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Cornell coach touts newfound depth
26 incoming freshmen expected offer immediate help
After his first season at the helm, Cornell football coach Kent Austin vowed that his first recruiting class would push incumbent players for their starting jobs. Now we know who a good portion of those new players will be.
The Big Red announced the incoming class of 26 freshmen who will join the football team and try to help build on the program’s second straight 2-8 season.
“The group coming in, I feel like it’s a well rounded class,” Austin said. “We have quality players in many positions. They add immediate depth to our football team.”
That’s precisely what Cornell needs.
A wave of injuries is inevitable for every football team, but the Big Red was decimated by ailments last season. That’s as much a sign of misfortune as it is a lack of depth.
Austin didn’t hesitate to throw freshmen and sophomores into the mix, a trend that seems likely to continue with the Class of 2015.
“We went very young last year in some spots,” Austin said. “We’re just continuing to wear on that depth and tried to go after young men who are capable of playing right away.”
Citing Ivy League rules that prohibit coaches from commenting on recruits before they’re enrolled at the school, Austin declined to speak about specific players.
Among the players that could make an immediate impact is 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman Kyle Osborn, an Oklahoma native who was given a two-star prospect rating by Scout.com.
Six-foot-5 Sam Wood, out of Fletcher High School in Jacksonville, figures to join the mix at quarterback, and Ryan Ur gives the Big Red another option at wide receiver.
Fiaalii Togiaso headlines a class of three defensive linemen who average 268 pounds – an area of the field where Cornell could use more size to help stop the run.
In all, there are six recruits from California and three from Florida. Three come from the New York metro area.
Players by position are:
» Quarterback: Cole Parker (6-foot-2, 170 pounds), Valdosta, Ga.; Wood (6-5, 215), Jacksonville, Fla.
» Running back: Ahmad Avery (5-10 , 190), Whittier, Calif.; Dylan Ledet (5-10, 215), Thibodaux, La.
» Wide receivers: Andrew Boseman (6-2, 195), Brandywine, Md.; Javier Rodriguez (5-10, 175), Miami, Fla.; Lucas Shapiro (6-5, 210), Antioch, Calif.; Ryan Ur (6-0, 180), Laguna Hills, Calif.
» Offensive linemen: Alex Lavrentios (6-5, 265), Wellesley, Mass.; Kyle Osborn (6-5, 300), Tuttle, Okla.; Pearce Ryan (6-4, 265), Staten Island.
» Tight end: Evan Brovender (6-4, 235), Boca Raton, Fla.; Ben Green (6-7, 245), Belvedere, Calif.
» Linebackers: Curtis Arndt (6-2, 275), Moorpark, Calif.; Taylor Betros (5-11, 205), Jacksonville, Fla.; Guy Cook (6-1, 200), New Hope, Pa.; Don Pavlov (6-1 inches, 225), Avon Lake, Ohio; Sawyer Pettit (6-2 inches, 215), Talking Rock, Ga.
» Defensive linemen: Shane McManamon (6-2, 275), Westlake, Ohio; Fiaalii Togiaso (6-1, 270), Encinitas, Calif.; Cadell Williams (6-1, 260), Brooklyn.
» Cornerback: Aaron Hancock (5-8, 165), Monroe, N.C.; Michael Turner (6-0, 190), Pikesville, Md.
» Safety: Peter McDonough (6-2, 195), Darien, Conn.; Rush Miller (6-2, 195), Brooklyn; Andrew Nelson (6-1, 195), Plymouth, Mich.