GREENVILLE — National signing day is an unofficial holiday for college football fans. For football players signing National Letters of Intent, it’s a dream come true.
On Wednesday, Greenville’s Colt Harrington and Greg Krusniak signed commitments to continue their football careers at the next level. Harrington — defensive lineman — signed with Northwood University, while Krusniak — tight end — signed with Ferris State University.
Both schools compete at the Division 2 level in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Greenville football coach Dave Moore said college football is a different world than what everyone is used to in high school.
“It’s a different world. High school is more caring, people look out for you and mom and dad are there every night,” Moore said. “At college, you are on your own. College football is more of a business and you better understand you have to walk in there with a business like attitude if you are going to succeed.”
Moore also said, both Harrington and Krusniak have a chance to succeed.
Harrington was a two-time Greenville MVP. In 2012, he earned first team O-K Bronze honors and was named The Daily News Defensive Player of the Year. In 2011, Harrington earned all-state honorable mention in Division 2.
In 30 years of coaching football, Moore said Harrington is one of the best he has coached.
“He is just a pure football player. Great effort all the time and on the field he is just nonstop,” Moore said. “That is what makes him great, the desire that he has to get to the football and make a play. If he does that in college he will be great.”
Harrington — who suffered a knee injury following his junior season — made it back on the field for the entire 2012 season. He finished with 71 tackles, 10 of those for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
“If you watched him on the field you probably don’t realize he ever had that injury,” Moore said. “The reality is, he will probably be even better a year from now, than he was this year with another year of coming back from the injury.”
The three-year varsity starter made plenty of college visits the past year, but liked everything about Northwood.
“I went on tons of visits this past year. I was at Northwood last year and was invited back for an evaluation,” Harrington said. “I liked the campus, coaching staff and everything about it.”
Harrington enjoyed the recruiting process, but said there was a lot of waiting.
“I wouldn’t say stressful, but it’s something different that you’re not used too,” Harrington said. “It’s a waiting game sometimes. It was an easy decision picking Northwood. They were first and I wasn’t going to turn them down.”
Krusniak is probably more known for his skills on the basketball court, but he decided to continue his athletic career playing football. It was something that changed this school year for him.
“We did great last year at 19-2 in basketball. It was a good season and I never really thought about football last year,” Krusniak said. “I broke my wrist (preseason football practice) and was out for three weeks. After I came back, football came strong for me after I came back.”
Moore said Krusniak has size as an advantage.
“You can’t make them taller, but you can make them stronger and faster,” Moore said. “Greg did a great job for us over the years. He caught a lot of passes and did a great job blocking at tight end. I think he will do great in school.”
Krusniak caught 11 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown in 2012. He was named first tea O-K Bronze, as well.
He chose Ferris State looking toward a future in education, mainly.
“I like the program at Ferris. I want to be a teacher and a coach and Ferris is good for that,” Krusniak said. “Coach (Tony) Annese is in his second year and looking to build a great program at Ferris State.”
Both Harrington and Krusniak have already received advice from their coaching staffs and will begin preparation for college.
“The strength and conditioning coach is going to get me a workout sheet within the next week,” Harrington said. “I will be following that every week to get ready and following what they are doing up there.”
“I need to work on my speed. I run a five (second) flat (40-yard dash),” Krusniak said. “Speed is the main thing overall, but also putting on a couple of pounds and getting stronger.”
Harrington and Krusniak join three former Greenville Yellow Jackets currently playing football in Division 2.
Zane Weaver is at Northern Michigan, while Justin Zimmer and Sean O’Brien are at Ferris State. All three graduated in 2011.