Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Runk, McHale Yale-bound

The first two members of the Yale football Class of 2013 are - drum roll, please - John Runk and Will McHale.

Runk, a 6-foot-4 receiver out of Cincinnati's Anderson High, is officially the first since he received a "likely letter" from Yale meaning the Yale admissions department gave the thumbs up to Runk's enrollment application.

Runk received the letter on Friday and confirmed to the Register Tuesday night that he was bound for Yale.

"It was a great feeling knowing I will be able to realize my dream," said Runk, who picked Yale over Harvard, Brown, Northwestern and Miami (Ohio).

Runk leads 6-2 Anderson with 20 catches and 304 yards receiving yards. He is a highly-touted prospect expected to be a big-play receiver at the college level.

McHale is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker out of Greenwich High. Although a knee injury has sidelined McHale for his senior season, he was the leading tackler on the 2007 Class LL championship Greenwich squad which featured another linebacker by the name of Jonathan Meyers. Meyers was the most highly-touted defensive prospect in Connecticut in 2007. Although he held at least 20 scholarship offers from Bowl Championship Series teams including Florida and Michigan, Meyers decided to go to Princeton and will play football and lacrosse for the Tigers. Ironically, Meyers' freshman football season at Princeton was also shortened by injury.

McHale has yet to submit an application but let the Yale coaches know he was picking Yale over Princeton on Monday. He informed Greenwich coach Rich Albonizio of his intentions on Tuesday. Albonizio said McHale's rehabilitation process is proceeding well and he should be back to 100 percent by the spring.

My attempts to get in touch with the high school coach of Jerry Rice Jr., the son of the NFL all-time leading receiver of the same name, who made an unofficial visit to Yale two weeks ago, have so far been unsuccessful. But I did find a story on him on the www.bruinreportonline.com. The star receiver for the undefeated Menlo School in Atherton, Calif. didn't hide his desire to play in the Pac-10.

"I went out to Connecticut and visited Yale and had a really good time there," Rice said in the story post Friday on the website. “There are some other schools who’ve been requesting film that I’ve been talking to. Coach (Kevin) Daft at Cal, Coach (Ron) Lynn at Stanford and Coach (Reggie) Moore at UCLA have all been talking to me and they’re all really interested in me.
"I’m really hoping to play in the Pac-10, that’s what I’m focusing on. So my top three schools are Stanford, UCLA and Cal. I’d like to be able to play in the Pac-10 so I’m being patient."

Another tidbit about Meyers courtesy of Albonizio. He was one of five players named as High School Scholar-Athletes by the National Football Foundation. Yale freshman linebacker Jordan Haynes of Folsom, Calif., Meyers and the other three recipients will be honored at a luncheon at New York's historic Waldorf Astoria hotel on Dec. 9.

One last item, former Harvard running back Clifton Dawson was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday. The Colts are suddenly shorthanded at running back with Joseph Addai expected to be out of action for 2-4 weeks. It seems ironic that on a weekend where Dawson may get into a pro game, Yale's Mike McLeod could break Dawson's Ivy League record for career rushing attempts in all games. McLeod needs 34 carries to break Dawson's mark of 958. is It has been a good week for Ivy Leaguers making NFL news as former Brown receiver Sean Morey had the blocked punt which was returned for a touchdown in Arizona's upset of the Dallas Cowboys last week.

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