Add Durant sophomore golfer Madison Opfer to the swelling list of high school standouts committing to a college before reaching the legal driving age.
Opfer, the Times' Hillsborough County girls player of the year last season, announced today she has verbally committed to Tulane and -- barring a Green Wave coaching shakeup -- nothing's going to change her mind.
"I went up there for an unofficial visit (during Christmas break) and I pretty much just fell in love with the campus and the coach (John Thomas Horton)," said Opfer, who tied for fourth at last season's Class 2A state tournament. "I kind of didn't feel a need to see any other schools."
Though Opfer said NCAA rules bar Horton from contacting her at this stage, she said he did get in touch with coaches at the Inner Circle of Golf Academy at Summerfield Crossing Golf Club, where Opfer takes lessons. Opfer said he also observed her at a non-high school tournament.
"He seemed like someone who would be able to help me get onto the LPGA Tour," said Opfer, 15 and home-schooled. "He's very on top of your school and your golf."
With two prep seasons remaining, Opfer already has two top-10 state tournament finishes and a region title on her resume. Should her game continue evolving, a stream of collegiate offers could be forthcoming.
No matter, she insisted.
"I'm pretty set on Tulane right now," she said. "Anything can happen but I'm pretty sure there's nothing that's going to change my mind about Tulane at all unless the coach leaves."