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!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking Back on 2014....

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a happy, healthy and enjoyable holiday. It's hard to believe it's already 2015! Over the next several months I'll report on any "signings" / new recruit commitments to the Hobart Class of 2019. Before we look to the future, I'd like to do a little retrospective on the 2014 season.

The Hobart College Statesmen came into the 2014 season with high expectations and a bit of a chip on their shoulder after a sub par playoff performance against local and Empire 8 rival Saint John Fisher College in the second round of the 2013 NCAA playoffs.

Given a strong returning core of letter-men the Statesmen were picked to repeat as Liberty League (LL) Champions and return to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. There were some question marks around who would fill in on the OL and whether or not Hobart would evolve into more of a passing team given the graduation of RB Steven Webb.

The OOC schedule had the annual Dickinson game and the addition of back to back road trips to the Boston area which was great for MA and New England based alumni. Unfortunately both Endicott and Curry ended up having down seasons and really didn't provide the Statesmen with much of a challenge.

The LL schedule also proved to be less than challenging at times, at least in September and October. The good news was a lot of underclassmen had opportunities to gain valuable playing time and experience.

As expected Saint Lawrence rose to the occasion and gave Hobart a run for its money. It's hard to point to any other game in the regular season that showed the heart and grit of this season's Statesmen team than that 29-27 triumph over the Saints. The experience from that close and hard fought victory would prove very beneficial for Hobart in the playoffs.

The Statesmen defense would rise to the occasion and SR QB Patrick Conlan would engineer two game winning drives in Round 1 vs. Empire 8 Champion Ithaca and then again in Round 2 vs. Centennial Conference Champion and #7 Johns Hopkins.

Although Hobart's playoff run would end in Dover, DE; the Statesmen earned high marks for battling #4 Wesley close, at least until SR DE Tyre Coleman had to leave the game with an injury.

Hobart's 12-1 mark would tie the programs' record for most wins in a season and the Statesmen would finish the year ranked in the Top 10 in both major polls. Hobart SR OL Ali Marpet and DeAndre Smith would earn All-American recognition from D3football.com and Coleman would add Defensive Player of the Year to his All-American and other recognition.

Although comparison between this and the 2012 team are obvious, the 2014 team definitely had its own personality and definitely left it's mark on the Statesmen program.

While several key positions will need to reload in the 2015, I expect Hobart will once again be viewed as a top contender in the LL and the East Region.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thank You Seniors!

For what will probably be the final post of 2014 I wanted to write a heartfelt THANK YOU to the graduating seniors (and their extended families and friends). As it has been well documented already, these young men have earned the best four year record, 41-5, in the 121 seasons of Hobart Statesmen Football history.

This run is a good reason why Hobart ended up ranked in the Top 10 in both major D3FB 2014 polls. The Statesmen finished the year eighth in the AFCA and ninth in the D3football.com Top 25, respectively.

Without further ado, please join me in looking back on and thanking these great student athletes for their contributions to Hobart College and the Statesmen Football team:

#1 WR Troy Robinson – finishes his career with 56 receptions for 705 yards and six TDs. The third of the Robinson brothers to attend Hobart and a great story on their family can be read here. I think Mr. and Mrs. Robinson deserve a special thank you for sending three outstanding Statesmen to Hobart (not mention handling all that tuition - that alone gets Mr. & Mrs. R a HOF nod in my opinion!).

#2 WR John Fasano – saved his best for last, making one of the biggest catches in Hobart history - a game winning TD in the second round of the NCAA playoffs to help the Statesmen beat #7 Johns Hopkins, 24-21. Fasano caught 60 passes for 797 yards and five TDs in his career.

#3 WR Elvin Souffrant – 46 catches for 1,147 yards and eight TDs. His 86 yard TD and run vs. Dickinson in Week 1 was the third longest scoring pass play in Hobart history.

#4 RB Alex Furtado – listed as a JR by the NCAA but Alex plans to graduate this spring. He played very well in his final season, rushing for 343 yards and six TDs while adding seven catches for 153 yards and one (HUGE vs. SLU) TD.

#12 QB Patrick Conlan – career record as a starter was 22-2. Passed for 3,603 yards and 33 TDs in his career. Also rushed for 264 yards and five TDs overall. A leader on and off the field.

#16 OLB Nolan Toran – played in 41 games racking up 130 tackles, three INTs and scoring on a safety vs. RPI this season.

#18 QB Kyle Bayly – played in 17 games, passed for 202 yards and three TDs in his career.

#21 DB Fajri Jackson – played in 45 games, tallying 149 tackles, 111 of those unassisted. A top cover corner for Hobart during his four year career and decorated LL player.

#24 OLB Matt McGriff – affectionately known as the “Crime Dog” and was a leader on and off the field for Hobart. Played in 30 games, totaling 40 tackles and one INT against Curry in 2014. His dad Jon's "H-O-B-A-R-T" cheers were awesome too.

#33 FB Dominique Ellis – nicknamed the “Horse”, Ellis rushed 235 times for 1,306 and 19 TDs in his 43 game career. Started all four seasons for Hobart and is arguably the best FB ever to suit up in a Statesmen uniform.

#41 DB Jordan Smith – played in 13 games where he made a total of 10 tackles.

#42 LB Jacob Price – played in 38 games making 81 tackles and blocked a kick in the second round of the NCAA playoffs vs. #13/24 Wittenburg.

#55 OL Ali Marpet – played in 41 games, starting at LT from 2012-2014. An all-time great OL for Hobart and is being seriously looked at by pro scouts.

#78 OL DeAndre Smith – played in 35 games and like Marpet, started at OG from 2012-14. Caps his career as a D3football.com All-East Region first team player and third team All-American.

#84 TE Mike Berkowitz – “Berk” played in 42 games, catching 45 passes for 17 TDs. The TD mark is best in Hobart history for a TE and tied for fifth all time on the career TD receptions list. Berkowitz ranks up there with Nico Karagosian '97 as one of the all time best TE's in Hobart history.

#90 DE Tyre Coleman – arguably the best defensive, if not overall player in Hobart history. Four year starter played in 46 games and was a multiple year All-American. 51 sacks ended up being good for second all time in DIII football history and 94.5 TFL was good for third all time. Overall tallied 224 tackles.

#93 DT Ben Dunham-Kapaldo – played in five games in his career.

#99 DT Troy Johnson – an under-appreciated (nationally speaking) DL, Johnson played in 44 games racking up 129 tackles including 10 sacks and 21.5 TFL. Had a career day 3.5 sack and TFL game in the LL Championship bout vs. SLU. A big reason Hobart’s defense was so dominant during the last 4 years was because of “TJ”.

Thanks again for the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of these Statesmen in the Class of 2015.

Happy holidays and New Year to all!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Coleman Earns D3football.com DPOTY Award, Marpet and Smith Named All-Americans

After an exciting Stagg Bowl 42 game which saw UW-Whitewater Head Coach Lance Leipold ride off into the sunset with his sixth national title, the D3football.com post game show recapped the 2014 season.

Around 12:06 AM ET this morning, Hobart College SR DE Tyre Coleman earned the site's Defensive Player of the Year Award. This came after Coleman was named a first team All-American at DE before last night's Stagg Bowl game

SR OL Ali Marpet also earned a first team All-American nod (adding to his second team AP "Little" All-American award from earlier this week).

SR OL DeAndre Smith earned a third team nod which was nice to see. Smith has started the last three seasons at guard and has been a huge reason for the Statesmen's success on the OL along with Marpet.

A link to the awards can be found here.

Congratulations to these great Statesmen. Thanks for reading and go 'Bart!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Statesmen Rack Up Awards

The Hobart College Statesmen’s 2014 campaign may be over, but there is still plenty of news to report, especially as the post season awards keep coming in for several Statesmen players.

SR DE Tyre Coleman headlined the D3football.com All East Region team as Defensive Player of the Year. He was joined on the All-East first teams by his classmates SR OL DeAndre Smith and SR OL Ali Marpet. Earning second team recognition was SR DB Fajri Jackson. JR LBs Marcus Jemison and Jacob Stanley earned third team nods. While I am a little surprised that players like JR LB Trayvon Toney, JR DT Tucker Gumkowski and SR DT Troy Johnson were left off the list, that’s postseason award politicking for you.

A link to the list / awards can be found here.

On the All-America front, SR OL Ali Marpet was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as a first team selection. Marpet is garnering a lot of interest from the professional level and recently accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL which is scheduled to be played on January 24 and will be televised on the NFL Network. He is also playing in the East West Shrine All Star Game in St. Petersburg, FL on January 17th.

A link with more information on Marpet and the bowl games he plans to attend can be found here.

Coleman, Smith and SR FB Dominique Ellis are also planning on attending Bowls in TX and VA. Funds to assist Coleman and others interested in attending these player showcases can be found on the site GoFundMe.com.

Will check back next week as D3football.com will release their All-American teams just prior to the Stagg Bowl National Championship game on December 19th. I expect Coleman, Marpet and one or two other Statesmen to be listed as part of those.

Thanks for reading and go ‘Bart!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hobart Turnovers and Injuries Take Toll in 41-13 Elite 8 Loss

The 7th/9th ranked Hobart College Statesmen traveled to Dover, DE to face off against top seeded and 4th/5th ranked Wesley College in the third round of the NCAA play-offs.

The Wolverine's high powered offense struggled early on in the steady rain and against a stalwart Statesmen defense. Wesley's initial offensive possession would stall at the Hobart 15 yard line. Eric Speidel's 32 yard FG attempt was good and the Wolverines took an early 3-0 lead with 10:33 to go in the first quarter. 

The Wesley and Hobart defensive units would continue to control the game, with each side intercepting the opposing quarterback on successive possessions. The Statesmen had a good opportunity after All American and LL DPOTY SR DE Tyre Coleman sacked Wesley SR QB and Gagliardi trophy semi finalist Joe Callahan for a 10 yard loss to the Wolverine 30 yard line. A short punt then gave Hobart the ball at their 40. Unfortunately on the second play of the drive, Wesley's Andre Connally forced a fumble and Sean Hopkins took it to the house for a TD. The Speidel point after gave the Wolverines momentum and, more importantly, a 10-0 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Hobart's offense would pick itself up and take their next drive all the way to the Wesley five yard line. On 3rd and goal, FY TE Chris Cyr was wide open for a TD. The SO PK Sean Kirshe point after failed and the Statesmen trailed 10-6 with 8:55 to go in the first half.

The Wolverines would find the end zone once more before halftime after a questionable pass interference penalty gave Wesley a first and goal at the Hobart three yard line. SO RB Jamar Baynard would score on the next play and after the Speidel kick was good, extending the Wolverines lead to 17-6 with 1:37 remaining in the first half.

Hobart would go three and out on the ensuing drive and Wesley took a knee and a 17-6 halftime lead.

The Statesmen defense forced a three and out of their own to open the second half but another critical mistake hurt Hobart on a punt snap that wasn't able to be fielded by JR QB/P Parker Thelander. The Statesmen defense stood tall however; and Wesley had to settle for another Speidel FG, which was good from 24 yards out, to push the Wolverines lead to 20-6 with 10:26 to go in the third quarter.

Hobart would start their next offensive possession at their own 36 yard line. Although they appeared to stall, Coach Cragg called for the fake on a fourth and 8 and Thelander took off on a 41 yard run to the Wesley 21. A personal foul on the Wolverines helped the Statesmen to the seven yard line and on third and goal, SR QB Patrick Conlan found SR TE Mike Berkowitz (who gritted out a bad ankle sprain in heroic fashion) for a TD. The Kirshe point after was good and Hobart was back in the game down 20-13 with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter. 

Although Coleman would sack Callahan again, earning him second and third all time on Division 3 career sack and tackles for loss list, he had to leave the game with an injury. On the ensuing Wesley possession, Hobart's FY CB Tommy D'Antonio slipped in tight coverage and All American SR WR Steve Koudossou made an incredible 60 yard catch and run. The long pass play and Speidel extra point would put Wesley up 27-13 with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.

In spite of a two score lead and an ineffective Hobart offense, Wolverine HC Mike Drass kept his foot on the gas in the fourth quarter, padding the Wolverine stats by adding two TDs, including a final 19 yard passing score with 3:01 remaining, to win 41-13.

Leading the Wolverines was Callahan with 315 passing yards, two TDs and one INT. Koudossou was his favorite target and the SR WR made five catches for 125 yards and a score. Baynard had two rushing TDs and a game high 78 rush yards on 21 carries (3.7 AVG).

Hobart was led by Conlan who struggled (but tougher it out playing with a bad shoulder / injury) passing for only 74 yards, two TDs and three INTs. The Statesmen defense was led by JR LB Jacob Stanley, who missed the entire second half due to injury, but still made a team high nine tackles. Coleman also had nine stops and set a Hobart single game record with six TFL to go along with two sacks. Coleman's absence was noticeable given about half of Callahan's passing yards and a TD came AFTER Coleman left the game. It truly was an all time great performance by arguably the greatest player in Hobart College Football's 121 year history.

Wesley's defense was led by All-American SR LB Sosthene Kapepula with a game high 13 stops. The Wolverine defense held Hobart to 163 total yards and most importantly, only three of 17 third down conversions. 

The loss ends the Statesmen's 2014 campaign at 12-1, tying the 2012 team's record for most wins in a season. The win improves Wesley to 12-1 overall and the Wolverines will return to Alliance, OH for a rematch with the 13-0 Mount Union Purple Raiders for a berth into the Stagg Bowl National Championship game

Join us tonight on InTheHuddLLe.com for our season finale at 7:30 PM. We'll interview the voice of the Statesmen, Ted Baker, along with Mount Union's Lenny Reich.

Thanks for reading this season and go Bart!