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Bowl-Bound LIer Eyes NFL Future

Former St. Anthony's star Scott Vallone one of several Long Islanders playing in college bowls.

Scott Vallone has one game left on the schedule. And he intends to play as if it’s his last because it very well could be.

The Rutgers University senior defensive tackle has been making tackles for as long as he can remember. Vallone, from Central Islip, was the CHSFL defensive player of the year in 2007 and an all-state run-stopper for perennial champ St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington.

He’s developed into a four-year starter and an All-Big East performer at Rutgers, one of the finest defensive players in college football. And while Vallone harbors NFL aspirations, the 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman is no lock to play on Sundays. 

“I’m on the border between a late-round pick and free agent,” Vallone said. “Right now I’m just focusing on one more bowl game.” 

Rutgers (9-3), which earned a share of its first Big East championship, faces former Big East rival Virginia Tech (6-6) in the Russell Athletic Bowl Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Orlando.

Vallone is one of 18 Long Islanders who will be on the sidelines for teams playing in major bowls. Rutgers features four other locals: Babylon senior tight end Beau Bachety, East Northport freshman quarterback Richard Czeczotka, Hicksville senior lineman Matt McBride and Coram senior lineman Devon Watkis.

Even Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood, who was named Big East co-coach of the year, has Long Island ties. The Bayside native played in the CHSFL and once coached at LIU Post and Hofstra. 

That Long Island connection is what brought Vallone to New Jersey. And there are no regrets.

“You wish you could have made a few more plays or won more games,” Vallone said. “But the path I’m on is for a reason.” 

Vallone is sixth on the team with 50 tackles, but leads the way with 12 stops for a loss. He registered 2.5 sacks and recovered one fumble.

Whatever happens against the Hokies, Vallone’s time in college will be history once the final whistle sounds. He graduates this month with a degree in economics. Then he’ll transition to preparing for an NFL future. 

Vallone has been invited to play in the East-West Shrine all-star football game and his performance there and at the NFL Combine will go a long way toward determining whether he’ll making a living from football. 

One website rates Vallone the 27th best DT in the nation.

“Hopefully I won’t have to use [my college degree] for a long time,” Vallone joked.

There's still one game left.

      Long Island's Bowl Connection

Name High School College Bowl Femi Aliyu Baldwin Syracuse

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Beau Bachety Babylon Rutgers Russell Athletic Bowl Devon Cajuste Holy Cross / Seaford Stanford Rose Bowl Rob Calabrese East Islip Cent. Florida 

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

Richard Czeczotka Glenn Rutgers Russell Athletic Bowl Brendan Fowler Chaminade Duke Belk Bowl Brendan Kelly Shoreham-WR Cent. Florida 

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

John Kinder Lawrence Syracuse

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Matt McBride Holy Trinity Rutgers Russell Athletic Bowl Devante McFarlane Half Hollow Hills West  Syracuse

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Ryan Norton Garden City  Syracuse

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Omari Palmer Longwood Syracuse 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Ryan Sloan Bellport Syracuse 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Alessandro Troia Manhasset UCLA Holiday Bowl Scott Vallone St. Anthony's Rutgers Russell Athletic Bowl Adam Waheed Commack SMU Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Devon Watkis Longwood Rutgers Russell Athletic Bowl Robert Welsh St. Anthony's Syracuse 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

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THE SOCIAL WORKER December 14, 2012 at 02:40 AM
the catholic schools really turn out the numbers and the scholarship money !!! wow
Dr. Remulak December 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM
One day, a couple of these young men will be able to tell their grandkids: "Yep, I played in the "Beef O Brady's Bowl."
Jason Molinet December 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Not a great name. But I bet it will be an unforgettable experience.

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