Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Stable

Ben Popeck

Does Columbia have the horses at defensive tackle to really stop the run effectively next season?

There are some players a lot of Lions fans may not be aware of who offer real hope in this category.

Leading this crew is rising senior Ben Popeck. Despite being a senior, Popeck may still be flying under the radar for some of us but he had some good games last year and finished as the team’s fourth leading tackler. I wouldn’t call 2010 exactly a breakout year for Popeck, but it was close. He has an excellent chance to make an impact no one will fail to notice in 2011.

Fellow senior Chris Groth has all the tools to make the same kind of impact he made in 2009. Last season, Groth dropped off a bit but I don’t think he was 100% healthy. At 291 lbs., he can be a force.

Speaking of health, there are few players in the last few years who have had as much attention on their health as Owen Fraser. The rising senior obviously was too banged up last season to return to his 2008 form. I’m not a doctor and I don’t have Fraser’s x-rays in front of me, but it’s obvious that he needs to recover more and no one can really bank on that.

Luckily, there are some underclassmen who show a lot of promise as well.

Rising junior Shad Sommers got a lot of work as a sophomore in 2010. He played in seven games and two of his seven tackles were for a loss. At 275 lbs., he fits the profile and will fit it even more if he puts on a bit more muscle in the offseason.

I am also very impressed with rising sophomore Joe Raimondi. He cracked the two-deep early in his freshman season, and got into four games. Raimondi is 6-4 and 270 lbs. with a wrestling background to boot. He could be a force for the next three years.

After that, the cupboard seems a bit bare, but you never know who will emerge from out of the light blue.


At Wed Feb 16, 08:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Popeck needs to play at around 260 to be effective.

At Wed Feb 16, 07:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Popeck was listed I think at 240? He is one of the best linemen on the team, but, needs to add some muscle weight or even better move him to DE or possibly run with 3 tackles. He was spectacular early on, but, when we hit the bigger/faster OLs his size hurt. They really need DTs larger than 270 to be successful. Maybe with the coaching changes they will realize speed regardless of size doesn’t work on the DL. In any case, Popeck if used properly, will be an impact player.

I think the key to DL this year will be Sommers and Groth. If Fraser is back in game shape, that would be an added plus. Him and Groth seemed to be a very good paring in the past. Groth always seemed to be tying up several players giving Fraser one on one situations which there was no one better at beating.

Childress could also be a factor, but, I am thinking he may be a DE based on what he has done in the past. I also am guessing he will need a year to become a fully productive part of the team.

At Wed Feb 16, 08:42:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contrary to the last poster, my guess is that Childress will become one of the leaders of Columbia's the defensive line almost immediately. You have to respect his lineage and Texas A&M connection. However, I do agree with everything else the same poster mentioned, particularly the need for everyone else to return bigger, stronger and healthier. If that happens, we should have an outstanding defensive line in 2011 and compete for the Ivy League Championship.

At Wed Feb 16, 10:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's reasonable to assume that the defensive line will be built around our outstanding defensive end, Josh Martin, who was named to the Ivy League Second Team, as a sophomore. Martin and Ryan Murphy did an excellent job of rushing the passer throughout the season, although Murphy really plays outside linebacker in our defensive scheme. Two other key players on the outside are Adebayo and Patterson. Lee, Melka and Lossee are also in the mix. Yes, we have plenty of talent, but they do need to gain some weight and strength in the off-season. Columbia could have a very good defensive line if everyone works hard.

At Wed Feb 16, 11:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made the post about Childress maybe needing time. According to the Agges he was recruited as a DE and depending on which report his weight ranges from 245 (rivals) to 265 (263 on 2010 rooster). I hope he makes that immediate impact the other poster indicates, but, we have many talented DE type (size) players that already know the system and that was the only reason I thought he may need some time. Unless he is bigger than reported, he size would be an issue at tackle.

At Wed Feb 16, 11:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Fraser be available or not? And I assume he will get a fifth year if he wants it.

At Wed Feb 16, 11:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out for some important insights on an issue which has appeared on this blog, the scheduling of games on Jewish Holidays. Jets player Jimmy Kimmel offers his insights from the perspective of a Jewish player.

At Thu Feb 17, 05:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wells Childress has a younger brother, Ford, who is one of the top quarterbacks in the State of Texas. He is a junior at the same high school in Houston that Wells attended.

At Thu Feb 17, 07:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you spell the plural of Childress? Childresses, Childri.....? Bring the brother here! These boys have the football DNA and can impact both sides of the ball. Younger one can take over when Brackett graduates.

At Thu Feb 17, 07:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Childress brothers? (since we're not bringing in their old man).


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