Dartmouth football has high expectations for Class of 2022

by Danielle Okonta | 6/29/18 2:35am

Dartmouth football recently announced its Class of 2022, with 29 student-athletes slated to join the team. The recruits hail from 16 different states, with five representing Florida alone. The class features a variety of new talent headlined by the welcoming of Jake Allen ’22, a transfer quarterback from the University of Florida, as well as John Paul Flores ’22, whose older brother Jacob Flores ’16 was a member of the Green Bay Packer’s practice squad in 2016.

These athletes were selected through a meticulous recruitment process coordinated by director of recruiting, operations and external relations Joe McIntyre. McIntyre creates a database composed of the potential student-athletes and organizes official visits, among other responsibilities and manages the information in the database to make sure coaches don’t overlook recruits or discuss topics they’ve already reviewed.

“I keep track of where the coaches travel and which athletes they visit and making sure they see our highest priority kids,” McIntyre said.

The recruiting process for the Class of 2022 happened throughout a six-month period. Coaches had to evaluate their current teams and debate amongst each other what types of players the team needed for the 2018 season.

“We sat down in the conference room, and I ask the coaches how many players they need for the positions they coach,” McIntyre said. “Once we have decided on the numbers, we get data to form various sources around the country, talking to coaches, finding athletes and reviewing their highlight videos.”

As the recruiting process progressed, the coaches worked to ensure that the incoming class would be able to thrive both on the field and in the classroom.

“Once we have narrowed down our talent, we talk to high school coaches and ask if they are eligible to play in the Ivy League,” McIntyre said.

The program has compiled a comprehensive database that ensures that they get the best and brightest athletes in the country.

“We have done a study over the last few years where we have mapped every player who has ended up on an Ivy League roster,” McIntyre said. “We can show every high school that an Ivy League player has come out of.”

Using their talent database, the football team recruits athletes from all fifty states.

“We always look to see where the higher populations of the greater athletes are,” McIntyre said. “We look at athletes from North Carolina to Texas. There are also many athletes in the Midwest, as well as in California.”

The 29 athletes in the Class of 2022 were hand-picked from a pool of over 10,000 athletes, according to McIntyre. The highest-recruited position is defensive back, with six new athletes joining the Big Green’s defensive back contingent.

Allen, who was a red-shirt freshman at Florida in 2017, announced his decision to transfer to Dartmouth on Twitter on June 1.

“[Allen] was a unique circumstance,” McIntyre said. “Here in the Ivy League, transfers do not always gain acceptance. We were very candid with him when we went into the process. Thankfully, it all worked out. Bad news for Florida, good news for us.”

Some athletes in the class were already familiar with the program and the coaching staff. Connor Davis ’22, an incoming place kicker from Ocala, Florida, knew associate head coach and special teams coordinator Sammy McCorkle, who played football with Davis’s father at the University of Florida. Davis is a nationally-ranked kicker and punter from Florida.

“We graduated David Smith ’18, so we needed someone to fill this position and Connor fits the bill,” McIntyre said. “Anytime you can get an athlete that is being recruited by some of SEC programs is good.”

John Paul Flores is the third of four brothers to enter the program. He is a big guy — 6’ 5”— with size and athleticism.

“We hope he will be able to protect our quarterback and move the ball down the field,” McIntyre said. “It’s especially great that he and his family are familiar with the program and the coaching staff.”

The effort to bring the Class of 2022 into the program was a group effort that included current student-athletes in addition to the coaching staff.

“We believe that our athletes are our best salesmen,” McIntyre said. “They have been through the process and can speak to it. We hope that what we’re selling as coaches is what the athletes articulate to recruits and their parents.”

Defensive back Isiah Swann ’20 and quarterback Jared Gerbino ’20, current players with two successful years under their belts, said they are excited to see what the incoming class has in store.

Swann, the 2016 Kenneth T. Young Award Recipient for defensive underclassmen who has contributed most to the success of the team, said that he hopes the incoming class is excited to hit the ground running.

“I hope they come in expecting to play, and start the games,” Swann said. “They should come in and learn the playbook as fast as they can and do everything 100 percent.”

Gerbino, who is well-known for his 202 -yard, four touchdown performance against Princeton University, said that he believes the class will mesh well with the team’s atmosphere.

“From the recruits that I have met, I noticed that we have recruited a class with high character and great personalities,” Gerbino said.

The Class of 2022 will begin practicing with the full team in August.

“We feel pretty good. And we are excited to get these guys on campus in August and excited to seat building the team for the upcoming season,” McIntyre said.

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The Big Green begins its season at Memorial Field against Georgetown University on September 15th. Kick-off is at 1:30 pm.

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