December 2, 2008
CMU O-Line Commit Among Michigan's Best
The awards just keep coming for Jeff Fantuzzi. After a high school career at Macomb (Mich.) Dakota, which included two state titles and three straight conference titles, Jeff also managed to haul in some nice individual hardware. This weekend, in addition to being named First Team All East by the Detroit Free Press, he was also named AP First Team All State.
"It just feels like my hard work paid off," Fantuzzi said. "If you would have told me two years ago I was going to be All-State, I would have laughed at you. I put in a lot of hard work especially in the summer when most high-schoolers get to hang out with their friends. Also, I had some great teammates who always pushed me. There were some great linemen why graduated before me who I learned a lot from."
Although Dakota's season ended in the second round this year, Jeff still has several great memories to reflect on.
"You have to think about all of the good and successful times," Fantuzzi said. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about our last game. I will probably think about our last game until I am 30. But I know Dakota is going to be good for a long time and I am happy to have been a part of that."
With his high school career at a close, Jeff is now turning his attention towards his upcoming career at Central Michigan. With Jeff enrolling early, this career is only a month away.
"I am nervous and excited," Fantuzzi said. "I don't know what to expect. I love new challenges and new experiences. It's no good to be the big fish in a small sea. Now I am going to the biggest sea out there. I am going to be going against guys who are 23 and 24 years old. I just want to try and outwork everyone and play my role to the best of my abilities."
Also exciting for Jeff is the prospect of being a part of a terrific offensive line class.
"We definitely have some great size," Fantuzzi said. "All of these guys are taller than I am. We all need to beef up but once that happens, watch out. These guys are all making their All County and All State teams. I have played against Jon Czerwienski and I know that he is a great player."
It helps matters that Jeff has a great deal of respect for his position coach, CMU offensive line coach Don Mahoney.
"Coach Mahoney is a great coach," Fantuzzi said. "At most summer camps, it is basically just a tryout for a scholarship. At the Wayne State camp that the CMU staff was at, I actually learned a ton from him. He is great to talk to. He knows when to be a friend and when to be a coach."
After a high school career where his hard work clearly paid off, Jeff is now looking forward to being a part of what could be one of the best recruiting classes in Central Michigan history.
"I love that our class has so much talent. We already have five 3-star players in the class," Fantuzzi said. "CMU is going to be the new Boise State. The coaches have said that to me all along and I believe it. My class wants to be the best class in CMU history. We want to be the BCS busters. I already have great relationships with all of the guys in the class. I already have their cell phone numbers. Once we get up there, it will be even better."
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