GLENS FALLS -- Mike LaNoir decided last weekend on his official visit to the University at Albany.
Ben Collins decided on his first choice, St. Bonaventure.
And Miranda Haraughty verbally committed to St. John’s more than a year ago, and she was finally able to make it official.
The three Glens Falls High School seniors signed their National Letters of Intent in Heritage Hall at the Civic Center on Wednesday, the first day athletes in their sports can officially sign with Division I college programs. LaNoir signed to play football at Albany, Collins will run cross country and Haraughty will play soccer.
Also signing a letter of intent Wednesday was Queensbury’s J.P. McCauley, who will join LaNoir playing football at Albany. Both were three-year varsity starters.
LaNoir, the 2012 Post-Star Football Player of the Year who helped lead the Indians to the state Class B championship game, took his official visit on Friday and decided by Saturday that he wanted to continue his career with the Great Danes. Albany is moving into the Colonial Athletic Association this season.
“I just felt comfortable with the team; I felt like I belonged there,” said LaNoir, who added that New Hampshire and Monmouth also recruited him, along with several SUNY schools. “I’m definitely relieved. It’s cool to know that I have a school, and I’m really excited to get to work out.”
LaNoir, a versatile 6-foot-2, 215-pound athlete, said Great Danes head coach Bob Ford told him he would play either wide receiver on offense, or outside linebacker or safety on defense.
“I know coach likes his Capital Region kids, that was a big part of it,” said LaNoir, who is receiving a partial athletic scholarship and plans to study criminal justice. “They liked my film. It really helped playing in the state finals, I got a little bit more looks.”
“I think it’s a great choice, it’s where he wanted to go all along. I’m glad it worked out for him,” Glens Falls head coach Pat Lilac said of LaNoir. “I don’t think he’s even close to his physical potential; I wouldn’t be surprised if he grew another inch when he got out of high school and got a lot faster and stronger. I really expect some great things from him.”
LaNoir is the second straight Post-Star Player of the Year to sign with Albany, following Queensbury’s Nic Ketter last year.
McCauley, who signed his letter of intent at Queensbury, said he was looking forward to playing with LaNoir and Ketter.
“I’m really excited,” said McCauley, a two-way lineman listed at 6-4, 295. “I’ve been friends with Nic the past three or four years and I’ve just recently started talking to Mike. ... It’s going to be real fun playing with them the next couple of years.”
McCauley said he chose Albany for academics and plans to major in biology. Queensbury athletic director Scott Stuart said he is ranked sixth in his class.
“I’m a student first, athlete comes second,” McCauley said. “They’re a program on the rise, they’re moving up to the next level, the highest level of FCS football.”
“He’s a real smart kid,” Queensbury head coach John Irion said. “He listened and he knew the pieces that he would need to achieve this goal. ... You could tell with everything he did each day that that was his goal and he was going to do what was needed.”
McCauley said he is receiving a combined athletic and academic scholarship that will cover about half the cost.
St. Bonaventure-bound Collins has only run cross country for two years and plans to run track for the first time this spring. Until a couple years ago, distance running had not even been on Collins’ list of favorite sports — lacrosse was No. 1 for him.
“Actually, it was to get into shape for lacrosse,” Collins said. “It turned out that I liked running better. And also my uncle, he told me to give it a shot and see if I liked it, and I did.”
Collins said St. Bonaventure was his first choice, and he has visited the university in Olean a few times.
“It came down to Siena and St. Bonaventure, and a lot of my relatives went to St. Bonaventure,” he said.
Collins also has a marathon under his belt — he ran the Hudson-Mohawk Winter Marathon last year, and plans to run it again this month to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
“They like that I’ve done a marathon, and also that I’m new to it and I’m not burned out,” he said.
Collins, who plans to major in business, said he received a partial academic and athletic scholarship that is “about 40 percent combined.”
Haraughty decided on St. John’s after her junior season at Glens Falls. Division I-bound girls soccer players often commit before their senior season.
Haraughty played five years on varsity for the Indians. She scored 47 goals this season and finished with 145 for her career.
“I want to do communications,” Haraughty said. “I think it would be cool to be sportscaster, and it’s in (New York) City, too, so there’s a lot of opportunities.”
Sports Editor Greg Brownell contributed to the story.