Wednesday marked an interesting day for Pace Academy rising senior Xavier Agostino as he celebrated his 18th birthday.

The decision to choose his college on his birthday marked an immense step in his life as he committed to Harvard University for the first decision he’s had in his young adult life.

“Committing on my birthday is definitely an immense step in my life because me turning 18 years old makes this the first big decision in my young adult life,” Agostino said. “Throughout the process of schools recruiting me I’ve definitely met great people like former defensive line coach for Virginia Tech, Daryl Tapp. Tapp has definitely been a mentor to me in this process and helped lead me in the correct direction for what I want in this life.”

It’s not uncommon for schools to offer players a chance at a college career but for Agostino, getting the offer and accepting it is “pretty huge” for his plans. 

Those plans right now according to Agostino are to have a successful life in the IT world from software development to even cybersecurity.

“Harvard’s computer science program will definitely put me in the right position to exceed in the field,” Agostino said. “And I plan to use that to my full advantage.”

When the pandemic first came about, Agostino recalled the time just near the end of his sophomore year and how under-recruited he was. Rather than sit back and wait for the first day back with the team, Agostino worked.

“So while we were out for some time, I spent lots of time trying to improve imperfections in my game from doing cardio to working on my technique,” Agostino said.

Most of the campuses he wanted to visit he couldn’t because the COVID-19 pandemic kept many schools closed to visitors. 

However, his work in the offseason helped. His numbers improved on the defensive side of the ball where he’s listed as a defensive tackle.

Agostino complied 53 tackles as a junior in eight games with 33 of them being solo tackles, 16 went for losses as well. Agostino found the quarterback 10 times for sacks in his junior campaign as well.

A remarkable increase from his sophomore campaign. That’s when the opportunities opened.

“When I saw many opportunities opening up to me at other schools, I still took the time to get to know almost every coach because you just never know who you will meet,” Agostino said. “And I am a person first so I always enjoyed the conversations with coaches where I’m speaking about my life without football and just knowing them.”

One of the things that made Harvard stand out to Agostino was the location of the school but a few other things.

“The thing that made Harvard stand out to me was the things you got from all aspects of life like athletics, community, academics and just the location of where it is located near about 20 other colleges in Boston itself,” Agostino said. “Some of the things I was looking for in a college was definitely a vibrant city with plenty of opportunities outside of the campus life. Another thing I was looking at was definitely the computer science department and Harvard came in consecutively top-five for the last several years and that definitely stood out to me. Lastly, which is most important to me, is the people. When I visited Harvard, I loved every interaction I had from the people that went to the school to the everyday civilians walking through Boston and Cambridge. Also when up there I got to play one of my favorite games to play which is chess with the Defensive Line coach who definitely taught me that I don’t quite have life as figured out as him because my king got checkmated twice!”

It was then that his mind was made up. All that was left was letting his family know that he was going to commit to Harvard.

“When I committed to a school like Harvard, my family was definitely ecstatic for me being that they always assumed I would be the child with a bright future in the family,” Agostino said. “So I took my family’s appreciation and love with great gratitude and love.”

Agostino is slated to graduate in 2022 from Pace Academy.


Xavier Agostino after a play in the backfield during a high school game for Pace Academy. (Xavier Agostino)

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