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IUP FOOTBALL: Cignetti announces first batch of recruits

by MATTHEW BURGLUND on February 22, 2012 2:15 AM

The recruiting picture is a bit clearer

for the IUP Crimson Hawks.

Football coach Curt Cignetti on Tuesday

released the names of 11 high school players who have signed

national letters of intent to join the program, as well as four

transfers who are already enrolled.

“I’m very pleased and excited about the

young men who have decided to join the program here at IUP,”

Cignetti said. “Recruiting is a team effort, and I’d like to thank

everyone in the IUP community who helped with the


High school players were eligible to

sign letters of intent on Feb. 1, the first day of the signing

period. Many schools announce their lists of recruits that day, but

IUP has held back because the recruiting period is still under way.

Cignetti said he expects to add a few more recruits before the

signing period ends.

Among the 11 high school recruits who

have signed are 10 players from Pennsylvania, mostly from the

eastern half of the state.

They are, in alphabetical



  • Arthur Bradley, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound defensive back from

    Friendship Collegiate Academy, in Washington, D.C.



  • Kevin Clarke, a 5-10, 205-pound linebacker/fullback from

    West Mifflin.



  • Khaliq Coleman, a 6-4, 190-pound wide receiver from

    Milton Hershey High School. Over the last two seasons, Coleman

    caught 61 passes for 945 yards and eight touchdowns.



  • James Griffin, a 5-11, 180-pound running back/defensive

    back from Strath Haven, in Wallingford, Delaware County. In three

    years of varsity football, Griffin rushed for a combined 1,973

    yards, including 1,109 as a senior. According to one newspaper

    account, Griffin picked IUP over Shippensburg.



  • Benttion Hendricks, a 6-1, 180-pound wide

    receiver/defensive back from Gettysburg. As a senior, he caught 46

    passes for 777 yards and seven touchdowns. He reportedly chose IUP

    over Bloomsburg.



  • Allen Holman, a 6-1, 215-pound linebacker from Bishop

    McDevitt High School, in Harrisburg.



  • Shane Johnson, a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker/defensive end,

    from Cardinal O’Hara High School, in Springfield, Delaware




  • Tony Morgante, a 6-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from

    Crestwood High School, in Mountain Top, Luzerne County.



  • Matt Reams, a 6-2, 300-pound offensive lineman from

    Wyoming Valley West High School, in Kingston, Luzerne




  • Manny Simpson, a 5-10, 200-pound running back from

    Penn-Trafford High School. In two years as a starter, Simpson

    rushed for 2,825 yards for the Class AAAA Warriors. In a 38-28 win

    over Indiana on Oct. 21, Simpson rushed for 179 yards and scored

    two touchdowns.



  • Tyrayl Veney, a 6-3, 190-pound wide receiver from

    Indiana. Veney signed with IUP on Feb. 1, which was previously

    reported. He is Indiana’s all-time leading receiver and is coming

    off a spectacular senior season, in which in caught 36 passes for

    945 yards and 13 touchdowns.



  • Also, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ackeno

    Robertson, a 5-10, 180-pound running back/defensive back from

    Germantown High School, is expected to sign a letter of intent.

    Cignetti released only the names of players whose letters had been

    signed and returned by Tuesday afternoon.


As for the transfers, Cignetti has added

four players who are expected to step in and offer immediate help.

All four are on campus and will participate in spring drills, which

begin near the end of March.

The four transfers are: Mike Cruz (6-5,

270), a tight end from Pitt; Matt Knotts (6-1, 330), a defensive

lineman from Erie Community College; Shane Meisner (6-4, 260), a

defensive end from Rutgers; and Anthony Meriweather (6-2, 190), a

wide receiver from Akron.

According to IUP’s spring roster, there

are six other additions, but Cignetti said they are mid-year

walk-ons. Included in that group is defensive lineman Allen Lane

(5-11, 285), who played high school football at Indiana but spent

the last two seasons at Lackawanna Community College.

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