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.