St. Anthony's wide receiver Korey Duff Jr. signed his national letter of intent to play football at Rutgers. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

St. Anthony’s football’s biggest star is heading to the Big Ten.

Korey Duff Jr., the recipient of Newsday’s fourth annual Rich Reichert Award honoring Long Island’s top player in the CHSFL, made his commitment to Rutgers official Tuesday morning. One day before college football’s early national signing period opens, Duff donned the Rutgers scarlet and black in a signing ceremony at his high school.

“It’s great,” Duff said. “Everything that I worked up to, everything that I really dreamed of finally comes true today and finally putting pen to paper.”

Joining Duff in signing to play at the next level was Friars tight end Alex Menghi, who will play for Stony Brook.

“I’ve been dreaming of it since I was five years old and I started playing,” Menghi said. “So it’s probably a dream come true, really, to be honest.”

Duff, who is listed as a wide receiver but recognized by recruiting services as a tight end, finished his St. Anthony’s career with 132 receptions for 2,695 yards and 26 receiving touchdowns in four seasons. He is the No. 260 player nationally and New York’s top player in the class of 2024, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Duff will enroll early next semester at Rutgers, finishing his final eight days as a high school student before moving to Piscataway, New Jersey.

“It’s huge, opposed from going in January — like I’m doing — or going in June,” Duff said. “Get that whole five, six months of just working out, learning the plays and just becoming part of the team.”

Duff noted his trust and belief in how Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is building his program. The proximity of the school also will not hurt. Kate Conroy, Duff’s mother, said she will be at every game.

“They love him so much there, and they have from Day One,” Conroy said. “And they proved why he matters, he’s important, he’s gonna be taken care of. As a mom, you want to know when your kid goes away that they’re gonna be safe and they’re with people who really care.”

Duff will be joining another Friar at Rutgers in freshman wide receiver Ian Strong, who has 15 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns this season.

“Just watching the success that Ian had there this year as a true freshman, I think KJ’s going to step into a similar role next year,” St. Anthony’s coach Joe Minucci said. “I think he’s going to do really good things and it’s a good fit for him.”

Menghi was a Newsday All-Long Island second-team selection in 2022 but only appeared in three games this fall before tearing his ACL. Menghi will be healthy for the 2024 season and is excited about the opportunity to play at home under new Stony Brook coach Billy Cosh.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Menghi said. “ . . .  [I] get to show what Long Island football really is.”

Both players plan to send in their national letters of intent on Wednesday.

“You get to know these guys over their careers here at St. Anthony’s, not only as football players but as students and individuals,” Minucci said. “It’s a proud moment for all of us.”

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