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Villanova lands Fabrizio

By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2003

SEMINOLE -- Of all the things Seminole's Joey Fabrizio experienced during his recruiting process, the waiting seemed to be the hardest part.

The wait is finally over.

On Tuesday, Fabrizio, the Times Pinellas Player of the Year, put an end to his roller-coaster ride when he signed with Division I-AA Villanova.

"You don't know how glad I am to get this over with," Fabrizio said.

Last season, Fabrizio (5-11, 180 pounds) led the county in rushing with 1,406 yards amd scored 21 touchdowns. He also helped the Warhawks go undefeated in the regular season and advance to the region semifinals.

Yet his accomplishments were not enough to hit the radar screen with big-time college programs.

Fabrizio's only other offers came from Division II University of Missouri-Rolla and I-AA Wagner (Staten Island, N.Y.).

Yearning to play for a Division I school, Fabrizio decided to hold off making an commitment and wait for other schools to tender offers.

None did.

Fabrizio was left with two options. He could sign with one of the three schools that offered or he could walk on at the University of Florida.

His decision became easier after he took a visit to Villanova.

"The whole atmosphere was great when I went up there," Fabrizio said. "The players and the coaches were pretty genuine, and it's a known school."

OTHER SIGNINGS: Tarpon Springs quarterback Alex Kidman has signed with Division II Hillsdale (Mich.) College.

St. Petersburg Catholic quarterback Gary Fiegel has signed with Benedictine (Kansas) College, an NAIA school.

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