Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Word of Caution

It was the winter of 2002, and I was a morning news producer at the now-defunct business channel, CNNfn. The big news at that time was the growing number of earnings reports scandals. Every day, it seemed like another company was forced to admit it fudged its numbers. There were criminal investigations and indictments, angry investors, and political outrage.

One February morning, we were told by our bosses to keep hitting the earnings scandals with guest after guest. I did as I was told, presenting the viewers "expert" after "expert" who basically promised our viewers that most earnings reports were 100% myth, a waste of time, B.S. with a capital "B."

Just as another one of our guests was preaching that message, I got an urgent call in the control room. I was ordered to immediately break in to this interview for... wait for it... an earnings report! So after making the strong case that all earnings were crap, we interrupted everything to give the viewers a heaping new portion of crap.

I was reminded of that silly incident yesterday when I realized some of the much-ballyhoed freshmen recruits from last year are now not even on the team. This does not mean we should not smile a bit when we hear about hot recruits. God knows it helps the offseason pass by more quickly. But we should not forget that these kids may not even be on the team a year from now.

This is not a slam on the character of these young men who have already achieved a lot by getting decent high school grades even as they remain committed to football. But I would just ask all of us to take even the best recruitment news with a grain of salt.

That way, when I break into a discussion about some of our now "missing" players with some news about another hot recruit, it won't seem so silly.


At Wed Feb 06, 10:05:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were a huge booster of Masorti, and pretty much pegged him as another Des Werthman. Based upon his first year play, I agreed. I was puzzled by his failure to play Spring ball, and then by his inconsistent and injury plagued sophomore year. but I am flabbergasted that he is no longer on the roster. Is he still in school? What is going on here?

At Wed Feb 06, 10:07:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Well, Masorti's problems last season I think were mostly about injuries. Let's hope he returns when it counts in the fall. I don't know anything else.

At Wed Feb 06, 10:52:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that we already have a full class in place. Does anybody have an updated list?

At Wed Feb 06, 11:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the players that have left the roster were walk-ons not official, likely letter recruits. The coaches give their valuable recruitment slots to the 30 (+ or - one or two depending on their 4 year recruit total) players that they feel are their 30 BEST recruits. Walk ons may or may not have even been recruited and are not generally the top prospects. Yes! Yes! I know that this is not always 100% true but it is true most of the time.

Recruiting is a guessing game. Some guys exceed expectations, some guys meet expectations, some guys do not live up to expectations, and some guys quit. It takes two or three years to truly judge the success of a recruiting class.

Don't expect this new class to have much impact on the line play in 2008. As Coach Wilson said himself during his half time basketball interview, he doesn't expect first year lineman to play much, especially first Offensive Lineman.

At Wed Feb 06, 11:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does Signing day affect recruiting for Ivy League schools like Columbia?

At Thu Feb 07, 01:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had more so-called "walk-ons" last year than any other year in memory and they certainly helped the team by providing enough depth
to re-establish the junior varsity program, and one "walk-on," Ben Gaston, even became a starter on the offensive line. Columbia has been hurt in the past by having less "walk-ons" than the other Ivy League schools. It has not been unusual for schools like Yale to have "walk-ons" from prep schools or other schools. Columbia has not had as many for several reasons including its smaller enrollment and the fact that a large number of Columbia's feeder's schools did not have football teams.

At Thu Feb 07, 01:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Gene Kaskiw had to leave the team for medical reasons, but as far as I know, Javier Garza is still part of the team, I don't know why he doesn't appear on the roster.

At Thu Feb 07, 02:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All-State linebacker recruit Tim Waller has switched to Georgetown according to Ivy Board. Anybody know anything? Big disappointment.

At Thu Feb 07, 06:29:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

The Ivy league schools do not have a binding letter of intent. They do ask the recruits to sign their intentions I think only to have the recruit feel morally obligated to their stated intention of playing football at the school. I think this is the reason you won't see the final list of recruits until as late as April since they want to be sure all recruits sign their admissions forms and don't get ripped away by another Ivy school in particular.

At Thu Feb 07, 01:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harnish Ayora signed with Truman State. Who the heck are our RBs? I hope we got Alan Williams (from Kentucky) -- he's not big but he cuts through defenses like magic. Guy Germinario of Don Bosco is another good one (very tough) we've been looking at.

At Thu Feb 07, 02:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are articles on line about two Columbia commits, Sam Cecil, an OL, and Will Claunch, a linebacker, both with good size. I posted the articles on the Ivy League site until Jake gets his comments and links up.


At Thu Feb 07, 07:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt Williams, a DB at Don Bosco who was described as a star WR at another school the year before.

At Thu Feb 07, 10:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex Cornish

Alex Cornish produced enough eyepopping statistics on the football field at Frederick High School to attract the attention of many colleges.
But those weren’t the numbers that most-influenced Cornish in deciding which school to attend.

It was numbers like stocks, bonds and even one that’s not so quantifiable — where he could get the best value for his education — that persuaded Cornish to attend Columbia University in New York City next fall. Not scholarship dollars or stats.

“I chose Columbia because it’s an Ivy League education and it’s in New York City. I figured that would be pretty cool,” he said. Cornish will play football for the Lions, who compete on the Division I-AA level, but will not receive any financial help to do it since Ivy League Schools don’t grant athletic scholarships.

By choosing Columbia, Cornish turned down thousands of dollars in scholarship money from schools that wanted him to play football.

It’s not hard to figure out why.

As a defensive end/linebacker for Frederick, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Cornish posted 148 tackles during his senior season, including 51 for a loss and eight sacks.

He was named The Frederick News-Post Defensive Player of the Year and was an honorable mention all-state selection.

“Alex is like a mad scientist,” Frederick football coach Vince Ahearn said.

“When you see the intensity and emotion he plays with on the field and how aggressive he is, and then realize how smart a person he is, it’s like ‘Whoa.’”


At Thu Feb 07, 11:12:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New recruit. Alex Cornish - Frederick High School, Fredrick,MD - defensive end/linebacker - 6-foot-1, 215-pounds

First year OL Ian Quirk played at cross town rival Tuscarora High School.


At Thu Feb 07, 11:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on Cornish.

Defensive Player of the Year
Alex Cornish-Sr.-LB-Frederick (Had 148 tackles, 51 for a loss, and 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 field goal blocked and 1 punt blocked. Second in school history with 9 sacks in a career. First in school history with 3 blocked field goals in a season and first in school history with 6 field goals blocked in a career. Alex was named to the Baltimore Touchdown Clubs Super 22 team this Spring. Single handedly willed his team to victory against Urbana for the first time in school history, with 23 tackles, 6 for a loss, 2 sacks 1 forced fumble and 1 recovery. Also blocked a punt in the game. Named first team All MVAL Piedmont Conference at Linebacker as well as being named a Baltimore Touchdown Club All Star. Named Frederick High Schools Gatorade Player of the Year.

At Fri Feb 08, 01:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having two very talented players from Don Bosco Prep in next year's class is a very good sign for Columbia Football. I do not know that much about Kurt Williams because he transferred to Don Bosco from Walter Panas High School in Westchester prior to his senior year. However, I believe that he was one of the starting defensive backs on the number one ranked team in the State of New Jersey. At the least, we know that he played at a high level his senior year and was very well coached

At Fri Feb 08, 01:33:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex Cornish's stats -- nine sacks, three blocked field goals and a blocked punt--indicate that he has the ability to accelerate quickly from his linebacker/defensive end position. He seems like an excellent recruit for our defense which relies upon speed and mobility. Hopefully, he emulates his namesake,Ivy League ROY, Alex Gross, and makes an immediate impact at Columbia.

At Fri Feb 08, 02:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt Williams, WR and S, was leading receiver in his Westchester league with 31 catches for 508 yds and 7 TDs as junior. Second team all-league as DB for Don Bosco in super tough league (Bosco, Bergen Cath, St. Joe's. . .).

At Fri Feb 08, 05:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surfaced thus far:
1 FB: Papas
2 QBs: Bell & Haslett
1 WR(?): Daniel
1 OL: Cecil

0 DLs
4 LBs: Miller, Mistretta, Claunch & Cornish
3 DBs?: Morand, Williams & (?) Mulheran

At Fri Feb 08, 08:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of several weeks ago we had basically filled our class with 27 commits. I think you can assume that we either are or will be at around 32 after this weekend. As for the RB issue, I still don't know why we don't put MA in at TB.

At Fri Feb 08, 10:47:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a wonderful visit with Columbia and the coaching staff. They are all 1ST class individuals. Columbia is a premier learning institution with a noteworthy reputation. Coach Wilson had the final decision on not making Tim an offer. In all due respect to Coach Wilson who has always been an OL coach, Tim's size in my mind was the reason he did not get an offer. His recruiter and the LB coaches wanted him, but as everyone knows it's the Head Coach who makes that final decision which I respect. He was told by his H.S. head coach many times that if you were 6' you would be playing at any Division 1 school of your choice. This comes from a coach whos son plays in the NFL.

The Head Coach from Georgetown was the former LB's coach at the Naval Academy and has coached LB's for 20years. After his visit with Georgetown he decided to take the offer for several reasons: The big reason was Georgetown has an undergraduate business school plus he loved the campus and the coaching staff.

I have always taught my boys this simple philosophy: "you are always 1 injury away from never playing football again but a premier education is yours to keep".

In all honesty it bothers me that so many people place so much emphasis on height. Tim has always had the heart of a lion. This past year in the 1sr qtr of the second game he suffered a severe high ankle sprain that caused him to miss almost 3 games. He played through pain the whole year. He continued to practice everyday and would then go to therapy twice a week. He refused to stop playing. His quote: "the only way I'm going off the field again is on a stretcher. This kid is a workout freak. Twice a day, and then speed trains 3 times a week yet maintains over a 4.0 GPA.

Just a little info on this undersized kids strength:

Bench Press: 335 lbs
Squat: 475 lbs
Clean & Jerk:275 lbs

Lazer Timed 40 yard dash: 4.58

He's upset over this whole recruiting process and the size issue. He's now on a mission working out harder than ever to prove to himself that he will have an impact at the next level. All you have to do is ask his team mates who is the hardest hitter on the team and you'll get the same response every time.

He led a defense that frequently made the opposing offenses go 3 & out. The defense allowed less than 5 points per game, only 2 rushing touchdowns in 3 years and posted 16shutouts in 36 games. They currently have the longest winning streak in NJ at 40. They finished #2 in NJ, #4 in the entire Tri-State area.

Regarding scholarships in the Patriot League, not true. They work it based on info they receive from the FAFSA. Financial Aid is on an as need basis.

In closing I want to wish the entire Columbia Football Family and their new recruits the very best of luck. I believe Coach Wilson and his staff are all moving in the right direction. In order to be champions you must have many hearts beat as one.

Thank you and God Bless.

At Fri Feb 08, 11:06:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, thank you for the information and the very best to your son and you and every success to him.

At Fri Feb 08, 11:18:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of today, the 2008 roster breaks down as follow:

35 Sophomores
27 Juniors
17 Seniors
79 Total current players
32 Probable # new recruits
111 players plus new walk-ons

The age distribution is starting to look much more like a normal Ivy league team. Seventeen seniors is not a bad number. Most non-scholarship football programs suffer attrition, especially among seniors. Seniors generally become more focused on finishing school and finding jobs. If you are a senior and are not going to get much playing time, it can make a lot of sense to concentrate on the next phase of your life.

At Sat Feb 09, 01:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks and best wishes to parent of Tim Waller. It is certainly a surprise to me that Tim was turned down by CU, specifically by Coach Wilson according to Tim's parent. I had thought it was the other way around. I truly hope it works out for the best for everyone. Like Columbia, the Georgetown program is striving to improve and Tim will be a key contributor.

At Sat Feb 09, 02:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Wilson feels that the Lions can afford to turn down a 1st team All-State New Jersey player like Tim Waller, he must have a whole lot of confidence in the other linebacker recruits. Maybe that's a good sign...let's hope so.

At Sat Feb 09, 04:03:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Sorry things didn't work out for Waller and best of luck to him at Georgetown. I'll always take a dedicated hard worker with a true love for the game even if a little undersized, besides isn't the Ivy already full of similar kids? Lot's of these guys would be a scholarship D-ones if they had a little more size.

At Wed Feb 13, 11:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressed by comments of Tim Waller's father. Seems like a class act and I am sure he will do well at Georgetown.As a parent of a current freshman who went through the "process" last year I understand some of their frustration. Our son was also told that he would have alot more offers from D-I schools if he was only 2 inches taller. Also we heard that some of the coaches at Columbia were not sold on him because of his size but that Coach Ferrari really promoted his case and he was offered a likely letter. Our son,as well as ourselves as his parents, were thrilled with the opportunities he had this fall in football and his overall experience at Columbia thus far. He showed that he could play at only 5'11'' and the Ivy League was impressed with the play of Alex Gross as well.


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