Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 30: Greatest of All Time?

Marcellus Wiley on the job at ESPN

First off, please notice my first-ever sponsors and their ad & link on the lower right side of the homepage. Please remember that this company is NOT a Columbia-affilliated entity in any way, but I did check out the outfit and they seem very reliable. Please consider their services, and I thank them for their support.

Second, a bit of a follow up to my story earlier this week about how Coach Wilson visited a training camp practice session at his old school, UCONN.

Here's what Coach Wilson told the Hartford Courant about what he saw:

"They flew around and competed...[Linebacker Greg] Lloyd is an impressive looking player... looks like good competition at RB [running back]...I thought the Oline protected well...There's only four or five guys on the team I know but I tried to stuff them in the truck and bring them back with me."

The '96 Roster

A number of readers have asked me to post the roster for the splendid 1996 Columbia team that finished 8-2.

I have it below, but there is an important disclaimer:

This is the roster as of training camp in the summer of '96. (Finding a reliable roster for the actual games is a bit rough). Thus, some names may be inaccurate. Heights and weights may be a bit off. Positions may have changed, etc.

Okay, here goes...

1) Abed Abusaleh TB Fr. 6-0 210 Harvard-Westlake School Encino, CA

2) Jay Aitken DB Fr. 5-8 185 Menlo-Atherton High Atherton, CA

3) Jim Armstrong DT So. 6-2 290 Dixon High Sneads Ferry, NC

4) Mike Atkins TB Jr. 5-8 170 Chadwick School Hawthorne, CA

5) Cellou Ba WR Fr. 6-1 185 Southwestern Academy Flint, MI

6) Dan Badurina OT So. 6-4 300 Cresskill High Cresskill, NJ

7) Derik Baker TB So. 5-11 170 Bendle High Burton, MI

8) Shant Barsoumian FB So. 5-10 210 North High Lawndale, CA

9) Michele Bellanca CB Jr. 6-1 190 Abraham Lincoln High San Jose, CA

10) Mark Bernstein TE So. 6-4 220 Wayne Hills High Wayne, NJ

11) Charlie Betinelli DE Sr. 6-2 225 Sonoma Valley High Sonoma, CA

12) Jason Bivens TB So. 5-7 185 St. Mary's High Richmond, CA

13) Chris Blakely TE Sr. 6-5 220 Maumee High Maumee, OH

14) Matt Bloodgood OG Fr. 6-2 240 Mansfield High Arlington, TX

15) Chandler Bocklage OT Fr. 6-2 255 The Blake School Mound, MI

16) Joey Bolder ROV Jr. 6-1 210 El Segudo High Los Angeles, CA

17) Bert Bondi FB So. 6-1 225 De La Salle Collegiate Sterling Heights, MI

18) Greg Bowman DE Fr. 6-1 230 Exeter Township High Reading, PA

19) Cie-Jai Brown TB Fr. 5-9 170 Elmont Memorial High Elmont, NY

20) Brett Bryant DT Sr. 6-3 260 El Dorado High Placentia, CA

21) Anthony Caffiero ROV Jr. 6-2 200 Woodbridge High Port Reading, NJ

22) Billy Campbell TE Fr. 6-4 210 Huntington Beach High Huntington Beach, CA

23) Mark Cannan WR Fr. 5-9 180 Waubonsie Valley High Naperville, IL

24) Paris Childress QB So. 5-11 180 Jesuit High New Orleans, LA

25) Kevin Conley P Jr. 6-2 190 Kiski School Coraopolis, PA

26) Joe Cormier FS Jr. 5-11 180 St. Joseph's Collegiate Kenmore, NY

27) Rashaan Curry DE 6-2 260 Archer High Atlanta, GA

28) Dave Curtis OG So. 6-2 280 Bloomfield High Bloomfield, NJ

29) Rodney Dale OT Fr. 6-4 340 Lorain Catholic High Lorain, OH

30) Hashim Dalton FS So. 6-2 185 Tuscola High Waynesville, NC

31) Armand Dawkins WR Fr. 6-2 170 Chadwick School Compton, CA

32) Marcel Deans OG Jr. 6-2 265 Hotchkiss School Jamaica, NY

33) Jay DuPertuis C Jr. 6-4 260 Elk Grove High Elk Grove, CA

34) Dave Folmnsbee DT Jr. 6-2 245 Duncan High Duncan, OK

35) Matt Fox OT Jr. 6-2 280 Oceanside High Oceanside, NY

36) Ryan Gabriele TE Sr. 6-1 245 Bristol Eastern High Bristol, CT

37) Matt Gallino DT So. 6-2 250 Daniel Boone High Douglasville, PA

38) Ray Gerena OT/C Sr. 6-3 270 Crespi Carmelite High Woodland Hills, CA

39) Jim Gillard TB Fr. 6-1 180 Brunswick School Elmsford, NY

40) Brian Gillen MLB Sr. 5-11 215 Riverview High Bradenton, FL

41) Mike Glynn QB Fr. 6-1 190 Boston College High Stoughton, MA

42) Gerald Guerrant WR So. 6-0 165 Detroit Northwestern High Southfield, MI

43) Roy Hanks CB Jr. 5-8 165 Sapulpa High Sapulpa, OK

44) Norman Hayes DB Fr. 5-8 175 St. Mary's College High Richmond, CA

45) Reggie Hence MLB So. 6-0 215 Eisenhower High Houston, TX

46) David Holmes TB Fr. 5-9 175 Isidore Newman High New Orleans, LA

47) Erik Huntley MLB So. 6-1 240 Cardinal Mooney High Youngstown, OH

48) Mike Jennings DE Sr. 6-4 235 Riverside Poly Riverside, CA

49) Jim Jim Jones WR Sr. 5-8 170 H.D. Woodson High Washington, DC

50) Kwang Kim C So. 6-2 245 Herbert Hoover High Glendale, CA

51) Scott Kopcha OLB So. 6-3 205 Canon McMillan High Canonsburg, PA

52) Neal Kravitz K/P Fr. 5-10 155 W.T. Woodson High Fairfax Station, VA

53) Ken Kronquist OG Sr. 6-3 250 Cupertino High Santa Clara, CA

54) Matt Kuhn DT Jr. 6-2 245 Waubonsie Valley High Naperville, IL

55) Pat Lamparello FB Fr. 6-0 200 Northern Valley High Old Tappan, NJ

56) Dennis Lee WR Sr. 5-10 175 Pinole Valley High Hercules, CA

57) Ryan Lewis TB Fr. 5-10 185 Aptos High Capitola, CA

58) Matt Linit K So. 5-11 185 Hickman High Columbia, MO

59) John MacKinney OT Fr. 6-3 265 Fontana High Fontana, CA

60) Jeff Martin DT So. 6-3 255 Sacred Heart Prep San Francisco, CA

61) Ray Martinez OT Fr. 6-5 275 Bishop Amat High Montebello, CA

62) Mike Martinic CB Fr. 5-10 170 J.K. Mullen High Parker, CO

63) Tony McGill OLB So. 6-2 210 Wayne Memorial High Inkster, MI

64) Justin Meadlin WR Fr. 5-9 160 Lamar High Arlington, TX

65) Miguel Medrano DE Jr. 6-2 220 Loyola High Los Angeles, CA

66) Michael Miller WR Jr. 6-0 185 Secaucus High Secaucus, NJ

67) Austin Milliken C/OG Sr. 6-2 270 Choate Rosemary Hall San Francisco, CA

68) Ian Mizel DT Fr. 6-1 250 Hewlett High Hewlett, NY

69) Abel Montanez DB Fr. 6-1 187 Bishop Amat High Montebello, CA

70) Ed Moore TE Jr. 6-4 240 Punahou School Honolulu, HI

71) Randy Murff OT Sr. 6-2 295 Bellaire High Bellaire, TX

72) Tom Nelson DE Fr. 6-4 235 Middletown High Red Bank, NJ

73) Andreas Neuman MLB Jr. 5-10 200 Horace Mann New York, NY

74) Jessie Nunn FS Sr. 5-10 180 Anderson High Anderson, IN

75) Aaron Obdens OT So. 6-2 325 Bloomfield High Bloomfield, NJ

76) Brandon O'Daniell OLB Jr. 6-0 215 Carl Sandburg High Orland Park, IL

77) Eric O'Dell DE Fr. 6-3 220 Bay High Bay Village, OH

78) Andre Ogundare DB Fr. 5-10 165 Sharpstown High Houston, TX

79) Matt Orlowski OT So. 6-5 245 Notre Dame High Detroit, MI

80) Will Poppe DB Fr. 6-1 180 Bergen Catholic Upper Saddle River, NJ

81) Matt Radley OG Fr. 6-3 295 Capistrano Valley High Mission Viejo, CA

82) David Ramirez WR Sr. 5-10 175 Edinburg North High Edinburg, TX

83) Dominic Riebli ROV Jr. 6-2 205 Justin-Siena High Sonoma, CA

84) Paul Roland OLB So. 6-2 225 St. Joseph's Collegiate Williamsville, NY

85) Claude Roxborough WR Fr. 6-1 185 St. John's High Washington, DC

86) Sam Rubert C/OG Fr. 6-2 255 Deerfield High Highland Park, IL

87) Ben Russell WR Fr. 5-10 175 Glendora High Glendora, CA

88) Dan Scalia TE So. 6-4 250 Needham High Needham, MA

89) Ted Schroeder QB So. 6-2 180 West Aurora High Aurora, IL

90) Jon Sproul DT Fr. 6-2 240 Barnstable High Centerville, MA

91) Jason Streem DB Fr. 6-1 170 Beachwood High Beachwood, OH

92) J.C. Tabio DE Fr. 6-2 220 Southwest Miami High Miami, FL

93) Cliff Taylor TB Fr. 6-1 200 Decatur High Decatur, TX

94) Clint Taylor LB Fr. 6-1 205 Decatur High Decatur, TX

95) Jeremy Taylor OLB So. 6-2 220 Trabuco Hills High Mission Viejo, CA

96) Steve Testa OLB Jr. 5-11 215 Hopkins Grammar North Haven, CT

97) Paul Thomas FB Jr. 6-2 220 Bolingbrook High Bolingbrook, IL

98) Bobby Thomason QB Jr. 6-2 200 Loyola High Mar Vista, CA

99) Lendell Thompson TB Fr. 6-0 180 St. Patrick-St. Vincent High Benicia, CA

100) Chris Tillotson CB/WR So. 5-10 180 Dondero High Royal Oak, MI

101) John Toye TB Fr. 5-9 200 McDonough High Waldorf, MD

102) Chris Wachter WR Sr. 6-1 180 Northern Garrett High McHenry, MD

103) Brian Washington DB Fr. 5-9 165 W.J. Woodham High Pensacola, FL

104) Chris Watson CB So. 5-11 195 Fort Dale-South Butler Academy Georgiana, AL

105) Marcellus Wiley DE/TB Sr. 6-5 270 St. Monica High Los Angeles, CA

106) Rory Wilfork OLB Sr. 6-2 235 Norland High Miami, FL

107) Dan Woodlin DB Fr. 5-10 175 Scotland School Philadelphia, PA

108) Ben Woods DE So. 6-1 240 Archibishop Riordan High San Francisco, CA

109) Kevin Wright OLB Fr. 6-2 195 DeWitt Clinton High Bronx, NY

Day 30: Marcellus Wiley '97

Of course the biggest star of that 1996 team was defensive end and sometimes running back Marcellus Wiley.

I realize what I am about to write will come off to some as hyperbole, but here it is:

I have been watching Ivy League football for the better part of 30 years, and I have never seen a player on either side of the ball on any team who could dominate a game like Marcellus Wiley did in the fall of 1996.

Wiley came to Columbia in 1992 as a somewhat scrawny running back recruit from Los Angeles. At Saint Monica High, he played his best at the strong safety position and he made the All Westside Defensive team.

Wiley was one of the first of Head Coach Ray Telliers huge influx of California recruits and despite being scrawny, he made an immediate impact on the 2-4 freshman team in '92.

Wiley led the team in rushing with 321 yards and a 4.1 yards per carry average. He also connected on three of four option passes, two of them going for TD's.

In the disappointing 1993 season, Wiley was one of the few bright spots with 421 yards rushing and six TD's.

Then Coach Tellier had a revelation. If Wiley could boost his size just a bit, he would make a dominant defensive end. Wiley agreed to give it a try and the 1994 season was a breakout year. He finished with 34 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, five sacks and four fumble recoveries. On 41 carries, Wiley still made an impact as a rusher with 197 yards and seven touchdowns.

After taking the 1995 season off, Wiley was back and even stronger in 1996. He finished with 63 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, six and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. He also ran for 118 yards and five TD's

Time after time that season, it was Wiley who came up with the big play to save the game. He just seemed to will his way to the ball or the end zone whenever the Lions needed it.

After Columbia, Wiley was drafted in the 3rd round by the Buffalo Bills where he was tutored in the pro game by the great Bruce Smith. Wiley made his greatest impact as a member of the San Diego Chargers, where he was an All-Pro in 2001.

Today, Wiley is an NFL analyst for ESPN in their new studios out of L.A. He often speaks of how his Columbia education is the biggest reason he's been able to snag such a sweet post-playing gig.


At Fri Aug 21, 02:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greatest player of all time?

Many people (Ivy people) have told me that Marty Domres (Number One NFL Pick)was the best player they have ever seen in the Ivy league!!

Lets not go crazy here...Wiley was a good player but, There were a lot of other good players on the '96 team.......

At Fri Aug 21, 05:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcellus was drafted high in the second round. His best play; blocking a pass by knocking it into the air and then catching it for the INT before it hit the ground.

At Fri Aug 21, 05:51:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Unbelievable how many Cali. kids on that roster.

At Fri Aug 21, 08:11:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had an assistant coach who later left to become an assistnzat at Yale. He specialized in recruiting California kids. I can't remember his name.

At Fri Aug 21, 08:12:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who played for Yale in the domres years told me that Carm always worked the team extra hard before the Columbia game because he was terrified that Marty would pass for 500 yards and upset them.

At Fri Aug 21, 08:55:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger jjmcg66 said...

Great comment by Marcellus while he was subbing on yesterday's Mike & Mike radio show, when asked hypothetically, "suppose you were told today that you daughter could be guaranteed acceptance at Harvard when she is of age" - at which point Marcellus cut off the other speaker and shouted "I think you mean Columbia!"

Once a lion always a lion -- Roar Lions Roar!

At Fri Aug 21, 11:08:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 11am post -- Coach Clark (Keith), great coach, great guy -

The coaches in those days used to be in love with Cali most think the larger states (CA, TX, FL) play the best high school football. Personally i am a fan of finding "players" matter what state they come from.

It would be interesting to look back across the Lion historical stats (not perception) and see what states produced the best lions. Maybe it is CA? Not sure...

At Fri Aug 21, 11:34:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have to include Wit in the greatest of all time convo. He still holds the majority of all Ivy passing records(as do his receivers) He wasn't on many winning teams but he was a huge game changer and his numbers were unreal. Best arm and quickest release I ever saw in I-AA...

At Sat Aug 22, 12:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wiley may have been best DE ever, but all-time greatest has to go to Archie Roberts and/or Sid Luckman.

At Sat Aug 22, 05:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Marcellus Wiley and my vote goes to Des he wasn't drafted, but he did it all! I wasn't half the player he was in College. I just had a great potential and looked the party, but Des was a beast!!!

Glad you guys listened to me on Mike and're right! Once a Lion, Always a Lion!!!!

At Wed Oct 14, 10:00:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Claude said...

'96 was a great year. I beleive it was after this year that our team finally got included in the video game world of Madden. But to give credit to where it is due, I must give shot out to Matt Lennit (sp). I don't think I could count how many 45 yarders in the wind he hit for us. ---Rox

At Fri Mar 05, 09:59:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger JJ said...

As someone who played with both Marcellus and Des, I would put them both at about the same level: they both were big contributors on offense & defense and teams would have to account for them on every play. Des was just a little too short to go to the next level but no one can argue about his toughness.

Good for you on the shout-out 'Cell. BAY-BAYYY!


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