Greenwich's Nastahowski set to continue football career at Temple
Updated 7:40 pm, Thursday, January 10, 2013
Watching Shane Nastahowski excel on both sides of the ball at Greenwich High School, it was apparent that his football career wasn't going to end once he left the Cardinals.
The 2012 Greenwich graduate brought his skills to Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., for one post graduate season, now he's primed to compete on the collegiate level.
The 6-foot-1, 221-pound linebacker recently committed to play football at Temple University -- a school that's been on his radar for quite a while.
"It's been a long process, so it felt great to make that decision," Nastahowski said. "I'm looking forward to going down to Temple to continue the hard work I've been putting in all these years."
The hard-hitting linebacker also drew interest from Pittsburgh, Penn State, the University of Massachusetts and several Division II schools, but he felt the most loyalty from Philadelphia-based Temple.
"Temple has been looking at me since high school and they kept following me through prep school," Nastahowski said. "I have visited the school a few times and I like the fact that it's right in the heart of the city. The team is also improving."
Nastahowski, a Hearst Connecticut Newspapers All-Star in 2011, is also looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at Temple. He will join former Hearst All-Stars Tyler Matakevich (St. Joseph graduate) and Montrell Dobbs (Ansonia) at Temple. Matakevich, a linebacker, was recently named to the freshman All-America team, registering a team-high 101 tackles. He was named the 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year.
"Tyler told me that Temple is a great place to play and I'm looking forward to being on the same team with such great player," Nastahowski said. "He said the coaching staff is really involved and dedicated and now that Temple is in the Big East they needed good players to help the program keep improving."
Milford Academy has certainly provided a pipeline of talent to the Owls. Besides Nastahowski, running back Brandon Peoples, defensive tackle Averee Robinson and defensive tackle Kiser Terry, all of whom played on Milford's 2012 squad, are going to Temple.
"That's going to help the transition a lot," Nastahowski said. "It makes it easier because I'm going to school with guys that I know and I've been hanging out with for almost a year."
The Owls, who recruited Nastahowski as a middle linebacker, finished 4-7 overall and 2-5 in their first season in the Big East. They will be led by first-year head coach Matt Rhule, who most recently served as assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants. Rhule replaced Steve Addazio, who left Temple after two seasons. Addazio was hired as head coach at Boston College.
Nastahowski was the recipient of several awards following a standout senior season for the Cardinals in the fall of 2011. An All-FCIAC, All-State selection, he garnered the Big Red Trophy (Player of the Year) Hatchet Award (Defensive Player of the Year) and Chuck Zion Scholarship.
"Players from our league like Matakevich have had success at Temple and I think they're getting another great player in Shane," Greenwich football coach Rich Albonizio said. "Shane has the toughness to compete at the next level and nobody can ever question his work ethic. He's really made a big commitment to play football and I think he's going to have a great career at Temple."
Nastahowski relished his time as a member of the Cardinals football team.
"To have a chance to play on the same team with kids I competed with since we were kids in the GYFL was great," he said. "Playing for coach Al was a lot of fun. He taught us what it took to be a leader and how important it was to work hard."
A starter at middle linebacker at Milford, Nastahowski registered a team-high 64 tackles (38 solo tackles), had 2.5 sacks, recovered two fumbles and had an interception this past season.
"At Milford, I definitely matured as a player and a person," Nastahowski said. "The coaching staff pushed us to the limit. We had three tough workouts a day, one in full pads, which made us mentally tough. Our coaches were our teachers at the school too, so they knew us well and were always there for us."
Nastahowski's Temple days will begin soon. He's scheduled to attend orientation on Jan. 21, then it's time to hit the books for the upcoming semester.
"I'm looking forward to going down there and getting started," said Nastahowski, who indicated he may a pursue a major in business. "I'm going to focus on what I need to do get off to a good start."