When Shane DiBona signed with the Iowa Hawkeyes this week, it was big news in his big hometown newspaper, a little outfit called the Boston Globe.
Apparently, not a lot of big-time college football recruits come from the Massachusetts area.
Here’s an excerpt from the Globe’s story on Wednesday:
“DUXBURY – During his visits to Iowa City, the exchange became familiar for Shane DiBona. He would tell a stranger he had committed to play running back and linebacker for the Iowa Hawkeyes. They would ask him where he was from.
DiBona would answer, “Duxbury, Mass.” Brows would furrow, heads would tilt. The questioner would ask again, “Where?”
DiBona’s choice represents a meaningful step for Massachusetts. By the end of today, college football’s National Signing Day, the state will send three players to powerhouse programs outside the Northeast. Arthur Lynch, a tight end from Dartmouth, will sign with Georgia. Brennan Williams, an offensive lineman from Catholic Memorial, has chosen North Carolina.
Often overlooked as a recruiting basin, Massachusetts rarely produces players who travel outside the Northeast to play for elite programs; the last player Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron could recall earning a football scholarship to a Big Ten school was Everett’s Omar Easy, who committed to Penn State in 1996. DiBona, Lynch, and Williams, though, have an opportunity to improve perceptions about high school football in the state.”
DiBona has gone from a skinny 180-pounder to a burly 225-pound running back. Right now, the Massachusetts Division Two player of the year is listed as a fullback for the Hawkeyes. At Duxbury High School, he rushed for 2,958 yards and 32 TDs.
When Iowa coaches discovered DiBona through a connection that strength coach Chris Doyle, a Massachusetts native, had back east, coach Kirk Ferentz wondered where all the other recruiters were.
“Shane Dibona is an interesting guy,” Ferentz said. “After I saw his tape, I was trying to figure out why no one else was on him in that area. People tried to move in late in the game. I looked at him and saw a player reminiscent of a Mike Humpal-type guy. He plays at a bigger school and his team had great success, but he could do a lot of things on the field. I’m trying to figure it out.
“Good student, why isn’t everyone recruiting him. We’ll know down the road. We have great feelings about him.”
DiBona’s body type — 6-2, 225 — could open doors at TE, LB or maybe even DE.
A Boston College coach called DiBona the Sunday night before signing day, according to the Globe.