Robert Morris Brings in 28 Recruits on National Signing Day to Help Rebound from Letdown Season


National Signing Day

Aiden Dine

Robert Morris is building for the future through the transfer portal and bringing in high school signees from National Signing Day on Wednesday. RMU needs a rebound year and the work begins in the offseason. This applies to both the players returning from last season and new players coming in this year. Listed below are the signees:

  • James Westry – Wide Receiver (Lackawanna College)
  • Jeremiah Jackson – Defensive Back (Lackawanna College)
  • Michelangelo Loretto – Defensive Line (Pasadena City College)
  • Mason Reese – Defensive Line (Diablo Valley College)
  • Joe Malchesky – Defensive Back (Akron)
  • Trenell Ridgley – Wide Receiver (Long Beach City College)
  • Deavion Pierce – Defensive Back (Miami University)
  • Ryan O’Hair – Offensive Line (Miami University)
  • Sherron Davis – Wide Receiver (Marist)
  • Tyler Szalkowski – Quarterback (Albany)
  • Britton Pascoe – Defensive Back (North Dakota State)
  • Travell Cook – Defensive Back (Saint Francis)
  • DJ Moyer – Running Back (Elon)
  • Robert Carter Jr. – Defensive Back (UVA-Wise)
  • Andre Cooper II – Wide Receiver (VMI)
  • Seth Verilus – Defensive Back (Dartmouth)
  • Zachary Bair – Running Back (Dartmouth)
  • Noah Robinson – Wide Receiver (Old Dominion)
  • Julian Jordan – Wide Receiver (Wagner)
  • Chaese Jackson – Tight End (Eastern Michigan)
  • Landen Lucas – Tight End (Fresno City College)
  • Patrick McDonnell – Linebacker (Walsh)
  • Josh Kauvesi – Defensive Line (Santa Rosa J.C.)
  • Lucas Lambert – Defensive Line (Seneca Valley H.S.)
  • JonJon Delgado – Defensive Back (True North Classical Academy)
  • Devon Green – Running Back (IMG Academy)
  • Gregory Davis Jr – Defensive Back (IMG Academy)
  • Joshua Brooks – Offensive Line (Central Gwinnett)

RMU’s incoming class has 28 players, including 23 transfers and five high school signees, although that number is likely to go up as more news comes out about who has signed with RMU.

The first observation about this class is the abundance of defensive backs. RMU brought in nine defensive backs. Seven are transfers and two are freshmen coming in in addition to the eight returning defensive backs that make for quite the amount of depth for the Colonials in their secondary with 17 players.

One of those defensive backs is JonJon Delgado, a safety and receiver from True North Classical Academy in Miami, Florida. He stands out on the defensive end with his ball-hawking skills and physicality. The 5’10, 170-pound defensive back plays above his weight class and he could make 64 tackles and reel in seven interceptions in 2022.

Lucas Lambert, another one of Robert Morris’ high school signees, is a local guy coming from Seneca Valley to play on the defensive line for Robert Morris. Lambert signed his letter of intent back in December and he’ll probably play edge rusher for the Colonials.

One of the transfers with a fascinating backstory is Chaese Jackson, although he is listed as Aaron Jackson on Eastern Michigan’s website. Jackson started as a quarterback at EMU, enrolling early in 2018. He didn’t play in 2019 either and switched to tight end

After flipping to tight end, Jackson played in 21 games over the past three seasons totaling seven catches, 36 yards and a touchdown over three years at EMU. Jackson also added six carries for 27 yards, all in his junior year.

Another transfer, Robert Carter, is making the jump from D-II ball to the D-I level this year from UVA-Wise. Carter had a couple of stand-out seasons racking up 77 tackles, nine interceptions and 20 passes deflected.

Carter also held kick return duties at UVA-Wise, putting up 660 yards last year on 31 returns, including one he returned for a touchdown for a 96-yard score. Carter could contribute a lot next year for the Colonials if he can crack the starting lineup in a crowded defensive backfield next season.

The Albany to RMU pipeline continues to flow with quarterback Tyler Szalkowski. He has thrown four passes at Albany but did manage a touchdown pass this past year. Szalkowski is impressive in high school at Aquinas Institute.

Tyler earned the starting job by his sophomore year and over the next three seasons, he compiled 6,238 yards and 66 touchdowns with just 17 interceptions. Szalkowski is a redshirt sophomore who will have an opportunity to push the position group this Spring and maybe come out with the starting job if he impresses.

RMU brought in three running backs this recruiting cycle. The first two are Devon Green (IMG Academy) and DJ Moyer (Elon), who could compete for reps in the Spring and earn roles this coming Fall with a couple of backs graduating.

The third and most experienced back is Zackary Bair transferred in from Dartmouth. He has played all four years he’s been at Dartmouth. He’s played in 30 games and ran for 1,126 yards on 193 carries, seeing an uptick in carries post-pandemic in 2021 and 2022.

Westry returns to Robert Morris after one year at Lackawanna College (Photo by Tyler Gallo)

Bair transferred after his usage tapered off as the season went on this past year after he started on a great run of games. If he earns the starting role and RMU gives him a reasonable workload, Bair could be a valuable addition.

The team brought in six receivers in this cycle, all of which were transfers. The three with the most experience, aside from a familiar face, are Andre Cooper (VMI), Trenell Ridgley (LBCC), and Julian Jordan (Wagner).

All three receivers registered double-digit receptions last season and had over 100 yards on their seasons, but they will look to improve on those numbers in Colonial uniforms. However, another receiver is joining the Colonials, sure to bring some excitement next fall.

James Westry announced he would be back at RMU on Wednesday and Thursday. The Colonials Twitter confirmed his return. He is returning after a one-year stint at JUCO school Lackawanna College.

Westry put up 31 catches, 528 yards and a touchdown last year at Lackawanna and he has posted several pictures indicating he will be returning to RMU, which will be huge for the Colonials. Westry led RMU in yards in 2021 before leaving after the season.

Regardless of the reason for Westry’s departure, the Colonials will be happy to have him back with three receivers transferring and the most productive receivers for RMU from last season being under 300 yards.

Westry’s return highlights a class of recruits that RMU hopes will turn the tides for RMU and help them rebound from last year’s 0-11 season. RMU’s class of 2023 and the returning Colonials will look to flip the script for RMU going forward.

Expect to hear more about these players next fall when football season rolls around and the Colonials hit the field. RMU’s first home action will be on Sept. 9 against Saint Francis at Joe Walton.