PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers University head baseball coach Fred Hill announced today that Jason Downey (Clifton Park, NY/Shenendehowa) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Rutgers and play baseball beginning in the fall. Downey, a 6-1, 190-pound right-handed pitcher, is the sixth member of Rutgers’ 2004 recruiting class.
Downey excelled in baseball and football at Shenendehowa, earning First Team All-State honors as a defensive back in 2003 and Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Albany Times, Troy Record and Schenectady Gazette as well. A two-year starter at defensive back, quarterback and punter, Downey was also named the 2003 Dream Team quarterback by the Saratogian newspaper in 2003.
On the baseball diamond, Downey posted a 5-1 record as a junior in 2003 with a 0.93 ERA, earning First Team All-Conference and All-Area honors. He is a four-year varsity member who also plays shortstop and catches when not on the mound.
“Jason is a big, strong kid who really knows how to pitch,” said head coach Fred Hill. “He is a tremendous athlete and a very dedicated student as well. We think we have a pitcher with great potential joining us next season.”
Downey also sent one year on the indoor track and field team (2002) and two seasons on the basketball squad (2000, 2001) before turning his focus to football and baseball. He is a member of the Student-Faculty Senate and the school’s Visions Committee and has volunteered with the Challenger Baseball program, working with mentally and physically challenged children interested in playing baseball.
Downey, who considered playing both baseball and football at the college level, also considered Richmond, West Virginia, Maryland and Albany before signing with the Scarlet Knights. He is the second pitcher to sign in 2004, joining New Providence, NJ’s Tony Worgo. Other members of RU’s recruiting class include shortstop Todd Frazier (Toms River, NJ), catcher Frank Meade (Linden, NJ), infielder Tom Edwards (Caldwell, NJ) and outfielder Sal Baio (Staten Island, NY).