Friday, January 28, 2011

Another name in recruiting

I spoke to Choate football coach Erik Cooper today to get an update on where former Hyde star Deshawn Murphy was in the recruiting process. Cooper told me that Choate tight end Adam Conklin is headed to Yale next year along with running back Kahlil Keys, who has already been accepted and received his likely letter from Yale.

Conklin is a 6-foot-3, 230 pound postgraduate from Dover, Mass. who Cooper said really came on as a pass-catching threat as the season progressed. Conklin played both tight end and defensive end but Cooper said he is expected to play tight end (or h-back) at Yale.

On the subject of Murphy, the talented receiver retook his SATs on Jan. 22 in an attempt to land in one of the academic bands. If he gets the scores he needs, Cooper believes Yale is the frontrunner for his services. If not, he won't lack for opportunities from non-Ivy League programs. There should be more info on Murphy in the next week or two.

If Murphy lands at Yale, it will be the second time in the last three years that a Yale recruiting class included three Choate players as rising juniors Roy Collins, Charles Holmes and Allen Davis were teammates at Choate during the 2008 season.

Also, Southington's Jonathan Kelleher who is the younger brother of former Yale quarterback turned defensive lineman Matt Kelleher, has been accepted at Amherst where he will continue his football career while Madison's Derek Bertolini is headed to Maryland-Baltimore County to play lacrosse.

I can also provide a link to a report that Grace Christian Academy Davis Franks gave a commitment to Yale and lists Jeff Schmittgens (a defensive end out of Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill.) as a Yale commit. Look for more oral commitments to be coming. However, bear in mind that until the Yale admissions department gives the OK and a likely letter is sent out, there are still some t's to be crossed and i's to be dotted. It does appear as if the Bulldogs are going to be bringing a class dominated by defensive and offensive linemen which is never a bad way to go.

Prestigious honor for Yale recruit

Yale commit Stephen Shoemaker was named as the winner of the Chris Mello Award and Scholarship by the Westchester, N.Y. chapter of the National Football Foundation as a banquet on Thursday.

Shoemaker, a two-way starting lineman for New York Class C champion Bronxville, was also named to the Golden Dozen scholar-athlete team.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Update on Jesse Reising

Outside of recruiting updates, normally there's not a heck of a lot to report from the time the Yale football season ends until spring drills start up.

However, the one story I've been wanting to do since the Harvard game is an update on linebacker Jesse Reising who was taken from the Harvard Stadium field on a stretcher after a head to head collision with Harvard's Gino Gordon.

I finally got around to sitting down with Jesse and will be putting together a story on him that I expect to run in the next week or two.

The big news is that the injuries Reising suffered against Harvard will keep him from taking advantage of a fifth season of eligibility. The nerve damage also led to him being dropped from the Marine Corps Officer Training Candidate program which has been Reising's life's ambition. Reising is not physically able to perform some of the fitness requirements necessary to stay in the program. Reising is still hopeful that if he gets all his strength back that he could be entered back into the program.

He will be heading to the Mayo Clinic next month for a comprehensive evaluation and see if surgery will be required.

Jesse spoke at length about the support he has received since the violent collision with Gordon.

"I didn't have my phone on me until they took me from the ER to the in-patient unit," Reising said. "That was when I got my cell phone and saw I had over 100 text messages and over 100 facebook messages. I didn't even try to count the e-mails. That was when it set in that 'wow, I have a lot of people who really care about me.'

"It really demonstrated how close knit of a family our football team is, not only our football team but our entire Yale community. On top of that, the overwhelming support I received from Harvard fans and players and even people from all across the country who don't even know me offering their prayers and support. Jordan Haynes, he said some nice words about me, and Tom (McCarthy) those were the public ones. There have also been a lot of private exchanges. I really owe a lot to those guys. They meant a lot to me not only in my four years at Yale but in my life in general. Those are going to be some of the closest friends I'll have and (the friendships) will really last a lifetime.

"My life has been flipped around 180 degrees and every single way I could have imagined getting support, I've gotten it. When push comes to shove, we've got each others' backs."


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wife of WYBC advisor passes away

Marcia Heussler, the wife of Bob Heussler passed away on Tuesday. Perhaps Bob Heussler's name does not ring a bell but during football season he works diligently with Yale students who broadcast Yale football games. He also is the play by play man for the Fairfield University men's basketball team as well as the WNBA Connecticut Sun and has been delivering sports updates on WFAN for quite some time.

I did not know Marcia but can say that Bob is about as classy an act as I've encountered in my 20 years I've been in the newspaper business in Connecticut and my heart aches for Bob and his family right now.

Here is a link to the obituary that will appear in tomorrow's edition of the Register

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shaw hired at Stanford

Stanford promoted offensive coordinator David Shaw to head coach.Shaw was reported to be one of four leading candidates, which included Yale coach Tom Williams, to replace Jim Harbaugh as Stanford's head coach. Considering the impressive performance of the Shaw-led Stanford offense, it seems like a pretty good choice.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Williams interviews at Stanford

Yale football coach Tom Williams, a captain on Stanford's 1992 football squad, confirmed that he has spoken with Stanford's Director of Athletic Bob Bowlsby about the vacant head coaching job at his alma mater.

Williams, while he admitted he is a candidate for the job which became available when Jim Harbaugh took the head coaching gig with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, said he is committed to his duties at Yale.

"You know how these things work," Williams said. "I think a lot of people put 2 and 2 together. It's only a natural reaction (to be interested in coaching at his alma mater). I’ve had conversations (with Bowlsby) but I love it here at Yale and I appreciate that (Yale athletic director) Tom Beckett took a chance on me and gave me this opportunity."

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Williams and current Stanford assistants David Shaw, Vic Fangio and Greg Roman have all interviewed at Stanford. ESPN reported that Boise State coach Chris Petersen interviewed for the Stanford job but turned the job down.

Williams was a linebacker at Stanford from 1989-92 and was a team captain of the 1992 squad. He was a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1993-94 and after a stint coaching in Japan and stops at Hawaii and Washington, Williams returned to the Cardinal in 2002 as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He was the associate head coach at Stanford before spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at San Jose State and had a two-year run as a defensive assistant with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Williams also spoke with Bowlsby back in 2007 before the Cardinal hired Jim Harbaugh
and said Bowlsby was merely practicing "due diligence" in reaching out to Williams and speaking to him about the Stanford job.

Williams is 11-9 in his two seasons with the Bulldogs including a 7-3 record this past season at Yale was in contention for the Ivy League title up until the final week of the season.

Williams is planning to be on campus this weekend when Yale welcomes between 20-25 prospects on campus for a big recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs.

Reading between the lines, which is not hard to do with a straight shooter like Williams, I am getting the sense that he is a candidate but not THE candidate for the job which word is could be filled by week's end. It won't surprise me if Williams heads to a major college team or even back to the NFL but he needs a little more seasoning since he has just two years as a head coach under his belt. I also believe him when he says that he and his family are extremely happy at Yale and in no hurry to leave. That being said, if Bowlsby turns around and offers the job to Williams, I would imagine it would be a tough choice for him since he does have a lot of passion for the Stanford athletic community.


Report: Williams interviews at Stanford

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Yale football coach Tom Williams interviewed for the head job at Stanford, which was vacated when Jim Harbaugh took head coaching job with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

In a blog entry, three current Stanford assistant coaches and Williams, a former player and assistant coach with the Cardinal, are the top candidates.

Offensive coordinator David Shaw, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio (whose name has been surfacing in NFL assistant coach rumors) and associate head coach Greg Roman are the members of Harbaugh's staff mentioned as having interviewed for the job.

Williams was a linebacker at Stanford from 1989-92 and was a team captain of the 1992 squad. He was a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1993-94 and after a stint coaching in Japan and stops at Hawaii and Washington, Williams returned to the Cardinal in 2002 as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He was the associate head coach at Stanford before spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at San Jose State and had a two-year run as a defensive assistant with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Williams is 11-9 in his two seasons with the Bulldogs including a 7-3 record this past season.

I reached out to Williams yesterday but have yet to hear back.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Yale recruit honored

Bronxville lineman Stephen Shoemaker, one of 12 recruits to be accepted early into Yale, was named the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C Player of the Year. Shoemaker became just the second lineman since 1997 to earn a NYSSWA state player of the year honor joining Southwestern's Jasen Carlson, the co-Class C Player of the Year in 2009.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Shoemaker led Bronxville to the Class C title and was one of seven Bronxville players named to the Class C All-State team.

Two other linemen who have committed to Yale - William Chism and Kyle Rouse were first team selections on the Mississippi Class 3A and Illinois Class 5A All-State teams respectively. Rouse was also named to the Illinois Class 5A All-Academic team while fellow lineman and Yale commit Ben Carbery was an Illinois Class 8A All-Academic selection.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Jim Doughan, Charlie Skoubas pass away

Jim Doughan, an offensive/defensive lineman and three-year letterwinner from 1952-54, passed away on Sunday in his Scottsdale, Arizona home at the age of 77.

Doughan led Yale to 17-7-3 record during his final three seasons as the Bulldogs posted three straight winning seasons for the first time from the 1945-47 seasons.

His funeral will be held on Saturday at Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church in Carefree, Az. In his obituary, it was requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Yale Football Association in his name at P.O. Box 208216, New Haven, CT, 06520.

The Yale football family lost another member when Charlie Skoubas died on Sunday at the age of 66. Skoubas, who graduated from Yale in 1962, played for both the football and baseball teams with the Billdogs. He was a regular at the Course at Yale and was on the board of directors for both the Yale Football and Baseball associations.

Services will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home in Fairfield with calling hours beginning at 1 p.m. Donations may be made in his memory to Yale University, the Charlie Fund for ALS, Office of Medical Development, P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519-0611.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Reising, Witt honored

Yale senior linebacker Jesse Reising and junior quarterback Patrick Witt were among 52 players named to the 13th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team.

Reising, who had a 3.75 GPA, started all 10 games and had 47 tackles. Witt, a junior who led Ivy QBs with 212 completions, 351 attempts and a 246-yard average, had 12 TD passes posted a 3.85 GPA.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Yale recruit honored

Staples senior defensive end Patrick Murray, one of 12 incoming freshman accepted early at Yale, was named to the Register's All-State first team as was Harvard recruit Chris Valenti, a senior offensive lineman at Bethel.

Murray had 107 tackles and 15 sacks as a senior. Another first-team selection was Conard running back Jonathan Esposito, who has drawn interest from Yale but when he was asked what schools he was looking at by a Register reporter the only school he mentioned was Princeton.

Staples senior defensive lineman Chris Coyne, who has also been accepted at Yale, was an honorable mention selection. Two others on Yale's recruiting radar were also on the squad as Avon running back Ross McDonald was a third-team selection and St. Paul offensive lineman Ryan Peloquin was an honorable mention selection.