Robert Morris football brings in seven new commits, bolster defense on Early Signing Day

Samuel Anthony and Samuel Anthony

As Early Signing Day rolls in, the Robert Morris Colonials will get a closer look at the new generation of Colonials and the very first recruiting class of the Bernard Clark Era.

Through 1:20 p.m. on Early Signing Day, RMU had officially signed seven new members to their football team including six on the defensive side of the ball which struggled mightily this past season.

Geno Pellegrini, QB, Charleroi HS: Pellegrini showed off his abilities with both his feet and his arm this past season with the Charleroi Cougars as he led the Cougars to a 10-2 record, including an undefeated mark at home. Pellegrini finished the season going 120-for-200 passing for 2296 yards, 31 TDs and 7 INTs.

Pellegrini was the eighth leading passer in all of the WPIAL despite throwing significantly less passes than every quarterback ahead of him. Additionally, Pellegrini also finished with 801 rushing yards, the second-best mark for Charleroi this season.

While many expect George Martin to be the starter next season, Pellegrini’s versatility could play a factor next season and beyond for the Colonials.

Devyn Charles, LB, Riverside Community College: Coming from the same high school as now graduated RMU quarterback Jimmy Walker, Charles comes into Colonial country hoping to fill the void left by All-NEC second teamer Adam Wollet as another mainstay on a Colonials defense that mightily struggled last season.

Known for his speed, Charles looks to use that to get to the edges and provide assistance for a running defense which was one of the worst in the nation last year.

Charles spent the past season playing linebacker at Riverside Community College in search for bigger college offers. Charles finished the season with 46.0 tackles and 2.0 sacks en route to helping the Tigers finish their season with an 11-1 record in 2018.

Bryce Fontana, DL, Scottsdale CC(Ariz.): On the defensive line is where the Colonials have seen to most help come their way during recruiting season and the first to ink his name on signing day was Bryce Fontana from Tuscon, Ariz.

Fontana, like Charles, is a transfer student this time spending his past season at Scottsdale Community College, home of the Fighting Artichokes. With the Chokes, Fontana played in 9 games and finished with 17.0 tackles and 1 forced fumble.

Before his time at Scottsdale CC, Fontana racked up 99 career tackles, 5.0 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 32 career games at Ceinaga high school.

Zack Gilbert, DL, South Mecklenburg(N.C.): Just minutes after the commitment of Fontana, fellow defensive lineman Zack Gilbert signed his commitment letter to Robert Morris. The Colonials showing their willingness to go all over the United States for talent with Gilbert coming from North Carolina.

Glibert may be the single best story among RMU commits coming into National Signing with the significant amount of adversity faced by Gilbert. Originally a University of Pittsburgh recruit, Gilbert found himself unable to play his freshman season due to a heart condition discovered just before his debut.

After being cleared by doctors, Gilbert was unable to continue playing at Pitt due to the administration’s determination that there was just too much risk. Gilbert then went back home to Charlotte N.C. to train until he made the decision to head to Arizona Western College to play at the junior college level.

After making his return to football on Aug. 24, The Colonials decided to take a chance on Gilbert, who after his years of hard work has finally made his return to the Division I level.

If his level of play matches his work ethic, Gilbert will certainly be a player to watch for Robert Morris.

Jamar Shegog, LB, Seton La Salle: Another local WPIAL product makes his way to Moon Twp. as Shegog provides even more help for the Colonials on the defensive side of the ball.

Shegog was impressive on both sides of the ball finishing with 595 yards rushing and 8 TDs for Seton La Salle with 19 tackles and 4 sacks to go along with it on the defensive side of the ball.

Ultimately, Shegog has made the decision to play linebacker but we have seen head coach Bernard Clark play his more athletic players in a variety of positions. Shegog becomes yet another dynamic player for Robert Morris to try and get creative with.

Supilani Mailei, DL, Pima CC(Ariz.): A native of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Mailei is another player from the Arizona Community College circuit which RMU also acquired Zack Gilbert and Bryce Fontana.

After not playing his first season with Pima Community College, Mailei racked up 46 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries in eight games with the Aztecs. Mailei’s sack and fumble recovery totals were both good for the best on the team in 2018.

Victor Solarin, DL, Barringer(New Jersey): Solarin is coming much closer to home in his decision to come back to Pittsburgh after spending the past season playing football at Orange Coast Community College in Californiia.

Solarin recorded 32 tackles and 2.0 sacks in eight games this past season for OCCC. Solarin becomes the fourth defensive lineman to sign with the Colonials today adding a lot of competition to the position. This makes for quite the competition come time for training camp in July.

Solarin is a smaller defensive lineman, coming in at just 6 feet tall and 245 lbs, Solarin hopes to add some speed up front where the Colonials lacked it last season and it looks to also indicate the direction head coach Bernard Clark and defensive coordinator Dave Plungas look to go with their defense next season.