March 11, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team will begin spring practice on Tuesday, March 15, when the Hoyas hit Cooper Field at 7:30 a.m. It will be the first of 15 spring practices, concluding with the annual Blue & Gray Spring Scrimmage on Friday, April 22 at 6 p.m.
The Hoyas will be on the field for practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during the course of spring ball, with the exceptions of March 24 and March 29 due to the Easter break. All practices will be open to the public.
Head Coach Rob Sgarlata begins his third spring at the helm of the program and will work with the coaching staff to begin restocking the depth chart after the departure of the 16 graduating seniors.
SHOES TO FILL ON OFFENSE: The Hoyas will be tasked with replacing running back Jo’el Kimpela (Kinshasa, D.R. Congo/Euless Trinity), who finished his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Hoya history with 1,945 yards. Quarterback Kyle Nolan (Branford, Conn./Choate Rosemary Hall) departs after etching his name at the top of the all-time passing attempts (969), completions (540) and total offense (6,269 yards) lists. He also finished second in passing yardage (5,750) and completion percentage (.557). Overall Georgetown will be tasked with replacing six starters on offense, including right tackle Kevin Liddy, guard Gerverus Flagg and receivers Jake DeCicco and Harrison Glor.
QUARTERBACK: The Hoyas will look to junior quarterback Tim Barnes (Oradell, N.J./River Dell Regional), who played in five games last season and 14 during his first three seasons on the Hilltop, completing 27-of-56 pass attempts for 209 yards and a touchdown. Freshmen Clay Norris (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) and Jowan Watson (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) will provide competition during the spring season.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: GU returns a pair of Second Team All-Patriot League pass catchers, led by junior wide receiver Justin Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour). Hill returns after leading the Hoyas with six touchdown receptions. His 13.8 yards per catch also led the team and was among the PL leaders. Junior tight end Matt Buckman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional) finished second on the team with four touchdown receptions. His 32 catches finished third on the team. Sophomores Justin Harrell (New Orleans, La./Newman), Jimmy McLaughlin (Fairfax, Va./WT Woodson) and Luke Morris (Honolulu, Hawaii/The Punahou School) and freshman Brandon Williams (Germantown, Md./Northwest) have each earned starts during their career.
RUNNING BACKS: Sophomore running backs Isaac Ellsworth (Belfort, Texas/Euless Trinity) and Alex Valles (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) combined for over 300 rushing yards last season and give the GU offensive versatility out of the backfield. Ellsworth showed ability as kick returner, averaging 22.9 yards per return, including a season-long 83-yard return.
OFFENSIVE LINE: The Blue & Gray will also return three starters on the offensive line, with sophomore left tackle Nick James (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny), sophomore left guard Michael McFarlane (Frostproof, Fla./Frostproof) and sophomore center Dominic Scarangella (Newtown, Conn./Newtown). GU will also bring back sophomore guard Matt Houpert (West Hartford, Conn./William H. Hall) and sophomore guard Aaron Miller (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch), who both earns starts last season.
DEFENSE LOOKS TO RESTOCK DEPTH CHART: On defense, Georgetown loses First Team All-Patriot League selection Matt Satchell, who finished with 100 tackles in 2015. The Hoyas will also have to replace cornerback Ettian Scott, who led Division I FCS with 19 passes defended in 2015 and compiled 31 pass breakups and six interceptions during his career. The Hoyas will also lose productive starters safety Garrett Powers and defensive tackle Dezmond Richardson.
LINEBACKERS: The Hoyas return a pair of linebackers with sophomore Daniel Yankovich (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep), who made the move from safety early last season and responded with 88 tackles, second on the team. Junior Leo Loughrey (Glenshaw, Pa./Central Catholic) exceled in his first season as a starter making 83 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Juniors Bryan Jefferson (Vienna, Va./Annandale), Hugh Masterson (Invernees, Ill./Saint Viator) and Phil Novacki (Great Falls, Va./Langley) return to the defensive line along with freshman Brennen Sawicki (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto), who earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors after a strong performance against the eventual Patriot League Champion Colgate Raiders.
DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD: Sophomore cornerback Jelani Williamson (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) was among the PL leaders in passes defended, while freshman safety Jethro Francois was named the FCS Rookie of the Week after the Hoyas win over Bucknell. Sophomore David Akere (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron) and freshman Blaise Brown (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine[Loomis Chaffee]) both started for Georgetown in 2015 and bring talent and experience to the secondary.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Junior Henry Darmstadter (Alexandria, Va./George Mason) was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection after connecting on 9-of-13 field goal attempts and all 27 of his extra-points. The Hoyas also return junior punter Harry McCollum (Arlington Heights, Ill./Saint Viator), who has averaged 40.9 yards per punt over the last two seasons with a long of 65. Junior Ben Priddy (Davidsonville, Md./Severn) has averaged 57.3 yards per kickoff with eight touchbacks and holds a 32 yards per punt average during his career on the Hilltop.