By Cary Shuman
The smallest state in America has landed one of Everett High football’s biggest stars.
Duane Binns, a returning All-Scholastic linebacker and key player during Everett’s run to the Division 1 state title last season, has committed to the University of Rhode Island for the fall of 2018.
Binns, a 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pound senior, said he visited URI and liked “the school environment, the coaches, the campus, and the academic and athletic facilities.”
Binns also considered Bryant University and Central Connecticut State University before deciding to accept a scholarship from URI where tuition/room and board for out-of-state students is roughly $45,000 per year.
Binns has been on college programs’ radars after a superlative junior season in which he became one of the state’s best defensive players. He was instrumental in the Tide’s 21-7 victory over Xaverian in the Division 1 Super Bowl. His steady development also serves as a testament to the mentorship of Head Coach John DiBiaso and Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire who have sent a lone line of Everett players on to the college football ranks.
Binns is grateful to DiBiaso and the assistant coaches for their guidance in the college recruitment process and for developing his football skills.
“Coach [DiBiaso] is the best coach ever – he’s like Bill Belichick of the Patriots,” said Binns. “I’m getting the best coaching there is.”
DiBiaso is looking for a big senior year from Binns.
“We’re looking forward to him having a great season,” said DiBiaso. “I like his intensity, his attitude, and he’s gotten better every year which is a sign of a good player that they keep improving.”
Assistant Coach Mike Ruth, winner of the Outland Trophy during his football career at Boston College, said Binns is deserving of the recognition and scholarship from URI.
“Duane is one of the best kids you’ll ever meet,” said Ruth. “He is an outstanding athlete and football player.”
“Binns is awesome. He’s a good player who works very hard,” said Defensive Coordinator Carlos Ruiz, who played linebacker for Everett and earned two Super Bowl rings in 1997 and 1999. “Duane is the strong side linebacker. He sets the edge.”
Binns is slated to return to his outside linebacker position for the Tide, joining Jordan Riggs and Joshua Miller and others in the middle of the defense.
“We’re just looking to work hard every day and give it all we got,” said Binns. “Our coaches, Coach [Mike] Ruth, Coach Carlos [Ruiz], and Coach Matt [McLaughlin] are doing a great job getting us ready for the season.”
Binns is a strong candidate for a captain’s position, according to coach John DiBiaso.
“I just want to lead by example and show everybody the right path,” said Binns. “I want to remain humble and do what I have to do to succeed”
He’s looking forward to the start of the season and the much-anticipated inter-sectional matchup with Xaverian in a rematch of the 2017 Super Bowl. Everett is ranked No. 1 in the North in the Herald poll while Xaverian is No. 1 in the South. It will also be Everett’s Homecoming for the Sept. 9 showdown.
“I’m very excited about the Xaverian game,” said Binns, son of Duane Binns Sr. and Tonita yazeha. “We had a huge crowd at the Super Bowl but I think you may see even more people at this game. The Everett community is 100 percent behind us and really supports us.”
Everett will scrimmage Brockton Tuesday at Everett Memorial Stadium. The Boxers are traditionally a strong team and a contender in the Division 1 South.
Quarterback Jake Willcox has looked sharp in the opening workouts, firing strikes to a very talented receiving corps that features Jason Maitre, Anthony Norcia, Mike Sainristil, Isaiah Likely, and David Zorilla.
Former EHS standout Victor Ruiz is an assistant coach at Lynn Classical who will be scrimmaging Everett in a jamboree on Sept. 1. Classical’s new head coach is Brian Vaughan of Everett, who played college football at Northeastern University.
And speaking of Northeastern, the “Dan Ross Way” leading in to Everett Stadium is a tremendous tribute to the former Everett, Northeastern, and Cincinnati Bengals star. The classy sign is a nod to the greatness of Ross and his majestic presence in the Crimson Tide program.
Even John DiBiaso, whose teams have played in front of some of the largest crowds in Massachusetts, expects the Homecoming game to attract a mammoth audience “That’s going to be crazy – I don’t even want to think about that yet.”
Everett’s Homecoming is truly a “can’t miss” event for high school football fans.