White set to be named; Mante impresses
White will replace Mike Sanford who held the same position last season before leaving to become the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Kentucky.
Thursday was Yale's pro day with punter Tom Mante, tight end A.J. Haase and linebacker Travis Henry representing the Bulldogs. They had plenty of company as there 18 players from various colleges on hand.
While I am not an NFL scout, from my vantage point Mante, former Lyman Hall and Southern Connecticut State defensive back Andrew Pratt and ex-UConn and Pace linebacker Ricky McCollum seemed to help themselves while working out in front of a scout from the Green Bay Packers.
Since highly-touted UMass line prospect Vlad Ducasse was working out for scouts at UMass, that's where most of the scouts went.
Pratt had a 38 1/2 inch vertical leap, just off the 40-inch standard set by McCullough, ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and had a strong effort in the standing broad jump. Mante more than held his own in the agility drills
Mante, who rewrote Yale's punting and some of the kicking record books, knows he isn't likely to be draft but said that about 12 teams have expressed an interest. While he did not punt the ball, his strong efforts in the running and jumping events shouldn't hurt his stock at all.
"It was good, I got to show off my non-kicking skills I guess, show I am an athlete," Mante said. "Obviously these times won’t matter for me but it is good to compete and see how I do against the rest of the competition."
Haase and Henry also had solid efforts although Henry had to shut it down after pulling up lame while running his 40.
Former Yale linebacker Paul Rice did not take part but he was in attendance and said he has a workout with the Cleveland Browns on April 11. Yale's MVP last season, h-back John Sheffield, was also there but I didn't get a chance to talk to him. Word I am hearing is that Sheffield is not focusing on a future in professional football.
Also in the house was former Fairfield Prep and University of Minnesota defensive lineman Garrett Brown. Brown did not work out but said that he had a strong showing for the scouts during Minnesota's pro day and he has been told that it's possible he could be taken as high as the fourth round.
Now for some recruiting tid-bits, Yale is still waiting on Brandis Yarrington, a speedy defensive back from Ann Arbor, Mich while running back Kahlil Keys will attend prep school in the fall with an invitation to play at Yale remaining open after a year of prep school.
Also, reports of running back Jackson Cummings from Rocklin, Calif. backing out of his commitment to Yale to become a preferred walk on at Stanford are correct. What I am hearing if that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh reached out to Cummings directly Jackson obviously liked what he was hearing.
Also, there is a new player who has committed to Yale, 6-foot-6 tight end Michael Leunen out of Portland, Oregon and the two transfers from BCS teams have been accepted at Yale. I will have more on them including their names in the coming days.
The last time is that rising senior quarterback Brook Hart is indeed skipping spring football practice so he can continue his strong season as a pitcher on the Bulldogs' baseball team but he has every intention of being a member of the football team in the fall. While Hart's absence obviously gives Patrick Witt a chance to take command of the position, it should be noted that Witt did not take part in spring practice after transferring from Nebraska and still ended the season as the starting quarterback. However, my opinion is it is going to be hard for Hart to unseat Witt as the No. 1 QB even if he was around for spring practice. Spring drills begin on April 5 with the spring game set for April 24.