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 … Harvard.
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.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
Ivy League (Harvard finished 3rd in 2018)
COACH: Tim Murphy – At School: 26th year (174-75) Overall: 33rd (206-120-1)
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: N/A
2018 OFFENSE: 30.4 ppg. (36th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 21.8 ppg. (20th in FCS)
KEY GAME: Nov. 23 @ Yale: The 136th playing of "The Game" should be another classic. We expect Yale to be at the top of the Ivy League with its preseason No. 17 ranking. This regular-season finale looks to be a major factor in the conference championship race.
SUM IT UP: Harvard has won four Ivy League titles in the 2010s (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). These last couple of seasons, though, the Crimson have hovered right around a .500 record.
We follow recruiting heavily at HERO Sports. And based off of what Harvard has done in that area in recent years, we're just waiting for this program to explode. Check out these recruiting class rankings:
This program is attracting plenty of talent. So even with only four starters returning on offense and six on defense, we expect Harvard to remain near the top of the Ivy League standings.
The running game should be strong. Aaron Shampklin is a HERO Sports Preseason Third Team All-American and Devin Darrington is an excellent option as well. Harvard loses its top passer and top three pass catchers. But signal caller Jake Smith has picked up plenty of experience and playing time in 2017 and 2018. Also keep an eye on Curt Casteel, a true freshman who was ranked the 40th best recruit in the FCS this year and the top QB. Then there's Charlie Dean, the No. 3 QB in this year's class and the 50th best recruit.
Told you this program has killed it in recruiting.
A strong unit last year, the defense has a solid core back. Linebacker Jordan Hill returns after leading the team with 70 tackles. Defensive back Max Jones was No. 3 in tackles with 40 and is also back. Wesley Ogsbury is another great talent in the secondary and had six interceptions last year.
OUR TAKE: Harvard wants its spot back at the top of the Ivy League standings. The talent is certainly there to do it. But the thing is, several other Ivy League programs have brought in tremendous recruiting classes. The level of play in this conference is extremely high and overlooked by a lot of FCS fans because they don't get to see these teams in the playoffs. Winning an Ivy League title is difficult and there are a handful of teams that look to contend for a championship in 2019. Harvard is one of them.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Jr./RB Aaron Shampklin (HERO Sports Preseason Third Team All-American, 1,053 yards rushing and 9 TDs)
THE FOUNDATION: Sr./OL Liam Shanahan (All-Conference First Team); Sr./DB Wesley Ogsbury (All-Conference First Team, 6 INT. in 2018); Jr./LB Jordan Hill (AC Second Team, top tackler with 70 total); So./P Jon Sot (AC First Team); Sr./K Jake McIntyre (AC Second Team); Sr./WR Jack Cook (Top returning WR, 21 rec. for 390 yards and 2 TDs); Jr./DB Max Jones (40 tackles)
TOP NEWCOMER: Fr./DL Nate Leskovec (3rd ranked FCS recruit in 2019)
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Harvard Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The Ivy League
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast