Severin: Virginia is 'the place I need to be'

WORCESTER, Mass. -– Canaan Severin said his decision to attend the University of Virginia was less about picking the right football program than it was about picking the right school.

Severin, a wide receiver in his senior season at Worcester Academy, announced his decision Monday afternoon. He had double-digit scholarship offers, but had narrowed his options to Boston College, Penn State and Virginia.

“Coach London [Virginia head coach Mike London] is all about education first,” Severin said. “When my dad and I met with him in his office last summer we were there for two hours and I don't think we talked about football once. My dad liked that, and I liked that.

“He's doing great things down there and I want to be on board when it all comes together.”

ESPNU has Severin rated as a three-star athlete, and the No. 6 recruit from Massachusetts in the class of 2012.

“He's a big-play receiver,” Worcester Academy coach David Dykeman said. “He's 6-3, 205 pounds with a tremendous amount of athleticism. The kid's character is unbelievable.

“The future is even brighter for him. When he got here he was a hoop player first. That's changed obviously. He got offered by some great people and some great staffs. I'm excited for him.”

Severin, who lives in Marlborough, originally narrowed his potential landing spots to five schools: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Penn State and Virginia. He then trimmed that list to a final three.

He visited Virginia twice last summer, and took trips to Boston College and Penn State earlier this month. Severin said he plans to study either economics or accounting.

“The decision was a hard one,” Severin said. “I want to say thank you to Penn State and BC for recruiting me. Penn State is definitely a great program and there are great people down there. Same thing with Boston College. It was tough to tell them I wasn't coming, but I think I picked Virginia for all the right reasons. Last week it just hit me. I said, 'Why am I waiting? This is the place I need to be.'”

Severin caught 35 passes for 550 yards and five touchdowns last season. Most schools recruited him to play wide receiver, but Severin said Penn State wanted him to play tight end or an H-back position.

“I think he wanted the opportunity to play wide receiver,” Dykeman said. “There's no question it was BC and Virginia at the end of the day.”

Severin will begin his senior season Saturday, when Worcester Academy plays at Phillips Exeter Academy. He said it was tough to turn down the opportunity to play close to home at Boston College, but added that he felt like it was time for him to experience something new.

“He really had no bad choices,” Dykeman said. “I started to get an indication he was leaning toward Virginia last week. He had a great relationship with Mike London and [defensive coordinator] Jim Reid. I just think he was more comfortable at Virginia. I think Virginia got a great player.”