Yale Football Blog

Yale Football News Written By Former Bulldogs

Archives (page 2 of 33)

NFL Updates

Rodney Thomas II was named to the Indianapolis Colts’ 53-man active roster yesterday after an impressive camp in which he displayed his versatility at safety and on special teams. Congrats Rodney!

Jaeden Graham remains with the Philadelphia Eagles, however, he was injured roughly a month ago and placed on the Injured Reserve as he will be out for the season.

JJ Howland and Dieter Eiselen were cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears respectively but showed enough promise to hopefully be claimed by another NFL team on waivers or land a spot on a practice squad.

Foye Oluokun, the NFL’s regular season tackling leader last year, has established himself as the leader of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense after signing a contract worth up to $46.5 million with $28 million guaranteed this off-season. Defensive Coordinator Mike Caldwell referred to Oluokun as the “security blanket” of his unit while praising the leadership skills that Foye has brought to Jacksonville.

We’re now under 3 weeks to kickoff at Holy Cross! Stay tuned for the final recruiting analyses and preseason preview in the coming weeks.

Brogan McCaughey

Brogan McCaughey is a 6’1”, 185 lb. dual-threat quarterback from the football powerhouse St. Xavier in Cincinnati. As the only quarterback in the incoming recruiting class, expectations will be high for McCaughey throughout his career. 247 Sports ranks McCaughey as a three-star prospect and lists a total of 11 offers from FBS and FCS institutions. Over his two starting seasons at St. Xavier, McCaughey threw for over 5,300 yards including a school-record 556-yard game versus St. Ignatius. In his senior campaign, McCaughey threw for 31 touchdowns and was only intercepted 5 times, an amazing feat considering McCaughey did not play past halftime in 5 contests. McCaughey has a big arm with the power to connect on deep strikes. His knack for perfectly placing the ball in the corner of the endzone or along the sidelines is truly extraordinary at the high school level. When the pocket breaks down, McCaughey shows surprising nimbleness in dodging defenders and resetting his feet while keeping his eyes downfield. When he decides to run the ball, his speed and quick cuts make it difficult for pursuing defenders to tackle him. A pancake block from McCaughey on a trick play demonstrates the selflessness and team-focused mentality that a quarterback must have. While predicting the future success of a quarterback recruit could be the most difficult aspect of college football, Reno landed a solid talent in McCaughey who has all the tools to be successful in the Ivy League.

Recruiting List

Brogan McCaughey (6’2”, 185 lbs.), QB, St. Xavier (Cincinnati, OH)

Billy Daal (6’1”, 205 lbs.), RB, Taft School (Amityville, NY)

Josh Pittsenberger (6’0”, 205 lbs.), RB, The Avalon School (Bethesda, MD)

Nico Brown (6’0”, 180 lbs.), WR, Edison (Huntington Beach, CA)

Cam Price (5’10”, 180 lbs.), WR, St. Thomas (Cypress, TX)

Josh Tarver (6’3”, 190 lbs.), WR, IMG Academy (Richmond, TX)

Aidan Stephens (6’1”, 175 lbs.), WR, Labrae (Newton Falls, OH)

Ry Yates (6’4”, 235 lbs.), TE, William and Mary/James Madison (Vienna, VA)

Scott Truninger (6’6”, 240 lbs.), TE, Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach, CA)

Cameron Charron (6’3”, 250 lbs.), OL, Noble and Greenough (Wellesley, MA)

Michael Bennett (6’5”, 250 lbs.), OL, Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta, GA)

Leo Bluhm (6’4”, 260 lbs.), OL, St. Thomas Academy (Egan, MN)

Lucas Prichard (6’5”, 255 lbs.), OL, Bath (Bluffton, OH)

Ezekiel Larry (6’1”, 240 lbs.), DL, Sierra Canyon (Palmdale, CA)

Dylan Yang (6’2”, 230 lbs.), DL, Suffern (Airmont, NY)

Micaiah Shaber (6’6”, 260 lbs.), DL, Starrs Mill (Peachtree City, GA)

Joseph Nash (6’2”, 265 lbs.), DL, Taft School (Dallas, TX)

Raleigh Oxendine (6’1”, 270 lbs.), DL, West Point/Jesuit (Tampa, FL)

Andre Thomas (6’2”, 210 lbs.), LB, Peach County (Fort Valley, GA)

Melik Williams (6’2”, 205 lbs.), LB, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, MI)

Da’Quan Gonzales (5’11”, 175 lbs.), DB, Loomis Chaffee (Stuart, FL)

Nick Conforti (5’10”, 175 lbs.), K/P, Seton Hall Prep (Livingston, NJ)

Ivy Updates

Rodney Thomas was selected in the 7th Round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts making him the first Yale selection since 2018. Thomas is officially listed as a cornerback for the Colts and will have to compete with a deep stable of cornerbacks including Pro Bowler Kenny Moore II and Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Given Thomas’ speed and explosiveness, we see him as a key special teams contributor early in his career.

Foye Oluokun signed a $46.5 million contract with $28 million guaranteed in March with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jaeden Graham is currently a free agent after sustaining an injury in 2021 that forced the Falcons to place him on injured reserve.

Men’s Lacrosse fell to Penn 9-16 in the Ivy League Championship Tournament on Sunday. Yale’s hopes for a national championship are still alive with the NCAA Tournament kicking off this week. Yale hosts St. Joseph’s this Saturday at 5 PM (ESPNU broadcast).

Senior Trenton Charles set Yale’s 100m dash record on Saturday with a time of 10.45 seconds at the Ivy League Championships.

Spring Game

We caught our first glimpse of Team 149 yesterday at the Bowl on a perfect Saturday for football.

Overall, the defense seemed to be slightly ahead of the offense which is to be expected this time of year. The defensive line was the most impressive unit even without Oso and Nickerson participating. The defensive tackle position is stacked with depth returning Patterson, Raine and Goodyear with starting experience and sizable options in Gulley, Bruno and Ugbaja. Young ends such as McDonough, Tyler and #44 (not on spring roster) could factor into the lineup this season.

Vaughn and #15 were playing at linebacker with the first unit and had above average performances but will still need to improve in shedding blocks and aiding in pass coverage. Connor, Shaffer and #7 saw extended playing time at linebacker and made nice plays against the second offense.

It doesn’t seem likely that there will be any major shakeups in the secondary with many familiar names such as Owens, Hickey, Oldacre, Ellis, and Benn in the mix. #21 had a solid outing in the secondary picking off a ball from Grooms and returning it for a touchdown. Kosmalski was very active at safety breaking up passes and running down ball carriers. Russ, Barnes, Gonzalez, and Holloway all caught our eye throughout the contest as well. The secondary played fast and physical for the most part but struggled with penalties and blown coverages. Grooms had his way with the secondary on one series throwing for a deep pass and then an easy touchdown that left defenders scratching their heads.

The constants along the starting offensive line seemed to be Amegadjie at left tackle, Gargiulo at center and Shuller at right tackle. Durand, Anderson, Nauert and Sullivan shuffled in and out at the guard positions. The decision to move Gargiulo to center is a gamble to shore up the interior of the line that plagued last season. The defensive line made life difficult for the offensive line, yet we were pleased to see far fewer mental mistakes leading to unblocked defenders. The offensive linemen will need to dedicate themselves in the weight room this offseason to create a nastier front that can bully defenders.

Grooms had an up and down performance with a stalled drive and pick-six early on before settling down to roast the secondary on a later drive. His running abilities were neutralized due to both the game’s format and the familiarity of defenders. The performances of the backup quarterbacks were not confidence inspiring, although it was difficult to judge the preparedness given poor blocking from the second offensive line, dropped passes and miscommunications. O’Connor was not spotted in the contest or along the sideline.

Saffold and McKenzie were the highlights of the backfield displaying serious speed and playmaking abilities. Opposing linebackers will really struggle to cover these backs when swinging out for passes along the edges.

The wide receivers were inconsistent on the day with sloppy route running and dropped passes. Although Tipton was not spotted in action, with the amount of talent returning at this position, we had hoped for a more seamless transition following the losses of Carrington and Rouse. The great potential was evident at times with Grooms connecting with Pantelis on a deep pass and Nenad hauling in a touchdown. #19 had the catch of the day holding onto a tough grab. Hawes and Foster will be huge factors for the offense at tight end and H-back.

Bosman is still far ahead of the competition in both the kicking and punting departments. He had a very low, line drive field goal that somehow made it through the uprights but otherwise had solid punts and clean PATs.


9/17/22 at Holy Cross

9/24/22 at Cornell

10/1/22 vs. Howard

10/8/22 vs. Dartmouth

10/15/22 vs. Bucknell

10/22/22 at Penn

10/29/22 at Columbia

11/5/22 vs. Brown

11/12/22 vs. Princeton

11/19/22 at Harvard

Reno’s Update

Coach Tony Reno updated the Yale football community on Wednesday night via Zoom. Below are some of the notes from the discussion:

The current roster heading into next season currently stands at 123 players including 23 5th-year seniors and 24 reclassified juniors. Given the size of the roster, only 24 recruits were granted admission slots. Yale’s official recruiting list will be provided following the May 1st response deadline for all admitted students.

The focus this offseason has been to transform the talent pool into bigger, faster and stronger athletes. 8 starters will return on offense and 7 starters will return on defense. Reno believes that this team will have more depth than Team 148 and expects more players overall to see action in 2022. Improving the poor situational awareness seen in 2021 is a key goal of the rebuilt coaching staff.

The out-of-conference opponents in 2022 will be Holy Cross, Howard and Bucknell.

The spring game will be held on April 23rd at noon and will be open to the public. Practices will take place Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays leading up to the spring game.

A renovation plan for the Smilow Field House that now houses only the football and track and field teams has been approved. Fundraising efforts are underway to secure the capital needed to transform the facility.

Yale is providing 100 to 150 daily “snacks” to football players at an estimated cost of $1,000 per day.

Team 149 has adopted the slogan of “Now” to symbolize the sense of urgency and dedication needed to improve on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom on a daily basis.

News Roundup

Coach Tony Reno will be delivering a virtual update to the Yale Football community on March 16th at 7 PM ET. You will need to register using the link provided in the Yale Football Association email to receive the information for the Zoom meeting.

Brown’s EJ Perry was the only Ivy League participant at the annual NFL Combine which concluded on Monday. Perry ran the second fastest 40-yard dash time of any quarterback with a time of 4.65 seconds. Perry’s 3-cone drill and short shuttle times were the fastest among all signal callers. NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein noted that Perry “has average size and arm strength but below-average mechanics and consistency as a passer.” Zierlein sees Perry’s upside as a potential Taysom Hill-like player that poses a legitimate threat as a ball carrier.

Foye Oluokun finished the 2021 NFL regular season as the leader in total tackles with 192 stops. Now that Oluokun’s initial contract has expired, the Falcons will have the difficult decision of whether to re-sign their defensive captain or let him test the open waters of free agency where he could command a speculated $10 million annually. That could bring a whole new meaning to Yale’s 4 for 40 mantra!

The Ivy League Men’s Basketball Tournament will take place this Saturday and Sunday at Harvard. Yale plays Penn at 2 PM ET on Saturday and the winner of Yale-Penn will square off against the winner of the Cornell-Princeton contest on Sunday at 12 PM ET. Good luck Coach Jones, beat those Quakers and Tigers!

The Department of Defense has yet to release an official cause of death for former captain Kyle Mullen. Mullen passed away from an unknown illness on February 4th after successfully completing the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted that Mullen “represented the very best of the state and country” and we couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.

Stay tuned for more recruiting insights to follow.

Recruiting Impressions

We’ll kickoff our recruiting impressions by taking a look at the top two incoming recruits as ranked by 247sports.com:

Ezekiel Larry– 6’1”, 240 lbs., OLB/DE, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA)

Notable offers: Florida, Colorado, Fresno State

One of Reno’s top defensive line recruits to date, Larry has the size, speed and power to be an instant contributor at defensive end. Larry’s quickness and finesse moves allow him to quickly disengage from would-be blockers but he also demonstrates tremendous power when bull-rushing through offensive tackles. He displays relentless pursuit in the open field and is a sure-fire tackler often dislodging the ball from quarterbacks and running backs. The Bulldog’s defensive line was already the strongest returning unit for 2022 and just added another layer of depth and physicality to solidify the defensive trenches for years to come.

Quincy Briggs– 5’11”, 170 lbs., CB/WR, Memphis Central (Memphis, TN)

Notable offers: Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee

When breaking down film on Briggs, it’s difficult to not draw comparisons to Melvin Rouse. Briggs is a do-it-all athlete with the skillset to return punts, blanket wide receivers and stretch secondaries at the collegiate level. LSU offered Briggs a scholarship after his freshman season and intended to utilize him as a wide receiver; however, we feel his biggest contributions could come on the defensive side of the ball. Briggs shows a deep understanding of zone schemes and has the innate instinct to play the ball in the air. Despite his low weight, Briggs packs a punch upon contact. Briggs could develop into a terror for opposing Ivy League quarterbacks who have become far too reliant on throwing to their first read.

A Look Ahead

What excites us heading into 2022:

  • QB Development: While the quarterback competition could continue into 2022, it seems destined that Reno will opt to start his dual-threat weapon, Nolan Grooms. Grooms struggled with his accuracy and decision making in 2021 but has all the physical tools needed to become successful in the Ivy League. With half of a season of starting experience and a full spring to develop chemistry with his receiving corps, Grooms will hopefully show marked improvement from 2021.  
  • Improved offensive line play: While losing our best offensive lineman, Cam Warfield, to graduation hurts, the much-maligned interior offensive linemen return in addition to Gargiulo. Communication and teamwork can only improve from the low point in 2021 assuming Gargiulo can stay healthy.
  • Expanded big play ability: Dudek, Rouse, Carrington, Sandifer and Howland are all graduating but Reno’s exceptional recruiting efforts have kept the cupboard full of talent. Tipton racked up nearly 600 receiving yards despite up and down performances in 2021. With Tipton’s skill set and decent pass protection for Grooms, he should be an 800+ yard receiver over the next two years. Beyond Tipton at wide receiver, Nenad, Pantelis, Lindley and Felton have the speed, route running abilities and sticky hands to surpass the receiving totals of 2021. At tight end, Hawes is every bit as talented as Howland and his productivity should explode in 2022. Alston had a higher average yards per carry statistic than Yale’s all-time leader in the category in 2021 and will be supplemented by a stable of dynamic backs such as Peterson, McKenzie and Eboboko.
  • Dominant Defensive Line: Clay Patterson evolved from a rotational defensive tackle to the most valuable player on the roster over the course of his first few starts. With continued dedication in the weight room this off-season, there may not be an opposing Ivy League offensive lineman that can slow him down next season. Nickerson and Oso are two talented defensive ends that can create chaos in the backfield. Raine returns with a solid year of starting experience under his belt, while Goodyear will look to bounce back from an injury that sidelined him. This could be the top performing defensive line in Reno’s career at Yale.

What makes us nervous heading into 2022:

  • Lack of experienced linebackers: Every starting linebacker from 2021 will depart leaving a very inexperienced crew to pick up the pieces in 2022. Joseph Vaughn, Hamilton Moore, Brian Abraham, Shane Frommer, Nathan Campbell and Dean Shaffer all saw limited action in 2021 and should vie for the starting spots in 2022. If a freshman were to break into the starting lineup in 2022, it seems likely that it would be in the linebacking corps or secondary.
  • Secondary woes: The secondary has been the Achilles’ heel of Reno’s squads even in championship seasons and yet year after year, we witness the same mental mistakes and coaching errors plaguing the team. The top performer in the secondary, Rodney Thomas, is departing and we have returning corners and safeties with extensive experience returning, however, do we throw the same players to the wolves again in 2022 or start from scratch with new recruits and underclassmen? One thing is for certain, changes need to be made from the top down in a hurry to combat this weakness.
  • Field goal/PAT issues: The Ivy League football conference might be the most balanced division across all Division 1 sports. As one fan recently noted, Ivy League games are like “squaring off against your twin brother in an Oklahoma drill.” Outcomes are decided by a single play or a questionable decision from the officials. Bosman or whoever the eventual start is to be in 2022, will need to elevate their game to give Yale the best chance of victory in tight contests.