Wednesday, March 05, 2014

NFL Taking Notice

Garrett Waggoner in a still from video
All-Ivy League safety Garrett Waggoner of Dartmouth opened eyes at the NFL Regional Combine in Tampa Saturday. Here's a transcription of an video headlined, "Regional combine full of undiscovered talent."As usual, italics are mine ;-)
(Intro) The combine is over but pro days are just beginning. Mike Mayock is at Auburn on Tuesday, will be at Texas A&M on Wednesday, and Clemson on Thursday for Sammy Wadkins. And then to Ohio State on Friday to see running back Carlos Hyde. 
Meanwhile, Jeff Darlington was in Tampa this weekend for one of the regional combines.
(Darlington) “Like each of the 172 athletes here at the NFL regional combine in Tampa on Saturday Jay-T Rysaac is trying to keep his NFL dreams alive. But Rysaac’s chances might be even slimmer than most. He’s 34-years-old. So why is he here? Well, last year Rysaac made it to the next level of this combine program. To the Super combine because of a 4.4 40.  But he wasn’t ultimately pleased with his performance. As a result, he’s back for more. 
 (Rysaac) “My age plays no part in this except for the fact that there is a stereotype with older guys, that when they get older they can’t play. But there is a way if you take care of your body throughout the years. Preventative therapy, things like that. The right training. Not overtraining. Then you are able to perform much longer down the road.”
(Darlington) At these regional combines, which allow undiscovered talent to get noticed by NFL scouts, it isn’t always easy to stand out the way that Rysaac did last year. But when David Foucault weighed in at 6-foot-7, 300 pounds, he was certainly hard to miss. 
(Foucault) “I worked for two months ... for these drills. I think I am ready and I did well. I'm happy.” 
(Darlington) It isn’t easy whether you have Foucault’s size or Rysaac’s speed to make it on the next level. But on this Saturday, one of the most notable names might have been former Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price. 
(Darlington) We are told that the person who impressed the scouts most was safety Garrett Waggoner, who could now get another look from scouts in the future. 
 In Tampa, Jeff Darlington, NFL network.
At the Regional Combine the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Waggoner reportedly posted a 43-inch vertical and a 4.1 second shuttle along with a broad jump over 10 feet. The best vertical among safeties at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis was 42.0 inches. Of the 14 safeties who ran the shuttle, only six were faster. Of the 17 safeties who did the broad jump, only five topped 10 feet.

Waggoner made the All-Ivy League first team for the second time last fall, serving as a Big Green tri-captain. He is being represented by Elite Sports Agency.

Check out this epic picture of his game-sealing interception against Princeton.

You can see Waggoner's highlight video here (he's No. 11) and his "ups" in this video:

Week One Dartmouth opponent Central Connecticut State gets slim mention from The Sports Network in its spring primer on the Northeast Conference. TSN notes in its They're Back section:
Central Connecticut State running back/kick returner Rob Hollomon led the FCS in all-purpose yards per game (189.2).
And . . .
Central Connecticut State's Darius Cohen hopes to turn his stint on special teams into a bigger role at running back. 
And finally ...
New Central Connecticut State coach Pete Rossomando's first task is to lift a Blue Devils defense that ranked last in the NEC in scoring defense and total defense. 
 Sacred Heart, which Dartmouth faced in a three-game series, earns this nod:
The Northeast Conference had perhaps the best title race in the FCS last season, but this year, it could be more one-sided. 
Sacred Heart returns a likely exceptional team after sharing the title with Duquense and advancing to the playoffs, where they lost to Fordham.
Brown has posted its 2014 roster, sans incoming freshmen. Find it here. ... Columbia's sports information site promises spring info here. ... Cornell has a new offensive coordinator named Roy Istvan who comes over from Rhode Island. ... Yale apparently will have a new OC as well. ... Harvard has graduating senior video perspectives on playing for the Crimson here and here. ... Penn has completed two spring practice sessions in its bubble. Check out a brief Instagram video from the second night here.
Football Scoop has a list of the 50 FBS teams that increased their win total last year. Of those, 20 have improved two years in a row. Just four of those 20 have improved three years in a row. And of those four, just one has improved four years in a row. Take a bow Pete Lembo.

Inheriting a Ball State team that had gone from 2-10 to 4-8 in 2010, the former Dartmouth assistant started 6-6 and followed with 9-4 and 10-3 seasons. That should surprise absolutely no one who recalls Lembo going 44-14 in five years as head coach at Lehigh before leading an Elon team that had limped to a 14-42 record in the five years prior to his arrival to consecutive seasons of 5-6, 7-4, 8-4, 9-4 and 6-5.