Football

Merrimack Football Announces 2020 NLI Signings

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College football program and eighth-year head coach Dan Curran announced the program’s National Letter of Intent signings on Friday including the early signees as well as the mid-year enrollees.

The 2020 class has 28 total signees between the early period and mid-year groups. The new Warriors join a program that is coming off a 6-5 season that saw Merrimack close the year by winning four of five games including victories over Presbyterian and Franklin Pierce at home as well as Delaware State and Long Island University on the road.

Donte Williams | DB | Trinity Pawling, N.Y. | 5-10 | 185
Curran on Williams: “We have a great relationship with his prep school (Trinity Pawling and Coach Lafontaine) and have had our eyes on him for the past three years. He is an exceptional athlete and could project at a number of spots on the back end of our defense….Complete player who should not only be a factor in both the passing game and the run game but also factor into the kicking game as well”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9773896/5dcca438b535d60c587b7e4c
Other schools recruited by: Sacred Heart /Central Connecticut / Rhode Island

Ryan Swigart | WR | Quince Orchard High School, Md. | 6-3 | 205
Curran on Swigart: “We were looking to add a receiver this year that could provide a big physical presence on the perimeter and also create potential matchup problems for teams that play man-to-man coverage and that is exactly what Ryan will give us. Ryan played for one of the better programs in the state of MD and we have a very good relationship with Coach Kelly. Ryan will be expected to come and compete early for significant reps in the wideout rotation.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8220428/5de7361a4205990ea4917f01
Other schools recruited by: Monmouth /Maryland /Notre Dame College (OH)

Henri Bourque | QB | Williston Northampton , Mass. | 6-1 | 200 
Quarterbacks Coach Joe Clancy on Bourque: “Henri is a local dual threat QB that we zeroed in on early in the recruiting process. He has an extremely compact and efficient throwing motion which is a great fit for our RPO offense and he has the ability to make every throw on the field. Henri also provides an added threat with his legs and has the ability to take it the distance once he gets outside the pocket.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10078589/5da98d524deb220cd8b7b946
Other schools recruited by: Fordham / Holy Cross

Nick Reimer  | OL | Allentown Central Catholic High School, Pa. | 6-7 | 300
Curran on Reimer: “Nick is a long athletic tackle prospect who plays with a mean streak. He is polished in his pass sets and does a great job with his hand placement in the run game. We believe that Nick has a chance to be a big time difference maker and also make an impact early.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/9655665/Nick-Reimer
Other schools recruited by: VMI / Morgan State

Melteon Davis | DL | Dematha Catholic High School, Md. | 6-1 | 285
Defensive Coordinator Mike Gennetti on Davis: “Melteon comes from one of the best high school programs in the country and was an absolute force the past two years earning all WCAC honors. He is a three-down DL who utilizes his hands well as a pass rusher and in the run game. His game is extremely advanced for a high school DL and we expect him to make an impact as a freshman.” 
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7996557/5dd5609523481b0cbcf99176
Other schools recruited by: Sacred Heart / Robert Morris / Saint Francis

Hunter Salmon | OL | Catholic Memorial/Milford Academy | 6-3 | 305
Curran on Salmon: “Hunter is a prospect we had recruited the past two years. He had a very good  senior year for Coach Dibiaso and Catholic Memorial and was able to take his game to a whole other level this past fall after doing a post grad year at Milford Academy. Hunter has good size, good feet, and an extremely high football IQ. He is a player the staff thinks has a chance to compete early at one of the 3 interior spots on the offensive line and also potentially develop into a leader in that freshman class.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/5352369/5d9b86ec2ab0b910149ddcc6
Other schools recruited by: Duquense / Delaware State

Quinn Stott  RB    Governors Academy/Boston College  5’9    200
Curran on Stott: “Quinn transferred in to us from Boston College at the start of the spring semester. He is talented ball carrier that we originally recruited out of high school where he was the ISL 6 MVP for Governors Academy. He has impressed the coaching staff with his performance during the off season program so far and has a chance to develop into a game breaker for our offense over the next few years.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8423310/5c34096090f05702c8427a97

Keegan Woods | LB | Hun School of Princeton, N.J. | 6-1 | 215
Gennetti on Woods: “Keegan is a football player in every sense of the word…..tough, instinctive, tremendous closing speed, and most importantly he loves to compete. He will be a great fit for our defense and will have an opportunity to come in and compete early at the LB position.” 
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/5231653/5b8f0693b53f680578fa5629
Other schools recruited by: Sacred Heart /Central Connecticut / Wagner

Ralph Paige | OL | Bishop McNamara, Md. | 6-3 | 305
Curran on Paige: “Ralph was a prospect that stood out early in the recruiting process with rare combination of size, athleticism, and power. He is a guy that could project at all 5 spots on the offensive line and he has the ability to dominate at the point of attack.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7952786/5dd9e1ab2aa81e0d2c3aba4f
Other schools recruited by: Air Force / Delaware St. / Morgan St.

Brandon Roberts | DL | Good Counsel, Md. | 6-0 | 270
Defensive Line Coach TJ Lesniewski on Roberts: “Brandon is a super talented DL out of one of the best high school football programs in the country (Good Counsel, MD  WCAC Champs and #9 in the country). He has an unbelievable first step as a pass rusher and plays with a relentless motor that jumps out when you watch him on film. Brandon is also a tremendous high school wrestler who understands leverage and brings a blue collar mentality that will be a great fit in our program.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8220400/5d869e26664bb012b051c55a
Other schools recruited by: Saint Francis /Robert Morris / LIU / Sacred Heart

Deon Houston | DB | Franklin High School | 5-9 | 170
Safeties Coach Gee White on Houston: “Deon is a corner that is a perfect fit for our defensive scheme with his ability to excel in man-to-man coverage. In addition to his ability to play press man at the corner position, he has also shown that he can play off man at the nickle spot. And despite not being the biggest defender, he is one of the best open field tacklers we have seen on film in a number of years.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7897474/5dda0ae4b53fa80f8447d4b5
Other schools recruited by: VMI / Bowie St. / Fairmount St.

Jacari Carter | WR | Sayreville/East Coast Prep, Mass. | 5-9 | 175
Wide Receivers Coach Luke Bakanowsky on Carter: “Jacari is a dynamic playmaker that projects to play in the slot here at Merrimack. He is a sudden athlete that does a great job getting separation in the passing game. He also has impressive ball skills and has a knack for making plays in space once he gets his hands on the football.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/4118211/5bbfca1dbed75603a0067b68

Tyler Leavy | DL | Mount St Joseph, Md. | 5-11 | 285

Gennetti on Leavy:
“Tyler is part of a long line of former Mount St. Joe’s players that have come to play at Merrimack. He was a two-time captain for a State Championship team playing under Coach Holzer. Tyler is a powerfully built interior DL and does a great job of beating blocks at the point of attack and his skill set projects very well at the next level.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7730529/5d98fbeed469130e14710f32
Other schools recruited by: Georgetown / Butler

Malakai  Anthony | QB | Dematha Catholic High School, Md. | 6-2 | 210
Clancy on Anthony: “Malakai is another new addition from national power Dematha Catholic. He is a true dual-threat QB who has shown the ability to excel in the RPO game, which is a big part of our offense. He is a big athletic kid who looks effortless in the run game executing all the zone-read concepts and is a handful to bring down in short yardage and goal line situations.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/12752540/5d82e08a2aa81f14b4b65ca7
Other schools recruited by: Columbia / Lenoir Rhyne

Ethan Royer | LB | Bullis School, Md. | 6-1 | 225
Gennetti on Royer: “Ethan is a big physical LB who shows excellent range and is expected to develop into a three-down linebacker. He will be a great fit into our defensive scheme where athleticism is at a premium and he should have an opportunity to contribute early.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/12619070/5d87c4f7a018990d50536e60
Other schools recruited by: Trinity / Wesleyan / Tufts

Jacobi Holiday | OL | Natick High School,  Mass. | 6-4 | 310 
Curran on Holiday: “Jacobi is a talented local player from Natick High School who we have had our eye on for the last two years. He did a great job at our prospect day this past summer and followed that up with a tremendous senior season. He has impressive size, great feet, and does a great job getting movement at the point of attack. We believe he has a very bright future.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8354591/5e0f5abd3448921248cf43e2
Other schools recruited by: Central Connecticut / Bryant

Jelani Mason | WR | St. Peter’s Prep, N.J. | 5-10 | 170
Curran on Mason: “Jelani comes to us from a tremendous high school program (St. Peter’s Prep)  and was a catalyst for a 2019 New Jersey State Championship run. He is an explosive playmaker who is a legitimate threat to score from anywhere on the field. Jelani’s skill set is a perfect fit for our slot position and he will have an opportunity to make an impact in the return game as well.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8381421/5de6bd582347d804048705ef
Other schools recruited by: Saint Francis / Monmouth

John Perry Jr. | QB | Clements High School, Texas | 5-10 | 175
Curran on Perry Jr.: “John is a rare three-sport athlete who excelled on the football field, the basketball court and the baseball diamond. He does a great job of throwing with accuracy and anticipation in the passing game. He has a little point guard and shortstop in his game, which is how we believe the QB position should be played in our offense….great decision maker, ball is always out on time, and he is efficient. He also comes from a great football family that knows how to compete.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7814063/5da3e37919a5230c3023d0b3
Other schools recruited by: Pace / Union

Nate Palanica | DB | Bethlehem Catholic, Pa. / Milford Academy, N.Y. | 6-0 | 190
Cornerbacks Coach Bryan Robbat: “Nate is a versatile defender who has a knack for getting his hands on the football. He is a guy who has played both corner and safety and could potentially project to four out of the five spots on the back end of our defense. Nate shows really good instincts and anticipation in the passing game and excels as an open field tackler. The hope is that he will be able to come in and compete for playing time early.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/13080686/5dc4ec8f19b00d104ccbfd6e

Matt Sokol | K | Catholic Memorial, Mass. | 5-11 | 165

Robbat on Sokol:
“Matt comes to us from one of the powerhouse programs in the state, Catholic Memorial. He was part of a group that got to the State Title Game the past two years under legendary Head Coach Jon DiBiaso. During that time, Matt earned All-State honors as a kicker in both his junior and senior seasons.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9819347/5df3bb5da0238c0c90ff3efd

Nolan Gunning | OL | King Phillip,  Mass. | 6-4 | 280

Curran on Gunning:
“Nolan is a throwback blue-collar type of player that will be a great fit into our program. He has a big frame that will continue to fill out and he plays with a mean streak and edge that you just can’t teach. If Nolan can continue to develop at the rate he has the past two years, he will have a chance to be a very good player at the next level.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/3408617/5dc58817f31cd20e8c5dd1d2
Other schools recruited by: Bryant / Assumption

Wes Matthews | DB | Dematha Catholic High School, Md. | 6-0 | 185
Gennetti on Matthews: “Wes is a playmaking defender who will be the third member of Dematha Catholic and Coach McGreggor’s powerhouse program down in Maryland that will be joining the Merrimack Football Family. He is a twitchy athlete that could potentially project at all three of our safety positions. Wes has good length and is a terrific open-field tackler and could factor in early on special teams because of his size and versatility.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7593142/5dd5f39e96760608840a80eb
Other schools recruited by: Morehead St. / Frostburg St.

LJ  Robinson | TE/HB | Saint Frances Academy High School, Md. | 6-3 | 215
Bakanowsky on Robinson: “LJ is a long athletic receiver and a natural pass catcher from national powerhouse Saint Frances that we are really excited about. We will be converting him to our TE/HB position and think he has the perfect skill set to be a very good player in that role for years to come. Great frame, physical, and a versatile football player.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7642844/5dd5df2c0c5da30f000f49de
Other schools recruited by: Maine / Shepherd

E’lijah Gray | RB | Holy Spirit High School, N.J. | 5-9 | 200
Curran on Gray: “E’lijah is a highly productive ball carrier from a state championship team (Holy Spirit) down in New Jersey. Over the past three years he has topped 1,000 yards rushing and been among the state leaders in rushing touchdowns every single season.  The first thing that pops out at you when you watch him on film is his physicality….he is extremely violent at the point of attack and does a very good job making the first defender miss. His running style will be a very good fit for our zone run game.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/7708381/5dae590932dc820f28dc2f47

Grant Jackson | ATH | Good Counsel, Md. | 5-11 | 190

Robbat on Jackson:
“Grant is another new addition to our program from national power Good Counsel (MD) and he is currently enrolled here for the spring semester. The first thing that popped out when watching film on Grant was his athleticism and versatility…he could potentially project on either side of the football for us and has done a very good job so far in our offseason program. He brings great energy and a high compete level every day and our staff is excited to have him here.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/6429652/5bd223ae688e3b0f582d974a

Gilbert Kabamba | DL | Everett, Mass. / Milford Academy, N.Y. | 6-2 | 290
Lesniewski on Kabamba: “Gilbert was a tremendous two-way player (OL/DL) at Massachusetts power Everett High School where he was part of a state championship team. This past fall he did a post grad year for Coach Chaplick at Milford Academy and is currently enrolled with us for the spring semester. Gilbert will be playing on the defensive side of the ball for us and we think he has a chance to be a big time player for us. Good size, powerful, and uses his hands well in the run game. Looking forward to working with Gilbert and developing him the next few years.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/8770654/5c08b62e578d920c24b9e921
Other schools recruited by: Delaware St. / Sacred Heart / Rhode Island

Jordany Bruny | OL | Antelope Valley Junior College, Ca. | 6-1 | 300
Curran on Bruny: “Jordany is a veteran offensive lineman that we added at the mid-year to bring experience and some versatility to that group. He can play all three position inside on the offensive line and does a nice job reaching play side in the zone run game. Jordany is also a highly intelligent kid (Pre Med Student) that should be able to pick our system up quickly and be able to make all the ID calls up front in the run and pass game.”
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/11348667/5dd9a40fb018d70a702c6a36
Other schools recruited by: Valparaiso / Stetson / Florida Tech

Sunny Okunlola | OL | Brockton, Mass. / East Coast Prep, Mass. | 6-3 | 275
Curran on Okunlola: “Sunny was an excellent two-way player (OL/DL) at Brockton High School and this past fall he did a post grad year at East Coast Prep. He is a long, athletic lineman with good feet and has a chance to be an elite tackle at the next level. Sunny is currently on campus taking part in our offseason program and I am looking forward to working with him….if he continues to develop physically and learns all the different nuances of playing the offensive line position, he could be a special player.”

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