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Top 100: Brandon Corso, Football, Woodson 1992

In September of 1991 the Connection came out with its Northern Virginia Football Preview for that year. The caption under the photo on page 3 read, "Woodson flies Air Corso again in 1991."

"I was pretty fortunate, because the coach at the time probably knew a lot more about throwing the football than most coaches in the area did," said Brandon Corso, a 1992 graduate of Woodson High School. Corso was the quarterback for the Cavaliers.

The article in the 1991 preview goes on to attribute Woodson with changing the face of high school football from a running game to a balanced passing and running game. "And no team can forget Woodson, the team that brought the spread offense to Northern Virginia high schools under the leadership of coach Ken Poates and the arm of senior QB Brandon Corso," reads the article.

DURING THE 1990 season, his junior year, Corso threw 211 completions for 2,224 yards in 10 games. That is the fourth most completions thrown in a single season in Virginia High School League football, and most in the Northern Region. In the same year, Corso threw more than 20 completions in a single game on four occasions. This also included a 33-completion game, fourth most in the state and most in the region, for 312 yards on Oct. 19 in a 17-7 win over Centreville.

"We were definitely on target that game," said Corso. "However, our defense won that game for us. No doubt about it."

Woodson lost the other three games in 1990 in which Corso threw more than 20 completions, and lost the only game in which he threw more than 20 completions during the 1991 season.

During his career at Woodson, Corso threw 306 completions for 3,594 yards. Max Emfinger's National High School Football Recruiting Service, out of Houston, TX., rated Corso as the 17th best high school qaurterback in the country, and the best in the state of Virginia in September of 1991. A month earlier, in August, Tom Lemming's prep football report said Corso could throw the ball 60 yards. "He plays in the run and shoot and is the type of QB who can pick you apart," read the report. The schools of interest listed in the report included North Carolina, Miami, Virginia and Florida.

"I've had college coaches tell me our offensive system has helped my [recruiting] chances, because they don't have to guess what I can do," said Corso in 1991. The article said quarterbacks would be watched more than ever in 1991, with Corso leading the pack. The senior was selected as one of the region's 12 players to watch, the only quarterback and the first name on the list. The comment on the 6-2, 195-pound qaurterback was that he has a cannon arm.

Corso's favorite memory from the days at Woodson was the team's win over a heavily favored T.C. Williams, on homecoming day. Later that year Corso went to Lynchburg to play in the All-State game, in which he was a co-captain with T.C. Williams's Ratcliff Thomas, the second name on the 12 players to watch list.

"Football is definitely a team sport, and I was fortunate to play with a group of good guys," said Corso. He credited his wide receivers for making him a successful high school quarterback, in particular Mike Woolever, a 1991 graduate and Mike Healy, one of Corso's best friends since sixth grade and to this day.

"[Corso] was a college quarterback playing in high school," said Healy. He said the Cavaliers could not have done the run and shoot offense without Corso, who was smart as well as athletic. "He led by example and has always been a really humble kind of guy."

AFTER HIGH SCHOOL Corso went on to play collegiately at University of Missouri. The heavily recruited passer chose the Tigers over University of Virginia, where he had pretty much made up his mind he was going to go, because he wanted to work with Dirk Koetter, the offensive coordinator at University of Missouri.

Corso red-shirted his freshman year in order to gain a year of experience with the football program. However, the Missouri coaching staff was let go after that year, and Koetter went on to other schools. Corso was forced to learn a new system, while splitting time on the field with a senior quarterback. As a red-shirt junior, Corso started the year as the Tigers' first choice, but lost the starting position to Corby Jones, who was a better fit for the new option offense. Corso then waived his last year of eligibility, thus finishing his football career.

"My parents came to every game when I was in Missouri, which was a long plane ride for them," said Corso. He said he played many sports when he was younger, and his father coached him in all but one sport, ice hockey. Some of his fondest sports memories come from the time and the teams his father coached.

CORSO SAID he missed the camradarie and the team environment he enjoyed while playing football. Once a year he flies out to Tempe, Arizona, to watch the Arizona State University team, where Koetter is now the head coach. Having played football taught him the importance of teamwork, hard work and perseverance. Most importantly, his teammates from high school and college are still some of his best friends, said Corso.

Brandon Corso is 69 in a survey of the area's Top 100 Athletes by Connection Newspapers in 2000.