At the US Army National Combine on January 8, more than 600 underclassmen showed off their skills in front of hundreds of college scouts. Anthony Sarao of Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, New Jersey was one of the players that really left an impression on them. The 6-foot-1, 205 pound Sarao showed off his blistering speed from the linebacker position as he ran a 4.45 40-yard dash time and a 3.86 shuttle time. Sarao's shuttle time set the US Army National Combine record. It did not take long for more college coaches to begin contacting him.
On the Tuesday after the combine, Stanford coaches flew across the country to Holy Spirit High School. Cardinal coaches then gave Sarao his second scholarship offer. Sarao is currently weighing another offer from the University of Maryland. In addition, he will be taking visits to Rutgers, UConn (January 16), and Georgia (January 30) soon, and is also being recruited by Boston College.
Sarao's criterion for a school seems to be simple. He is looking for a good education for life after football, in case a career in the NFL does not work out.
All I'm really looking for is a school that has really good academics, so that when I graduate, if I don't go to the NFL in two or three years, then I have something to do afterward, he said.
While getting a high-quality education may weigh the most in Sarao's mind, Maryland seems to have two advantages in this recruiting battle. College Park is roughly three and a half hours away from Sarao's Absecon, NJ home, which allows him to travel home relatively easily while still going to school a little further away than Rutgers. The Maryland coaching staff has also made a favorable impression on Sarao.
I like their (Maryland) coaches a lot. I'm really cool with them, said Sarao. It's (College Park) close to home, so I can always come home if I feel like it too.
A commitment from Anthony Sarao could give the Terps' defense a weapon to rush the passer, as Sarao would provide great athleticism at the outside linebacker/defensive end position. If the US Army National Combine is any indication, Sarao could shine at the next level.