L to R: Iona Prep seniors Rodney Samson, Jr. and John Tyrrell both signed National Letters of Intent this week.

‘AA’ Champion Gaels Add to Accolades with 2 Letter of Intent Signees

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Two of Iona Prep’s top scholar-athletes signed National Letters of Intent, sealing the next step to their academic and athletic careers.

John Tyrrell, 17, of the Bronx, will play football for the University of New Haven this fall. The 6-foot-five-inch, 300-pound senior was selected by the Catholic High School Football League (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.

“John is an extremely coachable and hardworking young man. He was one of the anchors of an offensive line that produced nearly 5,000 yards and was a leader on and off the field,” said first-year coach and 1998 Iona Prep graduate Joseph Spagnolo. “John is the definition of a scholar-athlete, as he will graduate Iona Prep with a 90 overall average and always represents the football program and school like a true Iona Man.”

Rodney Samson, Jr., 17, of Peekskill, has committed to Merrimack College in Massachusetts. Selected as a 1st Team All-State, All-CHSFL, All-County and All-Hudson Valley player, he 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, Jr. amassed 1,128 rushing yards, 18 TDs and 96 tackles.

Coach Spagnolo commented: “Rodney was our team MVP, both literally and figuratively. 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.” 

Samson, Jr. 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 the University of New Haven and Merrimack College are fortunate to have these highly skilled players joining their rosters,” Spagnolo concluded.