St. Thomas Aquinas sending nine football players to Division I schools

02/06/2014 12:01 AM

02/06/2014 3:27 AM

Forty-seven St. Thomas Aquinas student-athletes in 16 sports were honored in a ceremony Wednesday afternoon after signing their National Letters of Intent.

Nine football players (12 overall) are headed to Division I programs.

Quarterback Wade Freebeck will play collegiately at Vanderbilt after flipping from Pittsburgh. He made his decision Tuesday at noon after speaking with his coaches and family.

“At the end of the day the opportunity was right there and I thought it was the best for my future,” said Freebeck, who passed for 1,862 yards and 20 touchdowns and added two scores on the ground. “I went back and forth.”

Two players will stay close to home at the University of Miami: offensive lineman Nick Linder and defensive end Anthony Moten.

Linder, whose older brother Brandon was a Hurricane, became the first UM recruit to send in his NLI. A three-star recruit, he was an Under Armour All-Star First Team member.

“I’m really excited to get the process over with,” Linder said. “I’m so pumped to be a Cane. It’s a dream come true.”

Moten, rated Scout.com’s 193rd-best player, recorded 40 tackles (12 for a loss) and six sacks. He was all-county first team by the Miami Herald.

Like Linder, Moten felt welcomed by Miami’s family atmosphere.

“[University of] Florida was right there, but like I said my family came into the picture,” Moten said. “I wanted them to be at every game possible. It means a lot. That’s a family-based program. It was more when I signed. [Head coach Al] Golden said, ‘Welcome to the family.’”

Corey Holmes, a four-star wideout, is headed to Notre Dame. The team’s second-leading receiver caught 24 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.

Holmes had been committed to the Fighting Irish since last July.

“For a school like Notre Dame that’s able to compete for the national championship and get one of the best degrees in the country -- it was really eye-opening for me,” Holmes said.

Running back Madre London, who ran for 894 yards and 15 touchdowns, signed with Michigan State. Offensive lineman Ryan Crozier travels to Connecticut, offensive guard Tyler Dever to South Florida and cornerback Alshinard Harris, Jr. to South Carolina.

“I can remember these guys as freshmen and sophomores and all the hard work they put in,” head football coach Rocco Casullo said. “It’s great as a staff to see these guys continue to play football.”

Kendall Ellis, a state champion in track, will head west to USC as will catcher Gwen Svekis to Oregon.

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