By Ryan DePaul, A7FL President
As the A7FL’s April 19 season opener approaches, we’re going to bring you inside stories of the players who are set to make an impact in 2020.
Originally from Newark, Corey “CP3” Price had a standout high school football career in neighboring Elizabeth. But instead of continuing to play in college, after high school Price decided to put football on hold to help his struggling family get by. “My mother, sister, and nephew were my only concern at the time,” he said. “Then 4 years later, I found the A7FL.”
At the time, CP3 was working at Newark Airport and playing some pickup football on the weekends. A lot of players he knew from high school were playing in the new league and soon Price realized he still wanted to compete and showcase the skills he was never able to take to a college program. “I’ve actually played with and against many Division 1 athletes,” he commented. “So there’s no question I can compete with the big boys.”
I got my first look at this 5’8” 150-pound rookie QB in the Spring of 2015 as CP3’s team The Wolf Pack were preparing to play the Union City Chiefs. The Chiefs were notorious for daunting blitz packages and vicious tackles – and had a history of lighting up scrambling QBs like CP3. (In a game I played against them, they not only took out my QB but also broke 2 of his ribs.)
As soon as the game began, Corey was under heavy pressure and the Chiefs landed some significant shots. But he never wavered, and just kept getting up from big hits over and over again and eventually led his team on a comeback. They ended up tying tied the game in the 4th quarter and while they ended up losing that night, CP3 made his mark and let the rest of the league know that with his ability to both run and throw the ball downfield he had the potential to be something special.
Although Price was confident in his athletic ability, he didn’t even play quarterback prior to coming to the A7FL. “My original position was WR & CB as well as a kick/punt returner,” he noted. “But I’ve always loved versatile guys like Percy Harvin, Golden Tate, even Dante Hall back in the day. I like guys who can play multiple positions but I love playing QB now.”
In 2016, CP3 signed with New Jersey B.I.C. Always willing to do whatever he could to improve his game, Price accepted a backup position so he could learn from their great QB Tahree McQueen, a legend from Paterson’s East Side High School who later went on to play college football for Cincinnati. The B.I.C. had high expectations in 2016 because over the past two seasons they had lost close games in the Finals and Semi-Finals.
McQueen and B.I.C got off to a perfect start in 2016, with CP3 coming off the bench either to spell McQueen or to run special plays that took advantage of his speed. But an injury ended McQueen’s season, and CP3 was forced to take the helm of an experienced team that was already decorated with A7FL legends Courage Mozie, Pat Cobourne, Robert Fabien, and Troi Smith.
Price quickly commanded respect in the B.I.C. huddle and marched his team into a Semifinal slug fest with nonother then the Paterson U, who were not only hard hitters but also had the speed to negate CP3’s quickness. Paterson U safety Clavon J.J. Radcliffe epitomized the team’s toughness, and late in the 3rd quarter he landed a shot on CP3 that had everyone watching gasping for air. But CP3 not only got up from that hit, he came back into the game and led B.I.C. to victory in what many A7FL veterans called an “amazing” act of courage.
By 2016, CP3 was the starting quarterback and he led the B.I.C. to the A7FL Championship game against, once again, the Union City Chiefs. B.I.C. would overcome an 18-point deficit in that game, netting them their first title as CP3’s reputation grew from not only someone with talent but also as a big game performer.
By 2018, CP3 took his considerable talents to the New Jersey Savage. In both 2018 and 2019, he lead the Savage to Final Four appearances, with both losses coming by a heartbreaking single point. CP3’s relentlessness and ability to both run and throw against much larger opponents has solidified his place as an all-time great in the league. Carl Meisner, the GM for B.I.C., recognized Price was “both physically and mentally, the toughest football player I have ever met. Some of the hardest hits that I have seen in this league have been on CP3 but his drive, determination and will to win wouldn’t let him stay down.”
Just two weeks ago, CP3 was blessed with twin boys Liam and Logan. “They’re everything to me right now,” said Price. “Growing up I had a very tough childhood, I wasn’t around my parents a lot so I’d like to give my two boys a very different and positive future.”
Going into the 2020 season, CP3 remains optimistic about his team’s chances to take the title but again has to face the real life challenges that exist for many A7FL players. Besides helping to care for his boys, his job limits his ability to work out during the week and he recently reaggravated a back injury he suffered in High School. But going into his sixth campaign, CP3 is excited for the upcoming season: “I see football as a getaway, a hobby, a chance to keep up and interact with my brothers who play alongside of me. He also shared some sage words for other A7FL players: “Never take anything or this game for granted because it can be taken away from you at any moment, so respect the game, respect the players, & always give 100% no matter what.”
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