Class of 2014 Announced

New Elis Cover 14 States

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Twenty-six members of Yale Football's Class of 2014 were introduced today. It is the first full class recruited by Tom Williams, the second-year Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football.  The full class of newcomers will be 28, but two have yet to matriculate.

 

The new Bulldogs are from 14 different states, including 10 from California, and there are no more than two from any other state. There are five defensive backs and five wide receivers, four each of defensive linemen, tight ends and running backs and three quarterbacks and offensive linemen.

 

“We are very pleased with the class of 2014! We felt going in to the recruiting cycle that we had some very definite needs that we wanted to address,” said Williams. “We are confident that in our first full year of recruiting in the Ivy league that we did just that. Our collective experience at other institutions has served us well, and I believe that this class is a reflection of the depth and breadth of our staff.”

 

Here are the new Bulldogs.

 

Kyle Aberton

DB

5-10, 180               Holladay, UT

At Cottonwood High School: Eight letters between football and track… Five interceptions in 2008 shared lead in Division 5A… Two TDs, 72 tackles, 14 passes broken up that fall… Had 79 tackles and nine PBU in 2009… Two-time first-team all-region… Prep Athlete of the Week (10/09)… United States Achievement Academy… 2010 Elite Sports King Kamehameha All-Star Game… 2009 Scout.com Badger Sport 7-on-7 competition in Las Vegas… US Army National Football Combine… Winner of Captains Award and Colt Award… Football team was three-time regional champions and 2008 state runner-up… His 4x100 relay team was two-time regional champions and state finalists… Diploma of Merit… High Honor Roll… Who's Who Among American HS Students… National Society of High School Scholars… UIAAA Scholarship (Academics, Athletics and Service)… Personal: Kyle John Aberton is the son of Laura and Mark Aberton… Organized a “Pink” football game for breast cancer awareness and raised over $10,000.

 

Chris Brady

DB

6-0, 202 Wayne, N.J.

At Don Bosco Prep: Two-year varsity CB for 2009 national championship team… Led team with six interceptions after a team-high seven in 2008… Third-team all-state… Second-team all-county… First-Team All-Suburban News… Two-time first-team all-league… Ranked No. 1 in 2009 by USA Today, Maxpreps, ESPN, Massey… Bergen County Team of the Year… Won four straight state championships… Four-year honor roll student… Wendy's Student-Athlete National Honor… Mario Allegretta Memorial Award from the Don Bosco Touchdown Club… Personal: Christopher B. Brady is the son of Agnes and Frank Brady… Brother, Frank, played one year of varsity football at Sacred Heart.

 

Kolu Buck

DE

6-3, 220 Kaneole, HI

At Punahou School: Four-sport letterman… All-league DE… 2008 Team Player Award… 2009 Coaches Award… Football team was 2008 league and state champion… All-state and all-league wrestler on state championship team… Threw discus for track & field team… Managed the judo team… ROTC Cadet of the Year… Spanish Award… Personal:  George Marsh Buck III is the son of Michelle and Marsh Buck… Great grandfather was the first superintendent of schools in the Philippines.

 

Greg Carlsen

P

6-0, 195 Orlando, FL

At William R. Boone High School: Two-sport letterman… Played WR and P… School record for most (67) punts and yardage (2,407) in a season… Fewest (2.1) return yards per punt and blocked (1) punts… First-team all-county and all-metro punter… East-West All-Star Team selection as punter… 2006 regional champions… 2007 district, metro, regional champions and state 6A runner-up… Baseball team was 2008 district and metro champs… Orlando Downtown AC Scholar-Athlete… Mandy Stoll Scholar-Athlete Winner… Boone HS Scholar-Athlete Winner… “Got Milk” Scholar-Athlete Finalist… 2007 FHSAA State Football Final Championship Scholar-Athlete Award… 2007 Metro Conference All-Academic Award… Boone HS Football Scholar-Athlete Award… Upperco Memorial Scholarship… Irene Lester Miller Memorial Scholarship… Mandy Stoll Scholar-Athlete Scholarship… Florida Bright Futures Scholarship… Personal: Gregory Thomas Carlsen is the son of Christine and Tom Carlsen… Transfer from University of Florida… Father was starting SS at Memphis State.

 

Keith Coty

TE/H-Back

6-2, 215 La Mirada, CA

At La Mirada High School: Played three sports… Two-year football captain who earned three varsity letters… First-Team All-Suburban League… Second-team all-area… All-CIF Southern Division… 2008 LMHS Special Teams MVP… 2009 Coaches Award… Team was 2007 and 2009 league champions… 2009 CIF Southern Division winners… Four-year lacrosse captain… Team offensive MVP… Tournament MVP… Invited to five Adrenaline Lacrosse Tournaments… Four-year member of OC Starz Elite Lacrosse Club… 2008 North Orange County Lacrosse Tournament Champions… Discus Award… AP Scholar… All-American Scholar… CIF Scholar-Athlete… Junior Honor Guard… Principles Honor Roll for seven semesters… Los Angeles Chapter National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete of the Year… John Wooden Scholar-Athlete… White Oaks Ranch Scholarship… Boys' State Delegate… Positive Alternatives Outreach Board Member… California Scholarship Federation Vice President… School yearbook editor-in-chief… Personal: Keith Coty (pronounced cody) is the son of Paul and Sandra Coty.

 

Alex Flanders

WR/P

6-1, 160 Madison, CT

At Daniel Hand High School: Three-sport varsity letterman… Played WR, CB, P and PK… Had 37-yard punting average… Converted seven PATs… Also played basketball and lacrosse… National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete… Outstanding Science Award… Magna cum Laude in latin… Recipient of Carm Cozza Scholarship from Yale Club of New Haven…  Personal: Alexander Flanders is the son of Wendy and Richard Flanders… Father is associate head coach of the Yale football team.

 

Henry Furman

QB

6-3, 190 Portland, OR

At Lincoln High School: Captain and three-year varsity letterman in football and baseball… 2009 first-team all-league QB… Threw for 5,000 yards and 43 TDs in three-year career… Les Schwalb North-South Game… Team was 2009 Portland Interscholastic League Champions…  First-team all-league in baseball… National Football Foundation Scholarship Finalist… Honor Roll… Portland Pearl Rotary Club Student of Month… Personal: Henry Clemence Furman is the son of Marta and Donald Furman… Interested in economics, finance and marketing.

 

Wes Gavin

OL

6-5, 275 San Diego, CA

At Francis Parker High School: Football and track & field captain… Played LT and DL and earned three varsity letters… 2009 Maxpreps First-Team All-State (small schools)… 2009 ESPN calhisports.com First-Team All-State… 2009 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete… Two-time first-team All-Coastal League Offensive Team… 2009 Coastal League Lineman of the Year… 2008 FPHS Most Improved Player Award… 2009 KUSI-TV “Shack's Pigpen Inductee… Teams won conference and section titles last two years… Two-time San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic… FPHS honors student all four years…Threw shot (42 feet-8 inches) and discus (116 feet)… Personal: Wesley Gavin is the son of Sally and Robert Gavin.

 

Michael Leunen

TE

6-7, 220 Portland, OR

At Westview High School: Earned six varsity letters between two sports… All-state at both TE and DE… Two-time all-conference… All-conference in basketball as power forward… Team finished second in state… Westview Scholar… National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Finalist… Personal: Michael Robert Leunen is the son of Marjorie and Maarten Leunen… Brother, Maarty, is No. 2 on the University of Oregon basketball career rebounding list and was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2007.

 

Jackson Liguori

WR

6-1, 186 Pacific Palisades, CA

At Harvard-Westlake High School: Earned varsity letters in football, baseball and track… Caught 48 passes for 823 yards and 13 TDs his senior year at WR… TD catches in 10 of 11 games in 2009… 2008 second-team All-Del Rey League… 2009 first-team All-Del Ray League… Earned two varsity letters as an OF on baseball team… Competed in pole vault (12-6 PR) and sprints one season on track team… Personal: Jackson Beach Liguori (pronounced le-GOR-ee) is the son of Hannah Cox and Peter Liguori '82… Father, who is the C.O.O of the Discovery Channel, rowed at Yale… Mother competed in track & field at Harvard… His hobbies include bass guitar and tenor ukulele… Interested in psychology.

 

Max Napolitano
DB
5-11, 180         Camarillo, CA

At Oaks Christian High School: Four-year football letterman who was named LA Daily News 2009 Corner to Watch... Was first-team all-league, All-Ventura County, VC Star, LA Daily News... Oaks Christian Defensive Back of the Year... Gatorade Play of the Game... Selected to Ventura County All Star Team ... His teams won four league championships, three CIF titles and two state championships... One squad was ranked No. 2 in the USA Today Poll, No. 3 in the ESPN rankings... 25 of his teammates are playing Division I football... Also played two years of baseball and a year of basketball... CIF Student-Athlete of the Year... Four-time scholar-athlete award... Three-time Tri-County Academic All-League and Southern Section CIF All-Academic...National Football Foundation Hall of Fame... Eight-time Head Master's List... National Congressional Young Leaders Nominee... National Honor Society... Chemistry Award Student of the Year... Spanish Award Student of Year... Modern European and World History Award Student of Year... Personal: Max Angelo Napolitano is the son of Christine Napolitano... Uncle Geno Napolitano played in Texas... Uncle Richard Sinatra played basketball at Penn State.... Spent time in China and Honduras on trips with the International Missions Team at Oaks Christian.

 

Obinna Nwakeze

DL

6-1, 220 New Rochelle, NY

At Rye Country Day: Four varsity letters in football… Captained team senior year and played OG and DT… Journal News Third-Team All-State on defense … All-league pick… Three-time New York heavyweight wrestling champion… Won 100 varsity matches… Finalist in the 2010 National Achievement Scholarship Competition, which recognizes Black American students nationwide… Member of Golden Dozen Scholar-Athlete Team in Westchester and Putnam Counties… Personal: Obinna Nwakeze is the son of Agatha and Peter Nwakeze… Interested in biology major and a career in orthopedic surgery.

 

Nick Okano

DB

5-11, 185               Los Angeles, CA

At Harvard-Westlake High School:  Three-time football letterman… Played FS and returned kicks… Set school record with four interceptions in one game as a junior… His five interceptions that year led the league… Picked off 12 passes in three seasons… Three-time All-Del Rey League… Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Week… San Fernando Valley hall of fame scholar-athlete award winner… Played on three teams that were CIF-SS Northwest Division Quarterfinalists… Personal:  Nicholas Okano is the son of Margaret Minenko and Jeffrey Okano… Offered football scholarships to Air Force, Army and Portland State… Brother, Chris, plays soccer at Bates College… Intends to major in Economics and work in finance.

 

John Oppenheimer

DL

6-0, 260 Menlo Park, CA

At Sacred Heart Prep: Played four sports and earned varsity letters in three… Captained football and track & field teams… Made 131 career tackles and 10 sacks over three years… Played on both lines… 2009 league defensive MVP… First-team All-San Mateo County… Second-team All-Bay Area… Second-team Maxpreps All-State… 2008 first-team all-league… 2008 most valuable lineman on team and league… 2008 first-team All-San Mateo County… 2008 second-team Maxpreps All-State… Team was 2009 D4 CCS Semifinalist… 2008 team went 12-1 and were Peninsula Athletic League (Ocean Division) Champs and sectional runner-up… Owns school shotput record (44-feet, 6 inches)… Personal: John Oppenheimer is the son of Mary and Peter Oppenheimer… Worked as a Little League Umpire.

 

Beau Palin

H-Back

6-3, 225 Mequon, WI

At Phillips Academy Andover: Played football, hockey and lacrosse during 2009-10… At University School of Milwaukee: Earned 12 letters from three sports and captained each… Made 129 tackles in nine games playing LB… Also played FB and LS… Wisconsin Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game… 2008 First-team all-conference FB and LB… 2007 First-team all-conference DE… 2007 all-area DE… 2008 conference champions… All-Area hockey defenseman… 2006 state hockey champions… 2007 sectional winners… Baseball team won 2007 conference… Owns school career RBI record (86)… Played first base… Hobey Baker High School Character Award… Cum Laude… Personal: Beau Gregory David Read Palin (pronounced pay-lin) is the son of Alice and Drew Palin… Brother, Drew '06, played football at Yale… Grandfather played football at Princeton… Father played football at Stanford… Sister, Holly, played field hockey and basketball at Northwestern… Brother, Tyler, plays football at Carleton… Worked in Illinois mustard factory one summer… Bailed hay in Wisconsin during another one.

 

Trevor Peterson

TE

6-2, 235 Camino, CA

At El Dorado High School: Played three seasons of varsity football at seven different positions... First-team all-conference three consecutive years... First-team all-metro as a utility player in 2008... Honorable mention all-section utility as a senior... 2008 GSP Norcal First-Team utility... Third-team all-state all-purpose player... 2007 second-team all-metro and first-team all-section as TE... Caught 54 passes for 964 yards… Rated nationally among the top TEs by both ESPN and scout.com… Three letters in basketball as forward/center… Three-time track letterman… Ran sprints and threw shot and discus… 4x100 and 4x400 school records…

Personal: Trevor Peterson is the son of Kerry and Brian Peterson… Transfer from Boise State University, where he had received a full athletic scholarship… Grandfather played football at UC Davis… All aunts and uncles on his mother's side played college sports… Cousin is a cheerleader at Princeton.

 

Deon Randall

WR/RB

5-8, 175 San Diego, CA

At Francis W. Parker High School: Four-year football letterman who played QB, WR, DB and returned punts… Responsible for a combined 100 TDs over the last two years… 2009 Coastal Conference Offensive Player of the Year…  2009 MaxPreps First-Team All-America (small schools)… 2009 MaxPreps First-Team All-State… 2009 all-section CIF… 2009 National Football Foundation MVP (defense)…  State bowl game total yards leader and Marine Leader of the Game… 2008 MaxPreps Second-Team All-America (small schools)… 2008 MaxPreps First-Team All-State… ESPN/Cal HI Sports All-State Team… San Diego Union Tribune First-Team All-County… 2008 Coastal Conference Offensive Player of the Year… Four-time first-team all-conference… Teams won conference and section titles last two years… Personal: Deon Randall is the son of Tina and Harvey Randall… Scholarship offers from San Diego State, Air Force, Army, Navy, Villanova, Montana State, UC-Davis and Cal-Poly SLO… Brother, Sakimo, was a TE at SDSU.

 

Cameron Sandquist

WR

5-9, 165 Redmond, WA

At Loomis Chaffee School: Captained football team and ran track… Named All-New England Class A… Set school record in 200m (22.8)… At  Redmond High School:  Holds five records at Redmond, including season receiving yards (970) and season receptions (66)… Multi-year letter winner in both football and track… Played WR and CB… 2008 honorable mention All-Kingco 4A at CB…2008 team defensive MVP… 2009 Washington State University Football Camp Receiver MVP…2009 first-team All-Kingco 4A WR and second-team CB… 2009 team offensive MVP… 2009 Redmond Athlete of the Year…Track team captain… District qualifier in two sprinting events and state qualifier in relay… National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete… U.S. Marine Corps Student-Athlete Honors…Three-time WIAA High Scholar-Athlete Award… 2009 U.S. Army Student-Athlete Honoree… Victor Spino Memorial Scholarship… Personal:  Cameron Sandquist is the son of Mark and Tiffiny Sandquist… Shortstop on the 2004 Little League World Series Northwest (Redmond LL) Team… 2009 Mr. Mustang Award winner for comedy routine.

 

Grant Stanley

DE

6-5, 245 Fresno, CA

At San Joaquin Memorial High School: Two-year varsity letterman… Captain senior year… Played DE and TE junior year and DE and LT as a senior… First-team all-league… First-team all-valley… NYL Lineman of the Year… San Joaquin Memorial First-team All-Decade… Team won league title his last two years… Scholar-Athlete, CSF Life Member… Personal: Grant Stanley is the son of Jennifer and Jeffrey Stanley… Grandfather, Vance Stanley, played football at Fresno State and became head coach of Fresno City College… Has cousins and uncles who have played sports in college and professionally. 

 

Kerr Taubler

QB

6-3, 215 Fresno, CA

At Bullard High School: Career wins (25) leader as QB at school… Lettered four years… Threw for 2,438 yards and 21 TDs in 2009… First-team all-state, all-section and all-league senior year… First-team all-league and team offensive MVP in 2008… Started in 2010 City/County All-Star Game… Led team to first undefeated (13-0) season and first sectional championship in school history… Helped team win league junior year… Ran 100 meters and threw shot as two-time track & field letterman… Played OF for baseball team for two springs… Summa cum laude… Valedictorian… Eight scholar-athlete honors… B'nai B'rith Scholar-Athlete Scholarship for Central Valley… Personal: Kerr James Taubler is the son of Laura and Brian Taubler.

 

James Talerico

OL

6-4, 270 Boca Raton, FL

At Pope John Paul II High School: Lettered in three sports and captained two… Three-time football letterman who captained team senior year… Played OL and DL… Had four sacks and one interception… Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Honorable Mention All-Palm Beach County… Second-team Palm Beach Post All-Area… Outback Bowl All-Star Game… U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete… National Honor Society… Rensselaer Medal for math and science… Personal: James Michael Talerico (pronounced tal-er-EEK-o) is the son of Julie and Henry.

 

Elijah Thomas

RB

6-2, 225 Rochester, NY

At Gates-Chili High School: 2009 first-team All-Greater Rochester… Three-time all-county… Played FB, LB and DE… Two-time team captain… 2008 Section V championship team… Played one year of varsity basketball and team won 2008-09 Section V title… Academic Varsity Letter with two chevrons… Two-time Monroe County Scholar-Athlete Award… Ontario Honda Scholarship… Three-time New York State Scholar-Athlete… National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete… RIT Computing Medal and Scholarship… American Chemical Society Student Recognition Award… Joseph Villareale Memorial Scholarship… No. 2 in a class of 388… Personal: Elijah Thomas is the son of Stephanie and Chris Thomas… Volunteered at the Seabury Woods Senior Community.

 

Cliff Van Meter

ATH

6-3, 220 Metairie, Louisiana

At Jesuit High School: Earned four varsity letters in football as a RB… Lettered twice in track and ran the 100 and 200m… 2009 All-State Sugar Bowl Scholar-Athlete… Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A Academic First Team… Personal: Clifford Chancellor Van Meter is the son of Cliff and Marianne Van Meter…  Father played football at Tulane… Mother was a track & field athlete at Iowa… Grandfather, Cliff Van Meter Sr., played football at Tulane… Originally in class of 2013, but needed to delay first year at Yale due to injury.

 

Kyle White

OT

6-6, 255 Pompton Plains, NJ

At Pequannock Township High School: Five varsity letters between two sports… Played LT and DE… Second-team all-conference in football… Led offense in 2009 that averaged 403.6 yards, 30.7 points and 8.9 yards per play... Made 26.5 tackles including three sacks in 2009... Played center and was honorable mention all-conference in basketball team that was North I, Group II Section and Regional Champions… National Football Foundation Morris County Scholar-Athlete… Pequannock Township HS Scholar-Athlete… Personal: Kyle White is the son of Nancy and Thomas White… Uncle, James Kilpatrick, was an OT at Princeton… Cousin, John Kilpatrick, was DE at Duquesne… Won $1,000 for his school's special education department through charity basketball game.

 

John Whitelaw

QB

6-1, 195 Hinsdale, IL

At Hinsdale Central High School: Captained football and basketball teams and earned five varsity letters between the two… Accounted for 9,750 total yards with 102 TDs (52 pass, 50 rush) as starting QB for three years… Averaged 350 yards of total offense as senior with 36 TDs… Three-time all-state, all-area and all-conference… 2009 conference offensive player of the year and team and conference MVP… 2008 offensive player of the year on team and in conference… 2007 team MVP and offensive player of the year… 2008 state runner-up… Basketball 2008-09 all-conference, all-area and team MVP… Tied school record for career steals… Young Scholar… National Honor Society… All-State Scholar… Personal: John Charles Whitelaw is the son of Paula and Robert Whitelaw… Offered full scholarships to Army and Toledo… He has been an AAU basketball coach and a Little League Umpire.

 

Kyle Wittenauer

TE/LS

6-4, 230 Richmond, VA

At St. Christopher's School: Caught 40 passes for 567 yards and four TDs in three varsity seasons… Averaged 18 yards per catch in 2009… 186 career tackles at LB… WTVR McDonald's Hometown All-Star (9/09)… Three-year starter at TE, LB and snapper… First-team All-Prep in 2008 and 2009… 2009 second-team all-state… Honorable mention all-state as TE in 2008 and as LB in 2009… Led team in receiving and tackles last two years… Nike Long Snapping Camp… Member of varsity track & field and baseball teams… Batted .304 for baseball team that was VISAA State runner-up… Pa Kua Chang (form of kung fu)… National Merit Scholarship Winner… Lexus of Richmond Pursuit of Perfection Leadership Award… AP Scholar… National Economics Challenge… Harvard Book Award… Poetry Out Loud (1st place)… Editor of school newspaper… Salutatorian... Richmond Times Dispatch Scholar Athlete of the Year Finalist... Personal: Kyle Stanton Wittenauer is the son of Mary Beth and Tim Wittenauer… Uncle, John Wackowski, played football at Notre Dame… Recruited by 26 different schools.

 
 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

image of Deon Randall with ball

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