Football News: Classical’s Buchanan Signs With URI

by | Dec 30, 2021

Above: Marquis Buchanan playing for Classical High School.

Marquis Buchanan is staying close to home to play college football. The 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year has signed a letter of intent to play football for the Rhody Rams down in Kingston.

The 6-3, 175 lb wide receiver wanted to get a good education, play college football, and have his family and friends be able to see him play.

He did that by spurning offers from other schools out of state and going for it with the Rams.

At Classical, where he was coached by Kris McCall, Buchanan was a four-year team captain. Besides being named the R.I. Gatorade Player of the Year, he was also the R.I. Basketball Player of the Year in 2020.

He finished up this past fall with 63 catches for 1,143 yards and 10 touchdowns. His team, the Classical Purple, won the D2 State title.

Marquis also returned kickoffs and punts, taking two KO’s all the way to score and one punt the same. A two-time All Stater as a defensive back, he had 75 tackles and 5 interceptions returning 3 of those interceptions for TDs.

It will be interesting to see where Rhode Island will play this multi-talented athlete.

Some real good talent is coming out of the Providence-Pawtucket area. Momodou Mbye (Shea-URI), now with the Green Bay Blizzard; Tre Jones (St Rays) an All League performer at Central Connecticut State; Leandro DeBrito (Shea) an All Leaguer at Duquesne; Jaylen Smith (Shea) who blossomed at the end of the season at URI along with Frederick Mallay (Mt. Pleasant). Jehlani Galloway (Classical) is at Boston College.

Kwity Paye (Bishop Hendricken-Michigan) is having a good first season for the Indianapolis Colts. The first-round rookie ( 21st pick) has 23 tackles, 9 assists, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass deflection and three tackles for loss. Not bad.

Kwity’s older brother, Komotay Koffie, has taken a circuitous route to get to his senior season at University of Northern Colorado, including stops at prep school, junior college and New Mexico State University, before ending up in Greeley. He has 19 solo tackles, 11 assists, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass breakup as a defensive back for the Bears.

Don’t know how I missed this kid below, but thank God I found him, so he can get some recognition. That’s why it is important for coaches to report information on their former players doing well in the college ranks.

Hayden Braga (Ponaganset), Anna Maria wide receiver was an important cog in the Amcats winning the ECFC title this year. He had 46 grabs for 593 yards and a TD and finished his career at the Worcester school with 100 receptions for 1,261 yards and 4 TDs. He also averaged 33 yards a punt and returned punts for an 18.2 average including a long TD run of 76 yards against NY Maritime.

Braga has been named a CoSIDA Academic All District and is in the running for Academic All American distinction. He carries a 3.9 GPA in Sports Management. A team captain this year, he has also been named to the All Eastern College Football Conference first team. Congratulations to Hayden Braga!

After one year of Arena Football with the Orlando Predators, Nick Giorgio, is attending the Rhode Island State Police Academy. The Springfield D3 All American did well for the Predators but as I have always said: Life wins out always. You can only last so long as a player. Coaching you can go a lot longer. Though we would have liked to continue following Nick’s success on the gridiron we wish him all the best in his new endeavor.

Winners of the Pride of Rhode Island Award have been as follows: 2018 – NICK MURGO (Mount Hope-Allegheny-Washington & Jefferson); 2019-NICK GIORGIO (Springfield-Orlando Predators); 2020 – TRE JONES (St. Rays-Central Connecticut); 2021 – KWITY PAYE (Hendricken – Michigan-Indianapolis Colts).

In 2022 we have Co-Winners: LEANDRO DEBRITO (Shea-Duquesne) and STEVE GACIOCH (Tiverton-UMass-Dartmouth).

Winners of the Home State Hero Award have been – 2020 MOMODOU MBYE (Shea-URI-Green Bay Blizzard); 2021 MATT SYLVIA (East Greenwich-Salve Regina).

In 2022, the HSH Award is going to ANDRE BIBEAULT (Cumberland-URI).

Michael Balsamo and Parke Hardesky pose with EGHS Head Coach John George at the Providence Gridiron Club’s MVP Night in December. A crowd of 300 attended to applaud boys from across the state as they received their honors. Balsamo, a relentless pursuer and tackler received the Defensive Player Award for the Avengers, while Hardesky, who was a prolific passer, got the Offensive MVP Award. Photo submitted.

In 1955, Rhode Island high school football had only 26 teams!

Class A: LaSalle, East Providence, Mount Pleasant, Rogers, Warwick, Cranston, Central and Hope.

Class B: St. Ray’s, West Warwick, Classical, Tolman, Pawtucket West, Woonsocket, DeLaSalle, Westerly, Mt. St. Charles

Class C: South Kingstown, Burrillville, East Greenwich, Warren, North Kingstown, Barrington, North Providence, Colt Memorial, Pawtucket Voke

Yet, Rhode Island boys could be found on college rosters at URI, Brown, Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, UConn, UMass, Syracuse, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Houston, Arizona, Brigham Young, Cal Poly, UTampa, Clemson, U-Tennessee Martin, Maryland, and Michigan State, and a few made it to the NFL, AFL and CFL.

Not bad for the smallest state in the country.

Time to take a break and wish all the Rhode Island coaches a few NEW plays for the New Year!

This press release brought to you by The Brooker Sports Initiative is free for newspapers, TV, radio, coaches, players and all those interested in Rhode Island High School football and the people who play, coach and officiate it.

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