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Vincent Paige celebrates a big tackle against All Saints Episcopal School during the TAPPS Division I semi-final game at Globe Life Park (12/05/2020)
After announcing his top 4 as the University of Houston, the University of Kansas, Louisiana Tech, and the University of Connecticut on January 19, Nolan Catholic defensive end Vincent Paige took to twitter with a commitment some might not have seen coming:
Hometown Hero✅ 🎥 @_johnebaggs pic.twitter.com/OEzdlmLEK4— Vincent Paige (@VincentPaige3) January 24, 2021
Paige, who has played part of his high school career at Denton Guyer, chose Louisiana Tech's Conference USA rival North Texas. "North Texas is close to home," Paige explained. "I felt like it would be the best choice for me."
As a three-star recruit, Paige has made his presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area known for both Nolan Catholic high school and Denton Guyer. In 2019, Paige helped lead Guyer to the Class 6A Division II state title game. In 2020, Paige helped lead Nolan Catholic to the TAPPS Division I state title game. During his first season with the Vikings, the 6'3" 235 pound junior recorded 72 total tackles, 44 solo tackles, and 5 sacks averaging 8 tackles per game. Paige also recovered three fumbles.
Paige is ranked as the No. 31 top weak side defensive ends in the 2022 recruiting class according to 247Sports. His commitment to the Mean Green program marks the first 2022 commit that North Texas has reeled in. Although he still has plenty of time ahead of his senior season, Paige wanted to commit early. "With the pandemic and colleges not knowing what their scholarship numbers are, I felt like I needed to make a decision," Paige said in an interview. "I felt like I could come in early and make an impact… It meant a lot to me to be the first player they took out of the class of 2022."
The second-team all-district selectee was recruited to play as a standup defensive end under North Texas' new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. "I feel great about what North Texas has going on. The program is on the rise and I want to be a part of that," said Paige.
Go Mean Green💚🦅 pic.twitter.com/wHf3g3ntMg— Vincent Paige (@VincentPaige3) January 25, 2021
Paige is choosing to commit to North Texas over nine other schools that have offered him a scholarship to include Baylor, Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech, UCONN, and more.
Shana Willeford - VYPE Media
Vincent Paige lines up on defense against All Saints Episcopal School (12/05/2020)
Nolan Catholic celebrates its 35-31 win over All Saints Episcopal in the TAPPS Division I semifinals.
With an exciting 35-31 victory over All Saints Episcopal School, the Nolan Catholic Vikings are headed to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools' (TAPPS) state championship game.
An exciting, physical matchup between the Fort Worth rivals proved to be as thrilling as anticipated. Although Nolan Catholic jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, All Saints were quick to catch up and take a 17-14 lead seconds before halftime on a field goal by Andrew Lin.
All Saints came into the second half and immediately set the tone with a touchdown. From there, it was a back and forth game that involved the Saints continually rushing up the middle with a run game that the Vikings struggled to defend.
Nolan Catholic began to rally in the third quarter with a huge fumble recovery by Vincent Paige. Senior quarterback Jimmy Taylor was able to capitalize on the fumble recovery with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Saimone Davis. Taylor later connected with Nelly Ishimwe on a 16-yard touchdown pass to take the 28-24 lead. All Saints answered as Hampton Fay connected with Tony Lacy for a 31-28 lead with 1:06 left in the third quarter.
Nolan Catholic was able to score one more time with a 7-yard touchdown run from Emeka Megwa. Megwa later broke free with a 82-yard run in a drive, but the Vikings failed to score a touchdown on the drive. Despite that, Nolan Catholic's defense was able to hold off the Saints to clinch a berth in the TAPPS Division I title game.
Taylor ended with 241 passing yards while Megwa ended with 107 rushing yards and one touchdown. Irene Ngabonziza totaled 169 receiving yards on eight receptions and scored one touchdown.
Head Coach David Beaudin had only good things to say to his team in an emotional post-game huddle. Beaudin constantly reiterated the fact that he loved the team and they have one more week to prepare for a state title.
Taylor recognized that there is still a lot of work both he and his team have to do before the championship game, but said he was never worried about the score when they were trailing.
"I have faith in my team. I knew we were going to be fine," Taylor said. "I learned that we still have a lot of work to do. No matter what, the next game is going to be my last. We always say we're going to win and the next week won't be our last, but no matter what, next week is my last. I'm going to do whatever I can to not leave sad."
With the victory, Nolan Catholic, now 8-0 on the season, advances to the TAPPS championship game for its first appearance since 2013. The Vikings will face Parish Episcopal (9-1) in the championship matchup on December 12. Parish defeated Midland Christian (41-7) to advance to the finals.