Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Towing the Line

Jeff Adams is one of the rising sophs on the offensive line (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

There are some positions on a college football team where you just don't see a lot of freshman starters or even key backups.

The offensive line is tops on that list, and that means some of the rising sophomore and junior linemen deserve some special attention during this year's spring practice, (9 days to go).

Two starters from the O-line, Ralph DeBernardo and Mike Brune, are graduating but that leaves three starters, Evan Sanford, John Seiler and Ian Quirk, coming back. Will Lipovsky also got some valuable playing time too and a start or two in injury fill-in duty.

One of the sophomores I'll be trying to watch closely at the spring game, (April 18th, 1pm), is Jeff Adams. Adams looked good as a freshman last year in several practices and certainly has great size, 6'7" - 285 lbs., to get the job done.

But experience is worth a lot on the O-line, and we should also focus on rising juniors Dan Cohen, Prentis Robinson, Tim Skalak, Carl Constant and Bryan Kipp.

Rising senior Brandon Veldman didn't get as much playing time in 2008 as he did in 2007, but you can't forget anyone nicknamed "Moose!"

The bottom line is Columbia's offensive line improved by leaps and bounds in 2008.

The Lions averaged about 140 yards rushing per game last season compared to just 63 yards a game in 2007, (a 122% jump!).

They allowed just 16 sacks in 2008 compared to 28 in 2007, (a 43% drop!).

Columbia can't afford to backslide here and the good news is that it seems like the Lions have the personnel to keep the momentum.

Because the spring game will feature 10 offensive lineman starting on the combined units, it's a unique showcase for what Columbia has in store up front for 2009.

So whether you're focusing on Adams, Lipovsky, Bob Hauschildt, or any of the other "big uglies," be ready to watch in just 32 days!

Ivies Lose one to the Patriots

Speaking of offensive linemen, a red shirt sophomore offensive lineman at the University of Cincinnati with great academic credentials was reportedly looking to transfer to an Ivy school... but Blake McCroskey has ended up at Colgate.

I don't know which Ivy schools were on McCroskey's radar, but Colgate is picking up a player who would have fit in nicely on anyone's roster.

Good luck to Blake and congrats for having your academic and athletic priorities straight.


At Wed Mar 18, 12:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually that's a 122 percent increase. Still pretty good.

At Wed Mar 18, 04:20:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Jake, you didn't mention the loss of O-line coach Blackshear who spent one year as that position coach and saw those numbers improve under his watch. I know who they are bringing in as his replacement and I think he is a good selection but we don't know how much if any coach Blackshear will be missed.

At Wed Mar 18, 07:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The replacement for Blackshear is out on Gocolumbialions.com . Its Ed Argast , the ex Fordham OC . Sounds like a good get for us but I wonder why he left Fordham . Anyhow his knowledge will help with the first game at Fordham .

At Wed Mar 18, 11:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The official announcement may have just came out on Tuesday but Coach Argast has been around for more than a month. The OL guys really like him. They are impressed with his knowledge, his approach to the game and his demeanor. I think he will prove to be a great addition the program.


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