Pat Moran of Barnegat High School will join a football program on the rise when he attends Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa., in the fall.
Moran, 18, will attend the school on a combination athletic and academic scholarship. Saint Francis won one game in 2010, two games in 2011 but finished 5-6 last season.
The 5-foot-10, 193-pound Moran excelled at wide receiver, defensive back and kicker for Barnegat. He barely came off the field for the Bengals, who finished 5-5 last season. Moran caught 42 passes for 547 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. On defense, he made 88 tackles and picked off three passes.
Moran will play strong safety and special teams for Saint Francis.
"I think focusing one position will help me," Moran said. "It will give me the time to work on the little things I didn't get to work on as a high school player. I can work on the technique things that kind of get overlooked."
The Red Flash, a Football Championships Subdivision school, play in the Northeast Conference. Head coach Chris Villarrial, who just completed his third season, played 11 seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills.
"Coach V came in when they were a low program and they're really progressing," Moran said. "I like the way they run their program, the way they lift, and the way they condition. They're high-tempo workouts. They're really into it."
Moran also has a local connection to Saint Francis. Saint Francis defensive backs coach Jason Glezman played for current Barnegat defensive coordinator Kevin Smith at Mater Dei.
Holy Spirit offensive lineman Steve Domonowski will continue his career at Widener University, one of the nation's top Division III programs. The Pennsylvania school finished 11-1 and lost in the Division III quarterfinals last season.
"It's a great school, a great campus and fantastic coaching," Domonowski said. "They don't have a lot of linemen so I'm hoping to fill in quick."
Domonowski helped lead Holy Spirit to three straight state titles.
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