Bulldogs Add Two High-Profile Players
Nebraska, UCLA Players Become Bulldogs
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- In addition to the 30 freshmen who join the program next month, the 2009 Yale Football Team has added transfer student-athletes Patrick Witt and Gabriel Fernandez. Both players are eligible this fall.
Witt, a quarterback who spent the last two years at the University of Nebraska, has three years of eligibility, having red-shirted in 2007 before serving as the No. 2 for the Cornhuskers last fall.
Witt, a 4.0 student who earned Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Nebraska Dean's List during his five semesters at Lincoln, played in five games and had six completions (40 yards) in eight attempts for a 9-4 squad that beat Clemson 26-21 in the Gator Bowl under first-year head coach Bo Pelini.
"I chose Yale for its unparalleled reputation, academic excellence, and the opportunity to compete for an Ivy League Championship," said Witt. "Building on tradition and laying a foundation for the future of Yale football under Coach Williams were also important factors."
Witt was recruited by numerous Division I schools out of Wylie (Texas) High School, where he threw for 1,846 yards and 17 TDs his senior year. His family moved to Texas after his junior year at Parkview High School in Lilburn Ga. Witt's brother, Jeff, was a QB at Harvard who graduated last spring.
Fernandez, who was a 2007 first-team Honolulu (Hawaii) Star-Bulletin DII All-State pick on the offensive line, transferred from UCLA, where he had been a walk-on.
Fernandez, who threw the shot for the track & field team and played on a national championship American Youth Soccer Association team, did not see varsity action in 2008 for a Bruins team that went 4-8 under first-year mentor Rick Neuheisel.
"Sometimes change is necessary for a person to grow, and there is no better place than Yale," said Fernandez.
Both new Elis have older brothers who played football at Harvard and were teammates for two seasons. Jeff Witt was a QB for the Crimson who graduated in 2009, while Frank Fernandez '07 was Harvard's starter at center for three seasons.