I Have Here a List...
Welcome Freshmen... meet your new roommates
Columbia Athletics has announced its official list of 31 recruited incoming freshmen, (including one junior transfer), for Lions football. The players' whose names I had not previously posted are signified with an *:
1. Cory Clare QB 6-0 170 Davie, Fla. South Plantation HS
2. *Dan Cohen OT/DT 6-4 265 New York, N.Y. Horace Mann HS
3. Mike Egley TE/DE 6-2 235 Kittanning, Pa. Ford City HS
4. Brian England TE/DE 6-2 240 Hazlet, N.J. Raritan HS
5. *Bruce Fleming DL 6-2 235 Alguippa, Pa. Hopewell HS
6. Greg Fontela SS 5-10 180 Miami, Fla. Belen Jesuit Prep
7. Alex Gross RB/LB 5-11 205 Kettering, Ohio Fairmont High School
8. Nico Gutierrez WR/FS 6-0 178 New Canaan, Conn. New Canaan HS
9. *Craig Hamilton DB 5-8 150 Detroit, Mich. U. of Detroit Jesuit Academy
10. Paul Havas QB 6-2 195 Hampstead, Quebec St. Paul’s School (NH)
11. Marc Holloway FB/LB 5-11 220 Philadelphia, Pa. West Philadelphia Catholic HS
12. *Leon Ivery RB 5-11 190 Mountain View, Calif. Menlo HS
13. Shane Kelly QB (Jr. transfer) 6-4 220 Basking Ridge, N.J. The Hill School
14. Andrew Kennedy TE 6-3 235 Westport, Conn. Staples HS
15. Bryan Kipp OG/LS 6-3 250 Norfolk, Mass. Xaverian Brothers HS
16. Zachary Kourouma RB/SS 5-10 175 Wilbraham, Mass. Minnechaug Regional HS
17. Nathan Lenz RB/SS 5-11 205 Largo, Fla. Clearwater Central Catholic HS
18. Adam Mehrer WR/FS 6-1 175 Midlothian, Va. Clover Hill HS
19. Matt Moretto RB/LB 6-0 195 Cornwall, N.Y. Cornwall Central
20. Mike Murphy RB/DB 6-1 180 Staten Island, N.Y. St. Joseph-by-the-Sea HS
21. *Daniel Myers DB 5-11 175 Blackstone, Va. Nottoway HS
22. Calvin Otis WR/DB 6-1 182 Windermere, Fla. Lawrenceville School (NJ)
23. Clifton Pope TE 6-3 230 New Rochelle, N.Y. Iona Prep
24. Ian Quirk OL 6-2 280 Frederick, Md. Tuscarora HS
25. *Prentis Robinson OT 6-4 270 East Orange, N.J. Middlesex HS
26. *Conor Russomanno WR 6-0 170 Falls Church, Va. Thomas Jefferson HS
27. Josh Smith DL 6-3 240 Grand Rapids, Mich. Forest Hills Northern HS
28. *Mike Stephens WR 5-10 175 Flower Mound, Texas Flower Mound HS
29. Joe Stormont K 6-2 190 Stillwater, Minn. Stillwater HS
30. Matt Stotler DE 6-5 220 Arlington, Va. Yorktown HS
31. Augie Williams RB/DB 5-10 175 La Mesa, Calif. Grossmont HS
A couple of names from my last posted list didn't make it to this official rundown. They are Ben Britzius C Wheeler (GA) and Tim Skalak OL Central Catholic (OH). In Skalank's case, I'm pretty sure he's an unofficially recruited "walk-on" who simply had the grades to get in to Columbia without help. Britzius may have been lost, but he may be one of those unofficial walk-ons as well. We will have to keep an eye out for more players falling into this category, and while it may frustrate us not to know about them early, more power to the great students out there.
About the New Names...
Leon Ivery in 2006 game action (CREDIT: Palo Alto Daily News)
There are some exciting prospects in the new batch of names we now officially know. One of them is RB Leon Ivery from Menlo High School in Palo Alto. It looks like Ivery may have been a D-I prospect until his junior year, when he had surgery to remove some bone spurs in his foot. He then had a terrific senior year, but missed his team's last two games with perhaps more spurs or some other type of injury to his foot. He joins Nico Gutierez, who is another incoming freshmen who could be a serious factor in the league if they overcome injuries.
Ivery has an interesting personal and family history. He's an accomplished classical pianist, and was featured as a young entrepreneur in his local paper when he was just in 8th grade. His father is a Vietnam vet who survived the Tet Offensive.
Another exciting "get" is Mike Stephens, an all-star wide receiver from an impressive conference in Texas. Stephens could make an impact on the still wide open race to start as the #2 receiver behind Austin Knowlin.
I was also impressed with what I read about Prentis Robinson, the offensive lineman from New Jersey.
But it's really important to take all this news with a big grain of salt. All of these kids are coming to Columbia mostly to get an education, and for some of them the transition to NYC will be a tough one. Sadly, 2-3 or maybe more of these young men will not be on the roster when the season kicks off. That's inevitable.
On the other hand, I would say that six freshmen made a serious impact on the Lions last season: Andy Shalbrack, Austin Knowlin, and Justin Masorti were the top three and Lou Miller, Taylor Joseph, and Matt Bashaw were the other impact frosh. I think there's room for another 4-5 newcomers to make a similar contribution this season. So these players have to be optimistic about their chances if they give it their all.
Obviously, I'll have much more on this incoming class in the weeks and months to come.