Tuesday, February 12, 2008

University of Albany Football Signs 12 Student-Athletes to National Letters of Intent for 2008-09 Academic Year

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – University at Albany head football coach Bob Ford announced on Tuesday, Feb. 12 that 12 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play for the Great Danes in the 2008-09 academic year. UAlbany won the Northeast Conference championship and earned a Gridiron Classic berth with an 8-4 record last season.

The 2008 signing class features four players from the state of New York, plus three from Georgia and one each from Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The breakdown by position includes one quarterback, one offensive lineman, one wide receiver, one running back, one defensive linemen, five linebackers and two defensive backs.

"We were able to get our top choices at inside linebacker and two solid outside linebackers," said Ford, who is first among active Division I FCS coaches with 225 career victories. "We also did well in the state of Georgia where we recruited two excellent cover corners and a sturdy defensive tackle. On offense, Andrew Smith is one of the better football players in the state of New York with his all-around talent and agility. His teammate Paul Booker is an H-Back type with height and strength."

The Great Danes picked up five linebackers to complement their nationally-ranked defense. Dave Plungas was named to the Associated Press Division III All-Ohio first team after recording 117 tackles and three sacks. He earned a spot on the Ohio roster in the Big 33 Classic and was named to the All-Northeast Ohio and All-Lake County squads. Plungas (6-2, 220) led Mentor Lake Catholic H.S. to the state semifinals. Jake Ciccarello (5-11, 215) was chosen honorable mention Class 6A all-state in Florida after making 107 tackles, including 19 hits for a loss and three sacks. He competed in the 2007 Central Florida All-Star Game. Chris Wilk (6-2, 225) was named second-team all-city by the Philadelphia Daily News. He led his team to the Public League championship. Marc Holloway (6-2, 180) and Jonathan Morgan (6-2, 210) are expected to be positioned at outside linebacker. Holloway was tabbed honorable mention All-Greater Rochester by the Democrat & Chronicle. Morgan was an All-Division linebacker and receiver and a Suffolk County "Golden 11" Scholar-Athlete.

UAlbany signed a pair of Capital Region players who led Guilderland High to the Section II championship game. Andrew Smith, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback, was named to the Class AA all-state second team by the New York State Sportswriters Association. A consensus All-Area selection, Smith rushed for 994 yards and passed for 552 while accounting for 17 touchdowns. Smith was chosen Daily Gazette Area Offensive Player of the Year. Running back Paul Booker (6-4, 210) rushed for 844 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was a member of the Troy Record All-Area first team and was a second-team pick by the Albany Times Union.

Three high school standouts from the state of Georgia will be playing defense for the Great Danes in the future. Michael Longo (6-2, 260) earned second-team All-Gwinnett County honors as a defensive end and played in the Gwinnett all-star contest. Nick Crockett (5-10, 165) received the Gwinnett Touchdown Club's Cecil Morris Award that is annually given to all-county caliber players who were injured. Crockett, a defensive back, led Grayson High to a 10-3 record and a Class AAAAA Elite Eight appearance, but missed part of the season with a broken leg. Rashad Head (5-10, 180) was chosen Gwinnett County defensive back and special teams player of the week.

Jordan Migliore, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound lineman from Closter, N.J., was an honorable mention All-Bergen County offensive tackle and member of the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League first team. Wide receiver Nick Hutcherson was named to the Baltimore Sun All-City team and received All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Conference accolades. He totaled 237 receiving yards and two touchdowns and ran for 239 yards and three scores as a senior.

2008 University at Albany Football Signings

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)

Paul Booker RB 6-4 210 Schenectady, N.Y. (Guilderland)

Jake Ciccarello ILB 5-11 215 Altamonte Springs, Fla. (Winter Springs)

Nick Crockett DB 5-10 165 Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)

Rashad Head DB 5-10 180 Lawrenceville, Ga. (Collins Hill)

Nick Hutcherson WR 5-9 160 Baltimore, Md. (Mount St. Joseph)

Marc Holloway OLB 6-2 180 Rochester, N.Y. (East)

Michael Longo DL 6-2 260 Lawrenceville, Ga. (Central Gwinnett)

Jordan Migliore OL 6-6 270 Closter, N.J. (Demarest Northern Valley Regional)

Jonathan Morgan OLB 6-2 210 Copiague, N.Y. (Copiague)

Dave Plungas ILB 6-2 220 Concord Township, Ohio (Mentor Lake Catholic)

Andrew Smith QB 6-2 210 Schenectady, N.Y. (Guilderland)

Chris Wilk ILB 6-2 225 Philadelphia, Pa. (Archbishop Ryan)

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