Spring Break Is Good To Massa

Sitting on the beach with friends in Destin, Florida, quarterback Luke Massa got a pleasant surprise.

It was also kind of shocking news.

Luke Massa, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback from St. Xavier High in Cincinnati, missed most of his junior season with injury, preventing college recruiters from getting a good look at him. Though many schools had still been showing interest, until this week, none had stepped to the table with a scholarship offer.

"My high school coach, Steve Specht, he told me to call him, and he told me he had good news," Massa said. "He said Wisconsin was going to offer me, and he told me to call the coach, and I called him and he just did it in person.

"What happened was, the St. X coaching staff was up at Wisconsin learning about coaching and stuff like that, and they were talking about me, and the Wisconsin coach saw some of my film, and told them he was going to offer me."

If Massa's junior season wasn't lost by injury, he'd likely be sitting on more than just one scholarship offer.

Flashback to the 2007 season, and the eighth game of the season. Young Massa was standing on the sidelines for one of the best football teams in the state of Ohio, when starting quarterback John Hurley went down with what would end up being a season-ending injury.

"Right off the bat, when I saw him go down, I was pretty nervous, but most of the guys, everyone on the offense, they were all seniors, and they just took me in and gave me the confidence," Massa explained. "I was very relaxed after that because I had Darius Ashley, Danny Milligan and Jon Scheidler, there were so many names and weapons. Our o-line was good, and our whole team meshed very well, and the coaching staff prepared us well every game. We just knew everything that was going to happen."

Next thing Massa knew, he was getting a championship ring for helping lead the Bombers to a 15-0 finish and the Division I state title.

Schools like Boston College, Virginia, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Duke and Notre Dame began showing interest in Massa. Confidence was high, but then an injury-riddled junior campaign prevented Massa from showcasing his talents to these schools. He missed the season opener with a foot injury, and then three games later, a broken collarbone ended the fall. Without Massa, St. Xavier struggled to a 4-6 record.

"When I was injured, I got a lot of support from everyone around St. X and my family, and they said everything was going to be fine," Massa began. "I wasn't too worried because coach Specht is very good at talking to college coaches about the players at St. X. They help you out a lot, coach Specht does."

Massa is also trying to help himself.

This weekend, he will join four-star offensive tackle and teammate Matt James in South Bend for Notre Dame's spring game.

"Initially I was going up just to show interest, to show them I care about Notre Dame and stuff like that. I've liked Notre Dame ever since I was little, and I would definitely like to go there maybe, but I don't really know what to expect. We'll just see what happens."

Massa visited Notre Dame last fall for the Pittsburgh game, and has been keeping in touch with Irish assistant coach Jon Tenuta.

"He just said that the quarterback position is one that, that the coaches are very careful about giving offers out, because you only have two or three quarterbacks you're going to offer, so you want to make sure they're good and see them throw in person before you offer them."

Massa hopes for a lot of college coaches to see him throw this summer.

"Right now, I honestly don't know what camps I'm going to go to because my summer schedule is going to be very busy lifting for football and working out," Massa said. "I'm thinking about going up to the Notre Dame camp, the UC camp, and there are a couple other ones. I'm just not sure about it yet."

Besides Notre Dame, Massa has visited Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Duke. He has no timetable set on when he'd like to make a college decision.

"One, just a decent sized school," he said of what he's looking for. "A lot of tradition there. A good conference. Just good competition overall, and overall just a good environment school wise."


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