We could not make it to the Holy Cross Media Day on Wednesday, so on Thursday we spoke on the phone with Milford native and former Milton Academy wide receiver Domenic Cozier.
As a freshman and sophomore, the multi-purpose weapon combined for 435 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 89 carries. He has also caught 13 passes for 80 yards.
Here's an edited version of our conversation.
MV: I went to Milton Academy, too. I graduated in '95.
DC: Oh, really?
MV: Yeah, man, it was fun. I played football, but the league wasn't nearly as good as it is now.
DC: Did you live on campus?
MV: No, I lived in Milton, but I had a lot of friends in Wolcott (House, one of the dormitories). Is that still, like, the athlete dorm?
DC: Yeah, there's a new dorm, Norris (House). It was built in 2004 and it's really like Wolcott. Wolcott has all the hockey guys. Yeah, nothing's changed (laughs).
MV: I really liked the field there.
DC: The grass is really nice, too. Have you been back there recently?
MV: Yeah, I've been to the reunions. My next one is . . . uh, I should know this off the top of my head. Oh, 2020.
DC: 2020, nice.
MV: Yeah, it's gonna be fun. It's kind of cool. The fifth-year reunion is a little weird because everybody sort of . . .
DC: It's a little too close to high school.
MV: Right. Yeah, exactly. It's like the cliques are still there and stuff, you know what I mean? But the older you get, the more people don't care about what you're doing and stuff.
DC: They're just happy to see you.
MV: Yeah, exactly. So where did you grow up? Where did you live? Where did you play Pop Warner, all that stuff?
DC: So, ever since I was a kid I was raised in Milford. So I played Pop Warner, youth football my freshman, sophomore year at Milford. And, my sophomore year at Milford, I think that third game, I think I broke my wrist in the third game, the second half. So I was out for, like, four games and I didn't have a lot of film. And my uncle, actually, you might know him, Andre Heard. . . .
MV: Oh wait, wait. Yeah, I remember Andre. Yeah, tell him I say hello the next time you see him.
DC: I will. Definitely, definitely. So he went to Milton Academy and everything. So he's on the board there. So he was telling me about prep school. At first, I didn't really think about it too much. I had planned to go back to Milford, obviously. I applied, (re-did) my sophomore year. So I reclassified my sophomore year. So I did five years of high school.
MV: I remember watching you a little bit on film. You did a bunch of those jet sweeps and stuff like that. How do they use you over at Holy Cross now?
DC: So it was really great. I came in as a wide receiver. I was planning on playing at slot receiver at Holy Cross. I had some wide receiver film at Milton. I was hurt my senior year. So I came in freshman year at wide receiver and there were some injuries at running back. So I switched over to running back, and ever since then, I've just been a running back-type, wide receiver hybrid. But I loved it. Especially this new offense. It's going to be big.
MV: Right. So tell me a little bit about what it's like to play for (new) coach (Bob) Chesney. He seems like an energetic guy, and he's won everywhere he's been.
DC: Yeah, it's definitely high-intensity at all times: whether it's meetings; whether it's a workout; whether it's stretching. When there's practice, it's always high-intensity, 100 percent, all the time. And all the coaches were on board with it and we loved it. We love everyone's energy. Our offensive coordinator's great, coach (Patrick) Murphy. We're always going fast. We're trying to get 100 plays per game. So everyone's on board from top to bottom, from the head coach to the last guy on the team. So it's definitely a great culture we have here.
MV: How exciting is it to have your first game against what should to be one of the best Boston College teams in the past few years? Do you get extra amped in the offseason when you're preparing for a game like that?
DC: Yeah, so we're all so excited. We're all so pumped. We're probably going to be a big underdog in that game, but we're going in there thinking that we're better than them. . . . We know this is a really important game for Holy Cross alums, the Holy Cross community. We're going to go out there as hard as we can. We're definitely excited to play BC. They play Clemson, Florida State. It's a great opportunity to play them. We feel like we're on the same level as (BC), if not better, and we're going to have that attitude all offseason.
MV: What's been your experience like at Holy Cross as a school? I feel like Milton and Holy Cross are similar: Small schools, good education, all that stuff. Was it a nice transition for you?
DC: It was a very smooth and nice transition. Milton Academy and Holy Cross. They're very similar in basically the small-school atmosphere. We're not too small, we're not too big. Academics are about the same, too. Obviously, Milton Academy is a great academic school, and Holy Cross, coming in. I know a lot of people came in and they were struggling at the beginning. It's just hard to go from high school to a school like Holy Cross. But Milton really prepared me for that. I was real experienced, and I had a nice and smooth transition to Holy Cross.