Sixteen Big Green football players named to All-Ivy Preseason Teams

by Sara McGahan | 7/30/15 7:49pm

It’s been a great year for Dartmouth football, and the Big Green’s success has only continued into the summer. Coming off second place finish in the Ivy League, last week, College Sports Madness named 16 Big Green football players to the 2015 All-Ivy League preseason football teams. Nine Dartmouth players were named to the first team, while three players were named to the second team and four players were named to the third team.

Linebacker Will McNamara ’16 was named preseason defensive player of the year and quarterback Dalyn Williams ’16 was named preseason offensive player of the year. Along with McNamara and Williams, Troy Donahue ’16, Jacob Flores ’16, Cody Fulleton ’16, Vernon Harris ’16, Ryan McManus ’15, Zach Slafsky ’16 and A.J. Zuttah ’16 were also named to the first team.

Kyle Bramble ’16, Alex Gakenheimer ’17 and Victor Williams ’16 were named to the second team, and Ben Kepley ’17, Dave Morrison ’17, Folarin Orimolade ’17 and Chai Reece ’15 were named to the third team.

The Big Green also recently announced the starting times for the fall football games — the first being an away game against Georgetown University. For the first time in 14 years, the football team will kick off twice on a Friday night instead of the normal Saturday game times.

Seventeen of the team’s 28 games will be broadcasted on a variety of networks, which is the largest television coverage the team has ever seen.

Williams said that being named preseason offensive player of the year, “pays tribute to the success that we had last year.” He added, “I’m excited and it’s an honor.”

In addition, Williams was also listed on the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch list. Also known as the Walter Payton Award, it recognizes the most outstanding offensive player in collegiate division one football. Twenty-two players were named, including 2014 recipient John Robertson, a quarterback for Villanova. Williams is the only player from the Ivy League who was named.

Orimolade said that the team’s number-one goal is the Ivy League championship this year.

“The program is continuously getting better, and I think our team is stronger and closer than ever before,” Orimolade said. “We know we can be the top team in the Ivy League.”

Gakenheimer echoed Orimolade, saying that, “I think we can pull it off this year.”

“Going into freshman year, we hadn’t had tremendous success, but there was a lot of talk about getting better and getting a possible title,” Gakenheimer added. “I didn’t know what to expect, but that year we did pretty well and I remember thinking to myself that we could actually do this. We were disappointed last season in our loss against Harvard University, since we all believed we had the potential to earn the title, but we have another shot this year, and I’m looking forward to it.”

For Orimolade, the key to success is the team’s mentality this season.

“We need to come out every game like it’s our last, and I know we can,” Orimolade said.

Last year, the Big Green finished 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League. This was the best record the College has had in 14 years. The first game of the season will kick off at noon on Sat. 19.