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Post-Signing Day Update

Yale Football’s 2023 recruiting class currently has 29 known commitments to date. 247Sports ranks the Bulldogs’ class at #3 in the Ivy League. Here is the breakdown by projected position:

QB- 1

RB-2

WR-5

TE-0

OL-5 (4 Tackles, 1 Guard)

DL-4 (3 Defensive Ends, 1 Defensive Tackle)

LB-5

S-4

CB-2

K/P-1

There are eight prospects that received a 3 Star ranking from 247Sports and five prospects with a 2 Star ranking. Harvard currently has ten 3 Star prospects, while Princeton has nine 3 Star prospects.

Only one commit hails from the Nutmeg State, Quarterback Nolan Grooms. Oddly enough, there are more commits from the state of Arizona than Connecticut.

Josh McKenzie from Bergen Catholic is the highest-rated recruit despite tearing his ACL and missing his senior year of football.

Some of the faster safeties could wind up playing corner and a few of the tackles might transition to guard or center. There still could be room for more recruits especially if we have any members of this class heading off to Choate. Another commitment at defensive tackle would be nice to see in the coming weeks.

Olson Departs Yale

Ben Olson, the David D. Kelley Defensive Line Coach, has left the Yale coaching staff to join the staff at McNeese State. McNeese State hired former USF offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert in December to lead the FCS program based out of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Ben’s brother, Jake Olson, remains Chief of Staff for the Bulldogs. Reno has a difficult task ahead as he must swiftly replace Olson while still winning vital recruiting wars for defensive linemen. Best of luck to Ben in his future endeavors!

The 2018 football season marked the last season of grass in the Bowl as the grass field will be converted to field turf once the weather warms up.

Men’s Basketball is now 12-3 and plays at Harvard on Friday and at Dartmouth on Saturday. James Jones notched his 300th victory last week making him just the third Ivy League coach to ever achieve such a feat.

Men’s Hockey is 10-7-3 and hosts Brown this Saturday in New Haven.

Winter Updates

Phil Steele recently posted his All-Ivy selections and here are the Yalies who made the cut:

First Team-Reed Klubnik, Dieter Eiselen

Second Team- Alan Lamar, JP Shohfi, Sterling Strother, Ryan Burke, Hunter Simino

Third Team- J. Hunter Roman

Men’s Basketball is off to a 10-3 start with a 6 game winning streak. They face off against Brown this Saturday in Providence (ESPN+ 3:30 PM EST).

Men’s Hockey is currently sitting at 8-5-3 and they host Clarkson this Friday at the Whale (ESPN+ 7:00 PM EST).

We will continue updating our recruit list as the news of more commitments trickles in. Reno is likely targeting offensive and defensive linemen in this final recruiting push to bolster a talented class.

Recruiting Roundup

Gerron Duhon- Cornerback, 5’10”, 170 lbs., Washington-Marlon (Lake Charles, LA)

Nolan Grooms- Quarterback, 6’2″, 180 lbs., The Taft School (Watertown, CT)

Jermaine Baker- Safety, 6’2″, 200 lbs, Nazareth Academy (La Grange Park, IL)

Hamilton Moore- Linebacker, 6’1″, 200 lbs., William G. Enloe (Raleigh, NC)

Ryan McCann- Tackle, 6′ 5”, 260 lbs., Rumson-Fair Haven (Rumson, NJ)

Michael Connor- Linebacker , 6′0″, 220 lbs., Ramapo (Franklin Lakes, NJ)

Jack Bosman- Kicker/Punter, 5’9″, 162 lbs., Santa Fe Christian (San Diego, CA)

Wande Owens- Running Back, 5’11”, 185 lbs., Glenelg (Glenelg, MD)

Archie B. Russ, III- Wide Receiver/ Cornerback , 6’1″, 180 lbs., Landon School (Bethesda, MD)

Brandon Babcock- Tackle, 6’6″, 275 lbs., Casteel (Queen Creek, AZ)

Jonathon Durand- Guard, 6’3″, 250 lbs., Basha (Chandler, AZ)

Tyler DiIenno- Safety, 6’1″, 205 lbs., Cheshire Academy/Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ)

Brayden Carey- Wide Receiver, 6’0″, 180 lbs., East Coweta (Sharpsburg, GA)

Joey Felton- Wide Receiver, 5’10”, 178 lbs., Linganore (Frederick, MD)

Josh McKenzie- Running Back, 5’10”, 180 lbs., Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

Clay Patterson- Defensive End, 6’3″, 230 lbs., Reedy (Frisco, TX)

Jack Twyford- Tackle, 6’6″, 270 lbs., Winter Haven Senior (Winter Haven, FL)

Trenton Johnson- Safety, 6’2″, 190 lbs., St. Mary’s (Albany, CA)

Josh Eboboko- Running Back, 5’11”, 180 lbs., Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, NC)

Aidan Maloney- Wide Receiver, 6’1″, 180 lbs., Liberty (Portland, OR)

Jailon Henry- Defensive End, 6’2″, 220 lbs., Lincoln (Tallahassee, FL)

Du’Shaunte Holloway- Linebacker/Running Back, 6’0″, 200 lbs., Villa Rica (Villa Rica, GA)

Mason Tipton- Wide Receiver, 6’0″, 185 lbs., Bishop Hoban (Akron, OH)

Joseph Vaughn- Outside Linebacker, 6’3″, 200 lbs., Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)

Jonathan Mendoza-Offensive Tackle, 6’8″, 310 lbs., Westhampton Beach (Westhampton Beach, NY)

Marcus Mauney-Outside Linebacker, 6’1″, 219 lbs., Hunter Huss (Gastonia, NC)

Brandon Benn-Defensive Back, 6’1″, 195 lbs., The McCallie School (Chattanooga, TN)

Nathan Puletasi- Defensive Tackle, 6’3″, 265 lbs., Mead (Spokane, WA)

Isaac Mitchell-Defensive End/Tight End, 6’4″, 246 lbs., Salina South (Salina, KS)

2019 Schedule

September 21st- Holy Cross

September 28th- Cornell

October 5th- Fordham

October 12th- at Dartmouth

October 19th- at Richmond

October 26th- Penn

November 2nd- Columbia

November 9th- at Brown

November 16th- at Princeton

November 23rd- Harvard

Looking Ahead

The Bulldogs finished the 2018 campaign at 5-5 with a 3-4 Ivy League record.? After being picked to finish first in the preseason polls, the season certainly did not live up to expectations.? From the first contest versus Holy Cross, it was apparent that the defense did not have the same level of talent as the 2017 squad.? Dartmouth, Princeton and Harvard had their way with our defense, while an anemic offense cost us a victory against Columbia.? If we had played Holy Cross later in the season, we likely could have pulled off a victory and having Rawlings or O’Connor in the Columbia game would have reversed that outcome.

The good news for the 2019 campaign is that almost everyone is returning.? Crowle, Roman and Peggs graduate on defense, while role players such as Locke, Lager and Marcinick depart on offense.? Galland, Horn, and Simino will need to be replaced on special teams.? The offensive skill players are the most talented players on the roster.? Rawlings and O’Connor are both superb quarterbacks who haven’t even reached their full potential.? Lamar, Dudek and Alston form one of the best backfields in Yale history.? Klubnik and Shohfi cannot be contained by Ivy League defensive backs.? Howland and Roman could be 1st Team All-Ivy players by the time they graduate in two years.? The offensive line is the weakness on offense, although returning all five starters is critical to next season’s success.? Eiselen and Strother did not improve as much as we had hoped from 2017 to 2018, while the new starters of Warfield, Hinish and Cepalia did not play well consistently enough to dominate opposing defensive lines.? The offensive linemen need to hit the weight room harder than they ever have this offseason, continue to study film and improve communication.

The defensive line was dealt a lethal blow before the season had even started with the loss of Mullen over alleged sexual misconduct.? Roman was the top pass rusher, so developing another speedy end with moves will be a priority.? Osorachukwu Ifesinachukwu or Reid Nickerson could potentially fill that void at end.? Matthaei and Keeler return at defensive tackles and they need to get more physical at the point of attack as well as improve their abilities to shed blocks.? Fraser, Goodyear and Raine could rotate in with them next season.? ?Callender battled through injuries and seemed to regress from 2017 to 2018, but we think he’ll bounce back to have a fantastic senior season.? Moore, Kissel and Sampleton all had their ups and downs throughout the year.? We need at least one of those players to step up and assert dominance over opposing offensive tackles.? Burke, Pope, Awodiran, Dean, Hill, and Carey all return at linebacker.? Pope is the best of the bunch and we’d like to see him take on a leadership role in 2019.? The linebackers across the board struggled with shedding blocks, tackling and covering running backs out of the backfield.? The secondary in 2018 can simply be described as a disaster.? Corners ran stride for stride with receivers and then refused to play the ball over and over again.? Safeties offered little run support and were out of position in the passing game.? Open field tackling in the secondary was non-existent as no one would take proper angles on ball carriers.? Simple ten yard runs turned into sixty yard touchdowns repeatedly.? Reno needs to find four trustworthy defensive backs through an extended open competition.? The combination of Alburg, Dixon, Thomas and Henson just doesn’t cut it.? Abraham, Granberry, Oldacre, Agbeyegbe, Dunham, Ellis and Hickey all need to be given every opportunity to claim a starting role as this unit is in dire need of a radical transformation.

 

Postseason Awards

Rookie of the Year- Griffin O’Connor

First Team All-Ivy- Alan Lamar, Reed Klubnik

Second Team All-Ivy- Dieter Eiselen, Sterling Strother, JP Shohfi, Spencer Matthaei

Honorable Mention- Kurt Rawlings, JJ Howland, Ryan Burke

 

Congratulations to JP Shohfi on being named as Yale’s next captain.

Yale 27 Harvard 45

Keys to Victory in The Game

  • Stop the run

After allowing 489 rushing yards to Princeton, Yale needs to bounce back this week to slow down Harvard’s talented running backs.? Murphy is likely devising a run-heavy scheme to pound the ball up the middle and chew up the clock.? The Bulldogs can’t simply stack the box with 8 men as leaving our secondary exposed will be equally troublesome.? The defensive line needs to have its best game of the season especially with possible injuries to starting linebackers.? The pressure is on McGowan to give our defenders the best chance to tackle Shampklin, Booker and Darrington before the damage is done.

  • Ease O’Connor into the passing game

O’Connor clearly suffered from nervousness on the opening drives in the Princeton contest.? We certainly can’t fault him for that as he was a freshman playing in the biggest game of his life to date.? His two early interceptions buried Yale as our defense couldn’t contain the potent Princeton offense.? O’Connor has the physical and mental tools to dominate the Crimson defense once he settles down and gets into a rhythm.? His first pass of the game can’t be to a receiver running a long out route blanketed by defenders.? Cahill has to utilize running plays to Lamar, short passes and screens to establish momentum and get the chains moving to give O’Connor a boost of confidence.

  • Avoid the distractions

The Elis must focus on the one task that matters: beating Harvard.? Forget about the Yale Daily News’ untimely article.? Disregard the grumbling parents and armchair experts.? Act like you’ve played at Fenway the last four seasons.? The Bulldogs need to have a laser focus on outplaying the Crimson for 60 straight minutes.? We have a whole offseason ahead to analyze and debate the topics related to the 2018 Yale football team, but the team needs to stay in the moment to leave everything they have on the gridiron.

Beat Harvard!

Harvard Preview

The Bulldogs travel to Fenway Park this Saturday to take on the Harvard Crimson at 12 PM EST.? If you won’t be in attendance, be sure to watch The Game on ESPN2.

Harvard enters the contest with an identical record to the Elis at 5-4 overall and 3-3 in Ivy League play.? Harvard lost to Rhode Island, Cornell, Princeton and Dartmouth although the largest margin of victory by an opponent was just 8 points.

Senior QB Tom Stewart leads the Crimson offense this season as Murphy elected to go with the veteran player over sophomore Jake Smith who started last season.? Stewart’s completion percentage of 50.9% isn’t stellar, yet he has only thrown one interception all year.? With Shelton-Mosley out of the lineup due to an injury, Harvard receivers Adam Scott, Henry Taylor, Tyler Adams and Jack Cook have picked up the slack and performed well.? Scott is a very fast wideout that our secondary will have to keep on eye on at all times.? Aaron Shampklin, Charlie Booker and Devin Darrington split carries at the running back position.? Shampklin is a 180 pound sophomore that has great vision and speed while being surprising hard to tackle despite his size.? Booker and Darrington are the classic Harvard backs with a combination of power and agility.? Senior Larry Allen is the most talented member of the Crimson’s offensive line that features three seniors, a junior and a sophomore.? Harvard has historically had playmakers at tight end, but the tight ends haven’t been much of a factor this season as the position was ravaged by injuries.

Harvard’s strength as a team lies in its defense.? Sophomore linebacker Jordan Hill has been making plays all over the field for the Crimson as he’s racked up 63 tackles, 24 more tackles than any other teammate.? Hill’s success is a testament to the stout defensive line that has kept blockers from reaching the second level.? Senior defensive tackle Richie Ryan leads the defensive line in tackles with 36 including 5 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks.? Ryan’s fellow senior defensive tackle Stone Hart has 8 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.? Senior safety Cole Thompson has been out of the lineup for the last two weeks, however, Harvard is very deep at safety and the secondary has not missed a beat thanks to the performances of Max Jones and Zach Miller.? Senior cornerback Wesley Ogsbury has picked off 6 passes this season, so an errant pass from O’Connor in Ogsbury’s direction could spell doom for the Elis.

Jake McIntyre has been an excellent kicker this season converting 12 of 14 attempts with a long of 42 yards.? He has been perfect on extra points as well.? Punter Jon Sot is averaging 41 yards per punt and boomed one for 75 yards.

Beat Harvard!

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