Yale Football News Written By Former Bulldogs

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 36)

Official Recruiting List

Cooper Austin, 6’2″, 280 lbs., DL, Loomis Chaffee/Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, PA)

Zavier Avera, 6’5″, 270 lbs., OL, Jones (Orlando, FL)

Joseph Barry, 6’3″, 220 lbs., LB, Bergen Catholic (Saddle River, NJ)

Kevin Cassidy, 6’6″, 285 lbs., OL, Mountainside (Beaverton, OR)

James Cave, 6’6″, 240 lbs., DL, Parish Episcopal (Dallas, TX)

Osize Daniyan, 6’2″, 175 lbs., DB, Mt. Juliet (Mt. Juliet, TN)

Dylan Darville, 6’1″, 180 lbs., DB, Emmaus (Macungie, PA)

Garon Duncan, 6’1″, 195 lbs., WR, Dripping Springs (Driftwood, TX)

Babawale Fadeyibi, 6’3″, 255 lbs., DL, Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ)

Joey Fortner, 6’2″, 215 lbs., LS, Marist (Tinley Park, IL)

Dylan Garrity, 6’4″, 245 lbs., OL, Bergen Catholic (Old Tappan, NJ)

Phoenix Grant, 6’2″, 185 lbs., DB, Gunter (Sherman, TX)

Zairion Jackson-Bass, 6’3″, 235 lbs., DL, Julius L. Chambers (Charlotte, NC)

Brice June, 6’3″, 190 lbs., WR, Maret (Potomac, MD)

Abu Kamara, 6’1″, 190 lbs., DB, Interboro (Prospect Park, PA)

John Kemp, 5’11”, 180 lbs., DB, St. Ignatius (Chicago, IL)

Quinton Lewis, 6’4″, 290 lbs., OL, Northside (Warner Robins, GA)

Donovan McKoy, 6’5″, 210 lbs., WR, St. Joseph Regional (Englewood Cliffs, NJ)

Spencer Mermans, 6’6″, 245 lbs., DL, Charlotte Country Day (Charlotte, NC)

Jesse Schutzman, 6’2″, 220 lbs., LB, Brunswick (Norwalk, CT)

Graham Smith, 6’5″, 220 lbs., TE, Lyons Township (Western Springs, IL)

Jackson St. Aubyn, 6’5″, 284 lbs., OL, Palmer Ridge (Colorado Springs, CO)

Jaylin Tate, 6’4″, 245 lbs., DL, Woodward Academy (Atlanta, GA)

Robby Tattersall, 6’5″, 205 lbs., TE, Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, DE)

Aidan Warner, 6’3″, 205 lbs., QB, Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)

Brandon Webster, 6’0″, 180 lbs., DB, St. Ignatius (Cleveland, OH)

Lukas Witt, 6’5″, 285 lbs., OL, Cheshire Academy/Norris (Stuttgart, Germany)

Spring Game Notes

We caught our first glimpse of the 2023 squad on Saturday in the Bowl on an overcast windy day in New Haven. Attendance seemed to be higher than in previous years likely due to senior parents in attendance to watch the ring ceremony.

Reno aired on the side of caution sitting or limiting many of the familiar names on the roster. Those who did not suit up included Mendoza, Patterson, Egodogbare, Pantelis, Nenad, Shipp, Hawes, and Sullivan. Benn, Guyton and Peterson were suited up but did not see action. Grooms and Alston played only the first series, while Pitsenberger was only seen on a handful of special teams plays. Spring games under Siedlecki and Williams were far more entertaining, but we prefer Reno’s approach to keep the team healthy heading into the summer offseason.

With Mendoza out of the lineup, the starters along the offensive line were Amegadijie, Anderson, Durand, Karhu and Session from left to right. Yates started at tight end with Hawes out and the starting wide receiver corps featured Tipton (in red non-contact jersey), Lindley, and Brunelle. Grooms and Alston started at QB and RB respectively. The starting offense marched effortlessly down the field for a score led by two big runs from Alston (including the TD scamper) and a nice completion on a crossing pattern to Lindley.

The starting defense was very young with only a handful of major contributors from 2022 appearing in the exhibition. McDonough and Ezekiel Larry started at defensive end with Gulley and #98 (Yang or Ugbaja?) at defensive tackle. The starting linebackers were #7 (Biggs?), #40 (Shaffer or Warncke?), and Melik Williams. Gonzales and Barnes were at the cornerback positions and #32 and #35 (Haaland?) were at the safety positions.

Pass coverage was poor early on but improved as the day went on. McDonough and Yang both had sacks yet the defensive play of the day came on a big hit from #37 (Joseph Gonzales?) who dislodged a completion to Thompson. #30 (Michalik?) also had a terrific play stripping Eboboko on a running play.

The stars on offense were WR CJ Thompson and RB Wilhelm Dahl. Thompson was by far the most active member of the receiving corps and held onto a ball in the first half despite a crushing hit. Thompson had a long reception called back in the 2nd half and later beat Gonzales on a deep route but the pass from Grant Jordan was off the mark. Dahl showed great vision and cutting abilities and could factor into the kickoff return game alongside Felton.

Bosman still appears to be ahead of the competition in the kicking and punting schemes. Bosman nearly connected on a 50-yard field goal in the wind that hit the goalpost.

The defensive end and safety positions are still the largest uncertainties heading into the fall. If McDonough and Larry are to be the primary contributors at the defensive end slot, they will both need to continue to bulk up to square off against much larger offensive tackles. Beyond Benn, there is no safety with ample experience, so Reno could opt to shift an experienced corner to safety or let the youngsters such as Haaland, #32, Di Ienno and Joseph Gonzales battle it out for the top spot.

Spring Ramblings

Despite losing the top offensive lineman to graduation, next year’s offensive line seems to be coming together nicely this spring with a projected lineup of Mendoza, Karhu, Durand, Session and Amegadjie from right to left. Durand is the only projected starter who did not start a contest in 2022, however, he did fill in at a critical time when Gargiulo was briefly injured. Session was a more than capable backup to Mendoza last year at tackle and his move to guard this year will likely be a smooth transition once he adjusts his techniques to interior play. Sullivan was injured prior to the start of the season last year but appeared in 8 contests as a freshman and could challenge for a starting role.

The return of Spencer Alston provides Yale with an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. The challenge will not be getting our backs to perform, it will be finding the right mix of Alston, Pitsenberger, and Peterson to stay as effective as possible without disrupting the flow of the run game that was established in 2022.

On the topic of running backs, Princeton’s star freshman running back Ryan Butler has transferred to Stanford. While Butler will have the opportunity to earn a degree almost as coveted as a Princeton degree, it’s a risky proposition for increased exposure given the competing talent that Stanford can attract as well as his style of play that was reliant on his sheer power to break tackles. It’s an entirely different equation to break a tackle from an Oregon defensive end versus a Cornell defensive end.


9/16 Yale vs. Holy Cross

9/23 Yale vs. Cornell

9/30 Yale vs. Morgan State

10/7 Yale at Dartmouth

10/14 Yale vs. Sacred Heart

10/21 Yale vs. Penn

10/28 Yale vs Columbia

11/4 Yale at Brown

11/11 Yale at Princeton

11/18 Yale vs. Harvard

It’s a shame that we could not secure UCONN for another in-state matchup as many have noted that the game day experience at UCONN had more energy than the vast majority of our contests over the last two years. We won’t complain loudly about having SEVEN home games though!

Farewell to a Talented Class

With 3 championships in 5 years of play and an outright title in 2022, the results speak for themselves for the Class of 2023 (and December 2022 graduates).

Here are the seniors that we will miss the most next season:

Nick Gargiulo, Center

The interior offensive line struggled immensely in 2021. Netter and Reno devised a bold plan heading into 2022 to shift their most talented offensive tackle, Gargiulo, to center to shore up the interior with Mendoza and Amegadjie at the tackle positions. Gargiulo battled through early season struggles at the position but by mid-season, was the most dominant offensive lineman in the league. Gargiulo had such a rare combination of size, intellect, technique, and power that it was no surprise that he was named unanimous 1st Team All-Ivy. Footage of Gargiulo sealing off defenders in 2022 should be required viewing for all future offensive linemen at Yale.

Reid Nickerson, Defensive End

The injury to Oso combined with the concerted effort to contain Patterson placed the pressure on Nickerson to perform. Nickerson answered the bell as the team leader in tackles for loss (8), forced fumbles (3) and QB hits (7), while his sacks (6) and pass breakups (5) were the second highest on the squad. Statistics aside, Nickerson stepped up in crucial moments with game changing plays. It was a travesty that Princeton’s Matthew Jester was named 1st Team All-Ivy over Nickerson in 2022.

Oso Ifesinachukwu, Defensive End

Prior to his devastating injury, Oso was on pace for a 1st Team All-Ivy season and was easily the most valuable player of the defense. Oso posted back-to-back two sack games to open the season and finished 3rd on the team in sacks despite not playing in half of the contests. Ifesinachukwu was named one of 15 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation’s prestigious award given to college football’s premier scholar athlete based on academic success, on-field performance and leadership strengths.

Kyle Ellis, Safety

In our annual post-season awards, we named Kyle Ellis as Most Improved over a Career due in large part to his exceptional contributions in run support. It’s hard to argue that any safety in Yale history was more dominant in run defense than Ellis was over the two-game stretch to finish the season. Throw our previous criticisms of lack of safety support out the window as Yale would not have secured an outright title without Ellis dismantling the rushing attacks of Princeton and Harvard.

Miles Oldacre, Safety

Oldacre was one of many unsung heroes of 2022. The vast improvement in pursuit angles and open field tackling from 2021-2022 was attributable to Oldacre’s steady presence in the secondary. While Oldacre never received the same level of public praise as fellow secondary members such as Wande Owens, he quietly put together a solid 48-tackle senior campaign which was the 3rd highest on the team behind Owens and Moore.

We have assumed Joseph Vaughn will have another year of eligibility and will return to Yale but if not, he deserves to be on this list.

Annual Awards

Yale Football Blog Awards

MVP: Nolan Grooms, Quarterback

Senior of the Year: Nick Gargiulo, Center

Junior of the Year: Nolan Grooms, Quarterback

Sophomore of the Year: Inumidun Ayo-Durojaiye, Linebacker

Rookie of the Year: Joshua Pitsenberger, Running Back

Most Improved over Career: Kyle Ellis, Safety

Offensive Lineman of the Year: Nick Gargiulo, Center

Defensive Lineman of the Year: Reid Nickerson, Defensive End

Offensive Skill Position Player of the Year: Nolan Grooms, Quarterback

Defensive Skill Position Player of the Year: Hamilton Moore, Linebacker

Specialist of the Year: Jack Bosman, Kicker/Punter

Most Underrated Player: Ryan Lindley, Wide Receiver

Updated List

Brandon Webster, DB/WR, 6’0″, 182 lbs., St. Ignatius (Cleveland, OH)

Jackson St. Aubyn, OL, 6’5″, 271 lbs., Palmer Ridge (Monument, CO)

Graham Smith, TE/DE, 6’5″, 225 lbs., Lyons Township (La Grange Park, IL)

John Kemp, CB, 5’11”, 175 lbs., St. Ignatius (Chicago, IL)

Aidan Warner, QB, 6’3″, 215 lbs., Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)

Phoenix Grant, S, 6’1″, 185 lbs., Sherman (Sherman, TX)

Christopher White, CB/ATH, 6’0″, 183 lbs., Lincoln (San Diego, CA)

Zairion Jackson-Bass, DL, 6’2″, 245 lbs., Julius Chambers (Charlotte, NC)

Spencer Mermans, TE/DE, 6’6″, 245 lbs., Charlotte Country Day (Charlotte, NC)

Kevin Cassidy, OL/DL, 6’6″, 285 lbs., Mountainside (Beaverton, OR)

Joseph Barry, LB, 6’3″, 220 lbs., Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

Joey Fortner, LS, 6’2″, 215 lbs., Marist (Chicago, IL)

Cooper Austin, OL, 6’2″, 265 lbs., Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dylan Garrity, OL, 6’3″, 255 lbs., Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

Donovan McKoy, WR, 6’5″, 210 lbs., St. Joseph (Montvale, NJ)

Lukas Witt, OL, 6’6″, 285 lbs., Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, CT/Germany)

Osize Daniyan, DB, 6’1″, 180 lbs., Mount Juliet (Mount Juliet, TN)

James Cave, DE, 6’6″, 240 lbs., Parish Episcopal (Dallas, TX)

Jesse Schutzman, LB, 6’2″, 220 lbs., Brunswick (Greenwich, CT)

Zavier Avera, OL, 6’5″, 270 lbs., Jones (Orlando, FL)

Brice June, WR, 6’2″, 190 lbs., Maret (Washington D.C.)

Robby Tattersall, DE, 6’5″, 200 lbs., Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, DE)


Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year – Nolan Grooms

Commit List

Brandon Webster, DB/WR, 6’0″, 182 lbs., St. Ignatius (Cleveland, OH)

Jackson St. Aubyn, OL, 6’5″, 271 lbs., Palmer Ridge (Monument, CO)

Graham Smith, TE/DE, 6’5″, 225 lbs., Lyons Township (La Grange Park, IL)

John Kemp, CB, 5’11”, 175 lbs., St. Ignatius (Chicago, IL)

Aidan Warner, QB, 6’3″, 215 lbs., Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)

Phoenix Grant, S, 6’1″, 185 lbs., Sherman (Sherman, TX)

Christopher White, CB/ATH, 6’0″, 183 lbs., Lincoln (San Diego, CA)

Zairion Jackson-Bass, DL, 6’2″, 245 lbs., Julius Chambers (Charlotte, NC)

Spencer Mermans, TE/DE, 6’6″, 245 lbs., Charlotte Country Day (Charlotte, NC)

Kevin Cassidy, OL/DL, 6’6″, 285 lbs., Mountainside (Beaverton, OR)

Joseph Barry, LB, 6’3″, 220 lbs., Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

Joey Fortner, LS, 6’2″, 215 lbs., Marist (Chicago, IL)

Cooper Austin, OL, 6’2″, 265 lbs., Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dylan Garrity, OL, 6’3″, 255 lbs., Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ)

Donovan McKoy, WR, 6’5″, 210 lbs., St. Joseph (Montvale, NJ)

Lukas Witt, 6’6″, 285 lbs., Cheshire Academy (Cheshire, CT/Germany)

Cooper Blomstrom, TE/LB, 6’3″, 235 lbs., St. Paul’s (Concord, NH)

Quincy Briggs announced via Twitter that he has reopened his recruiting process.

Let us know who we are missing from this stellar class.

Go Bulldogs!

Ivy Awards

Yale 6-1, Ivy League Champion

Penn 5-2

Princeton 5-2

Harvard 4-3

Columbia 3-4

Cornell 2-5

Dartmouth 2-5

Brown 1-6

Rookie of the Year – Joshua Pitsenberger

Coach of the Year – Tony Reno

First Team All-Ivy

Nick Gargiulo, OL

Kiran Amegajdie, OL

Nolan Grooms, QB

Joshua Pitsenberger, RB

Wande Owens, DB

Jack Bosman, K

Second Team All-Ivy

Jackson Hawes, TE

Reid Nickerson, DL

Clay Patterson, DL

Hamilton Moore, LB

Honorable Mention All-Ivy

Jonathan Mendoza, OL

Cubby Schuller, OL

Tre Peterson, RB

Mason Tipton, WR

Ryan Lindley, WR

Alvin Gulley, DL

Adam Raine, DL

Joseph Vaughn, LB

Kyle Ellis, DB

Harvard Preview

The Yale Bulldogs travel to Cambridge this weekend for The Game with the Ivy League Championship on the line. Kickoff is slated for noon and the game will air on ESPNU.

Harvard enters the contest with a 6-3 record following losses to Holy Cross, Princeton, and Columbia. The Crimson bounced back from their defeat against the Lions with a dominating 37-14 win over the Quakers last week. Senior QB Charlie Dean (6’1”, 210 lbs.) leads Harvard’s offense and is a mobile quarterback with good accuracy. Dean has completed 61.1% of his passes this season for 1872 yards, 16 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Harvard utilized passing plays to the outside and crossing routes over the middle to pick apart Penn’s secondary for 316 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns. Senior WR Kym Wimberly (6’0”, 201 lbs.) is Dean’s favorite target with 51 receptions for 703 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season. Wimberly was hurt on Harvard’s first offensive play last week and did not return, but we fully expect to see him starting tomorrow. Sophomore WR Ledger Hatch (6’4”, 190 lbs.) is a very tall target with blazing speed averaging 21.7 yards per reception. The Crimson have tremendous depth at wide receiver with seniors Jack Bill (6’0”, 209 lbs.) and Joe Young (6’3”, 208 lbs.), junior Kaedyn Odermann (6’3”, 211 lbs.), and sophomore Scott Woods (5’8”, 176 lbs.) all possessing enough talent to start anywhere in the Ivy League outside of Yale or Princeton. Senior RB Aidan Borguet (5’10”, 211 lbs.) ripped Yale for 269 rushing yards as a freshman in 2019 and is well on his way to becoming 1st Team All-Ivy with 1120 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over 9 games. Senior RB Sone Ntoh (5’11”, 229 lbs.) is a load to tackle when relieving Borguet. Harvard’s offensive line is very talented displaying superior run blocking skills to Princeton’s offensive line but is a slight notch below Princeton’s line in terms of pass protection. The Crimson average 293.8 lbs. across the board and manhandled the Quakers’ front a week ago. Junior TE Tyler Neville (6’4”, 235 lbs.) could be the most dangerous pass catching tight end in the Ivy League while junior H Back Haven Montefalco (6’4”, 231 lbs.) gives Harvard an easy mismatch against smaller linebackers and safeties.

Harvard’s defensive line is the strength of the team. Senior DE Truman Jones (6’4”, 242 lbs.) has dominated opposing offensive linemen racking up 30 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks. Junior DT Thor Griffith (6’2”, 305 lbs.) is very stout at the point of attack and displays great pursuit skills with 38 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. Junior LB Matt Hudson (6’3”, 230 lbs.) has had a highly productive season as a first-time starter with 45 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Senior LB Jack McGowan (6’1”, 216 lbs.) was a 1st Team All-Ivy defender last season and continues to impress with 38 tackles on the season. Penn had opportunities to exploit Harvard’s secondary but drops by receivers and inaccurate passes plagued the Quakers. Senior S James Herring (6’0”, 187 lbs.) is tied for the team lead in tackles with 45. Senior CB Alex Washington (6’2”, 192 lbs.) is the most talented member of the secondary and leads the team with 2 interceptions. Harvard has a very fast defense overall and defenders flow well to the ball which makes gaining yardage on short screens difficult.

Senior K Jonah Lipel (6’0”, 189 lbs.) has made 62.5% of his field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards. 2 of Lipel’s field goals have been blocked this season. Woods and Bill are top notch returners that have made undisciplined opponents pay with long returns. The Bulldogs will need to be crisp on the punting team as Harvard aggressively seeks to block every punt.

Go Bulldogs! Beat Harvard!