NCF On The Trail: Columbia Lions

Illinois secures LB Austin Roberts

June, 14, 2013
Class of 2014 inside linebacker Austin Roberts (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) committed Thursday to sign with the Illini, multiple sources report.

Roberts was heavily recruited by non-BCS, FCS and Ivy League schools. Air Force, Army, Central Michigan, Columbia, Harvard, Illinois State, North Dakota State, Pennsylvania, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Yale extended offers to the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect.

He registered 152 total tackles, seven sacks and an interception during his junior campaign.

Illinois now has six pledges.

Three-star QB chooses Ivy League 

January, 30, 2013
Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), a senior pocket-passer, committed Wednesday to play for Columbia, according to multiple sources.

Arkansas, Colorado (Dec. 7th official visit), Harvard and Yale also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-7, 215-pound three-star. Boston College, Duke, Oklahoma, Stanford and UCLA showered interest during the process.

ESPN writes in his evaluation, "Hilinski is a very efficient passer, demonstrating the ability to operate under the center and from the shotgun/spread set; flashes good deep arm strength and touch however we see the need to put more zip on short/medium throws."

Hilinski, an all-league selection as a senior, posted an electronically-timed 5.20 40-yard dash, 4.53 20-yard shuttle and 27-inch vertical prior to his junior year on the combine circuit.
Boston College has picked up a commitment from senior prospect Atem Ntantang (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove), according to multiple sources.

Woodgrove's program is just two years old. The Washington Post reports that Ntantang scored Woodgrove's first touchdowns and is set to be the school's first FBS player.

“Personally, it means a lot, because I’ve been able to be a part of a lot of firsts here, and this is another huge step for our program,” Ntantang said. “To be the first football player to sign D-1, it’s just incredible. I’m sure there are going to be more to come, but someone has to be first.”

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Soon after receiving a pledge from safety Juwan Gardner (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual), Western Kentucky picked up his high school teammate in running back Dishan Romine.

According to multiple sources, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back selected the Hilltoppers over scholarship offers from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Toledo and Wofford.

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Xavier Phillips (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) has become the fourth 2013 pledge at linebacker for Baylor, multiple sources report. Four-stars Raaquan Davis (Heath, Texas/Rockwall-Heath), Travon Blanchard (Orange, Texas/West Orange Stark) and D.J. Green (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) are the other LB's on board.

The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Phillips collected offers from some of the most prestigious academic institutions across the country such as Air Force, Colorado, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Houston, Kansas, Navy, Penn, Princeton, Rice, TCU, Tulane, Tulsa, Central Florida, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Yale.

He registered an electronically-timed 4.8 40-yard dash, 4.44 20-yard shuttle, 27.7-inch vertical and 78.72 SPARQ this spring on the Nike Combine circuit.

Phillips is the 13th verbal in Baylor's 21st-ranked recruiting class. All 13 players are from Texas.

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Yale adds FBS-caliber talent 

January, 27, 2012
The Bulldogs have received several new commitments, including two from three-star prospects, multiple sources report.

The most coveted recruit in the group is three-star offensive tackle Braden Meador (Montgomery, Texas), who made an official visit to New Haven, Conn. last weekend. He selected Yale over scholarship offers from Air Force, Columbia, Dartmouth, Tulane and UTEP.

Another three-star, safety Cole Champion, has committed to Yale out of arguably the nation's finest high school football program, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), reports. He was also offered by Kentucky, Utah State and Western Michigan.

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Two more for Cornell 

January, 18, 2012
The Big Red have added commitments from two senior prospects, according to

Cornell won a recruiting battle for 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman Lucas Wiborg (Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle) who also had scholarship offers from Army, Columbia, Dartmouth and Penn.

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Midshipmen get faster 

January, 16, 2012
The U.S. Naval Academy has picked up a verbal commitment from running back Bradley Bostick (Birmingham, Ala./Oak Mountain), writes the Shelby County Reporter.

Bostick also had offers from Air Force and Columbia. He rushed for 723 yards and five touchdowns this past season.

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High two-star defensive tackle Daren Napier (Houston, Texas/St. John's) has been admitted to Columbia becoming the Lions' first signee for 2012.

"I am excited about the possibilities, and the things that are happening at Columbia." said Daren. "Coach Mangurian, Coach Lempa (Defensive Coordinator) and Coach (Alvin) Smith (Defensive Line) all have amazing resumés, and I'm looking forward to working with all of them!"

Napier was also offered by Harvard and Yale. Colorado, Colorado State, UTEP, South Alabama, Brown, Dartmouth and Penn also recruited the 6-foot-4, 270-pound prospect.

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6-foot-3, 270-pound center Austin Stock (Solon, Ohio) has committed to play for Columbia, ESPN's Jared Shanker reports.

Air Force, Cornell, Colgate and Lehigh were Stock's other scholarship offers. He was also recruited by Stanford, Boston College, North Carolina State, Cincinnati, Purdue and Harvard.

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