Signing Day

Duquesne University head football coach Jerry Schmitt announced the addition of 27 student-athletes to the 2014 fall roster this afternoon.

The incoming class - the largest in DU's six-year history in the Northeast Conference - includes 13 players from the state of Pennsylvania.

"This recruiting class is a culmination of a strong effort by the coaching staff and the continued commitment by President Dougherty and Director of Athletics Greg Amodio to improve our athletic programs," said head coach Jerry Schmitt.

"Our staff welcomes these talented young men to the Duquesne family and look forward to working with them as we prepare for the 2014 season."

The 2014 season marks Duquesne's seventh as an associate football-playing member of the Northeast Conference where the Dukes have been co-champions two of the past three seasons.

The Dukes, who return 17 starters - eight on offense and nine on defense - as well as its place kicker from last year's Northeast Conference Co-Champion team, open four weeks of spring practice on March 12. The annual spring game will take place on Saturday, April 12 on Rooney Field.

NamePosHt/WtHometown/High School /TransferHighLight Film
Allen, Stew TE 6'2/235 New Castle, Pa./New Castle Watch
Claytor Jr., Greg S 5'11/190 Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights Watch
Coleman, James DL/OL 6'2/275 Uniondale, N.Y./Kellenburg Memorial Watch
Conley, Alex OL 6'4/290 Akron, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit Watch
Cooper, Gaston QB 6'0/190 Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch Watch
Czack, Colton LB 6'2/220 Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Boardview Heights Watch
Damian, Lukas LB 6'2/220 Tamaqua, Pa./Marion Catholic Watch
Daniel, Chandler DL 6'4/250 Herminie, Pa./Yough Watch
Douglas, Rafiq RB 6'1/210 Lusby, Md./Patuxent Watch
Fitzpatrick, Matt OL 6'3/275 Pennsauken, N.J./Bishop Eustace Watch
Gills, Joshua WR 5'10/180 Germantown, Md./Northwest Watch
Hill, Jawan DL 6'2/250 Mckeesport, Pa./McKeesport Watch
Huss, Ben OL 6'3/275 Upper Saint Clair, Pa./Upper St. Clair Watch
Linton, Daulton LB 5'11/205 Hermitage, Pa./Hickory Watch
McConnell, Tim S 6'0/185 Pennsauken, N.J./Bishop Eustace Watch
Mesa, Miguel OL 6'5/310 Miami, Fla./Miami Jackson/ASA College (N.Y.) Watch
Powell, Kiyah CB 5'10/170 Mentor, Ohio/Mentor Watch
Rizza, Thomas CB 5'10/170 Pittsburgh, Pa./Seton La Salle Watch
Roberts, Abner ATH 5'10/180 Pittsburgh, Pa./University Prep Watch
Sobhani, Nick DL 6'5/295 Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge Watch
Stone, Nathan LB 6'1/225 Scottdale, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic Watch
Stratton, Danny QB 6'2/190 Beaver Falls , Pa./Beaver Falls Watch
Struttmann, Andy LB 6'2/230 Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North Watch
Voytik, Matt ATH 6'2/195 Hermitage, Pa./Hickory Watch
Wittig, Collin OL 6'4/280 Delaware, Ohio/Delaware Hayes Watch
Mid-year signees
Capers, Wayne WR 6'1/200 Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley/Arizona Watch
Williams, Armstead LB 6'2/230 Monroeville, Pa./Gateway/Purdue Watch
Duquesne Athletics Twitter

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE 2014 DUQUESNE FOOTBALL RECRUITING CLASS

Stew Allen
   
   
Personal -- Was a second team all-state and Post-Gazette WPIAL All-Conference tight end for New Castle's 7-3 team ... had 15 receptions, seven of which were touchdown grabs ... scored two touchdowns in a 46-42 win over Blackhawk ... defensively, he had 34 tackles, including 13 for a loss as well as eight sacks ... also plays on New Castle's currently undefeated basketball team ... played football for coach Joe Cowart.
Greg Claytor, Jr.
   
   
Personal -- Rushed for 1,037 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for a 6-5 Shaker Heights team ... had 112 yards and three touchdowns in a win over John F. Kennedy ... scored twice and ran for 199 yards in a victory over North Royalton ... slated to play safety for the Dukes ... made 42 tackles, including 35 solo stops ... picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown ... played for coach Jarvis Gibson.
James Coleman
   
   
Personal -- Was a two-way lineman for Kellenberg Memorial High ... played every down at left tackle as a senior ... was an O-D (Offense-Defense) All-American in 2011 and 2012 ... played in the O-D All Star game at Dallas Cowboy Stadium in 2011, starting on both offense and defense, recording a sack, forced fumble and two tackles for loss ... played for coach Kevin Hannifan at Kellenburg.
Alex Conley
   
   
Personal -- Had a 90% blocking grade for his conference champion (North Coast League) Walsh Jesuit HS ... was tabbed first team all-conference, first team all-district, all-Ohio and named to play in the North-South Ohio All-Star game ... team was 7-3 overall and 5-0 in conference play ... played for coach Gerry Rardin.
Gaston Cooper
   
   
Personal -- Led Paint Branch HS to an 11-2 overall record, 5-0 league mark, 4A North Regional championship and to the Maryland 4A semifinals ... completed 211 passes for 3,190 yards and 40 touchdowns ... ran 139 times for 609 yards and 22 scores ... combined for seven touchdowns in a game on one occasion and six in four other games ... was 4A big school first team all-state ... was named All-Gazette and Montgomery County player of the year ... was second team all-met ... played for coach Michael Nesmith.
Colton Czack
   
   
Personal -- Was an all-southwest conference honoree and an all-northeast Ohio selection at southwest conference champion Brecksville-Broadview Hts. ... led the Bees to a 10-2 overall record, a 7-0 conference mark and a state district play-off semifinals appearance ... posted 130 tackles as a senior to go along with three forced fumbles, two blocked field goals and 12 tackles for loss ... tallied a career-high 23 tackles in the state district semifinal ... played for coach Jason Black.
Lukas Damian
   
   
Personal -- Recorded 163 tackles at linebacker while posting over 20 tackles in a game on four occasions had a season-high 23 tackles versus Tamaqua ... was named to the PIAA class A all-state team ... also helped on offense, playing QB when needed and rushed for three touchdowns as well ... played for coach Stan Dakosty.
Chandler Daniel
   
   
Personal -- Helped his Yough offense average nearly 200 yards per game rushing ... amassed 24 solo tackles, 18 assists and four sacks at defensive end despite missing a game and a half to injury ... member of student council ... works as a senior mentor ... high honors student ... plans to major in athletic training ... played for coach Mark Crovac.
Rafiq Douglas
   
   
Personal -- Garnered first team all-state, second team all-met and first team all-SMAC laurels as a senior ... helped guide his Patuxent squad to a 13-1 record and a perfect 5-0 conference mark ... his Panthers were SMAC and regional champions as well as a state finalist ... ... played for coach Steve Crounse.
Matt Fitzpatrick
   
   
Personal -- Was tabbed Philadelphia Inquirer first team all-South Jersey, Courier Post first team all-South Jersey, All Conference, and Mini Maxwell award winner for his Bishop Eustace squad ... also a TD Club of South Jersey player of the week ... was credited with 41 pancake blocks this season ... had 24 tackles on defense, including four for a loss ... played for coach Rob Cormier.
Joshua Gills
   
   
Personal -- Multi-faceted player who helped lead his team to Maryland regional and state championships ... consensus all-state all-purpose player award recipient and Sentinel Player of the Year honoree accounted for 1,863 yards and 25 touchdowns ... had 50 receptions for 750 yards, 626 yards rushing and 132 yards passing ... played for coach Michael Neubeiser.
Jawan Hill
   
   
Personal -- Selected to play in Big 33 Football Classic ... Trib-Live WPIAL All-Conference ... Post-Gazette WPIAL All-Conference ... helped lead a defense which allowed just 14.3 points per game ... totaled 68 tackles as a senior and led the McKeesport defense with 11 sacks among his 55 solo stops ... also deflected three passes ... played for coach George Smith.
Ben Huss
   
   
Personal -- Anchored an offensive line that produced both a 1,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher ... selected to play in Big 33 Football Classic ... all-state honoree ... Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 ... Trib-Live WPIAL All-Conference ... Post-Gazette WPIAL All-Conference ... team went 11-1 overall and 8-0 in conference play ... defensively, made 46 tackles on the season, nine for a loss ... played for coach Jim Render.
Daulton Linton
   
   
Personal -- Helped lead his team to the western region finals by registering 93 solo tackles, 52 assists and 5.5 sacks ... gathered two interceptions and recovered a fumble ... garnered with first team all-state honors by Patriot News, PA Football News and Western PA Football News ... was first team all-district and all-region as well as the WPIC Radio defensive player of the year ... played for coach William Brest.
Tim McConnell
   
   
Personal -- Threw for 1090 yards and seven TD’s and rushed for 915 yards and 11 TD’s for Bishop Eustace ... All Conference ... had 45 tackles, two for loss, five pass deflections and one interception ... first team all-South Jersey ... Touchdown Club of South Jersey ... Speaker of the Year Touchdown Club of South Jersey ... played for coach Rob Cormier.
Miguel Mesa
   
   
Personal -- Transfer from ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y. ... will join the Dukes in the fall ... at ASA College (2012-13): won the 2013 Northeast Conference Football title and won the Carrier Dome Bowl at Syracuse to finish with a 9-1 record ... High School: was an All-State and All-Dade honoree at Miami Jackson ... was part of a conference leading rushing and passing offense ... played for coach Nigel Dunn.
Kiyah Powell
   
   
Personal -- All-Conference honoree for regional champion and state runner-up Mentor High ... contributed an interception, 16 pass break-ups and two tackles for a loss for his 13-2 team ... was named Player of the Week after breaking up two passes and making six tackles, including two for a loss versus Brush ... played for coach Steve Trivisonno.
Tom Rizza
   
   
Personal -- All-Conference defensive back out of Seton La Salle High School ... was a Fabulous 22 South honoree ... three year starter ... team captain ... also played running back and wide receiver ... plays basketball for the number 1 ranked team in WPIAL AA ... team won conference title as a sophomore ... played for coach Greg Perry.
Abner Roberts
   
   
Personal -- Was a Post-Gazette WPIAL All-Conference honoree ...team was 7-4 overall and 4-1 in league play ... led the Wildcats to their second Pittsburgh City League football championship in the three year history of the program en route to playing in the AAA PIAA sub-regional playoff game .. played for coach LaRoi Johnson.
Nick Sobhani
   
   
Personal -- Was named a first team all-Liberty District offensive lineman as well as the Liberty District offensive lineman of the year ... his Stone Bridge team compiled a 33-6 record from 2011-13 and won three Libert District championships, a northern region title and was the AAA state runner-up ... played for coach Mickey Thompson.
Nathan Stone
   
   
Personal -- Tallied 122 tackles, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery on defense ... also a short yardage back who managed six touchdowns on 12 carries for 63 yards ... had 13 catches for 312 yards and two touchdowns as a wide receiver ... played for coach Dan Mahoney.
Danny Stratton
   
   
Personal -- Led Beaver Falls to the WPIAL semifinals with a 9-3 overall record and 7-1 conference slate ... passed for 1,543 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior ... rushed for 310 yards and six scores ... also plays for reigning state champion basketball team ... played football for coach Ryan Matsook.
Andy Struttmann
   
   
Personal -- Second team all-district linebacker who made 103 tackles last season to go along with two interceptions, five forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns ... three-time all-league honoree also contributed on offense with seven rushing touchdowns and a 6.9 yards per carry average ... scored four touchdowns and made 17 tackles versus Canal Winchester ... played for coach Rodger Elander.
Matt Voytik
   
   
Personal -- Mobile quarterback who helped lead his team to the western region finals by passing for 2,108 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushing for 765 yards and 11 scores ... team won three consecutive district 10 titles and finished third in the state in 2013 ... Pennsylvania Press Writers first team all-state "athlete" ... Pennsylvania Football News first team all-state "athlete" ... Erie Times-News all-district 10 first team AP ... region 3 all-stars first team QB ... region player of the year ... played for coach William Brest.
Collin Wittig
   
   
Personal -- Second team all-OCC as a senior along with second team all-district laurels and a special mention all-metro honoree ... registered 40 pancake blocks ... four-year track letter-winner ... played for coach Zebb Schroeder.

MID-YEAR SIGNEES
(Currently enrolled and eligible to participate in spring drills)

Wayne Capers
   
   
Personal -- Mid-year transfer from the University of Arizona ... is eligible to practice with the Dukes this spring ... as a sophomore at Arizona (2013): played in three contests on defense, posting one solo tackle and a pass break-up ... as a freshman at Arizona (2012): played in 11 games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams but also saw some time with the secondary ... was one of six true freshman to play on defense during the season ... earned his first career start at the "spur" position in the bowl game against Nevada ... had 10 solo and two assisted tackles for a total of 12 stops ... logged season-high seven tackles, including a tackle for a loss of two yards, and forced his first career fumble in the bowl win over the Wolf Pack ... broke up one pass in the Oregon State game ... High School: threw for 1,044 yards with nine touchdowns in 2011 ... 59 carries for 330 yards and seven TDs ... played quarterback and linebacker for the Colts ... also played guard for top-rated Chartiers Valley basketball team and was highly recruited to play at the collegiate level.
Armstead Williams
   
   
Personal -- Mid-year transfer from Purdue University ... is eligible to practice with the Dukes this spring ... as a sophomore at Purdue (2013): played in all 12 games, making two starts ... posted nine tackles (5 solo) ... had a fumble recovery ... as a redshirt freshman at Purdue (2012): appeared in 11 games as a reserve ... finished with eight tackles, including seven solo stops ... had two unassisted tackles against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 1 ... tallied an assisted tackle against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 15 ... recorded a solo tackle at Minnesota on Oct. 27 ... had a career-high four solo tackles in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 1, 2013 ... as a freshman at Purdue (2011): Did not play ... High School: Listed as the No. 17 outside linebacker prospect in the nation by MaxPreps' Tom Lemming ... ranked as the No. 24 outside linebacker in the country by ESPN.com ... recorded 64 tackles, including 31 solo stops, a sack, an interception, six passes broken up and forced a fumble as a senior ... caught 29 passes for 357 yards (12.3 average) and five touchdowns as a tight end ... 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 selection ... and was a first team PIAA Class AAAA All-State selection ... 2010 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 ... 2010 Pennsylvania Football News AAAA All-State at linebacker ... Pennsylvania Sports Writers first team All-State selection ... selected to play for Pennsylvania in the 2011 Big 33 Game against the top prep players from Ohio ... finished with 58 tackles, one forced fumble, 3.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 11 games as a junior ... also the team's second-leading receiver with 19 catches for 407 yards (21.4 average) and four touchdowns in 2009 ... coach was Terry Smith.