After finishing first in the CAA in passing defense last season, Stony Brook football Head Coach Chuck Priore made it a point to make sure that happens again. He welcomed six defensive backs, including two from the same high school, in a recruiting class that totaled 19 new Seawolves as National Signing Day comes to a close.
14 of those recruits signed National Letters of Intent, while four were junior college transfers and one was a mid-year post-graduate transfer.
The Seawolves gathered seven recruits from their own state: one from Longwood and six from the New York City area, with three coming from the Bronx and then one each from Yonkers, New Rochelle and Mount Vernon.
The Archbishop Stepinac duo of Damarcus Miller and Gavin Heslop take their talents to Stony Brook after shutting down receivers for the Crusaders for four years and garnering first team all-state honors, as voted on by the NYSSWA.
Miller finished his senior season with 68 tackles and four interceptions, while Heslop finished his final high school campaign with 60 tackles, three picks and three sacks. He had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in the AAA championship against Iona Prep.
Another defensive back, Chris Cooper, arrives from ASA College after finishing his high school career at Iona Prep. He achieved first team all-state as well in high school and then finished fourth on the team in tackles with 27 and added three pass breakups.
Flipping to the offensive side of the ball, there is the fourth and final NYSSWA first team all-state honoree Isaiah White. The running back from Longwood earned the Hansen Award, making that two award winners in the backfield as he joins Stacey Bedell.
The other three New Yorkers who signed their letters of intent today were defensive lineman Odean Gilzene, offensive lineman Jaelen Vazquez and cornerback Synceir Malone.
Olan Abner, the lone recruit from Massachusetts, earned first team all-state honors from ESPNBoston.com. The Beford High School graduate finished his senior season with 105 tackles, four forced fumbles and an interception.
From Massachusetts to Maryland, there was another all-state member signed to Priore’s squad this season. Offensive lineman Joe Detorie earned 2A/1A All-Maryland honors while being named to the Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro second-team offense.
Closer to home in Connecticut, Ryan Hovan reached an agreement to join the Seawolves in 2015. Before spending a year of post-graduate at Choate Rosemary Hall and being a part of a team that won the New England Class A Championship, he spent his high school career at Ansonia High School where he was a part of the coaches first team all-Connecticut.
Stony Brook was able to get eight players from the three big states of high school football in California, Florida and Texas.
Among the class from the Sunshine State is Travis Liburd, who attended Piper High School. He was a two-time all-Florida member and led Broward County in rushing as a junior and senior, finishing with 1,865 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior season.
From Orange Park, Fla. is a kicker/punter who will look to give Stony Brook a cure to its woes in the kicking game. The Seawolves missed five extra points and two of their eight field goals last season, and it is Alex Lucansky who looks to be the answer. The Bolles School graduate is ranked as the No. 9 punter and the No. 17 kicker/punter on Hall of Famer Ray Guy’s ProKicking.com.
Deep in the heart of Texas, there were two commits who signed their letters of intent today. Linebacker DeAngelo Hubert led South Grand Prairie High School with 95 tackles his senior season, 73 of them being solo. He also finished as a second-team all-district linebacker.
The other Lone Star State commit was from Euless, Texas. Raymond Bolden did not play in 2014 after going out to Moorpark College in California, but was a first-team all-Northern Conference in 2013 at the school. He finished third in the conference with 802 receiving yards on 60 catches and accumulated five touchdowns.
Out west, there are three Seawolves making the cross-country trip to play on Long Island, headlined by defensive lineman Sam Awrabi.
The Clovis, Calif. native played two years at the University of Wyoming before going to Fresno City College last year. He finished last season with 26 tackles (6.5 of them for loss) and 3.5 sacks. Coming out of Clovis East High School, he was ranked as the No. 81 linebacker nationally on Scout.com and was the No. 66 California recruit by Rivals.com.
Whoever becomes quarterback next fall will have a big-play receiver to throw to in Lakewood graduate Nick Anderson. The 6-foot-2-inch wide receiver finished last season with 24 catches for 445 yards and a pair of touchdowns while being named first team all-Moore League.
Bradley Meeks is the final recruit from the West Coast, as the Chaparral High School graduate will look to make an impact in 2015. The Temecula, Calif. native was voted team MVP as a senior, recording 32 tackles and an interception on his way to being named first team All-Southwestern League as a defensive back.
Stony Brook’s first game next season will be on Sept. 3rd, when The Seawolves play at Toledo in a Thursday night opener.