Damascus rising senior George Vinson marked his 17th birthday and his college commitment with one celebratory meal: Buffalo wings. The 6-foot, 205-pound linebacker verbally committed to Buffalo last Thursday, cutting short his birthday weekend recruiting trip.

Instead of continuing on to Ohio University, Vinson and his family spent two extra days in upstate New York, visiting Niagara Falls and exploring the town that made an instant impression on the youngster.

“It was a pretty good day to celebrate,” said Vinson, who had nine offers in all. “I was ready to make a commitment to a school, but it had to be one that I actually liked, that really made me feel wanted.”

While still-uncommitted classmate Zach Bradshaw has generated more recruiting buzz and major college offers, Vinson’s size and athleticism earned him plenty of attention as well. Vinson, also a standout wrestler, received his first college offer from Bryant in March and added offers from Temple, Kent State and Ohio and a handful of FCS programs in recent months.

Vinson, who helped the Hornets to nine wins and their Maryland state record 14th straight playoff appearance last fall, hoped to add more options this summer with a good showing on the camp circuit. But after leaving a camp at Boston College earlier this month empty-handed, he said he began to focus more seriously on the schools that had already offered.

At Buffalo, Vinson said he found a comfortable environment and a coaching staff that clearly showed him how he could fit in the defense as an outside linebacker. He saw no reason to continue the recruiting process.

“It’s good because I was going to be missing some workouts,” Vinson said. “Now I’ll be able to be there and be a leader for my team, so we can get ready for the season.”

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