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College Sports Briefs 12/29/22

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 12/28/22

FIHS LB Wright heads to Rutgers

FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High linebacker Abram Wright became the first Florida football athlete to sign a scholarship to play at Rutgers University in New …

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College Sports Briefs 12/29/22


Posted

FIHS LB Wright heads to Rutgers

FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High linebacker Abram Wright became the first Florida football athlete to sign a scholarship to play at Rutgers University in New Jersey as area athletes joined the ranks of early signees in anticipation of the traditional February 5 National Signing Day.
Wright follows another Fleming Island graduate in running back Trey Sneed who is now a top running back at Fordham University after two years as a Scarlet Knight.
Wright, a 6’-2” linebacker under coach Damenyum Springs reportedly had 17 offers to play in college and chose Rutgers as a three-star prospect.
As a recruit, Wright garnered comments from 247 Sports Recruiting Analyst, a nationwide football website dedicated to football recruiting who said “He (Abrams) was 6-foot-2 and some change and 225 pounds back in March. And he ran 4.6 laser [40-yard dash] at a camp, which is super impressive. There are not a lot of guys that size that fast entering their senior year of high school. We list him as a linebacker, but I think he is more of an edge player.’
Bobby Deren, a Scarlet National Senior Writer, a publication dedicated to Rutgers sports, said about Wright “This is a Greg Schiano type linebacker. Wright is hard-hitting, tough and also has good speed. The linebacker position will be a little more crowded than it was last season with Moses Walker and Mohamed Toure returning from injury.”
Note: Greg Schiano is Rutgers head football coach.
Deren also noted that “A player of his caliber still has a chance to crack the two-deep, especially with early enrollment. Schiano likes to use linebackers on special teams and that could mean a college debut in the first game of the season for Wright.”
On NJ.com, in a story by Todderick Hunt, Wright was listed with a 13 other Rutgers early signees as one of two high-prospect linebackers signed by Rutgers including Washington, PA linebacker Davoun Fuse, a 6’-4”, 200 pounder who also played quarterback and safety.
Wright was noted as a “prototypical linebacker. He’s six-two-and-a-half, a sure tackler, he’s physical, has speed, can get from sideline-to-sideline and he’s a really smart football player. Both should help immediately on special teams and supplant the walk-ons Rutgers rolled out in 2022.”

Fordham’s Sneed rumbles for 139 Yards

Courtesy Fordhamsports.com

DURHAM, NC - Former Fleming Island High running back Trey Sneed, now a graduate student running back at Fordham University, rushed for 139 yards, but the Rams lost their 2022 NCAA FCS championship round one playoff game 52-42 to the University of New Hampshire on November 26.
Fordham finished their season at 9-3.
Sneed, a workhorse ball carrier as he was for Fleming Island, had his second straight 100-plus yard game in the playoff loss and his fifth 100 yard game for the season.
For the season, Fordham scored a school record 594 points to eclipse a 2014 record of 569 points.
Sneed finished with 1192 yards in 12 games with a 5.8 yards per carry average plus five scores. Sneed averaged just over 95 yards per game.
Sneed’s best game was a 230 yards effort against Colgate with one touchdown rushing and one via pass. Sneed also had games of 110, 120, 104 and the 139 yard effort in the playoff game.

Armstrong becomes Demon Deacon; follows Nash

OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High mammoth offensive tackle Kyland Armstrong will be following the very large footsteps of another Oakleaf High football great as he recently signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Armstrong, who joins three other offensive line incoming recruits, will join an Demon Deacon offense that has one of the best offensive schemes utilizing numerous weapons across the board very similar to his Oakleaf High team of 2022 that featured great athletes at quarterback, running back and wide receivers making the offensive line have to be very flexible and fluid as the game progressed to best get the ball downfield.
In his redshirt senior season is Wake Forest tackler Je’Vionte Nash, who played in 51 games in his career; with season games of 8, 12, 9, 9 and 13 in 2022, with nine starts in his junior season before an injury put him on redshirt status.
Nash was staple of strong Demon Deacon offense that finished 8-5 with a recent 27-17 win over Missouri in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, on the Demon Deacons senior game in November, noted that Nash “is the only player in the nation that will be going to a seventh bowl game this season. He has played a crucial role in helping build the program to where it is today as a mainstay on the offensive line.”
On the GoDeacs.com website, the official website of Wake Forest football, Armstrong was noted as “Anchored an offensive line that helped Oakleaf rush for 1,842 yards (7.1 per carry) and 20 rushing touchdowns over the course of the season ... Helped Oakleaf throw for 1,742 yards (174.2 yards per game) ... Team averaged 27.1 points per game during senior season.”
From Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson, Armstrong was noted as “an athletic interior offensive lineman who has elite movement skills for an inside player.”
Another offensive lineman signed by Wake Forest was Devin McRae, a 6’-4”, 265 athletes from Telfair County HS in McRae, GA.; an All state and 4A All-region player, twice an all stater.
The third offensive lineman signed by Wake Forest is George Steih, a 6’-5”, 270 pound monster from Grace Christian Academhy in Franklin, TN. Steih was a three year letterman who also played defensive line.
Steih, an All Region selection his junior and senior seasons, anchored Grace Christian Academy’s offensive line as they totaled 1,505 passing yards and 824 rushing yards during his senior season … Tallied a total of 142 tackles, 24 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one blocked field goal on defense over the course of his career.

SJCDS Loustau gets Academic honor

Courtesy of GoPrincetontigers.com

PRINCETON, NJ - Six members of the Princeton University women’s soccer team were announced Tuesday as having earned Academic All-District recognition from College Sports Communicators, formerly the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Senior Kamryn Loustau, a St. Johns Country Day School graduate and four-time state champion player plus a Gatorade Florida Soccer player of the year in 2019, was one of the six players chosen.
Loustau, a senior defensive player, was a defender and one of the four team captains this season. Loustau was also the lone Tiger on the team to start all 17 games, helping Princeton hold opponents to a 1.35 goals-against average. Loustau is a religion major.
Also chosen for the Academic honor were teammates Grace Sherman and Morgan Wiese, juniors Jen Estes and Aria Nagai, and sophomore Tyler McCamey were Princeton’s honorees. Each school was limited to six honorees, with those chosen needing to appear in at least half of the team’s games, meet a GPA standard, and be either sophomores, juniors or seniors.
Princeton finished at 9-7-1 to earn their 10th straight winning season to tie the school’s record dating back to 1997 to 2006.

Wake Forest’s Smenda finishes with 355 tackles

Courtesy of GoDeacs.com

TAMPA – Behind a three-touchdown performance from quarterback Sam Hartman as he earned MVP honors on Friday night, Wake Forest University defeated Southeastern Conference representative Missouri 27-17 to win the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The win marked Wake Forest’s fifth in the last seven years since the Deacs began the Atlantic Coast Conference’s second-longest bowl streak back in 2016.
The Demon Deacons defense, led by senior captain linebacker Ryan Smenda, Jr., a Fleming Island High School graduate (Orange Park, FL) forced one Missouri turnover and wreaked havoc in the Tigers backfield with 10 tackles-for-loss as a team. Individually, Smenda, Jr. led Wake Forest with a game-high 11 tackles, his seventh double-digit tackle performance of the season, as he moved into eighth all-time in program history with 355 career tackles.
Wake Forest Head coach Dave Clawson’s five bowl victories, which is the most in school history, now ranks tied for fifth in ACC history for postseason wins. Clawson ranks behind Bobby Bowden (Florida State, 11), Dabor Swinney (Clemson, 11), Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech, 6) and Danny Ford (Clemson, 6). Meanwhile, he is now tied with Jimbo Fisher (Florida State, 5) and Ralph Friedgen (Maryland, 5).
The 2022 Wake Forest football team (8-5, 3-5 ACC) is just the 10th in program history to win eight games in a season in the 115-year history of the program. Four of the 10 eight-win seasons have come in the Dave Clawson era (40 percent).