Travell Taylor is a freshman wide receiver from Chicago's Gary Comer College Prep a school founded in 2008 that describes its mission as, "being the best high school in the country at graduating low-income minority students from college."
In a first-person piece from Good Magazine last spring, Taylor wrote:
The mostly black youth in my community work toward two dreams: money and respect. However, these dreams are not pursued through educational means, but through street hustling and gang-banging—only a few blocks away from my house is the main dividing line between the gangs of Chatham and the Grand Crossing communities. I've become an expert at which streets and paths to take to avoid becoming a victim of gang violence.And . . .
Growing up, I never thought I could get away from the negativity of my surroundings, but thanks to my family and GCCP, I've triumphed over the barriers that hold back so many of my peers in my neighborhood. In August I'll head to Dartmouth, and four years from now, I will make everyone proud by walking across a stage to accept my degree in physics and head to graduate school. When that happens, I'll be a black male who becomes a different kind of statistic—a college graduate.Taylor was a member of the All Inter-City conference football team and also ran track for Comer Prep.
Also joining the Dartmouth football program is Evan Bloom, a junior on the Big Green lacrosse team from Nesconset, N.Y., and Sachem North High School. (Lacrosse bio here) Bloom, who will play defensive back, appeared in five games as a defenseman for the Dartmouth lacrosse team last year, starting one time. A two-year letterman as a defensive back and tailback at Sachem North, Bloom has a dream of being a pilot.
A story in the Sachem Patch details his decision to enroll in Marine Officer Candidate School to help pursue his goal of flying.
Bloom's football highlight tape can be seen here.
Both new members of the team will go through their second non-padded practice today, have two days in "uppers" and one full-pad day prior to Sunday's jayvee game against Middlebury in which they might see action.
•The Cornell Sun has an inspiring story about the relationship between standout Big Red quarterback Jeff Mathews and his sister Katie, a quadriplegic since a car accident in 2006.
•Speaking of inspiring stories, Penn defensive back Dan Wilk donated bone marrow to help a 32-year-old man battling leukemia. The Penn player was part of the Be the Match program. Wilk told the Daily P:
“He had a zero-percent chance to live if I didn’t (donate), and then it went up to I think 60 (percent) if I did ..."
Wilk is one of two Ivy League football players to donate marrow since last season. Brown's Matt Shannon also was a match. link
•Columbia College Today has a Q&A with Lions coach Pete Mangurian, who continues to impress. Among other things he tells CCT:
The bottom line is winning. I’m not going to mince words on that. It’s winning. You’ve got to win. That’s life. I’ve got three kids, one of them is out of college, one of them is in college and my young one is 13 and playing travel baseball and doing all those kinds of things. I’ve been through this “everybody gets a trophy” deal, and I get it, to a certain extent. But the real world doesn’t work that way.And . . .
We believe in putting more pressure on them in practice than they’ll probably have in a game. I guarantee you there will be a little bit of relief when these guys get to go out and play and we’re not standing right behind them, getting on them.
•In a bit of a surprise to some of us on the outside looking in, Yale has tapped freshman Eric Williams as starting quarterback. The New Haven Register has a story. Find the full Yale depth chart on the Register's Portal 31 site.
•From the Ivy League office:
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) and the Ivy League are partnering for the third consecutive year to co-host the presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which honors the Ivy League Football Players of the Year, on Monday, Dec. 3 as part of the festivities surrounding the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.
•The Columbia Spectator has a column wondering if Columbia might benefit from serving itself up as a "cupcake" game in exchange for a huge payday while The Daily Pennsylvanian has a column about the difficulty playing even FCS scholarship schools like Villanova and William & Mary.
The first huge domino appears to be falling in the Harvard cheating scandal as basketball standout Kyle Casey is withdrawing from school. Sports Illustrated broke the news and the Harvard Crimson has a follow. The latter story notes that, "The Harvard football team is also dealing with fallout from the incident, and at least one key offensive player will miss time due to the investigation."
The Crimson has another story under the headline: Cheating Scandal To Be Reviewed Case-by-Case.
Dartmouth held its convocation yesterday and there's a story in The Dartmouth. Ricki Stern '87, whose film on the Knuckleball will be screened at the Lowe Theater in the new Visual Arts Center, was the featured speaker.
Today has been one of those days when I begin to think I spend way too much time on this blog, but on the other hand I get to thinking it's time well spent. It's probably one or the other. I'm still not sure which ;-)