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Prep career satisfying enough for Hudson star

College sports are not for Vince Ferlita, who plans to concentrate solely on his studies, pre-med to be exact.

Published April 21, 2006

HUDSON - Vince Ferlita won't be playing football in college.

Or baseball.

Or wrestling.

He's got an even better offer.

Satisfied with a high school career that exceeded even his wildest expectations, the Hudson three-sport star turned down opportunities to play football in college to accept a full academic scholarship to USF, where he plans to study pre-medicine.

"I put a lot of thought into it," Ferlita said. "I thought about my career in high school and the athletics, and I'm grateful I got to go through it, especially football and stuff. I never thought I'd go through anything like that. That's good enough for me. I really want to focus on my academics."

Ferlita ranks among the top 10 in Hudson's senior class with a 4.24 cumulative weighted (4.0 unweighted) grade point average. He scored 29 on the ACT and 1,210 on the SAT.

"He's so grounded and so zoned in on what he wants to do," said Ferlita's father, Vince Sr., Hudson's baseball coach and a football assistant.

"He's been talking about college for two years and what he's going to do. He's much more grounded than I ever was with it."

Ferlita seldom was grounded while carrying a football.

Despite his small size, the 5-foot-7, 150-pounder was one of the biggest contributors to a Hudson squad that won a district title, made the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons and won its first-ever playoff games this past fall.

Blessed with great field vision and the fastest first five steps coach Mark Nash has seen, Ferlita amassed more than 2,000 total yards and a county-leading 23 touchdowns during an all-conference senior season.

As a wrestler, Ferlita won conference and district championships and two matches at the region tournament before shoulder and finger injuries forced him to default. The injuries sidelined him for the start of baseball season, but he has batted .425 since returning.

Ferlita turned down a $14,500 scholarship offer (tuition costs $29,000) to play football at NCAA Division III Milsaps College in Jackson, Miss.

I-AA Jacksonville doesn't give athletic scholarships but offered a grant-in-aid. Navy expressed interest, but Ferlita doesn't want to enter the service.

He also was accepted into Florida State and Florida Atlantic's honor college. After weighing his options, he decided the academic package totaling $16,000 USF offered made the most sense.

"I really wanted to go pre-med, so all the football offers were put on the back burner," Ferlita said. "I was really focused on the USF thing and wanting to get everything paid for."

Ferlita said he always has been interested in medicine and hopes to become a doctor, pharmacist or anesthesiologist

He observed technicians and pharmacists and helped mix a few IVs while volunteering at North Bay Medical Center for a school project. His mother, Dawn, works in admitting in the hospital's emergency department.

"I know there will always be careers there," Ferlita said. "There's never going to be less demand, being a doctor."

[Last modified April 21, 2006, 01:42:18]

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