PRINCETON, N.J. – Senior punter Paul Delaney was named to the All-Ivy League first team, headlining three selections for Columbia football, as announced by the conference office Tuesday afternoon. Senior linebacker Zach Olinger was selected to the second team for the second consecutive year, while sophomore defensive lineman Niko Padilla earned honorable mention accolades.
Delaney concludes his Columbia career ranked among the best punters in the history of Lions’ football. His 42.4 yards per kick average and 81 punts this year are new single-season bests. The Palatine, Ill. native did a stellar job of pinning opponents deep in their own territory, placing 23 punts inside the 20. He launched 18 kicks over 50 yards on the year, including a 67-yard blast against Lehigh. For his career, Delaney averaged 39.5 yards per punt, the longest average in Columbia history.
Olinger was a defensive force for the Lions during his senior campaign. The Hoover, Ala. native racked up a league-most 104 tackles and was the lone Ivy League player to record at least 50 solo stops (52). He also had a knack for tracking the ball when dropping back in coverage, recording two pass breakups and two pass defenses. In addition to his 2.5 tackles for loss, Olinger also had one quarterback hurry.
Padilla made his presence known in opposing backfields throughout the season. He recorded a team-high 9.5 tackles for a loss, the sixth best mark in the Ivy League, accounting for nearly one-quarter of his 42 total tackles (20S, 21A). Padilla had one sack on the year, to go with a pass defense and a pass breakup.