Tag: Davison Igbinosun

Union’s Davison Igbinosun chooses Ole Miss over Rutgers, two other SEC schools

A week before the All-American Bowl, Union athlete Davison Igbinosun announced on Twitter he’d come down with COVID, and would be unable to play in the game. But it didn’t put a damper on his plans to announce it during the nationally televised contest.

In between the first and second quarters Saturday afternoon, Igbinosun – the most highly-touted recruit this year in the Big Central Conference – announced he would play at Ole Miss in the SEC.

He chose the Rebels over Tennesee, Kentucky and Rutgers. After a visit to Piscatway, he said Rutgers was the “home school” but called the SEC “big boy football.”

Igbinosun’s senior season came to an untimely end in the state playoffs, when the district’s Superintendent pulled the team from its second round game due to a number of positive COVID tests on the team, prompting a swift backlash from parents and fans. Igbinosun spearheaded a move by him and his teammates to get the team reinstated, but by then it was too late, and the plug was pulled.

READ MORE: National recruit Davison Igbinosun of Union says Farmers are “heartbroken” over playoff cancellation, vows to keep fighting

Igbinosun had several dozen Division I offers.

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Specialty Awards” for 2021

Last year, we decided our inaugural awards show had too few awards to recognize all the truly great student-athletes in the Big Central Conference, on or off the field. So besides Players and Coach of the Year, we decided to give out “Specialty Awards.”

And we’re back with more for 2021, so get ready for some fantastic stories!

Offensive Line of the Year: Cranford

They literally paved the way for Cranford’s third state championship in eleven seasons. The five guys up front kept quarterback Shane VanDam on his feet, and cleared a path for Colin Murray, who had a career-best 334 yards in the North 2 Group 3 championship game against Sparta.

Cranford offensive lineman Kevin Shriner holds up the NJSIAA trophy as he and his teammates celebrate a state championship. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Geoff Gretta, Kevin Shriner, Kyle Fay, Ryan Heesters, and Matt Fries – who signed his National Letter of Intent this week to attend the University of Illinois – were all instrumental in Cranford’s success. Four of the five – with the exception being center Kyle Fay – are at least 6-2 and 280 pounds.

“It helps we have a bunch of large humans,” head coach Erik Rosenmeier told us earlier this season.

It also helps they can all flat out play.

Listen below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with all five Cranford offensive linemen:

The “Nobody Scores” Award:

It took eight games for someone to score on St. Thomas Aquinas, and nobody threw a touchdown pass against them all year.

Those were the kind of dominant defensive numbers the Trojans put up on 2021, not an easy task considering they led most of their games pretty big this year, and a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds could easily have lost their focus.

They didn’t, only allowing nine points the entire regular season, all of them coming in their finale against Delaware Valley, on a mud-soaked field in North Edison.

Villanova-bound senior Jon Wyatt has been an integral part of the Trojans’ success on both sides of the ball. (Mike Pavlichko)

Senior Jon Wyatt, who’s going to Villanova, was a lock-down corner. Barely anyone threw toward him – and if they did, they couldn’t complete a single pass. If they did manage to get a ball caught, it was in the hands of Wyatt.

Click below to hear Wyatt talk about how it all worked out for St. Thomas Aquinas:

“Rising Star” Award

Last season, sophomore quarterbacks were making an impact, whether it be Franklie Garbolino, Matt Yasko, or a host of others around the league.

In 2021, sophomore Zaimer Wright of Sayreville is one who had a big impact for his team, leaving a bright future for the Bombers.

Sayreville sophomore Zaimer Wright helped his team knock off No. 1 North Brunswick on September 17, 2021. (Source: Twitter)

Wright was a Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week earlier this year, and finished the season with 1,401 yards rushing, 25 touchdowns, and five two-point conversions, scoring 160 total points. He also starts at safety, contributing on defense, and returns punts and kickoffs, as well as runs down on the kick coverage team.

He’s been under the weather recently, so we didn’t get a chance to speak to him, but we think we’ll have plenty of opportunities the next couple of years. Feel better, Zaimer!

Mr. Versatility

There’s no doubt this award goes to Alex Benitez, a senior from Montgomery. He has played runningback, moved back to quarterback, then back to runningback while also playing outside linebacker on defense.

Montgomery senior QB Alex Benitez gets ready to throw a pass in preseason camp on Friday, August 27, 2021 at Cougar Stadium.

A four-year starter, Benitez didn’t miss a single game, and only fumbled four times in his career – three of them coming in his freshman year!

He also punts, kicks off, kicks PATs, long snaps and return kickoffs. He’d probably drive the team bus if it wasn’t an insurance issue.

Coach Zoran Milich calls him “the best all-around player in New Jersey.”

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with jack-of-all-trades Alex Benitez:

“Mentorship Award”:

With a strong influence in his own family, Jehu Andrews realizes that not every boy in Carteret is as lucky as he is.

So that’s why, in addition to being a leader on his own Carteret Rambler football team, and being a great asset to first-year head coach Kevin Freeman, he’s involved with youth football.

Jehu Andrews of Carteret (source: Twitter)

Sure, he helped pave the way up front on offense and defense to a three-win season after not playing at all in 202 because Carteret cancelled fall sports due to COVID

But he laid some of that knowledge on the 14-and-under Bulldogs in town, becoming a father figure to, perhaps, a bunch of future Jehu Andrews.

Click below to hear Andrews talk with Mike Pavlichko talk about his season, community involvement, and influences:

Perseverance Award

Sure, a lot of football players face obstacles in their seasons. Maybe it’s a nagging injury, a tough defeat, or just some bad luck.

How many have a fire destroy everything they own, save only their football jersey, and show up to play that night?

Matthew Ihemsie of Hillside (Source: Twitter)

Matthew Ihemsie of Hillside does, and to be honest, there are no words that can do it justice, except for his. So give a listen:

“Mr. Dynamic” (Most Electrifying Player):

He can run, he can throw, but his ability to inspire his teammates to great heights, quickly shift the momentum of a game, make Josh Oluremi of Colonia the obvoious choice for most electrifying player in the Big Central Conference.

Mr. Dynamic, Oluremi rushed for 1,594 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, while throwing for 954 and 6 touchdown passes. He also had 32 tackles and a pair of picks from his cornerback spot on defense.

Josh Oluremi of Colonia (Source: Twitter)

He almost single-handedly got Colonia past Edison on September 10th, rushing for four and throwing another touchdown in the game, a 38-7 victory over the Eagles.

For his career, he finishes with 2,000+ rushing yards, and nearly 1,800 passing yards, responsible for a total of 36 overall touchdowns.

Click below to hear Josh Oluremi talk about his season, career, and style of play:

Red-Hot Recruit of the Year:

Picking these awards aren’t always easy. Which means sometimes it is. In this case, it was a no-brainer.

Davison Igbinsoun of Union holds 30-plus Division I scholarship offers, and is still deciding where he’ll attend college, getting a lot of attention in the past week from Rutgers’ Greg Schiano – who arrived in a chopper for the second time this season – and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, who took him for a ride in a Porsche.

He originally committed to Rutgers, but withdrew that commitment after his recruiting ranting picked up a fourth star, though the Scarlet Knights remain in contention for him.

Union’s Davison Igbinosun (Source: Twitter)

One of the most dominant players in the area in recent memory, his numbers weren’t off the charts in 2021, but that’s because he’s an incredibly unselfish player, and the Farmers had a lot of athletes to go around.

This year, he had 18 total touchdowns, 76 carries for 903 yards and 12 touchdown, 20 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 74 tackles, 4 picks, and two tackles for a loss.

He’ll be special wherever he goes.

National recruit Davison Igbinosun of Union says Farmers are “heartbroken” over playoff cancellation, vows to keep fighting

On a team with many very talented players, Davison Igbinosun is high-profile nationally, getting Power 5 offers from all over the country.

And While he’s a lock to play big-time college football virtually anywhere he wants next year, he still wants more with his teammates. Which is why he was doubly devastated when top-seed Union’s playoff game Friday against Eastside Paterson was cancelled by district Superintendent Dr. Scott Taylor around lunchtime, less than eight hours before kickoff.

Igbinosun opened up about how his team took the abrupt ending to its season, and how he’s pushing for the game to still be played. He and his teammates have a petition on change.org that has garnered more than 3,400 signatures. You can find it here.

Central Jersey Sports Radio has reached out to Dr. Taylor for comment. We’ll let you know if we get a response. Follow us on Twitter @cjsportsradio for the very latest.

We have also reached out to NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire to find out if rescheduling the game would even be feasible. As of 2 pm Saturday afternoon, we have not received a response from either Maguire or spokesman Michael Cherenson.

We’ll keep you posted.

Listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s exclusive interview with Davison Igbinosun as he talks with Mike Pavlichko:

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 6: The Live Show

Episode 6 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland finds us on the road – where else – at Autoland Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram on Rt. 22 East!

Mike Pavlichko previews Friday night’s Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, featuring Westfield (2-1) and No. 3 Union (3-1).

Mike Pavlichko is joined by Westfield senior defensive back James Csorba, and senior offensive linemen Duke Edmonson and Jack Price. Representing Union is senior wideout/defensive back and Rutgers commit Davison Igbinosun, senior quarterback/defensive back Jaden Stewart, and senior two-way lineman Najee Bowe Pinckney. The Farmers’ cheerleaders welcomed and sent off the group.

Then, coaches Jim DeSarno of Westfield and Lou Grasso of Union join Mike to talk about their careers and Friday night’s game.

Mike wraps it up with a quick look at the Week 5 slate coming up this weekend.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 3: The Flood

This year was supposed to be about getting back to normal in New Jersey High School Football.

Week One was anything but.

In Episode 3 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, we look at how the remnants of Hurricane Ida – and the residual flooding – played havoc with the high school schedule, even moving the Rutgers-Temple season-opener and forcing an audible on the weekend “Rumble on the Raritan” showcase at RU’s SHI Stadium.

This Week on TWiBC, Mike Pavlichko looks at how the Top Ten fared, and looks ahead at the Week 2 slate with Dom Savino, and is joined by several coaches and players.

But the feature story is the flood, and how it affected Manville. Not just the community, but the football team, and how the Mustangs, in turn, took care of their teammates, and their whole town.

Union’s Davison Igbinosun named Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week

With a big came that spurred a big comeback that gave Union a big win, Farmers senior Davison Igbinosun has been named the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week for Week One.

Each week, league coaches will be allowed to nominate a player from their team for the award, with this week’s eligible games including Week Zero, in which only a fraction of the Big Central teams played. Players who also received serious consideration will be listed each week on the Honor Roll.

Igbinosun – a Rutgers commit – had a great stat line in a 40-21 road win against St. Joseph-Metuchen (0-1): eight carries for 106 yard and three touchdowns, three catches for 104 yards and another score, as well as nine tackles on defense, two TFLs and an interception.

But, it was how and when those scores happened that clinched the award for Igbinosun. Two of his rushing touchdowns came in the third quarter, giving Union a 21-14 lead after trailing 14-6 at the half.

The Farmers are now 1-1.

Every Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week will receive a custom football at the end of the season, and one will be chosen for a $500 scholarship.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s interview with Union’s Davison Igbinosun:

Honor Roll…

Three other players made this week’s Big Central Honor Roll:

Senior runningback Quinn Lonergan of Brearley rushed for 113 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries as the Bears started the season with a win, blanking Johnson 36-0 at home. Lonergan matched his junior campaign’s touchdown output, where he scored four TDs on 44 carries, rushing for nearly 300 yards behind thousand-yard rusher Derek Graichen.

Monroe’s Benjamin Bussiere had a big game in a 52-20 season-opening home win over Franklin. The junior receiver had seven catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and amassed 145 kick return yards, including a 96-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, the first of four straight scores that helped the Falcons pull away, after leading only by 11 at halftime. On defense, Bussiere also recorded eight solo tackles.

Also making the Honor Roll was North Brunswick’s Tamir Jenkins. The junior linebacker was a defensive force against arch-rival South Brunswick in a 56-21 season-opening victory. Jenkins had 9 tackles and a TFL, but also forced and recovered two fumbles, one of them a 74-yard scoop-and-score. He also had a rushing touchdown on offense, the first of his scholastic career.

Igbinosun prepares Union for another title pursuit

The last time New Jersey hosted a high school football postseason, Union hoisted the North 2, Group 5 trophy.

Even though Davison Igbinosun recorded an interception in that 2019 championship game, he was just a sophomore then, and he regards that title as his predecessors’ accomplishment – not his.

Now a senior and a Rutgers commit preparing for his final high school season, Igbinosun will lead another senior-laden Union squad in pursuit of the program’s 12th sectional crown.

Dom Savino caught up with Igbinosun to preview the 2021 Union Farmers, who have a “state championship or bust” mentality this fall: