-Pictured: Alex Spisak. Photo by Dave Silverman
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard was tabbed with three more preseason All-American designations as the last of the prognosticators chime in before the start of the 2009 campaign. This time it was the College Sporting News who dubbed James Williams, Matt Luft and Alex Spisak among the nation's top players.
Harvard has had at least one All-American in each of the last 10 years while posting the nation's second-best winning percentage this decade.
Williams and Spisak highlight an offensive line that has been a dominant force in Harvard's stay atop the Ivy League. Last season, all five of Harvard's offensive linemen earned postseason honors and, despite graduating three All-Ivy Leaguers, the unit appears to be strong this season. Both players have earned significant preseason accolades this season - led by Williams, who has been named All-America by every publication.
The duo is joined by Luft, a senior wide receiver. Luft enters the season as one of Harvard's all-time greats at the wideout position. He has already logged 115 career receptions for 1,933 Yards and 12 touchdowns. His 16.8 yards-pre-reception average is tops on the all-time list.
Since 2000, Harvard owns a .775 winning percentage (69-20) - second-highest in the Football Championship Subdivision and sixth highest in all of Division I. Over the past five seasons, Harvard is 41-9. Harvard is 36-6 at Harvard Stadium dating back to 2001 while winning 16 of its last 17 games there.
The Crimson has registered at least seven wins in each of the last eight years, making Harvard the only team in the history of Ivy League football to post such a string of successful seasons. Two years ago, Harvard became the first Ivy team to post a string of seven such seasons together. The current stretch is the Crimson's best eight-year run since a 28-year streak of seven-plus win seasons came to an end in 1911. The program has won 64 games over the past eight seasons for the best stretch since a stretch from 1908-1915 when the program also won 64 games.
Harvard opens its season Sept. 19 at Holy Cross against a Crusaders' team that will already have two games under its belt. Harvard's home opener comes the following Friday night, Sept. 25, against Brown.