With past alumni like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, LSU defensive back John Battle and former UCLA and Crespi standout Jalen Starks, high-profile football prospects in the Class of 2019 made one last appearance at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl hosted at Houston Texans NRG Stadium on Monday, Jan. 14.
Former Hart defensive back and current senior Michael Colangelo was one of 114 players to be nominated and accept the chance to play amongst some of the nation’s elite football players.
“It was an awesome feeling to get recognized and get another shot to go out and showcase what I have so I couldn’t really pass it up,” Colangelo said.
Colangelo was selected to be on “Team 49” and would play team “Lone Star,” which was comprised of 53 players from Texas and one player being from the state of Pennsylvania.
Arriving in Houston three nights before the game on Friday, Jan. 11, Colangelo remembers how he was ready to get back on the field on and show what he had.
“We arrived the night before the first practice,” he said. “I was already training before so it didn’t really take much for me to get back in the swing of things. It was pretty fluid.”
Taking direction from numerous NFL coaches and veterans like former Vikings and Seahawks player Sean Salisbury (head coach) and former Texans defensive back Michael Coe (defensive back coach), Colangelo soaked up as much knowledge and guidance as he could.
“The instruction was absolutely some of the best in the world,” Colangelo said. “These guys know what it takes to get there, so I just tried to listen to as much as I could and take in what they were telling me throughout those three days.”
Practices weren’t full contact but still intense as players were trying to get acclimated to the new plays and directions of the coaches.
“Just a lot of learning the offensive and defensive plays and making sure we knew our assignments and knew every single play,” Colangelo said. “No full contact. Just a lot of competing, one-on-one’s, but no taking to the ground.”
Team 49 ultimately fell to Lone Star 29-10. Colangelo finished the game with two solo tackles and one pass deflection and will be something that he will never forget.
“A lot of these kids were D-1 so there was really no lack of competition and to go out there and show them what I got was a really great experience,” Colangelo said. “I thought it was a good test to see where I’m at.”
Later this year, sometime around June or July, Colangelo will begin his collegiate football career at Claremont McKenna College with hopes of applying what he learned in Houston and producing at the next level.
“It was crazy,” Colangelo said. “A ton of people don’t get to do that so it’s special when you’re walking into the stadium and see that’s the ultimate goal. It was one hell of an experience.”