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Countdown: Cotrone Commits Early
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Dominic Cotrone trusts his instincts.

Dominic Cotrone knew that Florida State was it
After moving to Bradenton, Fla., and training at IMG Academies for three years, he grew tired of tennis and took a year off from the sport. A new coach, Mike Wilson, gave Cotrone a new lease on the game and followed the five-star recruit to Honolulu in February for a spur-of-the-moment trip to a USTA National Open.

When it came to choosing a college, Cotrone made a five-point wish list: a big atmosphere, a nice campus, a warm climate, teammates he meshed with and coaches he admired.

One trip to Tallahassee, Fla., was all he needed to make a decision.

"I had four or five official visits lined up, and FSU was my first one," said Cotrone, 17. "After I got back from FSU, I ended up calling Louisville and Illinois and a couple others and told them that I wasn't going to be coming."

Florida State finished the 2010 season ranked 29th in the nation after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Georgia in the NCAA tournament. FSU's top three singles players in that match - Jean-Yves Aubone, Vahid Mirzadeh and Clint Bowles - will all be gone by the time Cotrone begins his career with the Seminoles next fall, offering the incoming freshman an opportunity to make an immediate impact.

"That's something I actually talked to the coaches about on the phone a lot," said Cotrone. "I knew I could definitely contribute to a team that's top in the country, but I wanted to make sure I made a big impact right away."

Listening to Cotrone on the phone, it is clear that family values have played a large role in who he is today, and where he'll be a year from now. Cotrone said that he thinks of tennis as his job: the key to him getting a good education and preventing his parents, David Sr. and Dawn, from paying a steep tuition.

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