May 23, 2007
Yale senior fullback Taylor Craig has been named one of the 45 players who will make up Team USA at the 2007 World Championship of American Football from July 7-15 at Kawasaki, Japan. It will mark the first time that the United States will play in this international event.
The six-country tournament is the third staged by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Team USA, coached by John Mackovic, will face Germany and Korea in pool play. The other pool will consist of host and two-time defending champion Japan along with Sweden and France.
Craig, a 2006 second-team All-Ivy selection, earned Yale's Jim Keppel Award as the team's offensive back of the year despite few touches of the football. However, he was instrumental in the Bulldogs' 8-2 campaign and a share of the Ivy League title.
"All of our efforts over the last year have been directed towards this announcement," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "Filling out our roster is another important milestone for USA Football. We now know the players who will represent our country and our game at the World Championship. All of us at USA Football are looking forward to seeing this team take the field for the first time."
The 45 players selected were chosen from a pool of 2006 college seniors and represent all levels of college football. NCAA and NAIA schools were asked by USA Football to nominate up to two seniors during the season. That list was pared down by the Team USA coaching staff through film evaluation.
"This team is a complete cross section of U.S. football," said Mackovic, a former NCAA and NFL coach. "We're excited that we are able to blend every level of college football and put together a team of players from schools of every size. We hope to represent our country in the highest fashion and be great ambassadors for football around the world."
Team USA will train at San Jose State University from June 20-July 4 prior to leaving for Japan.
2007 United States National Team
Wide Receiver: Greg Aker, Minnesota-Duluth; Bobby Awrey, Saginaw Valley State; Jon Drenckhahn, Williams; Austin Flynn, Iowa State; Steve Odom, Toledo
Tight End: D'Monn Baker, California (Pa.); Brian Thompson, Michigan
Offensive Line: Alex Atkins, Tennessee-Martin; Marcel Burrough, San Jose State; Rick Drushal, Wooster; Darrin Johnson, SMU; Kris King, Gardner-Webb; David Livengood, Indiana (Pa.); Chris Lundin, Adams State; Matt Padron; Texas State; Brad Poston, Coastal Carolina
Runningback: Doug Blakowski, Hobart; Cody Childs, Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Taylor Craig, Yale; Kyle Kasperbauer, Nebraska-Omaha; Wendell Johnson, Fairmont State
Quarterback: Adam Austin, Arizona; Jeff Ballard, TCU; Rocky Pentello, Capital
Defensive Line: Michael Cobbins, Missouri Western; Dustin Dlouhy, Montana; Ryan Kleppe, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Matt Ludeman, Western Michigan; Shawn Moorehead, Iowa State; Chris Thorner, Syracuse; Jeremy Van Alstyne, Michigan
Linebacker: Dan Adams, Holy Cross; Demetrius Eaton, Northwestern; Adam Paulson, Sioux Falls; Ryan Tully, Harvard; Brig Walker, Princeton
Secondary: Manauris Arias, Maine; Diezeas Calbert, Northwest Missouri State; Kenny Chicoine, Cal Poly; Jason Hoffschneider, North Dakota; Josh Kubiak, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Rob Rodriguez, Christopher Newport; Steve Teeples, Wisconsin-La Crosse; Cary Wade, Virginia Tech
Kicker: Craig Coffin, Southern Illinois