Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More on Liguori and Okano

Recently as I got word that Harvard-Westlake stars Jackson Liguori and Nick Okano had yet to complete the process of committing to Yale, I reached out to their high school coach.

As I reported in an earlier blog entry, they both followed through and are firmly committed as part of the incoming freshman class at Yale. But I figured I would pass on the highlights from my conversation with Harvard-Westlake football coach Vic Eumont from earlier today.

Eumont said both Liguori and Okano had received some recruiting interest from Bowl Championship Subdivision teams but are indeed headed to Yale.

Liguori is a big-play receiver who had touchdown catches in 10 of his 11 games as a senior. Liguori, who had two 100-yard receiving games as a senior, finished the year with 48 catches for 823 yards and 13 TD receptions. He had catches of 56, 61, 64 and 72 yards helping the North Hollywood, Calif. school to a 7-4 record in 2009.

"He's a legit receiver, he has great hands, great quickness," Eumont said.

Liguori, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, played with the varsity for three seasons as did the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Okano, who was drawing some interest from BCS school up until the time he officially committed to Yale.

"He can play free safety, strong safety and even some cornerback," Eumont said.

Eumont said that if Okano had prototypical safety size, he would have had major college programs all over him. As it was, Okano received plenty of interest from I-A schools including some of the service academies. As a senior Okano had 79 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He also averaged 23 yards on 11 kickoff returns and 10.3 yards on eight punt returns.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More on Yale's Class of 2014

The list of incoming freshmen who have committed and been accepted to Yale is up to 22 and growing.

For those asking about offensive line reinforcements, they should be glad to hear that among the five new names I will mention are three offensive lineman (Wes Gavin, James Talerico and Kyle White). Also in the new group is 230-pound running back Elijah Thomas and California tight end/h-back Keith Coty.

Also, I can report that Harvard-Westlake teammates Nick Okano and Jackson Liguori, previously mentioned as those who have been accepted at Yale, have indeed committed to Yale. As I mentioned on a previous blog, California has been a gold mine with 10 of the first 22 commits coming from there.

Running back Kahlil Keys, running back Charles Takeh and receiver/defensive back Brandis Yarrington are three other players who have verbally committed to Yale.

Yale is also in the mix with two transfers from BCS schools and is still a player in the recruitment of Tevin Hood, a defensive tackle who had 19 sacks as a senior at Hamilton High in Chandler, Arizona. Hood's father is former Arizona Cardinals all-pro defensive lineman Eric Swann. Here's a recent story on Hood, who carries a 4.57 GPA.

The best case scenario is that Yale gets the two transfers admitted, adds Keys, Takeh, Yarrington and Hood to give it a 28-member recruiting class which appears to have addressed Yale's desire to get faster and bigger (and what college team wouldn't like to improve in both those areas).

Here's the list of the 22 players who I have confirmed have been accepted and are committed to Yale.

Kyle Aberton, DB Cottonwood HS, Holladay, Utah
Chris Brady, DB Don Bosco, Ramsey, N.J.
George "Kolu" Buck, DE Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Keith Coty, TE La Miranda (Calif.)
Jackson Cummings, RB, Rocklin (Calif.) HS
Henry Furman, QB Lincoln HS, Portland, Ore.
Wes Gavin, OL Parker HS, San Diego, Calif.
Jackson Ligouri, WR Harvard-Westlake, Los Angeles, Calif.
Max Napolitano, DB Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.
Obinna Nwakeze, DL/OL Rye (N.Y.) Country Day
Nick Okano, DB Harvard-Westlake, Los Angeles, Calif.
John Oppenheimer, OL Sacred Heart HS, Atherton, Calif.
Beau Palin, HB/TE/FB, Phillips Andover (Mass.)
Deon Randall, QB/RB/DB Parker HS, San Diego, Calif.
Cameron Sandquist, WR Loomis Chaffee
Grant Stanley, DE Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial
James Talerico, OL Pope John Paul II HS, Boca Raton, Fla.
Kerr Taubler, QB Bullard HS Fresno, Calif.
Elijah Thomas, RB Gates Chili HS, Rochester, N.Y.
Kyle White, OL Pequannock Township HS, Pompton Plains, N.J.
John Whitelaw, QB Hinsdale (Ill.) Central
Kyle Wittenauer, TE/LS St. Christopher's, Richmond, Va.

Yale will kick off its spring practice schedule on April 5 and will wrap up spring drills with its annual Blue-White game on April 24. A replacement for former tight ends coach Mike Sanford could be in place by the end of the next week. Sanford left Yale after one season to become the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Western Kentucky.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Super Bowl talk

Prior to taking over the Yale football program, Tom Williams spent two seasons as a defensive assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he and the rest of the Jaguars' staff had to play the Indianapolis Colts twice a season. So it should not come as a shocker that Williams believes the Colts' four-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning could be the 'x' factor.

"I think it could be a great game between two offensive teams but if it's close, I like Peyton," Williams said. "Indy's been there before and I like No. 18 (Manning) to make the big plays."

When Yale recruiting coordinator Mike Sanford left to becoming the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Western Kentucky, Williams did not have to look far for his replacement.

Defensive backs coach Rick Flanders, one of two holdovers from Jack Siedlecki's staff, added the title of interim recruiting coordinator to his duties. While the Yale coaches can't comment on recruits until the official list is announced in May, word is that the Bulldogs' staff is thrilled with the more than 20 players who have committed early.

Williams said he will start concentrating on finding a replacement for Sanford, who was also Yale's tight ends coach, in the coming weeks.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Another RB headed to Yale

According to a blog in the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., Casa Grande High running back Kahlil Keys turned down a football scholarship to UNLV and will be headed to Yale in the fall.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Keys ran for 1,246 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 7.3 yards per carry as a senior.