Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Realistic Crib Notes (UPDATED)

For everyone who wants a quick executive summary of the Columbia Football outlook for 2017, here's what I would consider a brief and just as realistic an assessment:


Offensive Line

The Lions lost an All Ivy starter in Kendall Pace, but this returning group has more talent and experience than I can ever remember for a Columbia team coming into a new season. Four returning starters and a couple of other players with significant playing time is not the usual state of things for any Ivy offensive line these days. Plus, there are some good prospects coming up as sophomores now who might be ready to contribute.

Wide Receiver

The combination of sophomores Josh Wainwright and Ronald Smith is one of the most exciting receiving tandems in the Ivies. Fellow sophomore Christian Everett was also a factor last year and has great potential as a third option.


Oren Milstein had one of the best kicking seasons in Columbia history as a freshman last season. He's back and he's healthy.


Defensive Line

Two top quality veterans return in seniors Lord Hyeamang and Dominic Perkovic. And exciting rising sophomores Daniel DeLorenzi and Arman Samouk join them. But more talent needs to emerge this year to consider the D-line as much of a strength as it turned out to be in 2015.


Anders Hill elevated his game impressively at the end of 2016, but needs to prove he can keep it going. And after Hill, there's simply no evidence of a strong backup at QB for the Lions.


I almost put this in the "strengths" column, but let's just be cautious for now. Cameron Roane and Landon Baty are both very talented playmakers at corner and safety, respectively. And pending approval for 5th year status, Denzel Hill was a revelation at CB at the end of last season. Some of the incoming freshmen could make a good impact too.



I think the linebacker unit will be good, even with loss of all three starters from last season. The rising sophomore group of Jalen Williams, Michael Murphy, and Matt Tofano all looked very good to me last year in limited action and practice. There's also some potential freshman talent to consider. But it's still an assumption and you have to put down this unit as a question mark until we can see it on the field this season.

Tight End

I'm high on sophomore Kyle Baskin, coming back from an injury last season where he was hurt in week one. But this position is really a mystery at best for Columbia.

Running Back

Columbia put a lot of stock in rising sophomore Tanner Thomas when the Lions recruited him, and we have two exciting incoming freshmen in Broderick Taylor and Marquavious Moore. There's also the very fundamentally talented senior Chris Schroer, who could be the man Columbia's opponents will come to regret forgetting if he has the kind of breakout senior seasons his predecessors Alan Watson and Cameron Molina had in 2016 and 2015, respectively. All of which is to say, we really can't bank on this being a strength until something big changes. That said, any significant positive contribution at RB this season would really make Columbia a potential contender.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lionfeeders Updated!

My Lionfeeders data base, with the names of all known Columbia football players and the high schools they came to us from, is now updated to completely include this incoming class.

The Class of 2021 (part 7)

The final three alphabetic members of the incoming freshmen class also just happen to all be contenders for the role of best incoming freshman.

Peter Wise was a highly sought-after OL from a decent football program in Connecticut. Wise seems to be cut from an older school cloth of top Ivy recruits who used to also get offers from Boston College and Rutgers. Looks and sounds like a leader.

Blake Wooden is the second of two Plantation HS grads with NFL veteran dads to come to the Lions this fall. And like that other Plantation grad, Will Allen, Wooden is also a DB. It seems like it's destined for the two of them to both be starting for the Lion secondary sooner rather than later.

Justin Woodley was a major get at LB amid a flurry of real Ivy offers and serious interest from biggest programs. At 6-2 and fast, he has a chance to stand out in Ivy play against the run and pass. The young talent level at the linebacker position for Columbia is unusually high by any standard right now, but don't be shocked if Woodley gets on the field for more than just special teams work this season.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Class of 2021 (part 7)

Drew Schmid is just what the doctor ordered with the graduations of excellent traditional punter Cameron Nizialek and excellent rugby-style punter Matthew Panton. Schmid is quite simply one of the most well-regarded punters coming out of high school this year. 

Broderick Taylor is an exciting RB recruit who even some hardened Columbia fans are excited about. His highlight tape really stands out as he just seems to keep plugging and he has great speed. Definitely a player a lot of people will be watching in camp to see how close he is to being able to make an immediate impact.

Hank White has a chance to join a decent line of Georgia natives who have become stalwarts on the CU offensive line. His list of other offers bodes well for his potential. 

Ashton Wilson is another 230-pound DE who seems to be fitting a mold the coaches were looking for at that position. Don't be surprised if some of them become linebackers, but has a great shot at getting on the field early on special teams.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Class of 2021 (part 6)

Ogonna Oraedu was a late addition to the class and another DE who could make a big impact when he gets a little bigger. His background identifies him as a good bet to succeed on campus, and that always helps. Apparently switched his commitment from Yale to come to CU.

Carson Powell may be the top linebacker in this class. If he's a legit 6-feet, then he truly has the right frame to fill the slot left by Christian Conway who was something of a hybrid LB/DB for the Lions the last two years. But based on what we saw from the coaches last year, even the best linebacking prospects take more baking time before getting major playing time in this system.

Bailey Rotsky is another 6-foot DB, and we've established that our coaches like 6-foot DB's. He's the son of a successful HS football head coach, and coaches' kids can be interesting prospects. And I like him because I used to live in his home neighborhood of Mayfield Heights, OH.

Jon Rowe is a good bet at OL coming from a linemen factory in Charlotte. If he were an inch or two taller, Columbia and the other Ivies probably wouldn't have had a shot at him. Coaches must love his ability to play guard or tackle.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Class of 2021 (part 5)

Casey Mariucci is a 6-4, 210-pound TE who sounds a lot more like an H-back to me. He gets open a lot, even if he's not slotted to be a WR in college. At any rate, he's one of a bunch of La Jolla/San Diego area players starting to populate this Columbia program. It will be exciting to see if this is the beginning of a significant talent pipeline.

Ben Mathiasmeier is another one of the incoming DB's the staff is excited about. At 5-10, he doesn't have that super size, but otherwise he seems to be very much in the mold of now-graduated DB Brock Kenyon. The transition to NYC and a very different kind of football than he's used to in Texas will probably be his biggest hurdle.

Marquavious Moore is one of the most exciting-looking RB's to come to the Columbia program in a while. He looks like he has all the tools to stand out depending on how long it takes him to make the transition to the program. Possesses better speed than most.

Andrew Nichols is a big get from the Phoenix area and definitely the top D-linemen in this incoming class. He could even be the top 2017 recruit overall. Another 15 pounds or so on his frame and he could be a true force at DE. Could be a game changer.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Max Carey 1947-2017

Max Carey

What's truly amazing about the Columbia Football program is just how many of the players go on to become some of the university's most successful and interesting alumni. In Columbia's case, you can make a very good argument that without the football program we'd be without the best and most generous alums, period.

Add William "Max" Carey to that list. Carey was a standout player at Columbia where he became one of the nation's most exciting kick returners and was a standout defensive back.

But it was after he finished at Columbia that Carey really made his mark. He joined the Navy as an aviator and flew over 100 missions over North Vietnam. He even became one of the rare pilots to earn Top Gun certification.

After the Navy he excelled in business, but was also human enough to point out that no one can really be a superman all the time. He explained all that in his book "The Superman Complex."  

Columbia football fans who are too young to remember Carey's playing days are more likely to remember him in the stands and especially his legendary tailgate events at Columbia-Princeton games. When his nephew Chris Carey was excelling at CU and eventually rising to team captain, Max was his biggest supporter.

Max Carey died earlier this month after fighting leukemia for 15 months. Even though it's not uncommon to hear about great Columbia football players who went on to become great Americans, Max Carey stood out among that group of standouts.

He will be sorely missed by all of us.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Class of 2021 (part 4)

I'll have my preseason predictions for the 2017 season in August, but just as a preamble I have to say that any publication or website that doesn't pick Princeton to win the title again has a tough argument to make. So if you see on that picks the Tigers third, you have to be really suspect.

Now to continue with an overview of the individual players on the incoming freshmen roster:

Tyson Hugee is another DB who's size, (6-ft.), seems to be a big part of his appeal. He also seems like a very good all-around athlete. It's really hard to gauge the quality of the high school football league where Hugee comes from, but otherwise he looks like he could be a good find.

Emerson Kabus is another one of those sub-six foot wide receivers that can do a lot of damage in the Ivy League. But he's looking to break in to a very deep and talented WR corps right now.

Josh Kaminski is an OL cut from the mold of the kind of O-linemen Head Coach Al Bagnoli often recruited at Penn. He's from one of the better New Jersey Catholic school programs and seems like a great fit for everyone involved.

Cameron Lipton-Martinez already has good size for a freshman TE at 6-5 and 240 pounds. This will be a big step up in the quality of competition, but he's starting from a good place and certainly won't have trouble adjusting to the New York area coming from the Manhattan suburb of Montclair.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Class of 2021 (part 3)

Seth DeVary is an offensive lineman and I think offensive linemen are the hardest types of players for non-coaches to assess and pretty hard for coaches as well. That said, he was a player we recruited out of last summer's Columbia football camp and that at least means our staff got a better look at him than most players and still offered him quickly. That's a good sign.

Alexander Filacouris has been on my radar for awhile since he is a fellow Long Islander and the local papers and websites have followed him pretty well. The quality of Long Island high school football overall has dropped off because of the population change and the rise of lacrosse, so it's really hard to guess how Filacouris might play out. But I do think he's got the right background to do well overall at Columbia and that will help him on the field.

Graham Flinn is a really good sized DB in a league where DB's 6-feet and taller can make a real impact. He got injured senior year, but that was after he committed to the Lions. He still seems like a decent bet because he can recover and still keep that good size. Let's hope he was drinking some of the same water the last good Columbia DB from Richmond, Adam Mehrer, was drinking.

Carson Griffis is the transfer from Auburn, presumably coming in officially as a sophomore. My initial guess that he was going to be a QB for us was wrong and he is listed as a WR. The bottom line is that Griffis is just a good overall athlete and he fits the profile of a lot of slot receivers over the years in the Ivies. Getting a mere walk-on player who never actually saw the field at Auburn may not raise your pulse, but I find it hard to believe Head Coach Al Bagnoli and company would make room for a transfer who was just a marginal player.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Class of 2021 (continued)

Moving on now with a quick look at the next four incoming players in alphabetical order:

Josh Bean looks like the kind of QB whose leadership abilities, heart, and head are his best calling cards. And you can see him becoming a team leader 2-3 years down the road. With the Lions desperately in need of a solid backup QB right now, Bean might have a chance to make an immediate impact. This is especially true because of his running abilities.

Cameren Carter hits close to my heart as he is the son of Hector Carter '91, who played during my own student days at Columbia. But it really doesn't look like Cameren is some kind of legacy case. There is definitely some talent here, weighed against the fact that Columbia already has a lot of young talent at linebacker.

Dillon Davis is a QB from a very strong championship program in Texas, and frankly that makes me a little nervous. I always wonder how players from dominant programs will fit in at the Ivy level where even the best teams don't dominate as consistently. I'm also concerned about how a kid raised on a cattle ranch like Davis will adjust to Columbia. But the fact that he has a married brother living in Manhattan now definitely eases those concerns. Davis could be an exciting prospect.

Myles Davis is a wide receiver from Chicago, as in the actual city of Chicago. I say that because it's amazing how few players we see in the Ivies who come from within the Chicago city limits. But now Columbia has two in Davis and sophomore WR Christian Everett.  Everett showed some nice flashes last year. Davis is one of those mystery players who is tough to gauge right now.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Class of 2021

Columbia Football has officially released the names of the incoming freshmen and transfer players for this fall.

The official list is almost exactly the same as our last update here  with the exception of WR Dwayne Warren, (who may yet join the team), and I and others guessed wrong about transfer Carson Griffis' position, (he will be a WR, not a QB).

In the coming days, I will update my LionFeeders database to include these news players and their high school info.

But I want to start today with some more frank assessments of what this incoming class has to offer.

Overall, it's a really good class and pretty much on par or better than the best of what we saw under Norries Wilson. Whether this group will prove to be as good as last year's freshmen is obviously something we won't know for awhile, but it certainly has a shot.

I'm going to try to make some observations about each of the newcomers one-by-one.

I'll start with four of them today alphabetically:

Darren Achohido is one of those rare specialist players Columbia has recruited over the years. His specialty is the return game and there's good evidence he has FBS abilities and then some on that score. Perhaps his overall size made him an better fit for the Ivies. He has tremendous upside to improve an aspect of the Lion attack we know Head Coach Al Bagnoli has badly wanted to improve since 2015. Because this is a real current need, Achohido could be literally the first freshman to touch the ball in a game this year.

Luke Adams seems like he fits the mold of the good linebackers Bagnoli has had an eye for since he came to the Ivies 25 years ago. The Lions have a lot of depth at this position, and that means Adams may have to wait to get on the field. But All-State guys from Michigan like him should have the tools to make a run for playing time.

Jalen Allen is one of those players who only became available to the Ivies because of an injury. But Allen is a little different because he seems to have recovered during his senior year. I never have a problem with taking a chance on these kinds of players because the upside is so high. Assessing Allen is easy: If he's healthy, he'll be a big positive. If not, it was worth taking a shot.

Will Allen is one of the 3-4 finalists to be the top-rated recruit in this class. Getting the son of a longtime NFL player and the captain of a football powerhouse like American Heritage is a big deal. It's harder to gauge when he'll get on the field as a regular or a starter until we get a better idea of where we are in the secondary. But I wouldn't be surprised if Allen is a playmaker by the end of next season.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Still on schedule...

Just a reminder that last year, the official release of the names of incoming Columbia freshmen players came out on May 24th. In 2015, the news came out on May 27th,

So, we're probably just a week or so away from the official roll out of the news.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Broderick Wants the Ball!

Broderick Taylor

I missed this little nugget from a few months ago, but one of the most highly-regarded incoming freshmen for the Lions is not shy about his intentions this fall.

RB Broderick Taylor, who had offers from programs like Old Dominion, UMass, and UTSA, says he expects to start for the Lions and get 15-20 carries per game.

Check out the video here. 

Another New Lion

Ogonna Oraedu

As we await the official list of incoming Lions for 2017, we have news of yet another reported new name to add to our list.

Ogonna Oraedu is a 6-3, 225 pound DE from the Memphis University School. I find it hard to believe, but according to my own LionFeeders database, Oraedu would be the first Memphis University School grad to come to Columbia football. But he isn't the only Memphis native among the incoming freshmen. Highly-touted RB Marquavious Moore is also from Memphis and coming out of Harding Academy. And current Lion sophomore Ben Hill is also from Memphis and Christian Brothers Academy.

And catching up on the background info on incoming transfer Carson Griffis, he comes from Homewood High School in Alabama. Griffis will also be the first Homewood grad to come to the CU program.

Griffis and Oraedu bring our reported/unofficial list of newcomers to 32:

1) Darion Acohido WR/RB/DB 5-9 178 lbs. Liberty HS Henderson, NV

2) Luke Adams RB/LB 6-2 210 lbs. Notre Dame Prep Pontiac, MI

3) Jalen Allen RB 5-11 185 lbs. Cranbrook-Kingswood HS Bloomfield Hills, MI

4) Will Allen III DB 5-9 164 lbs. American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL

5) Josh Bean QB 6-2 200 lbs. Hinsdale HS Hinsdale, IL

6) Cameren Carter LB 6-1 198 lbs. Duluth HS Duluth, GA

7) Dillon Davis QB 6-1 206 lbs. Aledo HS Aledo, TX

8) Myles Davis WR 5-10 175 lbs. Walter Payton HS Chicago, IL

9) Seth DeVary OL 6-4 275 lbs. Larue County HS Hodgenville, KY

10) Alexander Filacouris RB 6-1 200 lbs. Half Hollow Hills West HS Dix Hills, NY 

11) Graham Flinn DB/WR 6-1 180 lbs. Benedictine College Prep HS Richmond, VA

*12) Carson Griffiths QB 5-10 169 lbs. Homewood HS Homewood, AL 

13) Tyson Hugee DB 6-0 170 lbs. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Philadelphia, PA

14) Emerson Kabus WR 5-10 170 lbs. St. Augustine HS St. Augustine, FL

15) Josh Kaminsky DL 6-4 280 lbs. Seton Hall Prep West Orange, NJ

16) Casey Mariucci TE/DE 6-4 215 lbs. La Jolla Country Day La Jolla, CA

17) Cameron Lipton-Martinez TE/DE 6-5 225 lbs. Montclair HS Montclair, NJ

18) Ben Mathiasmeier DB 5-10 190 lbs. Cinco Ranch HS Katy, Texas

19) Marquavious Moore RB 5-11 202 lbs. Harding Academy Memphis, TN

20) Andrew Nichols DE/TE 6-3 235 lbs. Centennial HS Peoria, AZ

21) Ogonna Oraedu DE 6-3 225 lbs. Memphis University School Memphis, TN

22) Carson Powell DB 6-0 190 lbs. Cardinal Newman HS Palm Beach, FL

23) Bailey Rotsky DB/WR Mayfield Heights HS Mayfield Heights, OH

24) Jonathan Rowe OL 6-3 283 lbs. Audrey Kell HS Charlotte, NC

25) Drew Schmid P 6-0 205 lbs. La Jolla Country Day La Jolla, CA

26) Broderick Taylor RB 6-0 200 lbs. Holly Springs HS Holly Springs, NC  

27) Dwayne Warren WR 6-3 198 lbs. Seton Hall Prep West Orange, NJ

28) Hank White OL 6-6 250 lbs. Buford HS Buford, GA

29) Ashton Cooper Wilson DE/LB 6-3 230 lbs. Merritt Island HS Merritt Island, FL

30) Peter Wise OL 6-5 290 lbs. Brunswick School Greenwich, CT 

31) Blake Wooden DB 6-1 180 lbs. American Heritage HS Plantation, FL

32) Justin Woodley LB 6-2 210 lbs. Bishop's School La Jolla, CA

*=transfer from Auburn University

Columbia Transfer

Carson Griffis

As most astute Columbia fans already know, the Lions have picked up a transfer from Auburn by the name of Carson Griffis.

Griffis was a walk on at Auburn where he was switched on the roster from his HS position of QB to WR. His speed and overall athleticism are his calling cards as opposed to fitting in at the QB or WR position.

The educated guess is that Griffis will give it a shot at CU as a running QB in the mode of the now-departed rising sophomore Hunter Petlansky, who has left Columbia.

We await more news and names when Columbia announces its official list of 2017 newcomers, presumably later this month.

Penn's Class

Penn's official list of incoming 2017 freshmen is out.

Among the freshmen is a massive 300-pound DL transfer from UConn.

Looks like a stellar group for the Quakers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Princeton's Class

Today, Princeton became the second Ivy school to officially announce its incoming freshman football class.

Here they are:

Jacob Birmelin, WR, 5-9, 165, Royal Palm Beach, Fla. (Palm Beach Gardens)
Adam Buchanan, TE, 6-3, 240, Lynnfield, Mass. (Buckingham Browne & Nichols School)
Kyle Burford, DB, 6-0, 190Carrollton, Texas (Hebron)
EJ Caldwell, RB6-1, 195, Columbus, Ohio (Upper Arlington)
Austin Carbone, DB5-9, 155Richardson, Texas (Lloyd V. Berliner)
Kelton Chastulik, DL6-3, 275Chambersburg, Pa. (Chambersburg Area)
Carter Dunaway, TE6-6, 230Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Brother Rice)
Collin Eaddy, RB • 5-11, 200 • Raleigh, N.C. (Garner)
Antonio Ferrer, P • 6-2, 215 • Miami, Fla. (Ransom Everglades)
Trevor Forbes, DB • 6-0, 190 • Memphis, Tenn. (White Station)
Cash Goodhart, WR • 6-4, 200 • Sunnyvale, Texas (Sunnyvale)
David Harvey, LB • 6-2, 215 • Mt. Lebanon, Pa. (Mt. Lebanon)
David Hoffman, OT • 6-7, 300 • Basking Ridge, N.J. (Immaculata)
Ryan Huth, OT • 6-5, 285 • Cream Ridge, N.J. (Allentown)
Nikola Ivanisevic, OL • 6-2, 270 • Hinsdale, Ill. (Hinsdale Central)
James Johnson, LB • 5-11, 210 • Moorestown, N.J. (Saint Joseph's Prep)
Tyler McDonald, LB • 6-1, 230 • Clearwater, Fla. (Clearwater Central Catholic)
Ryan McNeil, LS • 6-2, 205 • Marblehead, Mass. (St. John's Prep)
Connor Mills, DL • 6-3, 310 • Buford, Ga. (Buford)
Luke Montgomery, WR • 6-1, 205 • Springfield, Mo. (Glendale)
Tavaris Noel, LB • 6-1, 205 • Yorktown, Va. (Grafton)
Nicolas Ramos, K • 5-11, 185 • Miami, Fla. (Ransom Everglades School)
Sultaan Shabazz, DB • 6-0, 180 • College Park, Ga. (Woodward Academy)
Cole Smith, QB • 6-2, 190 • Knoxville, Tenn. (Christian Academy of Knoxville)
Eugene Stallworth, DB • 5-11, 170 • Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
John Tracy, QB • 6-3, 215 • Novi, Mich. (Walled Lake Western)
Luke Turner, DB • 6-1, 205 • Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central)
Charles Wall, DB • 5-11, 175 • Plano, Texas (Plano Senior)
Matthew Winston, DB • 6-1, 185 • Hoschton, Ga. (Mill Creek)
Samuel Wright, DL • 6-1, 245 • Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Harvard Goes First

The Harvard Crimson have become the first Ivy team to release its official list of 2017 incoming freshmen.

Hometown/High School
Hoover, Ala./Hoover
Louisville, Ohio/Louisville
Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island
Marietta, Ga./Wheeler
Davie, Fla./American Heritage School
West Barnstable, Mass./Cheshire Acad.
Matawan, N.J./Red Bank Catholic
Forest Hill, Md./Bullis School
Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie
Alpharetta, Ga./Milton
Hoover, Ala./Spain Park
Houston, Texas/Lamar
Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic
Madison, Ala./James Clemens
Delmar, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy
San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo
Canton, Mass./Catholic Memorial
San Rafael, Calif./Marin Catholic
Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School
Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset
Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury
Paramount, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic
Kingston, Mass./Milton Academy
Ithaca, Mich./Phillips Exeter Academy
Norman, Okla./Norman
BJ WatsonRB5-9185Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College High School 
San Angelo, Texas/San Angelo Central
Minnetrista, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret's
Burlington, N.J./The Lawrenceville School