Glendale Community College football's Marcus Tappan verbally commits to Cincinnati

In the span of a couple of weeks, Glendale Community College freshman linebacker Marcus Tappan transformed from one of the program’s biggest returning players into an athlete in search of a departing flight.

The La Salle High alumnus verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati on Friday after receiving an offer only days earlier.

“I like the coaches, [Cincinnati Coach] Tommy Tubberville and [associated head coach] Robert Prunty really showed their interest,” Tappan said. “Plus, the team had a solid season this year – they’re in a bowl game and have a chance to go 10-3.”

Tappan selected Cincinnati, which will face North Carolina in the 2013 Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC, over Virginia and Indiana State, which offered him, and over schools that showed interest such as New Mexico and Arkansas State.

“One of the things that sold me on Cincinnati is that it’s so different than California and I’d like a new experience,” Tappan said. “And another good thing is that they graduate two or three linebackers, so that gives me a chance to come in and just compete.”

The 6-foot-2, 227-pound Tappan played an integral role in Glendale’s revival this season, as the Vaqueros finished with a 6-4 mark, the program’s best finish since 2007, and had an opportunity to claim an American Division Pacific Conference championship.

Tappan finished the season with 56 tackles, three sacks, 8.5 tackles for a loss and two pass breakups in earning a conference second-team defensive selection.

Perhaps Tappan’s best stat was his interception total, as the freshman finished with four picks, two of which he returned for scores.

Tappan was also part of an amazing turnaround in high school. He totaled nine touchdowns as a short-yardage specialist for La Salle High in 2012 and finished with 44 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions at the linebacker position. La Salle finished 10-1 in 2012 a year after going 1-9.

“Marcus is a great story. He came to us from La Salle for one season and had a great year,” Glendale Coach John Rome said. “Once Cincinnati came into the picture, he jumped on it.”

Tappan noted that Cincinnati’s interest started this month and culminated in an offer earlier this week.

“Once they made an offer, it didn’t take too long,” Tappan said. “The advantage of Cincinnati over Virginia is that I could start school immediately at Cincinnati and with Virginia, I wouldn’t get to start until June.

“I’d loved to be at Cincinnati for the spring game and I just can’t wait to get started.”

While Tappan’s departure leaves a hole in the middle for Rome, the veteran coach was anything but disappointed.

“Our job as coaches is to get these kids to the next level and continue their schooling,” Rome said. “Sure, the competitor in me would love to have him back, but it’s great to see he’s going to a Division I school.”

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