The following is fourth in a series about former BPS athletes currently playing their sport in college.
Brendan Casey, a former decorated offensive and defensive lineman at Boston Latin, is now entering his sophomore season on a Hobart College football team that’s coming off a conference championship. But before his time as a Statesman, Casey received notable recognition as a lineman for coach John McDonough at Latin.
At Latin, Casey was a three year varsity letterman under McDonough. In his senior year, Casey was named a Massachusetts Shriners All–Star, and received the Dual County League lineman of the year award. He attributes his toughness in the trenches to his former offensive and defensive line coach Walter Apperwhite.
“He was the coach that impacted me the most at BLS,” Casey said in a recent interview. “He was the driving force for me to play football in college. He’s also a really tough guy.”
Coach McDonough, who’s been coaching for 32 years, says Casey ranks as one of the best lineman he’s ever had.
“Brendan was a workout warrior,” McDonough said. “He led the way in the weight room. Just an awesome kid on the field. He was the defensive player of the year of the Dual County league his senior year. He was also one of many Gatorade players of the year in Massachusetts.”
Following his senior year at Latin in 2011, Casey made the transition to Canterbury Prep. School where he says he matured both mentally and physically. He also maintains contact with some of his former younger teammates at Latin, and has advised them of the benefits of taking a prep year after graduation.
“I’ve talked to a ton of the kids I used to play with,” Casey said. “A lot of returning upperclassmen this year at BLS. I tell them how good it’s been for me to take the prep year at Canterbury, to get adjusted to college sports.”
According to his Hobart coaches, Casey adjusted soundly to their program. Casey’s work ethic and attitude immediately impressed his Hobart line coach, Kevin Dewall. Dewall had been following Casey’s production at Latin, and was an integral part of his recruitment.
“Brendan has that blue collar mentality, which is just how I like my lineman to be,” Dewall said in a recent interview. “He’s a no nonsense kind of guy and because of his attitude he clicked right away with a lot of our guys. His strength is his strongest asset.”
Returning for his sophomore season, Casey has the opportunity to earn playing time on the offensive line on a tough Hobart team. Last season he played behind an All–American left guard who DeWall noted was a very “helpful experience for Brendan to learn from.”
“The competition for playing time is tough,” Dewall said. “Last year we were 12–1 overall and won the conference championship. On our offensive line we have three returning starters, so Brendan definitely has the opportunity this year.”
Casey is looking forward to the preseason camp this August, and is happy with his adjustment from BPS athletics to the collegiate level.
“It’s a big adjustment coming from BPS sports to college football,” Casey recalls. “I had to get used to having a playbook, but I’ve done pretty well so far.”
Globe Correspondent Justin A. Rice contributed to this story.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.