After mild interest from some major schools and some major interest from some more minor ones, Mahopac senior Victor DiFusco finally found the offers he sought in the last week. In the end, he chose Fordham over Villanova when the school finally connected with him last week and offered a full scholarship about 24 hours later.
The Rams open with UConn next season and play other I-A foes like Army and Syracuse in the near future. That helped sway DiFusco, but it was much more than that. Check out the story I wrote about the star linebacker in today’s Journal News:
When the Fordham coaching staff first contacted Victor DiFusco eight days ago, they started with an apology. Somehow, someone who played just 43 miles from their Rose Hill Campus had escaped them.
No more. Head coach Tom Masella and defensive coordinator Matt Dawson visited DiFusco at home the next night. They reiterated, then proved, just how sorry they were with a full scholarship offer aimed to send a message on the eve of the Mahopac senior’s official visit to Villanova.
“They said they were sorry I’d slipped through the cracks,” DiFusco said. “To get an offer the next day meant they were pretty sorry.”
Indeed, a weekend in Philadephia failed to sway him. DiFusco quickly visited Fordham Monday and gave his oral commitment to the Bronx school.
The 6-foot-1, 233-pound linebacker may have been a late bloomer, but he wasn’t too late.
“Even when I committed, there was still interest, but I’m not waiting around. I needed to make a decision,” DiFusco said. “I think it was my best fit. What it comes down to, it’s all about education. I might play three years and maybe I’ll even get four. That’s what it’s about. Playing experience and a great education.”
A free ride and playing so close to home won’t hurt either. DiFusco is the second of four children in his family, which was struck by tragedy four years ago when his father, Victor Sr., died suddenly of a heart attack. His oldest sister attends college at Pace, but his two younger sisters are still teenagers.
DiFusco said this situation was not the sole reason he chose Fordham. He fielded several offers from Division I-AA and Division II programs and had inherited a college fund that would’ve covered most of, if not all of, the rest so his mother didn’t have to.
“In my eyes, my goal was I didn’t want her to pay anything,” he said. “I had the opportunity not to, and it was the best fit for me. Now (the fund) can go down to somebody else.”
DiFusco starred for the Indians this season, playing fullback, guard and linebacker as they went undefeated during the regular season, won League AA-North and reached the first Section 1 championship game in program history.
Several big schools showed interest — including Maryland, which, under its previous staff, offered DiFusco preferred walkon status — but his offers were mostly from lower-caliber programs, like Albany and Bryant.
That changed with the help of Chris Keevins, the son of former Mahopac coach Gerry Keevins, who works for the recruiting service GetURecruited. Since they connected, Fordham and Villanova offered DiFusco scholarships and Temple and Bowling Green showed interest in hosting him for official visits.
“Once Chris came in the phone never stopped ringing,” DiFusco said.
DiFusco will sign officially on Feb. 2, which is national signing day for football players.