Lacey Township High School’s Christian Tutela stood out on the football field last season.

The 5-foot-11 senior wide receiver announced Monday that he will attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision school. Last season, the Red Foxes went 8-3, including 7-1 in the Pioneer Football League to win the conference title.

“They’re the defending Pioneer Football League champs, and they have a lot to offer,” Tutela said on the phone Tuesday. “I’m really excited to go up there.

“I don’t think I will be redshirting or anything like that, so that’s one thing that definitely got me, too. I can’t wait to play. I just can’t watch.”

Tutela, 18, was named a Press first-team All-Star this past fall. He had 54 catches for 1,053 yards and 14 touchdown receptions to lead Lacey Township to a 5-5 record.

Tutela visited a handful of schools including Delaware and Towson (Md.) before making his decision. Marist, who gave Tutela a full academic scholarship, was the last stop on his list, and the school blew him away.

Members of the Pioneer Football League do not offer athletic scholarships to students for football.

“I felt definitely comfortable, I felt like I was at home,” Tutela said. “Just everybody around from the team to the people there, just everybody was nice.”

Academically, Tutela is undecided on his major but is leaning toward criminal justice.

Tutela expects to make an impact with Marist right away. As a physical receiver, Lacey coach Lou Vircillo thinks Tutela will bring a “Chrebet-style of receiving” to Marist, a reference to retired New York Jets wide receiver and Garfield native Wayne Chrebet.

“He was a very dominant offensive player for us the last two years at Lacey,” Vircillo said. “It was quite obvious no matter who we play or no matter how difficult the games, you knew the ball was going to him and he was going to make something happen.”

Contact John Russo:

609-272-7210

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.