With open nominations now closed the Skyd Awards Committee has identified four players to be recognized as excellent candidates for the Callahan Award. These players exemplify all that the Callahan Award represents and will be followed closely by Skyd this college season. The full listing of nominees will be up shortly, after Regional Coordinator’s have been given the opportunity to vote. The final Wildcard Candidate of the Skyd 5 will be announced near April 21st. Voting will begin on May 7th, 2013.
In alphabetical order…
Tyler Degirolamo (Pittsburgh En Sabah Nur)
Class Year: Senior
The big man from Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo, Tyler DeGirolamo has been making plays for En Sabah Nur since his freshman year in 2008. Armed with an arsenal of throws, he has transitioned from simply a dominating force in the air to one of the most complete players in the game. Tyler can always be found wide open in En Sabah Nur’s high speed offense or shutting down the opposition’s best deep option, imposing his will on both sides of the disc. Now with a dominating summer with the NexGen Tour under his belt, Tyler is ready to take center stage and defend Pittsburgh’s National Championship title.
Dylan Freechild (Oregon Ego)
Class Year: Junior
Hometown: Eugene, OR
One of the fastest first steps in the country, Dylan Freechild has Oregon Ego flying high. He’s been known for his explosive play making capability both on the defensive and offensive side. This year, he’s added patience to his game, rescuing the offense in dire situations. However, he’s most deadly near the end zone where his agility and speed make it a nightmare for the defense. Since his freshman year, he’s been pegged as one of the most exciting players in the country, whether it’s on Ego, NexGen or playing club with Rhino. Most recently, he represented the USA All-Star Team at the Dream Cup in Japan.
Brian Hart (Wisconsin Hodags)
Nickname: Lion Hart
Class Year: Senior
Hometown: Portage, WI
Brian Hart is both the emotional and playmaking leader of the Hodags, a team built on emotions and big plays. One of the few players who starts on both sides of the disc, he is one of the few standouts on Wisconsin’s faceless army. Having played under the radar for the last few years, he was needed to step up into a major role this year and succeeded in a big way. Both his relentless cutting and seamless switching from behind the disc to big gains is one of the engines of the Wisconsin offense. Powerful flick hucks, a lefty backhand, and the occasional hammer give the already potent offense more weapons. On D, he often matches up against one of the other team’s top players, threatening to play shut down D or get a layout block. He also is rarely silent on the sidelines, a true team leader in many senses of the word. With two years of Madison Club under his belt and a future on USA’s U23-Open team this summer, Hart is primed to have a huge year for the Hodags.
Jimmy Mickle (Colorado Mamabird)
Class Year: Senior
Hometown: Golden, CO
Jimmy Mickle burst onto the college scene as a rising star and has since established himself as one of the game’s best. In addition to doing the heavy lifting for Mamabird, Mickle has been a fixture on the NexGen Tour and Johnny Bravo. He has been selected to play on the U23 national team, invited to try out for the World Games squad, and chosen to fill the ranks of a USA All-Star team at Japan’s Dream Cup tournament. Mickle can tackle many of his team’s challenges. He can set the tone for the defensive unit with massive, pinning pulls before using his size to mark up on the opposition’s larger impact players. On offense, despite his occasional trigger-happiness, he can control the pace from a handler slot; more threateningly, he can operate as a cutter with a top-notch array of continuation throws (if he hasn’t already gone deep). These descriptions might make him seem like a utility player, but his proficiency on both sides of the disc makes him worthy of the MVP title: Most Versatile Player in the game.
There are certainly a few players that are worth considering for the Callahan other than these top four. Jay Clark (Georgia Tech) has already put out a highlight reel from 2012, Ben Funk (Stanford) and Will Driscoll (Texas) are among the top players in the nation, while Brice Dixon (Arizona) is one of the reasons his team is in the USAU top 20. However, two other strong candidates have yet to be nominated but may be by their corresponding Regional Coordinators. Simon Montague (Carleton) may be the strongest candidate on the field while Alex Thorne (Pittsburgh) was a huge reason his team won the national title in 2012.
Editor’s Note: He’s probably not going to win the Callahan, but Adam Velk of Hartfort deserves something. Someone sponsor this guy:
Feature photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com