By Phil Anastasia
Highland offensive tackle Ahmaad Randall sees Rhode Island as a football program on the rise.
"They're up and coming," Randall said. "I want to be a part of that."
Randall, a 6-4, 300-pound athlete, committed Monday night to attend Rhode Island on a football scholarship. He made his decision after visiting the school in Kingston, R.I., last weekend.
"Unbeatable coaching staff," Randall said. "That mixed with the academics made it the place for me."
Randall said he plans to pursue a degree in engineering. He plans to sign with Rhode Island Feb. 6, national signing day.
Randall said he wasn't detered by Rhode Island's 0-11 record last season.
"We're going to turn that around," Randall said.
Rhode Island is a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) program that competes in the Colonial Athletic Assocation with teams such as Villanova, Delaware and New Hampshire.
Randall also had a scholarhsip offer from Coastal Carolina. Randall helped Highland reach the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs last season.
Highland was 4-6 last season. The Tartans were 5-25 over the last three seasons.
Randall said he wasn't concerned that Highland's struggles in the win-loss column would hurt his chances of earning a scholarship.
"At first I was," Randall said. "But I realized what matters is what you do between the whistles. I was playing for my team but I realized I also was playing for my future."
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.