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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MU Press football story for Thursday/also includes more from recruiting expert Chris Melvin


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University football team is hoping its first recruit
from the Golden State has the golden hands and the blazing speed he exhibited on film

At Monmouth's first National Signing Day press conference the video image of wide
out Troy Yudin of Stevenson Ranch, Calif. flashed across a big screen at the school's
Varsity Club during which the player roared behind three defenders and raced to the end
zone completing what appeared to be about a 70-yard scoring play.

Yudin's highlight package was one of several shown at the gathering at which coach
Kevin Callahan announced 15 signees for his 2007 freshman class.

The group includes three Shore Conference products, linemen Alex Iachetta and Jim
Sullivan of NJSIAA South Jersey Group II champion Manasquan, and offensive lineman
Garrett Culloo of Ocean.

Yudin, speaking by phone from his California home Wednesday, said he was put in touch
with Monmouth offensive coordinator and former University of Pennsylvania player Mark
Fabish through a Penn coach after he had originally been recruited by the Quakers.

""I went back east (to visit Monmouth) loved the coaches, and everything about the
school,''said Yudin who said Monmouth was one of three schools to offer him a full
scholarship, the others being Portland State and UNLV.

""Right after I committed to Monmouth, UNLV and Portland State both offered,'' he
said. ""I said (to UNLV), "I committed (to Monmouth) a couple of hours ago and I keep my
word.' ''

Yudin, 6-1, 180 pounds, played free safety and wide receiver as a senior with 75
catches for 1,214 yards and 13 TD.

""He's got a very quick release off the line, he's got great hands, he's able to make
plays with the ball downfield,'' Callahan said.

At Monmouth he will join a returning group of receivers headlined by the school's No. 3
all-time receiver Adam San Miguel.

""I can't wait to get on the field and compete with those guys,'' Yudin said. ""I'd
like to help him (San Miguel) get some more one-on-one coverages, I'd love to help him
out his senior year.''

Callahan said recruiting New Jersey players remains Monmouth's focus with 11
announced Wednesday.

But he said the recent football scholarship ability of Monmouth and other Northeast
Conference schools has enabled Monmouth ""to entice and attract players from outside the

""Especially when it's getting harder and harder to keep in state kids here,'' he

Yudin was the only offensive position player announced Wednesday as Callahan said his
staff went heavily on the defensive side of the ball with the Hawks losing nine of their
starters from their 2006 NEC championship team.

Callahan said he expected the incoming freshman class to impact the Hawks right away
whether it's from starting, to making the second team, to traveling.

Chris Melvin of said he was was impressed with Monmouth's class which
includes two-time Associated Press All-State defensive end Dave Ogden of Wayne Hills.

""They did a phenomenal job,'' said Melvin. ""This has to be one of the strongest
recruiting classes defensively that I've every seen for a D1 AA program. That defensive
line and linebacker corp is far beyond impressive.''

Callahan declined to reveal the number of scholarship equivalents issued to this
year's freshman class saying the total number in the program is between 10 and 30.

The NEC allows its schools 30 total football scholarship equivalants at one time.
"'We're much further along than we were last year,'' Callahan said.

NOTES...Monmouth is expected to add some other recruits to its 2007 class but Callahan
would only comment Wednesday on players who had signed National Letters of
Intent...Callahan said Monmouth will open its 2007 season at the University of Maine and
will also visit non-conference opponents, Delaware, Stonybrook, and St. Peter's. At the
moment it has only three home games among its 10 scheduled, but Callahan said he is
looking for another game at home and has been talking with Duquesne which joins the NEC
as an associate football member in 2008.

More below from Chris Melvin including his comments on many of the players...

Just like the emphasis that coach Greg Schiano and the Rutgers staff placed on recruiting this years class, coach Callahan and his staff went out and covered the areas in need ... they did a phenomenal job doing so. This has to be one of the strongest recruiting classes defensively that I've every seen for a D1AA program ... they have some impressive players coming in on both sides of the ball - but that defensive line and linebacker corp is far beyond impressive.

Chris Mastrangelo 6-foot 1/2/220 LB - Mastrangelo was one of the states more productive backers ... a player who is a "THROWBACK" type of player ... doesn't say much vocally - he lets his pads speak for him. Played on special teams and displayed his athleticism by returning a few interceptions for big yardage ... also got some looks from some bigger programs.

Joe Valenti 6-2/2-5 St Peters Prep LB- On one of the nations better team you had Will Thompson (headed to Boston College) anchoring one-side of one of the states top defenses and on the other was Valenti. Dependable - tough and smart ... a player who got the job done over and over again for coach Rich Hansen.

Jim Sullivan 6-3/280 Manasquan CENTER - Put it like this - I don't think there is a better center in the state and by saying the region wouldn't be pushing the limit either. You won't fine too many centers who can deliver the ball and been seen pulling in front of a back ... this is what Sullivan does.

Alex Iachetta 6-4/245 Manasquan DE - Iachetta sensational this year ... I like the fact that Iachetta has the ability to enhance his abilities even more ... has a long frame, arms and a superb first step off the ball. A tough player who could have played at any level and should make a sudden impact for the Hawks.

Dave Ogden 6-2/245 Wayne Hills DE - The fact that Ogden was tabbed as a two-time All State performer defines the type of player that coach Chris Olsen has created. Ogden is very quick, strong and rough in the trenches ... delivers a hits and the level of play that you see in the states top recruits and Ogden was just that. If Ogden was 6-foot-4 ... he would be on his way to one of the nations TOP Division IA programs - he is a relentless ball-player.

Mike Fullam 6-2 1/2/210 Wayne Hills OLB - When it comes to roaming the outside at the backer position - there are very few players who can make plays like Fullam. A rangy backer who is tough and who runs very well ... a bright player who had various looks from Division I A programs and reportedly entertained an early offer from the Temple Owls.

DJ Lopresti Randolph Kicker - The Hawks are getting a reliable recruit at this specialty position ... I've seen Lopresti kick on a few occasions and I have yet to see him perform poorly. It's extremely hard to recruit a kicker - but coach Callahan is getting a strong leg and accurate kicker in Lopresti.

Christopher Melvin
HS Football Recruiting Analyst,



Blogger JMG1MON said...

Tony, Is DJ LoPresti also in this class? He isn't listed on the MU website as signing. I can't imagine we signed 2 kickers this class, unless one is to punt and one to kick!

4:00 PM, February 08, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

LoPresti was not listed by MU. Not sure where he got that. I'll have to check sometime Friday...

6:30 PM, February 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Lopresti dropped out late... He probably meant to list Miller instead.

9:41 PM, February 08, 2007  

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