Some Division I schools shied away from Joe Capobianco because, at 5-11, 205 pounds, the Lawrence senior doesn't have classic size for a college quarterback. Other schools weren't certain how much weight to give Capobianco's impressive career statistics because they questioned the caliber of competition in Class III football on Long Island.
So Capobianco chose a college that wants him, no questions asked. Wednesday, he signed his letter of intent and accepted a full scholarship to Division II Merrimack, which plays in the Northeast 10 Conference of which LIU-Post is a member.
"This place is perfect for him," Lawrence coach Joe Martillotti said of the North Andover, Mass., school. "Their quarterback graduated and they want Joe to come in and fight for a starting job as a freshman. That's all he can hope for."
Interior linemen attracted the most interest among college recruiters on Long Island, but in addition to Capobianco, Roosevelt fullback/linebacker Robert Hansen (Division II American International) and Patchogue-Medford wide receiver Connor Coughlin (Brown) committed on Wednesday.
Merrimack successfully employs the spread offense and according to Martillotti, "They throw the ball 50 or 60 times a game. It's a throw-first team." In going 7-4 in 2013, the Warriors averaged 56 passes and 375 yards passing per game.
That suits the skill set of Capobianco, a two-time Newsday All-Long Island first-team selection who led the Golden Tornadoes to the last two L.I. Class III titles. Capobianco is the Island's all-time leader in passing yardage (8,013) and touchdowns (100). As a senior, he threw for 2,987 yards and 33 TDs, including 353 yards and three scores in the LIC.
Because Lawrence was closed on Wednesday because of inclement weather, Capobianco signed his letter intent at home with his family and faxed it to Merrimack.
Because the Warriors wanted him.