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Brian Abraham

Brian Abraham is a 6’4″, 205 lb. defensive back from Xaverian Brothers (Westwood, MA) and was named Defensive MVP of the Catholic Conference.  Abraham’s height and jumping ability make him very effective at disrupting passing lanes.  He has quick route recognition skills and the catch-up speed to rob receivers of a touchdown.  At the line of scrimmage, he displays the physicality to jam receivers and can lay the wood on ball carriers.  Yale needed size in the defensive backfield and Abraham certainly fits the bill.

Tale of the Tape: Noah Aaron

In our first analysis of the Class of 2022, we will start with the 6 foot, 180 lb. receiver from The Groton School, Noah Aaron.  Aaron is a long strider with deceptive speed and the quickness to be effective on offense or special teams.  He has the toughness to make plays over the middle of the field and is not afraid to throw a block to spring his teammates.  With the ball in his hands, Aaron displays the patience and vision needed to gain extra yards after the catch.  Aaron’s immediate contribution could come at the punt returner position as Alessi’s graduation leaves a void at that spot.

Men’s Lacrosse Wins National Championship

Jason Alessi finishes Yale career as Ivy League football champion and National Champion in lacrosse.  Congrats to Coach Shay and the entire squad on a record breaking season!

NFL Updates

Sixth round draft selection Foye Oluokun agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons this week.  Oluokun is expected to be a solid contributor on special teams and could provide relief at linebacker as well.

Matt Oplinger survived the Arizona Cardinals rookie mini camp and remains on the active roster.  Several NFL analysts believed that the Cardinals had found a gem in undrafted linebacker Mike Needham, however, the Cardinals cut Needham after mini camp and in doing so, improved Oplinger’s odds of making the 53 man roster.

It does not appear that Jaedan Graham or Copache Tyler were signed after their tryouts with the Raiders and Titans respectively.

#3 Yale Men’s Lacrosse beat UMass over the weekend and will face off against Loyola (MD) on Saturday at Hofstra in the second round of the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament.

Yale Announces Class of 2022

We previously had 34 recruits featured on the “Recruiting Roundup” post and the new list shows 30 incoming freshmen next fall.  Nicholas Sligh, Kennedy Kosmalski, Matthew Tynes, and Henry Large were the four players not included in Yale’s official press release.  Sligh is headed to Stanford as a preferred walk-on and the others will likely attend Choate for a year as their Twitter pages still list them as Yale commits.  In the coming weeks we will post our observations of the highlight reels of each player.

Cornell beat Yale Men’s Lacrosse in the Ivy League Tournament 14-8, but Yale still managed to earn a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  The Bulldogs will face off against UMass on Saturday at noon in the first round.

Falcons Draft Foye

The Atlanta Falcons drafted Foye Oluokun in the 6th Round at #200 overall.  The Falcons are familiar with Yale athletes as Tommy McCarthy played there during the preseason of the 2011 NFL season.  Matt Oplinger was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Cardinals following the draft.

Foye was not the highest draft pick for the Ivy League as Penn’s Justin Watson was selected in the 5th round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Yale Men’s Lacrosse defeated Harvard 16-8 on Saturday and remains the #1 ranked team in the nation.

Defense Dominates in Spring Game

It was a great day to be a Yale fan this past Saturday with fantastic weather, Ivy League Championship rings, a delicious BBQ, and a glimpse of Team 146.  There seemed to be a buzz around the Bowl that hadn’t been witnessed in years.

The defense showed that they are not rebuilding next season, but reloading with talent.  Reno has been able to build solid depth across the board with sustained stellar recruiting.  Several people commented on Tosan Agbeyegbe and Rodney Thomas’ play at safety, an area of particular concern given the graduation of All-Ivy caliber players at the two positions.  The defensive line should be the team’s strongest position despite the loss of Copache Tyler, Earl Chism and John Herubin.  We expect competition at linebacker to continue through the fall, but we were pleased with what we saw.

The offensive line seemed sluggish off the ball and had issues sustaining blocks.  Given the personnel changes and a new position coach, the growing pains are unavoidable.  Keep in mind that the defensive line has historically been more cohesive than the offensive line in Spring Ball over the years including last season.  We didn’t see much out of the top returning wideouts (several did not play), but their routes and timing with Rawlings will only improve over the summer and fall workouts.  Jimmy Check may have the potential to fill in for Rawlings in an emergency.  It would have been nice to see the Blue-White Game at the end of Spring Ball this year as it was evident that the offensive players still needed a few practices under their belt to go toe to toe with the defense.  On the other hand, the Bulldogs will have this week to clean up the mental mistakes and focus on an Ivy League repeat in the fall.

In other news, Yale Lacrosse defeated #2 Albany 14-6 yesterday.

Blue and White Game on Saturday

Head out to the Yale Bowl this weekend to catch a glimpse of the core of next season’s squad.  The game will begin at 1 PM and will last until roughly 3 PM or so.  After the game, be sure to stick around for the Ivy League Championship Ring Ceremony and a Yale football BBQ.  The weather looks like it will be mostly cloudy with a high of 53.

The celebration of Tom Beckett’s career will take place on April 24th.

Spring Updates

Former 49er, Al Netter, has become the next offensive line coach at Yale.  Netter started 52 games at Northwestern before entering the NFL and playing for 3 seasons under Coach Jim Harbaugh.  Netter followed Harbaugh to Michigan where he was a Graduate Assistant for the last two seasons.    As many have pointed out, Sterling Strother will be given a chance to move to left tackle with Cepalia getting snaps at center.

The Blue White Game is scheduled for April 21st at 1 PM.  There will be three additional practices after the Spring Game to allow the players to put the finishing touches on a successful offseason.

Oplinger dominated his Pro Day at Yale measuring 6’2″, 250 lbs, and running a 4.75 40 yard dash.  Seven NFL teams were in attendance and several scouts commented on his impressive work in the drills.  Foye Oluokun is reportedly drawing early interest from the Falcons, Broncos and 49ers after his eye-opening Pro Day performance.

Yale lacrosse is ranked #6 in the nation coming off a tough overtime loss to Bucknell over the weekend.

Spring Ball Preview


QB: Rawlings is already 8th all-time in completions and 9th all-time in touchdowns after just two seasons.  Most importantly, he is 2-0 versus Harvard.  Developing chemistry with wideouts will be crucial this spring with the graduation of Williams-Lopez, Graham, Drwal, and Siragusa.  Patrick Conte saw limited action last year as the backup and he and Jimmy Check will need all the practice reps they can get to master the offense.  In the event of an injury to Rawlings, Tre Moore might prove to be the most effective at running the offense.

RB: Zane Dudek was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and led the Ivy League in rushing yards.  Salter will graduate, but Melvin Rouse and Michael Purvey have playing experience and both showed rare talent for freshmen.  The addition of Lamar next season should give Yale a number of explosive options in the backfield.

WR:  The receiving corps is filled with talent and experience, but none of them have been long term starters to date.  Shohfi will likely be the number one wideout with Rouse, Klubnik, Carrington, Marcinick, and Herring contributing.  Rouse and Carrington in particular must use the spring to establish themselves as legitimate receiving threats with the departure of Williams-Lopez.

TE: John Lager has the most experience in the group playing in eight contests last season.  He will face stiff competition for the starting job from Roman, Howland, Hoban and Dawson.  The tight end competition seems to be wide open this spring after the loss of Graham.

OL: Eiselen and Strother will be the veteran stalwarts along the offensive line.  Cameron Warfield filled in nicely last season at tackle when Bezney went down with an injury.  Jack Lee was a starter during spring ball last season, but an injury derailed his campaign in 2017.  Tribble, Sexton and Cepalia each started one game last season and each have the potential to be solid starters in 2018.  Hinish, Jost, Lemay, and Van de Grift all have in-game experience and could challenge for starting positions.


DL: The graduation of Copache Tyler, Earl Chism and John Herubin will put smiles on the faces of opposing Ivy League offensive line coaches.  Luckily, Yale has built tremendous depth along the defensive line over the past two seasons.  Kyle Mullen and Charles Callender dominated on the outside last season.  Matthaei started six games, while Keeler and Roman rotated in often.  Kissel and Sampleton should see increased playing time at defensive end.  Julian Fraser had a great freshman season and then was rarely utilized last season.  Look for him and Daniel James to make strides this spring.  Crowle is rumored to be coming back for a fifth year in the fall.

LB: Replacing Oplinger and Foye will be difficult challenges of the spring.  Micah Awodiran had a slow start to his career, but by the end of the season, he was one of the most explosive players on defense.  Look for Awodiran to make huge strides this spring and begin commanding the defense.  Herbert, Balter and Burke all have experience as starters, but need to develop consistency in tackling and pass coverage.  John Dean and Jordan Carey had solid freshman seasons and will have the chance to compete for a starting role.

DB: Alessi, Carlson, and Rymiszewski all depart in addition to Coach Rice.  Dixon, Alburg, Peggs and Henson have all started at corner at one point or another, but they are all finesse players that do not possess the tackling abilities of the departing defensive backs.  Some of these corners may transition to safety, yet as it stands now, the safety position is a huge liability.  Agbeyegbe, MacPhee, and Vissman will be given every opportunity to claim these open safety spots.  Yale needs to find a big hitter with great tackling skills to complement the cover corners.

Special Teams

The special teams units should be crisp this spring and into 2018 with the return of long snapper Hunter Simino, kicker/punter Alex Galland, and kickoff specialist Sam Tuckerman.

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