Boston College High defensive athlete Connor Walsh had initially intended to tell the University of Maine's coaching staff last night that he was pledging to the Black Bears' program, until he was told head coach Jack Cosgrove would be visiting the Dorchester campus this afternoon.
Hey, it's always better to do these kinds of things face to face, right?
Cosgrove, the long-time Black Bears coach and a Sharon native, raved to Walsh about how the 6-foot-3, 225-pound edge player was their No. 1 target "since the beginning". That's when Walsh stopped Cosgrove mid-sentence and told him of his decision to commit.
"He got right on the phone with [defensive assistant Greg] Webster and told him, and he was really excited," Walsh recalled tonight to ESPNBoston.com. "He's the one I've been talking to for a couple months now, and he was really excited too."
Walsh, an ESPN Boston All-State selection, is one of several area prospects experiencing late life on the recruiting cycle thanks to a terrific senior season. Starting out at defensive end, then switching to linebacker midway through the season, Walsh was named the Catholic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year after recording 82 tackles (six for loss) and an interception.
Rhode Island was Walsh's only other Division 1 FCS offer, and while there had been rumors of Walsh heading to Boston College as a preferred walk-on, he said those talks had "kinda died down" as the Eagles shifted their focus to linemen for the 2014 recruiting class.
Walsh, the second Bay Stater to pledge to the Black Bears in three days, offered a few more comments to ESPNBoston.com earlier tonight:
Where he will fit into the defensive scheme: "Defensive end. Their defense is pretty similar to what we ran at BC High, but obviously it is more complex. I went over the basics with [Jordan] Stevens, their d-line coach, we watched a little bit of film. They were showing me actually a lot of film on Michael Cole, who broke Maine's all-time sack record this year. They see me more as a pass rusher, but are looking for me to stop the run too. I'm fine playing defensive end."
What they like best about him: "They think my sideline-to-sideline speed, run-stopping ability and pass rushing is great. They're comparing me to this kid Michael Cole. I know who he is, and to be compared to him is a real honor."
On Maine's strong history of player development: "That's definitely a big part. They basically, when I went there, they took me on tour of the school, showed me the weight room and stuff, and said 'This is no joke -- this is 24/7, 12 months of the year'. It just shows that they produce NFL players every year, and I'm not saying that I have a chance, but it's nice knowing the program is really strong."
On his official visit to Maine last weekend: "I loved it. To be honest with you, as soon as I drove up and got on campus, I thought that was gonna be the place where I was gonna go. I wanted to go to a good program, and Maine has a history of such a good football program. When I took a tour and stuff, the facilities were unreal, the team was unreal, and all the coaches, they've been great to me since the beginning."
On the relief of finally ending the recruiting process: "I'm definitely relieved. It got kinda annoying having to talk to coaches all the time, scheduling visits. I'm definitely relieved."