When Timber Creek senior wide receiver Ezrah Archie withdrew his commitment to Penn in the fall, he knew he was taking a chance.
He knew was betting that he would find a place that was a better fit to continue his athletic and educational careers.
Archie believes he landed in the ideal spot at James Madison University.
Archie, who led Timber Creek to a 12-0 record and a second consecutive South Jersey Group 4 title, committed Sunday to attend James Madison on a football scholarship.
He will sign his letter of intent on Wednesday, national signing day.
"It just feels like home," said Archie, who visited JMU for the second time this weekend.
JMU is a Football Championship Subdivision program that competes in the Colonial Athletic Association with programs such as Villanova and Delaware.
JMU went 14-1 last season and won the FCS national championship.
"Great things are happening with this program," Archie said.
Archie caught 74 passes for 1,285 yards and 20 touchdowns for Timber Creek last season. His 20 touchdown catches were the second-highest total in a season in South Jersey history.
Archie said he loves JMU's playing style.
"They play like no other," Archie said. "They play fast. They bring a 'swag' to the table."
Archie plans to major in something related to the medical field. A top student, he hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Archie had offers from 11 schools. He said he seriously considered Elon, New Hampshire, Monmouth, Colgate, Lehigh, and Lafayette as well as an offer to attend Rutgers as a preferred walk-on.
"It was stressful," Archie said of the recruiting process. "After [ending the commitment to] Penn, I was hoping I would be able to find a home. Now I know I'm going to the right place."
DiRenzo to Sacred Heart
J.D. DiRenzo liked the idea of the St. Joseph to Sacred Heart pipeline.
DiRenzo, a top two-way lineman for St. Joseph, on Saturday committed to attend Sacred Heart University on a football scholarship.
DiRenzo will sign his letter of intent on Wednesday.
"It just seemed like a place where I could really fit in," DiRenzo said of the school in Fairfield, Conn., that competes in the FCS level in the Northeast Conference.
DiRenzo, a second-team all-South Jersey selection this past season, projects as an offensive tackle for Sacred Heart.
DiRenzo said he had seven other scholarship offers. He said his final choice came down to Monmouth and Sacred Heart.
DiRenzo said he felt positive about Sacred Heart in large part because of the positive experiences that former St. Joseph players such as Pat Casey and Gordon Hill had at the school.
In addition, former St. Joseph lineman Knikeem Lewis, a teammate of DiRenzo's for two seasons, is a sophomore at Sacred Heart.
"I like the idea that there's a little bit of a pipeline from St. Joseph to Sacred Heart," DiRenzo said. "I want to keep it going, maybe add to it."
DiRenzo is the third South Jersey player to commit to Sacred Heart along with St. Augustine all-purpose Zeke Ennis and Audubon defensive back Jahmir Chatman.
NCAA Division II commitments
Several South Jersey players have recently commited to NCAA Division 2 programs, including Camden Catholic athlete Nazir Streater and Lenape lineman Julian Singh, to LUI-Post.
Also, Camden Catholic athlete Kyle Dupree and Camden defensive back Deron Wharton to Clarion (Pa); Timber Creek wide receiver/defensive back Dante Waugh-Hill to Alderson Broaddus (W.V.); Timber Creek lineman Matt Ringstaff and Deptford lineman Cliff Pierce to Assumption (Mass.); Washington Township quarterback Mike Piperno to West Chester (Pa.); Seneca lineman Garrett Blesi to Kutztown (Pa.); and Woodrow Wilson linebackers Anthony Ramos and Justice Johnson and lineman Patrick Lowe to Cheyney (Pa).