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New Canaan Football Pyne commits to Notre Dame

April 17, 2018 GMT

NEW CANAAN — One of the heaviest-recruited players in Connecticut high school football history has made his decision.

Current New Canaan sophomore Drew Pyne announced his verbal commitment to play at Notre Dame via Twitter on Monday.

Pyne, a four-star recruit, held offers from Power 5 schools all over the country and is the Fighting Irish’s first commit in the 2020 class.

“I was open-minded going into the visit this past week,” Pyne told Rivals.com. “I had narrowed down my options a bit prior to the visit, but they did a great job when I was there and they kind of sealed the deal when I was there. It was a great visit and it really just felt like home.”

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As one of the highest-ranked 2020 quarterbacks, Pyne had offers from the like of Florida State and South Carolina as an eighth grader. From the second he stepped on the field as a freshman, Pyne has had to deal with the pressures of being under a microscope on virtually every play.

“It’s really amazing to me to see a kid so young come in and handle all the things all the things that he and his family had to handle at New Canaan,” said Rams coach Lou Marinelli, the state’s career leader in wins. “First of all, it’s not an easy place to work your way in, it can be cliquey at times when you’re the outsider, but somehow he managed to come in and everything just kind of fell right for him.”

Until Pyne, Marinelli never had a freshman see consistent time at the varsity level, but Pyne was thrust into action in his first career high school game following an injury to the senior starter.

“He hasn’t looked back since,” Marinelli said. “He’s been the starting quarterback, he’s done a tremendous job, won a state championship. He’s only lost four games since he’s been here and now he’s got two more years to go so we’re excited about the future for him and I’m excited to go out and watch him play in South Bend.”

Pyne threw for 2,347 yards and 26 touchdowns and added 430 yards on the ground en route to a Class L title in 2016. Last season, the dual-threat signal caller threw for 2,355 yards and 25 touchdowns while running for seven more scores.

With his recruitment process out of the way, Pyne has two more years to refine his game and add to his already impressive numbers.

“The way social media is, thank God I’m old and don’t get to read a lot of that stuff, but from what they tell me, it’s so much of a distraction,” Marinelli said. “Now, he can focus on getting bigger, faster, stronger and being able to focus on football and helping us be the best that we can be. It’s been a pleasure having him in the program, I can’t say enough about him as far as the type of player he is and the type of kid he is.”

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Marinelli also spoke of Pyne’s commitment to the classroom, which was a factor in his decision to play for the Irish.

“The education is unbelievable too,” Pyne told Rivals. “I’m going to study business in college and their business school is the No. 1 undergraduate business school in the country.”

The Rams have had a handful of graduates play at Notre Dame, the most recent of which was Connor Hanratty, an offensive lineman who graduated New Canaan in 2011.

Pyne will be the second-consecutive New Canaan quarterback to play for a premier program at the next level. Michael Collins, a 2016 graduate, transferred to TCU last season after starting his career at Penn and is currently fighting for the starting job in his redshirt sophomore season.

“The quarterbacks we’ve had all keep in touch with each other,” Marinelli said. “Michael has talked to Drew and picked his brain…we’ve been very fortunate to have the kids that we’ve had.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP