Monday, November 24, 2008

For Your Consideration

Alex Gross turned the league on its head

We should get the All Ivy and Bushnell Cup honoree names sometime today or tomorrow. Even though Columbia was a 2-8 team, the Lions should be well represented on the list.

Some of our players that should be in the running for All Ivy consideration are:

1st Team

Lou Miller, DE

Led the Ivies in sacks, tackles for a loss, total tackles for a defensive lineman. He should be a no-brainer first teamer.

Alex Gross, LB

Led the Ivies in tackles. Had 17 more than the #2 tackler in the league. Only Yale's Bobby Abare had more solo tackles.

Ralph DeBarnardo and Mike Brune, OT

Columbia went from dead last in rushing yardage to fourth. They also allowed the third-fewest sacks for the season. Much of that was thanks to DeBernardo and Brune.

2nd Team

Drew Quinn, LB

Fourth in the Ivies in total tackles. Led a defense that went from dead last in rush defense to third.

Austin Knowlin, Special Teams

All-around weapon had fewer catches this season, but he was explosive in limited duty as a punt and kick returner. Led the league in punt return average and had two 76-yard TD's.

Evan Sanford, C

Contributed to Columbia's new rushing success. Steady in a storm.

Owen Fraser, NT

Made an immediate impact as a freshman, plugging up the Lions pourous middle. Can also be considered for rookie of the year.

Honorable Mention

M.A. Olawale

Proved to be the best running QB in the Ivies, and maybe the best runner overall. He had longest run from scrimmage in the league this year with his 70-yarder for a TD versus Brown.

Adam Mehrer, S

Finished tied for second in the league with 4 interceptions. Improved with more playing time as a sophomore.

Calvin Otis, CB

Sophomore starter shut down sideline patterns and delivered several lethal hits.

Jon Rocholl, K/P

Solid punter who also nailed the longest field goal in the Ivies this season, (a 47-yarder against the wind versus Cornell). Overall, went 9-11 in FG kicks.


At Mon Nov 24, 11:09:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, I love you and all you've done for program, but you are way off the mark. If we had that many good players, we would have won title. In the alternative, if these guys are as good as you say they are, one has to seriously question the caoching.

One of the reasons our indiviual defensive stats look so good is that our D was on the field for far too amny plays each games.

At Tue Nov 25, 12:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to recognize those seniors who stuck with the program, practices, ect. who did not get to play that much but may have contributed in ways we as spectators can't know. And to their parents who came to the games anyway. They are heros to the team IMO.

At Tue Nov 25, 01:18:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Having 2-3 first-teamers is not way off the mark, even for a last place team, let alone one that tied for 6th and had the third-ranked run defense in the league. Anyone who watched our "D" through the first nine games knows it was chock full of talent.

At Tue Nov 25, 01:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,looking at the overall team picture for what's missing, we do not have a steady offense. A winning team must have both passing and rushing capability.
With O at qb, much as I like him,
the passing is too hit-or-miss and the running depends too much on the qb to bust one open. That is not a balanced, ball-moving attack.
I'm thinking more and more that the oft-mentioned idea of O as a
running back with Kelly, Bell or whomever deserves it at qb, might be the way to go.
O will be a senior next year, so
maybe Wilson won't want to try it, but did he ever consider it? We so rarely get a standout rusher it's a shame we didn't make more use of O.

At Tue Nov 25, 01:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the players you mentioned are deserving, but, I think you are too optimistic. I hope I am wrong, but ...

At Tue Nov 25, 02:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very significant benefit of an otherwise forgetable final season game against Brown was that we got freshman quarterback Jerry Bell on the field. He's the future of the team, if not next year, certainly the year after, unless, of course, someone else comes along and beats him out for the starting quarterback position. There's no question that Bell can throw the ball well and that is something we use to attract some big-time receivers next year. Three of our key players are from Texas--Jerry Bell, Mike Stephens and J.J. Maddox. Hopefully, that will help us in recruiting in Texas and the other Southwestern states.

At Tue Nov 25, 02:24:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

I think Jake's selections are all pretty realistic and fair-minded. I just hope all the underclassmen stay with Norries's (is thwt grammatically right?) program.

But can we now have some basketball coverage too? Hey. we're currently 2-2 with a game against a fairly tough opponent tomorrow night.

At Tue Nov 25, 02:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few observations are in order. We have a good nucleus but do not the one thing that good teams must do: shoot ourselves in the foot. During the mid-60s, the Harvard HC (I can't even remember his name) told his team before the Columbia game that he can always count on Columbia to find some way to hurt itself. This is what happened in the openig minutes at Brown, and it also happened at Penn. We must stop making careless mistakes to become a contender. I like NW and Coach Kelton, but we need to stress fundamentals this Spring. We need to be more aware of the situation on the field. AK should have told Maddox to clear out, for example. Simple things, but game changers. I actually think our run defense was pretty good this year, but that we need to work on our third down packages. We were burned too often by the passing game on third down. On the offensive side, I thought that the play calling was inconsistent. I woul dmake the move to Jerry Bell right now, with MA at running back. He is a great talent, frnkly the best pure runner in terms of speed and power in the Ivies, but he doesn't have the ability to see the whole field as a passer. Shane's confidence started going downhill at Penn, when Bags called him out after the game for locking down on a single receiver. We did not develop a vertical passing game for Knowlin, who with all due respect for Farnham and Sewall, is the most talented receiver in the league. We need to get more production from Kennedy at TE, and we need to run more plays with a lead blocker. Rangel is a nice third down back but isn't as fast as Kourouma, who I think can be an outstanding player if he can get stronger. I would also lioke to see Nico come back from an off year. Finally, we need a couple of big interior linemen to emrge this Spring. On the bright side, I think that Fraser will be one of the best DTs in the league next year, and that Shalbrack, Miller and Gross will have all-Ivy seasons. If I were to make any prediction, I would not be shocked to see some coaching changes on offese.

At Tue Nov 25, 03:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the quarterback is the key position on any football team, but in Columbia's case the attention has to be focused on running back because that is where we need the most improvement and where a newcomer can move right into the starting line-up and make an immediate impact as did Clifton Dawson when he transferred from Northwestern to Harvard, or Xavier Martin when he became eligible to play last year at Fordham. I think M.A. is a great runner, but after two years of questionning have given up on his ever switching to running back. I assume there are some good reasons why it hasn't happened so it's time to move on. Anyway, M.A. certainly has the athletic ability be an All-Ivy quarterback if we help him out by bringing in a couple of standout running backs and wide receivers.

At Tue Nov 25, 04:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Ivy voting is still done by the coaches. Coach Wilson will submit his most likely choices and you hope that they performed well in IVY contests because the other games go out the window. It's unlikely that Coach wilson will have more then 5-7 guys on that list as we went 2-6 in the league and like the pro bowl, Brown and Harvard will most likely have the most players named. With that being said, I could see us having 2 first teamers on D,maybe one on O, possibly Rochell and AK as special teamers. Rochell most likely will be 2nd team or HM as most of his fg's were chip shots and I believe the Penn kicker had superb year.

At Tue Nov 25, 04:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is too early to annoint a QB. And the QB is the key to the is the rare team that wins consistently without at least an above average QB. Im sure the job will be up for grabs until the spring game, and see who performs.
From multiple JV and Varsity games I have seen over the years, for some reason the QB talent seems superior on other teams (either better passers or runners). This is a recruiting priority for the offseason, as it has the potential of a single man becoming the biggest impact for this team.

At Tue Nov 25, 05:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Kourouma that RB? What about the big freshmen (Nico being one?). isuppose what we really need a another J Reese. Can you imagine what we could have done with an RB like him, or even Ayo, who we only had for one season. (It was interesting to see how ordinary McLeod turned out to be this year, by the way.)

At Tue Nov 25, 12:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All-Ivy up at

At Tue Nov 25, 09:12:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a mistake in our press release on all Ivy, in announcing the Lou Miller selection, referred to Jonathan Reese's 1995 record for tackles for a loss!

At Tue Nov 25, 09:14:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Yes, I think they meant Rory Wilfork. By the way, in the 2004 season opener against Fordham, Michael Quarshie had EIGHT tackles for a loss in the game. ONE GAME!

At Tue Nov 25, 10:05:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilfork, Quarshie, Wiley, Werthman, and now Gross and Miller!

Gross and Miller will be tremendous players on our D next year, along with Fraser. I thought that Otis deserved mention at CB, and Shalbrack at Safety. Perhaps this will inspire them for next season. We can have a killer D next year with the return of Morretto, the growth of Groth (no pun intended), and increased contributiono of Otis, Mehrer, Morand, Maddox and others too numerous to mention.


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