Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2014 Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY TOM LOY Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School safety Nicco Fertitta didn't want to rush one of the most important deci- sions of his young life. The 5-10, 175-pound recruit visited South Bend the weekend of April 5 with his father Lorenzo, the co-owner and CEO of the Ultimate Fighting Cham- pionship. The plan wasn't for Fertitta to commit to Notre Dame that week- end, but rather to spend time with the coaches and players to see if he fit in as a student-athlete. However, it didn't take long for him to realize that his future was in an Irish uniform. "We went through the whole campus tour and watched the team practice," Fertitta said. "I walked into the locker room and that's when I knew I was ready to be Irish. I just felt all the energy and thought about all the tradition, and I put on the jersey and everything just felt right about it. It was a special mo- ment for me. "It feels awesome. It feels incredible to be a part of something huge at Notre Dame. Not many people can be a part of a program with such tradition and greatness, and it feels amazing to know that I'll be a part of it." Fertitta became the sixth recruit to pledge to the Fighting Irish in the class of 2015. He, along with Dallas South Oak Cliff safety Prentice McKinney, give Notre Dame two quality athletes in the secondary. "It was the end of the day on Satur- day, and I called Coach [Brian] Kelly and just let him know that I was ready to commit," Fertitta said. "He was re- ally excited for me. He was happy to have me as a part of his program and as a player, and he just kept telling me how happy he was for me. He thinks I'm going to be a great player, and he thinks I'm going to be influential to the team's success. "Coach Kelly was telling me that they got me and [McKinney] and that should wrap things up at safety. He said that we were the guys he really wanted and was happy to have both us committed in this class." COMMITMENT PROFILE NICCO FERTITTA Las Vegas Safety Couldn't Pass On Tradition At Notre Dame FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Nicco Fertitta's instincts are the strongest aspect to his game … Diagnoses plays quickly and reacts well … Lacks great size (5-10, 175), but makes up for it with his tough, physical, aggressive nature … A heavy hitter that plays recklessly … Good enough speed to play sideline to sideline … Tracks the football very well … Has the tools to end up as a nickel cornerback … Will be a terror on special teams early in his career. Areas For Improvement Will likely redshirt in year one due to his size … Needs to pack on the pounds and add mass to his lean frame … Not an immediate contributor, but will be terrific on the scout team early on. — Tom Loy

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