Photo Courtesy of Monmouth University Athletics

Monmouth football welcomes 21 players during early signing period

On Wednesday, Monmouth University announced 21 signings during college football’s early signing period. The group includes 16 players who signed National Letters of Intent and five transfer students.

After a tough debut season in the CAA, where the Hawks went 3-5 in the conference (5-6 overall), Monmouth looked to the future as they hope to rebound and compete next season.

“Our first recruiting class as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association is truly an outstanding one,” said Callahan. “This class has talent at all positions, has depth and fulfills the needs that we have. There is good balance on both sides of the ball Our staff did a great job of identifying very talented high school players while at the same time bringing in veteran players who will have an immediate impact.”

Of the 21 players signed with Monmouth, 11 will be enrolling and coming to West Long Branch in January. Among the early enrollees are seven players on the defensive side of the ball, where Monmouth struggled mightily, allowing 34 points and 427 yards per game. Defensive back Dana Johnson Jr. (Mansfield, MA) is a player to spotlight who will get an early start on campus for a defensive backfield that gave up 20 touchdowns last season.

Two quarterbacks will enroll early as Zack Hios (Fairfield, CT) and Marquez McCray (Schwenksville, PA) will come to New Jersey. McCray, a graduate student from Sacred Heart, led the Pioneers to three NEC titles and threw for over 5,000 yards during his time in Connecticut. The addition under center comes as former Hawks starting quarterback Tony Muskett transferred to Virginia earlier this month.

Once again, Monmouth kept talent in the state, as eight signees are from New Jersey. Among the Jersey Guys is graduate student Jake Brown who is coming to the Hawks after four years at Harvard. The 6’1”, 225-pound linebacker made 58 career stops with the Crimson while picking up all-Ivy League Honorable Mention honors last season.

Monmouth is not done with this group of players, as more players will be committing to Monmouth during February’s signing period. The Hawks are not complete yet, but they are getting there as they begin preparations for the 2023 season at Kessler Stadium.

Monmouth's Early Signing Day Class

PLAYER                        POS      HT        WT       HOMETOWN                 HIGH SCHOOL/PREVIOUS         

Rob Adamson Jr.            DL         6-1          290        Bridgeton, NJ                     St. Augustine

Ryan Alexander*            LB          6-1          210        Brooklyn, NY                       Erasmus Hall

Logan Barnes*                DL        6-1           290        Staten Island, NY                Curtis

Jake Brown*                   LB        6-1           225         Newton, NJ                           Pope John XXIII/Harvard

Michael Calton Jr.         K/P       6-3         185         Manalapan, NJ                     Manalapan

Israel Clark-White        DB        6-0          175         Camden, NJ                          Camden

Antonio Colclough*      DL        6-4          245        New York, NY                       Cardinal Hayes/JMU

Joshua Derry                 WR       5-11         175         Towson, MD                         Concordia Prep

Josh Duran                    OL        6-6          275         Paterson, NJ                         DePaul Catholic

Matt Fries*                    OL        6-5          275         Cranford, NJ                         Cranford/Illinois

Zack Hios*                    QB        6-3          200         Fairfield, CT                          Trinity Pauling

Dana Johnson Jr.*      DB        6-3          175         Mansfield, MA                       Worcester Academy

Emmanuel Lane          DB        6-1          175         Salem, NJ                                Salem

Deuce Lee                     DB        6-0          185        Silver Spring, MD                  Gonzaga

Ayden Martin*             DB        5-11        185        Reading, PA                             Governor Mifflin

Marquez McCray*       QB        6-2         200       Schwenksville, PA                  St. Joe’s Prep/Sacred Heart

Marcus Middleton       TE         6-4        200       Germantown, MD                  Northwest

Chris Moreno               OL        6-2         295        Newark, NJ                             Don Bosco

Tra Neal                        WR       6-0        175         Frederick, MD                         Frederick

Rodney Nelson*          RB        5-8        185         Owings Mills, MD                   Franklin

Nick White*                 DL        6-3        260         Randallstown, MD                 Milford Mill/Gannon

*Indicates Player will enroll in January