Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lawrie cut

Despite a strong game in the Cincinnati Bengals' final preseason game, former Yale standout Nate Lawrie got caught up in the roster numbers game.

With Cincinnati opting to keep veterans Ben Utecht and Reggie Kelly and hold onto rookie Matt Sherry, Lawrie was released on Saturday.

Lawrie played eight games for Tampa Bay in the 2004 and 2005 seasons and recorded his first career NFL catch, a 15-yard gain, in a Jan. 2, 2005 game against Arizona. He moved to New Orleans and played in seven games in 2006, recording a 17-yard catch in a 27-24 win over Philadelphia on Oct. 15.

In the preseason Lawrie had five catches for 48 yards. He had two catches for 37 yards in Thursday's 27-7 win over Indianapolis.

The biggest news among the Cincinnati cuts came with the release of veteran running back Rudi Johnson and offensive tackle Willie Anderson.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lawrie impresses

Former Yale standout Nate Lawrie certainly didn't hurt his chances of making the Cincinnati Bengals with two catches for 37 yards including a 30-yard reception as the Bengals wrapped up the preseason schedule with a 27-7 win over Indianapolis.

Lawrie played in all four preseason games for the Bengals and had five catches for 48 yards. Lawrie is one of four tight ends currently on the Cincinnati roster. Ben Utecht, who came over from Indianapolis in the offseason, should be a lock to make the team. Veteran Reggie Kelly and rookie Matt Sherry are other tight ends vying for roster spots.

Select company

Yale was one of four Football Championship Subdivision teams with players listed as preseason candidates for the Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan awards.

McLeod, a senior running back from New Britain, is one of 16 candidates for the Payton Award, the Football Championship Subdivision version of the Heisman Trophy.

McLeod ran for 1,619 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and enters his senior season with a Yale career record 3,672 rushing yards. McLeod finished ninth in the voting for the 2007 Payton Award.

Bobby Abare, a senior linebacker from Acton, Mass., had 86 tackles as a junior and was Yale's leading tackler in eight of 10 games in 2007. He was one of 16 players named to the watch list for the Buchanan Award for the top defensive player in FCS.

The Bulldogs, 9-1 in 2007, open the season at home against Georgetown on Sept. 20.

Appalachian State with quarterback Armanti Edwards and linebacker Pierre Banks, Eastern Washington with running back Matt Nichols and defensive end Greg Peach and Western Illinois (running back Herb Nicholson and linebacker Jason Williams) are the only other schools with players nominated for both awards.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big hit

The first day of practice with full pads is in the books and there were few complaints for either head coach Jack Siedlecki or senior stars Mike McLeod or Bobby Abare.

"The biggest thing for me is pace and intensity," Siedlecki said of Tuesday morning's three-hour practice. "This is a very veteran team, 35 seniors and the expectation is exactly what we got out of that scrimmage. We were good and bad both sides of the ball but we came out ready to go. We made some plays."

Reserve tailback Ricky Galvez and defensive end Jesse Reising were held out of practice since they were nursing hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

Abare and Harvard captain Matt Curtis will throw out ceremonial first pitches at the Sept. 2 game at Fenway Park between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox.

For those are into this sort of thing, here are the top performers in Yale's on-field testing results.

Steve Morse 475
Uthman Arogundade 425
Bryan Kana 410
Matt Smock 405
Colin Kruger 405
Matt Kelleher 400

Shebby Swett 378
Mike McLeod 374
Paul Rice 367.4

Vertical Jump
Jesse Reising 35.5
Ricky Galvez 34
McLeod 33.5
Jarrett Drake 33

Brandon Scott 48
Larry Abare 46
McLeod 45

Pull Ups
Marcus Wallace 29
Jay Pilkerton 26
Sean Williams 26
Casey Gerald 26
Larry Abare 25
McLeod 25
Adam Money 25

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lawrie update

Former Yale standout Nate Lawrie had one catch for four yards in the Cincinnati Bengals' 13-0 loss to New Orleans on Saturday. He has three catches for 11 yards in three preseason games for the Bengals.

Lawrie, who has spent time with Tampa and New Orleans, joined the Bengals last season. Appearing in three games and starting twice, Lawrie did not have a reception. In 18 career NFL games Lawrie has two catches for 32 yards.

Friday, August 22, 2008

McLeod, Abare honored

Yale senior running back Mike McLeod and senior linebacker Bobby Abare were named second team pre-season All-Americans by The Sports Network.

McLeod, Yale's all-time leading rusher, ran for 1,619 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior. Abare led Yale with 86 tackles as a senior.

Harvard senior cornerback Andrew Berry and senior offensive tackle James Williams, both third-team selections, were the only other Ivy League players named to the three squads.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yale earns votes

Yale was the fifth team in the also receiving votes category in The Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision preseason top 25 poll.

The Bulldogs, who were 9-1 in 2007 and finished second behind Harvard in the Ivy League standings, received 170 points. Appalachian State was the top pick, receiving 97 of the 101 first-place votes, followed by North Dakota State and Northern Iowa. Harvard, which is ranked 24th, is the only Ivy League team in the top 25. Yale's non-conference opponents aordham and Holy Cross are ranked 27th and 37th respectively.

Yale opens camp on Thursday and its season opener and home opener is Sept. 20 against Georgetown at 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yale, Harvard share top spot

The cat is out of the bag a few hours early as the Ivy League posted on its website the news that Yale and Harvard were co-favorites to win the league title.

Here is a result of the voting:
1. Harvard (8) — 124
Yale (8) — 124
3. Brown — 99
4. Penn (1) — 85
5. Princeton — 58
6. Cornell — 54
7. Dartmouth — 47
8. Columbia — 21

Also The Sports Network named Yale senior running back Mike McLeod as the third best tailback in the Football Championship Subdivision. Liberty's Rashad Jennings, who ran for 1,113 yard in 2007, was picked first followed by Northern Iowa's Corey Lewis, McLeod, North Dakota State's Tyler Roehl and Tennessee State's Tennessee Williams. Missing from the top five is Colgate's Jordan Scott, the FCS's leading rusher with an average of 170.45 yards a game. McLeod was third nationally with 161.9 yards/game (1,619 yards in 10 games). McLeod heads into his senior season needing 1,170 yard to become the Ivy League's all-time leading rusher. In conference games McLeod needs 1,090 yards to finish as the career leader.