Although the Stony Brook Football team capped off its 2015 season with three consecutive wins, the Seawolves’ campaign ended in disappointment. The squad missed the playoffs, finishing with a 3-5 Colonial Athletic Association record. Head coach Chuck Priore added 14 new members to his squad, including two transfers from Boston College, with hopes to bolster his team’s scoring woes, as National Signing Day came to a close on Wednesday.
Stony Brook finished its 2015 season ranked No. 102 in the Football Championship Subdivision for total offense. Although remaining dominant on defense, which once again ranked best in the nation, a lack of a passing attack created third-down and scoring deficiencies.
Junior wide receiver Sherman Alston Jr., a New Jersey native, as well as sophomore running back Jordan Gowins, a Bellport native and St. Anthony’s graduate, are both transferring from Boston College, a team that finished 0-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference play last season.
Alston Jr. has significant potential to add to Stony Brook’s special teams department, displaying his ability to create better field position. Only standing 5-feet-6-inches, the crafty runner returned 38 punts for an average of 8.1 yards per return, along with 47 carries for 388 yards and 23 receptions for 252 yards on last year’s Golden Eagles squad.
Gowins saw limited action during his freshman year in Boston, but received the 2013 Hansen Award for the top player in Suffolk County after rushing for 896 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 101 carries.
Stony Brook’s only other transfer comes in the form of junior Ben Holmes, the two-year Nassau Community College starting quarterback from Orchard Park. The dual threat quarterback, who can throw and run the football, went a perfect 9-0 his freshman year, completing 57.9 of his passes for 1,234 yards and 15 touchdowns. Holmes also rushed for 1,612 yards en route to a Northeast Football Conference Title, Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award and first team All-Northeast Conference honors during the 2014 season.
A pair of signees from Archbishop Stepinac High School, a favorite recruiting hub of Stony Brook, will be Seawolves for the next campaign. Quarterback Tyquell Fields and cornerback Terrell “TJ” Morrison will also wear red and white next season after leading the Crusaders to their second-straight Catholic High School AAA Championship.
First-team all Long Islander Anthony Catapano from Carey High School, also the Martine Award winner as Nassau County’s top lineman, will be a Seawolf. Another Long Islander, All-County defensive back Augustus “Augie” Contressa from Commack High School, and All-New York City honorable mention Tahriq Gordon from Nazareth High School in Brooklyn account for the rest of New York recruits.
Two players from Florida, high school football powerhouse defensive end Peterson Octavien and offensive lineman Ian McLean, have declared their intention to join Priore’s squad.
Also making the trip north will be linebacker Tyrek Graham, who played wide receiver, safety and linebacker for his All-Conference 2015 season in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Closer to home, linebacker Elijah “EJ” Fineran from Bethlehem Catholic High School in Pennsylvania will join this year’s class. Fineran recorded 31 receptions for 730 yards as a junior, and was named All-Conference as both a receiver and a defensive back.
Wrapping up the list is Carteret, New Jersey’s Sam Kamara. The defensive lineman received first team conference honors in 2015, as well as the Mini Max Award, a New Jersey accolade based on performance, academic achievement and community service.
The Seawolves will start their 2016 campaign on Sept. 3 when they host the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.