Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Scouting, Spring, Sophomores

This is what scouting looks like today

Still at 30

Big Green Alert's Bruce Wood clears up a big question many of us had about recruiting going forward for Ivy football.

It turns out the recruiting period for the month of May was indeed canceled by the league, but the number of incoming frosh each season remains at 30, (or an average of 30 over every four year period).

I'm not sure what impact shortening the recruiting period will have on Columbia or the Ivies. I assume it means taking trips to visit recruits during that period is banned, but does it also curtail emailing and calling kids? Bruce included a link to the NCAA rules on this matter, but I am not smart enough to understand it exactly. Please feel free to check it out and let me know if you get it.

Looking Ahead to Spring, Day 2

A lot of you continue to weigh in on guessing who you think will be the break out players at Spring Practice. Remember those practices begin in about three weeks and the Spring Game is set for Friday NIGHT April 23rd at 7pm.

One reader guessed that QB Sean Brackett and OL Jeff Adams would be the Most Improved Players... but with Brackett winning an Ivy Rookie of the Week award at the end of 2009 and Adams getting 1st Team All Ivy honors, I don't think there's enough room for improvement there to make the "splash" I was alluding to. But that would be something if those two top players improved so much that they really deserved the award next month. For Adams, I think he would need to go from top tackle in the league to sure-thing NFL 1st or 2nd round draft choice!

As for Brackett, I've been combing the record books lately to see if he will be the most battle-tested starting QB in Ivy history since the league eliminated freshman football in 1993. Brackett had four starts during his freshman year, and I can't find any evidence any other freshman QB has had as many starts with the varsity. (Again, you have to couch this as being "since freshman football was elminated in 1993" because right after WW II, freshmen were allowed to play for Ivy varsities).

I have to agree with the readers who believe the new impact players will emerge from either the wide receiving or offensive line corps. With all the losses in those areas due to graduation, the odds seem to favor someone emerging from those slots.

But we'll take emerging players at any position and please keep your ideas and predictions coming!

Wit's Sophomore Season

Getting back to rising sophomore QB's with tons of talent, the most talented QB of the modern era for Columbia was John Witkowski. Because freshman football was around in his day, Witkowski couldn't have any varsity experience going into his sophomore season of 1981... and who knows how much better he could have been had he been given that chance?

In his first start in the '81 opener at Harvard, Witkowski dazzled with a 19-for-33 performance, but he also had three killer interceptions in the 23-6 loss.

He stumbled even more against Lafayette the following week with four picks, but then he looked a lot more seasoned in week three as he threw his first TD pass and only one INT in a 20-9 win over Penn at Baker Field.

The struggles continued for Witkowski the rest of 1981, as he finished with 18 interceptions and just four TD passes. But as he exploded for a record-shattering junior season, it became clear to a lot of Columbia fans that had Witkowski been able to play as a freshman with the varsity, it's very possible he would have had three sparkiling seasons instead of just two.


At Wed Mar 10, 02:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, as the blogger who plugged Brackett and Adams,I wanted to clarify my position. While they have already broken out, I think that we have just scratched the surface in both cases. I see Brackett as a potential Archie Roberts, capable of winning games with both his feet and his arm. His mastery of a good Brown defense last year was as about as good as it gets for a young player. As far as Adams, yes, I do believe that he has the physical tools to be one of the best tackles in Ivy history and a potential high round draft choice, both as a run blocker and in the pass protection game.

At Wed Mar 10, 11:10:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wit was not the full time QB on his freshmen team. Projecting him as the starter on the varsity as frosh would be far from certain.

At Mon Mar 15, 11:08:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

That's true... but I think practicing with the varsity more would have brought Witkowski along faster.


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