Red Lion High School football standout Randy Fizer signs with NCAA D-I FCS Wagner College

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • Red Lion's Randy Fizer has committed to play college football for Wagner.
  • Wagner is an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision program.
  • Wagner is located in Staten Island, New York, and plays in the Northeast Conference.

All Randy Fizer wanted was an opportunity to play the sport he loves at the next level.

The Red Lion High School football standout had done it all during his high school career — set program records, won a league title and reached the district playoffs — but it wasn’t enough to earn a spot on an NCAA Division I roster.

That all changed in November when NCAA D-I Football Championship Subdivision Wagner College became the first school to offer Fizer a scholarship and make his lifelong dream a reality. So, on the first day he was allowed to make it official, Fizer signed with the Seahawks on Wednesday, committing to the coaches who believed in his abilities and gave him a chance to achieve his dream.

“I felt really comfortable,” Fizer said. “With them being the first school to offer me, it was really just motivating that they were the first school to take a chance on me. I just felt like I didn’t need to wait anything out because it was the right fit for me. Why wait any longer?”

First contact came in April: Fizer’s first contact with Wagner came in April when wide receivers coach Joe Cuzzocrea followed him on Twitter and reached out after he saw a video of Fizer and looked at his Hudl page.

York High vs Red Lion during football action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. York High would win the game 34-30. Dawn J. Sagert photo

They exchanged phone calls and text messages for months as the coaching staff and Fizer got to know each other and Fizer learned about the program in Staten Island, New York. Fizer’s only previous trip to New York was on a vacation to see Times Square, which eventually was featured in Wagner’s Twitter announcement that Fizer had joined the program.

With colleges unable to host players on visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wagner’s staff recorded a virtual tour for recruits to check out the campus and spent hours on Zoom with Fizer answering questions.

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Historic high school career: After he finished an historic career at Red Lion, where he recorded more than 3,200 all-purpose yards, scored 45 touchdowns and broke several school rushing and receiving records, the 6-foot, 160-pound Fizer still had to wait a month until he finally got the opportunity he had waited so long for.

Randy Fizer's record-breaking career places him among elite in Red Lion football history

He had just gotten home from a workout when his phone rang. On the other end he finally heard the words that had eluded him despite his success on the field — we want you on our team.

“It’s been a dream since I started playing football,” Fizer said. “For it to become a reality, I can’t describe how it felt to finally receive an offer.”

Will face some familiar foes: Wagner plays in the Northeast Conference, which features a number of Pennsylvania programs and local players who Fizer will be familiar with. Fizer will get a chance to compete against former New Oxford standout wide receiver Abdul Janneh (Duquesne), Central York senior wide receiver Taylor Wright-Rawls (Bryant), former Eastern York wide receiver Demonte Martin (Robert Morris) and former York High athlete Tobee Stokes (Saint Francis).

Red Lion's Randy Fizer Jr. carries the ball during football action against York High at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. York High would win the game 34-30. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In addition to playing in a competitive conference, Fizer was excited about the opportunity Wagner offered to play against elite NCAA D-I competition during its nonconference season. Before the 2020 season was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seahawks were set to travel to play the University of Miami in Florida.

Wagner didn't play any games in 2020. In 2019, Wagner went 1-11.

Recruited as an athlete: Fizer was recruited as an athlete by Wagner since he played quarterback this season for the Lions after two years as a wideout, but expects to return to wide receiver in college. The Lions’ standout senior also played safety and returned kicks and punts, so he’s willing to line up at whatever positions his coaches ask him to play, if it means he can get on the field.

“I want to play football at the end of the day,” Fizer said. “Wherever they need me I'm going to embrace the role. As long as I’m playing football, at the end of the day I’m going to be happy to be playing football at such a good school.”

Red Lion vs Northeastern during football action on Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Red Lion would win the game 41-28. Dawn J. Sagert photo

It took way longer than he hoped, but Fizer finally found a program and a coaching staff that believed he had the skills to play at the next level. Red Lion coach Jesse Shay said in October that whatever program lands Fizer will be getting a gem. Wagner is that team.

After a career that saw him become one of the great players in Red Lion history, Fizer is grateful for the chance the Seahawks’ coaches have given him. He is ready to replicate that success at the next level.

“It’s indescribable how I feel,” Fizer said. “I’m super excited for the opportunity I had at Red Lion to accomplish the things I did with so many great teams, but now I’m just working because I want to do the same thing at Wagner. I’m just looking forward to my future there.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.