HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present … Dartmouth.
We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country, with HERO Sports.
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Dartmouth (9-1 IN 2018)
Ivy League (Dartmouth finished 2nd in 2018)
COACH: Buddy Teevens – At School: 20th year (96-92-2) Overall: 30th year (130-169-2)
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: N/A
2018 OFFENSE: 34.0 ppg. (17th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 12.0 ppg. (2nd in FCS)
KEY GAME: Oct. 12 vs. Yale: Yale has big expectations this year with a number of key contributors to the 2017 Ivy League championship team coming off of injuries suffered last year. The Bulldogs are our preseason No. 17 ranked team. No question this matchup is going factor into the title race in 2019. And with it being Homecoming for Dartmouth, the atmosphere should be electric.
SUM IT UP: Dartmouth has been on a helluva run these last five years. The Big Green hold a 38-12 overall record, which is the best in the Ivy League. Their 24-11 record in conference games during that stretch is the second best, behind Harvard's 25-10 mark. In these last five years, Dartmouth has won the Ivy League title once and finished second three times. The wins just keep on coming.
But the Big Green do face a big test this year as a program. They have to replace six starters on offense and five on defense. Dartmouth has recruited very well lately, owning the FCS' 33rd best recruiting class in 2018 and the 19th best this year. That should allow this team to reload with some young depth.
Offensively, the concern is the offensive line. The lone returning starter is Zach Sammartino, a fifth-year senior, while the Big Green lose four All-Conference linemen. The good news is Dartmouth used two quarterbacks effectively last year and both guys return. Senior Jared Gerbino gave opponents headaches with his legs and led Dartmouth with 700 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Derek Kyler completed a school-record 68.9 percent of his passes for 1,362 yards, 13 TDs and just two interceptions.
The Big Green lose their top running back. Expect senior Caylin Parker to fill that role after rushing for 291 yards and three scores last year. They also lose their No. 1 pass catcher, but the next three guys return in seniors Hunter Hagdorn, Drew Estrada and Connor Rempel.
Defensively, the unit was lights out last year, ranking second in the FCS with 12 points allowed a game. There are some big names returning on the 2019 squad, led by senior cornerback Isiah Swann. He was a seven-time All-American last year and the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Swann is a HERO Sports preseason First Team All-American. The Big Green have stars at the other two levels of the defense as well. Seniors Jack Traynor leads the linebacker group and Jackson Perry does the same for the defensive line. Both were First Team All-Conference performers in 2018.
OUR TAKE: Dartmouth brings back a good nucleus of players to continue this run of success. Keep an eye on the Sept. 28 nonconference game versus Colgate, a team that made the FCS quarterfinals last year. That will be a good measuring stick for the Big Green before Ivy League play begins. This conference will be competitive once again and the talent remains for Dartmouth to be a Top 3 team. If this team wants to win another Ivy League title, though, new starters need to step up to keep the defense strong and the offensive line needs to gel and perform at a high level.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Sr./CB Isiah Swann (HERO Sports Preseason First Team All-American, 9 INT in 2018)
THE FOUNDATION: Sr./LB Jack Traynor (First Team All-Conference, 56 tackles, 6.5 TFLs); Sr./QB Jared Gerbino (Second Team AC, 700 rushing yards and 8 TDs); Sr./OL Zach Sammartino (Lone starter returning on OL); Sr./DL Jackson Perry (First Team AC, 41 tackles, 8.5 sacks TFLs, 4 sacks); Sr./DE Niko Lalos (AC Honorable Mention, 5 sacks, 6 TFLs); Sr./DB Ryan Roegge (AC Honorable Mention, 42 tackles, 2 INT, 6 PD); Sr./DT David Chalmers (Second Team AC, 29 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFLs)
TOP NEWCOMER: Fr./ TE Jordan Kirkbride (13th ranked FCS recruit that had 15 FBS offers)
THE QUOTE: "I would say that's probably the best he's played all spring. He was comfortable. He's not a real emotional guy, one way or another. He just kind of gets out and does his job. I thought he made some timely throws, he was accurate and threw the ball away when necessary." — Head Coach Buddy Teevens said about QB Derek Kyler after the spring game
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Dartmouth Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The Ivy League
Brown | Columbia | Cornell | Dartmouth
Harvard | Penn | Princeton | Yale
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast