What A Week!

It was the best week of football that Carlo Calabrese ever experienced.

Last Saturday, the four-star linebacker helped lead Verona (N.J.) High to a 13-12 victory over Hoboken High in the NJSIAA/Gatorade North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 championship.

Then this week, Carlo Calabrese was in Honolulu to help the Mainland All-Stars defeat the Hawaii/Polynesia team, 22-8, in a battle of some of the nation's best prep players.

"Going out to Giants Stadium and winning there, getting a state championship title, and then on Monday you leave for Hawaii and get to play more football is awesome," Calabrese explained.

Calabrese, who set the Verona school record for most tackles in a season this fall with over 130, had eight in the state championship game. The previous school record holder for stops in a season was held by former Notre Dame tight end and current Miami Dolphin, Anthony Fasano.

This was Calabrese's third trip to the state title game. Verona lost his freshman and sophomore seasons.

"We knew we had to get it done this year, because it was our last year," Calabrese said. "We had to step it up and get that ring."

From there, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Calabrese was pumped to get to Honolulu and play some more ball.

"I felt good, I was prepared," Calabrese stated.

"The size of the other guys was surprising. The linemen were a lot bigger. The speed was alright. I was keeping up with the speed."

Calabrese had four solo tackles during the game the played at Aloha Stadium.

"On a fourth down, I read the play and made a tackle in the backfield for a loss."

Calabrese was joined in Hawaii by fellow Notre Dame verbal commits Shaquelle Evans, Zeke Motta and Nicholas Tausch.

"I spent a lot of time with them," Calabrese said. "They were cool.

"Shaq was doing good. He had a lot of catches until he got hurt. Zeke's a good kid. I think he's fast tough kid."

Besides playing football, Calabrese and the other players had dinner on a boat one night, and went surfing and kayaking on other days.

"I liked just being with all the guys, playing football with all the guys and spending time with them."

Calabrese also did some recruiting while on the island. He tried to work on five-star linebacker recruit Manti Te'o. Te'o will eventually decide between Notre Dame, USC, BYU, UCLA and Stanford.

"I talked to him but he really doesn't say much," Calabrese said. "He just like laughs and doesn't want to say anything."

Calabrese said playing in this all-star game, gave him a taste of what he'll see at Notre Dame.

"Just knowing the speed of the game at the next level, knowing the size and strength."

The week before Calabrese left for Hawaii, Notre Dame assistant coach John Latina made a visit to his school. Tomorrow, Calabrese is expecting head coach Charlie Weis in Verona.

Calabrese isn't sure when he will be back at Notre Dame. He has yet to take his official visit.

"I was supposed to take it during the playoffs if we lost, but we kept winning, and now I have basketball so I have no clue," Calabrese explained. "I have to make a date with coach."


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