We always hear about high school players committing to schools when he or she has been life-long fans of its program, like committing to Michigan football or Florida softball. It's not too often that those stories are told when a player commits to a MAC-member school. But when you grow up watching a local team play, it's hard not to be a fan.
"I basically live five minutes away from Akron University," Joe Tupta, who announced his commitment on January 18 (via Twitter), told us over the phone. Tupta remembers going to Zips football games as a kid at the Rubber Bowl, always had friends that had gone to Akron but didn't know much about its campus until he took his official visit. "Growing up, I was always a Zips fan."
What makes him committing to a school that he's grown up being a fan as even better? His parents went to Kent State.
"They're happy for me going to Akron," Tupta said. "There's still a little tension there, but overall, we're really excited with me going to Akron. But me, personally, I already have a bad taste in my mouth with Kent, so I'm really looking forward to that."
Tupta wasn't a highly looked upon recruit by many Division-I schools, said the majority of schools going after him were D2 and D3-level. Schools that were looking at and/or offered scholarships to Tupta include Ashland, Dayton, Duquesne, Mount Union, and Princeton.
"I can't wait to get in there with the recruiting class coming in to make Akron a better football team, I really look forward to that."
What could Tupta look like in Akron's offense in the future? Check out this highlight tape of his, courtesy of Hudl.