Monday, June 22, 2015

Hidden Gems? UPDATED

Nick Durham

Yes, Al Bagnoli and his new staff have brought in a big name transfer in QB Skyler Mornhinweg.

Yes, there are a number of promising incoming players in this year's freshmen class.

But a great deal of Columbia's chances to finally win some games this season will rely on the staff getting more out of the existing veteran roster. And that will include using some players more and in better ways than the previous regime.

Of course there are a lot of returning seniors who are already established leaders on the field. This post is not about the guys like Niko Padilla, Cameron Molina, and Toba Akinleye.

With that it mind, I want to point out a few returning under the radar seniors who I think have the potential to be impact players this coming season:

Chad Washington

This is kind of no-brainer because this very talented player was off the team last year because of a myriad of personal issues, (not all his fault). He's not exactly under the radar, but you have to mention him because he didn't play last year and I don't think he was able to make as big of an impact that he could have in 2013 either. Chad needs to come back this year with something to prove and be a demon on the outside pass rush.

Nick Durham

I first met Nick when he was working out with the team during the summer before he enrolled. I was impressed with him then and also impressed with his performance in a couple of games in 2012. Since then, he has fallen off the radar for whatever reason. The new staff seems to think he has very good potential left in him and so do I. If he emerges as a traditional TE or H-Back option, Columbia's offense would really have a nice new weapon.

Max Keefe

It's admittedly a bit of a stretch to call the player who had the second most tackles for a loss on the team last year an "under the radar" or a "previously underutilized" returning senior. But the CU linebacking crew really needs an upgrade and if it gets one, Keefe is going to have to be a part of it.

Brandon Blackshear

Blackshear is back on the team after a long absence. He was a pretty highly-regarded recruit and if he can contribute at all in the secondary it will be a huge plus.

Scooter Hollis

Hollis showed some flashes as a freshman and a sophomore, but was injured for most of 2014. He started in the spring game and has the speed to make a splash. He could be a dangerous weapons going in motion before the snap and bubbling back into the backfield.

Isaiah Gross

I'm taking a total flyer here, but we all know he has the talent to be an impact player. He might have to fight for playing time, but if he can stay healthy this coaching staff could get a pleasant surprise out of him.


I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

Ia this Blackshear any relation to the Cheston Blackshear who was a coach at Columbia. (And went on to reasonable success as head coach at Williams, including an undefeated season?)

Anonymous said...

It's good to have some verified talented dark horses on the roster. It is even better to have a coaching staff that is utilizing every bit of that talent to maximum advantage, no doubt designing game plans around what they have to work with. With upgraded personnel this team has the ability to make some big plays that could very well be the difference in close games.