Esiason Counsels NY QB Calabrese on Decision

The last time Maryland landed a quarterback from East Islip High School, he spent 13 years in the NFL, winning the MVP award in 1988. Perhaps the heir to Boomer Esiason's throne has arrived in class of 2008 quarterback Rob Calabrese.


Though he holds only one offer from Central Florida, Calabrese performed well recently in Penn State's Nike Camp and Elite 11 Camp. His first camps were a piece of cake as he earned attention from several teams in attendance, including Maryland.

"A lot of coaches noticed me, and that's when I picked up my text message offer from UCF," said the 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback from Long Island.

Calabrese visited Maryland during Junior Day. "It was great," he said, "I had a lot of fun there."

Calabrese, who rates Maryland high on his list, has yet to earn a Terp offer. "They have shown some interest, but they have already offered two quarterbacks [EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon], so I'm not sure where they are at with me," he said.

"Hopefully [Maryland] offers," he added. "[Boomer] came to one [of my] games last year, and we talked. He wants me to do what's best for me, and I'm not sure what that is right now."

He may visit Maryland after his official visit on June 22nd with UCF to participate in a workout. As far as the rest of his summer goes, Calabrese plans to "get out there, go to a couple of camps and hopefully get some offers."

It is hard for most people not to make a comparison to Esiason. Both Esiason and Calabrese are pocket quarterbacks, both are left-handed, both have strong arms and both spent a lot of time in the weight room.

He isn't sure when he will make his college decision, but noted that he would "like to get it over with before football season so I can focus."

UCF, Calabrese said, is the school that is after him the hardest. As they are his first offer and he has an official visit planned, this is expected. Calabrese noted that UCF assistant Jim Panagose, a former Terrapin, has been involved as his recruitment coordinator. "He went to my high school. I talk to him about everything," Calabrese said.

He ranks his top five as UCF, Maryland, UCONN, Syracuse and I-AA local team Hofstra. Besides UCF and Maryland, his visits end with Hofstra on June 11 "for a workout with the coaches. That's basically it," Calabrese said. "I might be going to a Buffalo camp in Bronx, because I wouldn't have to go too far," he laughed.

For the summer, he will work on improving his footwork and agility, "and getting my 40-time faster," said Calabrese, who runs a 4.7 40-yard dash. At Penn State, he said he was not throwing well on the run, something he also hopes to improve in his free time.

It is still early in the game for the pocket passer, and there is plenty of time—time to improve his mechanics, time for schools to show interest, and time to make his decision.

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