Friday, January 20, 2017

Assistant FB Strength Coach To Coach Penn State Rugby

From a Penn State news release (italics added):
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State has selected James Willocks as head coach of the men’s rugby program. He will begin his duties on February 1.
Willocks comes to Penn State after serving the past four years at Dartmouth College, where he was assistant coach and the team’s strength and conditioning coach. He also served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Big Green football program the past three years.
And this:
“I ... want to thank Alex Magleby, Gavin Hickie and Buddy Teevens for the opportunities that I have been provided during my time at Dartmouth and for the opportunity to learn from and work with people of such great character.” 
Find the full release HERE. Find his Dartmouth bio HERE.

Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You

Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens gets a mention in a story in Texas' Burnt Orange Nation under the headline, The counterpoints to Texas HC Tom Herman’s ‘Bloody Tuesdays. Among other things the story recycles a quote Teevens gave to
“My attitude is you won’t make a guy get tougher with hitting at practice. I think you can improve his tackling technique and assignment. I have guys that have become very capable tacklers who are not the toughest guys on the football team. Why? They practice it a lot more.”
Find a story I freelanced on Big Green football captain Brandon Cooper for the Dartmouth DP2 magazine PEAK at this LINK. I also have a story in the same publication about athletes in the Tuck Bridge Program, including kicker John Katzman, HERE.

Find the full magazine with two other stories I wrote HERE.
From the Twitter account of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Mike White:
Ethan Maenza, Fab 22 football player QB-DB at North Allegheny, likely will choose to play at Dartmouth.
From the story announcing the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Maenza as the 6A Player of the Year in the WPIAL:
As a quarterback, he became only the sixth player in WPIAL history to run and throw for 1,000 yards in the regular season. He finished with 1,258 yards rushing on 156 carries and also completed 69 of 120 for 1,199 yards. 
In a Q&A with the high school senior he says he's likely to be a running back at the college level.
Yet again, here's what we know (*=confirmed early decision) and what we think we know (mostly via Twitter) about the Dartmouth recruiting class. Keep those tips and links coming because I can't find 'em all ;-)

WR Masaki Aerts, 6-2, 170, St. Peters/Jersey City, NJ*
LB/S Mac Battle, 6-1, 195, Hazel Green HS/Hazel Green, Ala.
DE Nathanael Boone, 6-3, 225, Penn HS/Mishawaka, Ind.*
OL Donny Carty,  6-7, 265, Episcopal HS/Dallas*
DL Thomas Ciesla, 6-3, 240, Neuqua Valley HS/Naperville, Ill.
LB Tanner Cross, 6-2, 220, Northside HS/Fort Smith, Ark.
OL Sean Dowling, 6-4, 284, St. Stephens/Alexandria, VA*
RB Dakari Falconer, 5-11, 180, St. Peters/Jersey City, N.J.
OL/DL Jake Guidone, 6-4, 275, Xaverian Brothers/Westood, Mass.*
OL Evan Hecimovich, 6-3, 260, Naperville North HS/Naperville, Ill.*
S Harrison Herskowitz, 6-0, 180, Gulliver Prep/Miami
DE/TE  James "JJ" Jones, 6-4, 235, West HS/Tracy, Calif.
DL Miles Sanders, 6-3, 290, Parkway Center/Chesterfield, Mo.
DB Darren Stanley, 6-0, 175, Conway HS/Conway, S.C.
DB DeWayne "DJ" Terry,  6-1, 174, Gulliver Prep/Hialeah, Fla.
TE Holden Wilmsen, 6-4, 250, Priory HS/St. Louis*
DT Jackson Yost, 6-3, 274 Archbishop Murphy/Everett, Wash.
OL Hunter Ziegelmeyer, 6-6, 270, Covington Catholic/Park Hills, Ky.

There are likely a dozen more names to come. Anyone?
From today's issue of The Dartmouth:
Due to a combination of rising expenses and flat growth in revenues, in conjunction with the reorganization of the Geisel School of Medicine, the College suffered a financial operating loss of $112 million this last fiscal year, compared to a $15.2 million loss reported the prior year.
In addition, the College’s endowment declined by $189.1 million, from roughly $4.7 billion to $4.5 billion.
And finally . . .

A story in The Dartmouth noted that the Winter Carnival Council decided not to build a sculpture on the Green this year in part because of difficulties arising from "limited snowfall." The group of students who decided independently to keep the tradition alive (LINK) might have benefited from snow earlier this week but even if warmer temperatures over the next few days knock that snow down, there's plenty available nearby. A loyal friend of BGA shared this current photo from the Dartmouth organic farm, just up the road from the college.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Headed To Hanover

Not a Facebook fan but it can come in handy when pages are "open." Credit where credit is due, Facebook confirms that James "JJ" Jones of West High School in Tracy, Calif., is headed this way. (LINK)

Jones is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end/tight end/longsnapper according to his Hudl profile.

Find a story about Jones from the Navajo Times HERE.

On The Recruiting Front

Perhaps you heard about the New Jersey linebacker recruit who had a scholarship offer yanked by Connecticut coach Randy Edsall. (If not, check out Sally Jenkins' scathing column in the Washington Post HERE.)

Ryan Dickens is a 3.9 student with a well-rounded resume so it shouldn't be a surprise that, according to the Asbury Park Press website . . .
Elon, Syracuse, Fordham, the University of New Hampshire, Columbia, Princeton and Dartmouth and other Colonial Athletic Association schools have all reached out to him, Dickens said.
Speaking of interesting potential recruits, how about Swedish safety Jordan Genmark-Heath, a 3- or 4-star (depending on the service) who prepped in San Diego, seemed to be headed to Cal, is taking an official visit to Notre Dame but is also sitting on an offer from Dartmouth? Find a story about his love affair with American football HERE.

By the way, that story includes this:
The most impressive part of his list of offers is Ivy League schools Harvard, Yale and Columbia as well as other high-academic schools in Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Dartmouth. 
BGA Take: As well as other high-academic schools? Ouch babe.

Something from that story you probably did not know: Sweden has produced seven NFL players.
Still on recruiting . . .

As this space has said many times in the past, it's difficult to rank recruiting classes in the FBS and trying to do so at the FCS level is an exercise in futility. Doing it before Signing Day is silly and including Ivy League classes before they are announced in the spring is even sillier. Keeping all of that in mind, such rankings are like the tabloids at the checkout line in the supermarket. You sneak a look at the headlines out of the corner of your eye and hope no one you know sees you doing it.

That being said, here's how 247Sports ranks Ivy League classes nationally among all of Division I:

116. Yale
121. Harvard
128. Penn
155. Columbia
167. Brown
168. Princeton
179. Dartmouth
NR. Cornell

Here's why that list is bogus: It is built around 15 recruits for Yale, 17 from Harvard, 14 from Penn and 13 from Columbia but includes just four from Dartmouth and Brown. BGA has dug up confirmation on 17 Dartmouth recruits to date and has unconfirmed reports of a handful of others. Factor those recruits in as well as others around the Ivy League and the rankings are guaranteed to change completely.

That said, even when every name is in place it's virtually impossible to rank the classes. Don't believe me? Just ask Ivy League coaches.
More silliness: Hero Sports purports to rank the top 25 FCS commitments. Here are recruits of interest in those rankings with schools that "offered" them in parentheses:

No. 3. Linebacker Micah Awodiran, Yale (Arkansas, BC, Duke, Missouri, Purdue)
No. 7. Offensive lineman Eric Wilson, Harvard (Minnesota, Iowa State)
No. 13. Wide Receiver Niko Rice, Penn (Harvard, Howard, Bryant)
No. 19. Quarterback Connor Degenhardt, Holy Cross
No. 24. Quarterback Ryan Glover, Penn (Minnesota, Colorado State)
No. 25 Offensive Lineman Jack Bowler, Holy Cross (Air Force, Army)

BGA Take: An Ivy League school had the No. 1 ranked FCS recruit in the country several years ago. To be completely candid, he wasn't even the best player on his Ivy League team at his position.
Athlon Sports has a brief story about FCS players in upcoming all-star games. Dartmouth linebacker Flo Orimolade and Cornell punter Chris Fraser get a mention for playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Penn quarterback Alek Torgersen for the East-West Shrine Game.
The Penn Current has a lengthy Q&A with Quaker athletic director Grace Calhoun, a former associate athletic director at Dartmouth. Calhoun in the Current piece:
I was told by the provost that Coach Ray Priore would be stepping in for football at the end of the 2014 season as the head coach, so that was not a decision I can take any credit for, but I knew I had to position him to be successful. Where I really tried to step in was to work with Coach Priore to elevate the offensive and defensive coordinator positions and ensure that he had a top-notch staff. By bringing in two top-notch coordinators, I think we made a very smooth transition to Coach Priore.
Calhoun also says something that will resonate with Dartmouth alums who sometimes question the direction of their school:
I get the question a lot, ‘How do we compete with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton?’ and my answer is, ‘To be Penn.’
We got 4-5 inches of snow here on the mountain earlier this week. Whether they got as much on campus or not, some Dartmouth students aren't ready to give up the idea of a snow sculpture that would help the college, to paraphrase Calhoun, "to be Dartmouth." Check out the story in The Dartmouth.
Speaking of snow, That Certain Dartmouth '14 turned park ranger sent along this picture from her winter working in Yellowstone. Bison, she reports, are smart enough to realize it's easier to get from Point A to Point B via the groomed road than in deep snow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

In The News

A three-minute video about the impact Dartmouth football has had on their lives features former Big Green players Clayton Smith '05, Bronson Green '14, Jay Fiedler '94, and Ryan Spayde '94.
From the Star-Telegram in the Dallas Metroplex:
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones led a first-of-its-kind “Football Summit” at The Star on Tuesday. Seventeen influential football minds joined Jones for three hours to address concerns about the game, identify strategies to grow the game and communicate the benefits of the game. . . . 
Among those attending the "Summit" was a certain former Dartmouth player featured prominently in the Star-Telegram story:
“There’s kind of a lot of conversation about how do you bridge the sport from when a young boy first starts playing all the way up through high school and then to college,” said Jeff Immelt, the chairman and CEO of General Electric who played football at Dartmouth.
“How should the rules be different? How do you play seven-on-seven or change the size of the field and make it safer and more let’s say contextually appropriate as the time goes on in terms of how you elevate yourself into the game?
“Then, how do you a better job of outreach in the communities with mothers and linking them up with coaches on what’s the right way to think about the safety of the game and the physical fitness of the game and things like that.”
Speaking of the future of football, the Mobile Virtual Player made an appearance at the American Football Coaches Association convention earlier this month:

Pictured from left to right are Elliot Kastner '13, Rod Fletcher TU '86, John Currier '79, Buddy Teevens '79, Ryan McManus '15 and David Shula '81.
Graduating Dartmouth safety and NFL prospect Charlie Miller gets a little hometown press HERE.
Incoming defensive back Darren Stanley of Conway, S.C., is featured in a story posted by Myrtle Beach Online. From the story:
According to the Tigers standout, what really made a difference to him was what he could achieve at Dartmouth, as well as beyond his days at the school.
“The thing that made me commit to Dartmouth was the quality of people there and all of the connections I could have being a Dartmouth grad,” Stanley said. “The people at Dartmouth definitely make the school a great place and environment for a young man like me to succeed.
“This was too good of an opportunity to pass up for not only myself, but my family and other people I inspired to come to Dartmouth or any Ivy League school. (Dartmouth) made me feel like I have a purpose in life, not only in football but in academics also.”
Dan Nichol, who served as Dartmouth's strength and conditioning coach in 2006-07, has been named head of that department by new Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck. Nichol had worked under Fleck at Western Michigan. (LINK)
A terrific win last night for Dartmouth men's hockey (7-8-3, 4-5-2 ECAC), which erased a  2-0 deficit to knock off No. 6 Harvard (11-5-1, 7-4-1 ECAC) before 1,579 at Thompson Arena. The Big Green is now 2-0-2 in Ivy League play while Harvard is 3-1.
Also in the headlines is Dartmouth men's basketball coach Dave McLaughlin, subject of a Brockton Enterprise story under the headline, Former Stonehill coach David McLaughlin looks to turn Dartmouth around. Dartmouth is 3-11 overall (0-1 Ivy) but 3-2 in its last five games.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Once And Future Teammates

Two high school football teammates headed to Dartmouth are making headlines together on another kind of team.

Wide receiver Masaki Aerts and running back Dakari Falconer have helped the St. Peter's Prep post New Jersey's fastest time to date in the 4x200 relay per a story on Their time of 1:30.39 is the fifth best in the country so far.

From the story:
Falconer ran the first leg in a time of 22.8 seconds, followed by (Cameron) Blair (22.9), (markus) Bagley (22.6) and Aerts, who ran the anchor in a sizzling 22.0 seconds flat. The team has now qualified for January’s New Balance Games in New York.
All four played football at St. Peters Prep.

Aerts is generally listed on recruiting sites at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds and Falconer at 5-11, 180.
Whatever InstantScouting is, it has named Dartmouth linebacker Flo Orimolade to its FCS All-American team. So what is InstantScouting? Glad you asked. From its website:
InstantScouting is a Canadian based independent global scouting service that is committed to helping aspiring athletes at the collegiate and free agent level showcase their abilities to professional football teams in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. We offer coaches and professional scouts the opportunity to view some of the best football talent from around the world.
Orimolade also gets a mention in a Foxsports story about the upcoming NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson City, Cal., Saturday. The story reminds us that the game "at the StubHub Center (4 p.m. ET, FS1) will conclude a week’s worth of practices, meetings between players and scouts, and sessions from the NFLPA on playing at the next level."
Check out the last sentence in this blurb from Fansided:
Oregon Football has already taken Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt from Colorado and has now offered a Colorado Defensive Commit. 
Morrell Osling is a 3-Star Athlete and is rated the 60th best out of California. He has been committed to the Colorado Buffaloes since July and Willie Taggart and Jim Leavitt offered a the Lancaster, California native on Monday. 
Osling was offered by Oregon Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt and Charles Clark according to 247Sports. He was also shown interest with an unofficial visit to Eugene under previous Head Coach Mark Helfrich last year. He also holds offers from Dartmouth and UNLV.
The current recruiting cycle hasn't yet been completed and already stories are starting to bubble up about players in the next cycle, including a 6-4, 306-pound high school junior who took a visit to Virginia Tech and "is hearing from NC State, Purdue, Duke, Dartmouth and Virginia." (LINK)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Big Green Bound

Miles "Mac" Battle, Hazel Green, Ala., 6-1, 193 linebacker/safety headed to Hanover. His Tweet is HERE.

Reported to have offers including Cincinnati, Troy and Army. Second-team All-Huntsville region football team.

Battle's 247Sports listing is HERE.

QB Bonanza

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what's to come is flattering of FCS information leader STATS, which has a posting under the headline, Wealth of QBs returning to FCS leaders. The STATS story notes that:
"The only Top 20 team that is losing its starting quarterback is No. 7 Jacksonville State - Eli Jenkins, a 3 1/2-year starter. It's an incredible amount of returning quarterbacks at football's most important position."
As it turns out the situation in the Ivy League is pretty similar. If reports about Harvard senior Joe Viviano and Princeton senior Chad Kanoff getting medical redshirt seasons are correct, every quarterback who led his team in passing last year returns – with the notable exception of Penn's Alex Torgersen (who has been invited to the East-West Shrine Game).

Here are the stats for the leading quarterbacks returning for each Ivy League team (again, including likely fifth-year seniors):

• Thomas Linta, 1,074 passing  yards, 6 TDs, 9 interceptions

• Anders Hill, 1,651 yards, 10 TDs, 8 interceptions

• Dalton Banks, 2,514 yards, 18 TDs, 14 interceptions

• Jack Heneghan, 2,725 yards, 11 TDs, 14 interceptions

• Joe Viviano, 2,013 yards, 15 TDs, 8 interceptions

• Michael Collins, 17 yards, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions

• Chad Kanoff, 1,741 yards, 6 TDs, 6 interceptions
• John Lovett 582 yards, 10 TDs, 2 interceptions

• Kurt Rawlings 754 yards, 5 TDs, 3 interceptions
• Tre Moore 551 yards, 2 TDs, 3 interceptions
• Rafe Chapple, 185 yards, 1 TD, 5 interceptions

And what's the situation with Dartmouth's nonconference opponents?

Stetson returns its three leading quarterbacks:
• Gavin DeFilippo 1,272 yards, 9 TDs, 8 interceptions
• Nick Andreas 618 yards, 5 TDs, 5 interceptions
• Cole Martin 326 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions

Holy Cross is bringing back Peter Pujals, hurt last year against Dartmouth, for a fifth year. (Click HERE for video confirmation on that from coach Tom Gilmore). The Crusaders also returns both players who stepped in for Pujals:
• Peter Pujals 1,110 yards, 10 TDs, 5 interceptions
• Geoff Wade 1,184 yards, 7 TDs, 3 interceptions
• Blaise Bell 348 yards, 1 TD, 4 interceptions

Sacred Heart loses record-setting RJ Noel and will have a new starter:
• Kevin Duke 229 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception
Lest the old traditions fail: The Dartmouth follows up on news that there will be no snow sculpture in the middle of the Green this year. From The D:
The Winter Carnival Council announced in an email to campus on Friday afternoon that this year’s Carnival will focus on events other than the traditional snow sculpture on the Green.
As reasons for its decision, the Council cited limited snowfall, declining student participation and a lack of student leadership to plan this year’s sculpture.recruits 2017.
Green Alert Take: The "limited snowfall" excuse is just that. While the snow has been melting, there's a reason why Memorial Field had to be cleared at the end of last week to show it off for the recruiting weekend. For what it's worth, there's plenty of snow here on Moose Mountain, 7 1/2-miles from campus. If they've been able to continue the tradition with little more than shavings from Thompson Arena in the past they absolutely could have managed with the snow left in town and/or a few truckloads of the white stuff from up here. I'm not even a Dartmouth grad and this makes me sad.
Speaking of traditions, the official NCAA website has a story under the headline, Some of the best college hockey traditions that leads off with a video of tennis balls being launched onto the Thompson Arena ice after Dartmouth's first goal against Princeton. While the "tradition" may be entertaining to the fans, there's a reason why Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy has asked that the practice be stopped. (LINK)

Green Alert Take: It has to be maddening in Alumni Gym that an official NCAA posting labels something Dartmouth is trying to end one of the "best" traditions.