New York Jets sign Monmouth alum, FCS rushing leader Pete Guerriero

Geoff Magliocchetti
New York Jets
ORCHARD PARK, NY – DECEMBER 29: A general view of a New York Jets helmet before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Jets beat the Bills 13 to 6. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Guerriero, the newest member of the New York Jets, was a two-sport athlete and earned nearly 4,000 rushing yards in Long Branch.

The New York Jets have announced the signing of running back Pete Guerriero to their active roster. In a corresponding move, the team released safety Anthony Cioffi.

Guerriero’s invitation to Jets camp in Florham Park continues his New Jersey football. The Monmouth alum hails from Lyndhurst and got his start at the local high school of the same name.

In three years with the FCS program in Monmouth, also the alma mater of new Jets teammate Chris Hogan, Guerriero earned 3,974 rushing yards (second-best in school history) and 39 total touchdowns. He saved the best for last, earning 1,995 rushing yards (leading Football Championship Subdivision) and 18 scores on the ground in his redshirt junior campaign last season. His tenure was capped off a trio of 200-yard rushing performances over his final four games representing Long Branch. The efforts allowed Monmouth to clinch the first outright conference title in program history, winning the Big South Conference with a 10-2 record (including a perfect 7-0 mark in Big South play).

Guerriero also guided the Hawks to their first FCS playoff win, tallying 228 rushing yards and three scores in a 44-27 win over Holy Cross last November. The Hawks eventually fell to the future finalists from James Madison, but they still ended the year ranked 13th in the final FCS Coaches’ poll.

The running back’s efforts were rewarded with a third-place finish in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy (previous winners include Steve McNair, Brian Westbrook, Tony Romo, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Cooper Kupp). Guerriero also ran track in Long Branch, winning the 100m and 200m at the MAAC Championships in his true freshman year of 2016.

Should he make the team, Guerriero would be the first Monmouth alum to play for the Jets in the regular season since Neal Sterling. The receiver was originally a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars as a seventh-round pick (2015) and earned 12 receptions over two seasons in green.

Cioffi, a Rutgers alum, finds himself released by the Jets for the second time in a ten-day span. A four-year starter in Piscataway, Cioffi spent the past two years with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks. The safety gained a slight bit of notoriety earlier in camp, as he was revealed to be the first Jet to wear No. 33 after the departure of franchise face Jamal Adams.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags