After losing 13 seniors to graduation following last year’s 8-3 run by the Slippery Rock football team, the Green and White will look to reload with this years recruiting class. All of these recruits are verbal commits (done through each athletes’ respective Twitter account), and none will be official until National Letter of Intent day February 7th. This article will be continuously updated as more commitments are made.
SRU had one player commit before the flip of the calendar in Defensive Tackle/Guard, Carson Picheco. Picheco has an interesting history, as he committed to play football at Duquesne a while back in August of 2016. After also receiving offers from California (Pa.), Alderson Broaddus, Clarion, St. Francis (Pa.), Youngstown State and taking a visit to Akron, Picheco decided on SRU on November 30th, and will join a team that has to replace two starting lineman on both sides of the ball.
Another former Division I recruit to join the Rock will be linebacker Brad Zaffram. Zaffram originally committed to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2015 and was redshirted before playing at Lackawanna college in 2016. Zaffram recorded 70 tackles and ten sacks before again transferring to Jones County Community college for the 2017 season, where he recorded 44 tackles in 10 games. Zaffram will join a young linebacker corps at SRU that keeps all of its’ starters from last year.
Another linebacker joining the Rock in 2018 will be Isaiah Manning, who also plays running back. Manning comes from Meadville high school where he played football, basketball and volleyball. Manning was a standout at both running back and linebacker, accruing 4,933 rushing yards and 258 tackles. Manning was also offered by fellow Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) school Edinboro and Marist College.
An additional local player joining the Rock ranks will be defensive lineman Seth Williams from Kiski Area High School. Williams visited Buffalo and was also offered by Lake Erie College. Williams will join fellow Kiski graduate Chad Kuhn on the defensive line.
Peyton Remish is a dual sport athlete that will be joining the Green and White after playing both football and basketball at South Range high school in Canfield, Ohio.
John Eakin had visits and offers to Division I schools, but will choose SRU to further his athletic career. Eakin visited Bucknell and had offers from Army and Penn State (for track), but will join the Green and White after running for 23 touchdowns from the fullback position and recording 245 career tackles at Bradford.
Travis Thompson II will join Slippery Rock after playing wide receiver and cornerback at Gateway high school. Thompson scored two touchdowns and went for 172 yards in the PIAA 5-A state championship game last December.
Gavin Vargesko was offered by fellow PSAC school Seton Hill and chose SRU as his home for his athletic career. Vargesko comes off of starting at Bethel Park, who finished 8-2 in 2017.
Two-sport athletes seem to be bountiful in this years’ recruiting class, and Tyler Wallace from Beaver will join those ranks after playing basketball and football in high school. On his high school’s football team, Wallace was a standout wide receiver, and also handled the punting duties. Wallace has since decommitted.
Running back/Cornerback Jordan Crawford originally was committed to the 2017 Division III national champion Mount Union Raiders, but decided on January 21st that SRU would make a better home for him. Crawford Pulled double-duty on the Pine Richland offense last year, rushing for 1289 yards and totaling 539 yards receiving, finishing with a total of 31 touchdowns. Crawford also had offers from Millersville and Fairmont State.
Another addition to the defensive line will be Quaker Valley’s Andrew Seymour, fresh off of a PIAA state title in December. Seymour had an offer from Holy Cross and visited a slew of Division I schools including Robert Morris, Bowling Green and Toledo.
The offensive line will be bolstered by two recruits who had a myriad of options in colleges and both ended up selecting SRU. Matt Carr from Erie Cathedral Prep visited Princeton, Monmouth, Buffalo, Cornell and Lehigh; while Jeremiah Gutierrez, a Stroudsburg native, passed on his hometown PSAC school East Stroudsburg for The Rock.
Dahmir Ruffin, after being a star for Archbishop Carroll high school and attending camps at Penn State, Temple, Rutgers and Syracuse will make Slippery Rock his home, and joins a wide receiving corps looking to replace Marcus Johnson and Milly Raye.
Slippery Rock accrued two more recruits that both had offers from PSAC-rival school Clarion. Qaadir Dixon played wide receiver and cornerback at Martin Luther King in Philadelphia, while Kahari Perry will play strong safety after graduating from Greater Johnstown.
Slippery Rock also has two outstanding offers to quarterback recruits, neither of which have made a decision. Isaac Clark threw for 2267 yards and 30 touchdowns at Farrel, and has taken a visit to Navy. TJ Pergine had a storied career at Spring-Ford high school where he threw for 4374 yards and 47 touchdowns. Pergine also has offers from East Stroudsburg, Sacred Heart and has visited James Madison.
On February 2nd, Both Pergine and Clark committed to the Rock.
Tanner Volpatti will join his teammate Vargesko after committing to SRU on January 27th. Volpatti was also offered by Glenville State and West Virginia State. Volpatti was able to become a star running back and strong safety at Bethel Park after he broke his femur freshmen year and collarbone sophomore year.
Jonah Miller committed from Dallastown high school and will be the third offensive lineman to join The Rock offensive line. Miller prides himself on academics, and held a 3.86 GPA in high school.