Occupy Wall Street protests downtown.

The course offering has disappeared  from the departmental website. And in a classic case of administrative
doublespeak, a CU spokesman criticizes the news media for making a premature story out of the class even when it was the department's own official course listing that created the story in the first place!

Well, at least our current Columbia student body is getting a good lesson in real life institutional dishonesty.

Anti-Athlete Rant

Bruce Wood's "Big Green Alert" blog contains what I am going to call an Incendiary quote from an editorial board piece in the Daily Dartmouth:

"We fully acknowledge and appreciate that recruited athletes
contribute significantly to the richness and diversity of the
Dartmouth community. Support for athletic programs should remain a
priority for the administration. However, fostering academic success
should be our primary goal, and the admissions office should seek
foremost to ensure that every incoming student has strong academic
credentials. . . . The preservation of comparatively low academic
standards for recruited athletes — combined with increasingly talented
non-athletes — only exacerbates the gap between these students and
their peers."

The above piece of garbage is sadly the prevailing mindset among all too many students in every one of the eight Ivies.

A great deal of the work I have done as a Columbia football blogger has been dedicated to refuting that nonsense, so I won't pick it apart again now.

But I will add a new thought about why this opinion is becoming more and more popular and openly stated on Ivy campuses.

First, the competition to get into Ivy schools is getting more intense than ever. Despite the economic downturn, acceptance rates continue to shrink and getting in to any Ivy is really starting to resemble
winning the lottery as far as the odds go.

That breeds a heightened sense of accomplishment for the students who get accepted through the regular admissions process without athletics or race-based affirmative action considerations.

In other words, the rich and upper middle class non-athlete white kids start to think of themselves as gods.

There's just one problem: they begin to see their Ivy acceptance as the greatest achievement they will ever attain in their entire lives.

And yet, the tough economy means they still might not get a decent job after graduation.

And so the scapegoating begins. Who can our priviliged children in school today blame for the suddenly harsher world these demigods face after graduation?

Why the athletes of course!

You see, focusing the blame on minorities wouldn't go over too well in the campus paper. So pointing the finger at athletes is a politically correct way to attack the innocent.

This is an ugly trend that I fear most Ivy administrators and tenured faculty members are encouraging rather than discouraging right now.

There was once a time when Dartmouth attracted not only the best athletes, but non-recruited athletes who were mostly attracted to the campus in Hanover because they wanted to run, ski, and continue their
devotion to fitness along with academics.

Today, almost every Ivy school is filled with students who are there simply because that's the "best" school they could get into. The distinctive culture at each of the eight schools is morphing into one amorphous blob that resembles the online common application,

I would say that Columbia's unique location in New York City has lessened the effects of that on our campus just a bit... but not enough.

No one in their right mind should be applying to Columbia and Dartmouth simultaneously... could there be two campuses and schools that are more unlike each other??? And yet it happens all the time.

Does the NH Primary Affect Dartmouth Recruiting???

Crazy question I know... but it's the weekend!

So here's my logic:

Every four years the nation's news media camps out in New Hampshire right in the middle of the coldest winter months to cover the New Hampshire primary.

For A LOT of Americans, and high school social studies class members, that's the image of New Hampshire that remains in their minds.

So, could it be argued that all that cold weather video discourages recruits for Dartmouth?

OR could you say all the attention on New Hampshire makes the state seem a lot less remote... at least conceptually... and that HELPS recruiting?


lionrock said...

Daren Napier is an outstanding prospect. In fact, all of the first five known commitments are outstanding prospects. We have one three-star and two two-stars in the first five. As for Keefe, he would be a nice pick-up for the Lions, but I doubt his

lionrock said...

Jake, part of my comment seems to have gone astray. Keefe would be a nice pick-up for Columbia, but his recruitment by itself cannot reasonably serve as a measurement of anything more. I would think that the high quality of the first five known recruits is more indicative of what is happening. And I certainly like what I see.