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Nick Simpson and Justus Parker sign with Texas Lutheran

Nick Simpson and Justus Parker sign with Texas Lutheran
LVISD Surrounded by their friends and Bear teammates, Nick Simpson (seated, l-r) and Justus Parker of La Vernia High School are thrilled to become two of the newest members of the Texas Lutheran University (TLU) football team. The athletes and friends recently signed their letters of intent to TLU, and will be roommates on campus.

With the swipe of their pens, seniors Nick Simpson and Justus Parker committed themselves to Texas Lutheran University (TLU) in Seguin, where the standout athletes will play football for the Bulldogs.

Nick was recruited to play tight end for the Bulldogs, while Justus could see playing time on offense, defense, and special teams. Both are great athletes, and the Bulldog coaching staff could move them around a bit to take advantage of their skills.

As is normally the case, both guys were recruited by a number of schools other than Texas Lutheran. Nick entertained offers from Trinity University, Hardin-Simmons University, Southwestern University, and Colorado State University-Pueblo. In the end, the decision was fairly easy for Nick.

“They went out of their way to get me,” he said. “I really felt wanted, and I know I will get a great education.”

Among the schools courting Justus were Abilene Christian University, Fort Lewis College, and Texas Tech University. Justus said the academics of TLU are what sealed the deal for him.

“I chose TLU based on the academics,” he said. “I am planning to major in physics, with a focus on pre-engineering. Rather than having 200 people in each class, there will be smaller classes and more one-on-one attention.”

While Justus looks to move into a career field involving geophysics and petroleum engineering, Nick is looking to earn a degree in biology, and to pursue a career in the medical field.

While it’s refreshing to see such talented athletes putting their academics first, make no mistake about it, they are both very excited for the opportunity to play football at the collegiate level.

Nick said he is looking forward to the increased level of competition, and Justus said he is, too.

“I want to contribute as much as I can,” Justus said. “They think highly of me, so I want to prove them right, and not let them down.”

“I was told I will have a chance to play early,” Nick said. “I am going to do everything I can to earn that playing time, and to help my team be successful.

“I’m also looking forward to playing with Justus,” Nick added. “We are good friends and I’m happy we will be doing this together.”

While excited about their futures, both guys acknowledged that they will miss their friends and teammates in La Vernia.

“We are all going our different ways,” Nick said. “It’s going to be hard not to be around them every day.”

“I will definitely miss my friends and teammates,” Justus said. “But TLU is a lot like La Vernia. And with Nick there, it should help.”

Justus said that he and Nick will even be roommates when they make the move to Seguin, and that is something they are both looking forward to.

“We have always been good friends,” Justus said. “Having Nick as my roommate will make things less stressful. With all the changes, that’s one thing I won’t have worry about.”

While the two are certain to make a lifetime of memories playing football for the Bulldogs, both agree that they will never forget their time in a Bears uniform. When asked about their most memorable moments playing for La Vernia, both agreed it was their senior season.

“We wanted to do a lot better, though,” Nick said of La Vernia’s 2014 football season. “We knew it was the last chance for us to play together. We wanted to go further, but it just didn’t happen.”

“For me, it was that last game. We had a rain delay for like two hours,” Justus recalled. “We turned on some music and the whole team was relaxing -- not worrying about the game. It helped the team to relax and play better. It was some of those times off the field that were the best.”

With several more months of school remaining, the two are certain to continue making memories with their friends and families. Both are multi-sport athletes, as well, and will continue working hard to represent the Bears as best they can on and off of the field of competition. As for TLU, the Bulldogs know they are getting a pair of great athletes, and great students. They are getting a pair of great kids!

Good luck, Nick and Justus!

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