Every week Morris Sussex Sports, along with co-sponsors Football University and Parisi Speed School of Morristown & Sparta, identify one player out of the 37 teams we cover as our Player of the Week. We look beyond just stats. Our goal is to honor the best individual performance and how that effort was able to lift his team beyond its perceived boundaries. If you play varsity football in Morris Sussex next week just could quite possibly be your turn to be the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Parisi Speed School.
This season has been nothing short of incredible with all of the amazing personal and team performances from Morris-Sussex so far. Week 5 was no different as Delbarton QB Miles Leniw went off for 335-yards and 3 TDs passing against Seton Hall, Sparta QB Anthony Broccoletti continued his 2017 rampage with his 300-yard and 1 TD performance in the Spartans win over West Milford and Morris Knolls kicker Ryan McEntee showed he has ice in his veins as he drilled basically a walk-off 22-yard field goal to beat Roxbury 10-7.
However, there was one player who’s impact in his game was just that much more special. Parsippany Hills’ sophomore phenom EJ Comerford went absolutely bonkers in the Vikings win over Jefferson. After coming off a 7-7 first half, Comerford single handily changed the entire game by picking up not one, not two, but three interceptions in the 3rd quarter alone and returned one for a touchdown. Offensively he was Johnny-on-the-spot as he caught three passes for 55-yards, including another touchdown. He also added 7 solo tackles. It was this performance that earned Comerford the FBU Player of the Week Powered by Parisi for Week 5!
We caught up with Comerford to talk about this past week’s performance, what it’s like to play for Coach Albano and who his role model is.
Morris Sussex Sports: Does your team enjoy making opponents think it’s close before you blow them out in the 2nd Half?
EJ Comerford: We pride ourselves on coming out of the second half and dominating.
MSS: What would you have said if I told you before the season that you would have 6 INTs by Week 5 and were one of the leaders in the state for picks?
EJ: I would have not believed you. I would’ve laughed and said I would be lucky to get two.
MSS: What’s it like playing for Coach Albano?
EJ: To play for a coach with as much respect as Coach Albano does is awesome! He knows how to win and it’s a lot of fun playing for him. Growing up. my friends and I would always talk about playing for him one day.
MSS: How much confidence does it give you having such a veteran like QB Nick Verducci who’s been to MetLife twice and has one ring?
EJ: Our team as a whole feels more relaxed that we have a 4-year starter at quarterback. He is a great leader and he is probably the smartest player I have ever played with.
MSS: Is it weird that you were literally watching Nick play varsity football when you were basically a kid (when Nick was a varsity starter as a frosh) and now you are in the huddle with him as a teammate?
EJ: I remember watching him play at MetLife and talking to him after the game. He was a celebrity in our town and now I get to play with him.
MSS: What current or past NFL player would you compare Nick to?
EJ: Marcus Mariota
MSS: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your team?
EJ: We just want to win, however that is accomplished. Nobody on the team is selfish.
MSS: What would surprise people about this group?
EJ: The brotherhood that we have. Everybody is friends with everybody and everyone loves each other.
MSS: What was your “welcome to varsity football” moment?
EJ: Getting pancaked over and over again during the first quarter in Week 1 against West Morris.
MSS: Who was the best player you ever played against?
EJ: Michael Roumes from Roxbury
MSS: Who is your role model?
EJ: My dad because he pushes me to be the best I can be and knows what I need to do to get there.
MSS: What current or former NFL player do you think resembles you on the field?
EJ: Luke Kuechly
MSS: Do you have any pregame rituals?
EJ: Before every game we play our same playlist and say a team prayer.
MSS: Who is the hardest working player on the team?
EJ: Any of the four captains, Justin Gurth, Vinnie Bianchi, Nick Verducci and Wilson Done, are all extremely hardworking.
MSS: Who is the funniest?
EJ: Padrick Beggs. He laughs at anything and makes a joke out of anything, especially himself…which makes it even funnier.
MSS: Who’s finishing 1-2-3 in a chin-up contest?
EJ: Kevin Minardi, Wilson Done, Nick Verducci.
MSS: Who on your team would last the longest in a survival situation if they were lost in the forest?
EJ: Vinnie Bianchi because spends days at a time camping in the woods for hunting.
MSS: What was the funniest thing that ever happened in practice or in a game?
EJ: One practice, all of us switched practice jerseys and Coach Albano thought Vinnie was Nick during quarterback drills for a few minutes (laughs).
MSS: This season will be a resounding success if…
EJ: …Parsippany Hills wins the state championship.
MSS: Congrats EJ, and best of luck the rest of the way!