Today is the day that High School athletes get sign early letter of intent to join college football teams. University of Albany Great Danes Football Head Coach Greg Gattuso joins us to break down the Great Danes incoming players.
Thanks to a press release from UAlbany we have a list of the players with a quick thought from Coach Gattuso on each player:
Here is a look at UAlbany’s signees:
JACKSON AMBUSH (LB, 6-0, 195, Lingapore H.S., New Market, Md.)
Accolades: First-Team All-County and team captain as a senior. … Compiled 110 tackles and six sacks during his career.
Gattuso’s take: “Jackson’s a physical, hard-nosed inside linebacker. He may not be the biggest guy, but he runs really well. He fits our style of defense.”
ELIJAH AYERS (CB, 6-2, 175, Springfield Central, Springfield, Mass.)
Accolades: Led Springfield Central to Massachusetts Division III state championship. … Team captain. … MassLive Student-Athlete of the Week. … Student body president.
Gattuso’s take: “A big, tall corner who fills a big need for us, getting bigger in our secondary. I think he’s got the ability to be a lockdown corner as he progresses.”
Accolades: First-Team Greater Catholic League South, First-Team All-District and All-State at linebacker. … Recipient of LaSalle’s David Kaiser Award in 2018. … Senior captain. … Twice was Defensive Player of the Game in state title games. … Posted 75 tackles in 2018. … Had 345 tackles in his career.
Gattuso’s take: “Garrett played with a lot of good players in high school. He’s another very athletic, fast linebacker.”
Accolades: Jersey Sports Zone Player of the Year. … USA Today All-New Jersey First Team. … Rushed for 1,623 yards with 28 touchdowns. … As a quarterback, completed 111 of 170 passes for 1,821 yards and 27 TDs.
Gattuso’s take: “Jalahn is an extremely good athlete. He won Player of the Year awards all around. He’s going to be a quarterback/running back/athlete in our offense.”
SHAWN EVANS (S, 5-10, 185, St. Frances Academy, Accokeek, Md.)
Accolades: All-WCAC Second Team and All-Conference defensive back. … Five-time Player of the Game. … Totaled 202 tackles, eight tackles for loss, seven pass break-ups, a sack, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. … Also returned an interception 107 yards for a touchdown.
Gattuso’s take: “Shawn comes from a great program at St. Frances. He’s a physical, tough safety who has cover skills.”
RICKEY GAMBLE (WR, 5-9, 160, Wilson Magnet H.S., Rochester, N.Y.)
Accolades: Three-time First-Team All-League, two-time First-Team All-Rochester Area and one-time All-State. … Team captain. … Led team to first Section V championship in 2017. … Over the past two seasons compiled 56 catches for 1,070 yards with 27 touchdowns. Also intercepted 10 passes.
Gattuso’s take: “I was really impressed with Rickey in camps. He’s very quick, very athletic. He really knows how to run a route. He’s going to help us not only in our offense, but also in our return game.”
JORDAN IRIZARRY (WR, 6-0, 175, NSU University H.S., Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Accolades: All-County Selection. … Senior captain. … Caught 98 passes in his career for 1,622 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Gattuso’s take: “Jordan impressed us early. He’s another good route runner, good hands, and he comes from a really strong program. He’s got all the intangibles we’re looking for in a student-athlete.”
RUSHAWN LAWRENCE (DL, 6-4, 240, Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Prendergast, Philadelphia)
Accolades: Posted 76 tackles, including 20 for a loss, with 17 sacks, two forced fumbles a pass break up and an interception.
Gattuso’s take: “Rushawn is a pass-rushing defensive lineman who has good size and good length. He’s a great athlete.”
CHRISTIAN LEWIS (RB, 5-11, 185, Farrell H.S., Farrell, Pa.)
Accolades: Two-time team captain helped Farrell to a PIAA 1A state championship. … D10 Player of the Year. … Rushed for 2,470 yards as a senior, the third-most in state history. … Set nine school records. … Scored 38 touchdowns.
Gattuso’s take: “Christian is another multi-talented player who can play on either side of the ball. He scored 38 touchdowns as a running back. Very dynamic. He’s different than the guys in our group right now in that he’s more of a slasher, speed guy at the tailback position.”
Accolades: Five-year starter was a three-time First-Team All-Section II player and two-time All-State player. … Was a two-time First-Team All-Star for both the Times Union and Daily Gazette.
Gattuso’s take: “Liam is 6-8, 265 pounds right now. He’s grown immensely over the last six months. We see massive upside with Liam and, as he develops, eventually becoming a left tackle and anchoring our offensive line.”
SHANE MCLAUGHLIN (QB, 6-0, 190, Lackawanna CC, West Grove, Pa.)
Accolades: Threw for 1,856 yards and 22 touchdowns at Lackawanna Community College, leading the team to its first 11-0 season and an El Toro Bowl victory. … First-Team All-Conference. … Finished fifth in NJCAA in passing touchdowns and sixth in passing efficiency.
Gattuso’s take: “Shane was a very successful quarterback at Lackawanna. He had a great year. He’s a lefty and a pure pocket-passer. He’s got a strong arm and is just a natural quarterback.”
JONNY MOORE (OL, 6-5, 320, Erie H.S., Erie, Pa.)
Accolades: Team captain. … Two-time First-Team All-Region and two-time First-Team All-Big School. … First-Team All-Academic. … 2017 Western Pennsylvania Second Team.
Gattuso’s take: “Jonny is a big human being. He’s going to play offensive line, but he was a tight end in high school. He’s a big, athletic project at tackle. He hasn’t played much offensive line, but we think he’s going to fit in really well there.
JARED VERSE (DL, 6-4, 215, Central Columbia H.S., Berwick, Pa.)
Accolades: Team captain. … Two-time All-PHAC First Team and one-time All-PHAC Second Team.
Gattuso’s take: “He’s a big, tall, long athlete. We brought him in as a pass-rusher at defensive end, but he’s also a heck of a tight end and H-back. So we see him as a multi-purpose guy. Ultimately, we think he’s going to be a big pass-rusher.”
LARRY WALKER JR. (S, 5-11, 182, Aliquippa H.S., Aliquippa, Pa.)
Accolades: Recorded 56 tackles, including three for a loss, with six interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack.
Gattuso’s take: “Larry is just an overall impressive young man. He’s an Aliquippa, Pa., kid who comes from a program with a great tradition. He’s just a very impressive young man and a heck of a football player.”