National Signing Day notebook: McAdoo, Wheeler sign with Stony Brook

Bryant McAdoo has built a bond with the coaching staff at Stony Brook since his sophomore year when the Long Island school started showing interest. The 6-foot-5 Cardinal Hayes wide receiver is big on family and feels he found another one at the Long Island school.

He chose Stony Brook over Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware and James Madison, wanting to stay close to home and receive a top education.

“When I went on an official visit, it was like ‘wow,’” McAdoo said. “They didn’t have a receiver scholarship. They made one for me. They moved someone else to a different position and they were able to make a scholarship for me.”

Devante Wheeler, who “never left the field” for Poly Prep, according to coach Dino Mangerio, didn’t find the early bond McAdoo did. Just the opposite, actually. The quarterback/cornerback/kick returner was all set to commit to Hofstra in December when he found out the program was folding. Since then, he’s clicked with the Seawolves staff and players. Wheeler said he felt like he was already on the team during his official visit.

“I didn’t really give [Stony Brook] a shot,” Wheeler said. “I’m grateful that they kept recruiting me.”

And Stony Brook is grateful he’s coming, too. Wheeler figures to play cornerback and return kicks at the Big South Conference school.

“He helps us with our depth at the corner position and continues to let us build our skill level with guys who have played with the ball in their hand and been successful,” Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said.

Wheeler isn’t the only city guy who the Seawolves’ staff thinks will make an impact right away.

“Bryant is a tremendously talented football player,” Priore said of McAdoo. “He will definitely help us as a receiver very early in his career.”


Gary Acquah was Mr. Versatility during his time at Mount St. Michael. He was a bruising fullback and a sure-tackling linebacker, helping Mount to the CHSFL Class AA title this year. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Acquah was patient through the recruiting process even though Holy Cross was eager to land him as a junior.

He eventually did commit to the defending Patriot League champion over Lafayette, Lehigh, Stony Brook and Marist. He cited the school’s Pre-Med program, his relationship with the coaches and the ability to get a chance to play linebacker, defensive end and fullback.

“I love those positions, so being able to go to a school that wants me to play all of those positions will give me a great opportunity,” Acquah said.


Cardinal Hayes coach C.J. O’Neill said in any other situation Emanuel Mendoza would have been a two-year starter on the offense line. Except as a junior he played behind Fernando Diaz (now at the University of Pittsburgh) and Erle Ladson (Delaware). The recruiting process was slow for the 6-foot-6, 277-pound lineman, but he feels he found the right fit in Holy Cross. He chose the Crusaders over Lafayette, Cornell and Columbia.

“The mixture of both football and academics, I saw it as a great chance to grow as a person and an athlete,” Mendoza said.


Jamie Martinez did a little bit of everything for Xaverian this season. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman played on both sides of the ball and was also the team’s punter. Martinez, who wants to major in business, was hoping Sacred Heart, where former Clippers star Ethan Ostermeyer now plays, would show serious interest in him. He had his eye on the school. The NEC squad jumped in during December and Martinez liked what he saw even more after he took a closer look.

“It’s a small school, so it feels like everybody knows each other,” he said. “They are all like family over there, which is somewhat like Xaverian.”

Former Xaverian lineman Mike Calicchio signed with West Virginia via Valley Forge Military Academy. He was the fifth player from Xaverian’s class of 2008 to sign with a Division I program and the school’s seventh in two years.