Out of the seven Don Bosco Prep football players signing letters of commitment on Wednesday, Kyle Sakowski was the only one who committed to a small Division I program.
Even with his 89 tackles, six interceptions -- including two in the de facto national championship game -- and a few big games at wide receiver for the best high school football team in the country, Sakowski received only two scholarship offers after his senior season, one from the Citadel and one from Lafayette.
Greg Toal will tell you if you ask him, though, the leader of the best high school defense in the nation this past season wore number 27.
“It’s a great time but also one of the worst times because you have to let the people you care about go,” Sakowski said of the bittersweet day. “I feel like these are really my brothers, what we go through together makes the bond that much closer. I’m going to miss all of them, I really wish we could just make this into a college program.”
Alongside fellow teammates Leonte Caroo, Darius Hamilton, Elijah Shumate, Michael Casimos, Tyler Samra and Michael Strizak, Sakowski inked his letter of intent with his parents at his side and head coach Greg Toal in the audience.
There’s a good chance without Sakowski that the Ironmen would have lost at least a couple of games in 2011. Before picking off Jon Germano twice in the state finals, Sakowski did the same thing in a quarter during the first Bosco vs. Bergen showdown.
With 11 minutes left to play a Sakowski pick set up the Ironmen’s game-winning drive and another pick in the end zone with 2 minutes on the clock sealed the deal.
This rare group leaves behind an unfathomable legacy, having never lost a game in 46 tries while ripping off four-straight state titles and two national championships.
“It’s definitely a special day to share this with a bunch of my teammates and I will take the lessons these coaches have shared with me to the next level and throughout the rest of my life,” Sakoski said. “They taught me about how to make it through this world and how you must work hard for everything you get because nothing is free, I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can.”
Just because the 6-foot 200-pound linebacker is not going to the biggest stage doesn’t mean his aspirations to play in bigger games for the next four years and beyond are gone either, quite the contrary.
“To be the underdog, it’s good to be viewed as that, I know a lot of people like the way I play and that’s a good feeling. I was a little surprised to only get two offers but now I want to go in a make an impact right away, freshman year I am looking to do big things. I want to start right away and I’m setting a goal for myself to be an All-American.”