Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Do List... Part Two

Stay safe Sean!

I wrote yesterday that my top priority for Columbia football is boosting the Lions numbers against the run.

But that’s obviously not my ONLY priority.

I would have to say my second priority is finding every way possible to keep Sean Brackett healthy.

It’s not that the other QB’s on the roster aren’t talented… they are. I’m talking about Jerry Bell, Paul Havas, Kevin Lenehan, Andrew Weiss, and promising incoming freshman Chris Rapka.

But most of them really play the position in such a different style than Brackett, that I fear the adjustment to a new QB in midseason would be too tough to pull off.

The Lions already have the best left tackle in the league in Jeff Adams. That’s a great start. The rest of the offensive line is also shoring up nicely.

But just as important as the blockers up front will be Lions ability to jazz up and vary the passing attack so Brackett doesn’t have to run as much as he did in his four starts last season.

More short passing and emergency dump off options would be nice. Brackett already has the best pass receiving tight end in the Ivies with Andrew Kennedy, but I’d like to see someone like Zack Kourouma get more chances as a receiver coming out of the backfield like he did in 2008. And who can forget sophomore tailback Nick Gerst, who showed great talent as a receiver in the spring game and in JV ball last year?

And just as important as the short passing game is establishing a real vertical, deep ball, passing attack. Nothing will get those linebackers and safeties back off the line of scrimmage like showing some deep passes now and then. Completing those passes works even better.

The top wide receiver coming back for the Lions this year is co-captain Mike Stephens. Stephens has great speed and is certainly capable of hauling in long bombs from Brackett’s deceptively strong arm. But I think one of the many other receivers on this squad will become the primary deep threat.

By my count, there are 13 wide receivers on the Lion roster right now, including Brian DeVeau and Kurt Williams who switched to the position this past spring. In the Spring Game, Williams was used on deep routes and he looked good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the mix big time in 2010.

Another good candidate is returning senior Nico Gutierrez. Nico really impressed as a frosh, but hasn’t really recovered from re-tearing his ACL in the last game of that freshman campaign in 2007. If he is finally totally healed, he would have the speed to be a great deep threat. Remember, Nico caught 29 passes for 372 yards and two TD’s in ’07.

There are a good number of other candidates here, and you can check them all on the roster, but making sure Brackett doesn’t have to do it all with his legs this fall is going to be just about everybody’s responsibility. That includes Brackett, who will have to resist just taking off and running too early… or fighting too hard for that extra yard and taking a punishing hit.

These will be tough lessons to learn and tough jobs to fill.

The coaches have their hands full.

Good News, Bad News

Columbia came in fourth in the annual ranking of U.S. colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report.

That’s the highest ranking I can ever remember for Columbia.

Mazal Tov!

But you might also notice that Columbia’s total tuition and fees was the highest of any school in the top 25.



At Wed Aug 18, 07:33:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"pre-frosh's" video at

At Wed Aug 18, 05:39:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Spectator video is interesting,but you need to get down with the viewers comments!

At Wed Aug 18, 08:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interseting article in Wall Street Journal Sports section today about a player born in Romania who now punts for the Patriots. He attended Michigan. During the recruiting process he was approached by Ivy League schools and "the Columbia University coach told him, 'We can't guarantee you the NFL, but we can guarantee you Wall Street.'"

At Thu Aug 19, 02:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, the player, Zoltan Mesko, redshirted a year at Michigan. Therefore, the Columbia Coach quoted in this article was not our current Coach Wilson as he was not yet at Columbia.

At Thu Aug 19, 03:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, will we be playing a two tight end set with a single back, or will we be playing with a FB/H Back? Will we be using a spread offense, with our OLs playing in space? And is Leon Ivery set to be the type of D1 talent which he appeared to be before his injury plagued senior year in high school? PS, I think we haven't given the very talented Matt Moretto enoguh notice. During his freshman year, he was the equal of Alex Gross.


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