By Cary Shuman
Anthony Fucillo is in Denmark today preparing to begin his career in professional football.
The Tufts University graduate and record-setting quarterback will be playing for the AAB 89ers in the Denmark professional football league.
Fucillo was the starting quarterback for two seasons at Tufts after playing at Colgate University. He was voted by his Tufts teammates as the Most Valuable Player. His 2010 season was off the charts: Fucillo broke every single-season passing record in Tufts history, set a New England record, and two NESCAC records. He was also a team captain for two years.
The flashy statistics and professional size (he’s 6-foot-3, 220 pounds) raised the eyes of scouts and in addition to the offer to play professionally in Denmark, Fucillo is also on the radar of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.
“I talked to some players who had competed in the Denmark league and felt that the best decision was to sign with the AAB 89ers,” said Fucillo.
It safely can be said that Fucillo has crossed the prestigious line from collegiate (amateur) to professional athletics. His travel, apartment, living, food, and cell phone expenses are being paid for and he will receive a salary for the 10-game season that begins in April.
Fucillo’s team will have a pre-season scrimmage in Germany but all regular season games will be played in Denmark. He will be throwing the football to a wide receiver who won two national championships at Grand Valley State.
How does it feel to be a professional athlete?
“It’s definitely exciting,” said Fucillo, who was a football, hockey, and baseball player at Winthrop High. “I think it’s a stepping stone because I hope that I can come to the United States and continue to play at a higher level. Right now I think this is a good opportunity to see the world a little bit.”
Fucillo’s road to pro football began at Miller Field in the youth football program. He played four seasons for the WHS Vikings under the direction of his father, newly named Hall of Fame coach Tony Fucillo, who is the Tufts receivers coach. Though he missed winning the Northeastern Conference championship by a game [mainly due to an incredibly cold and windy night versus Gloucester], his brother, James, later quarterbacked the Vikings to a Super Bowl championship.
“I definitely learned the most from my father,” said Anthony. “It kind of started and ended with my father. He’s always been there and now he’s working at Tufts. He’s been my personal trainer for the last month. We work out together. He’s the person who knows the most about football and the guy that’s studied the game and the positions. I learned so much from him throughout the years and I’ve never met someone more educated and smart in the game as my father is.”
And now Anthony is carrying on the Fucillo family’s football legacy in Europe.