Nick DeNucci

New Jersey No. 1 ILB Nick DeNucci shares thoughts on Maryland, Syracuse, Boston College, Rutgers

Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII linebacker Nick DeNucci

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Nick DeNucci, the top inside linebacker in New Jersey, still needs to visit Maryland, but with trips to RutgersSyracuse and Boston College already made, his recruitment is taking shape.

However, with the spring evaluation period less than a month away, the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder from Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII is anxious to see what is next.

"I'm still trying to keep everything open," he said. "I want to see what happens and how the process works."

The program DeNucci knows best is Rutgers, which was first to offer. And since the November offer, the staff stayed in contact.

It also helps the Scarlet Knights signed Pope John XXIII offensive lineman Sam Howson in the 2016 class, and he speaks highly about his experience with his former teammates.

"He had the opportunity to sign with them last-minute, and he's been working really hard," DeNucci said. "And they're working really hard as a program. The strength coach (Kenny Parker), their system and the weight room has changed. They're working hard and coach (Chris) Ash is doing a great job.

"It's a rebuilding process, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had a good year with everything they're doing. I'm excited to see what happens there."

Maryland is another program DeNucci has a tie to. 

Former Pope John XXIII linebacker Cole Farrand played for the Terps, and is now DeNucci's position coach.

"He had a chance with the Giants, so he had an opportunity at Maryland and a great experience," DeNucci said. "It's a school I would like to see, and one I haven't been to yet out of my offers. He said he liked it and he got put in a great spot."

DeNucci already learned about sudden change in recruiting when one of his main contacts at Syracuse, linebackers coach Tom Kaufman, took another job. But he said it has no impact in on his decision, or his recruitment.

"I have a good relationship with (assistant) coach (Vinson) Reynolds," DeNucci said. "They are doing a little rebuilding, like Rutgers, but it's a good school and there is a lot of energy there right now. I like the school."

Boston College recruits the North Jersey Catholic schools well, and it helps former Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco assistant coach Anthony Campanile recruits the area for the Eagles.

"His big selling point is they recruit Jersey guys," DeNucci said. "They actually have a lot of Jersey guys, it's close to home, and it's one of the top educations in the country. They have a really good business school. Their football team is on the rise, and they finished off last season with a good bowl win against Maryland, and it's in a good area."

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