Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yale spring practice notes

Yale’s spring session is underway. The Bulldogs got back on the field on Wednesday. The spring will culminate with the Blue-White scrimmage on April 18.

“It was a good first day,” Tony Reno said. “We’ve been doing things to increase speed, strength and technique drills. But it’s nice to add that football element to it now. Our focus in spring is increasing the quality of practice and do what we need to do to get better in all areas. Today was a good step in that direction.”

Some position changes of note…

Victor Egu bounced between OLB and ILB. He is playing ILB…Andrew Johnson has moved from QB to WR…Spencer McManes is playing LB instead of QB…Austin Reuland is now in the mix at RB. He played WR last year.

K Blake Horn was back on the field after missing last year with injury. He will compete for the placekicking duties. Also, DB Spencer Rymiszewski is back on the field after suffering a season-ending concussion last year.

Expect a competitive battle at RB between Candler Rich, Deshawn Salter, John Barton and Reuland.

A handful of players will compete for time at WR: Ross Drwal, Chris Williams-Lopez, Myles Gaines, Blake Rowlinson, Mike Siragusa, Robert Clemons and Matt Rubino.

OL Mason Friedline, OL Khalid Cannon, DT Ben Bedard and CB Jamal Locke are all sitting out this spring for precautionary reasons.

Logan Scott, along with Rafe Chapple and Stephen Barmore will compete for the backup QB job. Chapple had a strong outing his first day.

A reader asked about QBs on the incoming recruit list. Tre Moore is the lone QB of the newcomers. Expect the incoming class to be made official in early April. Also, I spoke with Bo Hines last night. Expect a feature story on him coming up in the next few days.

I will be at Yale practice on Monday. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yale Pro Day and more

Yale Pro Day will take place on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Connecticut Sportsplex in North Branford.

LB Will Caughan, OLB/S Charles Cook and WR Grant Wallace, along with former WR Chris Smith will participate, along with players from other Connecticut schools (see complete list at bottom of this post).

A few NFL scouts are expected to attend.

UPDATE: Deon Randall has decided not to pursue football and accepted a job at Imperial Capital, an investment bank in Los Angeles.

Tyler Varga, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, will have his Pro Day on March 31 at Tolland’s Star Hill Family Athletic Center. Scouts from most, if not all, NFL teams are expected to be in attendance.

Vashsel to be named defensive coordinator

Steve Vashel is expected to take over as defensive coordinator this upcoming season. Vashel just finished his third season as defensive backs coach for the Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, Yale made it official earlier this month and named Jordan Stevens as its new defensive line coach. Stevens previously served as Maine's defensive line coach.

Portal 31 had reported Sean McGowan would take over as defensive coordinator. That is not the case, however. He will serve as linebackers coach. McGowan, a Cheshire native, coached two seasons at Boston College as the team's special teams coordinator and SAM linebackers coach.

The coaching moves come after the resignations of defensive coordinator Rick Flanders and defensive line coach Carlton Hall.

Spring practice

Just a reminder, spring practice for the Bulldogs begins Wednesday and will finish up with the annual Blue-White scrimmage on April 18. Practices are open to the public. I will update with a complete practice schedule soon. 



Will Vaughn LB Yale ‘15 

Charles Cook OLB/Safety Yale ‘15 

Grant Wallace WR Yale ‘15 

Chris Smith WR Yale ‘14 

Julian Hayes RB Monmouth ’15 

Zac Williams DE Southern CT ’15 

Jamie Martinez OL Sacred Heart University ‘15 

Troy Moore DL Sacred Heart University ‘15 

Jake Bussani LS/DB Wesleyan University ‘15 

Tyrell Holmes WR Central CT ’15 

Josh Aleaze OLB Central CT ’15

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Yale expected to add McGowan, Stevens to coaching staff

Yale is expected to name Sean McGowan as its new defensive coordinator and Jordan Stevens as its new defensive line coach, a source said.

McGowan, a Cheshire native, served two seasons at Boston College as the program’s special teams coordinator and SAM linebackers coach. Prior to that, he most recently coached at Temple and New Hampshire.

Stevens comes over after serving as Maine’s defensive line coach.

The expected hirings come after the resignations of defensive coordinator Rick Flanders and defensive line coach Carlton Hall.

The Bulldogs, who finished third in the Ivy League last season, allowed 29.9 points per game (fifth in the Ivy) and 410.8 yards per game (fourth in the Ivy).

Monday, February 23, 2015

Columbia names Bagnoli head coach

As expected, Columbia has hired former Penn coach Al Bagnoli as its new head coach.

Bagnoli takes over the Lions after stepping down following 23 seasons with the Quakers. He won nine Ivy League titles and is the all-time winningest head coach in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history.

Will Rick Flanders be joining Bagnoli?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ankle injury keeps Varga out of NFL Combine

I spoke with Tyler Varga’s agent, Joe Linta, over the weekend. Varga was forced to sit out of NFL combine drills because of a bone spur in his ankle.

He still took part in the medical exams, team interviews and the bench press. And he certainly drew some attention in the bench press, finishing among the top RB/FB with 23 reps of 225 lbs.

Varga, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, is expected to be ready for his Pro Day on March 31st at Tolland’s Star Hill Family Athletic Center. Scouts from most, if not all, NFL teams are expected to be in attendance.

“Everyone I spoke with is intrigued with this kid,” Linta said. “They’re interested. It didn’t hurt him at all. He’s still sitting in that fourth-fifth round range. But again, he has to perform. We were hoping this would be the calling card for that, but we just have to wait.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flanders resigns as Yale defensive coordinator

Yale defensive coordinator Rick Flanders has resigned, a source confirmed on Thursday.

The Bulldogs, who finished third in the Ivy League last season, allowed 29.9 points per game (fifth in the Ivy) and 410.8 yards per game (fourth in the Ivy).

Flanders finished his 18th season at Yale last year. He has also handled defensive backs and linebackers duties during his tenure. While serving as a defensive assistant, Yale ranked No. 1 in FCS scoring defense in 2007 and 2008.

Neither Flanders or Yale head coach Tony Reno could be reached for comment.

Yale is also looking to replace defensive line coach Carlton Hall, who resigned following last season. Hall spent just one season with the Bulldogs. He came over from Elon, where he coached the defensive line.

Yale will begin its spring session the week of March 22.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Yale football recruiting update

Here is a look at the complete list of players that should be headed to Yale next season, pending acceptance.

Ian Baker, DE, 6-4, 225, North Canton, Ohio: Playing OL and DE at Hoover. 

Jarett Balter, LB, 6-2, 215, Bellflower, California: Check out this highlight. Enough said. VIDEO

Abu Daramy, WR, 5-10, 167, Westerville, Ohio: All-district selection. VIDEO

Dan Debner, DE, 6-0, 185, Englishtown, New Jersey: Had 28 tackles and seven INTs last season. VIDEO

Kyle Ellerson, RB, 5-10, 187, Oradell, New Jersey: Comes from a strong program in Bergen Catholic. VIDEO

Peter Firestone, DE, 6-6, 255, North Canton, Ohio: Had offers from Army, UConn and other Ivy schools. VIDEO

Julian Fraser, DL, 6-2, 250, Valdosta, Georgia: All region pick. VIDEO

Alex Galland, K/P, 6-2, 180, Bakersfield, California: Should come in and compete for a starting job. VIDEO

Michael Gordon, DB, 6-2, 170, Marietta, Georgia: All-Region second team by the AJC. VIDEO

Jamison Hale, DT, 6-5, 260, Fresno, California: Also had offers from San Diego and UNLV. VIDEO

Quintin Herbert, LB, 6-2, 225, Cincinnati, Ohio: Had preferred walk-on offers from Duke and Ohio State. VIDEO

Bo Hines, WR, 6-1, 190, Charlotte, North Carolina: Transfer from North Carolina State. Team’s leading receiver as a freshman last season. Huge land for the Bulldogs. VIDEO

Daniel James, DL, 6-2, 280, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Listed as a two-star recruit. Several Ivy offers along with schools like South Alabama and Bryant. VIDEO

Michael Johnson, OL/DL, 6-4, 315, Lombard, Illinois: Helped lead team to Class 5A state title gameVIDEO

Jackson Keimig, H-Back, 6-3, 220, Bothell, Washington: Received offers from a handful of Ivy League schools along with Idaho, Montana and Montana State among others. VIDEO

Bronson Krull, DE, 6-4, 250, Mansfield, Ohio: Had 84 tackles, including 10 TFL last season. VIDEO

John Lager, WR/TE, 6-5, 230, St. Louis Park, Minnesota: Drew interest from several Ivy League schools, along with Army. 

Jack Lee, OL, 6-5, 260, Mendota Heights, Minnesota: Part of a strong OL class for the Bulldogs. VIDEO

Rees LeMay, OL, 6-5, 275, Dallas, Texas: All-district selection. VIDEO

Kyle Marcinick, WR, 6-1, 185, Dublin, Ohio: Also had interest from Northwestern, Toledo and Youngstown State. VIDEO

Chris Maxwell, H-Back, 6-2, 212, Avon, Ohio: Caught 32 passes for 449 yards and four touchowns. Good speed and size. 

Tre Moore, Ath., 6-3, 180, St. Louis, Missouri: Chose Yale over Princeton and Cornell. Schools like Syracuse, Indiana and Notre Dame also showed interest. VIDEO

Kyle Mullen, TE/DE, 6-4, 245, Englishtown, N.J.: Had interest from Ivy, Patriot and CAA teams. VIDEO

James Nicholas, RB/DB, 6-0, 185, Scarsdale, New York: Will play football and golf for the Bulldogs. VIDEO

Edrico Oliver, TE, 6-3, 230, Bakersfield, California: Caught 55 passes for 1,134 yards and 14 touchdowns. VIDEO

Scott Patton, S, 6-3, 190, Irvine, California: Finished senior year with 126 tackles, four sacks and two INTs. VIDEO

Marquise Peggs, CB, 6-0, 180, Chicago, Illinois: Two-star recruit who had several offers including Wyoming, Toledo, Central Michigan and others. VIDEO

Hunter Roman, DE, 6-5, 205, New London: Register All-State honorable mention pick last season. Received interest from Boston College, UConn and Central Connecticut State. VIDEO

Jake Schmidt, TE, 6-6, 240, Richmond, Michigan: All-state selection. VIDEO

Jacob Van De Grift, OT, 6-5, 290, San Diego, California: Athletic and should bolster Bulldogs up front. 

Jimmy Wilkins, SS/WR, 6-4, 200, Frisco, Texas: Wilkins was a 9-5A first-team all-district selection this past season. VIDEO