Football Adds 19 Early Signees on National Signing Day

Football Adds 19 Early Signees on National Signing Day

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart head football coach Mark Nofri has announced the signing of 19 to National Letters of Intent in the Early National Signing period. This signals the largest number of early NLI signees in the eight years Coach Nofri has been at the helm for SHU. The 19 newest Pioneers join the SHU Class of 2024 and will take the field for the first time in the fall of 2020.

Among the 19 early commits include: QB Michael Burke (Pine Brook, N.J.), DL Carson Primrose (Pittsburgh, Pa.), RB Jalen Madison (Stratford, Conn.), OL Stephen Stella (Staten Island, N.Y.), WR Luqman Haskett (Virginia Beach, Va.), DE Onarjae Bonhometre (Staten Island, N.Y.), LB Carlex Tiemeni (Fairfax, Va.), DE Shamore Collins (Millville, N.J.), OT Cody Wilson (Albion, N.Y.), DB Quinn Hart (Williamstown, N.J.), TE Max Hostetter (Lancaster, Pa.), DB Jaheem Knight (Philadelphia, Pa.), DL Jalen Gopie (Waterbury, Conn.), LB Brad Small (Sicklerville, N.J.), LB Ernest Howard Jr. (Absecon, N.J.), RB Tashawn Watters (Elkton, Md.) DB Jon Wood (Williamstown, N.J.), DT Howard Powell (Stratford, Conn.) and RB Jada Byers (Bridgeton, N.J.).

"This is the largest class we've ever had sign early and I'm extremely proud of the job our coaches did working throughout the summer and fall putting this class together," Nofri said. "They worked tirelessly to find kids that fit the SHU mold: tough, gritty, and hard-nosed players that love football and put the team first."


Michael Burke | Pine Brook, NJ | Montville Township HS

  • Quarterback
  • 6-foot-2, 195 pounds
  • Totaled 2,338 all-purpose years and 23 touchdowns for Montville Township in 2019
  • Four-year starter at QB for the Mustangs
  • Set a school career passing record with 5,340 yards and 42 touchdowns through the air
  • Also holds career records for both passing (42) and rushing (41) touchdowns
  • His 2,648 rushing yards is just 38 short of the Montville school record

Coach Nofri: "Dual threat QB who is a good athlete and a great competitor."


Carson Primrose | Pittsburgh, PA | North Catholic HS

  • Defensive tackle
  • 6-foot-2, 280 pounds
  • Three-year starter at DT
  • Helped lead North Catholic to the 2019 Big East Championship (undefeated regular season)
  • First Team All-Conference on offense, Second Team All-Conference at defense

Coach Nofri: "Carson is an outstanding DT who runs well, plays with physicality and loves the game of football."


Jalen Madison | Startford, CT | Brunswick School

  • Running back
  • 5-foot-9, 195 pounds
  • 2019 NEPSAC Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2019 All-New England
  • 1,376 rushing yards, 18 TD for Brunswick in 2019
  • Joins fellow teammate Howard Powell as an early NLI signee at SHU

Coach Nofri: "Jalen is a very good RB with speed and great vision."


Stephen Stella | Staten Island, NY | Monsignor Farrell HS

  • Offensive line
  • 6-foot-6, 325 pounds
  • Three-year varsity player for Farrell
  • Played right tackle and nose guard at Farrell
  • Led the team in pancake blocks (16) in 2019

Coach Nofri: "Stephen is a big, physical presence on the line who plays with a mean streak."


Luqman Haskett | Virginia Beach, VA | Landstown HS

  • Wide receiver
  • 5-foot-9, 170 pounds
  • As a senior at Landstown, finished with 71 receptions for 1,185 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season
  • 2019 First Team All-Beach District
  • 2019 First Team All-Region 6A selection

Coach Nofri: "A great athletic receiver who shows good speed and great route running abilities."


Onarjae (RJ) Bonhometre | Staten Island, NY | Curtis HS

  • Defensive end
  • 6-foot, 225 pounds
  • Racked up 11 sacks and 75 total tackles in 2019

Coach Nofri: "RJ is an outstanding pass rusher with great speed. He's physical and plays the game hard."


Carlex Tiemeni | Fairfax, VA | Chantilly HS

  • Linebacker
  • 5-foot-11, 210 pounds
  • Three-year player for Chantilly
  • 2019 First Team All-District
  • 2019 First Team All-Region

Coach Nofri: "Carlex runs really well and makes plays all over the field at the LB position."


Shamore Collins | Millville, NJ | Millville HS

  • Defensive end
  • 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
  • First Team All-New Jersey Group 4
  • Second Team All-South Jersey
  • 2019 Press High School All-Star
  • Posted 77 tackles, 21 TFL, five sacks and two INT in 2019
  • Also played offense, finishing with 38 carries, 142 yards, 5 rushing TD as well as 36 receptions, 389 yards and 4 receiving TD in 2019
  • Older brother Shamere Collins is a rising junior at SHU

Coach Nofri: "Shamore is a very versatile athlete who can excel at multiple positions and he can really rush the QB."


Cody Wilson | Albion, NY | Albion HS

  • Offensive line
  • 6-foot-6, 260 pounds
  • Finalist for the 2019 Trench Trophy handed to the Western New York Lineman of the Year
  • Two-year, two-way starter for Albion at offensive tackle and defensive end
  • 2019 First Team B3 Division honors
  • 2018 Second Team B3 Division honoree

Coach Nofri: "Cody is a big, athletic OT with good feet and will be a mainstay at OT for four years."


Quinn Hart | Williamstown, NJ | Williamstown HS

  • Defensive back
  • 5-foot-9, 175 pounds
  • Helped lead Williamstown to 2019 Regional Championship and back-to-back South Jersey Section State titles
  • Played for a defensive unit at Williamstown that posted five shutouts in 2019
  • Joins fellow teammate Jon Wood as an early NLI signee at SHU

Coach Nofri: "Quinn is a very good athlete who will play DB. He shows great cover skills and is physical at the line of scrimmage."


Max Hostetter | Lancaster, PA | Hempfield HS

  • Tight end
  • 6-foot-3, 230 pounds
  • Three-year varsity player at Hempfield

Coach Nofri: "Max is an outstanding blocking TE who provides a threat in the passing game."


Jaheem Knight | Philadelphia, PA | Northeast HS

  • Defensive back
  • 5-foot-11, 170 pounds
  • Three-year starter at cornerback for Northeast
  • Helped lead one of the top defensive units in the state, allowing 5.3 points per game

Coach Nofri: "Jaheem is a great cover corner with great speed who can play safety as well."


Jalen Gopie | Waterbury, CT | Waterbury Career Academy

  • Defensive line
  • 6-foot, 220 pounds
  • Two-Time First Team Class S All-State on defense
  • 2019 First Team All-League on offense

Coach Nofri: "Jalen is a fantastic athlete with great speed that can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball."


Brad Small | Sicklerville, NJ | Highland Regional HS

  • Linebacker
  • 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
  • Two-Time First Team All-South Jersey (2018-19)
  • 2019 All-State Honorable mention
  • Posted 130 tackles and seven sacks in 2019

Coach Nofri: "Brad is a tough LB who shows great smarts and love for the game while coming from a great football family."


Ernest Howard Jr. | Absecon, NJ | Pleasantville HS

  • Linebacker
  • 6-foot-1, 210 pounds
  • 2019 First Team All-Group 2
  • Totaled 80 tackles and led Pleasantville to the West Jersey Football League United Division title in 2019
  • Also finished with two INTs and two FF this past season
  • On offense, Howard rushed for more than 500 yards and scored 7 TDs

Coach Nofri: "Ernest is an outstanding LB with range who can run sideline-to-sideline."


Tashawn Watters | Elkton, MD | Elkton HS

  • Running back
  • 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
  • 2019 All-Chesapeake Division First Team on offense
  • 2019 All-Chesapeake Division Second Team on defense
  • Helped lead Elkton to the state semifinals this season

Coach Nofri: "Tashawn is a tough, hard-nosed RB with good speed and physicality."


Jon Wood | Williamstown, NJ | Williamstown HS

  • Defensive back
  • 5-foot-10, 170 pounds
  • Helped lead Williamstown to 2019 Regional Championship and back-to-back South Jersey Section State titles
  • Three-year varsity starter at Williamstown
  • Played for a defensive unit at Williamstown that posted five shutouts in 2019
  • Joins fellow teammate Quinn Hart as an early NLI signee at SHU

Coach Nofri: "Jon is a very good athlete who can play either side of the ball and probably will be a safety at SHU."


Howard Powell | Stratford, CT | Brunswick School

  • Defensive tackle
  • 5-foot-11, 300 pounds
  • Registered 52 total tackles, eight sacks, 16 TFL and two forced fumbles as a senior at Brunswick
  • 2019 Erickson League Co-Defensive Player of the Year
  • Led Brunswick to runner-up finish in Erickson League and a victory in the NEPSAC's Todd Marble Bowl this past season
  • Joins fellow teammate Jalen Madison as an early NLI signee at SHU

Coach Nofri: "Howard is a big, strong DT with a good motor. He's physical and can run sideline-to-sideline from the DL spot."


Jada Byers | Bridgeton, NJ | St. Joseph HS

  • Running back
  • 5-foot-7, 160 pounds
  • Byers owns South Jersey records for single-game points (60), career touchdowns (102) and single-game touchdowns (10)
  • Broke the state touchdowns record in a state semifinal win
  • Matched his own school record from 2018 with 35 touchdowns in 2019
  • Byers ran for 1,335 yards and 24, caught 45 passes for 734 yards and nine TDs, returned a fumble for a touchdown and had a 100-yard pick-6
  • Two-Time Courier Post Offensive Player of the Year (2018-19)
  • Byers continues a longstanding connection between SHU and St. Joseph HS as he'll be reunited with rising seniors Salaam Horne and Alaam Horne and J.D. DiRenzo while current assistant coach and former SHU standout Gordon Hill also shined for St. Joseph

Coach Nofri: "Jada is an outstanding athlete with tremendous speed. He can play RB, WR and KR."