Sunday, April 17, 2016

Catching Up With Recruits

If you haven't seen yesterday's BGA video report on Saturday's third spring practice with Associate Head Coach Sammy McCorkle, check it out on BGA Premium. (I'll post it here tomorrow for the rest of you ;-)
A couple of notes out of the recruiting class to start your day and week.

A USA Today story reminds us that Arthur Kaslow, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end, is coming from a pretty fair high school program in Calabasas, Calif. He's even quoted in the story.

First, from the story:
College football’s elite — Alabama, Baylor, Southern California, UCLA and countless others — have been drawn to Calabasas to witness its growing collection of top-tier talent, but one has stood out from the pack: Nebraska, which has used connections to the program to turn the school into a veritable pipeline 1,500 miles to the west.
The Cornhuskers landed one Calabasas product, defensive back Marquel Dismuke, in the class of 2016. One 2018 recruit, defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles, already holds a scholarship offer. But where the program has made its mark is in the current cycle, where at least two and perhaps three of Calabasas’ elite recruits are set to join Nebraska’s recruiting class. 
Then this from Kaslow:
“I’m blessed to have been able to play with them, because I probably won’t even notice how amazing they were until they’re playing on the next level, until they’re on ESPN,” said senior defensive lineman Arthur Kaslow, who will join Dartmouth’s football program this fall.
“I wouldn’t even realize who I was sitting next to in the locker room, who I was huddling up with. At the moment, they’re my friends. It’s nothing more than that.” 
Green Alert Take: Kaslow will be impressed by the talent he joins at Dartmouth. It doesn't sound as if he should be, or will be, in awe ;-)

It's always fun to meet future classmates and even more fun when they are future teammates. Meeting for the first time at a reception for newly accepted Dartmouth students in West Hartford, Conn., were 6-3, 210 linebacker Andrew Lemkuil of West Hartford and Tucker Spears, a 6-5, 225 tight end from Dakota Dunes, S.D. Lemkuil attends Kingswood-Oxford and Spears is at Avon Old Farms.
For recruits who have committed and rising high school seniors and juniors thinking about their college choice – and probably even more for their parents – Dartmouth's "tackling only on game day" stance has a certain appeal. The American Sports Network, which carried Ivy League games last fall, seems to think so. The "lede" to ASN story:
Imagine a football coach sitting in a recruit’s living room and telling the prospective player that he will go his entire four-year career without tackling a teammate or being tackled by a teammate. Yet, as a defensive player, he will work on tackling more than anything else.
That is pretty much how it has played out at Dartmouth since 2010. Coach Buddy Teevens and his staff teach plenty of tackling, but with the use of dummies, pads and the like. Not other players.
Lest you think the Big Green are big wimps, think again. Guess which team last season allowed the fewest yards per rush attempt among 125 FCS programs and recovered the most fumbles, the byproduct of solid hitting, in the Ivy League while sharing the league title with Harvard and Penn?
Yep. Dartmouth.
The Ithaca Journal has a story under the headline, Not tackling no big deal for Cornell football.

Cornell coach David Archer told the Journal:
“I really am proud of my Ivy league colleagues, especially Buddy Teevens up at Dartmouth and what he is doing. You can have both. You can have a better way to teach and make better tacklers, play better defense and keep players safer. It can be one and the same.
“So many guys are coming out and saying, ‘It’s not hitting. It’s not real football. It’s not tough.’ We’re live tackling today. We’re going to (have) live tackling in preseason camp. We’re talking about in-season only, and we’re talking about using better teaching techniques and better technology and make them better tacklers.”
Green Alert Take: Archer's comment that "We're live tackling today," would have been a head scratcher if Teevens hadn't clarified something earlier in the week. The Ivy League-wide rule banning tackling is only during the season. It does not cover the spring or preseason camp. Dartmouth, in contrast, does not tackle except on the 10 game days in the fall.
Teevens gets a mention in an Albuquerque Journal story about a measured approach the University of New Mexico is taking toward tackling in practice, a story that does point out the Ivy ban is just during the season. From the story:
As for the Dartmouth philosophy, (UNM coach Bob) Davie’s not ready to buy in — though he’s been exposed to it, with successful results, in the past.
Turns out the onetime Notre Dame coach was the defensive coordinator for the 1992 Texas A&M team that did not tackle throughout the preseason and finished 12-1.

More from the story:
If Davie thought he could get that kind of result from the UNM defense with no tackling in August, he might do so.
He doesn’t think that.
“I think depending on your situation and depending on your philosophy, there’s some schools (where) it’s not going to make that much difference,” he said.
“Here, we’re more of a developmental team, and we’ve been more of a developmental program, so I think (tackling during the spring and preseason) is something we absolutely have to do.”
Green Alert Take: Teeven's timing to be promoting his non-tackling philosophy is perfect. Coming off a 9-1 championship season with arguably one of the best defenses in the nation has afforded him an effective bully pulpit.
Dartmouth offensive coordinator Keith Clark is a master instructor of the intricacies of offensive line play. In other words, he's a heckuva football coach. Check him out in this video from the Dartmouth football office: