Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The New Lions

Columbia Football has officially released the names of the 25 freshmen and transfers who will join the team for 2015.

There are a couple of new names on the list that we did not 100% know about, but no one I named on my last unofficial update on March 31 dropped off.

I'll have a light more to say about all these newcomers over the long summer, but there are a couple of incoming players who stand out, based on where the Ivy League is right now.

A big QB who can throw, run, and break tackles is a gem in any conference, but after what we saw from Bill Ragone at Penn for so many years, we know that kind of QB in the Ivies can win championships, (and Ragone really wasn't a very consistent passer). Florida transfer Skyler Mornhinweg has the tools to be that kind of a QB, but he's going to have to show he has the heart and desire to really lead this team. He also presents tremendous upside, because if he plays well the news media will definitely give Columbia some great positive recruiting attention because of his family football dad.

Another QB who we know can run is Ryan Suitt, who the previous coaching staff was excited about when he committed. Kyle Castner is the pure passing specialist who could thrive over time if Columbia improves its offensive line. Danny Hong from powerhouse HS Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas also seems very motivated to play.

There are seven QB's on the roster right now, but remember that Head Coach Al Bagnoli almost always used a second QB in every game during his time at Penn. My guess is he and Offensive Coordinator Mike Faragalli will be looking for two QB's with different weapons to confuse opposing defenses and keep things fresh.

RB Lucas Faria from nearby Sparta, NJ High School is a pretty good quality RB for any Ivy team to grab during this RB drought in the league. He may not become All Ivy, but he looks promising in body and spirit. Every team desperately needs running help, especially Columbia.

The other rarity in this league are big defensive tackles who can dominate the line. At 6-3 and 290 pounds, Cole McDonough could be one of those guys.

WR Brandon Krcilek comes from a part of Arizona that's become fertile recruiting ground for Ivy teams. He has a chance to make an immediate impact.

A very promising LB is Jason Vravrick from Lincolnshire, Illinois. If his height and weight stats are legit, he'll be a noticeable difference on the field. The other LB to watch is also from Illinois. Cal Falkenhayn comes from Loyola High School in Wilmette, which has consistently sent Columbia outstanding players from Des Werthman '93 to Paul Delaney '14. 

The other two transfers, Jackson Conway and Christian Conway from Bronxville via Duke, grew up just a short trip from Wien Stadium and they may have something to prove after Yale rescinded their offers when Tony Reno took over the staff. Jackson is the RB in this tandem, so keep a special eye on him.

Again, this is just the first quick look at the incoming class. More analysis and a complete updating of my LionFeeders high school recruiting database will be rolling in over the coming days.

UPDATE: The LionFeeders database is now updated to include these 25 newcomers and their high schools.


Coach said...

Jake: aside from the transfers, that look good, did the new staff sign any high school players that were not a part of Mangurian's recruits?

oldlion said...

A few preliminary observations about this class: first, Faria was a real stud his junior year and then was injured his senior year and otherwise he would have been a D1 guy; second; finally, we have 230 pound LBs instead of strong safeties playing out of position at LB; third, the Conway twins technically could have gone to Yale (their admissions were honored) but Reno told them that they would not play for him; fourth, some of the incoming QBs will almost certainly change positions; fifth, I wonder where Nottingham fits in the QB derby.

Jake said...

Schonewolf and Gabriel were swayed to CU by the new staff.

Bob Kent said...

Faria is a very good player. I watched him run all over Pope John last season. Even though he was less than 100%, he was very quick, a punishing runner, and tough to tackle. I am glad he is a Lion!

alawicius said...

Jake, nice write-up but have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Lucas Faria when you say, "he may not become all-Ivy." From his tapes and stats, especially his injury-free junior year, the guy looks like he'll be a star in this league and our best rb since Jonathan Reese,'02. I'm sure he'll see action this fall so we'll know soon enough. The combo of him and Molina plus big bodies Schroer and Conway could be very effective (given decent o-line play which I think we'll have).

Coach said...

7 QB's - Wow! Who is going to get the reps? Going to be some unhappy frosh QB's. Or some unhappy transfers.

Jake said...

There are some mistakes in the incoming players release as far as positions are concerned. Stay tuned.

oldlion said...

One voyforum critic had some unusually harsh words about the Conway twins. What do we know about them? And what expectations should we have for them?