Former Andover High All-Scholastic running back Andy Coke made a fascinating discovery upon arriving at his first college pre-season camp last summer.
“I felt ready when I arrived at Brown (University) last year,” he said. “I also definitely noticed other freshmen that weren’t ready for the intensity of the game. I felt like I had an advantage over them.
“I feel like Andover mentally prepared me for what was asked from me in college football. Coach (E.J.) Perry and his staff had me ready.”
Coke, currently a favorite to earn the starting running back job at Brown, is far from alone.
When the 2013 college football season kicks off later this summer, approximately 20 athletes who played football at Andover High over the past three seasons will be taking the gridiron for colleges across the country.
And the former Golden Warriors say they feel ready for action, both on the field and in the classroom.
“The last few years we have had a great program,” said 2012 All-Scholastic Will Heikkinen, who is headed to Brown. “We have had a lot of guys having success at colleges from NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) to Brian Miller at Boston College. And there are a lot of guys excited to play this season.”
The man throwing to Heikkinen the last two seasons was record-setting QB C.J. Scarpa, who was planning to leave Andover on Tuesday to start workouts at Division 1-AA Elon University in North Carolina.
“I feel like playing at Andover High prepared me more than any other team could,” Scarpa said. “We had a great group of coaches that had backgrounds in college football and really motivated us. Plus the guys are so focused that we really worked hard to prepare one another.”
Another of Scarpa’s favorite targets the last two years was receiver Cam Farnham, who initially planned to focus on baseball in college. But as he began the recruiting process, his interest in football began to grow.