BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—Senior Matt Bruno signed his letter-of-intent on Wednesday, February 3, to play Division 1 Football at Wagner College in New York. Bruno decided to enter the program as a preferred walk-on for the Seahawks.
As a three-sport varsity Gov. Livingston athlete, Bruno’s athletics have always been an integral part of his lifestyle. College athletics were a definite part of his equation.
Bruno did not always have the objective to play football in college. As a highly skilled baseball player, Bruno heavily weighed his options to play baseball at the collegiate level. His senior football season, however, changed his mind.
“Until about three weeks into football season, I was deeply considering playing baseball in college,” Bruno said, “As my senior football season carried on, I realized that I truly wanted to play football.”
Behind Bruno’s intensity, leadership, and athleticism, the GL football team led a successful 2015 campaign. Bruno played various positions on both sides of the ball throughout the season—positions essential for the GL victories.
After the GL squad lost two quarterbacks due to injury late in the season, Bruno’s versatility placed him as the new Highlander quarterback. His ability to adapt was proven as he stepped up to the plate as quarterback to defeat the Highlanders’ rival, New Providence, in the annual Thanksgiving Day Game.
As a starter on both sides of the ball, Bruno saw major successes in the GL program. He was a starter on the 2013 team that beat Bernards to make it to the playoffs—a moment the GL team will never forget. Bruno also started for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and is one of the few to beat New Providence, not only once, but twice, in his football career.
Bruno’s athleticism just scratches the surface of what he has to offer. His actions on the Gov. Livingston Football Team epitomize the hard work and leadership that are vital pieces to a Division 1 athlete.
Head GL Football Coach Dan Guyton praised Bruno for his position on the Highlander Squad as a three-year varsity starter.
“Although all of the seniors on the team are captains, Matt was one of the seniors who really stood out as one of our biggest and most impactful leaders,” Guyton said, “He really stepped up and exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
Not only did Bruno excel in football, but his natural athleticism poised him to be a three-sport varsity athlete. His ability to sink a three, box-out in the paint, or remain composed on the pitching mound establishes that versatility as a basketball, football, and baseball player.
“Matt’s an old school-type athlete in that he plays football, basketball, and baseball,” Guyton added, “He’s an all-around great kid that you can count on to lead his teammates and work hard.”
Although football became the decided victor in his choosing of collegiate sports, Bruno’s favorite sports memory at GL was in baseball, when the 2015 team won the Group 2 State Championship.
In the end, however, Bruno made the decision to play football because of his love for the game.
“I ended up choosing to play football over baseball and basketball because of my love for football,” Bruno said, “As my senior year came to an end, I realized that I could not imagine my life without football. There’s no feeling like strapping on the pads and running onto the field with your teammates.”
His desire to play football opened up the door to Wagner, where Bruno will dress in Seahawk uniform in the fall.
“Wagner’s football program is awesome. They have won the NEC twice in the past 5 years,” Bruno said, “It was not just the football program that won me over—the school itself is awesome. I knew from the moment I stepped on campus that this was the school for me.”