ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University football team will welcome 90 new recruits when preseason camp opens in mid-August. The new players include 12 high school all-state selections from New York.
Among the all-state recruits is junior quarterback Zach Sopak (Falconer, NY), a two-time New York State Class C all-star and two-time New York State Class C Player of the Year (2008 and 2009). Sopak is transferring to AU after two seasons (2010 and 2011) at Washington and Jefferson College.
Other New York all-state recruits are Jeremy Sosa, defensive back from Chestnut Ridge; David Couch, linebacker from Hoosick Falls; Alex Hildebrand, wide receiver from Schenectady; Kevin Cox, quarterback from Binghamton; Tylor Hubbert, defensive end from Endicott; Michael Berardi, defensive back from Wellsville; Joseph Duermeyer, offensive lineman from Corfu; Peter Paola-Diak, linebacker from West Henrietta; Michael Steffan, defensive end from Alden; Ryan St. Claire, tight end from Cadyville; and Ben Weightman, quarterback from Cadyville.
Sopak (5-10, 190) starred at Southwestern High School near Jamestown, where he helped lead his team to consecutive New York State Class C titles as a junior and senior in 2008 and 2009. He will look to replace the Saxons’ two departed senior signal-callers from a season ago, Tom Secky and T.J. Kilcarr.
Sosa (6-1, 200) was a Second Team Class C state all-star as a senior at Albertus Magnus High School (Section I) in 2011, when he was also named a Section I all-star and was an all-league selection.
Couch (5-10, 195) was a Third Team Class C state all-star as a senior at Hoosick Falls High School (Section II). The school’s career leader in tackles, he was a three-time Section II all-star at Hoosick Falls.
Hildenbrand (6-0, 180) was a Second Team state Class B all-star defensive back as a senior at Schalmont High School in Schenectady last fall.
Cox (5-11, 175) was a Second Team Class B all-state selection as a senior a t Chenango Valley High School (Section IV).
Hubbert (5-10, 215) was a Fourth Team Class A state all-star as a senior at Union-Endicott High School (Section IV) in 2011.
Berardi (5-10, 180) was a First Team Class C state all-star as a defensive back at Wellsville High School (Section V) last fall. A star tailback and defensive back at Wellsville, he helped lead Wellsville to the Section V Class C title in 2011, and was named the Section V Class C Defensive Player of the Year.
Duermeyer (6-4, 350) was a Second Team Class C state all-star at Pembroke High School (Section V) last season. He was a two-time Genesee Region all-star in high school.
Paola-Diak (6-0, 185) was a Sixth Team Class AA all-state pick as a senior at Rush-Henrietta High School (Section V) in 2011. He was a three-time First Team Monroe County (Rochester area) all-star at Rush-Henrietta.
Steffan (6-2, 225) was a Third Team Class B state all-star as a senior at Alden High School (Section VI) last fall, when he also earned First Team Section VI Class B East and all-league honors.
St. Clair (6-2, 210) was a Third Team Class B all-star as a senior at Saranac High School (Section VII) last fall, when he also took First Team Section VII honors.
Weightman (6-0, 200), St. Clair’s teammate at Saranac, was also a Third Team Class B state all-star. He was also a First Team all-league selection.
Other top recruits to the Saxons include:
Josh Daggs (6-5, 280), offensive/defensive lineman from Greece Athena High School in Rochester (New York State, Section V). Daggs was a First Team Monroe County and Second Team All-Greater Rochester selection in 2011.
Kirby DarDar Jr. (6-2, 175), wide receiver from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse (New York State, Section III). DarDar, son of former Syracuse University running back and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kirby DarDar, was a Section III Class AA and league all-star as a senior last fall.
Desmond Davis (5-11, 230), linebacker/defensive end from Monessen (PA) High School near Pittsburgh. Davis was a Tri-County all-star in 2011.
Thomas Blake (6-2, 200), linebacker/fullback from Lansingburgh High School near Albany (New York State, Section II). Blake was a First Team All-Area (Capital District) selection and Section II all-star as a senior.
Maleke Fuentes (5-6, 160), running back/defensive back from Olean (NY) High School (New York State, Section VI). Fuentes was named a Section VI Class B South First Team all-star and a Big 30 all-star as a senior in 2011.
Thomas Cani (6-2, 220), quarterback from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows, NY (Long Island, New York State, Section XII). Cani was a New York Catholic High School Football League (NYCHSFL) all-star last fall.
Phillip “Sonny” Caruso (6-2, 320) offensive/defensive lineman from Rome (NY) Free Academy (New York State, Section III). Caruso was a Section III Class AA and league all-star as an offensive lineman last fall.
Zachary Brinkley (6-1, 220), linebacker/offensive lineman from Brockway (PA) Area High School. Brinkley was an Allegheny Mountain League all-star as a senior in 2011.
Chris Lawton (6-3, 250), offensive/defensive lineman from Westhill High School in Syracuse (New York State, Section III). Lawton was a First Team league all-star last fall.