Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hobart Pro Day a Success, Coleman Invited to NFL Super Regional Combine

There's been a lot of Hobart Football news of late, including the successful pro day for SR OL Ali Marpet on Friday, March 13th in Geneva. The event was well attended by pro scouts and Marpet and the Hobart Athletics department showed that even D3 teams can do D1 quality productions.

A link to a D&C article on the day can be found here. Credit Marpet for pointing out a lot of his teammates, including All-Americans SR OL DeAndre' Smith and SR DE Tyre Coleman were a big part of his success as a student athlete at Hobart. SR FB Dominique Ellis also got a "shout out" as well in this group of articles.

Speaking of Coleman, he's also pursuing his dream of playing in the NFL this weekend in Arizona. Coleman was invited to the Super Regional Combine after a good showing at a similar event in Chicago a week prior.

A snapshot of Tyre on the ground in AZ can be seen here. Not surprisingly he performed well and earned some praise in this article by FootballGamePlan.com.

Word is the Buffalo Bills are coming back to Hobart on April 8th to see Ellis, Smith and Coleman in action.

I have some recruiting news to report soon and obviously will report back on the upcoming Football banquet scheduled for April 10th to honor the 2014 Statesmen team, along with the most successful SR class in Hobart Football's nearly 125 year history.

Thanks for reading and go Bart!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Conversation With Coach Drach

Last week Head Football Coach Mike Cragg and Hobart Athletics announced the promotion of Coach Jon Drach to Offensive Coordinator. A link to the formal announcement can be found here.

I "spoke" with Coach Drach earlier this week, asking about the promotion, his approach to being OC and, most importantly, on becoming a new father:

While I suspect the Statesmen probably won't change from the I formation right off the bat, what wrinkles do you hope to bring as OC compared to Coach DeWall?

We will be pretty similar to what we have been in the past. I was able to learn a lot from Coach DeWall over my 8 years with him and feel we have very similar offensive styles. I am sure that my style as a play caller will be different in flow and sequence but with the same goal of putting the ball in the end zone. When teams play Hobart, I want them to know that they faced a physical, aggressive offense. We will control tempo and be methodical in our approach.

What offense did you run as QB at Western Michigan U and do you think that could translate to D3?

At WMU our offense was very similar to what we have run here at Hobart; I believe that was one of the reasons that I was originally hired for the position of QB Coach. Lots of 1 and 2 back sets with multiple personnel groupings and formations. Many different zone concepts in the run game, accompanied with a horizontal and vertical passing game. We leaned a little heavier on the pass at WMU, which was always a lot of fun from a QB's perspective. I am a product of many systems throughout my playing days and you will see that in our offense in 2015.

How much and how has your being a former QB and QB coach shaped your offensive philosophies? 

As QB and QB Coach, I have a few major points that we stress with our guys; Limit negative plays, do not turn the football over, and score points. It sounds pretty simple but it has gotten us to this point. I feel like I have a great understanding of the game from spending time surrounded by the game since birth (dad is a high school coach and in the hall of Fame for Illinois). I know what it is like to have ten other guys looking at you to make a play and take control. I know what it is like to have 11 defensive guys looking to take you out. I think all of that gives me a good understanding of what our guys are going through, they know I understand them.

Speaking of QBs, Hobart will have a new one in 2015. What are you looking for in your new starter? 

We want a guy that can manage this offense and make plays. Our QB will always be in control and put us in a position to win football games. I do not care how flashy we are, I just want our guy to make good decisions and control this offensive unit. QB should and will be judged on wins, not yards thrown or rushed. It is the end product and team that matter most. 

Coach DeWall admitted in his Endicott presser that the timing of his appointment is challenging from a recruiting perspective. How does your being named OC (with 8 years of working at Hobart) make that transition, recruiting and otherwise, easier for the players / incoming recruits? 

All the recruits know me and know what this program stands for. We cross recruit quite a bit so I have had a chance to build relationships with all of our recruits throughout the process. I think the new guys will be comfortable with the change and our current guys have shown nothing but support. Coach DeWall is an outstanding recruiter and coach, his presence will missed but it does not change who we are as a college and program. 

Finally, you just became a new father. How do you feel?

Being a dad is the best thing in the world. Caleb Robert Drach was born 2/28/15 at 9:50pm. 7lbs 14oz and 21 inches. Lots of sleepless nights ahead, but that is just more time to spend talking football with my little guy. 

Many thanks and good luck to Coach Drach, his and the Hobart Football family!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coach DeWall Is Going to the Gulls

Earlier today Hobart Athletics announced the appointment of Hobart OC Kevin DeWall '00 as Head Football Coach for the Endicott College Gulls (Beverly, MA).

While certainly a loss to the Hobart Football program on one hand, you can't be surprised on the other. Coach DeWall has done a masterful job in helping the Statesmen become a Top 10 D3 program and coaching some all time greats (like maybe a future NFL player.....).

While the NEFC will present some challenges, Endicott has made the D3 playoffs in the past and has a lot of access to talent being so close to Boston and it's overall NE ties.

I have no doubt Coach DeWall will be a great hire for Endicott College and make the Gulls not only perennial NEFC championship but also D3FB playoff contenders for years to come.

The only downside is who am I am going to bug for Hobart FB player interviews for "In The HuddLLe" going forward? Usual channels have been less, ahem, responsive, but that's a rant for another day. As an aside Frank did say he will pull Coach's Interview from last November for a #TBT post on this blog or on our @ITHuddLLe handle.

The official press release can be found here.

Congratulations to Coach and Go 'Bart!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marpet Takes On The NFL Combine

Today is the start of SR OL Ali Marpet's final major audition for a NFL draft pick. Marpet turned some heads successfully bench pressing 225 lbs. an impressive 30 times. Mike Loyko, a Patriots and Draft Analyst, summed it up best saying "the D3 kid knows where the weight room is".

What's especially impressive is that only four other OL prospects did more than 30 reps. Marpet also ran a sub five second 40 yard dash, proving he has the speed to go along with his strength.

Other publications cited Marpet consumes 7,000+ calories a day to maintain his 307 lbs. frame which got a lot of amused and amazed reactions on social media.

The hard work is paying off and getting noticed. After today's successful bench test, Marpet interviewed with the Super Bowl Champion Patriots (who is my favorite NFL team - sorry Bob Riley ;).

Additional agility and other tests await, but today was a big A+ for Ali in keeping his draft stock on the rise.

More new recruit news and Marpet draft tracking will be coming in the next week.

Thanks for reading and Go Bart!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hobart Releases 2015 Schedule

The Hobart College Statesmen will hit the road six times this fall in what appears to be one of the toughest regular season schedules in some time. The obvious highlight is the NCAA Round 1 rematch against Empire 8 Champion Ithaca College in Week 3. Butterfield Stadium is one of the most picturesque in football, at any division, and should be a great venue for local fans and alumni. Hobart hasn't played in Ithaca in the regular season since the 2003 (a hard fought 14-7 win for the Bombers).

After opening once again vs. Dickinson in PA, Endicott of the NEFC will travel to Geneva for Hobart's home opener on Sept 12. The Statesmen will embark on back to back road trips, to Ithaca and then open Liberty League play down in Kings Point vs. the USMMA. The Statesmen will then return home to host LL rival WPI. Another road trip to Springfield on Oct 10 will be the just prior to Hobart's bye week (Oct 17).

Hobart will host RPI and St. Lawrence (in what most will likely view as the LL title rematch game) on Oct 24 and Nov 7. The annual rivalry game at Union happens to fall on Halloween, Oct 31. The 2015 regular season finale will be at the UofR as the Statesmen will look to retain the Centennial Cup against Rochester and rising LL ROTY QB Daniel Bronson.

Overall there's not a lot to nit pick against here with the addition of a two time conference champion OOC game / NCAA playoff rematch. With SLU emerging as a potential Top 25 program in their own right, 2015 could shape up to be quite a year for Hobart.

A link to the 2015 schedule can be found here.

Thanks for reading and go Bart!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Marpet Makes Statesmen Nation Proud In AliBama

Co-Captain and SR OL Ali Marpet held his own with the very best in CFB yesterday and during the week of practice at the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.

He earned All-Star recognition after the game itself, where he and a dominant performance by the North OL paved the way for a big 34-13 win.

I covered the game via by @ITHuddLLe handle so give us a follow if you haven't already. There's a lot more to write on this topic so stay tuned. More to come later this week.

Go Bart!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Statesmen Look to Impress Pro Scouts

Four Hobart College Statesmen SR FB players have been working hard this off season to impress professional scouts at various levels.

Today at 12:30 PM SR FB Dominique Ellis, SR DE Tyre Coleman and SR OL DeAndre' Smith will suit up to play in the Dream Bowl in Virginia Beach, VA. The game will streamed live at www.dreambowl.net. Scouts from the AFL, CFL and other organizations have been watching the workouts this week.

SR OL Ali Marpet is working hard as part of his preparation for the Reese's Senior Bowl this upcoming weekend. You can check his progress on the NFL Network this week. Reviews and replays of the practices will be broadcast on tape delay at 3 PM ET starting on Tuesday.

Ali is on the "North" team and primarily working as an OG, although he did take a few snaps as a C as well.

Hope everyone is enjoying the MLK Jr Holiday weekend. Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!