Milford High's Marco Monteiro, from Brazil, commits to play football at Brown University – Milford Daily News

MILFORD — Marco Monteiro had never played football before. Where he grew up in Brazil, they didn’t have American football.
In the summer of 2018, two years after moving to Milford from Brazil, Monteiro put on shoulder pads for the first time as an incoming freshman at Milford High.
Three years later, the Milford High senior has signed a commitment to attend an Ivy League school and play Division I college football.
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In front of teammates, coaches and administrators at Milford High on Dec. 15, 2021, Monteiro put pen to paper to officially ink his commitment to play at Brown University.
“I never even knew what Brown University was. Growing up in a foreign country, everybody knows Harvard. You know, Harvard, Harvard,” Monteiro said. “But I just signed a paper to attend one of the best schools in the country and it’s so surreal.”
Monteiro’s mother was born in Brazil. His father in Russia.
Moving to the United States when he was 12 years old, Monteiro didn’t take long to adapt to life in America.
“I was fluent in English in sixth months,” he said. “So it wasn’t too bad.”
The now-18-year-old is fluent in both English and Portuguese. Monteiro can read, write and speak both languages. He can speak a little Russian, too.
Growing up in a small town called Novo Mexico on the east coast of Espírito Santo, Monteiro naturally played soccer. The burly kid parked himself in front of the net as a goalkeeper.
But when Monteiro met Milford High athletic director Peter Boucher in eighth grade, the tall teenager told Boucher that he wanted to give a different sport a try.
“In walks this gigantic young man, towering over me and I’m looking up at him and I said ‘You’re in eighth grade, are you sure?” Boucher recalled. “… Then I said ‘Do you want to play football?’ And this is a quote (he said) ‘I just want to hit people.’”
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In his first season of playing football, Monteiro suited up for the Milford High freshman team. He played mostly on the defensive line. A year later, he played on JV yet started in three games on varsity.
“By his sophomore year, we knew he was going to be special,” said classmate and teammate Alex McColl.
Monteiro began to really make a name for himself during his junior campaign, shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, Monteiro’s gridiron prowess caught the eye of first-year Milford head coach Dale Olson, who wasn’t shy about sending college coaches information about this crown jewel he stumbled upon in Milford that needed a little bit of polishing.
“He surrounded himself with great people,” Olson said. “I introduced him to some great people, he started training with some college-elite lineman and he just kept working hard.”
Starting at right guard for the Scarlet Hawks this past fall, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman played a spirited style of football. A senior captain, Monteiro dominated the line of scrimmage for a Scarlet Hawks offense that averaged over 26 points per game and advanced to the Division 2 state semifinals. Monteiro was named to the MHSFA All-State team and was a Daily News All-Star.
Check out: The Daily News All-Stars for football
“He’s a dog,” Milford senior captain Angelo Romero said. “He’s a baller.”
“Every play, it’s a pancake,” Milford senior Jayden Archeval said.
“Marco is still raw and so eager to learn and wants to be great,” Olson said. “You can’t replace a Marco Monteiro. But moving on to Brown, I think they have a steal.”
Just outside the doors of the Milford High gymnasium on Dec. 15, 2021, Monteiro sat down at a table next to his mother, Nelzette Welten.
The table was draped in a scarlet-colored cloth. Adorning the top were two white football helmets and one brown football. After a few brief speeches by Milford High Principal Josh Otlin, Boucher and Olson, Monteiro signed to commit to Brown.
Finishing a 📝 for @MetroWestSports on Milford senior Marco Monteiro (@Hawks74Monteiro), who recently sign his NLI to play football at @BrownUniversity. It’s been quite the journey for Monteiro, who never played football until he moved from Brazil to America a few years ago. pic.twitter.com/1e0aUJllM2
“I’m very proud and happy that he’s going to school there,” said his mother through an interpreter. “I knew that whatever he put his mind to he would excel in it because he’s a very smart kid. I just never thought it would be football.”
Monteiro plans to play on the offensive line for the school located in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood. He’ll be close to water – the Providence River is only a few streets away from campus – like his days spent in Brazil.
Football turned out to be a great fit.
“Just looking back four years ago, I never thought I’d be in this situation that I am now and that’s big ups to my teammates and coaches,” Monteiro said. “It’s still hard to sink it in. I’m going to be a collegiate athlete and it’s all thanks to God.”
“Him signing (on Dec. 15) is probably the proudest moment in my coaching career in 27 years,” Olson said. “From where Marco started his journey to now and how much he’s developed is just so rewarding to see.
“We’re surely going to miss Marco at Milford.”
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Tommy Cassell is a senior multimedia journalist for the Daily News. He can be reached at tcassell@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @tommycassell44.

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