Connolly Looking Into Wake Forest

A 6'3, 240-pound prospect out of Sarasota, Florida, defensive end Michael Connolly has begun to surface on many college recruiting boards across the nation. Although injured for most of his senior season, Connolly was impressive after returning to the lineup and his play, combined with his physical abilities, has led him to several scholarship offers.

After his junior season, Michael Connolly injured his ACL, taking him away from the football field for most of his senior season. Just four months and a week after tearing his ACL, he was back on the field for Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota. "People were impressed with the way he came back after four months and a week," his father Paul Connolly said. "You just don't do that, people don't do that."

Not only did Michael Connolly return to the field, he played well in the five games in which he participated and helped lead his squad to the state semifinals where Cardinal Mooney lost to eventual state champion Pahokee. Cardinal Mooney won their district, their regional title, and won the most games in school history. Even though Connolly was injured the first nine games, he played a key run in his team's run at a championship. "He had a whole bunch of sacks and tackles. He played well," the elder Connolly noted.

Thanks to his abilities on the field and potential with his frame, Connolly has begun to pick up offers from schools around the country. "As far as his recruitment goes, he's getting ready to take some officials," Mr. Connolly said. "We're going to visit Kansas, Ball State, and then possibly Colorado and Virginia Tech."

Mr. Connolly noted that all four schools have offered along with Minnesota, Florida International, Louisiana Lafayette, and a host of 1-AA schools. Along with those schools, Connolly is eyeing Wake Forest as well.

"We made a few unofficials in the summer and visited Wofford, Furman, N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech. He liked Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, not that he didn't like Furman and Wofford and those schools, but they really stood out and they're 1-A schools."

"We've talked about Tech and then Wake Forest expressed good interest in him," Mr. Connolly noted. "We're waiting to hear from them. They wanted to see video of him after he got back from his injury and we just sent that up. I suspect after the bowl game maybe they'll get a chance to look at it and we'll hear from them."

In the meantime, Connolly make his visits and search for the right school. "We're going to take some visits and see what happens," Mr. Connolly noted. "It would probably be mid-January after we take a couple visits before anything is decided."

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