Football

 
UMass Football Introduces 2014 Signing Class




Feb. 5, 2014

AMHERST, Mass. -

Bolstered by two postgraduate transfers, several junior college players and a wealth of young talent, new UMass head coach Mark Whipple announced the addition of 24 new student-athletes to the Minutemen football program.

Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel will transfer to the program from Marshall and will have two years remaining of eligibility. Joining him will be Penn State senior wide receiver Alex Kenney who held the fastest 40-yard dash time of any Nittany Lion on the team last season.

Additionally, Whipple introduced the five early Spring enrollees who are currently part of the program.

A total of 17 high school seniors and junior college transfers signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

Overall, the Minutemen added five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four quarterbacks, three tight ends, three wide receivers, two defensive backs, one running back and one linebacker.

Signee Roster

PlayerPositionHT / WTHometown / Last School
Jarell Addo DB 6-2/190 Leominster, Mass/Leominster HS
Dimitri Angelas OL 6-5/291 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northville HS
J.T. Blyden RB 6-0/204 West Grove, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara
Chris Carter DL 6-4/260 Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan HS
Ross Comis QB 6-2/215 Weirton, W.Va/Madonna HS
Jon Denton TE 6-5/260 Perry, Kan./Coffeyville Community College
Dan DiNicola OT 6-6/275 Walpole, Mass./Dexter School
Ezekiel (Zeke) Edmonds LB 6-0/200 West Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach HS
Ryan Johnson OL 6-5/320 St. Louis, Mo./Garden City (Kan.) Community College
Jake Largay DL 6-6/280 East Hartland, Conn./Granby Memorial HS
Liam Porter OL 6-6/293 Natick, Mass./Natick HS/Dean College
Jean Sifrin TE 6-7/250 Miami, Fla./Norland (FL) HS/El Camino Junior College
Charan Singh DB 6-2/192 Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional HS
Josh Smiley DL 6-6/235 Chicopee, Mass./Pomfret School
Lamarriel Taylor WR 6-3/185 Chula Vista, Calif./Mission Bay HS
Randall West QB 6-4/220 Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrenceville School
Jack Wynne DL 6-5/243 Riverside, Conn./Greenwich HS

Spring 2014 Early Enrollees

PlayerPositionHT / WTHometown / Last School
Da'Sean Downey DL 6-5/240 White Plains, N.Y./Woodlands HS/Canterbury School
Anthony Fernandez OL 6-6/285 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Jordan Fiske TE 6-3/225 Hindsdale, Mass./East Coast Prep
Andrew Verboys QB 5-11/180 Armonk, N.Y./Scarsdale HS/Fork Union Academy
Jalen Williams WR 6-3/205 Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb HS/Dean College

Postgraduate Transfers


PlayerPositionHT / WTHometown / Last School
Blake Frohnapfel QB 6-6/225 Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge HS/Marshall
Alex Kenney WR 6-0/195 State College, Pa./State College Area HS/Penn State

Jarell Addo
DB - 6-2/190 - Leominster, Mass. - Leominster HS

Coached by former UMass QB Dave Palazzi Primarily played safety where he was lauded as a hard-hitter from the secondary ... Earned All-State honors as a senior ... 42 inch vertical leap which was posted at the Nike SPARQ Combine ... Ninth ranked college recruit in Massachusetts ... Won two state championships at Leominster ... Led Leominster to a 2013 MIAA Championship appearance ... As a senior, posted 93 tackles and an interception to go with 413 yards receiving and a team-high seven touchdowns ... Caught 5 TDs and averaged 16.4 yards per catch as flex tight end in 2012.

Dimitri Angelas
OL - 6-5/291 - Northville, Mich. - Northville HS

A three-year starter at Northville high school where he was named to the 2013 Detriot News All-Metro West Second Team ... Was a two-time All-KLAA All-Conference (2012, 2013) selection ... Also honored as a KLAA Scholar-Athlete (2011, 2012, 2013) ... Helped guide Northville to the 2013 KLAA Conference Championship and three KLAA Central Division titles (2011-13) ... Also threw the shot put on the track and field team.

J.T. Blyden
RB - 6-0/204 - West Grove, Pa. - Cardinal O'Hara

Played the 2013 season at Cardinal O'Hara under head coach Dan Algeo where he was an all-conference first team selection and team captain ... Ran for 838 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior ... Ran for 1127 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore at Avon Grove High School, averaging 5.1 yards per carry (also caught one receiving touchdown) ... Was an All-Chesmont Conference selection, was an All-Chesmont Player of the Year Finalist and was the team's MVP ... Was a three-star recruit with offers from Rutgers, Army and Eastern Michigan as well ... Ranked among the top 30 recruits in the state of Pennsylvania.

Chris Carter
DL - 6-4/260 - Bridgewater, N.J. - Bridgewater Raritan HS

Primarily played defensive end and tight end at Bridgewater-Raritan HS under head coach Scott Bray ... A three-time Mid-State 38 All-Conference selection in 2012 and 2013 ... A two-time All-Area First-Team selection (2012, 2013) and an honorable mention pick in 2011 ... Also a two-time all-county selection ... As a senior, posted 45 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 caused fumbles, 2 recoveries, 1 safety, and one defensive touchdown ... also caught 7 passes for 125 yards and 3 TDs in 2013 ... Also held offers from Buffalo, Miami (Ohio), and Fordham.

Ross Comis
QB - 6-2/215 - Weirton, W.Va. - Madonna HS

A dual threat quarterback who led Madonna to a 14-0 undefeated season and a West Virginia Class A State Championship under head coach Doug Taylor ... During his high school career, he accounted for 9,255 total yards and 121 total touchdowns ... Named the MetroNews Player of the Year and the West Virginia Class A All-State First Team as a senior in 2013 ... Named captain of the All-State team ... Also earned All-State first team honors in 2012 as a junior ... Gatorade Player of the Year finalist ... Three time All-State, and All-Conference player ... Two-time MVP of the West Virginia State Championship game ... His 4,839 career rushing yards and 71 rushing touchdowns are both state records ... Finished his career with 4,416 passing yards and 49 touchdowns ... As a senior in 2013, he ran for a state record (among quarterbacks) 2,037 yards with 35 touchdowns ... He also threw for 1,772 yards with 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions ... On defense, played safety where he had 49 tackles, four tackles for loss and four interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown) ... As a junior, he threw six touchdown passes in an overtime loss for the state championship ... Finished the 2012 year with 1,592 passing yards for 18 touchdowns and just six interceptions ... Also ran for 1,694 yards and 29 touchdowns ... Received interest from Pittsburgh and West Virginia ... Member of the basketball and baseball teams as well ... Earned a state championship in baseball.

Jon Denton
TE - 6-6/260 - Perry, Kan. - Coffeyville Community College

Played two seasons at Coffeyville Community College ... In 2013, played nine games with 37 yards receiving ... As a freshman at Coffeyville, played seven games with five receptions for 91 yards ... Prior to college played football at Perry-Lecompton High School and was honored with All-League honors in 2011 ... Also was a member of the basketball team ... Received offers from Illinois, Indiana, Middle Tennessee, Ohio and N.C. State

Dan DiNicola
OT - 6-6/275 - Walpole, Mass. - Dexter School

Played both offensive and defensive line for head coach Casey Day at the Dexter School ... Praised for his strength and run blocking ability ... In 2013, earned All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Globe ... An All-Evergreen League Selection ... Earned a spot in the Shriner's All-Star Game ... Honored as a Mass Prep-Stars All-State selection ... Ranked as the No. 14 recruit overall for the state of Massachusetts and the No. 3 offensive lineman in Massachusetts ... Rated as one of the top offensive linemen in New England ... Chose UMass over Old Dominion, James Madison and Monmouth.

Ezekiel (Zeke) Edmonds
LB - 6-0/200 - West Palm Beach, Fla. - Royal Palm Beach HS

As a senior in 2013, posted 22 sacks from his linebacker position to earn Class 7A All-State First Team honors on defense ... Was also an All-Region, All-Area, All-County and All-Conference First Team selection as a senior ... Earned honorable mention all-county and all-conference accolades as a junior ... Participated and was a standout at the 2014 NUC All-South Classic...Named the East squad's offensive MVP at the All-South game after returning an 80-yard kick-off for a touchdown and catching another touchdown on offense ... Also held offers from Marshall, Northern Illinois, Middle Tennessee State, and Western Kentucky.

Ryan Johnson
OL - 6-5/320 - St. Louis, Mo. - Garden City (Kan.) Community College

Named to honor roll after spring 2013 semester ... Prior to attending Garden City Community College, was a first-team all-conference selection at right tackle for Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College ... Played his high school football at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in St. Louis under Coach Atah Knighten.

Jake Largay
DL - 6-6/280 - East Hartland, Conn. - Granby Memorial HS

Named to the 2013 American Family Insurance All-USA Connecticut Football Team as an offensive lineman ... Earned All-Pequot Conference honors as a senior (2013) and junior (2012) ... Served as team captain in 2013 and was the defensive team MVP ... Named the team's lineman of the year as a sophomore and junior ... Seventh ranked overall recruit out of Connecticut ... Played guard, defensive tackle, defensive end and was a long-snapper for Granby Memorial ... Posted 105 career tackles including 68 as a senior ... Also had 34 career sacks including 13 in 2013 ... Tallied a blocked field goal and a safety as well ... As a junior, had 61 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 14 TFLs.

Liam Porter
OL - 6-6/293 - Natick, Mass. - Natick HS - Dean College

After attending Boston College in 2011 and 2012, Porter transferred to Dean College for the 2013 season ... As a redshirt freshman in 2012 at Boston College, played in nine games ... switched from offensive line to tight end due to injuries ... made a start at tight end against Clemson (Sept. 29) ... competed in 187 snaps between offense and special teams on the season ... appeared in a season-high 35 plays versus Clemson ... Redshirted his true freshman year in 2011 ... Selected to the 2010 Massachusetts High School Coaches Association Super 26 All-State Team as a senior offensive tackle at Natick High School ... gained All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and MetroWest Daily News ... captured All-Bay State League accolades in 2010 ... also made 30 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior defensive lineman ... played for head coaches Mark Mortarelli (2010) and Tom Lamb (2008 and 2009) ... played in the Shriners All-Star Classic in Gillette Stadium in June 2011 ... also competed on the school's basketball, track and lacrosse teams ... Liam David Porter, born August 15, 1993 ... enrolled as an English major in the College of Arts & Sciences ... Liam and his younger brother Patrick are the sons of Jill and Patrick Porter.

Jean Sifrin
TE - 6-7/250 - Miami, Fla. - Norland (FL) HS - El Camino Junior College

Played tight end at El Camino Junior College under coach John Featherstone ... Had 18 receptions, 328 yards and 5 touchdowns in the 2013 season ... Prior to El Camino, played his freshman season at ASA College in Brooklyn in 2011 where he earned third-team all-conference honors ... Attended Miami Norland High School in Florida prior to college ... Also received offers from Kansas, Oklahoma and USC.

Charan Singh
DB - 6-2/192 - Murrysville, Pa. - Franklin Regional HS

Will play defensive back for UMass, but spent much of his career at Franklin Regional at quarterback as well ... Was an all-conference selection as a quarterback and defensive back ... Named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Fabulous 22 team and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 25 squad ... Helped guide Greg Botta's program to a Greater Allegheny Conference Championship conference championship title ... As an athletic quarterback, totaled 1,776 total yards in 2013 and 2,499 for his career ... As a senior QB, threw for 996 yards and 13 touchdowns, while running for 776 and seven touchdowns ... Also played wide receiver as a junior where he tallied 476 yards on 28 catches with five touchdowns ... Defensively, he had 44 career tackles with seven interceptions and two forced fumbles... As a senior in a first-round playoff game, ran for two touchdowns, threw for two touchdowns and had an interception on defense ... Moved from quarterback to wide receiver during his sophomore year and transitioned back to quarterback as a senior ... also was the point guard on the basketball team.

Josh Smiley
DL - 6-6/235 - Chicopee, Mass. - Pomfret School

All New-England selection as a junior... Played mostly defensive end/outside lineback and tight end at Pomfret ... Earned All-Colonial Football League First Team honors in 2012 ... Also a power forward on the basketball team ... Held offers from Boston College, Connecticut and Virginia ... Ninth ranked recruit in the state of Connecticut.

Lamarriel Taylor
WR - 6-3/185 - Chula Vista, Calif. - Mission Bay HS

A strong wide receiver who had 72 catches for 1,516 receiving yards and 23 TDs at Mission Bay ... Invited to be a member of the U-19 United States Football Team which will play at the World Games in Kuwait this summer ... ... Earned All-San Diego Section honors as a senior ... Named the NUC All-West Offensive Player of the Year ... A National Scholarship Merit Award Winner ... Originally from Illinois, but attended school at Mission Bay as a junior and senior ... Was also a member of the basketball team ... Also held offers from Duke and Indiana

Randall West
QB - 6-4/220 - Lawrenceville, N.J. - Lawrenceville School

Prolific quarterback out of Lawrenceville High School where he played for coach Daniel O'Dea ... A two time All0-MAPL First Team selection (2012, 2013) ... Also a two-time Star Ledger Prep Player of the Year (2012, 2013) ... As a senior threw for 1,959 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions ... Tied the New Jersey record with eight touchdowns thrown in a single game during the 2013 season ... Played in seven games before suffering a season-ending knee injury ... As a junior, threw for 2,268 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions.

Jack Wynne
DL - 6-5/243 - Riverside, Conn. - Greenwich HS

A three-year letterwinner for head coach Rich Albonizio ... Earned All-Connecticut First Team Defense accolades as a senior ... Named to the Hearst CT `Super 33' All-Star Football Team ... Was a two-time selection to the All-FCIAC Defensive Teams (2012, 2013) ... also served as team captain ... Posted 53 total tackles, 11 TFLs, and 12 sacks as a senior... For his career, had 82 total tackles, 15 TFLs and 18 sacks ... Had five sacks in his final home game as a senior ... 13th ranked recruit in the state of Connecticut.

EARLY SPRING 2014 ENROLLEES:
Da'Sean Downey
DL - 6-5/240 - White Plains, N.Y. - Woodlands HS - Canterbury School

Defensive MVP of 2013 New York vs. New Jersey High School Football Classic ... Played at Woodlands High School in Hartsdale, New York before taking a prep year at the Canterbury School in 2013 ... As a senior at Woodlands was an All-New York First Team selection after posting 70 tackles, 14 sacks and three forced fumbles ... Earned Class C/D Lineman Of The Year Honors ... Named to the Lohud All-County Team ... Was named to the 2012 MSG Varsity Hudson Valley All-Star Team ... Also named Defensive MVP of the 2012 Senior Bowl after picking up three sacks ... Had interest from Boston College, Penn State, Duke, Old Dominion, and UConn ...

Anthony Fernandez
OL - 6-6/285 - Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. - Rancho Cucamonga H.S.

Played offensive tackle and guard and defensive end for Rancho Cucamonga under head coach Nick Baiz where he was a two-year varsity letterwinner ... Earned All-Baseline League Second Team honors in 2012 and was an honorable mention selection in 2011 ... Enrolled at UMass in for the 2014 Spring semester.

Jordan Fiske
TE - 6-3/225 - Hinsdale, Mass. - East Coast Prep

Primarily played defensive end and tight end during a postgraduate year at East Coast Prep ... Played tight end, defensive end and linebacker for Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, Mass., under coach Gary Campbell, Jr. ... Was named team captain in his senior year at Wahconah ... Helped Wahconah win MIAA Super Bowl state championship in 2012 ... Along with a 2012 Super Bowl win, was recognized as All-Berkshire Tight End ... Also was a member of the Berkshire United under-19 rugby team.

Jalen Williams
WR - 6-3 - 205 - Kennesaw, Ga. - North Cobb HS - Dean College

Led Dean College with 358 receiving yards and 25 receptions along with two touchdowns in 2013 ... Earned All NEFC Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2013 ... As a freshman in 2012, had 360 yards receiving with four touchdowns ... Prior to enrolling at Dean College, played his prep football at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga.

Andrew Verboys
QB - 5-11/180 - Armonk, N.Y. - Scarsdale HS - Fork Union Academy

Played at Scarsdale High School before taking a prep year at Fork Union in 2013 ... An early enrollee at UMass joining the program in the Spring Semester ... Coached by his father Andrew Verboys, Sr. ... His grandfather Dick Paladino was also an assistant coach at Scarsdale during his junior and senior seasons ... A dual-threat quarterback in high school ... As a senior at Scarsdale, earned 2012 Senior Bowl Offensive Player Of The Game honors.

POSTGRADUATE TRANSFERS:
Blake Frohnapfel
QB - 6-6/225 - Stafford, Va. - Colonial Forge HS - Marshall

Set to earn his undergraduate degree in May, Frohnapfel (FROH nap-ul) will have two years of eligibility remaining at UMass ... Will be able to play immediately in Fall 2014 ... Was a two-year back-up to 2012 C-USA MVP Rakeem Cato ... As a redshirt sophomore, played in all 14 games ... Was 17-of-22 through the air for 206 yards with three touchdowns and one interception ... As a redshirt freshman at Marshall in 2012, completed 18 of 23 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including one to his twin brother Eric against Western Carolina...78.3 completion percentage...13 rushes for 81 yards including a 51-yard TD rush in the season finale vs. East Carolina...101 yards passing against ECU as well ... Redshirted his freshman year in 2011 ... Played for Bill Brown at Colonial Forge High... Completed 95 of 159 passes for 1,733 yards and also rushed for 257 yards... Passed for more than 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his career... A two-time First-Team Commonwealth Player-of-the-Year, a second-team All-Region pick and a first-team All-Area selection...Joins his brother Eric who is also in the 2011 MU signing class... Other Offers: Wake Forest, WVU, and Vanderbilt.

Alex Kenney
WR - 6-0/195 - State College, Pa. - State College Area HS - Penn State

In 2013 as a redshirt junior, played in seven games with three catches for 25 yards ... As a redshirt sophomore in 2012 played in 11 games and earned his first career start against Ohio State ... Was sixth on the team with 17 receptions for 172 yards and averaged 17.8 yards on four kickoff returns ... As a redshirt freshman in 2011, spent the majority of the season at cornerback, but returned to wide receiver during preparations for the TicketCity Bowl with Houston ... Was also a sprinter on the indoor track and field team ... Redshirted his true freshman year in 2010 ... Was a nine-time all-state football and track honoree at State College Area High School ... Played for Coach Al Wolski and was selected PA Football News Class AAAA all-state his final three years ... Was a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com and was selected the Old Spice Red Zone Pennsylvania Player-of-the-Year and a SuperPrep All-American ... As a senior, ran for 1,175 yards, had 475 receiving yards and totaled 29 touchdowns, while also making 12 interceptions (returning three for scores) ... A 2010 Big 33 Classic selection, he scored 56 career touchdowns ... The 2008 U.S. Army All-American nominee gained more than 1,400 all-purpose yards, averaging 13 yards per carry, and scored 13 touchdowns as a junior ... Compiled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and scored 11 times as a sophomore ... Was a 14-time Pennsylvania state track medalist, finishing second in the 100 meters (:10.63) and third in the 200 (:21.42) at the 2010 State Championships ... Full name is Alex James Kenney ... Son of Larry and Patti Kenney ... Has two siblings, Matthew and Lauren ... Matthew was a three-year football letterman at Cornell and Lauren played high school soccer and was the 2011 state gold medalist in the javelin ... Lauren won the javelin title at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year ... She placed fifth in the javelin at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after taking fourth place in 2012.

 

 

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