Mass. College Football: Harvard’s Brate Signs Free Agent Contract With Tampa Bay Buccaneers

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the Harvard University Athletics Communication Office, here’s today’s release about Cameron Brate, who has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League:

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Former Harvard football standout Cameron Brate has signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League, the franchise announced Wednesday afternoon.

A tight end from Naperville, Ill, Brate leaves his name in Cambridge after concluding his four-year stint with the Crimson as fourth in program history with 18 touchdowns. He graduates 12th in Harvard’s record book with 91 career catches and ninth with 1,381 receiving yards. Brate, who appeared in 28 games throughout his career, also helped the Crimson capture two Ivy League titles.

As a senior, Brate was unanimously selected to the All-Ivy League first team for the second straight season after making 25 catches for 403 yards and five TDs. A semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, given to the best scholar-athlete in the nation, Brate caught three passes for 91 yards in Harvard’s 34-7 win over Yale in The Game to earn a spot on the College Football Performance Awards Honor Roll for the third time. He also earned recognition on the FCS All-New England team and the Beyond Sports Network All-America honorable mention team.

Mass. College Football: Nine Harvard Scholar-Athletes Tabbed To NFF Hampshire Honor Society

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Harvard University Athletic Communication office, here’s yesterday’s release about nine Scholar-Athletes that were selected to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society:

DALLAS, Texas – The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the members of the 2014  NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. Harvard y was well-represented as nine Crimson players earned recognition.

Harvard seniors Andrew Berg, Joshua Boyd, Cameron Brate, Danny Frate, Reynaldo Kirton, David Mothander, Nnamdi Obukwelu, Michael Pruneau and Austin Taylor garnered nods.

“We continue to raise the bar each year for the number of student-athletes who qualify for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role in highlighting that college football players clearly play a leadership role in the classroom as well as on the playing field. We congratulate each of these young men for their commitment to excellence.”

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF’s current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,927 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007. The 2014 class of 838 players represents a new high water mark for members, eclipsing the old record mark by 117 student-athletes.

“We have honored more than 4,900 student-athletes in the last eight years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.”

Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:

Being a starter or a significant contributor in one’s last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft)  at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university;

  • Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and
  • Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization’s rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.

Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth and hosted at the New York Athletic Club, is given to one member of each year’s class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by All-American guard John Urschel (Penn State) in 2013, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1.3 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF’s annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.6 million.

Mass. College Football: Springfield Represented In Super Bowl XLVIII In a Variety of Ways

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Springfield College sports information department, below is this afternoon’s release about three alums that’ll be represented in the Super Bowl on Sunday:

Three Springfield College alums will be representing the Pride on Sunday at Super Bowl XLVIII. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)

Three Springfield College alums will be representing the Pride on Sunday at Super Bowl XLVIII. (Photo Credit: Springfield College Athletics)

Springfield, Mass. – January 27, 2014 – When Super Bowl XLVIII takes place this Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J., there will be several Springfield College alums who will be involved, whether it be on the field, in the stadium, or in the television studio.

Dave Magazu ‘80 is in his third season as the Denver Broncos offensive line coach —a position in which he owns six years of NFL experience and 29 years overall. Denver’s offense has put together a record-setting year thanks to the efforts of quarterback Peyton Manning, as the Broncos set new NFL records for offensive points in a season, passing touchdowns, and passing yards gained. Under Magazu’s watch, the offensive line has allowed the fewest sacks (20) and the third-fewest quarterback hurries (54) among the 32 NFL teams. Magazu earned a degree in Physical Education and was a four-year starter as a defensive tackle and a member of both the 1976 and 1978 teams that allowed the fewest points (128) in the past 45 years of Springfield College football program.

Jessamyn McIntyre ‘04 has a multitude of media roles dealing directly with the Seattle Seahawks. In addition to being an Executive Producer at 710 ESPN Seattle, McIntyre is a co-host of the Fone Zone at Northwest Cable News. The ‘Fone Zone’ is a popular Seahawks post-game call-in show and airs directly after the Seahawks network broadcast. McIntyre graduated with a degree in Communications/Sports Journalism and was a four-year member of the women’s volleyball program at Springfield College.

Ron VanDeVeen ’89 is the current Senior Vice President of Events for MetLife Stadium, which is set to host the first-ever Super Bowl in the New York metropolitan area. VanDeVeen graduated from Springfield with a degree in Business.

Mass. College Football: Local Colleges Represented In NFC Training Camps

By NoontimeSports.com 

As noted in an earlier post, the NFL 2013 season is slowly underway, (training camp, wahoo!) and similar to our list of AFC players, here are the former Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson and Massachusetts Minutemen that’ll be competing in various NFC training camps.  

NFC East

Alex Albright (LB/Boston College) Dallas Cowboys

Mackenzy Bernadeau (G/Bentley University) Dallas Cowboys

Ron Brace (DT/Boston College) Washington Redskins

Michael Cox (RB/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Victor Cruz (WR/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Mark Herzlich (LB/Boston College) New York Giants

Jeremy Horne (WR/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Emil Igwenagu (FB/Massachusetts) Philadelphia Eagles

Mathias Kiwanuka (LB/Boston College) New York Giants

Ifeanyi Momah (WR/Boston College) Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Snee (G/Boston College) New York Giants

Matt Tennant (C/Boston College) Philadelphia Eagles

Jeremy Trueblood (T/Boston College) Washington Redskins

 

NFC North

Robert Francois (LB/Boston College) Green Bay Packers

Kevin Murphy (T/Harvard) Minnesota Vikings

B.J. Raji (DT/Boston College) Green Bay Packers

 

NFC South

Nick Clancy (LB/Boston College) Atlanta Falcons

Luke Kuechly (LB/Boston College) Carolina Panthers

Matt Ryan (QB/Boston College) Atlanta Falcons

 

NFC West

Will Blackmon (CB/Boston College) Seattle Seahawks

Jo-Lonn Dunbar (LB/Boston College) St. Louis Rams

Mass. College Football: Local Colleges Represented In AFC Training Camps

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2013 NFL season slowly underway, (training camp!) we’ve decided to provide a list of the various players with local ties that’ll be competing for positions.

In this particular blog post, we profile the AFC, which features a variety of former Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson and Massachusetts Minutemen.

AFC East

Vladimir Ducasse (OL/ Massachusetts) New York Jets

Donnie Fletcher (CB/ Boston College) New York Jets

Antonio Garay (DL/Boston College) New York Jets

John Griffin (RB/Massachusetts) New York Jets

Chris Pantale (TE/ Boston College) New York Jets

Ryan Quigley (P/ Boston College) New York Jets

Josh Samuda (Offensive Lineman/Massachusetts) Miami Dolphins

Jason Vega (Defensive Lineman/Northeastern University) New England Patriots

 

AFC North

Desmond Bryant (DT/Harvard) Cleveland Browns

James Ihedigbo (SS/Massachusetts) Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Juszczyk (FB/Harvard) Baltimore Ravens

Jeromy Miles (S/Massachusetts) Cincinnati Bengals

 

AFC South

Jeremy Cain (LS/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars

Anthony Castonzo (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Gosder Cherilus (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Emmett Cleary (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB/Harvard) Tennessee Titans

Matt Hasselbeck (QB/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Stephane Milhim (G/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars

 

AFC West

Dan Koppen (C/Boston College) Denver Broncos

Damik Scafe (DE/Boston College) San Diego Chargers

John Wetzel (T/Boston College) Oakland Raiders 

Mass. College Football: Assumption’s Simonson Named As Preseason All-American

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Assumption College sports information department, here’s this morning’s release about tight end Scott Simonson, who has been named as a Beyond Sports Network Third Team Preseason All-American:

Worcester, Mass. (July 11) — Senior tight end Scott Simonson (Red Bank, N.J./Middletown South) has been named as a Beyond Sports Network (BSN) Third Team Preseason All-American.

Simonson, a Don Hansen’s Football Gazette Second Team All-American and Daktronics First Team All-Region selection in 2012, is coming off a 36-reception, 558-yard season that included a team-high six receiving touchdowns. A Northeast-10 Second Team All-Conference honoree, Simonson was also a Worcester Area First Team All-Star, a Don Hansen’s Football Gazette Super Region I First Team All-Region honoree and a two-time selection to the Northeast-10 Conference Weekly Honor Roll.

He has also drawn the attention of National Football League (NFL) scouts as the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins have both conducted on-campus workouts with the 6-5, 240-pound senior.

The Hounds open the 2013 season on Saturday, September 7th as the team travels to Smithfield, R.I. to take on FCS Division I foe Bryant University at Bulldog Stadium. Assumption opens its home schedule on Friday, September 20th as the Hounds host Stonehill College for a 7 p.m. start.

Mass. College Football: Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk Completes First NFL Mini Camp

By Matt Noonan 

Former Harvard University tight end/H-back Kyle Juszczyk recently completed his first NFL minicamp with the Baltimore Ravens and is projected to be the starting fullback for the defending Super Bowl champions, according to this afternoon’s release by the Crimson sports information department.

Juszczyk, who was selected in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft, has transitioned into a fullback due to the team releasing three-time Pro Bowler Vonte Leach.

The two-time All-American and three-time All Ivy League selection finished his career in Cambridge as the program’s all-time leader among tight ends in receptions (125), receiving yards (1,576) and touchdown receptions (22). He ranked third all-time in touchdowns, sixth all-time in receptions and seventh all-time in touchdown receptions.

Excluding Juszczyk, Harvard will have four alums competing for a job in training camp and they are the following:

Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05, QB (Tennessee Titans)

Desmond Bryant ’09, DT (Cleveland Browns)

Brent Osborne ’11, T (Seattle Seahawks)

Kevin Murphy ’12, T (Minnesota Vikings)

Below is a video the Ravens produced from their YouTube Channel featuring Juszczyk, who shares some fond memories of playing football, along with his favorite game-day tunes.

Mass. College Football: Locals Invited To NFL Rookie Mini Camps

Merrimack's Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)

Merrimack’s Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

As noted on our blog yesterday, Bentley University graduate student Nick Halloran was invited to this weekend’s New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp.

“Just amazing news, not a better way to start the day,” Halloran told the Boston Globe on Tuesday.

Halloran isn’t the only local college football player to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp this weekend as Framingham State’s James Muirhead will attempt to earn a spot with the St. Louis Rams, while Middlebury College’s Ryan Moores, who prepped at Governor’s Academy, will tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m braced for it,” Muirhead told the Brockton Enterprise on Tuesday. “I understand what’s going to happen. But you know what? I’m not there to make any friends. I’m there to compete. I’m going there to get a job.”

Merrimack College’s Isaiah Voegeli became the fourth player in program history to sign with a professional team as the Hyannis native inked his name on an undrafted free agent contract Monday with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Voegeli said in the college’s release.  “I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity.”

Voegeli will leave the North Andover campus as the all-time receiver in multiple receiving categories, which includes catches (211) and yards (3,554). He also ranks second in program history with 34 touchdown receptions, too.

Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, the Boston Herald reported that Muirhead, Voegeli and Moores, along with Assumption College’s Nick Haag and Boston College’s Jim Noel worked out with the Falcons, Patriots and New Orleans Saints.

Mass. College Football: Bentley’s Halloran Invited To Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Nick Halloran, who was invited to the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Former Bentley University offensive lineman Nick Halloran (Somerville/ Buckingham, Browne & Nichols) has been invited to participate in the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend.

Halloran, a six-foot-four, 302-pounder, started at tackle for Bentley the last three years after beginning his career at Boston College. He moved to the left side this past season after playing right tackle his first two years at Bentley.

Halloran earned first-team All-Northeast-10 honors in both 2011 and 2012, and was named to the 2012 Don Hansen Football Gazette Division II All-Super Region 1 team.  He was also a Football GazetteDivision II honorable mention All-America.

In 2012, Halloran helped the Bentley offense produce 388 yards and 26.3 points a game while controlling the ball for an average of 33 minutes.

“I was obviously very happy when Nick transferred from Boston College to play tackle for us,” said Bentley football coach Thom Boerman. “He has been a dominate lineman in the NE-10 since the day he arrived and he has played both right and left tackle to protect our QB’s blind side.  He has pro size, is very smart and is strong. Nick had quite a bit of interest from a number of NFL teams and I am glad that the Patriots invited a local player to their mini-camp. He has been working hard to prepare for this opportunity.”

Bentley has one player currently in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys’ offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau. He started every game for the Cowboys during the 2012 season, his fifth year in the league. 

Mass. College Football: Baltimore Selects Harvard’s Juszczyk In NFL Draft

By NoontimeSports.com

Earlier this afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens selected Harvard’s Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and courtesy of the athletic department, below is the release about the Crimson fullback/tight end being drafted:

NEW YORK  – Harvard senior tight end Kyle Juszczyk has been selected in the fourth round of the 2013 National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Juszczyk was the 130th overall selection in this year’s draft.

During his four years in Cambridge, Juszczyk established new career records for tight end in receptions (125, sixth all-time), receiving yards (1,576, seventh all-time) and touchdown receptions (22, third all-time). He was a two-time All-American at tight end and H-Back for the Crimson and a three-time All-Ivy selection. Following his senior season, during which he led the Crimson in receptions (52), receiving yards (706) and receiving touchdowns (eight), he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he carried the ball four times for nine yards, primarily being used as a H-back.

“Guys like Kyle Juszczyk do not grow on trees,” Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, said. “He will go down as one of the great players in Harvard and Ivy Football history. His rare combination of versatility, toughness, leadership and playmaking ability was one of the major catalysts for the highest scoring offense since the Ivy League was formed in 1956.”

The Medina, Ohio native showcased all of those traits on a single play that will live on in Harvard lore for years to come. After catching a ball over the middle against Bucknell this past, the senior bulldozed the first defender in his path. He then shed two arm tackles and stiff armed another defender before outrunning the rest of the Bison defense for a 59-yard touchdown in the Crimson’s 35-7 win. The play ended up on ESPN’s Sportscenter the following day as the No. 3 play in its top 10 segment.

Juszczyk becomes the fourth player drafted under Murphy. He joins Matt Birk ’98, who recently retired after winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens this past season, Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00 and Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 as players who have heard their name called at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Overall, he is the 20th Harvard player to get drafted and first since Fitzpatrick was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 draft.

Harvard wrapped up its spring football season Saturday with its annual spring game and will now turn its head to the 2013 season opener at San Diego on Sept. 21.