Day 35: Late Bloomer
This is actually prime football recruiting turf!
Eric Keck '96 was not your prototypical Columbia or Ivy League football player.
By the time he came to New York City he was 25, he was married, he had a daughter.
He came to the Lions in 1993 from Saddleback Junior College after graduating from Green Mountain Valley High School in Vermont where he never played organized football. Coaches at Saddleback, (in California), spotted Keck and put him at offensive tackle.
Oh, and one more thing: in between high school and junior college, he was one of the best young downhill skiers in the country, part of the national team with Tommy Moe and A. J. Kitt, even though he was 245 pounds!
But when he transferred to CU, Coach Ray Tellier inserted him at defensive tackle and kept schooling him on the finer points of the game during his mandatory "sit out" year.
Then in 1994 he exploded onto the Ivy scene, getting up to 290 lbs. and plugging up the middle against the run while finishing with 39 total tackles, seven tackles for a loss and a spot on the All Ivy First Team.
In 1995, he was elected captain and he continued to shoulder the load, especially with the absence of defensive end Marcellus Wiley '97 who took that season off. Keck finished his senior season with four more tackles for a loss and a spot on the All Ivy Second Team.
For anyone who disparages transfers, I give you the case of Eric Keck. A great player, a great Columbian, and a great American.