Saturday, August 25, 2007

What it All Means... (maybe)

Numbers make some folks' heads hurt

So we've had more than a day now to dissect all the new weight, (and a few height), numbers on the Columbia roster and the question is: what does it all mean.

I have a few semi-educated guesses based on what I've heard and what I can see on my own.

I. Bigger Receivers

What I can see on my own is that the coaches are going for a bigger, more physical wide receiving corps. The three guys presumably at the top of the depth chart right now are Austin Knowlin, Taylor Joseph, and Derek Jancisin, and they all got bigger, especially Jancisin who gained 18 pounds. Knowlin added 11 pounds and Joseph nine. Speedy senior Tim Paulin also put on five more pounds to put himself at 190 lbs. If guys like Knowlin and Paulin can maintain their speed with the extra bulk, then the passing game, especially the run after the catch factor, starts to look better.

II. Slow, but Steady Progress on the Offensive Line

The returning starters at tackle and best contenders for the guard spots aren't 300-pound behemoths... but they do seem to have added weight the right way and hopefully gained strength. Remember, it was strength and not size that Coach Wilson emphasized to me at media day 18 days ago. Sophomore Brandon Veldman, who is probably still a year away from getting lots of playing time, has dropped 50 pounds of what seemed to have been "bad" weight. Now if he can gain 30-35 good pounds and add strength along with it, he'll be a good weapon.

A couple of guys who seemed like they were on the outside looking in on the OL before yesterday may have put themselves in the running for the two-deep with some eye-pooping weight gains. Senior Stefan Savic jumped 20 pounds from 281 to 301 pounds. As a former wrestler, I'm better Savic added the weight in a good way and didn't just feast on Twinkies this offseason. And at 6"7, Savic makes for a formiddable package any way you slice it. Sophomore Will Lipovsky is 6"6 and went from 247 lbs. to 274.

John Seiler and Nathan Walcker looked like they had the inside track to the starting guard positions in the spring and they both added bulk. Seiler went from 276 to 283 pounds and Walcker is up 14 pounds to 287.

The other presumed starter, senior Mike Partain gained 13 pounds to 288 lbs.

III. Like Good News? See Phil Mitchell

The junior defensive end not only gained 18 pounds to 266, but now he's listed at 6"7 as opposed to 6"6! Mitchell definitely has the power to bull through double teams this season, and that's a good thing because that's what he's going to see game in and game out.

IV. Some of the Freshmen are Already with the Program

A number of the freshmen seem to have mirrored the returning players at their respective positions by coming into camp with similar weights. A big question mark is OL Carl Constant, who has gained 30 pounds to tip the scales at 315. For his sake and for the team's sake, I hope that was part of the plan.


At Sat Aug 25, 05:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think we all have to be careful about being prone to exaggeration and wishful thinking. Mitchell is still listed at 6'6", not 6'7" as you say. Not that an extra inch would make much of a difference at his size, anyway. Also, why the continual focus on Brandon Veldman? Maybe he'll turn out to be a good one, maybe not, but just because his name used to be Moose is not reason to keep hyping him. Evidently he himself saw the folly in that name (to his credit I'd say).

At Sat Aug 25, 05:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree on Veldman. As for Mitchell, his height will be a huge plus in knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage. You will recall that Marcelus wiley, rushing from the left side at 6'4" could be counted on for some key knock-downs ( a few of which led to interceptions). As far as the other comments go about the OL, the average size of our 5 interior linemen is probably 15 pounds heavier than it has ever been; based upon what we hear it looks like the weight gain comes form the weight room and not from eating twinkies. As for Constant, I would be surprised if the coaches told him to come in at 315 unless they intend to move him to NT.

At Sat Aug 25, 06:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether its the Big Ten or the Ivy League, it's not unusual for offensive linemen to gain 20 or more pounds between their senior year of high school and their freshman year of college. Therefore, I would not worry about Carl Constant gaining 20 pounds to 315. In fact, the other two big freshman tackles, Prentiss Robinson and Ben Gaston, had similar weight gains. Once these big guys are on the field they start shedding weight quickly so it's important to start in the 285+ range. Anyone know how Nat Lenz and Greg Fontella are doing?

At Sat Aug 25, 06:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not true that "the average size of our 5 interior linemen is probably 15 pounds heavier than it has ever been." Actually, I believe we've had heavier o-lines, but this line at about 287 may be the most athletic and well-coached at that relatively high weight. Let's see how it goes.

As for Constant at NT, if the coaches are comfortable with a 227 pound NT in Loughery, why would they set their sights for that position on a 300 plus player who has already established himself as an all-star offensive tackle in high school? There are a number of 300 pound offensive linemen in the Ivy League, bit no NT's that I know of.

At Sun Aug 26, 05:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for NTs, the ideal players has the size and strength to get under the pads of the offensive center and to control him. He needs a good low center of gravity and has to be very strong. Abrams played at around 255 as I recall, and he was not a big NT. Most of the Ivies play with two defensive tackles; I don't know if anybody plays a three man line. I love our defense, but I do think that a big strong NT with a low center of gravity would be a big plus going up against 280 pound centers and guards nose to nose.

At Sun Aug 26, 10:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intra-squad scrimmage today. I think it starts at 2 o'clock.

At Mon Aug 27, 08:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First offense looked good today especially against first defense. looks like we have the size to run a nice goal line package. The first group of DeBartolo, Partain, Brune, Seiler and Walcher look better and better as a unit. I agree we're bigger up front than in previous years, but the key will be VM's offense. I think this years bunch will move well in space and they're working against a good defense. we should be ready for the Ivy's after our pre-conference games.

With other pieces coming together, the big questions on offense is still the Quarterback. Olawale played well today (except for one unfortunate int). Craig still has the chance to be "the man" if he can get back off that knee injury. If he's slow coming back, Olawale looks like he's ready to step up.

One big up for the Lions that we haven't discussed on the page much is our special teams play. Look for the Lions to improve on Kickoff, Punt and FG.
Rocholl hits from 50 this year! you heard it here first!

At Mon Aug 27, 12:13:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

was Hormann dressed? Did he play at all?


At Mon Aug 27, 09:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news on the running game and M.A. Olawale. Anyone else play at QB? Did Shane Kelly see action? Thanks for the info.

At Tue Aug 28, 12:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Leon Ivery see action in the scrimmage? If so, how did he look??


Post a Comment

<< Home