March 20, 2020
By Brandon Ross
Growing up, Pete Guerriero could only dream of playing in the NFL. However, on Jan. 14, the Class of 2016 graduate moved a step closer to making this dream a reality when he declared for the 2020 NFL draft.
“After careful consideration speaking with family and the people close to me I have decided that I will be foregoing my fifth year and entering the NFL Draft,” Guerriero announced on Twitter on Jan. 14.
Despite growing up as a Dallas Cowboys fan, Guerriero said he aspires to play for the New York Jets so he could remain close to home.
Guerriero said he is close to his mom and that she is his biggest fan.
“My mom is the reason I started playing football,” Guerriero said. “She put me in flag [football] when I was five years old and has supported me throughout this whole journey.”
Guerriero, who attended LHS for two years and played on the varsity football team for both of those years, did not receive any offers to play college football.
Therefore, he decided to enroll as a track athlete at Monmouth University, a Division I school in West Long Branch, N.J.
SCREENSHOT FROM TWITTER Class of 2016 graduate Pete Guerriero announced in a Tweet on Jan. 14 that he will be entering the NFL draft.
He said his time away from football made him realize how much he loved the game.
“I missed playing. It’s like the saying, ‘You don’t know what you got until it’s gone,’” Guerriero said. “When I was able to play again, I took the opportunity.”
Guerriero became a walk-on for the Monmouth University Hawks during his sophomore year after the coaching team decided to give him a chance.
In the 34 games he played at Monmouth, Guerriero racked up 4,824 all-purpose yards with 39 touchdowns.
“He always wanted to take the extra reps. You could tell from the start, he had leadership skills.”
During his two seasons at LHS, Guerriero completed 62 of 134 attempts and accumulated 690 yards and four touchdowns through the air with 349 attempts that tallied 3,786 yards and 36 touchdowns on the ground as well as three receptions on offense. On defense, he had 108 total tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.
Guerriero said his most memorable game as a Golden Bear took place during Senior Night on Oct. 30, 2015 when LHS faced off against Pompton Lakes High School at home. The game ended in a 35-34 win.
“It gave us the opportunity to play in the sectional playoff,” Guerriero said. “It brought back the hope in town of what Lyndhurst football could be.”
Guerriero’s first year at LHS was also the first year for then-newly appointed Head Coach Tuero.
Tuero said Guerriero was a good student and a tremendous athlete.
“His ability to make plays, his speed and vision [were] just incredible,” Tuero said. “[I] never doubted him.”
Tuero said Guerriero always gave one hundred percent in practices and in games.
Offensive coordinator Coach Auteri said Guerriero was determined and hardworking in high school.
“He’s the type of kid who wanted to be successful. He was always up for a challenge,” Auteri said. “He never wanted to be told he couldn’t do something or that he wasn’t that good at doing something.”
Auteri said he and Tuero both knew there was something special about Guerriero when they met him during Summer 2014.
“He always wanted to take the extra reps. You could tell from the start, he had leadership skills,” Auteri said. “You saw he had potential to play at the college level. He’s only going to work to get to the best. He’s the type of kid you can’t ever bet against.”
Auteri said Guerriero’s speed is what made him stand out in the first few practices.
“We saw he had a different gear,” Auteri said. “He’s tough to tackle. He’s tough to catch up to, and if he gets into the open field, he’s gone.”
Auteri said Guerriero has a lot to contribute to an NFL team.
“He could play running back, you can put him in at receiver and he can return kicks,” Auteri said. “He will be a good fit for the right team.”