WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Michael Alaimo stopped playing baseball and basketball following his freshman year to focus on football.
Based on Wednesday’s developments – the quarterback from New Jersey committed to Purdue – this was a wise decision. However, St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, New Jersey)’s coach Augie Hoffmann is convinced the 6-foot-4, 220-pound blonde-haired Alaimo could still play at a high level in those other two sports.
“He’s a special talent,” Hoffmann said. “He’s got a big arm and what people don’t really know about Michael, he’s probably one of if not the best overall athlete in the school.
“He’s the type of kid that if you needed him to play point guard, he would go out there and score 15 and have 10, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. If he had to go play baseball, he would be shortstop and he would go 3-for-4 that day. He’s that naturally gifted.”
Hoffmann’s words carry weight.
He guided the Green Knights to the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 state championship, capping a 10-2 season. Last year’s team was filled with plenty of talent, who will continue their college careers at a handful of Power 5 programs. St. Joseph’s was named the 14th annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions.
— Mike Alaimo (@michael_alaimo) June 19, 2019
Alaimo’s talents have been the target of numerous programs, collecting scholarship offers before his junior season, but the final decision came down to the Boilermakers and Michigan State, Hoffmann said. He’s the top quarterback in New Jersey and rated No. 13 nationally, according to 247sports.com
He was on Purdue’s campus Monday for an official visit.
“It’s been a long process for him,” Hoffmann said. “It took a lot of thought and he did his homework, visited a bunch of places and Purdue was on him from the beginning.
“He really hit it off with the two Brohms (Jeff and Brian). He enjoyed them both obviously being quarterbacks themselves. It’s a great fit for him. He loved the campus and he felt really at home there and thought the opportunity to get on the field was strong.”
Last season, Alaimo completed 102 of 186 passes for 1,450 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He is the seventh known commitment in Purdue’s 2020 recruiting class after Tennessee defensive back Antonio Stevens announced his decision to join the Boilermakers later Wednesday.
“He’s a student of the game and he works at it,” Hoffmann said. “When he’s not with us, he’s constantly working on his craft. He’s in the gym, he’s throwing, and he understands the position and where to go with the ball. He has the ability to improvise and if he has to run the ball he can do that. He’s a big body. It’s going to be hard tackling that kid.”