Monmouth University is a unique home for student athletes to prosper both in the classroom and on the field.
Pete ‘The Jet’ Guerriero, a senior running back and communication student, has made the decision to begin training for the 2020 NFL Draft at Parisi Speed School in North Jersey.
Guerriero, from Lyndhurst, New Jersey, has played football for 16 consecutive years, transitioning his position as quarterback in high school to running back in college. Guerriero has experience in basketball, baseball, and track and field. His athletic career at Monmouth began in 2016 on the Men’s Track and Field team.
“For the longest time people did not believe in me when it came to football,” Guerriero said. “I had to work extremely hard to put myself in this position, so to be able to pursue this and create an opportunity for myself has always been the goal.” Guerriero says that part of his decision to pursue a career in football is motivated by the doubt he has felt from others.
Bryan E. Sosoo ‘18, a Monmouth alumnus, has been a friend to Guerriero for four years. Sosoo said, “Pete is nothing short of a go-getter. He is one of very few people I know that puts as much effort into his actions as he does with his words when it comes to his goals.”
Guerriero’s road to the 2020 NFL Draft has required heavy lifting, and not only in the weight room. Guerriero recalls his struggles in a humble and admirable way. He faced academic weakness in writing skills, and believes his greatest academic strengths are test taking and retention. In football, he believes his greatest strength is speed, and that his Achilles’ heel is his power and size (5’10, 190 lbs).
Manny Maragato ‘17, a Monmouth alumnus, recalls what it was like to share the field as a defensive end with Pete. Maragato said, “Pete is the fastest player I’ve ever played with. When he first came on our team, he was the track kid a lot of us didn’t know. But during that year at training camp, he lit our defense up and that’s when we realized ‘Ok, this kid is the real deal.’”
“Monmouth has helped me tremendously,” Guerriero pointed out. “From developing more speed to gaining strength in the weight room…[during my track career, especially] I became bigger, stronger, and faster.”
“Nobody is going to outwork him,” said Monmouth Football Running Back Coach Samuel Dorsett. “You may be stronger, but if he finds out you’re stronger, he will find a way to be stronger than you. That’s just who he is.”
Guerriero recalls a particular person who had a profound impact on his academics—Lecturer of Communication Shannon K. Hokanson.
Guerriero commented, “[Hokanson] was more than just a professor in my eyes. She cared about all of the students in our class and taught us lessons [about communication] that we will be able to take with us forever.”
Hokanson said, “Pete is just wonderful in class. His contributions to our class discussions are always valuable, and he really pushes himself to engage with the material and think critically.”
Esosoo mentions a cliché, “‘If you want something in life, you have to go get it.’ And [Pete’s] actions have shown that if you truly want something, you won’t let anything stop you from getting it. [Pete] did exactly that when he transitioned from track to football (three years ago). He did what many thought was a questionable decision and proved them wrong.”
Matt Mosquera, a business administration student and senior kicker on the Monmouth Football team, said, “[Pete] has good vision and hands to catch passes out of the backfield. He can even return punts and kicks if a team needs him to, so all around he is really versatile.”
For any student athlete who is striving to reach a professional level, Guerriero shares some advice. He suggests, “Continue to outwork everyone. Use any sort of doubt or bad talk that anyone throws your way as motivation to get better and prove them wrong.”
Samuel Dorsett, Monmouth’s Football Running Back Coach of seven years, has coached Pete for three years.
Dorsett said, “Nobody is going to outwork him. You may be stronger, but if he finds out you’re stronger, he will find a way to be stronger than you. That’s just who he is. If you honestly tell him, ‘Pete, that kid can fly.’ He will be like ‘All right, damn. I gotta figure out how to fly.’ And he will end up flying. That’s just Pete, every time.”
In an Instagram post on Jan. 14, Guerriero wrote, “This has been a dream of mine since I was a child and I look forward to what’s to come…Truly something special down in West Long Branch. Go Hawks!”
Guerriero is hungry for success. He added, “I haven’t thought of a backup plan, because plan B will only distract me from plan A.” In five years, Guerriero sees himself living in Texas continuing a career in the National Football League.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University