Sports | 10:20 am | August 18, 2011 | By Max de la Bruyere

BOOLA BOOLA | Yale football predicted to finish third in Ivy while NFL’s 49ers shuffle Eli alumni

Yale picked third in Ivy preseason poll

The Ivy League’s annual media preseason poll predicted no surprises for the upcoming season, which kicks off September 17.

Yale (5-2 in league play last year) was picked to finish third, behind defending champion Penn (7-0) and archrival Harvard (5-2). Brown (5-2) rounded out a top four that looks like the group that led the league last year, when Harvard, Yale and Brown tied for second.

Dartmouth (3-4) was picked to repeat last season’s sixth-place performance, followed by Cornell (1-6). Columbia (2-5) and Princeton (0-7) tied for seventh in the poll.

Though the media predictions bear a striking resemblance to last year’s Ivy finish, next year’s season threatens to be anything but predictable. Every team in the league returns a veteran quarterback. A steady play-caller like Yale’s Patrick Witt ’12 or Columbia’s Sean Brackett could lift his team beyond expectations.

The Elis will begin preparation for head coach Tom Williams’ third campaign when preseason begins on Aug 18.

Bulldogs come and go at 49ers camp

A grueling senior spring of workouts came to fruition for Chris Blohm ’11 on Aug. 8 when he signed a three-year contract with his hometown San Francisco 49ers. Just three days later, however, the 49ers waived the former Yale tight end.

Blohm’s replacement on the team is seven years his senior, but shares a surprising connection: Nate Lawrie ’04, who signed a one-year deal Sunday, also once called the Yale Bowl home.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 255-pound tight end, whose 72 receptions in 2003 are a Yale record at his position, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 181st pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. He bounced around the league for the next four years, recording four receptions in 26 NFL games and wearing the uniform of five different teams.

The 49ers contract brings Lawrie back to football’s highest level after playing for two years in the fledgling UFL.

Blohm, who contributed to the Eli eleven primarily as a blocking end but emerged as a pass-catching threat his senior season, waited through the NFL Draft and NFL lockout before signing a contract. San Francisco signed him soon after another an undisclosed injury to another one of the team’s tight ends.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 262-pound Blohm may still earn the interest of another team, as coaches see the holes in their teams during preseason games.

Former captain Tom McCarthy ’11 and fullback Shane Bannon ’11 remain at the training camps of the Atlanta Falcons and the Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.

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