College football teams and fans begin to look to the future today.

It’s signing day. This is the first day high school seniors can sign binding national letters of intent that commit them to the school they plan to attend.

Seventeen Cape-Atlantic League and southern Ocean County high school players have verbally committed to attend Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) or Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) on scholarships.

Most will sign letters of intent during ceremonies at their respective schools today. Here is a look at the players who have given verbal commitments.


Ray Ellis

Florida Atlantic

DT 6-1 260

Holy Spirit

Ellis is a dominant defensive player. He had five sacks and led the Spartans to an 11-1 record and the state Non-Public II final.

Mike Gesicki

Penn State

TE 6-6 225

Southern Regional

Gesicki is one of the nation’s top tight end prospects. He caught 33 passes for 530 yards and four touchdowns. Gesicki finished his career with 103 catches for 1,817 yards, both Southern records.

David Hood


RB 5-10 185


Hood rushed 186 times for 1,431 yards and 17 touchdowns. Finished tied for the CAL scoring lead with 126 points.

Kenny Randall


DL 6-3 290

Mainland Regional

Randall verbally committed to Temple but he won’t sign today. He might attend a prep school to bolster his grades. He made 47 tackles - nine for losses. Randall had three sacks

Antoine White

Penn State

DL 6-3 250


While already graduated from Millville and has enrolled at Penn State, so he can participate in spring practice. He made 70 tackles. He intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. White also forced two fumbles and blocked an extra point.


Abdullah Anderson


DE 6-4 230


Anderson had 61 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 pass break ups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

T.J. Anderson

Rhode Island

QB/LB 6-0 215

Holy Spirit

Rhode Island recruited Anderson as a defensive player. He rushed for eight touchdowns and more than 450 yards. He also threw six touchdown passes.

A.J. Dawson


DB 5-9 160

Holy Spirit

Dawson is one of the state's top defensive backs. He intercepted four passes and returned interceptions 30, 48 and 85 yards for touchdowns.

Jamil Demby


OL 6-5 290


Demby is a quick and strong lineman. Maine finished 10-3 and won the Colonial Athletic Association last fall.

David Donovan



Mainland Regional

A three-year starter, Donovan made 56 tackles last season, 10 of them for losses.

Austin Gray

St. Francis (Pa.)

DT 6-3 285

Egg Harbor Township

Gray made 121 tackles in 19 varsity games.

Mike McGrath


OL 6-6 294

St. Augustine Prep

McGrath led an offensive line that sparked the Hermits to a 16-5 record the past two seasons. St. Augustine averaged 35.4 points the past two years.

Alex Padovani


WR/DB 6-2 185


He intercepted three passes and made 46 tackles. Padovani also caught seven touchdown passes.

Ed Shockley


LB 6-0 216


Shockley is one of the top linebackers in South Jersey. He made 110 tackles and also contributed five sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Paul Stanton

Sacred Heart

OL/DL 6-0 226

Ocean City

Stanton was a Cape-Atlantic League National Conference all-star.

Jeff Steeb


LB 6-3 215

Holy Spirit

He has the strength to stop the run and the speed to cover receivers out of the backfield. Steeb led the Spartans with 10 tackles in a 35-16 loss to DePaul in the state Non-Public II title game.

Christian Tutela


WR/DB 5-10 180

Lacey Township

Tutela lined up at running back and wide receiver and also played defensive back. He caught 54 passes for 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tutela also rushed 41 times for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He made 65 tackles on defense.

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.