Football Welcomes 14 During December's Early Signing Period

Newest Minutemen hail from Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Canada


AMHERST, Mass.

University of Massachusetts football and head coach Mark Whipple announced the signing of 14 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the inaugural December signing period.

The newest additions to the team include Samuel Emilus (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College), Uchenna Ezewike (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Stranahan), Darian Green (Los Angeles, Calif./ Valley Christian), Elijah Johnson (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow), Josiah Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School), Darren Kyeremeh (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College), Justin Lewis (Opelika, Ala./Opelika), Arnold Mbembe (Montreal Quebec/Vanier College), Timothy Moulton (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan), Michael Nesmith (Hallandale, Fla./Hallandale), Parker Ogle (Palm Beach Springs, Fla./Palm Beach Springs), Dennis Osagiede (Missouri City, Texas/Ridge Point), Jaret Pallotta (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson) and Da'Shon Ross (Moore Haven, Fla./Moore Haven).

The group comprises competitors from seven states (Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas) and Canada, with the most hailing from Florida (5) and the Canadian province of Quebec (3). It features 10 student-athletes who project to play on the defensive side and four slated to line up for the offense.

Ezewike and Lewis inked their NLIs on Friday, the final of the three signing days, while the rest did so on Wednesday.

Coverage will continue on UMassAthletics.com through the completion of the early signing period (Fri., Dec. 22) as National Letters of Intent (NLIs) are verified by the university. Live updates will continue to through the program's @UMassFootball Twitter and Instagram pages. Fans can join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #EliteBreed18.

Massachusetts Football Signees

Name: Samuel Emilus | Highlights
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6-1/200
High School: Vanier College (Montreal, Quebec)
High School Coach: Pete Chryssomalis
Before Massachusetts: Posted 100 receptions, 1,921 receiving yards and 21 touchdown catches at Vanier College ... Was also a punt returner and kick returner for Vanier College and head coach Pete Chryssomalis ... Is rated the No. 4 prospect in Canada at the CEGEP/JC level by Canada Football Chat ... Former Vanier College teammate of current Minuteman rising sophomore Tyris Lebeau and fellow commits Darren Kyeremeh and Arnold Mbembe.

Name: Uchenna Ezewike | Highlights
Position: Defensive Line
Height/Weight: 6-2/220
High School: Stranahan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
High School Coach: Tally Adams
Before Massachusetts: Three-star recruit according to 247Sports and Rivals ... Ranked by the Sun Sentinel as one of the top 50 football recruits in talent-rich Broward County for the Class of 2018 ... Played for Tally Adams at Stranahan High School.

Name: Darian Green | Highlights
Position: Linebacker
Height/Weight: 5-11/217
High School: Valley Christian (Los Angeles, Calif.)
High School Coach: Woodie Grayson
Notes: Attends the Valley Christian School and played for head coach Woodie Grayson ... Finished his career as the program's all-time tackles leader ... Posted 125 tackles as a senior in 2017 as Valley Christian went 9-3 ... Also saw time on offense as a ball carrier and a receiver ... Won the 2016 CIF-SS Championship with Valley Christian.

Name: Elijah Johnson | Highlights
Position: Defensive Back
Height/Weight: 5-11/194
High School: East Longmeadow (East Longmeadow, Mass.)
High School Coach: Matt Sullivan
Notes: Played scholastically at East Longmeadow High School for head coach Matt Sullivan ... No. 14 recruit in Massachusetts according to 247Sports ... Also a star running back for East Longmeadow and was a preseason MassLive Super 7 selection and a decorated track standout for East Longmeadow.

Name: Josiah Johnson | Highlights
Position: Quarterback
Height/Weight: 6-5/197
High School: The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
High School Coach: Wayne Belger
Notes: Played for Wayne Belger at national powerhouse Bolles High School in Jacksonville, Fla. ... Is a three-star recruit according to 247Sports ... Amassed 1,775 passing yards and 14 touchdown passes in a Wing T offensive system during his senior season.

Name: Darren Kyeremeh | Highlights
Position: Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-0/230
High School: Vanier College (Montreal, Quebec)
High School Coach: Pete Chryssomalis
Notes: Posted career numbers of 191 tackles, 28 TFLs, four sacks and five interceptions, including one for a touchdown, at Vanier College ... Coached by Pete Chryssomalis at Vanier College ... Earned his league's rookie of the year award during his first season ... Is currently a finalist for his league's MVP ... Is rated the No. 3 prospect in Canada at the CEGEP/JC Level by Canada Football Chat ... Played alongside fellow signee Samuel Emilus, Arnold Mbembe and rising sophomore Tyris Lebeau at Vanier College.

Name: Justin Lewis | Highlights
Position: Defensive Back
Height/Weight: 5-11/170
High School: Opelika (Opelika, Ala.)
High School Coach: Caleb Ross
Before Massachusetts: Competed scholastically at Opelika High School in Opelika, Ala., for head coach Caleb Ross ... Was a two-way player at Opelika, who played defensive back and receiver ... Also a track and field standout at Opelika.

Name: Arnold Mbembe | Highlights
Position: Defensive Line
Height/Weight: 6-6/240
High School: Vanier College (Montreal, Quebec)
High School Coach: Pete Chryssomalis
Notes: Standout at Vanier College for head coach Pete Cryssomalis ... Composed career numbers of 56 tackles, 27 TFL's, 13 sacks, and seven pass break ups ... Is the No. 1 ranked prospect in Canada at the CEGEP/JC Level by Canadian Football Chat ... Played alongside fellow signee Samuel Emilus, Darren Kyeremeh and rising sophomore Minuteman Tyris Lebeau at Vanier College.

Name: Timothy Moulton | Highlights
Position: Defensive Line
Height/Weight: 6-3/240
High School: Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia, Pa.)
High School Coach: Frank McArdle
Notes: Played scholastically at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia, Pa., for Frank McArdle … Played tackle and nose guard … Also a member of the Archbishop Ryan High School boys' basketball team.

Name: Michael Nesmith | Highlights
Position: Linebacker
Height/Weight: 5-10/190
High School: Hallandale (Hallandale, Fla.)
High School Coach: Frank McArdle
Notes: Competed for head coach Herman Lovett at Hallandale High School ... Also a track and field standout for Hallandale High School.

Name: Parker Ogle | Highlights
Height/Weight: 6-3/290
Position: Offensive Line
High School: Palm Beach Gardens (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
High School Coach: Billy Clark
Notes: Played for Billy Clark at Palm Beach Gardens High School ... Is ranked as the No. 36 center in the nation according to 247Sports ... Earned Sun-Sentinel 8A-6A Second Team on offense ... Father was an offensive lineman at Clemson from 1987-91 ... Brother currently pitches in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system.

Name: Dennis Osagiede | Highlights
Height/Weight: 6-1/290
Position: Defensive Line
High School: Ridge Point (Missouri City, Texas)
High School Coach: Brent Sniffin
Notes: Standout defensive lineman for head coach Brent Sniffin at Ridge Point High School in Missouri City, Texas ... A three-star recruit according to 247Sports and Rivals.

Name: Jaret Pallotta | Highlights
Height/Weight: 6-5/205
Position: Quarterback
High School: Jackson (Massillon, Ohio)
High School Coach: Tim Budd
Notes: Pro-style quarterback for head coach Tim Budd at Jackson High School in Canton, Ohio ... A three-star recruit according to 247Sports, who ranks as the No. 63 player in the state of Ohio ... Was a first team all-Ohio selection and the NEO Inland District Offensive Player of the Year ... Threw for 2,504 Yards and 25 passing touchdowns as a senior, resetting the Jackson High School records in both categories in the process ... Had 2,060 passing yards and threw for 18 touchdowns during the 2016 season.

Name: Da'Shon Ross | Highlights
Position: Linebacker
Height/Weight: 5-11/210
High School: Moore Haven (Moore Haven, Fla.)
High School Coach: Max Manin
Notes: Played scholastically for Moore Haven High School and head coach Max Manin ... Totaled 70 tackles during his senior season … Also saw time on the offensive side as a fullback … Won honorable mention on the FloridaHSFootball.com Class 2A All-State Team in 2017.

The December signing period is in its first year of existence and will continue through Fri., Dec. 22. The NCAA will also continue to host a signing period during the spring, which spans Feb. 7 – April 1, 2018.

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