National Signing Day is right around the corner, but this season seems to have a few less surprises than last year. This simplest explanation for that could very well be that new head coach Jim Fleming is landing higher profile recruits. Add another one to the list, as Rhody has recently received a verbal from safety Shawn Antoine from the Bronx, New York. Antoine announced his decision himself via Twitter.
I just want to thank God, Next year I will be playing ball for The University Of Rhode Island. #RhodyRams
— Shawn Antoine II (@ShawnAntoineII) January 28, 2014
Antoine will come to URI by way of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, where he played safety almost exclusively. The 6’0″, 185-pounder was also recruited by Marist, Villanova, and Albany, although his only other offer came from Maine. Antoine will no doubt we a welcome addition, simply because Rhody’s defense struggled mightily last season. The Rams allowed an average of 440 yards per game last season, split pretty evenly between rushing (216 yards allowed per game) and passing (224 yards allowed).
Luckily, Antoine looks poised to help in both areas. He has solid speed (4.60 40-yard dash time) to pursue would-be rushers, and can also hit extremely hard. The physical play can help in the passing game, whether it be in breaking up passes or forcing fumbles after the catch. Check out more in his highlight reel here: