Colasurdo named as finalist for 2019 Mr. Football Award
By Justin Mathis
Photos By Lisa Colasurdo
INMAN, S.C. – It may be an off week on the regular season schedule for the Chapman Panthers, but they have went about business like they normally would during a game week, including one player in particular.
Chapman quarterback Mikele Colasurdo was one of seven finalists that were chosen last week for the 2019 South Carolina Mr. Football Award.
“I’m super thankful and super honored,” Colasurdo said. “I’m really, really thankful to be nominated and blessed to be part of a program where that is possible because not a lot of players get that opportunity.”
“It’s well deserved,” said assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Grey Ramsey. “Whether it’s in the classroom or the way he acts on the field. Obviously, his numbers speak for themselves, but he’s really grown into everything that we could ever ask for from our captain. We’ve been fortunate in the past four years to have two guys at the quarterback position.”
Not only an efficient passer, Mikele is a strong, fullback type rusher, compiling 10 TD's on 34 carries through 8 games in 2019
Colasurdo is only the second player in Chapman history to be selected as a nominee for the award, joining Colton Bailey, who was a finalist in 2017.
“I’m really, really close with Colton,” Colasurdo stated. “That’s been a pretty cool thing. He congratulated me (after the announcement). This is really special – you can’t take anything for granted.”
During the last game of the 2017 season, Colasurdo was called on to finish the contest as a result of an injury to Bailey. According to Ramsey, Colasurdo has grown considerably as a player, but more importantly as a person, since his first day at Chapman.
“Mikele was thrown into a tough spot,” Ramsey explained. “He was coming off of labrum surgery on his shoulder, so we worked him back in (to the game) slow and had an opportunity to get him some reps as we progressed through the playoffs.”
“And then, Colton goes down in the state championship and we throw (Mikele) in. He played well enough for us to win the football game… From that moment forward, he really took the keys to the program and accepted the role.”
Ramsey, a former Chapman quarterback himself, understands what is expected of the field generals at Chapman, having helped guide the Panthers to their first state championship appearance during his senior season in 2007.
“I think it helps that (playing QB at Chapman) was something that I experienced when we had a lot of success,” said Ramsey. “He understands that we have high expectations at this position here and he has embraced it. He has fulfilled his role as our quarterback and our leader, I think, better than we could have ever expected.”
“It’s been quite a journey,” Colasurdo recalled. “Coach Ramsey and I are real close. You go back and think of all the times where it feels like he’s getting on to me for no reason and all of the bad practices. Then, you get to where you are today and realize that he had a vision in mind and he knew what I was capable of. He wanted nothing but to push me towards that goal, so I’m very thankful for him, Coach Hodge, Coach McAbee, and all they do.”
Despite all of the success that he has experienced during his high school career, the senior signal caller was quick to point out a number of people who have played huge roles in said success.
“Dante (Smith) and Brandon (Jones) have done a great job (at running back) all year long,” he said. “When they drop eight, we can hand it off and go 80 (yards) anytime. Not everyone can say that – it’s really special. Then, you have receivers who can make some awesome plays.”
Hand-off to #4 Brandon Jones Colasurdo calls for the snap with Dante Smith #18 ready for the hand-off.
“Ben (Rollins) is as fast as anybody, (Da’Shun Mitchell) is big, and Walt (Waddell) is big. It’s really nice having guys that you can go to when you’re in a jam. The offensive line has done an awesome job as well. Coach McAbee always has those guys ready to go. I’m nothing but thankful for them.”
Colasurdo, who also is a 2019 Shrine Bowl selection, has thrown for 4,268 yards and 50 touchdowns, while rushing for 679 yards and 19 touchdowns, since becoming the starting quarterback for the Panthers at the start of the 2018 season.
Through 8 games in 2019 Mikele is 88 of 128 for 1642 yards and 17 TD's passing
The winner of the 2019 South Carolina Mr. Football Award will be announced on Saturday, December 14th, during halftime of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach.