Nick DeGasperis, 2006 (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)
Sorry for missing the daily player countdown yesterday, but I am officially sick. It happens. Don't worry, I'm docking myself an imaginary pay check.
There is a bit of interesting news coming from the Athletic Department release on the incoming freshmen for the baseball team.
One of those players is the speedy Nick Crucet from Cypress Bay High School in Florida.
That's the same high school where incoming football freshman Joe Nathan hails from.
I say this is interesting because it seems like there are more and more cases where we find multiple Columbia athletes, on different teams, coming to us from the same high schools. I hope this is the result of our recruiters comparing notes about promising athletes, even when they don't play the particular sport they're scouting.
Synergy is a goal often strived for, but rarely achieved. It seems like some level of positive synergy is at work right now for us.
Player Countdown: Adrian Demko and Nick DeGasperis
Since I missed a day yesterday, it seems fitting to mark players number 94 and 93 by citing the WR duo of Adrian Demko and Nick DeGasperis, both class of 2007.
Nick DeGasperis came to Columbia as a two-sport athlete in football and baseball. He may have been the first Columbia recruit to get attention on the Internet as I remember a number of articles about him and his future college prospects showing up on the Web from his local paper in Schenectady, NY.
He was a great "possession-type" receiver who really stood out in his senior year of 2006. He did not grab any TD's that season, but he did have 35 receptions for 462 yards. He made some very gutsy grabs, holding on to the ball after really vicious hits, that helped set up key scores in the wins over Iona and Cornell. He had another crucial catch and run in the finale at Brown that helped set up the dramatic winning field goal in that game.
It's truly a travesty that DeGasperis only had one touchdown catch in his CU career; that one score came in a close loss at Brown in his sophomore season of 2004.
Adrian Demko grabs one vs. Harvard
At 6'3" and about 210 pounds, Adrian Demko brought a perfect size for his position to the table. Demko came to Columbia from the dominant Valparaiso High School program in Indiana, and while he never put up stunning stats, he did provide key leadership on the team as it transitioned from head coach Bob Shoop to the Norries Wilson era.
DeGasperis and Demko may not be the first names Columbia fans rattle off when they list their favorite receivers. But they made enough sacrifices on and off the field to deserve to be remembered well.