English's Almonte: UMaine 'Felt like family'


Early Sunday morning, Boston English two-way star Emmanuel Almonte gave a verbal commitment to the University of Maine, just before he headed back to Boston from his two-day official visit on the Orono, Maine, campus.

The last two years, Almonte has been one of the state's most productive quarterbacks, leaving the Blue & Blue program with a career average of 10.1 yards per carry, over 5,000 offensive yards, and this past fall recording 98 tackles and seven interceptions at cornerback.

Still, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Almonte didn't too get many looks; his pledge today to Maine, his only D1 scholarship offer, was about opportunity.

"Other schools considered me too small, or not what they were looking for," Almonte told ESPNBoston.com this evening.

So then, what did Maine, one of the steadier powers among the Division 1 FCS programs in the Northeast, see in him?

"I guess the way I carry myself. I'm serious about the game," Almonte said. "I always give it 100 percent. When I met with [head coach Jack] Cosgrove, he felt that in our conversation. I told them I'll play any position they ask me, just give me the opportunity."

Almonte offered a few more comments tonight on his commitment:

Deciding factors: "Just when they paired us with our player hosts, they were mad cool. It felt like family the second I got there. It's a real welcoming place, the campus is big, they have great football, and the coaching staff is amazing. I met Coach Cosgrove, I've only known him for a few days and I'm pretty impressed."

What Maine liked about him, and where he'll fit: "They liked how diverse of a player I was. They see me as an athlete; they've been talking about how I could play receiver or corner, bounce around. Right now, they see me as a corner. I might switch, but I don't know yet -- which I don’t have a problem with at all."

On being the first English player under coach Brian Vaughan to go D1: "I wouldn’t be able to get there without him, without [assistant coach Tom] Lamb. I feel privileged, you know, because it's tough to get exposure in the city. There's not a lot of guys that get the opportunity to play D1. There are guys that will look up to me in future and strive fot that. That’s what people want in high school football, they want that D1 school, hopefully we can get more city guys looing forward to maybe doing the same thing."

On Maine's history of player development: "It was big, it intrigued me a lot. When I talked to Coach Cosgrove, he told me how at UMaine they usually get guys that are usually overlooked, and develop them into big time players 3-4 years down the line. I feel I'm not at the best I can be yet. I'm excited to see where UMaine takes me in 3-4 years."