Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston High School [Print without images]

Monday, July 2, 2012
Correia: UMass offer 'was a shock at first'

By Brendan Hall

Nantucket's mammoth tight end Terrel Correia turned some heads this afternoon with his commitment to UMass, placing a call to the Minutemen's coaching staff a 2 p.m. to mark the program's eighth commitment for the Class of 2013. Correia joins Springfield Commerce linebacker Sha'ki Holines among the in-staters committed for 2013. When he arrives in Amherst, he will team up with a fellow Islander, defensive back Randall Jette of Martha's Vineyard.

More intriguing, perhaps, is Correia's sudden rise. He is considered a project at 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds; but "project" is the operative word there, because there is great potential to be had. Correia had no other offers aside from UMass, but visited camp at NC State two weekends ago. Outside of that, Division 1 interest has been minimal to this point.

Correia, who projects as an offensive tackle, spoke with ESPNBoston.com tonight about his commitment to the Minutemen.

Deciding factors: "I visited UMass yesterday, and driving back I was just thinking about how much I loved the place. Once I saw the campus, all the majors they had to offer, all the possibilites, it was a good feeling." 

His other interest: "I had no other offers. I talked a little bit to NC State. As a sophomore I talked to BC a little bit, but they didn't follow through. I talked to Sacred Heart literally for about 10 min. I didn't really talk to anyone else."

On his visit to NC State camp during the Minutemen's camp at Gillette Stadium: "I had attended [UMass] camp the week before that, so I wanted to see some different competition, see where I rank myself...I saw myself as just an average player honestly, and that's motivated me to work harder."

What UMass saw in him: "They like my work ethic and my body structure, I work 100 percent to finish and listen to what they say."

"They like the fact my body is structured to put on more weight. I'm not as big as I could be, I could add 50-60 pounds and still have athletic abilty. Right now, I'm weighing 275 and I'm 6-7. I'm always woprking harder to make myself better, no matter what. I don't compare myself to other people, I just always look at myself and try to reach a higher level."

His reaction to his first and only scholarship offer: "Honestly it was a shock at first. I couldn't believe I had an offer -- I thought it was a joke. Then when it finally hit me...I dunno, I'm just grateful."

On the rising talent in the Cape & Islands region: "I feel like we're all just raising the bar. This past year a lot of Cape teams went to Super Bowls and won [four to be exact]. I guess we're just raising the bar for our football level and being seen, letting everyone know our schools on the Cape and Islands can play. I don't think people here have a chip on their shoulder to prove people wrong, we just do it for ourselves to prove we can do it."