Woonsocket Call

Bibeault excited to play at URI

Cumberland All-Stater ready to turn around Rams

- By BRENDAN McGAIR bmcgair@pawtuckett­imes.com

CUMBERLAND – Andre “A.J.” Bibeault took a moment from his recruiting visit to the University of Rhode Island this past weekend to inform Cumberland High football head coach Josh Lima how things were going.

“Saturday night he shot me a text that said, ‘Coach I really like it here. I think this is where I want to be,’” shared Lima.

Borrowing from the football lexicon, Bibeault and his parents, Andre Sr. and Carol, huddled up with the URI coaching staff on Sunday morning to discuss the particular­s of the athletic scholarshi­p that was his if he elected to accept it. Given the good vibrations surroundin­g his trek to the Kingston campus – “he loved the feeling of being there,” said Lima – Bibeault listened to his heart and made what he felt was the right call from an athletic and academic standpoint.

On Wednesday, Bibeault cemented his verbal commitment to suit up for the Rams by signing his National Letter of Intent. A threeyear starter and a captain this past season for the Clippers, Bibeault chose URI over Bryant, where he also paid an official visit. The Cumberland senior was also hearing from Maine, Central Connecticu­t and Merrimack.

“My brother (Joey, a 2008 CHS graduate) went to URI so I knew what to expect academical­ly. When I saw the football aspect, I knew it was a perfect fit,” said Bibeault, also a threeyear letter winner in boys’ lacrosse for the Clippers.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Bibeault is expected to play defensive end for URI. Before delving into specific credential­s that made him an intriguing college football prospect at the FCS level, Lima talked about Bibeault’s versatilit­y during the two years he coached him at Cumberland.

As a junior for the Clippers, Bibeault played exclusivel­y in the trenches as a left tackle/defensive end. He kept the same defensive position this past fall, though due to the needs of the team, he returned to the offensive line after operating as a tight end/wide receiver.

“He dominated games for us. URI is getting a guy who competes and loves to work,” said Lima. “More importantl­y, it’s the off-field character that you’re going to get. He loves the grind and getting-in-the-weight-room aspect.”

“Hopefully I get more time (at defensive end) by the end of my sophomore year or junior year. I’m going into my freshman year looking to contribute in any way and just play hard,” said Bibeault. “I’ll give 100 percent and do my part.”

Seated at a table in the high school’s foyer with Lima next to him, Bibeault inked a pretty important document that officially put a capper on his recruiting process. Celebratin­g the occasion with him – naturally Bibeault was sporting a grey URI sweatshirt – was Cumberland Principal Alan Tenreiro, former Clippers football head coach Chris Skurka and Clippers boys’ lacrosse head coach Scott Carpenter.

Lima mentioned that Bibeault had been on the Rams’ radar since the end of his junior year. The relationsh­ip grew last summer when the youngster attended a one-day football camp at URI, yet Bibeault made sure to keep his options open in the event that something didn’t work out with the first school that showed a serious interest in him.

“The URI coaches told me to be patient with the process and not put all my eggs in one basket,” said Bibeault.

Another reason why Bibeault settled on Rhode Island was the school’s biotechnol­ogy program.

“I found out that all their facilities were built in 2012. They’re new and have everything I want,” the 12th grader said. “It was another reason why it was such a perfect fit.

“It’s good to make this decision now because I’ll know more from the (Rhody) coaches about what I need to do in order to be competitiv­e and get ready for training camp,” Bibeault added. “From here on out, it’s about working hard and getting ready to play football at URI.”

 ?? Photo by Ernest A. Brown ?? Cumberland senior Andre Bibeault (front left), signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at URI. Bibeault was joined at his signing ceremony by (clockwise from top left) Cumberland AD Matt Campanelli, Carol Bibeault, guidance counselor James...
Photo by Ernest A. Brown Cumberland senior Andre Bibeault (front left), signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at URI. Bibeault was joined at his signing ceremony by (clockwise from top left) Cumberland AD Matt Campanelli, Carol Bibeault, guidance counselor James...
 ?? Photo by Ernest A. Brown ?? Cumberland senior Andre Bibeault (left) played tight end and defensive line for coach Josh Lima (right) this season, but he will be a lineman in the fall at Rhode Island.
Photo by Ernest A. Brown Cumberland senior Andre Bibeault (left) played tight end and defensive line for coach Josh Lima (right) this season, but he will be a lineman in the fall at Rhode Island.

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