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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Seawolves add 10 during early signing period

Coach Chuck Priore at Stony Brook Football Media Day on August 9, 2019. The Stony Brook football team has unveiled their recruiting class of 2024, comprised of eight current high school seniors and two transfers. EMMA HARRIS/THE STATESMAN

College football early national signing period has come and gone and with it, the Stony Brook football team has unveiled their recruiting class of 2024. 

Amongst the group, eight of them are currently high school seniors and will officially enroll over the summer, while the remaining two are transferring in from other colleges and will be on campus next semester just in time for Spring Ball.

“I’m very appreciative of all the kids that signed with us,” Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore said in a video released by Stony Brook. 

Tyler Devera, a 3-star tight end from New Jersey, spent the past season at the University of Maryland. Devera was heavily recruited coming out of high school, picking up at least 10 offers from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, as well as numerous Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Stony Brook being one. He earned a spot on the All-New Jersey first team by the USA TODAY NETWORK in his senior year. Devera will have four years of eligibility remaining.

Priore spoke highly of Devera. “Coming in from Maryland, we’re excited about him. He’s already got a college season under his belt so we think he’d be a guy that will come in and he’s got a tremendous skill set.”

Like Devera, Tyler King committed to an FBS school coming out of high school. King chose to become a Navy Midshipman over numerous other schools, and like many men before him, spent the past year at the Naval Academy Preparatory School. The former 3-star linebacker was a part of a 6A State Championship in 2018 while earning back-to-back All-6A State honors.

With the Seawolves’ top defensive back graduating, Gavin Heslop, the team searched for a possible replacement in familiar territory. Saieed Myers attends Dematha Catholic in Washington, D.C., the same school redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Delante Hellams Jr. went to. Myers, who was a team captain in 2019, earned a spot on the 2019 first team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. He was rated as a 2-star recruit by 247.

Raekwon Smith is no stranger to New York, having played four years of high school football at Curtis in Staten Island.  A 3-star defensive back according to 247, Smith is the seventh highest rated recruit to ever sign with the Seawolves. 

Having been named the 2019 National Football Foundation (NFF) top wide receiver in Suffolk County, Cole Bunicci is use to garnering accolades. Bunicci was a two-time All-State and All-County honoree and received All-Division honors three times during his time at Connetquot where he caught 20 touchdowns.

The man who threw Bunicci 20 TD’s at Connetquot, quarterback (QB) Drew Guttieri, committed to Stony Brook months before Bunicci. Guttieri, who was team captain for his final two years of high school, won the 2019 Boomer Award as the top QB in Suffolk County while also twice being named to the All-Long Island and All-Suffolk County teams. 

A man who will be tasked with protecting Guttieri and any other QB during his time as a Seawolf, Colin Tunc, has two years of starting experience under his belt. Tunc was teammates with Devera for three years at Bergen Catholic, where they won the state championship in 2017 and finished in second place in 2018.

Defensive lineman Jahmir Greene, is Stony Brook’s third recruit from the garden state, New Jersey. Greene helped his team make an appearance in the 2019 Non-Public Group 4 Championship game thanks to his 48 total tackles and seven sacks throughout the season. 

Known for having a sound run game, the Seawolves signed only managed to sign one running back during the early signing period. Roland Dempster, another product from Staten Island, averaged 122.6 rushing yards per game in his two seasons at Tottenville High School. 

While New Jersey is the home state for three of the 10 players, Pennsylvania claims another two. Aside from King, wide receiver/defensive back Nick Chimienti hails from the Keystone State, where he played both sides of the ball at Central Dauphin. Chimienti’s on field play helped his team make an appearance in the 6A championship, while garnering a spot on the first team All-State as a receiver by Penn Live.

Not everything went according to plan for the Seawolves. Early on in the 2019 season, running back Tavion Banks committed to Stony Brook per his twitter page. But moments after players were able to start signing with schools, the University of Maine announced on their twitter page that Banks had signed with them. Situations like this happen all the time, but teams are then left running to fill the place. 

The recruitment period is not over for Priore and his staff, or for any college coach. Any player who did not sign during the early signing period can now announce their commitments to a school but cannot sign their National Letter of Intent until National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

Expect a couple more players to head to the Island next season. “We’ve got a couple more scholarships to go to incoming freshman,” Priore said.

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