Stephen Lubnow went to bed Tuesday night with a clear mind for the first time in a while.
For weeks, the senior has weighed his options of places to play college football and Lubnow has now finally committed to the College of William and Mary. Lubnow will head to the Tribe as a walk-on this summer.
“I know it’s going to be a lot different and a lot faster,” Lubnow said Wednesday afternoon at Mason. “I’ll have to keep working hard over the summer so I show up in shape ready to work.”
Lubnow is the sixth football player from Mason to reach the Division I-AA (Football Championship Series) level or higher in the Tom Horn era. Named the Most Outstanding Player of the team last season, Lubnow played in seven games finishing with 113 tackles (79 solo), four forced fumbles, defended five passes and had an interception. He was also named first team all-Bull Run District in 2010 and 2011. Lubnow was also named All-Region those seasons.
Sitting in Horn’s office Wednesday afternoon, Lubnow was all smiles about his decision to head to William and Mary. The 6-foot-tall projected defensive back also received feelers from Elon, Fordham, Coastal Carolina and Lehigh.
At the beginning of the season Horn and Lubnow sat down to discuss college options. Horn said they used a formula — school size, location and other factors — to create a list of potential schools, with William and Mary among them.
“This was a school that fit all the categories,” Lubnow said. “They’re usually pretty good. Last year was a down year.”
The Tribe finished with a 5-6 record last season after going 8-4 in 2010. They made the playoffs that season before being knocked out by Georgia Southern.
Horn said the Colonial Athletic Association is the SEC of Division I-AA football. Over the last five seasons, CAA teams have won or competed for national championships. Horn said Lubnow’s story of determination and will is one that can be told to athletes at Mason for years to come.
“When a kid gets an opportunity to play at a high level and gets to go to go to a school that will reward him after graduation, you have to love that,” Horn said.
For now, Lubnow is enjoying his last few weeks of high school life. He was part of a Mustang basketball team that played for a state championship last week and is a current member of Mason’s baseball team. Lubnow earned first-team all-district and second-team all-region honors last baseball season. He was second-team all-district as a sophomore.
Lubnow said he will continue working out with Mason assistant football coach Brian Fowler until he heads to college. He said he is glad to see his hard work on the field, in class and in the weight room has led him to a chance to play football on the Division I level.
“I’m excited,” he said. “This was a goal of mine since I was a freshman.”