By Jim Duzyk
Moon Township, Pa. – Robert Morris University football disclosed the Friday before Christmas the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent as part of the NCAA early signing period.
Colonials Head Coach and 2019 Northeast Conference Co-Coach of the Year Bernard Clark, Jr., commented, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome these student-athletes to the Robert Morris football program. As we continue to build the culture, we’re looking forward to the impact these guys will make both on and off the field. As a coaching staff, we felt we addressed some areas of need, including wide receiver and tight end. I’m looking forward to watching these student-athletes help us continue the growth of the program.”
Included among the signees for RMU are five that play either tight end or wide receiver, four offensive linemen, a pair of defensive backs and two defensive linemen. Let’s take a quick review of the new Colonials arriving in the fall.
Marcus Ademilola – Tight End – 6-4, 245lbs – Jackson, New Jersey / Bucknell University
Snapshot: Transfer from Bucknell who will have one season of eligibility with RMU – Appeared in 26 career games with the Bison, posting 44 receptions for 399 yards and three touchdowns – Led the Blue and Orange in receptions with 32 as a junior in 2017, compiling 233 receiving yards – Played prep career at Jackson Memorial High School – He spent a year at Wyoming Seminary, a Methodist college preparatory school in northeast Pennsylvania, before enrolling at Bucknell.
Sydney Audiger – Cornerback – 5-10, 175lbs – Tamarac, Florida / Ellsworth Community College Panthers (Iowa)
Snapshot: Played in 11 games in 2019, recording 40 tackles, including 26 solo stops – Notched one sack and claimed three fumble recoveries – Posted a team-high eight pass breakups, including one interception – Collected a season-high five tackles in the August season opener against Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons, including a sack – Recorded four pass breakups in a 15-8 September win over Dodge City Community College Conquistadors.
Hayden Baron – Offensive Lineman – 6-3, 270lbs – Perryopolis, PA / Belle Vernon High School
Snapshot: Participated in 12 contests for the Leopards, which posted an overall record of 10-2 and appeared in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League 4-A Championship Game – Registered 48 tackles as a member of the defensive line, including four sacks.
Brady Bithell – Offensive Lineman – 6-5, 300lbs – Saxton, PA / Bishop Guilfoyle High School
Snapshot: Led the Marauders in putting together an overall record of 12-3 in 2019, including a conference ledger of 8-2 – The Purple and Gold played in the 2019 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A Championship Game in Hershey, PA – Played both offensive and defensive line with Bishop Guilfoyle – He also competed in the shot put in track and field.
Alex Colangelo– Defensive Lineman – 6-1, 240lbs – Medina, Ohio / St. Edward High School
Snapshot: Helped to build an overall record of 9-1 for the Eagles, tops among independents in the Cleveland area – Anchored the Green and Gold defensive line, which allowed just 17.5 points per game in 2019 – Named to the 2019 Cleveland.com Honorable Mention Team – Member of St. Edward team capturing the 2018 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state championship.
Spencer Goldberg – Offensive Lineman – 6-4, 310lbs – Plainview, North Carolina / Independence Community College (Kansas)
Snapshot: Contributor to the Pirates assembling an overall record of 8-2, including a 6-1 conference mark – The Navy and Vegas Gold averaged 426.4 yards of total offense per game, including 251.3 yards rushing per contest – Hit the line of scrimmage on both sides of the line during prep career at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School.
Riley Kemper– Offensive Lineman – 6-4, 275lbs – Burgettstown, PA / Burgettstown Area High School
Snapshot: Can play either the guard or tackle position on the offensive line – Started on the defensive line for the Blue Devils, finishing the year with 35 tackles – Honored as Burgettstown Player of the Game four times during his senior season in 2019 – Also an accomplished wrestler for the Navy and White, claiming a WPIAL Class AA title as a junior.
Jackson Mayer – Tight End – 6-3, 205lbs – Saint Johns, Florida / Bartram Trail High School
Snapshot: Aided in guiding the Bears to an overall record of 11-1 and a spot in the Florida Class 8-A regional semifinals – Caught a pair of touchdown receptions in 2019 season opener against the Pedro Menendez Falcons – Hauled in a 10-yard touchdown in a 42-0 win over the Spruce Creek Hawks in the first round of the Class 8-A playoffs.
Daevon Robinson – Wide Receiver – 6-3, 225lbs – Medford, New Jersey / Rutgers University
Snapshot: Will have two seasons of eligibility with the Colonials after transferring from the Scarlet Knights – In 23 career games for the Scarlet, Grey, and Black, he posted 14 catches for 135 yards – Played prep career at Shawnee High School – As a senior in 2017 led the Renegades to an overall record of 8-4 and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association South Group 4 championship – Posted 45 receptions for 677 yards as a senior in 2017 and also rushed for 136 yards and four scores.
Joshua Sweat – Defensive Lineman – 6-2, 240lbs – Accokeek, Maryland / Oxon Hill High School
Snapshot: He and his teammates forged an overall record of 8-3, including a 7-2 regional mark – The Clippers claimed the 2019 Maryland Class 3-A South Championship – Finished third on the squad during his senior campaign with 54 tackles – Registered four sacks to lead the Black, Vegas Gold, and White.
Ivan Thomas – Tight End – 6-3, 225lbs – Miami, Florida / Florida International University
Snapshot: Transfer from FIU and has three seasons of eligibility with the Colonials – Played in 11 games, including two starts, for the Panthers as a freshman in 2018 – Posted seven catches for 44 yards – Had three catches for 16 yards in a 36-17 win over Rice University in October 2018 – His prep career was at Palmetto High School in Miami.
James Westry – Wide Receiver – 5-9, 170lbs – Irvington, New Jersey / Hillside
Snapshot: His squad constructed a perfect 12-0 record on its way to a third straight NJSIAA state championship – The Comets also claimed the South/Central Group 2 regional championship – Caught two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lift the Maroon and Gray to a 14-10 victory Friday, Nov. 22nd, over the West Deptford Eagles in the New Jersey High School Football Playoffs.
Reggie Whitfield – Corner Back – 5-11, 175lbs – Corona, California / Fullerton College
Snapshot: Appeared in nine games for the Hornets in 2019, finishing with 10 tackles, including six solo stops – Recorded pass breakups in September triumphs over the Golden West College Rustlers and Santa Anna College Dons – Notched three tackles in a November win against San Diego Mesa College – Played at Centennial High School in Corona.
Gridiron Clipboard: Matthew Gonzalez, a senior, was named Thursday, Dec. 19th, to the 2019 STATS FCS All-America Third Team. The 6-3, 230-pound tight end from Lakewood, Ohio, is the first student-athlete in program history to earn NCAA FCS All-America accolades in consecutive years. Last season, he was on the 2018 Associated Press FCS All-America Second Team.
Gonzalez paced the Colonials with 34 receptions and 563 receiving yards in 2019 while finishing second in touchdown receptions with four.
Looking Back – #NECFB – Whole Nine Yards (Week 8 – Oct 18, 2019)…
Jim Duzyk is the Assistant Athletic Director at Robert Morris and covers the media relation duties for football, men’s basketball, women’s track and field, softball, and rowing.