Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yale's Patrick Witt a NFF Scholar-Athlete semifinalist

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete award.

Witt, a history major with a 3.91 grade-point average, is also a Rhodes Scholarship candidate. He leads all Ivy League quarterbacks and ranks sixth among Football Championship Subdivision players with a passing efficiency rating of 165.1 as he has completed 73.4 percent of his passes for 526 yards with five touchdowns and one interceptions for the 2-0 Bulldogs.

The finalists will be announced on Oct. 26.


Chris Smith will be game-time decision

Junior receiver Chris Smith's injured hamstring once again kept him out of practice on Thursday. He will make the trip to Lehigh for Saturday's road opener and there is a chance he can still play but Yale coach Tom Williams said that decision won't be made until he goes through pre-game drills on Saturday.

"I am just working a lot in the training room with (trainer) Dave (DiNapoli) and doing a lot of strengthening exercises trying to be ready to go for Lehigh. I am making the trip, hopefully it will loosen up for game time and I’ll be ready to go.

"It’s been really frustrating, even in meetings and watching film (knowing) that there is a possible chance that I might not be on the field, it is really tough especially in such a tough game. Lehigh is ranked, they are a good team. I was excited to prove that we are legitimate I-AA contender."

Smith came out of the Cornell game after pulling up lame while returning the second-half kickoff. However, he said he first had issues with the hamstring practice two days before the game.

"Actually it happened on Thursday and in the game, I ran a go route and at one point it really tightened up," Smith said. "On that kick return, I tried to go out there and play through it."

If Smith can't go, either former starter Gio Christodoulou or Cameron Sandquist would likely get the call when Yale goes to its three-receiver sets while Deon Randall would replace Smith on kickoffs.

"That is the great thing about our receiving corps, from top to bottom, I think we are an explosive unit and we have a lot of playmakers," said Smith, who is tied for the team lead with 135 receiving yards and is ranked fifth nationally with an average of 32.7 yards per kickoff return. "You have Gio, Allen Harris, Deon, Cam, Brandis (Yarrington), Jackson (Liguori), we’ve got guys who aren’t even starting who could be starting on other Ivy League teams. It is frustrating for me personally but as far as the team, I don’t think it is a drop off at all."

One receiver not in position to pick up snaps if Smith is out is freshman Ty Hutchison, who recently underwent surgery to repair a detached retina. Hutchison, a standout on Yale' JV squad, will miss the rest of the season. He addressed the team at the conclusion of Thursday's practice to give an update on his condition.

"He said he had 100 guys all asking him the same question so he wanted to talk to all of them at once," Williams said of why Hutchison spoke to the team on Thursday.

Williams said that seven freshmen will be making the trip to Lehigh - defensive back Nick LaTesta, punter Kyle Cazzetta, running back Wynston Bouknight, defensive end EJ Conway, linebacker Tyler Manu as well as offensive linemen Ben Carbery and William Chism.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A mixed bag on the injury front

Yale junior receiver/kickoff returner Chris Smith was clamoring to practice on Tuesday, a sign that the hamstring he hurt in Saturday's win over Cornell isn't that serious. However, the Bulldogs may have lost sophomore James Talerico for the season with an injured Achilles tendon.

Both Smith and Talerico were hurt in the second quarter of Yale's 37-17 win. Smith actually returned the second half kickoff before being forced out of the game.

"He didn't go today, it was more our call than his," Yale coach Tom Williams said. "He wanted to practice and we said 'no.' We'll give him another day of rehab and see what he feels like (today) and maybe get him a few reps. He is one of the few guys I have been around that doesn't need a million reps to play a game. We are going to err on the side of caution to make sure he is ready for next week. hamstring, high up."

Talerico was a surprise starter at guard and Williams liked what he saw from the 275-pound Talerico before he suffered what could be a season-ending injury.

"It is probably going to (sideline) him for a while," Williams said. "He was playing well. I feel bad for the kid because he played a good quarter and was off to a good start in the second quarter."

Colin Kruger, who started all 10 games last year and in the season-opening win over Georgetown, is back with the first unit. Williams did hint that freshmen William Chism and Ben Carbery could see some time when Yale plays its road opener against No. 13 Lehigh.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lehigh moves up in national poll

In the Sports Network's Football Championship Subdivision poll, Yale is the top vote getter among Ivy League teams while Lehigh, the Bulldogs' next opponent, moved up two spots from 15th to 13th.

Lehigh received 1,949 points and is in between Southern Illinois and Jacksonville State while Yale is 12th on the "other teams receiving votes" with 55 points. Harvard, with four points, is the only other Ivy League team to receive votes in the poll.

Yale will play at Lehigh on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Witt honored by Ivy League again

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt has been named the Ivy League's offensive player of the week for the second straight week.

Witt threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in Yale's 37-17 win over Cornell. In Yale's first two games, Witt had completed 73.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 526 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. His is ranked sixth in the latest FCS passing efficiency rankings, one spot ahead of Lehigh's Chris Lum. Oh by the way, Yale plays at Lehigh on Saturday.

Witt will be a guest on the "Inside Ivy League Football" program on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Visit or go to to listen to the interview.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Army JVs beats Yale JVs 33-10

Henry Furman had a 6-yard touchdown pass to Grant Wallace and Parker Toms had a 39-yard field goal in the Yale junior varsity squad's 33-10 loss to the Army JV team on Sunday at Clint Frank Field.

Army had scoring runs of 94 and 66 yards to win going away.

Next up for Yale is an Oct. 9 home game against Milford Academy, a team featuring 13 Connecticut natives including Ansonia's Montrell Dobbs (409 rushing yards in the first four games) and Bobby Kinnebrew (4.5 sacks in the first four games) as well as Tyler Matakevich (27 tackles, an interception and fumble recovery in the opening four games). The game is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Upon further review

An advantage of the Yale/Cornell game being televised on VERSUS is that it allows me to have a second look at some plays. So I went back and noticed a few things.

First, if not for an alert play by Cliff Foreman to move forward and jump on Cornell's attempted onsides kick, no other Yale player was in position to recover the ball so the Big Red's gamble would have paid off.

Next, I was absolutely certain that Allen Davis caused the fumble by Cornell's Grant Gellatly in the fourth quarter. However, watching the replay it was evident that Jake Stoller reached in and knocked the ball out. The ball was out just as Allen Davis hit Gellatly. It is entirely possible that Gellatly could have regained possession of the ball if not for Davis knocking him to the ground.

Finally, I didn't see enough to warrant a holding call on the opening kickoff. Brett Buehler was called for holding Yale's Nick LaTesta but the replay was inconclusive at best in determining whether a hold did indeed occur.

Speaking of the game, here is the game story as well as Chip Malafronte's column on the Yale defense

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yale 37, Cornell 17

You have to say this much for the 2011 Yale football team, they tend to make things interesting.

Despite being outgained by Cornell 426-407, Yale defeated the Big Red 37-17 in the Ivy League opener for both teams.

So where do I start?

I found it interesting that Cornell was so conservative for much of the game, especially late in the first half when Cornell settled for a field goal rather than take its final timeout to take one more shot into the end zone. Then the Cornell staff did a complete 180 degree turn by opting for an onsides kick after a 96-yard scoring drive. The decision backfired when Yale senior Cliff Foreman recovered the ball at the Cornell 42. Four plays later Patrick Witt hooked up with Cameron Sandquist for a 13-yard TD. Although the extra point was blocked (to go with a blocked field goal in the first half), Yale was back in front by two scores.

Cornell did manage to answer back with another scoring drive but there was never the same sense of confidence being exuded out of the Big Red players as there was after that impressive 96-yard drive.

Yale left some points on the field in the first half and should have put at least 28 points on the board in the first half but when they had to respond after the game got close, the Bulldogs did just that.

Yale's running game was not a factor in the first half but Cornell seemed to let down a bit and the Bulldogs made them pay. Alex Thomas ripped off a 58-yard scoring run while Mordecai Cargill ended up with 57 yards to go with Thomas' 84.

Allen Harris was Patrick Witt's go-to receiver as he caught eight passes for 107 yards. Of Witt's 33 attempts, I would say Harris was the intended target for at least 12 of them.

Defensively, Nick Okano's athletic interception set up the first Yale TD and he had a key tackle to stop Cornell running back Grant Gellatly one yard short on a 3rd and long play in the second half to set up a punt. Will McHale wasn't cleared to play until Friday after suffering a concussion in last week's game but finished with nine tackles and recovered a fumble.

That's the good news. Now for the other side.

Philippe Panico had a field goal and extra point blocked and both were really low kicks so that is something that Yale coach Tom Williams said must be addressed. Yale is a bend but do not break defense but giving up 426 yards is just too much for a team with as many talented and veteran players. Injury wise, receiver/kickoff return star Chris Smith suffered a lower body injury and was knocked out of the game. Williams did not think the injury was serious. As for James Talerico, who got the start over Colin Kruger, it sounded more serious. Williams believed he suffered a high-ankle sprain and thought he could be sidelined for a bit.

Williams was happy that the Bulldogs were only whistled for one penalty. On the other side, penalties really hurt Cornell in this game. It began immediately when Rashad Campbell brougth back the opening kickoff for a score only to have the score nullified because of a holding penalty. Cornell also had a costly false start on the final drive of the first half and an offensive pass interference penalty shortcircuited another drive.

Yale will host the Army JV squad tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Yale leads Cornell 17-3 at halftime

Aided by a strong start by Patrick Witt, Nick Okano's first career interception and a long punt return by Gio Christodoulou, Yale leads Cornell 17-3 at halftime.

Witt is 15 of 21 for 153 yards but he started 12 of 14 and overshot Allen Harris on a couple of throws. Harris leads Yale with 5 catches for 71 yards including 5-yard TD. He was stopped at 1 on another catch leading to Mordecai Cargill's 1-yard TD run.

Will McHale leads Yale with 7 tackles.

Cornell has utilized a very conservative offensive game plan, rarely taking shots down the field. Much of that may have to do with the fact that Yale's defensive front four got some pressure early on. However, it was curious to see Cornell settle for underneath completions when the Big Red had positive field position for much of the second quarter.

After a short completion brought up 3rd and goal at the 11, Cornell coach Kent Austin decided to wait until 3 seconds remained on clock to call his final timeout of half. Had he called it right away, Cornell could have taken a shot into the end zone and still had a chance at a field goal.

Labels: , , ,

Yale/Cornell live blog is up and running

I will be blogging live during the game and you can click on the link below to join

Friday, September 23, 2011

Live blog from Yale/Cornell game

I will be live blogging from the Yale/Cornell game. The game starts at noon on Saturday. Here is a link to the live blog. I'll be starting up the blog at 11:45 a.m.

Toy drive at tomorrow's game

Fans bringing a new, unwrapped toy to tomorrow's Cornell/Yale game at the Yale Bowl will receive a free general admission ticket to the game as part of a partnership between the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closets Program.

Toys can be dropped off at the Hospitality Village on Central Avenue, which is located near Gates D & E. This is the 12th year the Walter Camp Foundation has coordinated this toy drive.

Also, the Yale coaching staff will be wearing patches on their sleeves of their shirt at the game to raise awareness of doo-shin muscular dystrophy. To donate $5 to coach to cure M.D. text the word "cure" to 90999. You can also visit to make a donation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Collins earning a niche at tackle for Yale

When Roy Collins committed to Yale, he figured he'd be earning snaps at either tight end or defensive end. But after playing tight end as a freshman, the Yale coaching staff saw potential for Collins to move to the offensive line. Two years later, he is Yale's starting right tackle and Yale coach Tom Williams believes if the 263-pound Collins can add another 20 pounds to his frame, he could draw interest from NFL scouts. Here's more on Collins' move to the offensive line


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spirited practice this morning

After two days away from the field, the Yale football team was ready to go this morning - maybe too ready.

With more hits causing players to hit the ground, Yale coach Tom Williams was not a happy camper. The last portion of practice saw more than a few players kicked out of drills.

Just stupid plays, especially the young guys," Williams said. "They are still learning how to practice. The whole idea is we want to practice full speed but we want to be smart. We want those guys to get to the game on Saturday. When that happens, the guy gets fired on the spot to make a point. You are going to miss out on these rep opportunities if you don't practice the way we want you to practice. I had to do that a couple times today but it is better to pull them off the pile than throw them on the pile. I like our attitude and like our aggressiveness. We pride ourselves on being physical but sometimes we have to be smarter in practice."

Junior linebacker Will McHale did not practice after dealing with some concussion like symptoms after Saturday's season-opening win over Georgetown. Williams said McHale feels fine but the decision was made to err on the side of caution.

"He had some tests on Sunday and said he feels fine, he is symptom free," Williams said. "This was simply precautionary. He should be back (practicing) tomorrow. We will probably keep him out of contact just to be safe but he is going to get reps tomorrow and be ready to go on Saturday."

The offense looked sharp early on in the 11 on 11 drills I witnessed including Patrick Witt hooking up with Chris Smith on a long touchdown pass

Later in the practice, the offense sputtered with Nick Okano and Brian Leffler recording interceptions and the ball ending up on the turf quite a bit although many of the miscues happened when the second and third team squads were in there.

The Baltimore Ravens had a scout checking out practice, the latest NFL team to send a rep to a Yale practice.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Witt honored by Ivy League; Smith a national leader

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in Saturday's win over Georgetown, was named the Ivy League's Co-Offensive Player of the Week along with Brown senior quarterback Kyle Newall-Caballero.

Witt's passing rating of 175.5 ranks him third among all Football Championship Subdivision quarterbacks while teammate Chris Smith's 272 all-purpose yards makes him the national leader in that category.

Labels: ,

Witt gets thumbs up from Rhodes panel

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt received the endorsement from Yale's three-professor panel to continue his pursuit of a Rhodes Scholarship as well as a Mitchell Scholarship.

Witt, a history major with a 3.91 grade-point average, had an interview with the panel earlier this month and found out on Monday that he was among the candidates given the OK to move to the next step of the process of being a Rhodes Scholar.

Witt will be a candidate in Georgia and is the first Yale football player to get this far in the process since Casey Gerald in 2009. Here's video of Witt talking about the process


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dean College 40, Yale JVs 14

It's a pretty unusual move to have a varsity team scrimmage a team and then have the junior varsity squad play the same squad eight days later.

But that is exactly what happened. After Yale defeated Dean College 24-7 on Sep. 10, the Yale JV team squared off with Dean. Considering that Dean gave the Yale varsity squad, it should not come as a surprise that Dean emerged with the win on Sunday.

Aided by a defensive and special teams touchdown, Dean rolled to a 40-14 win.

Stars for Yale were sophomore quarterback Henry Furman who was 20 of 32 for 200 yards and led Yale with 24 yards rushing. Furman threw for a pair of touchdowns (both to freshman Ty Hutchison) but was picked off three times.

Hutchison had six catches for 73 yards including TD grabs of 27 and 7 yards and had another touchdown called back because of holding. Classmate Grant Wallace also had six catches good for 38 yards while Russell Perkins had five catches for 67 yards and Adam Conklin had four catches for 34 yards.

Defensively, freshman EJ Conway had eight tackles and a sack while Will Vaughan and Kolu Buck had six tackles each.

For Dean, I had freshman running back Andre Williams with 123 yards rushing while Jamal Small was 7 of 16 passing for 105 yards. Robbie Jackson led Dean with five catches for 77 yards including a 57-yard touchdown. Rodney Whitehead returned the second half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.

In my opinion, the best performance was turned in my freshman linebacker Charmarcus Pittard, who I had with eight tackles including three for losses but it felt like he had twice as many hits. Albert Presley had five tackles, four behind the line of scrimmage while Donovan Walker had two interceptions. He also caused a fumble with a jarring hit on Yale QB Jake Semones but it was wiped out with what looked like one of the worst calls I have ever witnessed. Walker had a shoulder to shoulder hit on Semones and was flagged for a personal foul. As far as I could tell, he was whistled for hitting Semones too hard. I was standing only about 10 yards away and it looked like a perfectly clean hit, vicious but clean. It reminded me of the scene in "The Blind Side" when the Michael Oher character was whistled for "excessive blocking." Finally for Dean, Dante Holmes returned a fumble for a touchdown while Blaine Moriarty had an 80-yard punt although it was negated because of a penalty.

Next up for the Yale JV squad is a Sep. 25 game against Army at 1 p.m.

California bound in 2013

As some of you may have heard, Yale has agreed to play at Cal Poly Tech at San Luis Obispo on Oct. 5, 2013.

Yale has been trying to fill an open date on the 2013 schedule for a couple of years now and considering how many players Yale recruits from California on an annual basis, it made sense to schedule a game in California for the first time since playing at San Diego on Sep. 17, 2005.

"We were just able to work out the arrangements for that," Yale athletic director Tom Beckett said. "The head coach out there (Tim Walsh) is a good friend and he has wanted to get a game from us. We wanted to go back out to California and get in front of the alums and friends of Yale football and be able to take the team to a part of the country where we do a lot of our recruiting. It is a wonderful opportunity for us and I am excited about it."

With 17 players on the current Yale roster hailing from California including 12 who should be on the 2013 Yale squad, Yale football coach Tom Williams was very much in favor of playing a game in California.

"We think that will be a huge recruiting tool," Williams said. "We have (17) guys on our team from California and to be able to go play in their back yard and have our alumni based on the West coast come see us, to me is something that is very important. I would like to see us try to play games regionally outside of the Northeast as often as we can and that was the first opportunity to do it."

As of now, there is no return game scheduled but when Yale has an opening, obviously they will be one of the first schools Yale figures to talk to.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yale uses strong second half to beat Georgetown

Outside of Chris Smith's kickoff returns and Mordecai Cargill's two touchdowns, the first half exactly a highlight-reel opening 30 minutes for the Yale football team.

Still, the Bulldogs had a 21-20 lead despite being pushed around a bit by the visiting Hoyas of Georgetown.

At halftime, more time was spent on making the necessary adjustments than unleashing some fire and brimstone motivational speeches.

It didn't take long to realize that the second half was going to be played much more to Yale's liking.After being outgained by Georgetown by 81 yards in the first half, Yale took over control of the game.

Georgetown managed just 27 yards rushing on nine carries in the second half. Also, starting quarterback Isaiah Kempf was knocked out of the game so the Hoyas were forced to take to the air with their second-string quarterback.

Offensively, Yale's running game woke up. After managing eight yards on 11 carries in the first two quarters, the Bulldogs ran the ball 24 times for 111 yards in the second half.

The performance was almost a 180 degree turn from the 2010 Yale/Georgetown game when the Bulldogs played a great first half but struggled to slow down the Hoyas in the second half.

"It was a great start," Yale coach Tom Williams said. "We knew that not only is Georgetown an improved football team over the last couple of years but now they have a two-game head start. We felt like it was important for us to start fast. We made some early game or first game mistakes but I thought we were able to get it ironed out in the third quarter, come out and really play Bulldog football for the rest of the game."

Smith finished with 267 all-purpose yards and had he been able to elude the Georgetown kicker, he may have doubled his touchdown output.

"I wish I could have punched one (kickoff return) in," Smith said. "I guess that kicker is an All-American or something."

Cargill finished with 92 yards including his first rushing touchdown at Yale and caught four passes for 46 yards and another TD. Defensively, returning starting linebackers Jordan Haynes and Will McHale led the way with 11 and 10 tackles respectively.

Labels: ,

A new address for live blog

My apologies but still getting some bugs out of the system for live blog. I put the new address on previous blog

Live blogging from Georgetown game

For those interested in following along, I will be taking part in a live blog from today's Yale/Georgetown game.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bulldogs remember last year's Georgetown game

Even if Georgetown hadn't opened the season with wins over Davidson and Lafayette, the Hoyas are in no danger of being overlooked by Yale on Saturday when the Bulldogs open the 2011 season with a noon game against Georgetown at the Yale Bowl.

The Bulldogs seemingly had the game well in their control with a 27-14 halftime lead. Spurred on by touchdowns by New Haven natives Jeremy Moore and Keerome Lawrence, Georgetown scored 21 straight points to take a 35-27 lead and needed a last-minute drive to come away with a 40-35 victory.

Patrick Witt threw for 407 yards and a pair of touchdowns and had the game-winning score on a 1-yard run as time expired.

Witt has a pretty good idea of how Georgetown wants to play defensively.

"There is a lot out there against this defense," Witt said. "One of the big things about them, is they don't want to let you get behind them. You have to be patient and be willing to take five yards, eight yards at a time and not try to be greedy."

Here is senior linebacker Jordan Haynes' take on Georgetown.

"Defensively, we are excited," Haynes said. "It will be a good challenge for us. They have some good receivers, a good quarterback who played last year. We are excited for the opportunity to test our eyes. They run a lot of different , they have several different receivers, they have a quarterback who likes to run it."

Yale coach Tom Williams likes what he has seen from his team during practice this week.

"I think our team is hungry and ready to go," Williams said. "I know our offense wants to have a better showing than against Dean. Now that we have a game plan and have some concrete examples of what they are going to see on Saturday, I expect them to be better and the defense will look to pick up where they left off."

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Good news on the injury front

The injury bug has wreaked havoc with some of Yale's most promising freshmen with running back Kahlil Keys (knee), defensive back Ethan DeSilva (knee) and defensive end Max Fink (hip) among those expected to miss the season. When offensive lineman William Chism suffered a hand injury in Saturday's scrimmage against Dean College, the original fear was that Chism would be sidelined for a while. However, he was back at practice in a limited fashion and Yale coach Tom Williams is expecting to give Chism some snaps in Saturday's season opener against Georgetown.

"He got about 10 reps today," Williams said after Wednesday's practice. "What they told us is they think they will be able to cast his hand, hard cast it and wrap it really tight and he should be able to get some reps on Saturday. All those guys who went down where guys we figured had a chance to play for us so it is nice to get good news on one of those guys. They'll have a chance to do something (surgery wise) at the end of the season but right now he is good to go."

Another freshman sidelined is former Staples star Chris Coyne, who is dealing with concussion-like symptoms. It is not a good sign that Yale gave Coyne No. 99 and then assigned that number to fellow defensive end Carter Deutsch.

The last item on the freshman for today is that Williams believes that Chism, fellow offensive lineman Ben Carbery, defensive backs Charles Cook and Nick LaTesta, running back Wynston Bouknight and linebacker Will Vaughan are the freshmen expected to see action against Georgetown. Plenty of their classmates should see action when the Yale JV team hosts Dean College on Sunday at 1 p.m.

If you head to a Yale practice, the odds are pretty good that you will see an NFL scout or two in attendance. Wednesday was no different as representatives from the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals were at Clint Frank Field to see Yale's pro prospects up close and personal.

Both were there to see senior quarterback Patrick Witt but the Atlanta scout inquired about linebacker Jordan Haynes and safety Geoff Dunham while the rep from Arizona was asking about defensive tackles Pat Moran and Jake Stoller.

The season has yet to begin and scouts of New England, both the New York Giants and Jets, Carolina, Cleveland, Washington (twice), Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, St. Louis, San Francisco and now Atlanta and Arizona have been at a Yale practice. To say it is a major jump from the last couple of years would be an understatement of immense proportions.

"First year, I don't think we had anybody who came through," Williams said. "Last season we had a couple of teams that came through to see Tommy (McCarthy) and (Shane) Bannon but it was really more during the end of the season and not at this time. I think they all come because Pat (Witt) is on the radar screen. When they watch practice, they have those other guys on their sheet and then they watch those guys and say 'tell me more about this kid.' We've had that happen almost every day, a guy will say 'I came for your quarterback but I want to know about Stoller, Moran, Haynes, Dunham.'"

Alex Thomas is also on the radar of some NFL teams.

"I think a lot of his looks will depend on his season," Williams said. "If they look at the stat sheet, the stats are good but they are going to compare him to an SEC running back who has 1,000 yards rushing. If he has the season I think he can have (he'll get a shot at the NFL)."

As I mentioned in a blog post yesterday, receivers coach Kefense Hynson is now calling the offensive plays, a duty which Brian Stark handled the last two seasons. Hynson and Stark are now listed as co-offensive coordinators.

I asked Williams about the reason for the switch.

"There was a medical situation with Coach Stark," Williams said. "It happened during fall camp. We didn't make a big deal out if but one of the things I wanted to make sure I did is to help him (Stark) in terms of taking some responsibilities that he didn't have to worry about and concentrating on his health. At the same time, I wanted to reward a guy on our staff who I felt like was the right guy to take that step. Coach Hynson has been an offensive coordinator at Western Washington, he has called plays so to me it was the logical choice. Coach Stark is still very much in support and still very much another voice in our room but I think it has worked out for our entire football team and we haven't missed a beat."

The natural follow-up question was how would Yale's offense be different with a new person calling the plays.

"He (Hynson) has been trained in the Boise offensive scheme," Williams said. "Chris Petersen, when he was the offensive coordinator at Boise was one of the best play callers I had been around. I think play calling is an art. It is something a guy can either do or not. Kefense is a guy who definitely can do it and he has been around guys who are really good at it. I think that will add a different dimension to the plays that we run. It is when we run them and I think if you are the casual fan looking at Yale football this year, you probably will notice a difference in that aspect."

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another reported commitment

According to a Newark Star-Ledger blog, Bishop Ahr (N.J.) receiver/running back Roger Kilgore has committed to Yale.

A pretty interesting part of Kilgore's recruitment is he would like to play both football and basketball at Yale. I've heard of football/baseball and football/track athletes at Yale but playing football and going straight into basketball while carrying an Ivy League academic load is a pretty ambitious schedule.

Commitments this time of the year are worth reporting with the disclaimer that there is a whole bunch of i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed as Kilgore still has to go through the admissions process.

When you add in Kilgore being quoted as saying "I’m also keeping my options open. I’m making a verbal commitment to Yale, but if something comes along during basketball season, I will have to sit down and weigh all my options."

Chat replay and highlights from press gathering

First, thanks to Yale senior linebacker Jordan Haynes for being the special guest on the first Yale football chat of 2011. We peaked at 24 viewers which I'm told it pretty good for these things. We have some bugs to be worked out which should happen by the time we do another one of these.

As for the first of Tuesday's press gatherings at Mory's, some news came out of it.

First, the injury situation.

According to Yale football coach Tom Williams, freshman William Chism is still having his injured hand examined. Williams was not sure if surgery or even if cast would be needed and there is hope that the injury he suffered is not of the season-ending variety. If that is the case, he could be the fourth member of the freshman class in danger of being sidelined for the season. Defensive back Ethan DeSilva (knee) and defensive end Max Fink (hip) came to Yale with pre-existing injuries that figure to keep them sidelined. Running back Kahlil Keys suffered a knee injury on Thursday and it is sounding as if he will have to sit out the season.

Receivers coach Kefense Hynson has taken over the play-calling responsibilities from Brian Stark. I will have more on this either later today or tomorrow.

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt had an interview with Yale's three-member Rhodes Scholarship committee and will find out by Monday if they will recommend him to become a Rhodes candidate. There will be more on Witt, his Rhodes' aspirations and his maturity as a quarterback since arriving at Yale.

For those wanting to read the aforementioned chat, a replay is available here

Depth chart for Georgetown game

Here is the official depth chart for the season opener against Georgetown.

QB: Patrick Witt; John Whitelaw
TB: Mordecai Cargill; Alex Thomas
WR: Chris Smith; Cameron Sandquist
WR: Deon Randall; Brandis Yarrington
WR: Allen Harris; Gio Christodoulou
TE: Kyle Wittenauer; Beau Palin or FB: Elijah Thomas; Keith Coty
LT: Wes Gavin; Ben Carbery
LG: Colin Kruger; Jeff Marrs
C: John Oppenheimer; Mike McInerney
RG: Gabe Fernandez; Mike McInerney
RT: Roy Collins; James Talerico

DE: Cliff Foreman; Austin Pulsipher
DT: Reed Spiller; Chris Dooley
DT: Jake Stoller; Pat Moran
DE: Matt Battaglia; Allen Davis
LB: Will McHale; Brian Leffler
LB: Jordan Haynes; Nick Schneider
LB: Wes Moyer; Ryan Falbo
CB: Drew Baldwin; Kurt Stottlemyer
CB: Dawson Halliday; Collin Bibb
FS: Geoff Dunham; Chris Brady
SS: Nick Okano; John Powers

K: Philippe Panico; Kyle Cazzetta
P: Kyle Cazzetta; Parker Toms
H: Jake Semones; John Whitelaw
LS: Kyle Wittenauer; Beau Palin
PR: Gio Christodoulou; Deon Randall
KOR: Chris Smith; Gio Christodoulou

The only change I noticed from the scrimmage against Dean College was Cliff Foreman moving ahead of Austin Pulsipher. Alex Thomas and Gio Christodoulou, two of Yale's most experienced and explosive skill position players, are listed as backups but both will still figure prominently into Yale's offense. Ben Carbery, the second-string left offensive tackle, is the only freshman in the offensive or defensive two-deep chart although both punters are freshmen.

Chatting with Yale captain Jordan Haynes today

I will be hosting a chat with Yale senior linebacker and team captain Jordan Haynes today. The event will start at 1:15 p.m. with Jordan expected to join me around 1:30 p.m. The event will run until 2 or until we run out of questions, whichever comes first since the first of Yale's weekly press gatherings is slated to start at 2 p.m.

You can check the site or try this link


Monday, September 12, 2011

Live chat tomorrow with Jordan Haynes

Yale senior linebacker and captain Jordan Haynes has graciously agreed to take part in a live chat tomorrow from 1:30-2 p.m. before the first of the weekly Yale press gatherings at Mory's. You can keep an eye on the site for more specific details but I will post a direct link so people can ask questions of Jordan or myself.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bannon cut by Kansas City Chiefs

Former Yale fullback/h-back Shane Bannon was cut from the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday so that offensive lineman Lucas Patterson could be added to the team's practice squad.

Bannon, who was taken by the Chiefs in the seventh round of April's NFL draft, played in all four preseason games for Kansas City and had two carries against Tampa Bay.

The release of Bannon leaves only defensive end Tom McCarthy, who is on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad, as the only Yale product on an NFL roster or practice squad roster.


Yale beats Dean 24-7

Yale's defense, outside of one play, and special teams had strong performances in Saturday's 24-7 win over Dean College in a scrimmage at the Yale Bowl.

Yale had seven sacks (of course with the no hitting the quarterback rule at the scrimmage, defenders only needed to be in the general vicinity to get some of these sacks.

Carter Deutsch, who is back on defense after a move to the offensive line, had three of the sacks while Cliff Foreman had two sacks. Jordan Haynes led Yale with six tackles (according to my unofficial stats). After Haynes made his presence felt on Dean's first offensive possession, one of their assistant coaches could be heard telling his players "we've got to block the Mike (linebacker). Why can't we block the Mike." I am sure more than a few Ivy League coaches said or thought the same thing since Haynes is the Mike or middle linebacker at Yale. Haynes was not the author of the best hit of the scrimmage. That came from sophomore tight end who rumbled for yardage on his only reception when a Dean player came in and tried to lay a huge hit on Coty. The result was the defender being knocked backwards and Coty continued to move forward as if he was barely touched. The play happened in front of the Yale sideline and Coty's teammates went absolutely crazy after the play.

On special teams, Gio Christodolou brought back a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and a fumble recovery on a dropped Dean punt led to Alex Thomas' 2-yard touchdown. Yale coach Tom Williams was impressed with the efforts of his freshmen punters Parker Toms and Kyle Cazzetta.

He was not as happy with the effort of the first-team offense. At halftime he challenged them to come down the field and score and the Bulldogs did just that. Thomas ran three times for 41 of his team-high 45 yards on the six-play, 79-yard drive which ended with Patrick Witt hooking up with Chris Smith on a 28-yard touchdown.

Witt struggled at times throwing the ball down the field although he finished 13 of 20 for 122 yards with the one touchdowns and an interception. Smith led the team with 51 yards on three catches while Allen Harris had a team-high four catches.

Yale offensive starters were Witt, Mordecai Cargill at tailback, Cameron Sandquist, Deon Randall and Allen Harris at receiver, Kyle Wittenauer at tight end and the offensive line of tackles Roy Collins and Wes Gavin, guards Gabe Fernandez and Colin Kruger and center John Oppenheimer. On defense, it was ends Matt Battaglia and Austin Pulsipher, tackles Reed Spiller and Jake Stoller, linebackers Haynes, Will McHale and Wes Moyer, cornerbacks Drew Baldwin and Dawson Halliday and safeties Geoff Dunham and Nick Okano.

As for the freshmen, William Chism and Ben Carbery saw time on the second-team offensive line, linebacker Will Vaughan, running back Wynston Bouknight and corner Nick LaTesta where the ones I noticed as well as the two aforementioned punters.

There have been some injuries among the freshmen. Running back Kahlil Keys suffered a knee injury during practice earlier in the week and he may miss the season, defensive back Ethan DeSilva had a knee injury late in his senior season at Mission Viejo (Calif.) and will not play this season. Chism hurt his hand in the scrimmage and had an MRI done on Saturday.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Five former SCC players on Dean College roster

Fans can get their first look at the 2011 Yale football team on Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Bulldogs host Dean College in a scrimmage at the Yale Bowl.

According to the Dean College site, there are seven Connecticut products on the perennial junior college powerhouse including a pair who played at Hillhouse and five who played in the Southern Connecticut Conference in Hillhouse's DaShon Riley (listed as a linebacker on a roster although he was a lineman at Hillhouse) and receiver Stephen Dejournett, Hamden's Alex DeMarco, former Law lineman Chris Laporte, former Sheehan lineman John Lytle. Here's the list courtesy of the Dean website.

5 Charles Watson SO LB 5-10 195 Middletown/Middletown, CT
48 Tyler Baisden FR RB 5-10 163 Bloomfield/Bloomfield, CT
55 DaShon Riley FR LB 6-2 328 Hillhouse/New Haven, CT
67 Chris Laporte FR SL 6-5 305 Jonathan Law/Milford, CT
84 Stephen Dejournett FR WR 6-0 172 Hillhouse/New Haven, CT
89 Alex DeMarco FR TE 6-4 206 Bridgton Academy/Hamden, CT
92 John Lytle SO DL 6-1 255 Mark T. Sheehan/Wallingford, CT

Two former Yale football players to receive Bush Leadership Award

Former Yale football players Harris Ashton and Benjamin Balme are among five recipients of the George H.W. Bush ’48 Lifetime of Leadership Award. Also, 1957 Yale football captain, the late Jack Embersits will be honored with a special Bush award at the sixth Blue Leadership Ball held at the Lanman Center inside Payne Whitney Gym on Friday, Nov. 18, the night before the Yale-Harvard football game .

Ashton, who earned three letters for the football team in the early 1950s, served as the chairman, president and CEO of the General Host Corp. from 1970 to 1997. He was the chief administrative officer for the company for three years. In addition he was on the board of directors for Bar-s Food Company, 49 Franklin Templeton Group of Funds and RBC Holdings (USA) Inc. A graduate of Columbia Law School, he was a trustee for the United Cerebral Palsy Research & Education Foundation and was on the board of directors for the Madison Square Garden Boys & Girls Club.

Balme, a two-year letterwinner for the football team, has been a renowned orthopedic surgeon in the Portland, Ore., area for nearly 40 years. At Yale, he earned All-Ivy, All-East and All-America honors in 1960 and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent two years with the Eagles before attending Yale Medical School. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and was stationed at a hospital in Da Nang, where he operated on front line casualties. One of his patients was Watts Humphrey ‘66, a Yale quarterback who Balme had watched play while in medical school. Balme also has travelled to Honduras and South Africa on several occasions to provide volunteer surgical services to impoverished youth and families.

Embersits, who captained the 1957 football team to a 54-0 victory over Harvard, passed away in 2009. He was a founding member of the Bush Leadership Awards Committee and served as a chair of the event. In addition, he was a long time board member of the Yale Athletic Association and the Yale Football Association.

Here are the bios on the other three Bush Leadership Award honorees.

Nancy Cahill, a swimmer and softball player at Yale, has spent 25 years practicing law and is now a principal with Holman, Cahill, Garrett, Oliver & Anderson in Seattle, Wash. Cahill has established several dozen public and private foundations in the non-profit sector and advises on charitable giving to benefit entities and programs in the United States and third world countries. The charities have made grants in excess of $400 million to support programs in the U.S. and elsewhere. Cahill also has remained active in the Yale community. She was one of nine founders of WISER, an endowment that has raised more than $1 million to support women’s athletics at Yale. In addition, she was the Yale Association of Western Washington president from 1986 to 2011. Cahill is currently an officer and director for the Seattle Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center Legacy advisory board and serves as the volunteer chaplain for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, which is owned by two former Yale athletes Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder.

Donald Dell, the captain of the undefeated 1959-60 tennis team, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. He is currently the president of Blue Entertainment Sports & Television. His contributions to tennis are far reaching. He co-founded the Association of Tennis Professionals and served as the first general counsel for eight years. He started the sports marketing firm ProServ and was the founder of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington DC. As a player, Dell was a two-time Davis Cup team member and later served as the Davis Cup captain in 1968-69. In addition, he has served as a tennis analyst on television, and his work with the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation has helped generate $15 million for inner-city children. Dell has served as vice chairman and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame board of directors.

Chris Getman, who has been the keeper of the Yale mascot Handsome Dan for nearly 25 years, is president of the New Haven based Soundview Capital Management Corporation, an investment management firm. He played baseball at Yale and later served as an assistant football coach. In 1971, he joined White Weld & Co., which eventually merged with Merrill Lynch. At Merrill Lynch, he served as a first vice president and was elected to the Chairman’s Club, which was then the firm’s highest recognition club. Getman has been very active the New Haven community. He received an Elm Award from the mayor and president of Yale in 1992 and was awarded a Yale medal in 1999. He recently served as president of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Mory’s Association. In addition, he serves as chairman of the Alexis deToqueville division of the United Way of Greater New Haven, and he and his wife were presented with the “Touch a Life Award” in 2002. Getman has been a president of the Yale Baseball Association and the director of the Yale Hockey Association.

Individual tickets for the Nov. 18 event are $175 or $1500 for a table of 10. ($125 for Yale graduates from the classes of 2007-2011). Call (203) 432-1434 or visit the BLB website at to order tickets and get more information on the dinner.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Garrard's release opened the door for McCarthy

When I heard that the Jacksonville Jaguars released quarterback David Garrard, I had no idea how it would open the door for Tom McCarthy, the captain of the 2010 Yale squad, to join the Jaguars.

But that is exactly what happened.

The move of cutting Garrard opened a spot on the Jaguars' 53-man roster. Defensive end John Chick was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster which left a spot to be filled on the practice squad. That was when Jacksonville signed McCarthy to the practice squad.

McCarthy had some things working in his favor. First, one of the three preseason games he appeared in with the Atlanta Falcons was against Jacksonville. McCarthy had a tackle in that game, one of the two he made in his time with the Falcons. Also, Yale head coach Tom Williams was a defensive assistant with the Jaguars before taking the job with the Bulldogs and I'm sure he gave McCarthy a glowing recommendation to Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. Finally, all you have to do is look back to McCarthy's performance at the two pro days he took part in to see that some of his strength and speed numbers were on par with players taken in April's NFL draft. The 6-foot-6 McCarthy checked in at 265 pounds at Yale's pro day and was able to run in the low 4.7 second range in the 40-yard dash and do a 35-inch vertical leap when he worked out for scouts at Fordham's pro day.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Witt receives prestigious honor

Yale senior quarterback Patrick Witt has been named the winner of the Francis Gordon Brown Prize, one of Yale's highest undergraduate accolades.

Witt, a history major with, has earned a 3.91 GPA at Yale, is heading into his third season as Yale's starting QB. He was recently elected to the football team's Leadership Council for the second consecutive year and has been active on campus and in the community.

Here is a description of the award courtesy of the official release sent out by Yale.

The prize is awarded to the student in the junior class in Yale College who most closely approaches the standards of intellectual ability, high manhood, capacity for leadership and service to the University set by Francis Gordon Brown, who captained Yale Football's "Team of the Century" in 1900.


McCarthy signed to Jaguars practice squad

Former Yale football captain Tom McCarthy was signed to the practice squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday according to Yale football coach Tom Williams, who was an assistant coach with the Jaguars before taking the Yale job.

McCarthy, a 6-foot-6, 252-pound defensive end, was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted rookie free agent.

McCarthy had solo tackles in Atlanta's first two preseason games including the Aug. 19 game at Jacksonville. McCarthy played in three preseason games for the Falcons before being cut on Friday.

The Jaguars filled seven of the eight practice-squad positions on Sunday. Defensive lineman Daniel Bladridge, linebackers Jacob Cutrera and Mike Lockley, defensive backs Matt Estrada and T.J. Heath and running back DuJuan Harris were signed after being cut by the Jaguars while receiver Tyler Beiler was signed to the squad after being cut by the San Francisco 49ers.

McCarthy is the second member of the 2010 Yale football squad to be signed to a practice squad. Fullback Shane Bannon is on the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad. Bannon was taken in the seventh round of April's NFL draft and was cut by the Chiefs on Saturday.

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Shane Bannon signed to KC Chiefs practice squad

One day after former Yale fullback/h-back was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, he was one of eight players signed to Kansas City's practice squad.

Bannon, who was taken by the Chiefs in the seventh round of April's NFL draft, played in all four preseason games for Kansas City and had two carries against Tampa Bay.

Joining Bannon on the practice squad are offensive linemen Darryl Harris, Butch Lewis and David Mims, linebacker Justin Cole, receiver Jeremy Horne, defensive back Quinten Lawrence and defensive lineman Anthony Toribio.

Former Yale captain and defensive end Tom McCarthy was not among the seven players signed to the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. McCarthy signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent before being cut on Friday.

Labels: ,

Georgetown, Lehigh open with wins

All three of Yale's non-conference opponents opened the 2011 season on Saturday.

Georgetown, which will play at Yale on Sep. 17 in the Bulldogs' season opener, rolled to a 40-16 win over Davidson.

Former Hillhouse star Jeremy Moore played a major role in the Hoyas' win. Not only did he return three kickoffs for 95 yards but had seven solo tackles, three assisted stops as well as a sack, a pass breakup and 1 1/2 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, quarterback Isaiah Kempf threw for 172 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 73 yards and a score. Nick Campanella ran for 82 yards and three TDs.

Lehigh defeated Monmouth 49-24 as Chris Lum threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns. Zach Barket ran for 80 yards and Fairfield Prep product Marcus Dormevil added 65 yards on just five carries.

Lafayette fell to North Dakota State 42-6 despite an efficient 15 of 20 passing effort from quarterback Ryan O'Neil.

Lafayette and Georgetown will play on Saturday in a game which will help the Yale staff scout both teams.

Mante signs with UFL team

Former Yale punter Tom Mante has been signed by the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

Mante graduated from Yale in 2009 owning nearly every Yale punting record. He has been working with a kicking coach and the last time I spoke with him, Mante talked about how much better his hang time and directional punting was. He attended a kicking combine with the hopes of getting another shot at pro football (Mante was briefly in camp with the Chicago Bears).

Omaha opens the regular season on Sep. 15 with a home game against the Virginia Destroyers.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Nate Lawrie cut by 49ers

Former Yale tight end Nate Lawrie was cut by the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday meaning that there are no Yale products on any current NFL rosters.

Lawrie, originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2004 draft, was signed by the 49ers during training camp. He had a catch in San Francisco's final preseason game against San Diego but it was not enough to earn him a spot on the
49ers' 53-man roster.

Former Yale fullback Shane Bannon, cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, and defensive end Tom McCarthy, waived by the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, are candidates to be signed to NFL practice squads.

As for the current squad, here is a slideshow to 10 players to watch on the 2011 Yale squad.

Labels: , ,

Bannon cut by Chiefs

Former Yale fullback Shane Bannon was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

Bannon, taken by the Chiefs in the seventh round of April's NFL draft, carried the ball on the Chiefs' first offensive play in the preseason but was not able to make the Chiefs' 53-man roster.

Bannon could be signed to the Chiefs' practice squad.

I'm still waiting to hear on the status of Nate Lawrie. If he is cut by the San Francisco 49ers, there will be no Yale products on NFL opening-day rosters.

Labels: ,

Friday, September 02, 2011

McCarthy cut by Falcons

Former Yale captain Tom McCarthy was one of 17 players cut by the Atlanta Falcons on Friday.

McCarthy, a defensive end, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Falcons. McCarthy had solo tackles in preseason games against Miami and Jacksonville but with the Falcons signing Ray Edwards as a free agent and the strong play of seventh-round pick Cliff Matthews, McCarthy was caught up in a numbers' crunch. The Falcons could bring McCarthy back on the practice squad.

Also cut by the Falcons on Friday was former Masuk High star Paul Fenaroli, a rookie center out of Stony Brook.

I'm still waiting to hear about former Yale fullback Shane Bannon and tight end Nate Lawrie, who are on the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers rosters respectively.

Labels: , ,