Updated: 10:35 a.m.
KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island head coach Jim Fleming announced the addition of 22 players to the football team on National Signing Day Wednesday.
The recruiting class includes 14 freshmen, seven junior college transfers who will come in with two years of eligibility and one player coming in as a graduate senior with one season. The Rams are getting deeper in the trenches, bringing in five offensive linemen. On the defensive side of the ball, the front seven was a focal point. Rhode Island added four defensive linemen and four linebackers. Fleming and his staff also added two wide receivers, two tight ends, two defensive backs, one running back, one kicker and one long snapper.
The scouting efforts produced players from up and down the East Coast. Fleming brought in players from nine different states, with five coming from New York, four from Florida and three each from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Also represented on the recruiting map this year were Massachusetts (2), Connecticut (2), Delaware (1), Maryland (1) and South Carolina (1).
The members of the 2018 Rhode Island recruiting class are:
Christian Arrington – Video
6-2 | 225
Mechanicsburg, Pa. | Cumberland Valley
A first-team PennLive defensive all-star, Arrington had 74 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery during his senior season at Cumberland Valley. A starter at linebacker and wide receiver, he also wrestled and competed in track & field. Arrington chose Rhode Island over Sacred Heart, West Chester and Millersville.
Linebackers Coach Troy Gilmer on Arrington
"Christian has a unique combination of terrific size and athleticism. He adds a ton of versatility to the linebacker unit. He is an instinctive player and is laser focused when competing. He has a very bright future at URI."
Kadin Booker – Video
6-7 | 290
Burlington City, N.J. | Ball State
A transfer from Ball State, Booker comes with one season of eligibility. A two-year starter for Ball State, he played in all 11 games last fall, making eight starts at right tackle. Overall, he started 14 of the 19 games he played for the Cardinals. At Burlington City, Booker was a team captain and four-year letterman, earning First Team All-Freedom League honors as a senior.
Dylan Brown – Video
6-3 | 310
Tampa Bay, Fla. | The Hotchkiss School
Brown spent a prep season at the Hotchkiss School last fall, earning a spot on the All-Erickson Conference Team and getting All-New England Class A Honorable Mention. Before that, he had a strong career for Berkley Prep, where he earned All-Hillsborough County Honorable Mention recognition in 2016. He also was a Second Team All-State Class 3A selection.
Brian Campbell – Video
6-0 | 180
Baltimore, Md. | ASA College
Campbell joins the Rams after spending 2017 at 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. He finished the game with 10 tackles and an interception. 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.
Defensive Coordinator Pete Rekstis on Campbell
"Brian brings needed experience to the safety position. He is a great tackler and shows the versatility to play in the box and also in the deep part of the field."
Bryan Castillo - Video
6-1 | 215
Scranton, Pa. | Lackawanna College
A junior college transfer with two seasons of eligibility, Castillo comes from Lackawanna College, where he was a First-Team All-Conference pick in the NEFC last fall. He led Lackawanna with nine sacks and also had 40 tackles and two forced fumbles in while leading the team to a spot in the 2017 Sun Bowl. He had an offer from Sacred Heart.
Linebackers Coach Troy Gilmer on Castillo
"Bryan is a great addition to our linebacker unit. He brings great experience. With his size and speed, he does an excellent job in coverage and has the ability to run and tackle both inside and outside of the box."
Nick Correia – Video
6-5 | 350
Nantucket, Mass. | Nantucket
Correia was a two-way starter for Nantucket, lining up at right tackle on offense and defensive tackle on the other side of the ball. He projects as an offensive lineman here. A team captain for the Whalers, 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.
Offensive Line Coach Keegan Kennedy on Correia
"Nick is the biggest offensive lineman we have signed this year. He is 6-6 and 350 pounds with tremendous strength and girth. Nick is an extremely physical football player that works incredibly hard both on the field and in the weight room. He will do a great job for us."
Sebastian Delasoudas – Video
6-2 | 290
Ft. Lee, N.J. | Don Bosco
An All-County selection in 2017, Delasoudas also earned All-State honorable mention while starting for New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco in 2017. A two-year starter on the line, he also served as his team's long snapper. Primarily a center in high school, he also played the guard spots, giving him versatility along the interior of the line.
Ahmere Dorsey - Video
5-10 | 175
Wilmington, Del. | Nassau CC
With two years of eligibility, Dorsey adds depth to the receiving and special teams units. In his sophomore season he caught 22 passes for 264 receiving yards, including two scores. He also had 571 kick return yards, averaging 30.1 yards per return with one touchdown return. Dorsey also averaged 9.1 yards on 10 punt returns last fall.
John Erby – Video
5-10 | 185
Chester, S.C. | Chester
Erby was his team's leading receiver, handled kicking and punting duties, and played quarterback. He also starred on the school's soccer and golf teams, all while being in the top-10 academically in his class. As a junior, he averaged 22.5 yards per catch and caught six touchdown passes. Playing quarterback as a senior, he ran for 906 yards and 16 touchdowns while passing for 1,933 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Wide Receivers Coach Donovan Varney on Erby
"John is an outstanding athlete who also played quarterback and kicker/punter. What makes him special is his relentless pursuit of excellence off the field, where he boasts a 4.7 GPA. We have a championship caliber player and student in John Erby."
Hunter Gorgas – Video
6-5 | 250
Shrewsbury, Mass. | St. John's
A two-way starter, Gorgas led St. John's to the 2017 state championship. He earned All-State honors while caching five touchdown passes and recording 10 sacks on defense. His grandfather, Gerald Wisne, played on Notre Dame's 1966 national championship team. Two of his uncles – Gerald Wisne, Jr. and Andy Wisne – also played for the Fighting Irish.
Andre Johnson - Video
6-0 | 205
Vero Beach, Fla. | Vero Beach
His team's leading tackler with 125 tackles in 2017, Johnson had 15 sacks during his senior season with Vero Beach. He added five interceptions and was a finalist for the TCPalm.com All-Area Player of the Year honor. As a junior, Johnson had 100 tackles at Sebastian River. He recorded double-digit tackle totals in six games in 2017.
Linebackers Coach Troy Gilmer on Johnson
"Andre has a consistent knack for the ball, making big plays and creating turnovers. His speed and physicality are a great addition to our linebacker unit. He plays with a high passion for the game."
Naim Jones – Video
6-0 | 210
Coram, N.Y. | Nassau CC
A mid-year signee with two seasons of eligibility, Jones was third in the country averaging 8.5 yards per carry last fall for Nassau. In 16 career games for Nassau, 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. He also showed solid hands out of the backfield, catching 26 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns over two seasons.
Running Backs/Specialists Coach Jim Micelli on Jones
"Naim has great feet and acceleration. He is a powerful runner who averaged more than 8 yards per carry and caught more than 20 passes. He will help us from Day One, and we are excited to work with him."
Evan Lovell – Video
6-4 | 305
Thomaston, N.J. | Peddie School
A first-team All-Area, All-Prep and All-MAPL selection in 2016 and 2017 for the Peddie School, Lovell led an offensive line that helped his team average 8.7 yards per carry last fall. In nine games, his offense ran for 1,200 yards, helping the team win the MAPL title. Lovell also had offers from Kent State and Sacred Heart.
Offensive Line Coach Keegan Kennedy on Lovell
"Evan is a young man who ha played all three positions on the offensive line. Evan is a big, strong, developed football player who plays with a nasty streak. He does a great job in moving defensive linemen off the ball and finishing."
James Makszin – Video
6-3 | 290
Norwalk, Conn. | St. Thomas More
Originally headed to Temple, Makszin spent a prep season at St. Thomas More last fall and will now come to Kingston. A two-way lineman who was highly recruited coming out of Norwalk, Makszin had 46 tackles, five sacks and 12 quarterback hurries during his senior season, when he earned All-State Class LL and All-FCIAC first team honors.
Ryan McDonough – Video
6-4 | 250
Vero Beach, Fla. | Vero Beach
Active in the trenches, McDonough had 67 tackles and 9.5 sacks for Vero Beach in 2017. He earned All-County recognition while helping fellow Rhode Island commit Andre Johnson lead Vero Beach to the 8A semifinals last fall.
Defensive Line Coach Joe Coniglio on McDonough
"Ryan is a physical player who has outstanding versatility. He can line up anywhere on the defensive line and be productive. He played for a great high school program. He will challenge for playing time early in his career."
Isaiah Moak – Video
6-0 | 205
Averill Park, N.Y. | Hudson Valley CC
With two years of eligibility, Moak was a force at Hudson Valley, finishing with 98 tackles last fall, good for 18th among NJCAA players. A Dean's List student at Hudson Valley, he also had six sacks in just 10 games. Moak spent his first year at Division III Alfred University, racking up 138 tackles and earning All-Empire 8 Athletic Conference Honorable Mention while leading his team to an Empire 8 title. Moak attended Averill Park High School in New York, where he earned Honorable Mention All-New York State Class A at linebacker in 2014 and 2015. He had offers from Albany, Robert Morris and Wagner.
Linebackers coach Troy Gilmer on Moak
"Isaiah brings a lot of versatility to the defense. He's able to play inside and outside. He's a physical player that consistently plays with a high motor. We are excited to have him and his relentless work ethic on the team."
Griffin Saks – Video
6-0 | 225
Durham, Conn. | Xavier
Saks spent his high school career playing center and defensive end at Xavier High School in Connecticut, where current starting offensive lineman Kevin Lawrence was a teammate. At Rhode Island, Saks will be a long snapper for the Rams. Heavily recruited by several smaller programs to play defensive line, Saks 55 career tackles and four sacks for Xavier. He has great operation time and accuracy as a snapper.
Specialists Coach Jim Micelli on Saks
"Griffin demonstrates very good velocity and accuracy at both short and long snaps. He does a very nice job of getting downfield and making tackles. He will be able to compete Day One for playing time."
Perry Shelbred – Video
5-9 | 180
Waccabuc, N.Y. | John Jay
An All-Section honoree for John Jay in 2017, Shelbred attended the Hammer Kicking Academy. Outstanding on kickoffs, Shelbred was 5-for-6 on field goal attempts last fall, including a long make of 42 yards. He was perfect on extra point attempts and also served as his team's punter.
Lorenzo Thompson - Video
6-6 | 260
Syracuse, N.Y. | Cicero North
A two-time Second-Team All-State selection, Brown also earned First-Team All-Section 3 and All-County honors at left tackle for Cicero North in 2017. He helped his team post a 20-2 record over the last two seasons, leading Cicero to the Class AA sectional title and a spot in the state semifinals last fall. The team rushed for 4,190 yards last season.
Caleb Warren – Video
6-3 | 235
Brandon, Fla. | Seffner Christian Acad.
As an incredibly versatile weapon for Seffner Christian Academy, Warren played both defensive end and tight end. On offense Warren amassed 308 passing yards, 247 rushing yards, and 583 receiving yards along with 13 total touchdowns in his senior year alone. He also tallied 13.5 sacks and 108 tackles in his career.
Keith Wells – Video
6-2 | 280
Pittsburgh, Pa. | Lackawanna College
A junior college transfer coming in with two seasons of eligibility, Wells played two seasons as a defensive tackle at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania. In his sophomore season he totaled 34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss while leading his team to the Sun Bowl. Wells also spent his high school career at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in Pittsburgh, where he earned WPI All-Conference honors. Extremely athletic, he can do a backflip despite being 280 pounds. He considered going to IUP, Robert Morris and Coastal Carolina.
Defensive Line Coach Joe Coniglio on Wells
"Keith is a twitchy, explosive player who will contribute on the interior defensive line. He has the ability to be dynamic against the run and the pass with his speed and quickness. We expect him to be an instant impact player."
Malik Wilder – Video
5-10 | 180
Bronx, N.Y. | Nassau CC
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.
Defensive Coordinator Pete Rekstis on Wilder
"Malik is an excellent athlete and technician. He has a great feel for coverages and has a wealth of experience playing corner. He will be a tremendous asset to our back end."