Football Signs 21 Student-Athletes to NLI

Football Signs 21 Student-Athletes to NLI

February 4, 2009



SMITHFIELD, RI -  Bryant University head football coach Marty Fine is pleased to announce the signing of 21 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to enroll and participate in football at the University this fall.  The announcement was made today by coach Fine and Director of Athletics Bill Smith

"This is the best recruiting class in the history of our football program," said Fine who enters his sixth season at Bryant this fall.  "The addition of these fine young men will compliment both the football program and the campus community for the next four years."  

This year's recruiting class features nine offensive and 10 defensive players including standout defensive lineman Christopher Sywetz of Bergen Catholic (NJ) and Blair Academy and plus the addition of the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register Player of the Year in the state of Connecticut in running back Jordan Brown out of Glastonbury High School.

"Our coaching staff did an excellent job in not only recruiting high caliber students, but student-athletes who should be able to make an immediate impact with our football program as we prepare for our second season of Division I football. 

Bryant will begin its second season competing in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) 2009 as the school begins year two in the four-year transition process to full Division I membership.  The Bulldogs posted an impressive 7-4 record last season including wins over four against future members of the Northeast Conference.  Bryant will officially become a member of the NEC in the fall of 2012. 

2009 Bryant University Football Recruits

Name Pos. Ht Wt Hometown / School
Christophre Sywetz      DL 6-2 300 Bergenfield, NJ / Bergen Catholic / Blair Acad.
Michael Abadin LB 6-1 220 Miami, FL / Christopher Columbus
Zak Adamopoulous FB 6-1 230 Groveland, MA / Central Catholic
Sean Allen LB 6-0 215 Madison, NJ / Madison
Andrew Barrett TE/DL 6-5 240 Holliston, MA / Holliston
Mike Bennett DB 6-1 170 Paterson, NJ / Passaic County Technical
Jordan Brown RB 5-9 185 Glastonbury, CT / Glastonbury
Gerard Carnevale DB 6-1 170 Oceanport, NJ / Shore Regional
Alex Damore OL 6-0 255 Reading, MA / Reading Memorial
Ben Davis DL 6-0 240 Bedford, MA / Bedford
Ray Doucette QB 6-4 180 Cambridge, MA  / Cambridge Rindge & Latin
Michael Garcia DL 6-3 235 Methuen, MA / Central Catholic
Jordan Kelly OL 6-4 240 Canton, MA / Xaverian Brothers
Shavoy Lawrence WR 6-2 190 Paterson, NJ / Passaic County Technical
Matthew Lentz OL 6-6 275 Catonsville, MD / Loyola Blakefield
Brendan Murphy DB 6-0 180 Totowa, NJ / Passaic Valley
Adam Novak DL 6-2 250 Longmeadow, MA / Longmeadow
John Pinone LB 6-3 225 Glastonbury, CT / Glastonbury
Matt Pryzby QB 5-11 185 Blue Point, NY / St. John the Baptist
Ryan Schermerhorn OL/DL 6-4 250 Bedford, NY / Fox Lane
Ben Zats OL 6-3 284 Plymouth, MN / Hopkins







Christopher Sywetz                    DL, 6-2, 300    Bergenfield, NJ /Bergen Catholic/Blair Academy
Graduate of Bergen Catholic High School ... Prepped one year at Blair Academy in Blairstown, NJ ... Starting defensive lineman for coach Jim Stone ... Team went a perfect 10-0 in winning the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Championship ... Named First Team All-Conference ... First Team All-New Jersey Prep ... Recorded 50 tackles, three sacks, plus added two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and five pass breakups ... Also member of Blair wrestling team where he currently is 10-5 against college wrestlers ... Standout football player at Bergen Catholic HS for coach Fred Stengel ... Also member of Bergen Catholic wrestling team that reached the state finals ... Follows a strong line of former Bergen High graduates to play football at Bryant, including former captains Dan Curci, David Boak, Ralph Squitieri and David Sorrano.

Michael Abadin                         LB, 6-1, 220    Miami, FL / Christopher Columbus High School
Three-year varsity letterwinner in football ... Earned three letters in wrestling ... Team went 19-0 in last two seasons for coach Chris Merritt, winning two District Championships including a perfect 9-0 record last year ... Team went 8-4 in 2006 placing second in District ... Had 85 tackles as a senior with one interception and four sacks ... Six forced fumbles and had one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown ... Defensive Team Captain and All-Dade County Honorable Mention in 2008.

Zak Adamopoulos                      FB, 6-1, 230                 Groveland, MA / Central Catholic
Three-year starting defensive end at Central Catholic ... Will play fullback at Bryant ... Named Boston Herald All-Scholastic and Merrimack Valley Conference Lineman of the Year ... Lettered in basketball where he was a member of the Division I Massachusetts State Champions ... Also earned four varsity letters in baseball, posting a 9-1 record as a junior in leading the team to the league title ... Member of Student Ambassadors and Peer Leaders ... Played for father Chuck Adamopoulous ... Follows long line of current and former Bryant football players from Central Catholic including Andrew Verdura, Jay Stahl and current Bulldog Andrew Regan.

Sean Allen                                   LB, 6-0, 215                Madison, NJ / Madison High School
Starting running back and outside linebacker for coach Chris Kubic ... Team finished fifth in Northern Hills Conference in 2008 ... Earned Second Team Northern Hills Conference and First Team All-County and All-Area ... Team MVP ... Named team's most outstanding running back  along with Captain's Award and Dedication Award ... Rushed for 960 yards on 175 carries and scored seven rushing touchdowns ... Defensively had 63 tackles including 12 quarterback hurries, six sacks and one forced fumbles ... Passed for 600 yards and rushed for 350 yards scoring 11 touchdowns as a junior ... Recorded 55 tackles including seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception ...  Baseball letterwinner earning First Team All-Area honors ... Member of school's Honor Roll and Peer Development program. 

Andrew Barrett                           DL/OL, 6-5, 240        Holliston, MA / Holliston High School
Three-year varsity letterwinner in football ... Earned two letters in basketball ... First Team Tri-Valley All-League selection ... Earned League Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2008 ... Team MVP 2005 and 2008 ... Selected to participate in 2009 Shriner's All-Star game ... Played for coach Todd Kiley ... Four-year member of school's Honor Roll and participated in school's community service program ... Member of Best Buddies Program ... Oldest of five boys.

Mike Bennett                              DB, 6-1, 170    Paterson, NJ / Passaic County Technical
Four-year member of the football and track teams ... Played wide receiver and corner back ... Football posted a 6-4 record in 2008 and reached the Group Four playoffs under coach John Iurato ... Named Northern Hills Skyline Division First Team All-League ... Second Team All-County ... Tallied 42 tackles and one interception defensively ... Had seven catches for 170 yards (24.3 yards per catch) with a long of 55 yards and one touchdown ... Returned two kickoffs for 35 yards ... As a junior, had 26 tackles and one interception return for 62 yards ... In track, member of Passaic County Champion 4x400 meter relay team in 2009 ... Placed first in the 300 meters at the county championships in a time of 36.5 seconds ... Also member of county champion 1600 meter relay team ... Member of 2008 4x400 meter relay team that placed second at the State North I Group Four Championship ... Earned All-League and All-County ... Back-to-back county champions ... High Honors Student ... Member of FBLA, Varsity Club and Class Officer ... Sister Keisha ran track at Monmouth University.

Jordan Brown                             RB, 5-9, 185    Glastonbury, CT / Glastonbury High School
Four-year starting running back and defensive back for coach Pete Pfeffer at Glastonbury HS ... Team went 13-0 in 2008 in winning the Class LL State Championship ... New Haven Register Player of the year and Register All-State ... Hartford Courant All-State and Courant Player of the Year in 2008 ... Glastonbury's all-time career rushing leader and 2008 leading rusher ... Rushed for a school-record 2,134 yards and 34 touchdowns ... Returned three punts for touchdowns and picked up nine interceptions in his career ... CHSCA Coca-Cola Player of the Year and Class LL Championship game MVP ... CIAC All-State Running Back ... CCC North Conference All-League as a defensive back in 2007 and 2008 ... CCC North Conference All-League in 2006, 2007, 2008.


Gerard Carnevale       DB, 6 - 1,  175         Oceanport, NJ / Shore Regional High school
Three year letter winner in football... Two year starter at running back and free safety/DB for Coach Costantino....Named: All-Shore Defensive back 2nd Team for Monmouth County;  All Group I Defensive Back in NJ; All Patriot Division Defensive Back; Athlete of the Week - Star Ledger; Player of the Week Asbury Park Press....Voted: "Team MVP"; "Best Running Back of 2008; "Best Defensive Back of 2008 and 2007 by coaches and teammates....Academic All-Shore Team 2009....Team went  4-6 in 2007 and 8-2 in 2008 to reach NJ State playoffs.... Offensively:  in 2007 rushed for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns on 49 carries and in 2008 rushed for 892 yards on 100 carries and 12 touchdowns with 4 receptions for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns...Defensively: in 2007 had 82 tackles, one interception and 2 forced fumbles... and in 2008 had 3 interceptions for 102 yards with one returned for a touchdown...had 13 career kickoff returns for 232 yards (17.8 yards/return)... Also lettered in Spring Track competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x400m and Long Jump...part of the 4x400m and 4x200m relay teams that placed second at the Monmouth County Championship.     

Alex Damore                              OL, 6-0, 255    Reading, MA / Reading Memorial HS
Starting center and long snapper for coach John Fiore at Reading Memorial High School ... Team went a 11-0 as a senior this past fall winning the Middlesex League Championship ... Team Captain ... Named to Second Team All-League ... Standout member of track team leading school to Division II state championship in the shot put and discus throw ... Recipient of Reading Memorial High School Football Man and Gentleman Award in 2008 ... Honor Roll student ... High school teammate of current Bulldog Lindsey Gamble.

Ben Davis                                   DL, 6-0, 240    Bedford, MA / Bedford High School
Four-year football player at Bedford ... Lettered in 2008 ... Team went 10-2 in 2008, the best record in school history, and won the DCL Small School Title and finished the year as finalists in the Paul Revere Bowl under coach Jack Belcher ... Team won first DCL Championship title since 1978 ... Recipient of Lifter of the Year Award ... Earned Black Shirt of the Week vs. Westwood ... Eagle Scout of the Year Second Runner-up ... Will be a member of the Bryant University R.O.T.C. program.

Ray Doucette                              QB, 6-4, 180    Cambridge, MA / Rindge & Latin
Named First Team Greater Boston League from 2006-2008 ... Eastern Massachusetts All-Star for 2008-09 ... Played for coach Joe Papagani in football and basketball for coach Lance Dottin, a former football player at Michigan and for the New England Patriots ... Ranks sixth all-time in Massachusetts history with 62 touchdown passes ... Passed for 7,100 yards in three years ... Lettered in basketball and football ... Named to Honor Roll all four years and to First Honors for 2008-09. 

Michael Garcia                          DL, 6-3, 235    Methuen, MA / Central Catholic
Letterwinner in football, basketball, spring track all four years ... Two-time First Team All-Merrimack Valley Conference selection ... Member of 2008 Division I basketball state champions ... Honor Roll 2007 and 2008 ... Led team in sacks in 2008.

Jordan Kelly                               OL, 6-4, 240    Canton, MA / Xaverian Brothers High School
Starting offensive guard and defensive tackle for coach Charlie Stevenson ... Team went 7-4 in 2008 finishing tied for second in the Catholic Conference ... Two-time team captain and MVP ... Earned three varsity letters ... Catholic Conference All-Star ... Freshman football captain and team MVP ... Also lettered in outdoor track, earning three letters and named Catholic Conference All-Star ... Lettered in Indoor Track where he finished second in the state last season with a throw of more than 52 feet ... Also a standout Powerlifter, placing second at the USAPL meet.

Shavoy Lawrence                       WR, 6-2, 190   Paterson, NJ / Passaic County Technical
Starting wide receiver for coach John Iurato ... Team reached Group Four playoffs in 2008 with a 6-4 record ... Lettered in football and track ... Named Northern Hills Skyline All-Conference ... Played wide receiver and safety ... Had 19 catches for 385 yards (20.3 average) with a long of 52 yards and scored three receiving touchdowns ... Had 29 tackles defensively with one interception and one fumble recovery ... In track, placed first at the Passaic County Championships in the 600 meters in 1:25.60 and member of the Passaic County Championship 4x400 meter relay team in 2009 ... In 2008, placed first in the 400 meter hurdles at the county championships in a time of 56.70 seconds and placed second in the 400m hurdles at the State North I Group Four section championships ... Named All-County and All-League in track in helping team to back-to-back county championships Member of E.R.A.S.E., Gifted and Talented, Varsity Club and History Club ... Two-time Passaic County 600 meter dash champion in indoor track.

Matt Lentz                                  OL, 6-6, 275    Catonsville, MD / Loyola Blakefield
Starting offensive guard for coach Brian Abbott ... Team went a school-record 11-0 in winning the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association "A" Conference Championship ... Team went 9-1 in 2007 finishing as league co-champions ... Earned 2008 All-MIAA Football Team "A" Conference honors ... Lettered in lacrosse ... Honor Roll student ... Father lettered in lacrosse at Babson ... Attends same school as coach Fine's nephew, Tommy Cameron, son of Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Brendan Murphy                        DB, 6-0, 180    Totowa, NJ / Passaic Valley
Four-year letterwinner in varsity football ... Team Captain as a senior ... Starting defensive back and wide receiver for coach Angelo DeSalvo ... Team reached state semifinal in 2006 and qualified for state playoffs in 2007 ...  Named to Northern Hills Conference First Team All-Conference as a junior and First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-County as a senior ... Recorded 268 total career tackles including 101 as a senior ... Eight interceptions and three forced fumbles with four recoveries ... Registered 3.5 quarterback sacks ... Offensively, caught 81 passes for 1,102 yards (13.6 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns ... Rushed for 504 yards on 97 carries and scored six touchdowns ... Also standout special teams player with 270 yards on 19 kick returns (14.2 yards per return) and one touchdown ... 167 yards on 15 punt returns (11.1 ypr) and one touchdown ... Member of Varsity Club and Student Senate.

Adam Novak                              DL, 6-2, 250    Longmeadow, MA / Longmeadow High School
Two-year letterwinner at Longmeadow for coach Alex Rotsko ... Team won three-straight league title and were Super Bowl Champions in 2006, 2007, 2008 ... Part of successful offensive line that boasted two all-state running backs ... Two year letterwinner in basketball, winning the Western Mass. State Championship ... In three varsity seasons, team went 37-1 ... Father Peter Novak played at American International and coached at New Haven.

John Pinone                                LB, 6-3, 225    Glastonbury, CT / Glastonbury High School
Starting defensive end, linebacker and tight end at Glastonbury High School ... Team went 13-0 in 2008 winning the state championship ... Named First Team All-State as a senior and Second Team All-State as a junior ... Two-time All Central Connecticut Conference selection ... Had 122 tackles as a senior ... Recorded nine sacks, seven forced fumbles and one interception ... Hauled in seven touchdowns as a tight end ... Four-year letterwinner in football and basketball ... Three-time Honor Roll ... Member of Key Club and Host Student ... Father John played basketball at Villanova from 1979-83 where he was a Third Team All-American and three-time All-Big East selection ... He was a third round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1983.

Matt Pryzby                                QB, 5-11, 185              Blue Point, NY / St. John The Baptist
Starting quarterback for coach Keith Schweers at St. John The Baptist High School in Islip, NY ... Passed for 1,723 yards as a senior with 18 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 102.0 ... Completed 125 of 211 (59 percent) passes ... Rushed for 289 yards on 28 carries and one touchdowns ... As a junior in 2007, completed 57 of 94 (60 percent) passes for 1,107 yards with six touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 103.0 ... Rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries ... Named to Catholic High School Football League All-Star game in 2008 ... Member of school's basketball team ... Father won a national championship in lacrosse at Hobart.

Ryan Schermerhorn                   OL/DL, 6-4, 250        Bedford, NY / Fox Lane High School
Two-Time football captain and All-League selection ... Played for coach Bill Broggy ... Named All-Section Lineman of the Year and All-State as a senior ... Earned All-League honors in track as a junior ... Iron Man Football award recipient as a sophomore ... Had 37 tackles and four sacks as a senior defensively and picked up 36 pancake blocks offensively ... As a junior, had 41 tackles, nine sacks and one touchdown.


Ben Zats                                     OL, 6-3, 284    Plymouth, MN / Hopkins High School
Three-time starting offensive lineman and two-time team captain ... Named First Team Classic Lake Conference All-Star in 2007 and 2008 ... 2008 All-Metro Second Team and 2008 Honorable Mention All-State selection ... Preseason Dream Team selection by Minneapolis Star Tribune and Honorable Mention All-State by St. Paul Pioneer Press ... Preseason All-State ... Played for coach John DenHartog.