Living for Contact

One of the most underrated linebackers in the Midwest, St. Francis DeSales linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo isn't worried about making friends on the football field. Dealing out punishing hits and having a nose for the football, Ariguzo has shown coaches that he can compete with the best.

MADISON - Chi Chi Ariguzo has the body and mind frame of a defensive player.

While some players shy away from contact or chose to go for the highlight reel play, Ariguzo goes for the big hit, and is usually the one left standing.

"I love the feeling of a contact," Ariguzo told Badger Nation. "Taking down another player when it's just you and him, I love how that feels."

After accumulating 70-plus tackles and an interception from the safety position for St. Francis DeSales, schools have been flocking to Columbus, Ohio, in hopes of landing the talented prospect.

"Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Kansas, Marshall, Ohio and Stanford have all offered," Ariguzo said. "Purdue, Boston College and Michigan State have also been showing interest. I am taking it all in and I want to start to visit schools this summer, but I don't know which ones yet. It's going to be tough to pick which schools to visit."

Playing in the heart of Big Ten country, it's no surprise that Ariguzo has already grabbed scholarship offers from five schools and strong interest from two others. Growing up watching a lot of the Big Ten conference, Ariguzo's style of play seems like a strong fit and the adjustment, for him, from safety to linebacker is a minor one.

"I watched a lot of Big Ten football and I like the intensity of the conference," he said. "I like how physical the conference is and I think that I can fit right in. To me, the positions (safety and outside linebacker) are basically the same thing. You need to cover the receivers first, and then check down the running backs. After that, just go to the ball."

Take one peak at his film and it's no surprise why schools like Wisconsin were quick to offer the rising prospect.

"They watched my film, they've been to my school and feel that I am a good fit," Ariguzo said of Wisconsin. "Coach Rudolph likes the way that I look, that I can make tackles and that I am a physical guy. He's a real good, honest guy."

Spending the offseason adding weight to his previously thin frame, Ariguzo has tipped the scales by adding 15 pounds of muscle, making him more physical in his head-to-head battles while retaining his 4.7 40-speed.

While he won't be doing any camps, Ariguzo is hoping to start visiting some schools in order to narrow down his list. With the amount of solid choices he has to consider, the process is not going to be a short one.

"I'm going to decide whenever it feels right," Ariguzo said. "I don't want to rush it too much. It's an important decision, so I want to take my time with it."

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