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.

No comments: