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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Corsi Heading to University of Maine

On Wednesday morning, St. Francis high school football star Antonio Corsi signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Maine next fall. Corsi hails from Ottawa, Ontario but left home his sophomore year to join the Red Raiders in Athol Springs, NY.

He leaves St. Francis with 16 career touchdowns, the 2nd best in school history. Corsi also ranks second in receptions in a single game (12) and is third all-time in career receptions, receptions in a season and touchdowns in a season.

Corsi (6’3, 250 pounds), oddly enough was recruited by Pat Denecke, a 2006 graduate of St. Francis. Denecke is now an assistant head coach at Maine and has been following him the past four years.

“Antonio came to our summer camp his freshman year so we already had some familiarity with him,” Denecke said. “Of course anything Coach Smith and his staff say I take as Gospel and they were very high on Antonio. We are very lucky to be getting a player of his caliber.”

Jerry Smith, long-time Red Raiders head coach believes that Corsi can play at the next level and is ready to contribute as early as next season. “Antonio is very versatile. He has the best hands of any athlete that’s come through our program.”

The Red Raiders also used Corsi as a wide receiver. Not many opposing players (if any) were able to cover him one-on-one. Corsi shined throughout his two seasons at St. Francis and was named 1st Team All-Catholic the past two seasons. He was also named MVP of the 2018 championship game in which the Red Raiders defeated Canisius 20-16. Corsi finished with five catches for 86 yards, a touchdown and a sack on defense in the victory.

Can’t wait ‼️🐻@Coach_Charlton @CoachDenecke — Antonio Corsi 🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@AntonioCorsi_) November 19, 2020

“Antonio has a great work ethic,” coach Smith said. “One thing they (Maine) told me was once their coaching staff can start working with him, they believe he has the potential to become an All-American. But what I am most proud of, is the fact that Antonio really picked it up on the Academics side. When he first arrived he was in the high 70’s, today he is in the 90’s. That’s a dramatic improvement.”

Corsi joins fellow Canadian Darius McKenzie (6’2, 230 pound, linebacker) who also announced his intentions to play for the Black Bears. The two have been working out together.

“Canada treats us very well,” coach Denecke said. “I believe we are tied with the University of Buffalo for the most Canadian football players on a team in the NCAA.” The Bears have a long history of recruiting this area for players. Guy’s like Desmond Randall (West Seneca), Jeremy Kelley (West Seneca), Josh Huffman (Canisius) and Ernest Edwards (Aquinas). “In regards to Antonio, he checks all the boxes and we look forward to having him,” Denecke said.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Corsi has not actually set foot on the campus yet. He has done virtual tours only. “I’ve been in contact with the coaching staff during this whole process,” Corsi said. “I felt really comfortable with all of the coaches, they were always checking on me and made me feel like they really wanted me. I know that they are looking for me to play right away as well.”

Corsi is still hopeful to play one more season for the Red Raiders. That’s if New York State allows high-risk sports to play, currently only low-moderate risk sports have been given the green light. “I thought I had my best year my junior season so I was confident I had enough film to work with to have a school like Maine recruit me.” There were other schools interested as well, that included Coastal Carolina.

The Maine Black Bears compete in the Colonial Athletic Conference and play against the University of Albany, Stonybrook, William & Mary (Sean McDermott) among others.

Feature Image Courtesy of Antonio Corsi Twitter

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