KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island head coach Jim Fleming announced that four players have signed a National Letter of Intent on the first day of the NCAA's new Early Signing Period for football. The Early Signing Period – instituted this year – last until Friday, Dec. 22.
The four players who committed Wednesday are safety Brian Campbell (Baltimore, Md.), cornerback Malik Wilder (Bronx, N.Y.), running back Naim Jones (Coram, N.Y.) and offensive lineman Nick Correia (Nantucket, Mass.). Campbell, Wilder and Jones are all mid-year transfers who will have two seasons of eligibility when they arrive next semester. Correia is an early commit for the fall.
Campbell joins the Rams spending 2017 ASA College, where he was an all-conference selection as a sophomore. He was the Defensive MVP of the Valley of the Sun Bowl, where he led No. 16 ASA to a 28-23 victory over Mesa College, finishing the game with 10 tackles and an interception. The 6-1, 190-pound Campbell finished the season with 35 tackles in eight games, helping ASA finished the season 9-1. In 2016, he was an all-conference selection for Nassau Community College.
Wilder and Jones are both coming to Rhode Island from Nassau Community College, where they were teammates with Campbell in 2016.
In two seasons with the Lions, Wilder (5-10, 190) appeared in 16 games and had 52 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. During his sophomore season, he displayed strong ball-hawking skills, intercepting five passes and breaking up six total in eight games. Wilder also blocked a kick on special teams. He earned NJCAA Second-Team All-America honors this season.
In 16 games for Nassau, the 6-0, 210-pound Jones ran for 1,300 yards on 197 attempts, an average of 6.6 yards per carry. He also ran for 10 touchdowns, scoring five times on the ground in each of the last two seasons. Jones was particularly explosive last fall, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. He also showed solid hands out of the backfield, catching 26 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns over two seasons.
The 6-5, 340-pound Correia was a two-way starter for Nantucket High School, lining up at right tackle on offense and defensive tackle on the other side of the ball. He projects as an offensive lineman for the Rams. A team captain for the Whalers in 2017, Correia was a First Team Max Prep Stars/First String Performance Gridiron Super Team selection on defense. He also was a Mayflower Athletic Conference All-League pick. He made his commitment to Rhode Island via Twitter in August, and it became official with his NLI on Wednesday.
The regular signing day for Division I football will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
2018 Early Signing Period Commits
Brian Campbell - Video
6-1 | 190
Baltimore, Md. | ASA College
Nick Correia - Video
6-5 | 350
Nantucket, Mass. | Nantucket
Naim Jones - Video
6-0 | 210
Coram, N.Y. | Nassau Community College
Malik Wilder - Video
5-10 | 190
Bronx, N.Y. | Nassau Community College