“The Game”. The ancient rivalry actually meant something this year with Yale coming into the game 8-1 and Harvard undefeated, the Ivy League title was on the line. The game didn’t disappoint, Harvard won 31-24 in the final seconds.
Listening to the broadcast can be interesting as the commentators drop little bits of Ivy League recruiting information between plays. A few interesting takeaways:
Transferring in as an Ivy Athlete
Transferring into Harvard or Yale is even more competitive than being accepted as a freshman. For the Yale website, in a given year they receive over 1000 transfer applications and generally have room for 20-30 students. So that’s a 2% – 3% acceptance rate. The question comes up occasionally if the coach can offer any admissions support for an incoming transfer athlete. The answer is, yes.
The Yale quarterback, Morgan Roberts, had been recruited by Yale coming out of high-school but ended up at Clemson as a backup QB. At some point he apparently decided he’d rather be at Yale and was able to get a release from Clemson and re-initiate the recruiting conversation with the Yale coach. Morgan transferred in and has been a key part of Yale’s success this season. So we can say, yes it’s possible for a coach to support the application of a transfer athlete. But this support may be a little easier to come by as a strong quarterback than it would be for, say, a cross country runner or a lacrosse player.
Playing as a walk-on athlete
Another question that comes up is if it’s possible to walk-on as an Ivy football player, and if you do, will you see any playing time? Again the answer is yes and yes. The final play of the game was an interception by Harvard’s defensive back Scott Peters. Peter’s, according the Harvard Crimson, was a walk-on. A walk-on, in Ivy League terms, means an athlete admitted without any sort of admissions support from the athletic department. Peters, it seems, didn’t get a lot of playing time this year – but was on the field to make the final play of the biggest game of the year. Something he’ll remember for the rest of his life, no doubt.