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Hernando's Thomas Bronson commits to Appalachian State

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Mon. January 24, 2011 | Bryan Burns

Hernando's Thomas Bronson, the St. Petersburg Times' North Suncoast defensive player of the year for the 2010 season, has committed to Appalachian State.

Bronson, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior defensive end, had 83 tackles and 47 for a loss for the Leopards this season. He added a team-high 14 sacks, caused six fumbles and added a fumble recovery for a Hernando defense that allowed an average of just ten points a game and shutout three opponents.

Behind its defense, Hernando (9-2) qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2005.

Bronson took an official visit to Appalachian State two weeks ago and committed to the Mountaineers Sunday night. He said Appalachian State extended a full scholarship offer.

"The tradition, I didn't know half of it until I visited," Bronson said. But the facilities, I'm going to be honest, that's what sold me more than anything. It was nicer than USF, or UCF, or Duke or any of the places I visited over the summer."

Bronson chose Appalachian State over preferred walk-on offers from Florida and Florida State. He visited Florida last week but by that point was already sold on Appalachian State, a perennial powerhouse in Division I-AA.

"The love the coaches had for me and how much they wanted me really impressed me," Bronson said. "They treated me really well, treated me like family."

Bronson said the Mountaineers are recruiting him to play defensive end in their 4-3 alignment. 

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