WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Even if you’re not a college football recruiter, it was easy to see that Nico Ragaini was a special player. The Notre Dame-West Haven star had an All-American heart to match an All-State skill set.
A three-time All-State selection for Tom Marcucci‘s Knights, Ragaini needed a prep year at Avon Old Farms before someone finally gave him a shot, but it finally did happen.
Ragaini committed to Iowa on Monday.
The Hawkeyes will get a dynamic wide receiver and kick returner who had to fight the label of “too small.”
A shade under six feet, Ragaini had to put in the work to get major programs to pay attention. He plans to prove the Hawkeyes right, and others wrong.
“I want to prove to everyone I can play with the big dogs,” Ragaini said. “I always see people I think I could play with get big offers. It would hurt me but I couldn’t let that stop my work ethic, so I kept pushing and pushing and pushing, and I knew one coach would pull the trigger. All I wanted was a chance to prove to them that I can play, and they’re giving me that chance.”
“His heart is big, he plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he won’t take a back seat. What we saw was a Division I ball player,” said Tom Marcucci. “I just thought they were overlooking to actually watch him pay football, and see how good he can play.”
Raigini leaves for Iowa on Thursday.
The Hawkeyes are led by longtime head coach Kirk Ferentz, who is a former UConn linebacker.