UAlbany football adds 10 on February signing day

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LBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany football head coach Greg Gattuso has announced the addition of 10 players to the Great Danes’ squad for the February 2020 signing period.  The latest group joins the 11 recruits who signed in December, and features players from seven states, including one local.  In total, eight players from the December and February signing classes have already arrived on campus and begin training.
“Overall this class is filled with multi-positional athletes,” said Gattuso.  “We value players who can be great special team players and have the flexibility to play other positions.  We feel strongly that we have added versatile players who are good students.  This group will fit into our team culture smoothly.”
Players singed in February
Roy Alexander | 5-11 | 175 | CB
Brighton Academy | Fort Myers, Fla.
Gattuso on Alexander
“Roy is a very confident and talented corner.  He has good feet and hips and excels at playing man-to-man.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • Lee County All-Star
  • 11 career INT

Haydon Broockmann | 6-3 | 220 | TE
Ichabod Crane | Stuyvesant, N.Y.
Gattuso on Broockmann
“I believe Haydon is a sleeper-type athlete who will become a strong weapon from our H-back spot.  He possesses great hands and ball skills.”

  • Three-time team captain
  • Two-time First Team All-State
  • Two-time Times Union All-Star
  • School records for single-season and career receiving yards and receiving TD

Semaj Brown | 6-2 | 190 | S
Morgan Park | Chicago, Ill.
Gattuso on Brown
“Semaj is a highly-recruited safety who has all of the tools to make an immediate impact.  He is fast, physical, and has a great understanding of the game.”

  • Three-star recruit
  • Multiple Power-5 offers
  • 57 tackles
  • 7 INT
  • 2 forced fumbles
  • 5 TD
  • Philadelphia All-City

Ricky Johns | 6-3 | 195 | WR
West Virginia University | North Wales, Pa.
Gattuso on Johns
“Ricky is a tall and rangy transfer from WVU.  He has shown a physical side to football that we like in our receivers.  We feel that he could have an impact playing at all three of our receiver positions.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • Three-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Held offers from West Virginia, Temple, and Villanova

Jose Lopez | 5-9 | 190 | RB
Middletown | Middletown, Pa.
Gattuso on Lopez
“Jose has a punishing running style that fits in very nicely with our running back history.  He possesses the ability to run hard, block, and help in the pass game.”

  • Team captain
  • Two-time All-State RB
  • Two-time Mid-Penn Offensive MVP
  • All-time leading rusher (3,197 yds)

Donovan “DJ” McConnell | 6-1 | 175 | DB
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M | Moore, Okla.
Gattuso on McConnell
“DJ is a tall and athletic corner transfer.  He has shown a very competitive side and has the talent to play either of our corner positions.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • 2 INT in five games

John Opalko | 5-10 | 155 | K
Central Catholic | Springdale, Pa.
Gattuso on Opalko
“John was “Mr. Clutch’ for his high school, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, last season and post-season.  He has great range and accuracy.  He is ready to compete at the college level.”

  • First Team 6A All-State
  • Multiple game-winning FG in the playoffs

Chris Potts | 6-1 | 200 | WR
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Gattuso on Potts
“Chris is an explosive and athletic receiver who shows the ability to catch in heavy traffic.  He runs good routes and knows how to set up a defensive back.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • 49 career receptions
  • 790 career receiving yards
  • 13 receiving TD

Jalen Rima | 6-1 | 205 | WR
University of Northern Iowa | Cedar Rapids, Ia.
Gattuso on Rima
“Jalen is a very experienced WR who will be a gradate transfer at UAlbany.  Jalen has high-end speed, good hands, and he is a threat as a punt and KO return specialist.”

  • Mid-year enrollee

Andrew Skirzenski | 6-1 | 220 | LB
Middletown | Middletown, R.I.
Gattuso on Skirzenski
“Andrew is a natural inside linebacker who combines physicality with good speed.  He can play either of our inside linebacker positions and will be an immediate addition to our special teams.”

  • Two-time team captain
  • 300+ career tackles
  • 60+ career TFL
  • 5 career INT
  • Two-time First Team All-State
  • Two-time First Team All-Conference

Players signed in December
Joey Carino | 5-11 | 190 | QB
Archbishop Stepinac | Somers, N.Y.
Gattuso on Carino
“Joey has had an incredible season of success at the QB position.  He has great vision and arm strength.  Joey has the added dimension of being a strong scrambler and capable runner.  His number are outstanding in his career, especially his TD to interception ratio which is strong.  He is a proven winner and helped his team capture two NYCHSFL State Championships.

  • Team Captain
  • 4,175 passing yards, 49 passing TD
  • 835 rushing yards, 14 rushing TD
  • Two-time NYS Championship
  • 2018 State Championship MVP
  • National Honor Society
  • 2019 Lohud Super 11

Tyson Foster | 6-1 | 280 | OL
Aquinas Institute | Rochester, N.Y.
Gattuso on Foster
“Tyson had a great high school career and has played all five positions on the OL in his career.  He will start out as a Center /Guard.  Tyson is a powerful player with good movement ability.   Proven winner helping his team win two sectional and one NYS Championship.”

  • Team Captain
  • First Team AGR
  • First Team All-League
  • NYS Championship
  • NYS Championship OL MVP

Scott Houseman | 6-3 | 315 | OL
Lackawanna College | Jacob’s Creek, Pa.
Gattuso on Houseman
“Scott is a very physical and athletic OL who has played all five spots on the OL in his career.  He is very determined and has great physical strength.  He has the skill to make an immediate impact on our team.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • First Team NEFC All-Conference
  • Fifth-ranked JUCO offensive center

Ben Howe-Jones | 6-1 | 195 | DB
General McLane | Edinboro, Pa.
Gattuso on Howe-Jones
“Multi-talented player who can fit in on either side of the ball.  Ben will start out a safety and has the ability to a force as a tackler and a very capable player in man coverage.  He is a true “athlete” that can play a number of different positions.”

  • Team Captain
  • 1,550 rushing yards, 18 rushing TD
  • 75 tackles, 5 INT, 10 passes defended
  • Region 7 First Team RB and DB
  • District 10 First Team AP Player

Bradley Igweike | 5-9 | 165 | DB
Guilderland | Guilderland, N.Y.
Gattuso on Igweike
“Bradley impressed us in our summer camp with his speed and competitiveness.  He is a quick player who will be slotting in as a field corner.  We believe he will be an impact player after he spends a year learning the corner position.”

  • Team Captain
  • First Team All-Section

Will Marotta | 6-4 | 265 | OL
Perkiomen Valley | Collegeville, Pa.
Gattuso on Marotta
“Will is a tall and long OT.  He has a tremendous upside because of his combination of size and agility.  We see Will slotting in as a LT who can protect the QB’s blindside.”

  • Team Captain
  • Liberty Lineman of the Year
  • First Team All-Area OL, Second Team All-Area DL
  • 2019 Viking Award
  • Made USA Blue/Gray National Football Teams
  • Ranked 50 uncommitted in Pennsylvania

Jack Mottola | 6-3 | 215 | DL
Northern Valley Regional at Demarest | Closter, N.J.
Gattuso on Mottola
“Jack is a very athletic LB/DE who will be slotted into our “Dog” position on defense.  He has great agility and a strong knack as a pass rusher.”

  • Two-time Team Captain
  • Four-time All-League
  • Two-time All-County
  • First Team All-North Jersey

Jackson Parker | 6-2 | 180 | WR
Cheshire Academy | Cheshire, Conn.
Gattuso on Parker
“Jackson is a tall, fast and athletic WR.  He has tremendous upside.  Jackson is capable of being a deep threat and a strong red zone receiver.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • 961 receiving yards, 15 receiving TD – Kingston High School record
  • Tied Section 9 single-game record 5 TD
  • Fifth-highest NYS single-game receiving yards (245)
  • 35 tackes, 3 INT
  • Kickoff return TD (94 yards)
  • All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention
  • Kingston Athlete of the Year

Max Plank | 6-4 | 240 | DL
Wyoming Seminary Uppe School | Vienna, Austria
Gattuso on Plank
“Max is a big and tall athlete that will play defensive line at Albany.  Max has great size and mobility.  He has the skills to fit into our attacking DL scheme quickly.”

  • Two-time Team Captain
  • Austria Youth National Team 2015-17
  • 2016 Defensive MVP

Max Schipani | 6-3 | 185 | DB
Seton-La Salle | Pittsburg, Pa.
Gattuso on Schipani
“Max is a tall, long safety who performed very well at our summer camp.  I have known Max since he was a baby and have watched him grow into a great football player.”

  • Team Captain
  • Three-year letterman
  • Two-time First Team All-Conference

Maxwell Schumann | 6-3 | 330 | OL
College of Dupage | West Chicago, Ill.
Gattuso on Schumann
“Max is a big man who will bring experience to our offensive line.  We are excited that he will be here in January and will participate in spring practice.  He is a center but can easily slide over to either guard spot.”

  • Mid-year enrollee
  • Two-time All-Conference
  • Two-time All-Area
  • Illinois State quarterfinalist

The Great Danes went 9-5 overall in 2019, and 6-2 in the CAA, defeating Central Connecticut State in the first round of the FCS Playoffs at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, behind a record-setting season from quarterback Jeff Undercuffler and All-America efforts from Juwan Green, Eli Mencer, and Karl Mofor.

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