Wednesday, January 4, 2012

RB's and DL's

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Pete Should Be Smiling Broader

So how good do you feel today if you're Pete Mangurian?

The man who got rid of him in Tampa Bay last year, head coach Raheem Morris, is now gone himself. And don't think for a minute that Morris will get a new job as good as the one Mangurian has right now.

That's because the Bucs were downright awful this past season and the coaching moves Morris made in the offseason sure look like a big reason why.

Mangurian had been helming the offensive line for Tampa Bay for a few years and had crafted a well-respected unit. That unit went to Hell this season without him.

                                      Bill Polian

Polian Out

Speaking of guys getting fired... former Columbia assistant coach, (okay, it was eons ago when he coached here), Bill Polian is out as GM of the Indianapolis Colts. Maybe he can help us with recruiting until he and his son Chris find a new gig. My impression from the Columbia players from Indiana over the years is that Polian was quite friendly to the CU cause.

Yale's Woes

Jim Fuller's account of what's going on at Yale matches what many of us suspected all along: the Elis are really at square zero in this coaching search and it is affecting recruting.

In my experience, recruiting issues like this usually lead potential players to drop the Ivies from their radar entirely. I think the reason for that is that the #1 allure of the Ivies to potential recruits is not just the education... that's too simplistic. What the ancient eight schools exude is a reputation of excellence from the top down. And when you have an ugly firing like the Tom Williams' firing, (our jettisoning of Norries Wilson seems VERY clean in comparison, no?), it tears the illusion down.

The Lions have already grabbed Mike Gerst away from Yale's clutches, but I wouldn't bet on too many others coming our way or going to Princeton like the example Fuller noted in his piece.

But it wouldn't hurt to try!

The Key Needs

Other than Gerst, no running backs or defensive linemen appear on our list of reported incoming freshmen.

As we established many times on the old blog, the toughest players to recruit in the Ivies are running backs and defensive linemen. The available talent at those positions is just very thin.

Here's a look at what Columbia has coming back at those two positions:


Marcorus Garrett, Jr.

Great overall talent but spent most of 2011 hampered by a high ankle sprain. Also, many of us have noticed that he never really runs to his right. But he figures to be a serious candidate for the top running job this fall.

Nick Gerst, Sr.

Just how effective Gerst the Elder will be when he comes back from a new treatment for his pulled hamstring is one of the biggest questions for 2012. But if he's healthy, he should see lots of playing time.

Griffin Lowry, Jr.

Did a pretty nice job in emergency running duty when Gerst and Garrett went down. But has he earned a real shot at starting in 2012?

Alec Fisher, So.

Fisher was most impressive returning kicks in emergency duty, but only had a few carries from scrimmage as a back last season. He could surprise.

Rounding out the running backs on the roster are junior Bruce Grant and senior Malcom Carson. Right now, I don't expect too much playing time for either of them at the varsity level this fall.


Unlike the running backs, this unit IS hit by graduation with the loss of Chris Groth and Ben Popeck, but there

Seyi Adebayo, Sr.

A tremendous athlete who has fought with inconsistency ever since he broke in with the varsity his sophomore year. The maturity that comes with a player's senior season could really make a difference for Seyi. Either way, I think new defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa will take one look at Mr. Adebayo and pencil him in the starting lineup.

Nick Melka, Jr.

You probably missed the fact that Nick played in all 10 games, and had 20 tackles with four TFL's last season. Melka did all of that as a sophomore. Expect big things from him the next two years.

Wells Childress, Jr.

Much heralded transfer started to make an impact at the end of the year when he finally got some consistent playing time, (what were the coaches waiting for?). People will be watching his offseason conditioning progress closely to see if he can get the strength to be a force for 10 full games.

Shad Sommers, Sr.

Played in eight games and had three sacks last season... not a bad average. Shad has the right size and skills to make a splash this coming season.

Chad Washington, So.

Chad became that rare freshman to get playing time as a freshman lineman and he showed promise. He should be in the mix.

Will Patterson, Sr.

Quick defensive end who burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2009 and has been relatively quiet ever since. He could be moved to the linebacker position.

The other D-linemen coming back with playing experience are sophomores Eric Stock and Hunter Little and senior Greg Lee. I expect to see more of Stock than the other two in the fall.

I don't expect to see Owen Fraser back for a 5th year... at least as of now. Lions fans will have to be content with the great freshman season he gave us in 2008 and think about what might have been had he not been badly injured in the 2009 season opener at Fordham.

Occupy a Clue

There's a new course being offered being offered at Columbia this coming semester that will require students to hang out with and perhaps even join with the Occupy Wall Street protesters!

Somehow I don't think any students on the football roster will be signing up for that class even though attendance is 40% of the final grade!


Unknown said...

My guess is Shad will become the corner stone of the DL. Childress showed some talent when he was in at DE. It will be interesting to see if that continues.

I think Griffin did real well at the end of the season and has the potential of being the much needed power back.

Spring game should be really interesting this year.

#1 Lion said...

We need to take as many Yalie guys as possible!

lionrock said...

Lowry was very impressive in the last few games of the season and, in my opinion, was instrumental in the huge improvement in the Lions' running game in those contests. He is a powerful runner with good acceleration and cutting ability. He is also big enough to wear out his oppponents. My understanding is that Lowry suffered an ACL in the opening game of his senior year of high school which kept him off the field most of the last two years. All the more reason to be impressed by his comeback at the end of last season. I see him as one of our key players next year.

Unknown said...

Just to make sure no one is confused Griffin Lowery is the back I was talking about in my earlier post.