True freshmen really have to force their way into the starting lineup for most college football teams. It will likely be difficult to keep Newfield linebacker Ron Denig on the sideline when he arrives at LIU Post next season.
Denig led a talented group of high school seniors to sign with Post Wednesday. Many will await their turn, taking a redshirt season or seeing limited action. Denig, a 6-foot, 215-pound hitting machine who helped Newfield to the Class II title, might become a four-year starter.
"Of course I expect to play," he said. "I'm just going to go in there and work hard and see what happens.''
Denig has weighty credentials: The first-team All-Long Island selection was also named defensive player of the year in Suffolk.
Post coach Bryan Collins knows what he is getting in Denig, who made 146 tackles and had two interceptions as a senior. "I could see a kid like Denig pushing in camp to get on the field in his first year,'' the coach said. "Absolutely.''
Denig said he received interest from Army and New Haven but wanted to stay close to home. "I just kind of fell in love with the school, it was a great fit,'' he said. "I've always been around Post. It's the school in the backyard.''
Joining Denig will be fellow Newfield linebacker Julian Santiago, a second- team All-Long Island pick who had 125 tackles. "Julian signing with me is great,'' Denig said. "We definitely wanted to stay together.''
Collins also signed wide receiver and defensive back Michael Richardson. A pair of Sayville players, defensive back James Rupp and wide receiver Thomas Hannan, also signed. Collins went into Brooklyn and found running back Kareem Folkes. The Lincoln star was named the New York City player of the year.
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