LYNN — During the past four seasons, English senior Matt Severance dominated on the gridiron for the school’s football team. He took over as English’s starting quarterback as a freshman and it didn’t take him long to emerge as a top signal-caller in the Northeastern Conference. Severance also wreaked havoc on defense as a starting safety, where he led the Bulldogs with 123 tackles and five interceptions last season.
Thus, it was never in doubt that Severance would continue his football career at the collegiate level. Wednesday night at Paul F. Cavanagh Field House, Severance made his future endeavors official when he signed a letter of intent to play at Division II Bentley University. He was joined by friends, family and teammates at a brief ceremony.
“(English football) Coach (Chris) Carroll went to Bentley,” Severance, who plans to study business, said. “He kind of introduced it to me. The people at Bentley showed me love from the whole process. It’s an overall good environment. It kind of resembles Lynn English.
“I considered a couple schools in the NESCAC. I was aiming for a few Ivy (League) schools but it just came down to Bentley and how they treated me. I just love everything about that.”
Severance said the recruiting process was stressful at times. He weighed his options and made his decision after putting plenty of thought into it.
“It’s definitely a good feeling,” Severance said. “These past couple months have definitely been stressful. It’s definitely good to know where I’m going and know that my future’s kind of set out. It’s all uphill from here.
“It was challenging,” Severance said of the recruiting process. “There were obviously some ups and downs. I met a lot of good people along the way. There were a lot of people that believed in me, some that didn’t. I didn’t take it for granted. I definitely enjoyed it and I’m glad with my decision.”
Last season, Severance helped lead English to an 8-3 record. A two-year team captain, Severance threw for 1,475 passing yards and tossed 14 touchdown passes. He also ran for 389 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the ground. Severance, who holds English’s all-time record for passing yardage, was named the MVP of the NEC South and the Item’s Edward H. Cahill Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with a 12-0 win over crosstown rival Classical on Thanksgiving.
But what he’ll miss the most about his English career, Severance noted, is the friendships he built wearing the maroon and white uniform.
“Our environment, the coaches and teammates, I’m definitely going to miss that bond,” Severance said. “I’ve been playing with most of these guys for four years. Coach Carroll and the coaching staff have coached me for four years. It’s going to be different but I’m definitely excited.”
The Falcons compete in the Northeast 10 Conference. They went 4-6 last season but finished the year on the upswing with three wins in their last four games. Bentley went 6-4 in 2017, which was the team’s best season in coach Bill Kavanaugh’s five-year tenure.
“They’re definitely competitive,” Severance said. “From meeting the coaches and the players, I know they’re always ready to work. That’s what I’m all about.”
Carroll, a 2009 Bentley graduate who played defensive back for the Falcons, feels Severance will excel at the next level.
“I think Matt will do tremendous at the next level,” Carroll said. “I know what his work ethic is. I know he’s going to put everything he has into it. I have no doubt in my mind he’s going to do very well and succeed at the next level.”