The University at Albany Great Danes football team and head coach Greg Gattuso announced Wednesday the addition of five new players to the Great Danes' team on National Signing Day. The Great Danes football team finished the last season with a disappointing 2-9 overall record, and signing day brings promise for the team’s future.
Parris Smiley is a versatile athlete that played defensive back at McQuaid Jesuit HS in Rochester, New York. Smiley is a three-time Section V Champion and was an All-State selection in 2022. Smiley played a physical downhill style at safety, recording 130+ tackles, five forced fumbles while snagging four interceptions all in his senior season.
Jahlil Johnson is a 6’2” 200-pound linebacker also out of Rochester was a 2022 All-State selection as well, and won this year’s Section V Class AA Defensive Player of the Year. Johnson’s ability to play in coverage and rush the passer will give the Great Danes front seven a major boost.
Carter Moses is an out-of-state signee from Hoggard HS, North Carolina. The 6’5” tight end reeled in 25 TD receptions and five touchdowns in his senior season. He will join the UAlbany receiving core as it continues to fill the void left by the departure of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Juwan Green.
Matt Aulicino out of Central Catholic HS, Pennsylvania, is 6’5” 230-pound defensive end that will join the Great Danes as one of the best linemen in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) has ever seen.
Jack Barnum, the final signee, is a placekicker from Connecticut and was All-Conference CCC Tier 1 at his previous school.
UAlbany Head Coach Greg Gattuso loved the new additions to the team, “ I feel like we signed some very high-quality transfers, and some young guys we feel really good about that can fit our team’s needs,” said Gattuso. He also added that he feels like “the addition of these players is a great first step,” to building a winning football team once again.