Jamil Demby felt the mixture of a good campus, good football program and the fact that the University of Maine is a good business school made becoming a Black Bear easy.

Demby, a standout offensive tackle for Vineland High School, committed to Maine on Tuesday. Maine, a Division I Football Championship Subdivision school, went 10-3 last season, winning the Colonial Athletic Association.

“I really liked the competition they played, and I liked what they had to offer education wise,” Demby, who is looking to major in business, said on the phone Tuesday.

“It’s a really quiet campus, and there aren’t a lot of distractions. That will help me focus on my craft as a football player and help me with my education.”

Vineland coach Dan Russo said he wishes he would have had more than one year to coach Demby. Over the last year, Demby showed massive improvements according to scouts, Russo said.

“I’d like to credit that to my offensive line coach, Sylvie Cifaloglia,” said Russo, who coached his first season at Vineland last season.

Demby, 17, is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, the prototypical size for an offensive lineman. Russo said it will be tough to replace Demby.

“Not only is he great on the football field, he’s excellent in the classroom,” Russo said. “He’s the type of player you want to build your program around. He’s exactly what we’re looking for here at Vineland, and I just wish I got him as a freshman.”

Demby first got attention from Patriot League schools such as Bucknell, Lafayette and Fordham. He then started getting looks from Sacred Heart and Morgan State before deciding on Maine.

“The first visit (at Maine) I already felt like family,” Demby said. “I got a good vibe from (coach Jack Cosgrove) and the offensive line coach (Jeff) Ambroise.

“When I went on the campus, it was a really nice campus and somewhere I saw myself going and becoming a man.”

Contact John Russo:


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.