After a record-setting career at New Canaan High School, quarterback Matt Milano wanted to ensure he would get the best opportunity to play in college.
That was a big part of Milano’s decision to commit for the next four years to Middlebury College, which became official on Saturday morning.
“I really liked the people up there, and academically and athletically it was the best choice I thought I had so I decided to go for it,” Milano said.
During Milano’s two years as a starter, the Rams went 22-4 and reached the Class L championship both times.
Milano rewrote the school record book this season. He now is New Canaan’s all-time leader in passing yards in a season and a career, attempts and completions in a game, season and career, and touchdowns in a season and career. All of those marks were once held by Kurt Horton and were set four decades ago.
In last Saturday’s state championship loss to Daniel Hand, Milano tied the state record with 38 completions in a game on 63 attempts, the third-most in CIAC history.
“He was just tremendous for us and worked hard at it too,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “He studied a lot of film. He went to a lot of 7 on 7s and worked hard with the younger players. He acted like a coach on the field, reading coverages and checking out of things to put us in a better situation. He’s really been a godsend to us.”
Milano was considering a number of Ivy League and New England Small College Athletic Conference schools. Milano’s brother, Mike, just finished his career as a backup linebacker at Princeton.
“I really wanted to get a chance to play, and the Division III level appealed to me in that regard,” Milano said. “And it appealed to me that it will give me the chance to do other things. To me it was most important that I get a chance to play.”
Milano will now be teammates with Gil Araujo, a linebacker and tight end from Norwalk who also committed to Middlebury on Saturday. And Milano will be playing against one of his favorite receivers, Patrick Newton, who will be attending Trinity.
“I think this is a really good fit for him,” Marinelli said. “As a quarterback you can have a hard time with the Ivy League schools and the trickle down effect with teams getting transfers at the position. You can be the next guy in line and then someone else comes in. Middlebury will give him the opportunity to play and the NESCAC is a good league. We’ve sent a lot of players there.”
Milano said seeing one chapter of his football career close and the next one in front of him was bittersweet.
“It’s just strange that it is over, but by the same token New Canaan will move on and I’ll move on,” Milano said. “It’s kind of strange that it is already happening but I am excited.”
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