Aside from a note or two, it’s been a while since we’ve touted high school football on this space. But the offseason news has been piling up again the dam, so why not open the sluice gates to relieve the pressure:
The NFL just concluded its draft and, we’re pleased to say a bunch of Connecticut high school football alumni were either drafted or snatched up as unrestricted free agents.
Two of our locals were nabbed pretty high, of course. As many already know, Stamford’s Vlad Ducasse, an offensive lineman at UMass was picked by the hometown Jets late in the second round. Marcus Easley, the Bunnell all-star who walked-on with UConn, was taken high in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills.
We also saw Middletown’s Amarie Spievey (RB, Iowa) picked by the Detroit Lions; New Haven’s Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland) taken by the Raiders and Bristol’s Aaron Hernandez (TE, Florida) taken by the New England Patriots — and then dropping a bombshell that he’d failed at least one drug test for marijuana while at Florida.
Afterward, Fairfield Prep’s Garrett Brown (DT, Minnesota) signed a free agent contract with the Chiefs, Stamford’s Alex Joseph (Temple) signed with the Packers and King’s Nate Collins signed with the Giants.
We’ve had relatively little news on the college signing front, though the first big one came earlier this week when (surprise!) New Canaan lineman Conor Hanratty declared he will be playing football at Notre Dame, the same school as his father, Terry, starred as an All-American QB in the late 1960s.
Elsewhere, it’s been reported that former New Canaan QB Turner Baty — whose family unceremoniously skipped town a month after the season ended — will be walking on at Georgia.
Incidentally, that’s the same path taken by another New Canaan player, Zac Renner, who became something of a walk-on legend down in Athens, but has since transferred to Division III Hamilton (N.Y.) for financial reasons.
Otherwise, things are just heating up. It’s reported that Ridgefield DT Tommy Jordan has at least four offers so far: Florida, Boston College, Duke and Rutgers. …No offers yet for Bethel OT Chris Valenti, but he’s received interest from UConn, Rutgers, Maryland and Boston College. ...6-1, 195-pound WR Shawn Robinson of Trinity Catholic — who really came out of nowhere to make the local hot list (just catches for 250 yards and 4 TD for the ground-oriented Crusaders) — has caught the eye of Boston College, Rutgers and UConn.
Other local recruits appearing on scouting sites: WR Kevin Macari of New Canaan; 6-3, 210 TE Chris Coyne of Staples (Boston College, Northwestern); Bassick DT Brandon Williams; OL Jeff Starr of Brien McMahon.
Statewide you have 6-3, 220 QB Brennden Cullen of Bacon Academy (UConn, Penn State); RB Shane Anane of Hartford Public; RB Max DeLorenzo of Berlin; RB James Ward of Wilbur Cross … and a few others, but nothing noteworthy (yet).
Of course, let the Casey Cochran watch begin. The junior Masuk QB already received an offer from Boston College.
Got any others, let us know.
Fairfield County National Football Foundation Scholar Athletes
The Ralph DeSantis Fairfield County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, held its annual scholar athlete dinner Tuesday night at the The Continental Manor in Norwalk. The chapter, under the leadership of president John Barbarotta, has been pushing hard to revive itself after quite a few years of dormancy.
They put on quite a show Tuesday as they handed out their yearly awards. Practically every head football coach in Fairfield County was there to honor the 36 scholar-athlete recipients and individual award winners.
Scholar Athletes: Tyler Colby, Barlow; Antonio Lopez, Bassick; Pete Gallagher, Bethel; Dominick Luckey, Central; Robert Murray, Brookfield; Brett Moscati, Brunswick; Mike Szpara, Bunnell; Alex Lord, Canterbury; Nick Todman, Danbury; Dan Glockner, Darien; Jack Zimmerman, Greenwich; Rayan Graham, Harding; Brendan Bader, Immaculate; Eric Bannerot, King; Zach Segala, Ludlowe; Alex Trump, Masuk; Jeff Starr, McMahon; Joe Dobbins, Notre Dame-Fairfield; John Sullivan, New Canaan; Anthony Biraglia, New Fairfield; Kevin Eherts, New Milford; Kyle O’Connor, Newtown; Andrew Krasnavage, Norwalk; Wade McNamara, Pomperaug; Casey McKnight, Ridgefield; Erik Cranston, St. Joseph; Andrew Bradley, St. Luke’s; Alex Watson, Stamford; Ryan Vaughn, Staples; Jake Grom, Stratford; R.J. Calo, Trinity Catholic; Jeff John, Trumbull; Jon Bowers, Fairfield Warde; John Andrianos, Westhill; Tom Furbee, Weston; Jackson Wilbur, Wilton.
Brookfield’s Robert Murray won the Ralph DeSantis Memorial Scholarship.
Erik Cranston of St. Joseph won the President’s Scholarship
Antonio Lopez, of Bassick, won the NFL Alumni of Connecticut College Hall of Fame Scholarship.
In addition, the chapter awarded Tracy Mather (FCIAC) and Brian Jugler (SWC) with its Football Officials Awards.
Mac DeVito of Staples and Dan Cedrone of Bunnell won the Assistant Coach of the Year Awards.
Joe DellaVecchia, St. Joseph and Jason Gill, Bethel won the Coach of the Year Awards.
Former Brookfield, New Milford and Canterbury coach Tom Taylor, now an assistant at Marist, was honored the chapter’s ‘Distinguished Service’ award.
The Chapter also honored me with the ‘Contribution to Amateur Football’ award, for which I’m very humbled and grateful. Thank you.
It’ll be played June 27 at Rentschler Field. Here’s who made Team Connecticut’s Roster:
Team Connecticut Roster
LB Patrick Atkinson, Stamford; WR Brendan Bader, Immaculate; OL Tyler Berardino, Windsor; SP Jamir Bittle-James, Platt; OL Micha Bowe, New London; OL Zach Bradley, Simsbury; DL Marquis Brown, Hartford Public; K/P Steven Calitri, NFA; DL Jordan Claude, Bassick; DB Andrew Clements, Pomperaug; ILB Mathew Colangelo, Cromwell; OL Thomas Collins, Manchester; RB Ben Crick, Pomperaug; OLB Ryan Delaire, Windsor; OLB Deven Diaz, Oxford; OL Dominick Diglio, Notre Dame-WH; OL Shane Duncan, Southington; ILB C.J. Elser, Pomperaug; WR Anthony Florian, Southington; ILB Corey Gallagher, Bacon Academy; WR Orlando Gaspard, Manchester; OL Joseph Ghergurovich, Glastonbury; OL Drew Ghio, Bristol Central; WR Anthony Giaimo, Masuk; DB Christon Gill, Central; RB Julian Hayes, Xavier; WR Jalen Hill, Bloomfield; QB Bobby Jordan, Cromwell; OLB Kevin Kucinskas, Simsbury; RB Joe Lambert, Hyde; OLB Martin Lawlor, Ansonia; DB Christopher Linares, New Britain; DL A.J. Marsiglia, Berlin; DL Connor McNamara, Newtown; WR Sean McQuillan, Glastonbury; DB DeVaughn Millington, Ridgefield; WR Deshawn Murphy, Hyde; OL Jeff Nossek, St. Bernard; DL Martin Pamykala, New Britain; WR Paul Piccirillo, Shelton; DB Zach Prefontaine, Sheehan; DB Jaquan Prude, Bloomfield; OL Jake Richard, Weston; ILB Tito Slaughter, Wilbur Cross; OL Jeff Starr, McMahon; OLB Thomas Tarantino, Bristol Eastern; DB Jeff Tedman, Vinal Tech-Coginchaug; TE Peter Tiemann, Windsor; WR Alex Trump, Masuk; OL Ben Urbasik, Lyman Hall; DL Ernest Wiggans, Central; DL Justen Wilson, Hyde; QB Bobby Wood, New Fairfield.
Head Coach: Roy Roberts, Bloomfield
Assistants: John Murphy, Masuk, Harry Bellucci, Hartford Public; John Ferazzi, Sheehan; Sean Marinan, Xavier; Jason Martinez, Crosby; David Masters, Simsbury; Mark Romano, Team Connecticut; Melvin Wells, Hyde; Tyrone Abraham, Windsor; Peter Cox, Central.
The 14th Annual Hall of Fame Classic All-Star Game (Fairfield County vs. New Haven County)
It will be played two weeks after the Governor’s Cup, 7:30 p.m. at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven. Craig Bruno of Bunnell is the New Haven coach. Tom Dyer of Hillhouse is the New Haven coach.
The rosters, I’m told, are all set. Just waiting for the two chapters to release them.
Still more to get to. We’ll have more football news over the weekend.