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.

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