Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Job 1

That's COLUMBIA's Tyler Hamblin

An extraordinary young man from Minnesota joins our unofficial list of incoming Columbia football freshmen.

He is Cretin-Derham Hall's co-captain Tyler Hamblin, a stellar cornerback who has already written a few books.

Yep, he's an accomplished author.

Coming in at 6-0 and 190 lbs, he also made 2nd Team All State at defensive back.

Hambling will be the third documented Cretin-Durham Hall grad to join the Lions, including rising sophomore LB Eddie Hitchcock.

And how's this for odd?:

There is another young man named Tyler Hamblin from the Syracuse area and he is going to play for Harvard!

What are the odds of that?

My UNOFFICIAL incomplete list of our incoming class of 2015 is now at 23:

Colton Bishop DB 5-10 180 lbs. Chaparral HS Scottsdale, AZ

John Brady LB 6-2 220 lbs. Lakota East HS Liberty Township, OH

Tom Callahan OT 6-6 280 lbs. Lyons Township HS LaGrange Park, IL

Wells Childress* DE 6-4 263 lbs. Kinkaid HS Houston, TX

Sean Coffinger LB 6-4 215 lbs. Desert Vista HS Phoenix, AZ

Ryan Flannery WR 6-3 185 lbs. North Attleborough HS North Attleborough, MA

Percee Goings QB 6-1 180 lbs. Friendship Collegiate HS Washington, DC

Tyler Hamblin CB 6-0 190 lbs. Cretin-Durham Hall Eden Prairie, MN

John Keefe WR 6-1 185 lbs. Choctawhatchee HS Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Josh Keiles 6-3 OL 295 lbs. Lakewood HS Lakewood, CA

Joe Kopp OL 6-4 260 lbs. Arundel HS Gambrills, MD

Hunter Little DL 6-4 225 lbs. The Webb School Knoxville, TN

Connor Nelligan 6-2 190 lbs. Benet Academy Lisle, IL

Ijeoma Odigwe DL 6-2 220 lbs. Chandler HS Chandler, AZ

Ray Pesanello LB 6-2 215 lbs. Mahwah HS, Mahwah, NJ

Kal Prince QB 6-4 198 lbs. Owensboro HS Owensboro, KY

Vinny Pugliese LB 6-1 210 lbs. Walsh Jesuit HS Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Roy Schwartz DL 6-2 240 lbs. Westlake HS Austin, TX

Mike Skalitzky DB 6-1 180 lbs. Marist High School Chicago, IL

Dan Slivka WR 6-3 196 lbs. North Allegheny HS Wexford, PA

Malcolm Thaxton CB 6-0 190 lbs. Fuquay-Varina HS Fuquay-Varina, NC

Ryan Thomas OL 6-4 275 lbs. Buchholz HS

Chad Washington DL/TE 6-2 220 lbs. Bishop O'Dowd Oakland, CA

*=Transfer from Texas A&M

Opening Weekend

Fordham has announced its 2011 schedule and it turns out both the Rams and the Lions will be opening the season against each other. Every other season since 2000, Fordham has played at least one game before taking on Columbia in what has always been the Lions' season opener, (with the exception of the 2001 season, when the Lions-Rams game was postponed until Thanksgiving Day because of 9/11).

It will be very interesting to see how this change affects the game if at all.

Job 1

I’ve made a huge deal about how important it is for Columbia to do a better job of stopping the run in the coming season.

Here’s another great piece of evidence for my case:

Just look how the league’s top rushing defenses over the past 19 seasons have fared in the standings

(Year, Top Rushing Defense Team, Finish)

2010 Penn, 72.0 YPG, Champion

2009 Penn, 63.2 YPG, Champion

2008 Brown, 77.1 YPG, Co-Champion

2007 Harvard, 77.5 YPG, Champion

2006 Harvard, 73.7 YPG, 3rd Place

2005 Cornell, 88.3 YPG, 4th Place

2004 Cornell, 101.1 YPG, 3rd Place

2003 Penn, 92.9 YPG, Champion

2002 Penn, 55.8 YPG, Champion

2001 Penn, 58.4 YPG, 2nd Place

2000 Harvard, 115.9 YPG, 3rd Place

1999 Harvard 80.2 YPG, 5th Place

1998 Princeton, 72.9 YPG, 4th Place

1997 Harvard, 81.9 YPG, Champion

1996 Harvard, 91.0 YPG, 6th Place

1995 Dartmouth, 103.0 YPG, 4th Place

1994 Penn, 95.7 YPG, Champion

1993 Penn, 63.4 YPG, Champion

1992 Princeton, 58.6 YPG, Co-Champion

I’d take this list back further, but I only have full league stats from 1992-on.

More than half of those past 19 seasons have seen the top rushing defense win the championship, including the last four in a row.

Only two of the last 19 rushing defense leaders didn’t finish in the first division.

Meanwhile in that same period, Columbia has only finished in the first division three times and no higher than the 2nd place finish in 1996.

Columbia’s rushing defenses may be the #1 reason why.

The Lion rush defense has finished 6th the last two seasons in a row after an encouraging third in the league in 2008.

Before that, Columbia finished dead last in rush defense in 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.

They were 7th in 2003, last in 2002, 7th in 2001, 6th in 2000, and last in 1999.

The exciting 1998 squad was 3rd against the run, but the Lions were last in 1997, 5th in 1996, 7th in 1995, 5th in 1994, last in 1993, and 6th in 1992.


I listed each of these rough numbers to hammer the point home as much as I can.

In basketball they say: “No rebounds, no rings.”

In Ivy football, if you don’t stop the run you won’t win.

Stopping the run, or at least getting a lot better at it, should be job #1 this year.


At Tue Feb 15, 09:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some scouting notes on Hamblin from: ttp://myrecruiteztips.typepad.com...

Tyler Hamblin is simply a gamer and one of the better corners in Minnesota. Starting for powerhouse Cretin Derham Hall since his sophomore year is proof of his gamesmanship and athletic ability. Has just adequate height but a frame that has a lot of physical development left. Lacks ideal top-end speed and explosiveness but is quick, fluid and very smooth. He will get faster! Has the loose hips with fluid change-of-direction skill and quick footwork needed to mirror tightly in off-man coverages. Best attribute may be his ability to track the deep ball and adjust his body. Opponents rarely throw his direction because of his skill set. Shows great comfort level and natural awareness skills around the football. Aside from lacking explosive top-end speed, right now his biggest weaknesses when projecting for the college level is his lack of strength and physicality as a perimeter run defender. Hamblin has the natural ability and athleticism to develop into a great college corner.

At Tue Feb 15, 09:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that your point is crystal clear about the need to stop the run, the big question has to be: how are we doing? What are the prospects to improve on this front this year? Has the recruiting addressed this as a priority?

At Tue Feb 15, 08:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keys to stopping the run:

1) Bigger guys in the middle. Last year is a great example of why smaller/faster doesn't work at tackle. They didn’t run much up the middle on those rare occasions the big guys were in. They may not be as fast or talented, but, they create conditions where the other teams need to double cover which should leave TE and LBs unblocked/one on one. That is one of the main reasons Fraser was so successful his first year. They were doubling the other larger tackles leaving him one on one and opening seams for him and the LBs.

2) Outside containment. The LBa need to continue to get better at reading the plays and following the ball. The TEs need to continue getting better and keep the runners inside. Both were much better in 2010.

3) Corners / TEs need to continue to read and control the quick pass/laterals to the outside.

At Tue Feb 15, 10:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dartmouth's Jim McGeehan (DB) made First Team All Ivy in 1993. Also on the All Ivy team that year at second team was Penn's Jim McGeehan (QB). http://v009u44mub.maximumasp.com/documents/fb9394.asp

It would be something if the Tyler Hamblins repeat the feat in four years!

At Tue Feb 15, 11:16:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger culions said...

Occasionally the defensive stats can be deceiving. If a team is ahead early in games and the other team needs to pass, then the running yards are decreased due to the team no longer running, or because of time of possession. Potential interesting research would be where these teams finished in passing yards per game, and how they finished in running yards per game. I would venture Penn did well in running yards per game and time of possession.

No matter what those results may say, Columbia needs to stop the run, be able to run, and control the ball. Spring ball is coming soon. Let's go Lions!

At Wed Feb 16, 12:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Columbia Coaching Staff on successfully recruiting this outstanding young student-athlete! Good luck to Tyler and his family.

At Wed Feb 16, 12:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our DB's look outstanding, but where are the running backs?

At Wed Feb 16, 01:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We already have two outstanding RBs.

At Wed Feb 16, 03:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you referring to Gerst and Garrett because none of the incoming frosh named so far are listed as running backs

At Wed Feb 16, 04:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no doubt Coach's root at Univ. of Minn. helped us here.

At Wed Feb 16, 04:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good analysis, Jake. There's a small chicken-and-egg phenomenon at work in the following obvious sense. Winning teams will usually force their opponents to go to the air to make up deficits. Meanwhile, losing teams induce their opponents to run to speed up the game clock.

You might tighten up the analysis by looking at the teams which give up the least yards *per carry*, which controls for the factors above to a large degree.

Either way, I think your point is directionally correct.

At Wed Feb 16, 08:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes; Gerst and Garrett are outstanding prospects.

At Wed Feb 16, 11:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CU has some speedster RB's, but they still don't have a punishing fullback who can get important 2 or 3 yards when they need to convert.

At Thu Feb 17, 06:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerst and Garrett on good speedy backs but we need more than two RBs. What happens if one or both get injured?? Has anyone seen the tapes of Princeton's RB recruits Dibilio, Esposito, and Powers. Those guys will hurt us bad in the years ahead unless we have the talent to match.


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