IRVINGTON (updated Friday June 3, 2:07 p.m.) – Irvington High School senior Ali Abbas committed to Division 1 University of Buffalo to continue his football career this week.
Abbas, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound strong safety, said he was enamored with Buffalo. He also thanked all who gave him support.
“It was a long process. I couldn’t do it without my family, coaches, and friends’ support,” said Abbas via a tweet to the Irvington Herald. “Buffalo is a school I’ve always been interested in and I’m extremely happy to be a part of their program. I had a great experience at Irvington.”
Abbas also has been selected to play in the 38th annual Phil Simms New Jersey North-South High Senior School All-Star Classic at Kean University on June 27 at 7 p.m.
Abbas said it “feels great” to play in the North-South game.
“I’m looking forward to it, because I get to play with some of the top talented athletes around New Jersey and compete,” said Abbas.
Buffalo, which competes in the Mid-American Conference, finished with a 5-7 record last fall.
“Smoke” Pierre, who was named the new IHS football head coach in April after being the defensive coordinator for the Blue Knights last season, said via a tweet that Abbas is the “complete definition of what you call a good football player!! I had this kid since he was 14 years old and I knew from the moment I met him that he was a special person!! He was the best player on our team last year and did everything he could to help this program!! It’s sad to see him leave, but it’s a great feeling to know that he has accomplished his goal of playing Division 1 football. I haven’t seen a safety of his caliber last season.”
Smoke also mentioned that former Irvington HS star and current Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Josh Evans took the time to acknowledge Abbas on Thursday night, June 2, “and that speaks volumes.”
Smoke said Abbas was “irreplaceable.”
“I am going to miss having that kid,” he said.
Smoke also said Abbas will graduate with over a 3.0 grade-point average and “that speaks volumes as a student athlete.”