A Tough Win Win

Reeling like many of his teammates from St. Thomas Aquinas' shocking semifinal loss in the Florida 5A state championships, Raiders linebacker Vinnie Mauro has been forced to focus on the next level quicker than he would have wanted. Mauro was hoping to put it off, as he has a tough decision between two top-tier schools.

MADISON - Much like his other senior teammates, the shocking upset St. Thomas Aquinas suffered in the Florida 5A semifinals has caused Vinnie Mauro to start thinking about his future. While teammate James White would rather make his choice sooner than later, Mauro prefers the opposite.

"I don't want to make a decision for awhile," Mauro told Badger Nation. "That's really the last thing on my mind right now. It's not how I wanted to go out as a senior, but what can you do? It (stinks), but I am going to be more motivated. I plan is to start working out early, I am going to start today, because I feel I left things unfinished. I am going to use it as motivation to better myself for college."

When Mauro starts weighing his options, the talented three-star athlete and the 25th-rated middle linebacker in the country by Scout.com will have one of his toughest decisions. Mauro could pick Wisconsin, a program that has many of his former teammates on it and finished in the upper half of the Big Ten, or Navy, where he would be able to proudly serve his country.

It's a win-win situation, but a challenge to decide which route he wants to take.

"The United States Naval Academy is an enormous decision, because it's not just about playing football," Mauro said. "It's a decision on how the next 15 years of my life is going to shape up. I am not sure if I am ready for that route yet. If that's what I really want, I think the best thing to do is to give it as much time as possible. Then I'll be able to make a more accurate decision with whatever route I chose."

Also a school that could feasibly get into the mix is Miami, as Mauro said the Hurricanes have been in contact lately and, ‘might come up with something … but I am not sure how that's going to work out.'

Mauro took his official visit to Wisconsin with teammates Jermaine Barton and James White on September 5 for UW's season-opening victory over Northern Illinois. Mauro took an official to Navy on November 14 and watched the Midshipmen beat Delaware by 17.

"It was everything I expected to be," Mauro said of his visit to Annapolis, MD. "It's a great experience. I can honestly say that the guys at that program make that program. They are the leaders of America, the brightest and best kids I've been around. It'd be an honor to go there and be apart of that. Those kids make a lot of sacrifices and the caliber of kids I would be around everyday would make a mark on me."

With his decision the last thing on his mind, Mauro plans to spend his winter break relaxing, training and sneaking in some spear fishing with some of his teammates. As for his decision, that choice will come when it does, as Mauro has no deadline for his big decision.

"Whenever I know for sure I want to go, then that's it," Mauro said. "I don't want to be one of those kids that waits until signing day and potential screws another kid over. At the same time, this is my life and I have to pick what works best for me. I don't think I could go wrong with the Naval Academy or the University of Wisconsin. I think I'd be great at both places, it's just a matter of what I want."

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