This fall, Jesuit High School's Class of 2020 will fan out across the southeast and beyond, attending a fantastic array of highly selective universities.
However, many among the soon-to-be graduates will embark on their college experience in the same place as legions of Tigers before them – in Gainesville and Tallahassee.
The 200 Tigers in the Class of 2020 had an exceptional year of acceptances to the two traditionally most popular Jesuit collegiate destinations, the University of Florida and Florida State University.
At Florida, 65 Jesuit students were accepted, the highest in this four-year window, including nine into the Honors College. The overall acceptance rate for Jesuit students of 59% this year is twice UF's overall average of 29.5%.
Among those planning to enroll and join generations of Gator-Tigers are the Honors College-bound quintet of Milo Paman (who is pictured on the homepage), Collin Talbot (who chose UF over Notre Dame), Gabe Herrera (UF over North Carolina), Derek Pope, and Spencer Farfante. Farfante, a U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalist, has chosen UF over acceptances to Vanderbilt, Texas, and Virginia.
The numbers at Florida State are phenomenal as well. An all-time Jesuit record 95 seniors (75.4% of applicants) were accepted this year to FSU, with 38 meeting the criteria to apply to the Honors College. Among those who will become Seminole-Tigers are a host of State Champion soccer players, including Honors College-bound, award-winning artist Bryce Denick, Robin Tionko (pictured on the homepage), Carson Bien (Florida Class 5A Soccer Player of the Year), Shane Benko, and Oliver Petrillo.
Top Catholic schools across the country continue to accept Jesuit students at a very high rate. The University of Notre Dame accepted seven from Jesuit's Class of 2020, continuing a trend of success. Noah Tran and Danny Hughes will enroll at Notre Dame, as will National Merit Finalist Mark Rumsey, also was accepted to Miami, UCF Honors, and UF. Others accepted to ND who may matriculate in South Bend include Raleigh Bulleit and three more National Merit Finalists: Chris Browy (also considering UF Honors, Michigan, and Virginia), Alexander Skantze, and Talbot.
Bulleit has several highly selective options along with Notre Dame, as Vanderbilt and the UF Honors College are among his acceptances. Browy is one of four Jesuit seniors accepted to the University of Michigan, along with pep band drum major Jake Greenwell (also considering Marquette and Purdue's renowned Engineering program), Nick Teller (also Vanderbilt, Marquette, and Virginia), and Andre Mortensen (also Georgia Tech, Purdue).
Georgetown University, the highly selective Jesuit school in Washington, D.C. is the destination of Blue Tide legend Carlos Rueda and is among several schools under consideration for Brennen Gil. Rueda also was accepted to Boston College, another highly selective Jesuit school, along with classmates Ethan Marquis, Morgan Halme (also accepted to UCLA and Georgia), and State Champion swimmers Talbot and Anthony Kirchner (also Villanova, Xavier, and Saint Louis). Gil, the president of The Company, Jesuit's Business Club, is pictured on the homepage in the University of Chicago apparel, and he also has been accepted to another highly selective Windy City school, Northwestern, as well as Georgetown.
Jesuit's Class of 2020 will be very well represented at the nation's military academies. Nick King (pictured on the homepage), a track & field star and president of the African-American Club, accepted an appointment to Army West Point, where a trio of Jesuit football players signed in December: Brett Gerena, Raleigh Oxendine, and Spencer Williams. Another football player, Trevor Mayberry, signed in February to play for the U.S. Naval Academy.
Several Jesuit seniors are pursuing nationally renowned arts programs. Top AP Art student Vincent Girgenti will enroll at the Ringling College of Art and Design, and Riley Buchanan, an award-winning filmmaker and four-year lead performer for the Jesuit Masque, was accepted at numerous highly selective schools including the fabled USC School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Trent Alexander, a member of the popular band Visit Neptune along with Buchanan and the UF-bound duo of Justin Bailey and Aidan Henriksen,will attend Belmont University in Nashville
At least 27 Jesuit student-athletes from the Class of 2020, including Class 6A Baseball Player of the Year Camden Minacci (Wake Forest) have signed to play in college, among them football standouts Connor McLaughlin (Stanford University – pictured on the homepage), Jonathan Odom (Florida), Christian Jones (Florida A&M), and Lex Capitano (Furman); State Champion baseball players Jalen Niles (Florida A&M), Henry Politz (Holy Cross), Alex Bryant (Holy Cross), Bennett Lee (Tulane), Turner Thompson (Tulane), Josh Mallitz (Ole Miss), A.J. Karabenick (Wesleyan), and Justin Clark (West Virginia); two-time State Champion Ethan Basile at wrestling powerhouse Northern Iowa; and golfer Jimmy Paradise at the University of Connecticut. Anson Rowe, a straight-A student who was the state's No. 1-ranked pole vaulter when the track & field season was suspended, has an offer to pole vault at William & Mary and also is considering acceptances to the UF Honors College and Georgia Tech.
The most highly selective schools in the southeast continue to be welcoming to Jesuit students. Among those accepting multiple members of the Class of 2020 are Vanderbilt University (Farfante, Bulleit, Teller, and Carter Cabassa, who is also considering NYU and Fordham); Georgia Tech (a trio of straight-A students in Rowe, Mortensen, and Tomas Varon); Wake Forest (Ajay Vander Werf, Jonathan Maingot, Mac Dierks, Parker Maddox, and Minacci); and Emory University (Tiger Bales and Talbot).
Seven Jesuit seniors have been accepted to the University of Virginia, among them one of Jesuit's nine National Merit Finalists, Andy Sebek, and track & field standouts Sean Doherty and Bennett Andersen. Doherty is considering UVa, Northeastern, and the UF Honors College, while Andersen, who is a National Merit Finalist, straight-A student, and All-County basketball player, also is considering the UF Honors College, among others.
Some seniors are pursuing unique, specific programs. Marshall Rowe, a standout golfer, will enroll in the PGA Golf Management program at Florida Gulf Coast. Thomas Lahart will enroll at Auburn in the school's Aviation program, which is partnered with Delta Air Lines. Joining Lahart at Auburn is hockey captain Matthew Smith and possibly a trio of Jesuit Robotics standouts: Carson Reams, Daniel Prendes, and Luca Valenti.
Many more seniors have been accepted to top schools from across the nation, such as Jake Pratt (Boston University, University of Miami), Henry Fleming (University of Texas), Dominic Newberg (Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota), Owen Shimberg (University of Colorado), Andres Donovan (Franciscan University, Fordham), Nicolas Mortensen (University of Dayton), Charlie Mandt (UF, Fordham, Loyola Chicago) and Alex Hames (San Francisco, Fordham, Georgia), to name a few. Also, some have found what they were seeking right here in Tampa, such as pre-med major Logan Agnew and tennis star and civil engineering major Sebastian Solano, who will enroll at the University of South Florida.
What's most important, director of college counseling Fernando Rodrigues emphasizes, is finding the right fit for each individual student.
"It is an outstanding, well-rounded group of young men," Rodrigues said. "They have worked their way through the process and found those schools that are the best fit for the next four years of their life and beyond."