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Free Agent Frenzy
Now that the NFL lockout is officially over, the fates of a number of Ivy football grads will be sealed in the next few hours as rookie free agents try to get signed to pro teams and get into training camp.
I’m not sure how this will affect Alex Gross, but I am hoping to see his name in the free agency tracker websites that are sprouting up right now.
I will keep my eyes open.
The Ivy League football version of free agency is the transfer action.
Columbia is getting a former walk-on at Texas A&M this fall in transfer DL Wells Childress.
Not to be outdone, Penn http://blogs.dailypennsylvanian.com/thebuzz/2011/07/25/football-picks-up-texas-tech-transfer/ is getting a former walk-on at Texas Tech this fall in WR Ty Taylor.
Dartmouth is also getting a transfer WR, (as reported here and other places months ago), in former walk-on Clemson Tiger Robbie Anthony.
Penn’s passing game has been a concern in recent years, not that it matters when you are a two-time defending Ivy champ with a 15-game Ivy winning streak.
But if the Quakers do pass the ball more this fall, (I’m not convinced they will), Taylor could be a real positive factor at Franklin Field.
The conventional wisdom is that Penn will have to throw more because of all the great offensive linemen the program graduated back in May.
I’m not really on board with that assessment because the same offensive line that makes running holes is also the line that needs to provide pass protection. And is anyone willing to really bet that Al Bagnoli and Co. don’t have decent talent waiting in the wings on the O-line?
The real clincher in my argument is the loads of talent the Quakers bring to the table at running back. QB Billy Ragone is basically just a runner, and only Columbia’s Sean Brackett rivals him in running talent at that position.
Then you have RB’s Lyle Marsh, Brandon Colavita, and Jeff Jack, all guys who could start and be the feature back at just about any other Ivy.
So for all the talk about how Bagnoli will have Ragone splitting time with the passing QB Ryan Becker in 2011, I’m not really buying it.
Sure, Penn might mix it up a bit on offense in the game against non-Ivy power Villanova. But everyone else will have to prove they can stop the run before the Quaker coaches mess with a winning formula that no one in the Ivies has had an answer for since late 2008.
I’m not trying to pour cold water on this transfer news. It’s clear to me that Taylor makes Penn a better team right now.
Just what we all needed… no?
In truth, it seems like every opponent Columbia faces this fall is clearly better than they were the year before.
I’ll get into the details of that in the coming weeks, but this is going to be a hack of a challenge for the Lions this fall.
Top 100 Moments of 2010
#53: Matt’s Fury
After Sean Brackett and Andrew Kennedy hooked up for a pretty 57-yard TD play, a strange incident occurred on the PAT.
Luke Eddy boomed the kick right through, but Lion LB Matt Morretto got too physical in his special teams blocking assignment and was flagged for a blatant personal foul penalty.
Anyone who knows Matt knows that he is a very charming, well-spoken, and was the “most likely to be a successful politician” type on the team.
So, the fact that the flag was officially thrown on him was curious. Some witnesses say the actual offender was Lion OL Tim Skalak.
Either way, for Moretto or Skalak to lose it like that surely the result of a frustrating day in the trenches against the super-physical Quakers.
The penalty was assessed on the kickoff and the result was predictable. Penn’s Bradford Blackmon took the kick in full stride at his 11 and returned it all the way back to the CU 40 yard line.