Manalapan senior Kyle Mullen, one of the Shore Conference's top defensive players this fall and a first-team All-Shore selection by Shore Sports Network, verbally committed to Yale University on Sunday, according to Braves coach Ed Gurrieri.

(Photo by Bill Normile)

Mullen also had offers from Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania along with interest from other Patriot League and Colonial Athletic Association teams. He becomes the second Ivy League player in three years from Manalapan, as former star Anthony Firkser is a sophomore tight end at Harvard. The Braves also have several juniors, including first-team All-Shore offensive lineman Joe Sellmeyer, getting Ivy League looks.

Mullen had a huge year at defensive end for a Braves defense that allowed 12.5 points per game, finishing with a team-high 136 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks and four fumble recoveries to help the Braves win their first NJSIAA title and their fifth straight division title, earning Class A North Defensive Player of the Year honors from the coaches.

He had 14 tackles and two sacks in a 21-7 win over previously undefeated South Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group V championship game, and also had 20 tackles and three sacks in a 21-3 win over Central Jersey Group IV finalist Middletown South in the regular season. A two-year starter, Mullen also played tight end, catching 15 passes for 242 yards and six touchdowns.