For Abou Toure, it was a long road to signing a letter of intent to play college football.
Now that he will be receiving a full scholarship to play at the Div. I level, he couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Toure, who yesterday put pen to paper on his commitment to play football at Utah State University. “I can’t wait to get out there and compete for playing time.”
Toure has taken a roundabout route to the Western Athletic Conference since graduating from Framingham High School in 2010. He spent a year at Valley Forge (Pa.) Military College, where he earned first-team All-Eastern Pa. Collegiate Conference honors as a running back. Valley Forge is the same school that produced NFL standouts Larry Fitzgerald and Julian Peterson.
“I’m so proud of that kid. He’s made a lot of sacrifices,” said Framingham High coach Gary Doherty, who saw Toure rush for 1,204 yards and 11 TDs as a senior in 2009. “I asked him after his senior year, ‘How did you stay out of trouble?’ He said ‘I didn’t go out.’ To him, going out was coming to the weight room and working out.”
Toure transferred closer to home for this school year, attending Dean College in Franklin. After scoring two touchdowns in a 20-18 loss to Navy Prep in Dean’s first game, he suffered a high ankle sprain in a scrimmage against the Yale varsity the following week.
The injury didn’t hurt schools’ interest in him, though.
“They were recruiting me for a while, and I had a feeling they were going to offer me a scholarship,” said Toure. “(Wednesday) they said they’d officially offer, and I signed the letter of intent (Thursday) morning.”
At Utah State, Toure will have three years of eligibility remaining.
He also drew recent interest from Maine, Bethune Cookman and Boston College, and said Doherty’s assistance was an integral part of the process.
“Coach Doherty was a big help,” Toure said. “He spread my name out to a lot of schools, put in a really good word for me. He’s done a lot for me since high school, and I wouldn’t be at Dean without him. Dean also helped get me a lot of exposure, even though I got hurt.”
Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, Toure was recruited mostly by Aggies running backs coach Ilaisa Tuiaki. The Aggies finished last year 7-6 (5-2 WAC), losing the Idaho Potato Bowl to Ohio, 24-23.
“They told me they needed a big back to come in and contribute right away,” Toure said.
As for its location in Logan, UT, Toure isn’t too worried about culture shock.
“If it’s going to be better for my future, I’m all for it,” he said. “I might be homesick for a week, but then I’ll be good.”