Signing Day: Seven Iona Prep players headed to college level

An overcrowded table is never a bad thing when it’s on National Signing Day.

That’s what Iona Prep had on Thursday afternoon. Eight seniors from the football team huddled together for a photo, all donning hats and shirts of their future college programs, after a signing ceremony at the school on Thursday.

And the Gaels probably aren’t done yet.

Thursday’s gathering saw seven more standout players make their commitments to play in college officially, joining Malkelm Morris, who signed to play at West Point last month.

Here’s a in-depth look at the latest college commits out of Iona Prep. Head coach Joe Spagnolo said on Thursday possibly five more seniors could be joining the group.


Derek Ferraro – Rice University

Position: Offensive line
Height/Weight: 6-6, 295
Hometown: Harrison

One of the region’s most dynamic and decorated linemen is the second Division I-recruit. Ferraro officially signed with Rice this week, passing up offers from Buffalo, Stony Brook, Sacred Heart, Fordham, Bryant and Maine.

“It’s been hectic,” Ferraro said of the recruiting process. “What they explained to me and what I felt around the program and the guys there, I knew it was going to be a great program in the years become. They really believe this class could really get it all going and build to a future where we win a lot of games and championships.”

The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder was selected first team all-state and second-team All-Metro by News12Varsity. A Harrison resident, Ferraro led an offensive line that amassed over 4,000 total yards this season after guiding Iona Prep to a CHSFL AA title as a junior.

Ferraro said the former staff at Rice initially offered him as a potential tight end/tackle hybrid. But the current staff believes he could play anywhere on the line.

“I’m going to into camp in June and workout,” Ferraro said. “Then when August comes, I’m going to work and be ready to play wherever they want me to play.”

Check out Ferraro’s senior season highlight reel on Hudl here


Jack Doty – Brown University

Position: Offensive line
Height/weight: 6-7, 300
Hometown: Harrison

The imposing left tackle was a dominant force on the end of the line for an explosive Iona Prep offense.

Doty, a first-team All-CHSFL player and Golden Dozen honorable mention selection, was a highly sought-after recruit. He had an offer from Maryland to be a preferred walk-on, as well as Columbia University.

Check out Doty’s senior season highlight reel on Hudl here


Ki’Shyne Shipmon – Pace University

Position: Athlete
Height/weight: 5-9, 180
Hometown: Yonkers

The dynamic two-way player was a star early in his career at Yonkers Montessori before making a smooth transition into one of the CHSFL’s top athlete.

Shipmon ran for 607 yards and six touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 359 yards and three scores as a senior, earning honorable mention All-State, and second team All-News 12 Varsity and All-County by The Journal News.

In two seasons at Iona Prep, he had 1,126 yards rushing and 1,021 yards receiving.

Check out Shipmon’s senior season highlight reel on Hudl here


Johnryan Freeman – Trinity College

Position: Linebacker
Height/weight: 6-2, 210
Hometown: New Rochelle

The versatile two-way star was among the Hudson Valley’s elite receivers and linebackers this past season and figures to have a high ceiling at the next level.

Freeman, a 6-2, 210-pounder, had 424 yards receiving and six touchdowns and finished his three-year varsity career with 78 catches, 1,389 yards and 17 scores in 27 games. Defensively this season, he was a punishing hitter who also intercepted two passes.

Check out Freeman’s senior season highlight reel on Hudl here


Joseph Colaio-Coppola – Elon

Position: Defensive back
Height/weight: 5-11, 195
Hometown: Harrison

A standout two-sport athlete, Colaio-Coppola selected a future in the secondary as a future instead of as an infielder.

Colaio-Coppola was a two-year starter for the Gaels and ranked among the most consistent defensive players, recording over 100 tackles this season and three interceptions, including a pivotal one in the regular season win over eventual state champion Stepinac.

Check out Colaio-Coppola’s senior highlight reel from Hudl here

Marlon Ellis, Springfield College

Position: Defensive lineman
Height/weight: 6-1, 240
Hometown: New Rochelle

There were so many playmakers on this Iona Prep roster and Ellis often got overlooked. But he attracted the attention of several colleges and chose Springfield.

Ellis was a run-stuffer in the middle of the line who recorded 25 tackles and has the versatility to play a variety of positions in college.

Check out Ellis’ senior season highlight reel from Hudl here


Luke Tobia, Ithaca College

Position: Linebacker
Height/weight: 6-1, 225
Hometown: New Rochelle

Perhaps the unsung hero on this Iona Prep defense was Tobia, who worked to improve after a breakout junior season and transform himself into a college prospect.

Tobia finished the season with 89 tackles and five sacks, possessing an ability to hunt down opposing quarterbacks and come up to stop the run. He had 94 tackles and four sacks the previous year.

Check out Tobia’s senior season highlight reel from Hudl here

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