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Stepinac Football Star Taps William & Mary

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Austin Taps has found himself a new home for the next four years, verbally committing to the College of William & Mary to sign a national letter of intent during the next signing period in February 2012.

“William & Mary is a great academic school as well as having an outstanding football team, so it was an easy decision for me,” Taps said of the Williamsburg, Virginia school. “It was an easy decision due to the combination of academics, football team and the beautiful campus.”

Taps, a rugged two-year starter at defensive end and tight end who lives in Mahopac, helped the Crusaders to a 12-0 record and Catholic High Schools Football League AA title in 2010 and a 9-3 season and the CHSFL AAA title game against eventual champion St. Anthony’s (Long Island) this fall.

The senior had 22 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns and recorded 52 tackles and 31 assisted tackles on defense. He was also a member of the Crusaders varsity basketball team last year. Taps also recorded 10 quarterback sacks and was chosen as the CHSFL’s Vincent O'Connor Award winner for the league's defensive player of the year.

Taps may have been slightly influenced by the fact that his older brother Tim, who played quarterback at Mahopac High School, also attends William & Mary.

“My family and coaches have all played a major role in my recruiting as well as my choice to commit to William & Mary, without them none of this would have been possible,” Taps said. “I decided (not to play basketball this fall) to solely concentrate on preparing myself to play college football.

Taps received interest from several schools – University of Pennsylvania, Lafayette, Holy Cross and Delaware -- and also made a visit to James Madison before making a decision this week. The William & Mary football team, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, finished with a 5-6 record this past fall.

“William & Mary is a great school with a lot of tradition,” Stepinac head football coach Mike O’Donnell said. “Austin felt very comfortable with his decision. He really loved his visit and we at Stepinac and his family are excited for this great opportunity to play Division 1 football at a great school.”

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