2023 CAA Football

Next Wave Of CAA Football Players Commit On 2023 Early National Signing Day

Next Wave Of CAA Football Players Commit On 2023 Early National Signing Day

The next wave of Coastal Athletic Association football players signed with the conference's members during the 2023 early National Signing Day.

Dec 21, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
Next Wave Of CAA Football Players Commit On 2023 Early National Signing Day

College football's early signing period marks the first major milestone on the road to another season and launches the careers of a generation for future playmakers. 

Programs around the Coastal Athletic Association signed classes of varying sizes, some emphasizing the transfer portal and others focusing on high school prospects with their National Signing Day additions.  

UAlbany 

Coming off its best season in program history, UAlbany added five signees with the December signing period. Coach Greg Gattuso and his staff picked up letters of intent from a pair of defensive prospects from the Empire State in Ervin Wiggins Jr. out of East High in Rochester; and lineman Zakar Morris from Iona Prep. 

The defense also gained linebacker Devin Harper, who made 34 tackles with 7.5 for loss and two sacks in 10 games last season at Lackawanna College in Virginia. 

On offense, UAlbany signed Boston-based running back "Jojo" Uga, who went for 726 yards and seven touchdowns rushing at Worcester Academy Prep in 2023. Quarterback Van Weber out of Rutherford, New Jersey, passed for 31 touchdowns and was intercepted just once in his 2022 high school senior season. 

Bryant

CAA newcomer Bryant prepares for its debut campaign in the conference with the additions of 10 early signing day pledges. The Bulldogs signed three prospects from Florida: offensive lineman Aden Smith of Winter Park, and linebackers Drake Lusk from St. Augustine with Joshua Smith from Lakeland. 

Bryant also welcomes two from Maryland with defensive back Shae Terry from Riverdale Baptist and wide receiver/defensive back Ezra Carter out of Loyola Blakefield. 

As the Bulldogs look to build a roster capable of contending for Frisco, site of the FCS National Championship Game, Frisco quarterback prospect Brennan Myer out of Wakeland High School could be the playmaker leading the way. Myer signed with Bryant over suitors that included Delaware. 

Junior college transfer Kale Hauserman from Butler College in Kansas and East Paulding (Georgia) lineman David Postell add to the restructuring up front that coach Chris Merritt and his staff are overseeing, while Evansville North (Indiana) High Jayden Hazelwood joins the Bulldogs on the defensive line. Wide receiver and defensive back Elijah Brown from Varina, Virginia, rounds out the initial Bryant signing class in its CAA era. 

Campbell

A week of transition at Campbell continued with National Signing Day. On Monday, former Camels head coach Mike Minter announced his resignation after 11 years, leaving Steven Williams as interim head coach. 

On Williams' third day in the role, Campbell welcomed aboard six newcomers for 2024. Camels coaches scoured the nation for this year's class, bringing in prospects from Ohio, Virginia and Florida, and continuing the program's pipeline into California. 

The newest Golden State recruits to pledge to Campbell are linebacker Kado Felder III out of Washington Union High School in Fresno and quarterback Bryan Wilson of Eleanor Roosevelt in Corona. From Florida, Campbell signed defensive backs Donvan Philord (Norland High School in Hialeah) and Semaj Jackson of American Heritage. 

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Offensive lineman Ashton Allman comes to Buies Creek by way of Vinton County High School in McArthur, Ohio, and linebacker Jonathan Melvin is a transfer from Penn and a former All-Ivy League honorable mention selection. 

Delaware

The Blue Hens head into their final season of FCS membership with an early signing class featuring plenty of local flavor. Offensive lineman Tyler Burnham (Red Bank Catholic), defensive back Meikhi Cuttino (Paramus Catholic), linebacker Colin Gallaher (Middletown South), and tight end Jackson Whitacre (Shore Regional) all head to Newark from New Jersey. 

Ryan Carty's staff also signed defensive end Kaeden Singleton out of Lawrence, Pennsylvania, and wide receiver Nick Tyree from Thomas Dale High in Chester, Virginia. 

Along with the regional recruits, Delaware also welcomes quarterback Braden Streeter from Franklin, Tennessee. Streeter passed for 22 touchdowns with just three interceptions this fall for Chris Presbyterian Academy. 

Elon 

Among the bigger early signing day classes pledged in the CAA this year was that of Elon, which landed 13 recruits. Tony Trisciani and Co. recruited North Carolina well, picking up commitments from seven Tar Heel State players. 

It's a group that includes defensive end Kahmari Brown from White Oak High School in Jacksonville. The rangy Brown at 6-foot-3 also brings burst, coming off 2023 in which he doubled as a prolific running back. 

The complete group of Carolina recruits headed to Elon includes offensive lineman Jake Clemmons; defensive backs Ross Smith and Jordan Glover; wide receiver Tyquan Harney; tight end Jack O'Connell; and defensive end Malakahi West. 

From outside of North Carolina, Elon signed quarterback Landen Clark, who scored 71 total touchdowns while leading Radford High School to a Virginia state championship. Six-foot-four wide receiver Isaiah Fuhrmann joins the Phoenix from Virginia, as well, with defensive lineman Rashad Reid coming by way of West Virginia state title-winning Martinsburg High School. 

Hampton 

The transfer portal proved vital to Hampton's early signing day class, with four of the six Pirates newcomers coming by way of previous college stops. Among them is Randy Jordan Jr., a defensive back with CAA experience at Rhode Island. Jordan ran back a kickoff in the Rams' Governor's Cup win over Brown last October. 

Hampton also welcomes via the portal offensive linemen Omari Allen (East Carolina) and Zach Perkins (South Florida), as well as running back Amaad Foston (Virginia). Foston was a highly touted recruit from John Milledge Academy in Georgia, picking up offers from SEC and ACC programs. 

The Pirates' high school signees on early signing day were offensive lineman Emery D'Urso of local Phoebus High School, and linebacker Zekai Wimberly from West Orange High School in New Jersey. 

Maine

Sixteen newcomers pledge to Maine on early signing day, making this one of the largest CAA early signing classes. Among the incoming Black Bears is offensive lineman John Olmstead, a transfer from Lafayette. Olmstead landed at Lafayette via Notre Dame and contributed to the Leopards reaching the 2023 FCS Playoffs. 

Jordan Stevens and his staff otherwise focused on prep recruits, landing players from all over the East Coast. Five of the Black Bears signees are offensive linemen — not counting tight end Will Grant — and three are defensive linemen. 

Maine also welcomes defensive backs Brayden Isaiah (Mallard Creek High in Charlotte) and Jake Kucera (Downingtown West in Pennsylvania). Linebacker Grayson DiPietro is out of St. John's Catholic Prep in Maryland, and wide receiver JuJu Russell is a prospect from UPREP High in Rochester, New York. 

Monmouth 

With 19 recruits added on early signing day, Monmouth brought in the most newcomers on early signing day. The Hawks coaching staff also placed emphasis on high school targets. 

Among the commits to Kevin Callahan and Co. is defensive lineman DJ Briscoe, a standout for an excellent Our Lady Good Counsel High team in Maryland. Briscoe helped the folks to a 10-game winning streak that culminated in a 7-0 defeat of powerhouse DeMatha in the state playoffs. 

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Sixteen of Monmouth's signees in total came via either Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York. It's a group that also includes running back Jordan Osbourne, a 6-foot-1, 210-pounder from Archbishop Stepinac in Hartsdale, New York, who averaged nine and seven yards per carry his junior and senior seasons. 

One of Monmouth's two transfer additions — wide receiver Maxwell James — adds CAA experience as a member of the last James Madison roster before the Dukes moved to FBS. 

New Hampshire

While the transfer portal resulted in New Hampshire losing the 2023 Walter Payton Award finalist quarterback Max Brosmer, the portal sends the Wildcats a proven playmaker in Seth Morgan. 

Morgan effectively filled the void Tyson Bagent left when Bagent moved on from Div. II Shepherd to the NFL's Chicago Bears. 

Looking to continue New Hampshire's tradition of outstanding line play, Chief Ebana comes from West Hartford, Connecticut, where he had a monster senior season at Kingswood Oxford High School. Look for Ebana as a potential first-year contributor for UNH. 

The Wildcats bring in a lot on both lines as part of their early signing class. Tyler Habersham-Agbemenu, a 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive lineman from Delsea (Franklin Township, New Jersey) High School stands out for his size. 

North Carolina A&T

This year's recruiting class is North Carolina A&T's first full group under coach Vincent Brown's staff. The Aggies landed seven commitments on early signing day, beginning with local prospect Tre Mittman of Southern Durham High School. 

A&T signed a pair of quarterbacks with Justin Fomby and Braxton Thomas. Thomas passed for 11 touchdowns last season at Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, and ran for nine, while Fomby — a 3-star high school prospect, per 247Sports.com — started for Houston Christian in 2022 and brings Div. I experience. 

The Aggies also bring in another Div. I-experienced newcomer in defensive end Joshua Hardy, a transfer from Boston College. 

Rhode Island

A variety of transfers headline Rhode Island's 10-recruit early signing class. Among the imports to Jim Fleming's program are defensive back Arsheen Jiles, defensive lineman Carson Primrose, and running back Malik Grant, each of whom played at Sacred Heart. Each was an All-Northeast Conference selection in their time as Pioneers. 

The talented Rams wide-receiving corps welcomes transfer Shawn Harris Jr. from UMass, who makes his return to CAA competition. Harris previously played at Stony Brook, where he wrapped his tenure with a touchdown in a Seawolves win over UAlbany. 

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Rhode Island also added Kam Snell from Gannon University, where he was among the top defensive backs in Div. II football. 

Headlining Rhody's freshmen additions is Damon McMillan Jr., a 6-foot-3, 335-pound offensive line prospect from Armwood High School in Tampa, Florida. 

Richmond

Russ Huesman and Co. follow up on the positive momentum of two straight FCS Playoffs appearances with a 16-team signing class in the early period. The Spiders welcome a group that includes linebacker Blake Houser from DeMatha Catholic. 

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Richmond also adds from the D.C. area defensive back Lee Bruner IV from Georgetown Prep, wide receiver Andreas Hill from Thomas Edison High in Alexandria, Virginia, and offensive lineman Bo Fowler from Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland. 

The Spiders signed local prospect Kyree Richardson, a defensive back from Manchester High School, and linebacker Peyton Seelmann out of Hanover High in Mechanicsville. 

Stony Brook

Stony Brook's marquee new addition in recent days came via the hiring of Billy Cosh as head coach. Cosh, an offensive guru who helped transform VMI's offense before helping Richmond to the 2022 FCS Playoffs, returns to the CAA after a stint at Western Michigan. 

The Seawolves picked up two commitments to the new coaching staff on early signing day with offensive lineman Kevin Garcia, who played at New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. 

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Stony Brook also signed local prospect Alex Menghi from St. Anthony's on Long Island. The 6-foot-4 Menghi brings size and athleticism to the Seawolves. 

Towson 

Coach Pete Shinnick and his staff gear up for Year 2 and a potential breakout with the addition of 16 signees on early signing day. The Tigers bring in a mix of high school prospects and promising transfers who could have an instant impact. 

Ibrahim Giwa, a transfer from Marist, was All-Pioneer Football League in 2023. Linebacker William Middleton, who helped Saint Francis win a 2022 Northeast Conference championship, brings All-NEC credentials and FCS Playoffs experience. Quarterback Carlos Davis, a Baltimore native, spent time at Western Carolina and should factor into the Towson offense in 2024. 

Among the incoming group of freshmen is Cleveland Charlton, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver who led Cardinal Hayes to a Catholic League state championship. Running back Caddy Phillips comes from St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, where he won a state championship in 2023. 

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Villanova

Villanova's 14-player early signing class spans from coast to coast, featuring a variety of local prospects as well as a quarterback from California. San Clemente High product Dylan Mills looks to continue in the tradition of standout Wildcats signal callers, heading to the Main Line from the same southern California prep that produced Sam Darnold and former Utah quarterback Travis Wilson. 

Newton Essiem, a defensive back from Frederick High School in Maryland, defensive lineman Ratu Delano Navoti of Xavier High School in New York, and Ugo Nwotite from St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey are among the Eastern standouts joining the 2023 CAA co-champions for 2024. 

William & Mary

William & Mary's early signing class features 13 pledges from five states: Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and Georgia. The Tribe went strong on offensive linemen with three signees up front: Linden Clemmons, Charles Stewart, and Hunter Svoboda. 

William & Mary also welcomes a pair of defensive ends and two defensive backs with Justin Krueger and Nathaniel McDonald up front, and Jaden Ratliff and Cayden Trotter in the secondary. 

Quarterback prospect Joey Tomasso had a stellar prep career at Waverly High School in New York, passing for more than 7,200 yards and 85 touchdowns. He tossed an incredible 43 touchdowns against just three interceptions in 2023.