What's that saying about a tree falling in the forest, but makes no sound? Such was the case with the Patriot League's indifferent announcement of spring football.
The PL was the last conference in
Six. Not seven.
To no surprise to anyone familiar with
The causes for the PL's late release aren't well known.
Surely, they knew of
But even in this period of interruption, there is effect, and that's worth discussing. This is a different team, a different program, that will take the field this September, and we ought to prepare for that.
In different, safer times, the 2020 Georgetown Hoyas would have
been a fun team to watch.
Gone too, is the seniors of 2020, the graduating class of 2021. The 20 man senior class will be succeeded by 20 signings announced in last month's signing period. While no eligibility was lost this season, the names Hoya fans know (Khristian Tate, Duval Paul, Xavier Reddick, Owen Kessler, etc.) are taking the next steps forward in their life. Some are graduating early, some are pursuing grad transfers, some are just going to get a job. If someone comes back as a fifth year senior, great, but of those 10 returning starters that played in the Holy Cross game on Nov. 23, 2019, as few as one - junior Ibrahim Kamara - will be on the team in the fall of 2021.
Barring a fifth year, we've seen the last of Joe Brunell, expected to lead the team at quarterback. Receivers Max Edwards and Skyler Springs, and running back Jackson Saffold are all scheduled to graduate before the fall season kickoff. The interim 2020 roster noted the apparent departure of the two top freshman 2019 quarterbacks, Tyler Knoop and Martin Butcher, as well as a pair of linemen. Of the 93 players on the roster at the 2019 finale, just 45 will be there this fall. Of the 45, just 29 played more two games all season.
On the flip side, that means that half the team enters this fall with no college experience whatsoever; namely, the 28 freshmen from 2020 (more or less) and the 20 from the December 2020 signings , plus any additions next month in the former recruiting signing period. The last two recruiting classes have been promising but the jump up in competition is no small challenge to any player at any level.
And, again, through no fault of GU, it's possible that these players do not come together in one place until as late as August, marking the first practices for some since the fourth week of November 2019 (some 20 months ago by then) or for others, the first since their high school games ended. That's a huge effort by the staff to train and retrain an entire team to get up to speed, figuratively and literally. And don't forget, six other PL teams and as many as four other non-conference opponents (some of whom didn't go virtual this past fall), will have a month of winter training camp and as many as five games of experience this spring before returning in the fall.
Just 17 of 240 schools in Division I are not playing in
2020-21, either in the fall or spring. They are as follows:
This team starts over in the fall in a big way, and not necessarily in a winning season. You can't teach gameday experience on Zoom. But there's another restart to consider.
The fall of 2021, God willing, returns the residential campus
As the old television commercial says, "you never get a
second chance to make a first impression." The opportunity, and perhaps the
imperative, is for
It is now over 20 years ago that former coach Bob Benson made
the case for what a football game could be like at
"Build a new facility with all the tradition of the
past in mind," he wrote. "Place it in the center of campus. Create a
new school spirit among our students, faculty, and the community, and bring an
environment with a wonderful aura of history and tradition to the
That's not going to take place by treating that opener this
as just another game. A poster in front of the bookstore and an article in the HOYA
won't cut it. Over the next few months, this blog will outline a series of strategies not just to renew football at
Ina time of darkness and distance, better days are ahead. Let's prepare for something better, emphasis on prepare, literally, to "make ready". Rob Sgarlata's team will certainly be ready, and with a little effort, so will we.