WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2003
Football Gets Signing Period Off to Strong Start

Feb. 5, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University football team has signed nine players to join the Dolphins for the 2003 season, head coach Steve Gilbert announced Wednesday. The initial group of signees has a local flavor with five players from the Jacksonville area.

"We are pleased with the players we have signed on the first day but it is still early in the recruiting process for us," said Gilbert, who has guided the Dolphins since the inception of the program in 1998. "We are only through one-third of our visits and we still have big weekends, so we will continue to sign players every week."

The Dolphins addressed their top recruiting need by adding three offensive linemen. Dwight Samuel, an all-conference selection, and Jesse Scheff were teammates at Orange Park High School, while Brett Barry was a First-Team All-Area selection for Bishop Verot High School. Ryan Long, an all-conference kicker and punter from Orange Park, is a player Gilbert describes as a "great competitor" and is expected to come in and compete for a position right away. Another local product is Menendez High School standout Matt Scarpetti, who is a strong, physical running back, who has excellent speed and was invited to play in the Jacksonville North-South All-Star Game.

The Dolphins also added a pair of gifted receivers in Tim Paton from Nease High School and Billy Angstadt from Westminster Christian in Miami. Paton at 6-foot-3 and Angstadt at 6-foot-2 both have prototypical receiver frames, which could serve the Dolphins well in the red zone. They will also help provide the same balance with JU's smaller, faster receivers as departed wideout Jon Turner.

"Since we started, I made it a point to emphasize recruiting in Jacksonville and try to keep as many top-notch players at home as possible," Gilbert said. "Our goal is to have a class of 40 to add to the 78 we currently have on the roster."

The regular signing period continues until April 1, while the late signing period lasts until Aug. 1.

2003 JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL SIGNEES

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Billy Angstadt WR 6-2 185 Homestead, Fla. (Westminster Christian) Brett Barry OL 6-1 260 Cape Coral, Fla. (Bishop Verot HS) Ryan Long K/P 5-10 175 Jacksonville, Fla. (Orange Park HS) Ben Morgan FB 5-11 190 Perry, Fla. (Taylor County HS) Tim Paton WR 6-3 185 Jacksonville, Fla. (Nease HS) Matt Scarpetti FB 5-11 195 St. Augustine, Fla. (Menendez HS) Dwight Samuel OL 6-0 250 Jacksonville, Fla. (Orange Park HS) Jesse Scheff OL 6-1 300 Jacksonville, Fla. (Orange Park HS) Robert Collins TE 6-2 220 Englewood, Fla. (Lemon Bay HS)