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A look at high school football throughout the state

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preview: T.J. Linta has big plans at Hamden Hall

Joe Linta is a football guy. The Connecticut-based sports agent represents numerous NFL players, including Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, as well as coaches like Romeo Crennel, Chris Palmer and Bill O’Brien.

He played nose guard at Yale and later coached there, both under the legendary Carm Cozza, his mentor. Now he’s beginning his second season at the helm of the Hamden Hall football team.

He’s also a dad, and it just so happens that his two sons — Nick, a senior, and T.J., a junior — are two of the best players on this year’s Hornets squad.

Nick is a sure-handed receiver and excellent route-runner who’s been getting looks from Division III programs — even if his own dad mocks his lack of speed.

Joe has a harder time, however, finding fault in T.J., who has emerged as one of the state’s top quarterbacks despite playing at a small private school with a total enrollment of about 250.

“The kid can play,” Linta said, matter-of-factly. “If you can throw a 15-yard out on a rope, it doesn’t matter where you play.”

Plenty of college coaches seem to agree. Based on a 10-minute highlight film that Linta sent out to about eight Division I schools, as well as his performance at a couple of camps this past summer, T.J. is starting to generate some serious interest. Virginia, Duke, Syracuse, Rutgers and several Ivy League programs (Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton), like the 6-foot-4, 238-pound quarterback’s

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