Yale quarterback Nolan Grooms groomed from young age for stadium

Leading a group onto the football field is nothing new for Yale sophomore quarterback Nolan Grooms. He’s only been doing it considering that he was 3 or 4.

“My father was a high school football coach for 24, 25 years,” Grooms said earlier this week on Yale’s weekly media conference. “I have actually been going to football games every Friday night because I was like 2, 3 years old. I keep in mind going out with the team when I was like 3 years old, 4 years of ages.

“I take pride in I have actually never missed out on a video game on Friday night that he coached. So it’s been quite cool to grow up around that environment.”

Yale coach Tony Reno said after last week’s win over Penn that one factor he had a lot self-confidence in Grooms’ taking over behind center was because he was the son of a coach. Grooms gets his second start Saturday at the Yale Bowl versus Columbia (midday, ESPN+).

“He’s got a really even-keeled temperament,” Reno said. “He’s a really competitive, intense man but also does not let things bother him. When things go good or bad, he’s the very same guy all the time, which serves him really well at the position.”

After a comeback failed at UConn 2 weeks ago, Yale beat Penn last weekend as Grooms turned in an efficiency that got him named the Ivy League’s offending gamer of the week.

He led the team in rushing with running back Zane Dudek out, threw for 2 goals and ran for 2 more. Reno said Grooms’ execution is at another level from where it was before the season.

Grooms got occasional work in 3 games behind starter Griffin O’Connor, played about a complete half in 2 other games, then got the entire game last weekend. On 46 brings, he has averaged over 5 lawns.

“The D-line likes to joke around because in practice, we’ll solve up next to a sack, and after that he’ll just outrun us by 20 backyards,” Yale defensive lineman Reid Nickerson stated. “We’ll simply be shouting ‘sack’ the entire time, as if we could have ever caught him in an actual game.”

After his family moved from Georgia to South Carolina, Grooms came north to play four years at Taft. He stated his daddy had actually sent a gamer there for a postgraduate year, so there was already a connection to Taft coach Tyler Whitley.

“I didn’t know anything about the school,” Grooms stated. “I understood they had had a hard time a bit in the football program. But once I got there, we realized we had some talent. So we got the ball rolling over there.

“Taft is practically just like a smaller variation of Yale, a big stress on academics year-round, skilled people from all around the world, which was a truly cool experience for me. And it certainly taught me I needed to study a little bit to be successful in school, which has equated here to Yale pretty well.”

The Bulldogs (3-3, 2-1) are one of 5 teams within a game of the league lead three video games in. Columbia (5-1, 2-1) is another, coming off a 19-0 win over Dartmouth, which had actually been unbeaten. Princeton is the only staying undefeated Ivy group after knocking off Harvard recently.

Previous Hand defensive lineman Ben Corniello, a sophomore, has actually been in on 18 takes on for the Lions.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp


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