Matt Cannone is a 3-sport athlete at Salem High School. But when it comes which sport is his favorite, it's no secret that he is a football player first and foremost.
"It's been a great 4 years at Salem" said Cannone, who also plays basketball and baseball for the Blue Devils.
Well, Cannone will now be able to play 4 more years of football, this time at the college level. The 6'2" quarterback has committed to attend and play football at Bates College in Maine.
Cannone led Salem to the 2009 Division I state championship as a junior, when he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Mike Lorenz. He was a 3-year starter at quarterback, and also played defensive back his senior season. Cannone has a strong, accurate arm, he makes good decisions with the football, he plays hard on every play and he is an exceptional leader.
Interview With Matt Cannone
Jeremy Leveille: What other schools were you considering and what were the deciding factors in your decision?
Matt Cannone: I was hearing consistently weekly from Holy Cross, Brown, Lehigh, Assumption, Merrimack, Bates, Bowdoin and Trinity throughout the season. I took visits to all of these schools except for Lehigh. My ultimate decision came down to Merrimack (where I was offered a great athletic and academic scholarship), Trinity (offered a spot), and Bates. During the summer Bates told me I was their top national recruit for the incoming class and they really treated me like it which was a big factor in my decision. The opportunity to go in and have a real shot at winning the starting QB job as a freshman and get an education from a top liberal arts school was something I could not pass up on. Most of the guys in the NESCAC are guys who could also play in the Ivy or Patriot Leagues so the competition is great. Bates is on the rise for football and I look forward making an immediate impact.
JL: How do you see yourself fitting in with the Bates offense?
MC: Bates runs a triple option offense out of a shotgun look. It will be a nice change from coming out of under center like I was at Salem. The offense is built around the QB where the QB has to make split second decisions on every play. They throw the ball on upwards from 20 to 30 times a game which I consider to be my strength. Coach Harriman, the head coach and QB coach saw me at a couple camps this summer and thought I would be a perfect fit to run their offense. I know that when I make the commitment to train like I did coming into my senior season it will be an easy transition for me.
JL: Fondest memory of playing at Salem?
MC: Playing QB and Safety at Salem was a great experience for me and playing for Coach Gati allowed me to learn from the state's best. Although we were not a passing offense I finished with over 2,500 career yards and winning the state championship my junior season was by far my fondest memory. Throwing the game winning touchdown pass was something I will never forget but it was how we got there and the team chemistry which made it so great. It was tough to go out the way we did this year by losing in the semi-finals, but we bounced back and beat a solid Lawrence team on Thanksgiving morning which finished off a great 3 years of playing QB at Salem.
JL: What do you plan on studying at Bates?
MC: I plan on studying Economics at Bates.
Congratulations to Matt, and best of luck at Bates!