Natl. Signing Day (53)
Iona Prep seniors Rodney Samson Jr., of Peekskill, and John Tyrrell, of the Bronx, signed National Letters of Intent this week.

Peekskill resident Rodney Samson Jr. was one of two of Iona Prep scholar-athletes to sign a National Letters of Intent Wednesday, sealing the next step in his academic and athletic careers.

Samson Jr., 17, committed to Merrimack College in Massachusetts. Selected as a first team All-State, All-Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL), All-County and All-Hudson Valley player, Samson was named the CHSFL Defensive Player of the Year and the Offensive MVP of the CHSFL’s AA Championship. As a running back and linebacker for Iona Prep, Samson amassed 1,128 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns and 96 tackles.

“Rodney was our team MVP, both literally and figuratively,” said first-year coach and 1998 Iona Prep graduate Joseph Spagnolo. “Whether it was on offense or defense, he always made the big play at the crucial moment. Rodney is a leader, a great young man and was truly a pleasure to coach.”

Also announcing on Wednesday was John Tyrrell, 17, of the Bronx, who will play football for the University of New Haven in the fall. The 6-foot-five-inch, 300-pound senior was selected by the CHSFL as All-League and named a Journal News All-County Honorable Mention player. Tyrrell was also a CHSFL Senior Bowl Participant and the starting left tackle for Iona Prep.

Samson and Tyrrell add their names to the long legacy of Iona Prep scholar-athletes now playing at the collegiate level, including more than 50 players over the past two years.

“Both Merrimack College and the University of New Haven are fortunate to have these highly skilled players joining their rosters,” Spagnolo said.



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