Here We Go Again?
Kalasi Huggins could be this year's ROY (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)
Kalasi Huggins has been named Ivy League Rookie of the Week, and thus becomes a candidate to become the third straight Lion to win Rookie of the Year.
With the loss of Eugene Edwards to graduation and Chad Musgrove to career-ending injury, Huggins' stepping up this year is a huge plus for Columbia.
With the Lions looking to boost their pass rush, one wonders if maybe Huggins or his hard-hitting sophomore cornerback colleague Calvin Otis will be used on a corner blitz or two as the season progresses. The way Otis has been upending people these first two games on 2008, the idea of him going after an opposing QB is exciting.
But Huggins' story is indicative of where Columbia seems to be overall right now. There has been a huge influx of talent, young talent on this team. And young talent takes a while to really gel and get all the mental mistakes out of its system. On Saturday, I interviewed George Starke '71 who was one of the few rookies on the 1972 Redskin team known as the "Over the Hill Gang." Coach George Allen traded for a bunch of grizzled veterans because he was sick of rookie mistakes. The result was an NFC championship.
It make take a little more time or even another year, but if the coaching staff can retain these talented players on the squad they will mature and make fewer turnovers and penalties, etc.
More Random Thoughts
However you tally up the tackles, (and there still is some confusion about assisted tackles), Drew Quinn still leads the league in total tackles followed by fellow Ohioan and fellow Columbian Alex Gross at #2 in the Ivies. The Columbia Buckeyes are looking good.
The Ivies now seem wide open with the losses for Harvard and Yale on Saturday. Both teams could still win the league, but Brown has to be considered a favorite now since it came in to 2008 as almost everyone's pick for third and now it's knocked off one of the top two teams itself while Yale fell at Cornell.
Penn is 0-2 again, as is Dartmouth. I'm not exactly which one of these teams is a lot better than their record indicates, but at least one of them is.
Princeton is getting good yards from tailback Jordan Culbreath and good leadershop from QB Brian Anderson. But the Tigers top weapon may be wide receiver Will Thanheiser. Princeton is still beatable. Since 2000, the overwhelming majority of Columbia-Princeton games have been fantastic. I don't think this year will be any exception.