When the 2015 high school football season ended, Braden River needed a quarterback to replace departing Jacob Huesman, who led the Pirates to the program’s first state semifinal and headed to Appalachian State for college football.
Louis Colosimo was just looking for a chance to play.
After leaving Staples High School in Westport, Conn., for IMG Academy, Colosimo played in four games for the junior varsity team before falling behind Shea Patterson, who is now at Ole Miss, on IMG’s quarterback depth chart last season.
His college football future needed a change.
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So Colosimo and his parents, Louis Sr. and Denise, researched the area’s programs that had strong academics and solid football.
The answer was Braden River and a transfer to the East Manatee County school following a month-long search took place earlier this year.
“It’s never easy, he’s been at three high schools now and that’s not what we ever intended,” said Louis Colosimo Sr., whose other son John plays basketball at Out-of-Door Academy. “We’re not moving him around every year to find the best football spot. ... It’s hard on the kid, but he’s a smart kid. He knows what he wants. He’s thoughtful about it, he knew it was the right decision.”
Since his arrival, Colosimo won the Pirates’ starting quarterback job and picked up two college football offers: Bryant University, an FCS school, and Division II’s Bentley University in Massachusetts.
Ivy League schools are interested, too, though they don’t give out college offers like non-Ivy programs do.
And those non-Ivy programs might amp their interest up based on how Colosimo has morphed into one of the area’s top quarterbacks.
His ascension began in the spring, when he joined the Pirates and quickly meshed with his new teammates.
Then after running an offense that features powerful running backs Raymond Thomas and Deshaun Fenwick through most of the fall without needing to do too much, Colosimo and the Pirates met fellow state-ranked team Venice in a mid-October showdown.
Colosimo delivered 469 passing yards in a loss to the Indians, and followed that with a 291-yard game and three touchdowns to avoid elimination from playoff contention the next week at Palmetto.
“I was really excited getting the passing game going,” he said.
Colosimo’s performances this season for the playoff-bound Pirates hasn’t gone unnoticed with the coaches at his previous stop, IMG Academy. In fact, Colosimo is still friends with some former teammates at IMG and some of those players were decked out in IMG gear during a visit to Venice to watch Colosimo carve up the Indians’ secondary in a 42-35 shootout loss.
“He was in the program from really the start up to 2 1/2 years, and it’s great to see him have success and be able to have a great senior year,” IMG head coach Kevin Wright said. “I think it will eventually give him the opportunity to play at the college level next year.”
To date, he’s thrown just one interception and completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,488 yards and 21 touchdowns. His completion percentage and 10.19 yards per attempt ranks first among county signal-callers, while he’s fifth in passing yards. And that’s with several games this season where he’s only played one half with Braden River outscoring opponents 279-35 in seven victories.
“You come to a place where you’re going to be compared to Jacob Huesman and those things, and that’s natural,” Braden River head coach Curt Bradley said. “ ‘Well, how’s his ball compared to Jake’s?’ Those things. So that’s tough to have that kind of lingering over your shoulder the whole time. He really won the team over in the spring with his work ethic and performance, and shown some leadership that’s grown.”
In addition to his work ethic, Colosimo’s success in picking up offensive coordinator Eric Sanders’ playbook this fall is steeped in how perceptive he is at listening to coaches.
“When you tell him to do something, he applies it, no questions asked,” Sanders said. “He understands it. If he doesn’t understand it, he asks why we’re doing this, why we’re doing that. Just an easy guy to coach.”