ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The University at Albany football program announced the National Letter of Intent signings of 14 student-athletes on Thursday.
The incoming class includes seven players who were team captains and six who made all-state teams.
Joe Casale • S • 6-3 • 180 • Troy High School (N.Y.)
Notable: As a senior totaled 82 tackles, six interceptions, four forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns for the Class AA New York State champions.
Gattuso’s take: “He’s a two-time state champion, a very headsy, hard-nosed football player. He has a lot of ball skills, a lot of interceptions and makes a lot of big plays for Troy High School.”
Niko Culnan • OL • 6-3 • 285 • Hudson Valley Community College / South Colonie (N.Y.)
Notable: Named to Liberty Division First-Team during his senior year at Colonie High School.
Gattuso’s take: “He’s a natural center, and we really felt we needed to build some depth there. We feel he has the ability to come in and help our football team immediately.”
Joe Halasy • DL • 6-5 • 235 • Midwood High School (N.Y.)
Notable: Compiled 44 tackles and seven sacks as a senior.
Gattuso’s take: “Joe’s a big, long, tough defensive end who really caught my eye with how aggressive he plays.”
Dev Holmes • Wide Receiver • 5’9″ • 160 • Troy High School (NY)
Notable: Two-time state champion was the MVP of the New York State title game in 2017. … As a senior, caught 55 passes for 723 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also rushed for 660 yards and 11 touchdowns. On special teams, returned three punts for touchdowns. … First-team All-Star for the Times Union, Daily Gazette and Troy Record
Gattuso’s take: “He’s a very dynamic athlete with great speed, and he brings a lot of big-play potential. Two-time state champ, too.”
Thomas Greaney • Tight End • 6’6″ • 230 • Lawrence Academy (MA)
Notable: Team captain and First-Team Independent School League as a senior.
Gattuso’s take: “Thomas is a big, tall and long athletic tight end. He has good hands, is very mobile. We think he can play some H-back for us as well.”
Tyler Oedekoven • Wide Receiver • 6’2″ • 170 • Cathedral Prep (PA)
Notable: As a senior caught 42 passes for 1,192 yards and nine touchdowns. … Named First-Team All-State, D-10, Region 6, and Western PA.
Gattuso’s take: “Tyler comes from arguably one of the top programs in Pennsylvania. He’s an incredibly productive receiver who has incredible numbers over the past four years. He can play inside or outside, and he’s got great possession skills.”
Mohab Omer • OL • 6-4 • 335 • Shaker High School (N.Y.)
Notable: Earned Liberty Division First-Team, Section II First-Team and Times Union First-Team honors as a senior.
Gattuso’s take: “He’s a giant, a big physical offensive lineman and a local product who comes from a great family. We’re excited about him.”
Ian Renninger • TE • 6-7 • 225 • Pottsville High School (Pa.)
Notable: Caught 65 passes for 939 yards with seven touchdowns in his career. … Senior Captain. … First-Team All-State, All-County and All-Schuylkill League. … Also was a standout defensive player, totaling 197 tackles (74 solo), 11.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries for his career. … Played four years of varsity basketball and two seasons of volleyball, too.
Gattuso’s take: “Ian’s a big, multi-sport athlete. He’s been an all-state player the past two years at tight end. We think he’ll be a strong in-line guy. He’s got really good skills and great size with a lot of potential to grow.”
Xavier Smith • CB • 5-9 • 170 • Canton McKinley (Ohio)
Notable: All-Ohio Team Honorable Mention and All-Northeast Ohio Inland District First-Team as a senior. … Totaled 186 tackles, seven interceptions, four forced fumbles and eight pass break-ups during his career.
Gattuso’s take: “Xavier is a very athletic corner from Ohio. He was an early commit for us, someone we had targeted early in the process. We’re excited about what he can bring to the team.”
Kobe Thomas • OL • 6-2 • 260 • Parkland High School (Pa.)
Notable: Named to the All-Eastern Pennsylvania Conference First-Team his senior year.
Gattuso’s take: “Kobe was a guy we were chasing hard. He’s one of the most technically sound, young offensive lineman I’ve seen in high school. He played in a great program. We think he can play tackle, center or guard — wherever we might need him.”
Jeff Undercuffler • QB • 6-6 • 215 • Holy Cross Academy (N.J.)
Notable: Threw for 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. … Named to the All-Liberty Division Second-Team his final season.
Gattuso’s take: “We’re excited about Jeff. He’s 6-6. He can move around the pocket, runs well, has a good strong arm. He comes from more of a running program, but we see a tremendous upside in Jeff.”