Fordham University Head Football Coach Joe Moorhead announced the signing of eleven football players to letters of intent with Fordham for the 2014 season.
Moorhead, who enters his third season on Rose Hill and was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist as the NCAA FCS Coach of the Year for the past two seasons, led Fordham to a 12-2 record last fall and the Rams advanced to the second round of the NCAA FCS Championship for just the second time in school history.
Moorhead, the 2013 AFCA Regional Co-Coach of the Year, Patriot League Coach of the Year and a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist, led the Rams to unprecedented success in 2013, winning the first ten games of the year for the first time in school history and being ranked as high as fifth in the NCAA FCS polls, Fordham's highest ever ranking on the FCS level.
The Rams set a school record for most wins in a season in the modern era (since 1920) and accomplished a plethora of firsts, including the first win over an NCAA FBS team (Temple), the first win over a top-ten ranked NCAA FCS team on Jack Coffey Field (Villanova) and the school's first ever home NCAA FCS championship win on Jack Coffey Field (Sacred Heart). For his accomplishments, Moorhead was named the 2013 Patriot League Coach of the Year.
A former Fordham quarterback, Moorhead and revamped the Rams' offense, a unit that led the NCAA FCS in pass completion percentage (70.6%), was third in passing offense (360.9 yards/game) and total first downs (364), and seventh in total offense (515.3 yards/game) last fall.
The new class features five offensive players and six defensive players. By position, linemen lead the way with three each on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, followed by two offensive linemen, two defensive backs, two running backs, one linebacker and one wide receiver/defensive back.
The eleven newcomers hail from eight different states, from Connecticut to Texas. Three of the 2013 recruits are from Pennsylvania with one each arriving from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.
The new recruiting class will join 18 starters who return from the 2013 season, nine on each side of the ball, led by senior quarterback Mike Nebrich and senior linebacker Stephen Hodge, the 2013 Patriot League Offensive and Defensive Player of the year, respectively, along with consensus All-America wide receiver Sam Ajala.
"We are very excited about the ten young men we have added to our program," said Moorhead. "The class is not high in quantity but it is high in quality. They are all excellent student-athletes and can fill the void left by the seniors who graduate this year. We can't wait to get them in here this summer as we look to build on the accomplishments of this year."
The Rams are tentatively scheduled to open their 115th season of varsity football on Saturday, August 30, when they host the Saint Francis (Pa.) University Red Flash on Jack Coffey Field. Fordham is entering its 25th season as a member of the NCAA FCS Patriot League.
Here is a complete list of the 2014 newcomers:
Jared Brevard, RB, 5-8, 187, Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy
Anthony Coyle, OL, 6-5, 290, Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville
Garrett Donaldson, OL, 6-5, North Palm Beach, Fla./The Benjamin School
Chase Edmonds, RB, 5-10, 190, Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East
Tony Fox, DL, 6-2, 270, Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield College Prep
Ty Green, DL, 6-4, 270, Ashland, Ohio/Ashland
Caleb Ham, Ath., 6-1, 180, McDonough, Ga./Union Grove
Ben Hartman, OL, 6-5, 295, Del Rio, Texas/Del Rio
Marcus Hicks, DB, 5-10, 170, Millersville, Md./Old Mill Senior
Josh Klecko, DL, 270, Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic (Rutgers)
Niko Thorpe, LB, 5-11, 230, Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic