Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday's practice wrap

Caught the last hour of practice today and here are some of my impressions.

Receiver Jordan Forney had a spectacular practice catching the ball including making a catch of a ball thrown behind him that was - for a lack of a better term - very John Sheffield like. Gio Christodoulou, who missed most of last season with foot and ankle injuries, got behind the secondary for a long touchdown catch from Patrick Witt.

Yale coach Tom Williams said the Bulldogs are planning to play Forney, Christodoulou and Chris Smith together in three-receiver sets which must be music to Witt's ears. Williams is also expecting big things from rising senior tight end Chris Blohm and was raving about the offseason work done by tailbacks Alex Thomas and Mordecai Cargill. Williams said Thomas added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason while Cargill is bigger and faster.

Another offensive player drawing his praise is rising junior lineman Jeff Fell. The offensive line has been beset by injuries with Nathan Burow and Alex Golubiewski, who combined for 14 starts in 2009, both sidelined likely for the rest of the spring. Nate Blair hurt his right knee during a one-on-one drill.

There could be some offensive line reinforcements as Carter Deutsch moves over from the defensive line while former tight ends Roy Collins and Alex Birks are making the transition to offensive tackle.

Adam Money is moving from cornerback to safety with Kurt Stottlemyer, Collin Bibb and Russell Perkins among the leading candidates to start at corner across from Drew Baldwin. Austin Pulsipher moved from linebacker to defensive end and is vying for a starting job as the Bulldogs transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. Former safeties Jesse Reising and John Pagliaro are now linebackers and Reising would be on the two-deep chart if the season began tomorrow.

Yale seemed to have a plethora of defensive linemen so a move to the 4-3 makes sense. A player to watch is rising sophomore Chris Dooley who will likely move inside. Junior to be Jake Stoller seems to have put his shoulder issues which hindered his last two seasons behind him and could emerge into another impact player on the defensive line. With Pat Moran injured and captain Tom McCarthy taking the spring off so he can take advantage of a fifth year of eligibility in the fall out of the lineup, rising stars like Stoller, Dooley and Charles Holmes are getting plenty of chances to shine.

There have been some defections as fullback Josh Kozel and receiver Chris Morris are no longer with the team and receiver Peter Balsam is taking next year off but is planning to return for his senior season in 2011.

Also, former Oklahoma assistant recruiting coordinator David White is not joining the Yale staff. Don't know all the details but somewhere between being recommended for the tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator gig by Williams and getting the job, there was a snafu. A replacement for Mike Sanford, who left to become quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Western Kentucky, could be announced by the April 24 spring game.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to read all the details around Yale football, Jim. Grateful for your journalistic digging and your insightful coverage!

As for "The Call" against Harvard last year, I appreciated both your honest opinion on it, and the subsequent information that while the call may not have been Williams' he takes full responsibility for it.

2:30 PM 

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