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Sayville's John Haggart selects Stony Brook

Sayville's John Haggart (27) completes a touchdown run

Sayville's John Haggart (27) completes a touchdown run in the first half. (Nov. 27, 2011) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

John Haggart, the top returning rusher for defending Class III Long Island champion Sayville, made a verbal commitment to Stony Brook University on Friday.

Haggart, a Newsday second-team All-Long Island choice last year when he rushed for 1,285 yards and 14 touchdowns, told Newsday he was recruited primarily as a linebacker, even though his defensive position for the Golden Flashes this season will be defensive end, where he is an exceptional edge rusher.

At 6-1 210 pounds, Haggart has speed – he ran track for Sayville the past two years – and power. He was also a devastating lead blocker in last year’s epic 78-61 victory over Lawrence in the LIC, leading the way for Zach Sirico to rush for 224 yards and a record six touchdowns. Haggart contributed 141 yards and two touchdowns, and that 1-2 punch is back to lead No. 1-seed Sayville in Suffolk III this year.

“All the schools wanted me as a linebacker,” said Haggart, who also had a scholarship offer from Division I Buffalo and was being looked at by other schools. “I just want to play college football. I don’t care what position.”

Sayville coach Rob Hoss said he will try to get Haggart some work at linebacker to prepare him for college.

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