LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell football team welcomed its newest members to the program on National Signing Day Wednesday. Head coach Joe Susan announced a total of 21 players that signed with the Bison to be members of the Class of 2018, including eight from Pennsylvania.
Most in the group call the Northeast home as 14 are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York. Two are from Virginia, while there are also recruits from Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri and Utah.
The group includes 16 players that are expected to play on the defensive side of the ball, while four are listed at offensive positions. One kicker is included in the class.
“We are fortunate to attract quality young men into our program,” stated Susan. “The signing date represents the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of our staff, the incoming student-athletes and their families.
“This group is very talented and will help us continue to build the Bucknell Football Program. Because we do not redshirt in the Patriot League, we are challenged with preparing them to play right away. We have addressed significant needs in certain positions at all three levels of our defense, while also enhancing our offensive skill positions and recruiting the positions of kicker, punter and long snapper.
“Regardless of the perceived quality of any class, the proof will be witnessed with what they do on the field. We think we have recruited the type of people who will benefit by their experience at Bucknell and will enhance this special place by their presence on our campus.”
In February 2012, the Patriot League approved a policy allowing athletic merit aid in the sport of football and this class represents Bucknell’s second with the ability to attract student-athletes with those merit aid scholarships. Bucknell and the other six football-playing members of the Patriot League are permitted to award up to the equivalent of 15 athletic financial aid awards each year. The total amount of all countable financial aid awarded to football student-athletes may not exceed 60 equivalencies in any given year.
“As with any established program, we will be led by our seniors,” mentioned Susan. “The merit of their experience and maturity will help us to bring these newcomers along in our program.”
Bucknell is coming off a 6-5 season, its second above-.500 mark in the last three years. The Bison won five of their final six games and return regular starters at nine positions on offense and eight on defense in 2014.
Bucknell Football 2014 Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Tom Adams LB/LS 6-2 215 Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII
Abdullah Anderson DE 6-4 240 Galloway, N.J./Absegami
Mac Atkins S 6-0 200 Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon
Craig Cassidy DE 6-1 235 Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape
Joey DeFloria RB 5-9 195 Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield
Connor Feehan K 5-8 180 Haymarket, Va./Battlefield
Trevor Fennimore DE 6-3 220 Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga
Connor Golden S 6-0 200 Bensalem, Pa./Archbishop Ryan
Trey Johnson CB 5-9 170 Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights
Colin Jonov S 5-10 190 Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional
Kyle Kinner WR 5-10 175 Chesterfield, Mo./Westminster Christian
Jake Lawton LB 6-1 210 Lake Mary, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic
Luke Liprando LB 6-0 200 Mount Pleasant, Pa./Mount Pleasant
Jared Morse S 6-4 205 Chesapeake, Va./Nasemond Suffolk Acad.
Matt Muh QB 6-4 205 Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional
Mike Pirolli LB 6-0 200 Mount Airy, Md./Linganore
Andrew Podbielski TE 6-3 240 Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk
Mark Pyles LB 6-0 215 Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon
Ben Richard LB 6-1 215 Herriman, Utah/Herriman
Chase Watkins DE 6-4 260 Hershey, Pa./Hershey
Doug Whitlock DE 6-3 240 Monmouth Beach, N.J./Red Bank Catholic
Tom Adams, LB/LS, 6-2, 215, Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII
Thomas Karl Adams … born Sept. 6, 1995 in Denville, N.J. … son of Thomas and Elise Adams … member of football team at Pope John XXIII … team captain … three-year starter … helped team to two conference titles … named academic all-conference … has a brother, Stephen, and a sister, Lauryn.
Abdullah Anderson, DE, 6-4, 240, Galloway, N.J./Absegami
Abdullah Malik Anderson Jr. … born Jan. 24, 1996 in Atlantic City, N.J. … son of Abdullah Anderson Sr. and Octavia Anderson … four-year basketball letterwinner and one-year football letterwinner at Absegami High School … two-year basketball team captain … Cape Atlantic League First Team Defense in football … league’s Defensive Player of the Year … has one sister, Amira … cousin, Austin Johnson, is a sophomore defensive tackle at Penn State … cousin, Brandan Connor, played basketball at Lynchburg College … uncle, Tarik Anderson, played basketball at Rutgers-Camden … cousin, Gina Lewis, played basketball at Kutztown University.
Mac Atkins, S, 6-0, 200, Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon
Macallan Robert Atkins … born Nov. 28, 1995 in Rochester, N.Y. … son of Robert and Sonja Atkins … three-year football letterwinner at Pittsford Mendon High School … Honorable Mention All-New York State … First Team All-Greater Rochester selection … First Team All-Monroe County Division 1 … team captain … has two sisters, Blair and Morgan … Blair was a member of the volleyball team at Siena College … Morgan will be a senior on the cross country and track & field teams at Canisius College in 2014-15.
Craig Cassidy, DE, 6-1, 235, Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape
Craig Robert Cassidy … born April 19, 1996 in Voorhees, N.J. … son of Bob and Kathy Cassidy … three-year football letterwinner at Lenape High School … also member of track & field and baseball teams … football team captain and MVP as a senior … two-time first-team all-conference … named all-county … member of all-county all-academic team … earned high school’s Maxwell Award … earned Brooks Irvine Yearly Award … has one brother, Ryan … uncle, Steven Cassidy, played football at the college level.
Joey DeFloria, RB, 5-9, 195, Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield
Joey DeFloria IV … born Jan. 29, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … son of Joe and Tammy DeFloria … four-year football and baseball letterwinner at Hempfield Area Senior High School … team captain of both football and baseball squads … three-time first-team all-conference football player … earned second-team all-state twice … four-time all-conference and two-time all-state baseball player … has one sibling, Morgan … great-grandfather, Charles W. Dinger, graduated from Bucknell in 1925.
Connor Feehan, K, 5-8, 180, Haymarket, Va./Battlefield
Connor Matthew Feehan … born July 16, 1996 in Cincinnati, Ohio … son of Patrick and Christine Feehan … earned three letters in football at Battlefield High School … first-team all-state kicker … first-team all-conference for both offense and defense … second-team all-met as a kicker and punter … has three brothers, Justin, Brenan and Ryan.
Trevor Fennimore, DE, 6-3, 220, Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga
Trevor Taylor Fennimore … born Oct. 28, 1995 in Bryn Mawr, Pa. … son of David and Nancy Fennimore … member of football team at Conestoga High School, where he posted a 4.6 cumulative GPA … team captain as a senior … named All-Central League and All-Main Line … earned Matt Gibson Award as most inspirational to others … has one brother, Tristan, who plays rugby at Penn State … mother was a member of the crew team at Rollins College … grandmother, Mary Tayor, was a member of the swimming team at Temple.
Connor Golden, S, 6-0, 200, Bensalem, Pa./Archbishop Ryan
Connor Patrick Golden … born Dec. 23, 1995 in Philadelphia, Pa. … son of Paul and Jackie Golden … three-year football and baseball letterwinner at Archbishop Ryan … First Team All-City Philadelphia in football … First Team All-Southeast Pennsylvania … First Team All-Pennsylvania … First Team All-Catholic … football team captain … Second Team All-Catholic in baseball … has one brother, Paul, and a sister, Erin … father played football at Lycoming College.
Trey Johnson, CB, 5-9, 170, Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights
Trey Bradley Johnson … born April 19, 1996 in Cincinnati, Ohio … son of Craig Johnson and Toni Johnson-Young … member of football team at Shaker Heights High School … three-year football varsity award … team captain … 2013 Coaches Award … N.O.C. Scholar-Athlete Award … has three siblings, Antonio, Craig and Brianna … Antonio is a member of the football team at Minnesota … father, Craig, played football at Michigan State … brother, Craig, played football at Western Michigan.
Colin Jonov, S, 5-10, 190, Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional
Colin Regan Jonov … born June 18, 1996 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … son of Dan and Carrie Luko … three-sport student-athlete at Franklin Regional Senior High School … three-year letterwinner in football, basketball and baseball … First Team All-Greater Allegheny Conference in football … defensive back and all-purpose football player … Pittsburgh Post-Gazette East Fabulous 22 Team member … Pittsburgh Tribune Review East Terrific 25 honoree … PA Football News Third Team All-State … All-Western PA Football Net Big School Team … football team captain and MVP … has two brothers, Ryan and Daniel, and a sister, Jillian, who will be a senior on the women’s soccer team at Washington & Jefferson in 2014 … stepfather played baseball and football at Washington & Jefferson.
Kyle Kinner, WR, 5-10, 175, Chesterfield, Mo./Westminster Christian
Kyle William Kinner … born June 30, 1995 in St. Louis, Mo. … son of Bill Kinner and Jenni Neumann … two-year football and baseball letterwinner at Westminster Christian Academy … football team captain … third-team al-metro football player … also earned all-conference and all-league honors … third-team all-state baseball player … has one older sister, Katelyn (21), and one younger sister, Allie (7).
Jake Lawton, LB, 6-1, 210, Lake Mary, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic
James Kirk Lawton III … born Nov. 17, 1995 in Orlando, Fla. … son of Mike and Tracey Velt … member of 2013 Orlando Sentinel “Central Florida Super 60” … 2013 Orange County All-Star Team … team captain of football squad at Bishop Moore Catholic High School … named Bishop Moore’s Outstanding Linebacker as a senior … two-year starter at linebacker … led team in tackles as a senior with 92 … helped team to fifth consecutive district title as a senior … advanced to sectionals in weightlifting as a junior in 219-pound weight class … has one sister, Sofia (8) … uncles, Jeff Tomer and Don Morehouse, played football at Bethany College.
Luke Liprando, LB, 6-0, 200, Mount Pleasant, Pa./Mount Pleasant
Luke Carl Liprando … born Dec. 22, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … son of Larry and Tammy Liprando … three-sport athlete at Mount Pleasant Area High School … earned three letters in football and basketball and two in baseball … first-team all-conference football player … helped team to conference championship … Hines Ward Positive Athlete Award nominee … runner-up for WPIAL Player of the Week award … basketball team captain … member of Penn-Trafford and Boswell Area Holiday Tournament All-Tournament Teams … first-team all-conference and team captain of baseball squad … father played golf at Florida State University.
Jared Morse, S, 6-4, 205, Chesapeake, Va./Nasemond-Suffolk Academy
Jared Richard Morse … born Nov. 13, 1995 in Norfolk, Va. … son of Darrell Morse and Janice Lee … member of football, basketball and track teams at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy … first-team all-conference football defensive back … earned second-team all-state honors in football … first-team all-conference and conference champion in 100-meter dash as a member of track squad … has one sister, Caroline.
Matt Muh, QB, 6-4, 205, Oceanport, N.J./Shore Regional
Matthew Douglas Muh … born Aug. 10, 1995 in Long Branch, N.J. … son of Doug and Justine Muh … member of football and basketball teams at Shore Regional High School … football team captain … first-team all-division quarterback and punter … helped team to 23-4 record and consecutive state championship appearances as starting quarterback … invited to play in Shore Classic North-South All-Star Game … earned the Caltarilota Award recognizing leadership … has two siblings, Heather (20) and Mason (17) … father was a quarterback and punter at the University of Connecticut … uncle, Steve Muh, was a pitcher at the University of Georgia and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.
Mike Pirolli, LB, 6-0, 200, Mount Airy, Md./Linganore
Michael Robert Pirolli … born Jan. 15, 1996 in Rockville, Md. … son of Robert and Maria Pirolli … member of football and lacrosse teams at Linganore High School … team captain of both football and lacrosse squads … second-team all-state in football … first-team all-conference selection in football … Maryland Crab Bowl inductee … honored by Baltimore Touchdown Club … has one brother, Nick, and one sister, Gabrielle … grandfather played Minor League Baseball in the Philadelphia Athletics farm system … has an uncle that played college football.
Andrew Podbielski, TE, 6-3, 240, Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk
Andrew Brooks Podbielski … born Oct. 23, 1995 in Beaver, Pa. … son of Tony Podbielski and Kathy Enderle … three-year football letterwinner at Blackhawk High School … two-time First Team All-Parkway Conference as a defensive end … two-time Second Team All-Parkway Conference as a tight end … Blackhawk Football Student-Athlete of the Year … member of MSA Sports All-Star Team as a tight end … has one sister, Kaitlyn Enderle.
Mark Pyles, LB, 6-0, 215, Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon
Mark Joseph Pyles … born April 9, 1996 in Lebanon, Pa. … son of Peter and Heidi Pyles … four-year football and baseball letterwinner at Lebanon High School … also earned two letters in basketball … two-time football team captain … 4A All-State quarterback … first-team all-league quarterback and linebacker … LL League Player of the Year … Eastern PA Football First Team … Maxwell Football Club PA Player of the Year and Jim Henry Award winner … three-year baseball team captain … second-team all-league catcher … two-year basketball team captains … has one sister, Alexandra.
Ben Richard, LB, 6-1, 215, Herriman, Utah/Herriman
Benjamin Michael Richard … born Feb. 8, 1996 in West Chester, Pa. … son of Alan and Maureen Richard … three-year letterwinner in both football and lacrosse at Herriman High School … two-time all-state selection in football … three-time first-team all-region choice … team captain as a senior … four-time all-state selection in lacrosse … served as lacrosse team captain four years … named Faceoff MVP … has two younger brothers, Nolan (15) and Evan (13) … relative, Shannon Keen, is a sophomore goalkeeper on the Bison field hockey team.
Chase Watkins, DE, 6-4, 260, Hershey, Pa./Hershey
Chase Emanuel Watkins … born Feb. 8, 1996 in Morgantown, W. Va. … son of John and Kelly Watkins … member of football and basketball teams at Hershey High School … helped football team to District 3 playoffs in five straight years … team captain of basketball squad … has three siblings, Anita, Scott and Nakisha … father played football at West Virginia State University and was a member of the 1976 Olympic Handball Team … cousin, R. Montgomery Donaldson, graduated from Bucknell in 1987 … great uncle, John Peck, attended graduate school at Bucknell … has an uncle that played football at Marshall University … has a cousin who played college softball at Lycoming College and another that is a member of the track & field team at Shippensburg University … great uncle, Tony Donaldson, played golf at Lycoming College.
Doug Whitlock, DE, 6-3, 240, Monmouth Beach, N.J./Red Bank Catholic/Navy Prep
Charles Douglas Whitlock … born Oct. 4, 1993 in Washington, D.C. … son of Doug and Marcie Whitlock … enrolled at Bucknell in January 2014 … graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School in 2012 ... spent time at Naval Academy Prep School … three-year football letterwinner at Red Bank Catholic … also earned four letters in men’s lacrosse … two-time first-team all-division football player … two-time all-conference selection … three-time first-team all-division selection in lacrosse … has four siblings: Mary Ellen (23), Kevin (21), Chris (18) and Kelly (15) … Mary Ellen played lacrosse at Louisville … Kevin is a junior midfielder on the Navy men’s lacrosse team in 2014 … Chris will be a sophomore defensive back on the Monmouth football team in 2014.