The league-champion Crimson had 15 All-Ivy selections, eight of which were first-team and four of which were unanimous. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, in addition to his uncontested first-team nod, was also named Ivy Player of the Year by all eight head coaches.
The 15 picks lead all Ivy teams, and the eight first-teamers ties Harvard’s previous high set in 2001, the last time the Crimson went undefeated.
“Any time you have talented individual players and great coaching and week to week schematics, you have the right combination and a high chance of being successful,” said sophomore running back Clifton Dawson, also a unanimous first-team pick.
Although Fitzpatrick’s individual game performances were generally less statistically dominating than those of his injury-shortened junior season, the Harvard captain still led the league this year in total offense (243.4 yards per game) and pass efficiency (128.9). The Crimson offense as a whole averaged a league-best 33.9 points per game.
The unanimous selection came as a shock to Fitzpatrick.
“I was actually very surprised,” Fitzpatrick said, “the main reason being you look at my season on paper and the stats don’t jump out at you.”
Befitting a team that had few, if any, weak spots, Harvard boasts All-Ivy players on offense, defense and special teams alike. Other unanimous first-team selections include senior linebacker Bobby Everett and senior wide receiver and kick returner Brian Edwards. Freshman kicker Matt Schindel, who tied the school record for field goals with 13, senior defensive back Sean Tracy and junior Will Johnson and senior Brian Lapham, both offensive linemen, were all also first-team picks.
“I think it was well deserved,” Fitzpatrick said. “When a team has success it happens for a reason. We have lots of talent, lots of talented kids.”
Sophomore wide receiver Corey Mazza, sophomore defensive lineman Michael Berg, junior linebacker Matt Thomas and senior cornerback Gary Sonkur were all named to the second team. Honorable mentions were given to sophomore offensive lineman Frank Fernandez, senior defensive lineman Matt McBurney and junior cornerback Keith Howell.
CAPTAIN AND MVP
At the annual awards banquet held at the Harvard Club of Boston on Monday, the Crimson announced that junior defensive end Erik Grimm will captain the 2005 Harvard football team. Grimm is a multi-year starter who has already proven himself as a leader on the defense.
“I’ve seen him as the leader of that class from day one,” Fitzpatrick said of his successor. “He’s always led by example, and I think he’ll make a great leader because of it.”
Fitzpatrick was honored with the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award, given to the team’s most valuable player.
—Staff writer Lisa J. Kennelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.