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East Islip football keeping healthy outlook

East Islip junior lineman Kyle Nunez (68) wants

East Islip junior lineman Kyle Nunez (68) wants to showcase his talents for major colleges this season. Photo Credit: Newsday / Bob Herzog

When it comes to the 2015 football season, the first for East Islip in Suffolk Division III since a change in enrollment dropped the perennial power down from Suffolk II, it's not the scouting reports that matter most. Rather, it's the medical reports regarding two of the Redmen's top players.

So far, the outlook is healthy.

Senior quarterback/linebacker Jack Hannigan, who missed two games early last season with a concussion and played the final six with an injured knee that ultimately drove him to the sidelines early in a Long Island Championship game loss to Carey, has been pronounced 100 percent ready to resume his crucial two-way role for the league's top-seeded team.

Huge junior lineman Kyle Nunez (6-3, 320), who fractured his ankle last winter and wound up missing a chance to showcase his talents for college coaches on this summer's camp circuit, is also ready to dominate as a guard and defensive tackle.

"I couldn't attend any of the camps so this is my statement year for college," said Nunez, whose brother Anthony was a Newsday second-team all-Long Island lineman last year as a senior. "Defense was my first love, but I'm being scouted as an offensive lineman by colleges. I love playing both ways."

So does Hannigan, a second-team all-Long Island linebacker and a dangerous running threat out of East Islip's spread offense.

"I like football and I like being on the field for as many plays as I can," said Hannigan, who is committed to play Division I college lacrosse at St. Joseph's (Pa.). "This is my last year of football and I want to really enjoy it with my family and friends."

Even though Hannigan led the Redmen to a county title and LIC appearance last year, it was hardly a truly enjoyable experience with all the injuries.

"That's football. You deal with the pain," he said. "Everything's good now."

Not that Hannigan would reveal if anything was bothering him.

"Physically and mentally he's as tough as any kid I've ever coached," veteran East Islip coach Sal J. Ciampi said. "His fitness level was always great but he took it up a notch this off-season."

Fitness is an ongoing issue for Nunez because of his massive frame. He is one of the biggest players on Long Island and already bigger than many college linemen. "I can't wait to show what I can do in a new league," Nunez said. "I think we have a special team."

Ciampi believes Nunez is a special player, calling him "a major Division I prospect. He's a man already at 320 pounds and he's a football junkie. He's got great feet and great hips."

And, like Hannigan, those body parts are all in good health.

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