Former Syracuse commit Joey Carino makes career shift at UAlbany
In Syracuse football’s 38-point win over UAlbany back in September 2021, the Great Danes scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Backup quarterback Joey Carino provided a late spark for UAlbany by both passing and rushing for a score. So why would Carino be playing in tonight’s lacrosse game against SU? That’s because in the offseason, the former Great Danes signal-caller traded in his football helmet for a lacrosse stick. But this isn’t the first time the New York State native’s pulled a switcheroo. At one point, Carino was committed to play lacrosse for The ‘Cuse.
“So at first, I committed to Syracuse as a high school junior in January,” said Carino. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to get any football offers. That junior year, we won the state championship. So in the Spring, I kind of blew up. I got an offer from Columbia first, then Albany. Then I started getting rapid-fire offers. That was something I really wanted to do. Lacrosse came as a backup plan. I started to look at all my offers, and I decided to go with Albany.”
Carino then decided to enter the transfer portal after three years with UAlbany football. Although the quarterback could’ve continued his career on the gridiron, the sport he hadn’t played since junior year of high school came calling.
“This offseason, I was getting a lot of football looks, too,” said Carino. “I also reached out to (UAlbany) Coach (Scott) Marr to keep all my options open. He said ‘yeah you can come and have an opportunity to play.’ I wanted to discover it and it was a perfect fit.”
“That was the best fit,” said Carino’s high school lacrosse coach, James Goldmann. “Stay with your friends, stay with the community that you’ve built. And now you get to play this other sport that honestly I think you’ll succeed in pretty quickly. It’s gonna take a little bit, for sure, it’s not easy to go from football reps to lacrosse reps. Once I heard he was talking to Coach Marr, I was like ‘this is a no-brainer in my opinion.’ I think he’ll do great things.”
The head man at Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, NY) knows his former player’s eagerness makes this transition achievable.
“I think Joey’s always had the ability that when the whistle blows, he’s just competitive,” said Goldmann. “If you have that natural competitive streak, it doesn’t really matter what you’re playing. You could be playing backgammon with your grandma. When you can turn it on, you can turn it on. And Joey could always turn it on. As time goes on, he’s always proved people wrong and I think sooner rather than later in the depth chart, you’ll start to see him rise and rise.”
One of Carino’s new teammates, UAlbany’s leading scorer a year ago in Graydon Hogg, is excited he doesn’t have to face the former football player.
“I definitely would not want to be a middie dodging against him,” said Hogg. “He’s a big kid, moves really well. Can use his stick really well now he’s getting the hang of that thing. You don’t wanna get on the wrong side of him. He’s playing good, solid defense. He’s gonna be a scary matchup this year.”