A.J. Baxter said he "wanted to pass out."

That's how excited the St. Augustine Prep senior defensive back was to receive a scholarship offer from the University of Rhode Island.

"It's a dream come true," Baxter said of committing to play football for the Rams on a football scholarship. "It was kind of in the back of my mind that I could do it, but I was never focused solely on playing Division I football."

The 6-foot, 200-pound Baxter had a "great year" for St. Augustine, according to coach Mark Reardon.

A four-year varsity player, Baxter emerged as a team leader as a senior, helping the Hermits to a 9-1 record and the No. 1 spot in The Inquirer Top 25 rankings.

Baxter said he made his official visit to Rhode Island last weekend.

"Everything just fell into place," Baxter said. "I loved it, the coaches, the facilities, the campus, everything."

Baxter said he likely will major in biology, with an eye toward attending medical school. He said he would like to be an orthopedic surgeon or an Emergency Room physician.

Baxter said he projects as a safety on the football field for Rhode Island, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Conference with programs such as Villanova, Delaware, William & Mary and James Madison.

"They think safety is the best fit for me," Baxter said.

@PhilAnastasia

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