George Craan took to his knees and prayed when he heard the news.
The Concord-Carlisle running back was on the phone with Patriots coach Mike Robichaud yesterday when he was told Boston College had officially offered him a football scholarship.
“I said ‘Amen’ because I’ve been praying this would happen,” said Craan, who announced via Twitter that he would be attending BC.
“Without God, this wouldn’t have happened. And to play in front of my family in my hometown – they say there’s nothing better than playing in your hometown. I always wanted to be a BC Eagle since I was a little kid so I’m happy with the decision.”
Craan amassed 1,800 total yards and scored 24 touchdowns in his senior season. A two-time Globe All-Scholastic, he helped the Patriots (13-0) finish undefeated when he ran for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns in C-C’s 42-9 Division 3 Super Bowl victory over Oliver Ames.
BC had shown interest in the 5-foot-10, 205-pound back since last summer when he attended the school’s football camp. But when National Signing Day came and went on Feb. 1 without any contact, Craan was set on doing a college preparatory year.
Then BC called last Saturday to re-ignite the recruiting process.
“We thought that boat had sailed,” Robichaud said. “It’s a great testament to George that he was able to continue to do the right things in the classroom and stay positive and stay focused.”
Craan, who intends on enrolling in the Carroll School of Management, was excited about the academic opportunities he will have at the Heights.
“It’s not just a football school,” said Craan. “It’s highly-respected for its academics. Walking out of BC with a degree is something to be proud of.”
Before Craan made his announcement on Twitter, he told his mother, Ines Vilme. Elated, she immediately began calling the family’s relatives in Haiti to share the news.
Craan, a Metco student from Hyde Park, reflected on the efforts he made before his senior season began. Determined to be with his teammates as much as possible last summer, he took the commuter rail, then walked or got rides from friends to get to team workouts. If he had extra energy when he got home, he lifted weights at his local YMCA, and ran sprints at Madison Park High School.
“This allows me to see that hard work pays off,” Craan said. “Without my team, including my coaches, my [offensive line], my defense, this wouldn’t have happened. It was a group effort.”
According to Robichaud, Craan is the first Concord-Carlisle product to receive a scholarship from Boston College since quarterback Willie Hicks in 1987. Hicks has served as a mentor to Craan during the recruiting process and spoke to Craan before he visited BC’s campus on Friday for an admissions interview.
Craan will continue to workout at his local YMCA as well as at the Acton-based gym CATZ as he looks ahead to his career at BC, where the uniforms will have a familiar look.
“It will feel good to be wearing maroon and gold again,” he said.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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