May 23, 2004
New Haven, CT - Nate Lawrie, the football tight end and Yale track & field thrower who was just drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been named the winner of the William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale. The award was presented at the May 23 Class Day ceremonies.
The award citation reads, "William Neely Mallory Award, given to the senior man who on the field of play and in life at Yale best represents the highest ideals of American sportsmanship and Yale tradition." Lawrie's inspirational play on the gridiron and all-around athletic ability made him the perfect choice for the award named after the Yale Class of 1924 athlete.
Lawrie, an All-American for the 6-4 Bulldogs in 2003, was selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft in April, just two days after competing at the Penn Relays. He was the 181st player taken overall. Lawrie, the only player from a Connecticut school drafted and just one of four from New England, was the top selection from the Ivy League. Dartmouth's Casey Cramer (7th round, 228) was the only other player drafted from the Ancient Eight.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound receiver was the highest Yale NFL pick since wide receiver Curt Grieve was taken in the sixth round of the 1982 draft by Philadelphia. Lawrie, Yale's 35th NFL draftee and first tight end since John Spagnola in 1974, is the second Bulldog to be chosen by the Bucs. He could become just the third Yalie to play tight end in the NFL.
The Bulldog end accomplished a rare feat for an Ivy League athlete by competing in two collegiate football all-star contests last fall, the Blue-Gray and Las Vegas All-American Classics. He was invited to these professional football showcases because he broke the school season (72) and career (116) record for receptions by a tight end and was Yale's top offensive line performer six times in 10 weeks during the 2003 campaign.
Lawrie, who also distinguished himself as a thrower for the track & field team by scoring in all four events against Harvard two years ago, earned spots on the I-AA All-America first teams of the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association and I-AA.org (official site of I-AA football) while also becoming a first-team All-Ivy and All-ECAC pick. He was also featured in Sports Illustrated's On Campus magazine this month.
He went from three catches as a sophomore to 41 as a second team All-Ivy selection in 2002 and then bumped it up another 31 receptions last fall to move into No. 2 on the Yale all-time receiving list. All of this was accomplished while he also served as the team's top punter; he booted 40 balls for a 35-yard average in 2003.
Lawrie, who owns the second most catches in a game for a Yalie with 16 against I-AA runnerup Colgate, was an all-state gridiron performer as well as a track standout at Roncalli High in Indianapolis.