FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart head football coach Mark Nofri has announced the addition of eight to National Letters of Intent on National Signing Day. Combined with the 19 NLI signings the Pioneers made back on Dec. 20, this signals the largest incoming class in Coach Nofri's eight-year tenure at SHU. The eight newest Pioneers joins the SHU Class of 2014 and will take the field for the first time in the fall of 2020.
Among the eight student-athletes to commit include: WR Payton Rhoades (Silver Creek, Ga.), K/P Samuel Renzi (Alexandria, Va.), OLB/SS Zion Pack (Charlotte, N.C.), CB Jeremye Brown-Allen (Bronx, N.Y.), DT Sam Walker (Staten Island, N.Y.), WR Kenneth Womack (Upper Marlboro, Md.), CB Arsheen Jiles (Montclair, N.J.) and DE Kyle Davis (Bloomfield, Conn.).
The eight commitments joins the 19 early commits which includes: 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.).
In total, SHU has signed 27 to National Letters of Intent with players coming from eight different states and a position-by-position breakdown looks like this: 1 QB, 3 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OL, 7 DL, 3 LB, 6 DB, 1 K/P.
"We're thrilled with the eight additions we made on National Signing Day," Coach Nofri said. "My staff worked tirelessly throughout the summer and into the fall and winter to put this class together. They found the kids that fit the SHU mold: tough, gritty, and hard-nosed players that love football and put the team first. We can't wait for the new season and to get these guys into the mix."
Payton Rhoades | Silver Creek, GA | Pepperell High School
- Wide Receiver
- 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
- A three-sport start at Pepperell, with letters in football, basketball and track and field
- 2019 Rome News Tribune All-Area First Team on offense
- 2019 All-Region at wide receiver
- Invited to play in the Georgia Elite Classic and Georgia vs. Florida High School Showcase
- Finished his senior year with 33 receptions for 575 yards (17.4 yards per catch) and six touchdowns in nine games played
- Also shined in his junior season, tallying 47 catches for 594 yards (12.6 yards per catch) with eight touchdowns in 11 games
Coach Nofri: "Payton is a tall, athletic receiver who is a great competitor and loves football. He's a 'football junkie' and comes from an athletic background in that his father is a football coach."
Samuel Renzi | Alexandria, VA | Mount Vernon High School
- 6-foot, 180 pounds
- 2019 First Team All-State at kicker in Virginia
- 2019 Second Team All-NOVA
- 2019 Second Team All-Met
- 2019 First Team All-Region at kicker and Second Team at punter
- Was perfect (34-for-34) on PATs in his senior season while going 7-for-8 on field goals with a season-long of 44 yards
- Averaged 42.1 yards per punt in his senior year
- Kicked a career-long FG of 47 yards in his junior year
- Was 154-for-161 in his high school career on extra point attempts
Coach Nofri: "Sam has an outstanding leg and excels at all three phases of kicking. Punt, kickoff and field goals."
Zion Pack | Charlotte, NC | St. Thomas More School
- Outside Linebacker/Strong Safety
- 6-foot, 200 pounds
- Helped lead St. Thomas More to an undefeated 8-0 season and No. 1 ranking for prep schools in New England
- Versatile defender who plays with a mean streak near the line and still has the coverage skills to play in the safety spot
Coach Nofri: "Zion projects as a strong safety who can play on the has or near the line of scrimmage. He's tough, fast, athletic and a good tackler."
Jeremye Brown-Allen | Bronx, NY | Capital Prep Harbor School
- Defensive Back
- 5-foot-10, 180 pounds
- Versatile two-way athlete who excelled as a DB as well as WR, RB and KR for Capital Prep Harbor in Bridgeport
- Named All-League at running back after rushing for 884 yards on 155 carries (5.7 yards per carry; 88.4 yards per game) with four TDs in 2019
Coach Nofri: "Jeremye is a very good athlete who is physical at the corner position and can play safety as well."
Sam Walker | Staten Island, NY | Erasmus Hall High School
- Defensive Tackle
- 6-foot-2, 260 pounds
- Helped lead Erasmus Hall to the 2019 Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) Championship in NYC
- Has the size to defend the run and the strength to get to the QB through the interior
Coach Nofri: "Sam is a tough, hard-nosed defensive tackle from New York with great size and we're looking for him to play early in his career."
Kenneth Womack | Upper Marlboro, MD | Bishop McNamara High School
- Wide Receiver
- 5-foot-11, 180 pounds
- 2019 All-Met Honorable Mention at wide receiver
- Two-time All-WCAC (2018-19)
- Burst onto the scene as a senior, finishing with 34 catches for 608 yards (17.9 yards per catch) and 7 TD in 10 games played
- A two-sport star at Bishop McNamara, Womack will also attempt to play basketball at SHU as he is a four-year varsity contributor at point guard and he plays at the club level for New World Basketball, one of the top AAU teams in the country
Coach Nofri: "Kenneth is a fast, athletic receiver with good hands. He's looking to be a two-sport athlete here at SHU, football and basketball."
Arsheen Jiles | Montclair, NJ | Don Bosco Prep
- 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
- Pure cover corner at Don Bosco Prep, annually one of the top prep schools in the nation
Coach Nofri: "Arsheen is a defensive back who is fast and has great cover skills and can also return kicks. He comes from a great high school program in Don Bosco Prep and we're expecting great things from him."
Kyle Davis | Bloomfield, CT | Bloomfield High School
- Defensive End
- 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
- Dominated at the high school level in Connecticut, racking up 90 total tackles, 35 TFL and 15.5 sacks in 11 games in his senior year at Bloomfield in 2019
- Totaled 61 tackles with 17 TFL and 7.5 sacks in his junior season in 2018
- 2019 All-State at the Class S level in Connecticut on defense
- 2019 All-CHSCA
- 2019 All-CCC Division III
Coach Nofri: "Kyle is a defensive end that is fast and strong. He runs well and will help our overall pass rush."