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York-Adams football players make life-changing decisions on National Letter of Intent Day

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
York High standout Tobee Stokes has decided to play football for St. Francis, an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision program.
  • Brayden Long, Savion Harrison and Joe Cooper sign with Slippery Rock University.
  • Four York High players from the 2020 class sign to play college football.
  • Two members of the 2019 class join Shippensburg University.

When New Oxford senior Brayden Long woke up Wednesday morning he knew his life was about to change.

He walked downstairs and sat with his parents after going through his normal morning routine, but this wasn’t just any morning.

On this day, he and a number of players from the York-Adams League signed their national letters of intent to play college football. For Long, his recruiting journey ended Wednesday when he put ink to paper and joined Slippery Rock University, an NCAA Division II program.

“It was pretty surreal,” Long said. “My parents sat next to me and took some pictures of me signing. It’s just a sign of what all the hard work can do and what will continue to happen.”

Long was one of a number of York-Adams League athletes to officially sign their letters of intent on Wednesday. Like Long, many of those local football players joined D-II programs in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Stokes, Basile to St. Francis: One player who also appeared destined for the PSAC was Tobee Stokes, who played quarterback last season for York High. Stokes, who figures to play running back in college, had verbally committed to West Chester in the PSAC, but made a last-minute switch and instead signed on with St. Francis, a D-I Football Championship Subdivision program in Loretto, Cambria County. 

Along with Stokes, Central York kicker/punter Nick Basile signed with the Red Flash. Basile was a Y-A D-I second-team all-star as a kicker and honorable-mention punter.

Long, meanwhile, held offers from D-I FCS schools in Marist College and Central Connecticut State University after he threw for 2,576 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2019.

During his senior season, Long broke the Adams County career passing yards record and finished the regular season with 6,216 passing yards during his career with 63 touchdowns. Long added another 272 passing yards and five total touchdowns in the Colonials’ District 3 playoff win.

Abdul Janneh Jr., left, and Brayden Long during signing day at New Oxford High School in New Oxford, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. The seniors will be playing football for Duquesne and Slippery Rock Universities, respectively. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Colonials’ quarterback was the York-Adams League Division I Offensive Player of the Year and led New Oxford to its first winning season since 2013. Long was also named to the the Pennsylvania Football News (PFN) Coaches’ Select Class 5-A All-State Second Team and the Pennsylvania Sports Writers' Class 5-A All-State Team.

“The one thing (the senior class) said to (New Oxford) coach (Jason) Warner was we want to leave this program in a better place than we found it,” Long said. “I think we can say we did a pretty good job of doing that.”

Janneh to Duquesne: One of the main reasons for Long’s historic season was New Oxford wide receiver/defensive back Abdul Janneh. Wednesday, Janneh signed with Duquesne University, a D-I FCS program.

Janneh led the York-Adams League with 57 catches and 1,072 receiving yards. He also scored 14 touchdowns and was named to the PFN Coaches’ Select Class 5-A All-State Second Team.

Harrison to Slippery Rock: York Suburban senior Savion Harrison also signed with Slippery Rock. Harrison will play defensive back at Slippery Rock despite being a standout player on both sides of the ball. 

During his senior season, Harrison won the York-Adams League Division II Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Trojans to an undefeated regular season with 1,714 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. 

On defense, he made the all-state team for the second time with 32 tackles and four interceptions.

Cooper joins Slippery Rock: Bermudian Springs offensive lineman Joe Cooper also signed with Slippery Rock. Cooper, a 6-6, 300-pound senior also held offers from Shippensburg University, Bloomsburg University, Millersville University and Clarion University and was a Y-A D-III first-team all-star offensive tackle.

Jones to East Stroudsburg: York High lineman Antonio Jones Jr. signed with D-II East Stroudsburg University. Jones, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 255-pound force on both sides of the ball joins the Warriors and will play on the defensive line in college. 

Bernstein to Kutztown: Fellow York High lineman Trey Bernstein signed with D-II Kutztown University. The 6-2, 250-pound lineman was a Y-A D-I first-team all-star and was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers’ Class 5-A all-state team

Feazell to IUP: York High linebacker/defensive end Maurice Feazell signed with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, another D-II program.

In 2019, the 6-foot, 2-inch Feazell finished with 57 tackles, 18 sacks, nine other tackles for loss, four caused fumbles and three fumble recoveries, according to stats provided by York High head coach Russ Stoner.

Heiser signs with Millersville: Gettysburg defensive lineman/linebacker Austin Heiser signed with D-II Millersville. Despite missing some time in 2019 with an injury, Heiser won York-Adams League Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. 

Dorsey, Smith to Shippensburg: A pair of running backs from the 2019 high school class signed with D-II Shippensburg on Wednesday. York High graduate Khalid Dorsey joins the Raiders after he transferred from Howard University during last season. Dallastown graduate Nyzair Smith became a Raider after he spent last season at East Coast Prep for a postgraduate season.

Sanderson to Clarion: Northeastern quarterback Zach Sanderson signed with D-II Clarion University. Sanderson led the Bobcats to a District 3 playoff game as senior and leaves Northeastern as the school's all-time passing leader with 3,797 yards, and 37 career touchdowns.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.