Monday, May 7, 2018

Shed's Search for an NFL Home Continues

Brandon Shed '18 performed very well, often making the Minnesota Vikings top defensive draft picks look pretty bad actually, but wasn't offered a contract due after this past weekend's rookie mini-camp. It seems as though a front office / roster decision has his NFL dream on hold for now, but other teams (such as the Bears) remain interested. The Vikings coaches were certainly impressed and you never know if and when he could get called back up to MN, depending how the preseason unfolds.

You can read about his journey in this article in the Palm Beach Post here. Brandon posted a handful of highlights from mini-camp on his instagram and twitter feeds.

The main positive from "Minnecamp" was that Brandon continued to show he can play at the NFL level and it's not an if, but a when he'll be able to find an opportunity with a team that needs him. I wouldn't be surprised if he landed on an initial 90-day preseason roster.

Please join me in wishing Brandon continued success in his try-outs as he continues to pursue his NFL dream.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Last, but Definitely Not Least (and other news)

And just like that, it's May 1st! We're exactly four months (date-wise anyway) away from the Statesmen's September 1st season opener at Brockport! While there was a LOT of news to cover in April, it's likely the blog will be quieter until August rolls around. Hopefully we'll hear some good news out of Minnesota, and report on that, as soon as we know more.

In the meantime, the final members of the recruiting Class of 2022 were announced by HC Kevin DeWall '00 on Twitter last week. They included these student athletes:

Zach played DT/OT for BHS using his stocky frame (6' 1" 280 lbs) to help pave the way for his RBs. While he's likely to move inside to guard for college, Cohen adds depth and strength to the OL from nearby Rochester.

Bennett was an All-Erickson League Defensive MVP for Salisbury, which plays in the competitive NEPSAC league. While he played MLB in HS, at 5' 11" 210 lbs, with quick reads and speed, could be a strong OLB candidate given his blitzing and coverage abilities. ILB is a position of need for Hobart going into 2018, and it may fall on FY like Bennett to be called in sooner than later to help out.

Sweeney Wins Hobart's SR Athlete of the Year Award

Shane Sweeney '18 had an impressive three year run at Hobart College, setting multiple passing and offensive records during that time. He appeared in 27 games, passing for 7,385 yards and 71 TDs while adding three rushing TDs over that time as well. His career statistics can be seen here.

During the annual "Block H" athletics awards dinner, Shane was recognized by the Statesmen Athletic Association with the Francis L. "Babe" Kraus '24 Memorial Award as Hobart's most outstanding SR athlete in the Class of 2018.

Congratulations to Shane and to other HFB award winners, including Brandon Shed and Rio Schmidt '18, among others.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Shed Invited to Vikings Rookie Camp

No Division III football players heard their names called for the third consecutive year, but it didn't take teams long to sign certain D3FB players immediately thereafter.

A running list can be seen here.

One of those NFL hopefuls is Hobart's own Brandon Shed '18, who was invited by the Minnesota Vikings' preseason rookie camp in early May.

While there's no guarantees Brandon will end up with a contract by the end of camp, it gives him an excellent opportunity to show his skills to a team that just missed going to the Super Bowl last season.NFL teams can carry 90 players on their initial rosters, so Brandon will be looking to earn one of those spots, starting later this week.

We wish Brandon nothing but the best up in Minneapolis and look forward to following him as his NFL journey continues.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Another Social Media Monday Update on the Class of 2022

Hobart College Football HC Kevin DeWall '00 continued his social media blitz last week announcing these 20 FY student athletes who are joining the Statesmen program and family (or as he and the other coaches have taken to saying, #Team125).

It's shaping up to be a big and talented class, so let's take a look and start getting to know these new Hobart players:

I reported on Austin's commitment a couple of weeks ago, but it appears I was a bit off in my assessment. Coy will joining the team as a DB instead of a RB or OLB as I originally thought. I am happy to be wrong though, as the secondary needs help and depth. Austin brings Tommy D'Antonio '18 type of size too which is definitely welcome.

Bernard comes to Hobart via a PG year at Worcester based FB powerhouse program, St. John's (I played against those guys in summer camps at Holy Cross a million years ago). He played HS ball in Shrewsbury, playing RB and SS. Look for Mike to join the OLB corps this season.

"Cross" is making the short drive to Geneva after winning a Class C State Championship his SR season with the Lakers. Bianchi had two receptions, a tackle and kicked four PATs, which proved to be the difference in SHS's 28-25 championship win.

I updated you on Gavin back in February, and he looks like a nice get for Hobart's WR corps.

Camposano is the third A-B player to enroll at Hobart in the past two seasons. SO FS Cal Sullivan remains on the squad. Kyle is an explosive runner - he averaged nearly eight YPC in his SR season to go with nine TDs.

Coleman was a team captain for HHS, playing WR, RB and occasionally QB en route to over 1250 yards of total offense and nine TDs. He will switch to the defensive side of the ball in college, looking to bolster Hobart's secondary with his size (6'1" 205 lbs) and speed.

While SO PK Kyle Hackett had an incredible FY year - being the only PK at any level of CFB to have a perfect FG percentage (he was 10-10 in 2017) - DiGregorio is a great pickup to challenge him and/or take over KO and/or punting duties now that Rio Schmidt '18 has graduated.

Frucci was another commit I recently reported on. He is a tall and quick OL that will compete at guard, or potentially tackle, depending on what he weighs in at when he arrives for preseason camp.

Gibson was a team captain for HHS and also starred as the center of the hockey team. He played both LB and DL for the Fords, rushing the passer, penetrating gaps on the LOS and even dropping back into coverage when needed. At 6' 215 lbs Gibson may need to add some weight to be an every down DL player in college, but he has good football smarts and athleticism to get him there.

Grieco is yet another recruit from "Strong Island" making his way up to Geneva. He'll fit well in the NG position in Hobart's 4-4 defense as his size (6'2" 260 lbs) and "nose for the ball", will help him succeed as an interior DL in college.

Hopkinson may be smaller in stature, but his highlight reel was really impressive. He has great vision and break away speed once he hits the open field. He has great moves as a runner and is a solid receiver to boot.

One of two Blue Devils coming in from HHS, I did a preview on Jamison about a month ago. He could be in the mix at for the open center starting role given the graduation of Alex Helm '18. 

A HHS teammate of Jamison's, I previewed Alex last month in what was one of my favorite stories of the off-season.

Aside from having a great name, Matthews is an impressive athlete who is a solid slot / inside receiver who runs good routes and has break away speed once he has the ball. Given Hobart's depth at WR his abilities as a special teams player / KOR man could get him valuable playing time as a FY.

Another coach's son, McCoy will convert from being a QB/LB for BBA into a DB at Hobart. This may be a tough transition, but this two sport star should have the athleticism to pull it off. Like his teammate Coy Austin, McCoy will bring more size (6'2" 195 lbs) to the Statesmen secondary.

Noel is from NJ, but played football and basketball just across the PA border for PS. He was a WR, but will convert to DB in college. Standing 6', he'll add more height to the Statesmen secondary, as well as the important "ball hawk" skills cover corners always need.

Onaiwu will look to bolster the Hobart DL. While a bit undersized at 5"11" 260 lbs, his lower center of gravity, strength and technique as a NG can be an asset to the Statesmen's 4-4 scheme.

Another Floridian, Anthony will head to Hobart from Tampa (I wonder if he's a Bucs fan?) to bolster the Statesmen OL, most likely at guard (or center). He is athletic for his size and pulls well on roll outs and run plays. More the stocky side (5'11" 250 lbs), he leverages his center of gravity to get under DL's pads and drive them where they need to go (out of the way).

Smyth played football in my hometown of Avon, CT which is just over the "mountain" from his hometown of West Hartford. While I couldn't find information to confirm, I'm guessing he attended AOF for a PG year. Pierce will look to compete for a spot at guard. At 6' 280 lbs and having played with a number of Division I caliber players at AOF (he blocked for a QB that signed with Clemson), Smyth could be in the mix early on.

Spano earned All-County honors as a LB / DE hybrid player for BBPHS his SR season. He lined up outside as an end but also played on the interior DL sometimes also, showing good technique in shedding blockers and getting to the ball carrier. At 6'2" 230 lbs Kyle will bring size and strength to the DE/DL unit.

There's a few more players left to feature, and I'll have those up later this week.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sun Sentinel Shines on Shed

Former Hobart WR Brandon Shed '18 was included in a South Florida HS alumni  / NFL Draft preview today by the Sun Sentinel.

A link to the article can be seen here.

Shed alludes would be tacklers during last season's 
home opener vs. Brockport (photo credit: Kevin Colton)

The article acknowledges the fact that Brandon may have been "an under the radar high school prospect" but that he "blew up in college, recording 167 receptions for 2,958 and 32 touchdowns."

Given interest from teams such as the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, NY Giants, Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings; Shed is being projected as high as a fifth round draft pick by several publications.

The NFL Draft starts next Thursday, April 26 and will run through the weekend. We all hope to hear Brandon get the call!

Thanks for reading, go Brandon and go 'Bart!

Monday, April 16, 2018

More on the Class of 2022

Hobart HC Kevin DeWall '00 took to social media last week introducing the incoming Class of 2022. Below are 16 student athletes he and the coaching staff welcomed to the Hobart Family. Some of these will look familiar based on earlier reports on this blog, but given the large number, I'll post the below photos for now and provide some analysis after the entire class is announced.

We discussed Mike last month - he'll add athleticism and size to the Statesmen OL.

With 110 tackles in eight games his SR season, earning him multiple, county, state and other first team accolades, C.J. could be a potential long-term solution to the current openings at ILB. At 6' 1" 215-20, he certainly has the size and skills, to do so.

Talk about seeing double! It's been a long time and I'll have to look in to see when was the last time Hobart College had twin brothers play football together in Geneva.

We profiled Diaz back in February - he's more of an OLB prospect, as he can both cover and blitz effectively.

Another Boston area prospect, Pat played a stand up DE / OLB role for MHS and brings solid measurable's (6'2" 210 lbs, sub 4.7 speed) to Geneva. Effective at reading and keeping contain, Fitzgerald may need to bulk up a little for collegiate play at DE, but looks like a strong recruit.

Bryce was actually the first incoming recruit we heard about back in January, so we knew about his commitment right after the New Year. He'll join several other Boston area prospects (and current players) on the squad while competing for a spot at LB.

Do we thank Hobart Lacrosse JR M Stanny Gilbertson for getting the Statesmen on Hunter's radar? What he may lack in size, Hunter makes up for in speed and toughness. He'll look to help strengthen the Hobart secondary which has some shoes to fill given the graduations of several top DBs.

Kimbrough comes from nearby Binghamton and will bring a strong work ethic to the RB corps. He has good size (6'2" 215 lbs) and speed and could make a name for himself in the return game as a FY as he had some good highlights there for WHS his SR season.

De'John is heading to Hobart from the Palm Beach area, home to Brandon Shed '18, among other past Statesmen greats. King is a small but speedy WR, able to stretch the field and out run most defenders.

I profiled Ethan back in February, as he is a former player of Coach Devin Worthington '14, one of Hobart's best ever. Devin had a lot of great things to say about Ethan, so I'm excited to see how his collegiate career begins at Hobart.

From the Keystone State, Krewson has the ability to do quick drops and make plays on the roll out. While JR QB Ryan Hofmann is probably QB1 heading into spring camp, in my opinion, the QB position battle is one of the more wide open ones going into August.

At 6'2" 300 lbs, Mercy is right! Another Sunshine state / Palm Beach area recruit, Ludner is a big and strong add to the OL. He can play C or G and will likely be in the mix early on his in collegiate career.

Kieran will look to add depth to the Statesmen DL. At 6'2" 240 lbs he is a stout run defender and will fit in well with Hobart's 4-4 defense. He enjoyed back-to-back state championships and a perfect 24-0 record in his final two seasons for GCHS.

Another Garden State prospect, Cory is a big target, standing 6'3". He reports a 4.5 40-yard dash so he has the speed to get open and break long runs after the catch. His long stride covers a lot of ground and he is elusive to tackle as well. Like Kieran above, Cory was also a lacrosse star for TPS which adds to his athletic resume.

We covered Michael, Jr. and his coach Dad Michael, Sr. earlier in the year. Michael will be one of many looking to bolster the ILB unit.

I'll have more analysis on this group, as well as more future Statesmen, as Coach DeWall continues his announcements this week.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Statesmen Settle on 9 Games

The recent news that Mount Ida College is closing per the Boston Globe gave some Statesmen fans hope that perhaps Hobart could schedule a 10th regular season game against a team needing to replace the open date due to the Mustangs' program ending.

Unfortunately, there were no takers to the Statesmen's calls and so 2018 will be the first time since the 2013 season that Hobart will play a nine game schedule. The 2014-17 seasons each had 10 games, but the contraction of the Liberty League (LL) in 2017 made it challenging to find a 10th opponent.

Earlier today the instagram account posted the official nine-game schedule (and it's on the Football website now as well), which kicks off Hobart's 125th season on September 1st at 1 PM.

As previously predicted, the official 2018 regular season schedule is now confirmed as:

9/1/18 at Brockport 
9/8/18 vs. SUNY-Morrisville (home opener)
9/15/18 at Shenandoah (night game)
9/22/18 at Endicott
9/29/18 Bye week
10/6/18 vs. Union (LL opener)
10/13/18 vs. UofR (Centennial Cup game)
10/20/18 at RPI 
10/27/18 Bye week 
11/3/18 vs. Ithaca (Senior Day / Hall of Fame wkd)
11/10/18 at Saint Lawrence

The above has the Statesmen on the road three out of four weeks and no opponent for Homecoming weekend in the first half of the season. The second half starts with Liberty League play at home in October with back-to-back rivalry games. A tough, final stretch with the Ithaca game in Week 10 that hopefully has potential LL championship and NCAA playoff implications for both teams won't be easy.

The most positive element of this season's schedule is that it provides Hobart with an extra week of preparation before they have to play the two LL teams they lost to (Union and Ithaca) in 2017.

It was also brought to my attention that the Statesmen JV schedule will have three games. A link to that schedule can be found here. Interestingly enough, the JV team will have a game on the Sunday of Homecoming weekend, on 9/30 vs. Saint John Fisher.

I'll have more updates on the Class of 2022 as HC Kevin DeWall '00 has continued introducing these new players on Twitter throughout this week.

Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!