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: Harvard Picked Second In Ivy League Preseason Media Poll

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the Harvard University sports information department, here’s today’s release about the Crimson football team, which was selected to finish their upcoming season in second place, according to the preseason media poll:

PRINCETON, N.J. – In a vote of Ivy League football media members, Harvard was selected to finish second in the Ancient Eight this season. The media poll was released Tuesday as part of the league’s annual football media day.

Harvard received five of the 17 first-place votes and finished with 121 points, while Penn, who won last year’s conference crown, earned 11 first-place votes and amassed 129 points. Brown also picked up a first-place tally and was chosen third with 88 points.

Dartmouth was fourth with 76 points, followed by Cornell (57 points), Yale (46) and Columbia (22).

Harvard has registered at least seven wins in each of the last 12 seasons, making the Crimson the only team in the history of the Ivy League to post such a string of successful campaigns. In 2007, Harvard became the first Ivy team to put together seven straight seven-win seasons. The Crimson has also reeled off 13 straight wins at home since October 2010.

Entering his 20th season in Cambridge, Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, will look to capture another conference crown in the program’s 140th season of football, despite being significantly younger at most positions than recent Harvard teams.

From last year’s squad, Harvard graduated Colton Chapple, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in 2012, as well as tight end Kyle Juszczyk, who was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. The Crimson, which scored an Ivy record 394 points in 2012, will need to replace a good deal of experience on offense, but Harvard does return tight end Cameron Brate, who has garnered several preseason All-America accolades this year.

On defense, Harvard brings back captain and linebacker Joshua Boyd, as well as standouts Nnamdi Obukwelu, Zach Hodges and Jack Dittmer on the defensive line, and defensive backs D.J. Monroe, Norman Hayes and Chris Splinter, among others. The Crimson also returns senior kicker David Mothander, who holds Harvard’s career scoring lead for kickers with 197 points (21 field goals, 134 extra points). Mothander’s 197 points also ranks ninth in Ivy League history.

The Crimson will open the season on the road at San Diego Sept. 21, before hosting Brown under the lights at Harvard Stadium on NBC Sports Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. EST. Harvard will play two other games on NBC Sports: vs. Penn at Harvard Stadium Nov. 16 and at Yale in the 130th playing of The Game Nov. 23.

Harvard finished the 2012 season with an 8-2 overall record and a 5-2 mark in Ivy League play.

2013 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll

Rank      School (First-Place Votes)           Points

1.              Penn (11)                                          129

2.              Harvard (5)                                       121

3.              Brown (1)                                          88

4.              Dartmouth                                       76

5.              Princeton                                          73

6.              Cornell                                                57

7.              Yale                                                      46

8.              Columbia                                           22

Harvard Expected To Defend Ivy League Crown In 2012

By Matt Noonan 

On Tuesday, the Ivy League unveiled its “preseason prognostications” for the upcoming football season. And for the fourth time in five seasons, Harvard was chosen as the favorite to win the Ancient Eight.

Last season, the Crimson finished their season 9-1 overall, and 7-0 in league play, which helped them earn their 14th Ivy League title.

When asked to describe his team for the upcoming season, which will begin its defense against San Diego on Saturday, September 15, head coach Tim Murphy described Harvard as a “solid” unit that is eager to begin their season.

“I think I speak for all of our coaches and all of our players that we are excited to get going,” said Murphy via the league’s teleconference call on Tuesday. “As far as our team is concerned, we expect to have a very solid team. How much better than that? I’m not sure because we certainly do have some question marks, but as a starting point, we always start with our defense and we expect it to be a very solid defense.”

Murphy’s defense was one of many factors last season, which helped the Crimson cruise to a perfect record in league play. Yet, despite the various 11 men on the opposite side of the ball, rising senior Colton Chapple, who was a backup to Collier Winters last year,displayed flashes of brilliance, especially when he tossed five touchdowns against Bucknell. Those five strikes marked the first time since 1953 that a Harvard quarterback had thrown that many touchdowns in a span of 544 games.

“Colton [Chapple] is one of those guys who has just gotten better and better and if he continues on his trajectory, we expect that he can be one of the best [quarterbacks] in the league,” exclaimed Murphy. “He was only a solid thrower when he got here – we took him as a tough guy with potential. Clearly it’s Colton’s team.”

Another player to watch this season, according to the Ivy League, is rising senior Kyle Juszczyk, who is a preseason All-America selection by various media outlets. Juszczyk, who is listed as a tight end, will also be spotted at halfback and wide receiver this season, which should pose problems for opposing coaches and defensive coordinators, especially when crafting a game plan. The senior tight end led the receiving core last season with 37 receptions for 512 yards and seven touchdowns.

“In Kyle, we thought he was terrific in high school and he has turned out even better in college. There are very few guys, who can line up at multiple positions. It is so rare and when we have one of those guys, we’d better use him [the right way],” said Murphy.

Of course, Chapple and Juszczyk are just a few names to note, but don’t forget seniors Joshua Boyd, Brian Owusu, Nnamdi Obukwelu and Treavor Scales, as well as junior Cameron Brate.

“All in all, we have the nucleus and the foundation of being a very solid football team,” stated Murphy.