Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 64: Dr. W. & a Speedy Prospect

Bisi Ezekoye is reporting that impressive Maryland high school prospect Ndubisi “Bisi” Ezekoye has been offered a spot on next year's Columbia football team. But don't get too excited. Ezekoye reportedly has tons of other offers already from Army, Connecticut, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Duke, Harvard and Cornell... and there may be more.

His coach at his high school in Silver Spring, MD, (yet another town where I used to live), says he thinks Ezekoye could be president one day. He's that good a student and an athlete.

Folks don't like when I set odds on this site, but I would say Ezekoye is a long shot recruit for just about every school that isn't a BCS program.

I hope I'm wrong.

Russ Warren, 2nd from left joins Al Butts, Robert Kraft and Bill Campbell at the Ivy Football Association dinner (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

Russ Warren '62

There are a few great Columbia players of the past that I routinely kick myself for not writing about enough on this blog.

It's usually because I don't have all the time I'd like or the news of the day just crowds them out.

Russ Warren, a major cog in the 1961 Ivy championship team is one of those players. And if you think he was impressive on the football field, just wait.

First the football. Warren came to Columbia from North Hatfield, Massachusetts where he starred at Northhampton High. By the time he was a senior at CU he was big for a running back at that time at 6-1 and 195 pounds.

In '61, he, Tom O'Connor '63, and Tom Haggerty '62 made up an all-Massachusetts native running back corps. Going into the final Ivy league game of that year, the three combined for more than 1,200 yards and more than 5 yards per carry.

Columbia demolished Penn in that game 37-6, thanks in part to a Warren TD, and clinched a tie for the Ivy title.

Warren and Haggerty ended up on the All Ivy first team, along with their excellent blockers Tony Day '63 and Bob Asack '62.

Warren was also a great punter, and he held some Ivy and Columbia punting records for several years.

Warren was drafted in the 25th round of the AFL draft by the New York Titans, but he was finished with football.

That's because after college, Warren became a real star as one of the nation's leading orthopedic surgeons. In addition to become the N.Y. Giants team physician, Warren became the surgeon-in-chief at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery.

Warren was inducted into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame on October 2, 2008.


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