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Crusaders Sign 23 On National Signing Day

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

 

Wednesday, February 5 marks National Signing Day for high school athletes looking to play football in the fall. While much of the attention is turned to the major FBS teams, this day is extremely important across the landscape of college football.

One school that did very well for itself on National Signing Day is Holy Cross. The program brought in 23 National signees including four players from Massachusetts. The class is compiled of 12 defensive players, 10 offensive players and one punter. The newest Crusaders have five defensive linemen, four defensive backs and wide receivers, three linebackers, two quarterbacks and running backs, and one offensive lineman, tight end and punter.

In a statement from Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore, he said, "This is an outstanding class. We addressed our needs with talented players who will have an immediate impact on our depth at many positions. I am excited that they have chosen to join our family and look forward to an exciting future together.”

The athletic department for Holy Cross has provided a complete list of signees, along with biographical information on each player, which is provided below.

Name | Position | Height | Weight | Hometown | High School

Blaise Bell, QB, 6-3, 190, Aurora, Ill., Metea Valley

Daniel Bernard, DT, 6-3, 315, Coral Springs, Fla., North Broward Prep

Andre Harton, WR, 5-10, 165, Alpharetta, Ga., Alpharetta

Jordan Kupec, DT, 6-4, 256, Yardville, N.J., Steinert

Jack Kutschke, DE, 6-5, 250, Lake Forest, Ill., Lake Forest

Darrius Lacy, WR, 5-11, 170, St. Petersburg, Fla., Northeast

Brett Laurie, DB, 5-11, 185, Glenview, Ill., Glenbrook South

Nick McBeath, LB, 6-1, 210, Miami, Fla., Christopher Columbus

Mike McCaffrey, DB, 5-9, 185, Winchester, Mass., Buckingham Browne & Nichols

Will McGrail, P, 6-5, 215, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., Don Bosco Prep

James McHale, QB, 6-3, 205, Buchanan, N.Y., Fordham Prep

Matt Millett, WR, 6-2, 195, Marblehead, Mass., Marblehead

Alim Muhammad, DB, 5-10, 160, St. Louis, Mo., Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day

Dan Proano, LB, 6-2, 220, Chicago, Ill., Notre Dame College Prep

Jayke Simsheuser, TE, 6-4, 250, Lee’s Summit, Mo., Rockhurst

Tim Smith, HB, 6-2, 225, Dartmouth, Mass., Dartmouth

Charlie Steele, OL, 6-8, 295, Melrose, Mass., Melrose

Patrick Stewart, DL, 6-0, 250, Potomac, Md., Georgetown Prep

Chase Stratton, DB, 5-11, 185, Alpharetta, Ga., Alpharetta

Ahmad Tyler, WR, 6-3, 180, Kansas City, Kan., Rockhurst (Mo.)

Diquan Walker, RB, 5-10, 180, Clearwater, Fla., Clearwater Central Catholic

Lawton Ward, LB, 5-11, 190, Marietta, Ga., Marietta

Phil Zobrest, DE, 6-5, 235, Alden, N.Y., Alden

 

Blaise Bell, QB, 6-3, 190, Aurora, Ill., Metea Valley High School

• Played for head coach Ben Kleinhans at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, Ill.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• A two-time All-Conference selection.

• Threw for over 2,800 yards during his high school career.

• Set school single-game, single-season and career records for passing yards.

• Named Academic All-Conference as a senior.

 

Daniel Bernard, DT, 6-3, 315, Coral Springs, Fla., North Broward Preparatory School

• Played for head coach Roland Nottage at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Fla.

• Named honorable mention All-Broward County by the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in 2013.

• Selected to play in the Miami-Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game as a senior.

• Made 48 total tackles with five quarterback sacks and nine tackles for loss in 2013.

• Finished his high school career with 62 total tackles and 12 tackles for loss.

• Named his team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman as a senior.

 

Andre Harton, WR, 5-10, 165, Alpharetta, Ga., Alpharetta High School

• Played for head coach Jason Dukes at Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Ga.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Earned first team All-Region 6-AAAAAA honors as a senior.

• Named second team All-North Fulton by the Alpharetta Revue & News.

• Caught 53 passes for 1,102 yards and 11 touchdowns during his high school career.

• Helped lead team to two Region 6-AAAAAA championships.

• Also lettered in track and field, setting a school record in the high jump (6’4”).

 

Jordan Kupec, DT, 6-4, 256, Yardville, N.J., Steinert High School

• Played for head coach Daniel Caruso at Steinert High School in Hamilton, N.J.

• Named the 12th Man Touchdown Club’s Defensive Lineman of the Week, following a 21-0 victory over West Windsor-Plainsboro South in 2013.

• Member of National Honor Society.

 

Jack Kutschke, DE, 6-5, 250, Lake Forest, Ill., Lake Forest High School

• Played for head coach Chuck Spagnoli at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Ill.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Received Class 6A All-State and Academic All-State honors from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association in 2013.

• A two-time All-North Suburban Conference Lake Division selection.

• Helped lead team to a conference title as a sophomore, the Class 6A state semifinals as a junior, and the Class 6A state quarterfinals as a senior.

• Also a member of the Lake Forest ice hockey team.

• Member of National Honor Society.

• Son of former Holy Cross football player Ed Kutschke.

 

Darrius Lacy, WR, 5-11, 170, St. Petersburg, Fla., Northeast High School

• Played for head coach Mike Jalazo at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, Fla.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Caught 20 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns in 2013, after finishing with 25 catches for 390 yards and three scores in 2012.

• Named his team’s Top Offensive Receiver and Special Teams MVP as a senior.

• Also a member of the track team at Northeast.

 

Brett Laurie, DB, 5-11, 185, Glenview, Ill., Glenbrook South High School

• Played for head coach Mike Noll at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Ill.

• Served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons.

• Received Class 8A All-State honors from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association in 2013.

• Named the Central Suburban League South Division Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, in addition to being a two-time All-Conference selection.

• Rushed for 1,013 yards and 12 touchdowns during his senior season.

• Finished his high school career with 1,862 rushing yards, 923 receiving yards, 3,532 all-purpose yards, 34 total touchdowns, 69 tackles and four interceptions.

 

Nick McBeath, LB, 6-1, 210, Miami, Fla., Christopher Columbus High School

• Played for head coach Chris Merritt at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Fla.

• Served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons.

• Named All-State and All-County.

• Totaled 78 tackles, seven quarterback sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries as a senior.

 

Mike McCaffrey, DB, 5-9, 185, Winchester, Mass., Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

• Played for head coach John Papas at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Received first team All-Independent School League honors as a senior.

• Also lettered in lacrosse.

• Son of former Holy Cross basketball player Jim McCaffrey.

 

Will McGrail, P, 6-5, 215, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., Don Bosco Preparatory High School

• Played for head coach Greg Toal at Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, N.J.

• Named first team All-Suburban, second team All-League and second team All-County as a senior.

• Helped team win a state championship in 2011 and a league title in 2013.

• Also lettered in basketball.

• Member of National Honor Society.

 

James McHale, QB, 6-3, 205, Buchanan, N.Y., Fordham Preparatory School

• Played for head coach Pete Gorynski at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• The first four-year letterman in school history.

• A two-time All-Catholic High School Football League selection.

• Completed 508 of 677 passes for 4,544 yards and 33 touchdowns during his high school career.

• Helped lead team to the 2011 Catholic High School Football League championship.

• Also lettered in basketball.

 

Matt Millett, WR, 6-2, 195, Marblehead, Mass., Marblehead High School

• Played for head coach Jim Rudloff at Marblehead High School in Marblehead, Mass.

• Named All-Northeastern Conference as a senior.

• Selected to the 2013 Lynn Daily Item and Salem News All-Star teams.

• Threw for 1,604 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior year.

• Helped lead his team to two Northeastern Conference titles.

• Also lettered in basketball and lacrosse.

• Son of former Holy Cross football player C.J. Millett.

 

Alim Muhammad, DB, 5-10, 160, St. Louis, Mo., Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School

• Played for head coach Josh Smith at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Mo.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• A two-time All-Conference selection.

• Received All-State, All-Metro and All-District honors as a senior.

• Helped lead the team to conference and district titles in 2011, while finishing as the state runner-up.

• Also lettered in basketball.

 

Dan Proano, LB, 6-2, 220, Chicago, Ill., Notre Dame College Preparatory School

• Played for head coach Michael Hennessey at Notre Dame College Preparatory School in Niles, Ill.

• Served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons.

• Received All-East Suburban Catholic Conference honors as a senior.

• Totaled 207 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, five quarterback sacks and three interceptions during his high school career.

• Received Class 8A Academic All-State honors from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association in 2013.

• Also a member of the varsity track and field team.

• Member of National Honor Society.

 

Jayke Simsheuser, TE, 6-4, 250, Lee’s Summit, Mo., Rockhurst High School

• Played for head coach Tony Severino at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Named to the 810 Varsity Elite 81 first team.

• Helped lead team to two district championships (2011 and 2012) and one sectional title (2011).

• Also a member of the varsity basketball and track and field teams.

 

Tim Smith, HB, 6-2, 225, Dartmouth, Mass., Dartmouth High School

• Played for head coach Richard White at Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, Mass.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• A two-time Old Colony League All-Star.

• Named a New Bedford Standard-Times second team All-Star in 2013.

• Also lettered in both indoor and outdoor track and field.

 

Charlie Steele, OL, 6-8, 295, Melrose, Mass., Melrose High School

• Spent one postgraduate year at Suffield Academy in Suffield, Conn., playing for head coach.

• Helped lead Suffield to a perfect 9-0 record and the 2013 Colonial League title.

• Previously played for head coach Tim Morris at Melrose High School in Melrose, Mass.

• Played basketball at both Suffield and Melrose.

• Also a thrower on the track and field team at Melrose.

 

Patrick Stewart, DL, 6-0, 250, Potomac, Md., Georgetown Preparatory School

• Played for head coach Dan Paro at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Received third team All-State honors.

• Selected second team All-Gazette for Montgomery County in 2013.

• Also served as captain of the wrestling team.

 

Chase Stratton, DB, 5-11, 185, Alpharetta, Ga., Alpharetta High School

• Played for head coach Jason Dukes at Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Ga.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Earned first team All-Region 6-AAAAAA honors as a senior.

• Named All-North Fulton by both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Alpharetta Revue & News.

• Totaled 44 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a team-high three interceptions as a senior.

• Helped lead team to two Region 6-AAAAAA championships.

• Also lettered in baseball.

 

Ahmad Tyler, WR, 6-3, 180, Kansas City, Kan., Rockhurst (Mo.) High School

• Played for head coach Tony Severino at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.

• Helped team to a perfect 14-0 record and a state championship during his freshman season.

• Later helped lead the team to two district championships (2011 and 2012) and one sectional title (2011).

• Also a member of the varsity basketball and track and field teams.

 

Diquan Walker, RB, 5-10, 180, Clearwater, Fla., Clearwater Central Catholic High School

• Played for head coach John Davis at Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Clearwater, Fla.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• A two-time All-Pinellas County selection.

• Rushed for 2,276 yards and 30 touchdowns during his high school career, while totaling 2,595 all-purpose yards.

• Led team to a state runner-up finish as a senior, and the state semifinals as a junior.

• Also a captain of the track and field team, placing first in the region and second in the state in the long jump.

 

Lawton Ward, LB, 5-11, 190, Marietta, Ga., Marietta High School

• Played for head coach Scott Burton at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga.

• Served as team captain during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

• A two-time second team All-Region selection.

• Totaled 220 tackles, nine quarterback sacks, three fumble recoveries and four interceptions during his high school career.

• Set a school record by returning an interception 99 yards for a touchdown against South Cobb in 2013.

• Also a member of the varsity wrestling team.

 

Phil Zobrest, DE, 6-5, 235, Alden, N.Y., Alden High School

• Played for head coach Rob Currin at Alden High School in Alden, N.Y.

• Served as team captain during his senior season.

• Helped lead team to two league championship and a section title.

• Totaled 109 tackles and 14 quarterback sacks during his high school career, including 64 tackles and nine sacks in his senior season.

• Also a member of the varsity track and field team. 

 

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