If you want a middle linebacker on your team, the picture at the right embodies a lot of want you want in one. The player in the picture is Carlo Calabrese, Notre Dame's latest public commit and fifth overall in the recruiting Class of 2009. Adding to the things you like in a middle linebacker is Calabrese's quote to the South Bend Tribune this morning.
"I like hitting kids," Calabrese said. "That's my favorite thing."Carlo has been a heavy Irish lean for awhile now --to the point that he gave Charlie his word he would commit a few weeks ago -- but waited until his mother's birthday to go public with his decision. He ended up picking ND over offers from Rutgers, Florida, BC, and Syracuse. On Rivals.com, Calabrese is unranked so far as they have only given stars to their Top 250 recruits. On Scout.com, he is a 4-star linebacker, the #15 MLB recruit, and the #216 recruit overall. ESPN hasn't narrowed down their Top 150 list yet, so he's on the Watch List with just about every other recruit.
The 6'2" , 225 pounder hails from New Jersey which makes him the third straight recruit from the Garden State. Calabrese attends the same high school that produced Anthony Fasano, who is a family friend with the Calabrese's. Another connection is the fact that Carlo is the first freshman to start on the Verona varsity team since Fasano did it. With 104 tackles last year, 34 for a loss, Carlo was named 2nd Team All-State. He has also played QB, kicker, punter, and punt returner for his team.
Unlike other recruits, Carlo won't need to put in much time in the weight room before he's ready to play college ball. As you can see from these photos, when he's not playing football, spends his time carrying around heavy stuff. Since his sophomore year his size and strength have been his advantage, such as at a National Underclassmen Combine.
One of the more imposing players of the entire weekend was LB MVP sophomore Carlo Calabrese of Verona High School in New Jersey. Calabrese, 6-foot-2 and 218-pounds, showed off his strength during 1-on-1’s, as he knocked more than a few running backs to the ground, plus he excelled during the individual drills. He also showed off his strength by having 26 reps at 150-pounds, plus he ran a 4.63 shuttle, had a 26.5-inch vertical and a 8’5” broad.His highlight clips are up on youtube, if you want to get a sense of the kind of player headed to South Bend in 2009. He certainly will provide a physical presence in the middle and a great complement to the linebackers showing up this fall. At the very least, he's going to bring a lot of energy to the team. Take a look.