Six FBS Recruits Headline Signing Day in the Shore
*Note: Any Shore Conference players doing signings on Wednesday, please email the photos to Scott Stump at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @Scott_Stump to be included in a Signing Day photo gallery.
Six Football Bowl Subdivision recruits will headline another banner class of Shore Conference football stars who will make their college commitments official on National Signing Day.
The group of Red Bank Catholic offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame); Southern wide receiver Mike Gesicki (Penn State); Manalapan wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (Penn State); Rumson-Fair Haven defensive end Donald Bedell (Rutgers); Raritan offensive lineman Pat Toal (Old Dominion) and Colts Neck running back/defensive end Anthony Gargiulo (Navy) are part of the group of Shore standouts who will sign their binding National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
Nelson is rated as the No. 29 overall recruit in the country at any position from the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com after helping the Caseys to a second straight 10-1 season and another No. 1 overall ranking in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. A two-time, first-team All-Shore selection and one of the best offensive line prospects ever from the Shore, he joins a Notre Dame program that recently graduated standout cornerback and team captain Bennett Jackson, a Raritan graduate.
Gesicki and Blacknall, a pair of two-time, first-team All-Shore selections, both head to Penn State to play for new coach James Franklin. Gesicki, who played wide receiver for the Rams but is considered one of the top tight end prospects in the nation, committed to Penn State earlier in the fall. Blacknall, one of New Jersey’s top wideouts, had been verbally committed to Rutgers since August before flipping to Penn State on Jan. 26. They join a Nittany Lions program that currently includes defensive end Garrett Sickels (Red Bank Regional) and kicker/punter Chris Gulla (Toms River North). Blacknall is down at the University of Texas getting prepared to play for Team USA in the International Bowl on Friday.
Bedell, another Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore pick, joins a Rutgers program that had 11 of its verbal commits flip to other schools. Bedell was one of the Shore’s top pass rushers and helped the Bulldogs win their second Central Jersey Group II title in school history in the fall. He will be part of a Rutgers team that currently includes quarterback Mike Bimonte (Manalapan) and offensive lineman Ryan Brodie (Long Branch).
Toal, who is also a standout heavyweight wrestler, committed to Old Dominion over the summer and joins a team that currently includes defensive tackle Malik Gumbs (Matawan) and long-snapper Rick Lovato (Middletown South). Gargiulo, another SSN first-team All-Shore pick, became the first FBS recruit in Colts Neck program history by signing with Navy after finishing his career as the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards, touchdowns and tackles.
There also are a host of Football Championship Subdivision signees from the Shore Conference, including four recruits headed to Monmouth University. Colts Neck lineman Ryan Wetzel, Brick Memorial safety Mike Basile, Monsignor Donovan quarterback/defensive back Vinny Grasso, and Rumson-Fair Haven offensive lineman Peter Righi all will sign with the Hawks.
Here is a list of the college commitments that have been reported to Shore Sports Network.
Mike Basile, RB/DB, Brick Memorial (Monmouth University)
Donald Bedell, DE, Rumson-FH (Rutgers)
Blaine Birch, LB, Manasquan (Assumption College)
Saeed Blacknall, WR, Manalapan (Penn State)
Daquane Bland-Bennett, RB/DB, Asbury Park (West Virginia Wesleyan)
Dylan Brown, LB/DE, Monmouth Regional (Stonehill College)
Maurice Diawara, DE, Lakewood (Wagner)
Joey Fields, WR/RB/DB, Msgr. Donovan (Central Connecticut State)
Matt Forst, OL/DL, Manasquan (Cheshire Academy)
Anthony Gargiulo, RB/DE, Colts Neck (Navy)
Mike Gesicki, WR, Southern (Penn State)
Justin Gille, OL/DL, St. John Vianney (Lehigh)
Vinny Grasso, QB/DB, Msgr. Donovan (Monmouth University)
Matt Gudzak, RB, Toms River East (Villanova)
Darrius Hart, WR/DB, Toms River South (University of Maine)
Tayler Hendrickson, TE/DT, Middletown South (University of Pennsylvania)
Dan Loizos, LB, Ocean (Ithaca College)
Shawn McCord, DE, Red Bank Catholic (St. Francis, Pa.)
Matt Muh, QB, Shore Regional (Bucknell)
Quenton Nelson, OL/DL, Red Bank Catholic (Notre Dame)
Tim O’Hara, OL, Red Bank Catholic (Lehigh University)
Chris Okupski, OL, Shore Regional (University of Maine)
Frank Olmo, FB/LB, Red Bank Catholic (Gettysburg College)
Joe Pietz, OL/DL, Monmouth Regional (Seton Hill University)
Julanee Prince, WR, St. John Vianney (Sacred Heart)
Larry Redaelli, RB, Red Bank Catholic (Assumption College)
Peter Righi, OL, Rumson-FH (Monmouth University)
Monte Sinisi, OL/DL, Manasquan (Univ. of Rhode Island)
Alex Thomson, QB/LB, Keyport (Wagner)
Pat Toal, OL, Raritan (Old Dominion)
Nick Tomkins, TE/DE, Matawan (Dartmouth)
Pat Toomey, QB/K/P, Red Bank Catholic (Towson University)
Christian Tutela, WR/DB, Lacey (Marist)
Mike Ververka, FB/LB, Colts Neck (Carnegie Mellon)
Ryan Wetzel, OL/DL, Colts Neck (Monmouth University)
Noah Yates, WR/DB, Point Beach (Yale)