- Last Updated: 2:23 AM, January 28, 2012
- Posted: 1:11 AM, January 27, 2012
The College of the Holy Cross coaches weren’t the first people from the program Kenny Acquah told of his commitment to play football there. That distinction Thursday belonged to his old brother, Gary, a sophomore linebacker for the Crusaders.
“When I told him that’s where I wanted to go he was really excited,” Kenny Acquah, a senior, said. “He went and told the coaching staff right away.”
At first there was a little hesitance to again try to follow in his brother’s footsteps. They played a season together on the varsity at Mount St. Michael when Gary was an All-City first team selection by The Post. The next year, as a junior, Kenny was immediately compared to Gary. They have similar body types and skill sets.
Kenny likely possesses a little more speed and Gary an extra bit of brute strength. Playing the same positions – fullback and linebacker – only added to it. He let it put some added pressure on him at first, said Mount coach Mario Valentini, but embraced the comparisons as he got older.
“In the beginning I thought I might want to go to a different school and make my own mark,” Kenny Acquah said. “After really thinking about it, I felt it’s not a bad thing to go and play with him.”
In the end, he felt just too at home at the Patriot League school from his visits to see Gary and dealings with head coach Tom Gilmore and his staff. Acquah chose Holy Cross over Lehigh and Bryant, also stressing their academics and excellent pre-law program.
The Crusaders were originally recruiting him as a running back. Instead he asked them about playing defense, where he was more comfortable and saw an opportunity for playing time. Holy Cross will be graduating the bulk of its linebackers.
“I think that’s where he fits in best,” Valentini said. “He is a physical player. He runs well, so he can get to the ball. His reaction is real good.”
Acquah, an All-City second team selection on defense this year by The Post, spent the most of the last season just playing defense after hurting his ankle in a win over Farrell. He was one of the leaders on one of the CHSFL’s best and most explosive defenses, which allowed just 158 points in 10 games.
Acquah was a consistent run stopper up the middle and was a threat to pick off passes. At fullback, he averaged 6.5 yards a carry and was a first down waiting to happen. He scored eight touchdowns, including three in a Turkey Bowl win against rival Cardinal Hayes.
“He’s got real good football instincts,” Valentini said.
Acquah is trusting those instincts and his heart when it comes to his college choice and reuniting with his brother.
“I’ve been up there a couple of times and spent time with my brother and see how much he likes it,” Acquah said. “Every time I was up there, I had a great time. It was a thought that was always in the back of my mind that it would be a great thing to play with him again.”Follow @NYPostsports