Merrimack Valley Conference track and football fans will have four more years to watch strut his stuff on local playing fields, as Arcari has chosen Merrimack College in nearby North Andover as his home for the next four years.
last fall and who has ranked as one of the top sprinters in the state for the past year, on Tuesday signed a national letter of intent to play for third-year coach John Perry at Merrimack in the fall.
"We're really excited about having Anthony come to Merrimack," Perry said. "He obviously had a great high school career and we think he'll be a great addition to our program."
Arcari's rare combination of speed and power caught the eye of the Merrimack coaching staff, Perry said.
"The first thing that jumps out at you about Anthony is his speed, with his MVC track times and all," Perry said. "But a lot of times when you think of speed kids they tend to be smaller, under-sized athletes, and Anthony is definitely not that. He's been able to combine speed and strength on the football field and that's going to add a nice dimension to our program."
thinks Merrimack will be a good fit for Arcari, and he predicts that the Warrior coaching staff will be pleasantly surprised by what Arcari can bring to the program.
"I think they're gonna find out that he's gonna run a lot harder than most of the kids they recruit as just a speed guy," Aylward said. "He's got a lot more assets than just speed. He runs strong and he's not an easy guy to bring down, especially when he gets his shoulders turned up field."I think they're going to be real happy with what they got."
Both Aylward and Perry think Arcari can contribute right away at Merrimack. The Warriors have a returning Northeast-10 MVP in quarterback James Suozzo, but no one has a lock on the running back positions, according to Perry.
"We certainly don't try to add additional pressure to any of the kids we have coming in, but the running back position is pretty open," Perry said. "We've got some returning backs but no definitive starter."
Aylward predicts that Arcari could become a standout on Merrimack's special teams right away."He's got the ability to jump in right away as a kick off return guy," Aylward said. "He excelled at that (in high school) and I think that's one area where they're counting on him to contribute in right away."
For Arcari, his decision comes after a year-long evaluation process that started with over a dozen schools and came down to Bentley University, Union (N.Y.) College and Merrimack.
"Merrimack made a lot of sense," Arcari said. "Their football program is tremendous and they might be going into Division 1 in a couple years. My brother (John) goes there, it had the major I wanted and it's close by. It had a lot of pro's."
Being able to run track in college was a determining factor, too. Merrimack's track and field program is relatively new, having competed in the Northeast-10 for the first time ever in 2010, so Arcari's signing is big news for Merrimack's track team, as well.
"It keeps me in shape and helps me build speed, so that definitely helped me lean toward Merrimack."
Arcari, who is on pace to graduate with a grade point average of 3.50 or better, will major in computer science at Merrimack.
"College football programs struggle with the fact that some of the guys they really like athletically can't balance the academic expectations on top of the time commitment it takes to play football at that level," Aylward said. "That's why Anthony is a good investment for them. They're getting a guy they know is going to succeed academically. I think he's going to end up having a great career there."